Although most people tend to associate Girl Scouts with delicious cookies, being a Girl Scout encompasses so much more than just selling sweet treats. The youth organization’s goal is to prepare girls to become tomorrow’s leaders, so it makes sense that so many successful adult women were Girl Scouts as children.
From famous actors and musicians to athletes, politicians and members of the British royal family, many celebrities are Girl Scout alumnae. Here are some of them.
The Girl Scouts blog has highlighted Taylor Swift as one of their most famous alumni. Swift might be one of the most generous, too. In 2018, the singer invited the Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey to attend her local concert for free.
According to the Girl Scout blog, Meghan Markle is a former Girl Scout. The organization even supposes that her experience as a Girl Scout may have helped her become the smart, hard-working royal she’s become today. Even as a child, the Duchess of Sussex used her voice to stand up for what she believed in and famously spoke out against a sexist dish soap advertisement at the age of 11.
In her memoir “Living History,” former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton wrote about her experience as a young scout.
“As a Brownie and then a Girl Scout, I participated in Fourth of July parades, food drives, cookie sales and every other activity that would earn a merit badge or adult approval,” she worte. Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea Clinton, was also a Girl Scout and has publicly supported the organization as an adult.
Tennis star Venus Williams has been the key speaker for at least one official Girl Scout event, encouraging the young girls and women in attendance to always strive to be a leader. Williams reportedly was a Girl Scout as a child and has said that Thin Mints are her favorite type of Girl Scout cookie. Her sister, Serena Williams, was also a Girl Scout.
Queen Elizabeth II
Meghan Markle isn’t the only member of the British royal family who has scouting experience. Back when she was simply Princess Elizabeth, the future British queen and her sister, Princess Margaret, joined the Girl Guides (what the Scouts are called in the U.K.) in 1937. Queen Elizabeth’s daughter, Princess Anne, became a Girl Guide, as well.
Journalist Lisa Ling has been vocal in her support of the Girl Scouts.
“Girl Scouts had a tremendous impact on helping me to build self-confidence. It is a terrific organization for girls, and one that promotes the right things,” she said in a statement in 2012. Ling currently hosts the CNN TV series “This Is Life With Lisa Ling.”
Journalist and “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts is proud to have been a Girl Scout. In fact, she considers it to be a life-long honor.
“Yes I was a #GirlScout and I’m proud to say I’m a lifetime member!” she tweeted in 2017 in response to a fan’s question.
In a 2013 interview, model Karlie Kloss revealed that she had fond memories of her Girl Scout days and even credits the organization with helping her learn valuable lessons about goal-setting and money management.
“It’s such an incredible memory that I’ll always have,” she told Teen Vogue. “My oldest sister is just a few years older, and my youngest sisters are twins, so all of us were in Girl Scouts at the same time. I was in my troop with my absolute best friends growing up. In my community, the Girl Scout troops were very close. It was amazing to be a part of something that was big — it was very special organization. It still is!”
Not only was she a Girl Scout as a child, but Queen Latifah has also supported the organization as an adult. In 2018, she narrated a promotional video for the Girl Scouts. “Not just making our mark but making a difference — now that’s a job for Girl Scout,” she stated in the video, as photos of barrier-breaking Girl Scout alumna flashed on-screen.
Although she had quite the career as a child actress, Dakota Fanning still made the time to participate in a Girl Scout troop. Along with her sister, Elle Fanning, the actress was inducted into the Girl Scouts in 2005. Their mother was once a Girl Scout as well.
Media mogul Martha Stewart is often reported as being a Girl Scout alumna. In 2012, Stewart even dedicated an entire episode of “The Martha Stewart Show” to all-things Girl Scouts in honor of the organization’s 100th anniversary. In addition to on-air segments, the entire audience for the show was made up of Girl Scouts.
Reese Witherspoon is another notable Girl Scout alumna, according to the organization. In addition to acting in movies, Witherspoon owns her own film production company and runs Draper James, a clothing company. In 2018, she was highlighted by Fast Company on their annual list of the most creative people in business.
In 2012, journalist and former Girl Scout Katie Couric was chosen to be the keynote speaker at the Girl Scout’s annual convention. She also wrote a blog post for ABC around that time stating that while there’s still a leadership gap between men and women in many industries, the Girl Scouts are in a unique position to help empower girls to become future leaders.
“After all, most women business leaders and 11 of the 17 women in the U.S. Senate (at the time) were scouts,” she wrote.
In 2016, Melinda Gates posted on social media how proud she was to have been a Girl Scout, in light of an interview that the organization’s CEO Anna Maria Chavez had given to Fortune Magazine.
“She’s determined to open doors for young women the same way her mentors opened doors for her,” she wrote of Chavez. Gates is a philanthropist and wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
Mariah Carey is a lot of things: a super-star singer, a mom of twins and a former Girl Scout. Before she was touring the world with her music, Carey was a Girl Scout in her home state of New York. Who knows, maybe someday her daughter, Monroe Cannon, might be a Girl Scout, too.
Here’s a fun fact that you probably didn’t know: Every female Secretary of State has been a Girl Scout, including Condoleeza Rice, who served under President George W. Bush. Granted, there have only been three female Secretary of States so far, but if the Girl Scouts continue to succeed in empowering the future leaders of tomorrow, that list will longer someday.
Musician Sheryl Crow is another famous face that the Girl Scouts is proud to call one of their own. The singer-songwriter has won nine Grammy Awards, has battled breast cancer and is not afraid to voice her beliefs. She’s a true inspiration for what a Girl Scout might achieve with some hard work and determination.
Actress Abigail Breslin was sworn in as a Girl Scout in 2008 on the 20th Century Fox studio lot. The former child actress was nominated for an Oscar at the age of ten for her role in “Little Miss Sunshine.” Now an adult, Breslin will star in the upcoming film “Zombieland: Double Tap.”
Long before she was a famous actress or a princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly was a Girl Scout, growing up in Philadelphia. In fact, her Girl Scout guidebook from 1940 was even auctioned off for more than $500 in 2003. In it, Kelly had supposedly written her troop number, scout position and home address.
It’s never too late to join the Girl Scouts. In 2009, then-20-year-old actress Vanessa Hudgens was inducted into the Girl Scouts as an honorary member. The actress most recently starred in “Rent: Live” and the Netflix film “The Princess Switch.”
Like many other successful women, Gwyneth Paltrow got her entrepreneurial start as a Girl Scout. Not content to be just an Oscar-winning actress, Paltrow started her company Goop in 2008 out of her home. It is now a lifestyle brand worth $250 million.
Mary Tyler Moore
According to the Girl Scout organization, the late Mary Tyler Moore embodied the Girl Scout spirit during her lifetime. The actress and former Girl Scout championed causes like diabetes and animal rights, in addition to starring on “The Mary Tyler Show” and being nominated an Oscar for the 1980 film “Ordinary People.”
In 2014, the Girl Scouts saluted Barbara Walters as one of their own as part of Women’s History Month. Walters was the first female journalist to ever co-anchor a network evening news broadcast. She has also interviewed nearly every U.S. president and first lady (many of whom were also Girl Scouts) since President Richard Nixon.
Tyra Banks is not just a former Girl Scout, she’s also a savvy businesswoman and alumna of Harvard’s executive education program. Among her many business ventures, the former model has started her own production company and cosmetics brand. Banks also announced in 2019 that she plans to open up a modeling-themed amusement park.
Astronaut and former Girl Scout Sally Ride became the first American woman in space in 1983. At 32, she was also the youngest person ever to travel to space. She spent the rest of her life inspiring others with her accomplishments.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee is considered by some to be one of the greatest female athletes of the 20th century. She is also a former Girl Scout. Joyner-Kersee is an Olympic medalist in the women’s heptathlon and long jump, having won a gold, silver and bronze medal at four different Olympic games.
As a guest blogger on the Girl Scouts official blog, soap opera star Susan Lucci wrote, “I just loved being a Girl Scout! I have always loved learning things and having new experiences — then and now. Girl Scouts gave me the opportunity to set goals — achieving merit badges on my sash by learning skills in such a wide variety of areas — from life-saving to bird watching to baking!”
Stacey Abrams, the one-time Democratic nominee for Georgia governor, was a Girl Scout as a child. According to the Girl Scout Facebook page, she even met with Girl Scouts at the Georgia state capital while on the campaign trail. Although she lost the governor’s race, Abrams is reportedly considering a run for the Senate in 2020.
Canadian-born singer Celine Dion was a Girl Scout in her youth. Nowadays, the songstress is preparing to return to a residency in Las Vegas. An authorized movie based on her life is also rumored to be in the works.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Former Girl Scout Sonia Sotomayor has earned a place in history as the first Hispanic U.S. Supreme Court Justice. She also has the distinction of being the court’s third female justice. Justice Sotomayor grew up in New York to Puerto Rican-born parents.