Young Cultivators Merit Badge: Big Kid Now, Beginner Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,200 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,226 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/Big Kid Now Beginner Level Young Cultivator Merit Badge, I wrangled Piper, Andy, and Nora to earn their badges together. Birds of a feather flock together like peas in a pod. Or something to that effect.

Anyway, this badge was all about daydreaming towards the future and answering the ever immortal and infamous question that the under-18 crowd gets asked twenty-eleven times in their short life spans:

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Buzz Aldrin walks on the moon, July 20, 1969, via Wikimedia Commons

Now, this seemingly innocuous query can cause panic, anxiety, and hives in young adults of the teenage variety (and some of the just-graduated college age group as well), but these particular whippersnappers found it intriguing.

Especially when I assured them that the sky was the limit (after all, who doesn’t want to be an astronaut?).

It really got their gray matter working overtime. Piper was coming up with career notions as fast as she could write them down with her trusty hot-pink quill pen, Nora firmly stuck to her #1 choice, but Andy was … well, surprisingly thoughtful.

I mean, you could have knocked me over with Pipe’s hot-pink quill pen. He was really stewing and brewing and weighing his options. It was like he was … was … thinking. Anyone who knows and loves a preteen boy knows this is rare indeed: like seeing a unicorn on your way to the market or something.

I say this in love.

But ‘tis true.

Then he *gasp* wanted to go the library to research his Top Ten Career Paths. I couldn’t say no to that request. (Though I was still filled with apprehension after our last trip there. Would there be a photo of me with a red line crossed through? Would I be banned for shouting, spilling my coffee, and losing half the children I had arrived with? It’s not easy being Auntie, I tell you.)

photo by Wpcpey via Wikimedia Commons

We set off like a herd of turtles and made our way to the Non-Fiction Kid’s Section—where none of us had actually been before. It was a whole new world there, chickadees! I always thought Non-Fiction was a bit on the borrrrrring side myself, but once again, I have changed my wicked ways.

I settled down with a biography of Julia Child while the three ankle-biters perused. Each of us had brought our own reusable shopping bag, both for ease of transport and also to cut down on the squabbling. Well, actually Nora brought a suitcase on wheels, but the librarian didn’t even bat an eye. Sometimes I think librarians have seen things that would make a lesser gal squirm in shock. They’re like the unsung heroes and ninjas of the literature world. Also, if the zombie apocalypse happens, I’m heading to the library, post haste.

The book about Julia was making me super hungry. I was having a hard time focusing on our assignment, but luckily the kids were doing well. The Non-Fiction section was pretty picked over by the time we were done with it and I kinda hoped there weren’t any other Young Cultivators eager to earn this specific badge today (or in the next two weeks, since that’s how long we had our books for).

On our way home, we had to drive-through for tacos because … well, Julia.

Want to see what the trio of intrepid daydreamers checked out?

Stay tuned!


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I have many fond memories of taking my kids to the library on a regular basis when they were young. there is something so peaceful in the reading areas where all sorts of people are working on homework, reading for pleasure, and collaborating about a topic. Today, Starbucks has become that place for millions of people and I have to admit, I end up there when I just want to read or knit and have my thoughts to myself. Never mind tacos, Starbucks has seasonal lattes!

  2. Marilyn Berger says:

    During snack time in Kindergarten class a few weeks ago where I volunteer (retired teacher), I asked the children, “Have you thought about what you want to be when you’re out of high school?” The only girl at the table quickly responded, “Oh, I want to be a Yodeler and a singer until I’m 24 years old, and then I’ll get married and have children.” The boys were unanimous with their decision, “I want to be a policeman” “I want to arrest bad people” ” I want to be a policeman and help people”. Wow! I was amazed that they were already thinking about their adult lives!

  3. Krista says:

    I remember when I was younger for years and years I was going to be a figure skater when I grew up! Obviously that never happened. I have only been ice skating twice in my life! It’s so great seeing how children can be whatever they want with no limitations. The best part about it is that children change their minds as they grow and don’t show disappointment when they become something else in real life. I’m excited to see what my children decide they want to be when they grow up!

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