Badge: Backyard Camping

BackCamp_04URLStart your outdoor camping progression by camping in the backyard. If someone can’t make it through the night, it’s easy to go inside and make a quick call.





1. Planning.

Just like any other trip, you need to plan. Start with the number you plan on attending. If you’re doing this as part of an organization, be sure to consult any rules they have.

From there, determine the activities, food and space you’ll need. Make a tentative schedule with your campers to start the process.

2. Cleaning up.

Before camping in your backyard, be sure to clean it up. From picking up sticks and rocks to removing animal waste to trimming bushes, you’ll want everything neat and tidy. This will minimize the chances of anyone getting hurt in the dark.

3. Night safety.

Moving around at night can be hazardous. There are steps you can take to make it less so. Walk around your backyard at night. What things might your campers need to be aware of? What safety concerns might come up in your backyard? Can you do something to minimize these? Prepare to share these items with your campers.

4. Insects and allergies.

Many people have allergies. This includes insect repellent. If you are planning on using anything your campers might be allergic to, be sure at least two people know what to do in case of an allergy attack. Be prepared with health forms in case you need to go to the emergency room.

5. Camp buddies.

Insist on the buddy system. It keeps anyone from wandering off on their own. Also, be sure everyone knows they are not to leave the property without adult consent.

6. Glow bracelets.

Kids love glow bracelets, but they can have a multitude of uses.

  • Mark cords or tripping hazards
  • On outside door to identify someone is using the bathroom / is indoors
  • Play hide and seek with sticks in the dark
  • Place in balloons, glasses of water, etc. to add glow or support a theme

Find other ways to use glow sticks for safety and fun.

7. Parent partners.

If you have a potential camper who is completely terrified of backyard camping, you may want your first experience to include a same-sex parent. Evaluate your campers. Will each be able to make the entire night? Are there other ways you can include parents at the beginning or end to help reduce camper stress?

8. Rules.

Everyone has rules for their house. Classrooms have rules. Troops and groups have rules. Make a set of rules for your backyard campout. Include your campers in the creation of your list.

9. Kaper charts.

With a larger group, be sure to make kaper charts (or the equivalent) so everyone knows what jobs they are to do. For smaller groups, you can do everything together, but the practice of making and following a kaper chart is good practice for anyone.

10. Tents.

Do you have enough tents for everyone? Are you doing large tents or will everyone have their own small pop-up? Discuss tents and how everyone will be sleeping.

11. Food.

Not only do you want to plan for any meals or snacks (including s’mores), you may want to limit the snacks that are brought in by your campers. A lot of sugar may keep them up late and disturb others. Some foods may attract wildlife. Review how you plan to handle food.

12. Night games.

Choose a game or two and see how you can adapt it so you can continue to play after the sun goes down. Alternatively, you can check out the Enrichment Project badge program “Night Games” for more on games you can play at night.

13. Camp crafts.

Explore camp crafts. Pick one that you’d like to do before or during your backyard camping event. These might include:

  • Sit upons
  • Lanyards
  • SWAPs
  • Water bottle holder
  • Bracelets

Brainstorm a list of crafts you’ve made at camp or ones you’d like to try. Make samples and get feedback from your campers.

14. Edible fire.

Don’t want a real fire? Perhaps you want to practice before doing the real thing. Teaching how with food is a great way to do this. It can also serve double duty as a snack. Look at how to make an edible fire.

15. Fire pits.

Most people don’t have a specified area for burning in their yard. Fire pits have become popular, so you no longer have to damage your lawn. Prepare to instruct your campers on fire safety, how to start a fire and how to put one out.

16. Storytelling.

You may think ghost stories are the only stories worth hearing at a camp fire. Some people don’t like ghost stories and younger campers may be too scared to sleep. What rules might you put in place to determine the stories you tell? Should you limit who tells the stories or should you take turns? Prepare a few stories as examples of what you’d like.

17. Sing along.

Singing around a fire is a lot of fun. From traditional songs to popular ones, there are way more songs to sing than you can do in a single night. Brainstorm ways you might choose which songs to sing.

18. Stargazing.

Planning on looking up at the sky? Be prepared to identify at least a couple constellations and know the story behind at least one.

19. More to do?

You may be planning to do things not covered in this badge program. That’s great! Be sure to check and make sure the activities are safe and if they fall under instructions from your organization.


Supplements Available

See the Enrichment Project badge program “Night Games”


Sites to Explore



To download a PDF of this badge program, click here: EP_Backyard Camping


Badge: Outdoor Service

OutServ_04URLMost people think of only one idea when asked to do service outside. We’ll start with that one and see where we end up.





1. Pick up trash.

Picking up and properly disposing trash is a service anyone can do. Be sure everyone has gloves in case items are questionable. Places you can pick up trash include:

  • Beach
  • Graveyard
  • Highway
  • Park
  • Playground
  • School
  • Waterway
  • Yard

Spend some time picking up items in a specified area. Ask others to help you if the area is large.

Prepare a plan in case you find something that is not appropriate for your helpers. For example, we once found a knife on the playground while we were picking up trash. Our rule is if you see a sharp object (knifes, syringes, etc.), you do not touch it. You stand next to it and get an adult’s attention.

Also, if you see damaged items or areas, contact the person in charge of the area to let them know.

2. Composting.

You might try this with your family, church, school or organization. Discuss ways this helps the environment. How can you get information out to people who don’t know about it?

3. Planting / weeding.

You can plant grass, flowers, shrubs and trees in many locations. Be sure to obtain permission beforehand. Identify locations where you might want to place one or a few plants.

4. Raking and shoveling.

These two tasks are difficult . . . especially for older people. Identify someone in your neighborhood who could use some help and volunteer to do it.

5. Community garden.

Community gardens not only bring nature into an area, but it provides food for local people and / or shelters. Do you have a community garden you can help with? If not, is there an area you might be able to use for this purpose?

6. Support the wild ones.

From bird feeders to salt blocks, during certain times of the year, wildlife needs help. Identify small ways you can help your local wildlife.

7. Zoos and shelters.

Helping at a shelter or zoo allows you to work with animals. Feeding, cleaning and even taking them for walks can be possible tasks. You may need to be a certain age to help with more difficult tasks. Check with these and see if they have opportunities for working with animals.

8. Wildlife habitats.

Create, fix or maintain a habitat for wildlife. This might be a butterfly garden, bat house, etc. You can make this a project for a group or school. Check out the National Wildlife Foundation for information on building schoolyard habitats.

9. Support parks.

Cleaning, spreading mulch, pulling invasive species — these are all things we’ve done at the Indiana Dunes. Visit your local parks / park department. Find out if they need individuals to help and if you have the skills they need. Plan a day to do a few jobs.

10. Fix a playground / park.

Visit a local playground / park. Make a list of items that need to be fixed. Obtain permission to do so and ask others so you can get the jobs done to make it safe.

11. Paint.

Painting is an easy but time consuming task. Identify areas where some paint would help such as fences or benches. You can also cover graffiti if it is offensive. Offer to paint.

12. Start a campaign.

Bring awareness of one of these issues or one of your own to your community and ask others to join you:

  • Carpooling / biking / walking
  • Energy conservation
  • Hazardous waste collection / disposal
  • Recycling items / centers
  • Water conservation

13. Specific programs.

Some organizations have specific programs and / or activities they might ask you to participate in. Check out one or more of the following:

  • America Recycles Day
  • Earth Day Network
  • Great American Cleanup
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • World Water Monitoring Day

14. Talk to leaders.

If none of these interest you, talk to leaders in your area to determine needs that are not listed here. Bring them back to your group / organization. How can you volunteer to help?


Sites to Explore



To download a PDF of this badge program, click here: EP_Outdoor Service


Badge: Explore Paper Crafts

XPaper_04URLWhen you say “paper crafts” in the US, most people think scrapbooking. There are many other paper crafts you can explore.





1. Bookbinding.

Assembling pages into a book can be achieved in numerous ways. Japanese stab binding is a good beginner bookmaking craft. Perfect binding, including stitching folios together, is a lot more time-consuming. You can also do minibooks from a single sheet of paper or multiple sheets. Explore different ways to make a book.

2. Calendars.

Calendars are a great gift that can be personalized. You can find printable months online and craft around them. Explore handmade calendars online.

3. Card making.

Enrichment Project: Card Making Basics

Card making is probably one of the largest areas of paper crafts. Search online to see examples of standard, shaped and even weird cards. Pinterest alone can give you hundreds, if not thousands, of card images to peruse as well as links to tutorials. Explore the Enrichment Project badge program listed with this step.

4. Mail art.

Improving the look of your mail is another paper craft. Mail art may be as simple as stamping on an envelope or it could be making your own postcard. Check out examples of mail art. Is this something you might like to do?

5. Origami, kusadama and kirigami.

Japan has many paper crafts to explore. Origami is folding a single sheet of paper into a specific shape. Kusadama is folding identical shapes and joining them together. Kirigami is folding a sheet of paper and then cutting a pattern to reveal a silhouette. Explore these different Japanese paper crafts.

6. Paper jewelry.

From rolled paper beads to quilled pieces, paper is a great way to make jewelry. Explore jewelry made from paper.

7. Paper mache.

Paper mache is used to create three-dimensional pieces that dry to a hard and durable finish. This might include bowls, piñatas, masks or sculpture. Find a paper mache artist or crafter to see what can be done with this paper craft.

8. Paper making.

Making paper may not seem like a paper craft, but the pulp itself can be used to make cards, tags, shaped embellishments, etc. You can make paper from recycled mail, dryer lint, plants and more. Explore ways you can make paper.

9. Paper toys.

You can find printable paper toys online to get started. You will need to cut and assemble the pieces to make your “toy.” Some may be simple like pinwheels while others may be complicated. Check out a few sites with paper toys and try your hand at one.

10. Paper dolls.

Paper dolls can be printables (see next step) or you can create your own from a blank template. The dolls are only part of the fun. Designing clothing for the dolls can be more fun than the dolls themselves. Explore paper doll offerings online.

11. Printables.

A printable is a file that you print on a sheet of paper, but not copy paper. You want something a little thicker like 28# or sometimes cardstock, depending on what the printable is. Printables include everything from paper games to assemblage pieces. You don’t have to use printables as they are presented. You can include them in your art or engage others. Explore printables, printable games and templates online.

12. Scrapbooking.

Enrichment Project: Scrapbook Basics

Scrapbooks can be everything from a handmade book with photos to embellished pages to a framed paper memory. Anything that deals with photos and memories is generally lumped under scrapbooking. To learn more, check out the listed Enrichment Project badge program or go online and find out more.

13. Tags.

Gift tags, mailing tags . . . any sort of tag can be crafted. It might be as simple as a nicely written name to paper flowers embellishing the tag. Explore the many ways to decorate a tag.

14. Sized-items.

Some paper crafted items are designated by size. Here are some you can check out.

  • Artist trading cards (see the Enrichment Project badge by the same name) — Size: Baseball card (2.5″ x 3.5″ or 64mm x 89mm)
  • Inchies — Size: 1″ x 1″ square
  • Rinchies — Size: 1″ diameter circle
  • Betwinchies — Size: 1.5″ x 1.5″ square
  • Twosies or Twinchies — Size: 2″ x 2″ square

Can you find other paper crafted items that are named to conform to a specific size?

15. So much more.

As you can imagine, this is only a small sampling of paper crafts you might explore. Keep searching and find a paper craft (or more) that looks like you might enjoy it.



Supplements Available

See specific badge programs listed in steps above


Sites to Explore



To download a PDF of this badge program, click here: EP_Explore Paper Crafts


Badge: Enrichment Project Anniversary

EPann_04URLThis badge program celebrates the fifth anniversary of the Enrichment Project in July 2015. Explore what has happened in the last five years and share your ideas on where I need to go next!





1. Short history.

Although I started in May 2010, the first information that went online was in July. I started on Blogger, but moved to WordPress when I couldn’t do what I wanted to with the blog. Look through the badges, design and changes from the past five years.

2. Social media.

The first social media site for the Enrichment Project was Yahoo! Groups. Explore this site and / or other places the Enrichment Project exists. Don’t forget to ask for the Follower badge for any of the listed sites you choose to follow:

  • Blog /
  • Email / aWeber
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Scribd
  • Yahoo! Groups

3. Digital badges.

“Earning digital badges to expand your experiences and explore the world through free online materials” is the basis for the Enrichment Project. Review the over 200 badges available. Choose five from at least two different categories and earn them.


  • Communication
  • Crafts
  • Education
  • Games / Sports
  • General
  • Groups
  • Hobbies
  • Holidays
  • Outdoors
  • People
  • Performing Arts
  • Personal
  • Recipe / Nutrition
  • Service
  • STEM
  • Web
  • World

4. Display badges.

You can display your badges on social media sites or even put them in your Backpack if you are part of Mozilla’s Open Badge project. Check out Open Badges to see if this is something you’d like to be a part of.

5. Badge sets.

Some of the badges are listed in sets. These badge sets are designed for you to select steps to create unique meetings and events with a theme. Look at the badge sets list. Are there any you might be interested in presenting to others?

6. More than badges.

Over the last five years, not only have supplements been part of badge programs to help you earn them, but items like Grab ‘n’ Go sheets help give you even more ideas for working with others. Look for non-badge offerings on

7. Suggestions.

Do you have a badge program that you’d like to recommend? Steps that need to be added to a badge program? Recommendations to create a set from presented badges?

As you look through the badge programs, keep a list and share a few suggestions with me at larajla

8. What’s to come?

There’s always something new, whether it’s technology or a new way of thinking. I hope you’ll stay around to see how the Enrichment Project continues to develop over the next five years . . . perhaps even longer.


Supplements Available


SUPP_EP_Badge List.pdf

  • Enrichment Project badge check list

SUPP_EP_Badge Sets.pdf

  • Enrichment Project badge set list

SUPP_EP_Visual List.pdf

  • Enrichment Project visual representation of each badge


Sites to Explore


NOTE: I am currently working to make all Enrichment Project badges, supplements, found items, etc. available on You will need to log in to see the download areas.


To download a PDF of this badge program, click here: EP_EP Anniversary