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Frank A. Douglass Insurance Agency

Girl Scouts Launch 23 New STEM Badges

In the Girl Scout world, back-to-school means back-to-troop and the opportunity to provide girls with the advantages of a single gender space in a world dominated by coed environments. As the Boy Scouts of America attempt to combat declining membership with talk of opening their program to girls, the Girl Scouts are stressing their barrier breaking programs and the single-gender difference. Girl Scouts point out that their program fosters a safe, inclusive, girl-led, all-female environment where girls are free to practice different skills, take on leadership positions, and claim the all-girl environment as one of the major keys to their success.

Pointing out that research shows that girls learn best in an all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment where their specific needs are met, Lee Snodgrass, Director of Communications and spokesperson for Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes says, “Girl Scouts provides a place for girls to support and encourage one another in a pressure-free environment without boys. The girl-led aspects of Girl Scouts are crucial to what we offer as most of a girl’s life is coed, making the safe space that Girl Scouts offers imperative for nurturing collaboration instead of competition. As they receive support and encouragement from other girls, we’ve seen them stretch beyond their limits and transfer knowledge, experiences, and skills to any environment.”

From both a girl and adult volunteer perspective this year offers many exciting additions from new STEM badges to the new digital planning tool called the Volunteer Toolkit. The Volunteer Toolkit gives volunteers resources and program content to get the year started and is fully customizable with drag and drop features from meeting plans to materials shopping lists and is digitally responsive so volunteers can plan and prepare on the run via mobile devices and tablets. The Toolkit also means girls and leaders can easily explore meeting topics and program activities together, keeping the girl-led advantage.

Girls also have something new to be excited about as Girl Scouts have launched the addition of 23 new badges in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. The move marks the largest programming rollout in almost a decade and takes a progressive approach to STEM as it nudges girls to become citizen scientists using the great outdoors as their laboratory. Among the new badges are those that introduce kindergarten and first graders to the world of robots and engineering. Girls can learn basic programming and build prototypes to solve everyday problems. Older scouts will have the chance to enhance those skills, learning more about artificial intelligence, algorithms and how to formally present their work. “Now, just as at our founding over 100 years ago, Girl Scouts is about providing all girls with the opportunity to learn and lead, often in areas that are male dominated. Our new badges are a perfect example of our commitment to giving girls the skills and confidence they need to break barriers and succeed in any field, both now and as grown women.”

About Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes (GSNWGL)

In partnership with over 6,000 adult volunteers, GSNWGL serves nearly 16,000 girls in 58 counties across northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Girl Scouts is the Girl Scouts is the best leadership experience for girls in the world, created specifically with and for girls. As a leadership development organization for girls Girl Scouts focuses on building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. To join, volunteer, reconnect, or donate to Girl Scouts, call (888) 747-6945 or visit www.gsnwgl.org. GSNWGL is a proud United Way partner program.

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