My memories of Girl Scouts involve camping in the rain, learning to build fires, cooking on upside down coffee cans and of course, selling cookies. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Girl Scouts now have badges for Computer Expert and Entertainment Technology.
National Public Radio’s (NPR) All Things Considered, looked at the twenty first century update of Girl Scout badges. While several still remain the same like Citizen, Cook and First Aid, you can now find on the Girl Scouts website badges for: Computer Expert, Home Scientist, Inventor, Investigate Award, Innovate Award, Digital Photography, Entertainment Technology, Geocacher, Product Designer, Digital Movie Maker, Science of Happiness, Netiquette, Website Designer, Locavore, Science of Style, Textile Artist, Car Care, Game Visionary, Social Innovator, and (Cookie) Research and Development.
Two of my favorites seem to be patterned of such shows as Covert Affairs or the cartoons, Codename: Kids Next Door and Totally Spies. These are the Detective and Special Agent badges. There are also a couple that sound daring like Adventurer and mystical like Truth Seeker. There don’t seem to be any for hacking. Maybe next year.
Not only are these badges a badly needed update but all of them help girls to explore professions that they might not think of otherwise. Activities promoted by the badges like inventing, innovating, and designing are necessary not just in science but also in most business endeavors.
To help them make the most of their science and technology prowess, there are also badges that help girls to learn about managing money. In the early stages of Girl Scouting they can earn badges for Money Counts, Making Choices, Money Manager, Philanthropist, Business Owner, and Savvy Shopper.
The upper levels, Cadet through Ambassador, cover such financial skills as Budgeting, Comparison Shopping, Financing My Dreams, On My Own, and Good Credit. Looking at today’s economy, it wouldn’t be bad if a adults were allowed to earn those badges too.
Finally, Girl Scouts aren’t just selling cookies for prizes anymore. Cookie sales are now about learning business skills. Daisy through Juniors learn about promoting the different cookies, treating your customers well and listening to their feedback, giving back to the community and being a Cookie CEO.
Beginning with Cadets the scouts start developing business plans, marketing, Thinking Big, Research and Development and P&L. Whether they ever own their own businesses or not, they are learning skills that will help them to work well in any business. They will also learn how to judge the health of a business.
Learning about nature, camping, first aid, citizenship are all wonderful, but today’s scouts are learning about much more. No longer are they preparing girls simply to be good housewives and mothers, but they are preparing girls to enter the worlds of business, technology, and science.
Now if I could just find a Girl Scout with an Entertainment Technology badge, I might be able to get all of my electronics working together or at the very least, reduce my remotes down to one.