Girl Scouts’ focus on girls’ leadership would diminish in co-ed troop
To the editor:
A recent article about the Boy Scouts’ recent moves (Feb. 5, “Paul Smiths Boy Scouts add troop for girls”) unfortunately didn’t contain context from Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York. I hope I can shed some light on this.
For more than 100 years, Girl Scouts has provided girls with opportunities to explore and challenge themselves in a safe and positive environment.
We have been dedicated to focusing on just girls, to help them prepare for their future roles as the leaders of business, government and civic organizations. We have developed girl-focused programs that empower girls in our community to pursue their dreams and goals that are critical to their success. Teaching them — through real world lessons — to be adventurous and step outside of their comfort zones and to have the confidence to fail will help girls become the next generation’s engineers, teachers, entrepreneurs, doctors and business leaders. And we have the history and the experience behind us.
Girl Scout programs — not mentioned in the article — are designed specifically for girls. Our outdoor camps (the Girl Scout camp at Lake Clear has swimming, sailing, mountain hikes, paddleboarding, archery and outdoor skills, as well as science, technology, engineering, and math and team-building activities) offer programs designed to foster a love for nature and environmental stewardship, and give girls life lessons, not just in outdoor living but also in building confidence, taking risks and building character. All of these lessons help create successful women and, most importantly, are diminished in a co-ed environment.
The programs that Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York offers — and our experience offering girls these opportunities in a safe and positive environment — will continue to appeal to girls, young women and their families for generations to come. I am ever thankful for the amazing experience I had as a Girl Scout and most recently thankful for the honor of serving on the board of the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York, serving over 8,000 girls. I am constantly inspired by their accomplishments, their enthusiasm and their determination to make the world a better place.
Chandler M. Ralph
Chair, Board of Directors
Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York