Waco Gem and Mineral Club, Waco, Tx

Badge 19 Reaching Across Generations


19. Reaching Across Generations

This badge and its activities were developed by Erica Nathan of the Coquina Kids of Florida after senior member John Withey of their host club, the Tomoka Gem & Mineral Society, passed away. Older members in your club may seem unapproachable, but if you get to know them, you‘ll find they are a wealth of knowledge, experience, and fun stories, just as Erica discovered. To earn this badge, strike up a friendship with a senior member in your club and get to know more about him or her by completing activities below. 

Erica dedicates this badge to the memory and honor of John Withey.

Activity 19.1: *Spending Six Hours With a Senior Member*

Note: This activity is required to earn this badge.

Along with your parents, spend at least six hours with a senior member. You might talk about rocks or minerals. You might seek help identifying fossils in your collection. Perhaps you could go on a club field trip. Maybe, providing they hold an officer position, you could help do their position or ask them to tell you about it. For example, you can assist the editor with the next issue of the society newsletter or the membership chair in preparing and mailing a new member packet. As a conclusion to this activity, you should write a thank-you note or create a card for the time spent together.

Activity 19.2: Five Things You Learned From a Senior Member

Make a list of the five most important things your senior member taught you. These might relate to mineral identification, lapidary arts, organizing your collection, etc., or they might not relate to rocks at all—for instance, patience or curiosity or responsibility.

Activity 19.3: The Best Time You Spent With Your Senior Member

Write a paragraph about the best moment you had with your senior member. Share your paragraph with your senior member before turning it in to your junior leader. With your senior member‘s permission, see if your newsletter editor will publish it.

Activity 19.4: Finding, Taking, or Drawing a Picture of Your Senior Member

A picture is a great way to remember special times. Take a picture of your senior member, or have your parents take a picture of the two of you together, or you might draw a picture and present it to your senior member at the next club meeting.

Activity 19.5: A Specimen That is Special to Your Senior Member

Find out about a specimen that is special to your senior member. Write a paragraph describing the specimen and tell why it is special, or give a presentation about it at one of your club meetings. You may want to take a picture of this specimen if you write about it, or have your senior member bring it to the meeting if you talk about it.

Activity 19.6: Making a Memory Box

Find a box or frame and decorate it with things related to rocks and minerals. You can find logos for your club, regional federation, rockhounding, etc., online. Place anything from your previous activities (19.1-19.5) in the box. Show the memory box to your junior leader before gift-wrapping it to present to your senior member at a club meeting. 


The vast majority of adults are moral, reliable, responsible, and eager to help as best they can in efforts to educate and nurture our kids in a positive, wholesome environment.

Regrettably, though, as noted in the Introduction to this FRA Badge Program Manual, one very unfortunate aspect of the world in which we live is that, sadly, there are some adults who should not be left alone with kids. To repeat that section of the Introduction:

Safeguard children. Finally, I need to emphasize a point I wish we didn’t have to go into, but it’s absolutely vital to raise and to underscore, namely, having youth leaders who are well known by all in the club for sound moral values and having multiple adults on hand when working with kids. There are, unfortunately, some who would abuse the natural trust of children. My home state of California has Megan’s Law, which requires registration of sex offenders on a public web site with photos and information about offenders. Some societies require background checks for any club members volunteering to work with juniors, and this is a good policy to explore with your own club board. Always have multiple adults working with the kids, and prevent any sort of abuse, whether physical, sexual, mental, emotional, or verbal. For further guidance on this issue, I recommend all youth leaders within AFMS-affiliated societies read the excellent and thorough materials entitled "Youth Protection" contained on the web site of the Boy Scouts of America.  The safety of our youth is paramount, and any obvious or even suspected abuse should be reported and dealt with through proper legal authorities.

Thus, as with all other activities recommended within this manual, kids should not be left alone, one-on-one, with an individual adult. Parents should accompany their kids in working on the activities for this and other badges.