Girl Perspectives: Making the World a Better Place (Kathryn)

August 14, 2017

Girl Scout Kathryn shares how her Girl Scout Gold Award project is leaving a lasting impact in her local community and the world. 

I have been a Girl Scout since I was a Daisy and I am writing today as someone in whom Girl Scouts has built courage, character and confidence through her involvement. My involvement empowered me to stand-up for what I believe in and equipped me to take a stance on important topics.

For example, through my work on my Girl Scout Gold Award project, I educated my community on the topic of human trafficking. During my freshman year in high school I became aware of the existence of this modern day slavery, after reading a book titled God in a Brothel: An Undercover Journey into Sex Trafficking and Rescue. Human trafficking, which includes both sex and labor trafficking, is an international issue, but it also affects our state and the local county where I reside. Did you know that North Carolina consistently ranks in the top 15 states in the nation with the most human trafficking, and is estimated to currently be ranked 9th.

The majority of people do not know that this is still a problem today, particularly within the United States. My Gold Award project focused on the preventative and awareness aspects of ending human trafficking. With the help of the Salvation Army of Wake County and other experts in the field, I created a presentation geared towards teenagers in my community. I presented to groups in my community, including at my high school, where the presentation was added as a part of the curriculum. The reach of my project surpassed my expectations due to the sensitive nature of the topic, and the help of intentional conversations. Because my project was presented to minors, for every minor that would hear the presentation there had to be at least one parent or guardian to view the presentation, and numerous other authority figures within both Girl Scouts and outside organizations. Each time somebody had to review the content of my presentation, they were becoming educated as well. Each person that was educated is now aware of the existence of human trafficking, as well as the signs so that it may be caught and ended.

Each person that is aware of human trafficking has the ability to say something and look out for their friends and family. They can spread the news of this issue so that more people are aware. After hearing my presentation or reading over the content, I heard numerous times about how people went on to share this information with their family and others they care about. If through my Girl Scout Gold Award project, I was able to help prevent just one person from being trafficked, my project would be a huge success. I will never know the scope of my project, or if it directly prevented human trafficking, but I am confident that I have been impacted by the experience of completing my Gold Award.

As a freshman at NC State, I am a member of the International Justice Mission Chapter at my school. This Christian organization focuses on ending human trafficking through both awareness and direct contact with victims. Within my campus’ chapter of International Justice Mission, I serve as co-treasurer and speak at events on the campus at NC State. My experiences creating the presentation and presenting it have equipped me to confidently share about human trafficking as I did this numerous times for my project.

Completing my Girl Scout Gold Award project allowed me to grow in other areas of my life as well. I experienced communicating with adults I had no former relationship with. I learned to set goals and timelines to meet project deadlines. I persevered through obstacles and roadblocks including being a minor myself when my interest in this topic started, and so much more.

Wow! Thanks for sharing your story, Kathryn! To join in sharing your Girl Scout story, visit our story submissions page!


Our Program: Focused on the Future, Honoring our Past

August 7, 2017

History Blog

“Dear Girl Scouts:  I hope that we shall all remember the rules of this Girl Scouting game of ours.  They are:  To play fair, To play in your place, To play for your side and not for yourself.  And as for the score, the best thing in a game is the fun and not the result…”   – Juliette Gordon Low, October 31, 1924

For 105 years, the Girl Scout program has built resourceful, resilient girls who have gone on to change the world in all ways great and small.  Today’s program may look differently than the small handbooks first issued to teen girls at the beginning of the 20th century.  But our mission has never wavered.

Our earliest program emphasized skill-building, with proficiency badges in ten focus areas. The Girl Scout Handbook of 1940, for example, provided the following program areas:  Arts and Crafts, Community Life, Health and Safety, Homemaking, International Friendship, Literature and Dramatics, Music and Dancing, Nature, The Out-of-Doors and Sports and Games.

Most importantly, the handbook stated ahead of all the program content: “Girl Scouting is Fun!  The sort of fun that will last because it can help you to be an interesting and useful person, with ideals and a code that girls the world over try to follow.”

As we continue into the 21st century, we have built on our legacy by focusing our curriculum on four pillar areas: STEM, Outdoors, Life Skills and Entrepreneurship.  These pillars help us move into the future while honoring our past.  In fact, as you explore the badges, you’ll find that they are rooted in our exciting history, only updated to reflect the current ways in which we communicate and use technology to effect positive change in the world.

To serve as a guiding star for our program’s success, we developed program outcomes to help us ensure we would provide the kind of fun that would last.  As we identified those important keys to leadership: Discover, Connect, and Take Action, we matched five outcomes to correspond to each.  The resulting 15 outcomes were indeed ambitious, taking our founder Juliette Gordon Low’s admonishment to do things “with all your might” to heart.

With feedback from our volunteers and parents, we re-visited those outcomes and condensed them to five essentials that communicate perfectly what we hope to achieve with “this Girl Scout Game”:

1) Sense of Self: Girls have confidence in themselves and their abilities, and form positive identities.

2) Positive Values: Girls act ethically, honestly, and responsibly, and show concern for others.

3) Challenge Seeking: Girls take appropriate risks, try things even if they might fail, and learn from mistakes.

4) Healthy Relationships: Girls develop and maintain healthy relationships by communicating their feelings directly and resolving conflicts constructively.

5) Community Problem Solving: Girls desire to contribute to the world in purposeful and meaningful ways, learn how to identify problems in the community, and create “action plans” to solve them.

It’s exciting to see our program continue to grow and develop by adding content that 21st century girls will need to be interesting and useful people!   New Journey programs and badges are on the way that we know will provide many more amazing adventures for girls.  We can’t think of a better time to prepare for the new program year than to renew your membership now.

Renew your Girl Scout Membership today! 

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