We’re gals supporting gals, always, and never is that more important than in bolstering the next generation of girls in the outdoors. Which means we’re allll about Girl Scouts (and Girl Scout cookies.) TLDR: Troop 6000 supports noiseless girls in NYC, empowering them to develop leadership skills and gain confidence through programming and exposure to nature—and giving them a much-needed source of support and consistency in tumultuous times. You can support them in multiple ways, and we highly encourage you to do so!
Skip if you know the history, but if not, here’s the lowdown.
On March 12, 1912, Girl Scouts of the United States of America was founded by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Georgia. Established during a time prior to women having the right to vote, Low saw that girls needed support — a place to come together to fully express themselves. (In case you haven’t noticed, the outdoors are pretty good for that sort of thing.) And, for over 110 years, Girl Scouts programming enabled girls to get outside, grow in confidence, and learn how to lead. Today, nearly 1.7 million girls have registered as Girl Scouts, but one troop among the millions stands out: Troop 6000.
Troop 6000 is a New York City-based troop made up of Girl Scouts and leaders who live in the New York City Shelter System. The shelter system is designed to provide temporary emergency housing for families in the city who are houseless. Since most people only rely on the shelter system for around 18 months, Girl Scouts has ensured through the Transitional Programming Initiative that girls are financially supported to continue meeting with their troop after they move on to new opportunities—giving them a community and support system they may have been deprived of otherwise. (BTW, if you’re also seeking community as an adult girl-in-the-outdoors, we have a suggestion for you…)
The structure of Girl Scouts is set up to empower. Girls learn how to set goals and pursue what they’re excited about in order to earn patches. The program hosts outdoor activities to challenge girls to get out of their comfort zones, learn to work together, and learn what they’re really capable of. The community aspect of it all has proven to be really beneficial for Girl Scouts, learning from troop leaders and volunteers to feel comfortable in their own skin. At the risk of sounding sappy, all of this combined fosters compassion, courage, confidence, character building, leadership, entrepreneurship, and so much more.
Feeling skeptical? Need some good hard proof? The Girl Scouts Research Initiative (GSRI), an extension of Girl Scouts, works to analyze the effectiveness of their programming and how it needs to adapt to fit girls’ needs. This GSRI identified that Girl Scout Alumnae tend to reach higher levels of education, hold a deeper sense of self, engage in more community service, and even have a higher income compared to women not part of the program.
The data of the research initiative indicates that Girl Scouts really supports academic success and girls’ capacity to be a leader. By normalizing learning often, trying new things, and leading at first in small ways, the girls practice trying things that are hard for them and navigate challenges in collaboration with others. It’s also important to note that troop leaders, who run programs for girls and guide their Girl Scout experiences, are trained to be their most authentic selves. Authentic female leadership helps girls connect with their own authenticity and learn to lead from a place of confidence.
Consistent time outside results in girls having stronger problem solving skills and what Girl Scouts calls “challenge seeking.” Not only do girls learn new skills, they become excited to consistently pursue adventures and choose to engage in tasks that challenge them.
Okay, so where do the cookies come in?
Whether or not you were part of Girl Scouts, you likely know and love Girl Scout cookies. It’s obvious that the cookie sales are a great way for girls to fundraise for troop programming, but the GSRI also identified how selling cookies equips girls with five essential skills: goal setting, money management, people skills, decision making, and business ethics.
Troop 6000 gives girls in the NYC shelter system the benefits of being part of Girl Scouts (and a much-needed source of consistency) during a time when their lives are shifting. These girls get the chance to make new friends and learn new skills. Additionally, their leader training includes developing communication, presentation, and organization skills which helps them grow in areas of their lives beyond Girl Scouts.
Troop 6000 provides girls who deserve it most the opportunity to have outdoor voices, to grow in confidence, and to become expanded in their awareness of their endless potential. PLEIN AIR, in some ways, feels like the adulthood version of Girl Scouts: existing to create space for women to feel like the best version of themselves in the outdoors, whatever that means to them. This spring, support the next generation by supporting Troop 6000 with us.