...of Girl Scouts, and Girl Scouts to be
In this section you'll find answers to commonly asked questions, definitions for all those unique Girl Scouts terms, handy forms and other useful information.
If you have a daughter who is interested in becoming a Girl Scout, go to the Join Us section of the site to find out more about starting her on her Girl Scouting experience.
Girl Scout Leadership Experience | Common Questions | Patches and Badges | Programs & Events FAQ
The Girl Scout Leadership Experience
The Girl Scout Leadership Experience engages girls in discovering self, connecting with others, and taking action to make the world a better place. All Girl Scout experiences are intentionally designed to tie to one or more of the 15 national leadership outcomes, or benefits, categorized under three keys to leadership.
Discover: Girls understand themselves and their values and use their knowledge and skills to explore the world.
Connect: Girls care about, inspire, and team with others locally and globally.
Take Action: Girls act to make the world a better place.
The Girl Scout Leadership Experience provides three processes for adults partnering with girls to incorporate: Girl Led, Cooperative, Learning by Doing.
See an on-line introduction to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience including the journeys. Be sure to watch the beginning video!
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How can I get my daughter in Girl Scouting?
Girls can join Girl Scouts via six Pathways (girls can participate through one, or several):
- Camp (residential and day, year-round)
- Special Interest (i.e. community service projects, sports, science & technology, advocacy, etc.)
- Special Events (140 Council-led events and hundreds more Service Unit-led events)
- Travel (nationally & internationally through the Studio 2B Destinations Program)
- Virtual (online)
Our Council also has a Juliette, or independent Girl Scout, program. This program offers girls flexibility and allows them to be involved in all aspects of Girl Scouting without having to join a traditional troop.
For girls interested in joining troops, volunteers and staff work hard to place every girl as quickly as possible. Sometimes we don’t have enough adults to lead troops - click here to find out how you can help out.
Why should my daughter become or stay involved with Girl Scouts?
With many competing activities vying for your daughter’s time, we are glad that your family has chosen to be a part of Girl Scouts. Think of Girl Scouts as the jewel in the crown of your daughter’s activities. This is an organization by girls, for girls, and of girls, devoted to building self-esteem, strong values, and a social conscience. The inner strength and self-confidence she gains through Girl Scouts will last a lifetime.
Does my Girl Scout need a handbook and an awards book?
Girl Scouts recommends having a handbook because it contains many activities that girls will be participating in as troop/group members, as well as great activities for girls to do at home, by themselves, or with friends and family.
Where can I get a Girl Scout handbook?
You buy handbooks from the Bay Shop. Sometimes, troops use their funds to purchase books for members, or girls who have moved up in age level pass their books down to younger members.
Do I have to buy a uniform for my Girl Scout?
No, girls are not required to purchase a uniform. Wearing the Girl Scout Membership Pin shows that you are a Girl Scout. Girls, however, can only display insignia on sashes or vests. When asked to represent Girl Scouts in public, girls should be in uniform or dress for the occasion with something that identifies them as a Girl Scout. Both Bay Shops have a uniform recycling closet.
Where do I place pins and badges on the uniform?
Please visit the Girl Scout Uniform section of our site for pin/badge placement. Review the handbook for additional information.
A couple of hints:
- Sew patches on; do not try to iron them on. The plastic backing is not iron-on material; it will melt, sometimes with disastrous results.
- Use a thread the color of the clothing fabric.
- The insignia tab is a great time-saver and makes it simple to place the membership pins on easily.
What is the difference between the membership fee and troop dues?
The $12.00 membership fee goes directly to Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. (the mother organization of the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay) to cover for support and training of volunteers, production of program materials, and insurance coverage for members. The Chesapeake Bay Council cannot retain National Membership Dues.
Troop dues are set by the troop to cover costs crafts, snacks, trips, etc. Troop dues can be collected weekly, monthly, or be made in a lump sum once a year. Dues can vary in amount, it is up to the troop.
Is there financial assistance available for girls?
YES! Financial assistance is available for girls to participate in Girl Scouts. Talk to your troop leaders about getting financial aid… there is a simple form. The Chesapeake Bay Council provides monies for membership dues and girl program events. Click here for the Financial Assistance Application that you can mail in.
How can I help with the troop?
As parents, you can support your daughter’s troop leaders by helping out during troop meetings, driving during trips, taking care of snack, making phone calls, managing troop finances, filling out paperwork, taking outdoor training or First Aid/CPR training… don’t be afraid to ask and don’t be afraid to ask more than once! Your troop leader will appreciate your help. We have Adult Enrichment Opportunities.
Does my Girl Scout have to participate in the Cookie or Fall Product Sales/QSP programs?
Participation in these Girl Scout program activities is voluntary. However, girls tell us selling Girl Scout cookies and QSP products is fun. Girls practice life skills, such as teamwork, money management and entrepreneurship. This activity provides funds for troops to do activities, go on field trips, and even travel abroad!
Still have questions? Contact Us.
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Badges & Patches – Parent’s FAQs
Badges and patches and try-its, oh my! What’s a parent to do? If the world of awards has you confused, take comfort in a few of the basic truths of becoming a new Girl Scout parent:
- the fact that you are not alone;
- help is available;
- there are no silly questions!
Below are the answers to the most frequently asked questions:
What is the difference between badges, patches and try-its?
The main difference in the three, is relative to the age level of the girls:
Daisies (Gr. K-1) – Daisy Journey awards, petals, patches.
Brownies (Gr. 2-3) – Brown Journey awards, try-its (triangles), patches.
Juniors (Gr. 4-5) – Junior Journey awards, badges (round), patches, Bronze Award.
Cadettes (Gr. 6-8) – Cadette Journey awards, interest project awards, (rectangles), patches, Silver Award.
Seniors (Gr. 9-10) – Senior Journey awards, interest project awards, patches, Gold Award.
Ambassadors (Gr. 11-12) – Ambassador Journey awards, interest project awards, patches, Gold Award.
Petals, try-its, badges, charms, etc…are official GSUSA awards available to all girls of a certain age level in all councils across the United States. The requirements are found in your daughter’s Girl Scout age level books.
Patches are different and more loosely defined. Patches are also pieces of embroidered fabric that come in many different shapes and sizes, but they don’t all come from our national organization. Some come from GSUSA for special projects, some patches are created by our local council, your daughter’s service unit or a local vendor such as a state park or museum. There are two types of patches–
- fun patches for any age level for attending a special event like a council or service unit event, holiday parade, hay ride or movie night
- earned patches that have a set of requirements like a badge or try-it except that patches are for more than one age level. For instance, GSCB ’s Junior Ranger Patch, can be earned by Daisies, Brownies, Juniors or Teens.
Are girls required to earn awards to be a Girl Scout?
No. Girls are not required to earn awards (badges, patches, etc.) Awards are a tangible reminder of your daughter’s accomplishments. They give her bragging rights. It’s like wearing her scrapbook on her back. You’ll see girls at events checking out each other’s patches to see who has done the same things, who has different ones, swapping stories, etc.. Many girls enjoy wearing their badges and patches to show what they have done, but it is not required. If your daughter only wants to participate in activities and has no interest in collecting the awards, don’t push it. She will not be the only one.
Where can we find a list of the awards and the requirements?
You will find most of the awards in your daughter’s age level books. If your daughter does not have the books for her age level, you may purchase them through our Bay Shop. If you feel that you cannot afford to purchase both books for her level, choose the book that lists the awards and wait to purchase the handbook later. You can shop online at www.girlscoutbayshop.org or you can visit the Bay Shop in person at our offices in Newark and Salisbury.
Daisy Girl Scouts resources – a leader’s guide for the adult in charge and a girl’s activity book. The leader’s guide explains what Daisy Girl Scouts need to learn to earn a petal. There is also a series of Journey books available.
Brownie Girl Scouts resources – a handbook, a try-it book, and a series of Journey books. The try-it book has 57 try-its on a wide variety of topics that your daughter can earn. She will need to complete 4 out of six activities to earn the try-it. She can choose which ones.
Junior Girl Scouts resources– a handbook,a badge book, and a series of Journey Books. The badge book has 104 badges on a wide range of topics that your daughter can earn. She will need to complete 6 activities to complete each badge. She can choose which ones, unless one is *starred. *Starred activities are required.
Cadettes, Seniors, Ambassadors have many resource books available to them. There is also an Interest Project Book. The Interest Project book has 78 interest project patches that your daughter can earn. She will need to complete 7 activities to complete each IPP. She can choose which ones, unless one is *starred. *Starred activities are required. However, IPPs are a little different, the activities must be selected from specific categories – 2 skill builder activities, 1 technology activity, 1 service project activity, 1 career exploration activity and 2 from any category. There are also Journey books associated with each of these age groups.
Patches for all age levels are found in various locations. Some are online. You can find our council’s own patches on our website under “Resources” and “Patches and More.”.
My daughter wants to earn an award and her troop is not interested in doing it as a group. Can she earn it on her own?
Yes she can, with your guidance and supervision. If your daughter has an interest in a topic that her troop does not wish to pursue, by all means encourage her to complete the activities on her own or with a friend. Any parent, relative or adult friend can act as the leader to provide guidance and supervision. When your daughter completes the badge requirements she has selected, you will “sign off” that it has been earned. Simply sign and date the page in the badge book or on the record sheet in the back of the book. Then you can purchase the award for your daughter.
Note: we do not recommend that Daisy Girl Scouts complete petal activities on their own. Those are best completed in a troop setting. If, for some reason, your daughter’s troop decides not to earn the petals, they can be done individually. However, almost all troops earn the petals and it would be repetitive to complete them separately at home. Instead, talk to your leader and ask which petals the girls are presently working on and how you can reinforce those lessons at home.
Once we earn the awards, where do we get them?
Badges, Try-its, IPP’s and other awards can be purchased through our Bay Shop in our offices in Newark and Salisbury or online at www.girlscoutsbayshop.org.
Can my daughter count her other classes and activities such as dance, softball, theater, hiking at the state park, swim classes, etc… toward requirements for Girl Scout awards?
Absolutely! Girl Scouts are often very active. The activities that your daughter does outside of Girl Scouting can be used to earn awards. But, she can’t do the same exact project to earn two different awards. A healthy snack that she creates to meet a requirement for one award cannot fulfill a requirement to create a recipe for another. She would need to create a new healthy snack or dish for the second award.
Where do the awards go on the vest or sash?
You can find a placement diagram in your daughter’s age level handbook or online under Girl Scout Uniform.
I am still confused or have more questions, how do I get help?
Contact us and we will route your question to the appropriate staff member:
Michelle Passwaters, Product Sales Manager 302-456-7162 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Programs & Events
What program events can my daughter attend and how do I find out about them?
Your daughter may attend any council program event for which she meets the attendance requirements (generally age specific). You will find some events listed in this issue of the Bay Window and you will find LOTS of events on our web site from the Programs & Events section.
To stay up to date on what’s happening in the council, sign up for our eNews. It comes out once a quarter and is chock full of information about council happenings. To sign up to receive the eNews, click HERE!
What if her troop is not planning to come to an event, can my daughter come anyway?
Certainly! Unless the event description specifically states that it is for troops only, individual girls may attend with an adult caregiver. (see #3 below)
Do I have to attend the event with her?
Yes and no. Unless stated otherwise, an adult (parent, other family member or friend) must accompany individual girls when they are attending without their troop leaders. The general exceptions are some teen events and resident or day camps that do not require parent chaperones because the event is fully staffed.
How do we register for an event?
Registration is easy! You can do it by phone, fax, mail, internet or in person at our Newark office.
- By Phone (302) 456-7182 ext. — Taunja Limberry
- By Fax (302) 456-7188 — Attn: Taunja Limberry (call to confirm receipt of the fax)
- By Internet - If an event listing shows 'REGISTER ONLINE' you can register using a credit card online, as long as the program is open for registrations.
- Download the Event Registration Form
) and mail to GSCB, 501 S. College Ave., Newark, DE 19713-1301
All registrations must be paid in full at the time of registration unless a deposit / payment description is listed in the event copy. Payment may be made by check, cash, credit card or cookie credits.
Can my daughter bring a friend to an event who is not a Girl Scout?
If your daughter is attending a program event without her troop and would like to bring a friend of the same age who is not a Girl Scout, she may do so. Simply indicate that on the event registration form and pay an additional $10 the first time the friend attends during each school year. That will register her friend as a Girl Scout and ensure that she is covered by activity insurance during the event. If the friend comes to another event during the same school year, she will not have to pay the $10 additional fee again during that school year.
If your daughter is attending an event with her troop, you will need to ask the permission of your troop leader to bring a friend.
Can siblings attend a program event?
We are a family friendly organization and occasionally we have events that are designed for families. Siblings that attend council events are called tag-alongs. At girl events, while we do not encourage tag-alongs, we do recognize that it is sometimes necessary for a sibling to attend when a parent is present. In those instances, tag-alongs are welcome. Please remember that tag-alongs must not disrupt the event and parents are responsible for providing something for them to do to keep them happy. If the tag-along is of the appropriate age and sufficient supplies are available, it is acceptable for them to join in the activity, provided they have paid the fee to attend. To minimize confusion, please indicate on your event registrations, the name, age and sex of any sibling that must accompany you. Please remember that there may at times be situations where it is simply not appropriate for a sibling to attend a program event. For clarification about a particular event, please contact the staff person responsible.
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