A couple of days ago, Rob at Talkin Bout Comics shared his experiences in leading his Girl Scout troop in earning their Comics badges.
Wait. Comics badge? I’d never heard of such a thing. Nothing that cool existed when I was a Girl Scout.
I was fascinated by this so I tracked down the leader of the troop that developed this badge, Jessica Otis, and she was awesome enough to answer my questions via email.
Otis wrote she grew with comics — superhero stuff and her “mother’s old battered collection of Classics Illustrateds and Classics Illustrated Juniors which are still my absolute favorites” — but the badge’s origins actually started with a broken iPod. While in the Apple store, she played with Comic Life and thought it would be fun for her Scouts to use. She knew a lot of her girls read comics and liked to draw and figured this would be something they enjoyed.
After her Scouts loved the program, Otis wrote “I went looking for a badge I could slot the activities into, found nothing, then suggested we write up our own.”
Otis wrote she wanted to make sure the badge was “all-inclusive” and covered as many kinds of as possible, which is one of the things that struck me when reading through the activities. She wanted the requirements to “focus more on the actual creative process” of making comics than any one particular type of comic, allowing the Girl Scouts to find what they’re most interested in, whether its strips in the newspaper or manga or web comics.
If you’re involved with the Girl Scout organization, I encourage you to introduce this badge to your troop. I can only hope it will lead to a new generation of comic book fans and creators.
Image of the Girl Scouts Comics badge, taken from Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline Council.