I would love to put my kids in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, but for several reasons (time commitments being the primary one) I don't see those being viable options for our family anytime soon. So, well, I made my own program and badges.
I haven't thought of a good name yet, but I made a handbook that lays the groundwork for earning ten badges, and it's been so cool to see my kids get excited about learning new skills. (By "kids" I mean mostly only my 5-year-old son, but I'm hoping my daughters show interest soon!)
I sorted the badges into four categories: Compassion & Mercy, Caring For My Soul, Mental Knowledge, and Physical Abilities. This way they will hopefully become well-rounded and find meaning in all their pursuits.
I took a couple hours one night while talking to a friend and drew some simple images with puffy paint onto an old white shirt. I then cut them out and hot glued them to felt. Then (classy seamstress that I am) I hot-glue the badges onto a sweater vest I bought my kids from Target. We're talking extremely minimal investment of time and money here, folks.
Some state parks offer badges for $1.25, so if my kids conquer the trails there I let them earn those legit badges as well. (Again, it'd be great if I sewed or ironed them on, but I use hot glue. We're just not going to wash this vest too many times, ha!)
Below are some of the guidebook pages:
It was really cool to see my son grow a garden and eat food from it. That whole process took a couple months, but he was so excited about that first tomato he ate because he knew I would give him a badge for it. Many of the badges are easier to learn; for example, he made a 4-course meal for my mother-in-law (which included a peanut butter-and-animal-cracker-sandwich with peanuts on the side, ha!) and composed a song. I keep adding more badges as he earns more, and I'll make a Guidebook Vol. 2 when I find the time. He loves looking through it and figuring out what he's going to do to earn more badges.
So anyway, if you want to do this yourself, feel free. Here's the PDF for the guidebook I made, but you can make your own really easily.
Click here to download the PDF.
Have fun with it! The more ceremonious you are with "meetings" and badge-earning, the more your kids are likely to get into it :)
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My name is Hope.
I'm 25, married to a former skater dude, and raising little people ages 5, 3, 1, and not-yet-born. I like lime green and sarsaparilla, and I wear my Crocs until they melt. (Florida problems.)
Quick links to some of my posts:
Articles I've Written on Other Sites:
Youth Ministry's Family Blindspot - Christianity Today