To earn the Moon Explorer Badge, you will learn about lunar legends and myths, the fascinating history of moon exploration and moon facts, discover the phases of the moon and how they affect life on earth, visit a local planetarium, and host a moon party or moon ceremony.
We treat this badge as equal parts science and woo woo, and that is how we set up the steps to complete the badge in a weekend below. If you’d like to lean more heavily in one direction or the other, that is up to you! These are just guidelines and you can make the badge your own. Here is a quick rundown of how earning a badge works. We use “Badge Guides” to lay out what it takes to earn the badge.
Badge Guides are printable “recipes” or ideas for learning something new and sharing it with friends. Do something to satisfy each of the three steps to earn the badge:
Step 1. Research
Step 2. Learn from others
Step 3. Take action and share your knowledge
The steps in the Badge Guide are designed to be flexible, so if you want to watch different YouTube videos or read different websites, feel free! Just make sure they are fairly equivalent in length and information shared. You can use our worksheets to take notes, plan how you’ll complete each step, and record your reflections on earning the badge.
Complete Step 1: Research
Research moon facts and moon phases. Learn about those who have walked on them moon and how they got there. Find out the latest theories on how the moon was created. Then, learn about the moon phases. Pay special attention to the moon phase that is currently happening. Be sure to grab a notebook and take some notes, or use this worksheet!
Learn about the Moon
Visit the websites, listen to the podcast, and watch the video below to learn about the moon.
- Read our Step 1 Research post
- Learn about the Moon Landing from Space Facts and check out this amazing interactive view of the landing by the New York Times
- Listen to Stuff You Should Know’s podcast on the Dark Side of the Moon
- If you want to see the moon landing for yourself, check out NASA’s historic Apollo 11 footage from 1969 here or click the video below.
Research the Moon Phases
Learn the science and look into lunar legends and myths. Then discover the magical and mysterious side of the moon phases. Watch the video below, check out a book from the library, and visit these websites.
- Check out Space.com to learn the science-side of the moon phases
- Pick up Ezzie Spencer’s Lunar Abundance book from Amazon or the library. She has a section on each moon phase
- Elite Daily offers a description of how to use each moon phase to align your life with the cycles of the moon
Complete Step 2: Attend a Planetarium Show or Go to a Dark Sky Park
Most mid-sized cities have a planetarium that offers shows on the weekend. Find out when a planetarium near you offers shows for the public and attend one. If the show is not focused on the moon, be sure to ask questions about the moon while you are there.
After the show, look around at the planetarium’s displays. The purpose of planetariums is to educate the public, so interact with the various educational programming they have available.
Dark Sky Park
If you are lucky enough to live near a Dark Sky Park, visit it! Dark sky parks offer amazing moon gazing opportunities with virtually no light pollution. Many offer interpreters and special programs about the current sky views. This website covers the dark sky parks found in Michigan. If you do not have one near you try to find a location to moon gaze as far away from city lights as possible. Be sure to research the current moon phase before you go.
Complete Step 3: Host a Moon Ceremony
Step 3 is all about taking action and sharing your knowledge with others. For this step, you’ll host a Moon Ceremony complete with moon-themed snacks (these are easy to make, don’t worry!) and a ritual to help you and your friends or family feel more aligned with nature.
Make a Plan!
The first step in taking action is making a plan. Spend some time Sunday morning planning your moon ceremony using the research and planning worksheet.
For this badge, you’ll need to figure out which phase the moon will be in on the night of your ceremony. Once you know, do more research on that moon phase specifically. Pre-written moon rituals already exist on each moon phase. You may find it helpful to adjust the ritual to fit your audience and their current life situation. Head to Jessica Dimas’ website, Dwell in Magic, to explore moon rituals like the one we used.
Next, plan out the food you will provide. If you make it moon themed, it will get your guests in the right mood for the ceremony. You can see the foods we made for our moon-themed party in our Step 3 post and find more ideas on Pinterest.
Gather Your Supplies
Figure out what food supplies you already have and what will you need to buy. Also take inventory of your ceremony supplies. Candles are important for setting the scene and helping people feel relaxed. We also gathered a few crystals and moon charms. If you don’t have crystals, no problem. Other earth elements can work like rocks and plants.
Host your Moon Ceremony!
Offering a meal, snacks, and a beverage to your guests is a good way to begin the evening. This also provides an opportunity to share the interesting moon facts you learned with your guests. We started out discussing science based facts and eventually moved into how the mystical moon phases can be used to guide one’s life.
Then, we asked everyone to reflect on how the current moon phase related to their life. We had guests write things down on paper and then invited them to share if they were comfortable. Later, we used these papers as part of the ceremony. Each moon phase is different but all require some personal reflection.
Consider doing some yoga or other meditation to get your group in a relaxed mood. We even incorportated some relaxing essential oils. There is really no wrong way to do a moon ceremony. Use the internet/library moon ritual guides as a template and make it your own. Remember to discuss how everyone feels following the ceremony. This gives everyone the opportunity to learn from others!
Tell us about your experience earning this badge!
We want to hear from you! How was the planetarium? Did you find a dark sky park? How did your moon ceremony go? Send us pictures of your moon ceremony set up (tag us on Instagram or Facebook)! If you completed the steps of the moon badge, send us your notes and we’ll send you something in return.