Girls Scouts in 1912 join in a parade

Join the Girl Scouts

What is Girl Scouting?

Thinking of having your daughter join the Girls Scouts? Girl Scouting is a program established by the Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) for girls who are grades K-12.  GSUSA has been in continuous operation since 1912, when it was founded in Savannah, Georgia by Juliette Gordon Low.  The National headquarters of the GSUSA are now located in New York City.

Girl Scouting is not-for-profit – adult unpaid volunteer leaders work with the girls in the Girl Scouting program.  These volunteers get support from paid staff and professionals in local area councils.

How Is Girl Scouting Organized?

GSUSA grade-level organization:

Daisy Grades K -1
Brownie Grades 2-3
Junior Grades 4-5
Cadette Grades 6-8
Senior Grades 9-10
Ambassador Grades 11-12

GSUSA has headquarters in New York, but is divided nationally into local area Girl Scout Councils.  Girl Scout Troop 78171 belongs to Bayberry Service Unit of the Eastern Massachusetts Council (GSEMA).

The Bayberry Service Unit serves over 400 girls in 40 troops in Ipswich, Newbury/Byfield, Newburyport, Rowley, and Salisbury.

Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts serves nearly 35,000 girls in grades K-12 and engages 15,000 adult volunteers in 178 communities across Eastern Massachusetts.

Why Join?

When a girl is asked why she wants to join the Girl Scouts, often the answer is to have fun. Girl Scouting is a place to have fun, but we want more than just fun for our girls.  We want to know that our girls will gain the leadership and developmental skills they need to discover themselves, connect with others, and take action to make the world a better place.

The Girl Scout Leadership Experience is a model which engages girls in discovering themselves, connecting with others, and taking action to make the world a better place. For each of these three “keys,” there are five leadership outcomes that have been nationally developed for girls. In Girl Scouting, it’s not just “what girls do” (activities), but “how” (processes) that when used together, impact girls. “Girl Led”, “Cooperative Learning”, and “Learning by Doing” are the processes that ensure the quality and promote the fun and friendship so integral to Girl Scouting.

Girl Scout programming encourages girls to make their own decisions and to help plan their troop’s agenda.   As the girls mature, allowing them to organize the activities of the troop is important in developing their leadership skills.   This will most likely mean meeting often, participating in the Bayberry Service Unit activities and completing community service projects,  encouraging other girls to join, going on field trips, camp-outs and other trips.

How to Join

To join the Girl Scouts, you need to register online.  First you may want to attend an information event or you can contact our Service Unit Membership Promoter.

More information is available from the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts.

How Much Does it Cost?

For the program year that begins October 1, 2017, the $40 girl member fee includes the cost of an annual GSUSA membership of $15 and the GSEMA service fee of $15.   Financial aid is available.

Individual troop may charge dues to cover supplies and badges.

The cost of the uniforms and books is as follows:

  • Required, is a insignia tab and membership pin.  This is the “uniform” ($5-$6).
  • Optional, but recommended, is a sash or vest, council ID set, troop numbers and American flag ($33)
  • Optional, but recommended, is to the appropriate Girls Guide to Girl Scouting for your level ($17)

Books and uniforms can be purchased online or at the Girl Scout Store in North Andover.

It is important that the girls take responsibility for the activities they want to do.  Girls should pick the activities, organize them and pay for them.  To that end, Girl Scouts holds at least two fundraisers each year: the Fall Product Sales and Girl Scout Cookies.  The girls are not required to sell, but they can use the funds from these sales to pay for troop trips and events.   The Fall Products Sales are held in September and the Girl Scout Cookie Sales begin in November.

What Will the Girls Do?

It’s up to the girls to agree on what the troop will do, but during the year, the girls will have opportunities to hone their leadership skills and make decisions together.

  1. Meet together to earn fun badges and to learn skills, songs and games
  2. Organize community service activities
  3. Go on field trips
  4. Walk in town parades – Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Yankee Homecoming
  5. Have fun outdoors:
    • Archery
    • Camping
    • Hiking
    • Swimming
    • Ropes course
    • Canoeing
    • Horseback riding
    • Summer Camp
  6. Attend Council sponsored events, like:
    • Monster Jam truck show
    • Gifts to Give community service
    • Cradles to Crayons community service
    • Celtics/Red Sox/Bruins games
    • Disney on Ice
    • Students that Engineer Magic
    • Synchonized Swimming
    • North End Pizza Tour
    • Geocaching
    • Art from Above
    • Creative Beading
    • Museum of Science Overnights
    • Crazy Cupcakes
    • Snowshoeing
    • Sundown Sing Along
    • Performing is Fun at Wheelock Family Theatre
    • Playing the Past at the American Textile Museum
    • Sweetheart Necklace
    • The Musician Experience at the Boston Symphony Orchestra
    • Girl Scouts at MIT Museum: Kinetic Engineering and Art
  7. Attend Service Unit sponsored events, like:
    • Roller Skating
    • Ice Skating
    • Sweetheart Dance
    • Tea Party
    • Thanksgiving Pie Donation
    • Holiday Caroling
    • Winter Carnival
    • Badge Fairs