From an Eight-Pointed Star to the G.I.R.L. Agenda: Citizenship in Girl Scouting

February 5, 2018

Meridith Orr, Program Executive

“Name five things on which the comfort and welfare of your family depend, which are controlled by your Government.” – Scouting for Girls Proficiency test question for Citizen Merit Badge, 1927

“Girl Scouts is not an organization.  Girl Scouts is a Movement,” I was reminded by a volunteer who had been a Girl Scout for more than eighty years. I considered this important distinction and its role in shaping girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Looking back on the earliest days of Girl Scouting, we are reminded how our Founder encouraged girls to do everything they could to make a difference wherever they lived.

A thorough understanding of the workings of government was encouraged by earning the Citizen Merit Badge. Symbolized by an eight-pointed star, the proficiency test consisted of 13 topical questions including “Who is responsible for the government of your country?” and “How can you help make your Government better?” The references for studying this badge included “The Women Voter’s Manual,” published in 1918, as well as several citizenship texts. However, the Citizen badge could only be earned by Girl Scouts who were First Class Scouts or girls at least sixteen years old.

A century later, the Movement has different ideas about how girls can lead and how early they can Take Action to be thoughtfully engaged citizens. Just this summer, the Daisy “Good Neighbor” badge was introduced to help our youngest members understand the idea of community, explore their local communities, and learn how to improve their communities by being a good neighbor.

Through the Citizen legacy badges in the Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting, Girl Scout Brownies learn how communities celebrate their citizens in “Celebrating Community,” while Juniors begin to learn the inner workings of legislatures to earn “Inside Government.”

Our older Girl Scouts follow a progressive education in civic action, too! Girl Scout Cadettes explore strategies for bringing people together in “Finding Common Ground,” studying differing opinions, learning about civil debate, the art of compromise and mediation. Seniors go “Behind the Ballot” to learn the ins and outs of electing people to office as well as the importance of voting. The “Public Policy” badge encourages a Girl Scout Ambassador to engage as a citizen for positive change by working to influence legislation important to her.

Now we have even more resources to help Girl Scouts of all ages as well as adult members advocate for issues important to them! The G.I.R.L. Agenda site provides age-specific handouts to make it easy for co-leaders to encourage girls to identify issues and join their voices with others in civil, creative ways to make a real impact. Girls can change the world and they will – with YOUR help and guidance!


Camp Like a G.I.R.L. – 5 Reasons to Register on February 1st

January 29, 2018

Although it seems far away, Summer Camp with Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines is just around the corner. This summer, we are going to Camp Like a G.I.R.L., and we can’t wait to have you join us! There are many benefits to registering early, take a look below to learn more.

  1. You’ll have so many options to choose from – It doesn’t matter if it’s your first summer going to camp or your tenth, everybody loves options! Take a look through the Summer Fun Guide to see all of the awesome ways to Camp Like a G.I.R.L. this summer. Will it be sailing at Camp Hardee, horseback riding at Camp Mary Atkinson, photography at Camp Graham, or one of dozens of other amazing options?
  2. Some of our camps fill very quickly – In the past, we have had several sessions fill within an hour of registration opening, so if you have your heart set on a specific program, be sure to be ready! Resident camp registration opens February 1 at 10 a.m. If you don’t get into your first choice, you can always register for the waitlist or choose another session. You’ll have a blast no matter which session you register for!
  3. Only a $100 deposit is needed – When you register for camp on opening day, you only need to pay $100 per session that you are registering for. This means that you’ll have three months to save money and budget to have your camp fees paid by May 1, 2018. Plus, you’ll be able to take advantage of our Early Bird Discount!
  4. You can start planning out all of your summer adventures – It seems we are always working to balance our schedules between school, Girl Scouts, and other activities, and the summer is no different! By having a head start on your camp schedule for the summer, you can figure out the best times to go visit Grandma at the beach or your cousins in the mountains. Don’t forget to give yourself time to rest and relax – it is summer vacation, after all!
  5. You’ll have months to get ready – By knowing which session you’ll be doing, you can take your time to get ready. Practice your friendship bracelet making skills, sing camp songs, and research new camp skits. Share the camp address with friends and family so they can send you letters. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for sales on any new gear you need!

So grab your copy of the Summer Fun Guide, sit down with your family, and pick out the sessions that excite you the most! Registration for Summer Resident Camp opens at 10am on Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 10 a.m.

Here are a few suggestions on how to make sure your My GS account is ready for camp registration!

  • Make sure that you have a working login to My GS before February 1st. This ensures your account is ready to go and you’ll have an easy registration process.

  • When looking for a session, first login to your My GS Member Profile and then click on that Activities listing. When we add new sessions, the Activities tab within the member profile is the first to update and allow for registration. Visiting the Activities tab on the main page of our website can sometimes take 24-72 hours to update, so if there’s a session you really want to register for OR you can’t find the session listed on the website, log into My GS and click Activities and search for the camp session there.

  • If you don’t see your session, use the Search box at the top of the Activities listing.

  • If you want to pay only the deposit, you will have to check the Pay Deposit Now box or you will be charged for the full amount at the time of registration.

  • If you need assistance, please contact Customer Care at 800-284-4474 or helpdesk@nccoastalpines.org.  Please note that due to the high volume of calls, your information may be collected and someone from the Customer Care team will contact you. 


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