Keeping Girl Scouts Relevant

October 13, 2011 Yesterday, I had the opportunity to see Mary Vitek, CEO for Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council speak. The event title "Girl Scouts: an iconic facelift" with a focus on marketing changes to keep the Girl Scouts relevant in the modern world. As a lifelong Girl Scout (coerced at times by my family and sometimes willingly) I was enthusiastic. Ironically, the relevance and need for Girl Scouts was reinforced by the person introducing our speaker at this industry luncheon. As he introduced our speaker, the man made jokes about women and hormones in the workplace; I thought to myself "this is why we need Girl Scouts".  Girls still need a place where they can be treated with respect and without that type of silly yet harmful derision. They need that to grow up to be the leaders of tomorrow. That is just one thing that Girl Scouting supports. Our speaker presented on the new brand position or hedgehog principle for Girl Scouts: Leadership.  What is important for some to hear is that Girl Scouts doesn't think every woman will be a corporate leader; the focus is to lead wherever you are:  Community, Business, Home, Wherever. The presentation began with their stated mission to "Engage girls in discovering themselves, connecting with others, and taking action to make the world a better place."  From a branding perspective, the Girl Scouts story she told was interesting and a testimony to good brand management. The Girl Scouts management team followed excellent governance  by first focusing on realigning their operations and processes before updating the brand. As a lifelong Girl Scout, I think the brand changes were positive. They allow this 100-year old organization to retain its history while maintaining its relevance to the modern girl or young woman.  Leadership skill building in women is more important than ever. Reminded of the value that Girl Scouts brought to my life; I went up to speak to Mary after the event to talk about volunteering. Imagine my surprise when I noted that her name tag read "Boy Scouts of San Jacinto Council" (photo attached).  Just as the person introducing her interjected female stereotypes into the presentation; the person who set up Mary's name tag introduced their own bias. The luncheon overall (silly blunders included) reinforced to me why  Girl Scouts need to be supported in their mission. Houston is hosting the Girl Scout Convention November 8 - 13. It is a good chance to reengage with this wonderful organization. Or better yet, make a donation to the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council today.

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