Girl Scouts continues as the preeminent organization for girls in the world, with 3.2 million members in the USA and an alumnae base of more than 59 million American women. Girl Scouts is open to all girls ages 5 to 17 and values diversity and inclusiveness. For over a century, Girl Scouts has provided leadership experiences that build “girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place,” and remains one of the leading voices on girls’ healthy growth and development.
Leadership Opportunities for Girls
In 2012 Girl Scouts celebrated its 100th anniversary and launched the ToGetHerThere campaign which is the largest, boldest campaign dedicated to girl’s leadership issues in the nation’s history.
As Girl Scouting moves into its second century, the Girl Scout Leadership Experience sets forth a bold and aspirational model of leadership that encourages girls to Discover, Connect and Take Action to make their world a better place. Girl Scouts is eager to work with state policymakers to create opportunities and environments that foster girls’ leadership development.
HEALTHY LIVING-PROMOTING GIRLS’ PHYSICAL, SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH
Through our program experience and research, Girl Scouts understands the complex issue of healthy living and what motivates youth – especially girls – to adopt healthy lifestyles.
Throughout our 100 year history, Girl Scouts has innovative programs across a wide range of healthy living topics that educate and empower girls to take action to strengthen their physical and emotional health and positively impact their communities and the world.
Additionally, the Girl Scout Research Institute report, The New Normal? What Girls Say About Healthy Living, tell us that girls believe health combines good nutrition and physical fitness with emotional and social well-being.Girl Scouts encourages you to consider a wide range of related and overlooked issues that disproportionately affect girl’s healthy living including:
- Healthy Media Images: Youth consume as much as 8-10 hours of recreational media each day, and are often exposed to media that can affect their self-esteem, body image and aspirations. Our newest leadership program, It’s Your Story, Tell It,provides activities that get girls to think critically about the media, including its portrayal of girls and women. The Girl Scout Research Institute surveyed over 1,000 girls age 13-17 and found out nine out of ten girls attribute the pressure to be thin to the media and fashion industry.
- Relational Aggression: Bullying can take many forms, but girls are often more likely than boys to use subtle, indirect, and emotional form of bullying called relational aggression. Relational aggression includes behaviors such as starting rumors, gossiping, encouraging the isolation, rejection or exclusion of a peer, taunting and teasing, name calling, cyberbullying and other forms of social isolation. Our report, The Net Effect: Girls in the New Media investigates how new technology is affecting girls’ relationship and how bullying has transformed on the internet.
- Eating Disorders: The current emphasis on obesity prevention often overshadows another nutrition issue that dramatically affects girls and women: eating disorders. As many as 10 million women and girls struggle with an eating disorder today.
Girl Scouts provides valuable perspectives and counsel in shaping policies that address this and other serious children’s issues. Girl Scouts assists policymakers and community leaders to improve how our state promotes the health of young people, especially girls.
INCREASING GIRLS’ INVOLVEMENT IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATH (STEM)
Throughout our long history Girl Scouts has engaged girls in STEM activities and encouraged girls to pursue STEM interests both in and outside of the classroom through program partnerships. Girl Scouts has developed a leadership program entitled, It’s Your Planet, Love It!, an innovative, girl-centered journey that uses girls’ concern for the environment as a way to propel their interest in STEM fields. The Girl Scout Research Institute’s report Generation STEM tells us a majority of girls interested in the field of STEM and STEM subjects.
To increase the number of girls and young women pursuing education and careers in STEM, Girl Scouts seeks to work with policymakers and community leaders to ensure that education policies reflect the unique learning styles of girls and include expanded learning opportunities. By increasing public awareness, securing funding for organizations like Girl Scouts and supporting policy solutions and public educations, state and local government and programs can provide the support needed to:
- Help educators engage and motivate female students;
- Expose girls to diverse role models and mentors;
- Promote proven techniques for engaging girls in STEM, including hands-on, inquiry based learning, including single gender learning environments and hands-on, inquiry based learning and;
- Expand out of school learning opportunities; and
- Cultivate and support collaboration among non-profits, schools, educators, businesses and leaders.
GIRLS AND LEADERSHIP
For a century, Girl Scouts has produced leaders who have excelled in every segment of our American life: culture, politics, civic, business, community Through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, girls 5-17 discover themselves and their values, connect with other girls, and take action to make the world a better place. The original research study by the Girl Scouts Research Institute, Change it Up!, What Girls Say About Redefining Leadership, finds that girls strive for leadership based on personal principals, ethical behavior, and the ability to affect social change. While some progress has been made in the area of female leadership, women still make up only 17 percent of Members of Congress, 23 percent of state legislatures, six governorships and less than one half of one percent of Fortune 500 CEOs. Girl Scouts is eager to work with policymakers and community leaders to create opportunities and environments that fostergirls’ leadership development.
For almost 100 years, Girl Scouts has provided girls the money management skills they need to become fiscally responsible and successful kids and adults. The Girl Scout Cookie Program is often girls’ first introduction to business planning and entrepreneurship. Girl Scouts seeks to work with policymakers and community leaders to develop programs and policies that ensure that all girls have solid financial literacy skills and support the role of youth-serving organizations in providing real world financial literacy experiences for girls.
SUPPORTING A THRIVING NON-PROFIT COMMUNITY
Girl Scouts is proud to partner with our state’s non-profit community to ensure that non-profits can survive and thrive as employers and continue to provide services in these troubled times. We support public policies that sustain non-profits, recruit and retain volunteers, incentivize charitable giving, facilitate nonprofits abilities to provide background checks, protect nonprofit sales and property tax exemptions and activities that help us achieve our missions. Girl Scouts encourages policymakers and community leaders to work with human services organizations to ensure a healthy, effective and strong non-profit community.