No it’s not hard!!! In fact you could hold a Badge Camp just with an overnighter at your Rally Hall/church.
Kids love being together and having fun. Many also enjoy earning badges – so why not put the two together.
- Decide on a venue and date – is the church/Rally Hall free then? Book it. Or do one of the Leaders have a large house? A bach/beach house? Not all Rally members will be able to come, so get an idea what number are interested.
- Is it for a weekend or an Overnighter? That may depend on what badges you plan to earn – eg. camping & outdoor might work best Saturday morning till Sunday afternoon: there are many skills to learn for horse-riding so you may need a weekend: conservation, first aid, and airman could be done as an overnighter.
- Choose what badges you can teach. Check that the badges you choose are not ones that some members have already earned. If there are only a couple who have the badge, then you could choose another one for those two, and have a leader teach them a badge they don’t have. It is sometimes hard to get a suitable badge that no-one has earned!
- Decide who is teaching each badge – you may need to ask someone from church or the community to come and help you – therefore you need to check that they are available.
- When you choose your badges – consider a variety of bookwork, physical activity and hands-on making types. Don’t have them sitting at tables working in books for every badge. They are active youngsters and need to be up and moving at times.
- How much will this cost? What are you providing? (food, drink, hire a DVD, badge materials, books…) Work out a simple menu – one of the leaders may have to do the cooking with members help, so plan menu accordingly. Set a basic price. Keep it affordable.
- Check out ALL requirements for the badges you have chosen. Make sure you, another leader or someone you know is capable of teaching the badge correctly. Delegate the teaching of badges.
- Purchase or gather all the materials needed for the badges.
- Buy the food.
- Prepare a notice to parents telling the purpose of the camp, time, venue, cost and what to bring.
- Delegate simple daily devotions to a Leader – one for each morning if it is a weekend camp, or maybe an evening and a morning one if it’s an overnighter.
- Choose suitable DVD – Leader must preview this to make sure it is acceptable for your age group and content.
- Sort out a programme – basic timing of badge-work, meals and activities.
- EG. Friday night – arrive and set up beds (mattress on floor)
- play a game while others are arriving and settling in.
- begin with first badge. If time, maybe introduce another badge.
- Supper and DVD.
- Bed and SLEEP!
- wake & dress
- Breakfast & duties (pack beds and bag)
- Morning tea
- Another badge
- Finish badge-work or add another badge. Depends when you want to finish.
- Clean-up & afternoon tea or go until 4-5pm
- Make sure you keep a record of every member and which badge/s they completed.
- Creative badge
- Sport badge (aerobic test & muscular power)
- Discuss requirements for hike
- Outdoor badge
- Sport (anaerobic test) then go for the hike.
- Sport (flexibility test) & write up Outdoor.
- Careers badge
Boys Badge camp
- camp cooking badge
- begin Airman badge
- Saturday morning – Conservation badge – begin in books
- go for walk and collect rubbish
- write up in books
- Sport badge & finish Airman badge
Girls Badge Camp
- Rock-hound badge
- Sport badge do 1&3 requirements
- Decorating badge
- Dance & movement badge for exercise in between working in books
- First Aid badge
- intersperse the Sport tests with finishing Rock-hound,
- decorating and First Aid badges.
You could have a Bookworms weekend (Cultural badge - intersperse with requirements from Speech & Drama). Health & Safety overnighter (Health & Safety, First Aid, then Child nursing or Dental health). Careers weekend (Careers, Mechanics, Airman, Computing). If a badge camp seems like too much work, try just an afternoon and do one badge eg: Outdoor, Cycling or Swimming. Make sure you complete all the requirements in the time available.
Awards of Merit
The Awards of Merit are the Alpha Award (for Level One badges), and the Iron, Bronze, Silver & Gold Awards. Details of these Awards are to be found in the Rally Handbook.
Our job as Leaders is to provide an opportunity for Rally Members to gain badges, to encourage them in this, and for those who really enjoy learning new skills, we should be helping them to do the extra learning so they can achieve a high standard.
Alpha Award – This is especially for junior members who are keen on earning badges. They only have to have Level One badges for this Award. Encourage all those who have enough Level One badges to sit for their Alpha Award - it may be the start they need to keep them keen. The Alpha Award is well within the capabilities of most Rally Members.
Iron, Bronze, Silver& Gold Awards – Members need to earn Level Two badges to sit these Higher Awards. The Certificate of Merit you receive when you have passed these Awards is great to include in your CV and is a personal confidence boost to them.
Some ways you can encourage your members to sit Badges and Awards:
- Give each member a Rally Handbook – maybe when they have paid their fees, or earned their Members badge. This gives all the information for them and their parents about the Rally Movement, as well as badges.
- Set aside time to teach new members the Rally Members badge. This helps to give a real sense of belonging.
- You could add a ‘Badge Night’ to your programme, where as a whole Rally you learn a badge- eg, Dance & Movement, Airman, or dress up as ‘artists’ and do the Art badge.
- Encourage each member to have a ‘badge book’ as a record of what they have earned, as well as a reference for the information they need when preparing for Awards.
- Leaders need to keep a record of all badges earned by members.
- It is possible to have a reader/writer for those who need it. They just have to know the information. Someone else can write it for them.
- Have a Rally Leader who marks all the badge-work (or ask someone else to come in just for this).
- If you have a points system, give points for each badge earned and give end of year prizes for those who have earned the most badges in the year.
Badges at Home
It is helpful if members have an exercise book to put their badge-work into. You can spend one rally night covering and decorating it. Each rally member will need their own Badge Handbook. If it is a badge that needs practical work being done eg. make your bed for a month (Homecraft) or passed a school cycle test (Cycling), members can bring a note from parent/teacher signed and saying it was completed, otherwise the information can be written/drawn into their exercise book and/or article made brought along to show you.
It is always the best idea to give out badges as often as possible rather than waiting till the end of the year to give out. Receiving a badge in front of the Rally encourages them and gives others an incentive to also do badges.
Badges at Rally:
As Rally leaders, don’t be afraid to teach badges. There is information in the Badge Manual. It is currently being updated – some sections are already available on disc for $4 from Rally Supplies. The internet can give you information on a badge you may want to teach. Or look for those in your church or community who have the skills to help. Most folk won’t charge, but suitable reimbursement for time and travel would be appropriate for example to St John’s Ambulance.
Types of badges:
Memory and self-effort – eg. rally members, Efficiency, Cultural, Scripture, Gardening… you can motivate and encourage members, but they must do the work themselves.
Leaders instruction – these are badges you can do at Rally. The Leader magazine sometimes has suggestions/information for taking badges. Check back copies (or contact editor if you don’t have back copies). You could take your Rally for a badge during-
Hobby time – craft, pokerwork, carpentry, home skills…
Devotional time – Bible project, bible history, Bible study…
Games time – Gymnast, Aerobics, dance & Movement..
Camps & Outings – Camp cooking, cyclist, outdoor…
Special Nights – Art night (come dressed as artists), Missionary night (have a game, hobby, activity from country of missionary)…
Tried and tested Policies:
Each member should keep all badge projects in an exercise book/folder. It is a permanent record, and available for revision if they sit Awards.
Have a set standard for testing badges. Eg. put one leader in charge of badge-work to produce an even marking system.
Leaders – keep an accurate record of each members badges. They can lose badges and you need to replace them! This enables you to check what badges they have earned, if lost. You can also check who has earned enough badges to do their efficiency, who is due their Junior Star, or who can sit Awards.
Suggest you have some written questions for the most commonly earned badges – use for testing. Don’t make it too stringent like exams! True/false questions are easy to answer and cover the information.
- Earn the Rally Members badge, and at least nine other Level Two badges.
- Revise the information on the badges you have earned.
- Refresh your memory on the Rally Promise, Rally Motto, and the verses from the Rally Members, Aims and Efficiency Level Two. These will need to be written out in full for the Iron and Bronze Awards.
- Bring paper, pen, eraser and a great memory to the exam!
- Check which members hold the correct number of Level Two badges for the Award they are sitting. Also make sure they are over the minimum age required. Then encourage them to sit the Award.
- Set a suitable time, date & venue for sitting the Award.
- Write to Mrs Raewyn Storey, (see address on page 3 of this magazine) requesting an Alpha, Iron (or whichever) Award Paper or Papers.
- Arrange for another adult to be present with you at the exam, so that your integrity is upheld as having run the exam fairly.
- Write out a list of the Level Two badges (or Level One badges if it is for the Alpha Award) held by each member and confirm that he/she has attended a Rally Camp at some stage.
- Remind the Rally member that they need to know the Rally promise, Code & Motto, Aims & verses from Rally Members and Efficiency badges.
- Have spare paper and pens available.
Explain carefully what they need to do:
- Check the time and be sure to give them the whole allotted time, plus the time given for reading the questions and deciding which ones they will be answering.
- Tell the candidate they can ask the supervising adult questions on the meaning of the question/word, how to spell a word, or to check if they are doing something right. Just don’t give them the answers!
- Fifteen minutes before the time is up, (if still going) check they are close to finishing and have answered the correct number of badges.
- If they are finished before the time is up, get them to check that all their questions are answered and suggest they go over their answers and fill in any ‘blanks’ they have left or add anything more they can remember to their answers.
- Check that all details of name, age, badges held, name of Rally etc have been completed correctly.
- Place the question & answer papers into an envelope. Add the list of their badges etc to the envelope.
- Address the envelope and post to Mrs Raewyn Storey, Springs Rd, RD1, Matamata, 3471.
- Bite your nails till the results come back!!