Youth Merit Badges for NYC Spirit Safari

In order to go on The Family Tree youth Spirit Safari, youth must earn 12 merit badges.  They may pick from the list below.


Art journaling





¨ watch Journal Walk Through by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer)

¨ watch It Simple – Art Journaling by Mike and Lesley Glenn)

¨Keep an art journal for a total of 30 days.  Date each page.

¨Bring the finished art journal to The Family Tree to receive your merit badge.

*If you need some ideas about what to draw or write about, read some of the prompts on this website:   You can also Google “Art Journaling” for more ideas







¨ Sign up for 4 training times at The Family Tree.

¨ Prepare a meal for your own family

¨ Take a photo of your family enjoying the meal

¨ Ask a member of your family to write a note about the meal

¨ Be sure the note includes the following information:  the date of the meal, the people present, the menu, how the food tasted.

¨ Bring this note and the picture of your family eating the meal to The Family Tree to receive your merit badge.






¨ ¨ Watch at least two of the videos listed on this link: (can google “Ted Talk Poetry”)

¨Keep notes in your poetry notebook as you watch the videos.

¨Talk with someone at The Family Tree about the videos. Have them sign your poetry notebook

¨ Watch (How to Write Poetry by Allen Ginsberg)

¨ Watch (Rap & Hip Hop Culture: How to Write Slam Poetry)

¨Talk to someone at The Family Tree about the videos you watched.  Have that person sign your poetry notebook

¨Choose 7 prompts from the following link:  Using these 7 prompts, write 7 poems.

¨Bring your finished poetry notebook to The Family Tree to earn your merit badge.

¨Read your poems aloud to the youth group to receive applause.





¨ Watch (Greening the Ghetto – Majora Carter )

¨ Schedule 6 gardening times with someone from The Family Tree.

¨Take pictures of the garden before you worked in it and then after your 8 sessions.

¨ Note, in writing, the differences between before and after.

¨Write a paragraph of reflection about your experience in the garden using the following reflection questions:  What did you like about gardening?  What did you not like?  What is your favorite plant in the garden?  What did you learn that you did not know?  Why do you think The Family Tree chooses to garden?  What is one personal benefit to gardening?  What is one community benefit to gardening?

¨Turn in your reflection paragraph and your signed work hours sheet to The Family Tree to receive your merit badge.

¨¨¨¨¨¨(Check each time you attend a session)




Money Management








¨ Attend a workshop led by tiffany on July 16 from 4:00-5:00. You will learn how to make a budget.

¨ Keep a budget for 2 weeks.

¨On July 30, at Devos, you will show Tiffany how you kept up with a budget.

*You will also learn same money saving tips at the workshop which you will begin to use in your day to day life.


Art Exibit/ History




¨ Visit one of three Museums Uptown; Mint Museum, Levine Museum of the New South or Harvey B. Gantt Center

¨ Write a paragraph on one of the exhibits you visited. ¨ Bring your ticket stub to either Alfonso or Audrey.

¨Then go to Romare Bearden Park and read about the different parts of the park on the colorful posts at the entrance.

¨ Write a paragraph on how history was used to create one area of the park.









¨ Option 1: Attend worship with passports camps July 27-31.  Sunday @ 9:30pm; Monday ,Tuesday, and Thursday @ 7:00pm; Wednesday @ 9:00pm

¨ Option 2: Participate in an arts scavenger hut at Carowinds on July 3

*space is limited and to participate you much have 5 other merit badges started (must have at least two parts of the badge completed  – 2 boxes checked) and reviewed by Audrey.

¨ Option 3: Fitness- Make a fitness plan for yourself with 3 physical activates each week for 3 weeks. Bring your plan to Audrey to get it approved. * plan must include a way to prove you have done your activates.


* more bonus badges may be available throughout the summer however you are only able to use two of them as apart of your 12


Create Your Own




¨ Come up with an idea for your own badge

¨ List the steps you will take to complete the badge

¨ Get it approved by someone at the family tree

¨ Follow the steps you planned out

¨ Once you’ve complete the steps talk with someone at The Family Tree about what you did and what you learned



Devo Attendance






Attend Wednesday Night Devos from 5:30-7:15pm for a total of 6 times to receive your merit badge

* Check a box every time you attend



*Each time you bring a friend to devos who has not ever come before, it counts as 1 ½ times.  In other words, if you bring a new friend twice, you’d earn 3 evenings worth of attendance even though you only came 2 times.  You must stay the entire time and participate for it to count.



Church Attendance





Attend worship at your church.  Have your parent or guardian sign a note saying that you attended.  Or you may attend church services with members of The Family Tree.  You must arrange your transportation ahead of time with members of The Family Tree if you are going with them.


* Check a box every time you attend



¨ Bring a signed note saying that you attended worship 6 times.








¨Attend the session on Prayer that will be offered to neighbors on June 4th at 7:00pm.

¨ Go with a member of The Family Tree to the 24/7 prayer room.

¨ Write about your experience in your prayer journal. For 30 days, write in your prayer journal.

¨Work with Audrey to lead a prayer experience at Devos on July 2nd.

¨Share about your experience of prayer at Devos on July 9th.

¨ Turn in your prayer journal and a signed note saying you did the other requirements in order to receive your merit badge from The Family Tree.




Memorize Scripture




Memorize the following and recite them to a member of The Family Tree to receive your merit badge:

Psalm 139:1-12

¨Memorized  ¨Recited

Micah 6:8

¨Memorized  ¨Recited

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

¨Memorized  ¨Recited

The Lord’s Prayer

¨Memorized  ¨Recited




Notes of Encouragement




¨Attend the “How To” session led by Tiffany in June.  A note of encouragement includes the following things:  Tell them how much you appreciate them and state reasons why. Give them a nice compliment and/or write a prayer for them.

¨ Write a note of encouragement to each of the following people-

¨ A member of The Family Tree Radishes: Greg, Helms, Jemima, Alfonzo, Audrey, Bailey, Mariah, or Tiffany
¨  Someone younger than you
¨ Someone older than you
¨ Your parents/guardian
¨ Someone in your class at school (a teacher or classmate)
¨Show the written notes to Audrey before you mail or give them to receive your merit badge


Elderly Visitation




¨ Watch (Youth in Action 2008: Visiting a Home for the Elderly by AYUDH International)

¨  Arrange with Greg/Helms to join them on 6 visits.

* Check a box every time you attend


¨ With Audrey’s help, record a video interview of yourself telling about your experience visiting the elderly.

¨Turn in the video and a signed note saying you made the 8 visits to Audrey to receive your merit badge.

* Greg and/or Helms will be making one visit every Wednesday morning this summer Greg/Helms will provide you with a brief explanation of what to expect and how to behave.  When you go on the visit, you must be dressed in “church appropriate” clothing.



CPR training








¨ Attend the day-long CPR certificate training on July 25th led by Tricia Jarrell and Linda Clayton.

¨Prepare for the training by reading the CPR manual book.

¨Talk to Audrey about what you read and show her your certificate documents to receive your merit badge.



Peace Making




¨Go with Greg to Moral Monday gathering in Raleigh on June 30 (leave at noon, returning at 10:00 pm.

¨ Watch “a Force More Powerful” with the youth group (date TBD).

¨ Write a one-page reflection on both of the above experiences.

¨Plan a 15-minute lesson on peacemaking to present to youth group/children’s group.




Caring for neighbor




¨Watch Farm Commercial “Magic Jingle Buffalo”)

¨ Watch (State Farm Commercial Born to Assist)

After watching the videos, write down answers to the following questions and discuss them with a Family Tree member.

  1. Who is my neighbor?
  2. How can I be a good neighbor?

¨ Then, come up with an idea of something you can do for 3 of your neighbors. You may also choose from the following ideas: Bake cookies or something sweet and take it to your neighbor, mow your neighbor’s lawn, ask to help them with something around the house or yard, watch their children for a few hours.

¨ After caring for and serving 3 neighbors, share your experience with the group at Wednesday night devos.



Hosting mission groups




We will have mission groups on The Family Tree property every M-F, noon-2:30pm, for 6 weeks in June and July.

¨ Arrange with Alfonzo to join him in preparing for the group to arrive (10:30am) and welcoming them when they come (noon).

¨Help introduce them to The Family Tree, eat lunch with them, and work alongside of them.  Do this for 20 days total.  ¨ Alfonzo will sign for each day that you served as a mission group host.  Answer any questions they may have about The Family Tree.

¨Turn in that paper to Audrey for your merit badge.









¨ Attend the “How To” session led by Laura Dower.

¨  Use your newly learned skills by taking your turn cleaning your house.

¨ Have a parent sign a sheet saying that you cleaned your house and that you did a good job.

¨ Use your cleaning skills to also clean one of the following: The Renovated House on Tuckaseegee, The Tree-house, or the chicken coop.

¨ Give Audrey your signed sheet, your session participation card, and ask Audrey to inspect your cleaning job to receive your merit badge.

*You may not schedule your cleaning assignment during the same week as someone else, so be sure to schedule in advance.







¨Attend the “How to” session led by Carol Hassel.

¨ Write about what you learned and turn in your reflection to Audrey.









¨Search the terms above online to familiarize yourself with what they are and what they mean. (see Audrey if you want suggestions on good websites to look at)

¨ Look at It Gets Better Project’s website ( On the It Gets Better site go to the About page and read about what they are then go to the Video tab and watch at least three videos.

Go to Kye Allums Project “I am Enough” ( On Kye Allums site read background information on Kye and his transition from female to male.

¨ Check out the I am Enough page

¨Talk to Audrey about what you’ve watched and read.

Attend a workshop discussing LGBTQIAP+ issues and terminology

¨ Go to the time out youth center for a discussion or safe space (









Check-in with Audrey Three times During the summer to show here your progress

¨ First Check-in June 27th

¨ Second Check in July 11th

¨ Third Check-in July 31st