Girl, Meet World!

Girl, meet world!

Building future leaders through Girl Scouts

Cutline for Archery pic: Girls Scouts have the opportunity to learn many things, including archery skills. (Contributed photo)

Submitted by Girl Scouts of Silver Sage

Let’s face it: Our society can be pretty tough on girls. We see it in education, where girls as young as 10 or 12 begin to doubt their abilities to do well and comprehend materials — even when they outperform boys. We see it in rates of teen pregnancy and risky behaviors. We see it in mass media messages that tell girls that their worth lies in their bodies, not their brains.

But there’s an antidote to that self-doubt that’s available to any girl who wants it. It’s called Girl Scouts.

Since 1912, the Girl Scouts organization has empowered girls to build courage, confidence, character, and to make the world a better place. Our job is to help girls develop the important leadership skills they need to become successful adults.

So how do we help the girls of today become the strong women of tomorrow? We focus on developing five key benefits.

Strong sense of self. Girl Scouts have confidence in themselves and their abilities and form positive identities. That translates into better self-esteem and a can-do attitude that will carry them through high school and beyond. Idaho has the worst college-going rate in the country and is in the bottom 10 percent for students finishing with a four-year degree. Yet Girl Scouts are 81 percent more likely to earn bachelor’s degrees.

Positive values. We encourage scouts to act ethically, honestly, responsibly, and to show concern for others. These values serve Girl Scouts well throughout their lives, but especially during the crucial teenage years — a whopping 99 percent of Girl Scouts will never appear in Idaho’s juvenile courts.

Challenge seeking. Fear of failure can dictate a woman’s life — but at Girl Scouts, we show girls how to crush those worries. We encourage girls to take appropriate risks and try things even if they might fail; every failure becomes a learning opportunity.

Healthy relationships. When Girl Scouts have conflicts, we encourage them to talk it out by communicating directly and resolving conflicts constructively. Learning how to communicate builds resiliency so girls don’t later turn to drugs and alcohol to numb or mask their true feelings — 96 percent of Girl Scouts will never use drugs, and 90 percent will not participate in underage drinking.

Community problem solving. Through our programs, girls turn into the leaders their communities need. We’ve long recognized that girls want to contribute to the world in purposeful and meaningful ways, so we task them with identifying community problems and creating action plans to solve them. Those abilities later carry into the workplace, where teamwork, decision-making, and stellar communication skills are in high demand.

Of course, the key to learning these life lessons is a healthy dose of fun! Right now, our organization is gearing up for our favorite time of the year: summer camp season. We’re looking for new members and mentors who are ready to teach the next generation of girls the skills they’ll need to thrive in the world.

Sign your girl up today, or consider becoming a mentor yourself! Just visit http://www.girlscouts-ssc.org/ to get started.

Idaho Family Magazine