Friday, January 6, 2012

The Innovators At Our Doorstep (More Than Tagalongs)

Outside of the classroom, respected communities can help animate young minds with activities tailored to loyal learners. One noble outfit, the Girl Scouts of the USA, is continuing its century-long mission of inspiring women and girls while at the same time shedding any vestige of musty orthodoxy. Recently, the Girl Scouts redesigned the requirements of their seminal programs. They reimagined their badges, too, to present an invigorated model of forward-thinking leadership for a new generation.
Girl Scout Innovation Badges
Source: Fast Company Co.Design
The goal of repositioning the badges, properly called insignia, was to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts by looking ahead to the next 100 years. The aim was to establish a balanced table between boys and girls, to emphasize leadership among young women who might otherwise opt out of captaining roles. The Girl Scouts retained their time-honored legacy badges, but they also added new modules for “Millenial ideals.”

The most intriguing of the new insignia are the innovation badges. Fast Company’s Co.Design blog recently featured a terrific write-up, by Lauren Pollak of strategy consulting firm Jump Associates, entitled “What Designing The New Girl Scouts Innovation Badges Taught Us About Raising Leaders.” Pollak smartly positions the logos' designs within the overall context of empathy and learning. We strongly encourage you to read the entire piece, which is fascinating in its support of empowering education for young women.

Source: Original Champions of Design
The levels of badges range from inventor to social innovator. The courses seek to “leverage children’s existing creativity,” “train hybrid thinkers,” “build empathy before solutions,” and “enable great storytellers.” With such a progressive culture and vibrant vision, it’s clear the girls are leaving their reactionary scouting cousins in the dust.

Digital Movie Maker Badge
Source: Daily Mail Online
As part of an overall rebranding effort led by Original Champions of Design (OCD), many programs have either been initiated or tweaked to revamp the Girl Scouts' daily practice. Contemporary courses in financial literacy, for example, have been added as companions to the annual cookie sales. Badges for Making Choices, Money Matters, and Philanthropist all foster life-long habits of investing. Other conventional subjects have been updated to reflect advanced studies, such as the Science of Style, Science of Happiness, Digital Movie Maker, and Eating for Beauty. Additional of-the-moment insignia include Locavore and Netiquette, which progress satisfyingly from earlier, “innovative” badges in Canning and Telegraph. There are even "journey" awards, called "It's Your World - Change It!"

Source: Main Street; The Girl Scouts
The Girl Scouts have always been entrepreneurial in peddling their luxuriously-priced Samoas and refrigerator-ready Thin Mints. Now, the self-reliant spirit is being taught from an early age. In all, the new designs reflect the importance of educators keeping current and staying relevant in children's eyes. In this respect, teachers can learn from the Girl Scouts’ impressive equilibrium in remaining faithful to tradition and in rethinking what it means to be “excellent.”

We apologize, by the way, if we have misused any nomenclature for the various levels of scouting. Also, we also recommend this clip of CEO Anna Maria Chávez explaining how the Girl Scouts are modernizing. One thing is for certain: the Boy Scouts are now officially behind the times.

1 comment:

  1. I believed it'd be a tremendous talent that might impress my family and therefore the different youngsters within the kids toys . And what an amazing mode of transportation! Sadly, I grew up and therefore the pogo was never within the cards on behalf of me.


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