side menu icon
Girl_Scout_Traditions

All About Girl Scouts

Girls’ dreams are our dreams, and Girl Scouts is where they’ll see the limitless possibilities ahead of them and aim for the stars—and reach them. Whether she’s making a new friend on the playground, raising her hand in class, starting her own nonprofit, or advocating for climate justice, a Girl Scout builds a better world—just as Girl Scouts have been doing for over a century. And with programs in every zip code from coast to coast and across the globe, every girl can find her place in Girl Scouts and start creating the world she wants to see.

We Are Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts was founded in 1912 by trailblazer Juliette Gordon Low. We are the largest leadership development organization for girls in the world and a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, a sisterhood of close to 10 million girls and adults in 150 countries. 

Girl Scout Mission, Promise, Law, Slogan, and Motto

Mission
Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

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.
*Members may substitute for the word God in accordance with their own spiritual beliefs.

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.

Girl Scout Slogan
Do a good turn daily.

Girl Scout Motto
Be prepared.

Girl Scout Songs

Whether singing around a campfire or joining a chorus of voices on the Mall in Washington, D.C., Girl Scouts have always enjoyed the fun and fellowship of music. In fact, the first “Girl Scout Song Book,” a collection of songs put together by girl members, was published in 1925. 

Songs can be used to open or close meetings, enhance ceremonies, lighten a load while hiking or share a special moment with other Girl Scouts. For resources on Girl Scout songs, visit the Girl Scout Shop

Girl Scout Lingo

Booth Sale: Part of the Girl Scout Cookie Program where girls sell cookies at a local business.

Camporee: An educational camping trip. Adult Camporee is planned for adult Girl Scouts only and is held in the fall. Service unit camporees are planned by and for the service unit and may involve all grade levels of girls.

Campfire Connections: A newsletter that is emailed on the first and third Wednesdays of every month for parents and caregivers. Volunteers get a monthly version on the fifth day of every month. Be sure to watch for this informational newsletter filled with updates on the latest events, programs, new opportunities, and GSOH news.

Cookie Cupboard: A location where cookies can be picked up when your troop runs out of its initial order or wants to have a cookie booth.

Customer Care: The Customer Care team is available to answer your questions quickly and provide information to make working with girls easier!

Friendship circle: Girls and volunteers stand in a circle, crossing the right arm over the left and holding hands. Send a gentle squeeze around the circle.

Gift of Caring: A community-service project that could be part of the cookie program; troops designate a charitable organization to be the recipient of their Gift of Caring cookies.

Girl Scout Handshake: The handshake is a more formal way of greeting other Girl Scouts and is also an appropriate way to receive an award. Shake left hands and give the Girl Scout Sign with your right hand.

Girl Scout Sign: To give the sign, raise the three middle fingers of the right-hand palm forward and shoulder high (the three extended fingers represent the three parts of the Girl Scout Promise).

Highest Awards: The Bronze Award is highest award Girl Scout Juniors can earn. The Silver Award is the highest award Girl Scout Cadettes can earn. The Gold Award is the highest award Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors can earn, and it’s the highest award in Girl Scouting.

GORP: A traditional snack in which various ingredients, such as dried fruits, nuts, cereals, pretzels, and candies, are combined.

Journeys: Part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience that explores girl’s leadership potential.

Kaper chart: Used to assign chores or troop activities to girls on a rotating basis. Kaper charts can be used at troop meetings and/or during camping.

Leadership Essentials Course: All volunteers who will have care, custody, or control of a girl other than his or her daughter and/or handle funds and/or be counted in the girl to adult volunteer ratio are required to complete Leadership Essentials.

myGSOH (My Girl Scout Opportunity Handbook): A Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland Council publication published and mailed one per Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland volunteer household once a year. A digital copy is also uploaded at https://www.gsoh.org/publications. It contains listings of program events and information.

Opportunity catalog: The opportunity catalog is a comprehensive online display of all the troops in Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland. It enables quick and accurate registration to troops for girls, adults, and troop leadership volunteers.

P.A.L. (Program Aide Link): A Girl Scout Cadette, Senior, or Ambassador who volunteers at day camp, for example.

SWAP: A small craft made to commemorate a Girl Scout event, e.g. camping trip or camporee. It can be pinned to a special hat or jacket. Swaps are the same as potlatches—usually used to “swap” at camporees or other events.

Proficiency badges: Part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience found in the Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting and the VTK.

Quiet Sign: Raise your right hand high with an open palm. As girls in the group see the sign, they stop talking and raise their hands. This is a great way to get girls to pay attention when you want to start a meeting, an activity or something else.  

Safety Activity Checkpoints: The GSUSA online publication that defines health and safety standards for program and camping. Found both on GSOH’s website and as a resource on the VTK.

Safety Essentials: All volunteers working with girls are required to take this course found on gsLearn.

Service team: A team of volunteers who are involved with Girl Scouts to help run the service unit and give support to the volunteers.

Thinking Day: February 22, the birthday of Girl Guide/Girl Scout founder Lord Baden-Powell and World Chief Guide Lady Baden-Powell; Girl Scouts and Girl Guides celebrate this day in international friendship and world peace; many service units and troops celebrate Thinking Day by holding an International Festival.

Troop Camp Certification: Before a troop can go camping, one volunteer from the troop must complete Troop Camp Certification.

Troop committee: Persons with specific tasks needed to actively support a particular troop.

Volunteer Toolkit: The Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) gives registered troop leadership volunteers the tools and features they need for troop management and program delivery. Parents have their own view of VTK as well.

Girl Scouts Locally

Girl Scout councils are chartered by the national office to attract and retain members in a geographic area, provide ways for girls to participate in Girl Scouting, create an environment that reflects Girl Scout values and ideals, manage volunteers’ experience with Girl Scouting, and keep girls and volunteers as safe as possible. The national office provides support materials to all councils to ensure that the Girl Scout experience is nationally consistent.

Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland oversees 30 counties in central Ohio and the council has offices throughout our jurisdiction. For addresses and phone numbers of each office, visit https://www.gsoh.org/about-gsoh.

Who Can Join Girl Scouts—and How?

If you believe in the inherent power of girls to change the world and you’re ready to be their champion, you belong with Girl Scouts.

Girl Scout volunteers are a dynamic and diverse group, and there’s no one “type” of volunteer. Whether you’re a recent college grad, a parent, a retiree, or really, anyone with a sense of curiosity and adventure (of any gender, who is 18 years or older and has passed their council’s screening process), your unique skills and experiences and your mentorship can open your Girl Scouts’ eyes to all the possibilities ahead of them.

All members are united by the values in the Girl Scout Promise and Law, as well as by our extraordinary strengths as go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders. Each member also agrees to follow safety guidelines and pay the annual membership dues of $25. Adults have the option to purchase a lifetime membership for $400.

Girls at Every Grade Level
Girl Scout Daisy (grades K–1)    Girl Scout Cadette (grades 6–8)
Girl Scout Brownie (grades 2–3)   Girl Scout Senior (grades 9–10)
Girl Scout Junior (grades 4–5)          Girl Scout Ambassador (grades 11–12)
The Girl Scout Leadership Experience

Everything centers around the girl in Girl Scouts: Activities are girl-led, which gives girls the opportunity to take on leadership roles and learn by doing in a cooperative learning environment. It’s what makes Girl Scouts truly unique—our program is designed by, with, and for girls.

Although girls may start building their leadership skills in school and on sports teams, research shows that the courage, confidence, and character they develop as Girl Scouts stay with them throughout their lives. Our program and outcomes are based in research, and our studies show that Girl Scouting has a measurable impact on girls. Check out our studies and in-depth research.  

What girls do in Girl Scouting all fits within three keys: Discover, Connect, and Take Action.

  • When Girl Scouts do exciting badge activities, earn a Girl Scout Journey award, attend an amazing program or event, or go camping, you are helping them discover who they are, what excites them, and what their talents are.
  • Girl Scouts connect when they collaborate with others—their troop, leaders, or community experts—and expand their horizons. This helps them care about, support, inspire, and team with others locally and globally.
  • With your guidance, your Girl Scouts will deepen their relationship with the world around them, and they’ll be eager to take action to make the world a better place. 

As for how they do it? The Girl Scout Leadership Experience draws on three unique processes that help girls unlock their inner leader.

  • Girl-led means Girl Scouts of every age take an active and age-appropriate role in figuring out the what, where, when, why, and how of all the exciting activities they’ll do. The girl-led process is critically important to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience—when girls actively lead and shape their experiences, they know their voices matters, they feel empowered to make decisions, and they stay engaged in their activities.
  • Girl Scouts enjoy hands-on activities and learn by doing. Then, after reflecting on their activities, girls gain a deeper understanding of the concepts and skills the activities require.
  • Through cooperative learning, Girl Scouts share knowledge and skills in an atmosphere of respect, teamwork, and collaboration as they work toward a common goal.

As a volunteer, you’ll draw on these Girl Scout processes as you lead girls of any age. Girl-led at the Daisy level will look very different from the Ambassador level, of course. What’s most important is that your Girl Scouts make decisions about the activities they do together and that they also make choices within that activity. As they learn from their successes and failures and gain a major confidence boost,  all girls have the opportunity to lead within their peer groups. By the time girls are Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors, they’ll be using the leadership skills they’ve developed to take more ownership of their activities, mentor younger Girl Scouts, and take action to make the world a better place.

One last tip about following these processes: Girl Scouting isn’t a to-do list, so please don’t ever feel that checking activities off a list is more important than tuning in to what interests girls and sparks their imaginations. Projects don’t have to come out perfectly—in fact, it’s a valuable learning experience when they don’t—and Girl Scouts don’t have to fill their vests and sashes with badges. What matters most is the fun and learning that happens as they make experiences their own, so don’t be afraid to step back and let your girls take the lead.

Camp and Properties

Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland has multiple camp properties across our council. To learn more about each property, visit https://www.gsoh.org/camps.

Reserve a Camp
Our camps can be reserved for troop camping, troop meetings, and other events. For more information, visit https://www.gsoh.org/reserve.

Day Camp
Day camp is for Girl Scouts who have completed kindergarten and older and adult volunteers. Council sponsored summer day camps are available in multiple locations throughout the council. Girls register individually and are assigned to units ranging in size from 7-18 girls. A minimum of two day camp adult volunteers are assigned with each unit of girls. As a unit, girls learn outdoor skills such as fire building and outdoor cooking, do a variety of crafts, share kapers (chores), sing, hike, explore nature, make friends, and have a great time. And at the end of the day, everyone returns home.

All day camps are council sponsored. Service units cannot run day camps. Any multi-day summer program run by a service unit must have pre-approval from the program department. To obtain approval, contact our Customer Care team at customercare@gsoh.org.

For more information about day camp, visit https://www.gsoh.org/daycamp.

Resident Camp
Girls camp overnight for a period of 2 1/2 days or longer. The camps are operated by the council and supervised by employed staff members. Girls register for camp as individuals. Summer resident camp sessions of various lengths focus on programs suited to the interests and experience of both older and younger girls. All resident camp sessions take place at Camp Molly Lauman in Scioto County. Girls stay overnight at camp for the length of their program.

For information about annual resident camp programs, visit https://www.gsoh.org/residentcamp.

Troop Camping
Troop camping is an overnight or extended camping experience that is planned and carried out by the girls and adults in a troop or group. Before a troop camping experience, a troop should have already participated in several outdoor activities to develop the girls’ outdoor comfort and skills. Troops/groups can camp on council-owned sites or sites not owned by the council. Troops may also wish to take advantage of the council sponsored troop core camp opportunities, which provide a similar troop camping experience without the leaders having to plan or carry out the activities. See the latest myGSOH and activity listings for more information on troop core camp opportunities.

When a troop goes camping, an accompanying adult must be certified as a troop camping certified adult. Troop camp certification courses are offered throughout the year in a variety of locations. Troop camp certification should be taken before the troop plans a trip (approximately four to six months before the camping trip). See the latest myGSOH and activity listings for troop camp certification course information.

An adult who is currently certified in first aid and CPR is required to accompany a troop while camping. See the latest myGSOH and activity listings for first aid/CPR course information.

For more information about troop camping, visit https://www.gsoh.org/troopcamping.

Service Unit Events and Camporees at Council Sites
Service units must complete a site reservation to reserve any council-owned site for all service unit events. The same reservation timeline and procedures that apply to troops, apply to service units except for the deposit requirement. A service unit must submit a $100 deposit at the time of reservation. The deposit will be credited toward the total cost of the site rental.

The Guide to Service Unit Camporees is designed to direct a team of girls and adults in the planning process to ensure that all aspects of program, safety, finances, and scheduling are considered so the event can be successful. This guide will be sent to all service units requesting a reservation for a camporee or may be requested in advance of a reservation by contacting customercare@gsoh.org.

We want to hear about your amazing service unit events and camporees at our sites and beyond! Complete a PDF version or the online version of the Service Unit Event Report Form.

Specialized Activities
When planning a program activity, always begin by checking the Safety Activity Checkpoints established by GSUSA. GSOH program sites offer the opportunity for activities that require certified facilitators. These include:

  • Target Sports (archery and slingshots) – certified archery instructor required.
  • Canoeing – certified canoeing instructor required.
  • Challenge Course – certified challenge course instructor.
  • Swimming – certified lifeguards and adult lookouts required.

In addition to the GSUSA Safety Activity Checkpoints, the council has specific written procedures that must be followed when participating in any of these activities. You can find that resource here.

Special Accommodations
Only girls or their parent/guardian may request reasonable accommodation for a disability. Adult volunteers should not presume accommodations are necessary.

Property Policies
Concealed Carry: Firearms or weapons of any type are strictly prohibited anywhere on council-owned premises, whether or not permitted by Ohio law. Except for law enforcement personnel, Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland Council, Inc., does not permit its members, guests, employees, or any other individual to carry weapons or firearms on their body or in their belongings while engaged in Girl Scout activities or on Girl Scout property.

Non-Smoking: All buildings owned, rented, leased or loaned to Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland Council, Inc. are designated as “Non-Smoking” environments. Adults who smoke (including electronic or vapor) must use special designated areas away from the girls. Adults must not leave minors unattended to smoke. Cigarette butts must be extinguished completely and disposed of in a trash can or other responsible manner.

Tagalongs: The inclusion of younger or older siblings in Girl Scout troop meetings, troop activities, and adult learning events is discouraged. Adult members of a service unit or council program planners should work together to arrive at a solution for care of siblings that will not interfere with their activities or drain resources from an organized troop. Council sponsored programs, except for family events, do not allow tagalongs. Do not bring non-member children to troop meetings.

Questions regarding camps and properties should be directed to customercare@gsoh.org.

Reflection

Was a badge-earning activity a resounding success? Or was it derailed by something your troop hadn’t factored in? No matter an activity’s outcome, you can amplify its impact by encouraging your girls to reflect on their latest endeavor.

Reflection is the necessary debrief that reinforces what the girls learned. As your Girl Scouts explore the “whats” and “whys,” they’ll make meaningful connections between the activity at hand and future challenges that come their way. In other words, reflection gives girls the confidence boost they need to pick themselves up, try again, and succeed.

Reflection doesn’t need to be a formal process, but you can kick-start the conversation with three simple questions: What?, So what?, and Now what?

  • Go over the what of the activity. For example, ask, “What did we do today? What part was your favorite? If we did it again, what would you want to do differently and what would you repeat?”

  • Then move to the so what elements. You might ask, “So what did you learn by doing this activity? So what did you learn about yourself? So what did you learn about your community (or environment, school, or others) that you didn’t know before?”

  • Lastly, review the now what. Say something like, “Now that we’ve done this, what would you like to do next? Now that you know this about yourselves, what would you like to try next? Now that we did this Take Action™ project, what do you think we should do next to make sure it continues on?”

What?, So what?, and Now what?—or whatever style of reflection you choose to use with your girls—are powerful elements of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, and they’ll carry these lessons with them for the rest of their lives.

Progression

Although program elements—like outdoor expeditions or entrepreneurial ventures—align across all grade levels, Girl Scout Brownies and Juniors won’t be doing the same activities as seasoned Seniors and Ambassadors. But with your support, they will get there!

Girl Scout programming is designed to be progressive, and it’s what makes Girl Scouting fun and effective! By building on the knowledge and skills they gain year after year, your girls’ confidence will grow exponentially, and they’ll be eager to take the next steps. As a volunteer, you will cultivate a supportive, nonjudgmental space where your Girl Scouts can test their skills and be unafraid to fail.

Keep in mind that good progression drives success for your troop. We’ve outlined some suggestions that will help you determine when your girls are ready for their next outdoor challenge, their next troop trip, or their next cookie-selling challenge.

Inclusion

Girl Scouts has a strong commitment to inclusion, equity, and diversity, and we embrace girls of all abilities and backgrounds into our wonderful sisterhood.

Inclusion is at the core of who we are; it’s about being a sister to every Girl Scout and celebrating our unique strengths. Part of the important work you do includes modeling friendship and kindness for your girls and showing them what it means to practice empathy. 

Equal Treatment: Girl Scouts welcomes all members, regardless of race, ethnicity, background, cognitive or physical abilities, family structure, religious beliefs, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, and socioeconomic status. When scheduling, planning, and carrying out activities, carefully consider the needs of all Girl Scouts involved, including school schedules, family needs, financial constraints, religious holidays, and the accessibility of appropriate transportation and meeting places.

The National Program Pillars

Girl Scouts lead their own adventures and team up with their fellow troop members to choose the hands-on activities that excite them most. Our program focuses on four areas (pillars) that form the foundation of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience:

  • Outdoors: When Girl Scouts embark on outdoor adventures, they learn to confidently meet challenges while developing a lifelong appreciation of nature.

  • Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM): Whether they’re building a robot, developing a video game, or studying the stars, Girl Scouts become better problem-solvers and critical thinkers through STEM activities and learn how they can use STEM to help others. and learn how they can use STEM to help others.

  • Life skills: Girl Scouts discover they have what it takes to become outspoken community advocates, make smart decisions about their finances, and form strong, healthy relationships—skills that inspire them to accept challenges and overcome obstacles, now and always.

  • Entrepreneurship: By participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program or fall product program or by earning one of the new entrepreneurship badges, girls spark their curiosity, confidence, and innovation as they learn the essentials of running their own businesses and how to think like entrepreneurs.

The Volunteer Toolkit provides inspiring ideas so you can engage your troop in a mix of activities all year long. For example, if you want to take your troop outside when doing a badge activity, look for the evergreen icon, which tells you that activity can be taken outdoors, or the globe icon, which lets you know you can bring a global perspective to the activity.

 



The Important Difference Between Badges and Journeys

Journeys and badges are designed to give girls different leadership-building experiences, all while having fun!

  • Journeys are multi-session leadership experiences through which girls explore topics such as bullying, media literacy, design thinking, or environmental stewardship. They’ll do hands-on activities, connect with experts, and take the reins on age-appropriate Take Action projects. Because of their leadership focus, Journeys are also a prerequisite for the highest awards in Girl Scouting: the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards.

  • Badges are all about skill building. When a Girl Scout earns a badge, it shows that she’s learned a new skill, such as how to make a healthy snack, build and test a toy race car, or take great digital photos. It may even spark an interest at school or plant the seed for a future career. And remember: you’ll have fun and learn by doing right alongside your troop!

If they choose, your Girl Scouts can pursue badges and Journey awards in the same year; encourage them to find the connections between the two to magnify their Girl Scout experience! While you’re having fun, keep in mind that the quality of a girl’s experience and the skills and pride she gains from earning Journey awards and skill-building badges far outweigh the quantity of badges she earns.

As a volunteer, you don’t have to be the expert in any badge or Journey work. In fact, when you show that you’re not afraid to fail and willing to try something new, you are modeling what is it is to be a Girl Scout. Our badge and Journey requirements are structured so your girls can learn new skills without you having to be an expert in all the topics, including STEM.

The Difference Between Community Service and Take Action Projects

As your Girl Scouts look for meaningful ways to give back to their community, you can help sharpen their problem-solving skills and expand their definition of doing good by discussing community service and Take Action projects. Both projects serve essential needs, but at different levels.

  • When a Girl Scout performs community service, she’s responding to an immediate need in a one-off, “doing for” capacity. In other words? She’s making an impact right now!

  • Through Take Action/service learning, girls explore the root causes of a community need and address it in a lasting way; they truly make the world—or their part of it—a better place.

If your troop members want to pursue their Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award, they’ll develop a Take Action project on an issue that’s close to their hearts. To make Take Action projects even more impactful for your Girl Scouts set time for them to reflect on their projects. When they make time to internalize the lessons they’ve learned, they’re more likely to find success in their future projects—or anything else they put their minds to.

Traditions, Ceremonies and Special Girl Scout Days

Time-honored traditions and ceremonies unite Girl Scout sisters—and the millions of Girl Scout alums who came before them—around the country and around the globe and remind girls how far their fellow trailblazers have come and just how far they’ll go.

A few of those extra special days, when you’ll want to crank up the celebrations, include:

  • World Thinking Day, February 22, celebrates international friendship. It’s an opportunity for Girl Scouts and Girl Guides to connect with each other and explore a common theme around the world.

  • Girl Scouts’ birthday, March 12, commemorates the day in 1912 when Juliette Gordon Low officially registered the organization's first 18 girl members in Savannah, Georgia.

Whether they’re making cool SWAPS to share with new friends or closing meetings with a friendship circle, your troop won’t want to miss out on these traditions, ceremonies, and special Girl Scout days.

Girls use ceremonies for all sorts of reasons. Here’s a brief list, so that you can become familiar with the most common Girl Scout ceremonies:

Bridging: Ceremonies marking a girl’s move from one grade level of Girl Scouting to another, such as from Junior to Cadette. (Note that Fly-Up is a special bridging ceremony for Girl Scout Brownies who are bridging to Juniors.)

Closing: Ceremonies at the end of a meeting, with expectations for the next. A closing ceremony may be as simple as a hand squeeze while standing in a circle.

Court of Awards: Time to recognize girls who have accomplished something spectacular during the Girl Scout year.

Flag ceremonies: Can be part of any activity that honors the American flag.

Girl Scout Bronze (or Silver or Gold) Award ceremonies: Celebrates Girl Scout Juniors who have earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award (Cadettes who have earned the Silver Award; Seniors or Ambassadors who have earned the Gold Award) and are usually held for a group and combined with council recognition.

Girl Scouts’ Own: A girl-led program that allows girls to explore their feelings and beliefs around a topic, such as the importance of friendship or the personal meaning they get from the Girl Scout Promise and Law, using the spoken word, favorite songs, poetry or other methods of expression. It is never a religious ceremony.

Investiture: Welcomes new members, girls or volunteers, into the Girl Scout family for the first time. Girls receive their Girl Scout, Brownie Girl Scout, or Daisy Girl Scout pin at this time.

Opening: The start of troop meetings and can also begin other group meetings.

Pinning: Celebrates when girls receive grade-level Girl Scout pins.

Rededication: Opportunities for girls and volunteers to renew their commitment to the Girl Scout Promise and Law.

Highest Awards

As your Girl Scouts discover the power of their voices, they’ll want to take on an issue that’s close to their hearts and is meaningful to them. Encourage them to turn their vision into reality by taking on the ultimate Take Action projects in order to earn Girl Scouts’ highest awards.

The Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards honor girls who become forces for good and create a lasting impact on their communities, nationally and around the world.

  • The Girl Scout Bronze Award can be earned by Juniors; the prerequisite is one Junior Journey and its associated Take Action project. The Bronze Award is earned by the group.

  • The Girl Scout Silver Award can be earned by Cadettes; the prerequisite is one Cadette Journey and its associated Take Action project. The Silver Award can be earned by an individual girl or by a small group.

  • The Girl Scout Gold Award can be earned by Seniors and Ambassadors who have completed either two Girl Scout Senior/Ambassador level Journeys and the associated Take Action project or earned the Silver Award and completed one Senior/Ambassador level Journey.

Did you know that a Gold Award Girl Scout is entitled to enlist at a higher paygrade when she joins the U.S. military? A Gold Award Girl Scout’s achievements also prime her for the fast track when it comes to college admissions and make her an outstanding candidate for academic scholarships and other financial awards.

Girl Scouts are eligible to earn any recognition at the grade level in which they are registered. Any Girl Scout is eligible to earn the Gold Award even if she joined Girl Scouts for the first time in high school.

For some major inspiration, consider inviting a local Gold Award Girl Scout to speak to your troop about how she took the lead and made a difference. You can find out more about GSOH Highest Award earners here. You’ll be inspired when you see and hear what girls can accomplish as leaders—and by the confidence, grit, problem-solving, time and project management, and team-building expertise they gain while doing so!

Girl Scout Travel and Destinations

Girl Scouts try new things and see the world with new eyes, both inside and outside of their usual troop meetings. As COVID-19-related travel restrictions are lifted across the globe and you and your troop feel safe doing so, you may be excited to explore the world again as a troop.

Traveling as a Girl Scout is a more engaging experience than traveling with family, school, or other groups because girls take the lead. They’ll make important decisions about where to go and what to do and take increasing responsibility for the planning of their trips, all while growing their organizational and management skills—skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Girl Scout travel is built on a progression of activities, so girls are set up for success. Daisies and Brownies start with field trips and progress to day trips, overnights, and weekend trips. Juniors can take adventures farther with a longer regional trip. And Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors can travel the United States and then the world. There are even opportunities for older girls to travel independently by joining trips their councils organize or participating in our travel program, Destinations, which resumes in 2022.

Planning Ahead for Adventure
Get in touch with council as you start thinking about planning a trip to find out more about the approval process for overnight and extended travel. Check out the Troop Travel Guide for important details regarding traveling with your troop that will help you plan your trip. Troop Travel Training is mandatory for travel outside of the state of Ohio, or for trips lasting more than two nights. All multi-day travel and all travel outside of Ohio must be approved by GSOH Program staff prior to departure. For more information about travel, visit https://www.gsoh.org/gstravel.

Not sure where to begin? Check out the Girl Scout Guide to U.S. Travel. This resource is designed for Juniors and older Girl Scouts who want to take extended trips—that is, longer than a weekend—but also features tips and tools for budding explorers who are just getting started with field trips and overnights.

Once girls have mastered planning trips in the United States, they might be ready for a global travel adventure! Global trips usually take a few years to plan, and the Girl Scout Global Travel Toolkit can walk you through the entire process.

Not sure where to begin? Check out the Girl Scout Guide to U.S. Travel. This resource is designed for Juniors and older Girl Scouts who want to take extended trips—that is, longer than a weekend—but also features tips and tools for budding explorers who are just getting started with field trips and overnights.

Once girls have mastered planning trips in the United States, they might be ready for a global travel adventure! Global trips usually take a few years to plan, and the Girl Scout Global Travel Toolkit can walk you through the entire process.

Safety First
If you’re planning any kind of trip—from a short field trip to an overseas expedition—the “Trips and Travel” section of Safety Activity Checkpoints is your go-to resource for safety. Please refer to the Troop Travel Guide and https://www.gsoh.org/gstravel for GSOH’s specific safety information. Be sure to follow all the basic safety guidelines, like the buddy system and first-aid requirements, in addition to the specific guidelines for travel. You’ll also want to refer to the COVID-19 guidelines in Safety Activity Checkpoints as well as any COVID-19 guidelines for your destination.

Note that extended travel (more than three nights) is not covered under the basic Girl Scout insurance plan and will require additional coverage.

Girl Scout Program Connections
It’s easy to tie eye-opening travel opportunities into the leadership training and skill building your girls are doing in Girl Scouts! When it’s safe to travel together, girls can use their creativity to connect any leadership Journey theme into an idea for travel. For example, girls learn where their food comes from in the Sow What? Journey. That would connect well with a trip focusing on sustainable agriculture and, naturally, sampling tasty food!

There are abundant opportunities to build real skills through earning badges too. The most obvious example is the Senior Traveler badge, but there are plenty more, such as Eco Camper, New Cuisines, Coding for Good, and, of course, all the financial badges that help girls budget and earn money for their trips.

Want to include Girl Scout traditions into your trip? Look no farther than the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace in Savannah, Georgia! Your girls also have the chance to deepen their connections to Girl Scouts around the world by visiting one of the WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) World Centers, which offer low-cost accommodations and special programs in five locations around the world.

And if your troop is looking to stay closer to home this year? Check out our GSOH camp properties here

As your Girl Scouts excitedly plan their next trip, remember to limit your role to facilitating the girls’ brainstorming and planning, never doing the work for them. Share your ideas and insight, ask tough questions when you have to, and support all their decisions with enthusiasm and encouragement!

Supporting Girl Scouts Locally

The Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland Philanthropy Department exists to raise the philanthropic resources necessary to build, nurture, and sustain the mission, vision, and values of the Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland. There are many ways that community members, board members, volunteers, corporations, foundations, and United Ways can come together to support the Girl Scout mission.

Ways to Give
For information on the different ways you can support GSOH, visit https://www.gsoh.org/ways-to-give.

Pearl Society
Individuals who have made a commitment of a $1,000 cumulative gift within a 12-month period are recognized through the Pearl Society. For more information, visit https://www.gsoh.org/donate.

Juliette Gordon Low Society
Juliette Gordon Low Society members have made a planned gift to GSOH. These planned gifts include bequests, life insurance, charitable trusts, charitable gift annuities and other deferred gifts. For more information, visit https://www.gsoh.org/jglsociety.

1912 Club
Named after Girl Scouts’ founding year, the 1912 Club is Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland’s (GSOH) recurring giving program. Recurring donations will not just simplify and streamline your donations, they actually help lower costs for GSOH through automation and reduced mailings. Visit https://www.gsoh.org/1912club for more information and to join the club.

Urban Campout
This annual adult-only event is GSOH’s signature fundraiser. Proceeds from Urban Campout will support girls on their leadership journey. To learn more about this event, visit https://www.gsoh.org/urbancampout.

State of the Girl
This annual community conversation elevates the voices of girls and illuminates the key issues that affect their lives. Visit https://www.gsoh.org/stateofthegirl for more information.

Alumnae Association
We believe that once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout. Alumni are invited to attend events, volunteer, and provide financial support. To receive information about joining the GSOH Alumni group visit https://www.gsoh.org/alumnae. You can also join the GSOH Alums and Lifetime Members Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/GSOHAlum.


 

 

© Copyright 2009–2021 Girl Scouts of the United States of America.  All rights reserved. All information and material contained in Girl Scouts’ Volunteer Essentials guide (“Material”) is provided by Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) and is intended to be educational material solely to be used by Girl Scout volunteers and council staff. Reproduction, distribution, compiling, or creating derivative works of any portion of the Material or any use other than noncommercial uses as permitted by copyright law is prohibited, unless explicit, prior authorization by GSUSA in writing was granted. GSUSA reserves its exclusive right in its sole discretion to alter, limit, or discontinue the Material at any time without notice.