Having been a Girl Scout for several years and going on several solo trips I have been able to experience and learn so much. Since becoming an adult member, these trips have become slightly simpler with my troop of mixed girls up until recently when I had the opportunity to attend the Girl Scout National Convention in Columbus, Ohio this past October. This was an opportunity that I was so grateful for and learned so much along with making so many new Girl Scout memories. My favorite place to be at convention, besides the business sessions, was the Hall of Experiences.
The Hall of Experiences is exactly what it sounds like, a large hall with a wide variety of experiences for girls and adult members. This is a place where Girl Scouts are exposed to other vendors that support Girl Scouts and a chance to meet the other product vendors as well. Some of the vendors in the hall were Paypal, Disney on Broadway, and Universal Studios just to name a few. Along with our product program vendors, M2 Media and Little Brownie Bakers, there was also Ashdon Farms and ABC Bakers. All of the product program vendors had samples of their products, so it gave you a chance to taste the other items and have an idea of what our customers refer to during the cookie program.
The most popular spot in the hall was the NASA space spot. This is because girls were able to have lots of hands-on experiences while the adults were able to gain more information about the programs that they offer to Girl Scouts. Along with all the opportunities they offered to Girl Scouts, they had a poster that girls were able to take home which showed the various women astronauts and when they were Girl Scouts. Girls were really able to be themselves in the hall because all vendors were centered on them and how it can help them as a Girl Scout.
Being a first time delegate and convention member, I was definitely open-minded to all that I was about to experience. While in the Hall of Experiences, it’s all about gathering all the information and bringing it back to share with everyone else who was unable to attend. Simply because your troop may not be interested in space camp, but another troop in your area may be.
I highly recommend if anyone has the chance to attend a future convention to not pass up the opportunity. You will come back feeling like a brand new leader with lots of knowledge and insight to share with everyone.
Mark your calendars! Girl Scouts will be once again be showcasing their leadership style at the Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!
No matter where you are, join Girl Scouts, R&B platinum-selling artist Andra Day, and rap superstar Common to stand up for something you believe in. When you spy the Girl Scout float, take to social media and share what you stand for using #GIRLagenda and #StandUpForSomething.
If you plan to be in New York City on Thanksgiving morning, use this list to make the most of the inspiring celebration. Let’s do this!
Pick a viewing location. A Girl Scout is always prepared! Our map will help you scope out the best views of the parade—don’t forget to get there early. For more parade tips, visit macys.com/social/parade. To watch with your fellow Girl Scout sisters, we will have special meet up locations on the WEST side of Central Park West and 75th Street and WEST side of 6th Avenue and 45th Street.
Bring your SWAPS. What better way to meet new Girl Scout friends than by making SWAPS (Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere) to trade at the parade? In case you didn’t know, SWAPS, an honored Girl Scout tradition, are small, girl-made tokens of friendship exchanged among Girl Scouts who meet while traveling. It’s so much fun!
Visit Girl Scout Headquarters. After your parade adventure, take a stroll up to 37th Street and 5th Avenue to check out Girl Scouts of the USA’s national office at 420 5th Avenue. The building will be closed Thursday, but the Girl Scout sign out front is a great backdrop for a photo op.
Shop your favorite Girl Scout gear. Be one of the first to visit Girl Scout Central, our all-new store, and grab the latest Girl Scout gear or some gifts for your Girl Scout sisters back home—they’ll love it! The shop is located on the bottom floor of the national office and will be open on Black Friday from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM.
Can’t join us in the city? That’s OK! Participate in these four ways from the comfort of your own home.
Tune in! The 91st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs nationwide on NBC on Thursday, November 23, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. across time zones.
Celebrate the Occasion. Don’t forget to visit the Girl Scout Shop to pick up your Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade photo or commemorative patches to remember the event. Plus, the all-new parade float ornament is the perfect way to showcase your Girl Scout pride all holiday season long. Quantities of these special-edition items are limited, so don’t miss out.
Give back to your Girl Scout sisters. This year has been especially difficult—between Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and the wildfires ravaging California, many Girl Scouts across the United States have found themselves in challenging situations. This Thanksgiving, while sharing what you are grateful for, take a moment to donate to those in need. And don’t forget to save the date: Girl Scouts of the USA will be joining forces with Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council to host a special Facebook Live on November 28 with more ways to help.
Studies have predicted that within the next decade, the U.S. workforce will need 1 million more STEM professionals than it can produce. Girl Scouts has already been expanding opportunities for girls to explore STEM and today we announced the Girl Scout STEM Pledge. This groundbreaking national initiative pledge seeks to reduce the STEM gender gap by raising $70 million, impacting 2.5 million girls by 2025.
Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, announced the pledge during Dreamforce, Salesforce’s annual gathering and the largest software conference in the world. GSUSA was honored to be selected as a “Trailblazer” and nonprofit of choice at this year’s conference. By selecting the organization, Salesforce acknowledged Girl Scouts’ work in STEM and its ability to transform the lives of millions of girls across the country, in virtually every residential zip code, preparing the next generation of female leaders.
“Girl Scouts has the largest pipeline of future female leaders available, and no place is this more important than in STEM fields,” said Acevedo. “By working with individuals and companies that understand the importance of investing in all girls, we can fundamentally change the STEM pipeline and the future of its workforce. Girl Scouts is the only organization for girls with the expertise and reach to help pave the way for any young girl—no matter if she lives in Middle America or a major city—to break barriers and achieve any dream she may imagine. For millions of girls, this means excelling in STEM—and I’m incredibly proud that the Girl Scout STEM Pledge will make that dream a reality and change the dynamics of women in these exciting fields.”
Our commitment to encouraging girls to discover and excel in STEM fields is already yielding real results: Girl Scouts are almost twice as likely as non–Girl Scouts to participate in STEM activities (60 percent versus 35 percent), and 77 percent of girls say that because of Girl Scouts, they are considering a career in technology.
Calling all troop leaders! Through your dedication to the girls you serve every day, you’ve already shown us that you believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to stand up, speak out, and accomplish amazing things. Help us unleash that power in even more girls today by pledging to add one or more girls to your troop by March 1, 2018—and you’ll qualify to win some fantastic prizes!
Take the pledge between November 1 and November 15, 2017,and tell us how your troop is working to advance the G.I.R.L. Agenda in your community. The agenda is our nationwide initiative to elevate every voice in the advancement of girls’ leadership and status in the world. By pledging to add at least one new girl to your troop, you’ll help even more girls spark positive change through civic action!
Taking the pledge is easy:
Upload an image of your trailblazing troop.
Take the pledge.
Share how your troop is advancing the G.I.R.L. Agenda.
Start recruiting girls for your troop.
What Your Troop Can Win
Once the pledge closes, 600 prize winners will be randomly selected to receive a FREE limited-edition G.I.R.L. Agenda patch for their troop. In addition, four grand prize winners will be randomly selected to have GSUSA share their story on Facebook (on Thanksgiving!), as well as receive the patch for their troop. SWEET!
Pledges must be submitted by November 15, 2017 by an adult 18 or over. One entry per troop. See the official rules for full details.
Need Help Recruiting Girls for Your Troop?
Don’t sweat it—we’ll give you the tools to make it happen. Once you complete the pledge, check your email inbox for some articles and resources you can share with your friends and family to introduce them to the power of Girl Scouting, and spread the word that you’re looking for more girls to join your troop!
Still have questions? Review our FAQ for more information.
I recently had an amazing Girl Scout experience that I want to share. I knew that going to National Convention as a delegate would be exciting, but I had no idea that it would change the way I look at Girl Scouting. I have returned from Ohio more motivated than ever before, and want to encourage you to share my energy. Even more importantly, I want to convince all Girl Scouts to attend a National Convention themselves.
I am a Mountain Communities Trainer and also teach the Program Aid course. I am a strong advocate of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE) and enjoy opportunities to teach others. I’ve worked with so many talented Girl Scouts, but I was blown away by the girls chosen as national delegates. The girl delegates were active in giving opinions on our voting topics. They were thoughtful, insightful, passionate, and persuasive. However, when the discussion topic of how to get more girls into Girl Scouting and keep them, they were incredible. These young women had talked with other girls and shared their stories. They had concerns about diversity, funding, and leadership. They expressed that while many girls are tired of Journeys, others really like them. They presented original ideas that made everyone in the room think, “Wow, why aren’t we doing that?”
I want to encourage all of you to return to your troops and let the girls take the reins. It takes a bit of encouragement to get them on the leadership path, but I’ve seen what can happen when they succeed. I can only hope that my daughter becomes half as successful and amazing as the young women chosen to represent their councils.
I had a meeting with my friend and mentor, Nancy Mucklow, who encouraged me to apply to be a delegate. She wants to plan some big Girl Scout travel, and I virtually doubled her list. Did you know that there is a petition to name the bridge over the Savannah River in Savannah, Georgia the Juliette Gordon Low Bridge? When I told my troop about a chance to participate in their bridging ceremony, their eyes lit up and I think they started their packing list in their heads. I was unaware that Girl Scouts has a camp in Minnesota that does Boundary Waters canoe trips, and the cost is so low it’s staggering. You can go as a large group, an individual, or even a family. I was thrilled to find out that this high adventure trip is affordable and am starting to look at dates. I hope that I can encourage others to join me. I also learned a great deal more about the different world centers and Nancy is starting our travel plans for 2019 – I can’t wait!
The Hall of Experiences was just amazing. I learned information that I never realized existed. It had activities for the girls, from crafts, to the local science museum, to NASA. We were especially impressed with one gentleman at the NASA booth. Not only did he tell us about current science and demonstrate thrilling technology, he gave out important advice about high school and college classes to focus on and emphasized the importance of earning your Gold Award before applying for colleges. My favorite part of our conversation though, was about his daughter’s troop that he leads. We talked with our first colleges, and the advisors there taught my daughter the important questions she should be asking. They talked to her, not me. They asked her the important questions and helped her narrow down her scattered thoughts. I’m grateful for their approach in helping my daughter start her college search.
The breakout sessions were so informative and fun. My daughter attended the girl only yoga and self-defense class. She was very excited to prove herself to the self-defense instructor. She was told to hit the instructor if attacked. When the instructor snuck up on my daughters back and grabbed her hand, my daughter turned and hit her. The instructor was so thrilled that it was caught on video and she posed together yelling YEAH! While she was beating up adults, I attended a bullying seminar. While this was not normally not my thing, I was extremely impressed and inspired. The speaker had a different way of looking at the topic, and I can’t wait to share what I learned.
The inspirational speakers and videos were simply phenomenal. Coming from a family of gymnasts, hearing Gabby Douglas speak was thrilling. Chelsea Clinton was a joy and we just loved her discussion with the Young Women of Distinction about their Gold Awards. The psychologist that spoke was simply amazing. I am still discussing her theories with my daughter. However, in my opinion, the best speaker of the Convention was our very own CEO, Sylvia Acevedo. The way she could engage every person in the audience, regardless of their age was so wonderful. She loved getting all of us to stand up, dance and celebrate Girl Scouting together. If her speaking skills weren’t enough, she also took the time to talk with anyone who wanted her ear and smile for hundreds of selfies. If you have never heard amazing woman speak, I encourage you to seek her out.
The point that I want to stress is that National Convention is just so much more than just a convention. It’s a lifetime experience. I met people who have been attending National Convention since the 80’s. I was inspired by one woman who brings her granddaughters to every National Convention. I find this idea compelling and hope to someday be able to follow in this woman’s footsteps. Did I forget to talk about SWAPS? Just imagine bringing 250 swaps representing our great state and trading with Girl Scouts from around the country – and the world!
When I returned from convention, I was simply exhausted. There were so many fun and interesting things going on that we averaged about five and a half hours of sleep a night. The most amazing part of the convention started after I got home and got a real eight hours of sleep. I have ideas. I have plans. I am motivated. I see how my local troop and my volunteer efforts fit into Girl Scouts around the country. I want to see Girl Scouts of Colorado become a leader in our amazing national organization. I want to see more Girl Scouts, young and old, attend national conventions and come home as inspired as me. I want you to join me at the next national convention in 2020 in Orlando, Florida!
Juliette Gordon Low’s desire to make the world a better place was evident early in her life. When she was just 16, she convinced her cousins to start the Helping Hands Club with her, to make clothing for families who had recently immigrated to the U.S. This was Juliette’s first foray into civic action, organizing in the community, and inspiring girls to take the lead for the greater good.
Fast forward to 1912, when Juliette, affectionately known as “Daisy” by her family and close friends, gathered 18 girls in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia, to share what she’d learned abroad about a new outdoor and educational program for youth. With this, the first Girl Scout troop was formed—and the Girl Scout Movement was born to serve all girls nationwide.
Our earliest Girl Scouts, along with our pioneering founder, blazed trails and redefined what was possible for themselves and for girls everywhere. And ever since, Girl Scouts has provided girls with transformative experiences that set them up to lead in their own lives and the world. Because of Girl Scouts, millions of G.I.R.L.s (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ have been prepared for a lifetime of leadership—from hiking under the stars to accepting a mission to the International Space Station; from lobbying the city council with their troop to holding a seat in Congress; from running their own cookie business to tackling cybersecurity.
Here are three things you can do to honor Juliette Gordon Low and her remarkable legacy on Founder’s Day:
Proudly shout out what Girl Scouts has done for you! Share your story on social using #becauseofGirlScouts—and be sure to tag @girlscouts on Instagram and Twitter. You might even be included in our collection of #becauseofGirlScouts stories.
Elevate the legacy of Girl Scouts’ founder—sign our petition to support renaming the Talmadge Memorial Bridge in Savannah after Juliette Gordon Low. There are so many reasons this iconic bridge should honor our go-getting founder!
Share your #GIRLagenda by posting on the civic issues and causes you’re passionate about and taking action to impact—in the process, you’ll motivate others to act, as you honor our founder and shared mission to make the world a better place. Need a little inspiration? Tips for leading positive change through civic action? Check out our G.I.R.L. Agenda resources, which include materials for girls ages 5–17—and adults, too!
What’s even more fun than a new year of Girl Scouts? Welcoming new girls to your troop! After all, new members bring fresh ideas, different ways of looking at things, and excitement that can spark creativity and energize everyone. Plus, introducing new friends to Girl Scouting allows existing members to flex their leadership skills and build confidence. Basically, everybody wins!
Though you may already be a few months into the new school year, it’s still the perfect time to get more girls involved in your troop’s adventures. Get ready to recruit some fresh faces with these tried-and-true tips from Marissa Vessels, who writes for Girl Scouts of Northern California’s blog The Trailhead:
1. Host a Bring-a-Friend meeting.
It’s common that your girls might want to invite their friends to troop meetings to see what Girl Scouts is all about! So lean into your girls’ natural desire to be social and host a special “Bring-a-Friend” meeting for your troop (or just designate certain meetings throughout the year as being open for friends).
When hosting a Bring-a-Friend meeting, it’s important that the meeting is authentic to your troop’s Girl Scout experience. If your troop is full of outdoor adventurers, a meeting filled with crafts and games may not be the best way to attract the girls that are right for your group. And if your girls are a little more on the low-key side, your troop trip to a theme park might not be the right event for potential new Girl Scouts to experience. Instead, plan a meeting that will allow for lots of interaction between the girls, down time for you to talk to the potential new parents, and a fun activity that is true to your troop’s interests.
2. Add your troop to the Opportunity Catalog.
Did you know that there are thousands of girls all over the country waiting to find the perfect troop, and likely hundreds right in your area? We need to do our part to help these girls find their homes in Girl Scouts! Many councils have a troop Opportunity Catalog—an online listing that provides detailed information about the troops in your area that have open spots available. The troop catalog is the perfect opportunity to tell new members about what your troop likes to do and what makes you, you. You’ll fill in all of the details about the age levels of your girls, when you meet, and what kinds of activities you enjoy, which will help new Girl Scouts and volunteers find their perfect match. Check with your council on how to make sure you’re there.
3. Have your girls rock their Girl Scout swag on meeting days (and share their Girl Scout story).
No matter how old your girls are, wearing their uniforms or other Girl Scout logo merchandise out and about is a powerful way to recruit new members for your troop. Not only are these items symbols of pride, they tell a story of girls’ unique experiences—the skills they’ve learned, the adventures they’ve gone on—and it’s hard for friends not to ask about it. Encourage your girls to don their Girl Scout duds at school, back-to-school night, and out in the community on days that they have Girl Scout events to attend, and you’re sure to pique interest.
4. Invite your friends and their girls to attend Service Unit or Council events with you.
There’s something magical about the Girl Scout sisterhood, isn’t there? So what better way to recruit new members than to invite your friends and their girls to join along for a service unit or council event to get a taste of the wider Girl Scout community! From building robots to singing songs around the campfire, there are opportunities for every girl in Girl Scouts, no matter what her interests are.
Whether we’re environmental champions, budding entrepreneurs, or passionate about changing the world, the next opportunity to stand up, speak up, and take the lead is never far away. So round up your favorite friends and invite them to see why Girl Scouts is the best place for their girls to grow into the confident, courageous, and strong women of tomorrow, today. (Seriously, what parent can say no to that?)
5. Hand out physical invitations for girls to share with their friends.
Your girls are by far your best recruiters. Make it easy for their friends to join in on the fun by giving out a handful of physical invitations for your girls to pass out at school, in the community, clubs, church, sports practice, dance classes, back-to-school night, student government meetings, and, well, you get the idea!
Your invitation should include space for your girl to write her name, her friend’s name, meeting details (date, time, and location), and your troop leader’s contact information.
Girl Scouts is the best girl leadership organization in the world, created with and for girls. We believe strongly in the importance of the all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment that Girl Scouts provides, which creates a free space for girls to learn and thrive.
The benefit of the single-gender environment has been well-documented by educators, scholars, other girl- and youth-serving organizations, and Girl Scouts and their families. Girl Scouts offers a one-of-a-kind experience for girls with a program tailored specifically to their unique developmental needs.
At Girl Scouts, we are the girl experts, and for more than a century we have provided millions of girls opportunities for adventure, inspiration, and valuable mentoring. Offering hands-on, girl-centered learning in STEM, the outdoors, and entrepreneurship, and abundant opportunities to develop invaluable life skills, Girl Scouts helps all girls take the lead early and often. The Girl Scout Leadership Experience pairs girls with strong, caring female role models and mentors who prepare them to take the lead from age 5 to 18 and into adulthood. And we’re backed by more than 100 years of experience and expertise in the field.
As the premier leadership organization for girls, we are unmatched in delivering proven outcomes:
Our Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting, is a top-tier credential for girls as they enter their post–high school lives, enabling them to distinguish themselves in the college admissions process, earn college scholarships, and enter the military one rank higher.
Are better educated and have more success in their careers
Enjoy higher household and personal income
Are more active as mentors and community volunteers
Have more confidence in themselves and their abilities
In the U.S., 90 percent of female astronauts, 80 percent of female tech leaders, 75 percent of current senators, and all U.S. Secretaries of State are Girl Scout alumnae.
At Girl Scouts, girls learn the skills, have the experiences, and cultivate the relationships that enable them to soar in life. From taking a night time hike under the stars to accepting a mission on the International Space Station; from lobbying the city council with her troop to holding a seat in Congress; from running her own cookie business today to tackling cybersecurity tomorrow—a Girl Scout is ready to change the world right now and accomplish big things in the future.
The need for female leadership has never been clearer or more urgent than it is today—and only Girl Scouts has the expertise to give girls and young women the tools they need for success.
Girl Scouts works. We’re committed to preparing the next generation of women leaders, and we’re here to stay.
Click here to find troops and other opportunities near you!
More exciting news from Girl Scouts of the USA! The most recent addition to General Electric’s (GE’s) “imagination” campaign features a storyline with a Girl Scout. The 90-second clip, which can be found on YouTube and may soon be featured in movie theaters across the country, introduces viewers to “Molly,” a young girl who loves science and technology and invents clever ways to complete her chores. One of her best inventions comes at the 37-second mark, when we learn that Molly is a Girl Scout who has rigged up an ingenious way to sell Girl Scout Cookies from her bedroom.
GSUSA worked with GE’s creative agency to ensure the story aligned with the new G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ brand platform. Given the recent rollout of the new science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) badges, what better way to celebrate the relevancy and spirit of Girl Scouts than to highlight innovative young women in STEM?
Additionally, GSUSA is working with GE to incorporate a call to action in future iterations of the ad. Once the details are available, we will let you know. In the meantime, let’s applaud this opportunity to reach and inspire broad, diverse audiences!
Last month we introduced a whopping 23 new badges, and we’re proud to say that seven are focused on building girls’ outdoor skills and know-how. For each Girl Scout level, the Outdoor Journey is anchored by the newest Girls’ Choice badge: Troop Camping. Since 2015, we’ve invited girls to voice their opinion and vote for a new badge—and every year when the votes have been tallied, they’ve selected an outdoor theme! This year’s Troop Camping badge follows Art in the Outdoors (2016) and Outdoor Explorer (2015), proving that today’s girls want to challenge themselves, learn more about the natural world, and continue the Girl Scout tradition of having exciting outdoor experiences.
The outdoor badges and experiences are progressive, which will allow girls and troops to learn new skills, put the skills to use, and build on their knowledge year after year. From their first steps on a woodland path as Daisies to going survival camping as Ambassadors, girls will take the lead by planning their trips, practicing survival skills, and pushing themselves as they have unforgettable adventures.
Outdoor Art Maker: This first-ever badge for Daisies expands the Art in the Outdoors badge category to every grade level. Girls explore color and sound, challenging them to observe nature like an artist and preparing them to create their own outdoor art!
Troop Camping—Buddy Camper: Daisies start their camping journey by researching and writing a camping plan. By the time they’re heading home, they’ve learned how to prepare a simple meal, tie a square knot, stay safe outside, and protect nature—all while becoming comfortable hiking and camping! For Brownies
Troop Camping—Cabin Camper: Brownies work together to research and write a plan in preparation for their troop camping trip. Once they head out, they learn all about camping gear and cook a simple meal outside. Girls walk away with foundational camping skills like following the Leave No Trace philosophy, building a fire safely, and tying a clove hitch knot.
Troop Camping—Eco Camper: Juniors choose their trip and write a camping plan that includes what gear to bring, a budget, and how to prepare for campsite weather and terrain. Before setting out, they learn the seven Leave No Trace principles that they will practice throughout their outdoor adventure. Girls have the chance to make a meal using a solar box cooker, select the perfect campsite, and take a conservation hike—all while learning to protect nature.
Troop Camping—Primitive Camping: Tackling activities such as backpacking, canoeing, or kayaking without the comforts of home is the goal for Cadettes while they earn this badge. Their trip will incorporate the basic skills they’ve already learned, like selecting gear, budgeting, and planning for weather and terrain (all while incorporating the Leave No Trace principles in everything they do). While camping, girls have the chance to prepare a dish from a faraway land, learn primitive camping skills like using a hatchet and building a shelter, become acquainted with water-purification basics, and tie a monkey fist knot.
Troop Camping—Adventure Camping: Mountain biking and kayaking are options for Seniors who are ready to go adventure camping. They’ll get ready by packing the appropriate gear, creating a budget, and monitoring the site’s weather and terrain. Every girl will learn wilderness first aid and physically prepare for an adventure trip. At the campsite, they’ll practice using a topographical map and compass and study meteorology to predict weather patterns and potential hazards. To preserve their memories and document the adventure, girls are encouraged to journal and take pictures.
Troop Camping—Survival Camper: The survival camping trip is the perfect way for Ambassadors to prove their grit and learn to safely survive any emergency situation. Girls use their experience and knowledge to prepare a fully developed trip plan. At the campsite, they will start a fire with basic tools and find their way using landmarks and the sun. Girls will also be able to use their creativity to document their time as survival campers, whether through journaling, drawing, or photography. During every part of their experience, they’ll draw on the skills they have developed over the years to have a rich, rewarding outdoor adventure.
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