Friday, June 24, 2022

Guidance for Girl Scouts regarding Supreme Court Roe v. Wade ruling

A Message from the CEO:


Earlier today, the Supreme Court published its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson, eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion and overturning its ruling in Roe v. Wade. We recognize that this decision is polarizing for our nation and our Girl Scout members, who are diverse in their personal and religious beliefs concerning reproductive rights.

 

Our policy as a Girl Scout movement has always been that decisions on reproductive rights are highly personal in nature and best handled within families, and this continues to be our position following today’s ruling. We ask that you continue to apply the principles of the Girl Scout Promise and Law, acting with consideration, caring, and respect for those whose views on reproductive issues differ from your own. 

 

We also recognize that girls and adults within our movement may wish to make their voices heard with respect to this ruling. Because our movement does not take a position on reproductive rights issues, I wanted to review some rules of engagement for how Girl Scout members may represent themselves if they choose to attend protests, marches, rallies or other public events. 

 

Girls, troops, and adult members generally should not wear Girl Scout uniforms or branded attire when attending events that support one side of an issue on which the Girl Scout movement does not take a position, including reproductive rights. Members may wear uniforms or branded items only if their participation is linked to a specific Take Action project in pursuit of a Girl Scout Journey or Highest Award.

 

We ask parents, guardians, and troop leaders to be mindful of the possibility of violence at marches and rallies as they consider the appropriateness of the experience for girl members. We respect the rights of each individual member of our movement to make their own decision about participating in and we encourage thoughtful discussion of any event.

 

If your Girl Scout is interested in learning more about the 'freedom to assemble,’ other ways our government works, and how she can participate in it, you may want to explore our Citizenship badges. Badges such as Inside Government, Finding Common Ground, and Behind the Ballot inspire, prepare, and mobilize girls to lead positive change through civic action. Encouraging girls to be engaged citizens isn't new. Even before women had the right to vote, Girl Scouts could earn Citizenship badges. 


View our Citizenship badges here: https://www.girlscoutsatl.org/en/our-program/Badge-Explorer.html

Thank you for your continued investment in girls and Girl Scouting. 


Yours in Girl Scouting,









Amy S. Dosik

CEO, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta 

Monday, June 6, 2022

A Message from the CEO - June 6

Dear Girl Scouts,

I am devastated by the recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Chattanooga, and Laguna Woods, California. These senseless acts of gun violence have left dozens of people killed or wounded and countless others suffering from emotional trauma. These events are more than any of us should have to bear.

We are heartbroken to share that one of our Girl Scouts from Southwest Texas was killed during the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde last week. The entire Girl Scout community mourns the loss of Amerie Jo Garza, along with the families of the victims and everyone affected by the violence.

Amerie was posthumously awarded the Girl Scout Bronze Cross for her bravery. The Bronze Cross is awarded for saving or attempting to save life at the risk of the Girl Scout’s own life. Amerie, a 10-year-old 4th-grader, was shot dead as she attempted to call 911 for help. Amerie had bridged to Juniors the previous week.

For ways you can help our sisters in Uvalde, please visit our Girl Scout Strong for Uvalde web page at www.girlscouts-swtx.org/girlscoutstrong.

Our nation continues to suffer unfathomable losses from gun violence at an alarming rate. The shooting in Uvalde is the 27th school shooting to take place this year and the 63rd mass shooting during the month of May. * It leaves us reeling in anger and grief.

While it is difficult for us as adults to process these events, children are especially vulnerable to fear and anxiety. Below you will find some resources you may wish to use as you navigate difficult conversations with your girls.

May our nation find the courage to heal, the confidence to stand in solidarity with all children who need our protection and the character to do what is right to end gun violence. Thank you for all that you do.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Amy

For child-centered grief and trauma resources
For mental health crises
  • Call 911
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 or suicidepreventionlifeline.org for online emotional support
  • The Crisis Text Line connects you to a trained crisis counselor to receive free, 24/7 crisis support via text message: text NAMI to 741741
  • The Disaster Distress Helpline is a 24/7 national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling (more info at National Institute of Mental Health): Dial 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor
For families or troops seeking mental health care services
  • National Alliance for Children's Grief (NACG) links to local support groups and professionals
  • SAMHSA's Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  • Mental Health America (MHA) links to affiliates across the country and offers resources for finding treatment

*School shooting data supplied by Education Week. Mass shooting data supplied by Gun Violence Archive.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Message from GSGATL - Updated Guidelines for In-Person Girl Scout Activities

Dear Girl Scouts,

Happy new year! Like all of you, we hoped by now we wouldn’t still be sending out COVID related messaging, but there continue to be new variants that require constant monitoring.

As we have done throughout the COVID pandemic, we will use the latest public health data and recommended best practices from the CDC, Georgia Department of Public Health, and Girl Scouts of the USA to guide our decisions.

In-person troop meetings and activities will continue to be allowed as long as our members follow these guidelines.


The guidelines go into effect March 14, 2022 and supersede previous versions.

Please continue to check our blog and Website for additional updates, and if you have questions, you can contact us at helpline@gsgatl.org or 800-771-1139.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Message from GSGATL - Updated Guidelines for In-Person Girl Scout Activities

Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta has updated the guidelines for the fall regarding returning to in-person troop meetings and activities. These guidelines were developed using information we currently have from the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health and may be modified as health recommendations change.

The guidelines are effective immediately and supersede previous versions.

Please continue to check our blog and website for additional updates and if you have questions you can contact us at helpline@gsgatl.org or 800-771-1139.



Yours in Girl Scouting,









Amy S. Dosik
CEO, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta

Monday, April 5, 2021

Message from GSGATL - Updated Guidelines for In-Person Girl Scout Activities

Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta has updated the guidelines for the fall regarding returning to in-person troop meetings and activities. These guidelines were developed using information we currently have from the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health and may be modified as health recommendations change.

The guidelines are effective immediately and supersede previous versions.

Please continue to check our blog and website for additional updates and if you have questions you can contact us at helpline@gsgatl.org or 800-771-1139.



Yours in Girl Scouting,









Amy S. Dosik
CEO, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta

Monday, March 22, 2021

A message from the CEO - March 22

Girl Scouts,

Last week we were devastated by the murder of eight members of our community, including six Asian women, who were targeted because of their race and gender. It exposed the xenophobic, hateful and dangerous stereotypes that many of the Asian members of our movement face. These murders made us more aware of the rising tide of violence perpetrated against Asian-Americans in the past year and ignited our sense as Girl Scouts of the need to take action and extend a caring hand.

This act of violence and hate comes as we mark a full year of managing through the challenges of the global COVID pandemic. The pandemic not only has caused the death of nearly 18,000 Georgians but has created financial hardship for more than one-third of our Girl Scout families. It has caused untold mental health fallout for both girls and adults in our movement dealing with the loss of loved ones, social isolation, lack of work-life balance, and financial stressors. These murders also serve as a somber reminder of the continuing pandemics of racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism, ageism and ableism, and the importance of Girl Scouts’ diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work.

Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta engages in DEI as a core component of our programming, and it is at the heart of who we are as a movement. Girls’ voices, including our Older Girl Advisory Group, are at the center of our programming, which includes this summer’s launch of a virtual series for girls in grades 2-12 that highlights Atlanta's place in the civil rights movement and contemporary racial justice work. Gold Award Girl Scouts like Randi Parks are taking the lead on issues like voter suppression to educate their peers on real world issues that they see on the news and in their social media feeds. Our staff is working with the National Center for Civil and Human Rights to increase our capacity to support volunteers in helping girls have courageous but necessary conversations around what they’ve experienced over the past year, as well as participating in community-wide efforts like United Way of Greater Atlanta’s 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge. Together, these initiatives and others move us closer to making our Girl Scout council a better – and more equal and inclusive – place.

When we talk about our mission, we often talk about the three C’s: the courage, confidence and character that Girl Scouting builds in girls. As we continue our DEI work of becoming a more actively anti-racist organization, our work as a Girl Scout council will be organized around three E’s aligned to our Promise and Law: to educate, to empower and to empathize. I would like to share how the three E’s will guide our work in the months ahead.

Educate. Girl Scouts teaches girls to ask questions and engage in critical thinking, and girls of all races and ethnicities have told us that racial justice is important to them. Atlanta occupies a unique place as the cradle of the civil rights movement, and our goal is for Greater Atlanta to be a leader in DEI programming within the Girl Scout movement. Additional council-led programming will allow girls to explore this history and its implications on current racial justice movements like Black Lives Matter and Stop AAPI Hate and help our volunteers to learn along with girls and support them in this work. We see this work as a living example of our movement’s commitment to being honest and fair and responsible for what we say and do.

Empower. Girl Scouts teaches girls to use their voices to speak out on issues that are important to them. Over the past year, we’ve seen Girl Scouts like Himani Kalra take on issues like female gendercide and infanticide through her Gold Award project Save the Girl Child, which has educated thousands of people on this underrecognized issue in the U.S. and abroad and led to her being recognized by the Points of Light Foundation. Through our Gold, Silver and Bronze Award programs, take action projects, and programs like Miss Media that focus on public speaking, we will prepare girls to engage in their communities on racial justice and other issues that affect marginalized communities. This work is at the heart of the Girl Scout law that inspires us to respect ourselves and others and to be courageous and strong.

Empathize. The killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Brionna Taylor, George Floyd and others have caused immeasurable pain, sadness, and fear in the Black community. Our Asian-American community has been similarly shattered by the massage parlor murders that hit far too close to home. At a time when we increasingly live in communities divided by race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status, Girl Scouts is one of the few remaining organizations that cuts across these barriers to allow girls and volunteers from all backgrounds the opportunity to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and see things from a different perspective. The need for support and healing for many in our movement is significant, and we have the opportunity and obligation to empathize with their pain even if it is not our own. This is what we endeavor to do when we recite the Girl Scout law to be considerate and caring.

Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta stands in solidarity with the Asian-American community, the Black community, and all marginalized members of our community. Doing so does not diminish our commitment to and support of other communities. It does not lessen the value we place on other experiences and perspectives. Rather, it recognizes that in order achieve the ambitious work of making the world a better place, there are times when some members of our community require an extra measure of our caring and support. This is one of those times. In lifting up those who need us the most, we move closer to our vision of Girl Scouts as not only a sanctuary from the hate and violence of the wider world but a place where every girl and volunteer can feel a deep sense of belonging. Thank you for the many acts of kindness that you are doing every day to help us achieve this vision.

Yours in Girl Scouting,









Amy S. Dosik
CEO, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta

Monday, January 4, 2021

Message from GSGATL - Updated Guidelines for In-Person Girl Scout Activities

Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta has updated the guidelines for the fall regarding returning to in-person troop meetings and activities. These guidelines were developed using information we currently have from the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health and may be modified as health recommendations change.

The guidelines are effective immediately and supersede previous versions.

Please continue to check our blog and website for additional updates and if you have questions you can contact us at helpline@gsgatl.org or 800-771-1139.



Yours in Girl Scouting,









Amy S. Dosik
CEO, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta