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Posts Tagged ‘badges’

Getting started: Badges

Lee Ann from Owl & Toadstool has an awesome teaching tool/reference for Brownie badges. (Follow the link for a complete set – also includes circle songs). Happy Saturday.

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There’s nothing like a camp blanket to visually represent your time in Guiding.  It shows what challenges you’ve done, who you’ve met, where you’ve been, and what you like to do.  2013-04-30 iPhone 001

The photo here kind of implies that I’ve got my act together and have dutifully sewn on all of my crests… but that is a fib.  There are about six crests actually sewn on, but seeing it laid out in its potential glory is encouraging.  Guider Marie suggests that it is best done with a needle and thread.  She uses “thread to match the outside threads on each badge/patch.. it takes time, however I like the result… ”

Tonight’s meeting was about Brownie Memories.  We mostly re-used the meeting from two years ago with a little bit of revision.

6:30 – Earth Day Word search we didn’t use last week Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Word Search (from alschutzman.com)

6:40 – Brownie Inspections

6:50 – Brownie Circles

7:00 Program

We put away the toadstool and Snowy Owl and I showed the girls the crests that we’ve collected through the years.  I had my old Brownie scarf and belt, and Snowy had her Guide and Pathfinder sashes.  And I just talked about the different kinds of crests and badges that we had.  It was neat to show them the traders and swaps I had and how the different challenge crests actually look when they’re put together.  I was pretty surprised at how interested they were in this.

7:10 – Brownie Memory books from 2011 Meeting – have you used Pocket Mods for Memory books?  They take a bit of time, but are a bit of magic.  Check out the post for links to templates.  Practice putting one or two together before the meeting.

  • 10 minutes assembling the books
  • 10 minutes getting autographs and decorating

7:30 – we cleaned up the gym and went outside to play some games – Time Bomb is in the list on this site: http://www.girlguidinghantswest.org.uk/games/30sec_1/menu.php

7:50 – Campfire and Close.

I have lots of stuff to catch you up on, and I will (might be a summer project).  But we have four more meetings to go till Brownie Free Tuesday.

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The pins and insignia just arrived (phew – there was a real possibility that we’d have had to give IOUs.  My fault for leaving it to the last minute).

Tonight we enroll 12 new girls.   To keep everything straight, I printed the Badge Sash instructions badge sash instructions 2 on card stock, wrote a name on each card, and stapled/pinned the insignia for each girl.  We always make a card, but this is the first year, I’m including the instructions.  Here’s hoping it’ll prevent the mishmash of badge sash sewing.  The title tape needs to go on – and we’ll pin their Brownie Pin to their sash during the ceremony.

Next week is Halloween!

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Snowy Owl Christine is responsible for badges in our unit, and, let me tell you, I’m so glad to have her.  She manages our badge stock, does most of the badge testing, and is always on the lookout for “if we did this one thing more, the girls would get this badge” opportunities.

Where to get badges, emblems, crests and pins:

  • Budgeting: Badges, emblems, crests and pins are not cheap.  It is important to browse through the online catalogue at the beginning of the year, take note of what you’ll need, and budget accordingly.  Think about keys, year pins, enrollment pins, and circle emblems.  All are available from the Online Guide Store.  There are also title tapes, and crests to consider.
  • Crests: On the subject of crests, have you been to e-patches & crests?  (this is an unpaid endorsement from a happy customer).  They’ve got a great selection of imaginative crests that you can make your own challenge around.  They have fast delivery and, if you sign up as a member (click the green shopping icon at the top of their page) you receive one free crest and 15% off your first order.  Crests go on the Camp Blanket – not on the badge sash.
  • Challenges: There are lots of neat challenges around – Guides Ontario has some good ones.  I’m sorry to say that we didn’t do the Queen’s Jubilee one.  We love Brownies Splash (no crest), Sing Ontario Sing, and Emergency Preparedness.  Are there others you like?

Earning badges and crests and how to arrange a badge sash:

  • Snowy Owl Christine’s Badge Testing Tips:
    • Introducing Badges at Meetings: I like to give a general overview of badges to the full group during our second or third meeting of the year, but I also make a huge effort to meet with each girl individually within the first six weeks.  This gives me a chance to determine each girl’s interest level, explain things and make sure she understands what is required to actually earn a badge.  I try to point out some specific badges she might be interested in working on.  Some girls are VERY keen and will have badge testing at every opportunity; others only earn the badges that we do as a group.  Either option is fine, as long as they’re having fun.
    • Earning Badges:
      • On badge testing days (it isn’t really a test – just a conversation with the girl where she talks about the badge one-on-one with the tester) we ask who has badge testing at the beginning of the meeting  and do our best to take five minutes out of an activity to cover it.  Some units do badge testing once a month – we do it during any meeting in our own space.
      • Write it down: Each girl is expected to show up with a record of how she earned the badge.  I ask them to keep a special Brownie notebook to write down the page number, key and badge that she’s working on, as well as notes about what she did for each of the badge’s requirements.  Having the details written down (even if the requirement says “Think about…”) means that the girl more easily remembers what she did to earn the badge, makes it easier for her to talk about it, and saves us from spending five minutes searching the Brownie book for “that badge that has a hammer on it…”
      • I’m pretty lenient, but if a girl hasn’t completed all the components of a badge, I’ll help her figure out ways to complete it and redo the badge testing after she’s finished.
    • Showing the group: If there is time at the end of the meeting, we try to let the girls who have earned badges show and tell to the rest of the group.
    • How parents can help: I encourage parents to email me ahead of time with the badges that their girls are working on so that I can make sure I have the badges in stock.  Sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesn’t.  I’ve never had a girl complain about having to wait a few weeks before she gets her badge, and I’m pretty good at following up to make sure everyone has all their badges at the end of the year.
  • Once the girls get their badges, many will ask where to put them on the badge sash.
    • Handout: Since I’m kind of particular about where things go, I’ve created a printable handout explaining (suggesting) how to lay out the badges (badge sash instructions 2 – file updated Aug 24 after some problems uploading)  (PDF from Dropbox).  Honestly, I’m fine as long as the sash is worn on the correct side (right shoulder) and the tape, pin and circle emblems are in the right spot.  But parents of badge crazy girls want to know what to save room for.
    • What to put on the badge sash: We say, if it is not in the book, it does not belong on the badge sash. But if you must put crests on, put them on the bottom of the sash.  Make sure you save room for your keys and interest badges.

Do you have a Badge Guider in your Unit?  (Ours is Awesome)

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