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Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay is more committed than ever to providing girls with the leadership skills through the all-girl, girl-led and girl-friendly environment that Girl Scouts provides, which creates a necessary safe space for girls to learn and thrive.

Through Girl Scouting, girls can take the lead in the world of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through hands-on “learning by doing.” When Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts in 1912, she taught the girls of Savannah how to weld and play basketball.

Now more than ever, girls need Girl Scouts. The single-gender environment offered by Girl Scouts creates an inclusive place where girls are free to explore their true potential and take the lead without the pressures that can be found in a coed environment. I have watched girls blossom into strong, young women who aren’t afraid to stand for what they believe in.

For more than a century, Girl Scouts has provided millions of girls the opportunity for adventure, inspiration and valuable mentoring. Most importantly, the program is girl-led.

No one inspires girl leadership better than the Girl Scouts. The girls who earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting, set themselves apart through the college admissions process, earn college scholarships and enter the military one rank higher. These girls see a need in their community, or in the world, and take action to solve the problem.

Gold Award Girl Scout Melody Cerro from Denton inspired younger students to consider STEM careers. She taught aerodynamics, mechanics, architecture and robotics engineering classes to fifth-grade students, mentored a middle school Lego League robotics team and created literature about engineering for a Career Day for younger students.

Seventy-four percent of girls are interested in STEM, and Melody was very passionate about sharing her love with others. Today, she is studying mechanical engineering at University of Delaware. Melody was also recognized by the Soroptimist International of Talbot County for her work in the community with the Violet Richardson Award.

Another pillar in the Girl Scout Program is our dedication to outdoor skills. Over the summer, we announced 23 new badges focusing on cyber security, robotics, engineering and seven new badges that focus on building outdoor skills for every grade level. These outdoor experiences are progressive, so the girls will build on their knowledge year after year. Activities such as hiking, camping, canoeing, high ropes and archery offer girls opportunities to have exciting, girl-lead outdoor adventures, while learning important skills that teach valuable life lessons, like self-reliance, leadership and perseverance.

The fact is, most of a girl’s life is coed. But the emotional, girl-inclusive programming offered by Girl Scouts fosters collaboration instead of competition and promotes support among girls, enabling them to stretch beyond their limits and transfer valuable knowledge and skills to any environment, both now and in the future.

Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay is dedicated to serving all girls in K-12th grades in an all-girl environment. Girls are welcome to join at any time and all girls have the opportunity to earn the Gold Award.

For more information visit our website at www.GSCB.org or call 302-456-7150.

Denise Eberspeaker is the director of development, communications and service center for Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay.

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