Thursday, December 29, 2011

GSA Support Financial Responsibility (Not Just Cookies)

The Girls Scouts of America (GSA), in an attempt to teach financial literacy to young girls, is adding four new finance-oriented badges that scouts can earn. The insignia are: ‘good credit’, ‘money manager’, ‘budgeting’ and ‘financing my future’.

In an article on www.credit.com, Jamie Pietras reports that the scouts need to complete a five-step process to earn the citations. For example, she writes, “a scout may meet with a loan officer at a bank to learn more about using debt wisely”.

Michelle Singletary, in her column on www.washingtonpost.com, interviewed Michelle Tompkins, a Girl Scouts USA spokesperson who said, “’ Girls really want to feel financially independent. The effect of money on every level, it’s something so prevalent right now in families, in society.’”

The finance-oriented badges are among the 136 newly-designed patches; the first in 25 years. Ms Tompkins stated that although the new badges for financial efficacy are especially timely, she views them as an “extension of an ethos that has been in place since the 100-year-old organization began its cookie sales in the 1920′s”. She continued, “’We’ve always had girls getting hands-on business experience. Sound money management skills are a prerequisite for business and leadership success, aims Girl Scouts USA has always encouraged.

To earn these specialty-badges, the girls must complete a program to demonstrate a basic proficiency in the respective topic. Scouts may meet with a loan officer at a bank to learn about relevant issues including finding out about credit reports and credit scores. They may also “plot out the kind of [adult] life they wish to lead; job, home, philanthropy, and determine the salary they would need to tie those things together”.

The Girl Scouts are seeking volunteers with financial management experience who would be interested in helping the organization. Check out www.girlscouts.org for more info. Sounds like a great idea to us!
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