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Girl Scouts offers a variety of experiences and adventures.
Troop activities will vary from troop to troop as girls are encouraged to make their own decisions about troop plans. Troops meet on a regular basis either in the afternoon, the evening or on the week end.
Popular meeting places are schools, churches and homes. The Girl Scout program is tailored to each age level in Girl Scouting, so that girls will progress In their learning and experiences as they remain in Girl Scouting year after year.
Beyond the troop, various program opportunities are offered locally and throughout the jurisdiction of the council.
In Girl Scouting, the girl always comes first. She is the main focus of the Girl Scout organization, where everything is directed toward stimulating her interests and meeting her needs. The mission of the Girl Scouts -- to help girls develop to their fullest potential and become competent, resourceful women -- is as vital today as is was in 1912, when the organization began.
Girl Scouting is a people-centered organization offering a variety of experiences that increases a girl's understanding of herself, her community and other people.
Girl Scouting is:
|learning how to get along with others|
|developing leadership skills|
|girls in partnership with caring adults|
|singing, playing, camping, and having fun|
|a program for girls with a purpose based on ideas and a code of conduct|
|developing feelings of being like and needed|
|responsive to the needs of girls|
|a place where girls can explore their potential without competition from boys|
|learning about other cultures and sharing one's heritage with others|
Girl Scouting is committed to helping all girls from every background to develop the confidence, determination, and skills needed to thrive in today's world. There is one Girl Scout Program is based on the Girl Scout Promise and Law. It is adapted to meet the developmental, educational, emotional, and social needs and interests of girls at five age levels. Membership is open to girls 5-17 or from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The Girl Scout program has four fundamental goals that express the ways girls may benefit from their Girl Scout experiences. The four program goals for girls are:
|1.||To help a girl develop to her full individual potential|
|2.||To help a girl relate to others with increasing understanding, skill and respect|
|3.||To help a girl develop values to guide her actions and to provide the foundation for sound decision-making|
|4.||To help a girl contribute to the improvement of society through the use of her abilities and leadership skills, working in cooperation with others.|
The Girl Scout program:
|Is for all girls. Girls from all backgrounds are welcome and learn to respect themselves and others.|
|Promotes progressive and cooperative learning experiences, making decisions, and evaluating progress.|
|Helps girls better the quality of life for others, without regard for personal reward. Girls develop qualities of responsible citizenship and service that help lay a foundation for responsible action as women.|
|Develops leadership and decision-making skills through specific activities, experiences with self-government, and the influence of adult role models.|
|Builds skills in a balanced program that includes activities in the worlds of science, math and technology; outdoors, arts, people, and well-being. The program also centers upon contemporary issues to support and assist girls in confronting the pressures of today's world.|
|Provides adult leadership that is trained and prepared to guide and encourage girls to discover their talents and abilities while reinforcing their strengths in a supportive and safe environment.|
|Is flexible. Girls participate in a variety of ways: troops, interest groups, events, camps, and as individuals.|
|Supports activities that encourage cross-cultural understanding. Girl Scouts, USA is a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.|
The Girl Scout program is offered to girl members through various activities at five different age levels. The five age levels are: Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette, and Senior Girl Scouts.
Daisy Girl Scouts are in grades K-1 or are between 5 and 6 years of age. They usually meet in small groups on a weekly or biweekly basis. They go on day trips, learn songs and crafts, explore science and nature, and participate in community service projects.
They don't earn badges, but can collect participation patches in their Daisy Scrapbook for the events they attend. They start to help the leader(s) plan what they will do and how they will do it, as the year progresses.
Brownie Girl Scouts are in grades 1-3 or are between 6-8 years old. They also usually meet in small groups on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis. Many Brownie Girl Scouts participate in summer day or resident camps, too.
Brownie Girl Scouts have more opportunities to identify their own interests and decide how they will explore those interests than Daisy Girl Scouts do. In addition to working on "Try-Its" in a variety of areas (nature and wildlife, art, dance, music, science, technology, civics, etc.), they also go on local overnight trips and can participate in their council's annual cookie sale. They can display their "Try-its" on a uniform vest or sash.
Junior Girl Scouts are in grades 3-6 or are between the ages of 8-11. They help to determine not only what areas of interest they will explore, and how they will explore them (badge activities, service projects, trips, activities suggested in their handbook, etc.), but also the manner in which they run their group or troop. Junior Girl Scouts might meet in small groups on a biweekly- weekly or monthly basis, or they might be individually registered Girl Scouts. They might also meet for a set period of time to explore a specific activity...a four to five-week sports skills program, a six-week theater program, a weekend event at a science museum, or at a resident or day camp.
Junior Girl Scouts plan and take overnight trips. As they become more experienced in planning and evaluating their activities, they can plan and take trips of longer duration. In addition to participating in their council's annual cookie sale, Junior Girl Scouts can work on badge and religious recognition activities, and can display their badges on their vest or sash.
Cadette Girl Scouts are in grades 6-9 or are between 11-14 years or age. Girls at this age engage in Girl Scout activities in many different ways. Some belong to groups that meet weekly or bimonthly. Still others may participate in council-wide events (museum or sports facility overnights, science adventure weekends, community service events, or for a four-week performance practice) or at resident camp.
Cadette Girl Scouts determine the areas they will explore, how they will explore them, and in what manner their group, troop or session will be run. Cadette Girl Scouts can work on their council's annual cookie sale, interest projects, service projects, Silver Award projects, and participate in both national and international events and workshops.
They can receive their council's training as a Program Aide, and then provide Program Aide service to other troops, groups, as well to girls attended a day or resident camp. Recognitions for these achievements can be displayed on the Cadette Girl Scout's vest or sash.
Senior Girl Scouts are in grades 9-12 or are between 14-17 years old. They can pursue common interests at bimonthly meetings or participate in council-wide events, resident camps. They also learn leadership skills with groups of younger girls as a Senior Program Aide, Leader-in- Training, Counselor-in-Training or Senior Girl Scout Troop Assistant. Recognitions for these achievements can be displayed on the Senior Girl Scout's vest or sash.
Senior Girl Scouts determine what areas they will explore, how they will explore them, and in what manner their group, troop or session will be run. They can work on their council's annual cookie sale, interest projects, service projects, Gold Award projects, and can participate in Leadership Institutes and other national and international events and workshops.
Girl Scouting is open to all girls ages 5-17 (or kindergarten through grade 12). Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. does not have separate program activities for girls with disabilities. The goal for serving girls with disabilities is to make their experiences as much like that of other girls as possible, by inclusion in troop or group settings with their chronological age peers, and by flexible adaptation of program resources based on individual strengths in all situations. There are no "special" or different activities in Girl Scouting for girls with disabilities; activities such as camping, sports and recreation, arts, service, and learning skills are adapted to suit the needs and interests of all girls.
A Girl Scout leader's guide, Focus on Ability: Serving Girls with Special Needs is used by adults throughout the organization to facilitate participation of girls with disabilities in all activities. National and local training opportunities are offered to help leaders and others to develop awareness and sensitivity along with the skills needed in adapting program activities.
In addition, many councils develop disability awareness projects that involve girls with and without disabilities, and facilitate their understanding of the similarities and differences they each have. Some of these are done directly with schools, while others are conducted by Girl Scout councils.
For more information, contact Martha Jo Dennison, Membership and Program Consultant at GSUSA, (212) 852-5733. Send e- mail to: Martha.Jo.Dennison@bbs.gsusa.org
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