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Girl Scout FAQ

We get it, you want to have all the facts and to make sure that Girl Scouts is right for your family. Explore our frequently asked questions below, ask your questions during an informational event, or reach out to us!

Joining Process

How do I join Girl Scouts?

To start the join process, use our online registration forms:

For step-by-step help completing these online registration forms see our joining instructions.

Pueden descargar nuestro Formulario de Inscripción para Niñas/Muchachas y Adultos (PDF). Más información acerca de Girl Scouts en nuestra página

When can my child join? What’s the best time to join?

It's always a great time to join Girl Scouts! Your child can become a Girl Scout any time from the beginning of kindergarten until the end of high school. Learn more about what each level of our program grade levels.

  • Girl Scouts who join in late summer or early fall get to kick off their school year with a troop. This time of year is also when the most new troops form, and some families prefer to join alongside other families who are new to Girl Scouts.

  • Girl Scouts who join in the winter are often able to participate in the Cookie Program, which develops entrepreneurial and life skills, creates amazing memories, and helps fund troop activities. Many brand-new kindergarten troops start in the winter. Our camp programs typically open for registration in early spring, as well.

  • By joining in late spring or summer, your Girl Scout will meet new friends, explore fun activities, get outside, and go into the next school year with a familiar Girl Scout network.

What is a Lifetime Membership and how do I get one?

Stay connected and support the largest leadership development organization for girls in the world! Join as a lifetime member today, and make an enduring pledge to believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™.

Lifetime membership is available to any individual who accepts the principles and beliefs of the Girl Scout Movement, pays the one-time lifetime membership fee, and is 18 years of age or older.

Learn more and join as a Lifetime Member.

When and how do I renew my membership?

Each Girl Scout program year runs from October 1 through September 30 and memberships are renewed annually. Membership expires September 30 and members are encouraged to renew their membership during Early Bird season in the spring—and get in on exciting perks like a patch and Girl Scout shop discount punch card.

To renew your membership, log in to your member community (MyGS) and select "renew” next to the roles you would like to continue for the next membership year. For help renewing, see our step-by-step instructions.

How does my child get matched up with a troop? How do I use the Troop Catalog/Opportunity Catalog?

When you register your girl, you will have the option to search our Opportunity Catalog to find a local Girl Scouting option that works for your family. Options that are available in your immediate zip code for your girl’s grade will be displayed. To find the best option, you may need to expand the zip code radius, or enter your girl’s school zip code instead. 

  • If you’ve been given a troop number but can’t find it in the catalog, don’t worry! You can select “Unsure” which will allow you to type the troop number or other identifying information into a text box. 

  • If you aren’t sure what troop to pick, you can always select “Looking for a troop in….” Our staff work to place girls that selected this option into new or existing troops. In order to begin this process, we do ask that girls are registered members, which involves paying the $25 membership fee. If we are unable to find a troop option that works for your family, we are happy to refund the membership fee. 

  • Interested in starting a new troop and being your girl’s troop leader? Select “I want to lead her troop.” Once you’ve registered her, you can register as a troop leader by selecting the same option from our Volunteer Opportunity Catalog. 

  • You will also have the option to register your girl as an Individually Registered Member. Some girls prefer to work on their own with an adult family member so they can choose activities they love that fit into their schedules. We call these girls Juliettes!

Cost & Financial Assistance

What does it cost to be a Girl Scout member?

Girl Scout membership dues are $25 per year—whether you’re a girl or an adult member—and are paid to Girl Scouts of the USA (national movement). Yearly memberships are valid October 1 (or the day you sign up) until September 30 each year. When you become a Girl Scout, you are part of Girl Scouts of the USA and are placed within your local council (Girl Scouts River Valleys).

Girl Scout Daisy (grades K–1) and Brownie (grades 2–3) parents report spending an average of $130 per year. There is financial assistance available for all of the costs outlined below, and many troops cover these costs with their earnings from the Cookie Sale and Snacks & Magazines Sale.

Item Cost
National Membership Dues
Uniform and Books (See our Shop) $65
Troop Dues $20
Optional: Two Council Events $40
Optional: Girl Scout Camp $320
Potential Total Cost $110-$440

Do I qualify for financial assistance? How do I apply?

Girl Scouts is open to all girls and adults, regardless of their income. We make funds available to support girl members or girls seeking membership to Girl Scouts River Valleys by providing supplemental resources beyond a family’s ability to pay. For information and to apply, visit our financial assistance page.

About the Girl Scout Program

What will my Girl Scout learn? What is the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE)?

Girl Scouts is the best girl leadership program in the world. Our program centers on what we call the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, or GSLE—a collection of engaging, challenging, and fun activities like earning badges, going on awesome trips, selling cookies, exploring science, getting outdoors, and doing community service projects.

At Girl Scouts, she’ll get to lead her own adventure and team up with other girls in an all-girl environment to choose the exciting, hands-on activities that interest her most. Along the way, she’ll gain important skills in four areas that form the foundation of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience:

  • Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)
  • Outdoors
  • Life Skills
  • Entrepreneurship

The Result? A Lifetime of Leadership! In fact, being a Girl Scout helps girls thrive in five key ways. As a Girl Scout, she:

  • Develops a strong sense of self
  • Displays positive values
  • Seeks challenges and learns from setbacks
  • Forms and maintains healthy relationships
  • Learns to identify and solve problems in her community
Is my child safe in Girl Scouts?

At Girls Scouts, girl safety is our top priority. Here are just a few of the ways we ensure girls stay safe:

Volunteer Background Checks

All new volunteers are required to complete a background check and current volunteers are required to complete a background check every three years. To learn more about background checks, and the requirements needed for volunteers to pass checks, visit our joining instructions.

Safety Activity Checkpoints

We know that activities are more fun when everyone feels safe! To ensure this, volunteers are trained to follow our Safety Activity Checkpoints while planning and participating in troop activities.

Volunteers can find Safety Activity Checkpoints at


All registered Girl Scouts receive basic accident insurance coverage for Girl Scout activities through national membership dues. This insurance covers up to $100 in medical expenses regardless of other coverage. Additional expenses are only covered if personal family insurance does not cover them.

Race, Gender, Abilities, and Spirituality—is Girl Scouts inclusive?

Diversity and inclusion have been core values of Girl Scouts since its founding in 1912. We provide a safe and welcoming space for girls of all abilitiesall races and ethnicities, from all religious backgrounds and spiritual beliefs—all in a girl-only environment with no economic barriers

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.

About Troops

When/how often do troops typically meet?

Most troops meet twice a month, but the time commitment and meeting schedule for Girl Scouts can vary depending on the troop volunteers and activities girls are interested in doing. Each Girl Scout troop sets their own meeting schedule and may have meetings once per week, bi-weekly, or a mix of meetings and field trips throughout the year. Most troops meet throughout the school year, and some choose to go camping or do activities over the summer.

Who leads the troop?

Trained Volunteers

Girl Scout troop leaders are volunteers who give their time so girls can have a quality experience in Girl Scouts. Without the many wonderful volunteers, the program would not be available to girls. You can be assured that qualified, responsible people are leading your girl’s troop.

Become a Volunteer

It’s easy to become a volunteer! All you have to do is register to join Girl Scouts and pay the $25 in membership dues. During the registration process, you’ll be able to search by zip code and select your volunteer opportunity. Then you’ll need to complete a background check and any appropriate training for your volunteer position. You can start this process at the same time you register your girl!

Parents, Guardians, & Volunteers

What is expected of me as a parent/guardian of a Girl Scout?

Take an Active Role

As a Girl Scout parent, you’ll want to take an active role in your daughter’s Girl Scout experience. You can help with refreshments or transportation or assist with troop meetings. Ask your girl’s troop leaders how you can best assist the troop.

Support Activities

Along with troop activities, your active role can include supporting product sales like fall product and the cookie sale. Support your girl, her troop, and the council by learning about the sale and following all guidelines and procedures.

Respect the Troop Leaders’ Time

Girl Scouts would not be what it is if it weren’t for our dedicated volunteers. Troop leaders are not responsible for girls beyond the time of the actual Girl Scout activity. Please respect the troop leader’s time by having a responsible person drop off your girl at the appropriate time and pick her up immediately after the activity.

Check Out the Family Connection Guide

The Girl Scout Family Connection Guide (PDF) is your family's go-to, super-fun guide to getting the most our of this year in Girl Scouts!

Pueden descargar La Conexion Familiar De Girl Scouts (PDF) en Espanol.

Should I become a volunteer? What skills and time are required?

There are many ways to volunteer for Girl Scouts—from occasional troop volunteers (who assist leaders), to service unit volunteers, to troop leaders—you’re sure to find a role that suits your interests, skills, and schedule. Each volunteer role has unique opportunities!

It’s easy to become a volunteer! All you have to do is register to join Girl Scouts and pay the $25 in membership dues. During the registration process, you’ll be able to search by zip code and select your volunteer opportunity. Then you’ll need to complete a background check and any appropriate training for your volunteer position. You can start this process at the same time you register your girl!