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Friday
Aug052011

New Girl Scout Badges for Fall 2011 Include 'Making Games' and 'Game Visionary'

'Games For Life' badge, © 1997 GSUSA I was taken aback a year ago when the Boy Scouts of America introduced a set of video game related merit badges, and it made headlines. The Girl Scouts have had a game badge available for grades 7 through 12 since at least 1997. It's called 'Games For Life' and includes activities on video games, as well as board games, card games, and games you play with a group of people and few or no supplies. The requirements to earn the badge are a fairly even balance of playing games, critiquing games, and planning games.  

According to the press coverage, the Boy Scouts' game badges introduced in 2010 are for grades 1 through 5. The requirements include studying ESRB ratings, making sure time spent gaming doesn't take away from chores and homework, and game console system installation. No activities regarding game planning or design. 

It's always frustrating when one group gets credit for being innovative when in fact, another group has already been doing the so-called new thing for years.

But that's all last year's news.  

I'm a Girl Scout troop leader, and a supply catalog arrived in my mailbox this week that includes a section for the new badges being introduced in Fall 2011. Requirements to earn the badges will be published in the new handbooks that aren't available until September. But these pages in the catalog show what they look like, and what the titles are. There are many that look great, but I'm most pleased to see these badges related to media literacy and technology, including two about game design:

BROWNIES (Grades 2-3): 'Computer Expert' and 'Making Games'
JUNIORS (Grades 4-5): 'Entertainment Technology' and 'Product Designer'
CADETTES (Grades 6-8): 'Digital Movie Maker,' 'Screenwriter', 'Netiquette', and 'Comic Artist'
SENIORS (Grades 9-10): 'Game Visionary' and 'Website Designer'

More details to come! In the meantime, you can see the new badges on the catalog pages below. Click on a page to see it larger.

New Brownie and Junior Girl Scout Badges - Fall 2011 New Cadette, Senior and Ambassador Girl Scout Badges - Fall 2011

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References (15)

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  • Response
    [...]New Girl Scout Badges for Fall 2011 Include 'Making Games' and 'Game Visionary' - Children's Game Design & Research Blog - Ten Toed, Inc[...]
  • Response
    Response: 5htp
    New Girl Scout Badges for Fall 2011 Include 'Making Games' and 'Game Visionary' - Children's Game Design
  • Response
    New Girl Scout Badges for Fall 2011 Include 'Making Games' and 'Game Visionary' - Children's Game Design & Research Blog - Ten Toed, Inc
  • Response
    New Girl Scout Badges for Fall 2011 Include 'Making Games' and 'Game Visionary' - Children's Game Design & Research Blog - Ten Toed, Inc
  • Response
    new girl scout badges for fall 2011 include 'making games' and 'game visionary' - children's game design & research blog - ten toed, inc
  • Response
    Response: product
    New Girl Scout Badges for Fall 2011 Include 'Making Games' and 'Game Visionary' - Children's Game Design & Research Blog - Ten Toed, Inc
  • Response
    Response: product
    New Girl Scout Badges for Fall 2011 Include 'Making Games' and 'Game Visionary' - Children's Game Design & Research Blog - Ten Toed, Inc
  • Response
    New Girl Scout Badges for Fall 2011 Include 'Making Games' and 'Game Visionary' - Children's Game Design & Research Blog - Ten Toed, Inc
  • Response
    Response: systèmes de paris
    New Girl Scout Badges for Fall 2011 Include 'Making Games' and 'Game Visionary' - Children's Game Design & Research Blog - Ten Toed, Inc
  • Response
    New Girl Scout Badges for Fall 2011 Include 'Making Games' and 'Game Visionary' - Children's Game Design & Research Blog - Ten Toed, Inc
  • Response
    Response: systèmes de paris
    New Girl Scout Badges for Fall 2011 Include 'Making Games' and 'Game Visionary' - Children's Game Design & Research Blog - Ten Toed, Inc
  • Response
    Response: product
    New Girl Scout Badges for Fall 2011 Include 'Making Games' and 'Game Visionary' - Children's Game Design & Research Blog - Ten Toed, Inc
  • Response
    New Girl Scout Badges for Fall 2011 Include 'Making Games' and 'Game Visionary' - Children's Game Design & Research Blog - Ten Toed, Inc
  • Response
    Response: systèmes de paris
    New Girl Scout Badges for Fall 2011 Include 'Making Games' and 'Game Visionary' - Children's Game Design & Research Blog - Ten Toed, Inc
  • Response
    Response: adorabila
    New Girl Scout Badges for Fall 2011 Include 'Making Games' and 'Game Visionary' - Children's Game Design & Research Blog - Ten Toed, Inc

Reader Comments (10)

It is time they made sum update, but should they have change the look? I think some of the new badges have to much wrighting, Like the Cookie Business and Financial Literacy badges. Daisys can not read, and Brownies wont care much about what they say. I could go on and on about the new badges but I wont. As long as the girls are challenging themselves,learning, and having fun, I will make my peace with it for the time being.

August 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

I was excited to see the new badges as well. However, I was very disappointed when my daughter received her new binder and it did NOT include the Skill Builder badges that go with the Journeys. When I called the council office about it, they told me those would have to be purchased in 3 separate packages at about $5 each set and they were not available yet.

I truly believe that they should've been included in the binder. :(

September 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCrystal

Although I like some of the concepts of the new badges I really am going to miss ALOT of the old badges. I wish they would have given us a year to plan better and incorporate the new badges in before they phased or discontinued out some of the old badges. Or even keep alot more of the old badges. As a leader of the Brownies I had already started planning half of my year with the old badges just to get to the shop to hear them say they dont have anymore. It really sucks for them to change it up right at the start of kick off for us and now the new badges are forced upon us and I am having a very HARD time trying to find badges for what we had planned out of the new badge selection. It also seems there are alot LESS badges to choose from that the girls can earn. It went from 57 without the journey badges to about 40 with the journey badges included. To be honest I am not a fan of the journey badges nor the quest book and LOVED the diversity of the previous badges. For example we are going camping and old badges such as "Ready, Set, Go Camping", "Outdoor Adventurer", and "Watching Wildlife" was going to be perfect for the trip... but now the only badge presented is the new "Hiker" badge that doesnt even come in the book you buy.... you have to spend MORE money to buy the individual insert to put in the book. Also in terms of how the badge is received also sucks as well. They give you 5 steps that you HAVE to do with different choices under each step and you have to do atleast 1 of those choices. I am not happy with that.... It basically tells you what you need to do instead of give you options or let you and the girls come up with different ways of achieving the badge.The old way you had a CHOICE of which activities you wanted to do from each topic and you picked 4. I am not a happy leader to say the least because the new badge book lacks creativity and broaden imagination for the girls and leaders.

October 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEricka

The new program is very formulaic. The journeys for each level are 1)self-improvement, 2) environment improvement, 3) community improvement. So if a troop chooses an environment improvement journey, they are locked in for at least ten meetings to the same topic. Brownies get water, Juniors get energy, Cadettes get air, no overlap allowed. AMuse for Juniors is all about busting stereotypes of what girls can do. It's very 1970, write a skit in which a girl can't believe that girls could possibly study medicine, law, etc., but by the end of the skit she realizes she CAN! I think all girls in this generation realize they can aspire to be almost anything, and take it for granted, so it's demeaning to suggest that they still need thair consciousness raised. But it's an easy topic for Girl Scout Developers to write projects for. The journeys map out every detail of every one of the ten meetings in the journey, which may be good for leaders who don't have many original ideas, but it's not geared to engage today's "modern"girl who is SO not like girls twenty years ago! I think there should be less self-involvement, and more focus on service projects to help others, and more emphasis on skills like teaching girls to knit. The tiny number of badges left makes choice easier, since there are so few, and that obviously has pros and cons. The reason they make you pay more for the extra five badges associated with each project (but which have little or nothing to do with the project topic) is just to get more money. This is exploiting girls, who should at least have access to the requirements for ALL the badges in the new binder. AND they should bring back the traditional uniforms and insist that the girls wear them. They're a big part of what distinguishes scouts and gives them pride in their group. They were very cute. If adults were enthusiastic about them, the girls would be just as excited about them and love wearing them as I was when I was a scout in the 1960s. No one wears the khaki for all levels. The girls just look sloppy and run around and cannot focus on anything in a disciplined way.

October 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterciaparker2

I understand the need to update the program and the badges. What is most upsetting is that the program books for the girls are not available nor are the requirements for the new badges (unless they are included in the journey badges) It is very difficult to present a new program to a group of 11-12 years old without having the literature to go with it.

October 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Davis

"once a badge, always a badge" We just bridged to Juniors and I am not happy at all with the limited choices the girls now have. Ibelieve they went from 57 regular proficiency badges to 26. Not only are there fewer badges, but the badges themselves have fewer choices. I don't know if they were thinking that leaders don't have time or need help, but alot still like to plan. And as the girls get older, they usually do alot of the planning. Boy Scouts don't have any flexibility in their badges but they have 127 topics to choose from. I could go on & on about the changes, but my original thought was this: "once a badge, always a badge" I gave the girls the newly retired badge book to look through (I already had a couple because I've had previous troops, taking them from gr 3-12, then K-10) I let the girls pick any badges they (together or individually) wanted to work on,( keeping it at a logical amount doable in 2 years) made copies for their binders when they begin working on them & bought what I could from our Council shop as items were dwindling. I need to go get a few more badges. If your shop is out already, you can find plenty on ebay.
Also send your comments to your council & GSUSA, or you won't be heard. (Although it may not help...but this our organization!)

November 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermalissa

The girls go to school all day and read and write and then they have to read and write more in the journey's. This is NOT school, this is suppose to be an Interactive and Fun way to learn interesting and new things. Even modifying the journey is not an easy task. How many troops can ask a school to recycle? These journey's are a BIG disappointment.

Additionally the badges are a disappointment and limiting as well!

My Cadette girls have completed a journey and were very disappointed with the layout and lack of interesting activities to earn the badge. They found this very boring compared to what we were able to do with the previous badges. The girls are PA's but have decided if they have to do anything with a journey or the new badges they will pass on helping out. Additionally, the girls have now decided to go a different path in GS, no more journey's or new badges they say. They have decided they will do fun things instead. So, much for the girls following the GS new path.

A saddened and disheartened leader with GS.

November 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

I am a girl scout leader for 1st year brownies. We were so excited last year to start working on some of the badges, dancing, first aide, horseback riding, etc...it seems like sooooooo many badges were left out. I agree with some of the earlier posts that some of the badges seem to scripted, homework like, or beyond the grade level of the girls that I have. I'm going to stick with some of the things I had planned and we are going to earn more fun patches than badges. It is also frustrating to have the materials not all available...some of the badges and crests are not available yet either. I love girl scouts, but am going to miss many of the old things.

November 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKay

I am both excited and not-so-excited with the new set up. I have a troop of Daisys and Brownies, and a troop of visually impaired Seniors and Ambassadors. I LOVE that the Daisys now actually have requirements. It was hard for me to decide what was "enough" to show understanding of the petals. I like the ideas of the Journeys, but I have been indocrtined into the Servant Leadership model for over 12 years now. It is a wonderful way to build leaders. I had some trouble adjusting journeys to meet me needs, but in the end relied on the girls' interests to complete the activities. Of my 8 or so Ambassadors who started on the Bliss journey, only 3 earned the award, but that was their choice. The group chose an action project, but only the three followed it through to the end. Then entire group had fun planning and interviewing people and alll the other steps. But only those few met the true requirements, and that's ok! I wish there were more badges available, and have sent my opinion in to the powers that be. If we write in with our concerns and offer solutions, I believe things will change to better fit our needs and wants.

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda Rodda-Tyler

I personally like the new badges. I'm a Senior Juilliete which means I do the majority of the badge work on my own with a little bit of guidance from an adult. I personally prefer the more structured badges. It may simply be because I'm a goal oriented person who likes to have clearly defined steps. I've been a Julillete for the majority of my scouting career, from the time I've been a brownie, because I was not welcome in my home town's troop because my bipolar disorder. While the old badges did offer more of a variety, many of them required you to have a large group of girls which is fine, but not for girls like me. The new badges offer more options for all types of Girl Scouts, not just those in a troop. This year I did the Mission Sisterhood Journey and the badges that go with it, and it was probably the most fun I've had with Scouts in a long time. I'm going to the Rock the Mall Event next week in DC and I can't wait to go with a troop from a neighboring town. Good job GSUSA.

May 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatherine

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