Monday, October 3, 2011

Girl Scouts Overhauls Badges To Strengthen Leadership Skills in Girls

Girl Scouts of the USA, which enters its 100th anniversary year in 2012, is rolling out an all-new collection of badges aimed at giving girls the skills they need to succeed.

Girls can still earn popular long-time badges such as Cook, Naturalist, and Athlete − topics as relevant today as they were in 1912 − but now they also have badges such as Product Designer, Digital Movie Maker, Customer Loyalty, and even the Science of Happiness. And new “Make Your Own” badges at every level give girls the opportunity to explore any interest they choose.

“Girls told us they want more challenge, and we’ve responded with substantive, focused, fun new badge offerings that will prepare girls for lifelong success,” said Kathy Cloninger, Chief Executive Officer, Girl Scouts of the USA. “What we need today are more adult volunteers to help girls bring these leadership experiences to life.”

Badges now come in categories: Legacy, Financial Literacy, Cookie Business, Skill-Building, and Make Your Own. There are also awards such as a new pin called My Promise, My Faith, which helps a girl celebrate what her faith and the Girl Scout Law have in common. The new badge portfolio, called The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting, also complements GSUSA’s National Leadership Journeys, which help girls explore how to be leaders in their own lives and in the world around them as they take on projects to prevent bullying, protect the environment, and more.

The Girl Scout organization has transformed itself in recent years to focus on leadership development for girls in the 21st century, and the new badge offerings reflect that transformation. “The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting builds the critical thinking, creativity, and entrepreneurship that the next generation of leaders will need to make the world a better place,” said Cloninger.

The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting has found immediate, widespread acceptance in the Girl Scouting community. The initial press run of 850,000 copies has all but sold out.