Tag Archives: merit badge

Merit Badges for Grown Ups


Merit badges popped into my head recently. I know – random.  It’s especially random because I wasn’t ever a Brownie or a Girl Scout.  I did go to Girl Scout camp, and my Aunt Bobby – who was like a second mom to me – was a devoted Girl Scout, but I never earned a single merit badge as a child or teen.

And yet, there I was – inspired to create my own “merit badges” on a page in my art journal.  It was really an exercise in self-assessment, a chance to take stock.  What things do I devote time to?  What are some of my best qualities?  What do I have a particular affinity for?  This was my self-designated criteria as I determined what I’d theoretically earned merit badges in.  Here’s what I ended up with, and they were drawn in random order:
1. Nature Lover
2. Baking
3. Travel Bug (as in, I’ve been bitten by the Travel Bug)
4. Generous with Smiles
5. Helping Others
6. Creativity
7. Friend-Auntie-Family Member
8. Bibliophile
9. Significant Other/Wife.  Hubby and I have been a couple for over 16 years and are approaching our 14th wedding anniversary.  :]
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: drawing is not my strong suit, so my illustrations are pretty simple and crude. I had fun though, and it was a good exercise to help rebuild the dexterity in my right hand post-surgery.
The black pen I used on the page is one of my favorites for making art and for general writing: the Uniball Vision Elite.  The color was added primarily by coloring with watercolor pencils and then blending the color with a wet paintbrush, though I did use some Caran d’Ache water-soluble crayons as well.
Oh, and lest you think I’m all about self-congratulations, the page opposite from the merit badges includes a list of eight things I will work on improving about myself – and that’s by no means a complete list!  That list includes getting more consistent exercise, eating more fruits and veggies, and not getting wrapped up in fear and worry when it’s not going to help anything anyway.  I try to balance being proud of who I am with being humble, and always strive to keep an eye on ways to improve and grow.  The things I listed on the two pages (both “good” and “bad”) are not a complete catalog – just a few examples on one particular day…
If you were to wear a sash, a vest, or shirt with merit badges on them – or have a Merit Badge Collecting app on your smart phone (ha!), what would your Grown Up Merit Badges be?  Gardening?  Literacy Program Volunteer? Wine Lover? Please comment and share, dear readers…
Warm regards,
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