Girls Speak Up! – So We Listen

In October, we hosted the third annual Girls Speak Up! online survey project, and nearly 250 girls in grades 2-8 participated. This reflects a 20% response rate. Here’s what we heard our girls say.

How Girls Participate in Girl Scouts

  • Troop meetings, product sales, and Girl Scout day events/programs are popular activities, with four out of five girls participating.
  • Half of the girls participated in Girl Scout trips, and a third or more participated in Girl Scout overnight resident camp or day camp.
  • “I’ve learned to do different things to help my community”- Girl Scout Brownie

How Girls Benefit From Girl Scouts

  • Three out of five girls achieved the Girl Scout Leadership Experience outcomes related to Discover, Connect, and Take Action. This is comparable to the national baseline.
  • One out of three girls experienced the Girl Scout processes of Cooperative Learning, Girl-led, and Learning by Doing at a high level. While this is comparable to the national baseline, there is room for growth.
  • Half of girls are having fun, through progressive experiences in a safe environment. However, the element of safety significantly outweighs the element of novelty, which can lead to a sense of boredom with the program.
  • “I am eleven and our leaders are always pushing us to take the lead. This doesn’t happen anywhere else in my life, even at home. So, we don’t have lots of confidence with it. We like to lead discussions and pick badges to work on and activities to go to, but get shy when leading an activity like calling someone in our community to come to meetings. So, some more advice on having the courage to lead activities would be nice.” – Girl Scout Junior
  • “At Girl Scouts I feel safe and very comfortable. I also am a little shy and when I’m at Girl Scouts I feel like I can open up and tell them what I feel inside.” – Girl Scout Junior
  • Seven out of ten girls are highly satisfied with their Girl Scout experience. This is comparable to the national baseline. However, there is a decline in overall satisfaction as girls age, and Girl Scout Cadettes are noticeably less-satisfied than Girl Scout Brownies.
  • “Girl Scouts has always been there for me. It has been my escape from the world as well as my bridge into it.” – Girl Scout Cadette

FY2014 Girls Speak Up! infographic

These research findings will be incorporated into the council’s work to provide every girl the opportunity to join Girl Scouts, and when she does, to exceed her expectations. Read more in the full report at

About Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois

We build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.
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