June 2021 Newsletter
A Note From the Founder – Let’s Grow Together
by Kerry Cordy
I just finished reading the book, “Anything You Want” by Derek Sivers. It was an excellent reminder of why I started Curiosity Untamed and what is really important. 2020 and the COVID pandemic turned my business upside down. For more than a decade Frontier Girls and Quest Clubs, our original programs, were run pretty much unchanged from year to year. We grew slowly and stayed small so that I would have time to raise my kids and care for my mother who had Alzheimer’s.
When the pandemic hit and Frontier Girls troops and Quest Clubs couldn’t meet, my business crashed almost overnight. When schools around the country shut down last March, it was only supposed to be for a few weeks, or maybe until the end of the school year. I tried to help by giving away Quest memberships for free from March through May of last year. I knew a lot of homeschoolers had been using it as homeschool curriculum and thought it might help make the transition to homeschooling a bit more fun for families that were being pushed into it. By summer it became clear that this “new normal” was going to stick around for awhile and if I wanted to stay in business I needed a whole new business model. The new Curiosity Untamed website was launched in July 2020 as I shifted my focus from scouting style groups to homeschoolers.
I know the last year has been confusing and I appreciate everyone’s patience as I try to figure out how our three programs are now going to work together. What the book I just read reminded me though is that as long as I remember why I am doing this in the first place it will all work out.
I do this because I love it. I love to learn and I want to teach others to be just as passionate about learning as I am. I want to be personally involved and to get to know my customers. It is why I have always put my personal email and phone number on the website. We have always been a very grassroots community where members work together via our forums online and everyone knows they can call or email me anytime with suggestions or questions. It is because of our members and their input over the last decade that we have created something unique that appeals to so many.
If you are new to Curiosity Untamed, Frontier Girls, or Quest Clubs, I encourage you to reach out and say hello to me. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org (copy and paste – everyone always spells it wrong!). Tell me what you think of the program (be brutally honest!) Let me know what works and what could be better. What is on your “wish list” of things we could offer in the future? Ask me questions. No question is too small. If you have a question, someone else is probably wondering the same thing. It helps me know what to make clearer on the website.
This is as much your program as it is mine. Let’s grow it together.
Website Maintenance – June 4
The Curiosity Untamed website will be down for several hours on Friday, June 4 while we migrate the site to our new domain. In case you hadn’t noticed, our current website ends in .net and we were finally able to purchase .com (I had to chase down the guy in Scotland who owned it!) We will be making the shift on Friday morning and I am not exactly sure how long it will take. Please plan ahead. I apologize for any inconvenience. The .net domain will simply redirect to .com so you will be able to enter either address to reach the website in the future.
Friends and Family Coupon
As most of you are aware I have had to dramatically increase my prices in order to not only keep up with my own rising costs in the last year, but also due to our new business model. In the past, most of our badge orders averaged 100+ badges at a time through our Quest Club and Frontier Girls troops. When COVID hit, we lost more than half our groups however and those still active have not been earning many badges. We started Curiosity Untamed last July to stay in business by marketing directly to homeschoolers and this has kept our business alive. Curiosity Untamed now accounts for more than half our business model. Unfortunately our average badge order with Curiosity Untamed is only 10 badges. This means my labor costs have increased dramatically as we now have to set up and ship 10 orders instead of 1 for every hundred badges or so. Many homeschoolers do not order badges at all and just love to use the program as a base for unit studies for school.
For those who have been members for awhile, you know how much I hate raising prices. For this reason, I have set up a Friends and Family coupon you can share with friends or with new members of your group/club. This coupon will allow them to join at the $39.99/yr family price through May 31, 2022. As long as they leave the auto-renew feature on, they will keep this price indefinitely just as those who are already members will.
If you have any questions, please email me at email@example.com.
($30 discount bringing the family annual price from $69.99/yr down to $39.99/yr)
New Badge Posted
I am proud to say that Curiosity Untamed won the How to Homeschool award for homeschool resources and curriculum for both the elementary school as well as middle and Highschool age levels!
Meet Quest Club #521
Meet one of our newest Quest Clubs. Quest Club #521 just launched in May and held a mini opening ceremony and presented each member with their vest and level pin. They have already started the My Troop, Teamwork, and Fire Safety badges and have had lots of fun getting started. The club decided to start small with only 3 families to get their bearings, but they plan to grow once they are comfortable with relaxing COVID protocols.
Quest Club #521 consists of Frogs (preschoolers), Squirrels (Level 1), Badgers (Level 2), and Owls (Adults). They have their first campout this month and have been spending the last couple of weeks learning how to be safe outdoors and setting up their own tents (for the Badgers.) 2 out of 3 of the families started in a local Frontier Girls/Boys troop led by Elisabeth Simmons, leader of Frontier Girls troop #122, one of our oldest and most active troops in the country. Our thanks to Elisabeth in helping with the transition of these families to become their own Quest Club. Congratulations everyone!
Quest Clubs vs Curiosity Untamed – What’s the Difference
There has been a lot of confusion since I launched Curiosity Untamed as to what the difference is between that and Quest Clubs. A bit of history is involved in the explanation. In 2007 I started an alternative to Girl Scouts called Frontier Girls. By 2010 we had a lot of boy siblings who wanted to earn our badges as well as other groups such as atheists who were not comfortable with the Frontier Girls promise and creed. I firmly believe that all kids deserve a quality scouting style program regardless of their gender or beliefs so I created Quest Clubs.
Quest Clubs is a flexible scouting style program that uses the same badges and awards as the Frontier Girls program, but has been stripped of all other required programming. There is no mandatory promise, creed, uniform, membership policies, etc. Quest Clubs was created for groups to design a scouting style club to meet their own beliefs and goals. Some Quest Clubs are all girls, some are all boys and some are co-ed. Some are highly religious, others are completely secular. Some are open to the public, others have restrictive membership policies that may restrict membership to a specific church, school, or homeschool co-op.
Each Quest Club chooses its own name and uniform. We have the Wildflower Tribe, Adventure Kids, Frontiersmen and more. Most choose a vest for their uniform, if they choose to have one, and order them through our store. We offer vests in 19 different colors. Other clubs opt for badge sashes, military style shirts or no uniform at all.
Like most scouting style clubs, Quest Clubs hold fundraisers, go camping, participate in community service, go on trips, participate in parades, and more. Participants in a Quest Club usually earn badges both at club meetings as well as on their own at home. Thus they need their own family membership to access all badges and resources.
By 2016, the homeschool community found Quest Clubs and started adapting the program to use as homeschool curriculum. We won several awards over the years from various homeschool websites for our “curriculum”. When the pandemic hit, we stared Curiosity Untamed in order to market directly to homeschoolers. Curiosity Untamed is usually used as unit studies for homeschooling families or to teach a homeschool co-op class. Most people using Curiosity Untamed are not part of a Quest Club, do not use uniforms, hold fundraisers, go on group campouts, etc. The programs are essentially the same, it is how it is used that differs.
I am in the process of merging the two websites. By end of summer everything will be on the Curiosity Untamed website. Questclubs.com will simply redirect to the Quest specific pages of the CU website. Going forward, everyone will hold a membership to Curiosity Untamed. Quest Clubs will just be the name used for the organized scouting style clubs within the program and will continue to have extra materials available specifically to support a scouting style club.
I added some new printables to the website. All printables can be found under the Resources tab of the menu (Quest binder dividers will be posted in the next week or so). If there are other items you wish to see, please email me and I will put them on the wish list to add as I have the time and money. Currently available printables are:
- Certificates – printable certificates to commemorate earning badges, higher awards, and advancing to new age levels
- Binder covers and dividers for decorating a record keeping binder.
- Badge List spreadsheets, both alphabetically as well as by Area of Discovery
- Tracking forms for badges and Servant’s Heart hours