Saturday, January 21, 2017

To the Girl Scout Movement and the General Public on Leadership and the Girl Scout DNA

Since our founding in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA has been the preeminent leadership organization for girls. Unwavering in our support of girls, we are committed, as always, to advocating on their behalf and encouraging them to advocate for themselves. This is central to our mission; we take it very seriously.

Part of advocating for girls means holding fast to our principles—including that of civic engagement, regardless of who is in power or their political agenda. It means providing a safe space for every girl to use her voice and stand up for what she believes in. It means encouraging girls to be a friend first. And it means working with our nation’s leaders to advance key issues impacting girls and girl leadership opportunities as outlined in Girl Scouts’ legislative agenda.

This is our legacy, and we continue to fight to uphold it.

Being a leader means having a seat at the leadership table no matter what. It means being willing to work with whomever happens to hold political power. It means not running from the face of adversity but, rather, standing tall and proud and announcing to the world and the powers that be that SHE is a force to be reckoned with—and that girls’ viewpoints and needs must be taken seriously. This is what we model at Girl Scouts, as to do otherwise would be to tell girls to sit down and be quiet—and that they don’t count.

As we enter unprecedented territory, our work as a Girl Scout Movement is more important than ever. Since our inception, we have seen girls come a long way—but we have unfinished business. We must join together and advocate for women and girls worldwide. After all, Girl Scouts are the go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders who are taking action across zip codes to make the world a better place. Embracing the diversity of our membership unites us as we continue to advocate for the dignity and respect of all girls—and their right to practice everyday leadership.

As Girl Scouts’ brave founder, Juliette Gordon Low, once said, “The work of today is the history of tomorrow and we are its makers.” Where some see defeat, Girl Scouts see opportunity—a chance to make a lasting impact and build a better world. Girl Scouting has evolved over the years, but our mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character has remained.

We are Girl Scouts. We foster leadership opportunities for girls in STEM, the outdoors, entrepreneurship, and more. We are parents and daughters, politicians and park rangers. We represent every religion, every zip code, and every social class. We are inclusive and diverse and this is our strength. We are 2.7 million strong and when we stand together, we are tomorrow’s makers—and we are unstoppable.

Sincerely and resolutely,
Girl Scouts