NEW YORK, Aug. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As summer winds down and families across the country prepare for the coming school year, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) is working closely with its 112 local councils to encourage more girls and adult volunteers to add Girl Scouts to their extracurricular activities this year, and join the country's preeminent leadership development organization for girls. The recruitment effort coincides with the organization's release of new data that demonstrates the personal, social, and scholastic benefits both girls and volunteers receive by participating in Girl Scouts.
Results of a summer 2014 pulse poll conducted with more than 3,500 volunteers and parents of Girl Scouts in the K−5 age range show positive effects on members of all ages. Ninety-seven percent of parents agree that Girl Scouts has been a positive activity for their daughter, that she has had fun and exciting new experiences (95 percent), and that she has learned or tried something new (96 percent). In addition, 94 percent of parents say that because of Girl Scouts, their daughter feels special, has more friends (95 percent), is more confident (90 percent), and is happier (89 percent).
While GSUSA boasts more than two million members nationwide, there are more than 30,000 girls on waiting lists who want to join Girl Scouts but can't because there are not enough volunteers in local communities to help deliver the Girl Scout experience. Data shows it is not just girls who benefit from participating in the organization: 94 percent of volunteers have made new friends, 88 percent believe their life is better because they volunteer with Girl Scouts, and two-thirds believe their volunteer experience has helped them professionally. Ninety-five percent of Girl Scout volunteers are happy knowing they are making girls' lives better.
"Girl Scouts has provided a safe, fun, and engaging place for girls and adult volunteers to lead and thrive for over 100 years," said Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. "We know the majority of volunteers feel their Girl Scout experience has helped them both personally and professionally, but in many places throughout the country, the lack of volunteers is what keeps girls on waiting lists. Every adult who volunteers for Girl Scouts can help us bring fun, new experiences to at least five girls. Imagine what that can do to shape the next generation of female leaders."
Girl Scouts gives girls a place to explore topics of interest in a judgment-free space outside of classroom confinements, and it cultivates cooperative and self-directed learning, as well as the growth mindset (the understanding that intelligence and talent can be developed)—all of which help foster a lifetime passion for learning. The variety of experiences and the value for the money the Girl Scout program provides are also popular selling points. Eighty-nine percent of parents say their daughter gets a greater variety of experiences from Girl Scouts than she does from other extracurricular activities, and the majority of parents feel Girl Scouts is a great value for the money compared to other extracurricular activities. Overall, parents consider Girl Scouts one of the most beneficial extracurricular activities for their daughter.
"The value of the all-girl, girl-led environment offered by Girl Scouts cannot be overstated, and is so important to the social-emotional and personal development of girls," said Dr. Andrea Bastiani-Archibald, Chief Girl Expert at Girl Scouts of the USA. "Girl Scouts is a place where girls are free to be girls; to try new things, experiment, and have fun learning from and leading one another. There is no other leadership development program in the world that offers girls this inclusive, safe space, without the distractions and pressures of school and other social settings."
Girl Scouts is open to all girls from kindergarten through grade 12. The more adults step forward to volunteer, the more girls will get the chance to be a Girl Scout. Adults over age 18 may become volunteers, and both girls and adult volunteers can join at any time of the year. Girl Scout volunteers come from all walks of life; they are men, women, young professionals, retirees, college students, and more. To join or volunteer, please visit: www.girlscouts.org/join.
About Girl Scouts of the USA
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls, with 3.2 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls' healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer or reconnect with, or donate to Girl Scouts, visit www.girlscouts.org.
SOURCE Girl Scouts of the USA