Have you been to an event and needed a way to identify your group or troop? Do you have a large family gathering at an amusement park? Need a way to show people who your group is? Explore items you can make to help create an identifier for you and your group.
1. What do you need?
You may want to identify your group to others at an event. You could use identifiers to allow members of your groups to find each other during a trip. Decide who will be using the identifiers and how they will be used. Examples are given in the specific items following.
NOTE: When you make items to identify your group, do not put individual names where the public can view them.
2. Choosing your identifiers.
Cost and imagination are the limiting factors in choosing items to identify your group. Look through the list below and decide which will work for identifying your group. Make sure to include your group in decisions so everyone is happy.
When traveling, you may find that some of these identifiers do not travel well. A pennant being held by one member is a lot easier to take with you without the stand to place it in. However, if you’re providing your own transportation, this is not an issue.
4. Self-standing pennant.
A pennant can easily be made from fabric and a stencil. You can also be imaginative and use fabric paints to create a unique design. A pennant usually is stiff, flat and easy to read.
Include the name of your group or a graphic representation on your pennant. A self-standing pennant gives the members of your group a location to gather together. It can also be used as an “announcement” of who your group is. You can use a self-standing pennant for:
- Field trips
- Large events
- Sport events
NOTE: Self-standing pennants require the use of a stand or one person to hold them. The pole should be long enough so that the pennant flies above the crowd.
Flags are good identifiers for a large group. Lack of wind outdoors can make them hard to recognize, however. A lot of wind can make them hard to hold. Using a flag as a pennant or banner can be an option. Flags can be purchased from an organization or blank for decorating.
Typically, a banner is a long piece of cloth or paper that is supported from multiple points to make it easy to read. Banners can be used when you are identifying your group to others. Parades are where you’ll normally see a banner. It can be used as a sign when attached to a wall. Also, you need to consider the area you’ll be in. A congested area may make it impossible for anyone to see your banner unless it is placed high.
7. Laminated signs.
Laminated signs are great when you’re in a situation where you don’t want your identifier to get wet / damaged. Of course, clear contact paper can be used instead of laminate sheets so you can have a larger sign. If you plan on covering a poster board or other large sheet, be sure to overlap the edges of the contact paper. Also, make sure you have an edge around your entire sign of contact paper to make sure the edges are fully sealed.
The simplest and most cost effective way to have your group be identified is by the use of color. If everyone wears the same colored hats or shirts, it will be easier to find each other.
When people think of ways to identify their group, t-shirts tend to come to mind first. You can purchase t-shirts anywhere in a variety of colors. You can also create smaller groups by using the same design on multiple colored shirts. From stencils to iron-ons and even tie-dying, you can easily personalize shirts.
NOTE: Adults may not like the idea of bright, handmade t-shirts, so you can also look into sweatshirts, polos or windbreakers with monograms.
10. Sashes and vests.
Sashes and vests can be put over clothing. This is good when the event you’re attending has a dress code and t-shirts are not an option. If your organization uses these, this can be a great way to identify your group.
11. Scarves and hats.
Other easily removed items are scarves and hats. Bandannas can be included in this. You can purchase a large quantity at a relatively low-cost when you’re purchasing for a troop / group.
12. Small items.
Sometimes you’ll not want your group obvious to outsiders. Small items can be worn that look like they are part of your attire, but are also an indication of your group. Items might include:
You can incorporate personal information such as cell phone numbers into your small items in case someone in your group gets lost.
13. Duct tape and other devices.
Duct tape, ribbons and other items can be added to luggage, backpacks, purses, wrists, and more to give you a quick identifier. Of course you wouldn’t want to put duct tape on a wrist, but on a piece of luggage, you’ll be able to spot it easily. In addition, something as simple as a design on a piece of paper safety pinned to a shirt can work to help identify a group.
14. Non-physical identifiers.
You may not need to physically identify your group. You may choose to create a secret way of connecting. This is like the small child who knows to only go with someone who knows the family’s secret password. It is unknown to anyone outside the group. These non-physical identifiers might include:
If you choose to go this way, make sure everyone knows your secret connection. Test them frequently to make sure no one forgets.
15. Your identifiers.
What has worked for you? Share your ideas to help determine the best identifier for your group.
16. Temporary start.
Create identifiers for your group. You can do samples on paper or cloth for testing. See how each works and which are best for your needs. Ask your group if the identifiers you chose work for your situation or if you need to change identifiers. You may find you need to increase type size for readability, change colors to make your identifier stand out more, etc.
17. Create your identifiers.
When you’ve tested and decided that your identifier works, create what you need for your trip / event / etc.
18. After the trip.
Some items may need to be stored, such as banners and flags. Make sure your storage is dry and clean so you don’t have to worry about fixing your identifiers before your next trip.
T-shirts, hats and other personal items may be reused or kept as a souvenir after the trip. You may also wish to store these if you are planning additional trips.
Sites to Explore
To download a PDF of this badge program, click here: EP_Identifiers