Young Cultivators Merit Badge: Let’s Go To Town, Beginner Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 6,861 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—9,721 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 Each Other/Let’s Go To Town Beginner Level Young Cultivator Merit Badge, I gathered up my large stack of (barely overdue) library books, my biggest and sturdiest reusable tote bag, and my posse of neighbor kids. I had learned something about the little whippersnappers earlier and I was appalled.

They didn’t have library cards.

Photo by Joe Crawford via Wikimedia Commons

The only thing stopping me from crying bloody murder over their shocking lack of bookish culture was the fact that I knew how busy their parents were, I had been in their house and knew they at least owned some novels, and they hadn’t lived here in town all that long.

What I didn’t take into consideration was how their mommy probably knew how difficult it was to take them all in public at once and was silently laughing at my naiveté. But then again … it was an afternoon adventure and it was just the library.

A place that has a reputation for being quiet.

Well, anyway, I felt pretty up to the challenge, seeing as how I had just had a bracing cuppa black tea with local honey, so off we went.

Turns out, you need more than tea to thrive survive an excursion with a small gang of undersized rugrats.

(And they didn’t even have tea. Unfair.)

First, I got to introduce them to the ever-so fun job of pushing my (barely overdue) library books through the slot in the wall. They landed with a satisfying thud each time and it was quite enjoyable to see the tiny humans express their excitement. Unfortunately, I ran out of books and when Andy grabbed the last one before Piper had had a chance to push any through, she hit him over the head with the nearest copy of War and Peace. Ouch.

Note to self: Maybe don’t show them the drive-up version of the book return. Don’t want any casualties on my head when we try to return a dog-eared copy of The Berenstein Bears Learn How to Get Along with Siblings.

Next stop was searching for books (the best part). Before I could say tiddlywinks, they had all gone off like I had shot them out of cannons. Two took the elevator to the Young Adult section, a couple more scampered off to the Early Readers, and I think I may or may not have misplaced one in the bathroom. This was harder than I thought. I figured the Young Adult readers were okay on their own (I mean, Young Adults, right? Right? Why do I hear crickets?), so I wrangled my bathroom squatter back to the public area, and we filled up my bag with all sorts of fantastical fairy tales, riddles and joke books, poetry, serials, picture books, and most of the back issues of Stone Soup magazine.

Photo by Zipig via Wikimedia Commons

And we hadn’t even reunited with my own personal Young Adults yet …

… to be continued at a library near you.


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    How well I remember our regular visits to the library when my children were young. They are some of my fondest memories. My children loved to read, be read to, and attend the children’s library story hours. They even have a cool old bus, BookMobile, that brings books to large shopping centers. Those trips were especially loved as there was something really special to my girls about getting on that big bus and getting/returning books. I can’t imagine what childhood would have been around here without the beloved stores and series from our Public Library. Our libraries are one of America’s greatest national treasures!

  2. When I was young our little itty bitty southern town had an old decommissioned church as their building. I was stunned to later learn that not ALL libraries had lovely stained glass windows! We also had a bookmobile that came to my one room schoolhouse, which was ever so cool . I loved the bookmobile. I adored books and it was the only time my parents didn’t bug me if my nose was in a book.

  3. Kathy O'Hara says:

    AhhhhLI…bless you for sharing the library with the future generation! I remember going to the library as a girl and am so grateful for my local libraries to share with my children. Let’s all share the magic!

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