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A letter from Patricia A. Burkart, CEO of GSWPA


To our Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania family,

As a friend of GSWPA, you have likely followed the news about Boy Scouts' name change and the admission of girls into their organization. You may have also encountered the confusion this media coverage has caused about the current and future state of our organization.

I'm pleased to write you today to set the record straight, and assure you that our focus remains the same as the day Girl Scouts was founded: providing the best leadership program for girls, and only girls.

You may have heard some of the myths:

  • Myth: Girl Scouts will be letting boys join soon.
  • Fact: No, Girl Scouts has no plans to admit boys into the organization. Research shows that a girl learns best in an all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment. Our programs are designed specifically for girls at their various developmental stages through youth.

  • Myth: Girl Scouts doesn't offer as many outdoor adventures as Boy Scouts.
  • Fact: Starting in Kindergarten, Girl Scouts earn badges in outdoor skills, camping, and high adventure. Girl Scouts can attend camp programs at a younger age than Cub Scouts.¬†

  • Myth: Girl Scouts highest awards don't offer professional advantages.
  • Fact: The Girl Scout Gold Award is impressive to colleges and universities, and to the military, which advances Gold Award Girl Scouts a full rank.

Simply put, Girl Scouts works, and we have a century's worth of experience and research to prove it. You can read about why Girl Scouts is best for girls on this blog from Girl Scouts of the USA. Our website also offers information about our organization and the proven benefits of our girl-centered, all-girl program.

Boy Scouts invested in a new brand, Scouts BSA, and say they are allowing girls to join because families want the "convenience" dropping of their sons and daughters off at the same place.

We know families want much more than that for their girls. They want them to have the best opportunities and experiences, designed just for them. Girl Scouts thoroughly researches girls' needs, using the results to develop effective programming, delivered in an all-girl environment.

We also know that families want girls to be safe. Our safety record is impeccable. At Girl Scouts, everything we do, from troop meetings to travel, takes place in the safe space of an all-girl environment, supported by fully-vetted volunteers and staff. There are no exceptions for any volunteer, no matter the duration or type of involvement. A volunteer leading an activity at day camp is required to have the same clearances and approval as a staff member.

It's no wonder families turn to Girl Scouts to support their girls as they grow into strong, confident, and courageous women.

I encourage you to join with us to promote Girl Scouting in our community.

Yours in Girl Scouting,
Patricia A. Burkart
Chief Executive Officer