From the 1954 Girl Scout Handbook
I was a Girl Scout as a youth. I remember fun times hanging out with my friends, earning badges, camping, and learning to cook over an open fire. These old time badges from the 1954 handbook used to teach important skills for any youth – boy or girl.
Now a days, Girl Scouts is a different program and the youth of the coming generation are often not taught essential skills. Especially food production and storage. How food is raised and produced is valuable knowledge for all home gardeners.
Let’s have a bit of fun and take a look at the Home Gardener Badge from the 1954 Girl Scout Handbook. There is much to learn…
Raising and producing food is one of the most important occupations in the world. Without food you would have little use for the other things the world has to offer. (pp 309)
Do you have the skills necessary to earn this badge?
To earn the home gardener badge, do 10 of these activities including the one that has a star
1.* Make a garden at least 10 x 12 feet in a place where the soil is good for raising vegetables and flowers. Make it one plot or the equal number of feet in various parts of a piece of ground. Make a garden plan showing what vegetables, herbs and flowers are to grown and where. Take care of your garden.
2. Raise at least one kind of plant from seed in your garden.
4. Learn to identify six weeds that grow in your garden. (Find out if they have any medicinal value before you pull them)
5. Visit a few gardens in your neighborhood and make a list of the plants growing in them.
6. Watch how the insects gather nectar and pollen, Explain cross-pollination and self-pollination.
7. Visit your garden after dark, note what insects are abroad, and which flowers are closed or open.
9. Know the insects and plant diseases from which you must protect your vegetables or flowers.
10. Find out the native country of at least two vegetables and two flowers (or four of either one) in your garden. Know something of the history, lore, legend, or use of the plants.
12. Understand some of the occupants of your garden other than insects, such as earthworms, snails, toads, and snakes. Learn what they do.
13. Know the tools necessary for a small garden and show how to use and care for them in summer and winter.
14. Learn how to gather and care for seeds and bulbs over the winter.
15. Know what garden or farm clubs there are in your community and do something to help one of them; or help your community to plan and hold a flower or crop show, or submit an entry in the county fair.
16. Learn how to cut and arrange flowers.
The Home Gardener Badge will have you growing your own garden plot. Learning about soil, fertilizer and garden pests, and then canning or freezing produce from the garden. You will be an accomplished gardener after just one season.
Get your own copy of the 1954 Girl Scout Handbook from Amazon. In this edition of the Girl Scout Handbook Intermediate Program, you’ll find lots of info about outdoor & camping activities; respecting nature, the elderly and infirmed; being kind to animals and people; and making the world a better place. There are proficiency badge requirements for many things that we would consider old fashioned today. Carry on home gardener!
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