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What Girl Scouting Does for Girls

August 25, 2013
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According to Girl Scout Research Institute reportGirl Scouting Works: The Alumnae Impact Study, women who were Girl Scouts as children display significantly more positive life outcomes than those who did not join Girl Scouts.

With approximately one in every two adult women in the U.S. having at some point been a member of Girl Scouts, it is no surprise that there is much more to this organization than camping, and cookies.

Girl Scout alumnae display significantly more positive life outcomes on several indicators of success when compared to non-alumnae. These success indicators include:

  • Perceptions of self. Of Girl Scout alumnae, 63% consider themselves competent and capable, compared to 55% of non-alumnae.
  • Volunteerism and community work. Of Girl Scout alumnae who are mothers, 66% have been a mentor/volunteer in their child’s youth organization, compared to 48% of non-alumnae mothers.
  • Civic engagement. Of Girl Scout alumnae, 77% vote regularly, compared to 63% of non-alumnae.
  • Education. Of Girl Scout alumnae, 38% have attained college degrees, compared to 28% of non-alumnae.
  • Income/socioeconomic status. Girl Scout alumnae report a significantly higher household income ($51,700) than non-alumnae ($42,200).

Along the same lines of this report, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, wrote about the positive impact of Girl Scouting. In this article, Collins tells us “the U.S. Senate set a record in early January when 20 women were sworn into office.  This is the largest number of women Senators in history, and I am honored to be among this historic group.  A little known fact, however, is that 14 of us-or 70 percent-are former Girl Scouts!”

In the article, Collins fondly recalled her time spent as a Girl Scout:

As a former Girl Scout in my hometown of Caribou, I have such fond memories of earning badges, and I remember how wonderful it was to learn new skills.  I especially enjoyed the two summers that I went to Camp Natarswi in Millinocket for a couple of weeks.

As one of the 14 former Girl Scouts in the U.S. Senate Collins says she is proud to be a co-leader, along with Senator Barbara Mikulski of “Troop Capitol Hill,” Honorary Congressional Girl Scout Troop. Collins also stated “It’s no coincidence that so many of the women Senators that I serve with today were Girl Scouts because scouting teaches so many important lessons.”

Additionally, former Girl Scouts also account for 80% of women executives and business owners, and 100% of female astronauts that have flown into space were Girl Scouts.

In addition to the positive life outcomes, most Girl Scout Alumnae believe their experience as a Girl Scout was rewarding and a positive experience. Former Girl Scouts:

  • Rate their Girl Scouting experiences very highly. The average rating among all alumnae on a 1–10 scale is 8.04.
  • Fondly recall their experiences in Girl Scouting. Fun, friendships, and crafts are the most frequently cited positive aspects of Girl Scouting.
  • Say they’ve received concrete benefits from Girl Scouts, such as being exposed to nature and having a safe place to try new things.
  • Actively recognize the influence of Girl Scouting on their lives. Three quarters of alumnae report that the Girl Scout experience has had a positive impact on their lives in general.

Watch the video below to find out more about what Girl Scouting with GSCM is all about and to hear from some of our Girl Scouts about what Girl Scouting has done for them!

For more information on the Impact of Girl Scouting please read Girl Scouting Works: The Alumnae Impact Study.

Sources: Girl Scouting Works: The Alumnae Impact Study, The Positive Impact of Girl Scouting, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta

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