This just in…Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts can now earn the Vision Awareness Badge in New Jersey! Get your troop involved by contacting an optometric physician in your area to schedule a group office tour or a time for the OD to come speak during a troop meeting.
Office visits are a great way for Scouts to learn about what an optometrist does, what equipment is used during an eye examination, and what steps the Scouts can take to protect their vision throughout life.
Requirements for Earning the Patch
Scouts interested in earning the Vision Awareness patch must visit an optometrist’s office or have one speak at your troop meeting. Find an optometrist near you by using our doctor locator. (If the optometric physician you speak to doesn’t have the badges on hand, ask them to contact the New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians (NJSOP) to obtain them.)
Scouts must also complete two activities from the list below:
- Make a poster for your school that promotes eye health and good vision practices.
- Children often experience vision problems. Learn how vision can affect school activities and how a Doctor of Optometry can help.
- Learn about Camp Marcella, a summer camp in New Jersey for blind and visually impaired children. What services are available in your community?
- Not everyone has 20/20 vision. Learn about nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism and how glasses or contacts can help.
- Learn about a career in Optometry. What type of college is required? How do you become licensed?
- Run an Eyeglass Donation Drive and contact an organization that collects them. One suggestion is the Lions Club.
- Do “activities in the dark”. Divide the Scouts into pairs, having one be blindfolded and the helper be non-blindfolded. The scout who is blindfolded should try some basic activities such as buttoning or zipping a coat, tying his/her shoe, etc. The helper should lead, explain what he/she sees and keep the blindfolded scout safe. Then trade roles. Discuss: How did it feel to not be able to see? How did you accomplish simple activities? What would you do if you met a blind person?
Check out our facebook page for more photos of scouts earning the vision awareness badge!