Thursday, December 18, 2014

Happy Holidays from Girl Scouts of the USA!

No matter how you celebrate or who you celebrate with, wishing everyone a joyous and merry Holiday Season!

Monday, December 15, 2014

‘Tis the Season… to Show Us How You’re Spreading Holiday Cheer!

Nothing says “Happy Holidays!” like donating a coat to a child in need, or participating in a canned food drive for the community’s less fortunate. And every year, Girl Scouts continue the tradition of being leaders in their homes, schools, and communities by taking the lead on these “Give Back” projects.

We couldn’t be prouder of girls across the nation who become a little more selfless and extend a hand in order to make a difference. So how is your Girl Scout Troop giving back this holiday season? We’re excited to hear from you for this season’s #GirlScoutsGiveBack campaign.

We want  to showcase stories of how Girl Scouts are giving back this season. Whether you’re a girl, a troop leader, or a parent, your stories matter—so send them in!

Send all stories (with photos attached) to for a chance to be featured on our Facebook page.

Deck the halls, trim the tree, give back to a family! 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Guest Blog Post: My Experience at the National Christmas Tree Lighting

Guest Blogger Sophia, Girl Scout Senior
On December 4, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the President’s Park in Washington, D.C. Through Google’s Made with Code program, girls like me had the opportunity, for the first time in history, to code the lights that appear on the 56 state and territory trees in front of the White House. At the event, it was fascinating to see all the beautiful, sparkling lights in person. I also couldn’t believe how close we were to President Obama and the First Family. This is one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had!

Before the event, I made sure to check out the Made with Code website. Although I had not tried coding before, I know how important of a skill it is. When I attended the Virginia Girls Summit, held annually at George Mason University, one of the exhibitors told me, “Everyone needs to take a class about coding. It will help you prepare for the future.” The world around us is changing and us girls need to be as prepared for the job market as we can. On the Made with Code site, I ended up trying all three activities: coding a Christmas tree, monster and snow flake. I had a lot of fun, making each image my own by changing the code specifications and then seeing my image become animated. I think my mom, who tried the activities with me, had just as much fun on the website as I did!

Everything at the President’s Park was so elegant, which set the stage for the rest of the program. It was so thrilling to see Tom Hanks, the host for the concert, along with all the other amazing artists. The best part of the program was seeing President Obama dance with all the singers and Santa at the end of the concert!

After it ended, I had the opportunity to attend the Made with Code reception. Everything was so surreal during the reception because me and my Girl Scout buddy had a chance to meet some of the celebrities, including Fifth Harmony, Afro-Norwegian singing/songwriting duo Nico and Vinz, and singer Ne-Yo.

After my experience, I was encouraged to try an Hour of Code with the website Khan Academy. I am grateful to Google and Girl Scouts for providing me with this amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Girl Scouts Celebrates Human Rights Day!

Every December 10th, the world celebrates Human Rights Day. Created in 1950, the mission is to bring attention to the need for basic human rights for all people. This year’s slogan, Human Rights 365, encompasses the idea that every day is Human Rights Day.

Today for Human Rights Day, Girl Scouts is focusing on the importance of diversity in our movement. Diversity has been a core value of Girl Scouts since its founding in 1912. At a time of segregation and before laws promoting civil rights were passed, our founder, Juliette Gordon Low, ensured that African-American, American Indian and Hispanic girls were able to become Girl Scouts. She led efforts to make Girl Scouting available to 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.

TheXfoundation of diversity that Juliette Gordon Low established runs throughout Girl Scouts to this day. Our mission to build "girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place" extends to all girls of this nation. Our volunteers work every day to ensure that our outreach, volunteer systems and resources work toward making Girl Scouting available to every girl who is willing to embrace the Promise and Law. Today, Girl Scouts reaches girls in urban, rural, low-income and public housing communities, and girls whose mothers are in prison or who are themselves living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters, foster care and domestic violence shelters. We have a long history of adapting activities to girls who have disabilities, special needs, and chronic illnesses.
Monday, December 8, 2014

Lessons in Leadership: Girls See Themselves in Politics

Girl Scouts of the USA is honored to release a video series titled Portraits in Leadership, in which Girl Scouts interview women Members of Congress.

In a series of interviews with female members of the United States Congress, Girl Scouts across the country sat down with their congresswomen to learn about their individual leadership journeys and discover what inspired them to take on leadership roles.

The interviews gave Girl Scouts an opportunity to ask these accomplished women for advice about the skills and the character girls will need to develop in order to lead our world in the twenty-first century. Seventy percent of the women in the U.S. Senate and 57 percent of the women in the House of Representatives are Girl Scout alumnae; but regardless of whether or not they were Girl Scouts, each congresswoman spoke of the value of having an organization such as Girl Scouts to help girls develop leadership qualities.

Anyone who works regularly with girls knows how insightful and determined they can be, and if you’re an alumna, troop leader, or current Girl Scout, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that GSUSA’s recent study Running for a Change: Girls and Politics (Girl Scout Research Institute, 2014) confirms that their determination and interest extends into politics: 67 percent of girls express an interest in politics, with 22 percent describing themselves as “very interested.” An astounding 93 percent of girls have been engaged in some kind of political work, civic engagement, or leadership activity. And a vast majority (83 percent) of girls have participated in a cause, campaign, or organization they believe in strongly.

So the message is clear: girls are politically savvy and motivated. They see problems in the world and they want to be a part of the solution. And they believe in standing up, taking action, and working to make things better in their communities. Therefore, it seems safe to assume that this interest in political action translates into an interest in seeking higher office.

Sadly, it doesn’t. In fact, only 37 percent of girls say they’re interested in becoming a politician one day—and only 9 percent are “very interested.” At some point along the way, something happens to cause girls to opt out of politics as a career choice.

Girl Scouts is all about helping girls realize their true leadership potential. Not every girl, of course, will aspire to political office, and leadership can take many forms. But surely the fact that over a quarter (28 percent) of girls describe themselves as being at least “somewhat interested” in becoming a politician should translate into more than the 18 percent of women we see in Congress today.

Girls want to be engaged. They want to be involved. They want opportunities to lead. It’s time that we as a society stop causing them to turn away from politics and start changing our national dialogue about female politicians, so that girls can bring their talents to bear in the political arena. Ultimately, politics and governance need to become another space where girls are inspired and empowered to take action to change the world.

As the adults in their lives, we need to establish a culture that lifts up women in politics rather than pushes them down, so that girls—and all of us—can know a world where men and women are seen as equally qualified decision makers and ambassadors for change.