Girl Scouting exists to build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. As the world's largest organization of girls, we hone the leadership skills and provide the opportunities to make an impact. But it's the girls who set the agenda. The idea of changing the world doesn't intimidate them. The world is already their community, and they have already helped change it.
Imagine a new generation of leaders who lead in a new way.
Who lead out of principle rather than pride.
Who step across barriers of class and race everyday.
Who seek out the work that needs doing in the world,
and bring boundless energy to every challenge.
Girl Scouts throughout the region selflessly gave more than 18,000 service hours in 2011 to causes close to their hearts; including abused or neglected animals, children and seniors in need, as well as the military and their families.
There are 8,760 hours in a year.
The total hours Girl Scouts spent on service equal 2.05 years.
Where would those in need be without Girl Scouts?
Girl Scouts & Leadership
For nearly a century, Girl Scouts has produced leaders who have excelled in every segment of our American life. Through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, girls age 5-17 discover themselves and their values, connect with other girls, and take action to make the world a better place.
So what's standing in their way?
Today's girls represent humanity's largest untapped talent pool. Too many urgent challenges go unmet because too few girls become leaders. Yet only one girl in five believes that she has what it takes to lead the way for others. Simple things can be barriers: 41 percent of girls are uncomfortable speaking to a group, many girls feel embarrassed in a leadership role, and 39 percent have been put down by peers when they've tried to lead.
As a society, we lose something every time a girl doesn't raise her hand in school. We are poorer every time she doesn't say what's on her mind. Our future is a little bit smaller every time a girl chooses not to lead.
Leadership experiences for girls
are what make Girl Scouting unique.
We help every girl discover who she can be and what she can do, wherever she chooses to put her energies. The journey begins with the Girl Scout environment itself. A girl's leadership potential blooms among other girls -- away from school pressures, social cliques, and boys -- where she can be herself and try new things. Among Girl Scouts, activities are girl-led. She learns by doing, and the learning is cooperative, not competitive.
To discover who she can be, she needs access to wise adults who both inspire her and respect her. Our more than 8,000 adult volunteers do this every day.
To discover what she can do, she needs participation opportunities as varied as the world -- so she can "try on" different leadership roles and grow into the ones that fit her best.
Diversity was the founding idea of Girl Scouting in 1912. Today we serve girls in every U.S. ZIP code. We serve girls in urban community centers and girls incarcerated in detention centers. We serve girls in churches, temples and mosques.
There is only one qualification for being a Girl Scout.
You have to be a girl. That's it.
Across income and demographic groups, our membership virtually mirrors the U.S population.
We look like America, and we change with America: Latinas in Girl Scouts have surged by 44 percent in the last five years. Locally, 59 percent of girls and 36 percent of adult volunteers are Latina.
Wherever girls live, whatever their circumstance, we help them learn to be safe, think for themselves, and lead the way for others.
Diversity of Membership
Girl Scouts & Military
There is a long history of Girl Scouts supporting our nation's armed forces, beginning in the movement's earliest years when Girl Scouts rolled bandages for soliders during World War I and planted victory gardens and sold war bonds during World War II.
Today, Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas serves families at each of the four military installations within its region, as well as countless families of retired military or civilian personnel.
Each year, nearly 1,300 Girl Scouts provide more than 2,600 hours of community service directly to the military and their families.
Girl Scouts honor the fallen by placing flags at every headstone at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery and participate in the official Memorial Day ceremony. They honor veterans by laying red ribbons at appropriate headstones in recognition of Veteran's Day, and sent hundreds of handmade cards to C Company 2-149th General Support Aviation Battalion for Valentine's Day.
Girl Scout cookies sold as part of the council's Gift of Caring project were sent to combat zones overseas and donated to the Fisher Houses at both Fort Sam Houston and Lackland Air Force Base. In addition, Girl Scouts baked more than 400 dozen cookies and gifted them to the Soldier and Family Assistance Center at Fort Sam Houston.
The tradition of service to those who defend our country continues.