The Magic Necklace

Michèle Buchanan:

Here is a story that we used once as the Thinking Day service at church with actual Cubs, Scouts, Sparks, Brownies..etc. We even had all those who were ever in either movement stand up and join the chain that wrapped all the way around the church. It was really interesting to see.

We also did it one year at a Division camp with a few hundred girls around in a circle, me at a megaphone and the girls each had a prepackaged baggie with all the necessary pony beads, and a cord (with a toothpick taped on as the needle). It worked well and all summer I would see the girls in the neighbourhood wearing their necklace.

By the way I don't remember where I got this so I can't give credit to anyone. I think it May have been in things Dorothy Stobbs (a good friend who was a member of our Canadian Guides for many years before moving to the States a few years ago) gave me before she left. Who knows where she got it from!


The Magic Necklace

There was once a very strong Needle who was also so wise that God gave him a special and wonderful thread to use in His service. It was a strong and beautiful thread, but quite invisible. The odd thing about it was that it had no end at all.

"What shall I do with it?" thought the Needle, for he knew that God wanted him to share it with other people. He looked out over the world and saw millions of different colored beads of different shapes and sizes scattered all over the place.

"I know," said the Needle. "I will make a necklace." He looked down at his feet and found a number of green coloured beads who looked just right to begin with.

(The Scouts move near L.B.P)

"Would you like to be the first beads on the magic necklace?" he asked them, showing his wonderful thread. The green beads were excited and said, "We would like to help by being the first beads to join." Then, the magic was proven, for no matter how far from each other the beads strayed, they still found themselves joined together by the invisible thread. (Boys move away from each other (1/3 of a circle and make the Scout sign).

Then not only green but a number of Royal blue beads began to ask if they might join the beautiful necklace. "May we join too, please?"

(Guides advance and stand in front of LPB)

"I am sorry, but I am only having green beads at the moment." said the needle firmly. At that the Royal blue beads looked terribly disappointed, but they did not go away. The Needle, who hated to disappoint anyone, thought for a while and at last said, "I think that this necklace is meant for anyone who can see the thread and who cares to join it. I will find you a place opposite the green beads, so hold on.

(Guides join the circle with the Scouts.)

He had scarcely finished speaking when an excited whispering made him turn around. (Six Brownies stand behind LBP) Behind him was a wiggling heap of tiny orange beads dancing with impatience. "Oh, please let us join," they begged, "Very well" said the needle. "We will make room for you near the Royal Blue beads, and you can roll down when the time comes."

(Then the Brownies take their place near the Guides.)

The orange beads crowded in joyfully with the blue and green beads. Brown and yellow beads joined in a short time later as the necklace continued to grow.

(Beavers and cubs join the circle)

"If you please, might we have some room too?" asked some emerald green beads. The Needle, who was very wise gave the space in the middle.

(Pathfinders join in)

The bigger beads of light blue and red were also intent to join this special necklace.

(Venturers and Rangers join in)

"Have us, have us too" cried the little pink beads before the Needle could continue to speak. "We are smaller than the green beads so we can fit in."

The necklace grew so large that it spread over England, Europe, America and into Asia and Australia. In fact, it soon spread all over the world. The beads took great care of the magic thread for they knew that no one but they themselves could break it.

(Everyone joins in with their group)

One of the smallest yellow beads felt rather worried when he heard this. "Suppose, just suppose, I forgot and broke the necklace. What then? Should I fall off?" He asked a green bead who shook his head and said:

"You need not worry. The magic holds us very, very safely. We all break the chain sometimes - it is difficult not to- but we can join the thread together again if we use the safety chain."

"What is that?" asked a royal blue bead eagerly.

The Needle said, "The safety chain of the necklace is the PROMISE that we all make, and that is what keeps us all together. But sometimes we move far away from the other beads, but the magic necklace always keeps us together. If anyone has ever made their promise please take your place in the magic necklace.

(In turn, each group repeats their promise: Sparks, Beavers, Brownies, Cubs, Guides, Scouts, Pathfinders, Venturers, Rangers. Leaders fall in with their units.)

The royal blue bead nodded her head wisely. "It makes it sort of - safe, doesn't it?" she said contentedly. All the other beads smiled understandingly because that was the way they felt about it too.

Kathy Pechmann:

We used this many years ago as part of a District advancement ceremony for all branches. We got some thick golden yellow yarn to make a long chain (long enough to go around a gymnasium) and attached it to a two foot long needle made of cardboard covered with tin foil.

Each unit involved made "beads" by painting half a toilet paper roll in the appropriate colour. We made a large circle around the gym and as the story was read the needle was passed around and each participant threaded her bead on to the chain.

The process started with some Guiders who stood in as acting Scouts and ended with the District Commissioner who tied the safety knot to the beginning of the chain as the story ended. Everyone held on to the chain we re-affirmed the Promise. After the ceremony the chain was taken to our Area Office where it became part of a display for the next Thinking Day.

I don't know where the story originally came from but it has been around for a long time.

Linda Hodgkin, Cadet Guider, Vernon, British Columbia:

The original posting about the Magic Necklace rang lots of memory bells for me but it took a while to figure out why. It is in the DRAFT copy of the new Senior Branches Program: For Fun and Independence. It is included in the Resource Section and is referred to by both the Cadet and Junior Leader sections.

Helen Smith, Ottawa Area:

I found the book where this story appears! As promised, complete details ...

Pow-wow stories, by Freda Collins. This edition first published by Knight (the paperback division of Brockhampton Press Leicester) in 1974. First published in 1948 by Brockhampton Press Ltd.

ISBN = 0 340 19110 4

Cost (1974 remember!) = UK 30p; New Zealand 90c; Australia 95c; Canada $1.25.

It is probably out of print, but some girls and Guiders must have bought it!!!