Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Guide Girl Scouts Along their Mental Wellness Journey with New Patches

Everyone faces their own struggles at some point. Whether it's navigating the ebbs and flows of challenging emotions or learning how to resolve conflicts with friends, life inevitably presents us with a variety of surprises. The Girl Scouts' NEW Mental Wellness Patch Program provides tips and free activities to assist girls on their mental wellness journey, all while reminding them that it's okay to not be okay when confronted with life's hurdles. In an effort to diminish the stigma surrounding mental health, the Girl Scouts' new patch program reshapes our perspective on every emotion and the act of expressing how we feel, encouraging everyone to view it as a display of strength and a significant step in our personal self-discovery.

In this increasingly challenging world, the imperative to cultivate skills nurturing mental wellness has never been more pronounced, particularly among the younger generation. Equally vital is our role as champions, guiding them through the intricate landscape of their emotions. Introducing Girl Scouts Mental Wellness activities, which unveils a trio of new patches. Each of these patches is meticulously designed to equip girls with the tools to navigate the demands of school, the influence of social media, the flux of emotions, and beyond.

Knowing My Emotions (Girl Scout Juniors, Grades 4-5)

Naming our emotions makes them a lot easier to handle and through these activities kids will learn to do just that. Once they’ve put words to their emotions, Girl Scouts will discover ways to navigate through them, effectively communicate what they are feeling, and learn how to stay mindful as new feelings arise.

Finding My Voice (Girl Scout Cadettes, Grades 6-8)

It’s important for everyone to be able to advocate for themselves. These activities will help kids identify their own voice while also teaching them one of life’s most crucial skills: empathy. The activities offer insights into recognizing warning signs and providing support for friends who might be struggling. Additionally, they'll learn about mental health stigma, how to combat it, and to be more mindful when it comes to how screen time makes them feel.

Showing Up for Me and You (Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors, Grades 9-12)

When teens understand the impact of mental wellness, it prepares and encourages them to not only advocate for themselves, but stand up for others, especially during tough times. With these activities, Girl Scouts learn ways to nurture themselves with self-care practices such as taking a moment to breathe and reset, or journaling about their emotions whenever a difficult situation comes up. They’ll also learn how to offer support to others when it’s needed most, through active listening, words of encouragement, and showing up with compassion.
While everyone experiences struggles and we can’t predict what challenges may come our way, the activities in this patch program help Girl Scouts create a safe, supportive community where expressing emotions and advocating for each other is championed and encouraged. As Girl Scouts continue to navigate school, social media, changing emotions, friendships, and other pressures, they’ll carry the self-care and coping skills they learned with them, growing into themselves with strength and confidence.

Explore FREE Girl Scouts Mental Wellness activities and unlock a special patch today!
Monday, September 18, 2023

Six Epic Latina Firsts

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month, Girl Scouts! Today and every day, we celebrate the cultural richness of all the people in the U.S. whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Check out these six EPIC women from the Latina community who continue to inspire AND make our world a better and brighter place.

First, we uplift the success and influence of Cuban-American singer-songwriter Gloria Estefan. She was the first Latina to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame this year on June 15th. Estefan also made history in the 1980s and 1990s when she topped international charts with some of her biggest hits like “Rhythm is Gonna Get You,” “Conga,” and “Let’s Get Loud.” It is no doubt that Estefan’s music continues to bring a lively spirit to every room while also being a huge part in paving the way for Latin artists who followed. Way to go, Gloria!


Everyone’s hearts will also forever go “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” for the one and only Selena Quintanilla! So many danced, sang, and cried to her music and movies, but did you know she has a long list of firsts? Selena was the first Tejano woman to win a Grammy, the first Latina inducted into the Star Trail of Fame at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and the first Latina to grace the cover of PEOPLE magazine. She even had the first album of primarily Spanish songs to debut globally—which peaked at number one on the Billboard chart. To this day, her legacy continues to shine.

Our beloved Girl Scout alum Ellen Ochoa is another awe-inspiring leader. In 1993, she became the first Mexican-American woman to go to space as part of the nine-day mission aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. Ochoa is a talented engineer, former NASA astronaut, and former director of the Johnson Space Center—talk about reaching for the stars.

Next up, we have Nina Otero-Warren. She was the first Hispanic woman to run (and be elected) to Congress in 1922 and became the first superintendent of the Santa Fe public schools. A champion of women’s voting rights and education in New Mexico, she is now one of the several women whose images are featured on the U.S. quarter. Simply AMAZING.
Meet Katya Echazarreta! In June of 2022, Katya became the first Mexican-born woman to go to space—only the second Mexican after Rodolfo Neri Vela. As an electrical engineer and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) enthusiast, Katya certainly made her mark.
Last but CERTAINLY not least. You know her; you love her! Laurie Hernandez had us flipping out (pun intended) all throughout the 2016 Rio Olympic games with her talent, but did you know she became the first Latina to make it to the U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastics team in 30 years? Born to Puerto Rican parents, Laurie has always shown love and admiration for her culture while winning some medals along the way. She’s now earning a degree at New York University Tisch School of the Arts and empowers college students to tap into their vulnerability at conferences throughout the nation. Absolutely remarkable!


These are just a few incredible Latinas—there are countless others to celebrate! So, here’s to many more historic firsts! Show us how you’ll be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and share the story of an exceptional Latina in your life by tagging @girlscouts on your social media posts.

Don’t forget to check out the Hispanic Heritage Month patch

¡Hasta luego!
Thursday, September 14, 2023

Meet Noorain Khan, the new National President of Girl Scouts of the USA!

Image description: Woman smiling on blue background

Guest Author: Noorain Khan

I’m truly humbled by the faith and trust placed in me by Girl Scouts across our Movement to lead one of the most powerful forces for girls in this country and the world, and I’m so excited for all the important work we will all accomplish together.

I know firsthand the lifechanging impact that our organization has on Girl Scouts’ lives because I am a product of this very community and its commitment to building the leaders of today and tomorrow.

In the early 1990s, I joined troop 369 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as a Brownie. Girl Scouts built my confidence, connected me to my community, and gave me opportunity after opportunity to develop my leadership skills.

Image description: Girl Scout membership card, white with green text, circa 2001
My membership card from Troop 369.
It was Girl Scouts where I first learned to write a grant, tried camping, organized my faith community, and developed a passion for justice.

My Girl Scout experience overflowed with strong and lasting friendships, roaring campfires, countless caring adults, and taking those big, sometimes scary leaps. It was about endlessly exploring, discovering new interests, and seeing those interests blossom into passions and, ultimately, career pursuits.

As much as those experiences meant to me then, I would never have imagined they were starting me on a path that would lead to my election this summer as Girl Scouts’ 27th National President.

A younger Noorain Khan and friend smile while washing dishes at Girl Scout camp
Dishwashing fun with a Girl Scout bestie at Camp Anna Behrens

My Girl Scout story started with my mom responding to a flyer that came home in my backpack one day in second grade. She remembered her days as a Girl Guide in Pakistan and knew this was one experience we could share across borders. 

As I continued on my Girl Scout journey, every year provided new opportunities.

In high school, I wrote a grant proposal to fund my mosque’s youth group as part of my Gold Award project. This gave me an early taste of philanthropy and started me on the path to my current role as a senior leader at the Ford Foundation. I now have the privilege of funding some of our world’s most iconic and impactful nonprofits in the fight to end global inequality.

One of the most profound experiences I had as a Girl Scout was when I participated in a girl leadership and social justice program at my council called Face It. It was the single most diverse gathering of young women I’d ever encountered, and it blew my world and mind wide open.

Photograph of fourteen teenage girls sitting on steps in front of a building, labeled with first names
Being a part of Face It with these young women changed my life. 

I met girls of different races, queer girls, girls who’d experienced economic hardship, girls who lived far out from the city, girls who went to private school, girls who expressed no faith, and those for whom, like me, faith was everything.

It was radically inclusive and for me, transformative, as a hijab-wearing Muslim girl. At my monolithic school, I was the different one. In the Face It program, I was part of an amazing group of diverse individuals being different together.

And we learned how to build a culture and space where Girl Scouts could safely be their fullest selves. Our work together, designing and delivering dynamic workshops to troops of all ages, was so clearly better for it.

This remains the example to me of a true Girl Scout experience of belonging. Of being different, together. How I felt in Face It boosted my confidence, self-perception, and character—and it showed me what can be accomplished with a diverse group of people working together for a common purpose.

My Face It experience is on my mind a lot whenever I think about the community of support and inspiration we build and foster at Girl Scouts. As your National President, one of my areas of focus will be ensuring ALL girls feel they belong at Girl Scouts and that we are a place where they know they can thrive.

Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and a younger Noorain Khan and her mother greet one another with smiles and a ha
Me and my mom meeting the honorable Sandra Day O'Connor—the first woman justice of the Supreme Court of the United States—at a National Gold Award luncheon in 2002. 

Part of this work is to acknowledge that we can and should do more to reach and engage Black communities and communities of color, girls with disabilities, LGBTQ+ girls, and those for whom Girl Scouting is not financially accessible. They should feel safe, welcomed, and supported and be able to achieve program outcomes on par with all their Girl Scout peers.

Girl Scouts blessed me with a network of caring adults, some of whom shared some aspects of my identity and some of whom didn’t. I didn’t have a hijab-wearing Pakistani Muslim troop leader. My Girl Scout leaders were mostly white and of different faith traditions than mine. But they understood me and supported me. They activated and empowered me. And they worked to make Girl Scouts a place where I felt like I belonged.

Noorain Khan poses with seated and standing Girl Scouts of all ages at the Coronado Springs convention center
At convention with 30 of my new BFFs!

That is work I am committed to doing for this generation of Girl Scouts and beyond.

Because the world needs more Girl Scouts.

In a world of “me,” Girl Scouts are the vital “we,” a unique force for good in the country and the world. Working together during this triennium, we will continue to earn our status as the premier girl leadership program in the world, delivering best-in-class program outcomes, creating generations more of leaders with courage, confidence, and character who will make the world a better place.

Why? Because we are One Movement, being different and moving forward together.

The Girl Scouts changed the trajectory of my life, and my unwavering commitment will be to ensure that it continues to be the best place for all girls to feel that they belong and to learn how they will thrive and lead.

Noorain Khan and Bonnie Barczykowski smile outdoors
Bonnie and I enjoy a moment of downtime at the 2023 Girl Scout Convention.

I am honored to lead the incredible board elected alongside me and also to partner with our fearless CEO Bonnie Barczykowski. As a former council CEO, she knows what it means to deliver for our girls day in and day out and I am excited to build together in partnership with her. 

I am so proud of the Board members elected to the Girl Scouts of the USA National Board and independent members elected to the National Board Development Committee for the 2023-2026 triennium. 

Some are longtime members and volunteers in our Movement, with years (sometimes generations!) of connections. For others, this is their first formal connection to Girl Scouting. We are brought together by our passionate belief in building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. I have had the privilege of spending time with each of these incredible individuals and I am truly energized to partner with them for our important work ahead.

Girl Scout National Board Officers Mary Ann Altergott, Trooper Sanders, Noorain Khan, Jeanne Kwong Bickford, and Diane Tipton applaud and smile on stage
Mary Ann Altergott, Trooper Sanders, me, Jeanne Kwong Bickford, and Diane Tipton—your 2023–2026 National Board Officers!

I want to say a big thank you to our passionate and dedicated volunteers, our amazing Girl Scout families, our committed community supporters, and of course, our extraordinary Girl Scouts. I am deeply honored to take on this role and to engage with all of you in this new era of Girl Scouting.

An arched patch with a green border showing a small pink tree on the left and a larger pink tree with a trefoil in the center. The trees have branching brown roots, reaching into golden soil. A white girl with green hair is seated under the tree on the left. A brown girl with a white hijab is placing soil under the tree on her knees on the right side. To her right is Black girl with white hair and a green prosthetic leg who is watering the soil. The top has the words "Noorain Fatima Khan" and the bottom has "Girl Scout National President."
My Girl Scout National President Patch

P.S. I am so proud to share my Girl Scouts of the USA National President Patch! This patch is about us and what we are going to do together as a Movement to live out our highest aspirations. It depicts girls 'being different together' and 'making the world a better place.' The tree with the trefoil in the center also represents our Movement. It has deep, powerful and grounding roots and bright, new branches-and the girls are caring for it together. Finally, the gold soil represents how much our highest award, the Gold Award, means to me as our first Gold Award Girl Scout President.
Tuesday, August 8, 2023

5 Fun Activities to Celebrate Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend

It’s that time of year, Girl Scouts! Get excited for Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend on September 9 and 10. Over this weekend, you’ll get to explore the wonders of your local state parks with your friends and family. Plus, you’ll be able to earn the Girl Scouts Love State Parks patch by participating in activities that show off your love of nature like hiking, birdwatching, and cleaning up your favorite trails. By leading the way, you could inspire others to help make the planet a cleaner and more beautiful place. 

Amidst this scorching heat wave, safety first! If you and your Girl Scouts reside in one of the states experiencing a heat wave, remember to stay cool and hydrated. Explore responsibly and seek shaded areas to beat the heat.

Wondering what type of activities you can do at state parks? We’ve got you covered!


Geocaching is a real-life treasure hunt! It’s a fun way to tap into your sense of adventure and explore cool, unique hiding spots, called caches, around your state park. It requires a phone or an understanding of how to use GPS coordinates, so it’s best to do this activity with an adult. When you geocache, you’ll get to search for all sorts of hidden objects throughout the park like, notes, loose change, or small toys. To get the most of this activity, consider planning ahead by hiding things to find and writing down the coordinates you’re most interested in exploring—and most importantly, have fun!

Nature Art and Journaling

Nature is one of the best inspirations for art! Whether it’s a beautiful bird or a sky full of stars, state parks are a great place to get inspired and dive into any art piece or your next journal entry. After journeying through new trails with friends, take a moment to tap into your creativity and reflect on your experience through art! If this activity feels right for you, remember to pack up your notebooks and the drawing materials you’ll need for your next masterpiece.

Birdwatching and Photography

Birdwatching is a popular activity that teaches patience and observation while fostering an appreciation for our feathered friends. Through birdwatching you can discover the natural habitats and listen to the callings of every bird, with or without binoculars. Take pictures of the birds you find and share your results with us on social using #gslovestateparks

Picnicking and Stargazing

Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend is filled with adventurous activities, but if you’re looking for something more relaxing there’s lots to choose from, like picnicking and stargazing! They’re great ways to make the most of your experience and bond with your friends and family. You can prepare by packing a comfy blanket, snacks and your favorite Girl Scout cookies to share, then enjoy a night full of stars. Just be sure to throw away any trash to keep your favorite state parks clean! 

Outdoor Yoga

Yoga is a wonderful way to get grounded and align yourself during each moment. What better place to practice yoga than by doing so in the beautiful outdoors, at Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend? In between diving into handfuls of adventure-packed activities, you can slow things down by tuning into your breath, treating your body with kindness and flowing with the ones you cherish most.

No matter how you choose to get out and explore a state park, you’ll develop an appreciation for the natural world while spending time with loved ones. State parks offer chances to be active and relax. If you’re ready to learn more, download our FREE passport activity to kick-start your state park exploration. Let’s lead the way and get excited to unlock a new appreciation for nature during this year’s Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend! Share your experience by tagging @girlscouts and @thorindustries in your posts on social media, along with #gsoutdoors and #GSLoveStateParks.
Friday, August 4, 2023

Celebrating Some of the Best Moments from Phenom By Girl Scouts!

2023 National Convention Recap

In Lake Buena Vista, nearly ten thousand Girl Scouts, volunteers, and supporters converged for an unforgettable experience this past July at the 2023 Girl Scout Convention. The atmosphere was buzzing with excitement, inspiration, and innovation as we came together to celebrate the phenomenal power of our Movement.


56th National Council Session

The week kicked off with inspiring speakers and lively discussions at the 56th National Council Session (NCS). This triennial business meeting gives delegates from every Girl Scout council across the nation and USA Girl Scouts Overseas a chance to discuss, debate, and, most importantly, vote on issues that are key to the Girl Scout Movement. The delegates also elect national leaders for the next triennium.

NCS was marked by pivotal moments that set the stage for growth and transformation within the Girl Scout Movement. We expressed gratitude to Karen P. Layng for her lifelong dedication and service as she concluded her tenure as National Board President of Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA). Then, we welcomed Noorain F. Khan as the newly elected National Board President. Khan will lead a diverse 30-member National Board of Directors, which will manage governance, legal, and fiduciary responsibilities while working with the Movement to continue building girls of confidence, courage and character.

The National Council took decisive action on important topics, including codifying anti-racism into our Constitution, reaffirming support for the Girl Scout Promise and Law, and making important governance decisions that will help move our organization forward, together. Thank you to all the incredible girls who stepped up as presiding officers. Your exceptional preparation and passionate delivery of insights were nothing short of inspiring. We are immensely proud of every one of you for embracing the Girl Scout Promise and Law, showcasing leadership at its finest. Your dedication and excellence set a shining example for us all!

PHENOMenal Speakers and Performers

Throughout the convention, we immersed ourselves in thought-provoking talks from Girl Scout alums, experts, and champions of girls and women everywhere. Their words of wisdom, personal stories, and experiences inspired us to show up more, speak out louder, and take action on issues we believe in—in our communities and the world.

Phenom By Girl Scouts officially kicked off with an epic start—the unforgettable opening ceremony rocked the house with a performance by Alaya High AKA That Girl Lay Lay. This 16-year-old multi-talented singer, rapper, producer, and actress lit up the stage with electrifying energy and our favorite songs. Lay Lay absolutely crushed it while Girl Scouts danced and had a blast. Her powerful message of confidence and big dreams reminded us that if we've got lofty goals, “we gotta be bold and believe!” If you missed Lay Lay’s Instagram shout-out for the 2023 Gold Award Class, check it out and share with others.

Attendees were treated to many inspiring keynote talks. Here are a few highlights:
  • Best-selling author, award-winning mental fitness speaker and Gold Award Girl Scout, Erika Kendrick, shared how Girl Scouts shaped her life through establishing essential values and emotional intelligence, leading her to achieve her dreams. Erika highlighted the transformative impact of the Gold Award on her personal and professional life and encouraged others to share their success stories while advocating for mental wellness and suicide prevention—so important!
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Expert Speaker & Consultant, Deanna Singh, talked about the importance of being seen and seeing others and how being a Girl Scout built her confidence. Deanna's words stirred in us a deep appreciation for the guiding principles of the Girl Scout Promise and Law, fostering a sense of belonging and encouraging girls to unlock their unique potential.
  • Soon-to-be two-time basketball Hall of Famer and Fiserv ambassador, Nancy Lieberman’s wise words on overcoming obstacles in male-dominated fields resonated deeply. “Obstacles are only obstacles if you make them obstacles,” said Nancy, sparking nods of agreement and reaffirming our belief in the limitless potential of girls.
  • Telva McGruder, executive director of Global Body Manufacturing Engineering at General Motors and newly elected GSUSA National Board member, sparked an energizing conversation with Gold Award Girl Scouts about fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) everywhere, leaving us inspired to create positive change. Be sure to check out Telva’s behind-the-scenes video where she answered what steps Girl Scouts can take to promote DEI.
  • Aisha Bowe, a former NASA rocket scientist and STEM entrepreneur who is confirmed to be the first African American woman to fly with Jeff Bezos' private spaceflight company, Blue Origin, on the New Shepard rocket shared her journey to pursuing her passion in aerospace engineering. She proved to be an example of what girls can achieve when they dream big and reach for the stars. Her words resonated deeply with all of us, reinforcing the importance of nurturing ambitious dreams and courageously going after them.
A heartfelt “thank you” goes out to all the incredible convention speakers, whose wisdom and inspiration left a lasting mark and will continue to fuel our commitment to the Girl Scout Movement for years to come.

All the Experiences

The week was packed with dazzling performances, enriching and fun activities, and uplifting experiences. As troops, girls, families, volunteers, visitors, and staff explored tons of fun and educational booths and experiences, there were non-stop moments of bonding over our shared love of Girl Scouts.

We couldn’t have done it all without the support of our incredible partners who made the biggest gathering of Girl Scouts a smash hit! We send our deepest thanks to: Fiserv, General Motors, AT&T, Charles Schwab Foundation, Disney Imagination Campus, CFP Board, PayPal, Meta, ABC Bakers, JOANN, Palmer & Cay, SOLV Energy, Johnson & Johnson Foundation, Little Brownie Bakers, NEWMARK, and United Airlines.

The convention united thousands of Girl Scouts, volunteers, and supporters with a shared goal of supporting young women to be bold, brave, and unapologetically themselves. We were reminded of the incredible potential within every one of us. As we bid farewell to this unforgettable event, we carry with us the momentum of positivity, growth, and a resolute commitment to shaping a brighter and more inclusive future for girls and women everywhere.

2026 Convention

Wondering about the 2026 Girl Scout Convention? Stay tuned for the grand reveal by the end of 2023 as we thoughtfully determine the location for our next national gathering! It's sure to be a convention like no other, and we can't wait to share the fun-filled journey with all of you.

There's quite a buzz surrounding the Phenom By Girl Scouts products in the Girl Scout Shop and it's no fairy tale! From stylish clothes to must-have accessories, these items are disappearing like magic. Check them out before they’re gone! 🛍️