From the Chief Executive Officer

The New Girl Scout Mission Statement

Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.

Our new Mission statement looks simple. Yet each word was crafted—during months of national debate and the teamwork of 100-plus council CEOs, GSUSA staff and board members, and GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS—to say exactly what Girl Scouting delivers in this new millennium.

Why does Girl Scouts need a new Mission statement? Because, if we're going to be girls' best choice to face tough challenges and achieve grand dreams in this fast-changing world, we need a clear, memorable statement that inspires girls all over America to join Girl Scouts and grow strong in our sisterhood.

Our new Mission, which is easy to remember and quote (and can fit on a tee shirt) is the ninth Mission statement in our 93 years. Some examples:

1912 - "To train girls to take their rightful places in life, first as good women, then as good citizens, wives and mothers."

1917 - The purpose of this corporation is to promote, through organization and co-operation with other agencies, the virtues of womanhood, by training girls to recognize their obligations to God and Country, to prepare for the duties devolving upon women in the home, in society and the state, and to guide others in ways conducive to personal honor and the public good.

1924 - The purpose of this organization is to help girls to realize the ideals of womanhood as a preparation for their responsibilities in the home and service to the community.

1953 - The Girl Scout organization is dedicated to helping girls develop as happy, resourceful individuals willing to share their abilities as citizens in their homes, their communities, their country and the world.

When Juliette Low started Girl Scouts in 1912, she wanted girls to build their own skills and values and give back to their country through leadership and service. How could Girl Scouts help girls do this? Juliette said: "Let's take it to the girls and ask them."

Ninety-three years later, we're still asking girls, and they're eager to tell us:

Our new Mission tells girls: "We hear you. And we'll deliver what you need."

This Mission statement is our compass, to point us toward creating bold new program for girls of all age levels, races, ethnicities, beliefs, economies, geographies and physical abilities.

It's our girl-focused lens, to keep girls front and center and striving to be their best.

It's our standard of excellence, to spur our new Core Business Strategy: promote a vital Girl Scout brand, inspire community giving, attract diverse and passionate volunteers, and govern our Movement nimbly to be America's premier voice for girls.

Councils had already started using our new Mission in their everyday language, even before it was adopted at our National Council Session in October. So the new Mission already is uniting Girl Scouts in revitalized energy and powerful promise to girls.

I encourage every member to engrave this Mission on your heart. Be ready to speak up loud and clear when anyone asks you what Girl Scouts is all about:

"Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place!"

Kathy Cloninger

Adapted from LEADER, Winter 2005. © Girl Scouts of the United States of America.