Category Archives: News

Nationwide Survey Finds a Disconnect Between How Teenage Girls Portray Themselves Online and in Person

Nationwide Survey Finds a Disconnect Between How Teenage Girls Portray Themselves Online and in Person

The increased exposure to social media puts teenage girls in a confusing situation where a girl’s image is not always what it seems, as nearly 74% of girls believe other girls their age use social networking sites to make themselves “cooler than they really are,” according to a national survey released by Girl Scouts of the USA.

The nationwide survey, which included more than 1,000 girls ages 14 through 17, finds that girls downplay several positive characteristics of themselves online, most prominently their intelligence, kindness, and efforts to be a positive influence. In person, girls say they come across as smart (82%), kind (76%), and a good influence (59%), whereas online, girls consider themselves fun (54%), funny (52%), and social (48%). Girls with low self-esteem are more likely to admit their social networking image doesn’t match their in-person image (33% vs. 18% of girls with high self- esteem) and are also more likely to claim that the image they portray online is sexy (22% vs. 14%) and crazy (35% vs. 28%).

“Adults and teens alike need greater understanding about the ways girls represent themselves and communicate on social networking sites,” said Kimberlee Salmond, senior researcher at the Girl Scout Research Institute. “If girls are portraying themselves differently online than they are in person, this can impact their identity, sense of self, and relationships.”

The Girl Scout survey also sheds light on the fact that a majority of girls understand their emotional safety and reputations are at risk online, yet 50% admit to not always being as careful as they should be online. Sixty-eight percent of girls have had a negative experience on a social networking site, such as having someone gossip about them or being bullied. Furthermore, many girls are concerned that they won’t get into their college of choice (42%), will miss a job opportunity (40%), and will get into trouble with parents and teachers (40%).

In contrast, the vast majority of girls prefer face-to-face communication. Ninety-two percent would give up all of their social networking friends if it meant keeping their best friend. The study also finds that social networking provides an avenue for girls to maintain better relationships and feel more connected to causes they care about. Fifty-six percent of girls agree that social networking helps them feel closer to their friends, and 36% think that social networks have increased the quality of their relationships. Fifty-two percent of girls have gotten involved in a cause they care about through a social network.

CONTACTS:
Girl Scouts of the USA
Josh Ackley 212.852.8038
[email protected]

Connie and Two YWOD Share Views on Leadership at Vision 2020 Conference

Connie and Two YWOD Share Views on Leadership at Vision 2020 Conference

GSUSA National President Connie L. Lindsey participated last week in Vision 2020′s national conference, An American Conversation About Women and Leadership. The conference, held October 21–22 at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, was comprised of nationwide representatives and various experts who discussed, debated, and developed an agenda to accelerate women’s leadership and equality in the decade to come.

During a panel discussion entitled “Philanthropy, Faith & Volunteerism,” an audience member asked, “How do you address the growing concern of women who are ‘burning out’ because of their service on boards?” to which Connie responded, “When I joined Girl Scouts’ National Board five years ago, the first question I asked was what is the ask?” She continued, “The size of your love for any organization should be matched with an impactful contribution to that organization. … It’s also important to have the courage, capacity, and the cash when thinking about which board you commit yourself to serve on.”

A gifted orator, Connie responded to a question about how one remains grounded as she/he moves up the ladder of success by asking audience members to raise their hands if they’d ever been a Girl Scout. (Dozens of hands rose.) Connie then smiled and said, “As you can see, one must have a clear foundation and a clear understanding of who one is. … We don’t all have to strive to be CEOs, and we must understand that our self-worth is not based on our net-worth.”

Along with Connie, who represented her hometown in Illinois, two Girl Scout National Girl Consultants, Morgan (2009 National Young Woman of Distinction honoree) and Natalia (2008 National Young Woman of Distinction honoree), participated in the event as national delegates, representing Georgia and Wisconsin, respectively. Connie, Morgan, and Natalia were selected from more than a thousand people who registered to nominate or become Vision 2020 national delegates. The search for delegates focused on finding women who have demonstrated a commitment to helping women and girls. These delegates were willing to mobilize resources to bring about positive change and implement elements of the decade-long Vision 2020 agenda, signing on for a minimum three-year term following the conference.

View the archived Webcast of Vision 2020’s: An American Conversation About Women and Leadership.

CONTACTS:
Girl Scouts of the USA
Shonda Prince, 212-852-8534
[email protected]

Girl Scouts of Northern California – Save Your Camps!

Girl Scouts of Northern California - Save Your Camps!

This is a guest post by Janeen Vitalie-Shember from Girl Scouts of NorCal-Save Your Camps!

It started out as a group of us at a service unit team meeting lamenting – of course! What we were lamenting was that the Girl Scouts of Northern California was reviewing all of our camp properties and talking about mothballing them, or worse, selling them. And while our Council Delegate was talking about all of the questions he’d been asked to present to us, and how small the delegate participation had been on the Council-run conference calls to talk about the situation, we realized that we really didn’t have a voice at all. We realized that there were thousands of us in the Northern California Council, with a couple of dozen Council Delegates to represent us, of which only a handful had called to participate in this crucial discussion.

So like every good Girl Scout, I decided to “take action”. I set up a Facebook group – Girl Scouts of NorCal-Save Your Camps! What better way than to provide a forum for everyone to come together to share thoughts and ideas, get connected and be heard. Then I started to spread the word, starting with my Facebook friends, troop families and spreading out to all of the leaders in my service unit. Those leaders told their troop families and friends. And soon Girl Scout leaders and alums, parents and husbands, were joining the group to show their support and share their belief that our camps are a precious commodity to be preserved.

As more and more people have joined the group, it has become an easy access point for information – Marina Park is a member of the group and posts regular updates and links to Council data. We have had discussions of solutions to the maintenance “gaps” at our camps – and have seen the launch of the “Tents and Trails” campaign. It’s been exciting to read people’s stories of their own camp experiences, and their wishes for their own daughters to have the same experiences.

In a few short months the group has grown to 194 members, and there is plenty of room to grow. I’ve set the challenge – 250 members by Labor Day. So if you feel passionately about camping, the outdoors, and the Girl Scouts’ heritage of custodians of open spaces, join – post – spread the word – be heard.

GSUSA Partners with Justine to launch 2011 R.E.A.L. Girl Contest

GSUSA Partners with Justine to launch 2011 R.E.A.L. Girl Contest

Justine Magazine, in conjunction with Girl Scouts of the USA, is launching its 2011 R.E.A.L (Remarkable. Energetic. Aspirational. Leader.) Girl contest. The R.E.A.L. Girl contest, which is open only to current Girl Scout members ages 13 to 19, will conclude in April 2011 with the winner appearing on the front cover of Justine Magazine.

This is the second year for the R.E.A.L. Girl contest. Last year’s winner, Hosanna Kabakoro from Idaho, was featured on the April/May 2010 cover and in a six-page Justine fashion spread. Also a 2009 Girl Scout National Young Woman of Distinction, Kabakoro founded 2-Way Street to Empower, aimed at enabling and encouraging refugee and at-risk immigrant youth to develop a sense of community identity in the United States.  The 2011 contest will open for entries at www.justinemagazine.com and justinespark.com on September 15, 2010, with the entry deadline in January, 2011.

“As the publisher of Justine (and a former Girl Scout), I am thrilled to once again partner with the Girl Scouts of the USA in our R.E.A.L. Girl contest.  These remarkable, energetic, aspirational leaders who give back to their communities through the Girl Scout program are to be commended and celebrated…and what better way than to make on a cover girl!” – Jana Kerr Pettey, Publisher and Editorial Director of Justine Magazine.

The launch event will take place on Wednesday, September 1 at 2:00 p.m. EST at the Girl Scout Headquarters at 420 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. and will be attended by Girl Scouts from the greater New York City area.

This fun teen event will showcase a teen fashion show featuring Girl Scouts as models; a teen issues author panel including young-adult authors Alyssa Sheinmel and Sarah Mlynowski, Dr. Robyn Silverman and Jacqueline Wales; and a special guest appearance by 18-year-old rising country artist Katie Armiger (also a former Girl Scout).

The guests will be treated to goody bags filled with merchandise from such companies as Celebrity Pink Jeans, Kmart, Scholastic Books, ABC Family, Zapzyt, Vivendi Entertainment, Random House Books and The Academy NYC –A Paul Mitchell Partner School, among others.

About Justine Magazine
Justine, the national lifestyle magazine for teen girls, is filled with fun, positive and empowering content including affordable fashion and beauty, skills to make your high school life and path to college a breeze, role-model-worthy celebs, the Spark book club just for teens and stories about teen girls like you who are changing the world! www.justinemagazine.com & www.justinespark.com

CONTACTS:
Girl Scouts of the USA
Melanie Deck 212.852.8056
[email protected]