Did you know the average Girl Scout troop only has eight girls? Yet our research shows that the most successful and durable troops have 12 girls on average. Just imagine what could happen if troop – especially those with less than 12 girls – added at least one new girl to their troops! That’s one more girl who gets to experience leadership development, one more girl who will discover her passion for STEM, one more girl who will sleep under the stars while camping with friends. One more girl is all it takes to change a girl’s life and guide her on her path to leadership.
It’s this “one more girl” mentality that has guided longtime volunteer and lifetime member, Cindy Sortisio throughout her Girl Scout experience.
When I was starting fifth grade, my new best friend, Kelly, told me about her Junior Girl Scout troop. Naturally, since we were inseparable as girls that age tend to be, I wanted to be a Girl Scout too. I remember nervous days while we waited to find out if Mrs. Simone would make room for me in the troop. Thank goodness Mrs. Simone’s motto was “Always room for one more” because I was number 40 in the troop!
I’ve been an active Girl Scout ever since, through my Gold Award, leadership of several troops, international travel, and now mentoring my own Ambassadors through their own Gold Awards. I adopted many of Mrs. Simone’s best troop leadership practices, including “always room for one more.” Mrs. Simone used to tell us that the horseshoe is open-ended, so there is always room for one more person.
I am proud that my troop has added new members every year since Daisies. Troops that do not add girls are much more likely to wither away from attrition over the years. New members are absolutely essential for the health of a troop. New girls add excitement, challenge, ideas, and enthusiasm. They shake things up. They keep us from falling into ruts and cliques. If and when other troop members drop out over the years, they add the necessary numbers to allow us to keep doing big things. Girls are more likely to stay in Girl Scouts with friends, so invite your girls to invite their friends. We have so much fun and excitement to offer girls. I cannot imagine not keeping the door open to girls who want to join us!
Are you ready to adopt the “always room for one more” mentality? This November, Girl Scouts across the nation will be opening their arms, hearts, and troops to one more girl. From November 1 – 15, troop leaders and encourages to take the “one more girl” pledge on the Girl Scouts of the USA website where, alongside their girls, they establish their commitment to our Movement’s values of diversity, inclusivity, and leadership. Once the pledge closes, 600 prize winners will be randomly selected to receive a FREE limited-edition G.I.R.L. agenda patch for the troop. In addition, four grand prize winners will be randomly selected to have GSUSA share their story on Facebook, as well as receive the patch for their troop.
To learn more about this campaign, visit www.nccoastalpines.org.