The national, state, and local election process will be top of the news until Election Day in November—and though they may not be old enough to vote, girls are taking notice!
A recent study by the Girl Scouts Research Institute found that 67% of girls are interested in politics—but research also shows that the public education system is not providing our young people with a strong foundation in civic education. Last Saturday, October 20, 2018, we helped to bridge that gap through “Scout The Vote”: an afternoon dedicated to hands-on civic engagement programming for girls ages 7-17. Guest speakers included Miss Tucson, Maryan Muhina, and Associated Students of the University of Arizona (ASUA) Student Body President, Natalynn Masters.
Throughout the afternoon, Girl Scouts engaged in an accurate, age-appropriate, non-partisan interpretation of the election process. After hearing from Miss Tucson, Maryan Muhina, about her own experience as a community advocate, girls rotated through different stations, discovering the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship along the way. Topics included basic steps of the voting process, voting history and voting rights, grassroots advocacy, and what it takes to run for office—whether girls aspire to the Student Council or the White House. The program concluded with the opportunity for girls to connect one-on-one with a mentor and brainstorm an action step they can take on an issue they feel strongly about.
Since its founding in 1912, Girl Scouts has emphasized the importance of being civically engaged, by teaching and encouraging girls to be active citizens and create positive change in their communities. As a non-partisan organization, we empower girls to understand the nation’s election process in a patriotic, not political, manner. Girl Scouts learn to stand up for what they believe in, identify issues they care about, and take the lead like a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) to make the world a better place.