Young Cultivator Merit Badge: Whistle While You Work, Intermediate 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 Out There Kids/Whistle While You Work Intermediate Level Young Cultivator Merit Badge, Piper and I took our newly honed and finely tuned grass-whistling skillz to new heights.

Namely, the tippy-top of her tree, because, well, we had been threatened with bodily harm by all of our respective family members if we so much as blew another blade of grass within their hearing again.

Boy, talk about tough critics.

I guess not everyone is as sophisticated and highbrow as Piper and I are when it comes to the art of whistling camp tunes.

That’s right, my minions, camp tunes. Those wonderful and joyful melodies of our childhoods, peppered with catchy lyrics, snappy beats, and endless verses. Oh, I do mean endless, too. Do you even KNOW how many verses 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall has?

You do?


Okay, that was an easy one. I was just testing you …

So, yes, okay, we had to take our two-person band out to the trees, but that’s okay. The acoustics are great up there anyway! The bluejays are totally onto something.

The Story of a Little Gray Mouse by author and illustrator Dorothy Sherrill via Wikimedia Commons

It took quite a while to actually learn and perfect an actual tune. I mean, we were the town’s resident experts at grass whistling, but incorporating our honking and tooting and blasting into a real melody? Well, that took some time. Not a problem … we weren’t allowed to go back inside the house anyway until our pockets had been checked for grass blades. Ahem.

We started small, with a classic tune: Row, Row, Row Your Boat. It sunk. But we patched it back up, and soon enough, it was almost, practically, just about, in a way, nearly recognizable.

Then we moved onto Home On the Range (Emmaline, the Bovine Princess, really enjoyed this one). From there, we began work on a two-part harmony with Do Your Ears Hang Low? We really nailed the mournful cry of this one, if I do say so myself.

Then we practiced Bazooka Bubble Gum, followed by a rousing rendition of The Funky Chicken (I don’t recommend performing this one while treed), and we topped it off with the classic and oh-so timeless, The Bear Song.

Of course, what are camp songs without all the goofy lyrics? So, we took turns with our grass whistle so that the other member of our band could belt out some singing. Need something to start you off? We’re pretty partial to this one, ourselves:

The other day  I met a bear  Out in the woods  Oh, way out there

He looked at me  I looked at him  He sized up me  I sized up him

He said to me  Why don’t you run  I see you ain’t  Got any gun

I said to him  That’s a good idea  So come on feet  Away from here

And so I ran  Away from there  But right behind  Me was that bear

And then I see  Ahead of me  A great big tree  Oh, glory be!

The lowest branch  Was ten feet up  I’d have to jump  And trust my luck!

And so I jumped  Into the air  But I missed that branch  A way up there

Now don’t you fret  Now don’t you frown  ‘Cause I caught that branch  On the way back down

This is the end There ain’t no more  Until I meet  That bear once more

  1. Lisa Von Saunder says:

    treehouses and singing and whistling with grass, it doesnt get any better than that!


  2. Karlyne says:

    Oh, I do love those lyrics!!!

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