Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Five Ideas to Celebrate Black History Month with Girl Scouts


Take a second to think of a Black woman trailblazer and change-maker whose story impacted you. Maybe it’s someone you know personally or maybe it’s someone you learned about at school.

Can you picture her yet?

Now, share her story with one or more people and inspire them to celebrate the strength, originality, beauty, and resilience of Black girls and women everywhere.

Black History Month (and every month!) is a time to acknowledge, celebrate, and commemorate the achievements of African Americans. But did you know that history is also happening here and now? From phenomenal Gold Award Girl Scouts making a lasting impact on their communities to bold Black women breaking records and shattering glass ceilings—Black history is happening all around us, and there are endless ways to celebrate and learn.

You and your Girl Scout can start by downloading the free activity guide for the Black History Month Celebration “I’m A Girl Scout!” Fun patch.

Here are a few ideas your Girl Scout is sure to love:

1. Watch and a movie or documentary about Black history in the United States, then share with your friends. Kick off your list with a silver screen activity. Learn about Black stories through the eyes of notable Black storytellers such as directors, actors, and historians, as well as through first-hand accounts. Share what you learned with your friends or host a screening!

2. Identify five books written by Black authors that you would like to read—and start reading one of them! Throughout history, Black authors and poets have shaped the ideals and imaginations of their readers. Whether you pick up a book from the powerful Harlem Renaissance literary movement or check out a new book from your favorite contemporary Black author, explore your favorite genres and find those stories that you won’t want to put down.

3. List five Black woman scientists, along with a sentence (or more!) about each woman's work. Get to know the trailblazers responsible for some of the most impactful contributions to science and beyond. You can even take it a step further and pick your favorite scientist to uplift and share the story of their legacy with those around you!

4. List five major events of the Civil Rights Movement, noting the dates and two or three details about each one. We are not that far removed from the movement that shaped the word we know today. This activity proves that it is never too late to discover new information or get a refresher on the old.

5. How did Black History Month get started? Learn more about National Freedom Day and Negro History Week. Last but not least, discover how it all came to be! Learn how the initial celebration, started by Carter G. Woodson, evolved into a month of worldwide commemoration and pride for the history, works, and achievements of the Black community.

For a full list of ideas and activities to earn your Black History Month Fun patch, visit the Girl Scout Shop.

Join us this month on social media as we spotlight trailblazers who demonstrated courage, confidence, and character in the face of adversity. Use #GirlScoutsRock and #BlackHistoryMonth, and tag us at @girlscouts.

This Black History Month, let’s fill our social media feeds with a showcase of Black women who changed our world in decades past, as well as those who continue to do so today.
Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Six Things To Look Forward To This Girl Scout Cookie Season



Girl Scout Cookie Season—the honorary fifth season (after spring, summer, fall, and winter 😉)—is finally here and we’re ready to rally behind Girl Scout entrepreneurs one cookie package at a time. Whether you’re a Girl Scout Cookie lover and supporter or this is your first year selling Girl Scout Cookies, here is some sweet stuff to keep in mind this cookie season.

Learn New Skills and Have Fun!

Creating goals? She sets ‘em and crushes ‘em. Making decisions? Bring it on! Managing money? Cha-ching, check! Sharpening her people skills? She's got the perfect pitch ready. Acting ethically and responsibly? It’s at the center of everything she does. Yes, Girl Scout Cookies are delicious, but there’s so much more goodness in every package of cookies. Every cookie purchase presents an opportunity for Girl Scouts to learn crucial life skills while growing into confident leaders our communities need. How has the Girl Scout Cookie Program impacted your life? Give us a shout-out on social media and let us know!

Earn Badges and Rally Together.

Let the world know your Girl Scout is a cookie entrepreneur by earning Cookie Business badges. Running your cookie business shows you learned some important skills that will come in handy in the future regardless of the career path your Girl Scout picks. Girl Scouts’ newly updated Financial Literacy badges offer entrepreneurial playbooks for every age level. You can also make the Girl Scout Cookie season a family affair and earn your Girl Scout Family Cookie pin. The possibilities are endless!

Welcome Planet Oat Oatmilk.

We're delighted to introduce Planet Oat Oatmilk as a national sponsor of the 2023 Girl Scout Cookie Program. Enjoy cookies and Oatmilk knowing that Planet Oat’s support of the Girl Scout Cookie Program builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

Be a Part of the Social Media Conversation.

Girl Scout Cookie season does not disappoint with epic social media moments that our community creates together when we support Girl Scout entrepreneurs. Use #GirlScoutCookieSeason to join the conversation. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and admire some iconic moments from last year that YOU helped create:

Got 600–1000 packages of Girl Scout Cookies? Let’s build something amazing. Troops from Girl Scouts of Central Texas did just that! How incredible?!

This Girl Scout Dad nailed it! He created a custom cookie cart—so special! We want a tutorial.

Supporting the Girl Scout entrepreneurs often means stocking up. We loved all your playful takes on how you like to enjoy your Girl Scout Cookies and share them (or not)! Keep ‘em coming this season!

Stock Up On Classics and Find a New Favorite.

Stock up on your favorites, discover a new flavor, or find a different way to eat your favorite Girl Scout Cookie. Give the NEW Raspberry Rally™ a try. The thin, crispy cookie is a “sister” cookie to the beloved Thin Mints®, infused with raspberry flavor instead of mint and dipped in the same delicious chocolaty coating. Yummy!

BONUS: Girl Scout Cookie-Themed Backgrounds.

It’s not enough to love Girl Scout Cookies and want to support the next generation of girl leaders. You’ve got to have these delicious cookie-themed new phone and virtual meeting backgrounds as well! Show off your Girl Scout pride—cookie style! Share with friends and family and get ready to represent.

Are you ready to power the amazing adventures for Girl Scout entrepreneurs? Let’s GO!


Monday, December 19, 2022

Looking Back: Epic Achievements from Inspiring Women in 2022

We consider ourselves champions of girl ambition, and 2022 was FULL of reasons to celebrate female achievement. From athletics and aviation to politics and beyond, women—especially women of color—proved that not even the sky is the limit. Here are some of our favorite “female first” moments we saw in 2022.

Buckle your seatbelts and put your tray tables in their upright position, because things are taking off in the world of aviation with several female first breakthroughs in 2022. While Lt. Amanda Lee became the first female Blue Angel acrobatic pilot, both Southwest and Hawaiian Airlines had momentous flights with female leadership.2022 was the year where women took up SPACE...outer space, that is! In 2022, we saw Nicole Aunapu Mann, the first Native American woman, and Kat Echazarreta, the first Mexican woman, both journey into space. Additionally, Girl Scout alum Jessica Watson became the first Black woman to serve aboard the International Space Station.

With all these women aiming for the stars, the first-ever spacesuit designed for women is also (finally) in the works! According to the United Nations, only 11% of astronauts so far have been women. NASA engineer Sabrina Thompson is on the job to make the universe a more inclusive and fashionable space for all.

This year, women also claimed their space in the world of sports, reaching some major professional GOALS. In baseball news, Rachel Balkovec became the first minor league baseball manager and several women became the first official female scorers to score opening day games for Major League Baseball teams this season among several big wins for women in athletics.





Smashing through glass ceilings, women soared to new heights and positions of leadership in 2022. From politics to Hollywood and beyond, women earned top positions in historically male-led industries.

 




As we look to the future, we also remember the groundbreaking women of the past, whose achievements were finally recognized in 2022. Making currency more current, Anna May Wong, the first Asian American film star, and Wilma Mankiller, first female Cherokee Nation Chief were featured on U.S. currency in 2022. Barbie’s “Inspiring Women” series also introduced two dolls to celebrate female achievement: Jane Goodall, the scientist whose discoveries unlocked the world of chimpanzees, and Madam C.J. Walker, the first self-made female millionaire in the U.S.

Congratulations to all the women who hit major milestones with their historic achievements in 2022. We look forward to celebrating the wins of 2023 and beyond as we work together to build a more equitable future for all.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

In Memoriam: Frances Hesselbein, Former Chief Executive Officer, Girl Scouts of the USA

Frances Hesselbein led an extraordinary life dedicated to imparting lessons of leadership with compassion, generosity, and vision. She leaves behind a powerful legacy that lives on in generations of Girl Scout alums.

Frances Hesselbein, GSUSA National Executive Director, 1976-1990, in her office at the GSUSA national headquarters, circa 1980’s


We at Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) mourn the loss of an esteemed colleague and a revered member of our sisterhood: Frances Hesselbein, who proudly served as GSUSA’s national CEO from 1976 to 1990 and was most recently president and CEO of the eponymously named Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Born November 1, 1915, in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Ms. Hesselbein rose from humble beginnings as a child of The Great Depression. As a teenager, nursing a burgeoning passion for the written word, she had designs on becoming a playwright and pursued her dream by attending the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Tragically, six weeks into her freshman year, her beloved father passed away. Fueled by a sense of responsibility, she secured a job to help support her family, and although she continued taking classes, she never received a formal degree. This early experience underscored for her the importance of sacrifice for a greater purpose.


Her Girl Scout career started in the late 1940s, when she assumed what she believed would be a temporary role as leader of a troop of 30 girls as a favor for a neighbor. That one month turned into eight years of service, propelled by the enthusiasm, ingenuity, and commitment she saw in the girls. It was during this period that Ms. Hesselbein became an impassioned champion of bringing girls impactful leadership development opportunities.
Frances Hesselbein, National Board, Girl Scouts of USA. 1966 Senior Girl Scout East-West International Conference. Honolulu, Hawaii Aug 1-23 1966

Between 1947 and 1976, Ms. Hesselbein took on increasing responsibility with Girl Scouts—moving from volunteer troop leader to council board member to board member and, ultimately, CEO of the national organization. In fact, she held the distinction of being the very first CEO to be appointed from within the Girl Scout organization, and she occupied the top staff position until 1990.

Frances Hesselbein, Dr. Gloria Scott (GSUSA National President, 1975-1978), and the First Lady Rosalynn Carter (GSUSA Honorary National President, 1977-1981) with Girl Scouts in White House, circa 1977

 Her tenure as CEO was marked by transformational innovation. She recognized that with every new generation of girls came an opportunity to ensure Girl Scouts remained relevant. She embraced a leadership approach reflective of the changing cultural tides―deploying many of the management and marketing techniques that she had spent years studying.


Among the innovations Ms. Hesselbein introduced at Girl Scouts were a unified planning and management system to unite Girl Scout councils and a revised handbook and career pamphlets to reflect contemporary concerns and highlight the importance of what we now refer to as STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math—for girls.


Under her leadership, Girl Scouts introduced a new level of Girl Scouting—Daisies—for girls in kindergarten and first grade, a step that significantly expanded the overall reach of Girl Scouts. She not only grew opportunities for younger girls, but also intentionally created a more inclusive organization—one that tripled membership of BIPOC girls.


In a high-profile project that brought her passion for continuous learning to life, Ms. Hesselbein oversaw an ambitious transformation of the campground facilities in Briarcliff Manor, New York, into a modern, multi-purpose complex—now known as Edith Macy Center—that offers Girl Scout volunteers and staff ongoing and vital professional training opportunities to build skills critical for the successful implementation of the Girl Scouts mission.
Frances Hesselbein, left, and Jane Freeman (GSUSA National President, 1978-1984), right, posing at groundbreaking ceremony for Edith Macy Conference Center, 1980

A prolific writer, Ms. Hesselbein was the author of two memoirs—Hesselbein on Leadership and My Life in Leadership—and the co-editor of 27 books published in 29 languages, all of which continue to serve as authoritative guides on leadership today. True to her unwavering focus on leadership development for future trailblazers, she also helped to establish the Hesselbein Global Academy for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement at the University of Pittsburgh.


Among the many accolades bestowed upon her throughout her career are more than 20 honorary doctoral degrees, appointments to two Presidential Commissions on National and Community Service by President George H.W. Bush, and, most recently, the President’s Volunteer Service Award from President Joe Biden. In 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the country’s highest civilian honor—for her leadership as CEO of GSUSA and for her service as “a pioneer for women, volunteerism, diversity, and opportunity.”


We are forever grateful for Ms. Hesselbein’s service to our Movement, her community, and her country. Through her exemplary life’s work, she served as a source of inspiration and truly embodied what it means to be a Girl Scout. While we grieve her loss, we also celebrate and honor her strength, her generosity, and her important place in Girl Scouts history—now and always.

Frances Hesselbein speaks to Girl Scout Seniors and Leaders at the National Center West, 1978


 


Saturday, November 19, 2022

Newly Updated Badges and Experiences Just in Time for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day



Girl Scouts are natural leaders and entrepreneurs—they have the interest and the aptitude to find creative solutions, help their communities, and try new things. Did you know that 78% of girls are interested in becoming an entrepreneur in the future? Black and Latina girls are especially interested in—and particularly poised to become—leaders in entrepreneurship. We just need to support them as they get there!

According to the Girl Scout Research Institute’s Today’s Girls, Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs study, the number of women-owned businesses is growing, but women remain less likely to pursue entrepreneurship compared to men. Additionally, many barriers to financial literacy and empowerment remain, as parents are sometimes uncomfortable talking about money with their children and many schools don’t have the time to address this pressing topic. Even though these statistics are less than encouraging, there’s plenty to be hopeful about. Since 2015 Girl Scouts have earned over 5 million Entrepreneurship badges. There’s more! Keep reading for ways you can help the Girl Scout in your life.

Girls need the space and support to grow, so they can see themselves as future CEOs, inventors, and business owners. And there are so many ways YOU can help support her dreams, ideas, and ambitions. One way is through the newly updated Financial Literacy badges.

Newly updated Financial Literacy badges (for all grade levels). 

Financial literacy is a critical building block for success in life. With the updated Financial Literacy badges, made possible by a generous grant from Charles Schwab and its Founder, your Girl Scout will have the opportunity to, as early as kindergarten, practice goal setting, planning, and teamwork through hands-on play, group projects, and connecting with experts from their local community. Older girls will use their new financial skills to manage their troop finances, which fund their adventures! Instilling a financially empowered mindset will help your Girl Scout make better financial decisions and develop a healthy relationship with money in the long run. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.





Entrepreneurship badges (for all grade levels).

Although the Entrepreneurship badges are not new, they are an important tool in helping more girls create future businesses and products that make a difference in people’s lives. It’s never too early to start thinking like an entrepreneur and learn from other business leaders. With the Entrepreneurship badges, your Girl Scout will create and pitch a product or service that solves a real-life problem. Then, she’ll build a business plan and think about topics like production, cost, profit, marketing, and competition. Did we mention all the fun she’ll have when coming up with these creative ideas? Maybe she’ll think up a one-of-a-kind toy or build a model of a cool, new product. The best part? She’ll share those ideas with her Girl Scout besties and real-life entrepreneurs. All that and more awaits when she commits to earning the Entrepreneurship badges.



Financial Empowerment events (for all grade levels).

Girls across the country are learning to take control of their financial futures by practicing their entrepreneurial thinking through local Financial Empowerment events. The council-run events are designed based on the new Financial Empowerment Playbooks, made possible by the FINRA Foundation. These age-appropriate single or multi-day events leverage Girl Scout Financial Literacy, Entrepreneurship, and Cookie Business badges to teach girls key financial literacy concepts. Contact your local Girl Scout council to learn if there is an event planned in your area or help your girl get started on earning these badges today.



View Girl Scout Financial Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Program. Additional resources in this set are staff materials to deliver events locally. Contact your council for more information.

Here’s to more Girl Scouts turning into the business trailblazers and innovators our communities need. Get started with the Girl Scout in your life. Download FREE Financial Literacy activities and access FREE resources on girlscouts.org/Entrepreneurship.
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