Question: Thru Daisys and Brownies I gave my girls certificates for completed badges. Now as Juniors they don’t seem to care about the certificate. I asked them and they said they like them but I think they didn’t want to seem ungrateful. Wondering if you give your girls certificates.
Scout leaders from our Facebook page shared their ideas about when to give a certificate:
Celina shared what her troop does: I have 16 girls. And they earn 2-3 patches every few weeks. I would spend a fortune on certificates for each badge they earn. So no, they get their patches at a meeting and I just call them and hand them their patch. They get certificates during rededication or bridging.
Christine responded: We only give a certificate when they are bridging. But I will print up a little something with the badge, reminding them the steps they earned to receive the badge & my biggest thing: placement of the badge/patch. (Note: The India fun patch shown is one of many Thinking Day fun patches available at MakingFriends® .com)
Jennifer offered another suggestion: I don’t due the certificates, but have always reviewed the hard work that went into each badge when we do our badge ceremonies, the parents love to hear about all the hard work all the girls are doing.
Deb shared how her troop presents patches: At each badge awards (as older girls we’ll sometimes do one mid-year and always one at the end of the year) I usually make something to put their badges (fun and earned and product) on. This is nicer than just giving them an envelope with the badges in it, but usually something simple (like a cutout and a piece of ribbon) that looks nice for presentation.
Erin responded: I give my girls certificates only for bridging, journey completion and soon for earning their Bronze award.
For the girls who like to have a paper copy, maybe you could create a single page badge checklist. After earning a badge, you could either sign the chart or give them a sticker.
Laura reminds us that the girls need to think about how they want to spend troop funds: I think the certificates are not necessary. If you think they were being kind, let them know that it won’t hurt your feelings not to do them. Remind them that it’s their decision how to use troop funds including certificates. If it’s something you no longer want to do, let them know that too.
Arj feels limiting certificates makes them more meaningful: We only give certificates for the BIG items: Bronze award, Bridging etc… that way they are more meaningful.
Some leaders like Trinabell like certificates: I have Juniors. I started making them 4×6″ to fit inside a mini 4×6 photo album we use for each girl. By the end of the year the girls will have a keepsake. We add pictures or quotes, like mini scrapbook.
Many leaders like Niki think the patches are enough: No. It’s just paper that will get lost or recycled almost as soon as it gets home, if not before.