Over the past year, Eyewitness News First at Four has been keeping you informed about new badges coming for the Girl Scouts. Those new badges rolled out Thursday, so we wanted to bring back Aimee Stachura, the executive officer for the Girl Scouts of Southern Indiana, to find out more about what they are and how it affects the scouts.
Here’s a transcription of the interview:
Shelley Kirk: Thanks so much for being here. They’re adorable badges really focused on STEM. Tell us about that.
Aimee Stachura: So we have 30 new badges and two new programs, that allow girls to experience more: cybersecurity, robotics, mechanical engineering, space science, college preparation and much, much more.
SK: They’re showing some of them right there. They’re really cute. I would think the Girl Scouts would love to earn them because they’re so cute. They’re needle point and they’re really cool. How have they been received by the Girl Scouts?
AS: It’s really exciting. For younger girls, we’re focusing on STEM, outdoors, skill building. For K-5 they’re seeing new badges. For older girls, we have new badges too. And our new journeys for our middle school and high school girls – Think Like a Programmer where they get to problem-solve like computer programmers.
SK: How involved is it to earn a badge?
AS: Well, badges are really unique because every time a girl earns a badge, she learns a skill she can use to make a positive difference in the world. Every time she earns it and wears it, it’s something that unites them.
SK: Is it designed to open them up to the possibilities out there?
AS: It does. Well, we know and we’ve talked before about workplace gaps – cybersecurity, STEM for women – it’s important to give them the opportunity, open some doors, and give them the opportunity to lead.
SK: Is this something Girl Socuts has been lacking in or something you’re looking to put more of a focus on now?
AS: Girl Scouts has always been doing these programs, but what I say is we move at the speed of the girls. So we are always evaluating and reinventing things to make sure girls are getting what they’re asking for and being prepared to lead successfully in the future.
SK: So why did it take so long to get to this point, with these new colorful badges?
AS: We are always changing with the times. I think that’s the beauty of Girl Scouts. Anything new coming out – we want to be a part of that. We really do want to be at the forefront of the STEM movement, and making sure girls have every experience they can with the STEM fields and learning they can do it. STEM is a great way to make a positive experience. They can really go out, do it, and make a positive difference.
SK: If anyone out there loves these new badges and wants to get involved, what can they do?
AS: Right now it’s Back to Troop time so troops are planning their program years and also new troops are forming. We’ll be at the schools, they’ll be recruitment nights, informational events. Definitely check out our website or give us a call. We’d be happy to answer any questions.
(This story was originally published July 20, 2018)