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Girl Scout badges for entrepreneurship, math in nature, and digital leadership build crucial skills, offer experiences that equip girls with tools to build positive futures
Submitted by Girl Scouts of Western New York
Girl Scouts of Western New York (GSWNY) and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) recently announced 28 new badges focused on entrepreneurship, math in nature, and digital leadership that embolden girls to navigate a changing society and build the futures they want for themselves and the world. Amid seismic shifts in technology and culture brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Girl Scouts can now earn new badges – in addition to the hundreds of existing badges – that address girls’ evolving interests in ways that resonate with them. The badges also address some of parents’ top concerns for their children as they handle the increasingly digital world, helping girls develop an entrepreneurial mindset toward technology, learn STEM skills while exploring nature, and build confidence and safe practices online.
The new Girl Scout badges include:
Math in Nature (grades K–5): Despite increased remote learning, not all learning happens indoors. This badge gets girls outdoors to explore and conserve the natural world as they learn math concepts. Activities include discovering shapes and patterns in natural objects, learning about symmetry and tessellation, and mastering time and measurement theories. Girl Scouts then use this background to design nectar feeders, trail maps, and other outdoor tools and essentials. Girls often receive the message that STEM isn’t for them, but they’re especially interested in STEM concepts when they’re linked to things that girls enjoy, such as outdoor time. Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson.
Cookie Business (grades K–12): With businesses shifting their models and relying even more on technology, girls learn to think beyond the storefront. The new Cookie Business badges help girls think like entrepreneurs as they run their own cookie businesses and incorporate online sales via the Smart Cookies platform. The badges progress from goal setting and effective sales-pitching in person and online to using market research, creating business plans, and implementing digital marketing campaigns. In light of the consumer trend to shop more online, including on the Smart Cookies platform, girls now have even more opportunities to experience digital sales and marketing.
Digital Leadership (grades K–12): Digital well-being is not a just buzzword – it’s here to stay. Girl Scouts explore what a leader is, both online and in their everyday lives. They learn how to be online in a responsible and safe way, and dive into topics like managing your well-being online, how to balance your time on and offline, and how to deal with issues like misinformation, clickbait, and biases in advertising. Girl Scouts discover how people use technology to connect and lead, then use those skills to create impact and become digital activists themselves. While internet safety and well-being are among parents’ top concerns since the pandemic, many girls are already digital leaders who use technology to connect with others on social issues and causes they care about. These forward-thinking badges are designed to support and motivate girls as they navigate the digital world. Sponsored by Instagram.
“Girl Scouts helps girls navigate our changing world and build the futures they want to see,” said GSUSA Interim CEO Judith Batty. “Through our new badge experiences, girls can conserve the natural world, run their own small business, create digital content that inspires others, and address online bullying. Girl Scouts has been a source of connection, support, and joy for girls throughout the pandemic, and is addressing current issues girls, parents, and caregivers care about.”
GSWNY CEO Alison Wilcox said, “We are so excited for girls to experience these new badges. Girl Scouts is here for girls seeking opportunities to participate in fun, confidence-boosting activities in a supportive community.”
Through “Girl Scouts at Home,” GSUSA has made free self-guided activities from select new and existing programming available online to the public. Members can additionally access a suite of Girl Scout programming online through the volunteer toolkit, including troop meeting plans, tips for volunteers, and other resources to help girls earn badges and awards.
For girls in grades K-12 who have not joined Girl Scouts yet, families are invited to begin registering now for an exciting year of upcoming programming. Currently, the Girl Scouts of WNY are encouraging families to “press play.” Over the past year, many have put life and other activities on pause, but now many families are ready to get back into the fun available in their communities, including ongoing in-person and virtual opportunities.
For girls who have previously had a Girl Scout membership but paused their participation last year, the annual renewal campaign is inviting everyone back to pick up where they left off. To find more information about joining or renewing, visit www.gswny.org.
Girl Scouts of Western New York (GSWNY) serves nearly 14,000 girls and 6,000 adult volunteers across the GSWNY jurisdiction, including Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties. The council’s administrative service centers are located in Buffalo, Jamestown, Lockport, Niagara Falls and Rochester.