On October 11th, an historic shift occurred in the scouting world when Boy Scouts of America (BSA) voted to accept girl members into their ranks at the Cub Scout level. According to their statement, starting in 2019 girls will also be allowed to pursue the Boy Scout Eagle Award.
While we would certainly have preferred that their vote go in a different direction, this decision in no way diminishes the Girl Scout mission. Every aspect of our programming has been designed to empower girls. We remain committed to that ideal as well as the core values and vision of the Girl Scout Movement as established by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912. Notably, over 59 million living American women can count themselves as alumnae of this incredible organization that began with one woman’s heart and determination to make the world a better place more than 100 years ago.
Our girl-led programing is a researched and proven method for preparing women leaders. Numerous studies from the Girl Scouts Research Institute and other sources clearly recognize that participation in Girl Scouts has proven highly effective in developing leadership qualities and other key indicators of success for the girls involved. The Girl Scout Leadership Experience is especially effective in at-risk communities; studies have shown that girls who experience our fully immersive single-gender Girl Scout programming demonstrate higher levels of self-confidence and academic success than girls who have not benefited from our gender-specific program opportunities.
We recognize that the Boy Scouts program, developed specifically for boys, has helped shape young men into productive citizens for more than 100 years. Adapting the Boy Scouts program for girls will be inadequate and second rate, at best. We believe that the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, created especially for girls and tested by time and research, is clearly the best option for them.
Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia will stand true to our mission and to the values we share. Girl Scouts remains strongly committed to an all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment, which provides a unique and necessary safe space for girls to learn and thrive. Girls need us now more than ever, to provide a safe space where they develop their courage, confidence, and character and where they interact with dignified and composed role models.
Juliette left a powerful legacy for enhancing the lives of girls and making the world a better place. We intend to continue her legacy on behalf of girls for generations to come.
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