Public Policy and Advocacy
Girl Scouts of the USA first established a Public Policy and Advocacy office in 1952. Since that time, the organization has worked to build strong relationships with Members of Congress, as well as with officials at the White House and federal departments and agencies.
The Girl Scouts Advocacy Network provides a tool for you to become the voice for girls and to make a difference in your community and across the nation. Girl Scout members, volunteers, boards, staff and supporters can educate policymakers and community leaders on issues that directly affect girls and the Girl Scouts. By being an advocate, you will have an impact on girl policy issues that are moving through Congress and state legislatures.
Sign up today at www.girlscouts4girls.org and begin to take action. Through this network, you can use your voice and encourage your Members of Congress to support legislation that will directly impact girls and Girl Scouts.
In the News
Advocacy Day at Camp Skimino
Virginia Delegate Brenda Pogge from James County visited Camp Skimino on July 8 and spoke to groups of girls in several camp units. She spoke about her job as a state delegate, her decision to go into public office and the need for more women to serve in leadership roles in government.
She also shared information on the Virginia Page Program where girls and boys 14 and up serve as messengers to members in the State House and Senate. It’s a real-life civics class!
Honoring Vietnam Veterans
Two outstanding Virginia Beach Girl Scout Seniors from Troop 558, Amanda Brotemarkle and Anne Fentress, volunteered on July 1 to greet guests and hand out programs at a special event held at the Virginia Beach Convention Center to honor Vietnam Vets in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.
They met and spoke with several state and national leaders including the event’s host U.S. Representative Scott Rigell, and the special Master of Ceremony Vice Admiral James D. McArthur.
Girl Scout Senior Amanda Brotemarkle with Vice Admiral James D. McArthur
US Rep. Scott Rigell with Girl Scout Senior Anne Fetrress of Virginia Beach
On February 27, 2014, a delegation of girl and adult members from GSCCC attended an annual Virginia Girl Scout Legislative Day in Richmond.
A “milk and cookies” reception was held in the morning at the General Assembly Building where state delegates and senators had an opportunity to visit with various Girl Scout staff, volunteers and girl members from throughout Virginia. Introductions in the House and Senate followed the reception.
A special visit with Virginia Secretary of Education Ann Holton was held in the afternoon to discuss Girl Scout program initiatives in science, technology, engineering and math, as well as a new initiative that addresses bullying – Be a Friend First. This annual event allows Girl Scouts on leadership tracks who are interested in advocacy to speak with legislators and to help Girl Scouts promote efforts that create positive change in girls’ lives.
GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller, Girl Scout Cadettes Zoe and Lily from Chesapeake, Girl Scout Junior Sianna from Norfolk, Virginia Secretary of Education Ann Holton (a former Girl Scout), Girl Scout Ambassador Megan and Girl Scout Seniors Anne and Amanda from Virginia Beach, and CEO of Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia Viola Baskerville.
The State of Girls
The State of Girls: Unfinished Business is a new study released by the Girl Scout Research Institute. It charts the disparities that cleave the girl experience along racial and ethnic lines. Conducted in conjunction with the Population Reference Bureau, the report contains current national statistical indicators focused on key issues such as health, safety, and educational achievement of girls, as well as demographic trends.
There is promising news for girls regarding their educational attainment; extracurricular, volunteer, and pro-social activities; reduction of risk behaviors; and connection to the digital world. However, the report also demonstrates that many girls are being left behind: they struggle in their everyday lives at school, at home, and in other social environments with issues such as relational aggression, bullying, and depression. Read the report at http://www.girlscouts.org/research/publications/stateofgirls/
Chesapeake Girl Scout Speaks at Congressional Briefing on the State of Girls
On March 20, Girl Scout Cadette Lily from Chesapeake was proud to be the only girl invited to speak at a national congressional briefing hosted by Girl Scouts of the USA Troop Capitol Hill. The briefing was scheduled to highlight the findings of the Girl Scout Research Institute’s report, The State of Girls: Unfinished Business. Lily was invited to share her personal journey with the Girl Scout Leadership Experience and her experience as a member of the GSCCC advocacy committee.
Girl Scout Cadette Lily, center, with Sally Schaeffer, director of public policy for Girl Scouts of the USA, left, and Dr. Kamla Modi, a research and outreach analyst with the Girl Scout Research Institute at a congressional briefing on March 20.
Support Healthy Media Images for Girls!
A campaign created in partnership with Girl Scouts of the USA, The Creative Coalition, National Cable & Telecommunications Association, and the National Association of Broadcasters has resulted in the production of Watch What You Watch, a PSA that encourages all of us to pay attention to the media images that are influencing the nation's youth.