As a former Girl Scout who only made it up to Junior level before pulling out of the program all together, I’ll never forget the fun times I had with them – well, fun-“ish.” I was always the odd-bird out, too much of a tomboy, and not really all into arts and crafts. Plus, I’m pretty sure I’d have been better off in the Boy Scouts. I can’t do girl drama. I really can’t. And while there was a good amount of petty girl-drama everywhere you looked, I can still say that the good memories I made, the girls I met, and the life-long lessons I learned (put wax on your matches to keep them from getting wet!) are all still a part of me today.
So, when I saw that the GSA had a brand new badge centered around video games, I about hit the ceiling. Girl Scouts were never this cool when I was in them, and if you leaned more toward “boy” activities, you were either cool, or you were a lesbian, depending on who it was who was judging you.
But this badge…pure progress.
In conjunction with Women in Games International (AKA WIGI), this new badge has been created to encourage girls’ interests in not only video games, but the knowledge of math, science, and computer graphics, as well as design, that goes into making video game in the hopes of inspiring girls to not only game, and game hard, but to create their own games as well.
I don’t need to tell you how positively impacted our video game community could be if there were more female game designers out there in the world. Imagine, a game where women and men stand on equal terms, the female lead isn’t some damsel in distress, and her “armor” is actually logical and full-bodied, like her male counterpart’s, and not just a brass bra and a chainmail loincloth. In fact, if my daughter makes the decision that she wants to be a Girl Scout, the only way I’m going to let her is if she promises to get her Heart Badge first.
However, the GSGLA (Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles) are the only ones who have access to the badge – for now. Amy Allison, VP of WIGI, says she hopes to get the badge spread to girl scouts all over America, with her next target cities including San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, and the like.
I’m also proud to announce that this isn’t the very first time the GSGLA have pushed for more in-depth science programs, either! They also sponsor and encourage their Girl Scouts to participate in the Annual Family Science Festival as well as the affiliated Robots^3 program!
I’ve gotta say, the Girl Scouts sure have changed since my time…but it’s a change I proudly welcome. Take your age-old knitting, sewing, and learning how to properly clean brass cups, as well as your “Lady Etiquette Training.” These are the New Age Girl Scouts, and I am very proud to see this great progress, as a gamer, a woman, and a former Girl Scout.