FAQs for Parents
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Who can become a member?
How much does it cost?
What is a Girl Scout Pathway?
Is financial assistance available?
How do Troops earn money?
Who can be a Troop Leader?
When are Troop meetings held?
Does my daughter have to wear a uniform?
Girls Scouts is open to all girls in grades K-12 who accept the Girl Scout Promise and Law. Women and men who are 18 years of age or older may join as adult members by accepting the Girl Scout Promise and Law and completing a membership registration form. Volunteers who work directly with girls or handle money need to be registered members and complete a volunteer application and background screening process.
It costs $40 per girl and $25 per adult to become a member of GSCSNJ. Twelve dollars of each membership is sent to the national organization, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA). Girls and their families support the activities, events, supplies, etc. for the troop by providing troop dues. Troop dues vary with the troop and the activities planned. Your troop leader may not have a good idea yet of how much to charge for troop dues or how long the dues will last. Troop leaders, girls and their families should have open communication about troop dues. The amount of troop dues is determined by the girls, their families, and the troop leader and should reflect the troop's plans for the year, as well as the families' ability to pay.
Girl Scout Pathways—the ways that girls and adults participate in Girl Scouting—there are now several flexible ways for adults & girls like you to get involved by simply matching goals, interests and time commitment.
- Camp: Girls participate in day or resident camps with a focus on the outdoors and/or environmental education
- Events: Girls participate in events (e.g., career day)
- Series: Girls participate in a series of programs with the same group of girls relating to a specific theme or purpose (e.g., high-adventure teen group, completion of the "It's Your World—Change It!" journey over a six-week period)
- Travel: Girls plan, earn money, prepare, and participate in regional, national, and international trips
- Troops: Girls participate in a series of programs with the same group of girls over the course of an academic year
Yes! Financial assistance is available through Council Cares. No girl or adult is excluded from Girl Scouts because of inability to pay. For those with financial need, the council may provide assistance with national membership dues, essential GSUSA grade level books (Journey books, handbooks, award books, leader/facilitator guides), essential uniform components (sash, tunic, or vest, GSUSA and GSCSNJ ID set, troop numerals, membership pin), council sponsored program events, camp sessions, and GSUSA destinations.
To finance their activities, Troops rely on a combination of Troop dues, Girl Scout Cookie Program Activity proceeds, QSP (magazines and nuts) Program Activity proceeds and, if needed, Council-approved money earning activities. The Girl Scout Cookie Program Activity is the nation's premier financial literacy and entrepreneurship program. The annual Product Program Activities help girls develop entrepreneurial skills. Girls learn how to work together as a team, set goals, and develop plans for reaching them. A share of the proceeds stays with the troop and supports their operation. Troops may also choose to participate in council approved money-earning projects. All profits earned and contributed for the troop, belong to the entire troop and are not the property of any one girl.
Troop Leaders are unpaid volunteers. They contribute a significant amount of time and energy to become Troop Leaders. All new volunteers complete a required application process with background check. They are appointed on a yearly basis after completing training, both general and specific, for the grade level of girls they are leading. As the safety of girls in Girl Scouting is always a top priority, Troop Leaders are required to follow stringent rules governing safety/supervision issues. All GSCSNJ leaders use the Safety Activity Checkpoints, a GSUSA resource that aims to create a safe and welcoming experience for girls and adult volunteers by setting national program standards.
The day and time of Girl Scout troop meetings is selected by the troop leaders at their convenience, and meeting length along with frequency vary by troop. Meetings are typically held twice a month; although, some troops meet weekly, and others may only meet once per month. For safety and insurance reasons, we ask that you bring your daughter to her troop meeting and return to pick her up or wait outside the meeting room. This arrangement allows the girls to develop friendships and relationships with adults other than their parents. Girls tend to challenge themselves more when their parents aren't present. As part of the Girl Scout program, troops may also decide to plan trips or participate in council offered programs in addition to the scheduled meeting. Troops may also plan events and ceremonies and invite parents and siblings to come and join them.
We are proud of our Girl Scout identity and the sense of belonging that comes from wearing a Girl Scout uniform. An official item (e.g. tunic, vest, or sash) is only required when Girl Scouts participate in ceremonies or officially represent the Council. The tunic, vest, or sash is also used to display earned awards and, may be purchased in person or online from Juliette's Closet, your local Girl Scout Shop. Shop locations, contact info, and regular business hours can be found at www.gscsnj.org.