Public Policy and Advocacy
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.
Youth Leadership and Advocacy Opportunities
Advocacy Featured Alert
Thanks to Girl Scout members taking action, along with partnerships with others in the nonprofit sector, Girl Scouts achieved an amazing victory when the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved charitable giving legislation this past July. However, differences with the Senate stalled progress
Now, as Congress returns for a post-election session, your help is needed to encourage that these charitable tax provisions are permanent. Girl Scouts is supporting the House passed proposal in the America Gives More Act (H.R. 4719) that would extend the deadline to April 15 for making charitable contributions donated in the previous year.
You can read more and take action here!
In the News
Portraits in Leadership
Girl Scouts of the USA has released Portraits in Leadership, the first-ever video collection in which Girl Scouts interview female Members of Congress. Girl Scouts from more than 20 congressional districts met with their female representatives. Each profile offers a fascinating glimpse into the hard work, courage and conviction it takes to be a female leader, and how society can come together to support and encourage today’s girls to take up the leadership mantle in America.
Existing profiles can be viewed here, with more to be added as girls complete their interviews.
Girl Scouts Joins Intel on Capitol Hill to Reduce the Tech Gender Gap
Building on the release of a new Intel report that found “Making” can engage girls in computer science and engineering, Girl Scouts was proud to participate at a bipartisan Capitol Hill briefing focused on broadening the participation of girls and underrepresented minorities in the Maker Movement. In addition to Girl Scout members speaking, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) spoke about legislation she has introduced with the Girl Scouts to engage more girls and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields, and her support for Girl Scouts as co-chair of Troop Capitol Hill.
The Intel recent report, MakeHers: Engaging Girls and Women in Technology through Making, Creating, and Inventing, showed that girls enjoy do-it-yourself (DIY) projects and if they are engaged with making, designing, and creating things with electronic tools they will develop a stronger interest in STEM education. Anna Maria Chávez, CEO for Girl Scouts of the USA, provided a foreword to the report.
Read more on the Girl Scout blog
Hampton Girl Scouts Meet with Senator Tim Kaine
|GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller presented Senator Kaine
with the Council's STEM patch.
Girl Scout members from the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast troops 1289 and 1361 in Hampton had an opportunity to meet with US Senator Tim Kaine on August 28. They were invited to meet with him and share some of their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) experiences they have had as Girl Scouts.
Among the activities they spoke about was the Council's annual Science Alive event held at Norfolk State University where girls are allowed first-hand experiences in robotics and other STEM interests. This event was launched in 2009 with the support of the University's Provost Dr. Sandra DeLoatch, who is also a former Council Board Chair and a lifetime Girl Scout. Senator Kaine was presented with the Council's STEM patch named after Dr. DeLoatch and was asked by the girls to continue the great work he is doing to support girls involvement in STEM!
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
|Girl Scout Senior
with Vice Admiral
James D. McArthur
|US Rep. Scott Rigell
with Girl Scout Senior
of Virginia Beach
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.
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.