Inspire Civil Engagement with the G.I.R.L. Agenda
Earlier this month, Girl Scouts of the USA announced a new program, the G.I.R.L. Agenda. This nonpartisan initiative aims to inspire, prepare, and mobilize girls and those who care about them to lead positive change through civic action!
The multiyear effort celebrates the Girl Scout legacy of civic engagement programming—which now includes a new badge for girls as young as five—and will provide girls and adults with tools to be catalysts for change who strengthen their communities and the world.
Civic action is all about working to make a difference for the common good. For more than 100 years, Girl Scouts has supported girls by offering resources that prepare them to lead, lift their voices, champion their views, and be advocates for the issues and ideas important to them. When it comes to improving society, every person who identifies with the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ Agenda has a role and a responsibility.
So, how can you take action on that responsibility?
Access the Civic Engagement Toolkit
Getting started can be the most difficult part. Luckily, the G.I.R.L. Agenda makes it easy to take action on issues that matter to you!
Girl Scouts of the USA has put together Civic Engagement Toolkits for girls 5-12, girls 13-17, and adults. The toolkits lay out how to get started, where to find inspiration, and how to get involved.
To sign up for the G.I.R.L. Agenda and access your Civic Engagement Toolkit, head over to GIRLagenda.org!
Get Inspired by Other Girl Scouts
Girl Scouts are doing amazing things around the country right now. Their stories can provide you with all the inspiration you need (and more!) to make a difference in your own community.
As a Michigan native, I’m especially inspired by the Brownie troop from Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan who took action to advocate for the people of Flint.
Then there’s Cassandra, a 17-year-old Ambassador, who discovered that child marriage is still legal in her home state of New Hampshire and has been fighting it ever since.
And of course, there’s our very own Ellie Leonard, who made history by finalizing the first-ever nationally recognized Girl Scout hiking trail dedicated to Juliette Gordon Low in Toledo.
To read more inspiring stories from around the country, check out the collection of Take Action stories put together by GSUSA!
Earn a Citizen Badge
In the past, Girl Scouts have been able to achieve five amazing Citizen Badges: Celebrating Community for Brownies, Inside Government for Juniors, Finding Common Ground for Cadettes, Behind the Ballot for Seniors, and Public Policy for Ambassadors.
And now, as part of the G.I.R.L. Agenda, Girl Scouts of the USA has introduced a new Good Neighbor badge just for Daisies!
By earning these badges in an all-girl, girl-led environment, girls build the confidence they need to become the civic-minded leaders of tomorrow. And who knows? Maybe we’ll see them run for office one day!
To learn more about the Citizen badges, head over to the Girl Scout Blog.
Attend a City Council Meeting
Girl Scouts are all about changing the world, and that starts at the local level! There are so many amazing ways to make a difference in your community, but one of the most concrete ways is attending and participating in your local city council meetings.
Is there something you or your girl want to see improvements on? Maybe your library needs more up-to-date books, or your local park could use a little love and attention. Speaking up about these issues at city council meeting will help your voice be heard by the right people!
These meetings are where local laws are made, budgets are finalized, and public concerns are addressed. So if you want to be involved, city council is where to start!
Never been to a city council meeting? That’s okay! Girl Scouts’ Raising Awesome Girls site has plenty of tips to calm your nerves and get you excited to show up at your city council meetings!
Start a Take Action Project
You’re feeling inspired, you’ve learned how to be an active citizen, and you’re showing up at the local level. Now let’s start taking action!
Find an issue in your community that is important to you and your girl, and start brainstorming how you can fix it! Research what’s causing it, what others have done in similar situations, and who you need to talk to to ensure your solution is the best.
And don’t forget—make sure your solution is sustainable! It’s much more helpful to implement a change that sustains itself, rather than a short-term bandage over a much bigger problem.
By making age-appropriate resources based on our proven programming accessible to all, and by providing tools to influence policy issues affecting girls, the G.I.R.L. Agenda will give hundreds of thousands of girls and adults tangible ways to take civic action on topics of their choosing, expanding the reach of civic engagement resources beyond Girl Scouts’ 2.6 million members. Because when we take small steps together—across generations—we ignite a larger, lasting effect on our world.
To advance the G.I.R.L. Agenda, and for tips on how to lead positive change through civic action, visit www.GIRLagenda.org.