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Cookies, Building Character and Girls Changing the World – A Conversation with Betty A. Garger

“Girl Scouts wants to develop young women of character to become the leaders and builders of tomorrow,” says Betty. “Girls learn best in an environment that is both nurturing and safe but is also challenging. Courageous women need to learn when it is appropriate to take risks, and that it is OK to fail,” she adds, ”and that’s what scouting offers.”

I bet many of us look forward to the annual Girl Scout cookie sale. I know I do. I also bet that for many of us, the cookie sale represents what the Girl Scouts is all about. In this interview Betty Garger, president and CEO of Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey will crumble that notion in a hurry!

Girl Scouts and scouting are so much more than cookie sales (although, did you know that over 50% of female entrepreneurs and business owners are Girl Scout alums? You’ll never look at a Thin Mint in the same way...) Entrepreneurship is just one way Girl Scouts seeks to develop young women of courage, character and confidence.

A lot has happened from the establishment of the first girl scout troop over 100 years ago. In this episode, Betty shares how Girl Scouts serves the 1.7 million girls currently involved in scouting. In addition to instilling entrepreneurship, scouting focuses on life skills, leadership, outdoors and, importantly for girls, STEM.

We also chat about:

  • The G.I.R.L. in girl scouting. (Hint: Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk-taker and Leader)
  • Why learning-by-doing is such an important philosophy in developing confidence in young women and girls.
    How Girl Scouts defines risking-taking and why it believes it is such an important skill for young women and girls to learn
  • Why programs that are girl-led and girl-centered are so much better for developing girls into leaders than gender-neutral programs.
  • The hard work Girl Scouts is doing to be known for diversity and inclusion.
  • The how (and) why Girls Scouts has taken positions on some very important issues of the day, including Black Lives Matter.
  • The importance of Girl Scouts’ L.E.A.D. Outreach Initiative, and why it matters to girls in underserved communities.

And so much more…

Resources

Do you know a courageous young woman?

Find out more about Betty, Girl Scouts and Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey at:

www.gsnnj.org

Here’s where you can reach Betty:

BGarger@gsnnj.org

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