Girl Scout Outreach
In an effort to serve communities historically underserved by traditional Girl Scout programs, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council (GSSJC) launched our first outreach programs for elementary school-aged girls in 1987. In 1992, with funds raised from the council’s first-ever gala, Urban Campout, GSSJC’s outreach programs were expanded to serve older girls. Since then, these programs have received educator awards and grown to serve over 20,000 girls annually. We are deeply grateful for the many funders who make this work possible for our community’s girls.
Girl Scout Outreach is tailored to meet the changing needs, challenges and interests of today’s girls. These staff-led programs provide underserved girls living in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods an opportunity to participate in Girl Scouting – an opportunity they might not otherwise have due to limited access to volunteer resources. Girls gain skills that will help them reach their full potential, equipping them to be leaders in their own homes, schools and communities and excel academically.
Girl Scout Outreach – Inspire Me: These programs, delivered in schools and community centers, give our elementary school-aged girls a foundational Girl Scout experience. Girls are inspired to build new skills and learn to live by the Girl Scout Promise and Law. Each year, the council provides a variety of activities and curricula that allow younger girls to explore topics such as safety, leadership, health and fitness, personal hygiene, self-esteem, multiculturalism, science and the arts. Girl Scout staff members perform the role of troop leaders and meet with girls during or after school. Together, they complete activities and requirements for badges and journeys developed specifically to meet the girls’ needs and interests.
Here's what girls say they like about Girl Scouts Outreach – Inspire Me:
- Girl Scouts helped me to be more positive.
- Never give up on yourself.
- Being different is good, be yourself.
- It’s nice to meet new people to interact with. I made more friends here.
- I like being here because I can be myself.
- What I like about Girl Scouts is that they teach us new things.
Girl Scout Outreach – Empower Me: Middle and high school girls explore contemporary issues relevant to healthy adolescent development. Trained staff present age-appropriate curriculum designed to combat negative peer pressure, teen pregnancy, sexual harassment and dating violence. These programs empower girls to become self-aware, develop positive self-esteem, improve conflict resolution skills and engage in healthy relationships, build cybersecurity skills and stay safe online, foster confidence and leadership skills, set goals for their future, and make a difference in their community.
Here’s what girls had to say following the 2019-2020 Girl Scouts Outreach – Empower Me program:
- Girl Scouts helps us talk about problems girls are going through and makes us feel heard.
- I liked that we talked about loving yourself and body positivity.
- It gives girls ideas on what to do in different situations and gives a great overall confidence boost. It’s a very helpful program!
- I like Girl Scouts because not only do we learn, it’s also very fun.
- Girl Scouts helped me feel important, special, and good about myself.
Girl Scout Outreach – Empower Me at Harris County Juvenile Detention Center System: This program provides specialized programming for girls ages 11-17 years old who are incarcerated in the Harris County Juvenile Detention Center system. Meetings are held with the girls at two facilities, the downtown Juvenile Detention Center, where girls are awaiting sentencing for their offenses, and at the Burnett Bayland Rehabilitation Center in southwest Houston, where some girls are placed by the judge after adjudication. Girl Scout staff who work with the girls must be specially trained, are fingerprinted and must pass an extensive criminal background check. These caring staff members serve as positive role models for the girls and encourage them to embrace a new way of viewing themselves: as leaders full of potential. The focus of the program includes conflict management, decision making, self-esteem, self-awareness, healthy relationships, and leadership skills. Group field trips in nature or to visit a museum are provided for girls who meet the behavior and participation requirements.
Here’s what girls say about this program:
- They still believe that even though you’ve made some bad decisions, you still can be a Girl Scout. You can turn it around and do something good.
- I realized I don’t have to be like this for the rest of my life, I want to be better than I am right now.
- It makes you a better person I believe.
Watch as Girl Scout Latrice talks about her transformative experience in the Girl Scout Outreach – Empower Me at Harris County Juvenile Detention Center System program (formerly known as Girl Scouting in Detention Centers).