“Growing up when you’re a girl can be hard. With so many expectations and beliefs about the way you should act, who should be your friends and what things you should like and do, it’s amazing that anyone can survive. It helps if you have friends and adults who support, challenge, and believe in you and your abilities. All that can be found in Girl Scouts.
Girl Scouts – Western Oklahoma provides more than 8,100 girls in 39 central and western Oklahoma counties with fun, safe, no-limits spaces for them to become inspired, take healthy risks and challenges, try new things, and learn to succeed through failure, and develop confidence in themselves and their abilities. Membership is open to girls ages 5 to 17 years of every racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and religious background.
The Girl Scout Leadership Experience, Girl Scouts’ only program, can be adapted in many ways in order to serve every girl. The program focuses on four pillars: STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education, the outdoors, life skills, and entrepreneurship. The program results in the attainment of five outcomes: strong sense of self, positive values, challenge seeking, healthy relationships, and community problem solving. Additional opportunities include self-esteem, healthy living, strong values, bullying prevention, financial literacy, and environmental science education. These programs are presented in traditional troops, day and resident camps, special events, and through in- and after-school programs and partnerships with other community organizations to underserved and at-risk populations.
Girl Scouts also partners with the Oklahoma City Public Housing Authority and the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs to provide programming in public housing and juvenile detention sites so every girl, no matter her circumstance, can have the same opportunities to succeed. In the last year, more than 2,500 girls have participated in these specific program offerings. Because it is estimated that almost one in every four Oklahoma children are living in poverty, Girl Scouts provides financial assistance to girls who could not otherwise afford to participate. Last year, 2,800 girls received financial assistance from the council.
While all programming is age-specific and built for an all-girl audience, Girl Scouts’ STEM programming has been developed specifically to engage girls. In the last five years, more than 15,000 girls in central and western Oklahoma have participated in STEM activities from learning how plants grow to developing energy conservation methods to designing and programming robots. These activities are designed to help girls build confidence in their abilities while fighting the stereotypes that keep many from pursuing their interest in STEM subjects and careers.
All Girl Scout programs emphasize giving back to the community by teaching the importance of civic engagement and helping others. Girls are encouraged to identify community issues and develop service projects to address those needs. Girl Scouts’ Girl Awards Program recognizes outstanding projects in which girls have taken the lead to provide solutions to problems in their communities.
The benefits of Girl Scouts extends beyond childhood. Girl Scouts has shaped the lives of the majority of female senior executives and business owners, two-thirds of women in Congress, and virtually every female astronaut.
The benefits of Girl Scout participation are not exclusive to any particular group or cohort: across ages/generations, former Girl Scouts have had an equal likelihood of benefiting from their experiences regardless of social class, race, or engagement in other extracurricular activities. Additionally, a national study of Girl Scout alumnae revealed that alumnae with at least three years of Girl Scout experience have completed more years of schooling than non-alumnae. Alumnae credit Girl Scouts with preparing them to face life’s challenges and opportunities with resourcefulness, ingenuity, and discipline.
Girl Scouts – Western Oklahoma’s mission to “build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place” supports all girls as they grow into strong and capable women. Thanks to Girl Scouts, girls in central and western Oklahoma are becoming leaders by learning strong values and valuable skills and making a difference in their communities and the world.”
View Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma’s website by clicking HERE