Take Three Steps to an Amazing Global Youth Services Day!

Get ready to experience the unstoppable power of young people on a global level!

Because April 21 is Global Youth Service Day, when kids and teens from around the globe unite to make the world a better place. Sound familiar? (Hint: look no further than a green trefoil.)

This year, Girl Scouts across the United States will roll up their sleeves and lead the charge in bringing innovative, youth-led solutions to real-world problems.

And it’s not too late to get in on the action! Here’s how, in just three steps:

  1. Raise your hand. Ask your troop leader or council staff for information on how to participate in your area. Or look up information on getting involved individually, with an organization, at school, or with your family.
  2. Pick your project. Make a difference in one of six key areas: health, environment, poverty and hunger, education, human rights, or community building.
  3. Take action! Get out there and change the world! Show everyone how Girl Scouts take the lead to improve ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world.

Want some inspiration? Look no further than your Girl Scout sisters! Check out Our Stories to see what Girl Scouts are doing every day to make the world a better place!

Let us know how you, as a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™, will celebrate Global Youth Service Day. Share your story, and you could be featured on the Girl Scout Blog or in future Our Stories articles and videos.

Girl Scouts—and all young citizens of the world—can make a big difference. Let’s do this!

Labels: #girlscoutsgiveback

Source: Take Three Steps to an Amazing Global Youth Services Day!

Girl Scout Blog: 5 Steps to Earning Your Ranger Patch

5 Steps to Earning Your Ranger Patch

Girl Scouts is continuing our exciting partnership with the National Park Service and the “Girl Scout Ranger Program,” a joint venture connecting girls with National Park Service sites throughout the United States, including monuments, seashores, and urban sites.

Through this program, girls are invited to play outdoors, learn about national parks and why they’re preserved, and develop essential leadership skills. Even better, girls have the opportunity to earn patches, complete journeys, and achieve Take Action and Gold Award projects!

So, how exactly do you earn your Ranger patch? It’s simple!

  1. Choose a National Park Service site.

Visit http://www.nps.gov/findapark/index.htm. Choose a national park, a monument, or any of 417 sites protected by the National Park Service. Explore nature, learn the history and read the stories to discover why it is important to preserve your park.

  1. Imagine Yourself in a National Park.

Brainstorm activities that you might want to experience at a national park. Consider working outside with a geologist or inside identifying fossils. Maybe wildfire restoration, building a bridge, or a night sky project interests you.

  1. Contact the park and make a plan.

Call the park (the phone number is on the park’s website under Contact Us). Identify yourself as a Girl Scout. Ask if there is someone who works with the Girl Scout Ranger program or a volunteer coordinator. Express your ideas to the coordinator. Together, plan a project to help the park and fulfill your goals.

  1. Go to the park and Have Fun!

If your park does not have a volunteer program or is too far away to visit, create a Take Action Project.

  1. Share the experience

Share your best shots on Instagram and Twitter using  #FindYourPark and #NPS101 (don’t forget to tag @GirlScouts!) and invite your entire troop to do the same!

Ready to learn more about becoming a Girl Scout Ranger? Click here to read FAQs!

Labels: #FindYourPark, National Park Service, National Park Week, Outdoors, Ranger Patch, Take Action

Source: Girl Scout Blog: 5 Steps to Earning Your Ranger Patch

Girl Scout Blog: Five Ways to Thank Your Girl Scout Volunteer During Volunteer Appreciation Month

We know it, you know it, but do they realize it?

Our extraordinary volunteers are what make the adventurous Girl Scout world go round. And during April, we’re ensuring they hear how much girls and parents appreciate that.

Here are five fun ways to show your favorite volunteer your love and gratitude during National Volunteer Appreciation Month (and beyond!):

1. Make something. Who doesn’t love a handmade gift from the heart? Show the one-of-a-kind Girl Scout volunteer in your life just how much they mean to you by breaking out those arts and crafts supplies and getting creative. They’ll love it!

2. Shout ‘em out on social media. What better way to make your favorite Girl Scout volunteer feel special than to broadcast your thanks far and wide? They’re the best, and you’ll shout it loud and clear: I love my Girl Scout volunteer!

Be sure to include a line about why this volunteer (or volunteers!) is so special to you, and include the hashtag #NVW2017 to call out National Volunteer Week, which runs April 23–29.

3. Write them a love letter. Imagine their surprise when they open their mailbox and find a love letter from you. Need a little inspiration? Check out the letter Girl Scouts put together for these amazing volunteers!

4. Send an eCard. Is your Girl Scout volunteer a digital genius? Get innovative and send them a personalized eCard! It’s easy; pick your favorite G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ design, type their name, and share the card on social media or through email. Get started today!

5. Have your girl decide. Girl Scouts is girl-led, after all! The relationships between a Girl Scout and her volunteers are precious, so her thank you can be, too! Ask your girl how she would like to give back to volunteers this month. Does she want to sing a song, cook a delicious meal, or save up to buy flowers? Get those creative juices flowing, and help her take the lead!

Source: Girl Scout Blog: Five Ways to Thank Your Girl Scout Volunteer During Volunteer Appreciation Month

On International Women’s Day, it’s Time to ‘Be Bold for Change’

Today is International Women’s Day, when women (and girls!) all around the planet come together to celebrate women’s accomplishments and advocate for a more inclusive, gender-equal world.

This year’s theme is “Be Bold for Change.” Count us in! Girl Scouts always work to change the world for the better!

Each year, International Women’s Day prompts discussions about and next steps for achieving gender parity. It’s a day when everyone can help women and girls achieve their ambitions, challenge bias, call for gender-balanced leadership, value the contributions of women and men equally, and create inclusive cultures. From raising awareness to taking concrete action, International Women’s Day is a global springboard to making the world a better place.

So this year, let’s take the lead like a Girl Scout and tackle some awesome projects that will help us build a better world. Where to start?

International Women’s Day is the perfect day for girls to begin earning their Global Action award (if they haven’t earned it already). Developed in partnership with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS, for short), the Global Action award is an exciting and enriching way for Girl Scouts at every level to work together to make a difference on important issues. Because it’s an official national award, Girl Scouts can wear it just like a badge on the front of their vests or sashes. So awesome!

This year, there’s a special focus on the theme “Increasing Girls’ Access to Education.” In many parts of the world, it’s difficult for girls to go to school and finish their education, whether because of poverty, lack of schools, or cultural factors. We believe every girl deserves the chance to get an education. Let’s be bold—and make it happen!

For inspiration, check out how two troops from Girl Scouts of Orange County explored girls and education and earned their Global Action award in the process.

Junior Troop 3273 members Emma, Ava, Loanne, Kayla, and Madison interviewed women about their experiences in school growing up. Whether interviewing an 80-year-old grandmother or other family friends, the girls were fascinated by how different school was “back in the day,” when school subjects were tailored specifically for boys or girls (shop for boys, homemaking for girls) and girls were not allowed, or not encouraged, to participate in sports. Not surprisingly, the girls were thankful they didn’t grow up in that era!

Girl Scout Juniors Mayanjali, Abigail, Ella, and Leyna from Troop 5300 explored education differences around the world. They interviewed troop leaders Dr. Sangeeta Gupta Bodla and Maura Marbutt, who shared their vastly different experiences attending UCLA. Interestingly, Sangeeta, who was pursuing her Ph.D., was told she “should be at home having kids” instead of getting an education, while Maura, who was studying to be a teacher, did not encounter those obstacles. The girls also discussed rural education in the United States and learned about Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. Way to go, girls!

To learn more about how girls can raise awareness about and help solve education disparities worldwide (and earn their Global Action award), check out these guides for Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors (PDF) and for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors (PDF).

How you are you celebrating International Women’s Day? Share your activities or plans on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, using the hashtag #BeBoldForChange and #IWD2017.

Source: On International Women’s Day, it’s Time to ‘Be Bold for Change’

Celebrate Women’s History Month with Girl Scouts!

Here at Girl Scouts, we love Women’s History Month! It’s a time to celebrate the women who struggled for equality, who’ve broken barriers. To remember the women who have made discoveries and put in the hard work to make the world a better place.

This of course brings to mind the fearless and visionary women who appear in history books—women like Amelia Earhart, Madam C.J. Walker, and naturally the great Juliette Gordon Low, who founded Girl Scouts over 100 years ago. Think about it: In 1912, long before American women could vote or attend most Ivy League colleges, Juliette knew girls were natural-born leaders, and dedicated her life to helping as many girls as possible reach their potential. Join us on social media this March as we celebrate those incredible trailblazers alongside many others who’ve carved their own paths in history.

Just as importantly, though, we should be recognizing the drive and dedication of women and girls around us today—and even of ourselves! Before they were leading scientists, military leaders, journalists, athletes, politicians, artists, or writers, so many women were Girl Scouts themselves and celebrated Women’s History Month with their troops—just as you will be for the next few weeks. When you think about that, it’s easy to realize the potential that each and every one of us has to make an impact.

That’s why we’ve created an exciting project to help today’s girls learn and celebrate the history of all the incredible women in their lives—including moms, grandmothers, troop leaders, and Girl Scout volunteers. With our new printable activity, girls get to take on the role of journalist, interviewing the women they admire with exciting questions and jotting down the answers as they go.

Get your printable activity sheet now, and start the fun!

Source: Celebrate Women’s History Month with Girl Scouts!

Let’s Celebrate Girl Scout Week Like a G.I.R.L.

Yay—Girl Scout Week is almost here! Let’s get ready for that special time of year when Girl Scouts of all ages celebrate and show the world what it means to be a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™.

Let’s make this year’s activities extra special. Here are a few ideas to get you started—one for each day of Girl Scout Week.

Sunday, March 12—Celebrate National Girl Scout Day by reconnecting with the Girl Scout Promise and Law. Learn more about Girl Scout history and our founder, Juliette Gordon Low; you could even hold a Girl Scout birthday party. (We’re 105 this year!) Do something to make the world a better place.

Monday, March 13—Be a go-getter and take action! You might launch a community service project or work toward a Girl Scout award.

Tuesday, March 14—Be an innovator and explore science, technology, engineering, and/or math (STEM)! You could create a fun project through Made with Code, meeting challenges head on and exploring new solutions.

Wednesday, March 15—Be a smart risk-taker and step out of your comfort zone! Get outside to explore and take action to protect our environment. Try a new outdoor activity with family or friends. Sign up for Girl Scout summer camp—or plan a different adventure. It could take place close to home, or around the world!

Thursday, March 16—Be a leader and show people you care! Commit “random acts of kindness” all day long. Be a good friend. Volunteer or donate to charity. Show the world your smile!

Friday, March 17—Get involved civically! Connect with your local (or school) officials and leaders. Learn about Girl Scouts’ legislative agenda. Work toward earning your Global Action award.

Saturday, March 18—Observe Girl Scout Sabbath: the perfect time to honor one’s faith. Attend a religious service. Think about earning your My Promise, My Faith pin. Learn more about faiths different from your own.

But don’t stop there! Learn more about Girl Scout traditions and ceremonies. Or…take the lead like a Girl Scout and come up with some fun and meaningful activities of your own!

And don’t forget to show us how you’re celebrating all week long, by sharing your activities on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, using the hashtag #GirlScoutWeek.

Not currently involved with Girl Scouts? Join, volunteer, or donate!

Above all, take the opportunity during Girl Scout Week, and throughout the year, to share your awesome—and show the world how your courage, confidence, and character make the world a better place.

Source: Let’s celebrate Girl Scout Week like a G.I.R.L.

Black History Month: Girl Scouts’ Legacy of Inclusivity

Girl Scout Intermediates in front of the United States Capitol, Washington, D.C., 1940. 

Inclusivity is a big part of the Girl Scout DNA. From the very moment founder Juliette Gordon Low first mentioned her plans to start Girl Scouts, it was set to be an organization not only for the girls of Savannah but also for “all of America, and all the world.”

Beginning with that first small troop gathering of 18 culturally and ethnically diverse girls, Juliette Low broke the conventions of the time by reaching across class, cultural, and ethnic boundaries to ensure all girls had a place to grow and develop their leadership skills.

Today, as we continue to celebrate Black History Month, we highlight how Girl Scouts has welcomed African American girls to the Girl Scout Movement throughout our history. Girl Scouts has long been a pioneer in acceptance, a beacon of inclusivity, and a stalwart civic advocate to make sure every girl—regardless of her race, religion, orientation, or socioeconomic background—has the opportunity to thrive.

Our promise of inclusivity was fulfilled early when African American girls became members of the third U.S. troop formed in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1913, according to the March 1952 issue of Ebony magazine.

The first all-African American Girl Scout troops were established as early as 1917. Troops for girls with disabilities formed that same year. One of the earliest Latina troops was formed in Houston in 1922. Girl Scout troops supported Japanese American girls in internment camps in the 1940s. And after much perseverance, in 1942, Josephine Holloway established one of the South’s first African American troops in Nashville, Tennessee. By the 1950s, Girl Scouts was leading the charge to encourage councils to fully integrate all troops.

Ebony magazine commended Girl Scouts’ inclusivity during GSUSA’s 40th anniversary, noting that in 1951, there were more than 1,500 racially integrated Girl Scout troops and more than 1,800 all-African American troops (mostly located in the South). The magazine cites Girl Scouts as “making slow and steady progress toward surmounting the racial barriers of the region.” As Girl Scouts began a national effort to desegregate troops, the Movement was increasingly recognized as “a force for desegregation,” especially in the South.

As the 1960s dawned, and the Civil Rights Movement gained momentum, Girl Scouts launched several major initiatives related to racial and ethnic diversity and made a concerted effort to bridge the gap between the principles of equality and the realities of the organization’s administration, publications, councils, troops, and leadership. In 1969, Girl Scouts launched “Action 70,” a nationwide effort to overcome prejudice and build better relationships among persons of all ages, religions, and races.

Within the Girl Scout ranks, African Americans gained responsibility and increased visibility both locally and nationally. In 1975, Dr. Gloria D. Scott served as the first African American national board president and the public face of Girl Scouts. (Fun fact: During the last year of her presidency in 1978, the Girl Scout Trefoil was reimagined by legendary designer Saul Bass to highlight our Movement’s great diversity.)

The following decades brought continued commitment to issues of diversity and multiculturalism, with the organization continuing outreach into the African American and other minority communities and pledging to promote respect and appreciation for the religious, racial, ethnic, social, and economic diversity of our country.

Today, acceptance, inclusion, and diversity continue to be a top priority for Girl Scouts.

As interim CEO Sylvia Acevedo recently noted, “We stand for inclusivity. We stand for unity, patriotism, and a commitment to the country we all share. We stand for the skills and resources that girls need to discover their talents and gain the courage, confidence, and character they need to be leaders.”

So, let’s take a moment to reflect on our Movement’s accomplishments in the area of inclusivity. Then, let’s redouble our efforts to fulfill Juliette Gordon Low’s vision that Girl Scouts is—and will continue to be—a safe, welcoming place for ALL girls.

Source: Black History Month: Girl Scouts’ Legacy of Inclusivity