BADGE WORK REPORT: “COLLECTING” HOBBIES
Who doesn’t love a badge that gives a scout permission to collect something just for the fun of it? And what middle-aged person doesn’t need another collection of… well… something…
The “Collecting” Hobbies badge encourages this kind of behavior, and I just love it. Before starting a collection, however, scouts need to consider if they believe it will be fun and affordable. They’re also asked to consider whether they have room for their collection, and to make sure it won’t harm the environment in some way.
When I was a kid, I collected little plastic TVs that had slide shows inside them; the pictures provided a mini slide show of images from various destinations. A lot were themed around subjects rather than destinations, though. For instance, I have a few TVs with images of dogs dressed up in strange clothing, and I have two TVs with images of famous paintings.
I haven’t seen one of these for at least a decade now – and I’ve really looked. You used to be able to find them at turnpike rest stops, or tourist shops. Not any more. They’ve been replaced by more paperweights, refrigerator magnets, and shot glasses, all of which, btw, would make perfectly fine collections (and come to think of it, I’ve got a lot of magnets). About half of those little TV’s still work, and the rest are frozen on one particular image, unwilling to shift with the click of a button.
Over the years, I’ve also assembled a small but lovely collection of blue glass. Some pieces are quite old, worth a little bit of money, and were offered as gifts. One came from within our family. Others are just pieces that I liked picked up over the years.
Finally, I have to travel a bit for work. I realized about three years ago that I kept forgetting to return my hotel key cards during checkout, so I decided to start collecting them. My husband Charles travels throughout Texas for gigs as well, and about a year or so ago he began saving his key cards as well. So this image represents most of our combined travel for the past few years.
Now that I think of it, I also have a collection of vitamins I don’t ever remember to take. But I don’t think that counts.
Anyway, going forward…
I’ll always stay on the lookout for little TV’s; I just love them, and I love their rarity. I no longer feel the pull to collect blue glass, although I wouldn’t walk away from a pretty piece that’s affordably priced. And I’ll keep adding key cards from our travels to the collection.
BUT… there is one single item in my house that has brought me radical, silly joy since I’ve had it—my Homer Simpson Chia Pet.
Having radically and regularly laughed at this thing, I even went so far as to feature him in my first homemade video:
So, with Homer as my muse, I’ve decided to expand my collection of Chia Pets.
Thinking about the questions posed by the badge, I’ll limit my spending to no more than $15 per pet (this may be a small challenge, since they typically retail for more than that). I’ll also limit the collection to between 8-10, as I don ‘t want my husband to think I’m too crazy. Also, per the badge, I’ll seek out my Chia Pets in any number of ways – eBay, garage sales, flea markets, and the Walgreen’s discount shelf (which is where I found Homer).
If anyone out there is an actual Chia Pet collector, I’d love to hear from you. Or, if you’re thinking you might want to unload one of your old Chia Christmas gifts on me, let’s talk! I’m collecting ‘em (but I really won’t buy your Garfield or Shaggy – ugh!).
More on this badge work in Part II, next week…