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What are the benefits of Girl Scouts?
The Girl Scout Leadership Experience engages girls in discovering themselves, connecting with others and taking action to make the world a better place. Even at the youngest ages of Girl Scouting, girls can gain leadership skills they will carry with them throughout their lives. The Girl Scout focus on leadership shows girls that they are leaders right now in their everyday lives, and they will continue to be leaders as they get older. In Girl Scouting, Discover + Connect + Take Action = 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.
Girl Scouts USA has an electronic resource that further explains the structure and benefits of this great leadership model.
The content of Girl Scout national proficiency badges and Journey programs has been correlated by grade level to each state's education standards and curriculum. A searchable tool at girlscouts.org provides details of how badges and journey programs enrich and reinforce your child's education.
What can she do in Girl Scouts?
There are many ways a girl can participate in Girl Scouts. Girls can join a troop, go to camp and particate in numerous activities and events throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. Find out more »
Important to know: We our a volunteer-led organization and placement in troops is dependent upon the number of adult volunteers willing to lead. Without caring adults to step forward to help girls, we cannot guarantee that all interested girls can be placed in troops. Find out more information about becoming an adult volunteer »
What are the Girl Scout grade levels?
How much does Girl Scouts cost?
Annual membership dues are $15 and includes secondary insurance during Girl Scout activities. Most troops also collect dues or program activity fees to support their needs. Participation in Girl Scouting should not be expensive and Girl Scout troops have the opportunity to earn funds through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, Fall Product Sales and other money-earning projects. Financial assistance is available to ensure that every girl is able to participate.
While members only pay $15 to join, Girl Scouts OSW spends approximately $300 annually per girl. Help us offset this cost and ensure every girl has the opportunity to be a Girl Scout by supporting the Family Partnership campaign.
How often do Girl Scout troops meet?This depends on the schedules of the leaders and girls. It ranges from once a week to once a month; most meet every other week. Occassional troop activities may involve longer time commitments, such as field trips and campouts.
Does Girl Scouts have a religious affiliation?
Girl Scouts is a secular organization and refrains from teaching religious or spiritual beliefs or practices. Girl Scouting welcomes and supports girls from all backgrounds and beliefs.
How can I stay in the loop?
We encourage you to sign up to receive GSOSW eNews. If your girl is in a troop or group, it is also very important that you have regular communication with her troop leader and offer to help in any way you can. Any support you provide is helpful, ensures you are in the loop and provides your girl with the very best Girl Scout experience.
How do you keep her safe?
Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington has a variety of policies in place to ensure girl safety at all times. These include:
- Performing background checks on potential employees; volunteers working directly with girls including transporting girls, traveling with girls; volunteers that handle money; and anyone over 18 years old that lives in a residence in which a Girl Scout event takes place. Our background check process covers the entire US and also includes checking the sex offender databases nationwide.
- Requiring that at least two unrelated adults be supervising girls at all times. These individuals can not be related by blood, marriage or household. Anytime an adult male is working with girls, an adult female who has completed the volunteer application process and who is not related by blood, marriage or household shall also be in attendance at all times. We also have required girl/adult ratios that are based on the activity taking place.
- Requiring volunteers to complete the appropriate training before working with girls.
- Requiring signed parent/guardian permission slips to participate in activities outside the normal meeting time, outings, trips, high risk activities and sensitive issues.
- Requiring that all Girl Scout activities are covered by the appropriate insurance. Annual membership dues includes a secondary insurance in case anything should happen during a Girl Scout activity.
- Requiring volunteers to follow Safety Activity Checkpoints (a Girl Scouts USA manual on how to keep girls safe) and our Council Volunteer Policies and Procedures.
- Requiring our volunteers to immediately report any incidents or strong suspicions of child abuse or neglect to the appropriate agency and inform Girl Scouts OSW. During training, we provide a pamphlet written by DHS. We also encourage volunteers to take an online course on child abuse and reporting that was developed by representatives from various education service districts, school districts and welfare organizations.
- Nationally developed resources for girls and parents that cover online safety topics like bullying, cyberbullying, social networking and protecting girls from online sexual predators. We encourage girls take the Girl Scout Internet Safety Pledge.
Why is Family Partnership important?
One in three girls in our council receives some form of financial assistance each year. Our goal is to make sure that every girl who wants to be a Girl Scout has the opportunity. In order to provide a positive experience for all girls in our council, we count on our member families to support us locally through Family Partnership. Any amount your family can contribute makes a difference.
Here’s how your gift benefits all girls, including yours:
- $15 per girl could support ongoing volunteer education and screening
- $25 could pay for program materials that guide a girl toward earning the Gold or Silver Award
- $50 could support each girl who participates in volunteer-led Girl Scout experience
- $365 could sponsor a girl’s financial aid to attend resident camp
We have many ways you can help:
- Monthly/quarterly gifts: download a pledge form and send it to Nicky Aiello, development associate at 9620 SW Barbur Blvd. Portland, OR 97219 or by email at email@example.com. You can set it up once for the entire year, making giving easy!
- Workplace campaigns: These can be payroll deductions via work, United Way, Combined Federal Campaign, or other campaign managers.
- With your membership registration: Personify allows you to make a secure gift when you complete your membership registration form.
- Troop gift: Girls can choose to designate a portion of their troop treasury as a donation.
Thank you in advance for your consideration. Remember, your gift is a tax-deductible donation and all funds collected stay right here in our local community.
Is your service unit already contributing?
Find out how your service unit is doing in the Family Partnership report. GSOSW offers fun incentives for troops and service units who participate in the 2013 Family Partnership Campaign:
Troops: All troops with 100% participation in the 2013 Family Partnership campaign will be entered into a drawing; Three troops in our council will be selected to choose one of the following great prizes:
- $50 credit to one of our Girl Scout properties
- $50 gift card to a craft store of choice
- $50 gift certificate to the Girl Scout store
- $50 toward a Troop Pizza Party
Service units: SU incentives are now based on amount of money raised in each area. See an incentive breakdown below.
|Service Unit Raises||Girl Scout Credit |
| $330-499|| $50|
| $500-999|| $100|
| $1,000-2,499|| $250|
| $2,500-4,999|| $500|
| $5,000 or more|| $750|
Service unit Goal Calculation: 50% of the number of registered girls in your service unit as of September 30, 2013 multiplied by $15.00.
*Girl Scout credit can be used in the Girl Scout store, property or council-sponsored program.
Which organizations partner with Girl Scouts OSW?
All our program partners must meet or exceed our criteria for safety as outlined in our risk management publications, Volunteer Essentials and Safety Activity Checkpoints. They must also submit a current certificate of insurance verifying they have at least $500,000 in general liability coverage. Our council and Girl Scouts of the USA has no relationship with Planned Parenthood and has never received financial support or compensation from Planned Parenthood. In some areas of the country, Girl Scout troops or groups may choose to hold discussions and collaborate with a local organization that specializes in these issues. Participation in these discussions is optional and parental consent must be provided prior to a girl’s participation. With that said, we want to again assure the families of Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington that we are not one those councils as we believe these matters are best decided by girls and their families.