The Girl Scouts of America have been through a lot lately, but this has not stopped them from adding new badges and accomplishments for their world leaders in training. Young girls will even be able to earn a cybersecurity badge as early as 2018.
What does this mean for future leaders? They won't just be going on camping trips and fundraising.
"We’re not just going to be selling cookies, we are going to become cybersecurity experts," Sylvia Acevedo, the CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. Acevedo went on to say that the badges will be part of the "group's overall push to promote and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education for girls."
The organization polled their members and reported that the girls really wanted more STEM badges.
"We asked the girls what they want and they said they want more STEM badges," Acevedo said. "The girls told us that they wanted cybersecurity badges."
The 1.8 million member organization partnered with Palo Alto Networks, a cybersecurity firm, to build the curriculum that will teach its girls everything from how to protect their identities online to programming. They will also be taught about hacking.
Each badge these girls earn will be displayed proudly on their uniforms, representing their mastery of a topic. Where these used to include knots, camping, and even ice skating, now they will include cybersecurity and STEM.
"Preparing our girls in cybersecurity really gives them a real insight into a potential career choice," Acevedo said.
"We reach deeply across America, we are in every residential zip code and almost a third of our girls are in low-income areas," Acevedo continued. "We’re excited that they are going to have access to these kinds of programs ... These kinds of programs can open up a world of opportunities."
So far, scouts and their parents are very happy with the decision, and we are too!