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Neighborhood Girl Scout Troop 2838 are hoping to raise the profile the group’s highest awards to promote gender equality. While the Boy Scout’s top achievement, the Eagle Scout, is often listed on resumes and is a well-known achievement, the Girl Scout Gold Award doesn’t have the same reputation.

Troop 2838, based in Lakewood, hopes to change that. They are creating a multimedia project to promote gender equality by highlighting significant Girl Scout service projects around the world.

“Not only do we want to provide service project ideas for Girl Scouts, we also want to create awareness of the great community work being done by girls,” says Haley Coleman, member of Troop 2838. “In our research for project ideas, our troop noticed that being an Eagle Scout is often considered more prestigious than attaining the Gold Award as a Girl Scout and we want to help change that.”

The troop has designed a website, “More Than Just Cookies,” and will use it and social media to encourage other Girl Scouts (past and present) to share their service projects, resulting in a free online handbook highlighting these projects. To contribute your service project to the website, click here.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017 20:09

Boy Scouts To Let Girls In Some Programs

NEW YORK (CBS11/AP) — In its latest momentous policy shift, the Boy Scouts of America will admit girls into the Cub Scouts starting next year and establish a new program for older girls based on the Boy Scout curriculum that enables them to aspire to the coveted Eagle Scout rank.

Founded in 1910 and long considered a bastion of tradition, the Boy Scouts have undergone major changes in the past five years, agreeing to accept openly gay youth members and adult volunteers, as well as transgender boys.

The expansion of girls’ participation, announced Wednesday after unanimous approval by the organization’s board of directors, is arguably the biggest change yet, potentially opening the way for hundreds of thousands of girls to join.

Many scouting organizations in other countries already allow both genders and use gender-free names such as Scouts Canada. But for now, the Boy Scout label will remain.

“There are no plans to change our name at this time,” spokeswoman Effie Delimarkos said in an email.

Under the new plan, Cub Scout dens — the smallest unit — will be single-gender, either all-boys or all-girls. The larger Cub Scout packs will have the option to remain single gender or welcome both genders. The program for older girls is expected to start in 2019 and will enable girls to earn the same Eagle Scout rank that has been attained by astronauts, admirals, senators and other luminaries.

Boy Scout leaders said the change was needed to provide more options for parents.

“The values of scouting — trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example — are important for both young men and women,” said Michael Surbaugh, chief scout executive.

The announcement follows many months of outreach by the BSA, which distributed videos and held meetings to discuss possibility expanding girls’ participation beyond existing programs, such as Venturing, Exploring and Sea Scouts.

Surveys conducted by the Boy Scouts showed strong support for the change among parents not currently connected to the scouts, including Hispanic and Asian families that the BSA has been trying to attract. Among families already in the scouting community, the biggest worry, according to Surbaugh, was that the positive aspects of single-sex comradeship might be jeopardized.

“We’ll make sure those environments are protected,” he said. “What we’re presenting is a fairly unique hybrid model.”

During the outreach, some parents expressed concern about possible problems related to overnight camping trips. Surbaugh said there would continue to be a ban on mixed-gender overnight outings for scouts ages 11 to 14. Cub Scout camping trips, he noted, were usually family affairs with less need for rigid polices.

Despite some widespread opposition to the new move, one Girl Scout family in Dallas says they aren’t against it.

Kimberly Haley-Coleman is the leader of Troop 2838. Her daughter is in that troop and has been in the Girl Scouts since kindergarten.

“We’re just happy that people are talking about gender equality and looking at what it’s going to take to empower communities to help each other,” said Haley-Coleman.

Her 13-year-old daughter said this will allow girls like her who are interested in scouting to pursue something they have never been able to before.

Haley Coleman says the decision to allow girls into the boy scouts coincidentally comes as she has been working on a gender equality project to earn her silver award.

“The title of being an Eagle Scout is obviously a good one and that would be two titles to put on resume, and I wouldn’t want to completely shut out the opportunity but right now I think I’m good being a Girl Scout,” she said.

The Girl Scouts of the USA have criticized the initiative, saying it strains the century-old bond between the two organizations. Girl Scout officials have suggested the BSA’s move was driven partly by a need to boost revenue, and they contended there is fiscal stress in part because of past settlements paid by the BSA in sex-abuse cases.

In August, the president of the Girl Scouts, Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, accused the Boy Scouts of seeking to covertly recruit girls into their programs while disparaging the Girl Scouts’ operations. On Monday, Latino civic leader Charles Garcia, just days after being named to the Girl Scouts’ national board, wrote an opinion piece for the Huffington Post calling the BSA’s overture to girls “a terrible idea.”

“The Boy Scouts’ house is on fire,” Garcia wrote. “Instead of addressing systemic issues of continuing sexual assault, financial mismanagement and deficient programming, BSA’s senior management wants to add an accelerant to the house fire by recruiting girls.”

Instead of recruiting girls, Garcia said the BSA should focus on attracting more black, Latino and Asian boys — particularly those from low-income households.

The BSA recently increased its annual membership fee for youth members and adult volunteers from $24 to $33, but Surbaugh said the decision to expand programming for girls was not driven by financial factors. He expressed enthusiasm at the possibility that the changes could draw hundreds of thousands more girls into BSA ranks over the coming years.

The Girl Scouts, founded in 1912, and the BSA are among several major youth organizations in the U.S. experiencing sharp drops in membership in recent years. Reasons include competition from sports leagues, a perception by some families that they are old-fashioned and busy family schedules.

As of March, the Girl Scouts reported more than 1.5 million youth members and 749,000 adult members, down from just over 2 million youth members and about 800,000 adult members in 2014. The Boy Scouts say current youth participation is about 2.35 million, down from 2.6 million in 2013 and more than 4 million in peak years of the past.

Earlier this year, the National Organization for Women urged the Boy Scouts to allow girls to join. NOW said it was inspired by the efforts of a 15-year-old New York City girl, Sydney Ireland, to emulate her older brother, who is an Eagle Scout.

Unlike the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts have maintained girls-only status for all their programs. The empowerment of girls is at the core of its mission.

“We know that girls learn best in an all-girl, girl-led environment,” said Andrea Bastiani Archibald, a psychologist who provides expertise on development for the Girl Scouts’ national programming.

The Boy Scouts’ new policy on girls was hailed by Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout who played an active role in pressuring the BSA to end its ban on gays. However, he urged the Boy Scouts to take one more step and end its exclusion of atheists and non-believers who do not profess a “duty to God.”

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Wednesday, 26 April 2017 22:14

About Us

Hi, we are (Haley, Gretchen, Olivia, Lillie, Mara, Alex) from troop 2838 in Dallas, Texas in Service Unit 142. Most of us have been together in this troop since First Grade. Even though we’re all at different schools now we’ve stuck together and bonded over the values and experiences we share as Girl Scouts.

Some of our favorite memories as Girl Scouts are building campfires on the sand and orienteering on campouts and singing Christmas carols when we were really little. We love getting new skills like First Aid that we can use to help others. We wanted a really great project for our Silver award.

The inspiration for our project came as we spent a few months researching and brainstorming for good project ideas. First, for inspiration, we found ourselves wishing we had an easy handbook to read through some of the great projects scouts around the world had done. Second, we realized that boys doing similar community projects seem to get consistently more awareness for their work. As an example, after a quick poll we found that many grown-ups had seen “Eagle Scout” listed more frequently and prominently on resumes than their female counterparts, and even had bumper stickers on their cars.

We believe in gender equality. We are so happy people recognize the value of Boy Scouts/Eagle Scouts. Our hope is that this project helps bring awareness to all the great things Girl Scouts and girls are doing for their communities and in the wider world.

We hope this is a project that will live for many years, . Whether you found this site to savor all the good work being done by girls or whether you ARE a Girl Scout with a project to contribute, we are grateful you have found this!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017 23:14

"More than Just Cookies”

Local Girl Scout Troop Announces Project Handbook Initiative to Promote Empowerment & Gender Equality

(Dallas) –  Girl Scout Troop 2838 are calling on Girl Scouts worldwide to share their bronze, silver and gold service projects for a multimedia project to promote gender equality.  “Not only do we want to provide service project ideas for Girl Scouts, we also want to create awareness of the great community work being done by girls,” says Haley Coleman, member of Troop 2838.  “In our research for project ideas, our  troop noticed that being an Eagle Scout is often considered more prestigious than attaining the Gold Award as a Girl Scout and we want to help change that.”

Members of Troop 2838 believe that by highlighting significant Girl Scout service projects, they can help foster appreciation for the substantial good work being performed around the world.  “They asked me if I saw Girl Scout awards listed on resumes,” says Troop Leader Kimberly Coleman.  “I responded that I had frequently seen Eagle Scouts listed, but seldom the Girl Scout equivalent. This lit the idea for them. They have designed a website and will employ social media and rely on plain old fashioned hard work to encourage other Girl Scouts to share their projects that can serve as inspiration and testimony to others.”

Troop 2838 will assemble the Girl Scout contributions in an online handbook that will be made available – at no cost – on the dedicated “More Than Just Cookies” website.

If you’d like to contribute information about your personal Girl Scout or Troop’s service award project, visit: http://www.morethanjustcookies.org/contribute-service-stories

For more information or to contact Troop 2838, contact Kimberly Haley-Coleman at
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About Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas  
Girl Scouts is the premier leadership development organization for girls. Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas serves more than 26,000 girls and 12,500 adults in 32 northeast Texas counties. Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas recently received the Center for Nonprofit Management nonprofit of the year award in 2016. The board is chaired by Kit Addleman, partner at Haynes and Boone, who was recognized by both the Dallas Business Journal and Center for Nonprofit Management nonprofit board chair of the year awards in 2016. For information on how to join, volunteer, donate or reconnect to the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, call (800) 442-2260 or visit www.gsnetx.org