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Cybersecurity badge: One big step for Girl Scouts, potentially giant leap for women

My association with the Girl Scouts has spanned decades — as a scout, camp counselor, steadfast cookie connoisseur and now donor. It is an experience strongly associated with the great outdoors. Cook meals on a campfire? Check. Hike long distances wearing a heavy backpack? Check. Lead two dozen 5-year-olds for a week in a woodland camp? Check. In adulthood, all of those experiences stayed with me, and I put them to use in the wilderness and in my work as a cybersecurity researcher for the RAND Corporation.

Scouting has always given girls opportunities that challenge them and allow their leadership skills to develop. But the modern world — with its headlines about Russians hacking our elections and disruptive prank email impersonations of White House staffers — can seem far removed from a Girl Scout camp. So imagine my delight when the Girl Scouts announced they would be offering 18 cybersecurity badges to expose girls to information-age concepts and challenges