INITIATIVES & RESEARCH
Measuring the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, and using what we find to innovate programs and practices.
Read the findings of the Simmons College/Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts collaborative research, "Dreaming Big: Making the Case for Girls," published November 2014.
"Girls’ Challenge Seeking: How Outdoor Exposure can Support Girls in Taking Positive Risks," co-authored by GSEM's Karyn Martin and GSUSA's Kallen Tsikalas, is the lead article the Spring 2015 edition of After School Matters.
Who's that Girl? Image and Social Media Research Study
This Nationwide survey, which included more than 1,000 girls ages 14 to 17, finds the increased exposure to social media puts teenage girls in a confusing situation where a girl's image is not always what is seems, as nearly 74 percent of girls agree that most girls use social networking sites to make themselves "cooler than they really are." The survey finds that girls downplay several positive characteristics of themselves online, most prominently their intelligence, kindness and efforts to be a positive influence. The survey finds that girls downplay several positive characteristics of themselves online, most prominently their intelligence, kindness and efforts to be a positive influence.
These feelings among others related to emotional safety online and the impact of social media on girls' relationships are further spelled out in:
Facts and Findings
The following insights are based on statistics for girls and youth from various sources such as the Girl Scout Research Institute, Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Education Statistics, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Monitoring the Future, and other public agencies, Web sites, and publications.
What benefits do girls who are Girl Scouts gain through participation in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience? What is the impact of the Girl Scout Cookie Program, STEM initiatives, and Outdoor experiences on girls? What about the long-term benefits of Girl Scouting? This report summarizes the benefits of being a Girl Scout.
Through our Girl Scout Leadership Experience, girls develop courage, confidence and character:
- Girl Scouts learn courage when they take active roles in their communities and speak out when they care about issues.
- Girl Scouts build confidence as they understand their strengths and become empowered to make a difference in their own lives.
- Girl Scouts acquire character when they act with integrity and compassion, making decisions that promote the well-being of themselves and others.
Exploring Girls' Leadership
The Girl Scout Research Institute's new research review, "Exploring Girls' Leadership," analyzes the literature from the youth development and youth leadership fields and contrasts continued misperceptions with youths' realities and community approaches to leadership in the field. It also suggests areas for further study, such as the aspirational gap faced by girls who see themselves as leaders today but don't necessarily aspire to leadership roles as adults. In addition, the review gives voice to girls by including findings from a small online survey and focus group of girls around the country.
Read the Exploring Girls Leadership research.
What Girls Scouts Are Saying...
- Because of Girl Scout programs, 3 out of 4 girls report they discovered something positive in everyone in their group.
- 9 out of 10 girls say they used the values of the Girl Scout Promise and Law at their Girl Scout program.
- 4 out of 5 girls say they learned a skill they will use again in the future.
- At Girl Scout programs, 58% of girls say they learned something they can do to make the world a better place.
Girl Scouts Make a Difference
"Because of the hard work I did on my Gold Award Project, I know that anything is possible with dedication and commitment to something you believe in."
The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award that a Girl Scout can achieve. The Gold Award is something that fulfills a need within a girl's community whether local or global, creates change, and is something that becomes ongoing. The project is more than a good service project--it encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills.