The Boy Scouts might be having the worst week of press in their 107-year history, but the Girl Scouts are out here winning.
In light of the deplorable speech delivered by President Trump at Monday night’s Boy Scout Jamboree (during which he opted out of the opportunity to encourage and uplift and instead chose to be grossly inappropriate and offensive as ever), we thought it would be a good time to highlight a few of the fantastic things happening on the other side of the merit badge game.
In NYC, a troop established by a single mom of five—who was forced into the New York City shelter system after her landlord sold the building in which she lived—is providing homeless girls with a place to stay. They’re known as Troop 6000, and they’re the first-ever group of Girl Scouts who are homeless.
“I try to stress the fact that they are just like any other Girl Scouting troop,” Giselle Burgess, Troop 6000 founder, tells NPR. “The only difference between us is at the end of our meetings we are still in the same location.”
Burgess—who was already working as a community development specialist for the Girl Scouts of Greater New York when she became homeless—received overwhelming support when she proposed recruiting new Girl Scouts for her own troop, which she started in her shelter.
“I think my biggest goal here is to try to break that stigma of homelessness,” she says to NPR.
Meanwhile—alongside Code.org, the Society of Women Engineers, and others—Girl Scouts of the USA announced 23 new badges on Tuesday, “15 of which are science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related,” according to Fortune. As Fortune notes, just 29% of folks working in science and engineering are women, while only 18% are computer science majors. Girl Scouts of the USA is pushing to change that.
And with the announcement of new badges comes new opportunities for the girls. The young ladies will now be able to earn badges for programming, designing, building robots, and constructing/testing model cars. There are also new outdoor-related badges available.
Girl Scouts CEO Sylvia Acevedo reportedly said in a statement that this new program will position the organization at the “cusp of a leadership renaissance for girls.”
We ain’t mad. At all.