I'm the Brownie in the front. Circa 1989Did you know that Michelle Obama is the honorary national president of the Girl Scouts of the USA? Apparently all first ladies have been since 1917. Which I guess means Barbara Bush was mine during my Brownie days, and Hillary Clinton was when I was a Junior. Which is kind of funny, since during that same time period, she made some very controversial statements about cookies.
Anyway. The Girl Scouts have seen a steady decline in membership in recent years, going from 2.9 million youth members in 2003 to 2.2 million today. This week, Mrs. Obama helped the organization launch an unconventional ad campaign driven by social media and by word of mouth directly in communities.
They’re focusing on making the Girl Scouts fun and fresh, and have created the catchphrase “I Can’t Wait To ...” with colorful fill-in-the-blank responses like “Create my own masterpiece” and “Make everybody say, ‘Whoa!’”
I’ll go ahead and wish them luck, because really I don’t have any sort of vendetta against volunteer organizations, especially ones that focus on helping girls feel confident and sure of themselves. But I think they may have done better to hit up my demographic when researching the reason for the decline in membership.
I was a Girl Scout through my elementary school years, and I loved the experience. I now have two daughters that are perfectly aged for the group, but I’ve opted not to get them involved. A lot of my friends feel the same way. Maybe we could have clued GSUSA in as to why we’ve chosen not to participate as mothers now, when we once enjoyed it so much as daughters.
As a group, the Girl Scouts of the USA has every right to exist, and I’m not going to stop them. I’m also not going to endorse them. I want my daughters involved in a community group that holds similar values and beliefs to what I try to teach them on a daily basis. Right now they’re happy participates of AWANA, a national Christian community group. Their membership numbers have been soaring recently, by the way.
Do you support the Girl Scouts?
Image via Jenny Erikson