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Girl Scout Traditions: We Are Girl-Led!

Girl Scouts has been girl-led since its beginning, when our founder Juliette Gordon Low answered the question “what should girls do?” with a very simple “what do the girls want to do?” And we’re still following Juliette’s lead over a hundred years later!

How? Here’s just a couple of ways girls are leading the way and choosing their adventures in Girl Scouts!

Girls’ Choice Badges

Our girls want outdoor experiences and badges! How do we know? Girl Scouts of the USA polled girls on Girls’ Choice badges and 3 years in a row they’ve chosen outdoor themed badges, with Troop Camping as the newest one coming in fall 2017.

Many thanks to everyone who helped make this girl-led by sharing the poll with their girls! Because of your efforts, Daisies will get a first taste of the camping fun and excitement in their first-ever Girls’ Choice badge, and then the Brownie through Ambassador badges will build on that foundation.

Want to vote on the new badge designs? From February 13-17, 2017 girls can vote on the designs for their age level badge. Share the badge design poll link with your girls and help girls across the nation choose!

G.I.R.L. 2017!

Our national convention is coming to Columbus this year, and of course we’ve got our girls helping plan this momentous occasion! The Girl Planning Committee is made up of 21 girls from 13 different states who’ve been diligently brainstorming and giving ideas on exhibits for the Hall of Experience, topics for girl-centered sessions, and even locations for the convention overnight.

It’s going to be an awesome weekend of girl-planned fun!

Western Ohio Girl Planning Opportunities

National initiatives are great, but what’s happening in western Ohio? While we welcome feedback from girl members through things like event evaluations, annual surveys, and our girl board members, we also have some girl planning committees for Cadettes, Seniors, and Amabassadors that are looking for fresh faces and new ideas!

Here’s how to get your girls involved:

Southern CSA Association: Get involved with this group of older girls dedicated to challenging themselves, serving others, and having fun! In this group you can help plan outdoor adventures, service activities, and other fun events for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors.

The group meets from 1-3 p.m on the 3rd Sunday of every month from September through May at the Cincinnati Girl Scout Center. Contact Cindy Smith at cindysmith@gswo.org for more information.

2018 Winter Conference Planning Team: Apply to join a fun committee that builds your leadership as you help plan the annual winter conference held Presidents’ Day weekend in Blue Ash, OH! Girls from all over the council are welcome to apply, attend the monthly planning meetings (new this year is the option for meetings to be conducted online via GoToMeeting), and use their talents and skills to make the 2018 Winter Conference the best one yet!

Contact Cindy Smith at cindysmith@gswo.org for more information on the requirements for participation and to request an application.

New 2018 Fall Leadership Conference Planning Team: Join the brand new planning team for our November 2018 conference at Camp Libbey. You’ll plan the conference theme, workshop sessions, food, and extra activities! The committee plans to meet monthly from April to November.

Interested girls should contact Rebecca Sarantou at rebeccasarantou@gswo.org.

New Cadette, Senior and Ambassador Association now forming! Girls in the North Region are invited to join this new club to help shape additional fun for next year! This group will learn about event-planning skills that will be put to the test as you create your own event. What do you want to do?  You can be as active as you want to be! Come share your ideas and let’s start planning and doing things that you want. Meetings will be once a month beginning April 27th at 4:30 pm.

Contact Rebecca Sarantou at rebeccasarantou@gswo.org.

Troop Level Girl Planning

Now that you know some ways girl-led is happening on the national and council level, you’re likely wondering what girl-led looks like at the troop level. Is it always letting girls choose everything? Does every snack, game, and activity require a girl vote? Not necessarily, especially for younger girls who need more guidance making choices that take into account the time, location, and budget of the group.

As the video “Having Fun With Purpose” reminds us, girl-led simply means letting girls shape the experiences they have in Girl Scouts by asking questions, offering ideas, and using their imaginations. Sounds doable, right? And the best part is as girls grow older, the level of planning that they are capable of will increase and the amount of guidance they need from their adult leaders will decrease. Awesome, right?


So are your girls ready to lead? We can’t wait to see what girls in western Ohio do when they take the lead!

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