Folks! Friends! Fellow humans living on this nice crispy earth!
The year is 2023. The global is warming, the 1 are %ing and things are looking iffy… Enter the Soft Apocalypse! It’s time for us to give capitalism the finger, and return to our humble roots as a pastoral society that bakes bread and sings Kumbaya way too often. AKA my escapist daydream when the Stresses of Life get a bit too much (my Soft Apocalypse plan includes joining a commune and inventing a new cryptid, Mary Shelley-style).
Welcome to Soft Apocalypse for Beginners, where we will be embarking on a journey of Learning to Look After Ourselves Even if the World is Ending (and saving the bees while we’re at it)!
Ah, summer. The season of weird sunburn patterns and everything being just a little bit sticky. Don’t get me wrong – I love summer, but in my high school days, this was also the hot little season in which I lost all sense of routine and purpose outside the structure of school. Thankfully, I am now an adult which means I can come up with whatever dumb activities I like for the sake of personal enrichment, and today I am here to share some of these said dumb activities, so if the hot season ennui is getting you down… why not become a Soft Apocalypse Scout??
I’ve made y’all some badges (because let’s face it, who the heck doesn’t like a good badge?), the templates of which you can find below, and I’m trusting each of you to DIY these badges into something a little more tangible , whether that means simply printing them off and sticking them to your foreheads, turning them into stickers using the HIVE Makerspace’s cricut machine, or even turning these into real badges using Wellington City Library’s badge-making machine!* I’m also trusting you to earn each and every one of these badges by accomplishing the associated task and/or challenge – so without further ado, Soft Apocalypse Scouts move out!
*If you’re more into earning badges you don’t have to print yourself, surely you’ve already signed up for the Summer Reading Adventure?
I solemnly swear to do my best every day, and in all that I do, to be brave and strong, to be truthful and compassionate, to be interesting and interested, to pay attention and question the world around me, to think of others first, to always help and protect my friends, then there’s a line about god or whatever, and to make the world a better place for Lumberjane scouts and for everyone else.
– Lumberjanes Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy
The Environment Badges
Camp / Rosen, Lev AC
“At Camp Outland, a camp for LGBTQIA teens, sixteen-year-old Randall “Del” Kapplehoff’s plan to have Hudson Aaronson-Lim fall in love with him succeeds, but both are hiding their true selves.” (Catalogue)
The Do-er Badges
Vegan BBQ : 70 delicious plant-based recipes to cook outdoors / Beskow, Katy
“70 simple, summery recipes to cook on your barbecue, as well as delicious sides, dips and snacks to brighten up any alfresco event. From Katsu burgers with wasabi mayo, Buttered Hassleback squash, and Sizzling fajitas, to Brown sugar baked beans, BBQ patatas bravas or Kiwi and avocado salsa.” (Adapted from Catalogue)
The Literary Badges
Dear Ally, how do you write a book / Carter, Ally
“With practical tips and helpful advice, Dear Ally is a treasure for aspiring writers at any stage of their careers. It offers a behind-the-scenes look at how books get made, from idea to publication, and gives you insight into the writing processes of some of the biggest and most talented YA authors writing today.” (Adapted from Catalogue)
The Aesthete Badges
Drama / Telgemeier, Raina
“Callie rides an emotional roller coaster while serving on the stage crew for a middle school production of Moon over Mississippi as various relationships start and end, and others never quite get going.” (Catalogue)
The Self-Care Badges
Rookie on love : 45 voices on romance, friendship, and self-care
“A single-subject anthology about the heart’s most powerful emotion, edited by Tavi Gevinson. Featuring exclusive, never-before-seen essays, poems, comics, and interviews from contributors like Jenny Zhang, Emma Straub, Hilton Als, Janet Mock, John Green, Rainbow Rowell, Gabourey Sidibe, Mitski, Alessia Cara […] and many more!” (Adapted from Catalogue)
The Creature Badges
“Magical creatures from the werewolf, to the sunbird, to beings never before classified will thrill, delight, and quite possibly unnerve you in tales by E. Nesbit, Diana Wynne Jones, Gahan Wilson, and other literary luminaries. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)
So there you have it! Your Soft Apocalypse Scout assignment for the summer. If your interest has been piqued, why not check out a local Scout (11-14yrs), Venturer (14-18yrs) or Ranger (12-17yrs) troop near you?
For a teaser of some activities that you might get up to as a Scout, check out their regularly updated e-zine from their 2024 Jamboree currently taking place just outside Hamilton!
Or if you’re feeling like something a bit more low-effort, have a browse through some of our summeriest, scoutiest books below:
Lumberjanes  : beware the kitten holy / Stevenson, Noelle
“Five best friends spending the summer at Lumberjane scout camp… defeating yetis, three-eyed wolves, and giant falcons… what’s not to love?! Friendship to the max! Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five best pals determined to have an awesome summer together… and they’re not gonna let any insane quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way!” (Adapted from Catalogue)
Under the Stars Camping Australia and New Zealand: The best camsites, huts, glamping and bush camping / Lonely Planet (Corp)
“Discover more than 200 out-of-this-world camping hotspots in this epic guide that features breathtaking wild camping pitches, picturesque glamping sites, scenic campgrounds, cabins, huts and more – with practical details and expert tips for an adventure like no other.” (Adapted from Catalogue)
Lumberjanes : campfire songs
“Cryptids, and kittens, and costumes, on my! Neither rain nor heat nor mischievous faeries can put a damper on the fun at Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types! Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley are helping throw a huge, mid-summer costume bash with the rest of the Lumberjane scouts, but the decorations, snacks, and supplies keep going missing, thanks to some pesky faeries!” (Adapted from Catalogue)
Hungry campers cookbook : fresh, healthy and easy recipes to cook on your next camping trip / Holder, Katy
“Hungry Campers Cookbook brings together the fun of family camping holidays with fresh, healthy, gourmet yet simple recipes.” (Adapted from Catalogue)
Lumberjanes  : X marks the spot / Watters, Shannon
“The Roanoke scouts are eager to hunt down what they hope might be some kind of mystical hoard of gems and jewels, rad dinosaur bones, or maybe even more treasure maps (that you have to piece together to find an EVEN BIGGER prize, obviously)! What they end up finding is scattered pieces of an ancient Greek statue of a woman, who, when assembled, comes back to life as a vindictive ex-goddess!” (Adapted from Catalogue)
Give me a sign / Sortino, Anna
“Seventeen-year-old Lilah, who wears hearing aids, returns to a summer camp for the Deaf and Blind as a counselor, eager to improve her ASL and find her place in the community, but she did not expect to also find romance along the way.” (Catalogue)
Excellent short walks in the North Island : 250 walks under 2 hours / Janssen, Peter
“Wherever you are in the North Island you’re sure to be within reach of a short walk with an excellent destination […] All walks will suit those who enjoy walking but do not want a long tramp with heavy boots and a pack, or travellers who are short on time.” (Adapted from Catalogue)
Survive in the outdoors / Lawrence, Mike
“Step-by-step instructions for seven projects that will help you survive in the wild […] Prepare yourself before you set off on your next adventure! Whether you’re hiking in the wilderness or camping in your own backyard, Survive in the Outdoors! will equip you with the know-how you need. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)
Robinson Crusoe / Defoe, Daniel
“Robinson Crusoe is determined to devote himself to a life at sea. Luck, however is not with him in his various voyages–his first is shipwrecked and his second taken by pirates, yet nothing dissuades him from his passion. One day, en route to Africa, his ship is wrecked, leaving him marooned on an uninhabited island, with no way to return to civilization…” (Adapted from Catalogue)