Badge brief spurs Scouting memories

By Tammy Keith Originally Published January 20, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated January 18, 2013 at 1:26 p.m.
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My son pointed out a brief in our newspaper that impressed both of us: An Eagle Scout in Missouri earned every merit badge offered by the Boys Scouts of America — 134.

As a Girl Scout dropout, I can’t even imagine.

I was never the outdoorsy type. I was more the nose-in-a-book type.

Have you seen the mosquitoes in northeast Arkansas? They are like something out of Jumanji.

My memory of briefly being a Girl Scout is making an ugly wooden candlestick and painting it a putrid green, if I recall, and going to some camp and staying in a gross cabin.

When I had sons, I wanted them to be in Boy Scouts.

My first son loved being outside and joined Boy Scouts immediately. My husband, a former Boy Scout, was one of the volunteers in our son’s Cub Scouts pack.

I remember helping with a Boy Scout banquet once for my younger son, and we actually won for table decoration. I can’t remember the theme, but I borrowed ferns from someone and threw toy dinosaurs on the table.

(Is it sad that 12 years later, I still get a little excited thinking about that win?)

The only other thing I remember is that his Scout leader looked like Jesus, and had the patience of Job to work with those boys.

My two sons earned a few merit badges before their interest waned.

I’m not sure that I earned a single merit badge when I was a Girl Scout. I guess that stupid candlestick gave me something.

Those stacks of Nancy Drew books I read probably would have counted, too, and I played the flute in band.

I may have made it had there been different merit badges, when I was growing up, such as these:

  1. Talking on the telephone. I wore the paint off the foot of my bed growing up, because I had the phone sitting there while I lounged and talked. (See, in the old days, phones had to be attached to the wall.)

  2. Brown-nosing my teachers. I did not consider myself doing this, but some of my classmates did. So I sat on the front seat and hung on every word? What can I say — I was a teacher’s kid.

  3. Prissing. I was a majorette, but I was better at the dancing than the actual twirling.

  4. Arguing. My parents were sure I was going to be a lawyer when I grew up.

  5. Shopping. I believe I was born a Shopping Savant, and I’ve honed my skills the older I’ve gotten.

I admire the Girl Scouts, and the program has evolved a lot since I was a kid — the projects are amazing and make a difference in the world. I have friends whose daughters love it. I have bought truckloads of their cookies.

That reminds me — isn’t it almost cookie time?

Can I get a merit badge for most-consecutive years of ordering Thin Mints?

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or

Niche Publications Senior Writer Tammy Keith can be reached at 501-327-0370 or

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