Crafty Merit Badges

27 Jun 2007

With a squeal of delight, I snapped up this 1955 Girl Scout Manual a couple weeks ago. Aside from the awesome illustrations and charmingly earnest writing, it has full descriptions of all the Girl Scout Merit Badges.

I loved merit badges as a kid -- still do, in fact. I wish we could still earn them as adults, and wear those badge-encrusted sashes around.

Remember the "Dabbler" merit badge? It was a badge for the crafty generalist. To earn it in 1955, you had to do any eight of these:

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1. Take colored chalk and see how many different ways you can use it.

2. Make a drawing or painting of something such as a story you like, a song you like, or a place you have been.

3. Make a pinch pot out of clay.

4. Make a hike stick, simple toy, whistle, cook spoon, or darning egg out of wood.

5. Make a candle holder, corn popper, cookie cutter, or imaginative animal out of tin.

6. Take buches of grass, pine needles, or like material and make a sit-upon by coiling and sewing with raffia or long grass.

7. Learn something about how the American Indian and other folk arts have influenced arts and crafts of today.

8. Cut a leaf pattern or other design into a piece of potato, linoluem, wooden bock, or stencil. Print your design on a smock or apron.

9. Make hand puppets of characters from favorite stories and have each puppet act.

10. Make an imaginative fish or animal form from wire.

11. Make a peepshow or a diorama.

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And then, of course, you could go on to the specialty merit badges: Bookbinding, Pottery, Needlecraft, Textile Design, and so on.

I could seriously quote you the entire "Arts and Crafts" chapter from this book, it's so funny and interesting. But here's one of my favorite bits:

"In everything you do in arts and crafts you want to be true and honest. If you make something from wood, finish it to look like wood and not metal. If you use paper, let it look like paper and not leather. When we try to make one material look like another, we lose the beauty of both."

Hee hee . . . how times change.

. . . Incidentally, did you know you can get crafty merit badges from Pod Post? So very cool!

Update: And, check out Mama Merit Badges!

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Comments

I have that Girl Scout Handbook. It was a hand-me-down from and aunt. I definitely need to work on more merit badges.


I love this!! I worked on the Girls Scouts Web site years ago and got to tour their museum in their office in NY. (which is a whole part of the top floor.) I think I took pictures somewhere -- I need to dig them up.


I cannot tell you how often I have wished there were merit badges for life. I have a friend whose husband is in the National Gaurd. On his last deployment, we had a long rant together about merit badges. We came up with a long list of badges for her life: the little star for each week spent as a single parent; the silver thermometer for each night up with a sick child; the purple heart for parenting when ill or hurt; the cross for PTSD support.

And then there was the list for my (more mundane and eclectic) life, the badges for: surviving calculus, completing projects, cesarean recoveries, months spent pumping breast milk, "knocks at the door", and for the cleaning and care of gunshot wounds. Yep. I want a sash with badges, pins, and little flags. There are definitely days when you need to look at a collection of shiney pretties to remind us why we get up in the morning and what we have done the day before.


ooo, oo! then you all will love..
*drum roll*

"You Can Do It!: The Merit Badge Handbook for Grown-Up Girls"

http://www.youcandoitbook.com/

and that "dabbler" badge rocks. :)


I love this!! I worked on the Girls Scouts Web site years ago and got to tour their museum in their office in NY. (which is a whole part of the top floor.) I think I took pictures somewhere -- I need to dig them up.


I cannot tell you how often I have wished there were merit badges for life. I have a friend whose husband is in the National Gaurd. On his last deployment, we had a long rant together about merit badges. We came up with a long list of badges for her life: the little star for each week spent as a single parent; the silver thermometer for each night up with a sick child; the purple heart for parenting when ill or hurt; the cross for PTSD support.

And then there was the list for my (more mundane and eclectic) life, the badges for: surviving calculus, completing projects, cesarean recoveries, months spent pumping breast milk, "knocks at the door", and for the cleaning and care of gunshot wounds. Yep. I want a sash with badges, pins, and little flags. There are definitely days when you need to look at a collection of shiney pretties to remind us why we get up in the morning and what we have done the day before.


ooo, oo! then you all will love..
*drum roll*

"You Can Do It!: The Merit Badge Handbook for Grown-Up Girls"

http://www.youcandoitbook.com/

and that "dabbler" badge rocks. :)


I have that Girl Scout Handbook. It was a hand-me-down from and aunt. I definitely need to work on more merit badges.


From one Dabbler to another, you might like this post my Mom did a while back about her Dabbler nature: http://gingerbreadsnowflakes.com/node/293 I'd love to see a photo of your Dabbler badge!


The Dabbler badge! It continues to loom large in my multi-interest life story. How can anyone stick with one topic enough to become an expert?
Although I let my Handbook go a few years back, I still have my Girl Scout sash--and the first badge is the Dabbler (and it's a beautiful one).
Want a photo?
Carol


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