Young Cultivator Merit Badge: Rethink Your Space, Intermediate Level

he adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,050 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,044 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 Make It Easy/Rethink Your Space Intermediate Level Young Cultivator Badge, I steeled my frazzled nerves with a nice cuppa chai with extra whip and sprinkles, and marched on over to my neighbor’s house, otherwise known as The Den of Fear and Trembling. No one calls it that but me, but that’s because they’ve never been inside Andy’s bedroom.

After he and I earned our Beginner Level merit badge in cleaning his room (you bet your patootie I earned myself one, too!) I needed some time to recover from my trauma (I was getting PTSD flashbacks and tremors), but now I was ready. Ready to supervise Nora earning her own Beginner Level badge, and ready to move Andy onto Intermediate.


“Okay, comrades,” I said, swallowing down the last of my liquid courage and licking the whip off my fingers, “Here’s the deal.”

“Andy’s room must stay clean and organized for two weeks, and Nora needs to get to that clean and organized phase. Savvy?”

They saluted smartly, and we were off like a herd of turtles to their own respective Pits of Despair. First off: Andy’s room. I gulped, but tried to smooth my ruffled feathers by doing some deep breathing exercises and imagining a peaceful, sandy beach somewhere.

I was shocked.

His room?





This may have had something to do with the fact that he had boarded shut the door and had evidently been sleeping, eating, and playing in the living room, but still … you had to give the kid props.

I high-fived his commitment to the process, and he proudly nailed the door closed again. I really hoped he had remembered to feed his hamster.

“I’ve been marking the days off on the calendar since you left, Aunty,” Andy told me, showing me his Extinct Ninja Dinosaurs of the Caribbean wall calendar. Sure ‘nuff, he had marked off the last week with a purple permanent marker. One week down, one to go … I was pleased as punch and twice as giddy.

Andy promised to do his level best to keep his room clean even after the last purple X had marked the spot, and we even discussed the possibility of not going around with his door nailed closed. Especially since his mom was really wanting her living room back, and I was worried about Sir Hamster.

Off to destination #2: Nora’s room.

I was prepared for unicorns, sparkle, stuffed animals, and dolls. I was not emotionally prepared for spilled glitter, open bottles of nail polish, posters of boy bands, gum wrappers, enough shoes to fill a department store, and a lingering scent of … hairspray and bubblegum lip gloss?

Having been through Andy’s Axe body spray scented bedroom, I managed to conceal my astonishment and we got to work.

Three boxes later (To Be Recycled, To Be Thrown Out, and To Keep), we were done.

“Hey, sis,” Andy said, handing her the hammer and nails, “I made room for ya on the couch.”

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    All I know is that, with kids rooms, the chaos that follows a sleepover is almost enough to make a mother just throw in the towel and grab her purse to leave for a coffee!

  2. Karlyne says:

    That kid’s a genius! Nailed his door shut indeed!

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