Friday, October 11, 2019

11 Mic Drop Moments from the 2019 Girls Speak Out Event at the United Nations

Today did not disappoint in real life or on Twitter! We celebrated the 2019 International Day of the Girl by taking over the Today Show plaza and the United Nations to elevate the voices of girls all over the world. Together, we can ensure that the fight for girls’ rights is #WithGirlsForGirls! Ten of our country’s most outstanding young female activists—the 2019 National Gold Award Girl Scouts—were in attendance along with delegates representing girls from around the world, delivering some “mic drop moments.” The Twittersphere also blessed us with an abundance of phenomenal tweets from the event.

A special 'thank you' goes to Microsoft for collaborating with us to inspire more girls to pursue their passions and to our National Gold Award Girl Scout scholarship funders, Kappa Delta Foundation, Arconic Foundation, and Susan Bulkeley Butler, for investing in girl leaders.

Microsoft is a premier sponsor of the 2019 National Gold Award Girl Scout celebration, a night dedicated to honoring the accomplishments of ten Girl Scouts who created innovative and sustainable solutions for today’s most pressing issues. On October 11, at 7:15 pm EST, Microsoft will host the event at its flagship store in New York City and livestream it to its other stores across the country. Join the conversation on social media using #gsGoldAward and #MicrosoftStore
Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Explore the world through Girl Scout Destinations

Every summer, Girl Scouts from across the USA travel to Costa Rica and Panama to participate in Girl Scout-exclusive programs with Outward Bound Costa Rica. One of these is titled Scuba & Sea Turtle Adventure—an unforgettable experience featuring wildlife conservation learning, exciting outdoor activities, and even scuba diving certification! Part of Girl Scouts' Destinations program and the ultimate experience for Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador Girl Scouts, Scuba & Sea Turtle Adventure is perfect for bold and courageous lovers of animals and the outdoors.

This life-changing experience is supported in part by the Elliott Wildlife Values Project, which helps girls grow as leaders in wildlife conservation and environmental stewardship—efforts that positively affect their communities and the world.

Hear from three girls about the fantastic adventures they had as island inhabitants who learned to scuba dive and worked with tropical wildlife!

“Throughout the course of my Destination, our group spotted sea turtles, sloths, bats, dolphins, stingrays, snakes, and a variety of marine life. On our scuba trips alone, we encountered many strange and beautiful creatures. Seeing life in all these different forms gave me a better understanding of just how diverse our planet is and how many species it holds… Viewing a place with so much life inspired me to be more mindful of how I treat our planet. Handling and helping the baby sea turtles reminded me how fragile some of our planet’s inhabitants can be. I realized that we need to make a drastic change in the way we approach our planet’s health. We cannot assume that creatures will adapt to worsening conditions, and we have to help prevent more species from disappearing.” 
—Marley, 17, Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania

“I was inspired the most by the sunburnt anemones. My group learned about them at one of our night meetings, and the next day when we went out to dive, I saw one and was thrilled! I understood what it was and easily identified it. I thought to myself how beautiful nature is. I think the best course of action is to raise awareness and to inspire and teach people to protect wildlife. Ignorance and a lack of empathy is what drives humans to take the wild around them for granted and to ultimately destroy it.” 
—Kennedy, 18, Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan 

“I was scared to scuba dive. The thought of descending several feet below the surface with an air tank strapped to your back was daunting. But one of the reasons I was able to descend was because the wildlife motivated me. The bioluminescent dive was the best one. Seeing all of the creatures light up as we moved our hands around them was breathtaking, and being able to observe animals in their natural habitats was eye opening. It made me more aware of the environment and how we need to be environmentally conscious and protect this planet.” 
—Emma, 16, Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York 

Girls who’ve experienced Scuba & Sea Turtle Adventure have also shared that learning about wildlife on their Destinations trip inspired them to help others protect and conserve wildlife back home. And as noted in the Girl Scout Research Institute resource Four Ways Girl Scouts Builds Girl Leaders in the Outdoors (2019), having outdoor recreational experiences in early childhood strongly and positively influences people’s environmental attitudes, values, and behaviors, with activities like hiking and camping cultivating a sense of responsibility for nature.

Going on a Girl Scout Destinations trip is an incredible way girls can develop love and respect for the environment—as they discover new places, jump into challenges, learn a ton, and make awesome lifelong friends. Learn more about Scuba & Sea Turtle Adventure and many other Destinations, including how you can apply to go on the trip of a lifetime!

New Destinations are announced every fall. Apply now for summer 2020!

You Vote, Girls Win! Help the JGL Birthplace Win Preservation Funding Through October 29

Heard the big news?!

The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace is a finalist in Partners in Preservation, a program of American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

You—yes, you!—can help the birthplace continue its important work to preserve the site while ensuring it meets the needs of 21st century girls. Your votes will help the Girl Scout organization address preservation and accessibility needs at the birthplace and raise awareness about the transformative work taking place there.

Vote daily for the birthplace through October 29, 2019!

Known as the “front door” of the Girl Scout Movement, for more than 60 years the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace has helped visitors from all over the U.S. and world learn about the life of an incredible woman who in 1912 founded the largest, most powerful, and most successful girl leadership development program in the world: Juliette Gordon Low.
This year, Partners in Preservation is marking the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment by providing funding for historic buildings and sites dedicated to women. As the founder of Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low was paving the way for women in leadership before the 19th amendment was passed.

Visiting Juliette Gordon Low’s birthplace is an essential part of the Girl Scout experience—right up there with selling cookies, camping, and exploring STEM. Together we can ensure that Juliette Gordon Low’s legacy remains vibrant for future generations of girls and visitors from around the world!

Don’t forget to vote every day through October 29 for the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace—and help us spread the word!
Friday, September 20, 2019

We Spy! The Girl Scout Roller-Coaster Design Challenge Recap

SPOILER ALERT: Girl Scouts totally rocked the Build a Roller-Coaster Adventure and earned almost 1,000 Mechanical Engineering badges in over 70 LEGO stores from Queens, New York, to Los Angeles, California. Talk about future STEM-inistas who design, build, and test new products!

We all agree that play is an essential part of every girl’s development, especially when it involves earning new badges 😉. Beyond enhancing your girl’s brain development, play allows her to stretch her imagination and discover new interests and talents. At Girl Scouts, we’re all about letting your girl play and learn by exposing her to new, exciting experiences. Creative leadership starts at Girl Scouts!
Learning STEM and playing? Yesss, please!

Why was the Girl Scout Roller-Coaster Design Challenge unique, you may ask? Because Girl Scout Daisies shared their love of LEGO and discovered the magic of what it’s like to be an engineer who solves real-life problems! They learned about engineering concepts, such as kinetic and potential energy and the forces of flight. These future STEM leaders also brainstormed ideas to make a safe roller-coaster car, used LEGO bricks to construct a roller-coaster car prototype, and tested and adjusted their models! But let’s be honest—all that “work” felt more like play!

“Viola loves doing engineering activities. Building a LEGO roller-coaster seemed very exciting for her. She also really wanted to earn the Mechanical Engineering badge! I love that with Girl Scouts, we have so many opportunities to do cool things around the city and make new friends. It’s awesome!”

—Girl Scout mom Alison
3, 2, 1 GO! Testing our roller-coasters. 
“My daughter loves LEGO, so when she heard there’s going to be an event for Girl Scouts and LEGO, she had to be there! She’s an only child, so we like to do things with other Daisies and other girls—they’re like her sisters. She had an amazing time!”

—Girl Scout mom Jeanine

“I earned a badge and build a roller-coaster! It was so much fun! I also got a gift bag from LEGO!” 

—Girl Scout Emma

“Today girls were playing together and learning together! They were not in a typical classroom environment. They were socializing and interacting with one another—building roller-coasters, testing them, and learning some key principles of engineering. This kind of play encourages imagination and exploration. It also helps them build collaborative play, conflict resolution, and social skills."

—Abby, Senior Manager, STEM Programs at Girl Scouts

Mechanical Engineering badge, here I come! 
With Girl Scouts, your girl will have the opportunity to participate in many amazing events, like the Girl Scout Roller-Coaster Design Challenge. Girl Scouts unleashes the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ in every girl, preparing her for a lifetime of leadership. As she learns through play by building roller-coaster prototypes and earning badges, she’s embracing challenges and learning from them to solve problems in creative ways!

Want your girl to have similar experiences? Join Girl Scouts! There are troops forming in your area NOW!

About Our Partnership with LEGO:

The LEGO Group and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) are collaborating to develop the female STEM leaders of tomorrow through creative play and learning. Together, LEGO and GSUSA will support Girl Scout Daisies and their friends across the United States, particularly in underserved communities. LEGO’s knowledge of learning through play and GSUSA’s expert programming combine to fuel kindergarten and first-grade girls’ excitement about STEM subjects—such as the concepts of engineering, motion, and gravity—at this crucial time in their development.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

From Girl Scouts to the Air Force

Guest post from Maria, Girl Scout alum, Girl Scout Volunteer, and currently serving in the Air Force.

The basic tenets of the Girls Scout Mission that I learned and embraced growing up in Girl Scouting—courage, confidence, and character—made my transition to military life quite a bit easier and enabled me to be successful. Let’s take courage, for instance. It took courage just to enlist in the military, which is not a traditional career for most women. The similarities were apparent right from the beginning. All of the girls were organized in troops and we had to come together to achieve our basic daily goals. We sang songs as we marched, we formed bonds together when times were rough, and we became a sisterhood. It was all familiar to me from my experiences in Girl Scouts, and it gave me a sense of belonging.

It took confidence to make it through basic training. I never gave up, although there were numerous times I wanted to. There’s actually an outdoor series of obstacles called the confidence course that tests everything you’ve ever learned about outdoor challenges. Girls Scouts taught me to embrace outdoor activities so I wasn’t scared at all. It took character to become a good role model and leader. A few years after enlisting, I won the prestigious Airman of the Year award for my entire region. If good character had not been instilled in me from my parents and Girl Scouting, my career in the military would not have been as successful as it was. 

From Girl Scouts to the Air Force to now, I embrace the Girl Scout Promise and Girl Scout Law to build relationships. Girl Scouting was my first introduction to diversity and inclusion, and I’m constantly rewarded both at work and at home for my role. It is an honor to serve as a volunteer for my daughter’s troop and it gives me a great sense of appreciation for the opportunity to help build girls of courage, confidence, and character.