Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida and Girl Scouts of the USA have revealed 42 exclusive new badges that allow girls to make their own choices about how they want to experience and influence the world. The new badges and programming help prepare girls to address some of society’s most pressing needs through hands-on learning and real-life problem-solving in cybersecurity, coding, space exploration, and citizen science. In addition, the outdoor high adventure badges allow girls to explore nature while experiencing challenging outdoor activities like climbing and trail adventures. These are the first Girl Scout badges that members can earn by choosing one of two self-directed paths.

“Girl Scout programming has long promoted independent decision making,” said Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida CEO Mary Anne Servian. “Our goal is to help girls develop agency, challenge themselves to move beyond their comfort zones, and build confidence in their leadership abilities.”

Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida is holding information events throughout the area for girls and families to learn more about the program. Upcoming dates and locations in Sarasota include: August 19, Emma E. Booker Elementary Media Center, 5:30 p.m.; August 20, Phillippi Shores Elementary Cafeteria, 6:30 p.m.; August 20, Fruitville Elementary Cafeteria, 6:30 p.m.; August 21, Southside Elementary Cafeteria, 6:30 p.m.; August 22, Tatum Ridge Elementary Cafeteria, 6:30 p.m.; August 22, Gulf Gate Elementary Cafeteria, 6:30 p.m.; August 26, Bay Haven School of Basics Plus Cafeteria, 6:30 p.m.; August 28, Lakeview Elementary Cafeteria, 6:00 p.m.; and August 29, Ashton Elementary Cafeteria, 6:30 p.m. Program scholarships are available based on financial need.

For a list of all local registration events, or to learn more about new member registration or volunteering, visit www.gsgcf.org.

— Submitted by Lori Tomlinson