Getting Girl Scouts Involved

Girl Scout Uniform Vest and Sash
Original public domain image from Digital Commonwealth

Practical solutions to many major problems could come from a coalition of government, education, and industry. The Society of Plastics Engineers is doing their part by getting Girl Scouts involved. They’re working with the venerable organization to create a Sustainable Packaging Patch.

Catch up on Girl Scouts

We know that our average reader has never been a Girl Scout, so here’s a little background.
The story of Girl Scouts begins in 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, with Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low. Inspired by the Boy Scouts, founded just a year prior, Daisy envisioned a similar movement for girls. She believed girls, too, deserved opportunities to develop courage, confidence, and character through outdoor adventures, skill-building activities, and community service.

On March 12th, 1912, Daisy gathered 18 girls for the very first Girl Scout troop meeting. These young pioneers explored their surroundings, learned basic skills like first aid, and participated in civic activities. The movement resonated deeply, and within a few years, Girl Scouts spread across the United States.

Early Girl Scouts wore khaki uniforms and participated in activities like camping, hiking, and learning traditional crafts. A feature of their uniforms was a sash on which they sewed patches, or badges, that commemorated skills they had learned and demonstrated. As the organization grew, the program diversified, offering badges in everything from cooking and sewing to music and science. Girl Scouts embraced new technologies, offering badges in radio broadcasting and photography as early as the 1920s.

Throughout its history, Girl Scouts have championed female empowerment. During World War I, Girl Scouts sold Liberty Bonds and participated in war relief efforts. In the decades that followed, they broke gender barriers, offering programs in traditionally male-dominated fields like aviation and engineering. Today, Girl Scouts continue to evolve, offering badges in cybersecurity, robotics, and entrepreneurship.

From its humble beginnings in Savannah, Girl Scouts has become a global phenomenon. Millions of girls across the world have donned the iconic green sash, participating in programs that foster leadership, resilience, and a lifelong love of learning. The legacy of Juliette Gordon Low lives on, inspiring girls to reach their full potential and make a positive impact on the world.

Sustainable packaging?

So once you’ve gotten your hiking, robotics, and cybersecurity badges, what’s left? The Sustainable Packaging badge comes with an education in “Positive Plastics Education,” according to the SPE. They plan to make sure modern Girl Scouts understand the importance of packaging, the pros and cons of the various materials used, and the careers available in the field.

The SPE Foundation is engaging with local Girl Scouts of the USA councils around the country to introduce girls to opportunities in plastics engineering through STEM patches related to polymer science, packaging, and sustainability.

“We hope to spark an interest in girls so they’ll join the packaging industry one day to innovate solutions to our most pressing challenges. We’re looking to engage youth who care about our environment and empowering them as future scientists and engineers,” says Eve Vitale, the SPE Foundation’s chief executive.

You can donate to the initiative.

We’re thinking this might be a path to future solutions for lots of problems. Get the Girl Scouts involved!

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