It is a critical time in the Girl Scout Movement. Now, more than ever, girls face unique challenges in school, social settings, and as they enter the workplace. Our proven Girl Scout program is based on years of research about girls’ development, and is designed to:
- Close the confidence gap. (Research is clear — it starts for girls at age 6, when they start to believe they are less capable than boys, and it accelerates in middle school and continues through college.)
- Develop and fortify girls’ belief in their identities as leaders.
- Counteract the constant drum of media that tells girls their worth is dependent on physical appearance and achieving “perfection.”
- Strengthen them to stand up to the peer pressure and bullying that girls experience starting in elementary school.
I am incredibly proud of Girl Scouts’ history of inclusion and girl safety, and our legacy of women leaders (including 70% of today’s female senators, 100% of female Secretaries of State, and nearly all female astronauts). I am also proud of our commitment to bringing Girl Scouting to all girls in our community, regardless of their family’s background or resources. We need to stay strong for all girls.
Here is a slice of some of the research that identifies what girls need and that also informs how the Girl Scout program works with girls— to build their social and emotional skills, close confidence gaps, and develop their identities as leaders.
And here are seven simple ways you can be a champion for Girl Scouts:
1. Be a Myth-Buster
Our GSSOAZ staff, at girl recruiting events, are beginning to hear Boy Scouts repeating false myths: “If you want to just do crafts and cookies, join Girl Scouts. If you want adventure, join Boy Scouts.” You — our volunteers, alumni, families and girl members — are the best representatives to counter these kinds of myths about Girl Scouts. Equip yourself with the facts about what makes Girl Scouting great. We have some resources that can help:
2. Volunteer to be a School Representative
We know that 53% of non-Scouting families think Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are the same organization. As the Boy Scouts seek to reverse their declining membership by adding girls, they benefit from this confusion — so it’s important to set the record straight. As the face of Girl Scouting at your school, you can actively share your Girl Scout stories and information with parents and caregivers.
3. Make the Case with Your School Principals
We are hearing from other Girl Scout councils that Boy Scouts in some areas have convinced schools they no longer need to provide meeting space or recruitment nights for Girl Scouts. We are reaching out to principals and superintendents here in Southern Arizona to ensure that schools understand we are different programs, and that Girl Scouts offers unique experiences and benefits for girls. Your voice can make a difference, too! We can provide you with important information to share about how Girl Scouts benefits girls and contributes to their academic success.
4. Join Your Local NextDoor.com Group
This online community is specific to your neighborhood and is a great way to get the word out about Girl Scouts in your community. (If you belong to another, similar online community, that’s great too!)
5. Join the New Girl Scout Network on LinkedIn
Network with the Girl Scout Alumni community to connect fellow advocates with our local council. Just head here and click “Follow.”
6. Wear Your Girl Scout Swag
Encourage your girl, or the girls in your troop, to wear their uniforms or Girl Scout t-shirts to school. Adults, please feel free to join the girls— wear your pins and Girl Scout gear with pride!
7. Share Your Girl Scout Pride
Don’t keep it to yourself: tell the world why you and your girl chose Girl Scouts! Talk to your friends, family, and neighbors. Share your story on social media; or share, retweet, or re-gram stories and information from the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona social media pages. Submit your Girl Scout or your troop’s adventures to be highlighted across our council, and show the community why you’re proud to be a G.I.R.L.
Thank you for taking action to make the case for Girl Scouts, so that families have all of the facts when they decide how to invest their time, and to keep Girl Scouts strong and thriving for all girls!
On my honor,
CEO, Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona