START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

The Girl Scouts Branch Out

The Girl Scouts Branch Out

The dominant association with Girl Scouts, at least for most people that are not in fact Girl Scouts, is the annual tradition of selling Thin Mints, Samoas, Do-si-dos, and all manner of green-boxed Girl Scout cookies outside of shopping malls. While these cookies are moderately delicious, they are really just cookies, not dissimilar from the lot you could easily pick up in your grocery store cookie aisle. Still, with every spring, Girl Scouts sell their hearts out to earn those merit badges associated with astronomical cookie sales. But cookie sales may have to take a backseat to some of the new merit badges announced for the next generation of Girl Scouts.

Seeing as the mission of the Girl Scouts is to “build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place,” making the world a better place can mean a lot of things and things like digital movie making, product design, and locavorism are now part of that mission. For the first time in 25 years, the Girl Scouts have completely overhauled the system of badges that courageous and confident girls can earn, with the introduction of many new contemporary themed badges. But it is not all about throwing a bone to the technologically literate or the environmentally conscious. According to NPR, Some of the changes aren’t entirely about changing the subject matter; they’re about adjusting the approach. For example, what used to be a Fashion, Fitness and Makeup badge has been changed, because Alisha Niehaus of the Girl Scouts of the USA says that while the girls in the program are still interested in makeup and fashion, that interest isn’t limited to how things will look, but goes a little deeper. So there will be a badge in the Science & Technology category called The Science Of Style, which will focus on things like the chemistry of sunscreen or perhaps even making your own perfume. And as for new additions like the locavore badge, the newly coveted badge can be acquired by following five simple steps:

1. Explore the benefits and challenges of going local
2. Find your local food sources
3. Cook a simple dish showcasing local ingredients
4. Make a recipe with local ingredients
5. Try a local cooking challenge

Each of the steps includes specific challenges such as interviewing chefs who specialize in locally grown foods, taking a favorite recipe and making it local, or preparing a three-course meal based on local ingredients. Sounds local and like a huge improvement from peddling palm oil-laden sugar snacks.

To be sure, much will remain the same in this centuries old organization (namely the cookies) but it is encouraging to see the Girl Scouts grow up (no word on how or in what way the Boy Scouts might be addressing this change). What is your feeling on such merits? Is it about time? Is it a hollow gesture?

Read more: Blogs, Children, Community Service, Environment, Family, Make a Difference, Nature, Nature & Wildlife, News & Issues, Parenting at the Crossroads, , , , , , ,

quick poll

vote now!

Loading poll...

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.

42 comments

+ add your own
7:11AM PST on Feb 25, 2013

thank you

6:09AM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

Good!

1:34PM PDT on May 24, 2012

I only got to b a Girl Scout for 1 yr in the 5th grade b/c there weren't any leaders in my area for Cadets. I already had a curiosity of nature & of the miracle of nature but GS changed my life for the better b/c it gave me the hands on experience of learning Science & now I teach it. When I see a new oak or pine tree, I always remember the experience of planting 1 on Arbor day & imagine how big those trees are now. I wish all Boys & Girls parents would make the committment to let their children try Scouts for at least 1 yr. I know it would change their lives & possibly the world!

1:34PM PDT on May 24, 2012

I only got to b a Girl Scout for 1 yr in the 5th grade b/c there weren't any leaders in my area for Cadets. I already had a curiosity of nature & of the miracle of nature but GS changed my life for the better b/c it gave me the hands on experience of learning Science & now I teach it. When I see a new oak or pine tree, I always remember the experience of planting 1 on Arbor day & imagine how big those trees are now. I wish all Boys & Girls parents would make the committment to let their children try Scouts for at least 1 yr. I know it would change their lives & possibly the world!

7:39PM PST on Nov 11, 2011

cool

10:33PM PDT on Oct 26, 2011

Leading these young women is the best feeling

5:14PM PDT on Oct 24, 2011

The girls should home bake their own cookies and earn a baking badge. They could also bake other goods like cakes, brownies,breads, and other stuff. Maybe even make salsas and relishes and can preserves and more healthy foods.

3:13PM PDT on Oct 24, 2011

AAAAND....this new video that I sent in my first post makes it sound like GS of A is finally listening to the 2 girls from Ann Arbor...although it sounds like they are just "considering" making a change right now. Until they DO change hopefully people will boycott the cookies and just donate money to the little girls that are selling the cookies AND hopefully inform them and their parents/leaders as to what is going on. Here is alink to an article talking about how on Spet 28th GS of A acknoledged the phasing out of palm oil use in their cookies.

http://ran.org/girl-scouts-activists-rainforest-action-network-and-union-concerned-scientists-respond-palm-oil

3:06PM PDT on Oct 24, 2011

AND....I do think its great that they are adding merit badges dealing with local foods. Hopefully they are encouraging local organic as well.

2:30PM PDT on Oct 24, 2011

Girl Scout cookies have palm oil in them that is being harvested in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra causing the endangerment of Orangutans and other animals...let alone detryoing rainforest ecosystems. NO ONE should buy cookies from them until they stop. 2 Girl Scouts have made videos about this and made requests to Girl Scouts of America to stop using palm oil and have been ignored thus far. I am a Biology teacher in CA and I teach my students about this, we watch the video made by the 2 girl scouts, and do a Rainforest "Adoption" through RAN. Hopefully many others will stop buying their cookies until they stop using palm oil and the Girl Scout organization will end this destructive and hypocritical practice of using palm oil from rainforests AND back up their philosophy of making the world a better place. Here is a link for the girl scouts video. http://www.clickondetroit.com/money/29348872/detail.html

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Being mindful about our impact on Mother Earth is just good sense...

I thought I'd end up groaning over this, but I really like the "dust your dash" and "vacuum regularl…

TYFS....caffeine is good when taken in moderate amounts with the meal (as in coffee and green tea) t…

Interesting, if nothing else.

Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.