National drop in Girl Scout membership not felt in Northwest Ohio
Camps nearly back to pre-pandemic levels
MAUMEE, Ohio (WTVG) - They’re more than just Thin Mints, Samoas and Trefoils. Since 1912, the Girl Scouts have been the foundation of leadership skills for young girls and women across the country. However, times are changing. According to research done by AP News, there are fewer recruits joining both the Girl and Boy Scouts. The Girl Scouts says its youth membership fell by nearly 30%, from about 1.4 million in 2019- 2020 to just over 1 million this year. These numbers are on a national scale. This kind of decline is not being seen here in Northwest Ohio.
Joyce Rhodes is the Community Development Team Leader for Girl Scouts of Western Ohio. She says camps and overall enrollment is nearly back to where it was pre-pandemic. “The girls and the volunteers are ready, they’re excited,” said Rhodes. “We have camps going on: day camps, and we have resident camps running. They’re almost full. There’s a couple spots here and there left, but the girls and the volunteers are ready to get back out there.”
The Girl Scouts reported youth membership of about 2.8 million in 2003. Reasons for the drop include social changes: competition from sports leagues, and overall perception of the organization. Rhodes says Girl Scouts have changes with the times, too, adding more S.T.E.M. and digital programming to help these girls get to wherever they want to be.
“Anything you want to learn about, we have a badge that will help the girls guide them there,” explained Rhodes. “We’ve been staying pretty true to our mission: building girls of courage, confidence and character to make the world a better place. We see it daily with the girls out there. They’re doing amazing things and bettering their community with money that they raise, or through cookie sales, or sponsorship.”
Enrollment is open year-round for the Girl Scouts. Visit their website to see what they’re up to, get involved, and much more. Questions, contact the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio at 888-350-5090, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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