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All About Girl Scouts

Girls’ dreams are our dreams, and Girl Scouts is where they’ll see the limitless possibilities ahead of them and 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 justice, a Girl Scout builds a better world—just as Girl Scouts have been doing for over a century. And with programs in every zip code from coast to coast and across the globe, every girl can find her place in Girl Scouts and start creating the world she wants to see.

Who Can Join Girl Scouts—and How?

If you believe in the inherent power of girls to change the world and you’re ready to be their champion, you belong with Girl Scouts.

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 and has passed their council’s screening process), your unique skills and experiences and your mentorship can open your Girl Scouts’ eyes to all the possibilities ahead of them.

All members are united by the values in the Girl Scout Promise and Law, as well as by our extraordinary strengths as go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders. Each member also agrees to follow safety guidelines and pay the annual membership dues of $25. Adults have the option to purchase a lifetime membership for $400.

Girls at Every Grade Level
Girl Scout Daisy (grades K–1)    Girl Scout Cadette (grades 6–8)
Girl Scout Brownie (grades 2–3)   Girl Scout Senior (grades 9–10)
Girl Scout Junior (grades 4–5)          Girl Scout Ambassador (grades 11–12)
The Girl Scout Leadership Experience

Everything centers around the girl in Girl Scouts: 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 impact on girls. Check out our studies and in-depth research.  

What girls do in Girl Scouting all fits within three keys: Discover, Connect, and Take Action.

  • When Girl Scouts do exciting badge activities, earn a Girl Scout Journey award, attend an amazing program or event, or go camping, you are helping them discover who they are, what excites them, and what their talents are.
  • Girl Scouts connect when they collaborate with others—their troop, leaders, or community experts—and expand their horizons. This helps them care about, support, inspire, and team with others locally and globally.
  • With your guidance, your Girl Scouts will deepen their relationship with the world around them, and they’ll be eager to take action to make the world a better place. 

As for how they do it? The Girl Scout Leadership Experience draws on three unique processes that help girls unlock their inner leader.

  • Girl-led means Girl Scouts of every age take an active and age-appropriate role in figuring out the what, where, when, why, and how of all the exciting activities they’ll do. The girl-led process is critically important to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience—when girls actively lead and shape their experiences, they know their voices matters, they feel empowered to make decisions, and they stay engaged in their activities.
  • Girl Scouts enjoy hands-on activities and learn by doing. Then, after reflecting on their activities, girls gain a deeper understanding of the concepts and skills the activities require.
  • Through cooperative learning, Girl Scouts share knowledge and skills in an atmosphere of respect, teamwork, and collaboration as they work toward a common goal.

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 your Girl Scouts make decisions about the activities they 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,  all girls have the opportunity to lead within their peer groups. By the time girls are Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors, they’ll be using the leadership skills they’ve developed to take more ownership of their activities, 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 ever 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—and Girl Scouts don’t have to fill their vests and sashes with badges. What matters most is the fun and learning that happens as they make experiences their own, so don’t be afraid to step back and let your girls take the lead.


Was a badge-earning activity a resounding success? Or was it derailed by something your troop 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 your Girl Scouts explore the “whats” and “whys,” they’ll 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.

Reflection doesn’t need to be a formal process, but you can kick-start the conversation with three simple questions: What?, So what?, and Now what?

  • Go over the what of the activity. For example, ask, “What did we do today? What part was your favorite? If we did it again, what would you want to do differently and what would you repeat?”

  • Then move to the so what elements. You might ask, “So what did you learn by doing this activity? So what did you learn about yourself? So what did you learn about your community (or environment, school, or others) that you didn’t know before?”

  • Lastly, review the now what. Say something like, “Now that we’ve done this, what would you like to do next? Now that you know this about yourselves, what would you like to try next? Now that we did this Take Action™ project, what do you think we should do next to make sure it continues on?”

What?, So what?, and Now what?—or whatever style of reflection you choose to use with your girls—are powerful elements of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, and they’ll 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 your Girl Scouts can test their skills and be unafraid to fail.

Keep in mind that good progression drives success for your troop. We’ve outlined some suggestions that will help you determine when your girls are ready for their next outdoor challenge, their next troop trip, or their next cookie-selling challenge.


Girl Scouts has a strong commitment to inclusion, equity, 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. 

Equal Treatment: Girl Scouts welcomes all members, regardless of race, ethnicity, background, cognitive or physical abilities, family structure, religious beliefs, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, and socioeconomic status. When scheduling, planning, and carrying out activities, carefully consider the needs of all Girl Scouts involved, including school schedules, family needs, financial constraints, religious holidays, and the accessibility of appropriate transportation and meeting places.

Girl Scouts of Connecticut follows the recommendations of GSUSA to serve girls who are transgender. Girl Scouts is proud to be the premiere leadership organization for all girls. If a child is recognized by the family and school/community as a girl, and lives culturally as a girl, the Girl Scouts will serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe. At Girl Scouts, the welfare and best interests of the child are our top priority.  For more information or if any questions arise, please contact us.

The National Program Pillars

Girl Scouts lead their own adventures and team up with their fellow troop members to choose the hands-on activities that excite them most. Our program focuses on four areas (pillars) that form the foundation of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience:

  • Outdoors: When Girl Scouts embark on outdoor adventures, they learn to confidently meet challenges while developing a lifelong appreciation of nature.

  • Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM): Whether they’re building a robot, developing a video game, or studying the stars, Girl Scouts become better problem-solvers and critical thinkers through STEM activities and learn how they can use STEM to help others. and learn how they can use STEM to help others.

  • Life skills: Girl Scouts discover they have what it takes to become outspoken community advocates, make smart decisions about their finances, and form strong, healthy relationships—skills that inspire them to accept challenges and overcome obstacles, now and always.

  • Entrepreneurship: By participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program or fall product program or by earning one of the new entrepreneurship badges, girls spark their curiosity, confidence, and innovation as they learn the essentials of running their own businesses and how to think like entrepreneurs.

The Volunteer Toolkit provides inspiring ideas so you can engage your troop in a mix of activities all year long. For example, if you want to take your troop 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.


The Important Difference Between Badges and Journeys

Journeys and badges are designed to give girls different leadership-building experiences, all while having fun!

  • Journeys are multi-session leadership experiences through which girls explore topics such as bullying, media literacy, design thinking, or environmental stewardship. They’ll 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 highest awards in Girl Scouting: the 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 troop!

If they choose, your Girl Scouts 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 willing to try something new, you are 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 you having to be an expert in all the topics, including STEM.

The Difference Between Community Service and Take Action Projects

As your Girl Scouts 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. Both projects serve essential needs, but at different levels.

  • When a Girl Scout performs community service, she’s responding to an immediate need in a one-off, “doing for” capacity. In other words? She’s making an impact right now!

  • Through Take Action/service learning, girls explore the root causes of a community need and address it in a lasting way; they truly make the world—or their part of it—a better place.

If your troop members want to pursue their Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award, 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 Girl Scouts set time for them to reflect on their projects. When they 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.

Traditions, Ceremonies and Special Girl Scout 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.

A few of those extra special days, when you’ll want to crank up the celebrations, include:

  • World Thinking Day, February 22, celebrates international friendship. It’s an opportunity for Girl Scouts and Girl Guides to connect with each other and explore a common theme around the world.

  • Girl Scouts’ birthday, March 12, commemorates the day in 1912 when Juliette Gordon Low officially registered the organization's first 18 girl members in Savannah, Georgia.

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.

Highest Awards

As your Girl Scouts discover the power of their voices, they’ll want to take on an issue that’s close to their hearts and is meaningful to them. Encourage them to turn their vision into reality by taking on the ultimate Take Action projects in order to earn Girl Scouts’ highest awards.

The Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards honor girls who become forces for good and create a lasting impact on their communities, nationally and around the world.

  • The Girl Scout Bronze Award can be earned by Juniors; the prerequisite is one Junior Journey and its associated Take Action project. The Bronze Award is earned by the group.

  • The Girl Scout Silver Award can be earned by Cadettes; the prerequisite is one Cadette Journey and its associated Take Action project. The Silver Award can be earned by an individual girl or by a small group.

  • The Girl Scout Gold Award can be earned by Seniors and Ambassadors who have completed either two Girl Scout Senior/Ambassador level Journeys and the associated Take Action project or earned the Silver Award and completed one Senior/Ambassador level Journey.

Did you know that a Gold Award Girl Scout is entitled to enlist at a higher paygrade when she joins the U.S. military? A 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 Gold Award even if she joined Girl Scouts for the first time in high school.

Ask your council about the Gold Award Girl Scouts in your community and how they’re doing their part to make the world a better place. For some major 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 as leaders—and by the confidence, grit, problem-solving, time and project management, and team-building expertise they gain while doing so!

Girl Scout Travel and Destinations

Girl Scouts try new things and see the world with new 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 explore the world again 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 and what to do and take increasing responsibility for the planning of their trips, all while growing 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 adventures farther with a longer regional trip. 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 councils organize or participating in our travel program, Destinations, which resumes in 2022.

Planning Ahead for Adventure
Get in touch with your council 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.

To see the courses offered by Girl Scouts of Connecticut and what is required for trips, please visit or contact Customer Care at or (800) 922-2770.  Girl Scouts of Connecticut offers many training courses and resources through gsLearn designed to help you enhance the skills needed for your trip.

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 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.

Safety First
If you’re planning any kind of trip—from a short field trip to an overseas expedition—the “Trips and Travel” section of Safety Activity Checkpoints is your go-to resource for safety. Your council may have additional resources and approval processes. 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.

Note that extended travel (more than three nights) is not covered under the basic Girl Scout insurance plan and will require additional coverage.

All GSOFCT trips that are considered high adventure, to destinations outside of the state of Connecticut, destinations that require an overnight stay, or are a day trip within Connecticut MUST be accompanied by a Troop/Group Trip Application. Please submit the completed Troop/Group Trip Application with enough time for the application to be approved as outlined below.

  • 6 Weeks prior to International travel
  • 4 weeks prior to a High Adventure Trip
  • 3 weeks prior to all other trips

Also, the service unit manager or designee should be made aware of all trips,  by way of written communication. Remember to check the Safety Activity Checkpoints to determine if your trip is considered high adventure.

Please make sure that there is always an emergency contact not attending the trip who is aware of your itinerary. Please keep in mind, if siblings, friends or guardians will be attending any activity or trip supplemental insurance must be purchased.

Girl Scout Program Connections
It’s easy to tie eye-opening travel opportunities into 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, naturally, sampling tasty food!

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 into 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 insight, ask tough questions when you have to, and support all their decisions with enthusiasm and encouragement!

Volunteer Training
To see the courses offered by Girl Scouts of Connecticut and what is required for trips, please visit Volunteer Training. Or contact Customer Care at or (800) 922-2770.  Girl Scouts of Connecticut offers many training courses and resources through gsLearn designed to help you enhance the skills needed for your trip.


GSOFCT COVID-19 Guidance
  • Girl Scouts of Connecticut COVID PageView Here
GSOFCT Properties

Girl Scouts of Connecticut owns and maintains a wide variety of properties to provide many outdoor and indoor camping experiences. Properties are available for use by our members and non-members. You will find that each site has different facilities and outdoor opportunities to explore. Accommodations at each camp range from modern buildings with heat and running water to primitive sites with tents and latrines. Most camps are open year-round. Using these properties will build great experiences, lasting memories, and skills for your girls.

In this section, you will find the procedures and guidelines for use of the properties, as well as basic summaries of each site and its facilities. More detailed information regarding our properties can be found on the GSOFCT website at by selecting Participate and then Property Tours. Please note online reservations and payments are the only option for site use. You can make a reservation here:

GSOFCT Procedures for use of Council Properties – Troop/Group
Outdoor activities have always been an integral part of Girl Scouting. Girl Scout camping is different from other outdoor experiences because it is a group effort. The girls involved plan their own activities, meals, and schedules to meet their needs. It is a creative, educational experience that not only instills an appreciation for the environment, but also enforces the importance of minimal impact, all accomplished while having fun and learning new skills!

Troop/Group Procedures:

  • Reservations for the use of council-owned sites are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. You can register for a site by going to  Use the link to reserve sites on this page.
  • Troops can make a reservation for sites up to 90 days prior to the scheduled start day of their reservation. Please note reservations must be made after 2:01 p.m. Eastern Standard time. Payment in full is required when making a site reservation.
  • A confirmation will be sent when the reservation is processed. GSOFCT will contact the person who reserved the site 48 hours prior to their event with access instructions via email.

Additional Camp Information:

  • Buildings and gates at most GSOFCT properties have key boxes or combination locks for easy entry upon your arrival. You will receive the codes to enter the property 48 hours prior to your stay. You will also be sent a full description of the property and any important information you may need for your visit.
  • Overnight Use
    • Check-in at all camp facilities begins at 3:00 p.m. on the first day of the reservation.
    • Check-out: everyone must check out of the property no later than 2:00 p.m. on the last day of their reservation. After all campers have departed, the ranger or caretaker will inspect the facility and note the condition and any damage. A fee may be charged to your group and/or a security deposit may be instituted on future site usage if the condition of the facility is not deemed acceptable.
  • Hourly Use:
    • Check-in and check-out will be based on the time reserved between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
    • You cannot enter a property prior to the time reserved. You must check out on time to allow next group entry to the property. After all campers have departed, the ranger or caretaker will inspect the facility and note the condition and any damage. A fee may be charged to your group and/or a security deposit may be instituted on future site usage if the condition of the facility is not deemed acceptable.
  • Food service and kitchen use: In order to use the kitchen, the person in charge of food preparation must have a ServSafe certificate or equivalent documented experience. For more information on ServSafe certification contact the Property Services Department at or visit
  • Any outside, non-Girl Scout groups must contact the Property Services Department directly to request use of a facility. You can reach the office at (800) 922-2770 or
  • Specialty Equipment Use/Certifications:
    • The Program Department is prepared to help service units utilize specialty areas. Additional fees are required for facilitators. For information regarding specialty areas and/or equipment please contact the Program Department at (800) 922-2770 or
    • Troops/groups may utilize specialty areas if they secure their own facilitators and pay the appropriate fees. NOTE : Many facilitators expect to be paid for services rendered.

Payment Expectations:

  • Payment is due in full at time of registration for troop overnights or weekly use.
  • For more information concerning the registration process, property, or Camporees, please contact the Property Services Department at
  • For more information concerning specialty equipment and/or program equipment, please contact the Program Department at

Girl Scout Properties at Other Northeast Councils
Girl Scout Councils in the Northeast Region are opening their camps to Girl Scout troops and groups from around the region. Check out these camps for your next campout. Many are located near great attractions or easy transport to major cities.

Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts
Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts
Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains
Girl Scouts of Maine
Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York
Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England

All camps will accept your appropriate council training for camping as required. Reservations for camps are made with the sponsoring Girl Scout Council. Be sure to check and follow GSOFCT’s procedures for travel.

GSOFCT Procedures for use of Council Properties – Service Unit Camporees/Events
Service Unit Camporees are intended to provide a dynamic program to girls in a particular service unit. They are organized by volunteers in the service unit and girls usually attend with troops. Some service units have been enjoying camporees for many years. Usually a theme helps the committee plan and prepare for their event. Sometimes bridging ceremonies, Scout’s Own, or awards ceremonies are included in the camporee plans.

Frequently, activity facilitators are brought in by the Service Unit Camporee Committee to run boating, archery, or challenge course activities. These specialists may teach specific skills and/or facilitate a program. Many service unit camporee committees have found that the event provides a perfect venue for older girls to practice leadership skills, while some older girls even run most of the camporee. If the kitchen at the camp is available and will be staffed by a qualified food operator, food service may be provided by the camporee organizers.

Camporee Procedures:

  • To request a camp property for camporee use, go to
  • Service units can book sites 180 days prior to the start date of their scheduled camporee and/or service unit event. A 10 percent deposit is due upon making a reservation. The balance is due six weeks prior to the event. Any balance not paid will result in cancellation of the reservation and forfeit of full deposit.
  • The remaining balance must be paid in full six weeks prior to the event. The initial 10 percent deposit will be deducted from the final amount due. Please note: The reservation deposit is non-refundable.
  • If a camporee will not be using all sites at the camp, they may be asked to share the camp property with another Service Unit Camporee, GSOFCT event, or troop camping. If the Service Unit Camporee wishes to have exclusive use of the camp, they must pay for the entire camp. See property profiles on the website for details.
  • The service unit camporee coordinator or person making the reservation will receive a confirmation when making initial reservation. They will receive a receipt stating when balance is due. It is the responsibility of the service unit to make additional payments. If payment is not received by six weeks before the event, the camporee and/or event will be canceled. 

Please note: All reservations are made online and on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations cannot be made over the phone.     

  • Lifeguard, archery, and/or adventure course facilitator certifications must be received by the Property Services Department at least six weeks prior to use date. Copies of each certification, front and back, are required.
  • At least one member of the Service Unit Camporee Committee, preferably the coordinator, must attend Camporee Planning Training.

Additional Camp Information:

  • Buildings and gates at most GSOFCT properties have key boxes or combination locks for easy entry upon your arrival. You will receive the codes to enter the property 48 hours prior to your stay. You will also be sent a full description of the property and any important information you may need for your visit.
  • Check-in at all camp facilities begins at 3:00 p.m. on the first day of the reservation.
  • Check-out: Everyone must check out of the property no later than 2:00 p.m. on the last day of their reservation. After all campers have departed, the ranger or caretaker will inspect the facility and note the condition and any damage. A fee may be charged to your group and/or a security deposit may be instituted on future site usage if the condition of the facility is not deemed acceptable.
  • Hourly Use:
    • Check-in and check-out will be the actual hours you reserve the property for. You cannot enter a property prior to the time reserved. You must check out on time to allow next group entry to the property. After all campers have departed, the ranger or caretaker will inspect the facility and note the condition and any damage. A fee may be charged to your group and/or a security deposit may be instituted on future site usage if the condition of the facility is not deemed acceptable.
  • Food service and kitchen use: In order to use the kitchen, the person in charge of food preparation must have a ServSafe certificate or equivalent documented experience. For more information on ServSafe certification contact the Property Services Department at or visit

For more information, please contact

 Cancellation and Refund Procedures – Troops/Groups and Service Units

Cancellations and Refunds

  • If weather conditions make transporting girls dangerous, you must notify the council at
    (800) 922-2770 about your cancellation. If a reservation is canceled because of weather concerns by the party holding the reservation, they have until the end of the fiscal year (i.e. September 30, 2019) to reschedule. Failure to do so will result in their forfeiting 100 percent of the rental fee.
  • If GSOFCT needs to cancel a reservation, the impacted party can either accept a full refund or reschedule for another date.
  • If a service unit cancels six weeks or more prior to the scheduled camporee/event date. The reservation deposit is non-refundable. For Service Unit Camporees or events, any payments made six weeks prior to the event are non-refundable.
  • No refunds are given for troops/groups who cancel their reservations. In extreme situations, you should contact the Property Services Department at

3 for Free

  • GSOFCT registered Girl Scout troops may use all sites, including most buildings, for three hours or less after 3:00 p.m. on Sunday until 10:00 p.m. on Thursday free of charge. Anything more than three hours will be charged the hourly rate.
  • An online reservation must be completed prior to use. If your troop/group plans to utilize any of the buildings during their visit, they must request these areas when booking their site reservation.

Please Note: This does not apply to service units or service unit events.

FAQ’s - Frequently Asked Questions

May we exceed the stated capacities for buildings?
Day use and overnight capacities for each building are based on several factors, including local Fire Marshall State Codes and American Camp Association safety standards and may not be exceeded.

What is a ServSafe Certification?
ServSafe is a food and beverage safety training and certificate program administered by the National Restaurant Association. Your food handler needs to know food safety and the critical importance of her or his role. Some of the concepts in the training include: Sanitation, The Flow of Food through Operation, and Sanitary Facilities and Pest Management. The ServSafe Food Handler Certification is recognized for a three-year period. For more information on ServSafe certification, visit

GSOFCT Procedures for use of Council Properties – Outside User Groups

  • Each request for use of Girl Scouts of Connecticut properties by an outside group shall be made to the Property Services Department via email or telephone. Each request shall be evaluated separately to determine if the usage is appropriate.
  • Consideration shall be given to non-profit and for-profit organizations whose mission and purpose are compatible with that of Girl Scouting. Consideration shall also be given to private individuals and groups for personal or family recreation with appropriate insurance coverage. In all cases, first priority shall always be given to Girl Scout related events and activities.
  • All outside groups shall be required to execute and return the agreement, furnish the necessary fees, any deposits, submit a certificate of insurance, and abide by all the conditions set forth in the agreement and accompanying rules.
  • Outside groups will be placed in properties only when Girl Scouts are not using any part of the premises.
  • Groups using pools, lakes, and ponds must furnish their own lifeguards and provide proof of certification prior to use.
  • Use of specialty equipment must be negotiated including rescue equipment.
  • All groups using GSOFCT facilities must abide by GSUSA guidelines and GSOFCT Property Policies.
Volunteer Policies and Procedures

Volunteer Policies & Procedures

Approved by the GSOFCT Board of Directors 10/1/07 

INTRODUCTION: Girl Scouts of Connecticut, Inc. (GSOFCT), maintains that the strength of the Girl Scout Movement rests in the volunteer leadership of its adult members. It is through its volunteer leadership that the movement serves its girls. To ensure the satisfaction of its volunteers and to best use their talents, it is essential that the following policies and procedures be established and maintained. These policies and procedures work in conjunction with the council’s by-laws and the following current Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. (GSUSA) publications:

GSOFCT upholds all GSUSA policies and has adopted the following policies and procedures of its own.


A POLICY is an established course of action that must be followed.  Policies provide consistency of action, give direction, and minimize the need for risk management.

These policies do not create a contract, express or implied, with any volunteer and may be changed at any time at the discretion of the council. In addition, volunteers are not employees of the council and are not covered by any of its pay, benefit plans, or practices. Specifically, volunteers are not paid or provided benefits for their volunteer services.

A PROCEDURE describes the course of action to carry out a policy.


I. RECRUITMENT: Each volunteer is provided with an overview of the Girl Scout purpose and organization, local council information, and the support systems available to help her/him in her/his role. The volunteer position description provides specific responsibilities and schedules, cites expectations, and, in conjunction with performance goals, forms the basis for assessment of volunteer performance.

GSOFCT strives to include volunteers who strengthen the council through two distinct types of service.

A. GOVERNANCE VOLUNTEERS: These include members of the Board of Directors, Board    Nominating and Development Committee, and Delegates.

B. OPERATIONAL VOLUNTEERS: Service Team members, Co-Leaders, Program Volunteers, Episodic Volunteers, etc., are those involved in carrying out the council’s specific, measurable objectives, which have been developed within the framework of the corporate goals as adopted by the Board of Directors.  These volunteers are ultimately accountable to the Chief Executive Officer.

II. INCLUSION: In recognition of its responsibility to its volunteers and girls and in keeping with GSUSA equal opportunity policies, GSOFCT expressly prohibits any form of unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, socioeconomic status, learning disability, physical or mental disability, ancestry, genetic information, and any other protected class status.

To ensure full equality of opportunity in all operations and activities of the organization, affirmative action policies and procedures shall be utilized in the recruitment, selection, training, placement, and recognition of volunteers.

GSOFCT is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and outreach in the recruitment, selection, placement, development, and recognition of volunteers in all communities within its jurisdiction.

III. MEMBERSHIP. All volunteers and girls participating in GSOFCT shall meet GSUSA membership standards and be a currently registered member of GSUSA and Girl Scouts of Connecticut, Inc.  She/he shall agree to abide by the policies, principles, practices, and standards of GSOFCT and GSUSA.

IV. REGISTRATION. All adult volunteers participating in the Girl Scout Movement shall be registered members of GSUSA.


A. SELECTION: Policy: Every adult volunteer is selected on the basis of qualifications for membership, ability to perform the volunteer position, and the willingness and availability to participate in training for the position.

Procedure: All adult volunteer members must complete the onboarding process and have a satisfactory background check according to the requirements of their position.

B. TRAINING: Once a volunteer has successfully completed the onboarding process, she/he must participate in orientation and training as required by the position. The level of orientation will correspond to the level of participation.  For example, those who are serving as Co-Leaders take full orientation, while those who are less involved will have a less intensive level of orientation.

C. PLACEMENT: Every attempt will be made to place volunteers in positions that meet both their needs and the needs of GSOFCT.  In instances where this is not possible, the needs of GSOFCT will take precedence over the needs of the individual.

D. PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL: Volunteers will have the opportunity to confer with the person to whom she/he is accountable concerning her/his annual performance review.

E. REAPPOINTMENT: Prior to completion of a volunteer’s term, she/he will receive confirmation of reappointment to her/his position or rotation to a different position.  Reappointment takes place only after completion of a satisfactory performance review and mutual acceptance of position accountabilities, expectations, and adherence to GSOFCT and GSUSA policies and standards.

F. RECOGNITIONS: Girl Scouts of Connecticut, Inc.'s, formal recognition system shall be consistent with GSUSA policies and standards.

G. TERMINATION: Any volunteer may resign her/his position at any time, but the council expects that resignations will be with reasonable notification to the council. GSOFCT may terminate the services of a volunteer at any time and for any reason, such as these listed below.

  • Restructuring of volunteer positions
  • The elimination of the volunteer position in which a person serves
  • The inability or failure to complete the requirements for the position
  • Misappropriation of funds
  • The inability or failure to perform the agreed-upon responsibilities to the satisfaction of  GSOFCT
  • The refusal to support the Mission and values of the organization and the council goals
  • Membership in an organization whose goals are not compatible with those of GSUSA
  • Failure to comply with council or GSUSA policies
  • Providing false, incomplete, or misleading information in the onboarding process
  • Inappropriate behavior including, but not limited to, physical violence, abuse, stalking, threatening, menacing, lying, harassment, falsification of documents, and carrying firearms at a Girl Scout activity
  • Failure to pass successive background checks

An adult volunteer who is terminated from her/his adult position may continue her/his membership with GSUSA unless it is determined that she/he is not able to meet the membership requirement related to accepting the principles and beliefs of the Movement or to supporting the Mission and values of the organization.  When this is the case, her/his Girl Scout membership will not be renewed.

Procedure: The volunteer and her/his manager will confer both in person and in writing as to reasons for the termination.  A third party should be present during this process.  At this time, the volunteer will be given the opportunity to withdraw voluntarily from the position by submitting a written resignation within five (5) working days.

If termination is not voluntary, the volunteer will be fully informed, in writing, regarding the reasons for the termination by the person to whom she/he is accountable.

Unless otherwise indicated, the discussion should be followed by a written summary, one copy of which is given to the volunteer and one to be retained by the council. Absolute confidentiality must be observed at all times to protect the rights of the volunteer.

H. CONFLICT RESOLUTION: GSOFCT has established a system for resolving conflicts that arise when a volunteer believes that policies and/or procedures related to her/his position are not being administered properly as applied to her/him.


• Phase I: Many conflicts can be prevented and/or resolved by volunteer managers who understand the Volunteer Management System of GSOFCT and who are sensitive to human relations.  Likewise, many conflicts can be avoided when volunteers are informed at the time of placement of the council’s structure and role accountability for decision-making responsibilities.

Most conflicts can be resolved when they are brought to the attention of the volunteer’s immediate manager. It is hoped that most, if not all, conflicts will be resolved informally. The goal is to eliminate the cause for the conflict.

• Phase II: When a volunteer and her/his immediate manager are unable to resolve a conflict through informal efforts, the volunteer should refer to the council’s conflict resolution procedure for all volunteers listed below.  Every volunteer may expect a welcome reception and a fair resolution of the conflict without fear of jeopardizing her/his volunteer status.  The initiation of the conflict resolution procedure, however, will not restrict the GSOFCT from taking appropriate action to safeguard the health and safety of the girls.


Step 1: The volunteer requests a conference with her/his manager to take place within ten (10) working days of the date the written complaint was filed.  The volunteer cites the policy or procedure that has allegedly been misapplied, misinterpreted, or violated.  If the manager is the issue, proceed to the next level.  If the manager is not a staff member of GSOFCT, the appropriate staff member must be informed of the complaint and the date of the conference meeting. The staff member informs the Chief Executive Officer, or her/his designee, of the complaint and conference date.

Step 2: If the volunteer is not satisfied with the disposition, the council staff member or, if appropriate, the staff member’s supervisor, will meet with the volunteer within ten (10) working days.  After the initial review of the issues, the volunteer can expect a response within ten (10) working days.

Step 3: In the event that the complaint is not resolved in Step 2, the staff member prepares a written report on the complaint, including recommendations for her/his supervisor, and sends a copy to the Chief Executive Officer.

Step 4: The Chief Executive Officer will make the final decision as to the resolution of the complaint and see that this decision is implemented.


GSOFCT is committed to maintaining an environment free of harassment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity.  The council will not tolerate harassment, including sexual harassment as defined in this policy, of volunteers, employees, or members, by anyone, including any volunteer, employee, vendor, member, client, or customer, whether on the Girl Scout premises, at assignments outside, or at sponsored social or membership functions.

Harassment is defined as verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of her/his race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, socioeconomic status, learning disability, physical or mental disability, ancestry, genetic information, or any other protected class status that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome or unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other physical, verbal, or visual conduct based on sex when (1) submission to the conduct is an explicit or implicit term or condition of the volunteer’s position, (2) submission or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for a decision relating to the volunteer, or (3) the conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the volunteer’s performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.  The offender or the victim of harassment may either be a man or a woman, and harassment can occur involving persons of the same or opposite sex.

Examples of sexual harassment include unwanted sexual advances; explicit sexual propositions; demands for sexual favors in exchange for favorable treatment or continued employment; repeated sexual innuendos, suggestive comments, sexually oriented kidding, teasing, or practical jokes; jokes about gender-specific traits; foul or obscene body language or gestures; display of foul or obscene printed or visual material (including, but not limited to, email); and physical contact, such as touching, patting, pinching, or brushing against another's body.

If any volunteer believes that she/he is being harassed, the volunteer should clearly and promptly notify the offender that the behavior is unwelcome.  If for any reason a volunteer does not feel comfortable confronting the offender or if a confrontation does not successfully end the harassment, the volunteer should contact the council immediately.

All complaints of harassment will be taken seriously and will be promptly and thoroughly investigated.  To the fullest extent practical and appropriate under the circumstances, GSOFCT will treat complaints and the terms of their resolution as personal and confidential. Corrective action will be implemented if an investigation confirms that harassment has occurred. If either party directly involved in a harassment investigation is dissatisfied with the outcome or resolution, that individual should submit a written request to council to have the decision reconsidered.

This policy also prohibits harassment and sexual harassment by any volunteer against any employee or member.


GSOFCT supports and maintains environments that are free of child abuse and neglect.  Child abuse or neglect is any act or failure to act resulting in imminent risk of serious harm, death, actual serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation of a child by a parent or caretaker who is responsible for the child’s welfare.  A child is defined as a person under the age of 18.  The council will follow up and report, if applicable, any unlawful act as stated in the State of Connecticut General Statutes.

Sexual abuse is defined as employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of any child to engage in, or assist any other person to engage in, any sexually explicit conduct or any simulation of such conduct for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of such conduct; or rape and, in cases of caretaker or inter-familial relationships, statutory rape, molestation, prostitution, or other form of sexual exploitation of children, or incest with children. Sexual abuse may also include sexual touching and bodily contact, exhibitionism, voyeurism, and/or involvement of children in pornographic material.

Girl Scouts of Connecticut reserves the right to refuse appointment or reappointment, and dismiss or exclude from volunteer status, any volunteer whose alleged actions may pose a risk of injury to a minor, is believed to have abused or neglected any child under the age of 18, or has been convicted of any crimes against children.

Procedure: In order to protect confidentiality, in cases of reported, suspected, or confided abuse/neglect the volunteer should contact the Chief Executive Officer or her/his designee.  If none of the above can be reached, the volunteer may call the Connecticut Department of Children and Families Care Line: 1-800-842-2288.  Such a report should include the names and addresses of the children and her/his parents, guardians, or other person having responsibility for her/his care and all evidence forming the basis of such belief.  A person who in good faith makes his report is immune from civil or criminal liability per state statue.


Volunteers are prohibited from smoking in the presence of girls and/or during any Girl Scout activity.

No person shall possess, use, sell, distribute, or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, or use lawful drugs in an unauthorized manner, on GSOFCT property, during any Girl Scout activity, or at any time if it would adversely affect the reputation of the Girl Scouts.

Any violation of this policy will result in the removal of the volunteer from the council property, and associated costs and/or transportation fees will be the responsibility of the volunteer.  No refund of fees will be given.  In addition, the volunteer will be removed from her/his volunteer position.

Alcohol may be consumed at adult council-wide functions or events only with the permission of the Chief Executive Officer.


Each volunteer has an obligation to conduct herself/himself in a manner that does not present an actual or perceived conflict of interest or that has the potential for one.  An actual, perceived, or potential conflict of interest occurs when a volunteer, because of her/his position with Girl Scouts, makes or influences a decision that may result in a personal gain for the volunteer or the volunteer’s friends or relatives.  For purposes of this policy, a relative includes any person who is related to the volunteer by blood or marriage, or who is in a similar relationship.  A friend is any social acquaintance or individual with whom the volunteer has a social relationship.

If a volunteer is involved in any activity for Girl Scouts that presents an actual, perceived, or potential conflict of interest (e.g., if the volunteer has any influence on transactions involving purchases, contracts, or leases), full disclosure in writing to the Chief Executive Officer is mandatory as soon as possible, to establish safeguards and to protect all parties involved.

A Board Member shall not, while serving as a member of the council Board of Directors, serve in a council operational volunteer position that would require formal GSUSA or council-developed or sanctioned training.


All contracts must be authorized and signed by the Chief Executive Officer or her/his designee.


Any court-mandated community service projects must have prior approval by the appropriate council staff.


No persons shall bring any animal onto any GSOFCT property or to any Girl Scout activity without the written permission of the Chief Executive Officer or her/his designee. Exceptions will be made for animals needed to assist persons with disabilities.


Possession or use of firearms by adults or girls at any Girl Scout activity is prohibited.


All monies raised or earned, and other assets received in the name and for the benefit of Girl Scouting must be authorized by GSOFCT or GSUSA and used for the purposes of Girl Scouting.  Such monies and other assets become the property of, and are administered by, GSUSA or GSOFCT. Such assets are not the property of individuals, geographic units, or communities within a Girl Scout council.

Those assuming stewardship of any Girl Scout monies within the jurisdiction of GSOFCT are accountable to GSOFCT.

Volunteers are responsible for complying with all finance and money-earning policies and practices, as defined in Volunteer Essentials, including but not limited to the following:

  • Money handling
  • Banking
  • Recordkeeping
  • Reporting
  • Money-earning activities

Money-earning projects may not be held during the United Way campaign or council-wide fundraisers.

Adults who owe a debt to the council that is past due will be removed from all volunteer positions.  A debt is defined as a check written for insufficient funds, unpaid product sales funds to the council or the Troop, or non-payment of money owed to the organization for products or services.

Past due debts (unpaid/misappropriation of funds) more than 30 days after notification will be processed for collection. Individuals will be responsible for all fees associated with the collection of the debt and may be subject to other legal action.

Volunteers who repay a past due debt will not be reappointed to any position that includes leadership or money-handling responsibilities.

All financial information is confidential. It is against council policy to disclose any financial or personal information garnered through one’s leadership role as a volunteer to others.

GSOFCT Service Centers

Check out your local service center!

Hartford Service Center-Headquarters
340 Washington Street
Hartford, CT 06106
(800) 922-2770
North Haven Service Center
20 Washington Ave.
North Haven, CT 06473
Lebanon Service Center
175 C Clubhouse Road
Lebanon, CT 06249
Wilton Service Center
529 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT 06897
  • Each service center and outdoor program center is open to every Girl Scout throughout Connecticut.
  • We operate a variety of summer camps and program centers across the state consisting of over 1,900 acres and servicing girls from all areas.
  • Outdoor program centers can be found in: Lebanon, Manchester, Oxford, Stamford, Tolland, and Weston.
  • Our Girl Scouts of Connecticut Alum Network continues to grow as women across the state reconnect and discover new sisters in Girl Scouting.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who must register?
Membership registration is required if a person will work directly with or supervise girls or handle money. It is recommended that all adults who will participate in any meetings or activities be registered. Registered adult members are automatically covered with the Girl Scout Activity Insurance for the entire membership year. 

Who must participate in a background screening?
Any volunteer who will work directly with or has ultimate responsibility for groups of girls, handles money, or assumes the responsibility for driving girls during Girl Scout activities, must be a currently registered member and have successfully completed the Volunteer Onboarding Process, which includes a criminal background screening. This includes any adult attending activities where they will be considered in the adult-to-girl supervision ratios. Asking several troop/group adults to complete the onboarding process and criminal background screening helps to avoid cancellation of meetings or activities if the approved volunteer can’t attend.

How do I know if one of my troop/group volunteer’s background screening has not been approved?
All criminal background screening results are managed through the GSOFCT Human Resources Department. If a negative decision regarding a prospective volunteer is reached, the director of membership support will be notified. The director then reaches out to the appropriate volunteer leadership advising the status of the prospective volunteer.

I’ve had a criminal background screening done through another organization.  Must I do another?
Yes.   State law prohibits organizations from sharing information with other agencies.

Must all drivers complete the onboarding process?
Yes*. Drivers are the only adults who are ever alone with girls. Driving records are part of the background screening process, and it is important to take steps to ensure the safety of the girls. All adults assuming responsibility for driving during Girl Scout activities will need to be registered Girl Scout members and have successfully completed the Volunteer Onboarding Process, which includes a criminal background screening.  We highly encourage each troop/group to have several approved adult volunteer drivers. 

* At times, emergency situations arise that may cause your approved driver to be unable to attend the scheduled activity or event. In these cases, another adult may assume responsibilities for driving but in a
one-time only capacity. 

We will have a firefighter come to our meeting to discuss fire safety. Must that person be registered and complete the onboarding process?
No. The minimum number of registered and approved adults must be present at all times and will provide supervision for the girls while the firefighter is visiting.

What constitutes an approved adult?
To be considered an approved adult with Girl Scouts of Connecticut, a volunteer must be a currently registered member who has successfully completed the Volunteer Onboarding Process, which includes a criminal background screening.

What constitutes a trained adult?
currently registered volunteer who has successfully completed both the Volunteer Onboarding Process and the Core Leadership Requirements is considered to be the troop/group trained adult.

May non-approved parents/guardians visit during meetings or attend outings with the troop/group?
Non-approved adults may not assume the responsibilities for driving* or supervising girls. However, as long as the minimum number of approved adults will be present to provide the required adult-to-girl supervision ratio, it is acceptable. If ANY person – girl, sibling, adult, or anyone who is not currently registered as a Girl Scout member will actively participate at your meeting, trip, or other Girl Scout gathering, you will need to purchase additional insurance.

All adults wishing to attend meetings or volunteer with a troop/group on a regular basis (more than three times), must successfully complete the Volunteer Onboarding Process. 

Can I have my troop/group sleep overnight in my backyard?
Girl Scout troops/groups sleeping in a tent in a contained backyard less than 25 yards from a residence, not using a fire of any sort, grill, or fire ring, are considered to be having a sleepover - not camping. Troops/groups must be accompanied by at least one approved adult who has completed Out & About training, have approved adult(s) present who have met the Core Leadership requirements and must also meet adult-to-girl supervision ratios.

Do adults who attend council-sponsored overnight programs need to go through the onboarding process?
This would depend on the type of event:

  • Council-sponsored “Family Events” are facilitated by council core staff. The adult(s) attending with the family will not be supervising children other than their own so no onboarding process needs to be completed. Supplementary insurance has been purchased to cover the non-members in attendance.
  • Other council events where there is an overnight component are typically attended by troops/groups. Therefore, the responsibility falls on the troop/group volunteers. The troops/groups attending do so in accordance to GSOFCT policies and procedures. Where an individual girl is attending with an adult, the adult is only responsible for that child so no onboarding process needs to be completed.

An adult must complete the  Volunteer Onboarding Process if she/he will:

  • Work directly with, supervise, or have the ultimate responsibility for girls
  • Accompany girls on an overnight activity as part of the adult-to-girl supervision ratios
  • Drive girls for Girl Scout activities*
  • Handle monies (to include troop/group treasury and product sales)


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