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FAQs

Membership and General Questions
At what age can a girl join Girl Scouting?

Girl Scout membership is based on grade level rather than age: Daisy (grades K-1), Brownie (grades 2-3), Junior (grades 4-5), Cadette (grades 6-8), Senior (grades 9-10) or Ambassador (grades 11-12).

Girls attending summer camps or programs are considered to be at the grade level they will be entering in the fall.

How can a girl participate in Girl Scouting?

Girl Scouting offers several “pathways” in which girls and adults can participate. Some girls participate in one pathway, while others may select any combination of the five:

  • Troop – Girls meet regularly in their community with the same group of girls and adults on a year-round basis.
  • Camp – Girls attend day, weekend or resident camp programs to meet new friends, learn new skills and explore the great outdoors!
  • Travel – Regional, national or international trips are available to girls and travel chaperones, guides or host volunteers.
  • Events – Different girls and volunteers at one-day programs sponsored locally or even over a series of days throughout the council.
My daughter’s schedule doesn’t permit her to belong to a troop. Can she still earn badges or awards?

Yes! Once registered, a girl can participate at any grade level and in any of our council events, travel and outdoor adventures. If she is in high school, our Girl Scout Gold Award liaison can also help mentor her, monitor her success and provide her with the advice she needs to receive the highest award in Girl Scouting.

What does it cost to join?

Annual membership dues are $15, and most troops charge minimal dues per girl for materials and activities in the meeting place.

Typically, parents or guardians also pay for a girl’s uniform or insignia, Journey books or handbooks, and activities that a girl wants to do in addition to troop planned and budgeted activities. Troop families often provide refreshments or transportation for troop outings.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program and MagNut Program are designed to allow each troop to raise the monies they need to pay for field trips, events, troop camping, ceremonies, workshops, service projects, etc. These experiences also provide girls with five essential skills, like money-handling and goal setting.



Uniforms
What is the Girl Scout uniform?

For girls ages 5 to 14, the required unifying look includes wearing a choice of a tunic, vest or sash for displaying official pins and awards, combined with their own solid white shirts and khaki pants or skirts.

Girl Scouts in high school can also wear a scarf that unites their look with the sisterhood of Girl Scouts around the world.

For adult members the unifying look of the uniform is a Girl Scout official scarf or tie for men, worn with the official membership pins, combined with their own navy blue business attire.

You can purchase these online, or at one of our three council shop locations.

Where do I place insignia on her uniform?

Girl Scouts at each level have one required element (tunic, vest or sash) for the display of official pins and awards, which will be required when girls participate in ceremonies or officially represent the Girl Scout Movement. View a diagram showing where each item is placed on the tunic, vest or sash. 

When do I place insignia, badges, patches and awards on her tunic, vest or sash?

Girl Scout badges, patches, awards, and other insignia should be presented, worn, or displayed only after Girl Scouts have completed the requirements outlined in official program materials.


Volunteering
Who can be a Girl Scout volunteer?

Girl Scout volunteers are adults 18 years and older who can be a positive adult role model to girls, and who accept the Girl Scout Promise and Law. Today’s girl needs the time, resources and commitment of a community of volunteers to help pave her way.

All Girl Scout volunteers who have direct contact with girls, handle money or manage finances, or provide supervision to girls (other than their own child) at overnight or travel events are required to complete the Volunteer Application and pass a criminal background check.

How do I become a volunteer?

Visit the Volunteer page and fill-out the simple online form. Once you submit the form, a GSHS  staff member will get in touch with you to discuss the various volunteer options and how you'd like to participate.

After you've spoken with a staff member (or if you're a current volunteer renewing your volunteer application and background), you'll be directed to complete the background screening [hyperlink to: https://app.verifiedvolunteers.com/Candidates/Account/Register] process.


Outdoor & Camp Experiences
What are the ways to camp at GSHS camps?

GSHS has three camps offering several different options, whether you want to camp overnight or just for the day as an individual, with a troop or as a service unit.

Camp Fisherville

Camp Tik-A-Witha

Kamp Kiwani 

Who can go to camp?

Girl Scouts is for every girl--and you don't even need to be part of a troop. Our summer camps are open to any girl, regardless of Girl Scout membership, that is entering grades 1st through 12th

Who are the camp staff?

Camps are staffed with counselors, food staff, a healthcare manager and specialty staff for the horse and adventure programs. These staff members are carefully selected for their skills, as well as how they work with children and adults.

They participate in extensive training sessions and each every one of our counselors becomes American Red Cross CPR / First Aid certified.  

We also provide certified lifeguards, and archery and challenge course instructors--depending on the camp's features.

In addition, each camp has a camp ranger and resident camp director. 

Are your camps American Camp Association (ACA) Accredited?

Yes! We are proud to say that both Camp Tik-A-Witha and Kamp Kiwani are ACA Accredited are. The main purpose of the ACA Accreditation Program is to educate camp owners and directors in the administration of key aspects of camp operation, particularly those related to program quality and the health and safety of campers and staff. The standards establish guidelines for needed policies, procedures, and practices.

What sleeping arrangements and facilities are available at camp?

Each camp is different, but the three arrangements widely available are:

  • lodges – include basic necessities
  • cabins – beds in screened in or open structures
  • platform tents - mattresses on the floor or cots

Our Outdoor Section has more details on the amenities at each property.

Are visitors and phone calls permitted at camp?

For safety reasons, access to camp properties is limited when camp is in session.

Mail from home is welcome and is delivered daily. Parents may leave mail at check-in for delivery during the session. (Please include the following information in all mail you send: session name, session date and camper’s name.)

In the event of any emergency or change in plans, please call the camp director. Camp phone numbers are provided with your confirmation materials and camp directors contact parents in case of an emergency or illness. Please note: camp phones are limited to camp business only.

What training is required of adult volunteers before taking girls to camp?

Volunteers accompanying girls camping are required to complete the Troop Camp License course and CPR/First Aid Training. See our Volunteer Training section for more information. Adults accompanying girls to camps are not required to have these trainings.

Is there somewhere I can find common asked questions and their answers?

Yes. Check out our Summer Camp FAQs [hyperlink to: Summer Camp FAQs.pdf, found in Deliverables/ Camp


Cookie Program
When do Girl Scout Cookies go on sale and how do I find them?

Girl Scout Cookies can be purchased only from girls and only during cookie season, which kicks off in January 2017.

For more information on the Cookie Program, visit our Cookie Program web page or like us on Facebook for regular sale updates.

What is National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend?

This special two-day event held each cookie season is a great opportunity for Girl Scouts and Girl Scout supporters to share with the community the importance of the Cookie Program and what it does for the girls and their communities. Stay tuned for information on the 2017 National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend.

Can I purchase Girl Scout cookies online?

Yes, you can purchase Girl Scout cookies online from a Girl Scout through Digital Cookie, a digital platform to prepare girls to be leaders in the high-tech, fast paced, e-commerce world of today. This dynamic, engaging, interactive and safe tool allows girls to have fun learning and selling cookies. 

Why are Girl Scout Cookies available only for a short time?

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the premier entrepreneurship opportunity for girls, but it is just one part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Girl Scouts participate in many activities throughout the year and work on many projects. Cookies are just one of those activities. And because only girls may sell Girl Scout Cookies, their market availability is limited to the 6 to 8-week period when they are engaged in the program.

Where does my money go when I buy Girl Scout Cookies?

With every purchase from a GSHS Girl Scout or troop, approximately 70% of the proceeds goes to the local council and troops, with the remainder going to the baker to pay for the cookies. Find out more about how cookie proceeds are used [hyperlink to: 2015 How The Cookie Crumbles COOKIE BOX.pdf, this is in the Deliverables Folder/ Cookies+].


MagNut Program
What is the MagNut Program?

The MagNut program, held in the fall, helps girls set and achieve goals at the beginning of the Girl Scout year by selling magazines, photo keepsakes, nuts and candy.

How do I order products from the MagNut program?

During the MagNut Program, contact a Girl Scout you know to place an order either via online or a paper order card.

Can a Girl Scout deliver my order from the Online Nut Store instead of paying for the shipping and handling?

No orders from the Online Nut Store will be delivered by the Girl Scout. They all will be shipped directly to the customer. If you order from the Online Nut Store, you’ll pay with a credit card at the time the order is placed. Shipping and handling will be included. 

Are the same products offered on both the paper forms and online?

The Online Nut Store will offer 16 nut and candy items that are listed on the girl’s order taker plus nine additional nut and candy products and five corporate gifts. The girl’s order taker will have only the sixteen nut and candy products. 

All magazines and photo keepsakes are available both on online and the paper order card.  The online magazine catalog will have a larger and up-to-date selection of magazines from which to choose. By ordering online you will also speed up the delivery of your selected titles!

Do I pay the Girl Scout when I place my nuts and candy order?

When ordering in-person, you do not pay until the Girl Scout delivers your order. Only online orders are paid when the order is placed.


Donors/Fund Development
How can I make a donation to Girl Scouts Heart of the South?

There are many ways you can change the life of a girl by supporting Girl Scouting. See the Support page for more information.

How do donations made to GSHS benefit local girls?

Personal contributions are directly applied to the many critical resources that make Girl Scouting successful in our 59 counties.

While the Girl Scout Cookie Program helps to keep the cost of activities affordable, Girl Scouting needs financial support from donors to develop new curriculum, provide transportation, recruit volunteers, meet safety standards, and provide financial assistance so more girls can benefit from a quality Girl Scout Leadership Experience.

Donate 


Social Issues
Does Girl Scouts have a relationship with Planned Parenthood?

No, Girl Scouts Heart of the South and Girl Scouts of the USA do not have a relationship with Planned Parenthood. Learn more.

Does Girl Scouting support girls of all backgrounds and beliefs? How can I be sure that Girl Scouting is a good match with our family’s values, heritage or traditions?

In Girl Scouts, we’ve always been, and remain, an organization with a deep spiritual commitment. We also have a deep and very longstanding commitment to inclusiveness. We welcome and embrace girls of every race, ethnicity, level of ability and religion. The Constitution of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America is very specific on this point:

The motivating force in Girl Scouting is spiritual. The ways in which members identify and fulfill their spiritual beliefs are personal and private.

The Girl Scout Movement is open to all girls and adults who accept the Girl Scout Promise and Law and meet membership requirements.

We encourage girls to develop connections to their own spiritual and religious beliefs by earning recognitions provided by their faith communities and by earning the My Promise, My Faith pin, which helps a girl deepen the connection between the Girl Scout Law and her faith.

We support the right of faith leaders to verify that programming delivered to girls in their places of worship is consistent with their faith’s teachings.

Learn more about Girl Scouts and faith and also read about Girl Scouting and the Catholic Church

What is Girl Scouts’ relationship to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts?

Every Girl Scout and Girl Guide organization is a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts - and each Member Organization, including Girl Scouts of the USA, pays dues. WAGGGS operates in much the same way as the United Nations: each member organization pays dues based on the size of its membership and the per capita income of the country in which the organization resides. Individual Girl Scouts are not members of WAGGGS.  The national funds that GSUSA sends to WAGGGS come solely from investment income. 

Membership dues, from girls and from adults, are not used to pay the WAGGGS Quota. All dues collected from members are used to pay for services that directly impact the development and delivery of Girl Scouting to girls in the USA and girls who are involved in USA Girl Scouts Overseas, our program that brings Girl Scouting to American families who are living and working abroad.

Girl Scouts Heart of the South donates no money to WAGGGS. Individual Girl Scout troops may donate to the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund, a Girl Scouts of the USA fund that supports service projects, training and international opportunity events, as well as exchange visiting programs.

See more FAQs on Girl Scouts and social issues.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding Girl Scouts in your area, please contact Jenny Jones, Senior Director of Community Engagement and Advancement at jenny.jones@girlscoutshs.org [hyperlink to email: jenny.jones@girlscoutshs.org] or 662-350-6041.

What is Girl Scouts of the USA's position regarding human sexuality, birth control, and abortion?

Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and Girl Scouts Heart of the South (GSHS) does not take a position or develop materials on these issues. We feel our role is to help girls develop self-confidence and good decision-making skills that will help them make wise choices in all areas of their lives.

Parents or guardians make all decisions regarding program participation that may be of a sensitive nature. Consistent with that belief, GSUSA directs councils, including volunteer leaders, to get written parental permission for any locally planned program that could be considered sensitive.