Changing the Narrative #3: Girl Scouts – “Beyond Thin Mints”

What you may not know about Girl Scouts ...

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Negative news sells and positive doesn’t? Let’s change that!

Quick! Raise your hand if you’ve never heard of the Girl Scouts!

I’m looking all around and I don’t see any hands.

No surprise there, right? We all know about Girl Scouts – their badges, their projects, their COOKIES. Especially Thin Mints. I mean, really. Millions of us have grabbed those precious boxes of Thin Mints the minute our mom or older sister brought them home – or when we as moms brought them home – eager to enjoy those crispy, chocolaty, minty cookies.

Am I right? And you hate me right now … yeah. I know.

OK, but what else do you – does anyone – know about Girl Scouts?

I ask, because like so many, my understanding of what Girl Scouts was and what its leader, Sylvia Acevedo, is doing now was woefully lacking.

Reading Entrepreneur magazine a couple of weeks ago, I found myself drawn to the three-page article written by Stephanie Schomer, and vaguely began remembering my long-ago time as a Girl Scout. Although I know that Girl Scouts have continually pushed the boundaries of what girls were expected to achieve in whatever time period they were living, my memories are more about earning badges having to do with homemaking and outdoor activities.

Maybe that’s because it’s what I enjoyed back in the 1950s and ’60s. Maybe that’s because of what our own troop leaders liked to teach us. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t paying attention to other lessons I could have been learning.

So for me, the article was a stunner because I haven’t kept up with Girl Scouts at all, and I didn’t realize some misconceptions I have had about them that you may also share.

CEO Acevedo, above, who was also a real NASA rocket scientist, is continuing the mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character — girls who make the world a better place. She and others are inspiring a new generation of Scouts to challenge boundaries and change perceptions of the organization and its goals. And its girls. And their futures.

I did not know that, according to Ms. Acevedo, “…half of the female elected officials in America, including two-thirds of female U.S. senators, were Girl Scouts, and more than half of women leaders in business [were].”

She also calls the GSUSA “… the hidden giant in women’s leadership …”

Along with leadership training, they’re even providing information on STEM programming, blockchain technology, and cybersecurity.

Wow. I just never thought of Girl Scouts that way. Did you?

Even selling the cookies is different, thanks to Digital Cookie, which walks the girls selling cookies through business goals and objectives. Digital Cookie complements traditional door-to-door cookie sales, just like online sales complement brick-and-mortar businesses. Digital Cookie better prepares girls to participate in the global economy.

How cool is that?

And even more interesting to me is that the organization is now partnering with LinkedIn to help GSUSA alumni can keep in touch with each other via the Girl Scout Network to “… enhance their career development.”

From the Girl Scouts ( website:

The Girl Scouts Difference
Girl Scouts offers the best leadership development experience for girls in the world.

I have to admit I was surprised – and tickled – by that article, and by the knowledge that an organization such as Girl Scouts is so clearly positioning its girls/young women for a different kind of future than I would have expected – and being led by a true former) rocket scientist.

All pictures used with permission from GSUSA.

Read the full article that sparked this one:

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