NC Girl Scouts buck national trend, boosting membership

Joel Brown Image
ByJoel Brown via WTVD logo
Friday, July 27, 2018

Barbara Walters, Venus Williams, Tyra Banks -- the list just goes on in the Girl Scouts newly-unveiled PSA, "Lifetime of Leaders."

It's produced in a way to help visualize the impact of Girl Scouts through the organization's alumni. A strategy Lisa Jones has used for years as CEO of Girl Scouts North Carolina Coastal Pines.

"Not only do you think about it on a national level, we also have a similar impact at a local level," Jones said. "We've got (Raleigh) Mayor Nancy McFarlane was a Girl Scout; our Chief of Police (Cassandra Deck-Brown) was a Girl Scout; and of course our own Tisha Powell was a Girl Scout."

It's a critical time for Girl Scouts nationally. Last year, the Boy Scouts of America began accepting girls into its Cub Scout program -- raising fears about the impact on Girl Scout membership -- which has been on decline.

But numbers aren't down everywhere.

"That is not happening here," Jones said. "I am proud to say we've seen membership growth in our council for multiple years.

Membership: Girl Scouts NC Coastal Pines

  • 26,000 girl members from Chapel Hill to Wilmington
  • 700 new girl scouts since 2017

Those encouraging numbers have been boosted by a focus on building girls of tomorrow: 30 new badges, a focus on science, tech, engineering and math.

"They're doing cybersecurity. They're doing robotics as early as kindergarten; they're coding; as well as outdoor experiences," Jones said.

And, the council's brand new RV, soon-to-be jam-packed with technology, allows them to take those lessons directly to the troops in 41 counties.

All of it coming at time, when American women all seeking a fairer slice of the pie -- in politics, equal pay, and ending sexual harassment. It's a chance for the Girl Scouts to tout their core mission: empowering girls.