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.Read More
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
Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), one of the most well known and well loved organizations in the nation, is revitalizing and reenergizing its brand to reach a new generation of girls.
After extensive research and development, Girl Scouts debuted today a long-term, multichannel brand campaign that is designed to reacquaint the country with the iconic organization and communicate the power girls have to change the world through Girl Scouting. The campaign is also keyed to boosting the number of girls and adult volunteers who participate in Girl Scouting annually after a period of declining membership.
“A revitalized and energized brand is absolutely essential for us and our future growth,” said Kathy Cloninger, Chief Executive Officer of GSUSA. “About one out of every 10 girls participates in Girl Scouting and that’s a tremendous number when you think about it. But that also means that we have a great opportunity to grow even after almost 100 years. We have literally revamped our entire organization to appeal to that 90 percent of girls who aren’t benefiting from the Girl Scout leadership experience. And with our new brand work, we think we have the right message at the right time.”
The branding, in the works as part of the organization’s comprehensive transformation that began in 2004, is composed of a striking new visual identity, which includes a distinctive trefoil mark, revised color palette, and refreshed logo that was originally created in the 1970s by the legendary designer Saul Bass. In addition, the initiative also includes plans for a 360 degree marketing program that taps the online, place-based and traditional media.
As part of the new campaign, Girl Scouts also has developed Spanish-language advertising to target the Hispanic market, one of the few girl populations in the country that is growing. GSUSA already has secured more than $10 million in donated exposure in Spanish-language media ranging from Telemundo to People en Español. In its general market campaign, Girl Scouts is working to secure $30 million in pro bono placements from national online and in-mall and airport outlets, as well as traditional broadcast and print media.
“What we’re doing with this initiative is repositioning Girl Scouts with a message that is relevant to girls and the lives they lead today,” said Laurel Richie, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President at GSUSA. “To some degree, our brand had faded and our research revealed that while many girls and parents knew about us, they had a very limited view of us. While we are proud of our $700 million cookie business run by girls, we offer so much more than that, and this new work is designed to let people know about all the new and exciting things girls do every day as Girl Scouts.
“Our brand promise is that Girl Scouts gives every girl access to life-changing experiences that inspire her to do something big. That’s a promise we keep every day, and you don’t have to look much further than our National Young Women of Distinction and Gold Award earners to see evidence of that.”
Girl Scouts has already implemented major changes in recent years as part of its Core Business Strategy, which was developed under Cloninger’s leadership to turn around the organization amid changing demographics and a gradual decline in membership. In just the past few years, the organization has realigned its federated system of 312 councils to 112. Those councils now operate with bigger budgets and are able to draw on economies of scale. And in 2008, the organization rolled out the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, a program that every Girl Scout will engage in from the youngest Girl Scout Daisy to the eldest Girl Scout Ambassador.
The Girl Scout Leadership Experience also features a series of 15 outcomes, or benefits, that for the first time in the organization’s history will allow Girl Scouts to gauge how well its program is working in terms of developing key leadership skills in girls.
Richie said that Girl Scouting is launching its rebranding from a position of strength because it can draw upon strong name recognition and a long legacy of leadership development. With this new campaign and the projected growth in overall girl population in the United States, Girls Scouts expects to see its membership begin to increase over the next few years. The campaign will also pave the way, Richie said, for a major effort to gain exposure during the organization’s national centennial celebration in 2012.
Girl Scouts of the USA
Josh Ackley 212.852.8038
I received this email today from Josie Duckett-Boyd & I want to pass it on to all former Girl Scouts for your assistance.
Children are consuming more media than ever. Most 8- to 18-year-olds spend about 10 hours a day using recreational media (i.e. television, computers, video games). Unfortunately, current media images of girls and women can encourage unrealistic standards that distract girls from what is important and make it harder for girls to believe in themselves.
The need for more positive images of girls in the media is clear. A recent survey by Girl Scouts Research Institute, Girls and Body Image (2010), found that nearly 90 percent of girls say the media places a lot of pressure on teenage girls to be thin. When they do not measure up to these unrealistic beauty standards, their self-esteem, body image, and physical health can be significantly damaged. Moreover girls and women of color are disproportionately absent from mainstream media. Only 32 percent of African American girls agree that fashion models represent girls of color. Overall, girls say they just want to see more “natural” and “real” images in the media.
To improve girls’ lives, Girl Scouts is raising awareness about the importance of promoting healthy media messages about girls and women. Over the past few months, the GSUSA Public Policy and Advocacy Office worked closely with Congresswomen Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Shelley Moore Capitol (R-WV) to introduce the Healthy Media for Youth Act: H.R.4925.
The bill is a critical step towards ensuring girls, and all youth, benefit from seeing healthier and more positive messages about girls and women. This bipartisan legislation supports media literacy programs, promotes research on the effects of media images, and encourages the adoption of voluntary guidelines to promote healthier media images for young people.
What YOU can do:
Join the Girl Scouts Advocacy Network to encourage your U.S. Representative to be a voice for girls and support H.R. 4925! Please sign up today!
Spread the word: visit us on the Healthy Media for Youth Act Facebook page.
Girl Scout Dominique Napolitano testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Healthy Families and Communities Subcommittee on the issue of cyberbullying on Thursday, June 24, providing legislators a teenager’s perspective on the increasingly widespread practice.
“Cyberbullying is not just a phase or behavior in which kids will be kids,” Napolitano told the panel chaired by U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY). “Cyberbullying poses serious consequences to the health and safety of all children.”
Dominique was among a core group of Girl Scouts who helped develop LMK, a leading online safety Web site developed by Girl Scouts in collaboration with Microsoft’s Windows division. The site is unique because it is designed to cover such topics as cyberbullying, online sexual predators and cybersecurity from the perspective of young people. Twenty-three Girl Scouts working with Internet safety expert Parry Aftab have developed the online safety tips and advice for parents and young boys and girls.
In addition to Dominique, the panel heard testimony from syndicated talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw, as well as Aftab, who contributed to the LMK Web site, and educators from around the country.
“I know from my experience that kids don’t always think that adults understand their issues or get technology,” Dominique said. “So we need to empower youth to take this problem into our own hands and find solutions that work for us. I feel that I’ve had that experience through Girl Scouts, my youth group, and in school, but far too many kids don’t get that chance.”
Her testimony drew media coverage in newspapers and television stations. A story appears in the Boston Herald, and Dominique’s testimony is available on YouTube.
You can also check out photos of Dominique at the hearing at the Wall Street Journal.Read More