City Kids Wilderness Project (City Kids) is a non-profit based in the District of Columbia that operates school year and summer programs for high-needs youth. The organization uses experiential learning to build resilience, problem-solving, and teamwork.
City Kids identified several opportunities to engage the youth already participating in their programs. One strategy involved introducing badges that could be earned by participating in different activities. These would
Given the organization's focus on outdoor, interpersonal team-building experiences, digital badges were inappropriate, while high-quality stitched or iron-on badges would divert crucial funds that could be better spent on core programming. We identified stickers as an inexpensive yet durable medium, and incorporated into the programming the construction of wooden plaques to display a participant's badges.
To further reduce cost and complexity, images were arranged on a Word document for effortless printing by any staff member on standard sticker sheets.
The final designs included 48 different variations based on age and activity.