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Girl Scouts Revamp Badges to Include More Science and Technology


There’s an old saying that scouts are there to do good! Clean up parks! Help old people cross the street! How about a Girl Scout helping you fix your computer? Or explain sunscreen? Or do your taxes? Okay, maybe they won’t be doing that last one, but Financial Literacy is just one of the new badges that Girl Scouts can earn now that they’ve given their badge system a big overhaul. Some of the traditional badges will remain, but new emphasis is giving girls the chance to earn their stripes in business, science, and technology. (Even the beauty badges are taking a more intellectual turn, and that’s just awesome.)

While it’s not that surprising that the Scouts are taking a turn for the technological — especially since even toddlers have their own iPads nowadays — but it is really awesome to see that young girls are being encouraged to learn about it and even help others with it beyond just their own casual use. Now they can earn Computer Expert, Digital Movie Maker, and Website Designer badges. Ideally, this will spur the interest of girls enough for them to stick with computers throughout their teen years, and maybe even get the urge to dig deeper and consider working in the field when they grow up. Other business-oriented badges include product design (part of its new Innovation series), but also teach girls financial literacy and help them treat their cookie selling as a real business — Meet My Customers, Business Plan, and Customer Loyalty badges will be offered. Also: Geocaching. Geocaching!

The new badges were designed after consulting with people who are very familiar with the practice of earning badges — the Girl Scouts themselves. While some badges will stay the same, such as Cook, Athlete, and Naturalist badges, which a press release says are “as relevant today as they were in 1912,” some other classics — like Fitness, Makeup, and Fashion — are changing. It won’t just be about “finding your colors” (this former Girl Scout is, apparently, a “spring” — a “spring” who never got to go geocaching). Instead, the Science of Style badge will take a different approach to earning the badges, like the chemistry behind cosmetics instead of just how to use them. And that’s a really great way to teach girls that it’s not all about their image, that there are many levels to being a girl.

(via NPR)

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