Girl Scouts is for everyone.
That’s one of the main messages Cristen Incitti, Chief Operating Officer of the Girl Scouts of Wisconsin – Badgerland Council. The organization has made it a priority to reach all families, especially those of low income, Incitti says. In fact, all families that meet the requirements for the National School Lunch program are eligible to sign up for financial assistance and fee waivers to join Girl Scouts, which gives families the chance to have up to 90% of programming fees and 100% of membership fees covered.
“We want every girl to have access to this amazing opportunity… we are all striving to help,” Incitti says.
All you have to do is fill out a short application.
Girl Scouts was founded in 1912 in Savannah, Georgia, and has since expanded to a nationwide organization with about 2.5 million members consisting of 1.7 million girls and 750,000 adult staff and volunteers. The backbone of Girl Scouts is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.
Incitti, who has been with the organization for eighteen months, says her motivation to take the job was simple. “I was motivated by the mission. I have a daughter myself and as the parent of a girl I want her to be confident and strong and work towards solving community problems,” she says. “As a team we are working to make sure all girls, especially girls of low income and (girls of) color, have access to this amazing program.”
Girl Scouts consists of 112 councils nationwide. The Badgerland Council is responsible for 23 counties in Southwest and South Central Wisconsin, providing support services and programming for its 7,500 Girl Scout members. The Badgerland Council operates two residential camps: Camp Ehaawee located in Mindoro, Wisconsin, and Camp Brandenberg located in the town of Dane. These camps are open to girls in grades K-12 and run from the first week of June through the week of August 18. Grades K-5 and 6-12 consist of different activities, but they all revolve around camping, adventure, and travel. Badgerland Council members in grades 6-12 also have the opportunity to travel to the other councils throughout the state as well as the council in Chicago.
Badgerland Council has also partnered with Madison College to create Camp Hero, where girls interact with and learn from women in the field of emergency response, and Camp Build, with women in the construction trades.
New research from the Girl Scouts Research Institute shows that Girl Scouts link girls to success. Girl scouts are more likely to have a strong sense of self, have positive values, seek challenges and learn from setbacks, develop and maintain healthy relationships, and exhibit community problem-solving skills. They also benefit more in school with higher chances of graduating from high school and college as well as earning higher grades, and being more likely to pursue STEM. When it comes to activities, Girl Scouts are more likely to collaborate, take the lead, engage in healthy activities, and be hands on.
Full information on financial assistance, camps and camp scholarships is available at https://www.gsbadgerland.org/