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Resourcefulness Unit Study and Badge Resources

Resourcefulness Unit Study and Badge Resources

Resourcefulness is about optimizing the resources you have to work with to their maximum potential. Learning to use your resources wisely is a character trait that should be taught from a very young age. It not only helps with critical thinking skills, but also helps you to reach your goals, whatever they may be. The resourcefulness unit study below can be used to earn your Resourcefulness badge. Other badges that you may wish to earn alongside include badges such as Entrepreneur, Conservation, or UPcycle. Resourcefulness is also a great character trait for leaders and earning this badge can count toward your Leadership Award.

boy writing in journal under a tree

Time, Talents and Energy

Resourcefulness starts with making wise use of your own time, talents, energy, and mind.  Do you schedule enough time for your schoolwork to make sure you can do quality work without being rushed?  Are you involved in too many after extracurricular activities?  Do you get enough sleep at night?  Do you spend most of your time in front of the TV and computer, or do you get outside and exercise?  Do you eat healthy meals or mostly junk food?

To Do: Keep a journal for a week to show how you spend your time.  At the end of the week, sit down with your parents and evaluate what you learned.   Do you notice any patterns? Find at least 3 areas you think you can improve and work on them for the next two weeks.  (Preschool and Level 1 may keep a picture journal if they wish.)

Fulfills requirement #1

pens and pencils in upcycled tin cups

Use Your Resources Wisely

Being resourceful also means using the materials around you efficiently. There is no need to constantly buy new things when you can make use of items you already have one hand. Sometimes you can repair or restore items to a useful state again. Other times you may need to think outside the box and possibly use an item in a way it was never meant to be used, but that can accomplish what you need.

To Do: Repair, reuse, or recycle three things that you would normally throw away.  Decorated juice cans make great pencil holders, two liter bottles can be turned into bird feeders, an old tire can become a swing, and old crayons can be melted to make candles.  What can you come up with?

Fulfills requirement #2

image from dictionary of the word resource and its definition

Types of Resources

There are many types of resources, each with its own benefit. Some of these include:

  • Financial Resources: Money and investments
  • Cognitive Resources: Knowledge and skills
  • Material Resources: Physical items
  • Human Resources: People and their knowledge, skills, and connections
  • Natural Resources: Plants, animals, minerals, and other parts of the natural world
  • Renewable Resources: Those resources that do not get used up, but that are self sustaining
  • Time Resources: The amount of time available to do something

Fulfills an optional requirement

party hats and streamers

Solve a Problem

Thinking outside the box and learning to use the resources you have can help you solve a variety of problems. For example, if you need a fancy dress for a party or event and don’t have one, what are your options? If you have the resource of money and can simply buy one, problem solved. But what if you don’t? What other resources can you leverage to get a fancy dress? Do you have sewing skills? Can you make one? Do you know someone who has one that you can borrow? Can you pick up one cheap from a thrift store? Is there a charity that loans them? Can you buy one used online?

To Do: Think of a problem you need to solve. Maybe you need a new computer or want to throw a birthday party for your mom. Next, make a list of all the resources you have that might help you meet your goal. How much money do you have to spend on this project (financial resources)? What knowledge or skills do you have to help you with your project (cognitive resources)? Who do you know that can help with your project (human resources)? What items you already have that can be used, repaired, or repurposed for your project (material resources)? Can you solve your problem with the resources you already have? Make a list of any resources you still need and make a plan to get them. If it is something that needs to be purchased and you do not have enough financial resources to buy it, how will you get enough money to do so? What resources do you have that can help you get money? What can you sell or what can you do? If the resource you need is knowledge and you don’t know anyone who has the knowledge you need, how will to connect with someone who does? What communication resources do you have such as social media accounts, a phone, etc.? Now follow through and find a way to get the resources you need to solve the problem you set for yourself at the beginning of this assignment.

Fulfills an optional requirement

bucket with holes in it

National There’s a Hole in My Bucket Day – May 30

May 30 is National There’s a Hole in My Bucket Day. If you are not familiar with the silly children’s song that this holiday is based on, view the video below. This is a great holiday to practice resourcefulness.

To Do: Give every child a bucket or cup with a hole or crack in the bottom. Use your resources wisely, while inexpensive buckets or plastic cups may be purchased and a hole punched in the bottom, you can also scavenge for a variety of old buckets or cups that are already in need of repair. Challenge each child to use whatever resources they can find to fix the bucket/cup enough to hold water again. Time is also a resource, so set a time limit as to when the bucket musts be ready. When the time limit is up, fill each bucket with an identical amount of water. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Whichever bucket/cup has the most water still in it (or was the last to empty) at the end of 10 minutes is the winner.

Conserving Resources

In addition to using our resources wisely, it is equally important to conserve our resources so that they are available when we need them. While some resources are renewable, others are not. A perfect example is a drought. Most people don’t think of water as a non-renewable resource. It rains and replenishes the lakes and rivers every year after all….until it doesn’t. Electricity is renewable as well if technology such as solar is used….until you have too much rain and not enough sun to charge the solar panels. Therefore it is always a good habit to learn to conserve your resources whenever possible. You never know when they will be in short supply.

To Do: How long do you spend in the shower each morning?  Why is taking short showers important?  Time yourself for the next week and see how quickly you can shower (and still get completely clean!). Practice ways to conserve water such as turning off the shower while you soap up and only turning it on to rinse. You can also place a bucket under the showerhead while the water is heating up so the water doesn’t go down the drain. Use the bucket to water your plants.

Fulfills optional requirement #3

To Do: Make sure you turn the lights off when you leave a room and open the blinds to let in more natural light so that you can conserve electricity. Try playing the following game with your family: whenever someone leaves a light on when they are the last person to leave the room they must put a quarter in a jar.  At the end of the week, use the money for a family treat or donate it to a worthy charity.

Fulfills optional requirement #4

Leftovers spelled out in vegetables

Tasty Leftovers!

One of the most wasted resources Americans have is food. According to Feed America, 108 billion pounds of food is wasted in the United States each year. This wastes not only the resource of food, but also the resource of money as purchased food is thrown away instead of eaten.

To Do: Choose a meal to make at the beginning of the week. Challenge yourself not to throw away a single thing from the preparation of that meal that is edible. Find a way to use it. For example, if you choose to make roast chicken and vegetables, don’t throw anything away. Leftover chicken can be used in recipes like enchiladas, or chicken soup. Potato skins are delicious fried in a little oil and sprinkled with salt. The tops, leaves and ends of vegetables can be kept in a bucket in the freezer to use later for soup stock. The bones and carcass of the chicken can be boiled with the vegetable scraps in your freezer to make delicious soup stock. Nothing is wasted. Challenge yourself to see how many meals you can go without wasting a single piece of food.

Fulfils optional requirement #7

For more additional ideas and requirements for earning your Resourcefulness badge, visit the badge page.

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