Badges can be the bane of a Guider’s existence, can’t they? Although they provide satisfaction and joy, they are small and easily lost. They like to hide in every nook and cranny of our Guide bags, and only show up in abundance after you’ve purchased more, because you thought that you ran out of that First Aid badge.
When I was a Guide, many moons ago, my Guide leaders (one of which is still at that Unit, bless your heart, Mrs. Matson), used a fishing tackle box (maybe a tool box? My memory is a little foggy). But I remember looking upon that box on badge night with awe. It held all that I wanted, those little colourfully designed bits of fabric that said “Yes, you are indeed an endangered species specialist.” Becoming a Brownie leader 10 years ago posed a problem. I had no interest in lugging around a big ol’ box of badges.
You see, when I was a Guide, we had badge night. At the end of the night, we would be given our badges right away, which was very exciting. However, this method required having enough badges to satisfy demand, and have at least a couple of each (at the time, probably close to 40). Also, I found that as a Guide, I would forget that it was badge night, and so I would often miss my once a month opportunity.
When I became a Brownie leader, the Guiders that we took over from had allowed the girls to bring an item for show and tell. Over the years the girls started bringing in more things, and it started to eat into our meeting time. So, we phased that out and told the girls that they could present up to two badges at the beginning of the meeting. This allows the other girls to see what each other is doing, and gives them an opportunity almost every week to earn a badge or two. This tends to take about 10 minutes. If we have many girls who have worked on a badge, then we split the group in two.
Like my sisters in Guiding, I started off by giving the girls their earned badges each meeting. However, badges started getting lost, and my supply quickly dwindled; I had to remember who had received their badge, and which ones I needed to order more of. So, we switched gears. We started handing out badges three or four times a year. That way each girl would receive something (we tend to do a few badges during our meetings as well), and I didn’t have to worry whether they had already received it or not.
We use the Brownie Record Keeper that we found in the Member Zone (the original handbook doesn’t include the Cookies Rising badges, and left out a Special Interest one, too). When we give the girls their badges, we highlight it, so we know they’ve been received.
And this is how we store them: in a binder, using baseball card sleeves.
I write on each pocket what the badge is, in order of the program book, and keep them in there. It’s great to be able to see what you have at a glance.
How do you store your badges? If you’ve got a different method, we invite you to blog about it!
By guest blogger Liz Voce. Liz is a Professional Organizer in the Toronto area. She stays busy (but very organized) running her company Sort It. Read her previous posts on our GirlGuidesCANblog: Community Counts – And So Do You!, The Crafty Cluttered Guider, Guiding Someone Through ‘Collecting’ Versus ‘Hoarding’, Thrills, Spills and Chills.