When most people think of the Girl Scouts, they immediately associate the organization with cookies. Thin Mints or Coconut Delights, anyone?
Electronic instrument manufacturer/distributor Roland aims to add "rock star" to that list. The company has partnered with Girl Scouts of the USA to launch Girl Scouts Rock! Powered by Roland-a series of interactive workshops designed to empower young girls through music.
"We Got the Beat," the iconic hit by '80s female rock band the Go-Go's, is the theme song for the initiative, tying in with the group's 30th anniversary this year. Go-Go's guitarist Charlotte Caffey attended the March 19 kickoff in Los Angeles.
Girl Scouts ages 8-14 were introduced to various instruments, tried their hand at songwriting and performed for their peers. Participating alongside the girls was former Girl Scout/Disney star Shelby Spalione, who fronts the Rockin' Roland Girls Band. Spalione, ex-lead singer of female teen rock band KSM, will appear at all of the workshops.
"Music stores are very male-dominated," says Roland president Chris Bristol, who developed the initiative. "I want to give young girls a positive, hands-on experience playing musical instruments and making their own music. It's difficult for them to do that in school now because of all the budget cuts."
Girl Scouts Rock! Powered by Roland travels to Miami (April 30) before stopping in Minneapolis (May 7), Chicago (May 14) and New York (May 21). Girl Scout troops located in other cities will be able to access post-workshop tools on RolandUS.com. The company has also offered to serve as a liaison to local Girl Scout chapters, connecting them to music retailers and teachers for instruments and instruction.