Girl Scouts is a safe place for girls in grades K-12 to explore their values and their world, develop an understanding of and empathy with others, and take action to make the world a better place. Girls are guided by committed, caring adults who make Girl Scouting fun. Girl Scouts of the USA, guided by a wealth of experience and ongoing research, has been the nation’s leading expert on what girls need and want for 100 years.
GIRL SCOUT PROMISE AND LAW
The Girl Scout Promise and Law are shared by every member of Girl Scouting. The Girl Scout Promise is the way Girl Scouts agree to act every day toward one another and other people. The Girl Scout Law outlines a way to act towards one another and the world.
The Girl Scout Promise
On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.
The Girl Scout Law
I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
respect myself and others,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.
The Girl Scout Mission
Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.
Girl Scout membership is open to any girl in grades K-12 who has made the Girl Scout Promise, accepts the Girl Scout Law, and pays annual membership dues. (Financial assistance is available.)
Inclusion and Nondiscrimination Policy
Girl Scouts value inclusiveness and do not discriminate or recruit on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, national origin, or physical or developmental disability.
The Girl Scout organization is committed to a diverse membership reflective of the girl population of communities within the respective council’s jurisdiction.
World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
Our national organization, Girl Scouts of the USA, is one of 145 countries with a membership in the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). The Girl Scout Heart of the South and its Girl Scouts are not members of WAGGGS.
An application process exists for all adult positions in Girl Scouting. The process includes a written application, a reference check, and a face-to-face interview. Every volunteer and staff position in Girl Scouting is open to qualified men as well as women; however, men working directly with girls must serve as co-leaders with unrelated female leaders of troops or groups.
All activities are planned and carried out in accordance with standards and guidelines established by Girl Scouts of the USA through Safety Activity Checkpoints to safeguard the well-being of both girl and adult members. Checkpoints and guidelines also ensure that program activities are appropriate for the age levels.
All adult volunteers and staff who work with girls are carefully selected and participate in periodic evaluations of their job performance.
Girls wear Girl Scout uniforms to show their pride in belonging to a movement whose mission is held in high regard worldwide and to provide visibility and recognition for members. Girl Scouts at each level have one required element (tunic, sash, or vest) for the display of official pins and awards when participating in ceremonies or officially representing the Girl Scout Movement. For girls ages 5 to 14, the unifying look includes solid white shirts and khaki pants or skirts. Girl Scouts in high school may also wear a scarf that unites their look with the sisterhood of Girl Scouts around the world.
For adults, the uniform is a Girl Scout official scarf for women or tie for men, worn with the official membership pins and navy blue business attire.
THE NEW GIRL SCOUT LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE
Girl Scouting is an informal and experiential educational program that promotes leadership skills in girls. Girls are empowered to discover, connect, and take action to make a difference in today’s world. Our philosophy of age-appropriate learning is grounded in outcomes-based research.
Local councils work with girls and their families to determine what program content to offer, and the national organization creates diverse program content with guidelines for delivering it. Our program materials are regularly updated in response to user feedback.
Read more about the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.
THE GIRL SCOUT COOKIE PROGRAM
The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the most comprehensive business, entrepreneurial, and financial literacy training program available for girls today. Girls strengthen their skills in goal setting, communication, budgeting, managing money, working as a team, and planning a strategy to achieve goals.
Girl Scout cookie activities are voluntary and require the written permission of a parent or guardian. Safety guidelines must be followed when girls sell cookies.
All money earned from cookie activities stays within the local Girl Scout council to supply essential services to the troop, groups, and girls. Girls do not receive the money individually; they decide as a troop or group how to spend it.
GIRL SCOUT WEEK
The week that includes March 12 is celebrated annually as the anniversary of the founding of Girl Scouting in the United States in 1912. Girl Scout Week begins with the Sunday on or prior to March 12 and concludes the following Saturday. This allows members of diverse faiths to celebrate Girl Scouting on their chosen day of worship. In some areas and places of worship, a Girl Scout sheet highlighting local activities and thanking the community for their support is inserted into bulletins and programs.
SOCIAL AND POLITICAL ISSUES
Advocacy in Girl Scouting
Girl Scouts’ advocacy efforts help inform and educate policymakers about issues that directly affect girls or the rights of the Girl Scout organization. These efforts include motivating community involvement, influencing GSUSA’s practices and governmental policies at the federal, state, and local levels, and ensuring the fair enforcement and implementation of laws that have an impact on all girls and on Girl Scouting. However, Girl Scouts does not endorse or align itself with political parties or candidates for political office.
As a not-for-profit organization, Girl Scouts may take action only on legislation that directly affects the rights, responsibilities, and purposes of Girl Scouts of the USA. In their capacities as Girl Scouts, individual members may not take action on legislation or participate in any political activity that supports or opposes a candidate for public office. Also prohibited are such activities as conducting a flag ceremony at a political rally or appearing in such a manner as to be clearly identified as a Girl Scout in an advertisement for a political candidate or issue. However, activities that are designed specifically to be informative and do not advocate a position or candidate are permitted. We encourage Girl Scouts to actively promote participating in the democratic process, but not to advocate for a position or a candidate.
Fundraising for Other Organizations
All monies raised in the name of Girl Scouting must be used for that purpose. When people give money to those identifying themselves as Girl Scouts, they assume they are helping provide Girl Scouting to girls in their community. It would be misleading and a breach of the public trust to use the Girl Scout name to raise money for another purpose, no matter how noble. (Very rarely, GSUSA will allow girls to raise money to support natural disaster relief efforts.)
Faith and Individual Beliefs
The Girl Scout Movement is a secular, values-based organization founded on democratic principles, including freedom of religion. We believe that faith is a private matter for girls and their families to address.
Graces, Blessings, and Invocations
There is no Girl Scouts of the USA policy that prohibits or requires the saying or singing of a grace, blessing, or invocation in a troop/group setting. Such decisions are made locally at the troop or group level.
Abortion and Birth Control/Sexual Education
The Girl Scout organization does not take a position on abortion or birth control. We believe this is a private matter for girls and their families.
Families of Faith
Girl Scouts supports girls of all backgrounds and beliefs. While we are a secular organization, we believe the motivating force in Girl Scouting is a spiritual one. We greatly value longstanding partnerships with religious organizations across many faiths that share the values of the Girl Scout Promise and Law. We encourage girls to develop their own spiritual and religious beliefs by earning recognitions from their own faith communities and Girl Scouting’s new MyPromise, My Faith Pin, which helps a girl deepen the connection between the Girl Scout Law and her faith.
More FAQs regarding social issues can be found on our Sensitive Issues Frequently Asked Questions or on Girl Scouts of the USA's website.
Have more questions for Girl Scouts Heart of the South?
Contact Jenny Jones, Director of Marketing and Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org or 662-350-6041.