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Fun Volunteer Opportunity for Jewelers

Hi all,

Today’s blog post is about a fun, easy way to teach young people
about jewelry making.

Did you know you can help Girl Scouts earn a badge, just by
talking to them about what you do?

That’s right, it’s the Jeweler badge for Junior Girl Scouts. One
of the requirements for the girls is to talk to a real jeweler
about their work, and have the jeweler explain some jewelry
manufacturing processes to them…

Other recent posts include a link to an article on presentation
packaging, and Chicago jewelry events.


Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay

Yea, if you can get a word in edgewise. We just had about eight or
ten (didn’t get an exact count, they move really fast) in our shop
for just that reason. I thought it would be about an hour
conversation, show them how to do some simple soldering, maybe size a
ring, or set a stone, and send them back to their wigwam.

Don’t underestimate the Girl Scouts, they are some smart cookies.
These kids show up with a list of questions about the entire business
process. Who sends us orders? How do we know how to do the work?
Where do we get our material? They saw rough stones on one bench,
more questions. They saw waxes in the process, more questions. Spools
of wire, sheet stock, rolling mil, rubber molds, steamer, plating
machine, ultrasonic, kilns, etc, etc, etc, questions, questions,
questions. These weren’t just kids rattling their mouths, they were
even taking notes. By the time the scout leader dragged them out the
door they had me showing them how to do plique a jour dragonfly

Exhausting to say the least. I don’t see how teachers and parents
keep from all being alcoholics, it took me three pints of stout just
to calm down after the ordeal, and then a couple more just to make
sure I didn’t have a relapse!

All in all it really it was a very present experience, and I would
highly recommend it to anyone with the time. (I was just in the mood
to rant). We even let them design their own troop ring, ( a little
rose with a birth stone in the center) and let them see all the
fabricated parts before casting each girl her own ring in silver as a

Christopher Arnett (ex Boy Scout)

As a Girl Scout leader for the last 12 years, I want to express a
big thank you to all of you who have been willing to work with the
girls! The badges are really quite intense, especially as the girls
get older. It can be quite difficult to find adults willing to share
with the girls what they are expected to know.

The whole program makes a big difference with the girls. In my small
town if you look at the teens that get in the paper for
accomplishing positive things, an extremely high percentage are or
were scouts, either boy or girl. They learn to plan, to execute the
plan, to lead, to work together towards a common goal, and they learn
independence. All extremely important things.

Again, thanks to all of you who volunteer!

Beth in SC who led two troops at one time for a while…talk about

Hi Elaine;

Several years back, I did just that. I set up a bench, complete with
torch, foredom, ultrasonic, and hand tools. I used to work as a
demonstrating craftsman at a historical village so I can work and
talk at the same time. I bought some decorative sterling strip stock,
some heads that you can “snap” set the stones, and a bunch of
imitations birthstones. I gave each girl a disposable ring sizer and
a slip of paper. I showed them how to adjust the sizers to fit and
had them write their birth month on the paper and then collected each
sizer and paper together.

While I worked, I told them all about what I did, where I learned
it, how they might take up the career themselves. By the time I was
finished, they each had a sterling silver birthstone ring that fit,
and they knew more than they probably imagined there was to know
about being a jeweler.

Entertainment and education go great together. I’ve also done hands
on stuff for little kids. One great project was the help the kids try
enameling. I let them pick colors, helped them sift them on the
inexpensive copper stampings, had them place the little chunks and
threads of color, even had the older ones make stencils and sift on
more colors. I did the firing for them, and they got to watch the
colors come out as the pieces cooled. The trick with the little ones
is to get one or two bolder kids to try it first, then the shy ones
will want to.

David L. Huffman

Hello Elaine,

Yup. I’ve given such a presentation along with the opportunity to
make up bead bracelets. The girls learned about patterns and how to
size their creations. Then they assembled their bracelets on stretch
fiber and I helped them finish them. It was a fun event.

Another good exposure is in 4-H. They are always needing leaders for
various crafts. Call your county extension office for information
about how you can volunteer.

Judy in Kansas

Beth in SC who led two troops at one time for a
about crazy! 

A very good friend of mine stayed working with the Girl Scouts after
her two duaghters hit their 20’s and found other interests…

Something about herding kittycats…

Gary W. Bourbonais
A.J.P. (GIA)

My girl scout troop wanted diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. But had to
settle for a bead carved like a leaf. I had picked up various colored
stone beads at a rock shop and we made them into pendants. Most of
the girls just wanted to watch me make the wire pendant, except for
one girl. She must have told me 4 times, I want to do it myself. And
did an excellent job. They had lots of questions and were able to
watch a ring being made. It was a fun day.


I did this. A friend of mine is a Girlscout leader and I help them do
their badge. I taked about who I was and what I did. I made kits for
them to make a freshwater pearl necklace. My pearl dealer even
donated the pearls for the project. They all whet home with a pearl
necklace just in time for Mothers Day. I really had allot of fun
doing it. Next I want to work with the Boy Scouts to see what we can
do. I was a Scout and it was allot of fun so I enjoy giving back.


Hey all

My daughter’s school used to have “Career Day”. I’d set up a quasai
bench and show the kids various demos. Of course, one of their faves
was watching the Luxiflux burn off. Such a beautiful green color. The
math teacher would ask me how math played into my work (big time!..
we have current threads on Orchid about custom jewelry pricing and
trade success stories), the art teacher about design (my best seem to
come to me at 4a.m.) etc etc. I truly enjoyed doing them and when I
bought out a craftsperson with mucho stuff I could use and mucho more
that I couldn’t I got together with others and started an after
school craft camp. And lead a Girl Scout troop. All great fun and
very rewarding. Then Lize grew up and the empty nest loomed before
me. But, whilst standing in front of the bagel section not long after
she decamped, I spied onion bagels and thot, “OMG, I can get them!!!
I don’t have to get plain ole!” The empty nest has its perks. Now, a
few years later, I ready to volunteer again, thanks for the push, I’m
dialing up the Girl Scouts! I’ll have a tall stout waiting for me
after an afternoon of little hands that seem to have 20 fingers and
minds that have a million questions and sweet little faces. And dream
about that first grandkid!