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Girl Scouting Transformation Will Focus on Leadership Development for Girls

September 19, 2006

As it approaches its 95th anniversary in 2007, Girl Scouting across the nation is undergoing an historic transformation to modernize the iconic organization and focus on leadership development for girls in the 21st century.

The mission of Girl Scouting is to “build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.” To honor this commitment to girls, Girl Scouting is moving forward with a strengthened leadership experience—the Girl Scout Leadership Development Program—based on the values of the Girl Scout Promise and Law. The Girls Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) CEO Kathy Cloninger notes: “In Girl Scouting, leadership is about self, others, community service and philanthropy. You can’t lead well unless you really understand yourself and have your set of values very well in place.”

Through this unique program, girls will discover their personal best and prepare for a positive future, connect with others in an increasingly diverse world, and take action to solve problems and improve their communities.

Through extensive research and focus groups, GSUSA has discovered that girls see the value of developing leadership skills and that girls define leadership in terms of the qualities a leader possesses and the actions she takes. Through the girl-centric By Girls, For Girls approach and cooperative and experiential learning that are part of the Girl Scout leadership program, girls will continue to have fun, friendship, and exciting adventures as they grow their self-confidence and personal skills.

In line with this vision, the Girl Scout organization is embarking on an exciting evolution to better meet the needs of girls in today’s fast-changing world. In Connecticut, the five present councils are working together to form one high-performance Girl Scout council that will result in girls in all communities being served with the unique leadership development program from a variety of local service centers throughout the state. Ensuring that the statewide council provide a consistent Girl Scout experience and that volunteers, girls, and parents have services available to them in close proximity are key to the proposed realignment and to seamless service and accessibility.

The Girl Scout Leadership Development Program and the proposed realignment are based on a comprehensive organizational review, as well as input gathered from all members of the Girl Scout community, including volunteers, members, council staff, non-Girl Scouts, and professional consultants and experts. This revitalization is important to Girl Scouting, because it will ensure that Girl Scouts will remain the best leadership development program for girls in grades K through 12 for decades to come and that both girls and volunteers are offered comprehensive and consistent learning activities, training, and service that utilize the remarkable facilities and resources available across the state.

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