A Publication of WTVP

Look around for women making an impact, and you’ll see Girl Scouts.

Girl Scouts is often synonymous with cookies—and rightfully so. The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-run business in the nation and the most recognized financial literacy program for young girls. While we are proud of our cookies and the lessons girls learn from the program, Girl Scouts of Central Illinois, along with councils around the world, works to achieve a much greater goal that impacts not only the lives of our girls, but also the future of our society.

Girl Scouting builds leaders. That’s what we do. It’s our business, if you will.

The Leadership Experience
Girl Scouts is widely recognized as the top leadership organization for girls in the world. Today’s Girl Scout Leadership Experience, while still embedded in the tradition of cookies and camping, offers more opportunities than any other organization to help girls and young women develop their leadership potential and build practical life skills.

To put it plainly, this is not your mother’s Girl Scouts. One great example is our commitment to building STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs to prepare girls for future careers in fields that have historically been male-dominated. We are working to change that by providing girls with the knowledge, tools and confidence to pursue careers in highly technical fields.

When today’s girls graduate from college, the U.S. will need three million additional scientists and engineers, yet women account for fewer than 20 percent of the bachelor’s degrees in engineering, computer science and physics. We want girls to have the courage to take their place in this world—and today, that place is wherever they dream to be.

Shaping Future Success
Just take a look at our line-up of activities throughout the year and you’ll see a range of creative and fun ways to get interested in STEM at every age level. Our annual activity guide is full of programs like Zoom into Engineering for Daisies (grades K-1); Medical Play Day for Brownies (grades 2-3); Thrill Builder, a program centered around engineering for Juniors (grades 4-5); and Medical Mayhem for our Cadettes and Seniors (grades 6-12). These programs, along with a number of activities that promote physical, social and environmental health, make up a unique and valuable learning experience that helps girls grow into people of courage, confidence and character.

The financial literacy skills taught through Girl Scouts have also proven to be a key factor in shaping financial and personal success for alumnae. Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, girls learn to manage money, set goals, build business plans and work through challenges to hit their targets. They learn the value of a dollar as they work and save to fund their Girl Scouting experiences, from summer camps to troop travel. They become responsible money managers at a young age while learning critical social skills that correspond with sales and marketing of their product.

In fact, an impact study published by the Girl Scout Research Institute in 2012 reveals that Girl Scout alumnae have a higher income/socioeconomic status, a greater level of civic engagement, and are more successful overall than their non-Girl Scout peers.

Making an Impact
In my experience, numbers don’t lie—and if you look around your community or company, or at the women making an impact both nationally and globally, you’ll see Girl Scouts. More than 50 million American women are alumnae of Girl Scouting, as are nearly 70 percent of the women in Congress, 64 percent of those listed in Who’s Who of American Women, and 53 percent of women business owners.

We’re proud of our business model, and, like any successful business, we work hard to build and protect our brand; invest in building a better, stronger product; and take pride in results that create a global societal impact. iBi

To join a local troop or start your own, visit or call (309) 688-8671.