Thursday, January 21, 2021

Girl Scouts Commits to Strengthening Our Democracy



Guest Blog from Interim CEO Judith Batty

The terrible events of January 6 are a stark reminder of the fragility of democracy and the critical need for every generation of Americans to be civically educated and engaged from a young age. According to a 2019 survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, just 39% of adults in our country are able to name all three branches of government.

This is a shocking statistic, and it reflects the unfortunate fact that, across the U.S., civics is not taught in many classrooms. 

Girl Scouts is committed to being part of the solution. It’s a commitment that is embedded in our Promise and Law and our mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. 

As we transition to a new era of U.S. leadership, we want to encourage all girls to be informed citizens so they can become the change-makers of the future. That’s why I’m excited to announce that, today through February 4, Girl Scouts is making the booklets and requirements for our Democracy badges free for all to download. With this support, girls will learn about their federal, state, and local governments, including how their elected officials make decisions and how they—girls—can make a difference in their communities and the country.

It’s more important than ever that we at Girl Scouts double down on our commitment to strengthening our democracy. We are giving girls the tools and the knowledge they need to understand the role of democracy in our nation and the objectives of democratic institutions, so that they can become leaders who work to improve and protect it. Girls must know they have the power to bring about the changes they want to see—and that our country needs. 


 

Girl Scouts Across the Country Reflect on Historic Achievements for Women




They say you can’t be what you can’t see. And Girl Scouts around the country are watching with eyes wide open as the newest slate of elected officials transcend barriers for women in office. Girls have plenty of examples to look up to: at least 122* women representatives and delegates will serve in the 117th Congress—the most ever! And 55% of them are Girl Scout alums. 


“As a Girl Scout, when I see other women that have been in Girl Scouts, I feel like I have representation. I also feel confident because I know that they will live by the Girl Scout Law, which outlines principles that everyone can strive to live by such as being responsible for what I say and do, and respecting myself and others."

—Girl Scout Cadette Lily, Nebraska


“I feel proud that we have women who can change the world! It's important for people to know that girls can do the same things that boys can!”

—Girl Scout Brownie Mara, Florida


“Observing the passion and persistence of our congresswomen inspires me to continue my work to change the law locally and make Alabama a ‘hands-free’ state. All the Girl Scout alums holding public office show that working on service projects at the local level sets Girl Scouts on a path to accomplishing greater things!” 

—Girl Scout Ambassador Alex, Alabama


Among notable, history-making firsts in the 2020 election, Kamala Harris becomes the first woman to hold the office of Vice President of the United States, as well as the first Black and South Asian American to hold the office. 


“I am happy and excited to see the first woman vice president because it changes history. It makes me glad to look up to black women leaders and lets me know that my skin color doesn’t stop me from changing the world.”

—Girl Scout Brownie Emarie, Florida


“Being someone who is South Asian and seeing Kamala Harris as the first woman with a South Asian background to enter the office is really meaningful. Kamala is someone who has great influence towards making meaningful change, and I really look up to her. It shows all of us how important it is for girls to get involved in their community—and of course, a great way to become more involved with the community is through the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards! When we see all of these girls making changes in their individual communities, it adds up to great change happening all over the world, leading to the greater good.”

—Girl Scout Ambassador Roshni, Texas


“It is appalling that after 45 vice presidents, only in 2021 has a woman been elected to the executive office of the United States government. I see great things for women in the future; women aren’t going backwards, they are going forwards.”

—Girl Scout Cadette Sylvie, New York

And it doesn’t end there! A record number of 18 Republican women were newly elected to the U.S. House, nearly 40% of whom are Girl Scout alums. And a record number of 52 women of color will serve in the 117th Congress and—no surprise—almost half of them are Girl Scout alums. 

With so many trailblazing women as examples, Girl Scouts can see that they, too, belong in the room where decisions are made.

“Girl Scouts is all about empowering young women and girls, and it’s nice to have that continued outside of Girl Scouts. It’s important for girls to know that they are able to hold positions of power and have women in power that they can look up to. It’s also especially important that our government has many different types of people with various identities within it since the government is supposed to represent the people it serves. There are many different types of people in our population, so our government should have plenty of diversity to represent everyone.”

—Girl Scout Ambassador Justine, Michigan


“I feel very excited with the inauguration of Vice President Kamala Harris, as well as the record number of women entering national public office this year!! It encourages all girls that hard work and confidence in ourselves make it possible to achieve our dreams. To space and beyond!”

—Girl Scout Cadette Sienna, New York


Feeling inspired? Girls can start flexing their leadership muscles and discover how they can make a difference right now. From January 21 to February 4, 2021, troops can download—for free!—the booklets and requirements to earn their Democracy badges. They'll learn how local, state, and federal government works, how laws are created, how they can connect with their own government officials—and how they can be the change they want to see. 

From city halls to the halls of Congress, tomorrow’s leaders are today’s Girl Scouts!


*One Congressional race in which a woman is running (NY-22) has still not been called. 


Friday, January 15, 2021

World Thinking Day 2021: Join Together for Peace


Get ready to take your game-changing ways to a whole new level for World Thinking Day 2021! 


 



This year’s theme is peacebuilding.

This year’s theme is peacebuilding. 

 

When it comes to making the world a better place, peacebuilding is as relevant today as it has ever been. World peace is something we can all support by learning, reflecting, and taking action that inspires positive change.  

 

On February 22, 2021, over 10 million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world will do their part to call for and create peace in our lives and in the world. And you can be a part of this global movement! 

What Is World Thinking Day?  
 

Celebrated since 1926, World Thinking Day is a day of international friendship. Girls speak out about issues that affect them with support from 10 million other Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in 150 countries.  

 

It all started when girls met at Girl Scouts of the USAs very own Camp Edith Macy (now Edith Macy Center) for the fourth World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts World Conference. The delegates agreed that there should be a special day every year when Girl Scouts and Girl Guides think of one another and celebrate global sisterhood. They decided to call it Thinking Day and chose February 22 to honor the birthdays of Girl Guide founders Lord and Lady Baden-Powell.  
 

In 1999, at the 30th World Conference in Dublin, Ireland, delegates wanted to make sure the day reflected the Girl Scout Movement’s international nature, so they changed the name to World Thinking Day.   

 

Every year since, World Thinking Day has called on Girl Scouts and Girl Guides to unite and take part in activities that change the world for the better.   
 

How You (and Your Troop) Can Participate  

 

Download the World Thinking Day 2021 Activity Pack and complete the activities to earn this year’s World Thinking Day Award. You only have to complete one activity in each step to earn the award, but don’t let that stop you—try as many as you like! (And don’t forget to purchase your World Thinking Day 2021 Award from the Girl Scout shop!)  

 

Share what you’re doing to encourage your community to explore the issues and actions that can lead to conflict and those that lead to peace; understand the link between discrimination, exclusion, and peace; and take action to create a more welcoming and peaceful society. Then tell us all about it on social media using the hashtag #WorldThinkingDay. We’ll be sharing stories of Girl Scouts who are making the world a better place. 

 

You can also donate to the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund to honor and contribute to the diversity of our global sisterhood. The fund makes it possible for Girl Scouts and Girl Guides to take part in international travel and projects.  
 

Join us, and let’s make the world a more peaceful place! 

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