A Place for Girls to Be Girls: A Time-tested Leadership Model

“Most of a girl’s life is co-ed, we provide a Girl Scout Difference to give girls a safe space with positive role models.”


Editor’s Note: Girl Scouts is the world’s premier girl leadership development organization. Now more than ever, it is important to emphasize and acknowledge Girl Scouts’ focus on supporting the development of girls into strong, confident women—which GSGLA CEO Lise L. Luttgens highlights in her message from October 2017 below.

Dear Girl Scouts, Friends, and Supporters:

On the day we celebrate girls all around the world, International Day of the Girl, we’re reminded of how proud we are to champion the cause of girls—and how vital it is to provide girls with a safe space of their own to learn and grow.

Built on a mission to inspire girls to empower themselves and the idea that girls are the experts on issues that affect girls, Girl Scouts has been the authority on and an incubator of girls’ leadership and healthy development for more than 100 years.

The Girl Scout Leadership Experience is a one-of-a-kind development program for girls with proven results. It is based on tested methods and programming that help girls take the lead—in their own lives and in the world. Our curriculum and programs are developed specifically with and for girls. From coding to camping, everything we do in Girl Scouts is girl-led and girl-focused, in girl-only spaces that offer a necessary safe environment, which, as research shows, is exactly how girls thrive and learn best.

Girl Scouts provides specific, research-backed, girl-centered programs for each and every grade level and stage in a girl’s life. It is a holistic all-girl program that builds as girls progress through each grade level, culminating with the prestigious Girl Scout Gold Award. (Psst, check out this Gold Award video from some amazing GSGLA Gold Award recipients).

In Girl Scouts, girls don’t just learn a skill—our curriculum is focused on developing healthy risk-taking, empathy, goal-setting, and confidence so that girls are prepared to overcome obstacles they might face as leaders in their careers and lives.

Most of a girl’s life is co-ed, we provide a Girl Scout Difference to give girls a safe space with positive role models. The emotional, girl-inclusive space offered by Girl Scouts fosters collaboration instead of competition, promotes support among girls, and a place where they are free to be themselves without the pressures and social anxiety that can result from a mixed-gender environment.

Furthermore, Girl Scouts offers parents and care-givers expert, time-tested guidance on raising girls today, including easy everyday ways they can help their girls build the leadership, values, and skills promoted through Girl Scouts. Countless parents have shared that through Girl Scouts, their daughters have tested the waters with voicing their opinions and taking action, and that it has given them the confidence and resilience to pursue those challenges out in the world.

Girl Scouts understands this and offers programming specifically designed with girls in mind, not with girls as an afterthought. Now, more than ever, we must make sure today’s girls are acquiring the courage, confidence, character, and the skills they need to take the reins of leadership in the 21st century.

We look forward to working together to assure we continue to uplift and inspire girls.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Lise L. Luttgens
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles

For more information download the Girl Scout Impact Study or find more research data here.

9 comments on “A Place for Girls to Be Girls: A Time-tested Leadership Model”

  1. Totally, disappointment with the Boy Scouts decision to recruit and accept girls! Boys and Girls need a safe place to grow and develop. What a liberal
    mindlessly decision towards boosting their numbers . A wiser descion would have been to seek support from NFL players to assist in promote and funding their program in an effort to get young unguided boys “off of the streets!”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Both my daughters are proud products of the Girl Scouts. Their achievements in Girl Scouts and as young adults are all a parent can ask for. One daughter is the explorer, adventurer and an out of the box individual. She did a day sail on the brigantines in San Pedro, age 10. She ran with this activity and became the youngest to pass the certification to be classified as crew. Fast forward, her first job out of college was as crew on the National Geographic Expedition cruises. Currently, she will be teaching English in China and leaving soon. My second daughter, special needs, totally different. She was goal driven in Emerging Leaders and her proudest moments was marching in the Girl Scout Anniversary Rose Parade. She is independently and successfully attending college. Thank you Girl Scouts and all those wonderful leaders that have helped my daughters to become the young women they are.


  3. Boy Scouts of America have had issues with acceptance of Gay Youth and Gay men as leaders. They also allowed young male youth to attend what I viewed as a Republican Political Rally that came across as a Dictator Rally by Trump himself. I feel strongly that the organization is attempting to use females and to benefit from Girl Scouts to bolster their faltering reputation.


  4. I have two daughters now lifetime college students and a son in Boy Scouts. I love each program and see the benifit of both organizations. I do think separation of gender allow both boys and girls to flourish.


  5. One the best parenting decisions I made was making a difference with my daughter though Girl Scouts. I am a troop leader and my daughter just earned her Gold Award. I enjoyed the female friendships made and appreciate the inspiration provided by other female leaders.


  6. I think it’s a great thing that girls will now have a choice of either organization. If they have a strong girl scout troop and they want the all-girl environment, they can join that. If, as in our case, the local girl scout troop is very weak and the boy scout troop is much stronger in development and leadership activities, then they can join that instead. It’s a no-lose development. This will only push girl scout troops to step up. We need girls learning to build things, not baking cookies.


  7. Girls are competing with boys in classroom settings every day. No reason for girls to engage in another competitive activity. In our family: 3 grown-up Girl Scouts (before there was Gold Award they all earned 1st Class), one a troop leader, and a Gold Award granddaughter. Keep our all-girl organization.
    ~Ann Neilson


  8. I have two Girl Scouts and a Boy Scout in my house and I am a GS leader. Both organizations have a lot to offer… but I am kind of glad this is coming up because these things often bring about needed change. Three things Girl Scouts should consider changing:
    1. Drop the copious amounts of paperwork and permission slips not required by Boy Scouts. Volunteers are busy, this takes way too much time from the main mission.
    2. I don’t mind cookies, but I resent “fall product”. Scouts shouldn’t focus so much on sales- it seems like taking advantage of kids and families to build GS organization’s finances. My son never had to sell anything.
    3. Girl Scouts could be more family oriented. I constantly see “no tagalongs”, “everyone must be a registered Girl Scout,” etc. Moms are discouraged from attending with their daughters. Boy Scouts have many events to which whole family is included.


    1. Hi Sandi – Thank you for sharing your feedback. While we have made major improvements to our processes via streamlined technology and improved customer service, steps we require—some of which you mention (additionally, no Girl Scout is required to participate in product sales)—are in place for the safety of girls, which is an extremely important priority for our organization. These precautions help keep our girls safe and our organization sound, something other organizations might take for granted.


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