1. Discuss with students the idea of a merit badge or a "patch" in Scouting (for both boys and girls). Ask students if any of them are already Scouts and if they have earned some badges. If so, ask them to bring them to show the class.
2. The Ms. President Patch has different activities for different ages of Girl Scouts that are required in order to earn the Patch. Divide the class into three groups and have each group research the activities for Daisy and Brownie Girl Scouts, Junior Girl Scouts, and Girl Scouts who are 11-17 (these can be found on the Ms. President Patch website listed below). Ask the groups to compare lists and discuss the relative merits of each.
3. Accessing the White House Project listed below, ask students to study the mission of the organization and discuss the degree to which they think that more women should be in positions of leadership at the local, state, and national levels.
4. Following this discussion, ask students to select one women, from the list of female contenders for President in 1908, or from the list of Women's Firsts (below). Each student should select one person, research that person's life, and then design a Scouting badge for one age group of Scouts that represents some aspect of knowledge or skill that represents that person, as well as the activities that will earn that badge.
5. Have students display and discuss all the badges.
This lesson could be extended by writing short essays about the female leaders selected by students, and/or by assembling all the badges, activities, and essays into a notebook or scrapbook for the class to keep.
The Ms. President Patch
The White House Project
Top Female Contenders for President in '08
Women's Firsts from 1847
This lesson was developed by Averil McClelland, Kent State University.