Interest badges: Taking the adventure home

Three girls - and their parents - tried a new interest badge at home. How did they get on?

Eliza, Havana and Jenna - and their mums
25 September 2018

One of the most exciting things about our new interest badges is that girls can now do them at home and independently of their unit meetings – which of course means parents can get involved!

We went on the hunt for some girls who’d jumped right into trying a new badge at home. How did they get on?

These three parents – and their guiding girls – tell us about how they discovered something new together; from bees, to go carts (especially for toys), and embracing their sweet tooth.

Rainbow Havana and her mum Carla

‘I ordered the badge book to flick through which sparked curiosity with my Rainbow daughter. Straight away she was interested in the Helper badge. I was surprised about how much she already knew. I wanted the badge to challenge her a little more than just completing the tasks, this sparked a whole new interest in bees!

'We have been learning about bees over the last 6 weeks which has resulted in not only planting a flower to 'help' them but also understanding why they need our help.

We had a visit from a bee keeper, who showed us lots of interesting things like bees’ wax and the outfit he wears!

Did you know that over 50,000 bees live in one hive? No, nor did I! We also visited a local museum which had a working bee hive that we could study. Now we have gone on to build a home for solitary bees and adopt a bee! This project has extended both of our knowledge which we have also shared with others.

These new badges are supporting the girls’ natural curiosity and the ability to think outside of the box, they give the girls the freedom to take things further. Havana is super excited about her next badge - Animal lover - which she has made a start on. I hope others are having as much fun as we are.’

Brownie Eliza and her mum Harriet

‘Eliza wanted to make a go kart and had drawn pictures and plans of her idea, powered by leaf blowers. We agreed on making a model of it as the first step – the Inventing badge was one of a few badges she was interested in doing.

'After a couple of hours asking for various items (a box, corks, sellotape, skewers) I was shown a vehicle - she had done a great job in a novel design. And by this time the prototype invention was a go kart for toys.

This interest badge has definitely made Eliza want to do more. She says she’d like to try the Aviation one next, so we’ve been talking about all the things that fly…

As a parent this reminded me of how important it is for children to try things independently; there was far more learning in it not working quite right first time. It was a bit of a challenge to engage with the research clause of the badge but that was better once she saw herself as an Inventor.

I would encourage any parent to find a badge that their daughter wants to do and use it as a chance to let them try something new.

So many of the badges include things that children enjoy doing and at least know a little about, so it’s possible that you can find a badge, like we did, that fits with something they want to do anyway.

At first, I thought that a lot of resources would be needed, but we did this one without really planning to, and had everything in the house. I had thought we would have to use holiday time to do our first badge at home as they seemed quite time consuming, but this fitted in over a weekend.’

Eliza said, ‘I would say to someone doing the Inventing badge that it’s quite difficult and frustrating to make your model, but if you carry on then you’ll do it and feel proud. The next thing I want to make is the real go kart, and the next badge I want to do is the Aviation badge.’

Guide Jenna and her mum Vicki

Vicki’s daughter Jenna is a Guide and she was keen to have a go at the Guide Confectionery interest badge first. 

Vicki said that ‘we had fun discussing different types of cake and sweets. My gran made cakes for a living and I have cooked professionally as well, so it felt like I was helping to pass on family tradition.’

Jenna’s now looking forward to doing other badges, she mentioned that she ‘likes the look of Whittling because I tried that at County Camp or maybe Craftivism.’

When we asked both Jenna and her mum what advice they had for other parents thinking of doing an interest badge, they had these nuggets of advice; Jenna said, ‘remember to have fun and if something doesn’t work out do it in a different way.’ Vicki added, ‘it’s a nice way to spend some time together. We live in Scotland but I’m from Yorkshire and it was nice to pass on some Yorkshire recipes.’

Has your daughter completed one of our new interest badges yet?

Let us know how you both got on by emailing [email protected]

Explore our new interest badges

Take a look at all the exciting new interest badges girls can do in our badge finder. Select 'interest badges' and 'new badges' from the drop down filters.