Brownie Points.

Right, it’s the first of October and I said we would have a themed season for this month, so here it is.

I was originally thinking of having an Oktoberfest but that is mainly about beer, which is not really what we are aiming for. So I have picked something slightly more apt.

This month’s theme is Brownie Points.

brownie points large

I considered setting myself a challenge for the month by attempting to score brownie points in the form of an Achievement point every day but that’s not really new. So here is the new thing for this month. I thought it would be super fun to see if I can earn some pretend Brownie badges. Brownies as in Girl Guides, as in Girl Scouts. I was a Girl Guide briefly, when I was about 10. The Guide leader was a lady called Mrs Horseman, to whom my dad constantly referred as Mrs Horsemuck. I wasn’t a particularly outstanding Guide. I only earned one badge (for reading) and we went on a day trip to London on which I forgot my hat, to Mrs H’s annoyance, and then wet myself at a major London railway station, and then pretended it hadn’t happened.

Hopefully we can do a bit better this time around.

So. Here is a link to Brownie Badges and here is a link to Guide Badges. Obviously, some of these I am just not going to do, like nothing will induce me to go camping, and I am not going to be Discovering Faith (even though I am curious about what’s happened to her). But there are some other ones that I could do. For example, Number Fun is about organising your money, which I really need to do, as I am about as responsible with money as the average 7 year old, and then there’s swimming and crafts and languages and things like that, which are all well within TLYW’s remit. Also there are some activities that I don’t normally do but would consider, like science and cooking (eek!).

I’m going to make up the criteria for winning these pretend badges as we go along, because that’s how I roll. It probably says nothing good about me that I looked at the ‘Hobbies’ badge and immediately thought ‘casual sex’. Then I read the description of how to win the badge, and it said “tell your Patrol about your hobby and demonstrate what your hobby involves”. So, er, yeah. I don’t think we can have Casual Sex as a hobby, even though it blatantly is one, and we are going to have to be a bit creative with inventing the criteria for success where winning these badges is concerned.

Sound like a plan?

Let’s see how many badges I can win by the end of October. I would encourage you to play along at home!

The first one that I’m going for, to mark the first day of Brownie Points Month, is the Book Lover badge, and I’ve arbitrarily decided that I win it if I read 3 books from cover to cover. I actually finished the first one in one (long) sitting today, getting the month off to a good start. It was Dataclysm, by Christian Rudder, one of the founders of massively popular online dating site OKCupid. It is fascinating. OKC has 10m members. Rudder is a mathematician. He combines this huge, immense data set, consisting of everyone’s profiles, messages sent and received, demographic information (of course), and even details like how long it takes people to write a message, with how many revisions, and produces these utterly beautiful graphs and maps that display what online daters are doing. It is a real eye opener. And that’s before he starts addressing data gathered from places like Twitter and Google. I highly recommend it. It’s a lovely, clear, well-written book and will reveal to you who is the whitest band in existence, why copy-and-paste messages actually work and the difference between women that men find attractive versus women that they realistically think they can date.

1 Books point, and if I read two more books in the immediate future then I will have a Brownie point as well.


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