Nobody tells the story of Girl Scouts better than you, the girls! Have you read the opinion editorial in The Morning Call written by Girl Scout Bridgette Lang? Read the article below, and check out the piece in The Morning Call here.
Girl Scouts allows young women to flourish, gain confidence
By Bridgette Lang
From soccer to art club to student council, there are many choices for girls to prepare themselves for the future. High schoolers across the nation scramble to find choices that reflect their career paths and parents search for meaningful ways for their young children to spend their time — but some choices stand out among the rest.
It is hard to name any other organization that prepares young girls for the future in as many ways as the Girl Scouts does. No matter your interests, Girl Scouts offers a girl-led environment where you can pursue anything that you set your mind to.
The girl-only atmosphere allows young women to flourish in an environment where they feel safe and included, and free to express themselves. My experience would have been very different in a co-ed environment.
I became a Girl Scout in kindergarten and have been with Troop 6467 since then. Now, as a junior in high school, the same values that I was taught as a child still hold true. Out of all the things I've tried in Girl Scouts, community service and volunteering resonate with me the most.
The Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards, the highest awards in Girl Scouts, offer ways for girls to get out into the world to solve real problems. For my Silver Award, I sought to help create a love for learning in our community. I created a career workshop and donated backpacks to every child attending a K-5 Big Brothers Big Sisters-sponsored program in Allentown. Every Thursday, I spent two hours connecting with them for tutoring and fun activities. After hearing about other girls' Gold Award projects, I am even more inspired to start my own.
The flexibility of Girl Scouts is what makes it unique. There are so many programs offered, allowing you to simply choose what interests you and works with your schedule.
People will ask me, "What are you doing tonight, Bridgette?"
"I'm speaking to 500 businesspeople from the Lehigh Valley at Take the Lead" or "I'm flying out to Columbus for a Girl Scout convention" are some of my answers.
Most people are surprised by what I'm doing with the Girl Scouts when they hear my answers. The girl-led environment has allowed me to step up to leadership positions that I have not found in any other organization. In Girl Scouts, I truly feel like my opinion is valued by adults.
In my time as a Girl Scout, I also attended the National Council Session for Girl Scouts as a delegate and helped make important decisions that affect the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania. My accomplishments in Girl Scouts have proven to be a huge confidence boost in my other extracurricular activities as well.
At Southern Lehigh High School, I am the president of Feminist Student Union, co-founder of Southern Lehigh's Junior State of America chapter, involved with National Honor Society, speech and debate, my school newspaper, track and field, and teen counseling. Out of all the activities I participate in, Girl Scouts has helped me the most in finding my voice and gaining leadership skills.
The confidence I gained in Girl Scouts, even starting out as a little Daisy, has helped me to be a leader in all other parts of my life. In a room full of boys or where my opinion is in the minority, I am not afraid to say what I truly believe.
This is something that sets myself and fellow Girl Scouts apart from our female peers who did not have Girl Scouts to help them create their voice. Standing up for what they think or even raising their hand does not come as easy to them.
Girl Scouts is simply the best way to prepare any girl to reach her fullest potential and beyond. All alternatives to Girl Scouts do not offer the girl-only environment, the variety of resources, and the opportunities that girl scouting does. The strong women of the future first need to become the strong girls of today.
I hope you'll join me in Girl Scouts. To find a troop near you, visit gsep.org/join.
Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low said, "The work of today is the history of tomorrow, and we are its makers."
Bridgette Lang, a member of Girl Scout Troop 6467 in the Southern Lehigh Service Area, is a junior at Southern Lehigh High School.