Young Cultivators Merit Badge: Trash Talk, Beginner Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 6,760 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—9,508 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MaryJane 

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

For this week’s Merit Badge, I decided to tackle one with my nephew, Andrew. Being a boy, he’s pretty good at tackling, so we channeled all that noisy, dirty energy into something worthwhile: his Cleaning Up/Trash Talk Beginning Level Merit Badge. Little did I know what I was getting myself into …

Beginning our project took some time, for starters. Mostly because I had to give myself a pep talk and channel all my tea-sipping, porch-sitting energy into something more … more high energy. Andrew is a feisty guy, a real go-getter, a pistol, as my Gramma Barbie would say (right after she made him take a nap, probably). But I just knew if we could focus all that squirmy liveliness into a project, it would be a beautiful thing. And also, his mom would owe me a favor. (She makes killer pecan brownies. I prefer to call in my favors when my sweet tooth strikes.)

“Ok, Andy,” I began, in my best no-nonsense, teacher-type voice. “Today, we’re going to play with garbage!”

photo by CGP Grey via Wikimedia Commons

This was music to the little pig-pen’s ears. It was as if I had suggested we bounce on rainbows, ride a unicorn, or play video games until we burst into a firework display of Skittles. He was happy as a clam as we rode out to a couple of local places to learn about our city’s garbage. First up, the dump.

Or, as Andy liked to dreamily refer to it, Boy Heaven.

photo by Ropable via Wikimedia Commons

We spoke with the man in charge (whose job I believe Andy was already taking over in his curly little head), and asked him about recycling and what happens when people don’t bother. He was happy to talk with us, and Andy took notes in his superhero notebook like an intrepid little reporter.

Then we went to the recycling center where nothing goes to die, it just gets reborn. (That’s a good line, if I do say so myself. Write that down, Andy.)

photo by Bazoka via Wikimedia Commons

The recycling center was less stinky, and therefore, less romantical and wonderful for Andy, but he still had a pretty good time. Out came the superhero notebook again, and this time, he really fired some hard-nose questions at the workers.

Things like:

Have you found any treasures?

Can I have this?

What’s your name?

Why is your eye twitching?

Why do you have such a big tummy?

Where’s the potty?

It’s okay. I don’t have to go anymore.

Can I play on the equipment?

Stuff like that.

On the way out, we picked up his very own recycling container for his household and he was pleased as punch to be in charge of bossing around his family lovingly instructing his family on how to use it. He stapled the guideline pamphlet (with recycling dos and don’ts) to his notebook and decorated the rest of the pages with all the free stickers he got at the front counter. Then he tried to pocket the stapler, but I was onto the little guy.

Next up, dropping off Andy and getting me home to take a nap. He wore his recycling container on his head as he raced up his driveway and skidded to a halt next to a discarded soda can lying on the sidewalk. He promptly picked it up, disposed of it properly, and gave me a salute.

Right back atcha, dude.

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    We are so lucky that our community provides recycling containers and weekly curbside pick-up here in the city. Plus we have a big center that you can take all the things like old engine oil, chemical, paint, tires etc. to be recycled properly. At least in the city, recycling is made easy and convenient which helps keep our area of the planet a bit more green.

  2. Karlyne says:

    Atta boy, Andy!

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