Home > Get Involved > Be a Girl Scout > Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Girls in grades kindergarten through 12th grade can join as girl members. Each level of membership offers new, fun and exciting experiences and discoveries. The grade levels are: Girl Scout Daisies: Grades K—1 Girl Scout Brownies: Grades 2—3 Girl Scout Juniors: Grades 4—5 Girl Scout Cadettes: Grades 6—8 Girl Scout Seniors: Grades 9—10 Girl Scout Ambassadors: Grades 11—12 As girls progress in Girl Scouts, they gain new skills and experiences, so the longer a girl participates, the more she gains from her experience. Girls can join at any time of the year in the appropriate grade level.​

Uniforms are not required for participation in Girl Scouts. Girls are encouraged to wear a uniform for visibility and to demonstrate their Girl Scout spirit. Some groups choose to purchase uniforms, others make group T-shirts, still others allow each girl to decide for herself what her uniform will be. A girl is always welcome to participate in Girl Scouting whether or not she chooses to wear a uniform.

How often a group meets depends on a variety of factors, including the availability of the meeting place and the schedules of the leader and girls. Usually groups meet for an hour or two, from once a week to once a month. Many groups meet every other week. Occasional group activities may involve longer time commitments, such as field trips and camp outs.

Girl Scout membership fees are $15 per year–this fee goes directly to Girl Scouts of the USA and does not stay with Girl Scouts of Western Ohio. Most troops also collect dues or program activity fees to support their needs, as well as participate in council sponsored money earning activities such as the Girl Scout Cookie Sale. Participation in Girl Scouts should not be expensive for girls and their families, as girls have the opportunity to earn funds through the Girl Scout Cookie and Fall Product Sales and through other money-earning projects.

A Girl Scout is not required to earn badges; in fact, badges are just one way a girl can demonstrate the progression of skills she has attained in Girl Scouting. The experiences she has, and the skills and abilities she gains are what will last a lifetime.

Girl Scouting does not discriminate on any basis, including disability. In fact, the founder of Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low, had a severe hearing disability. Girls of varying abilities enjoy participating in Girl Scouting, and we have a long history of adapting activities for girls who have special needs, including those who have physical or mental disabilities and those who are chronically ill.

Girl Scouts does not endorse or promote any particular philosophy or religious belief. Our movement is secular and is founded on American democratic principles, one of which is the freedom of religion. We welcome Girl Scouts from diverse backgrounds. Girl Scouts of Western Ohio is committed to supporting girls in their journey to become stronger members of their own faith communities.

Leaders are appointed on a yearly basis after completing training, both general and specific, for the grade of girls they are leading. They have all passed a background check and are required to follow stringent rules governing safety/supervision issues. Girl Scout leaders undergo comprehensive training to enable them not only to conduct activities in a safe manner, but to make each girl feel safe and secure in the group environment. They often have daughters of their own and in their groups. Of course, parents are encouraged to register and participate with the group in its activities.

Your first step is to communicate with the leader. Ask the leader to meet with you when it is convenient for both of you. Ask her to share the goals of the group and how these goals fit into the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Ask her to explain why certain policies and procedures were put into place. The leader is a great resource for you–she is volunteering her time to ensure that your daughter and the rest of the group members have the opportunity to participate in Girl Scouting If you have concerns that the leader cannot address, please contact your regional Girl Scout Center.

To request financial assistance, please speak with your daughter’s leader or contact ​your regional Girl Scout Center. Financial assistance is available to ensure every girl is able to participate. No girl is denied membership because of inability to pay. Approximately, one-fourth of girls in Girl Scouting receive financial assistance.

Leaders are an essential part of the Girl Scout movement, making a difference everyday in the lives of girls. Recognize your leader for their donation of time and talent, and show them how much you appreciate their efforts. There are many ways to thank your leader, here are a few: Nominate him or her for a national award or council award (see Adult Recognitions in Girl Scouting). Give a sincere word of thanks or a personalized note of appreciation. Offer to help with your daughter’s troop by sharing a special talent or skill. Celebrate Leader Appreciation Day on April 22. Thank your leader for the difference she/he has made to your daughter’s life. Remember, showing appreciation doesn’t have to be once a year. You can thank your daughter’s troop leader each time you see them.

​​​​​