Leadership Starts with Girls:
2013 Impact Report
Table of Contents 2013 Membership Overview ..................................................................................................2 The Girl Scout Leadership Experience..............................................................................3 Girl Scout Leadership Experience Outcomes ...................................... 4-5, 8-9, 12-13 Impact of Community Outreach Initiatives............................................................. 10-11 Girls Speak Up About Girl Scouts ................................................................................14-15
2013 Membership Overview Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast (GSWISE) served over 28,000 girls in the seven-county area during the 2013 membership year (October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013). GSWISE currently serves one of every five girls in southeastern Wisconsin, earning the fourth largest market share in the nation. In addition, almost 7,200 adult members supported the Girl Scout mission in 2013.
Daisy (Grades K-1) Brownie (Grades 2-3) Junior (Grades 4-5) Cadette (Grades 6-8) Senior (Grades 9-10) Ambassador (Grades 11-12))
A Vision for Girlsâ€™ Leadership Each day in southeastern Wisconsin, Girl Scouts are becoming leaders. They are participating in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, a model of youth development grounded in research and designed by experts to serve as girls progress from Girl Scout Daisies to Ambassadors. The Girl Scout mission has always been about building girls of courage, confidence, and character. Today, as the premier girlsâ€™ leadership organization, Girl Scouts offers girls the tools they need to be successful now and to be the changemakers of the future. This report details the significant impact of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience on girls in this community. gi
91% of girls agree Girl Scouts has prepared them to be a leader.
The Girl Scout Leadership Experience Recognizing the changing needs in girls’ leadership development, Girl Scouts brought together youth development experts from top universities, leading non-profits and the Girl Scout Research Institute – as well as 4,500 Girl Scouts and volunteers - to create the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. This inclusive, empowering model engages girls in discovering themselves, connecting with others, and taking action to make the world a better place. It encourages a new kind of leader – one who values diversity, inclusion and collaboration, and is committed to improving neighborhoods, communities and the world. All Girl Scout activities are girl-led, and promote both experiential and cooperative learning. In developing the model, the curriculum team identified 15 anticipated outcomes, or benefits of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Girl Scout programming focuses on these outcomes to help girls develop specific knowledge, skills, attitudes, behaviors and values that will shape them as leaders. By tying the leadership experience to outcomes, Girl Scouts can measure and evaluate its impact.
15 Outcomes of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience
1 . Girls develop a strong sense of self. 2. Girls develop positive values. 3. Girls gain practical life skills. 4. Girls seek challenges in the world. 5. Girls develop critical thinking.
Connect (with others)
1 . Girls develop healthy relationships. 2. Girls promote cooperation and team building. 3. Girls can resolve conflicts. 4. Girls advance diversity in a multicultural world. 5. Girls feel connected to their communities, locally and globally.
Take Action (service)
1 . Girls can identify community needs. 2. Girls are resourceful problem solvers. 3. Girls advocate for themselves and others, locally and globally. 4. Girls educate and inspire others to act. 5. Girls feel empowered to make a difference in the world.
Outcomes of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience Every Girl Scout is asked to participate in the Girl Scout Voices Survey each year. This survey gives girls a voice in Girl Scouting, and allows for evaluation and measurement of success of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. The following outcomes data represents input from Girl Scouts throughout southeastern Wisconsin at all levels in membership year 2013. 3
Discover: Girls understand themselves and their values
91% of Girl Scouts developed a stronger sense of self. It looks like this: Girls have confidence in themselves and their abilities, feel they are able to achieve their goals, and form positive gender, social and cultural identities.
It happened when:
5,354 girls and over 1,700 volunteers participated in Day Camp in 2013.
Girls identified their own unique contribution to their troop at Day Camp, and gained self-confidence as they exercised their special strengths in a new setting. As campers progress to become Program Aides and Counselors in Training, they build leadership skills through real-world experience guiding younger groups of girls. In 2013, 980 girls served as Program Aides and Counselors in Training.
88% of Girl Scouts developed positive values. It looks like this: Girls form their beliefs and values based on the Girl Scout Promise and Law, learn to consider ethical aspects of situations, and are committed to social justice and community service and action.
It happened when: In troops, girls learned to apply the values of the Girl Scout Law in various contexts such as social interaction, environmental responsibility and service to the community in 2013. They created and signed their own Troop Values. In the process, they worked together to identify priorities, value each girlâ€™s unique perspective and build consensus.
Girls earned honor beads from Program Aides and Counselors in Training when their behavior showed they were engaged with the Lawâ€™s values.
and use their knowledge and skills to explore the world.
93% of Girl Scouts gained practical life skills – girls practiced healthy living. It looks like this: Girls gain skills that prepare them for a positive, healthy, independent future.
It happened when: Girl Scouts led healthy meal planning in 2013 and discussed seasonal menus to help keep costs low and minimize environmental impact. Food shopping was an opportunityy to practice skills like planning ahead and budgeting. They learned that stress “The thing I like most about impacts physical health and practiced ways to keep themselves healthy through Girl Scouts is that anyone stress-reduction techniques, such as yoga.
and everyone is welcome.” – Girl Scout Cadette
85% of Girl Scouts seek challenges in the world. It looks like this: Girls develop positive attitudes toward learning, seek opportunities for expanding their knowledge and skills, set challenging goals for themselves, and take appropriate risks.
It happened when: Girl Scout Cadettes and Ambassadors explored Iceland, Alaska and Georgia. They kayaked in San Juan, and completed service work in Costa Rica. Through Girl Scout destinations, girls expanded their knowledge and skills, set challenging goals, took appropriate risks, and got to know sister Girl Scouts from around the globe in 2013.
92% of Girl Scouts developed critical thinking. It looks like this: Girls learn to examine ideas from a variety of viewpoints and further use critical thinking to explore implications of gender issues for their lives and their leadership development.
It happened when: In 2013 over 90 Cadettes evaluated their own online identities and analyzed stereotypes, the way they portray themselves through social media, and how the views of others online may differ from their own. Girls also learned to evaluate the Internet as a source of information, its dangers and ways to be safe while using it. Outcomes data gathered through the 2013 Girl Scout Voices Survey distributed to every registered girl.
Girl Scout Leadership Journeys While Girl Scouts still earn badges for building specific skills, most of today’s Girl Scout activities are driven by Leadership Journeys - age-appropriate activities designed to develop girls’ leadership from many different angles. In a Girl Scout Journey, badges link experiences, discussions and ideas that girls explore together. Girls can pursue one, two or all three Journeys that are available at each level of Girl Scouting, and customize their experience by adding in camping, cookies, events and additional badges. As girls progress through the levels of Girl Scouts, they expand and refine their leadership knowledge and skills. Current themes for the Leadership Journeys are advocacy, the environment, and storytelling and creative expression.
Girl Scout Focus Areas Financial Literacy A 2013 Girl Scout Research Institute study revealed that girls know financial literacy is important, yet few understand how it will help them reach their goals, and just 12% feel confident in making financial decisions. Girl Scouts has created multiple ways to help girls become financially savvy now and in the future: The Girl Scout Cookie Program, the Girl Scout Cookie Business Curriculum, the Girl Scout Financial Literacy Curriculum, and the Girl Scout Entrepreneurship Program.
STEM Starting in middle school and increasing in high school, girls report less self-confidence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects than boys. Girl Scouts provides critical opportunities for improving girls’ engagement in STEM through programming that is experiential, uses real-world examples and promotes relationships with role models and mentors in STEM careers. More than 50% of all Girl Scout awards now relate to STEM activities. In 2013, 69% of girls agreed that their overall involvement in Girl Scouts has helped increase their interest in STEM.
“I like that we learn ways to protect the Earth because it is important to me.” – Girl Scout Junior
“Girl Scouts plays a big part in the way I behave every day. I try to make the best decisions I can, be respectful, be a leader, and be the best me that I can be!” – Girl Scout Ambassador
Healthy Living Recognizing that physical health, emotional health and self-esteem are all connected, Girl Scouts supports the “whole girl.” In Girl Scouts, girls have the chance to grow in a safe, all-girl environment where they can develop a strong sense of self, healthy living skills and leadership skills to last a lifetime.
Environmental Leadership Girl Scouts combines environmental and community action through activities that enable girls to discover their strengths and build new skills while engaging with the natural world. Nationally, more than 200,000 Girl Scouts have tackled issues such as noise pollution, global warming and soil contamination. In southeast Wisconsin, Girl Scouts work with conservationists and scientists to complete environmental service projects.
Global Citizenship Through the world’s largest organization of girls, every Girl Scout has a global voice and can make a global impact. Girls engage in activities that enable them to feel connected to both local and global communities. Girl Scouts has full consultative status at the United Nations.
Girl Scouts Anti-Bullying Curriculum Recognized as a national public health issue, bullying has also been identified through research as a primary concern of Girl Scouts. In response, GSWISE enlisted the help of education experts to create an Anti-Bullying curriculum. Troop leaders can integrate these age-appropriate curricula in troop meetings, camping trips and other Girl Scout activities. When surveyed about GSWISE anti-bullying activities and learning, 95% of girls agreed that Girl Scouts helped them recognize the difference between right and wrong ways to treat others; and 86% agreed Girl Scouts has helped them find healthy ways to deal with frustration. 7
Connect: Girls care about, inspire, and
90% of Girl Scouts developed healthy relationships. It looks like this: Girls learn to form and maintain meaningful and caring relationships, communicate effectively, protect their rights in relationships, and know when to seek help from others.
It happened when: As part of an on-going focus on building healthy relationships, Junior Girl Scouts had access to real-life advice on maintaining friendships through a Q&A session with two high school senior girls in 2013. As Brownies, the girls learned about respect, responsibility, caring and kindness from the school’s guidance counselor, and designed t-shirts for OMGirls Tween Magazine’s anti-bullying campaign.
In 2013, nearly 23,400 girls participated in volunteer-led troops.
88% of Girl Scouts promoted cooperation and team building. IIt looks like this: G recognize the value of working together and learn to make decisions that benefit the Girls whole group. They can build effective teams, learn to be accountable for shared goals, w and a show recognition for others’ accomplishments and outcomes.
IIt happened when: More than 160 girls in grades 4-6 became team players in the softball series Girls of Summer in 2013. Girls reaped the rewards of cooperation and learned to support one S another on and off the field as they developed softball skills and sportsmanship. a
92% of Girl Scouts could resolve conflicts. It looks like this: Girls learn to recognize and analyze different conflict situations and develop skills for constructive conflict resolution and prevention.
It happened when: Girl Scout Daisies and Brownies learned to identify the conflict resolution strategies that work best for them as individuals through the When Friends are Not Friends bullying curriculum in 2013. Designed by education experts and led by troop leaders, the curriculum teaches girls to use conflict strategies in various situations, and the differences in conflict communication with parents, teachers, siblings and friends.
team with others locally and globally.
95% of Girl Scouts could advance diversity in a multicultural world. It looks like this: Girls learn to think and act in a way that promotes an inclusive environment, respecting and valuing diverse backgrounds, viewpoints and life experiences.
It happened when: Girls examined the lack of fairness in trade laws in different countries during a Savvy Shopper event workshop in 2013. Through hands-on activities centered on the global fashion industry, they learned about differences in financial power, and sources of discrimination. Using their knowledge, they created plans that promote fair trade.
94% of Girl Scouts felt connected to their communities, locally and globally. It looks like this: Girls feel that they are a part of a larger community and recognize the importance of building diverse, supportive, social networks for their personal and leadership development.
It happened when: Nineteen-thousand girls viewed their community through a businessfocused lens with the Girl Scout Cookie Program in 2013. Girls learned first-hand that being engaged in the community helps their business grow. They recognized their part in the largest Girl-Led business in the world, and saw how their cookie sales translated into positive impact for communities locally and nationally.
Outcomes data gathered through the 2013 Girl Scout Voices Survey distributed to every registered girl.
Girl Scouts Connect Globally Girls made an international friend at Silverbrook Day Camp this year with a counselor who was formerly a Girl Guide in Spain. Campers loved learning first-hand about the Girl Scouting experience overseas.
Community Outreach Initiatives Many girls in the most at-risk communities in Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties participate in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience through Outreach Initiatives. The initiatives leverage financial assistance, bilingual materials, customized curriculum, and volunteers and staff specially trained to deliver the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Girls in grades K5-8 meet in a variety of community-based venues, and parents and adult volunteers are encouraged to participate. The Community Outreach Initiatives help girls set out on a path to success they otherwise may not have been able to take or even envision.
Girl Scouting in the School Day This component serves girls in K5 through fifth grade through Girl Scout Leadership Experience programming at their schools. In 2013, girls participated in 60-minute sessions over a four week period built around the Girl Scout Leadership Journey It’s Your Story –Tell It! During engaging activities themed on Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, the girls built self-esteem and confidence in their leadership abilities. Some activities within the series provided co-curricular opportunities that aligned with state curriculum standards, which benefited the girls’ schools as well.
“I like our activities and what we talk about because it’s helping me to do better in the future.” – Girl Scout Brownie
Out-of-School Time In neighborhoods with few volunteer-led Girl Scout troops or other co-curriculum enrichment opportunities, trained Girl Scout staff members lead troops for girls K5 through eighth grade. Each girl receives a uniform, and the troops meet right at school or in a convenient community facility. Girl Scouts in this initiative engage in one of the Leadership Journeys, attend STEMfest, work through anti-bullying curriculum and develop financial skills through the Cookie Program. In 2013, girls at several Girl Scout levels chose the It’s Your Planet! Journey, which focuses on environmental stewardship.
Summer Initiatives Girl Scouts stay engaged during the summer through a variety of options. Project Care helped girls focus on building healthy relationships. Through Girls of Summer, girls developed self-confidence and skills related to teamwork, healthy living and leadership in a non-competitive softball league. Many girls attended Girl Scout camps over the summer, building courage, confidence and new friends through new experiences.
Latina Initiative L G Scouts’ goal with this initiative is to engage the underserved Latina Girl population in southeastern Wisconsin in a way that ensures they have p increased access to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. The initiative in established several pathways for reaching girls, including a volunteer-led troop e structure where girls and their mothers participate together. Latinas are also s taking part in Girl Scouting in the School Day and Out-of-School Time. t Spanish-speaking Girl Scout staff and training facilitators are supporting the S volunteers who mentor and guide the girls on their Leadership Journeys. 10
Community Outreach Outcomes Community Outreach Initiatives are making a positive impact: 94% of girls who participated in these initiatives in 2013 agreed that Girl Scouts has prepared them to be a leader. In fact, some of the strongest outcomes of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience are voiced by girls served through outreach programming:
Because of Girl Scouts, I… 94%
...am a better team member. …feel empowered to make a difference in the world. …possess practical, healthy living skills. …recognize the difference between right and wrong ways to treat others. …am more interested in STEM. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) …have a strong sense of myself. …can resolve conflicts. …can identify community needs. …know how to educate and inspire others. …know healthy ways to deal with frustration.
88% 82% 92% 85% 83% 88% 91% 89% 91%
This data is specific to girls in Community Outreach Initiatives and a subset of the overall Girl Scout Voices Survey data.
“They [staff] encourage me to be a better person.” – Girl Scout Cadette
Take Action: Girls act to make
91% of Girl Scouts could identify community needs. It looks like this: Girls learn to identify issues in their local and global communities and come up with realistic possibilities for action.
It happened when: Girls met at Blingin’ on the Bronze events in 2013 to brainstorm ways they could positively impact their communities. More than 225 Girl Scout Juniors focused on mapping their communities’ issues and assets as they learned about local non-profit organizations at work. They took this knowledge back to their troops to begin working on the highest honor a Girl Scout Junior can earn - the Girl Scout Bronze Award – which requires completion of both a Journey and a community service project.
“Girl Scouts is a chance to change the community for the better. Getting my Girl Scout Bronze and Silver Award were ways for me to make an impact on the community.” – Girl Scout Ambassador
87% of Girl Scouts became resourceful problem solvers. It looks like this: Girls can use their knowledge and skills to set up and implement creative and effective “action plans,” and can adjust their strategies to overcome barriers. They locate tools and resources they need, and know when, where and how to enlist help from others.
It happened when: In 2013, Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors learned to be resourceful while completing Take Action projects service projects that effect long-term, measurable community change – as part of earning their Girl Scout Gold Awards. One Girl Scout adjusted for a much smaller team of volunteers as she turned her vision for a community garden into reality. Another hosted a well-attended, highly successful community event despite a last-minute move to an indoor facility due to inclement weather.
the world a better place.
86% of Girl Scouts could advocate for themselves and others, locally and globally. It looks like this: Girls develop the ability to speak out on their own behalf and seek opportunities to act and speak on behalf of others.
It happened when: Sixty-five girls presented innovative solutions for problems that senior citizens face in daily living as part of the First Lego League competition, themed Senior Solutions in 2013. Girl Scout teams partnered with a senior to explore his or her aging challenges, then created and communicated a solution to various audiences in the community and at the competition. Nearly 30 adult volunteer coaches helped facilitate the activity.
“In the First Lego League, I learned about robotics, about senior citizens, and about competition, but I also learned about being on a team.” – Natalie, Girl Scout Cadette
92% of Girl Scouts could educate and inspire others to act. It looks like this: Girls learn to effectively explain their ideas to others and motivate them to get involved in community service and action.
It happened when: Girls participated in hands-on workshops at the 2013 Teen Leadership Conference. Girls considered different strategies for sharing an important message with others. They discussed public speaking, book writing and entrepreneurship as avenues for communicating, and ways to tailor their message to make it relevant and inspirational to a specific audience.
93% of Girl Scouts felt empowered to make a difference in the world. It looks like this: Girls feel empowered to use their leadership skills to effect change in their lives and their world and feel their contributions are valued in the larger community.
It happened when: Girls began a tradition of community service as Girl Scout Daisies, and became more empowered to make a difference with each passing year as Brownies, Juniors and then Cadettes in 2013. The girls’ leadership role has expanded over the years as they’ve served children in need and seniors in their community, promoted conservation of the environment, and collected clothing and funds for families local and overseas. Outcomes data gathered through the 2013 Girl Scout Voices Survey distributed to every registered girl.
Girls Speak Up About Girl Scouts In these short stories, girls speak up about the impact Girl Scouting has made in their lives.
“I truly realized how my experience at Girl Scout camp changed my life starting in eighth grade. This was a really tough time for me because my school had closed and my parents were still finding a new school for me. As a first year Program Aide (PA) I was hesitant about staying over because I didn’t know many people. One day another PA invited me to stay over in her platform tent because she’d noticed that I had not slept over at all that year. I took her offer, and while we may have had more girls than beds in the tent, it was the most fun I’d had in a while. The next summer, I got in a cabin with the same girls and I started to build relationships with them. Now every year I look forward to camp. It is the one place I can go where I know I will be included. I can be myself and express my opinions without being judged. For me, Girl Scout Camp at Sunny Trails is like my Heaven on Earth and I can count on it to be there for me every year.” - Community Day Camper
“My girls LOVE to volunteer. They LOVE to help others.” – 2013 Volunteer Troop Leader
“Girl Scouts has built up my confidence about myself and my future.” – Girl Scout Senior “My volunteer experiences have made me more aware that many people struggle to buy enough food for their family or even have a place to live. One of my favorite volunteer experiences has been working with Our Kids’ Closet. Like-new children’s clothing is sorted and hung in a store-like setting. Families in need can come in and “shop” for free clothing for their children. I have learned that poverty is not just a problem in big cities like Milwaukee. It is occurring in the suburbs, too.” – Girl Scout Senior
“I have been a Girl Scout for 13 years, and throughout my experiences I have consistently been surrounded by women (and men) in my community who value the Girl Scout mission and support it enough to spend their free time, often after a day of work, with myself and other young women. They selflessly volunteer their time, energy, resources, and abilities to be mentors, role models, and friends. The support of both the volunteers and the incredible staff at Girl Scouts has helped me to be courageous enough to develop my own character, and to have confidence in who I am. Consider me a life-long volunteer and supporter.” – Girl Scout Senior
Girl Scouting’s Lifelong Impact As these stories show, the experiences girls have as Girl Scouts make a deep and lasting impact in their lives. An estimated 59 million women in the U.S. are Girl Scout alumnae, and as a group, they stand out. According to the Girl Scout Research Institute, when compared to women who were not Girl Scouts, Girl Scout alumnae are more likely to consider themselves capable and confident, earn a college degree, be involved in volunteer work, vote, and earn a higher income. These are positive life outcomes, and they are displayed by all Girl Scout alumnae across race, socio-economic status and generation. 15
“I enjoy all of the unique opportunities that Girl Scouts has presented to me. Our leader does everything that she can to give us once-in-a-lifetime chances that we will remember forever.” – Girl Scout Cadette