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Discussion about Badge Clubs

Highlights from a March 2002 list discussion about badge clubs!

Martha writes...
Our kids are involved in Awana. Our ten year old son has been in it since he was 3, and he really looks forward to it! I am doing something like Contenders or Keepers of the faith with my kids on our own. I was just wondering how many of your boys are in "Royal Rangers" or "AWANA", or "Keepers of the Faith." Or any other badge clubs. Anybody? (My husband is a RR commander, and I lead a KOF club. Just curious.

Priscilla writes...
I am doing Contenders for the Faith with Zachariah, on our own, no group. He earned his first badge just the other day... First Aid. He will earn another soon... Pets. I was a bit disappointed with the new version of the book, they left out quite a bit from the old version... I mean, it's huge so why leave out bowling??? He's only got to bowl 5 games w/o bumpers and get over 50 pts each game to get his badge in that one too. Do some of you work on many badges at once? We are working on *many* at once to keep him interested... if we go with just one thing until it's done, he'd get dis-interested in it rather quickly. Especially when some of those badges take *forever* to earn!

Janette writes...
Our church has something -- Patch the Pirate. They have weekly Wednesday night meetings, where they learn Bible verses, have a lesson, play games and practice a skit. On the first Sunday of the month they present what they have learned to the adults through songs, quoting scripture and performing a skit. The program also has daily assignments to encourage individual Bible study. It starts at age 4, three of our four children are involved and they all enjoy it and benefit from the program.

Valexia writes... How do you do the Keepers and Contenders stuff on your own? I would be interested in doing it with my kids, but don't want to go as in-depth as the folks at the church that do it.

Priscilla replies...
What I did was choose several topics that he would be interested in enough to finish. I bought the pins at that time as well. We have been working on many of them for months. The old book allowed the badges to be earned a bit faster. The new book is more in depth. I also chose a few things in the Keepers book for the boys... latch hook pillows was one. Latch hook is ok for Zachariah but Abraham is too young to get his fingers in the right place. : ) There are many things in both books that are ok for girls OR boys, I kind of wish they would have combined the books so families wouldn't have to buy separate ones if the boys wanted to do some of those girl book things. I mean, I think it is imperative that my boys learn to keep a house and do laundry, cook, clean, etc. None of that is in the Contenders book, only the Keepers book. Anyway, how do we do it? We just read the requirements and do them. For first aid we got a few library books, he answered the questions and we made a kit. We had much of what needed to go into the kit but I bought a few special things... Star Wars band-aids and Bob the Builder band-aids. : ) I tried to get a group here but everyone is in Awanas or 4H or something so I just said we'd do it alone.

Nakia writes...
We are trying to get our children into Awana and also, I've been trying to start a Contenders of the faith group here in Ohio for about 4 or 5 months, but can't find anyone who's interested, everyone wants a Keepers at home group, and my daughter is only 2.

Martha replies...
Contenders is a great program for boys! Did you know that they have a kind of list-group option now? You can sometimes locate other local groups this way. You can also get a lot of practical help with things from others who are leading groups.

Amy writes...
My sons, 7 and 4 are in AWANA. My oldest son loves it! He has been in it since he was 3 and has loved it from the beginning. He is also in 4-H, though that is not a badge club. They pursue personal projects -- very much like a year-long unit study.

Hi everyone!
I had to comment on this topic! My husband Tim and I homeschool our boys, Alex and Cam, in Iowa. We *love* the Awana program! The books used have the children memorizing scripture and doing Bible studies, learning about missionaries, and reaching their friends. We have been in Awana for 3 years. My husband and I stay and help out in the boy's classes so that we can be together. We have to go to a different church on Wednesday's for Awana, because we like it *so* much better than the program at our own church. Also, our boys enjoyed the Royal Ranger program when we attended an Assembly of God church about 4-5 years ago. It has alot of out- doorsy things, which the Awana doesn't have: camping, tying knots, fire safety (these are correct, as far as my memory don't quote me on this!). But it also had Scripture memory and study. Someone mentioned Junior Bible Quiz. I love that too!! I had done JBQ when I was in grade school, and helped start a group at our church when I was about 18. When my boys were about 6 and 7, I tried to find my box of question cards--and they were gone! I had to email a friend who sent a new set to me! So, my boys enjoy learning the JBQ questions, but I can't find an A/G church nearby, which does the JBQ, so that they could go to the quizzes. I don't know much about the quiz questions for the older students, but I would like to find out about it, if the person who was involved in it could email me! I have been wanting to check out Contenders of the Faith, since it has more hands on things than the Awana--but I don't know if I would give up Awana! Anyway, there's my 2 (or 3 or 4) cents on that subject! By the way, my boys are 9 and 10 1/2. Have a great day! -- Amy in Iowa

We are in Awanas (Cubbies, Sparks, and JV) and Boy Scouts (1 Boy Scout and 1 Tiger Cub). I like the responsibility and accountability it gives the boys. And it gave some depth to our schooling the two years I couldn't think due to 2 babies 18 months apart. -- Erica

Pam writes...
My 3 boys are in Cubscouts: Tiger Cubs, Bear and Webelos. We just joined in December and are loving it!!

My husband and boys are all Royal Rangers, and I am a Missionettes leader. RR is a wonderful program, we did boy scouts with my older boy and found it to be a bit worldly. You could honestly use a Pioneer handbook as your homeschool curriculum it covers so many different areas. There are also a lot of web sites dedicated to Royal Rangers. We also do National Junior Bible Quiz through the AG church. Last June my husband and 2 of the children went to Chicago for the national competition. They are hoping to get there again this year. JBQ is competitive, fun and a great way for children to really learn their Bible. They learn over 500 questions and answers to Bible questions, quotes and Christian doctrine and they learn them so well that they can buzz in and finish the question and answer it before the whole question is read. My non reader (he actually does read but is not where he should be age wise) has really succeeded here moving up to "A" team in one year. This has really made a difference in his self esteem. He has learned the questions and answers by having them read to him. I cannot answer 1/2 of the questions asked! My husband can though as he is working with them. My eleven year old will be moving up to teen quiz (jr and sr. high school level) next year. In teen quiz they memorize entire books of the Bible and can quote from anywhere in the book. My oldest son learned the book of John and traveled all over the U.S. to different regional events, eventually going to nationals and placing in the top 30 of the nation. This is a kid who was dyslexic, ADD and had other learning difficulties. Bible Quiz taught him that if he set his mind to it he could do anything. If you have a program in your area, it is really worth checking out. -- from Donna (mom of the blessings 11)

Links of Interest...

Keepers of the Faith
World Bible Quiz Association
Royal Rangers
Patch the Pirate
Boy Scouts of America
National 4-H
Pioneer Clubs

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