Most people know that Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring is credited with the birth of the EPA and national environmental movement, but have you considered what you could write a book about to make such a profound impact on the world around you? You might know about Dolly Parton’s monumental singing career, but have you considered how you could utilize your skills to forge your own path?

I love Women’s History Month for two main reasons. First, it gives us a whole month to explore and learn about women who defied the odds, didn’t let other viewpoints on them stand in their way, and women who have paved the way so things can move in a positive direction for all. I will never forget explaining to elementary aged Girl Scouts about how in a not-so-distant past, Sally Ride was asked if she was going to match her purses to her space suits. I started by asking the girls what questions they would ask to a woman who was going into space and let me tell you, her purse didn’t come up. When I told them about all the questions and assumptions that were made about her based on her gender, they were aghast. It was enlightening for me to see how they could never even consider that happening now, and I was grateful for women like Sally Ride, who normalized women in STEAM so our Girl Scouts today will never experience that kind of stereotype.

The second reason I love Women’s History Month is for the opportunity for girls to think about how they can be a part of our history books. Every woman featured had an idea, a passion, something they knew they wanted to change about the world and stopped at nothing to change it. We always encourage our girls “to make this world a better place” and Women’s History Month not only gives girls the chance to learn about women who have done just that, but a chance to think about the change they want to make and the steps to do it.

So to make the most of Women’s History Month, we encourage you to download the Badge Bundle materials that are free on our website; to explore some of our On Your Own Opportunities to dive deeper; and to attend a panel or two of our extraordinary women in our communities taking part in careers related to our four pillars. These activities are more than just reading through a history book and writing down some fun facts. They are meant to ask Girl Scouts, how are YOU going to be a part of women’s history month? What similarities do you see between yourself and the women who came before you. The activities we’ve created not only celebrate the women who have made an impact on our world, but challenge girls to think about their own place among them. Could you start the next national cookie business like Debbie Fields? Is there a mountain yet to be climbed by Junko Tabei?

My hope is that throughout this month, you and your troop learn about some of the incredible women who got us to where we are today, and you explore where we can go in the future. After all, who better to add to our history books than girls of courage, confidence, and character who make this world a better place?


Yours in Girl Scouting,

Ali Van Overbeke

Volunteer Resources Department