An earlier post on the blog reported that Girl Scouts was now offering a badge or badges for meeting Common Core objectives. Some readers insisted that was not true. According to this reader, who provides a link, it is true. The question for me is why Girl Scouts is tying its merit badges to school work and why it is endorsing an initiative that is not yet proven or established. Isn’t scouting about scouting and hands-on experience and service?

The reader comments:

“I am a longtime Girl Scout and have been a leaders for several years and I cannot for the life of me understand why GSUSA is attempting to show a connection between Girl Scout Badges and Journeys, and Common Core objectives. As a Brownie leader, I just clicked on the link you posted to see what Common Core objectives my Brownies “accomplished” when they recently earned their “Snacks”, “Painter” and “hiker” badges. The page that came up was this one:

http://www.girlscouts.org/program/national_program_portfolio/curriculum/pdf/brownies_Badges/CommonCore_brownies_Badges.pdf

It states that when earning badges the following standards applied (list of basic reading literature and informational text standards — main idea and detail, learning vocabulary, etc.)

My Brownies didn’t do any reading to earn the badges. For the Hiker badge — they read maps, learned how to dress for the weather, and hiked! No main idea, no detail. For the Painter badge — they painted! No character, setting, problem or solution. And for the Snacks badge — they washed, peeled, sliced, cut, mixed, measured, cooked (with adult supervision) tasted and ate.

The probably did acquire some new vocabulary along the way.

As I said, I cannot for the life of me understand why GSUSA thinks anyone would want to know that Girl Scout badges have any alignment with any state or Common Core curriculum! Why should they? Scouting isn’t school! Kids get enough of school… at school! And clearly they do NOT actually correlate with math or language arts standards.

So why try to make it look as if they do? The only thing I can think of is that GSUSA and local councils might be trying to get grant funding to put on GS programs, and the people issuing the grants are asking whether Girl Scouting is an education program in some way? It’s a long shot, but it is all I can think of.”