The last time we all got together was when there wasn’t much going on in education! You remember…the years from 2012-2016 when we did just a few things, like changing the State Standards from Common Core to Indiana’s College and Career Readiness Standards, the new Accountability system and attempts at finding a new assessment system just to name a few. It was during those years as deputy superintendent that I was honored to work with the IAPSS, and meet so many amazing superintendents from across the state. Coming out into the field whether to present at your regional meetings or to your districts was certainly a highlight of my job, and I do miss you all. I am hoping to rekindle some of our past connections now from my new seat of influence as CEO of Girl Scouts of Central Indiana.
I bet many of you have some level of understanding of Girl Scouts, and I bet even more of you have had a Girl Scout Cookie or two in your office. I would like to say on record, that GIRL SCOUTS IS SO MUCH MORE THAN COOKIES and I wish as a school and state policy leader I really knew what I now know about the amazing Girl Scout Leadership Experience. I wish I knew that Girl Scout content is aligned to state standards and has measurable results, and furthermore is customizable to your district and school needs.
I also wish I knew then that:
- Girl Scouts is a leadership experience for more than 29,000 girls in central Indiana – often those who need a sense of place and purpose.
- The following research: Girl Scouts vs. Non-Girl Scouts
- Graduate High School, 88% vs. 83%
- Earn “excellent” grades, 53% vs. 45%
- Desire a career in STEM, 26% vs. 14%
- Have a strong sense of self, 80% vs. 68%
- Exhibit problem solving skills, 57% vs. 28%
- Take on leadership when working in a group, 79% vs. 44%
- The Girl Scout Leadership Experience is aligned to the Indiana State Standards and the program is focused on 4 pillars: outdoor adventure, entrepreneurship, STEM and financial literacy.
- Girl Scouts is delivered in models that are customized for school needs. We offer Girl Scout Program in schools, during lunch, before and after care, in neighborhood centers and in the summer. These experiences are often led by our staff who bring everything needed for a hands-on experience.
- Girl Scouts provides the leadership experience to unique populations of girls, like CHIN, Burmese, and Spanish-speaking, as well as foster children and those in great at-risk situations. If your school has a unique need, it can be met with our bilingual staff.
- Girl Scout activities are often delivered by Indiana colleges and universities, and Indiana STEM industry leaders and specialists, creating unique access for girls that aren’t found at this level in any other organization or setting.
- Alums of Girl Scouts make up 50% of current female business leaders, 80% of U.S. tech leaders, 76% of U.S. senators, and 90% of female astronauts.
I wish I had considered:
The number of girls who don’t have access to a variety of youth programming for various reasons, including cost. Girl Scouts is only $25 for a year, and most all experiences that a troop may decide to do are covered by the Girl Scout Cookie Program or financial assistance.
- The social and emotional connections that a girl sometimes can’t find on her own, but can find it in and thrive in Girl Scouts.
- That 99% of a girl’s lifetime will be spent in a dual gender environment. While Girl Scouts creates a research supported inclusive, safe space in which girls are free to explore their potential and take the lead without distractions or pressures that can be found in a co-ed setting.
If I knew then what I know now, I would have:
- Made a greater commitment to seek local policy that would open all doors for sending home more flyers, allowing Girl Scout staff and leaders to talk to students during lunch, ice cream socials and back to school nights.
- Included information about Girl Scout recruitment in my robo calls/texts.
- Placed a greater priority on championing Girl Scout membership for all girls in my circle of influence.
So while I can’t go back, I hope you will consider making the Girl Scout opportunity a priority for the girls in your education community. Will you please be our Girl Scout champion in your area for this amazing opportunity for your girls? I promise you’ll be glad you did.
If you are interested in talking more about customized options, and all that Girl Scouts can provide for your girls, please email me at