Extra-Curricular Activities for Girls that Promote Leadership
Our girls are strong, bright, and capable of changing the world. Your daughter could become one of our next presidents, and helping your girl stand in her own power and embrace all that she has to offer is one of the key ways we can contribute to making this happen. We know the value of girls’ leadership, and fortunately, there are organizations that have exciting extracurricular activities and programs to help girls develop leadership skills.
Here are six extracurricular activities that will help your daughter become the next president:
The proof is in the pudding as far as the leadership skills that girls develop through participation in Girl Scouts programs. The majority of the women elected to Congress in 2018 alone were former Girl Scouts, and it’s no surprise. If you’re not familiar with the Girl Scout program, you may only associate them with cookie sales, but modern day Girl Scouts go way beyond the cookie. The program encourages girls to be whoever they want to be and to take on leadership roles from very early ages. Even as Daisies or Brownies (the youngest scouts), they participate in making decisions for the troop and in choosing what they would like to work on. STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) is embraced, as is community service and problem solving.
As girls work towards the highest distinction of Gold Award as teenagers, they learn to identify their passions and how they can use them to change the world for the better. In pursuit of the Gold Award, girls become effective leaders by identifying problems in their community, investigating them, and ultimately making a plan and putting it into action to see how they can have a lasting effect on the issues that they care about. Ultimately, Girl Scouts is one of the best leadership opportunities in the world for girls as it is all-girl and girl-led. The organization’s methods are based in long-term research, and they never stop evolving and growing to serve our girls in the best way possible. Girl Scouts is an amazing way for your daughter to achieve a strong sense of self and to create positive change in our world.
STEAM clubs are available throughout the country under various names and are often offered as after-school programs and summer camps for children of all ages. You might just associate STEAM activities with science and math, but the beauty of these extracurricular activities is that it takes these subjects and combines them with hands-on projects. Kids then connect these projects with real world problems and solve them using creativity and 21st century skill sets.
STEAM activities allow girls to see concrete ways that they can make a difference through the education they receive. They allow girls to develop both sides of their brain as the activities tap into creative thinking and math and science knowledge. In addition, today’s political leaders need an understanding of economics and statistics, and STEAM clubs provide projects that work towards this kind of thinking.
Girls Mentoring Programs
Mentoring programs where younger girls have the opportunity to learn from older girls like Girls 4 Girls is a wonderfully supportive way for girls to develop confidence which is essential for positive leadership. Both mentors and mentees benefit through the support of friendship that crosses typical age barriers and a positive role model system. Girls nurture each other and help bring out the best in each other, helping them develop strong interpersonal skills and social emotional growth.
Any mentoring opportunity where girls learn to be both open and strong will be a growth experience for your daughter. If there is not a girls’ mentoring program where you live, you can always work with girls in your area to start one. Building a program from scratch and entrepreneurial experience are fantastic lifelong leadership lessons for girls.
Girls Leadership is a unique program that works around four central values: authentic communication, courageous growth, equity, and play. They focus on social emotional learning as a foundation for leadership and provide different ways to participate in the program. Based in California, they currently have programming in California, Colorado, New Jersey, and New York, but they plan to extend across the country.
The mission of Girls Leadership is to equip girls with the skills to exercise the power of their voice. They offer both overnight summer programs and local programming that is for both girls and the grown-ups in their lives. As your daughter grows, you can grow with her to help her continue to develop the resiliency and strong voice needed for leadership at home.
Girls in Politics
This initiative is run by the Political Institute for Women. The Girls in Politics programs introduce girls ages eight to fifteen to politics, policy, the United States Congress, parliaments, and the work of the United Nations. The camps that they offer such as Camp Congress for Girls, Camp United Nations for Girls, and Camp Parliament for Girls are girl-friendly and emphasize the need for girls in politics. They also offer a webinar for girls aged thirteen to seventeen called Careers in Politics for Girls who express interest in a career in politics. If you are as interested as your daughter, they offer mother and daughter camps and programs. Sometimes, all it takes is seeing what is possible to set your daughter’s dreams of leadership and positive change on fire, and Girls in Politics provides various ways to do so.
Girl Up is another opportunity for your daughter to start a club focused on girl empowerment in your area if there isn’t one nearby. With over 1,900 clubs around the world, girl power is spreading like wildfire. Girl Up club members develop the leadership skills necessary to make a positive difference in the lives of girls. They do this through education, fundraising, advocacy, and service.
For more activities that help build leadership in girls, check out our favorite activities inspired by International Women's Day: