FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Girl Scouts of the USA Press Room
NEW YORK, March 12, 2015 -- On its 103rd birthday, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) celebrates its century-long commitment to providing girls fun and beneficial outdoor experiences through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE) with a new series of badges, chosen by Girl Scouts themselves.
In the month of November, GSUSA began the polling process for the Girls' Choice Outdoor badges by inviting girls to vote on a diverse option of outdoor themes. Outdoor Explorer emerged as the winning theme, with five age-specific badge offerings: Outdoor Adventurer, Horseback Riding, Archery, Paddling (paddle sports such as kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddle boarding), and Ultimate Recreation Challenge.
"Outdoor experiences transform a girl's understanding of and appreciation for nature, while allowing her to build a unique set of skills and boost her confidence in ways few experiences can match," said Anna Maria Chavez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. "The badge program has always been one of the cornerstones of Girl Scouts, and our research clearly shows that there is a connection between outdoor experiences and girls' understanding of their leadership potential—so Outdoor badges are a natural fit."
According to the Girl Scout Research Institute's (GSRI) study More Than S'mores, girls benefit immensely from exposure to the outdoors. Girls who spend time outdoors eclipse their peers in environmental stewardship, more readily seek challenges, and are better problem solvers, all of which are traits needed for twenty-first-century leadership.
Girls also learn environmental stewardship through outdoor experiences. In a national sample of girls, Girl Scouts are twice as likely as non-Girl Scouts to say they take action to protect the environment (51 percent versus 23 percent), and have had a personal experience in nature that has made them appreciate it more (49 percent versus 29 percent).
Through this voting process, the Girl Scout movement is illustrating its commitment to being "girl led." This focus on girl-led cooperative learning and "learning by doing" ensures high-quality programs that promote the fun and friendship girls want out of Girl Scouts.
We're Girl Scouts of the USA
We're 2.8 million strong—2 million girls and 800,000 adults who believe girls can change the world. It began over 100 years ago, with one woman, Girl Scouts' founder Juliette Gordon "Daisy" Low, who believed in the power of every girl. Juliette organized the first Girl Scout troop on March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, and every year since, we've made her vision a reality, helping girls discover their strengths, passions, and talents. Today we continue the Girl Scout mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. And with programs for girls from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to do something amazing. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit www.girlscouts.org.