Cloninger’s answer, in a nutshell: No worries. GSUSA’s high-energy CEO believes the organization is going to look “very contemporary and innovative” as it transforms itself.
“Girls are going to be able to look at Girl Scouting and say that’s the go-to place for having fun and having a mission in the world,” she says. “So I think in the new Girl Scouting, girls are going to see a much more stepped up community-service component.”
In fact, Cloninger adds, Girl Scouting is a little bit under-leveraged as an opportunity for girls.
“We’re also looking a lot at our international dimension,” she says. “Girl Scouts are growing up in a global world and are part of a world association. I want girls to join the organization and say, ‘Wow, I’m going to be involved in really fun and cool activities and I’m going to learn a lot about what’s happening in South Africa, Liberia, Colombia, Brazil — all over the world.’ All of those countries and many others have Girl Scout or Girl Guide organizations. We call it the global sisterhood of Girl Scouting.”
Meanwhile, the organization is proceeding with action-oriented internal development that includes a multitude of training programs.
“We’re increasing our consulting capacity and the leadership role of GSUSA so that our councils can help us raise the bar in our fundraising practices,” Cloninger says.
Discussions about the transformation initiatives are sure to continue, but the general idea, as GSUSA Vice President of Communications Denise Pesich says, is “to deliver leadership skills in girls that can produce very powerful women wherever they’re needed — in families, government, business and on the global scene.”
Pesich argues that GSUSA is “developing the kinds of leaders that are going to be very attractive to the population.”
“That’s why the transformation is leveraging our ability in the fundraising marketplace to make a compelling argument for why others should invest in this program,” she says.