Girl Scouts Create Virtual Brownie Computer Expert Badge with Microsoft

Published: June 3, 2020

We shine the spotlight once a year on some of the young superstars in AV and IT through our 40 Influencers Under 40 program and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the names on the list in about 10 years came from the Girl Scouts of Kentucky’s Wilderness Road. [related]

The young scouts in that area recently had the opportunity to be part of a two-hour virtual program with Microsoft dubbed the Brownie Computer Expert Badge.

Microsoft gave the Brownie Scouts “hands-on experience with the latest Microsoft technology and learn foundational knowledge about how computers operate,” according to a local newspaper report.

Here’s more from the report:

Girl Scouts of Kentucky’s Wilderness Road quickly shifted to virtual programming in March to create new ways for local Girl Scouts to remain safely engaged during COVID-19.

The Microsoft collaboration reinforces GSKWR’s prioritization of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) programming, encouraging girls to explore new passions and prosper as intelligent female leaders.

This new Microsoft program will enrich the Council’s virtual program offerings and allow girls to learn about the versatility of computers, safe usage practices, key computer history and the operation of programs such as Bing, Office 365, Snippet and Paint.

“Our new Microsoft collaboration focused on STEM learning represents an ideal opportunity for Kentucky Girl Scouts to grow in their knowledge and understanding of the latest computer technology,” said Susan Douglas, CEO of Girl Scouts of Kentucky Wilderness Road, in the report.

“We’re thankful to Microsoft for their shared commitment to grow our future female leaders,” she said.

Microsoft is offering programming locally and to Girl Scout councils and alumni throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

“Microsoft is pleased to offer programming to Girl Scouts as a way to invest in the future of technology,” said Sarah Yocis, community development specialist at the Kenwood Towne Center in Cincinnati.

What AV and IT Can Learn from Girl Scouts

Here’s hoping this badge—which was created primarily out of necessity because the Brownie Scouts were no longer able to gather and explore opportunities in the traditional way—will become a permanent fixture going forward, not just something to tide the girls over until the pandemic ends.

It sounds like a fun, informative way to expose these youngsters to an industry and an opportunity they probably never considered as a potential career for themselves. If even one Brownie Computer Expert Badge holder joins an IT or AV firm when she’s done with her education, this program was a success.

AV and IT integrators should be thinking about their businesses and their industry the same way. I think virtual events should become a permanent fixture across the landscape now that everyone is starting to figure out how to host them, for example, even if they’re clumsy out of the gate.

And, if you’ve stumbled on a more efficient or better way of helping your customers get the solutions they need for their businesses during the coronavirus outbreak, why would you stop doing it when we return to a more normal world where people aren’t quarantined or told to stay home?

Someone much more famous than I’ll ever be once said, “necessity is the mother of invention.” Here’s hoping this local Girl Scouts invention is adopted across the entire organization–as long as it doesn’t mean their cookies are only delivered virtually too.

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