The new membership year also means new programs for our Girl Scouts! We had so many exciting opportunities this year, we had to split them into two guides. This year, for the first time ever, we have both a regular Program Guide and new Outdoor Guide!
The Program Guide is still your resource for all our STEM, Life Skills, and Entrepreneurship-based programs. In it you’ll also find information about GS Destinations, our High Awards, Fall Product Program, and Cookie Program.
The Outdoor Guide takes a detailed look at all our outdoor experiences throughout the year. There are helpful quizzes to evaluate current levels of camping so you can make sure you’re prepared. You can also learn more about our upcoming Outdoor Celebration, Outdoor Champions program, and equipment rentals.
For more than 100 years, we’ve been the preeminent leadership organization for girls, developing businesswomen, astronauts, governors, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and even secretaries of state. The benefit of our program speaks for itself, yet it’s easy to miss why our program is so important.
It’s more than just a century of experience that helps us build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We’ve done the research to make sure we’re reaching girls where it matters and delivering what they need.
From this we know your girl will learn best in an all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment, which is exactly what we provide. What this doesn’t mean is a stereotypical ‘girl’ experience with where we do crafts and play with dolls. In fact, we usually prefer robots.
We’re redefining what it means to do something like a girl and showing girls how smart and valuable they are. We’re also girl-led, which means in Girl Scouts, your girl takes the lead. We provide programming for many areas, but the rest of it is in your daughter’s hands.
Instead of telling a girl what she should like or do, we let her choose. We give her opportunities to get outdoors, to learn about coding and cybersecurity, to learn how to run and a business, and so much more.
As the largest girl-run entrepreneurial program in the world, our Girl Scout cookie sales are about more than fundraising and providing the USA with our delicious cookies. When you sell, you learn about business planning and financial literacy. Each level teaches you something different about these areas so every year, your girl is expanding her knowledge and building on her skills.
All our programming stands on our four pillars: STEM, Outdoors, Entrepreneurship, and Life Skills. The last encompasses several areas, including our commitment to improving our world.
Service is built into so much of what Girl Scouts do. Whether it’s making centerpieces for holiday dinners at homeless shelters or collecting blankets or educating their peers and advocating for more resources, our girls do some incredible work to help those around them.
Girl and troops do projects throughout the year, but we also have three levels of higher awards to promote this culture of giving back. Girl Scout Juniors (4th and 5th graders) can work in their troop for a minimum of 20 hours on a project to earn their Bronze Award.
Next, our Cadettes (6th, 7th, and 8th graders) can earn their Silver Award. Here they’ll work by themselves or in a small group of Girl Scouts for a minimum of 50 hours on a service project.
Finally, our Seniors (9th and 10th) and Ambassadors (11th and 12th) can earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, our highest honor. This is a completely individual process and each girl must spend a minimum of 80 hours dedicated to their project. Beyond a one-time service initiative, they have to focus on something that is sustainable and will continue to make an impact after they’re done.
Sound difficult? That’s because it is. Since the beginning of our higher awards, one million girls have earned their Gold Award. That means fewer than 6% of all our Girl Scouts earn it annually.
For those who’ve ‘gone gold,’ it’s worth it. Not only can you enter the military a whole rank higher just for earning it, it’s a critical element in the college admissions decision process.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what kind of girl yours is because here, we’re all Girl Scout. We have something for her to and can help prepare her for a lifetime of leadership.
Today kicks off the long awaited Girl Scout Cookie Season! Girl Scouts of Western New Work will be selling cookies through the forms until the end of February. At the beginning of March you’ll start to see booths all around Western New York.
More than just an amazing and local fundraiser, our Cookie Program is the largest girl-run business in the world. Our girls are more than sellers – they’re entrepreneurs.
You support is more than just financial; you’re helping Girl Scouts learn 5 Skills:
Skill #1—Goal Setting “I know I can do it!”
Skill #2—Decision Making “I make smarter decisions.”
Skill #3—Money Management “I make change happen!”
Skill #4—People Skills “I get a lifetime supply of confidence in every box.”
Skill #5—Business Ethics “Selling cookies is more than just business.”
One of the most important ways Girl Scouts makes a difference is through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, or GSLE. To help prepare girls for their future, we believe in developing skills in four different areas known as the pillars to the GSLE:
Together, these four pillars create a well-rounded experience for girls. Many recent college graduates find themselves facing adulthood with no real idea how the world works. School teaches many subjects, but there are areas necessary for life that are overlooked, like taxes, loans, and budgeting.
A benefit of being a Girl Scout is these terms don’t have to be new or scary ideas. Because our program is dedicated to exposing girls to as many opportunities as possible, we want them to grow up knowing they can handle anything. For example, we host a Money Matters event every year where financial professionals come in to discuss these exact things.
When you’re considering what activities to choose for your girl, don’t fall for stories of convenience for the whole family. Think about her future and all you want her to accomplish. There’s a reason Girl Scouts is the preeminent leadership experience for girls. Discover the difference for yourself today.