RALEIGH — It’s the start of the school year for many girls, and there’s no better time for a fresh start and a clean slate. With so many things going on — from after-school activities, sports, dance, music lessons, and more — it’s never too early (or too late) to provide girls with the tools they need to live their best life.
“As the largest girl-led organization in central and eastern North Carolina, Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines offers girls amazing opportunities to build confidence and take on world through challenging themselves in a safe all-girl environment,” commented, Jodi Gilbert, communications manager for Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines.
According to the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI), there is a profound gap between the knowledge and skills most youth learn in school and the knowledge and skills needed in 21st century communities and workplaces. Now more than ever, girls need a broad set of skills, behaviors, and attitudes to effectively navigate their environment, work well with others, performs their best, and achieve their goals. Girl Scouts provides research-proven programming that helps girls cultivate the important skills they need to take the lead in their own lives and the world.
The Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE), the foundation of the Girl Scout program, features a variety of fun, challenging, and experiential activities that empower girls as they develop five attitudes, skills, and behaviors essential to effective leadership including a strong sense of self, positive values, challenging seeking, healthy relations, and community problem solving.
“My favorite part of being a Girl Scout is getting to learn new things” said Girl Scout Cadette, Yasmine Benson. “So far, I’ve learned how to manage money. I think other girls should become Girl Scouts so they can learn new things and help make the world a better place.”
At any age, parents want their girls to succeed whether that is in the classroom or overcoming obstacles in the real-world. Girls aren’t alone in facing new challenges, which is why Girl Scouts is helping families and parents by providing six helpful tips that all girls should know.
Six Things All Girls Should Know
1. Where to Draw Boundaries – Parents want their daughters to be courteous, respectful, and kind, but there’s a difference between that and being a doormat for others to take advantage of. Parents should talk to their girls now about different types of scenarios even if they haven’t come up yet. By providing girls with the skills they need to stand up for themselves, it will help build their confidence. When a girl can simply say “no” without feeling the need to give excuses or apologizes – it takes confidence.
2. The Art of Managing Money – Understanding how to manage money isn’t just a nice-to-know, it’s a necessity for this generation. Help younger girls separate their allowance into amounts they’ll save, spend, or donate will set the groundwork for success. Then when girls get a little older, giving them a budget and having their plan her own birthday party will take that decision-making to the next level. Financial literacy will not only help girls understand the value of a dollar, but also help ensure that they’ll be on secure financial footing for life. A prime example in Girl Scouts would the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Girls develop a budget, take cookie orders, handle customers’ money, and gain valuable practical life skills.
3. When (and Who) to Call for Help – As early as possible, all children should know to call 911 in the case of an emergency—but what about when the girl is older? Will girls feel comfortable calling a parent or another trusted adult for help in an emergency situation where they might disapprove of their actions or who they are spending time with? It’s imperative to make sure kids know that even if they use poor judgment, the adults in their lives love them and prioritize their safety above all else.
4. How to Avoid Burnout – Everyone knows someone that is notorious for over-booking themselves. Plan ahead, provide girls with a kid-friendly calendar to keep in their room and let them update it with birthday party invites, soccer matches, school project due dates, and anything else going on in their world. Time management and balance are obviously super important in the working world, but as we all know, they go a long way in keeping yourself healthy and happy, too.
5. The Ability to Keep Moving – Whether they are on a bike, navigating transit, or in a car, girls should know how to get out of a fix. Girls should learn how to repair their own bike, read a map, and change a flat on the family car when they’re old enough. Even if they’re not that excited to learn this stuff now, they’ll thank you later.
6. How to be Heard – Girls can have 1,000 great ideas, but if they don’t communicate them in a way that will make people listen, they’re not going to help them much. Practice makes perfect. Parents should practice with their girls so they learn how to introduce themselves with confidence when they meet new people face-to-face, help them understand basic strategies of making a compelling argument, and work on direct communication of facts, ideas, and feelings. Finally, talk them through the admittedly sometimes confusing world of social media, texts, emails, phone calls, and—yes!—even the hand-written letter, versus when an in-person chat is best. People skills like these will help them ace that college interview, launch themselves into their dream career, and have healthy relationships with friends and partners as they grow up.
To learn more about opportunities offered by Girl Scouts – North Carolina Pines visit www.nccoastalpines.org.