New Girl Scout Badges Teach Financial Literacy

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Hoping to teach your daughter the value of a dollar? Sign her up with the Girl Scouts.

The popular youth organization has added 13 financial badges to teach young girls about budgeting, credit, savings and other money management skills.

The badges – which seem like a natural addition to an organization already known for its highly successful cookie business – were introduced after many members said they were concerned about not having enough money following the economic downturn.

“Adults, not just girls, need to learn financial literacy skills,” Suzanne Harper, director of program research for Girl Scouts of the USA, tells MainStreet.  “A lot of girls also expressed interest in running their own business.”

She adds that the organization was looking to fill a void left by the diminishing availability of financial literacy programs in schools, so it debuted the badges in October, but because it takes time to complete the required skills, no Girl Scout has earned one yet.

Each badge focuses on a different financial skill tailored to the age level of the scout trying to earn one. Daisy scouts (age 5), for instance, work on a “Money Counts” badge that teaches them how much each coin is worth and requires them to make change on their own while selling cookies.

Cadette scouts, who are typically in 6th, 7th or 8th grade, can earn a “Good Credit” badge for learning about credit scores and interviewing people about their experiences with borrowing. Other badges focus on financing a dream and making charitable contributions.

The ultimate goal is to teach girls to ”take care of their finances in the future,” Harper says.

And if you have a son, rest assured: The Boy Scouts also have a finance-related merit badge that is one of the 11 badges required to achieve the group’s highest honor, the Eagle rank.

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