Saturday was a beautiful day. Gorgeous sunshine and blue skies, no pressing schedule demanding my attention, just time spent with friends doing friend things. You know, the stuff that doesn’t rock the world, but sometimes just rocks your world. I had made time to hang with my friends Audrey and Hannah, who have been patiently encouraging me to finish the first difficult knitting project I’ve taken on. We were downtown in Central Parklet for Knit in Public Day, under a pavilion at the picnic table, enjoying the greenery all around us and the cool breeze playing in the trees. For some reason it took me back to the art camps I worked every summer, helping smaller kids make their plastic lanyards and popsicle stick picture frames. In reflection, it wasn’t much of a reach for my brain–doing crafts outdoors in the sunshine. I mean, duh. Talk about no brainer. But I had also been kicking around some sticker ideas for the Learning Design Summer Camp, and it struck me this was what I had loved about the idea of camp. We were doing things, but we were having fun. Fun discussing ideas and showing off our current works in progress. Then I found myself showing Hannah my sketches for my sticker submissions and we started talking about what we loved about camp when we were younger.
Sitting there, we were talking about crafts and youth, and how many of us had even been Girl Scouts, and how many sashes and vests full of badges each of us collected. (Did you know they have knitting badges now? Oh, yes. They do.) We were all driven, even at those young ages, so intent we were on collecting every badge in the handbook. Lists of requirements? Pshaw. We were all over that. Just as long as we could get ooone more badge crammed in right here…. Then Hannah looks up from her knitting and says to me, “You know what I wish we would do at LDSC? I wish we would make our stickers into scout badges and then all the attendees could collect badges after each mini event.”
And here’s the thing: once the ideas start to flow, we just got more excited about the concept. Because that made perfect sense. Badges that campers collect. Silly rabbit, how did we not think of that sooner? I can see one for podcasting (headphones, mic anyone?) and one for vlogging, and blogging, and tweeting, and meeting (and channeling Dr. Suess, apparently). I remembered a great merit badge Stevie Rocco did for the TLT Symposium last year which actually looked like a scout badge. Simple stickers of icons that stand for activities and interests. What more can you ask? There’s really nothing quite like scouting to channel youth, fun, activities, and summer. The idea kind of put my own sticker ideas to shame, even though I really liked sketching them out (even better that my friend Audrey promised to create computer graphics from them).
I wholeheartedly think Hannah has come up with the best overall concept by far. What strikes me about the whole thing is the fact that it came to us as we were sitting in the park and the sunshine, doing crafts together and just hanging. Sometimes that really is when lightning strikes and the best ideas hit their marks.
I hope you make it to summer camp, too.