Saturday, October 4, 2014

DIY Junior Ranger Vest

If you've been following along at home, then you know by now that the kids, especially Will, looooooove the Junior Ranger program! Over the summer, they earned Junior Ranger badges at the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Devils Tower, and Yellowstone, Since then, they've earned their Junior Paleontologist badges (that we mailed in), and currently, Will is working through the badge book for Redwood National and State Parks, and Syd is working through the badge book for City of Rocks--we'll mail those in when they're finished, too.

Used to the Girl Scouts, where she displays every accomplishment on a vest, Will asked me to make her a Junior Ranger vest as a place to display all of her Junior Ranger badges. I used her Girl Scout vest as a template for the basic pattern, but made the actual vest more of a nature vest in style:

On her right shoulder is an American flag, and below that I'd like to put a Junior Ranger patch, when I can actually find one. The pocket below that is large enough to hold a Junior Ranger book--it'll be handy for her to not have to carry that around in her hands!

There's space on the pockets for some of her badges and patches--I know that Will would like to wear them all, but that's going to get clickety-clackety and unwieldy at some point, so when that happens I plan to make her a wall display and have her keep most of her badges there.

The small pocket on the left side is for keeping contained various small treasures--you can't take souvenirs from national parks, of course, but if she wears it elsewhere as a nature vest, she'll want a spot for crinoids and rocks and snail shells and such.

The big pocket on the left side will hold a set of colored pencils, small sketch pad, ruler, etc.

On the inside, even with the bottom hem, I've sewn several loops out of matching webbing. These, with the addition of carabiners, can be used to hold Will's water bottle, flashlight, infrared thermometer (we own this one, the same model that Will was given to use while earning her Yellowstone Young Scientist badge), and whatever else she might need while out on adventures. 

Here's a gratuitous image of Spots supervising my photo shoot:

And here's the kid!

That's a PVC pipe sword that she's holding, made with her own two hands. If you invite her to your birthday party, she'll probably make one for you, too!
I'm already worried that I didn't put enough growth into this vest, because Will has apparently decided to make a habit out of growing like a weed. There's no helping it now, of course, but I won't make the same mistake with Syd's pink Junior Ranger vest, on the list to be made after I finish sewing Will some flannel pants for fall (I also discovered this morning that I have to buy her a new pair of khakis for Girl Scouts, as I was forced to send her to her airplane workshop in black sweats with leopard spots on them--growing like a WEED, this girl!).


Tina said...

That vest looks awesome, and great job on the sword Will!

Spots looks very happy to be home indeed.

We turn over the keys for our old place next Wednesday and I hope that after that things will be settled enough for us to get started again with school. I think I'll have Emma pick a National Park to work on until then.

julie said...

I am SO EXCITED about your new place! I can't wait for the tour on your blog...