For the first time in a quarter-century, they’ve completely overhauled the system of badges that Scouts can earn.
There are badges that haven’t changed much — in a press release, the organization calls the Cook, Athlete and Naturalist badges “as relevant today as they were in 1912.” But Digital Movie Maker? Website Designer? Geocacher? Locavore? Yes, the times they are a-changing. (Try not to panic at the thought that a Brownie — she’ll be somewhere between 6 and 9 years old — can earn a badge called “Computer Expert.”)
There’s also a badge within the Innovation series called Product Designer, which Niehaus calls “the intersection of design and business.” Girls working on that badge might try to improve the functionality of backpack straps or improve the design of a cell-phone case.
Girl Scouts keeping track of the bottom line will also have the opportunity to earn Financial Literacy badges in which, as a girl works her way up from Daisy to Ambassador, she can earn badges like Money Manager, Budgeting, Financing My Future, and Good Credit. And yes, there are plenty of cookie-related badges: Meet My Customers, Business Plan, and Customer Loyalty, among others.
Girl Scouts of the USA spokeswoman Alisha Niehaus explained in an interview that the Girl Scouts themselves helped to develop the new badges, which provide an even broader experience for the young women involved in the group. Having such a wide variety of activities encourages girls to try new things and learn skills that will enrich their lives.
“You can make your Girl Scouting experience what you want it to be,” she says. Maybe one of today’s Girl Scouts will grow up to be the next Ada Lovelace.
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