Friday, September 18, 2020

A Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration of No Limit Latinas!

It’s Hispanic Heritage Month and we’re thrilled to celebrate today by highlighting a few of our most incredible Latina Girl Scout alum! These barrier-breaking, change-making, world-changing women are a huge inspiration to us and to every Latina out there who craves to see herself in the eyes and faces of accomplished leaders—strong role models who give them the confidence to believe that they too can accomplish anything they set their minds to. 

First up, the one and only, Sonia Sotomayor! As the first U.S. Supreme Court Justice of Hispanic heritage and a proud Girl Scout alum, Justice Sotomayor is the ultimate No Limit Latina, inspiring us to reach for the stars in our careers and never back down from a challenge. As a passionate advocate for defendant rights, criminal justice system reform, and equality, Justice Sotomayor is working hard to make the world a better place for all of us, and we’re so grateful. Thank you for shining your life-changing light, Justice Sotomayor! 

While Justice Sotomayor leads in the courtroom, our beloved Girl Scout alum, Ellen Ochoa, leads in the sky! The first Hispanic woman to go to space as part of the nine-day mission aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1993, Ochoa is a talented engineer, former NASA astronaut, and former director of the Johnson Space Center—talk about a No Limit Latina!

Thank you, Ellen, for inspiring us to believe in ourselves and go for our goals no matter how out of reach they may seem at first. Thanks to you, we know that the seemingly impossible is entirely possible with hard work, perseverance, and a positive spirit.  

Next up—the unstoppable Dolores Huerta! Another proud Girl Scout alum, Dolores is an outstanding labor leader and civil rights activist who co-founded the National Farmworkers Association (along with Cesar Chavez), now known as the United Farm Workers of America. She is a fierce defender of workers’, immigrants’, and women’s rights, and an awe-inspiring No Limit Latina who reminds us that change is possible even against incredible odds and long-standing power structures. Because if you believe you can, YOU CAN!  

Thank you, Dolores, for helping us keep hope alive even when things seem hopeless. It’s leaders like you that keep us moving towards a brighter future one hard-fought victory at a time. 

And of course, there’s our bold, brave, and glass-ceiling shattering former Girl Scouts CEO, Sylvia Acevedo.  A systems engineer by education, Acevedo began her career at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she was part of the Voyager 2 team. In addition to her work as a rocket scientist, she’s also held top leadership positions at Apple, Dell, IBM, and other U.S. technology leaders—talk about an incredible career! And what's more, she spent the next phase of her career advocating for Spanish-speaking families by creating education, health, and workforce development programs across the country.  

A committed advocate of STEM and the power of education to transform lives, Acevedo brought focus to this critical platform for girls’ success during her four-year tenure as Girl Scouts of the USA CEO, leading the way to the introduction of dozens of new badges that prepare girls for a future beyond their wildest dreams.   

Thank you, Sylvia, for your unwavering commitment to science and girls! Your journey is an inspiration to us all! 

Our younger generation of No Limit Latina Girl Scout alums are not far behind greats like Sotomayor, Ochoa, Huerta, and Acevedo.  Ana, a 2019 Gold Award Girl Scout, dedicated more than 700 hours over three years to introduce a rigorous ethnic studies curriculum to her high school in San Diego, CA. While her school is made up of about 70 percent Latinx students and 20 percent Filipino American students, Ana noticed that the contributions of these communities were largely absent from the courses they were being taught.  Thank you, Ana, for seeing wrong and going above and beyond to make it right! It’s No Limit Latinas like you that give us all hope for a fairer, more inclusive future where we can all be represented in our full glory and encouraged to shine our brightest, no matter what obstacles we may face. 

Minely, also a 2019 National Gold Award Girl Scout, dedicated her Gold Award to changing a law in Puerto Rico so that people have the opportunity to register themselves as deaf through their driver’s licenses, and on giving law enforcement officers the tools they need to communicate with and provide help to the deaf community. Thanks to Minely, if a deaf driver gets pulled over now, they can just show the officer their driver’s license with the deaf symbol on it. This will help avoid potentially dangerous misunderstandings between the two and keep deaf drivers safe. In trying to get the law changed and these updates to driver’s licenses implemented, Minely heard a lot of no’s, but she never gave up. She was determined to protect deaf drivers, and with a lot of determination and Girl Scout grit, she did just that. Thank you Minely for stopping at nothing to make the world a better place for others! You are proof that anything is possible if you just believe in yourself and keep pushing. 

And last, but certainly far from least, on today’s epic No Limit Latina highlight reel is our star alum and 2017 Gold Award Girl Scout, Vilmarie! Vilmarie is a pioneer of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) awareness in Puerto Rico. When her mother was diagnosed with MS when Vilmarie was just 15 years old, she decided to turn her fear into advocacy and awareness for the disease which led her to create a robust education program as well as the passage of Senate Act 1180 in Puerto Rico to properly document cases of MS at the governmental level. Through the passing of this legislation, a national registry will now have an accurate count of Puerto Ricans with MS, which can be applied to the federal funding and resources provided to the island by the government. 

Know an exceptional no limit Latina Girl Scout who is taking the lead in your community to create positive change and make amazing things happen for herself and others? Shout her out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter so we can follow the inspiration! 

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! 
::Salsa Twirl!!:: 💃🏾💃🏻💃🏿💃🏼


Friday, September 11, 2020

Say hello to Girl Scouts of the USA’s new interim CEO Judith Batty!


A lifelong Girl Scout, former troop leader, and top cookie seller, Judith made history last month when she was announced as the first Black woman to assume the chief executive role. Judith is a true trailblazer—she spent three decades as senior counsel and executive to a Fortune 100 company, the first woman and first Black person to serve as general counsel to one of the corporation’s overseas affiliates.

Judith is the daughter of a Girl Scout and troop leader, and she credits Girl Scouts with sparking her curiosity about the world around her and giving her the opportunity to explore her adventurous side and discover her leadership potential.

Growing up, Judith and her mom were active with her local Girl Scout council, and the family regularly hosted Girl Guides from all over the world at their home when they came to the US. It was meeting and interacting with these girls over the years that sparked her lifelong interest in travel. In fact, she has visited over 40 countries! Over the past year, before the arrival of COVID-19, she journeyed to Puerto Rico, Morocco, Cuba, Italy, and Japan.

“I like to travel to places that are a little bit off the beaten path, and I think I got that from Girl Scouts,” Judith says. Girl Scouts also helped her build her confidence. “You get to try new things, you learn to speak up and use your voice, and you are encouraged to make your own decisions. Through Girl Scouts I was able to turn my natural curiosity into confidence.”

Judith’s Girl Scout journey has been ongoing. As a Girl Scout Senior, she was a part of the first girl delegation to Girl Scouts’ National Council Session in 1975, one of 100 girls from across the country chosen to represent their councils at the triennial national gathering where Girl Scouts assemble to chart the Girl Scout Movement’s path forward for the next three years. She worked at a Girl Scout camp as a cook and bookkeeper during college, and after graduating from law school, she was the co-leader of a Junior troop in Washington, DC for two years. She has also served on GSUSA’s National Board for the past six years.

In a time when girls across the country are facing unprecedented challenges, Judith believes strongly that Girl Scouts’ mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place is more important than ever.

“Girl Scouts is a safe haven in all the chaos,” Judith continues. “It’s a place where girls can still be girls—they can have fun, be with their friends, explore, be active, discover new passions, and learn. Girl Scouts creates leaders—and clearly, we need more women leaders! We help girls learn, thrive, and be the best that they can be.”

In light of the unrest that has erupted in reaction to the ever-present violence being committed against Black people, including the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many others—as well as the increased awareness among Americans more broadly of the systemic racism that exists in our country—Judith is also committed to ensuring that Girl Scouts is an actively anti-racist organization. 

“We have a systemic racism problem in the US, and Girl Scouts needs to make sure we are countering it—that we are welcoming and inclusive. It’s one thing to say a girl is welcome, but it’s another thing for that girl to feel she’s welcome.”

Judith is also a strong believer in the need for diversity in American leadership, across all sectors. “If you are only listening to those who are similar to you, you’re not necessarily making the best decisions, whether it’s a corporate setting or a social setting, or even selling a product or service,” she says. “Women think differently than men, and we approach problems differently. We might come to the same conclusion, but just going through that thought process is important, both sides listening to each other. A lot of times you come to a better decision because you’ve considered more possibilities.”

And she has some great advice for girls on how to stay resilient through such uncertain times. “There’s no doubt that things are incredibly difficult right now, but it’s important to remember that nothing is ever static. Circumstances change and evolve, and if you have confidence in yourself and your abilities, you can seize opportunities that arise. You don’t necessarily have to know where you’re going, and if you fail, that’s good! Figure out why you failed, pick yourself up, and learn from the failure. Failures bring lessons just like successes do—they are just part of the journey.”

We’re excited to welcome Judith and congratulate her on her new role! We can’t wait to see what the future holds for our great Girl Scout Movement under your leadership.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Update on Our 55th National Council Session—You’re Invited!

In April we shared that the Girl Scouts of the USA Board of Directors had voted to hold Girl Scouts’ 55th National Council Session (NCS) virtually, given the COVID-19 pandemic and Girl Scouts’ focus on safety. As we reimagined NCS as a 100% virtual experience, we realized that we had an opportunity to invite more members to participate! 

So as excitement grows for our history-making, first-ever virtual NCS, we’re happy to invite Girl Scout members to join us for our upcoming events: 

1 Stewardship Report Webinar—Join us Wednesday, September 9, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. ET to hear about the state of the Movement; register by September 6 (note that delegates should register for all NCS-related event invitations via the emails being sent directly to them) 

2 Keynote presentations by Girl Scouts’ National Board chair, interim national CEO, and founding chair of the Juliette Gordon Low Society—Saturday, October 3, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. ET; stay tuned for registration information and note that a virtual reception for Juliette Gordon Low Society members will immediately follow these presentations 

3 55th NCS—Friday, October 23, through Sunday, October 25; stay tuned for registration information 

Special thanks to Little Brownie Bakers for being the exclusive Gold Sponsor of Girl Scouts’ 55th NCS.


Tuesday, August 25, 2020

The Girl Scout Uniform Through the Decades

For over a century, Girl Scouts have proudly worn distinctive uniforms that symbolize the high ideals for which the organization stands.

Over the past century, the iconic Girl Scout style has evolved, bringing new materials, features, and designs that align with modern girls’ interests and passions.

Reflecting on our history, we’ve opened our archives and found some rare photos you likely won’t see anywhere else that showcase how the girl uniform evolved.

Don’t forget to show us your take on #GSStyle by tagging @girlscouts on social media.

1924: Planting a commemorative tree in style! We’re loving this action shot of Juliette Gordon Low and the stylish hats featuring the iconic Girl Scout Trefoil.

FUN FACT: In 1914, Girl Scout uniforms began to be manufactured. Juliette Gordon Low ordered a stock of blue uniforms, the khaki to be sent only by special request. But the girls preferred khaki—they were developing an interest in outdoor activities and thought khaki was more practical for hiking, picnicking, and camping. The khaki uniforms were used until 1928.

1925: Juliette Gordon Low and two Girl Scouts posing for a photo. Notice the patches on the girls’ sleeves. Also, can you spot the difference between the two girl uniforms? One is a shirt dress and the other one is a two-piece (skirt and blouse).

1927: A Girl Scout Brownie spending time outdoors watering plants. How do you like her shiny black shoes?

FUN FACT: In 1926, Brown Book for Brown Owls, the first official leader’s program guide for Brownies, was published and Girl Scout Brownies received their own insignia. New “Girl Scout green” uniforms were adopted in 1928 for girls and adults to replace the khaki uniforms worn earlier in the decade.

1928: Girl Scouts having the best time camping and modeling those NEW “Girl Scout green” uniforms.

1930s: Looking flawless, troop! Just some final touches on that sleeve. Have you noticed how the hat changed? This hat style reflects the fashion of the late 1920s and early 1930s.

FUN FACT: The first uniform specifically designed for Girl Scout Seniors was introduced in 1938.

1938: The first Girl Scout Senior uniform—lookin’ sharp!

1938: May the forest be with you! This cool basket backpack is the ultimate Girl Scout accessory!

FUN FACT: During the era of the Great Depression, Girl Scouts aided in relief efforts by collecting food and clothing, making quilts, carving wooden toys, and assisting in hospitals. Uniform silhouettes were updated, and troops began wearing berets, a very trendy accessory in the early 1930s.

1935: Girl Scout Mariners climbing aboard! We’re in for smooth sailing!

1940: The Girl Scout Mariner uniform close-up—so stylish!

FUN FACT: In 1944, Girl Scouts sold calendars instead of cookies due to ingredient rations during World War II. Over the next few years, the look of Girl Scout uniforms went largely unchanged due to the low availability of materials in wartime. Girl Scout Intermediates and Seniors continued to wear green dresses paired with yellow neckerchiefs. Brownies wore brown shirt dresses with short sleeves. Wartime restrictions on the use of metals led to the zippers in uniforms being replaced with button-fronts.

FUN FACT: Designer Mainbocher, a popular haute couture American label at the time, created a Girl Scout uniform for Seniors that included a short-sleeved dress with a dark green cowhide belt, and overseas-style hat.

1948: Girl Scout Senior in her button-front dress with short sleeves designed by Mainboucher. Looks cute and practical!

1953: Girl Scout Intermediate and her poster twin!

1957: The best memories are made at Girl Scout camp!

1960s: Two Girl Scout Cadettes looking busy making the world a better place.

FUN FACT: The 1960s brought about major social change, from the Vietnam War to the struggle for racial equality to the birth of the counterculture. The Girl Scout national organization invited suggestions from Girl Scouts across the country, asking for their preferences in uniforms. Girls wanted pants, a uniform with no waistline, big pockets, and a neat, sporty “un-uniform” made of easy-to-care for fabrics. More change was on the horizon!

1970: Girl Scout Brownie with her furry friend—too cute!

1978: Girl Scout Cadettes—sisterhood forever.

FUN FACT: Political and social changes continued into the 1970s. The Girl Scout uniform adapted as well. In 1973, Girl Scout Juniors could choose from five separates to create 12 different uniform looks. Among the options were a green A-line jumper, with step-in styling, four-button placket, inverted front pleat, and large patch pockets.

1978: Picture perfect smiles. Let the good times roll!

1981: Girl Scout Senior: On my honor!

FUN FACT: In 1984, Girl Scouts launched the Girl Scout Daisy program for five-year-old girls or girls in kindergarten.

1984: Girl Scout Daisies

1992: Girl Scout Seniors proudly showcasing their decorated sashes.

1993: Throw on your shades! It’s party time 1990s’ style!

FUN FACT: In 1995 the official Girl Scout Cadette and Senior uniforms included a royal blue skirt or walking shorts, a white blouse with royal blue, yellow, and green stripes, long sleeves, a bandana, and an insignia vest or sash.

1995: Cadettes and Seniors lined up for a group shot! How do you like the striped shirts?


FUN FACT: In 2001, the Girl Scout Cadette and Senior uniforms were changed from royal blue to khaki, with a light blue blouse for Cadettes and a navy blue blouse for Seniors.

2006: Smiles for miles! Comfortable and casual in their Girl Scout vests.

2019: “YES” to vest trains embellished with badges and patches that SPARK JOY! Who has one of those?

TODAY: Redesigned for the first time in nearly 20 years, the NEW Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador uniform and official apparel collection are all about giving girls opportunities to express their individuality! The new sash and vest incorporate modern details, including pockets, button-up closure, and a cinched waist for an easy fit. It is a modern, wearable collection that can be worn to school, for hiking or in the outdoors, while selling cookies, or at a troop meeting—exciting! Although the NEW sash and vest are officially here, you can still wear your existing Cadette, Senior, Ambassador sash, and vest. Who doesn’t love MORE OPTIONS?

Shop the look and preorder by September 8, 2020, to unlock a 10% discount with promotion code GSSTYLE10.

Juliette Gordon Low’s original vision of an organization for girls that emphasizes inclusiveness, the outdoors, self-reliance, and service remains today. As Girl Scouts, we will always be guided by our core values, no matter how the iconic uniform changes.

  • The Cut of the Cloth, A Brief History of the Girl Scout Uniform, GSUSA, 1999
  • GSUSA Archives
  • A Century of Girl Scout Uniforms,” GSCCCblog, 2019, Girl Scouts of California's Central Coast

Meet the Young Designers Who Created the NEW Girl Scout Uniform and Official Apparel Collection

The new official Girl Scout uniforms for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors, as well as our just-launched mix-and-match apparel collection for girls in grades 6–12, is here—SWEET! Redesigned for the first time in nearly 20 years, the collection is versatile and lets girls express their individuality. But the question on everyone’s mind: who’s behind the designs?

We chatted with Nidhi (a Girl Scout alum), Jenny, and Melissa, the three young female designers from the Fashion Institute of Technology (@fitnyc) to see what inspired them in creating this exciting new line for Girl Scouts.

What fashion trends were you able to incorporate into the new Girl Scout pieces?

NIDHI: As a Girl Scout alum, I feel current Girl Scouts will love the pieces we created! We drew inspiration from the Girl Scout archives as well as current trends! The main focus was on styles that fit all body types and satisfy different style preferences. “Everyday fashion” and comfort were also important considerations for us during the design process.

Ultimately, we want girls to feel proud to wear their Girl Scout uniform and apparel everywhere they go!

How do your designs reflect the needs and wants of Gen Z?

MELISSA: Before and during the design process, we consulted with current Girl Scouts to see what they wanted to wear. We felt the Girl Scout uniform and other affiliated clothing needed to reflect more of the trends of the current time. The girls we talked with wanted more modern and functional clothing they can wear to Girl Scout and non-Girl Scout activities that can be easily styled formally and casually. With these points in mind, we elevated existing garments and created new pieces that reflected their requests, like incorporating pockets into the sash and introducing a denim jacket. Our team focused on creating items that were trendy yet classic, and items that would not go out of style quickly.

What’s your favorite piece from the collection and why?

JENNY: My favorite piece is the pocket sash. I think the sash is an iconic piece and a staple of the Girl Scout uniform. We elevated this important piece by adding interior pockets that would provide functionality. We added these functional components without interfering with the manner in which badged are displayed. Girls can show off their affiliation while storing their necessities during events and activities.

MELISSA: I love the short-sleeve shirt dress with tie. It’s a piece that can be worn as a simple shift dress, or you can tie the belt around it for a different silhouette. It’s a dress that can easily be styled up or down: combine it with the denim jacket for a casual look when you’re with your friends or pair it with the new pocket sash or utility vest for a formal Girl Scout event.

NIDHI: My favorite piece in the collection is the denim utility wrap! I love it because of its versatility and functionality. Girls will be able to make this piece their own and layer it over any look—from outdoor adventures to official functions. I find it cool because it is such a fun accessory that can instantly change your look!

To learn more about Nidhi, Jenny, and Melissa, head to our Instagram stories and follow them on Instagram: @nidhibhasin, @fennyjeng, @melissa.posner

Ready to explore eight fun looks we put together just for you? Head to the Girl Scout Shop and start browsing now! Don’t forget: if you preorder by September 8 and use coupon code GSSTYLE10, you’ll get 10% off your order.