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Badges, Patches and Ribbons

August 1, 2011

I was reading an article about raising achievement-driven children.  It made me think of merit badges.  I was a girl scout and I remember getting badges for my sash but I cannot tell you how a single one of them was earned.  I remember, however, that one of the girls in my troop had a mom who would staple the badges onto her vest.  That mom apparently never earned her sewing badge.

My dad was in the Navy and I was always pretty intrigued by his ribbons.  I thought they were pretty, all different colors, some with pins stuck in them, just rows and rows of them worn on his chest.  I was fascinated by them, but it also makes me thankful that civilians don’t have to display their achievements for all to see.

Years ago I went to the Festival of Books at UCLA and was digging through a bin of $2 books and found one called, You Can Do It!: The Merit Badge Handbook for Grown-Up Girls.  It was written by a woman who was killed in the attacks on 9/11/01.  She had this idea before she died to inspire women to get out and do things, learn things, achieve things.  I loved the idea.  However, I was disappointed by the actual badges (they were actually stickers in the book).  Many of them were for things like wine tasting and learning to knit.

It kind of reminded me of a movie my sister and I loved when we were little, Troop Beverly Hills, where a troop of wealthy Wilderness Girls make up their own patches, like Jewelry Appraisal and Gardening with Glamour.  Then they camp at the Beverly Hills Hotel and do charity work like “describing the fall fashions to the blind,” and in the end, of course, win the Wilderness Jamboree against the evil Red Feathers troop led by Tori Spelling.

Despite my disappointment in the content of the book, I do still love the idea.  I have been trying to think of my life more like a quest for patches.  Here are some I’ve earned:

  • Hike through Costa Rican Rainforest Badge
  • Sever a Finger Badge (not recommended)
  • Drive Cross-Country Alone Badge
  • Lose 50 Pounds Badge
  • Give a 20-Minute Presentation about Feminism in Dubai Badge
  • Quit Biting Your Nails Badge
  • Visit Yosemite Badge
  • Camp with Colonial Reenactors Badge
  • Break Your Arm on Rollerskates Badge (got this one TWICE!)
  • Play a Hobo in a Fifth Grade Production of Annie Badge

Then I think of the badges I’ll probably never earn, like the Bridesmaid Badge, Run a Marathon Badge, or Master Chess Badge.  There are some I will probably earn in the future that scare me, like the Childbirth Badge or Move to the Midwest Badge (equally scary, honestly).

I think God wants us to pursue things.  He’s interested in our personal development.  He didn’t create us to watch television.  If you’re not learning something or striving for something or working on something, ask yourself why.

So currently, I guess I’m working on my Perfect Your Golf Swing Badge and my Learn to Communicate with Your In-Laws Badge.  Don’t judge me if I staple them on.  I can’t sew either.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 1, 2011 10:59 pm

    I had no idea you went to Dubai. You’re holding out on me girl 🙂

    I love this idea. I wonder what my life would be in terms of patches or badges.

    – Beat the foster care system badge
    – Childbirth badge
    – Mentor young girls through their hardest years badge
    – Chop off your hair for locks of love badge
    – Perform in a MTV music video badge

    Near future
    – Earn a Master’s degree badge
    – Decade of marriage badge
    – Conquer the 1st year of teaching badge

    Ultimate badges (forever working on)
    – Be a good mom badge
    – Proverbs 31 woman badge

    Want to achieve
    – Cook for a family of 5 badge
    – Breastfeeding badge

    This is harder than I thought it would be. I want to think about it more and repost later.

    • February 1, 2012 5:53 pm

      Okay I worded this badly. My presentation was on the topic of “Feminism in Dubai” and I gave it at Saddleback College. I only mentioned it because it was one of the scariest things I ever did. It was 25 minutes long, with handouts and powerpoint. I got a perfect 100% on it though and it was a great experience.

      So I need to hear the story of the MTV Video! And I want to remind you of the “FAMILY OF FIVE” stated above. =)


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