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Program Focus Areas

The Foundations of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience

Everything girls do in Girl Scouting is designed to help them grow into well-rounded adults equipped to successfully meet the future. Girl Scouts develop skills and explore interests through innovative programming in four focus areas:

  S.T.E.M.

Imagine her taking on some of the biggest challenges and problems our planet faces—and helping solve them. Or having a career that’s engaging and well paid. Imagine her teaming up with others to invent the future.

That future can be a reality, thanks to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Research shows that girls are keenly interested in STEM and excel at it. Yet, for a variety of reasons, girls often don’t pursue STEM—starting as early as elementary school.

But we can change that! Let your girl see that STEM can help her make the world a better place! Girl Scouts who participate in girl-focused STEM programs:

  • Become better problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and inspirational leaders
  • Get better grades, earn scholarships, and follow more lucrative career paths
  • See STEM as the foundation for a meaningful and successful future

Perhaps she’d like to…build a robot, create an app, invent a medical device, develop a video game, design a car, protect the world’s wildlife, send a spacecraft to a far galaxy, cure a disease, keep the ocean clean, study the stars… The possibilities are truly endless!

Clearly, STEM can take her anywhere she wants to go. Check out our new Journeys to learn more.

New STEM Journeys

Engineering: Think Like an Engineer. Girls discover how to think like an engineer by participating in hands-on design challenges and completing a Take Action project.

Computer Science: Think Like a Programmer. Girls learn how programmers solve problems as they (girls) participate in interactive computational-thinking activities and complete a Take Action project.

Outdoor STEM: Think Like a Citizen Scientist. Girls practice the scientific method by undertaking a citizen science project. They make observations, collect data, and work with scientists who provide feedback on research and findings. Girls also complete a Take Action project.  

Showcasing RobotsBadge Spotlight

Robotics: Girls design their own robots after learning how they’re built and programmed. “Unplugged” activities allow girls to earn badges without buying kits.

Mechanical Engineering: Girls complete hands-on engineering activities, such as building and testing rollercoasters, race cars, and gliders.

  Outdoors

From the backyard to the desert, Girl Scouts has a long, storied, and successful history of getting girls outdoors. In fact, many Girl Scouts tell us “camping trips” are one of the best things about their Girl Scout experience. It’s true: connecting with nature in a girl-led setting is a big benefit of belonging to Girl Scouts.

Studies show that girls today are not spending nearly enough time outdoors. Technology and structured activities leave less time for girls to get outside and enjoy nature. But as a Girl Scout, she’ll have plenty of opportunities to create her own outdoor adventures and develop a lifelong appreciation for nature and the out-of-doors—whether with her troop, at camp, or with friends and family.

And that’s great news—because when Girl Scouts get outside, they:

  • Discover that they can better solve problems and overcome challenges
  • Develop leadership skills, build social bonds, and are happier overall
  • Become team players and care more about protecting our environment

When girls spend quality time outdoors and increase their exposure to nature, they thrive physically, emotionally, and intellectually.

New Outdoor Journey

Anchored by the Troop Camping badge, our new Outdoor Journey will strengthen girls’ outdoor skills and ignite their interest in environmental stewardship. Girls will also complete a Take Action project.

Adventurer Badge Spotlight

Troop Camping: Get ready for fun, adventure, and challenge in the great outdoors with the winning Girls’ Choice badge for 2017. 

Art in the Outdoors: Girls get outside and explore colors, shapes, light, and shadow as they create art inspired by the natural world.

   Life Skills

Girl Scout badges, beginning with Civic Engagement and expanding to Healthy Living, Communication Skills, Practical Skills, and Global Citizenship, form the foundation of activities that help girls grow as Girl Scouts.

Whether it’s by exercising and staying healthy, developing strong relationships with family and peers, advocating on behalf of others, protecting our environment, or exploring careers that can truly change the world for the better, girls gain the skills and the inspiration to accept challenges, overcome obstacles, and take the lead.

Life Skills Journeys

As a Girl Scout, she’ll team up with other girls to identify a problem she wants to do something about, come up with a creative solution that will make a difference, and create a team plan to make that solution a reality. Then she’ll put her plan into action, talk about what she learned, and celebrate her achievements. That’s a Girl Scout Journey, and here are just a few of the areas she’ll explore:

Civic Engagement: With a focus on preparing girls to be active and informed members of their communities, Girl Scouts offers Citizen badges for all grade levels (including Daisies!), along with the Silver Torch and Gold Torch awards for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors.

Community Service: Whether it’s through planting a garden, painting a mural, or launching a letter-writing campaign, the It’s Your World—Change It! Journey inspires Girl Scouts at every grade level to take on unique leadership and advocacy challenges and discover what it means to be a leader who makes a difference in the world.

Healthy Relationships: At every stage, from Daisy to Ambassador, Girl Scouts form stronger connections with family, friends, and their communities. Younger Girl Scouts (grades K–5) make new friends as they strive to be considerate, caring, and kind. In middle school, girls learn how to cope with bullying and relational aggression. And as a Senior or Ambassador, she’ll hone her people skills with her peers and her community, as she makes the world a better place.

Financial Literacy: Grounded in real-life situations, Financial Literacy badges give girls a deeper understanding of financial issues, providing them with insight, skills, and practical knowledge in areas such as budgeting, philanthropy, making smart buying decisions, financial planning, and more. 

Celebrating Community Badge Spotlight

Citizen: Making the world a better place means Girl Scouts are passionate about civic engagement and involved in their communities, and advocate for positive change.

Healthy Living: Girls discover how fitness, food, and fun come together as they get strong—and stay strong for life!

Practical Life Skills: As they grow up and become more independent, girls gain confidence in their ability to handle life’s challenges.

   Entrepreneurship

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is such an important (and exciting!) part of the overall Girl Scout experience—tons of learning for her and beyond-delicious cookies for our awesome cookie customers! It’s a win-win.

Whether girls go door to door, set up booths at libraries and shopping centers, or sell cookies online with Digital Cookie®, they’re also preparing for a bright future. The Girl Scout Cookie Program lets girls show the world their entrepreneurial spirit as key members of the world’s largest girl-led business.  

Every year Girl Scouts all over the country use their cookie earnings to do amazing things in their communities and beyond. From helping animal shelters and feeding the homeless to raising awareness about bullying, making public areas more accessible to people with disabilities, and tons more, Girl Scouts can and will do anything they put their hearts and minds to.

As cookie entrepreneurs, girls gain essential life skills and work as a team to accomplish common goals and solve problems, while building the confidence they need to shine as girls, as young women, and as future leaders. And did we mention fun? They have lots of that along the way, too.

And now with Digital Cookie, girls can do and learn even more—and have more fun than ever before—all while giving cookie customers more ways to support them and their goals.

Remember: smart cookies don’t just improve their own lives—they have the vision to change the world.

Cookie CEO  Badge Spotlight

Cookie Business: Meet My Customers
Girls talk to customers, develop a sales pitch, count change, and role-play for better customer relations to gain skills that go far beyond the annual cookie sale.

Cookie Business: Marketing 
Creating a brand identity, sizing up the competition, and crafting a compelling message helps girls make smarter, more socially responsible buying decisions.

Learn more about the badges Girl Scouts can earn.