From college tours to camp, the Girl Scouts ConnectZ program supports girls as they develop knowledge and skills for a positive future.
Girl Scouts ConnectZ brings a culturally relevant Girl Scout leadership experience to over 3,000 girls with diverse backgrounds throughout the Twin Cities metro area and southern Minnesota. Under the leadership of trained youth-development professionals, ConnectZ provides girls from underrepresented communities the opportunity to discover, connect, and take action in the community.
All ConnectZ programming is free for girls and their families—through partnerships with local schools and organizations, we ensure that all girls can participate in the Girl Scout experience.
During weekly troop meetings, field trips, college tours, and so much more, Girl Scouts ConnectZ builds girls of courage, confidence, and character. Hear what girls learn and love about ConnectZ in our recording of the 2016 Women of Distinction Girl Panel on YouTube.
ConnectZ curriculum focuses on five key Girl Scout Leadership Experience topics:Healthy Relationships + Self Esteem
Grades 6-8: Girls learn how personal talents build self-efficacy; discuss gender issues and stereotypes; and learn how to deal with anger and stress in healthy ways.
Grades 9-10: Girls discuss body image; learn about healthy relationships; identify the consequences of peer pressure; and learn about how pregnancy occurs and STI prevention.
Grades 11-12: Girls learn about healthy versus unhealthy dating relationships, sexuality, the cost of childrearing, and adult decision making.
College + Career Readiness
Grade 5: Girls understand the many roles open to women and the skills needed to achieve them.
Grades 6-8: Girls discover personal values and interests; set college and career goals, and identify how to make the most of high school.
Grades 9-10: Girls identify strengths and weaknesses; learn college and career criteria; begin college tours and application process; and discuss options for paying for college.
Grades 11-12: Girls learn how to set up checking, savings and credit accounts; how to invest money wisely, and begin to prepare for college life and careers.
Leadership Development + Service Learning
Grade 5: Girls discover personal power and learn team building skills.
Grades 6-8: Girls develop interpersonal and diplomacy skills; how to educate and inspire those around them; and learn about media literacy and critical analysis.
Grades 9-10: Girls explore sisterhood, the power of networking, global women’s rights, visionary leadership, and the status of girls around the world.
Grades 11-12: Girls learn about problem-solving, persuasive speaking, and consensus-building; and how to use leadership to help others achieve.
Financial Literacy/Cookie Program
Grade 5: Girls learn the basics of running a business, customer relations, the difference between wants and needs, and how to save money.
Grades 6-8: Girls learn how to write a business plan, set realistic goals, how to find the best price for products, and how to budget.
Grades 9-10: Girls learn goal-setting, decision-making, money management, people skills, and business ethics.
Grades 11-12: Girls learn how to develop a business, the importance of budgeting, and how to establish good credit.
Grade 5: Girls gain product design, digital technology, and investigation skills.
Grades 6-8: Girls learn about digital filmmaking, entrepreneurship, and detective skills.
Grades 9-10: Girls explore online technology through web design and social media.
Grades 11-12: Girls can pursue individual Gold Award projects using science, technology, engineering, and math to improve communities.
Beyond the Troop Meeting
In addition to weekly sessions, girls engage in experiential learning through various field trips and Girl Scouts ConnectZ signature events. Get an insider’s look into these events by watching the Girl Scouts Rivers Valleys ConnectZ Program YouTube video, produced and narrated by Roxane Battle, author, KARE 11 Today Show former co-host, media professional, and speaker.
Here is a sampling of the events we offer:
Women in Careers
Girl Scouts can truly imagine what it’s like to be “the boss” by meeting with leading females with diverse backgrounds.
These female leaders speak about opportunities in a variety of sectors, like automotive technology, graphic design, and health sciences, and offer hands-on activities for girls to try. Girls can also practice resume writing and networking skills with these leading ladies.
Hmong Women’s Circle
During the Hmong Women’s Circle, ConnectZ Girl Scouts explore personal identity and college life at an engaging overnight at Hamline University.
This two-day retreat consists of small group discussions, teambuilding exercises, and reflection activities. Girls learn about what college is really like from Hmong college students. For many Girl Scouts, this experience can be eye opening because it helped them to visualize themselves attending college in the future.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities Tour
Through our Historically Black Colleges and Universities Tour, girls set foot on college campuses throughout the nation and envision themselves at these prestigious institutions!
Girls get to know African American college students with diverse backgrounds, and learn about their paths to college. In addition, girls are immersed in black history, developing an appreciation for black culture and contributions to society through visits to historic and cultural sites around the country.
ConnectZ Girl Scouts also practice applying to college through mock applications, so they’re set to apply during their senior year of high school.
Hermanas Latinas, Latina Conference
Girls participate in heritage appreciation, college access, and cultural responsibility workshops, and learn how to navigate personal and cultural identity in a college setting.
How to Support ConnectZ
ConnectZ works through partnership—with local schools and organizations, grant and foundation partners, volunteers, and with parents and girls themselves—to develop relationships that support success throughout life. With your help, we can ensure that Girl Scouts ConnectZ is accessible to all girls. Thanks to your support, girls are setting themselves up for success throughout life!
You can make a huge impact as a ConnectZ volunteer! Girls need strong mentors from within their community to provide guidance, inspiration, and support. ConnectZ volunteers can assist at weekly meetings, chaperone field trips, or support the girls for a couple months as they startup their own cookie business. Join Girls Scouts River Valleys to volunteer as a ConnectZ Cookie Coach or Troop Assistant.
The Girl Scouts ConnectZ program is provided at no cost to participants to ensure access to quality, culturally relevant activities for all girls. Through your financial support, ConnectZ gives all girls a chance to bridge the opportunity gap and reach their full potential as leaders.
Partner with Us
We meet girls where they’re at—troops take place at schools and within the community, so girls don’t need to secure transportation to and from weekly sessions, or meet at a time when other family priorities conflict. ConnectZ partners with over 100 schools, community centers, and youth serving organizations to have ConnectZ troop meetings where girls are conveniently located. Interested in becoming a site partner? Contact us!
To learn more about the ConnectZ program, please contact us.