Girl Scouts go ‘beyond camping’

Amy Scott Mar 25, 2008


Scott Jagow: When I say Girl Scouts… I’m guessing you think Thin Mints and Samoas and those peanut butter cookies. But the almost 100-year-old group actually would like to change its image. Today, the Girl Scouts announce the hiring of their first ever chief marketing officer. Amy Scott reports.

Amy Scott: The Girls Scouts turned 96 this year — and it shows. Membership has been flat or declining as girls lose interest and other activities compete.

The new marketing chief, Laurel Richie, comes from promotions firm Ogilvy and Mather. Her appointment is part of a campaign to revamp the Girl Scouts’ image. They’ve rolled out new ads. Thin Mints have their own MySpace Page.

Katherine Cloninger is CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. She told a recent forum at Harvard Business School that today’s girls may be “beyond camping.” But offer them robotics or CEO camp, and it’s a different story.

Katherine Cloninger: So I think it’s more about really trying to put some of the things that we used to do in the context of what girls are interested in now.

Those iconic green skirts are also out the window. Girls will be allowed to wear their own white shirts, khaki pants or skirts. And of course, a sash.

In New York, I’m Amy Scott for Marketplace.

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