Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) announces the Make Your Own Badge program, in which girls select a skill they want to learn then create the badge for that skill themselves. Girls take part in everything from setting requirements for earning the badges to finalizing designs.
“My passion for leadership and service is a direct result of the strong role models I had as a young girl and as a result of my involvement in Girl Scouting,” says Connie L. Lindsey, National President, GSUSA. “By letting girls take the lead, the Make Your Own Badge program will encourage them to develop self-confidence and creativity as they seek to define success for themselves.”
The creation of the Make Your Own Badge program started with girls. In focus groups, girls exhibited substantial interest in the Make Your Own Badge concept. Based on that interest, GSUSA developed the program and included it in The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting, the guide a result of the organization’s recent overhaul of its badge programs. Badges now come in categories: Legacy, Financial Literacy, Cookie Business, Skill Building, and Make Your Own. There are also specialty awards such as My Promise, My Faith, which helps a girl understand and celebrate the commonalities between her faith and the Girl Scout Law.
The Girl Scout organization has transformed itself in recent years to focus on leadership development for girls in the twenty-first century, and the new badge offerings reflect that transformation.
“All of the Girl Scout national program offerings are designed with one purpose in mind—to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place,” says Andrea Bastiani Archibald, PhD, a developmental psychologist at GSUSA. “Through fun leadership development and skill-building activities, Girl Scouts of all grade levels are able to become leaders in their own lives and leaders in the world.”
The Make Your Own Badge program is just one way GSUSA is offering girls leadership skills they need today, skills they can carry with them throughout their lives. GSUSA is going where girls are by offering digital programming for all girls ages 5 through 17, that enhances the “live” opportunities girls are offered through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Online opportunities give girls another fun way to engage in a large, thriving community of girls changing the world.
Girls can still earn popular longtime badges such as Cook, Naturalist, and Athlete—topics as relevant today as they were in 1912—but now they have the Make Your Own Badge in addition, which can be whatever a girl wants it to be.
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