WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (October 9-16, 2011)


Girl Scouts revamp badges to strengthen leadership skills in today’s girls.” By Michelle Healy. USA Today. October 10, 2011. Along with popular, long-time activities including cooking, athletics and first aid, girls will earn insignia for immersing themselves in product design, digital filmmaking, locavore (local food) awareness, and customer loyalty — which should be particularly useful given Girl Scouts’ $700 million annual cookie business. The new badges come as the nearly 3.2 million-member organization gears up for next year’s 100th anniversary. “This is the first major update (of badges) at every level since 1987,” says Alisha Niehaus of Girl Scouts of the USA. “We kept some favorites, but added new ones that will help girls build the leadership skills they’ll need for success in the 21st century.” Girl Scouts of the USA turned to business strategy consultant Jump Associates for help developing the new badges, says Niehaus. In focus groups, “girls asked for more challenge and more creativity. They asked for fun with purpose.” A February study by sociology researcher Kathleen Denny in the journal Gender & Society found gender-stereotypes in a Girl Scouts manual, suggesting the program was ready for an overhaul.

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