For more than 100 years the Girl Scouts of America have been “building girls of courage, confidence, and character.” They have taught young women and girls across the globe to believe in themselves and that with commitment and integrity anything is possible. Girls who participate in the Girl Scouts grow into self-assured, altruistic women poised to improve the world. Need proof?
Look no further than Melissa Washington, a navy veteran, former LinkedIn employee and author of Get Back to Work ‑ Smart & Savvy Real World Strategies to Make Your Next Career Move, and a former Girl Scout. Melissa credits the Girl Scouts, with helping her develop her leadership skills and passion for serving her community. On our latest episode of Mind of a Mentor Melissa speaks about her cherished times as a scout and how the Girl Scouts organization is grooming the future female leaders of the world. Below we outline just a few of the ways the Girl Scouts are helping girls live up to their full potential:
The Girl Scouts organization is dedicated to fostering girls’ leadership abilities. Too often when girls’ try and take the lead they are labeled as bossy and ushered to the back seat. This discourages young women from taking on leadership positions as they are not given the same opportunities to develop their skills. As a result, the Girl Scout Leadership Experience program is an invaluable resource for girls to realize their potential and practice being a leader. Girls involved with the program get paired with a female role model who acts as a mentor for the girls as they navigate the challenges of growing up and discovering their voices as leaders. This kind of support not only provides girls with a female leader to look up to but also emboldens them to become leaders in their classrooms and communities. You do not need to have been a Girl Scout or have any affiliation with the Girl Scouts to be a mentor in the program. If you are a female leader dedicated to empowering the leaders of tomorrow then you can become a mentor.
Skills & Thrills
The Girl Scouts offer a safe, all-female led environment where girls are encouraged to speak up and tackle complex challenges. They provide young girls with diverse role models who possess a range of skills the girls may otherwise not have access to. Thankfully the world is changing and there are many inspirational female leaders to look up to, they have paved the way for the next generation of female leaders to take the helm.
Cookies & Commerce
There was no way we were going to talk about the Girl Scouts without talking about the legendary Girl Scout Cookie Program. Little do people know, the Girl Scout Cookie Program was built to help girls learn financial literacy skills. Who knew every single time a purchase was made we were helping train the next generation of female entrepreneurs? I wonder how much Samoas are trading on NASDAQ.
Outdoors & Indoors
The stock image of Girl Scout activities includes hiking, canoeing and camping but times have changed. Traditionally outdoor activities have reigned supreme for the scouts, but with a brave new world that’s in need of new skills from women, the Girl Scouts are diversifying their efforts to make sure girls stay ahead of the pack. While the scouts still participate in outdoor activities they also have activities in science, technology and STEM!
Simply put, the Girl Scouts are the original source for female empowerment and leadership. So if you want to invest in our future female leaders, think about volunteering your time at the place it all started. Trust us, they’ll welcome you with open arms. Scout’s Honor.
For more on how Melissa Washington went from badges to barracks, check out her episode of Mind of a Mentor.
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Mind of a Mentor is a podcast series dedicated to highlighting women who have had a unique life and career journey. We believe our community of ambitious women can gain valuable insights and inspo from your story.
Mind of a Mentor covers the stories of real women who have faced adversity and overcome with grace and integrity. We do not sidestep the tough topics as our goal is to present the difficult journey to success rather than just displaying the finished product. We reframe challenges as teachable moments to provide insight with our community members.
To get an idea of some of the interviews we have previously hosted check out the podcast here.