We celebrate a historic milestone; the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment providing women the right to have their voices heard and their votes counted. However, women of color were not assured the same right until 50 years later in the Voting Rights Act. Today, we support efforts to assure the voices of ALL women and girls are heard and their fair and equal representation and rights.
Girl Scouts is proud to be a participant in our region’s collaborative commemoration of the 19th Amendment. Visit https://19at100.org/ to learn more.
Girl Scouts provides a comprehensive program in its commitment to Civic Engagement. Girls learn the work of women before them and to recognize the power of their own voices and advocacy. Community Service and Civic Engagement skill building is recognized in badge earning opportunities.
Your financial support to Girl Scouts can help us raise the voices of girls. They are the next generation of female leaders of change who will make the world a better place. Learn more about becoming a champion for girls –https://www.gsksmo.org/en/donate/51-percent.html
If you placed the 3,710 boxes of Girl Scout cookies Paige Thomas sold last year end to end, they would stretch over five-and-a-half football fields. Just imagine how many vanloads, door-to-door visits and frigid cookie booth sessions that took. This year, she and her super-volunteer mom, Maggie, are bound to do it again.
Paige has been our top seller three years in a row, and she’s only 10 years old. Now, that’s a successful entrepreneur!
Business lessons from a
10-year old leader Paige has learned multiple
lessons in her five years of cookie selling – ones we can all use:
Make eye contact when you speak to a customer.
Keep your math skills sharp.
Say thank you – whether you make the sale or not.
When you don’t make the sale, don’t take it personally.
Paige has achieved a wealth of wisdom beyond her 10 years!
Entrepreneurship mindset has far-reaching effects The Girl Scout Cookie Program teaches the entrepreneurial attributes of risk-taking, innovation and leadership development that are critical to the future of girls – and to the world. Girl Scouts are rewarded for their efforts in goal setting, budgeting and teamwork as they earn special awards and proceeds for their troop to use for their activities.
Recent Girl Scouts USA research explains that, “If girls are left out
of the entrepreneurial space, they can suffer from long-term financial and
career consequences that contribute to the leadership and wage gap between men
and women. But when girls’ and women’s ideas for how to change the world are
put into action, the economy gains revenue and society gains ingenuity.”
Girls are poised to be leaders in entrepreneurship. For
example, six in 10 girls have an entrepreneurial mindset. About 78% are
interested in becoming entrepreneurs, and 84% want to lead a cause or campaign
in something they believe in. Yet, they face barriers – access to information
about how to get started, access to the social and financial capital and
technology to succeed, and perceptions of a glass ceiling related to gender.
They have the interest and aptitude; we just need to support them in getting
Your help is needed Girl Scouts programs – including the Cookie Program and the hundreds of other hands-on skill-building experiences support these principles and directly lead to changes in the world. We ARE the 51% Solution, and you can help make it happen:
They say the best leaders are always looking for their replacements. They share their strength, and they help pull others up. But examples of that are sometimes hard to showcase in what can sometimes be a divisive world. Strong mentoring programs and opportunities like the Mentoring Monday event today helps support and encourage the next generation of leaders.
Bizwomen’s Mentoring Monday – February 24, 2020 In that spirit, Girl Scouts was proud to be a national sponsor for all Bizwomen’s Mentoring Monday events across the country. Did you know that the Kansas City event is the largest with more than 400 who attended today? What a thrill to bring some of our Girl Scouts to this incredible event where they joined with other women to participate in table discussions with topics like time management or how to effectively communicate your message. Following these discussions, our Girl Scouts participated in one-on-one speed coaching sessions with some of the most influential women in the local business community. The atmosphere was spirited and powerful as everyone gained career insights and made new connections.
Mentoring only enhances what a Girl Scout brings to the table
Did you know that Girl Scouts are twice as likely to have a bachelor’s degree?
Did you know that Girl Scouts earn 23% more than other women?
Did you know that Girl Scouts are more likely to pursue STEM careers, become civic leaders and own businesses?
Yes, all true! The Girl Scouts I had the honor to bring with me today include a Gold Award (the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn after researching, planning and implementing a sustainable project benefitting her community or beyond) Alum who is in her second year of medical school; three 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts – one will be headed to Michigan State in the fall to pursue a degree in logistics and supply chain management, another a junior in high school and already planning her college path to be in engineering and the other graduating high school early and looking toward a future path pursuing a psychology degree. Two of our Girl Scouts are future Gold Award Girl Scouts and are high achieving in every aspect from their educational accomplishments to their advocacy for others. I was so proud to watch these leaders soak up every moment and connect with inspiring women across our community. Today is what it is all about – standing up for girls, supporting and mentoring the next generation of our world’s leaders!
What our next generation says about the power of mentoring
The following quotes are from our Girl Scouts who attended today.
“I love hearing
about her leadership journey, how she got there, tips and what you have to push
through to accomplish your career goals.”
“The advice I
loved and will carry with me is to always be curious and be your own advocate.”
always have to be perfect. Don’t say no to something just because you think you
don’t have every single skill listed. Don’t be afraid to fail and learn from
Powerful mentoring happens every day Girl Scouts connects girls with businesses and organizations in our community for opportunities and experiences lead by female role models. She experiences STEAM, Entrepreneurship, Civic Engagement and Outdoor Adventure. Girls can decide for THEMSELVES what their future career options can be. She gains the courage, confidence and character to move gender bias and stereotypes aside in pursuit of HER dream.
Unleash the power of girls We have a collective responsibility to support the next generation of leaders. Women and girls make up 51% of the population. And when we unleash our power by supporting one another fully, we become the change we need to see in the world. That’s why Girl Scouts ARE the 51% solution! Join with us and stand up for girls!
As a Girl Scout, you learn to shoot for the stars and excel
in your passions. Girl Scout Senior, Alyssa R., a 10th grader in
Olathe, KS, decided to go for the stars in an exciting Astronomy Destinations
experience during the summer of 2019! Alyssa met 9 other Girl Scouts from
around the country in Oregon to find out what it means travel like a Girl
Alyssa began her Girl Scout experience as a Daisy Girl Scout
in North Carolina before moving to Kansas City and joining the troop she’s
still with as a Junior. “For me, Girl Scouts lets me meet a wide community of
people who all think differently,” Alyssa said – something that has helped her
see other perspectives throughout her life. One of her favorite things about
being a Girl Scout has been the outdoor and STEM experiences she’s been able to
have – including a rock climbing camping adventure in Arkansas as part of one
of our council trips. That led her to wanting to explore more with Girl Scouts
and she soon found that a Destination would be the best option.
The application process was one that Alyssa prepared for and
later found out that her preparation and thoughtful answers helped her get
accepted. “The staff talked to us about our essays and gave us back what we
wrote, then told us that we all put in more than the basics, which helped us
get selected. We put in why we wanted to do it, why we were interested in
astronomy and a STEM career,” Alyssa said. This experience helped her get a
taste of what college applications will be like and now knows she has an edge
after hearing about what stood out to the staff.
After being accepted, Alyssa made her way to Oregon and
toured the coast, which included a stop at Seaside Beach. The group arrived at
Pine Mountain Observatory for STEM activities and camped for 5 days Deschutes
National Forest. Over the course of 9 days, in addition to camping, the girls
did constellation walks, volunteered at two public observation nights, learned
about wavelengths, performed several experiments and even went white water
rafting! Overall, the experience let her try new things, meet new friends and
get a feel for what a career in astronomy might look like.
During the Destination, she met Girl Scouts from all over
the country and they still have a very active group chat. She also walked away
with a new appreciation for her passion for astronomy and the confidence of
travelling without parents or friends. “A Destination is a great thing to
experience at this age since it’s nice to learn to travel without parents or
friends to rely on,” Alyssa said.
She would encourage other Girl Scouts to “find a Destination
that interests you…and just go for it!” Her biggest tip is “[…]be truthful in
what your interests are, express interest [on the application] and proofread
your submissions,” said Alyssa. We love those tips and know they’ll help other
Girl Scouts rock those Destinations applications – and maybe some college or
job applications too! Thanks, Alyssa,
for sharing your awesome Girl Scout Destinations experience!
Are you interested in a Girl
Scout destination? Check out some of the awesome places Girl Scouts travel
and get ready for the next round of the application process!
When you’re an outdoor focused Girl Scout, there’s nothing more exciting than traveling halfway across the country to one of the most beautiful national parks in the world! That’s exactly what Girl Scout Ambassador, Autumn S. from Leawood, Kansas did when she was accepted into the Maine Wilderness Destination during the summer of 2019!
Autumn applied for the Destination after learning about the
awesome opportunities Girl Scouts offered for travel. Rather than preparing her
answers separately, she sat down and completed the application and essay at
once, really thinking about her answers and writing from the heart. “I was just
in a writing groove and just did it all at once, I knew what I wanted to say,”
Autumn said with a smile.
That passion ended up getting her accepted into the program and she traveled to Maine to meet up with 10 other Girl Scouts from around the country for a 12-day experience she’ll never forget. Over the course of the 12 days the girls camped at Camp Natarswi, a Girl Scout camp in Maine, sitting at the base of Mt. Katahdin. Autumn had two experiences that challenged her in different ways, the easier one being the ice caves that they ventured to. It was a short hike away and she had some great teambuilding experiences with that challenge because the girls had to help each other cross the ice.
The second adventure Autumn experienced was definitely a
challenge – summiting Mt. Katahdin. Thanks to great staff leadership the girls
were able to conquer the summit, with a fun little chant of “What are we going
to do? SUMMIT!” along the way. Those staff members, especially Scrapper and
Steve, helped her have a really amazing and empowering experience. “Looking
back, I’m able to say, ‘wow, I really did that,’” Autumn said. In addition to
those adventures, the group also got to go white water rafting and camp with
Autumn returned to KC with a new friend group (with an
active group chat) and new confidence that has led her to new opportunities. “I
applied for the Teen Leadership Circle at the Council and I’m not sure I would
have done that if I hadn’t gone on the Destination,” Autumn said. She believes that
this Destination experience helped her become a more confident person and
encourages other Girl Scouts to give it a shot.
“Girl Scouts has great experiences that it’s hard to get
anywhere else. With a Destination, there are so many trips, you can find what’s
right for you. Just go and have fun. You never know what you’ll find,” Autumn
said. Now that Autumn has had an amazing Destinations experience, her next big
Girl Scout adventure is looking toward her Gold Award. She completed a Silver
Award by painting chairs for Solace House and using funds she raised for this
project. This Girl Scout is certainly going places! Thank you, Autumn, for
sharing your amazing journey! Are you interested in a Girl
Scout destination? The next application deadline is February 15!
music, religious observances and all the lights tend to get most people
thinking charitably this time of year. And while some organizations rely on
extra volunteers and contributions during November and December, most of them
need help year-round.
you thought about where your own instincts to volunteer and contribute came
from? I suspect many of you can trace your earliest philanthropy exposure to
the Girl Scouts – whether you were a Girl Scout or watched your mom, your
sisters or your classmates in action. I couldn’t wait for the holiday season to
arrive when I would join my Girl Scout sisters to spread cheer with carols,
crafts, conversation and treats with our community’s nursing home residents.
Kansas and Northwest Missouri communities benefit greatly from the
contributions of Girl Scouts. Our 22,000 girls gave an average of 30 hours each
this year, doing things like helping with environmental cleanup, supporting pet
adoption organizations, holding food drives, collecting personal care items, making
sandwiches for the homeless, and attacking hunger with the Harvesters. And yes,
they’ll step those efforts up in December, with caroling, nursing home visits
and special cards for veterans.
told, they’ll give more than 600,000 hours this year. And what do you think
would happen if those hours went away? How would that impact our most
vulnerable populations? Ultimately, how would the absence of this experience
change the way the next generation of women operates in their communities?
leaders at Harvesters – The Community Food Network – can give you an idea. Girl
Scouts were responsible for about 1 of every 50 volunteer hours during the
agency’s last fiscal year. According to their Communications Manager Gene
Hallinan, Harvesters depends on Girl Scouts. “Without them, we would have to
hire more staff and would not be able to reach the number of people we do
more, through multiple events with Harvesters throughout the year, Girl Scouts
get an education on the challenge of hunger. With hands-on programs like
Maddi’s Fridge, they come to understand that one in six U.S. children don’t
know whether they’ll eat tomorrow. And they’re inspired when they can translate
that to their own neighborhoods to make a difference.
“What you hope is that this kind of experience – started early – will inspire girls to give back and to grow up and be community supporters,” says Gene, “teaching their own children to give back, too.” (By the way, Gene is a lifelong Girl Scout volunteer herself. She serves as an advisor to girls working toward their Gold Award.)
that’s exactly the way Girl Scouts builds courage, confidence and character.
It’s exactly how we turn out women who are leaders in business and
philanthropy. And it’s exactly how we’re delivering the 51% solution to our communities now and in the future.
As you consider how you’ll pitch in this holiday season, I hope you’re inspired
by these go-getter girls, too.
You’re likely to
read a lot about today being Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. It’s a great way to
celebrate the amazing contributions women-owned businesses make to our economy.
Every day is Women’s
Entrepreneurship Day for the Girl Scouts. Empowering girls to become leaders is
what we’re all about. And it’s never too early to start.
A few weeks ago,
I watched as kindergarten and first-grade girls begin their entrepreneurial
learning journey at our Daisy Cookie College. They practiced simple skills like
how to count change, budget their snack money and talk with customers. These
are 5- and 6-year-old girls! And they’re already learning the five pillars of
our own signature entrepreneurial training program: goal setting,
decision-making, money management, people skills and business ethics.
I have no doubt
some of these girls will reflect the trends noted in the Girl
Scout Research Institute study
released today. Many will be interested in becoming entrepreneurs, but three in
four will come to believe their gender is a stumbling block. Although girls
start out strong, they expect to experience less support for their
entrepreneurial spirit as they age.
There is good
news out there about the state of female entrepreneurship. There were more than
twice as many women entrepreneurs in the United States last year than 20 years
ago. And the stats are piling up about their success. Founders with women on
their teams are performing better than all-male teams – 63% better for one venture
capital firm. And investors like Boston Consulting Group showed women in a start-up accelerator
program generating exponentially more revenue than their male counterparts. Despite
evidence like this, women-led startups receive just a fraction of the venture
Here are five
ways you can influence this trend and make sure all girls have every
opportunity to succeed when they grow up. The first four are summarized from Entrepreneur.com:
Amplify women whose voices are unheard.
Reach out to pull a woman up the ladder
and into your circle.
Leverage your social network to expand
Become an angel investor or coach to open
And the last
idea is from me to you:
Girl Scouts. It’s the
largest girl-development organization in the United States, and, as today’s
study shows, it makes a measurable impact on
girls’ leadership potential.
enter the business and entrepreneurial workforce is beneficial for girls and
the world. If girls are left out of the entrepreneurial space, they can suffer
from long-term financial and career consequences that contribute to the
leadership and wage gap between men and women. But when girls’ and women’s
ideas on how to change the world are put into action, the economy gains revenue
and society gains ingenuity.
once an entrepreneur always an entrepreneur. I know how much your support will mean to the
next girl or young woman who is tempted to follow that entrepreneurial dream
and make a meaningful difference for her community.
Summer 2019 was one for the Girl Scout memory books for Girl
Scout Seniors Parker V. and Emily N.! After traveling to Savannah, GA with
their troop, then on the GSKSMO council-sponsored trip to Belize, Parker and
Emily hopped on a plane back down to Central America for their Girl Scout
Destination trip for two weeks of scuba diving, volunteering and working with
sea turtles in Costa Rica and Panama!
This trip was inspired by their Silver Award where they
worked to eliminate plastic waste polluting the ocean and endangering sea
turtles. Parker and Emily partnered with Kindcraft turning bags into yarn that
was used to create sleeping mats for the homeless, doubling the impact of their
“I remember the day you told me about the trip!” Parker said
to Emily. “We were at the first Girl Scout meeting of the year and we went to
get something to drink and you said you heard about this thing you get to do
where you go somewhere in the Pacific and to help sea turtles!”
Upon arrival they stayed overnight Outward Bound Costa
Rica’s home base then traveled Bocas del Toro Panama where they stayed with a
host family for seven days and earned their NAUI Scuba Certification.
Their countless scuba sessions included a 67 foot dive (their
deepest), a shipwreck exploration where they saw nurse sharks and sand sharks
under the boat and a night dive where they activated bioluminescent plankton!
“You go in the water and it is pitch black, but when you
move around it glows green around you,” Parker explained. “Essentially they’re
specks of dust that glow when you touch it,” Emily added. “It was so cool.”
When the girls weren’t scuba diving, they were volunteering
at a K-8 school playing volleyball with kids during recess and doing beautification
projects around the campus and community, ziplining through the rainforest,
swimming on a hidden beach and bonding with their new Girl Scout friends and
The highlight of the first part of their trip was the
cultural immersion experience sleeping on a dock over the pacific ocean of
their host family. It was a very different experience from their time in Belize
staying at resorts!
“We got there and there was no air conditioning, we made our
own food and there was no electricity and the bathroom was a bucket bathroom.
At night it was dark so dark but it was so beautiful,” Parker said. “We got to
sleep on a dock under the stars!”
For the second half of their trip they headed to the San
San-Pond Sak where they worked on sea turtle conservation efforts.
Their group arrived after nests had been moved from the
beach and were being kept safe until the eggs hatched, and their job was to
make it possible for the turtles to emerge after hatching.
“You dug until you saw white, which were the little baby
eggs, and then you loosely put the sand back in so they’re covered, but they
can easily get out when they hatch,” Emily explained.
When the eggs hatched, they transported the sea turtles back
down to the beach and helped release them into the ocean!
“You pick up a sea turtle and you lay it down and it just
knows where to go, it’s awesome,” Parker said!
“We learned the faster you go, the more sea turtles you get
to touch,” Emily added. “I released 13!”
Throughout their 15 days together, Parker and Emily
developed deep bonds with the six other Girl Scouts on the destination and
their two guides. Each day girls would rotate jobs that helped the group
function and bond. They ranged in duties from carrying the medicine bag to
educating the group on cultural experiences to summing up the day with a powerful
phrase, quote or words.
“Ohana means family and family means no one is left behind,”
Emily and Parker said in unison. “That was one of our favorites.”
Each night they would pass around a string of eight wooden
sea turtles, express their highs and lows of the day then give the necklace to
someone who did something great for the group that day. At the end of the trip,
the guides disassembled the string and created a necklace for each individual
girl with one sea turtle on it. Their guides explained that they were all like
a pack of baby sea turtles at the beginning of the trip, but by the end they
had developed and grown and were ready to go out into the ocean on their own.
Parker and Emily have been back for three months but they’ve
continued this nightly ritual, everyone texting the group with their highs and
lows of the day.
Are you interested in exploration, service and sisterhood
like Parker and Emily?! Learn more about Girl
Scout Destinations and apply by the first deadline on November 15! Don’t forget, you can use Cookie Dough, Cookie
proceeds and there are scholarships available!
Raising girls to be the innovators of tomorrow! There is no
limit to how big a girl can dream when she’s a Girl Scout and thanks to a
special partnership with civil engineering firm BHC Rhodes, girls are getting a
unique STEM troop experience during the summer! The power of these partnerships
is that they open a world of potential to girls at a young age. As engineer
Katie Bushong said, “I hope [this program] can inspire other Girl Scout troops
to partner with companies so the girls can gain exposure to other industries at
a young age.”
This summer, Girl Scouts from around Kansas City joined a pop-up
STEM group that visited BHC Rhodes and worked with staff to learn about
engineering. Throughout the experience girls got a tour of the firm, learned
what a surveyor does, engineered their own mini car, learned about concrete,
fortified sand and other important materials in the engineering world. These
hands-on experiences help girls learn about STEM careers and how they can
thrive in the industry. “This was an opportunity for BHC Rhodes to partner with
the Girl Scouts and show young girls what it is like to be an engineer,” Katie
The troop started with meeting the staff and touring the
building. BHC Rhodes has a “no problems” philosophy, so they worked to instill
that in the girls throughout the experience. They moved on to working on cars
with different types of propellers, an activity which really made girls think
outside the box! It ended with a fun race to see whose car could be the very
After learning about momentum, the next meeting was all
about concrete! Girls learned the components of concrete, what makes it strong
and even got to mix up their own batch. They used the concrete to create small
concrete coasters with designs in the mold – so cool! A few meetings later,
they popped the coasters out, sanded them and finished the bottoms with pads so
they could be used on tables.
For their final meeting, the troop learned about fortified
sand and got to play with water, sand and unexpected materials that make sand
super strong! First they built normal sand castles, which would fall apart when
little pressure was applied. Then they built castles again, but included layers
of paper towel and cheesecloth to make the sand stronger. The girls put the 3
types to the test – regular, paper towel and cheesecloth – finding that the
cheesecloth was the strongest. It was so strong the girls were able to push
down quite hard on the castle without it breaking. What a cool activity!
Thanks to partnership like this, Girl Scouts are able to have experience they’re not able to get anywhere else! As Laura Bonar, talent development specialist at BHC Rhodes said, “we saw this as an opportunity to expand our reach with the youth and allow one of our summer interns a chance to create a program.” Building girls, businesses and our communities together – that’s the power of community partnerships. Together, we can build the STEM pipeline of the future. Learn more about STEM troops!
am I Excited for International Day of the Girl?
Today is our opportunity to call special attention to major issues happening
right now that supports this 100% youth-led movement for gender justice and
youth rights. Gender inequality is a reality we can’t ignore and the issue
isn’t confined to developing countries. The World Economic Forum ranks the United States
51st in terms of gender equality out of 149 countries!
United Nations established the official “International Day of the Girl Child”
to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for efforts to improve girls’ lives,
providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full
potential. The U.S. Day of the Girl is a bold move on the part of girls and
their supporters to break the cycle of discrimination and violence and promote
and protect the full benefits of their human rights.
How are you celebrating? Is there something you can DO to make a difference? Yes, there is!
There is NO organization better aligned with these goals than Girl Scouts! We have the most experience in girl leadership development throughout the world. On this special day, we’re lifting up the Gold Award– a prestigious award earned by more than 1 million girls since 1916. Gold Award Girl Scouts are the visionaries and the doers who take on a major challenge project to “make the world a better place.” The Girl Scout Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable girl—proof that not only can she make a difference, but that she already has. Seniors and Ambassadors (9th-12th graders) who earn the Gold Award take action on issues that are of great concern to them and drive lasting change in their communities and beyond. They take on challenges as diverse as Alzheimer’s Disease education and support, teenage suicide intervention, environmental cleanup, literacy reading programs and STEM discovery.
Research shows that Gold Award Girl Scouts have more positive life outcomes as adult women– measured by volunteerism, community and civic engagement, education level and socioeconomic status. We can proudly claim the work of Gold Award Girl Scouts address the critical issues in today’s world head on. Get inspired by watching Girl Scouts’ powerful 30 second PSA, The Mark of the Truly Remarkable and get to know some of our region’s Gold Award Girl Scouts.
On this Day of the Girl, I ask you to Stand Up for Girls. You can take action right now! Contribute to Girl Scouts, volunteer as a community partner or mentor and contact ME to learn about our movement and become a Champion for Girls by joining the 51% Solution!