Since 1912, Girl Scouting has offered girls the tools they need to be successful leaders. Now, in response to the challenges facing today’s girls, we have standardized all programs into a permanent initiative called the Girl Scout Leadership Experience that focuses on Girl Scouting’s core strength of leadership development and provides provable outcomes. The Girl Scout Leadership Experience will send girls on innovative “Leadership Journeys” that reinforce a definition of leadership girls agree on: A leader is defined not only by her qualities and skills, but also by how she uses them to make a difference in the world, starting with the world around her. Girl Scouts of every age will pursue very specific, locally-generated activities to Discover, Connect, and Take Action. Each activity will be girl-led and involve hands-on and cooperative learning. Girls learn about themselves, establish relationships with others, and work actively to make America, our region—and the world—a better place.
Short term success indicated by the number of girls who begin to demonstrate leadership qualities. The Girl Scout Research Institute found that girls, even at a very young age, have definite ideas about what it means and takes to be a leader. Promoting leadership in girls is primarily a matter of developing their self-confidence and providing supportive environments in which to acquire leadership experience. To be relevant and successful, a girls’ leadership program must address their aspirational or preferred definition of leadership, their need for emotional safety, and their desire for social and personal development. Our goal in this program is to remain relevant to girls, and create the next generation of leaders. Success for us means that girls are able to think on their own, advocate for and be responsible for their environment.
Girls take leadership journeys in a carefully developed curriculum with concrete and measurable outcomes. Through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, Girl Scouts will change themselves and their community. They will pursue very specific, locally-generated activities to Discover, Connect, and Take Action. Each activity will be girl-led and involve hands-on and cooperative learning. Girls serving in their San Diego communities will share a consistent experience with girls throughout the country, and our adult volunteers will help point the way. Girls working together create national and global projects that harness the combined energy and leadership of Girl Scouts from throughout California, the nation and the world. Such outcomes will ensure a Girl Scout’s ability to develop her full leadership potential. These results will strengthen and improve life because they require the commitment of young women who lead with courage, confidence, and character.
The Girl Scout Leadership Experience now serves as the engine that drives all our programs, and each program has its own evaluation rubric. For example, our objective in 2012 is to increase measurable participation in our outdoor education and environmental stewardship programs to 30%.To measure impact, we use formal written evaluations, qualitative assessments of behavior changes and simple assessments of ecological awareness based on product sales (badges and other resources). We also now require program specialists to use specific Outcomes and Impacts tables. They learn to recognize outcomes—by listening very carefully to girls’ questions, noting the comments they make, and analyzing their written evaluations against key behavioral indicators. Results of the evaluation—tabulated in an event report—help us determine if programs can be streamlined either in content or delivery, and if delivery models best match the curriculum.
In 1912, an extraordinary woman named Juliette Gordon Low founded Girl Scouts so girls and young women could learn new skills, develop self-esteem, hone leadership and decision-making abilities, build respect for others and channel a concern for their communities. While many people associate Girl Scouting with the fun of camping, Juliette Gordon Low wanted girls to experience the beauty and the challenges of the outdoors so they might develop self-reliance and resourcefulness. She encouraged girls to prepare for future roles as professional women in the arts, sciences, and business, and for active citizenship. One of America's first female aviators, she introduced a Girl Scout aviation badge back in 1916—four years before women won the right to vote.
We are creating the next generation of confident, value-driven women leaders. Girls can become inspirational and confident leaders in their own families and communities because they participate in—and grow from—diverse experiences within Girl Scout programs, activities, events and camps.
Girl Scouts is a deeply values-based organization. Our mission, message and programming are rooted in the Girl Scout Promise and Law, touchstones which have helped mold the value systems of millions of women and girls for 100 years. Girl Scouts provides girls with a safe, inclusive, all-girl setting where they can learn, explore and excel. Our research shows that girls thrive in this uniquely girl-focused environment. Girls also benefit from the organization’s distinctive focus on the outdoors. Through our outdoor programs, girls learn to respect and become advocates for the environment. The challenges and skills that come with outdoor exploration encourage physical fitness as well as a healthy sense of self sufficiency. Girl Scouts San Diego brings these and hundreds of other programs exploring arts, science, technology, careers and sports to more than 30,000 local girls.
San Diego girls have enjoyed Girl Scouting for 100 years, and our board takes seriously the responsibility to maintain a thriving council. We have a diverse, engaged board that gives time, talent and treasure to the organization. Whether or not they have girls of their own, our board members are passionate about empowering girls who will become our next generation of women leaders. USD awarded the Girl Scouts San Diego board of directors the 2012 Kaleidoscope Award for Exceptional Excellence in Governance. A robust assembly process recognizes the voices of our 13,000 adult volunteers. Council delegate volunteers play an important role in the governance process and represent our council at both the local and national levels.
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Developing the future of our community is a crucial endeavor that requires the care and resources of all San Diegans. Cultivating compassionate, intelligent, and emotionally healthy youth is imperative to this vision. It takes a village. These organizations work towards inspiring, challenging, and creating the next generation of community leaders. Click on category search to review nonprofits.
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