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Three Daisy Girl Scouts holding their architecture projects

We Are Girl Scouts

   

Girl Scouts bring their dreams to life and work together to build a better world. Through programs from coast to coast, Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges—whether they want to climb to the top of a tree or the top of their class, lace up their boots for a hike or advocate for climate justice, or make their first best friends. Backed by trusted adult volunteers, mentors, and millions of alums, Girl Scouts lead the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issues most important to them.

Girl Scout Mission

Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

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.

*Members may substitute for the word God in accordance with their own spiritual beliefs.

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, 
and to 
    respect myself and others, 
    respect authority,
    use resources wisely,
    make the world a better place, and 
    be a sister to every Girl Scout. 

Girl Scouts River Valleys Purpose

To boldly lead as an anti-racist organization that uplifts and empowers every girl to know their worth and lead in their world.

 

For Every Girl

At Girl Scouts River Valleys, we are committed to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all Girl Scouts and their families.

Diversity and inclusion have been core values of Girl Scouts since its founding in 1912. Girl Scouts River Valleys and Girl Scouts of the USA value diversity in all its forms and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, alienage or national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, disability, gender, marital status, familial status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identification, genetic information, public assistance, local human rights commission activity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws.

Girl Scouts River Valleys strives to ensure its members have safe spaces to learn, grow, take healthy risks, and make new friends, all while being themselves and feeling affirmed and respected for who they are.

We invite parents and caregivers to reach out with any questions about how to ensure their child has a positive, respectful, and inclusive experience in Girl Scouts.

No Economic Barriers

Girl Scouts River Valleys is dedicated to extending opportunities to all girls—regardless of their finances. For help with paying membership fees and other expenses, see Financial Assistance.

Racial and Ethnic Diversity

Girl Scouts River Valleys’ core purpose is to boldly lead as an anti-racist organization that uplifts and empowers every girl to know their worth and lead in their world.

What this means:

Girl Scouts have been taking action since our founding in 1912. Community service, advocacy, and standing up for what’s right are core Girl Scout values. Being an anti-racist organization means Girl Scouts River Valleys recognizes systemic racism and oppression as part of our societal norms, as well as part of our organization’s own culture and practices, and that we actively work to call out and eliminate systems of oppression through our words and actions.

Spirituality and Faith

Everything in Girl Scouting is based on the Girl Scout Promise and Law, which include many principles and values that are common across religions.

Because we understand that religious instruction is at the center of many families and communities, we invite Girl Scouts to take spiritual journeys via their faith’s religious recognitions. Girl Scouts is welcoming and inclusive to members of all faiths.

See how members can connect their faith with their Girl Scouting activities. If you’re a faith-based organization, learn more about how you can partner with Girl Scouts to build compassionate leaders with the values and skills to make our world a better place on Girl Scouts of the USA's website.

All Abilities

Girl Scouts strives to make activities accessible to all members, including those with disabilities or special needs. Girl Scouts River Valleys provides training and resources for volunteers on how to plan inclusive activities.

Gender Inclusion

Girl Scouts is proud to be the premiere leadership organization for girls in the country. An all-girl experience is important to girl development. Research shows that single-gender environments provide more opportunities for girls to build confidence, a key component of leadership.

Trans, Non-Binary, & Gender Diverse Members

Girl Scouts River Valleys does not discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. 

Programming is open to girls (including cis and transgender girls) and individuals who don’t identify with the gender binary, including those who identify as trans, non-binary, gender fluid, and gender nonconforming. Although our members are referred to as Girl Scouts or girls, we recognize and honor that they may not identify as exclusively female or use she/her pronouns. 

All Girl Scouts participate in troops, camp, program events, and all other aspects of the Girl Scout program. Girl Scouts River Valleys strives to ensure that Girl Scouts have safe spaces to learn, grow, take healthy risks, and make new friends, all while being themselves and feeling affirmed and respected for who they are. Research shows that a safe, supportive, and gender-affirming environment has a tremendously positive impact on the wellbeing of trans and nonbinary individuals. 

We welcome parents, caregivers, volunteers, and community to reach out with any questions about how to ensure a positive, respectful, and inclusive experience in Girl Scouts. 

Adults:

Girl Scouts River Valleys welcomes all adult members and volunteers and has developed appropriate safeguards and training to ensure that Girl Scouts receive proper supervision and support.

How We Work

Our Local Council

Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys (as we fondly call “GSRV,” “River Valleys,” or “council”) is one of 111 Girl Scout councils in the United States. We operate as Girl Scouts, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization—learn about our finance, accountability, and fundraising practices.

We serve 19,000 girls in southern Minnesota, western Wisconsin, and one county in Iowa. Our work is supported by more than 7,000 volunteers. Girl Scouts River Valleys provides training and resources for volunteers, programming for girls, scores discounts for our members, fundraises for Girl Scouts, runs the retail shops and service centers, and manages the product programs (Cookies and Snacks & Magazines), and much more.

Girl Scouts of the USA

Our council works hand-in-hand with Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), our parent organization. Annual membership dues are paid directly to this national organization to cover the cost of fundamental services supporting the Girl Scout Movement. GSUSA provides service and support to councils, providing volunteers with the relevant resources, tools, and training they need to best serve today’s girls.

Girl Scouts' Relationship with WAGGGS

The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) comprises 145 member organizations that promote mutual understanding and cross-cultural opportunities for girls around the world. Girl Scouts of the USA is one of the 145 member organizations. Each member organization creates its own programs and pursues advocacy efforts based on the needs and issues affecting girls in its individual country. GSUSA does not always take the same positions or endorse the same programs as WAGGGS. GSUSA's relationship with WAGGGS is akin to the United States' relationship with the United Nations (UN). The United States may not agree with every position the UN takes, but values having a seat at the table.

Every Girl Scout and Girl Guide organization is a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts—and each Member Organization, including Girl Scouts of the USA, pays dues. The annual membership dues from girls and from adults that go to the national organization, GSUSA, are not used to pay the WAGGGS quota. All dues collected from Girl Scout members are used to pay for services that directly impact the development and delivery of Girl Scouting to girls in the USA and girls who are involved in USA Girl Scouts Overseas, our program that brings Girl Scouting to American families who live and work abroad.

Individual girls are not members of WAGGGS. Girl Scouts of the USA is a Member Organization of WAGGGS. Girls Scouts often wear the WAGGGS pin to represent their connection to the worldwide sisterhood of Girl Scouting and Girl Guiding, but this pin is not required. For a girl to be in uniform, the only requirement is that she wears her Girl Scout pin.

Advocacy and Non-Partisanship

Girl Scouts believes civic engagement to be a key aspect of building girls of courage, confidence and character, who will make the world a better place.

With a focus on preparing girls to be active and informed members of their communities, Girl Scouts offers Citizen badges for all grade levels (including Daisies!). The Girl Scout Advocacy Center provides tools for you to become a voice for girls and to make a difference in your community, both locally and nationally. Together we can educate policymakers and community leaders on issues that directly affect girls and Girl Scouts. By being an advocate, you’ll influence policy issues moving through Congress and state legislatures.

Policymaking

Girl Scouts of the USA, and their councils across the nation, participate in advocacy efforts to help inform and educate policymakers and community leaders about the issues that directly affect girls or the rights of the Girl Scout organization.

These efforts include motivating community involvement, influencing practices and governmental policies at the federal, state, and local levels, and ensuring the fair enforcement and implementation of laws that have an impact on all girls and on Girl Scouting.

Elections and Campaigns

As a non-partisan, non-profit organization, Girl Scouts does not support or oppose candidates for public office in any election, nor take a stand for or against a political party.

Our Electioneering Guidelines

Girl Scouts River Valleys is committed to fostering an open and civil exchange of a diverse array of ideas, opinions, and viewpoints. We understand that members may hold strong political convictions concerning elections and may have questions about what is permitted and prohibited behavior when acting as a Girl Scout representative. This includes any time you are wearing a Girl Scout pin or uniform, attending troop or service unit events and meetings, participating in council events, or any time you are acting as a Girl Scout volunteer.

As a nonprofit organization, Girl Scouts River Valleys must follow regulations set by the Internal Revenue Service related to electioneering in order to maintain the council’s tax-exempt status. Electioneering is defined as participating in the electoral process by promoting or opposing particular candidates for office. Girl Scouts River Valleys expects all employees, members, volunteers, troops, and service units to follow the electioneering guidelines set by Girl Scouts of the United States of America to protect the organization’s non-profit status.

See Girl Scouts River Valleys' Electioneering Policy for requirements.

Addressing Social Issues

Girl Scouts of the USA does not take a position or develop materials on human sexuality, birth control, and abortion. Girl Scouts of the USA feels the role of Girl Scouts is to help girls develop self-confidence and good decision-making skills that will help them make wise choices in all areas of their lives.

Girl Scouts River Valleys does not have a relationship with Planned Parenthood, nor does our national umbrella organization, Girl Scouts of the USA.

Parents or guardians make all decisions regarding program participation that may be of a sensitive nature. Consistent with that belief, Girl Scouts of the USA directs councils, including volunteer leaders, to get written parental permission for any locally planned program that could be considered sensitive.

For more information on our positions on social issues, visit Girl Scouts of the USA's Social Issues FAQ.

 

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