Girl Scouts of Western Ohio (GSWO) and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA)
have released 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 will debut 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. And as the Girl Scout Research Institute releases new findings that confirm the outstanding leadership outcomes that Girl Scouts exhibit compared to their non–Girl Scout peers, 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. In fact, Girl Scouts are almost twice as likely as non–Girl Scouts to participate in STEM (60 percent versus 35 percent) and outdoor activities (76 percent versus 43 percent). With the introduction of 23 new badges, which marks the largest programming rollout in almost a decade, Girl Scouts can design robots and racecars, go on environmentally conscious camping trips, write code, collect data in the great outdoors, try their hand at engineering, and so much more. GSUSA created programming that included contributions from many notable organizations. Collaborators include the STEM-focused Code.org, GoldieBlox, SciStarter, Society of Women Engineers, and WGBH/Design Squad Global, as well as the outdoor-focused Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.
The new Girl Scout programming builds girls’ skills and encourages their interest in STEM and environmental conservation from an early age, increasing their confidence in these areas—in an all-girl environment where they feel comfortable trying new things, taking appropriate risks, and learning from failure. 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 positively
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, and are more
likely to seek careers in STEM, law, and business—industries in which
women are underrepresented. And 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
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.
"It’s not just what girls learn, it’s how they learn it, in an all-girl, girl-led, collaborative environment," said Roni Luckenbill, GSWO CEO. "Only Girl Scouts brings the time-tested methods and research-backed programs that speak to the strengths of girl leadership development."
“At Girl Scouts, we believe there is a wellspring of passion, determination, and courage residing within every girl―and our organization offers a nurturing environment where she can develop skills to unleash her potential,” said GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo. “Data shows Girl Scouts excel in life because of our innovative programming, so we’ve expanded our offerings to include even more engaging, fun, and impactful activities for girls of all ages—including Daisies as young as five years old. We’ve also simplified the process for volunteers through our online Volunteer Toolkit. Simply put, Girl Scouts is on the cusp of a leadership renaissance for girls, and we’re always looking for more go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders to enhance our ranks.”
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.
Join now for a lifetime of opportunities that champion the power of every girl. To join or volunteer, visit www.gswo.org/join.