Vision Awareness Patch Program

Vision Awareness PatchA new program created by the New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians (NJSOP) supporting current girl scout, paraoptometric and pre-optometry student Marietta Richman.

There are an estimated 4 million boys and girls participating in scouting programs in the United States, with nearly 2 million additional adults who serve as leaders. Programming for these groups starts at the kindergarten level, with many children participating up to and through high school.

A Vision Awareness Patch Program has been created to help optometrists across the country build awareness among the thousands of scouts in their communities. This program can reinforce the importance of eye exams to not just the children, but also parents, caregivers, and scout leaders.

As doctors of optometry, you know more than anyone that clear and comfortable vision is imperative to a child’s success, and it can only be accurately assessed through a comprehensive eye exam. The Vision Awareness Patch is a way to promote awareness of the care you provide to your community. It is also an opportunity to introduce scouts to careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) while highlighting the profession of optometry.

The program entails reaching out to local scouting programs in your community, coordinating with local troops on patch activities (e.g. inviting the troop to your practice or bringing the activities to a troop meeting), and distributing the Vision Awareness Patches to the scouts who complete the patch requirements.

A number of materials are available to help you get started.

  1. You can connect with local scout troops by discussing this program with your patients who have children active in scouts or by visiting each organization’s regional council which covers your area. From there, you can work together to identify the closest troops to your office.
    1. Use the Girl Scout Council Finder to connect with your local Girl Scout council.
    2. Use the Boy Scout Local Council Locator to connect with your local Boy Scout council.
  2. Personalize and distribute the Template Promotional Flyer and Template Letter to Scout Troop Leaders and Parents to generate interest and invite participation. You can also display the flyer in your practice lobby or add content to your practice website/social media.
    1. Template Promotional Flyer & Sample Social Media Content
    2. Template Letter to Scout Troop Leaders and Parents
  3. Review the patch requirements and suggested completion activities and determine which activities you will facilitate.
  4. Order your patches (SKU: S-4412) directly from Advantage Emblem at or call 1-800-626-4948.

ODs also have the option to hold VIRTUAL troop meetings to help scouts earn the Vision Awareness Badge! A PowerPoint presentation has been designed to help give troops a VIRTUAL tour of the optometric office and a better understanding of the profession of optometry. The Vision Awareness VIRTUAL Toolkit provides all the information and documentation you need to help market and educate troop leaders on the program. Consider using Zoom or Google Meet platforms where you can set up a free account to host your VIRTUAL meetings.

In addition to the suggested activities described in the patch requirement documents, you can access free resources like classroom exercises and activity sheets from the AOA website in the "Resources for Teachers" section. The AOA also offers activity sheets for children in the AOA Marketplace.

Questions? Please contact Marietta Richman and Maria Richman, OD at [email protected], or the NJSOP at

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