Girl Scouts (U.S.A.)
Table of Contents
Girl Scouts is for girls aged 5-17.“Girl Scouts of the USA is the world’s preeminent organisation dedicated solely to girls – all girls – where, in an accepting and nurturing environment, girls build character and skills for success in the real world. In partnership with committed adult volunteers, girls develop qualities that will serve them all their lives, like leadership, strong values, social conscience, and conviction about their own potential and self-worth.”Girl Scouts of the USA. (2010). Girl Scouts of the USA: Who we are. Retrieved August 12, 2010, from Girl Scouts of the USA: http://www.girlscouts.org/who_we_are/
There are currently 3.3 million members of the organisation. In the U.S. the organisation is broken up into local councils of which there are over 300. The organisation also operates in over 90 countries for American girls who reside abroad. The organisation’s lifetime membership exceeds 50 million members.
The programme initiatives include activities in several fields which include:
- Leadership and Self-Esteem
- Community Outreach and Education
- Environmental Awareness
- Financial Literacy
- Health and Wellness
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
- The Arts
Girls continue to enjoy many of the same activities that were done early in the organisation’s founding, such as earning badges, participating in cookie sales and attending camp.
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.Girl Scouts of the USA. (2010). Girl Scout Promise and Law. Retrieved August 12, 2010, from Girl Scouts of the USA: http://www.girlscouts.org/program/gs_central/promise_law/default.asp
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, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.
The organisation was founded by Juliette Gordon Low of Savannah, Georgia (U.S.). She gleaned her ideas from Lord Baden Powell of England who had started similar organisations: Girl Guides and Boy Scouts. From its modest beginnings of 18 members, the organisation has grown to include millions of girls as members.
The Organisation breaks down age groups, attaching age appropriate handbooks and activities to each. From youngest to oldest, with approximate ages:
- Daisy – Age 5-6
- Brownie – Ages 6-9
- Junior – Ages 9-12
- Cadette – Ages 12-15
- Senior –Ages 15-18
In addition the organisation is run by adult leaders in troops and volunteers within each council and the organisation as a whole.
The organisation runs two websites for its girl members:
- Go Girls Only – Grades K-5 (ages 5-11)
- Studio 2B – Grades 6-12 (ages 12-17)
The yearly Girl Scout Cookie Sale is the premier fundraising event for girl scouts. Each council is responsible for its own cookie sale, including the procedures, start date and end date of the sale. The sale is a chance for girls to take initiative and be directly involved in the organisation. “Although parents and Girl Scout adults may assist girls, it is the girl who closes the sale, sets learning and sales goals, and learns the business leadership skills that are part of the program.” 70% of the cookie proceeds go toward the local council where the girls sold the cookies. After a portion of this is given directly to the troop that sold the cookies, the council is then responsible for how the profits are used which could extend to girl programs, adult training or other activities.Girl Scouts of the USA. (2010). Girl Scout Cookies. Retrieved August 12, 2010, from Girl Scouts of the USA: http://www.girlscouts.org/program/gs_cookies/cookie_faqs.asp
The cookies are made by two licensed bakers, ABC Bakers and Little Brownie Bakers, who make can make up to eight flavors, three of which are mandatory. Thin Mint, Peanut Butter Sandwich and Shortbread are consistently found on every Girl Scout cookie order list.
Popular flavors and best sellers include in order of popularity:
- Thin Mints
- Samoas®/Caramel deLites®
- Peanut Butter Patties®/Tagalongs®
- Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-si-dos®
Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. have membership in the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGS). This organisation, headquartered in London, holds membership of 145 girl associations throughout the world and operates four world centers: England, India, Mexico and Switzerland.Girl Scouts of the USA. (2010). Global: World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. Retrieved August 12, 2010, from Girl Scouts of the USA: http://www.girlscouts.org/who_we_are/global/wagggs/