Girl Scouts In The 21st Century: Beyond Camping, Crafts, And Cookies?

Nov 4, 2014

For more than one hundred years, this organization has shaped generations of girls and every generation has had its ideas about what scouting should be about.  Now, some girls, and their leaders, say that efforts to modernize programming have moved too far away from traditional focuses like the great outdoors.

Credit Herald Post / Flickr/CC

GUESTS:

  • Kim LeMear – a troop leader in Manchester, with scouts ranging in age from kindergarten to 4th grade.
  • Tricia Mellor – CEO of the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, the Girl Scout council serving New Hampshire and Vermont.

CALL-OUT:

  •  Marty Woelfel – a longtime volunteer with the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana, and a leader in the grassroots movement to keep camping and outdoor leadership part of the Girl Scout experience

Watch the original Girl Scout film The Golden Eaglet:

LINKS:

  • A report on how the debate over how Girls Scouts should adjust to changing times: "Changing times and fashion are unlikely to alter the appeal of the Thin Mint, but that may not be as true for other aspects of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., an organization that some say has spent nearly a decade moving away from its tent-pitching, campfire-building roots to embrace the more modern-day themes of technology and science, media and social issues in order to keep girls interested."
  • The movement within the Girl Scouts to bring back a focus on the outdoors: "The plan is to flood the convention with those flyers and buttons to create a visible groundswell of support for the activities they’re agitating for: Canoeing. Archery. Fire-building. Navigating a hike by the light of the stars. In short, the wilderness skills and outdoor abilities that the founding mothers intended."
  • A look at camp-closings from the Daily Beast: "In the past five years or so, Girl Scout councils across the country, backed by the parent organization Girl Scouts of the USA, have put up for sale more than 200 camps in 30 states—more than a third of Girl Scouts properties with acreage are threatened. The regional councils defend the sales by citing the rising costs of maintenance. And, they say, today’s girls aren’t as interested in camping."