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Girl Scouts of Raintree Council recently joined nearly 4 million adult and girl members throughout the nation in celebrating Girl Scout Week.
This year's national observance marked the 97th anniversary of the founding of Girl Scouting by Juliette Gordon Low March 12, 1912.
Over the years, Girl Scout programs have made a lasting impact on girls' lives by providing activities that help build the courage, confidence and character girls need to grow into confident adults who make the world a better place.
In keeping with its tradition of meeting the changing needs of girls, Girl Scouts recently debuted the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, a curriculum that fosters specific leadership qualities such as self-esteem, positive values, critical thinking, community spirit and the ability to educate and inspire.
The Girl Scout Leadership Experience takes girls beyond single-interest badges into a series of themed activities based on the understanding that a true leader needs to do three things: discover herself and her values; connect to care about, inspire and team with others and take action to make the world a better place.
Girls can participate in Girl Scouting through several flexible pathways - as a member of a troop or group that meets regularly, by attending resident or day camp or a council event, going on a trip or joining a special-interest group.
In 1912, when Girl Scouts was founded, girls' paths in life were limited by their social standing, as well as by traditional attitudes about the role of women in society.
Low encouraged girls to prepare not only for homemaking, but also for future roles as professional women in the arts, sciences, and business, and for active citizenship.
Today, Girl Scouts of the USA has more than 3 million members and is the premier leadership experience for girls and the leading authority on girls' healthy development.
Girl Scouts travel the world, learn 21st century business skills, and prepare for a high-tech future. The Girl Scout Leadership Experience reaches girls in every zip code, including locations in public housing, homeless shelters, juvenile detention centers, women's prisons, immigrant communities and isolated rural areas.
Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries.
For more information on how to join Girl Scouts, volunteer, reconnect or donate to the organization, call (800) 478-7248) or visit www.girlscouts.org.
This column was submitted by Girl Scouts of the Raintree Council and its chairwoman, Jane Wittmer Kuhn.