Girl Scouts Trying to Fit In With Teens

October 16, 2003 -- Posted at 10:30pm

JONESBORO, AR - National leaders of Girl Scouts are making over the organizations image; at least where it's trying to entice more 11 to 17 year olds to join. Their research recently showed 96% of girls in that age range are not in Girl Scouts: apparently it isn't hip enough for them.

Welcome to 'Studio 2B'. It's a new program designed by girls for girls that's completely separate from the normal progression through patches, badges and pins.

Karen Ford, Field Director for Girl Scouts of Crowley's Ridge Council, said, "Quite a large number of girls are not involved, because they think of traditional girl scouting as just selling cookies and going to camp."

The '2B' in the program's title stands for 'to belong'; a goal research shows most girls have when it comes to associating with others their age. The girls in Studio 2B read focus books. Once they achieve all of the activities in the book, they can order a charm which corresponds to that subject. A book called 'On Track' focuses on athletics and staying fit. The corresponding trinket is a running shoe.

Another change is that Girl Scout Leaders are instead called Girl Advisors; reminding adults that the girls are in charge. The program follows 4 'B's, or goals: become, belong, believe and build. Ford said 'Become' stands for developing self potential; 'Belong' stands for learning to relate to others; 'Believe' stands for developing values; and 'Build' stands for contributing to society.

The Girl Scouts calendar year begins in October, so advisors are just now learning about 'Studio 2B'. So far, about 6 of Crowley's Ridge Council's 250 troops have started the program.