The Girl Scouts have added more new badges and programs to help girls learn to make choices about how they want to experience and influence the world.
"The badges enhance the organization’s existing girl-led programming, offering girls everything from adventuring in the snow or mountains to learning how to use coding to solve problems they care about," the organization said in a press release. "Girl Scout programming has long promoted independent decision making, which helps girls develop agency, challenge themselves to move beyond their comfort zones, and build confidence in their leadership abilities."
"Girl Scouts has ignited the power and potential of girls for over a century, and we are committed to ensuring that today’s girls are the future of American leadership,” said GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo. "Girl Scouts is where girls can explore new subjects, discover their passions, learn to take smart risks, and become their best, most confident selves—whether they want to become a NASA astronaut, an entrepreneur, a rock climber, a coder, or a cybersecurity agent."
The new offerings include an outdoor high adventure badge, which features two activity options for how the girls can decide to earn the badge.
"Giving girls choices is important for developing their sense of self, their own voice, and gender equality — research from the World Bank Group shows that increasing women’s agency and decision-making abilities is key to improving their lives, communities, and the world," the Girl Scouts said.
Girls in grades 6-12 can also pursue nine new cybersecurity badges and three space science badges.
The "think like a citizen scientist" badge is part of the Girl Scout leadership journey for girls to participate in interactive activities and learn observation techniques; collect data and share findings with real-world scientists through an online network. After the experience, they use the skills to tackle a self-chosen community issue.
New programming includes 12 outdoor high adventure badges and 18 coding for good badges.
The "high adventure" badges, which are funded by The North Face, allow girls the chance to explore nature and try new activities including backpacking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, rock climbing and tree climbing. The activities are meant to build confidence, support for one another, risk-taking and time in nature.
These are the first Girl Scout badges that members can earn by choosing one of two self-directed paths.
The "coding for good" badges, which are funded by AT&T and Dell Technologies, detail how each stage of the coding process provides opportunities to use skills for good. One of the activities will include coding "positive memes" to spread a message about a cause they care about.
There is both a "plugged-in and unplugged version, so that all girls can learn the foundations of coding, regardless of their access to technology."
Girl Scouts works with top organizations and content collaborators such as codeSpark, the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC), SciStarter, and Vidcode to weigh in on cutting-edge programs.