Were you in Girl Scouts as a child? Or do you have kids in Girl Scouts now? Most people only think of GS when cookie season rolls around, and those adorable little dealers are out on every corner and knocking on your door, trying to get you to buy boxes of cookies you don't need (but absolutely want, so you buy 5 boxes, we all do it). But the Girl Scouts organization is pretty freaking awesome, and not just because their cookies are delicious. Girl Scouts have the opportunity to earn sashes or badges, through activities and community service work.
The badges and accompanying work involved are designed to prepare scouts for the world, and help them become bright, independent young people who contribute to society. And the newest wave of badges the Girl Scouts is releasing are doing it through STEM. The organization has unveiled 42 new badges in science, technology, and the outdoors. We have to admit, seeing some of these makes us want to be a Girl Scout all over again!
On July 16, the Girls Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) unveiled the 42 new badges available to current scouts. The badges are available to scouts in grades K-12, and the cool part is that all the different types of badges give each scout the chance to decide how they want to contribute to their organization, and the world. They can choose from categories like cybersecurity, citizen science, coding, outdoor high adventure, and space science.
Each badge has different requirements for attaining it. For example, for the nine cybersecurity badges, scouts can complete activities like decryption and encryption, learning proper protection methods for various devices, and researching realistic hacking scenarios. There are 12 outdoor adventure badges, with activities ranging from rock-climbing and backpacking to snowshoeing and skiing. And the coding badges teach scout coding basics and algorithms, just for starters.
As society and technology advances, it's important for youth organizations to keep up and give kids a chance to be a part of the ever-changing landscape. Sure, Girl Scouts sell a lot of cookies. But these new badges mean that those same scouts are probably going to be hiking Everest one day, or developing code for the next big thing in computer science. And we are so here for that.