Every year, you can find Girl Scouts walking door-to-door, parking outside of churches and grocery stores, selling those much-coveted Girl Scout Cookies that we all know and love. But if you think that’s the only thing that the Girl Scouts have going on, you’re terribly mistaken.
The Girl Scouts of the USA is a chartered American organization that today works to empower some 3.2 million women and girls, growing immensely in its now over 100 years of activity.
For the Girl Scouts, a merit badge is a valuable symbol of achievement within the organization’s culture. There are badges young women and girls can earn that speak to their commitment to being a Scout, and to improving their own skill sets.
For The Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles (GSGLA), their desire to empower and cultivate female leaders meant working towards eliminating the gap between men and women in the fields of science and technology. This troop teamed up with Women in Games International (WIGI) to create a new merit badge unlike any other. It’s a “Video Game Developer” badge, designed to nurture young girls’ desire to excel in science in technology.
There is an alarming disparity between the number of women and men that exists in the fields of technology and science. Fostering a love for technology from an early age will allow girls to persevere in school when most of that love cannot be tended to with the same attention that The Girl Scouts can provide. According to Amy Allison, Vice President of WIGI, “Creating this badge will get young girls excited in technology and science and let them know that they, too, can have a career in the video game industry.”
This is an important step towards lessening the gender gap in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM. First Lady Michelle Obama is committed to the growth of Women in STEM, and has said before that, “If we’re going to out-innovate and out-educate the rest of the world, we’ve got to open doors for everyone. We need all hands on deck, and that means clearing hurdles for women and girls as they navigate careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.”
Indeed, the Girl Scouts is a great place to instill courage, and support women and girls who have talents in STEM.
So don’t worry, the cookies aren’t going anywhere. The Girl Scouts might just be getting savvier in their sales techniques.