If foursquare has taught us anything it’s that people love badges. It’s been ingrained in us since we were kids. Badges are an excellent way of letting people know how great you are without actually having to say anything. Less pretentious than a crown, but just as effective.
When I was a kid I didn’t make it very far in the Girl Scouts. I never even got past the Brownie stage, the least fashionable of all stages. I suppose if there’s anyone that can get away with wearing a brown vest, it’s a 7-10 year old. I was so jealous of the older girls with all of their cool badges. Yes, I had sash envy.
When I saw the news this morning my sash envy was back with a vengeance. The Girl Scouts underwent their first revamp in 25 years. New badges were added and some got cut. The badges that didn’t make the cut? Looking Your Best and From Fitness to Fashion (updated to The Science of Style). “Girls are still interested in how they look and what they wear, but now we’ve given it a purposeful bent. They can look at the chemical makeup of sunscreen or makeup, or the use of nanotechnology in fabric.’’ Alisha Niehaus, executive editor of the new badge book.
For those of you that thought Girl Scouts were just about going camping and selling cookies, THINK AGAIN! (There will still be cookies, don’t worry.)
The idea for the new badges came out of focus group discussions with girls, volunteers and staff from regional councils.
I have to say, they are pretty rad. The badges all share a goal, “to keep girls challenged and engaged, and in the process encourage them to be leaders—which the organization defines as anything from one who stands up for a bullying victim to becoming president of the United States.”
Some of the new badges…
Customer Loyalty: “When I’ve earned this badge, I’ll know how to build my cookie business by increasing customer loyalty.”
Good Credit: When I’ve earned this badge, I’ll know more about ways to borrow money and understand the importance of establishing good credit.
Inventor: “When I’ve earned this badge, I’ll know how to think like an inventor.
Locavore: “When I’ve earned this badge, I’ll know how to prepare a meal of seasonal and locally grown dishes.”
Netiquette: “When I’ve earned this badge, I’ll know how to make—and keep—my online world a positive place.”
Public Policy: “When I’ve earned this badge, I’ll know about public policies and how I can influence legislation that matters to me.”
Savvy Shopper: “When I’ve earned this badge, I’ll know the difference between what I need and what I want—and I’ll be able to smartly save money for both.
Science of Happiness: “When I’ve earned this badge, I’ll know to use the science of happiness to make my world the happiest place it can be.”
Voice for Animals: “When I’ve earned this badge, I’ll better understand animal issues worldwide and know what I can do to help.”
Website Designer: “When I’ve earned this badge, I’ll know how to design, build, and promote my own website.”
“Badges have always reflected their times; in 1916 the Telegraph badge seemed cutting edge, and in 1920 a Canning badge was pertinent. But in the age of YouTube, the local food movement, and Occupy Wall Street, Girl Scouts have different concerns.”
Beth Teitell of the Boston Globe
Go earn your badges, ladies! I’ll be here, seething with jealousy.