Thursday, January 28, 2021

26 Remarkable Girls Defining the Future of Girl Scouts!

Get ready to meet the 26 most important girls in Girl Scouts today! 

Did you know that Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has an international team of high school Girl Scouts who advise us on strategy and create programming? Did you know that these girls are the ones who guide the Girl Scout vision for the future? And did you know that you can apply to be considered as a member? Yes! It's true, and we want to share with you all the amazing work these girls have accomplished – putting the girl-led into Girl Scouts!

The current “G-Team” is made up of 26 Girl Scouts from across the continental United States,  Puerto Rico, and Italy, with a special representative from Guias de Mexico. The team has just completed their 20-month internship with GSUSA, and is getting ready to pass the torch to a new G-Team in 2021 (check our social media in February for more details!).The G-Team’s journey began in December 2018, when each girl applied to be part of the planning group  for G.I.R.L.2020, the Girl Scouts’ tri-annual convention scheduled for October 2020 in Orlando, Florida. Out of 750 applicants, 26 girls were chosen, and they met virtually for five months before finally meeting in person in Orlando in July 2019. “When we went to Orlando and I met all the girls and saw how talented and capable they were, and when I met the adults and realized the trust they had in us and all the support they gave us, then I though "I am so glad I'm doing this".” Maria, Guias de Mexico

Over the next eight months, this team worked on planning an epic event… and then COVID happened. 

When we made the difficult decision to cancel our in-person convention, not one of the 26 G-Team members quit. 

“I think change and flexibility was the theme of this internship and I’m so impressed with how much we were able to do together. We all had the choice to quit after convention was cancelled but we stayed and did more good than I could have imagined.”  - Mary, Girl Scouts of West Central Florida

Each and every girl went on to find a new set of projects to help make Girl Scouts better for all girls. And those projects also provided new opportunities for them to learn and grow.  “On the G-TEAM, I believe I have grown in many aspects. One of the largest elements was when we heard the news about G.I.R.L 2020”, said Isabel from Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast. “As a team we had to quickly pivot and reassess what our roles were going to be moving forward. Without those challenges in our paths I might not have been able to experience the moments I had.” 

The impact of their work was truly wide ranging and will reverberate for years to come.

The G-Team created the very first videos for Girl Scouts at Home, our new online programming site, ultimately creating 18 activity videos for their sister Girl Scouts. They also jumped into hosting live, national virtual events, leading 18 events throughout the spring, summer, and fall. And they were just getting started.

The G-Team formed a production team and created 10 episodes of an entirely new show for Instagram TV and YouTube called G-Team TV. “Working on G-Team TV, it was us girls who developed the format, the mission of the show, picked speakers and segments, created graphics, and so much more. We were able to build something amazing from the ground up,” said Kami, an Ambassador G-Team member from Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida. “Being on the G-team makes me feel like an innovator… a group of girls who were willing to create new programs and advise on how to improve existing ones. Girls who put in the research and time to develop the best product.” 

Working with the Girl Scout Research Institute, (which measures the impact of Girl Scout programming and leads national conversations about girls and their development via groundbreaking original studies), the G-Team completed original research on girls on mental health. They created  a report of their findings and delivered a presentation for our National Council Session. 

Speaking of the National Council Session, G-Team members spent countless hours getting that event off the ground – serving on committees, developing resources, and running virtual events. It was clear that the Session would not have been as successful without the G-team as a force in the planning and delivery of the event.

And if all of this wasn't enough, the G-Team  also created a new national service project for all ages (coming soon to Girl Scouts at Home!), worked on a research project to help redesign Girl Scouts’ national website, and led a virtual international event with Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from across the world. Finally, the G-Team spent many hours helping to shape the future of Girl Scouting through providing GSUSA leadership with the girl perspective on issues as diverse as our faith programs, older girl uniforms, racial justice, sustainability, and strategy and programming for older girls. Wow! Talk about impact. Let’s hear more from the girls themselves about their experience as we celebrate their work!

Q. What was the most fulfilling project you completed as a G-Team member?

Erin, Girl Scouts of Oregon & Southwest Washington

A. As a member of the G-Team, the most fulfilling project I was a part of was G-Team TV. Having a voice in creating a brand new program from the beginning was a tremendous learning experience and then working through the kinks and finally seeing our first episode air was a truly amazing feeling. Continuing that momentum and successfully completing 10 episodes was so fulfilling. It is great knowing I was part of something new, fresh and girl led!

Orezi, Girl Scouts of Colorado

A. The website redesign project was really fulfilling because we completed every single part of a real board presentation almost on our own. It felt like an amazing career experience, and it has an actual impact on the website. There were so few of us on the team that the presentation really felt like a personal project, so it felt great when it was well-received.

Roshni, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas

A. I would say working on both G-Team TV and with the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI). With G-Team TV it was so cool to see a whole production get put together in only a couple months. We worked so many hours figuring out music, colors, and speakers. It was fun to see it all get put together and out there to all GS members. With GSRI, I loved being able to learn more about Mental Health and how it impacts girls. I learned that many of us are more alike than we think and that its refreshing to be open about mental health. Overall, I love being able to make a lasting impact in girls on a national level. 

Serena, Girl Scouts of San Diego

A. I think the most fulfilling project I completed as a G-Team member was G-Team TV. More specifically, I really enjoyed the role that I took on as the reporter/interviewer. Having the opportunity to interview amazing girls and women and learn more about their accomplishments was really inspiring. It made me realize how much I enjoy talking and learning more about people and their backgrounds.

Elizabeth, Girl Scouts of Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri

A. I was so lucky to be a governance intern with the National Council Session advisory team! Meeting with the dues sub-group, hosting the girl delegate caucus, interviewing board candidates, and learning the ins and outs of a large non-profit are just a few of the amazing things G-Team let me do. I've learned to see the world from so many different perspectives; to listen and respond to many different voices; and to trust my own voice and my own ideas. G-Team is immediate, visible proof that girls can do ANYTHING.

Naomi, Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles

A. I think of the profound impact G-Team has not only had on my life, but others. The most fulfilling project for me was working for the Girl Scout Research Institute on mental health research. As Girl Scouts looks ahead to the next few years, we have to ask ourselves how to make mental health a priority, and the Girl Scout Research Institute did just that. Through research, focus groups, and analyzing data, our team presented to the National Council Session. Girl Scouts truly is girl-led and this team exemplifies that fact. Through our two years of work we have redefined what it means to be an Older Girl Scout. We have proven that Girl Scouts is so much more then just selling cookies. We are Go-Getters, Innovators, Risk Takers and Leaders. And our story has just begun.

Q. What kind of impact do you think being on the G-Team has had on you? How have you grown?

Amanda, Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida

A. On the G-Team, I have gained many friends that I would have not had otherwise. There is absolutely no way I would have met these girls because we live all around the world. I have become a better collaborator and team member and am excited to include some of my new best friends in my journey.

Ava, Girl Scouts Council of the Nation’s Capital

A. My experiences with G-Team has pushed me outside my comfort zone. Before this internship, I would have never thought I would have been able to accomplish with the G-Team. I have hosted many live events, spoken in front of thousands of people, created a national service project, contributed to a research paper and made friends from around the world.

Ella, Girl Scouts of Arizona Catus-Pines

A. The G-Team gives girls the opportunity to provide GSUSA with a girl perspective and give back to the incredible organization on a massive scale. Being part of the G-Team has given me real work experience, confidence in expressing my ideas to both adults and other teens, and an amazing group of like-minded, hardworking friends.

Kami, Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida

A. Being a part of the G-Team has helped me look at things through a different point of view. Before I would only give input for someone of my situation. I would think to myself, "Would this be inclusive for a girl like me?" Meeting so many passionate Girl Scouts from across the nation with very unique, strong personalities, I was able to start thinking about others. Now I ask myself questions like, "Would this be inclusive for someone with disabilities, someone who is introverted, someone who doesn't have social media access?" Outside of the team this has helped improve my daily life. Before I make a statement online, I now think about what communities I could be hurting, and how my actions make others feel. Being more tolerant has made me more confident in myself. I am not someone who likes to leave others out or make people uncomfortable - I want everyone to have a good time. With my new skills I know how to approach people who are different than me and make them my friend.

Genesis, Girl Scouts of Gateway

A. Being on G-Team has been one of my hopes since I met some of the girls on G.I.R.L.2017 Convention G-Team. It not only inspired passion, but dedication and a commitment to something so much bigger than me. It has taught me to work well with other girls my age, from everywhere, to create something together.

Isabel, Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast

A. The G-Team is far more than a business internship, although business can be fun. You also gain new skills that can be implemented into your everyday life – from event hosting to video editing. Most importantly you’re signing up for a lifetime of friendship.

Mary Lara, Girl Scouts of Kentucky’s Wilderness Road Council

A. The G-Team has made me a much more confident person, and helped me gain an amazing professional skill set that will benefit me throughout my entire life. The community of girls and adults has helped me grow so much. I have grown in my willingness to try new things and and to make leaps into new areas of professional development. I have also grown in my confidence around other people, both on and off camera. I have become a Risk-Taker. I would not be the same person I am today had it not been for the G-Team.

Mary, Girl Scouts of West Central Florida

A. Being on the G-team has really taught me so much about teamwork. At our meeting in Orlando, we were told that we all deserved to be there, and now I enter every meeting with the same attitude. Listening to everyone's opinion and really considering someone's side is a huge part of teamwork and I'm glad the G-team helped me see that.

Maya, USA Girl Scouts Overseas (Italy)

A. By being on the G-Team I have learned so much about the power of girls and the strength of sisterhood as well as my own strength. I know I can be a strong leader and overcome obstacles no matter how tough they may seem.

Milani, Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho

A. Being on the G-Team has shown me that there is no limit to the possibility of greatness in every Girl Scout. I started this as a fun after school activity, now it is a way to see the world from a new perspective.

Nadia, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta

A. Being a part of the G-Team has encouraged me to think outside of the box. Every project we completed required us to think realistically about the logistics, but creatively about our goals. It was a creative yet critical experience that grew my ability to set goals and see them to completion despite the obstacles.

Miranda, Girl Scouts of Greater South Texas

A. Being part of the G-Team has been an incredible experience that I think could benefit any girl. I've loved being involved with such a diverse team on projects that I never saw myself as being able to do as a teenager - like planning a convention or producing a TV series. No matter what you're interested in, you'll be able to find a project that you're passionate about and will have the opportunity to work with the most amazing people.

Q. Is there a moment you remember when you thought, “I am so glad I am doing this”?

Isabel, Caribe

A. I will never, ever forget the morning that I learned I was 1 of the 25 G-TEAM members chosen, out of more than 750 applications. When I think about my experience, my head fills with so many amazing moments. The hundreds of virtual meetings we’ve had, our time in Orlando summer 2019, the show we made (G-Team TV), the Global Roundtable, the incredible mentors and girls I got to work with, all the laughs, the friendships I made, all the events we’ve worked on, all the impacts and inspirational work we have made.

Margaret, Girl Scouts of Connecticut

A. I was running part of the girl caucus, where girl delegates to the National Council Session got the opportunity to discuss the proposals with each other in a girl-only space, and it was just amazing to see all those girls asking questions and making points in a civil discussion of the issues at hand. I got to watch democracy in action within our movement, and it was wonderful to see all these girls becoming informed about the issues at hand. 

Q. Why is Girl Scouts a part of your life? 

Alexis, Girl Scouts of Citrus

A. Girl Scouts is a part of my life because when I was young it was a great way to learn new skills and meet new people. Also, Girl Scouts has grown with me as a person and as I get older there are still many new skills and opportunities that Girl Scouts presents. Girl Scouts has been a part of my life for a very long time and it is one of the best things I have ever done.

Maria, Guias de Mexico

A. “Girl Scouts/Guides is a part of my life because without this organization I wouldn't be who I am now. It's a part of my life because it represents what I want to be and achieve, and it's part of my life because it completes me, because it gives me a purpose: to make a change as an empowered woman.”

Q. Why should other girls think about applying to be a part of the G-Team?

Sidney, Girl Scouts of Minnesota & Wisconsin River Valleys

Firstly, you will gain connections you never thought possible. Anything you want to do is essentially available: you like speaking, writing, math, analysis, event planning, marketing, social media, Girl Scout history, or literally anything? BOOM: G-Team material. There’s a place for anyone and you will meet the most amazing people.

Isabella, Girl Scouts of Suffolk County 

Why should girls apply to be on the G-Team? You’ll meet some of the most incredible, kind, awe-inspiring girls. Your voice will matter. You’ll realize that you CAN make change, that you DO have an impact. You’ll seek out more opportunities, explore new passions-  there’s a kind of rush that comes with being part of the G-Team, of feeling seen and necessary. And I think you’ll be more driven to seek out the things that make your soul shine as a result. I know I was.

Additional G-Team Members:

Allarie, Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida

Kadance, Girl Scouts of Gateway

The G-Team had a life changing experience and left their mark on Girl scouts forever. Check GSUSA’s social media in February for information about applying for the 2021 G-Team! 💚✨