A Sash and an Attaché

Girl Scout Elf Dollar

They dominate their market. They’ve nailed brand loyalty. Their sales force is disciplined and aggressive.

They’re the Girl Scouts, and after 100 years, they’re finally getting recognized for their financial prowess—with 13 new badges rewarding money smarts.

Badges are a big deal, as any Scout will tell you—a testament to hard-won skills. And giving nearly three million girls the opportunity to be rewarded for financial savvy is both a breakthrough and a sign of the times.

Case in point: The Boy Scouts offer only one money-related badge.

And the yearly cookie sales have turned out to be another powerful way that the Girl Scouts build leadership and basic career and money skills. The Girl Scouts sold about 200 million packages of cookies last year, with total retail sales of about $760 million.

The Girl Scouts’ program can support girls as they learn basic financial skills thanks to the group dynamic, says Suzanne Harper, Senior Director of Program Resources for GSUSA.

“It helps girls to learn about money in an all-girl environment. They feel safer.” That’s partly because there’s no social pressure to look dumb in front of the boys.

Younger girls earn badges for things like putting together an outfit for under $30, while older girls earn a “Financing My Future” badge by researching how their dream career will (or won’t) pay for their dream lives.

Now that the geniuses behind Thin Mints are helping young girls master their money, bake sales are only the beginning.

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