We all know the usual Girl Scout activities and patches they earn for them, building a fire, setting up a tent, selling Girl Scouts cookies. All of these are great to teach valuable, basic life skills but with the new age of technology, something new had to be added. Girl Scouts are now earning patches for playing and completing a video game that teaches them the importance of cybersecurity and the seriousness of cyberbullying.
Who’s A Part Of This?
The largest Girl Scout council, in the DC area, Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital (GSNC), “60,000 girls and 27,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L ( Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)” has teamed up with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) who teamed up with Romero Games. They have come together to test out the troop’s cyber skills with a “custom-made game to learn about privacy, online identities, security, and cyberbullying.” The idea came after a GSNC troop leader who is married to an HPE executive stated she wanted to teach her 9-11-year-old girls about staying safe online as the kids began to use the internet more. The game was created so that it models real-life scenarios, having the Girl Scouts go through it in a game so that when they are faced with it, in reality, they already have knowledge of the situation and know what actions to take.
HPE knew that they are working with kids, and one of the best ways kids remember things is if they are fun and exciting so making the lesson into a video game seemed like the best idea. They put Chief Information Security Officer Liz Joyce, who is an HPE executive and a mother of a Girl Scout to lead the project and she states, “It was important to us that it was a fun, interactive experience that would hit the right note with the girls.” Already the game has impacted the girls as they grow with more confidence in knowing and being able to explain cybersecurity to their friends and other kids.
They have launched 30 new national STEM badges and this patch is regional and made to support the national badges. They launched them to have girls more involved in the STEM field, badges like robotics badge, space science badge, and environmental stewardship badge. Joyce hopes they’ll be able to bring the game to more troops in the country and to Boy Scouts as well since cyber safety is something everybody needs to know about.
Editorial note: the original article had grammar mistakes “girl scouts” and “boy scouts” was changed to “Girl Scouts” and “Boy Scouts”, Nations in “Girl Scouts Nations Capital Name” was changed to “Nation’s”. The numbers for girls and adults in the organization was corrected from 1.8 million girls and 800,000 adults to 60,000 girls and 27,000 adults. The first reference to Joyce was changed to Chief Information Security Officer Liz Joyce and the information about the badges was changed they have launched 30 new STEM badges and the Cybersecurity patch is a regional patch to support the national ones.