Spirit sticks are used to encourage a sense of teamwork while employing creativity. Some are used by camps as a reward for challenges won by teams and individuals. Cheer or spirit leaders in schools will also make spirit sticks, although those are usually designed to show school spirit and pride.
Teamwork Spirit Sticks
This type of spirit stick is usually used by camps when they have teams of campers performing in different challenges. There is a medium-sized piece of wood that has been decorated to embody all that the camp is trying to teach the campers. This could be creativity, how to work together or reaching personal goals. The stick may be decorated with paints, leather cords and feathers. Every embellishment on the stick should have a story that relates to the campers so they will do their best to work together and win it. The camp team that wins the stick gets to keep it at their cabin or tent until they pass it off in a ceremony to the next team that wins.
Personal Spirit Sticks
These spirit sticks are designed and made by the person meant to keep it. They are created with feeling, and each bit attached to the stick has a special meaning, which may only be obvious to the creator. To make one, find a piece of wood that feels good in your hand, one that you can easily carry with you. Attach charms to the stick with ribbon, twine or leather cording. Shells, beads and feathers can also be added to the stick. There is no right or wrong when making this stick, it is made of what feels good at the time. Often these sticks are used to help focus during meditation or when working through a tough problem.
Football Spirit Sticks
These spirit sticks are easy enough to make that they can be sold as fundraisers for clubs. They are made with a wooden dowel that is wrapped in ribbon to either match or coordinate with the school colors. This is topped with a plastic mini football helmet, also in school colors, that has a piece of Styrofoam glued inside it. the dowel is thrust into the Styrofoam and glued so it will stay in place. Streamers of curling ribbon are added, as well as strings of plastic beads. Charms or cowbells can be tied to the ribbon to make noise. The helmet can be decorated with stickers and glitter numbers.
Cheerleading Spirit Sticks
Cheerleaders use these spirit sticks to work up a crowd at pep rallies and athletic events. By making a number of spirit sticks, they can easily be given to the crowd or presented to a winning attendee in a raffle. These spirit sticks are made with empty chip cans that have been cleaned. Add some pebbles to the inside of the can, replace the lid and glue it into place. From there the sticks can be decorated with paints, glitter and other embellishments. Tissue paper streamers and curling ribbon can also be added for additional flair.