Chicago Rocks & Minerals Society, Chicago, IL
Chicago Rocks and Minerals Society
Chicago Rocks and Minerals Society
Chicago Rocks and Minerals Society
Chicago Rocks and Minerals Society
Chicago Rocks and Minerals Society

Future Rockhounds of America
Badge Program
or as we like to call them
Geo Juniors!

CRMS is excited to participate in the AFMS Future Rockhounds of America (FRA) program, which promotes the growth of our hobby for future generations. The program is a series of guided activities modeled after the Boy and Girl Scouts Merit Badge™ systems. All CRMS junior members up to age 18 are eligible. As part of the CRMS program, the kids are requested to display the labors of their badge through completed projects, pictures, or a written paper by participating in Show and Tell.

The FRA program consists of a membership patch, 20 badges, and a "Rockhound Badge" for kids who earn 6 of the 20 badges. Kids earning all 20 badges are awarded an AFMS cloisonné pin and join the ranks of "Rock Stars." A 223-page guidebook describes and outlines requirements for each of the badges. There are 118 activities to choose from. Kids are required to complete only 3 activities in a badge to earn it. (Do encourage the kids to over-achieve & do as many activities they wish.) Brief back-up pages and suggestions are there to help guide the kids through each activity. A .pdf of the badge manual is posted below and copies are available on CD in the club's library.

Future Rockhound Badges

There are 20 badges covering the full spectrum of our hobby, including:

Rocks & Minerals
Earth Resources
Lapidary Arts
Earth Processes
Earth in Space
Gold Panning & Prospecting
Gemstone Lore & Legend
Stone Age Tools & Art
Rocking on the Computer
World in Miniature
Special Effects
Fluorescent Minerals
Reaching Across Generations
Field Trips

The idea behind the program is to give the kids a chance to sample the many different aspects of rockhounding using older members of the club as "reference materials" to help them acquire their patches. This gets the younger members more involved with the older members. If they find they are a little lost or need some direction on a patch they could come to the club and ask for help with their particular activity. The program is to teach kids to learn by doing and give kids an interest in rock hounding to promote the growth of the hobby for future generations.

For now, the activities are for the kids to do on their own. We will incorporate some of the activities into the kids' section of our shows and meetings where possible. The kids should have choices about which activities they participate in and a chance to help shape those activities. Badge requirements can be adjusted to match the age range of the kids involved. Activities don't need to be followed exactly as laid out. The goal is to help kids have fun while learning.

These activities can be used with school groups and other outside groups, so long as the badges themselves are reserved for kids who are full-time club members.

The program is designed to take that first step toward bringing along the next generation of rockhounds. It provides an educational program by which kids learn, earn rewards, and — as always — have fun!

AFMS FRA Badge Manual.pdf (2.3mb) (Updated 9-4-2016)
How to Use the AFMS/FRA Badge Program (70kb) (Updated 3-18-2012)
Clearing Up Misperceptions About the AFMS/FRA Program (123kb) (Updated 8-28-2011)

If you are not in our area, please go to The American Federation of Mineralogical Societies' website. for more information about other clubs participating in the program. Or contact: