What to Know Before Joining Girl Scouts

Fall is upon us again, and we know that this can be an overwhelming time for both parents and children as they begin another school year filled with new opportunities. With busy schedules and a variety of different activities to try, it can be difficult to choose how kids spend their time outside the classroom! However, we are here to tell you that joining Girl Scouts will not be a decision that you and your daughter regret.

With over 100 years of leadership building experience for girls, Girl Scouts is committed to providing girls with the skills and resources they need to discover their passions and strengths. If you sign your girl up for a troop this year, she will have the special opportunity to learn about herself in a safe and supportive environment while making awesome friends and memories to last a lifetime.

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Considering joining Girl Scouts, but want to know more about our program and what it’s like? See below for the answers to some frequently asked questions!

What is Girl Scouts?

Girl Scouts is a leadership organization for girls where they engage in a variety of activities involving important life skills, the outdoors, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), and entrepreneurship. Girl Scouts can do things like attend troop meetings and events, earn badges, sell Girl Scout Cookies, go to camp, and more.

Who can join Girl Scouts?

Girls in grades K-12 can join Girl Scouts as girl members. Adults can join Girl Scouts as volunteers that help facilitate activities for girls.

What is a Girl Scout council?

While Girl Scouts is a national organization called GSUSA, Girl Scout councils are in charge of maintaining the Girl Scout Leadership Program in a certain area. Our council, Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines, covers Girl Scouts in central and eastern NC. Our headquarters is in Raleigh, and we have additional service centers (offices and shops) in Wilmington, Fayetteville, and Goldsboro.

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What is a Girl Scout troop? 

A Girl Scout troop is a group of Girl Scouts that meet and complete activities together. Meetings are facilitated by troop co-leaders, which are registered adult volunteers. At meetings, Girl Scouts usually work on badges or plan special events like a visit to a fun museum or a service project to help the community. Girl Scout troops are identified by their troop number… for example, Girl Scout Troop #409.

What are badges and patches? Is there a difference?

There is a difference! Badges are awards girls earn by completing skill-building activities.  Patches are given to Girl Scouts for participating in fun events, activities or other programs. Badges are worn on the front of a Girl Scout’s vest, patches on the back.

When and where do troops meet? 

It depends on the troop! It could be weekly, monthly, on a weekday or weekend, at a school or church etc. When you are being placed in your Girl Scout troop, you can speak with your Troop Development Director on which troops would work best for your schedule and location.

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Does a Girl Scout have to be part of a troop?

No she does not! Girls can join as individually registered Girl Scouts and choose to do activities and badge work on their own. This is an excellent option for an older girl that wants to participate in earning our Highest Awards and a chance at scholarships and college preparation badges but does not have a troop.

Girls who are in troops can also participate in council events and camp on their own if they want.

How much does being a Girl Scout cost?

Girl Scouts costs $25 for an annual membership, and troops may have additional dues to help pay for their activities. Girl Scout events and camps range in cost, and financial assistance may be available for membership fees, camps, and events for those that apply.

How can I learn more and sign up for membership?

We have a variety of recruitment events coming up where you and your girl can speak with Girl Scout staff members and volunteers and see what it’s like to be a Girl Scout with some fun activities! On Saturday, September 14th, we will be hosting an event at each service center called Super Saturday. Learn more and register here!

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We are so glad that you are considering Girl Scouts! If you have additional questions, feel free to contact our Help Desk or call 1-800-284-4475.

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