Channel One News producer Toni DeAztlan recently interviewed troops from the new, more mod Girl Scouts. Though Toni’s not a G-Scout herself, we hope she earned an honorary badge, because we learned a lot of new things about the organization too.
The Girl Scouts themselves have been asking questions too. They recently released a study, Change It Up! What Girls Say About Redefining Leadership which asked 4,000 kids between the ages of 8 and 17 their thoughts on leadership.
- Girls do not identify with the command-and-control definition of leadership prevalent in our culture today. Instead, girls embrace a leadership style that focuses on ethics, personal principles, and social change values.
- Nearly 70 percent of the students said they want to be a leader who “stands up for their beliefs and values,” and 59 percent said they want to be a leader “who tries to change the world for the better.”
- Thirty-nine percent of girls say they want to be leaders. Despite this, girls face barriers that include a lack of self-confidence in their own skill set and competencies, stress, fear of speaking in front of others, peer pressure, and stereotypes about what it means to be a girl in today’s society.
- Girls’ mothers are their main source of support in terms of leadership.
- Girls feel that the power to change things, or teach and help others in many environments is most appealing to them.
Want to know more? See what some Girls Scouts have to say about their experiences here, and check out the Girl Scouts website to explore the organization’s leadership accomplishments and opportunities.
When you think about the Girl Scouts, the first thing that comes to mind is probably your favorite cookie. We love cookies too (Samoas and Thin Mints for us!), but now we're seeing the organization in a whole new light. With all of their global travel and leadership programs - the Girl Scouts has a fresh new batch of opportunities.
Read some firsthand experiences from current G-Scouts and get the scoop on everything the organization has to offer.
Joanne Dynak, 14
"I am a freshman at Ridgewood High School in Norridge, Illinois. I've been a Girl Scout for nine years. Through the Girl Scouts, I've taken part in a variety of camps and activities, including skiing, sailing, horseback-riding, swimming, yoga, and surviving alone in the woods!
My favorite experiences have been a trip to Washington D.C. and CAMP CEO, a camp-based leadership development experience that connects teen Girl Scouts with Chicago's most accomplished women. Being a part of the Girl Scouts has taught me how to be a confident leader, build a strong character and become a great public speaker.
Most of all, I love meeting so many new people, visiting exciting places, and participating in the amazing programs that the Girl Scouts offer."
Pictured: Joann Dynak (middle)
Alison (Ali) Jablonsky, 17
"I am a senior at Mount Assisi Academy in the Chicago area. Even though I've done (and still do) a trillion different activities, no activity has helped me to establish dreams the way Girl Scouts has (and still does).
Girl Scouts has let me see what is possible instead of just what is visible; extreme inner strength to keep going no matter what obstacles get in my way, and, most importantly, the knowledge of knowing I cannot do it alone. Because of these skills, I know that after college I can be a superhero to inner-city teens by teaching them the power of words as an English teacher."
Pictured: From Left Jaleesa Woodside; Maria Wynne (CEO, Girl Scouts of Chicago & NW Ind.); Whitney Sims-Rucker (standing over Maria Wynne); Ali Jablonsky (pink shirt); Natasha Tharwani (far right).
Natasha Tharwani, 16
"I am a junior at New Trier High School. I have learned many different things as a Girl Scout for the past 11 years. All of the activities I have participated in have truly given me confidence in myself. I know that if I want to go out there and get something, I am going to go and do just that.
There will be nothing stopping me and aiming for my goals. Girl Scouts also has given me the courage to try new things, and make new friends. And, it has truly built my character.
The characteristics I have learned through Girl Scouts such as compassion, kindness, service, leadership, organization, creativity, just to mention some, have helped me become the person I am today."
Pictured: Natasha Tharwani
Whitney Sims-Rucker, 18
"I am a senior at Homewood-Flossmoor High School. I have been a Girl Scout for 13 years. Girl Scouts has taught me leadership, communication (i.e. listening), and the importance of community service.
In Girl Scouting, I have had the opportunity to travel to places including California (Joshua Tree National Park -- rock climbing); and Georgia as a delegate at the 50th National Convention in Atlanta. I was also named a National Young Woman of Distinction in 2008."
Pictured: Whitney Sims-Rucker