What do Girl Scouts do?
Girl Scouts do just about everything from sports to science to shopping to community service! What makes it a Girl Scout activity is the mentoring that happens when girls work with trusted adults, with the guidance and values inherent in the Girl Scout Promise and Law.
Who can be a Girl Scout?
Girl Scouting is open to girls and adults who make the Girl Scout Promise, accept the Girl Scout Law, and pay annual membership dues. These are the only requirements for membership. Girl Scouting gives the highest priority to increasing diversity throughout the Girl Scout organization so that we truly reflect our community. The Girl Scout organization has a long history of adapting activities for girls who have special needs, including those who are physically and mentally disabled and those who are chronically ill.
At what age can my girl join Girl Scouts?
Any girl can join Girl Scouts if they are between age 5 and 17. Four-year-olds can only join if Girl Scouts is part of an organized program, like Head Start. For more information on Girl Scouting for different age groups, check out Join Us and Girl Scout Central.
How much will it cost for my girl to be a Girl Scout?
Girl Scouts is unlike many other youth activities in that it depends on active adult involvement (volunteers) rather than charging large fees. Girl Scout parents should expect to be personally involved in their girls troop. Because of this, the membership fee in the national organization is $12 per year. In addition, most troops ask girls to contribute Troop Dues, a small amount of money (something that a girl could pay out of her allowance) collected at each meeting. The girls then raise money to pay for most of their own activities by participating in the Cookie Sale in the Spring, and the Fall Product sale. Parents may be asked to contribute a Good Faith portion of the cost of these activities, to assure that their daughter participates. Financial assistance for some costs, including the national membership fee and troop dues, is available to girls.
How do I get my girl into a Girl Scout Troop?
The first step is to talk to the Field Executive for your area. This staff member will do her best to find placement for your daughter in a conveniently located Girl Scout troop. There are far more girls seeking troops than adults willing to volunteer, so troops usually fill up as soon as they are formed. This means that there may be a wait to find an opening that can last weeks, months or even longer. Therefore, parents are encouraged to consider helping form new troops by being a Troop Leader. This guarantees your girl a spot in a troop at a time that is convenient for you!
You can find the field executive who can can give you information on troops in your area by using the search function below. You may search by county, zip code, or city.
Does my girl have to join a troop? Or are there others ways to participate?
The volunteer-led Girl Scout troop doesnt work for everyone, therefore we offer a variety of ways girls can participate. Including: Juliette Girl Scouts, community service hours, and more.
Can adults participate in Girl Scouts even if they don't have a daughter?
Yes! In addition to being part of a troops Leadership Team, there are several ways adults can volunteer. For more information, Contact Us or check out Volunteers.
Can boys or men participate?
Girl Scouting exists to serve girls. Our many years of experience shows that girls have unique needs and interests that are best met in a program designed especially for them, delivered in an all-girl setting. Boys too, have unique needs and interests, which are addressed by organizations designed specifically for them. Adult men can volunteer in Girl Scouting in every capacity that women can. However, as one of the most valuable parts of a girls experience is gained through role modeling, each troop must have at least one female Leader.
Who runs a Girl Scout troop?
The Girl Scout organization is 99% volunteer-run, and that includes most Girl Scout troops. Typically, volunteers making up the Leadership Team are the parents, guardians, grandparents, aunts and uncles of the girls in the troop who have undergone a rigorous screening and a Training process. Because of the time-commitment, dedication and good will of our volunteers, it is important to remember that they are giving a lot of themselves to provide Girl Scouting to the girls. Therefore, they should not be thought of as baby-sitters or otherwise taken for granted. Parents are encouraged to recognize how much Leaders give their girls by celebrating Leader Appreciation Day every April 22nd.
When are the meetings?
Each Girl Scout troop or group chooses its own meeting time, usually around the schedule of the volunteer Leadership Team. Most troops meet once a week, either after school or in the evening to accommodate working parents. Most Girl Scout events and activities are on the weekends. It is recommended that parents be flexible in their approach to time when seeking a troop for their daughter, as spaces in existing troops can sometimes be hard to come by.
Is it true that if a girl does not join in the fall, she cannot join until next year?
NO! Girls participate in Girl Scouting in many different ways and at many different times during the year. Girls join when they are interested and when it fits their schedules.
What about the uniform?
While it is not required, both girl and adult Girl Scouts may choose to wear uniforms to show their pride in belonging to a movement held in high regard in our society. There are a wide variety of uniform components available through the Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama Shop, so that some part is affordable for every girl. GSSA recognizes a girl as being in uniform, if she is wearing her Girl Scout pins.
Can I bring my other children to Girl Scout meetings or activities?
Girl Scout meetings and activities are designed specifically for girls in the age group being served and are not meant to accommodate boys or younger/older girls. In addition, non-member insurance and child-care is usually not available unless arranged in advance. Some events are designed for the whole family, but be sure to check the event guidelines and look for information on Tagalongs before bringing siblings.
What is a Service Area? A Service Area is a geographic area in which several troops function together and form a support group. In rural areas, the Service Area usually consists of the town(s) or county. In urban areas, one or more schools may make up the Service Area. A service team works together to assure quality program for the girls in that area. Service Area meetings are a great way to meet other leaders in your area.
How do I help start a Girl Scout Troop/become a Girl Scout Leader?
The first step is to Contact Us and ask to speak to a Field Executive. She will help you arrange your first Online Orientation, and explain the Adult Volunteer forms which need to be filled out. You will be asked to provide references in addition to learning more about Girl Scouting. A troop may start only after a minimum of two adults have Online Orientation and committed to the troop. After that, you and your co-leaders will decide together on things like meeting time and place and the division of duties. You do not need any prior Girl Scout experience to be a Leader, just the understanding that the best way to spend quality time with a girl is to give her an experience that will enrich her for the rest of her life.
Will anyone be helping us?
As a Girl Scout volunteer, you can count on help from a variety of people. Once a month you can attend a Service Area meeting in your neighborhood. There, youll have the opportunity to meet other Leaders from your area and get ideas, advice, training and information on upcoming events. Each Service Area also has a leadership team, made up of experienced Leaders whose job it is to help you in all aspects of providing quality Girl Scouting to your girls.
Are there materials available to give us ideas for troop meetings?
Girl Scouts of the USA publishes Handbooks, Badge books and Leaders Guides, which provide enough high quality Girl Scout program ideas for every meeting. All are available for purchase at the Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama Shop. In addition, Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama provides supplemental events, program activity kits, patch programs, books, videos, equipment and loads of other materials that can be checked out for free or at a minimal charge at the Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama Mobile and Montgomery Service Centers.
When I was a Girl Scout, we did certain activities. Will my girl be doing those same things?
The reason Girl Scouts has remained a vital and valuable program for more than 95 years is because it is designed to address the specific and always changing needs of todays girls. While it is fun to hear about adults own Girl Scout experiences, it is essential that the girls themselves have a say in what they do. The core values embodied in the Girl Scout Promise and Girl Scout Law and Program Goals will always remain the same, but the activities used to instill those values are as varied and changing as the girls themselves.
How do I sign up my girl/troop for events?
Event information and registration instructions are available through flyers, or listed in Connections, which is distributed to Leaders at the monthly Service Area Leaders meeting. Information for certain events is also available online through the Events & Programs Calendar. Registration will not be accepted after the deadline dates and should be submitted well in advance to assure that space is available.
What are the learning requirements for new Girl Scout Leaders?
The first step to becoming a Girl Scout Volunteer is to complete the Volunteer Application. Once the necessary background screening is complete, the next step is to schedule New Leader Orientation. Beyond the orientation, additional education courses are available online, in a classroom setting or by home study.
For more information on curricula, signing up or class schedules, check out the Adult Learning Opportunities page.
Why do I need learn anything? I already know what I want to do for the year.
You would not want to send your child to school and have them be taught by someone who is not qualified to teach. Girl Scouts of the USA states that all volunteers must be trained for their positions.
There is a lot involved in Girl Scouting and you need to be aware of these different aspects. One of the most important objectives of our Learning Opportunities is the safety of our girls and also the safety of our volunteers. Girl Scouts of the USA provides liability insurance for volunteers and girls. Volunteers are required to follow
Safety Activity Checkpoints and other guidelines at all Girl Scout activities. All of our courses are offered in three formats to accommodate everyone: classroom, online and home study.
What learning requirements do I need to go with my girls away from our regular meeting place?
To take your girls away from the regular meeting place, each troop must have an adult certified in First Aid and CPR. An adult must also have completed the Venturing Out/Troop Trip Planning
I have training on my job for First Aid and CPR. Do I have to take the Girl Scout First Aid course?
American Heart Association and Red Cross Community First Aid are accepted by Girl Scouts of the USA as courses that qualify their volunteers as First Aiders. Other First Aid courses will need to be checked with the Directors of Volunteer Development to see if it meets the requirements. Our requirements are infant, child, and adult CPR as well as Basic First Aid. These courses are usually an 8 hour class. Please submit copies of your training card to the Volunteer Services Department, so she can update your education/training records showing you have taken First Aid/CPR.
Do I need to complete special requirements to take girls camping or put on an event?
Yes. For camping outings, an adult must attend Camping Adventures approximately 3 months in advance and come back to the troop and help the girls learn camping skills, safety, setting up a tent and other guidelines. Then a troop must go through a progression that allows them to practice what they learned in a protected environment, like a back yard campout. Once they have accomplished this, they can progress to higher level camping. Adults planning events for 3 or more troops must attend Special Events education and be approved to hold the event. This too requires an approximate 3-month lead-time in order to complete all the planning and requirements. Click for more on Adult Learning Opportunities.
I have been family camping for my whole life! Why do I need to learn to Camp?
We will teach you how to prepare the girls in your troop for a camping experience. We realize that you know how to camp, but it is different taking a group of girls out rather than just going with your family. Part of the experience is for the girls to participate in the planning and execution of the camp trip. Again, safety is one of the most important elements for both girls and adults when Girl Scout camping.
Why do Girl Scouts sell cookies?
A parents financial status should not affect a girls ability to participate in Girl Scouts. From the beginning, girls have been raising money themselves to pay for their activities. Aside from keeping costs down for parents, the girls learn important skills that serve them throughout their lives but are often not taught at school. These sales contribute to the girls experience by teaching valuable lessons about money management, setting goals, budgeting, interpersonal skills and using resources wisely.
What kind of money-earning activities can my Girl Scout troop participate in?
After participating in the fall product sale and the annual cookie sale, troops may conduct one non-product money earning project. For any additional money earning projects, the form must be completed and submitted at least 4 weeks in advance. Popular approved money-earning projects are: garage sales, babysitting, car washes, craft sales, aluminum can recycling, bird feeder sales, ice cream floats, flower sales, sale of food at local community or school events. To be sure that an activity is appropriate, please contact your service area manager, Field Executive or the director of development at the council service center.
Can my troop raise money for another organization?
Girl Scouts cannot raise or solicit money for other organizations. This is a national policy through GSUSA.
Can my friend make a donation to my Girl Scout troop?
Technically, yes. But keep in mind, that Girl Scout troops are not classified as a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) organization. Only the council, known as Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama, holds the not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) designation. If your friend makes a donation directly to your troop and you deposit it, then your friend may not claim the donation on their taxes. If your friend wishes to claim their donation on their taxes, the donation must go through the council service center and then a check will be written to your Girl Scout troop.
Can I go to camp if Im not a Girl Scout?
Yes! All girls going into 2nd through 12th grade are welcome. Just include the additional $15 fee and a completed Girl Scout membership form.
Can my Girl Scout Troop or individually registered Girl Scout participate in the "Walk for Life", "MS Walk", or "Run for the Cure"?
They may not as a Girl Scout troop or individually representing Girl Scouts. In other words, they may not walk wearing Girl Scout uniforms or any insignia verifying they are Girl Scouts. As a Girl Scout troop, they may participate as a volunteer for the event by handing out water, registering walkers or other volunteer duties.
Can my troop use the Girl Scout logo on t-shirts or other items?
The Girl Scout logo can be used by troops on promotional items, but there are strict guidelines governing its use because it is a licensed, copyrighted, and protected trademark. These guidelines include, but are not limited to, the logos appearance, who may do the work, and what can be done with items featuring the logo. Please contact the Public Relations and Marketing Department before using the trademark in any form.
Will my daughters photograph be used for promotional purposes?
If you signed a photo release prior to attending an event, then any photo taken of your daughter can be used in publications or other media without your prior or specific consent. If you did not sign the release, and you see a member of the staff taking photographs, please advise him/her that your child does not have a photo release on file.
Who do I contact for media inquiries?
Contact Eric Gallichant, Director of PR & Marketing in Mobile, at (251) 344-3330 or (800) 476-3747 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Can I talk to a reporter about the Girl Scouts?
Yes, if approached by a reporter, you may talk about the Girl Scouts but you must make it clear that you are offering your own opinion or observations, and that you do not officially represent Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama.