Each year, 2.3 million Girl Scouts take the lead in bettering their communities and the world. Girl leaders have been at the heart of Girl Scouts since its founding in 1912, when Juliette Gordon Low recognized that developing girls’ leadership abilities was critical for ensuring they would be the change-makers of the future.
Since Low’s time, the world has changed dramatically. Social, cultural, and economic shifts that once took shape over a generation or more are now rapid and often have a global impact. This ever complex and uncertain world clearly requires a new kind of leader—one who values diversity, inclusion, and collaboration and is committed to improving neighborhoods, communities, and the world.
Girl Scouts is, as it always has been, the organization best positioned to offer girls the tools they need to be successful leaders now and throughout their lives. As Girl Scouting moves into its next 100 years, we call on our expertise to create a completely new approach for what girls do in Girl Scouting, how they do it and how they will benefit.
Called the New Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE), this model begins with a definition of leadership that girls understand and believe in: a leader, girls will tell you, is defined not only by the qualities and skills one has, but also by how those qualities and skills are used to make a difference in the world.
No matter where girls live or what their age or background, as Girl Scouts they are part of this powerful, national experience. As they build leadership skills, they also develop lifelong friendships and earn meaningful awards, two of many treasured traditions in the sisterhood of Girl Scouting.
The foundation of most everything we do in Girl Scouting is the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE). It is a model that engages girls in Discovering themselves, Connecting with others and Taking Action to make the world a better place. We call this framework, the three “keys” to leadership.
Girl Scout experiences are also, as much as possible, Girl Led; they encourage Learning by Doing (experiential learning); and are based on principles of Cooperative Learning. These three processes promote the GSLE and the fun and friendship that have always been integral to Girl Scouting.
Girl Scouts of the USA has organized all of the information you need to know about the GSLE in one comprehensive publication called, “Transforming Leadership.” Here is a downloadable copy for your use.