That recent “lot of assorted Cadette badges” that I bought on eBay contained both a Metal Arts and a Graphic Arts, the two least popular badges from 1963 to 1980.
These gold-edged badges debuted in 1963, when the Intermediate level was split in Juniors and Cadettes. They originally sold for 30 cents each; I paid about 77 cents each for this lot, not bad at all.
According to the Degenhardt and Kirsch Girl Scout Collector’s Guide (2nd ed.), only 56,270 Metal Arts and 70,205 Graphic Arts were sold. Those figures are pretty paltry, considering that Social Dancer sold over 1 million, followed closely by 876,644 First Aid.
With a snow storm predicted and cabin fever setting in early, I took a closer look at the numbers for the Cadette series.
- Social Dancer
- First Aid
- Good Grooming
- Child Care
- Graphic Arts
- Metal Arts
Then I took the plunge and entered all of this series into Excel and came up with a spiffy chart ranking all of the Cadette badges:
I only earned six of these myself (Conservation, Clerk, Sports, Stamp Collector, Photography, and First Aid to Animals), as the World to Explore program began when I was a Cadette.
Some of them, like Stamp Collector, seem rather quaint now, but others taught skills that are still valuable today. First Aid to Animals has some connection to the new Animal Helpers. Night Owl shows the Intermediate version of the Star badge, while Book Artist references Clerk.
I like how many of the new badge packets have “More to Explore” or “Page from the Past” sidebars that show links to older badges, but I wish more of the old designs had been retained. Girls always get excited when they find one of “their” badges on their mother’s — or grandmother’s — old sash.
What badges would you like to see revived?