Girl Scouts Prepare For Convention In Houston To Mark 100th Year

For the first time in 30 years, Houston is hosting a Girl Scout convention. Starting tomorrow, thousands of girl scouts will show up at the George R. Brown Convention Center for an event that's called the 'Super Bowl' of the Girl Scouts organization. This convention is special, because it marks the Scouts' 100th year.

It's a challenge for any organization to stay relevant for an entire century.   Girls have more options for extracurricular and social activities today than they did 100, or even 30 years ago. 

Mary Vitek is the CEO of the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto.  She says the Scouts have adapted to the changes by becoming more flexible.  Younger members start off with the traditional neighborhood-based troop experience.

"As they get older, they want a bigger pond.  So we're offering more programs where they can be exposed to role models that are readily available in this city.  And that's one of the things we're doing to retain girls over the longest period of time."

Vitek says the Scouts offers special programs, like voice and dance, targeted to girls in middle and junior high school.  She says it's a way to keep them interested as they face added pressure to drop scouting because their peers might think it's not cool. 

"What I find is when they get to high school, they're over that.  So they're focused, they see the relevancy.  They see 'wow, if I can build my leadership skills, if I can earn the Gold Award —the highest award in Girl Scouting, that will contribute to my skills later on.'  And that makes a big difference."

The Girl Scout Convention at the GRB runs through Sunday.  All current and former Scouts are welcome. 

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