Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast (GSCCC) and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) announced today the release of new badges in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and the outdoors, areas girls are not typically encouraged to explore outside of Girl Scouting. The badges have debuted on the organization’s first digital platform for volunteers, making it more accessible than ever to unleash the power of every girl.
At a time when 81 percent of American voters think preparing girls for leadership roles should be a national priority, Girl Scouts—the preeminent leadership development organization for girls—offers girls even more opportunities to learn skills and empower themselves with the experiences they need to succeed in life. Today, as the Girl Scout Research Institute released new findings that confirm the outstanding leadership outcomes for Girl Scouts, there has never been a better time to join.
New Programming in STEM and the Outdoors
Through hands-on and age-appropriate experiences for girls as young as five, Girl Scouts is both enhancing the important outdoor opportunities the organization is known for and addressing the lack of exposure many girls have to STEM. With the introduction of 23 new badges, which marks the largest program rollout in almost a decade, Girl Scouts can earn badges for designing robots and racecars, going on environmentally-conscious camping trips, writing code, collecting data in the great outdoors and so much more. GSUSA created programming that included contributions from many notable organizations, including: Code.org, GoldieBlox, SciStarter, Society of Women Engineers and WGBH/Design Squad, as well as the outdoor-focused Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. For more information about the new badges, visit www.girlscouts.org/ourprogram.
Girl Scouts Excel in Important Aspects of Life
A new report from the Girl Scout Research Institute, The Girl Scout Impact Study, shows that participating in Girl Scouts helps girls develop key leadership skills they need to be successful in life. Compared to their peers, Girl Scouts are more likely than non-Girl Scouts to be leaders because they:
· Have confidence in themselves and their abilities (80% vs. 68%)
· Act ethically and responsibly, and show concern for others (75% vs. 59%)
· Seek challenges and learn from setbacks (62% vs. 42%)
· Develop and maintain healthy relationships (60% vs. 43%)
· Identify and solve problems in their communities (57% vs. 28%)
· Take an active role in decision-making (80% vs. 51%)
Importantly, what girls gain through Girl Scouting positive affects all areas of their lives.For example, Girl Scouts do better than their non–Girl Scout peers in the classroom, earning better grades and aspiring to higher educational attainment. They are also more likely to seek careers in STEM, law and business—industries in which women are underrepresented. Moreover, the benefits of Girl Scouting are not exclusive to any particular demographic, which means that no matter where girls live or what their age or background, Girl Scouts can help them develop to their full potential and excel in all aspects of life.
Digitizing the Volunteer Experience
The new Girl Scout program elements are now available to more members than ever before via the recently expanded Volunteer Toolkit, Girl Scouts’ first “digital assistant” for troop leaders and parents, allowing them to more easily plan meetings and activities, keep track of important information and, ultimately, make it easier to support amazing experiences for girls. In the toolkit, most Girl Scout programming for girls in grades K–5 is auto-populated so that troop leaders can view activity plans and necessary materials, customize meeting plans, track troop finances, and more, all in one place. Further, the instructions that are included throughout make subjects that might otherwise intimidate some volunteers—like STEM—accessible and understandable, so that they can confidently lead troop activities.
“Research shows that girls are leading more successful lives because of their experience in Girl Scouts,” Tracy Keller, CEO of GSCCC, said. “I am eager for our girls to get started using this new, innovative programming that engages them in impactful ways. And, I am excited that our volunteers have digital tools to help guide girls through their Girl Scout experiences.”
Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, create lasting relationships and find dynamic solutions to social issues—all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day and empower themselves for life. To join, volunteer or donate, visit www.gsccc.org.