Girl Scouts Heart of the South today launched a new patch program for girls entitled “She’s My Friend.” In a continued effort to teach girls to strive to be friendly and helpful, considerate and caring and respectful to all people, girls will explore inclusivity, the value of each person in a society and discover the confidence to stand up for what is right through activities within the new program.
Melanie Schild, Girl Scouts Heart of the South CEO, said, “As our society is constantly developing and changing, it is important that we start difficult conversations about racism, diversity, and inclusivity with girls at a young age. By doing so, they are able to learn from their experiences. It is vital that we accept the realities of our world and find healthy ways to help our girls to do the same.”
The She’s My Friend Patch Program is designed to grow with girls as they grow so that each year, girls can revisit the program and do additional activities that strengthen their commitment to treating others fairly and including those who may look different, act different, talk different or even think differently than they themselves do. At its core, the program teaches girls about “standing up and standing with girls of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds because she is my friend and she deserves to be treated equally.”
The program is not intended to be an independent study, but rather a discussion-guided program in a Girl Scout troop or family setting. Information is included for adult facilitators or troop leaders so that they can be prepared for difficult or challenging discussions that may occur. Schild said, “We want to open a line of communication among fellow Girl Scouts and friends about acceptance because even though some of these topics may seem beyond a girl’s age level, these are the matters that young women deal with every day.”
Girl Scouts is open to girls in grades K through 12 and is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. With programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success. Find out more at www.girlscoutshs.org or call the local council at 1-800-624-4185.