It is a sad time to be a Girl Scout. First cookie sales are down due to the recession, and now they’re taking away the badges!
The biggest change is last year’s debut of Journeys, a pilot curriculum that will mostly replace the system of earning badges on specific topics. Girls still will be able to earn badges if they want, but Journeys rarely mentions them, focusing instead on broader themes, including teamwork and healthy living.
What kind of farce is this? Healthy living lectures from the distributors of Samoas, Thin Mints, and Tagalongs? Ha! They can talk as much as they want about teamwork, but I remember what Girl Scouts was really about – tacky glue, fights over who lit the match to start the campfire, and BADGES. Lots and lots of badges. So many badges that yo’ mamma better learn to sew.
Here I am in 2nd grade in my Brownie Girl Scout jumper, with matching shoes, socks and striped shirt. I was the kind of Brownie you can’t eat. (If you’re not a cannibal.) As you can see, I was only beginning to earn my badges, but as a member of Central Maryland Troop 410, I was already plowing through my workbook, earning as many triangle shaped badges as I could. You had to complete activities to earn badges in different categories. The goal was to get three badges in the same color, like owning all the same color real estate in monopoly. There was nothing more awful and incomplete than having a row of only 1 or 2 triangle badges, your sash desperately yearning for completion of the color palette.
I have purged many items from my apartment in the past few years, but I would never throw out my Brownie sash. And it totally still fits (over my head).
See all my beautiful badges! They have puppets and Jazzercisers and Erlenmeyer flasks embroidered on them. They are so fancy and worth far more than the fraction of a dollar they cost on bulk order.
There are the special badges on the back which I got for going to Girl Scout camp and for sleeping over at the Harford Mall and for…riding a brontosaurus? I don’t know what I earned that dinosaur patch at the top for. However, I will never forget all my cookie patches.
Yes, that 200+ means I sold 200 boxes of cookies, not that I ate 200 boxes of cookies. Though I would have been happy to oblige them on both counts if my wallet and ass were both fat enough.
My mom I sold lots of boxes of cookies to the fraternity boys in town by hiding under the table as my mom did the sales pitch with my expert salesmanship!
I do not know what the Girl Scouts are thinking, de-emphasizing the badges. Without them, all you’ve got left is the tacky glue and the fights over who lights the matches. I cherish my badges and I would give up a dozen boxes of Samoas for the sweet feeling of completing a row of colors.
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