The Girl Scouts Beyond Bars (GSBB) program helps strengthen relationships between girls ages 5 through 17 and their mothers incarcerated at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women. In addition to organizing mother-daughter troop meetings at the prison and leading mothers-only meetings focused on such themes as relationship building, GSBB also offers girls more traditional Girl Scout activities outside of the prison setting. By participating in such activities as camping, college tours, field trips and community service projects, the girls develop leadership skills and bond with others whose mothers are also incarcerated. These shared Girl Scout experiences teach girls that despite the ache of parental separation, they are not going through it alone.
Strengthening the bond between mother and daughter continues to be an effective strategy for teaching girls to make better choices. GSBB has been proven to fortify the mother-daughter relationship and reduce the stress of separation for both. The program fosters development of the girls’ self-esteem, personal growth, and leadership skills, and increases the likelihood of successful reunification following the mothers’ release.
“Not only has the Girl Scout program affected my daughter in so many positive ways, but it has had a huge impact on my life as well. Being a mother behind bars can lead many into feelings of helplessness and severe depression. Girl Scouts has allowed me the opportunity to spend quality time with my daughter teaching, sharing, and being more of a positive role model.”—Beyond Bars troop mother
For more information about the program, or getting involved as a volunteer, contact Beyond Bars Program Manager Valerie Montague via email at email@example.com, or via phone at 410-358-9711, ext. 213. To invest in this life-changing program, contact the Fund Development team at firstname.lastname@example.org.