Many of the Girl Scouts coveted merit badges have been around since 1912, but for the first time in 25 years, the organization is making major improvements and additions to the badges its members can earn. Recently, NPR’s All Things Considered featured an interview with Alisha Niehaus, executive editor for program resources for the 99-year-old scouting group, in which she discusses the changes.
While the long standing Cook, Athlete and Naturalist badges remain, they have been joined by Computer Expert, Digital Movie Maker, Website Designer (!) and others that are more reflective of modern-day skills. Other badges have been retooled; the old Fashion, Fitness and Makeup one has been shifted to the Science and Technology category and renamed The Science of Style, which will be awarded to girls who have studied the chemistry of beauty products. There is also a new Product Designer badge, for girls who have mastered “the intersection of design and business”, according to Niehaus.
Financial Literacy badges will be awarded with names like Money Manager, Budgeting, Financing My Future, and Good Credit. For superstar Girl Scout Cookie sellers, there are also a number of new merit badges, including Meet My Customers, Business Plan, and Customer Loyalty.
Kudos to the Girl Scouts for growing with the times in ways that will allow young women to do the same!