I recently received a wonderful note from a friend. In that note, she continued a conversation we had started about how photography brought us together, and would we have met had we taken different paths? She recalled an early brush with photography when she found her Girl Scout Photography badge! I thought to myself, I have one of those too! So off I went to find it.
Yep, I found my Junior Girl Scout “My Camera” badge from the late 1970s-early 1980s. Then I thought, I wonder what I had to do to earn this? I’m pretty sure that teaching photography gave me this curiosity! I racked my brain, and looked online for an old (ca. 1979) badge requirement list to no avail. So, I called my mom! Moms are the best, especially mine! She kept my original Girl Scouts Junior Badges and Signs book! Can you believe it? It has a copyright of 1977, and she quickly pointed out that on page 37, I accomplished the goals of the “My Camera” badge. I promise not to tease you anymore about all the boxes of childhood treasures you keep, Mom!
As I read through the requirements, I thought these are pretty sophisticated for a nine year old! With my photo instructor hat on, I cheered! I love #6, this one reminds me a bit of my requirements in my Architectural Photography class – photographing a subject (a building) at multiple times of the day to take advantage of light, shadow, which way the building faces and which side is illuminated by the sun! And, #3 seems pretty deep, too! I love this one. Why, this was something I continued to do over and over during my own photography degree, and I require it from my students today.
Before I found out what was required of a Junior Girl Scout in 1979, I did find out in my Internet research that Girl Scouts today have a new Digital Photography badge within their Agent of Change badges. The requirements are pretty darn good too! The girls must first learn about digital cameras from an expert. Here they can interview a college student who is taking courses, or a local pro. Then, they must take “tons” of photos. Next, the girls must edit three images – things like applying filters, adding borders, or correcting red eye. They are given two choices, change something in the image, or add something to the image. Pretty amazing Photoshop requirements for a Junior Girl Scout in my book!
To finish off their badge requirements, they must create a digital project using a computer to create a collage, or possibly a panorama-stitched image, or even make a t-shirt or mug for someone special. Lastly, the girls must share their images, and they are given choices like making a digital album, or staging their own art show. This is impressive!
Maybe this early brush with photography helped to influence me as well, and pushed me towards the direction I ultimately went. Mom also reminded me of an even earlier photograph. Here, we were living in Bakersfield, California. I think I must have been four or five. And, that camera really does look like a Diana. I wonder where that camera got to after all these years?
If you ever find yourself in Savannah, Georgia, visit the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, the home of the founder of the Girl Scouts of America. She “envisioned an organization that would prepare girls to meet their world with courage, confidence and character.”