Dear Members and Friends of Girl Scouts,
With the recent news of Boy Scouts changing one of its program names from Boy Scouts to Scouts BSA, you may be getting more questions than usual about Girl Scouts.
BSA is marketing their recruitment of girls into their program on the basis of convenience to families. At Girl Scouts, we also recognize and respect the time constraints of today’s families. Through the new Opportunity Catalog, families can now easily shop for the right troop for their girl in real time. For our adult volunteers, we launched the Volunteer Toolkit which streamlines planning time and assists with the efficiency of that process. With both these efforts, we have made considerable strides to demonstrate our respect for our Girl Scout families and volunteers. That said, we feel strongly that girls' leadership development should be based upon more than just convenience.
So, I'm writing you today to right size the issue and clear up some myths and misperceptions.
We are not merging with Boys Scouts of America. We are Girl Scouts of the USA. We will continue to put GIRLS front and center, ensuring that everything we do is in their best interest and equips them to be fearless leaders and change makers. We are for girls, by girls, and for ALL girls.
We've been heralding the unique value and positive outcomes of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience all along. Now, with news around this latest BSA announcement, we've been handed a virtual microphone to share what we know and love about Girl Scouts—and people are listening more intently.
This is a great opportunity for us to tell our story, and this is our time.
On the flip side, because of the heightened conversation around "scouting," there is some confusion in the marketplace and many people are formulating their own, potentially misguided, opinions based on misinformation, stereotypes and gender biases.
Here are a few ways you can help can help clear up confusion and strengthen our Girl Scout community:
- Keep the "Girl" in "Girl Scouts." When we use the word "Scouts" or "Scouting," it plays into the confusion that both Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts are the same organization. We are not. We are called Girl Scouts because we put girls first. We're proud to be a girl-led, girl-focused organization, and we're proud to be Girl Scout strong for more than 100 years!
- Be a myth buster! We hear a lot of misperceptions about Girl Scouts, particularly related to outdoor adventure and leadership. We know firsthand that girls can do anything—and do! From healthy risk-taking to leadership skill building to civic engagement, Girl Scouts get experiences that shape them into prepared, productive citizens. Here's a resource to help you bust the myths and advocate for Girl Scouts with the facts. To access additional myth busting resource documents visit our latest news story, The Girl Scout Difference.
- Share your Girl Scout stories about your high awards, life skills, high adventure, and sisterhood on social media and tag us on Instagram (@gssne) and Facebook (@gssne)! There is nothing more impactful than telling your own personal Girl Scout story.
Our history and results speak for themselves. We have led the way in helping girls develop leadership skills through time-tested, research-backed programs, and our work has never been more important.
Most importantly, Girl Scouts is the BEST girl leadership experience in the world. Period.
Thank you for being a champion for Girl Scouts,
Pam Hyland, Chief Executive Officer
PS If you have any questions or concerns, please call our customer care line at 401-331-4500. As always, our team is available as a resource to support you.