Girl Scout Leadership Experience Definitions

  1. Girl Scout Leadership Experience:  a way to engage girls in discovering themselves, connecting with others, and taking action to make the world a better place.
  2. Three Keys to Leadership (Threes steps to taking leadership)
    • Discover:  Girls understand themselves and their values and use their knowledge and skills to explore the world.
    • Connect:  Girls care about, inspire, and team with others locally and globally.
    • Take Action:  Girls act to make the world a better place.
  3. Three Girl Scout Processes In Girl Scouting, it’s not just “what girls do” (activities), but “how” (processes) they do them (activities).  When used together, these processes – Girl Led, Cooperative Learning, and Learning by Doing – ensure the quality and promote the fun and friendship so integral to Girl Scouting.  Here’s how Girl Scouts defines these processes:
    • Girl Led:  Girls lead the planning and decision-making as much as possible.  This will ensure that the girls are engaged in their learning and experience leadership opportunities as they prepare to become active participants in their local and global communities.
    • Learning by Doing:  (also known as experiential learning) A hands-on learning process that engages girls in continuous cycles of action and reflection that result in deeper understanding of concepts and mastery of practical skills.  As they participate in meaningful activities and then reflect on them, girls get to explore their own questions, discover answers, gain new skills, and share ideas and observations with others.  This helps them apply what they have learned to their future experiences.
    • Cooperative Learning:  Girls work together toward shared goals in an atmosphere of respect and collaboration that encourages the sharing of skills, knowledge, and learning.  It’ not just about sharing the glue when completing a project at a troop meeting!  Working together in all-girl environments also encourages girls to feel powerful and emotionally and physically safe, and it allows them to experience a sense of belonging even in the most diverse groups.
  4. Providing Service vs. Taking Action
    • Providing Service:  Being of service to others means being helpful – doing the right and kind thing.  That means feeding the hungry, clothing the homeless, or simply helping a friend with a tough homework assignment.  When you serve, you answer the most basic needs:  food, clothing, shelter, and care.  Service makes the world better for some people “right now”.
    • Taking Action:  When you move beyond immediate service to understand the cause of a problem, you move toward action.  When you team up and get other people involved in your effort to solve that problem, you are taking action.  Action can happen in many ways – from fixing up an animal shelter to creating a center where children who need tutoring can always get it.  Taking action makes the world better for more people for a much longer time. 
  5. Journeys:  Invite girls to explore a theme through a sequence of fun and challenging experiences.  All journeys incorporate Discover, Connect, and Take Action outcomes.  They also incorporate the processes of Girl Led, Cooperative Learning, and Learning by Doing.  They will invite girls, in partnership with volunteers, to customize their journeys locally.  Each journey will have a girl book for that particular grade level as well as a Adult Guide (for anyone who will be “joining” the journey with the girl through whichever pathway).  The inaugural journey is titled:  “It’s Your World – Change It!” Each journey will have a story associated with it as well as recognitions or awards that the girls can earn along the way if they choose.  Each journey will also have an optional keepsake item (necklace or bracelet) that can be purchased in celebration of the completion of their journey.  Two more journeys per Grade/Program level are expected in 2010.
  6. Pathways:  Pathways are the ways that girls and adults can become members of Girl Scouts.  Membership in Girl Scouts is open to anyone who accepts the Girl Scout Promise and Law and pays their National Membership Dues.  What is different about pathways is that now, girls and adults have different ways of participating.  Girls who participate only through special interest groups are every bit as much a Girl Scout as those girls who participate in traditional troops.  Adults who are leaders, providing direct service to girls are every bit as much a Girl Scout as those adults who participate through indirect service to girls (non-troop leaders who are on service team, council trainers, staff, etc.)  Currently, there are 6 suggested pathways for girls and 4 suggested pathways for adults.  GSUSA will be providing more information about these other pathways as they are developed.
  7. Outcomes:  Outcomes are intended benefits girls should receive because of their participation in the Girl Scout Movement.  15 outcomes have been identified and are grouped according to the Three Leadership Keys, Discover, Connect, and Take Action.  These 15 outcomes are the same for all 6 Girl Scout Grade/Program levels.
  8. Indicators/Signs:  Specific observable characteristics or changes that can represent achievement of a specific outcome.  Each Grade/Program level has “suggested” indicators for the girls to demonstrate attainment of the 15 outcomes. 
    • Adults who are working with girls may have other ones they would like to suggest or use when working with the girls.
    • No single program activity is expected to cover all 15 outcomes.  The attainment of these outcomes should be spread throughout the grade/program level.  However, it is important that program that is consistent with the new approach includes outcomes from each Leadership Key {Discover, Connect, and Take Action} as well as the incorporating the 3 Processes {Girl Led, Learning by Doing, Cooperative Learning}.