As a national organization, Girl Scouts is 2.5 million strong—1.7 million girls and 750,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. In this article for all volunteers, you will learn about the basics of Girl Scouts, resources, responsibilities, and expectations.
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Our extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, she organized the very first Girl Scout troop and every year since, we’ve honored her vision and legacy, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.
We’re the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. And with programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success.
World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
W.A.G.G.S. or the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts is a 146-member international organization whose mission is “to inspire girls and young women to reach their fullest potential as responsible citizens of the world. Girl Scouts of the USA is a member. Girl Scouting is a world-wide movement!
Girl Scouts of the USA
Across the United States, girls are members of Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), our national organization. GSUSA develops our badges, awards, and curriculum, giving girls a standard experience across our country.
Girl Scouts River Valleys
Girl Scouts River Valleys is one of 111 Girl Scout councils across the United States. In partnership with 9,000 committed volunteers, Girl Scouts River Valleys serves more than 28,000 girls through a 49-county council that spans Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.
Girl Scouts River Valleys’ council is divided into 152 service units. Service units are led by experienced, dedicated volunteers who support and serve girls, troops, and volunteers in their area and lead local recruitment efforts.
Many also host local events like day camps, cookie rallies, World Thinking Day celebrations, award ceremonies, and service projects. Service units may also have web pages, local events, and monthly leader meetings available to you.
To find out which service unit covers your area, use our Service Unit Directory where you can search by city, zip code, school, or school district.
Troops are the most common way girls participate in Girl Scouts. Troops are led by volunteers (often parents, friends, or family members). The average troop size is 8-10 girls, but we’ve got troops of 20 and more! Troops allow girls to work as a team and build lasting friendships. Girls work with their troops on skill building, leadership, and service projects while having fun with their friends.
Members are both girls and adults like you, who are joined together in the pursuit of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Girl Scout memberships run on an annual basis from October 1-September 30 and must be renewed each year. Lifetime memberships are also available.
All Girl Scout volunteers are responsible for the physical and emotional safety of girls and must adhere to the following responsibilities:
- At least two unrelated adults must be present with girls at all times.
- At least one of these adults must be female.
- If a man serves as a troop volunteer, an adult female who is not related to the male volunteer must be present at all times.
- The adult-to-girl ratios must be adhered to relative to the troop activity.
- Applicable safety activity checkpoints must be reviewed prior to engaging in any activity with the girls.
- Ensure inclusivity in all aspects of Girl Scouting regardless of ability, age, culture, education, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status.
- Carry the status as a mandated reporter by understanding when and how to report abuse.
- Promote and support family fundraising campaigns, Snacks and Magazines, and the Girl Scout Cookie Program in relation to your volunteer position.
Summary of Resources
- Health, Safety, and Using Safety-Wise – This article outlines safety guidelines and adult-to-girl ratios that must be adhered to during all troop activities.
- Being Inclusive – This article outlines how to practice inclusivity in all aspects of Girl Scouting regardless of ability, age, culture, education, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status.
- Service Unit Directory – A list of all Girl Scouts River Valleys’ service units, searchable by city, zip code, school, or school district.