This month, an environmental group called Colorado Moms Know Best (no, seriously) and the Girl Scouts teamed up to school the state legislature and lieutenant governor on climate change challenges facing the 21st century. For doing this, they not only got a little experience in talking with our state’s elected officials — but also earned a new Climate Change patch.
Patches, of course, are a long tradition in Girl Scouting (Boy Scouts have badges — there’s probably a semantic gender bias there somewhere, but let’s move past that for the moment). This new patch is interesting because of its connection to climate change, a topic which in Trump’s America is not only rationally inarguable, but also still somehow controversial — because, you know, fuck science. So to have a patch that both confirms that climate change is a reality and encourages some education on the part of our legislators, some of whom have made a political career on disclaiming it? Pretty cool. It made us think: There must be other patch possibilities, maybe with a Rocky Mountain flavor. Here are ten possibilities.
1. Nonprofit Naming Patch
The Girl Scouts can start with finding a new moniker for their clearly well-meaning and desperately-in-need-of-a-new-identity partner group Colorado Moms Know Best, which sounds less like an environmental organization and more like a group of North Face-clad mothers who laugh at you from behind their non-fat lattes because your jogging stroller doesn’t have off-road capability. Come on, “Colorado Moms Know Best": You’re supposed to be about environmental protection, not misplaced self-aggrandizement on a statewide scale.
2. Guerrilla Marketing Patch
The patch could be awarded for figuring out how and where to best sell copious boxes of the addictive Thin Mints and their cookie-goodness ilk. No, it’s not enough to let your aunt sell boxes to everyone at work; setting up a table at King Soopers won’t cut it, either. But setting up a stand outside the 4/20 event downtown? Pure genius, and definitely patch-worthy.
3. Street-Sweeping Notification Patch
Send the scouts door-to-door to remind the dwellers of Denver about that one day a month when they can’t park where they always park. It’s a perfect fit: It would serve the public by helping residents avoid the nuisance of a ticket and would help keep the city streets clean, and the Girl Scouts are well-trained in ringing doorbells. Of course, Denver’s revenue stream might take a hit — but tickets have never been about profit for city coffers, right? Right?
4. Prevarication Patch
Speaking of a city denying that it (at least in part) depends on the money accrued through ticketing its citizens for minor slights, there’s a lot of dishonesty in this world — especially since this last election. Learning to recognize it is something that the Girl Scouts (and all of us) need to master. To earn the patch, all kids need to do is be smarter than Sean Spicer, so it’s sort of a gimme.
5. Gentrification Patch
Learning the alphabetics of Denver neighborhoods is only the beginning: Can the Scouts look at a dive bar and imagine the trendy beer garden that might replace it? Can they conceptualize shutting down a family-run tamale place in order to build another Chik-fil-A? Can they look at a block of classic bungalows and plan out some cookie-cutter neo-Stapleton? Good news: They get a patch, and probably a pretty lucrative career in development. Bad news? Most of the Westword readership will probably despise them.
Keep reading for more potential Girl Scout patches in Colorado.
6. I-70 Navigation Patch
Any kid can get a skiing patch, but knowing how to traverse the interstate during the winter months is in some ways more of a skill than getting down a slope without breaking a leg. Bonus patch for learning early that it’s always worth stopping in Idaho Springs for pizza (and beer, if you’re just a passenger) on the way back down.
7. Selling-Out Patch
Sorry, environment, but sometimes the fracking money is just too good (just ask Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman). Besides, if one makes enough money from the pillaging of the natural resources of America, one can always buy bottled water and oxygen tanks, right? Tweens love dystopian fiction, so bring on the apocalypse, and all the profiteering — and patches! — that comes with it.
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8. Public Art Patch
This could be a series of patches, each increasingly difficult to earn. The first could be for cataloguing all the mural art in RiNo by artist and theme. The second could be for explaining to out-of-town visitors the tragic story behind Blucifer. And for that elusive third patch, the Scouts could try to explain the meaning behind the Big Blue Bear at the Convention Center, the Dancing People on Speer, or that Christmas Tree of kidneys over on the pedestrian bridge called "National Velvet." Safest. Three-fer. Ever.
9. Junior Cannabis Supporter Patch
No, Girl Scouts are not yet old enough to partake in Colorado’s legalized marijuana movement, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be sincere boosters. Education about the safe use of pot, reminding younger kids that edibles are not the same as candy — the possibilities for pre-teen pot advocates are vast. And now that Denver has a Church of Cannabis, the scouts have a place of worship at which to volunteer their time on a regular basis. Sew on that patch and promote the puff, puff, pass.
10. Patch Patch
Here’s a patch for getting a patch! And now another patch for that second patch! Patch upon patch upon patch, patches for patches for patches, and more patches for patching patches. And now patches have lost all meaning.