We will soon be singing “Happy Birthday” to Girl Scouts as we celebrate 108 years since our founding. Juliette Gordon Low started the first Girl Scout troop in Savannah, Georgia in 1912 and reached across class, cultural, and ethnic boundaries to ensure that all girls had a place to grow and develop their leadership skills.
Girl Scouts started in northern New Jersey shortly after the first troop was established in Georgia. Since then, locally and nationally, the Girl Scout movement has grown in numbers and support as individuals across the country saw the need for a program dedicated totally to girls and young women. Although it is now 2020, there is still an urgent need for an organization dedicated solely to girls.
We strive to ensure that the social emotional development of girls is the focus of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Our program is based on research and data on the state of girls and evolves to help girls reach their fullest potential. What sets us apart from other youth-serving organizations, is that our program has been developed with girls in mind, is girl-led, and girl-centric.
Yes, Girl Scouts is dedicated to girls. Girls need their own space to explore their interests, try something new, and fail in a safe and nurturing environment. Girl Scouts’ main priority and focus has been the health and well-being of the girls we serve. That focus has not changed in over 100 years. What has changed is the program and the skill-building badges that evolve
d to meet the ever-changing world we live in.
In 2020, Girl Scouts offer badges in cybersecurity, STEM, outdoor exploration, space science, engineering, and of course, financial literacy. We also promote advocacy and civic engagement just like we did 100 years ago. We also still encourage girls to explore their interests in the arts, communications, and physical fitness.
Community service is also a cornerstone of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. We want girls to give back to the community and work to make the changes they want to see in the world.
Yes, Girl Scouting is over a century old, but we are as relevant and socially important to the development of girls and young women as the day our first troop met in 1912.