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Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about Girl Scouts? Check out the answer to the most frequently asked questions below.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

When can my girl start Girl Scouts?

Girls in grades K-12 can register for Girl Scouts at any time! Girls in pre-K, who will be starting kindergarten in the fall, can register as early as the summer before they start kindergarten. 

Join Girl Scouts >>

What is GSOSW’s tax ID?

Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington's (GSOSW) tax ID number is 93-0399051. 

What are Girl Scout Juliettes?

Juliettes are busy, independent, self-confident girls and young women who want to be a part of something larger – Girl Scouts! – and want to participate when they can and however they want! They are Girl Scouts who are not officially affiliated with a Troop and customize their whole Girl Scout experience, finding badges and activities that match their unique interests.

Girl Scout Troops are just one way to be a part of Girl Scouts, but it’s not the only way! With the guidance of an adult member, Juliettes participate in a way that fits their schedule! And, if your Girl Scout’s troop disbands, or there aren’t any open troops in your area, Girl Scout Juliettes is a great opportunity to continue or start the Girl Scout journey!

You can learn more about Girl Scout Juliettes >>

How do I use Program Credits (Cookie/Nut Credit) to purchase items from the GSOSW shop?

Program credits (i.e. Cookie Credit, Pathway cards, Nut Credit, etc.) can only be accepted through email or phone at (503) 977-6802, and in GSOSW shops when they reopen. They are not accepted online.

Will Girl Scouts table or participate in our school or local, family-friendly event (fun run, back-to-school night, school fair, flag ceremony, parade, etc)?

If you have an event that you would like Girl Scouts to attend, please send the following information to our customer care email, answers@girlscoutsosw.org.

  • Your name and contact information
  • Information about the event that includes...
    • Event name
    • Type of event
    • Event location
    • Event date(s)
    • And any other information you might want troops to know.

This will then be sent to troops near your area and they will get in contact if they are interested! 


MEMBERSHIP REGISTRATION

Can I register for Girl Scouts by phone/paper?

Online registration is the quickest and fastest way to register for Girl Scouts! If you do not have the ability to go online, or need assistance, you can reach out to our staff by calling (503) 977-6800. 

Can I get a membership fee refunded?

Girl Scout membership registration is non-refundable and non-transferable. Annual membership fees go directly to our national organization, GSUSA. 

Registered members have active memberships through the end of the current membership year (the membership year runs October 1 to September 30). Active members can attend and participate in camps, events, and activities. To see what kind of great events are happening in your area in the coming months, please check out the Activities Page

How do I and/or my girl join/register for Girl Scouts?

You can join today online or over the phone by reaching out to our customer care team at (503) 977-6800. Staff can also answer any questions you might have about joining over the phone and help process membership payments of $25.00. 

How do I renew my/my girl’s annual membership?

You can renew online through your MyAccount portal or over the phone. To Renew through MyAccount, please follow these steps:

  1. Login to your MyAccount (select My GS on the GSOSW webpage).
  2. Click on My Household.
  3. You can either Select All to renew both the membership and all volunteer roles and/or troop memberships OR go through and check all roles/troops/memberships that apply. You must select a troop or role of some sort, otherwise staff will have to reach out to find out how you’re participating. 
  4. At this time, you may also change your participation by selecting Add a new role OR Add a troop. 
  5. Once you have selected all roles you and household members you would like to renew, select Add Renewal. These will then go to your cart.
  6. When you go to your cart to complete renewals, you will be prompted to confirm member details for each member, such as: primary address, girl’s school, choosing a membership product (e.g. Lifetime Membership options for adults and graduating girls), etc.
  7. You will also be asked to select a payment option: credit card, financial aid (council will need to verify), and program credits (council will need to verify). 
  8. Follow the prompts regarding finishing your payment option, and then you’re done! If you paid with a credit card, all renewal is now complete! If you are using financial aid or program credits, your renewals will show as pending and will need to be approved by council staff, please wait for council staff to reach out. 

You can find more information, including step-by-step instruction guides and more frequently asked questions, about renewing on the Renew Your Membership page. 

If you’re having trouble with your renewal (for example, if you cannot renew into the troop you’ve been a part of or it’s showing as pending), please reach out to our customer care team at (503) 977-6800 for assistance.

How do I purchase a Lifetime Membership?

With our new system updates, members can now easily renew, register, and/or upgrade their memberships to a Lifetime Membership! Please check out GSUSA’s Lifetime Membership page to find out who is eligible and the benefits, and you can follow these steps to renew into a Lifetime Membership role: 

  • Login to your MyAccount (select My GS on the GSOSW webpage).
  • Click on My Household.
  • Find the individual you want to renew with, or upgrade to, a Lifetime Membership. They should have a link on the upper right of their box that says Purchase Lifetime membership, click there. OR, if you would like to renew all volunteer jobs and troop assignments, you can merely tick all boxes and continue on with the renewal.
  • If you selected the boxes, you will have an option while filling out membership details to select Lifetime Membership before check-out.

For graduating girls, the process will be a little different but follow the same paths as above. See below:

  • For Guardians paying for the Lifetime Membership: Follow the same steps as above, you should now see your graduating Girl listed as “Renew as Adult” as the status. You will select the Membership box and Add Renewal. Follow the same steps as above, making sure to select the Young Alumna Lifetime Membership option.
  • If you are a troop leader gifting Lifetime Memberships to graduating girls: You can also do this through your My Troop page in your account! You will just want to select the Membership checkbox for all girls listed as “Renew as Adult”. 
  • Both of the above can also select Program Credits (e.g. Cookie Credits, Nut Credits, etc.) during check-out if girls will be using their Program Credits to purchase all or part of their membership!

If you run into any trouble, or have any questions, please reach out to answers@girlscoutsosw.org for assistance! 

 

Can I use Program Credits (Cookie/Nut Credit) to pay for a girl’s Girl Scout membership renewal?

Absolutely! Here’s the process:

  1. Log into your MyAccount.
  2. Click on the My Account tab on the left hand side.
  3. Click the checkbox next to the Girl you’d like to renew (make sure you select both the Membership checkbox and any troop or programs that your Girl Scout will be continuing in; do not select any adults as you will need to renew all adults separately).
  4. Click on the green Add Renewal button.
  5. Verify member details are still accurate, then click Program Credits under “Choose payment type.”
  6. Review your cart and complete your transaction, you’re done!

Council staff will now be notified that you would like to use Program Credits. Staff will reach out to verify which card you have a balance on - starting with the oldest card first - and then will proceed with renewal. If the amount of Program Credits you have only cover a portion of a Girl’s membership, staff will let you know the next steps.

If you have further questions, please check out the Program Credits page!

Can I use Program Credits (Cookie/Nut Credit) to pay for my adult Girl Scout membership renewal?

Program Credits can only be used to pay for a girl’s Girl Scout membership renewal.


PARENTS, GUARDIANS, AND VOLUNTEERS

I already have a background check with another volunteer organization. Can I submit that report to GSOSW instead?

Unfortunately, GSOSW is unable to accept background checks from other organizations. This is because GSOSW has its own criteria for determining volunteer eligibility which may differ from what is included in outside reports.

How do I request a background check?

The first step for any prospective Girl Scout volunteer is to register as a member of Girl Scouts for the current membership year. Once a new member completes their registration into a volunteer role (e.g. not an Adult Member role), they will automatically receive an email from GSOSW’s secure background check provider, Asurint. Asurint’s email will contain an individualized link to complete and safely submit a background check application.

If you require a background check for your position or program and did not receive one, please contact bgcheck@girlscoutsosw.org to request assistance.

Do I need to upload any documents during the background check process?

No! You may see options to upload documents while filling out your background check, please disregard these. You will never need to upload documents for a GSOSW background check.

Why is my background check telling me my birthday is wrong?

Sometimes birthdays can be entered in the system incorrectly. All information (including names and birth dates) must be accurate for the background check to work. If you need to update your birthdate, name, or any other information for the background check (if, for example, you do not go by your birth name, we can change that back after the background check comes back!), please reach out to answers@girlscoutsosw.org

Why do I need a membership to volunteer?

All troop volunteers at Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington must be registered members of GSUSA for the current membership year and have successfully completed a criminal background check.

With an active Girl Scout membership, all troop volunteers are also covered by insurance in the event of an accident occurring during a Girl Scout activity. Additionally, our council covers all background check costs for all volunteers.

Most importantly, by becoming a member of Girl Scouts, volunteers like you join a global movement focused on building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place!

Can parents attend troop meetings?

Per Page 5 of GSOSW’s Council Volunteer Policies and Procedures in Volunteer Essentials, if an adult will have direct contact with girls then they must be a registered member of GSUSA for the current membership year and have successfully completed a criminal background check. Exceptions to this would be an individual who meets all of the requirements under either of the below.

An individual who:

  • Serves as a onetime advisor or consultant, e.g. a speaker or presenter,
  • Is never left alone with girl(s), AND
  • Is not counted when considering girl/adult ratio.

A parent or guardian who:

  • Attends a group family function, e.g. court of awards, family picnic, etc. AND
  • Is not counted when considering girl/adult ratio.

This is both to ensure the safety of girls in the troop and to foster a girl’s independence in the spirit of Girl Scouts. 

How do I reset my My GS account password?

Go to the Forgot Your Password? page through the My GS login screen. Then type in your username, this is usually your email address. Press Continue.

You’ll receive an email with a link to create a new password and login. 

If you don’t remember your username, or don’t receive a password email, please contact us at answers@girlscoutsosw.org


COST AND FINANCIAL AID

How much does Girl Scout membership cost? Are there troop dues?

Girl Scouts annual membership registration fee is $25.00. Financial assistance is available for all brand new girl and adult volunteers. Collecting troop dues, separate from annual membership fees, is up to the discretion of each individual Girl Scout troop. Many troops do collect dues at the start of their first year, and sometimes annually, to help support the troop’s activities. 

Can adults get financial assistance for membership?

Effective October 1st, 2019, financial assistance for membership registration is available for any new (first-time) adult members in need.

  • Families in need may request financial assistance for membership registration at the payment screen during online registration.
  • Financial assistance is limited to available funds and is provided solely at the discretion of Girl Scouts of Oregon and SW Washington.
  • Financial assistance may not be granted retroactively within a membership year, and is not available for adult memberships purchased with the extended-year membership option.

Financial assistance is not available for adult renewal.

Please note: Girl Scout troops are encouraged to budget troop funds to cover their members’ renewal registrations as part of the troop’s annual financial planning, including the renewal of active adult volunteers.

Is financial assistance available for my girl’s Girl Scout book and uniform?

Yes! GSOSW offers financial assistance for these items:

  • Uniform assistance: includes one tunic, sash, or vest, your troop numbers, a flag patch, and the council ID set.
  • Book assistance: includes the cost of up to 50% of the price of one grade level book.

This assistance is available one time only during a girl’s Girl Scout experience. Caregivers can request this assistance by completing the Book and Uniform Financial Assistance Request form. 

The Girl Scout must be registered for the current membership year before her caregiver submits the request form.


TROOPS AND GIRL SCOUT PROGRAM

How do I start a new Girl Scout troop?

You can find step-by-step instructions, information about the process, and more by going to GSOSW’S How to Start a Troop page. Once you’ve made your decision, you can fill out the Google form included under step one. 

How do I move a girl/adult into a different troop?

The easiest thing to do is have the Primary Caregiver of a Girl initiate the troop transfer. To do this, they will:

  1. Log into their MyAccount.
  2. Click on My Household on the left hand side.
  3. At the top of the Girl you’re wanting to move, select Change Troop or Change my participation.
  4. Caregiver will put the information in the box: who is changing troops, which troop they are leaving, and then click Find Troop to find the right one.
  5. Review the transfer information and, if everything looks right, hit Confirm!

If the Caregiver cannot find the troop (the troop may be at capacity or removed from the catalog), the Caregiver should scroll all the way to the bottom of the troops and select “Apply to participate without a troop”, this will then give them the option to complete the transfer without a specific troop. Then they will want to fill out the Council Contact Form with the following description: 

  • “My Girl [Girl’s Name] has been invited by the troop leaders to join Troop [Number]!”

A staff member will then place the Girl into the new troop!

I haven’t heard from a girl’s troop leader yet. What do I do?

We give troops one week (7 days) from the date the individual registered into the troop to reach out to new members! If you do not hear from your troop at all after seven days, please reach out to customer care at answers@girlscoutsosw.org

How do I find a new troop for my girl? We just moved!

To search for troops to join in your new community:

  1. Log into your MyAccount.
  2. Select My Household on the left hand side.
  3. For each active member of your household, you will want to select the Change my participation link at the top of each box. 
  4. Enter the requested information - e.g. the individual who is transferring and the troop they’re leaving - and then click the green Find Troop button.
  5. You will now be able to search through all available and open troops by a few different parameters, including location, language, etc. Once you fill out the parameters you would like to use, you will click Search and select a troop.
  6. You will then verify the information is correct and then select Confirm.
  7. For Girl members, this process is now complete! For adults, Council staff will need to verify the transfer on their end.

If you’ve been invited to a troop that is not showing in the catalog, you should scroll all the way to the bottom of the troop catalog (Step #5 above) and select “Apply to participate without a troop”, this will then register your Girl in the Individually Registered Member status. Once you have completed the transfer, per above, you will then want to fill out the Council Contact Form with the following description:

  • “My Girl [Girl’s Name] has been invited by the troop leaders to join Troop [Number]!”

A staff member will then place the Girl into the new troop!

Don’t see a troop with openings in your area? Consider starting a brand new troopNot interested in starting a new troop? Become a Juliette Girl Scout with your girl! To do this during the transfer process above, there is an option at the bottom of the available troop lists with the option to participate as an Individually Registered Member!

What do I do if I can’t find a troop for my girl?

Consider starting a brand new troop! If your area doesn’t have any troops in your girl’s grade level, or you are simply interested in starting a new troop, check out the How to Start a Troop page to see if starting a new troop might be a good option for you.

Want to start the fun today? Become a Juliette Girl Scout! Juliettes are Girl Scouts who do all the things that Girl Scouts do, but without a troop. They can still attend events, do activities, earn badges, sell Cookies, and everything else! If this interests you, you can select the Individually Registered Member option at the bottom of the catalog (e.g. the page showing available troops). 

If you have any questions, or have trouble finding the above options, please reach out to answers@girlscoutsosw.org!

 

How do we split off from our current troop and start a new troop?

To begin the troop split process, please fill out and submit the Troop Split Request form. Once you’ve completed this form, GSOSW staff will contact you about next steps.

Why can’t people find my troop?/How can I find a specific troop?

To start, make sure you have the troop number correct and, in the location parameters, make sure your zip code and radius is correct. If you’re still unable to find the troop, this may mean the troop is at capacity.

If you’ve been invited to a troop that is not showing in the catalog due to it being at capacity, you should scroll all the way to the bottom of the troop catalog (e.g. the page where you can browse open troops) and select “Apply to participate without a troop”, this will then register your Girl in the Individually Registered Member status. Once you have completed the registration, per above, you will then want to fill out the Council Contact Form with the following description: 

  • “My Girl [Girl’s Name] has been invited by the troop leaders to join Troop [Number]!”

A staff member will then place the Girl into the troop!

What is additional insurance (Supplemental Activity or Event Insurance) and how do I get it?

Supplemental insurance covers anyone of similar/appropriate age who is participating in a Girl Scout activity, but is not a registered member of Girl Scouts. Volunteers are required to purchase supplemental insurance for those participants at meetings, events, and Girl Scout activities when they are the primary sponsor. When Girl Scouts are participating in someone else’s event (e.g. a school fair or community festival), we are not required to purchase supplemental insurance.

As mentioned, those covered by supplemental insurance must be participating in a Girl Scout activity. This means tagalongs like small siblings, or parents who are waiting for an event to be over, are not covered.

You may bundle events to create efficiency in making requests for supplemental insurance. For example, if you plan a program that occurs on four consecutive Tuesday afternoons, estimate the number of people expected at each event and submit one request that describes each separate activity. 

Supplemental insurance has a minimum charge of $5 to cover up to 45 people. If you expect more than 45 people, there is an small additional charge per person. Requests for this insurance must be made in writing at least seven (7) business days before the scheduled event. Send your requests to insurance@girlscoutsosw.org. You’ll want to include:

  • The date and time of the event.
  • The location of the event (include troop numbers and service units, if possible).
  • A brief description of the event.
  • An attendance estimate.
  • The name and contact information for the person in charge of the event and, if different, the name and contact information of the person who should receive the emailed certificate of insurance.

You will be contacted for payment before insurance is processed and you will receive a confirmation email once it has been processed. 


GIRL SCOUT COOKIE AND FALL PRODUCT PROGRAMS

Are the expiration dates on Program Credits (Pathway/Adventure Pass/Cookie Credit/Nut Credit) cards extended due to COVID-19?

The Product Program Department is providing extensions to the expiration dates of all cards that were set to expire on September 15th, 2021. These cards were issued during the 2019-2020 Fall Product Program and Girl Scout Cookie Program. The new expiration date is December 31st, 2021. 

Pathway cards earned by girls participating at Juliettes do not expire as long as the girl is a registered member each year by January 1st. If you received a refund because a GSOSW event was cancelled, those credits are also available until December 31st, 2021. 

What do I do if the product I received is damaged or is bad quality?

We apologize that the condition was not as desired. All quality issues with products are handled directly through the manufacturer. We ask that you contact them directly at the customer service number listed on the package or below:

  • Cookies: Little Brownie Bakers (1-800-962-1718) 
  • Candies/Nuts: Ashdon Farms (1-800-274-3666)
How do I look up the balance of my Program Credits (Cookie/Nut Credit) card?

To check the balance on a Program Credits card, please visit the eCard Systems website. Once you validate the CAPTCHA, you should be able to put in your card number to see your current balance! 


PROPERTIES

Can I reserve a property for a wedding or other event even if I’m not a Girl Scout member?

Yes, with the exception of the Seaside Program Center, which is only available to Girl Scouts! Contact the site registrar to check availability, or to obtain a rental agreement, at property@girlscoutsosw.org or by phone at 503-977-6834. 

How do I reserve a property?
  1. Begin by reviewing our Guide to GSOSW Properties to choose which property is best suited to your needs.
  2. After choosing your desired property, Girl Scout members may check the password-protected property calendar to see open dates. Both members and non-members may also contact our site registrar for availability at property@girlscoutsosw.org , or by phone at 503-977-6834. 
  3. Confirm your request with the site registrar, then download and fill out the site agreement. Submit the agreement, along with the deposit, to the site registrar. Confirmation of your reservation will be emailed, along with rental information.

Non-members may obtain a rental agreement from the site registrar by email.

How do I cancel my property reservation?

Contact our site registrar at property@girlscoutsosw.org or by phone at 503-977-6834. Deposits are nonrefundable as stated on the rental agreement. All additional payments are nonrefundable if cancellation is made less than 30 days (for Girl Scouts) or 60-90 days (for non-members, depending on type of rental) prior to check-in date.

Do I have to rent the whole property or can I just rent part of it?

Girl Scout troops and service units may reserve all or part of a property; non-members must reserve the entire property to be in compliance with Girl Scout co-occupancy safety requirements. 

 

More Questions?

Please reach out to customer care at answers@girlscoutsosw.org or 800-338-5248, and a GSOSW staff member will be happy to assist you.