Were you one of 50 million women who was a Girl Scout? Reconnect with the premier organization for girls, the one that helped you become the successful woman you are today. If you are interested in participating in the Alumnae Association, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Girl Scouts of the USA was founded in the spring of 1912 with one leader and 18 girls. Today it has 3.2 million members: 2.3 million girls and more than 800,000 adult volunteers. Nearly one out of every two American women—there are an estimated 50 million living alumnae—have been Girl Scouts.
In 2011, with the upcoming centenary of Girl Scouts of the USA in mind—the organization turned 100 years old on March 12, 2012—the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) decided to take a look at the organization’s long-term effects on its girl members and has published Girl Scouting Works: The Alumnae Impact Study.
Compared with non-alumnae, Girl Scout alumnae feel better about themselves, are more active as mentors and community volunteers, vote more regularly, are better educated, and enjoy higher household incomes. This was particularly true for women who were members for three or more years. They scored significantly higher in every area than alumnae who were members for a shorter time.
We see that in our current members while they’re still girls. Those who stay in long enough to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award—generally, seniors in high school—find themselves accomplishing things their 10- or 11-year-old selves couldn’t have imagined.
When asked what they got out of their Girl Scout experiences, one thing the alumnae frequently mentioned was confidence: the feeling that they could do whatever they set out to do. This is essential for anyone wanting to lead a successful life, women and men alike, but building and maintaining self-confidence is in many ways more difficult for girls and women than it is for boys and men.
Girl Scouting is not the only answer to girls’ confidence and later-life success. That’s why we launched ToGetHerThere, the largest, boldest advocacy and fundraising cause campaign dedicated to girls’ leadership in our nation’s history. We need all the brainpower we can muster, and we need everyone—parents, corporations, nonprofits, government, and ordinary citizens—to support girls as they figure out what their goals are and as they stretch themselves to achieve them.
But we’re part of the answer. We’ve always known that, and now we have the numbers to prove it. You don’t have to wait a lifetime to see results, either. If a girl comes to us in the second grade, the odds are good she’s going to have a better and more successful third-grade year. If she stays the course through high school and earns her Gold Award, college—and the rest of her life—are going to be a whole different experience for her. Girl Scouting works.