I was a girl scout a million years ago. For the longest time I've been looking for a girl scout sash like the one I had then. I loved earning badges, the process, the achievement and most importantly, the badges themselves. I don't know why I lost mine. I certainly put enough effort into getting all the those badges, so it's kind of weird to me that I didn't save and cherish the one that I had earned myself. Regardless, it's gone and so I thought it'd be kind of cool to get one someday.
Fast forward to today. I randomly typed in girl scout badges on e-bay and found the sash above. It had about 10 minutes left on the auction so I bid. One minute before the auction was over, I got outbid on what I thought was a certain (and outrageous) amount I'd bid to ensure that it was mine. Kind of an unpleasent experience. I don't think I like ebay much. It's becoming icky like the way garage sale business did a few years ago. Before, you could stumble across some cheap treasure and feel happy and a bit smug. Now it's this cut throat, "professional" business and no fun to do anymore; long lines to get in, high prices, agressive shoppers, humorless estate sale companies running the sale. Why does all the fun stuff have to get so competitive? Ah, but I digress.
Once I got over my frustration of not getting the (perfect-argh) girl scout sash I started to look for more stuff on girl scout badges from the 60's and 70's. As I found more images like the one above, my stomach started to literally flutter excitement. Weird. All the feelings of anticipation, diligence and achievement I felt in the girl scouts, rushed back to me as I saw the symbols whose meanings I have long since forgotten. It was weird and wonderful, like I was rediscovering an important code I'd forgotten.
But weirder still was the realization how much the girl scout thing had influenced me in becoming the person I am today. I loved the uniform. I'm in search of the perfect uniform today. I loved the hard work and the recognition of getting the badges. I still love to work hard today, and if I don't feel recognized for it, I get pretty blue. Wow. I'm still kind of a girl scout today. Scary.
Ok, ok, so once I got past the psychology moment, a kind of cool art project occured to me. What if we designed LIFE merit badges? A merit guide book would need to be written, outlining the process needed to earn the merit badge just like in the girl scouts. Or maybe not. Maybe each person should determine what their own life merit badges would be. They could be for big things like a "living 20 years with diabetes" badge or "being a good mom or dad" badge. But also there could be ones like "plays a banjo pretty well" badge or a "knows how to ties knots" badge or a "makes a great cake" badge too. Or other people could make one to send to a friend to say, heh, "I think you are a fabulous driver" or humanitarian or gardener or whatever. Merit badges for being a good citizen. A good person. We all need that, even as adults, right. Hm...I think there is something here...