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Weekly Discussion: A marker of taste?

Are there some subjects a badge shouldn’t be made out of/in poor taste?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Mixed

  • Unsure

  • Other


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badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#1
We have already discussed challenge badges, and what their role is alongside the official Guiding programme. But not all badges produced are the result of a challenge. Some badges are generic and could be bought by anyone, or are to mark something rather than a specific challenge. For example a badge to mark a holiday/celebration such as Easter or Diwali, doing a charitable act, or having a go at an activity for the first time.

But are there something’s that don’t need a badge? Or perhaps shouldn’t be made into one? Are such things in poor taste, do they promote a simplistic approach to charity? Or do they serve as a good first introduction and get girls involved in good causes?

I am referring to badges produced by units etc and not by an official charity badge for example a unit making a “purple poppy badge” vs the Animal Aid paw pin. Equally this refers to badges designed to be bought in a unit context rather than ones designed for personal purchase by leaders/adults. This is not aimed at a specific individual or badge I have seen, just a discussion around a trend I have noticed.
 

Fox

Brownie-induced madness
#2
I'm not keen on "princess" or "fairy" badges TBH, or indeed anything that leaders say "is just what the girls want" - remember we've been moved away from sweet everything by the new programme but there will of course still be badges (though I'm talking challenge badges there). And badges for going to church parade, badges "just for Christmas" like you say.

Having a go at a new activity seems an ideal opportunity for a badge for some sections e.g. trying climbing for a Rainbow, first night camping for a Brownie, however.

Say what you like about some aspects of GG publicity/programme but they do try and make it balanced but some sectors of the leadership seem to be determined to push it to an unbalanced position - usually in the direction of media stereotypes of girls, and extra sugar!
 

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#3
I will confess a maybe not popular opinion. I don’t like unit made “Remembrance” cloth attendance/ challenge badges. I’m not entirely sure what it is but something doesn’t sit right with me. I think it’s a combination of small things; that it feels a bit commercial, it’s not always clear if money goes to the RBL for using their imagery, or any charity that helps former military personnel, that girls “need” a “reward” to take part in learning about something solemn and important , working towards earning a symbol not all agree with wearing/feel has become politicised and that the RBL even make cloth badges and support those who want to make their own knitted/felt/crocheted ones.
 

caroline68

Regular (50+ posts)
#4
No, I don't think individual units should make things like Remembrance badges, but I have for the past 3 years (since we started) bought Badgefreaks poppy badges with the date on to give to our rainbows who turn up to our village act of remembrance (or in the village where they live or anywhere else.) I see it as a record of attendance for their Camp blankets. I love that each had the year on so they were identifiable (Although that changed last year, but I wasn't really sure why) and I think I remember correctly that part of the sales went to the RBL.
We ran a St George's Day session for all 3 sections in our village 2 years ago and had a badge made for that, simply added words onto an adapta badge from tolley.
We love badges and see them as a record and memory of what we do, so if we can get a badge we often do, but having them made just for unit is expensive, so we only get others that already exist.
 

Tawnyowl51

Veteran (100+ posts)
#5
I agree that some subjects don't need a badge.

The one I am thinking of particularly ( not naming it, but you may guess ) has some very personal items on it, which a lot of people may find offensive on a badge, or at least uncomfortable. I would not want any of my girls to be proudly showing off the badge, despite the good intentions behind it, which I do agree with.
 

Quack

Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#6
I think in recent years there have been to many badges produced, both nationally, locally and commercially, to the extent the ones that girls do work for and gain are lost in a fog of 'I've been to this event or that event' or 'I was in Guiding when this, that and the other happened'.

I can understand why, sometimes the badge is the carrot to encourage attendance or the reward for it. Sometimes it reflects a local event which is important such as a unit's special birthday. I know younger sections relish them as there weren't many official ones for so long. Also the lack of uniformity of how and where to display them has had an impact, no one says you can't wear it on your uniform so they are all displayed there.

Whether something is in bad taste is another matter, I hope the leaders and local areas will police themselves on this one. I know of a Scout Group that had a badge to commemorate a leader that sadly died in a road accident. This was quite respectful and I'm sure done with the agreement of the family, but do such things need a badge ?
 

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#7
Personally I object to any poppy badges other than those sold by the official poppy charities (RBL/PoppyScotland) or where all profits go to one of said charities. Even with handmade badges, I would suggest a donation should be made to one of the poppy charities.
 

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#8
I think in recent years there have been to many badges produced, both nationally, locally and commercially, to the extent the ones that girls do work for and gain are lost in a fog of 'I've been to this event or that event' or 'I was in Guiding when this, that and the other happened'.

I can understand why, sometimes the badge is the carrot to encourage attendance or the reward for it. Sometimes it reflects a local event which is important such as a unit's special birthday. I know younger sections relish them as there weren't many official ones for so long. Also the lack of uniformity of how and where to display them has had an impact, no one says you can't wear it on your uniform so they are all displayed there.

Whether something is in bad taste is another matter, I hope the leaders and local areas will police themselves on this one. I know of a Scout Group that had a badge to commemorate a leader that sadly died in a road accident. This was quite respectful and I'm sure done with the agreement of the family, but do such things need a badge ?
Sadly, policing isn't always effective in that you do get badges made which reference charity events or utilise logos associated with charities, but only part of the proceeds (or sometimes none of them) go to the cause.
 

helenfelen

Veteran (100+ posts)
#9
i don't see the need for all the 'celebration' badges ie - a new royal being born or them getting married or an anniversary- it has nothing to do with guiding - yes the queen is our patron but that doesn't mean we need a badge for everything they do and i don't see why as a unit i should pay out up to £30 for badges for the sake of a badge, the same for remembrance, by all means celebrate in your units but don't use my subscription payment to produce thousands and then there's the girls in different sections where 1 may get that badge but the other won't or their friends in a different unit may but they don't. there's also lots of propaganda style badges and far too much emphasis on political causes when we are not supposed to be a political organisation, it's great to get girls thinking about change etc but there's far too many 'required' elements now such as an entire theme award based on it and to be honest i'm not finding the activities in them very inspiring or age appropriate - an example is stage 4 take action - imagine you are the prime minster -what laws would you change or amend. our guide section girls really struggled to grasp the concept of this or what powers a pm actually has etc so there had to be a lot of leader involvement having to really explain it which isn't the point of them, and seen other leader post how they're doing it with their rainbows & they really aren't getting it- how many 5yr olds understand influence? they just want to have fun - there is far too much about campaigning or trying to make a change - i'll still run them as we need to offer them all themes in order to give them a chance to complete the gold if they want to but i really don't think i will enjoy it tbh.
sorry i've gone off the topic as stated but it's something that bugs me! most unit produced challenge badges will either be bought by other units that do want them or not so while princess or fairy challenges are a bit stereotypical a lot of girls are into them so they will buy them as it's something fun to do!
 

Fox

Brownie-induced madness
#10
Personally I object to any poppy badges other than those sold by the official poppy charities (RBL/PoppyScotland) or where all profits go to one of said charities. Even with handmade badges, I would suggest a donation should be made to one of the poppy charities.
Totally agree and the same for things for other charities - even (dare I say it) people fundraising, using badges, to go on an expedition for a charity.
 

Fox

Brownie-induced madness
#11
i don't see the need for all the 'celebration' badges ie - a new royal being born or them getting married or an anniversary- it has nothing to do with guiding - yes the queen is our patron but that doesn't mean we need a badge for everything they do and i don't see why as a unit i should pay out up to £30 for badges for the sake of a badge, the same for remembrance, by all means celebrate in your units but don't use my subscription payment to produce thousands and then there's the girls in different sections where 1 may get that badge but the other won't or their friends in a different unit may but they don't. there's also lots of propaganda style badges and far too much emphasis on political causes when we are not supposed to be a political organisation, it's great to get girls thinking about change etc but there's far too many 'required' elements now such as an entire theme award based on it and to be honest i'm not finding the activities in them very inspiring or age appropriate - an example is stage 4 take action - imagine you are the prime minster -what laws would you change or amend. our guide section girls really struggled to grasp the concept of this or what powers a pm actually has etc so there had to be a lot of leader involvement having to really explain it which isn't the point of them, and seen other leader post how they're doing it with their rainbows & they really aren't getting it- how many 5yr olds understand influence? they just want to have fun - there is far too much about campaigning or trying to make a change - i'll still run them as we need to offer them all themes in order to give them a chance to complete the gold if they want to but i really don't think i will enjoy it tbh.
sorry i've gone off the topic as stated but it's something that bugs me! most unit produced challenge badges will either be bought by other units that do want them or not so while princess or fairy challenges are a bit stereotypical a lot of girls are into them so they will buy them as it's something fun to do!
When we had the Jubilee badge I made them do a home-made challenge to get it.
Mean Guider.
 

Kochanski

Veteran (100+ posts)
#12
I am aware of some people on here this may include so will be delicate when expressing this, my personal opinion: I am uncomfortable with badges that say things like "cleverly disguised as a responsible adult". Responsible adults is exactly what we are supposed to be and I wouldn't expect parents to hand over care of their children to anyone who wasn't one. What impression are such badges / T shirts / nicknames giving to families?
 

Tregi

Veteran (100+ posts)
#13
badges that say things like "cleverly disguised as a responsible adult".
What impression are such badges / T shirts / nicknames giving to families?
I have this badge, and the parents think it is great. They know that we are responsible - we talk about money and family situations to them, we talk about everything needed when it comes to taking their girls away, in a sensible way. They also know that we can be daft and get dressed up in big bags, dance their girls under the table when it comes to the macarena and get over excited when the paper aeroplanes fly out the window! It's all a balance. I wouldn't do it if it wasn't fun!
 

Fox

Brownie-induced madness
#14
I'm OK with that too, one parent said "you seem so organised", "not really!" was my reply "ah it's all like a swan - serene on the surface and frantically paddling underneath!".
 

Pixielation

Brown Owl (x2)
#15
I quite like it. I think there is room to be fun, and no-one actually thinks that the shirt reflects reality. I think it just reflects being young at heart!