Questions and Answers

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Girl Scout Program

Camp

Girl Scout Cookie Program

Membership

Adult Volunteers

Uniforms

Girl Scout Program

Q.: What do Girl Scouts Do?

A.: Girl Scouts earn badges, hike and camp, participate in the cookie program, and much more.  They improve neighborhoods, protect the planet, design robots, and establish sports clinics.  See what a great Girl Scout year can look like for each grade level by visiting: 

What Daisies Do (PDF)

What Brownies Do (PDF)

What Juniors Do (PDF) 

What Cadettes Do (PDF)

What Seniors Do (PDF) 

What Ambassadors Do (PDF)

In Girl Scouting, it's not just "what girls do" (activities), but "how" (processes) that when used together, impact girls.  Girl Led, Cooperative Learning, and Learning by Doing enusre the quality and promote the fun and friendship so integral to Girl Scouting. 

For an overview, you can access an introductory web video on the Girl Scout Leadership Experience:  www.girlscouts.org/gsle

Based on expert research and developed through years of experience, the Girl Scout program provides engaging and worthwhile activities that respond to the needs of today's girls, with flexiblity that respects their busy lives- and yours!  Girl Scouts do almost anything that girls like to do!

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Q.: How does Girl Scouts work?

A.: WAGGGS stands for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and has 136 member countries including the United Sates.  Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. oversees Girl Scouting across the country by dividing it into various jurisdictions called councils.  Each Girl Scout Council is responsible for providing the Girl Scout program within its jurisdiction.  Girl Scouts of Greater New York (GSGNY) is one of approximately 120 councils.

The council is divided into Service Units.  Each Service Unit is managed by a group of volunteers called a Service Team.  The Service Team is headed by a volunteer Service Unit Manager who oversees the troops in that Service Unit.  Service Units are divided by geographic areas.  The Service Team provides support, structure and program to volunteers working directly with girls in their area.

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Q.: Will my daughter work on try-its/badges like I did as a girl?

A: A Girl Scout Journey represents a new way that girls can experience Girl Scouting.  It is a fun and challenging experience spread over a series of sessions (usually 6-8 but with the potential to last far longer).  The journey, which follows a designated theme, has a clear starting point (an invitation to explore and take action) and a definite ending point (opportunities to enjoy closure through reflections, rewards, and celebration).  Along the way, girls are following a purposeful trail that allows them to have fun, get wiser, and experience all the joys of being a traveler (meeting new people, exploring new tastes and cultures, gathering keepsakes, making memories) while being able to carry this all in one “suitcase” – their journey book!

No matter how much time girls spend on a journey, the whole is always greater than any single part.  So when a Girl Scout journey comes to a close, girls and their adult guides truly feel a sense of accomplishment.

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Q.: Does my Girl Scout need books?

A: Girl Scouts recommends having books because they were designed to enhance the experience—a lot of the information needed to participate fully is included in the books.

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Q.: Where can I get the books? How much do they cost?

A: You can buy Journey materials (i.e. books and awards) through the Girl Scout store or online at www.girlscoutstore.org

All grade-level girl books cost $7.00. The adult sets, consisting of a girl book packaged with the adult guide, are $15.00. Girl Scouts of the USA is aware of the importance of being cost-conscious and has worked to provide excellent value. It is ideal for every girl to have her own book to fully experience the journey.

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Q.: How can I help my Girl Scout with her experience, including the Girl Scout Gold Award, Silver Award, Bronze Award, etc.?

A: Be a sounding board for ideas and actions, but let her make decisions and take action on her own. Help her by encouraging her to do her best and providing an environment where she feels she can succeed. If she asks you to take a role in the project, you may do so, but only under her direction.

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Q.: If my daughter is in a troop can she participate in council program even if the troop isn’t going?

A: Yes!  Girls get to choose the way they participate in Girl Scout opportunities.  Many Council sponsored programs can be attended as an individual Girl Scout.  We also have many family events.  Check out our Upcoming Events calendar.

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Camp

Q.: Should I choose to send my child to a Girl Scout camp?

A: Girl Scouts is the premier leadership organization for girls. Our staff is comprised of experienced, enthusiastic, talented and well trained young women who are excellent role models for your child. We offer a variety of exciting traditional and non-traditional camp experiences. Our programs are easily affordable to give all girls an opportunity to attend. 

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Q.: How do I know if my girl is ready to go to Camp Kaufmann?

A: Most girls are ready for overnight camp at the age of 8. Girls younger than that will benefit from a day camp experience. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to determine if your child is ready for a day or overnight camp experience.

Does she indicate that she wants to go?

  1. Has she experienced a night away from home?
  2. Is she willing to try new things?
  3. Can she cope with the elements (woods, bugs, weather)?
  4. Does she follow directions well?
  5. Can she care for herself?
  6. Does she enjoy a wide variety of experiences?

If you answered “YES”, to most of these questions, then your daughter is ready for an exciting Camp Experience!

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Q.: Do camp counselors receive special training?

A: Camp staffs receive extensive training from their council before camp season starts. All local Girl Scout councils must follow Girl Scouts of the USA guidelines, as outlined in its safety publications, as well as comply with applicable state laws. Camp Kaufmann is also accredited by the American Camp Association. Our camp hires staff members based on their skills and job experience.

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Girl Scout Cookie Program

Q.: Does my Girl Scout have to sell cookies?

A: Participation in this Girl Scout program activity is voluntary. However, girls tell us selling Girl Scout Cookies is fun. Girls practice life skills such as teamwork, money management, and entrepreneurship. This activity provides the Girl Scouts of Greater New York with revenue to support Girl Scouting in New York City, including a portion that goes back to the Girl Scout troop/group selling the cookies. Customers purchase great cookies and know they are supporting the girls in our area.

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Q.: What role do I have in Girl Scout Cookie activities?

A:  A parent/guardian can help her/his girl by:

Giving permission for her to sell Girl Scout Cookies.

  • Attending the cookie activity training for her troop/group.
  • Helping her set and meet her personal goal(s) and her groups' goals.
  • Helping her observe all safety rules and guidelines outlined in materials sent home by the local Girl Scout council.
  • Helping her understand that you will be working with her in a supportive role; adults, however, should not assume sole responsibility for selling cookies.
  • Helping to network with colleagues so that she can contact co-workers and family members to purchase cookies.
  • Providing transportation to cookie events or special sales areas, like those at business office or grocery store.
  • Providing a safe place for the money collected, as well as frequent drop-offs of money to the cookie manager.
  • Paying for any cookies eaten at home.
  • Supporting the national Girl Scout policy that Girl Scout Cookies may not be sold on the Internet by anyone at any time.

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Q: Where does the money earned from Girl Scout Cookie sales go?

A: The best way to understand where the money goes is by picturing a cookie. A piece of the cookie goes to pay the baker for making the product. Another piece goes to the Girl Scouts of Greater New York to support Girl Scouts New York City, and a third piece goes directly to the group selling the cookies.

If you have more cookie-related questions, see the Girl Scout Cookie Program FAQs.

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Membership

Q: Can my girl become a Girl Scout without being part of a troop?

A: There are many ways girls can take part in Girl Scouting. Depending on their free time and interests, they can register individually, for camp, as part of an interest group, or join a troop. If a girl registers individually, she may want to take part in one or two group events, like camp or a council-wide event. Complete the join us form or email membership@girlscoutsnyc.org for more information.

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Q: How can my girl become a Girl Scout member?

A: She registers through our Girl Scout council.  See Join Us.

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Q: How old do you have to be to become a Girl Scout?

A: Girls can register as Girl Scouts from Kindergarten through 12th Grade. See Join Us

Adults working with girls can join as well. See Join Us.

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Adult Volunteers

Q: How can I become a Girl Scout volunteer?

A: Contact our Council.  We will happily talk with you about volunteering. You can also register online. 

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Q: What type of training is available before working with girls on my own?

A: We offer many training opportunities. When you sign up to be a volunteer you must complete “Getting Started” training.  Leaders are encouraged to take first-aid training as well. To sign up for one of our upcoming training sessions go to our Training Calendar page or email training@girlscoutsnyc.org

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Q: What can I do to help the adult volunteer working with the girls directly?

A: Talk with your girl's adult volunteer and see what type of help she needs. Extra adults are always needed for trips and special events, as well as for Girl Scout Cookie activities.

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Uniforms

Q: Do I have to buy a uniform for my Girl Scout?

A: Girl Scouts uniforms are not required.  We do recommend that Girl Scouts at each level have one common element (Tunic, Sash or Vest) for the display of official pins and awards which will be required when girls participate in ceremonies or officially represent the Girl Scout Movement.

For girls in grades Kindergarten through 12th, the unifying look includes wearing a choice of a tunic, vest, 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.

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Q: Where do I place pins and badges on the uniform?

A: See the Where to Place Insignia on a Girl Scout Uniform. A couple of hints:

Some insignia come in iron-on format, but not all. Check and see before you iron them—non-iron-on awards will melt if they are ironed.

  • The insignia tab is a great tool. Membership pins can be placed onto it and then be removed easily when the uniform needs to be cleaned.

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Q: Where do I buy uniform pieces?

A: You can purchase uniform pieces through the Girl Scout store at Girl Scouts of the USA headquarters, located at 420 5th Avenue at 37th Street, online at the Girl Scout Shop, or by calling GSUSA Customer Service at (800) 221-6707.

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