To quote Amy Sedaris, “I am an aging Girl Scout.” I can still remember earning Girl Scout badges as a Brownie growing up in New Jersey. I looked forward to our troop meetings and activities and looked up to the older Girl Scouts with all the “bling” they wore on their sashes, and I couldn’t wait to earn more badges for my achievements.
The Girl Scouts were created by Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low in Georgia in 1912. The woman was on a mission to empower girls with physical, mental, and spiritual growth that would serve them for the rest of their lives. From the beginning, girls were given the opportunity to complete tasks in order to master concepts and skills, earning badges for their work. In the beginning, there were 25 possible badges. Today, there are hundreds (along with the Make Your Own Badge, allowed once per year), for which a Girl Scout can create her own steps for mastery and complete her own program.
Girl Scout badges were conceived as a way of breaking down barriers between girls and forming friendships, as Gordon Low explained: “Badges mean nothing in themselves, but they mark a certain achievement and they are a link between the rich and the poor. For when one girl sees a badge on a sister Scout’s arm, if that girl has won the same badge, it at once awakens an interest and sympathy between them.”
While we love, honor, and appreciate the existing Girl Scout badges, there are a few lessons we feel all the little ladies out there should learn and be rewarded for! Here are the 15 Girl Scout Badges we wish existed.
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1. Surviving getting dumped It’s something every girl will go through and learn from. Being able to find support from your fellow females while receiving accolades for your survival skills—even if they include pints of ice cream consumed during your seventh viewing of The Notebook—is entirely appropriate.
2. Breaking up with someone gracefully Both boys and girls should learn how to leave a relationship with kindness and respect, and with dignity intact for both parties. Had we been forced to earn a badge for this as kids, we probably would have made better choices in college, no?
3. Raising a happy, well-adjusted child You don’t get gold stars in motherhood, unfortunately, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn to be a good mami starting at an early age. If I had a better understanding of the demands of raising children when I was young, I’d have appreciated my mother a bit more and perhaps turned out to be a better mom myself.
4. Successfully co-parenting with your ex This is something you cannot learn unless you go through it. So while this skill can’t be taught, ladies, you deserve a trophy if you’re able to achieve this mythical place of peace in parenting.
5. Winning over your new boyfriend’s kids And that badge should be extra blingy if they’re teenagers! Girl Scouts are taught kindness, compassion, patience and to always, “be prepared,” all skills you’ll need to make friends with your potential stepkids.
6. Childbirth I know lots of people do push presents now as it’s all the rage in Hollywood, but how cool would it be to have the whole, “you did it! here’s a medal!” ceremony for childbirth? Someone should start that. Like, now.
7. Having ‘the talk’ with your kids without lying If you make it through the ‘birds & bees’ talk without mentioning the stork, or swallowing watermelon seeds or the cabbage patch, and neither you nor your kid is left bewildered or traumatized, you deserve a medal. Or at least a badge.
8. Helping your daughter through her first heartbreak Oh, mamas, this moment forever changes both you and your daughter and it’s absolutely worth earning a badge for. Whether it’s crying into a cup of hot cocoa or going to kick boxing class together to kick some a**, knowing your daughter and being there for her is an incredible feat.
9. Getting through menopause and still feeling sexy In the past, menopause meant an expanding waistline and a short, gray hairdo. Thankfully, those days are gone and we feel a Girl Scout Badge is warranted to honor the ladies in midlife who are defying old stereotypes, embracing themselves and their freedom, and still feelin’ sexy!
10. Surviving holidays with the in-laws For some, this may be no big deal. For others, a fishbowl margarita and a Girl Scout Badge might remove the sting by New Year’s.
11. Sending your baby off to the first day of school The tears, mamas, the tears! Letting a part of yourself journey into the adventure that is an education is both amazing and terrifying. Survive and you shall be rewarded.
12. Learning to really love your body—flaws and all This should actually be a Girl Scout Badge to be earned in all levels of the organization. From the age of the Daisy to the Senior Scout status, we women can use all the help we can get. If an organization like Girl Scouts were to empower girls with the tools to actually accomplish self-love, physical flaws and all, it would change the world.
13. Surviving cancer A Girl Scout Badge isn’t near enough to acknowledge what it means to conquer cancer but, last we heard, there were no medals so…
14. Telling your kids their pet has died Being a parent is tough, sometimes impossible. If the Girl Scouts were to create a step-by-step badge earning process for breaking horrible news to children, I’d follow it.
15. Being fabulous at 40 Need we say more?