Badge: Tell My Story

TellStory_URLFind your voice to add personal stories to your storytelling repertoire. In addition, you may find that storytelling doesn’t completely convey your story. You can add props in the form of drawings, dance, puppets or more to add another layer to your oral presentation.

NOTE: To create a legacy for future generations with your stories, see the Enrichment Project “Build My Legacy” badge program.




1. Why tell a story?
Stories can be used to inform, teach, entertain or just to keep a story alive. As you look through different ways to tell your own story, decide what your story ultimately does. If it doesn’t do as you’d like, think of ways you can add/remove things from your story to reach your desired outcome. For example, if you’re looking to entertain, you may want to embellish some of the funnier parts of your story or use exaggerated movements to get a chuckle from your audience.

2. All in the family.
Family stories are often entertaining because we can relate to the stories through our own family members. List stories you’ve been told. Which would you like to retell?

3. It’s my life.
Each person’s life is unique. Your experiences and choices have created stories only you can tell. Collect stories that you can share.

4. Journals and scrapbooks.
Review journals or scrapbooks you have for additional stories you might have forgotten. Add these to your list of personal stories.

5. Explore other possibilities.
Explore beyond your personal life. Ask friends for their stories, find community tales or research cultural stories. Add your own voice to these stories. You may also find public domain works that you can incorporate.
Crafting your stories

6. Are you a comedian?
Some people find it easier to tell a funny story. Some never seem to get it right. Explore ways to bring humor into your stories. Is this something you’d like to include?

7. Non-fiction?
You do not have to admit a story is based your own life / experiences. You can embellish and change it from a non-fiction story to fiction. You can add elements that give it a genre flavor. Look through your stories and brainstorm adjustments to a true story that would change it to fiction.

8. Change your point of view.
Why tell the story from your point of view? Use an animal or inanimate object and tell it from another point of view. You can tell the story as it happened or pull the kernel of truth / moral you want from the story and make it “audience friendly.”

9. Single or series.
Your story may be single and self-contained. You may also find upon telling it that you want to make it part of a series. If you plan to create a series, keep notes so the flow of your stories are seamless and consistent. You might also want to record your stories and transcribe them for even more detail.
Share your story

10. Telling your story — orally.
Review the variety of ways you can tell your stories orally. Choose at least two and try them out. Do not feel limited by this list.

  • Oral live presentation
  • Oral recording
  • StoryCorps
  • Puppet show
  • Mask show
  • Skits

11. Telling your story — artistically.
You don’t have to tell your story with words alone. Try at least one of these to embellish your oral story.

  • Art journal
  • Mixed media crafts
  • Animated shorts
  • Drawing / painting
  • Dance / performance

12. Telling your story — written.
Writing your story allows it to last longer. You will have a place to go back when you can’t remember the particulars of your story. While you’re exploring the written word, explore the possibility of using written materials as part of your oral story as well.

  • Traditional publishing
  • Digital publishing
  • Cartoons
  • Word props
  • Blogging
  • Scrapbooks

13. Archive.
After all this work, you don’t want to lose your stories. Find a way to archive your stories.

14. Ask for feedback.
If possible, get feedback from your audience. Find ways to improve your performance, art or written works.


Sites to Explore


To download a PDF of this badge program, click here: EP_Tell My Story

Badge: Connection Revolution

Badge: Connection RevolutionFor a hundred years, the world has been consumed with mass — manufacturing, advertising and education. We’re at the beginning of a new revolution – the connection revolution. Your chance to change the world has never been greater. Let’s look at the mass and how it is moving to connection . . . and how you can become connected.





1. Take a listen.

This interview with Seth Godin on his book, We Are All Weird, will start you thinking about the Connection Revolution. This interview is about 25 minutes. If you are interested, check out Seth’s book as well.


Mass manufacturing

2. No choice.

How often have you purchased stuff because “it’s the next thing”? Have you gone Christmas shopping to find that one gift your child (grandchild) had to have? This is big business at its worst – creating an artificial demand to drive purchasing.

3. Full choice.

Do a search online for things you are interested in. Find small businesses that provide what the large ones cannot. These are “niche” businesses. While many “mass” businesses are struggling, these small businesses are thriving. Did you find any niches that were underrepresented? Can you picture yourself supporting or starting a niche business?

4. The music industry.

The music industry was controlled by corporations and middlemen with the actual artist not maintaining copyright to his / her music and usually making very little money. Compare it with music today. Many musicians can record their music themselves, eliminating the cost of the “mass” and doing what they truly want. Today’s musicians connect with people interested in their music and have to sell a lot less. Find a musician online that has a small following that you might purchase music from.

5. The publishing industry — newspapers.

Why purchase a newspaper when you can have the news sent to you? You can also decide what news interests you so you’re not overwhelmed with news. The decline in newspapers started before the Internet. How do you get your news? Compare how much you get from newspapers, television,  the Web and mobile devices.

6. The publishing industry — books.

Amazon’s Kindle, GoodReader, Apple’s iBooks and other ebook readers are fueling the move from expensive print books to lower cost (and more easily stored) eBooks. Check out the Domino Project for a new take on publishing.

If you’re a writer, you can self-publish with sites like Lulu and Smashwords. With everyone able to self-publish, the quality of books will go down as the quantity goes up. Check out a few self-publishing sites and see if this is something you might be interested in doing.

7. SOPA.

SOPA is just one piece of legislation that big business is sponsoring to keep control, to keep the world the way it was, to keep “mass”. Explore other ways the government and big business are trying to maintain control of our lives.

8. Etsy.

Etsy is a marketplace for handmade, unique items. In the mass marketplace, it couldn’t exist. Today, anyone can start their own business. Look through some of the businesses on Etsy see if any of these fit your own interests.


Mass advertising

9. Television advertising.

Television advertising is the voice of mass manufacturing – artificially planting the “must haves” of our lives. How have commercials changed? Sites like Hulu offer free viewing of shows, but commercials are now there as well. The difference is Hulu asks you if the advertisement is pertinent to you. Compare today’s commercials with those of ten, twenty or thirty years ago.

10. Social media.

Social media is all about spreading ideas. From Facebook to Pinterest, we can all connect with friends and spread our likes and dislikes. Even if we do not support a business with purchases, we can share information about it. Look back over your communications online. How many times have you looked at a small business on the word of your online friends? How often do you share information about companies you find online?

11. Facebook.

Is Facebook the look of the future? Instead of targeting millions of households because you can afford to spend millions of dollars, Facebook allows advertisers to target those individuals interested in the items they are offering by using your likes, profile, etc. For a week, watch the advertising that comes up when you log into Facebook. How many of these ads interest you?


Mass education

12. People as a cog in the machine.

Our current educational system is all about each person learning the same thing so each of us can be part of the machine of mass production. Look at the educational requirements for your state. Think about the classes each student must take to get a high school diploma. How many of these will really help them in the future? What classes would be a better fit for our kids?

13. No child left behind.

This legislation has managed to put a stranglehold on our educational system. The number of charter schools is growing to help the individual over the mass. Read about this legislation and the growing number of alternative educational choices for our youth.

14. Youth groups.

Scouting, sports groups and other non-educational groups are picking up the slack of our failing educational system. Each supports its own niche while some try to cover a variety of skills that our youth will need in the future. Look at one or more youth groups and see what it / they have to offer.

15. College degree.

The cost of a college degree often is more than the cost of a new car . . . sometimes more than a house. This puts a strain on the new graduate who needs a job to pay off the loans or his / her parents who postpone retirement due to the cost. A college degree means you can sit in a class and take a test, but how much translates to the real world? Look at your own life and explore what you learned in school and how much was a waste of your resources versus how much you actually use in the real world.

16. Today’s changes.

Universities and colleges are looking for a new ways to provide education and experience. Unlike mass manufacturing and advertising, the educational system is working to move into the connection revolution. Programs like MIT’s Open Course Ware allow you to get education for free. Mozilla’s P2PU (peer-to-peer university) allows people to educate each other. Review the offerings from one of these or the other numerous free courses available online to see what you can find that interests you.

NOTE: One item higher education is looking at is earning badges that highlight skills learned instead of a certificate. Read about “badges for skills” to find out about one possible change to our educational system.

17. Educating our youth.

We need to work to educate our children on the new world . . . the connected world. To help share this idea, we need to understand the connection revolution. We need to give them a view of the world as it is now. As this revolution continues, the world will change. We do not know what the “next big thing” will be. Perhaps it is you or your kids who start the next big change.

18. Connection is key.

The only way to teach connection is to be connected. Look at the social media sites you belong to. Learn more about them. Follow what others are doing. Join the conversation.


Sites to Explore


To download a PDF of this badge program, click here: EP_Connection Revolution

Are you a writer?

If you are interested in writing, I suggest checking out Brian Clark’s latest endeavor — Entreproducer.

Here’s a link to the first post!

Traditional publishing is no longer the way to go! Look at taking your writing and becoming a publisher of your own work.

NOTE: Brian is mentioned in one of our upcoming badge programs, Today’s Leading Men.

Badge: Newsletter Creation

Badge: Newsletter Creation

Thinking of starting a newsletter? Planning your course is often more complicated than actually doing it. Explore the steps to creating your own newsletter before actually doing so.

Remember, communicating through printed means is sometimes necessary. Not everyone is hooked to the Web. The more avenues you have to distribute, though, the more likely your information will be received.





1. Do you need a newsletter?
Before you start planning a newsletter, make sure a newsletter will work for your needs. What information do you need to share? Is it enough to put out a newsletter? What action do you want your audience to take from your newsletter? You should have specific, measurable goals. Make a general list of items you would like to incorporate in your newsletter. Look at each item critically and ask yourself if a newsletter is the best way to distribute your information.

2. Your voice.
When I had my first child, we did a quarterly newsletter to share with our family. We used the words my daughter was using, made a lot of spelling mistakes and looked for photos that showed her personality. Another type of personal newsletter is a Christmas newsletter in lieu of Christmas cards for your family and friends.

Professional newsletters can include those for corporations, hospitals and organizations. Professional newsletters not only contain a lot of information for the recipient, they are often commercially printed. There are usually many people involved in their creation. You’ll see “calls to action” which get the recipient involved with the newsletter provider in some way.

Newsletters for troops, groups and schools fall between these two extremes. They are not as formal as a professional newsletter, but you don’t want to share personal information. You need to determine how formal or informal you want to appear. Review your list from Step 1. Determine the “voice” of your newsletter.

3. Your audience.
Who will read your newsletter? If it’s for kids, you may want to include coloring pages and puzzles. Adults look more for information they need and / or want. Family and friends will be more forgiving if your facts are not correct or if you go for a very informal tone. If you’re looking to get funds from outside sources, you’ll want to provide facts and figures to show your group is a great place to make a donation.

Each one of these audiences will need a different focus not only on material provided in your pages, but the information you present as well. Create a list of people you intend to be your “audience.”

4. What do others communicate?
Look at newsletters similar to the one you plan on creating. List what information, graphics, puzzles and other elements they have. Is there a mix of immediately needed information and later reference material? Are there references to other locations to find information? How long are the articles? How do they address their audience? Compare what’s in their newsletter and your idea list. Adjust your idea list if you see anything you might want to include.

5. Brainstorm topics.
These can be very general to start. Remember that if you want your audience to keep your newsletter, you need to include
something worth keeping. If you’re just publishing a schedule, it will be in the trash as soon as the dates are gone. Adding “Ten Sites to Help Earn Badges” will give your readers a reason to save it.

In addition, newsletters are released on a schedule. You need a pool of ideas for future issues so you always have something available to include. You can go back to your brainstorm list for ideas or to help kick start your creativity.

6. Keeping files.
At the beginning of creating a newsletter, you’ll have plenty of material. Your excitement will help you get it out the door. However, will you still have something to talk about in six months? What about a year after you begin? You have your brainstormed topics to start with, but sometimes that won’t be enough.

As ideas come to you, write them down or type them into a document. Keep clippings of interest that you might want to include or images and information from the Web. This will help you when you can’t think of anything to include.

7. Contributors.
If you are asking for contributions, you will need to provide a list of items you are looking to include. You can use Steps 1, 4 and 5 to help you create this list. You will also need to provide dates when you are accepting contributions. Will you pay for submissions? Are you expecting donations? Is there something you can provide contributors other than money?

8. Who is responsible?
If you are doing all the work yourself, you are responsible. However, if you need others to help, each person needs to have their own list of responsibilities so that nothing is missed. This should include due dates as well. Make a list of responsibilities, starting with these:

  • Layout
  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Graphics
  • Photography
  • Distribution

9. Set the schedule.
Determine the frequency for your newsletter. Will publishing once a month work for you? Every other month? Will you only publish certain times of the year? By setting a schedule of release dates and communicating it with your audience, they will know to look for your newsletter and inquire when they don’t get it.

10. Protecting yourself.
By writing a story, taking a picture or creating a newsletter, you are automatically the copyright holder. To expand your audience, you may need to give up some of your rights. If you are merely providing lists of dates for your troop / group this may not be pertinent, but if you’re looking at making money from your newsletter, this needs to be determined at the creative stage.

Review the copyright laws in your country. Also review Creative Commons to determine if you are willing to give up some of your rights to get a larger audience.

11. Final format – print.
The final format you have will be dependent on your distribution. You need to know your audience. Here are some suggestions. Decide if any of these work for you and add any others you feel would be good.

  • PDF (printable and as an e-mail attachment)
  • TXT (most universally accepted, but lacks design elements)

12. Final format – digital.
You may want your final format to be digital only. This will save you a lot in printing and mailing costs. Explore these formats and determine if any of these will work for you.

  • HTML (Web page, blog, wiki, e-mail, etc.)
  • EPUB (most widely distributed, vendor-independent)
  • MOBI / KF8 (Kindle format)
  • PDF (can be electronic, may need a different layout than a printable version)
  • TXT (most universally accepted, but lacks design elements)

If none of these formats work for you, explore other avenues of electronic distribution.


Sites to Explore


To download a PDF of this badge program, click here: EP_Newsletter Creation