Late yesterday, Boy Scouts of America (BSA) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This action has led to confusion and, in some cases, misinformation about the effects of this decision on the Girl Scout movement. I am writing to you today to address some common questions we’ve been hearing and share information that may be helpful to you in answering questions from members of the general public.
- First and foremost, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and BSA are two unrelated, legally separate organizations that have been entirely separate for their more than 100-year history. Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts do not share membership, programs, finances or risk management practices.
- The BSA bankruptcy filing in no way affects Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta (GSGATL), GSUSA or our members. Locally and nationally, Girl Scouts is fiscally strong and has the financial resources to continue to carry out our programs for future generations of girls.
- Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts have not merged and have no plans to do so. In October 2017, BSA made the decision to admit girls as members. In some instances, this has led to confusion among parents or members of the general public, who mistakenly believe that there is only one “scouting” organization. GSUSA and BSA remain two legally separate organizations.
- At Girl Scouts, the physical and emotional safety of girls has always been our highest priority. We have a strong risk management culture that requires a comprehensive criminal background check for every adult volunteer. Girl Scouting uses the buddy system and requires at least two unrelated adults to be present at troop meetings and other girl events to ensure no girl is ever alone with an adult member.
- There is only one Girl Scouts, and we’re proud of our 50 million living alumnae who include 90% of female astronauts, 80% of female tech executives, 69% of female US Senators, every female US Secretary of State, the CEOs of IBM and YouTube, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and celebrities including Taylor Swift, Serena and Venus Williams and Barbara Walters.
- The Girl Scout movement is 2.5 million members strong, with 1.7 million girls and 750,00 adult volunteers who continue our 108-year history of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.
- The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest entrepreneurship program for girls in the world! More than 50% of female business owners got their first business experience as Girl Scouts.
- The Girl Scout Leadership Experience equips girls with the confidence and competence they need to succeed in the classroom, in careers and in community life. Girls learn leadership through programming in STEM, outdoor education, entrepreneurship and life skills that is girl-led, cooperative and hands-on.
Yours in Girl Scouting,
Amy S. Dosik
CEO, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta