Young Cultivators Merit Badge: Big Kid Now, Intermediate Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,387 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,656 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 Intermediate Level Young Cultivator Merit Badge, Piper, Andy, Nora, and Yours Truly buckled down. When we earned our Beginner Level Merit Badge, we had checked out most of the Non-Fiction section of the local library, and now we were settling in for a long winter’s nap. I mean, a long afternoon of reading. Also, it’s fall. I really gotta work on my analogies.

Is there a badge for that?

We had so many books we spent an hour organizing them, which caused some issues. Pipes likes organizing things by color (you should see her nail polish collection), Nora recently learned how to alphabetize and wanted to show her skillz, and Andy, well, Andy is Andy and mostly he wants to do the opposite of what the girls want to do. He just wanted to stack his books up high and play a game of Jenga with them.

photo by Guma89 via Wikimedia Commons

I had to pull out my Auntie card and show ‘em I meant business. I mean, this was the easy part: finding a career they could really sink their teeth into. After that, the hard part came: putting together costumes for their said career and presenting it to their loved ones. I had stage fright already.

We spent some time looking through our tomes of inspiration and organizing them according to our own personal preferences. We also did some swapping between one another. Evidently, Andy lost interest in deep-sea diving for treasure and sunken ships because … well, sharks. But Nora decided sharks were merely misunderstood creatures and she snagged the book on deep-sea diving. Then Pipes decided she wasn’t interested in hair and cosmetology after all because fumes give her a headache, but Andy was kinda into the idea of styling coiffures. So, at the end of a day, they had chosen their professions (liable to change eleventy-seven times, plus four):

  • Piper decided there was nothing better in life than being a pastry chef. Which, honestly, who’s gonna argue with that kind of logic? Also, the fumes would be buttery, sugary, and delightful, so I thought she was really onto something. We fashioned her a chef’s hat and coat and to accompany her presentation, she made everyone homemade snickerdoodles.

photo by petempich via Wikimedia Commons

  • Nora decided she wanted to combine two of her loves: writing notes down in a notebook like a journalist, and traveling the world. The result? Travel writer! We had a little fun with her costume: we pulled together as many geographically diverse costume props we could come up with (like a French beret, an Indian sari, and Native American moccasins), and she had a blast.
  • Andy, after a shockingly long time of deliberation, came up with his dream career: he wanted more than anything to be a  … dad. We were all surprised he left off his dream of world domination, super spy, and rocket ship pilot, but we were pleased. Turns out he said, you could have ALL those things when you become a dad, because playing with your kids was a full time and important job. He dressed in his own dad’s clothes, which hung off him quite hilariously but got the job done. He ended his presentation with his claims that he would have so many kids they would always have a basketball team at the ready, and he only planned on having boys because girls have cooties. On a completely unrelated note, the position of Andy’s wife is currently open.

  1. Karlyne says:

    Aw, Andy! I’ll be sending pix and bios of my grandgirls because you should be in our family.

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I think the best thing we can do for our kids is to let them know that there are many many ways to have a career. They just need to know that the skills of hard work, accountability, integrity, and openness to change and new ideas must always be a part of the mix. As parents, I think we can cultivate these values in our everyday experiences so that when they are grown, they are not afraid of hard work, failure, disappointment, and determination to get right back in the game in the face of difficulty. For me, these were the hardest things to do because we want our kids to succeed, be happy, and we have to be strong in the face of their tears and rants. For softies like myself, tears of failure and disappointment always pulled on my heart strings to make it all better for them. Lessons learned on both sides.

  3. Krista says:

    This is a fun way to get kids involved with picking careers for the future and learning what they really involve. I have changed my mind many times. Most of them actually happened as an adult. I love Pipers choice! For about 2 years now I have been wanting to go to culinary school. I still plan to. I am just waiting until my boys are in school. Cooking has always been a favorite thing of mine and I would love to branch out and learn new things, especially foods from other countries.

    • Karlyne says:

      I love to watch cooking shows, but, Oh! The pressure! If you love feeding people, it’s such a great career and you should go for it!

  4. Karlyne says:

    Those are my favorite! I’m in awe of the talent & work ethic of those kids!

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