Laura Bush, Dakota Fanning, Sandra Day O’Connor, Grace Kelly, Katie Couric, Taylor Swift, Barbara Walters, and Celine Dion are all talented and highly regarded women in their fields. Their outstanding leadership is well known but, that which few people realize is that all these women have one more thing in common; each of them was once a Girl Scout. In fact, 64% percent of today’s women leaders in the United States (civic, corporate, political, etc.) were once Girl Scouts!
For more that a hundred years Girl Scouts has been providing girls in kindergarten through 12th grade with a unique opportunity and it all started with a phone call. After meeting with Englishman and Boy Scouts founder, Robert Baden-Powell, Juliette Gordon Low (Girl Scout founder) called her cousin Nina and said “I’ve got something for the girls of Savannah, and all of America, and all the world and we’re going to start it tonight!” On March 12, 1912 Juliette organized the first Girl Scouts of America troop in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia.
Even at a time of segregation, Juliette made sure that African-American, American Indian and Hispanic girls could be Girl Scouts. She welcomed girls “who lived in rural and urban areas, to girls who were rich, middle class and poor, and to girls who were born in this country as well as immigrants.” This value holds true today and is what allows the Girl Scout organization to foster a strong sense of community learning, since girls learn from each other’s diverse backgrounds.
A second factor that makes Girl Scouts the largest educational organization for girls in the world (Girl Scouts Heart of Hudson) is that it not only prepares girls for traditional homemaking tasks but it also teaches them how to be leaders. Girls are encouraged to explore careers in the arts, sciences and business. In addition, girls develop their physical, mental and spiritual being by partaking in fun outdoor activities such as hiking and camping.
Last year in celebrating 100 years of scouting Katie Couric explained that Girl Scout “empowers the girls of today to become the leaders of tomorrow.” Katie also spoke with girls at Parkway Northwest High School in Philadelphia and this is what they had to say about Girl Scouts: ” it makes you feel good..to do something positive” while another Cadette (4th level of GS membership) affirmed that her involvement in Girl Scouts helps her ” be strong and who I am”. Luckily, there are many ways to become a Girl Scout so if you are ready to embark on this journey contact your nearest Girl Scout Council to get involved.
Link to Find Nearest Council: http://www.girlscouts.org/join/girls.asp
- Ana Maria Chávez is the current and first Latina CEO to head Girl Scouts USA.
- The national Girl Scout headquarters have been in New York City since 1916.
- Eleven of the seventeen women in the U.S. Senate were scouts (ABC news).
- Thin Mints® is the top-selling Girl Scout Cookie in America.
- Today, there are 3.2 million Girl Scouts!