Young Cultivator Merit Badge: Toys, Expert Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,504 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,886 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ 

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life   

For this week’s Stitching and Crafting/Toys Expert Level Young Cultivator Merit Badge, Piper (with her paper dolls), Nora (with her finger puppets), and Andy (with his sock puppets), gathered everyone together in the living room for a little impromptu performance.

Actually, what am I saying? It was anything but impromptu. They’d been planning and rehearsing for weeks. They had written their own plays and skits, trashed them, refocused, and sent out invitations. They’d fired their set designer (me), extended their run, and offered backstage prices for three easy installments of $14.99.

In short? I had created little monsters.

photo by Rion via Wilimedia Commons

Their parents were eyeing me with something like wariness and mistrust as we all took our seats. I couldn’t blame them. I was concerned I’d never work again as Assistant to the Prop Department Manager, which was what I had been demoted to. Word gets around in a small town, you know. I’d hate to be blacklisted from the sock puppet world. I sent up small prayers to the puppetry gods that all would go well and opened my program.

Along with biographies of the cast (including made-up biographies of the puppets themselves, which I found rather adorable), this evening’s show order, and an encouragement to visit the concession stand at Intermission (say whaaa? Piper’s mom glanced nervously at her kitchen), there was also paid advertising.

Sheesh. These kids were good.

My worries turned back into a feeling of pride, which was abated slightly when Andy came out of the wings to confiscate my cell phone when it pinged at the start of the show. You gotta admire their work ethic, I guess.

photo by Natasha Tremain via Wikimedia Commons

The first act was a rousing rendition of Annie Get Your Gun, performed by ummm, well, Nora’s fingers and their respective puppets. We applauded heartily.

Next up was Piper’s modern day retelling of Romeo and Juliet, complete with balcony scene with the help of a Barbie Dream House. It was quite moving, I must say, even though at some point Juliet’s left arm dropped off accidently. Since that’s hardly the worst thing to happen to the poor dear in the tale, Piper didn’t even skip a beat: just got out some scotch tape and kept going. What a pro!

public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Then it was Andy’s turn. While planning to give away all his homemade sock puppets for Christmas gifts for the “smaller” and “less mature” people in his circle (his words, not mine), he nevertheless had spared no attention to detail. I think he could have a career in Jim Henson’s world, should he be so inclined. Although his playwriting skills need work: Captain America Meets Dracula was a little hard to follow.

After spending an exorbitant amount at concessions during Intermission (where I was served half a juice box, a leftover pork chop from the fridge, and a stick of bubble gum), we settled back in to watch the Finale. There was a lot of singing, dancing, madcap antics, and a kickline (chorus girl style) that I’m sure the Rockettes would have been dazzled by. Even if the kicks were done with fingers and not legs.

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  1. Krista says:

    This is too cute! I love little puppet shows and plays put on by kids. Reminds me of when I was a Pre-K teacher. This is a great way to keep their minds active and their imagination strong. It will be so exciting seeing my kids put on shows for me and our concessions will consist of the same thing!

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