Spring is early bird registration season for Girl Scouts, when we ask both new and returning girls and volunteers to sign up for another year of adventure with the best girl leadership program in the world!
We are excited to be out and about in our communities welcoming new girls who want and need all that Girl Scouts offers: fresh, relevant, and modern programming delivered in an all-girl, girl-led environment. I'm so grateful for all you do to make that possible!
As you may have heard, the Boy Scouts has decided to allow girls to join and is actively recruiting girls to its co-ed scouting program.
This raises a warning flag. The idea of "allowing" girls to do anything stands in opposition to everything we believe as Girl Scouts. For more than 100 years, Girl Scouts has stood with girls as they lead with grit and compassion, overcome challenges, and stand up for themselves and others.
When women didn't have the right to vote, Girl Scouts provided a safe place to organize. During segregation, Girl Scouts accepted young women of all ethnicities. Girl Scouts welcomed girls of all sexual orientations or gender identities decades before Boy Scouts did. And today, we are the largest girl-serving organization in the nation because we believe in the potential of all girls to empower themselves and lift up others.
We stand firmly in our conviction that girls need girl-only opportunities designed by and for them, and I'm writing today to ask for your active support as we counter confusion and misinformation created by this competitor.
MISINFORMATION AND CONFUSION
Boy Scouts has begun recruiting girls across the country, including right here in our council. These efforts have caused confusion among parents and schools. We are hearing things like:
- "Are Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts the same organization?"
- "Are all scouting programs the same?"
- "Are Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts merging?"
More than half of non-scouting families think that the two organizations are the same, which means it will be very easy to confuse schools and families into thinking that "co-ed scouting" is the same experience for girls as Girl Scouts. There are examples from across the country of Boy Scouts contacting schools and funders and saying that because Boy Scouts now accepts girls, they don't need to work with Girl Scouts. This is happening here as well:
- A school district representative in our area reported that a Boy Scout volunteer told them that Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are merging.
- A Boy Scout volunteer in our region asked a Girl Scouts River Valleys volunteer to help create programming for girls who join Boy Scouts.
- We heard a rumor from a concerned member that "Girl Scouts River Valleys are in dire financial straits and are practically being forced to merge with the Boy Scouts."
Let me set the record straight:
- Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts are—and always have been—two separate organizations.
- Girl Scouts will not merge with Boy Scouts.
- Girl Scouts River Valleys holds a very strong financial position, with no debt and continued growth in assets. You can view Girl Scouts River Valleys Annual Reports on our website.
We will not stand by and tolerate misinformation or other efforts that threaten our ability to deliver our mission.
HERE'S HOW YOU CAN HELP
Be prepared to be a myth buster: We are hearing myths and stereotypes of Girls Scouts (things like Girl Scouts doesn't do adventure, which is absolutely not true!). Please take a look at the Girl Scout Mythbusters handout so you can be an advocate and educator. If you hear something that sounds off to you or hear a myth that is missing, please let us know. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share your love for Girl Scouts on social media: Follow this link to find several social media images you can share and let your networks know why you're proud to be a part of an organization that puts girls at the center.
Join us as a G.I.R.L. Champion: If you are a volunteer or supporter and want to share your Girl Scout stories with prospective parents, volunteers, and girls during recruitment and troop formation events, email email@example.com to learn more about how to become a G.I.R.L. Champion. Help us bust myths and make sure that what's best for girls remains at the center of this conversation.
Join the just-launched Girl Scout Network on LinkedIn: Follow this link to the Girl Scout Network and follow the network to stay on top of what's going on in the community of Girl Scout alums.
We need your help to ensure that the community and prospective members know that only the Girl Scout program, is based on decades of research and more than 100 years of experience in putting girls at the center.
Girls are not an add-on or an inconvenience. Girls deserve the best possible opportunities, and Girl Scouts provides them. There is simply no substitute for Girl Scouts.
I hope you'll take action to make the case for Girl Scouts so that families have all the facts they need to make the best choice for their daughters. Together we keep Girl Scouts strong and thriving for all girls!
Thank you for being a part of a movement that is For Girls. By Girls. All Girls.
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts River Valleys
In the Loop is a blog for troop leaders and Girl Scout families written by our girl and youth development experts at River Valleys. These posts are great for sharing. Be sure to subscribe to learn more about supporting your G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™.
- STEM and the 21st Century Skills Your Girl Needs (The power of the way Girl Scouts teaches STEM.)
- I Hear You: 4 Ways to Cultivate Empathy (How Girl Scouts teaches girls to change the world.)
- Talking to Your Girls About Difference and Inclusion (Inclusion is, and always has been a cornerstone of Girl Scouts. This post encourages troop leaders to start the conversation with girls at any age.)
- Grit: The Key to Your Girl's Success (Girl Scouts teaches persistence and resilience, and here's why it's important.)
You can also subscribe to the Raising Awesome Girls blog, written by the Chief Girl and Parent Expert at Girl Scouts of the USA, or explore these resources developed by the Girl Scout Research Institute (that's right, a research institute all about what's best for girls!):
If you'd like to share some of the awesome things girls in our council have been doing, check out these recent news stories.