With over 2.6 million members and 112 councils across the nation, Girl Scouts is the largest leadership development organization for girls in the United States. Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital headquartered in Washington, DC, is the largest council in the country, with over 87,000 girl and adult members in the Greater Washington Region. Girl Scout troops are constantly forming, this year we have added 540 new troops.
In a world full of challenges, Girl Scouts is the best way to prepare girls for success. The Girl Scout Leadership Experience, helps girls discover themselves and their abilities through skill-building activities and opportunities to try new things, connect with others to create change, and take action to make their communities and the world a better place. As a girl-led, girl-only program, Girl Scouts puts girls first and encourages them to be courageous, strong, go-getters, while discovering who they are free from societal pressures and gender stereotypes.
According to Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital CEO, Lidia Soto-Harmon, “our mission is to help parents raise awesome girls.” She offers the following tips to help girls have a great school year:
1. Inspire self-acceptance. As girls start to face more and more external pressures, between elementary and high school, their self-esteem drops 3.5 times more than boys. Talk to your girl about women you admire, and ask her about the people who inspire her.
2. Teach her to embrace failure. Girls tend to hold themselves to impossible standards of perfection. Often, girls would rather stay silent than risk a wrong answer. Teaching girls that failure is a part of life helps them take on challenges without fear. Ask your daughter what was the hardest part of your day, and how did you manage the situation.
3. Encourage teamwork. When girls work cooperatively with their peers, they start to identify their unique strengths and skills. Teamwork teaches girls to value others’ ideas, and gives shy girls opportunities to step up and take the lead. Look for opportunities for your daughter to be part of something bigger than herself. Sporting activities and programs like Girl Scouts offer girls to be part of a team.
4. Get her outdoors. Research shows that girls who regularly spend time outdoors are better problem solvers and more eager to take on challenges. That’s because time spent in the outdoors gives girls unique opportunities to try new things, take risks and get outside their comfort zone. When time permits, go for a walk outdoors with your daughter, even if it’s just around the block.
5. Connect her with mentors. Programs like Girl Scouts connect girls with a supportive network of inspiring adult role models and peers. Check with your school to learn if there is a Girl Scout troop, or form one. Find out what your daughter enjoys and find an extra-curricular activity for her to explore.