07 November 2007

Badge Work

A few weeks back Kid2's Brownie troop worked on their Colors and Shapes Try-It. The girls did 2 projects that day -- mixing colors, and yarn painting. All the moms were to bring in some yarn for the yarn painting.

(The way that ended up working: I brought in a huge bag that barely put a dent in my stash. I'm not sure that anyone else brought anything at all. I announced that I really really didn't want the leftover yarn back, so the troop now has its own yarn stash.)

"Yarn painting" means that you draw a picture on cardboard or card stock, then glue yarn on the picture to color it in. Family Fun magazine featured some leaves done with yarn on cardboard in a recent issue. They looked really nice, and like an adult had done them with nice yarn bought specifically for the picture they had in mind. Sort of a Martha Stewart rendition of a kids craft project.

Kid2 didn't attend that particular meeting (I was in charge of badge work at the Junior meeting down the hall, and she opted to tag along with me instead), but we peeked at the finished artwork. Unlike the Family Fun magazine leaves, it looked more like 18 young girls had done it with random yarn someone had dumped off from their stash. Which isn't to say it looked bad -- it just didn't look like something magazine editors would photograph. It also looked very wet and gluey.

So, in order to "catch up" with her troop, we wanted to do the project at home. But, well. Wet gluey-ness. Available yarn colors that didn't suit the inner vision of the young artist (because I'm not buying new yarn for this project -- sorry, folks). How to make it more appealing for the young artist and her clean up crew?

We tweaked the project. It became painting with roving on wool felt, using a felting needle. I think it turned out pretty good. I had her look through the available roving, then draw a picture based on the colors available. The background felt is actually a wool blend from JoAnn's -- we had several colors, and she decided white would work best for this project. Then we set up foam to work on, got out the felting needles, and she went to it.

After determining that she wasn't going to felt her hand to the picture (she's needle felted before) I wandered out of the room (this either makes me a very bad mommy for leaving a small child with possibly dangerous equipment, or a very good mommy for trusting her creative genius). In the meantime, Kid1 decided to get in on the action, and did her own little roving/felt picture.

I wouldn't have done this project with her troop -- no way would I have 18 kids ages 6-9 brandishing felting needles -- but I really like it for home badge work.

(The other part of the Try-It she missed -- mixing primary colors of paints to make secondary colors as well as tints, tones and shades -- we earn effortlessly since we only own a few colors of Stockmar paints and so mix up whatever else we need as we go along.)

In the meantime, I've made a list of Junior badgework that can be done outside in pleasant temperatures, and we are scurrying to work on those things in this small window where the weather is neither insanely hot (I think it was 90F out about 3 weeks ago, wasn't it?) or uncomfortably cold (and right now it's 21F, which is getting rather brisk).

Kid1 has decided she wants her hiking badge. This involves either 2 all day hikes, or an overnight hike. I anounced that I thought it might be wise to work our way up to that. Once upon a time I could've just spontaneously gone on an all day hike with no muscular repercussions, but those days are gone. We are working on the walking badge, which involves a 3 week program of walking for fitness, and will, cleverly enough, build up our walking muscles. We're also taking shorter hikes in various wooded areas, during which we're working on tree identification (part of the Earth Connections badge -- as soon as she saw it involved learning 10 trees and 5 other plants with their traditional uses she knew I was going to drag her into it, so she had put it on the to-do list), various nature hikes that fulfill Junior and Brownie requirements, taking snacks (also fulfilling various Junior and Brownie requirements), and learning the ins and outs of Finding Your Way. Wisconsin council has a cool bird-watching badge, a forestry badge, and a prairie badge that I'm hoping we can work into our hikes. It all seems like a great way to spend these sunny, crisp fall days.

Scouting is getting to be more and more fun as I get the hang of how to enjoy it.


Ami said...

That's really a great project!
Nice job.

I like moms like you involved in my troop. :D

Starting next week, two moms are teaming up to teach the girls how to knit blanket squares. Both are long-time knitters, and one is a pattern designer. We're going to make blankets for Warm Up America. The moms are furnishing the yarn and instruction. I'm going to watch. :)

kitten said...

I love your project! Very cute and looks fun. Don't feel nice to be so involved with your kids!
Take care!

Writing and Living said...

Cute project. Glad you decided to leave the felting needles for the home project, though. :o)

Tara said...

What a sweet project!

Lorraine said...

Such exciting projects and ideas. How clever to adapt to the materials on hand!