Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Moyock Girl Scout Explores Local Government

Submitted by Charissa Drake, Girl Scout volunteer

Civic engagement has been an important part of Girl Scouts since the organization was founded. Girl Scouts held babies while women voted for the first time after the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920, and they operated bicycle courier services, rolled bandages and grew Victory Gardens during the World Wars, just to name a few activities. Today, girls can earn a whole set of badges that teaches them all about government and democracy, including the Inside Government and Behind the Ballot badges.

Senator Erica Smith-Ingram and Genesis
This summer, Girl Scout Cadette Genesis from Moyock had the opportunity learn about government as she shadowed North Carolina Senator Erica Smith-Ingram. Genesis was formally introduced during the Senate session, attended a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting and attended a House of Representatives legislative session. Genesis also visited with Representative Bob Steinburg, who serves six counties in northeastern North Carolina.

During her visit to Raleigh, Genesis also learned about North Carolina Senate Bill 400, sponsored by Senator Smith-Ingram, to encourage regional schools in North Carolina to facilitate access for students to participate in activities provided by the Boy Scouts of America, and its affiliated North Carolina groups and councils, and the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, and its affiliated North Carolina groups and councils.

The impact of the opportunities that Girl Scouts have to be involved in government will last them well beyond their years in the organization. The Girl Scout Research Institute found civic engagement to be one of the positive life outcomes that Girl Scout alumnae display to a greater degree than women who were never Girl Scouts. Even women who were Girl Scouts for two or less years are registered to vote at at higher rate than non-alumnae (82 percent versus 78 percent). Find more information about the impact of Girl Scouts here.