We are the largest girl-led leadership development organization for girls in the world and a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts , a sisterhood of nearly 10 million girls and adults in 150 countries. With programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl the chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success.
At Girl Scouts, girls’ dreams are our dreams and Girl Scouts is where girls see the limitless possibilities ahead, because they are encouraged to aim for the stars and reach them! Whether she’s making a new friend on the playground, raising her hand in class, starting her own nonprofit, or advocating for climate change or social justice, a Girl Scout builds a better world—just as Girl Scouts have been doing for over a century. With programs in every zip code, coast-to-coast and around the globe, every girl can find her place in Girl Scouts and start creating the world she wants to see.
Our Mission and Vision
Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. We strive to be the premier leadership organization for girls, and experts on their growth and development.
Girl Scout Promise
On my honor, I will try:
To serve God* and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.
Girl Scout Law
I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong,
and responsible for what I say and do,
respect myself and others,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place,
and be a sister to every Girl Scout.
Girl Scout Councils are chartered by the national office to attract and retain members in a geographic area, provide ways for girls to participate in Girl Scouting, create an environment that reflects Girl Scout values and ideals, manage volunteers’ experience with Girl Scouting, and keep girls and volunteers as safe as possible. The national office provides support materials to all councils to ensure that the Girl Scout experience is nationally consistent.
Girl Scouts of Citrus Service Area
Girl Scouts of Citrus is one of more than 100 councils chartered by the Girl Scouts of the USA and is responsible for administering Girl Scouting in the following Central Florida counties: Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia.
How We Function
Girl Scouts of Citrus is governed by a policy‐making volunteer Board of Directors who represent all of the communities served. Nearly 5,000 adults volunteer their time and talents as co- leaders, mentors, service community leaders, troop committee members, resource consultants, trainers, program facilitators and task force members. The Council has a staff of more than 50 employees responsible for directing the day-to-day operations of the organization.
Girl Scouts of Citrus is the leading organization for girls in Central Florida. Our focus is the wholesome development of girls. We see girls as emerging leaders in every field, as visionaries for local and global change, and capable of incredible influence.
We create opportunities for girls to discover their own potential, connect with their peers and adult mentors, and take action in big ways. Their growth is our goal.
The Council Service Center is located in downtown Orlando. Mah‐Kah‐Wee Program Center, which has over 200 acres located in Chuluota, and the Riverpoint Program Center is located directly on the Banana River in Merritt Island. The Council also operates four other facilities: Celia Lane Little House in downtown Orlando, Eustis Scout House in Eustis, Pine Castle Scout House in the Pine Castle neighborhood of Orlando and Melbourne Scout House in Melbourne, Florida.
For more information regarding Girl Scouts of Citrus Council properties and activities, please refer to the GSC Properties Page on our website and the GSC Property Guide.
Girl Scout volunteers are a dynamic and diverse group, and there’s no one “type” of volunteer. Whether you’re a recent college grad, a parent, a retiree, or really, anyone with a sense of curiosity and adventure (of any gender, who is 18 years or older, has a current Adult GSUSA membership, and has a favorable background check), your unique skills and experiences help make Girl Scouting a powerful leadership experience for girls
Girl Scout members and volunteers are united by the values in the Girl Scout Promise and Law and their shared commitment to embrace leadership in all forms. Each member agrees to follow Girl Scouts safety guidelines and pay annual membership dues of $25. Volunteers and adults also have the option to purchase a Lifetime membership.
|Daisy (grades K-1)||Cadette (grades 6-8)|
|Brownie (grades 2-3)||Senior (grades 9-10)|
|Junior (grades 4-5)||Ambassador (grades 11-12)|
The Girl Scout Leadership Experience provides the foundation for all we do. It is the core of our program and encompasses everything from our Promise and Law to our badges, activities, and Journeys. And at the center of it all are the girls.
At Girl Scouts, everything centers around the girl: Activities are girl-led, which gives girls the opportunity to take on leadership roles and learn by doing in a cooperative learning environment. It’s what makes Girl Scouts truly unique—our program is designed by, with, and for girls.
Although girls may start building their leadership skills in school and on sports teams, research shows that the courage, confidence, and character they develop as Girl Scouts stay with them throughout their lives. Our program and outcomes are based in research and our studies show that Girl Scouting has a measurable positive impact on girls. In fact, we can proudly say Girl Scouts are almost 10% more likely, than non-Girl Scouts, to have positive expectations about their future based on our studies. We encourage you to learn more about our program and outcomes as you check out our studies and in-depth research for insights and information.
The Girl Scout Leadership Experience has been purposefully designed to include a variety of fun and challenging activities to help girls learn, grow, and thrive. And at the base of it all are three keys and three processes.
What girls do in Girl Scouting all fits within three keys: Discover, Connect and Take Action.
Discover. When girls do exciting badge activities, earn a Girl Scout Journey award, attend an amazing event, or go camping, you are helping them discover who they are, what they care about, and what their talents are.
Connect. Girls connect when they collaborate with other people, learn from others, and expand their horizons. This helps them care about, inspire, and team with others locally and globally.
Take Action. With your guidance, these budding leaders will connect with and care about others, and they’ll be eager to take action to make the world a better place.
So how do we do it? The Girl Scout Leadership Experience draws on three unique processes— Girl-led, Learning by Doing, and Cooperative Learning—that encourage girls to try new things, write their own stories, and develop the skills and confidence to say, “I know I can do this!”
As a volunteer, you’ll draw on these Girl Scout processes as you lead girls of any age. Girl-led at the Daisy level will look very different from the Ambassador level, of course. What’s most important is that girls make decisions about the activities to do together and that they also make choices within that activity. As they learn from their successes and failures—and gain a major confidence boost in the process—their girl-led process will give them the opportunity to lead within their peer group. By the time girls are Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors, they’ll be using the leadership skills they’ve developed in order to mentor younger Girl Scouts, and take action to make the world a better place.
One last tip about following these processes. Girl Scouting isn’t a to-do list, so please don’t feel that checking activities off a list is more important than tuning in to what interests girls and sparks their imaginations. Projects don’t have to come out perfectly—in fact, it’s a valuable learning experience when they don’t—Girl Scouts don’t have to fill their vests and sashes with badges. What matters most is the fun and learning that takes place as they make experiences their own, so don’t be afraid to step back and let your girls take the lead.
The Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) is a great resource that can provide inspiring ideas for engaging your troop in an exciting mix of activities all year long. For example, if you want to take your girls outside when doing a badge activity, look for the evergreen icon, which tells you that activity can be taken outdoors, or the globe icon, which lets you know you can bring a global perspective to the activity.
Was a badge-earning activity a resounding success? Or was it derailed by something the girls hadn’t factored in? No matter an activity’s outcome, you can amplify its impact by encouraging your girls to reflect on their latest endeavor.
Reflection is the necessary debrief that reinforces what the girls learned. As they explore the “whats” and “whys,” girls make meaningful connections between the activity at hand and future challenges that come their way. In other words, reflection gives girls the confidence boost they need to pick themselves up, try again, and succeed.
What? Go over the “what” of the activity. For example, ask:
So what? Next, move to the “so what.” You might ask:
Last, review the now what. Say something like:
This form of reflection, or whatever style of reflection you choose to use with your girls, is a powerful component of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience that helps girls to carry these lessons with them for the rest of their lives.
Although program elements—like outdoor expeditions or entrepreneurial ventures—align across all grade levels, Girl Scout Brownies and Juniors won’t be doing the same activities as seasoned Seniors and Ambassadors. But with your support, they will get there!
Girl Scout programming is designed to be progressive, and it’s what makes Girl Scouting fun and effective! By building on the knowledge and skills they gain year after year, your girls’ confidence will grow exponentially, and they’ll be eager to take the next steps. As a volunteer, you will cultivate a supportive, nonjudgmental space where girls can test their skills and be unafraid to fail.
Keep in mind that progression drives success for your troop. In the following links, we’ve outlined some suggestions that will help you determine when your girls are ready for their next adventure:
Girl Scouts has a strong commitment to inclusion and diversity, and we embrace girls of all abilities and backgrounds into our wonderful sisterhood.
Inclusion is at the core of who we are; it’s about being a sister to every Girl Scout and celebrating our unique strengths. Part of the important work you do includes modeling friendship and kindness for your girls and showing them what it means to practice empathy. Here’s how you can nurture an inclusive troop environment.
When scheduling, planning, and carrying out activities, carefully consider the needs of all girls involved, including school schedules, family needs, financial constraints, religious holidays, and the accessibility of appropriate transportation and meeting places.
Girls can participate in a variety of ways :
All girls whether they are in a troop or Juliette are Girl Scouts who can choose their own Girl Scout journey based upon what their interest are.
Girl Scouts four Program Pillars—STEM, Life Skills, Outdoors, and Entrepreneurship—form the foundation of the Girl Scout program and work together to build girls’ curiosity, kindness, and can-do spirit. In fact, every aspect of our program, and every Girl Scout adventure, can be traced back to one of our four program pillars.
Journeys and badges are designed to give girls different leadership-building experiences, all while having fun!
Journeys are multi-session leadership experiences for girls to explore topics such as bullying, media literacy, design thinking, or environmental stewardship. Girls do hands-on activities, connect with experts, and take the reins on age-appropriate Take Action projects. Because of their leadership focus, Journeys are also a prerequisite for the highly regarded Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards.
Badges are all about skill building. When a Girl Scout earns a badge, it shows that she’s learned a new skill, such as how to make a healthy snack, build and test a toy race car, or take great digital photos. It may even spark an interest at school or plant the seed for a future career. And remember: you’ll have fun and learn by doing right alongside your girls!
If they choose, girls can pursue badges and Journey awards in the same year; encourage them to find the connections between the two to magnify their Girl Scout experience! While you’re having fun, keep in mind that the quality of a girl’s experience and the skills and pride she gains from earning Journey awards and skill-building badges far outweigh the quantity of badges she earns.
As a volunteer, you don’t have to be the expert in any badge or Journey work. In fact, when you show that you’re not afraid to fail and you’re willing to try something new, you’re modeling what is it is to be a Girl Scout. Our badge and Journey requirements are structured so your girls can learn new skills without your having to be an expert in all the topics, including STEM.
As your girls look for meaningful ways to give back to their community, you can help sharpen their problem-solving skills and expand their definition of doing good by discussing community service and Take Action projects.
If your troop members want to pursue their Bronze, Silver, or Gold Awards, they’ll develop a Take Action project on an issue that’s close to their hearts. To make Take Action projects even more impactful for your girls, give time for them to reflect on their projects. When girls make time to internalize the lessons they’ve learned, they’re more likely to find success in their future projects—or anything else they put their minds to.
Special Girl Scout Days, Ceremonies and Traditions
During special days, time-honored traditions and ceremonies unite Girl Scout sisters, and the millions of Girl Scout alums who came before them—around the country and around the globe—and remind girls how far their fellow trailblazers have come and just how far they’ll go.
Special Girl Scout Days include:
Ceremonies play an important part in Girl Scouts and are used not only to celebrate accomplishments, experience time-honored traditions, and reinforce the values of the Girl Scout Promise and Law, but also to encourage girls to take a short pause in their busy lives and connect with their fellow Girl Scouts in fun and meaningful ways.
Many examples of ceremonies—for awards, meeting openings and closings, and so on—are sewn right into the Journeys, including ideas for new ceremonies girls can create. Girls use ceremonies for all sorts of reasons.
Here are some examples of the most common Girl Scout ceremonies:
Throughout the rich history of Girl Scouts, traditions have been passed down through the years from troop to troop. Below are just a few examples of some traditions you can incorporate into your Girl Scout troop/group:
Whether they’re making cool SWAPS to share with new friends or closing meetings with a friendship circle, your troop won’t want to miss out on these traditions, ceremonies, and special Girl Scout days.
So, whether they’re working on a new badge, making new friends, or closing meetings with a friendship circle, your troop won’t want to miss out on Girl Scouts’ treasured traditions, ceremonies, and special Girl Scout days.
The Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards honor girls who become forces for good and create a lasting impact in their communities, nationally and around the world.
As your Girl Scouts discover the power of their voices, they’ll want to take on an issue that is close to their hearts and meaningful to them. Encourage them to turn their ideas into reality by pursuing Girl Scouts’ highest awards.
Did you know that a Gold Award Girl Scout is entitled to enlist at a higher paygrade when she joins the U.S. military? Gold Award Girl Scout’s achievements also prime her for the fast track when it comes to college admissions and make her an outstanding candidate for academic scholarships and other financial awards.
Girl Scouts are eligible to earn any recognition at the grade level in which they are registered. Any Girl Scout is eligible to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award even if she joined Girl Scouts for the first time in high school.
Ask your council about Girl Scout Gold Award Girl Scouts in your community and how they’re doing their part to make the world a better place. For inspiration, consider inviting a local Gold Award Girl Scout to speak to your troop about how she took the lead and made a difference. You’ll be inspired when you see and hear what girls can accomplish when they take the lead—and by the confidence, grit, problem-solving, time and project management, and team-building expertise they gain while doing so!
Girl Mentoring Awards
Girl Scouts is an environment that teaches girls to embrace their inner leadership and develop skills that they can use throughout their life. To be an effective leader, girls should display a level of enthusiasm and have a genuine passion for mentoring others. Girl Scouts that choose to take on one of these positions should understand that they are a role model and an inspiration for the girls they are working with.
Girl Scouts that are in 6th grade and above, have the opportunity to earn the following official awards based on their grade level, by working with younger girls in a troop/group or outdoor setting.
There are many other opportunities outside of patches and badges for girls to shine! Girl Scouts that are in 6th grade and above can earn a variety of Leadership Awards from the Torch Award to Community Service Bars! Earning a leadership award, recognizes all the amazing work that a Girl Scout does and is a great way for girls to give back and serve their community! For more information: Leadership Awards
Girl Scouts and Faith
Everything in Girl Scouting is based on the Girl Scout Promise and Law, which includes many of the principles and values common across religions. So, while we are a secular organization, Girl Scouts has always encouraged girls to take spiritual journeys via their faiths' religious recognitions. To learn more: https://www.girlscouts.org/en/about-girl-scouts/girl-scouts-and-faith.html
My Promise, My Faith
Girls of all grade levels can now earn the My Promise, My Faith pin, which complements existing religious recognitions and allows girls to further strengthen the connection between their faith and Girl Scouts. Once each year, a girl can earn the My Promise, My Faith pin by carefully examining the Girl Scout Law and tying it directly to tenets of her faith. Requirements for this pin are included in all levels in the handbook.
Created by national religious organizations to encourage the spiritual growth of youth members, religious recognition programs reinforce many of the value’s integral to Girl Scouting and help girls grow stronger in and learn more about their chosen faith.
Each religious organization develops and administers its own program. The brochure below lists the religious recognitions created by various faith groups. You can find this brochure, a video explaining religious recognition programs, and other resources for collaborating with faith communities at P.R.A.Y. Publishing.
Some religious organizations are not affiliated with P.R.A.Y. or may not have a national office. To learn about their religious recognitions, contact local leaders.
If you have any questions about Girl Awards, please reach out to Customer Care at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-896-4475
Girl Scouts encourages girls to try new things and see the world with fresh eyes, both inside and outside of their usual troop meetings. As COVID-19-related travel restrictions are lifted across the globe and you and your troop feel safe doing so, you may be excited to travel and explore the world as a troop.
Traveling as a Girl Scout is a more engaging experience than traveling with family, school, or other groups because girls take the lead. They’ll make important decisions about where to go, what to do, and take increasing responsibility for the planning of their trips. During this process, they will also build their organizational and management skills—skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.
Girl Scout travel is built on a progression of activities, so girls are set up for success. Daisies and Brownies start with field trips and progress to day trips, overnights, and weekend trips. Juniors can take their adventures farther with longer regional trips. And Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors can travel the United States and then the world. There are even opportunities for older girls to travel independently by joining trips their council organizes or participating in GSUSA’s travel program, Destinations, which resumed in 2022.
Planning Troop Adventures
Contact your council as soon as you start thinking about planning a trip to find out more about their approval process for overnight and extended travel. They will also likely have training programs that will raise your confidence as a chaperone.
For all Troop Travel, Camping, Extended Travel, and International Travel, please refer to the Girl Scouts of Citrus Council Website for specific travel packet information: Forms/Resources
Not sure where to begin? Check out the Girl Scout Guide to U.S. Travel. This resource is designed for Juniors and older Girl Scouts who want to take extended trips—that is, longer than a weekend—but also features tips and tools for budding explorers who are just getting started with field trips and overnights.
Once girls have mastered planning and embarking upon trips in the United States, they might be ready for a global travel adventure! Global trips usually take a few years to plan, and the Girl Scout Global Travel Toolkit can walk you through the entire process.
If you’re planning any kind of trip—from a short field trip to an overseas expedition—the “Trip and Travel” section of Safety Activity Checkpoints is your go-to resource for safety. Your council may also have additional resources and approval processes . Please review the Girl Scouts of Citrus Approved Vendor/Partner List for the most up to date High Risk activities and programs that the girls can participate in. To request a new high adventure vendor, complete the Vendor Request Form for review. Be sure to follow all the basic safety guidelines, like the buddy system and first aid requirements, in addition to the specific guidelines for travel. You’ll also want to refer to the COVID-19 guidelines in Safety Activity Checkpoints as well as any COVID-19 guidelines for your destination. You will learn more about how to use and follow Girl Scouts Safety Activity Checkpoints in the next section.
Note that extended travel (more than three nights) is not covered under the basic Girl Scout insurance plan and will require additional coverage. For insurance information please refer to the Girl Scouts of Citrus Council Website: Forms/Resources
Travel and Girl Scout Program Connections
It’s easy to connect eye-opening travel opportunities to the leadership training and skill building your girls are doing in Girl Scouts! When it’s safe to travel together, girls can use their creativity to connect any leadership Journey theme into an idea for travel. For example, girls learn where their food comes from in the Sow What? Journey. That would connect well with a trip focusing on sustainable agriculture and sampling tasty foods!
There are abundant opportunities to build real skills through earning badges too. The most obvious example is the Senior Traveler badge, but there are plenty more, such as Eco Camper, New Cuisines, Coding for Good, and, of course, all the financial badges that help girls budget and earn money for their trips.
Want to include Girl Scout traditions in your trip? Look no farther than the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace in Savannah, Georgia! Your girls also have the chance to deepen their connections to Girl Scouts around the world by visiting one of the WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) World Centers, which offer low-cost accommodations and special programs in five locations around the world.
And if your troop is looking to stay closer to home this year? Ask your council about council-owned camps and other facilities that can be rented out.
As your Girl Scouts excitedly plan their next trip, remember to limit your role to facilitating the girls’ brainstorming and planning, never doing the work for them. Share your ideas and insights, ask tough questions when you have to, and support all their decisions with enthusiasm and encouragement!
Lift up the Girl Scout Leadership Experience at every opportunity in your planning, but limit your role to facilitating the girls’ brainstorming and planning, never doing the work for them. Share your ideas and insight, ask tough questions when you have to, and support all their decisions with enthusiasm and encouragement!
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