Girl Scout Terms
 
A

Annual Meeting - The official annual meeting of the Girl Scout corporation held to conduct the business of the corporation: elect officers and board members, and members of the nominating committee; amend the articles of incorporation and bylaws when necessary; and take other actions as necessary.

Ants on a Log - Celery sticks stuffed with cream cheese or peanut butter with raisins lined up on top.

Awards - Insignia from Girl Scout age-level books. Earned by completing requirements or by demonstrating understanding of a concept.

B

Badges - Awards earned by Junior Girl Scouts indicating increasing knowledge and skill in a particular subject.

Blue Book of Basic Documents  - The publication that contains the official basic documents of Girl Scouts of the United States of America: Congressional Charter, Constitution, bylaws, policies and credentials, and criteria and standards for an effective Girl Scout council. There is a summarized version called Leaders’ Digest that is suitable for troop use.

Bridging - Activities designed to emphasize the continuity of the Girl Scout program; an introduction for girls to what lies ahead in the next program level. It is also the name of the ceremony in which girls are figuratively welcomed into the next age level.  The girls are not official members of the next level until October 1.

Brownie Girl Scout - A Girl Scout who is six, seven, or eight years old, or in the first, second, or third grade.

Brownie Ring - A form of troop government used by Brownie Girl Scouts; a circle in which all members of the troop, and their leaders, share in planning, problem solving, and decision-making.

Brownie Try-Its - Awards at the Brownie Girl Scout program level.

Brownie Wings - Gold embroidered wings on green felt given to Brownie Girl Scouts when they bridge to Junior Girl Scouts.

Buddy System - A safety practice in which girls are paired to help and keep watch over each other.

C

CEO - The chief executive officer of a Girl Scout council.

Challenges (Four B) - Two awards: the Girl Scout Silver Four B Challenge and the Girl Scout Gold Four B Challenge B

Challenges (Three C) – Challenges for Brownie, Junior and GS 11-17 based on Courage, Character and Confidence

Closing - Any standard activity that signals the end of a meeting, (i.e., Friendship Circle, song, etc.).

Collections - A series of three age-appropriate magazine-type books used as part of the STUDIO 2B resources.

Council - A corporation, chartered by the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., organized for the purpose of developing, managing, and maintaining Girl Scouting within a defined jurisdiction.

Council Annual Meeting - A meeting to elect council officers, board members, nominating committee members and delegates and persons to fill delegate vacancies to the National Council Session.  Council meetings will also determine the general direction for Girl Scouting locally by giving guidance to the Board of Directors, and will amend the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.

Counselor-in-Training (CIT) - A Girl Scout who is taking a course (called Counselor-in-Training) to learn camp counselor skills.

Court of Honor - A group within a Girl Scout troop using the patrol system that makes and coordinates the troop's plans based on reports from each patrol. It is composed of patrol leaders, the troop scribe (secretary), troop treasurer, and troop leader(s).

D

Daisy Girl Scout - A Girl Scout who is five or six years old, or in kindergarten or first grade.

Daisy Circle - The Daisy Girl Scout's introduction to troop government. It is a circle in which all members of the troop, and their leaders, share in planning and decision-making.

Daisy Learning Petals - Awards given to Daisy Girl Scouts signifying an understanding of each part of the Girl Scout Law.

Daisy Promise Center - An award given to Daisy Girl Scouts for learning the Girl Scout Promise.

Day Camp - Day camp is a summer program experience held at Lake Rickabear. Girls register as individuals and are assigned to camp units based on age or interests.

Delegate (Council) - Registered adults and Girl Scouts 14 years and older elected by their service units. The delegates represent their service units at the annual meeting. They discuss and vote on governance issues of the council.

Delegate (National) - Registered adults and Girl Scouts 14 years and older elected by the council delegates to represent the council at the National Council Session.  They discuss and vote on governance issues of the National organization. The term is for three years.

Destinations - (Formerly Wider Opportunities) Travel opportunities for girls 11-17.

Discovery Hike - An activity designed to explore the community, area, campsite, etc., to seek out program possibilities and/or become familiar with the surroundings.

Diversity - The state of being different or diverse. When used to describe people and population groups, diversity encompasses multidimensional factors, including but not limited to age, gender, race, ethnicity, ability, religion, education, parental status, professional background, marital status, etc. Diversity validates the presence of variety but is not synonymous with pluralism, which is a process or a system of actions.

Dunk Bag - A netted bag used to hang washed dishes to dry in the outdoors.

E

Emblems - GSUSA, council, troop, membership and identification insignia.

Ethical Code - The Promise and Law; the foundation of Girl Scouting. Its guiding principles are: the motivating force is a spiritual one, service, responsible citizenship, high ideals of character and conduct, appreciation of the worth of people.

Executive Board - A representative form of troop government in which an elected group makes decisions.

F

Family Camping - The only overnight camping approved for Daisy Girl Scouts. This kind of camping is a good introduction to extended outdoor experiences, building on the strong social and emotional links to the young child's primary caretaker(s). Occasional exceptions to parental participation are permitted for the individual child within the group whose parents are unable to participate.

Fly-up Ceremony - The ceremony at which a Brownie Girl Scout receives Brownie Wings from her Brownie leader, makes the Girl Scout Promise, and receives the Girl Scout Pin from her Junior GS "sister" or the Junior GS leader.

Focus Book Activities - Some of the STUDIO 2B resources that girls 11-17 can choose to complete to receive charms.

Founder’s Day - Our founder’s, Juliette Gordon Low, birthday, October 31.

Friendship Circle - A symbolic gesture in which girls form a circle by clasping each others' hands, traditionally right over left, often used as a closing ceremony.

Friendship Pin - An unofficial pin that may be given to Girl Scouts and non-Girl Scouts as a token of friendship.

Friendship Squeeze - A hand squeeze passed around a Friendship Circle. It is meant to represent the passing along of a good thought to the people in the circle.

Fund-raising – Refers to any of various methods of soliciting funds – for example, an annual campaign, Family Partnership, planned giving, benefits and project funding.  Fund-raising is the responsibility of adults.  Girls do not fund raise.

G

Girl Guide - The original name for Girl Scouts, it is still used in many countries.

Girl Scout Birthday - March 12. It marks the anniversary of the first troop meeting of Girl Scouts in the U.S.A. in Savannah, Georgia, 1912.

Girl Scout Law - Principles of conduct to which Girl Scouts subscribe.

Girl Scout Merchandise - The national staff department that sells equipment, uniforms, insignia, printed materials, etc., used in the Girl Scout program. Local GSM agencies are located in some Girl Scout council offices and licensed stores.

Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. (GSUSA) - The corporation that promotes the Girl Scout movement in the U.S.A., which includes the United States, its territories, and possessions.

Girl Scout Sign - The official Girl Scout greeting. It is always used when the Promise is made or repeated. The right hand is raised shoulder high, palm forward, with the three middle fingers extended and the thumb holding down the little finger.

Girl Scout Troop - A group of girls with adult leader(s) who voluntarily join the Girl Scout movement, meet membership requirements, and use the Girl Scout program.

Girl Scout Week - Celebrated each year during the week in which March 12, the Girl Scout birthday, occurs.

Girl Scouts' Own - A special girl planned inspirational ceremony held by troops/groups.  This is an opportunity for girls to express their deepest feelings about a theme. This is not a religious service and it should not be done before an audience.

GirlSports - Promotion of health, sports, fitness, and healthy lifestyle choices. Special emphasis on basketball, volleyball, soccer, golf, tennis, swimming, baseball, and winter sports.

Governance in Girl Scouting - Process by which a board of directors exercises its ultimate authority and fulfills its responsibility for furthering the Girl Scout mission; for the care, custody, and oversight of Girl Scouting within its jurisdiction; and for providing strategic direction and leadership for the council.

 H

Handbook - Brownie Girl Scout Handbook, Junior Girl Scout Handbook, Cadette Girl Scout Handbook, and A Resource Book for Senior Girl Scouts.

 I

Insignia - Every Girl Scout item worn on the uniform (badges, awards, patches, stars, strips, etc.)

Interest Projects - Awards earned by Girl Scouts 11-17

Investiture Ceremony - A special ceremony in which a new member makes her Girl Scout Promise, receives her /his (adult male) membership pin, and becomes a member of Girl Scouts.

J

Juliette Gordon Low - October 31, 1860 - January 17, 1927. Founder of the Girl Scout movement in the United States of America.

Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace - The childhood home of Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Georgia. Now a national program center, owned and operated by Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. Visited by many Girl Scout troops, and by Girl Scouts and their families. Open to the public.

Juliette Low World Friendship Fund - A fund to which Girl Scouts throughout the United States of America make voluntary contributions each year. Used to help build friendship and better understanding around the world through Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting by sponsoring international exchange projects and other activities.

Juliettes - Individual members not affiliated with a troop. All rights and principals are extended to Juliettes.

Junior Girl Scout - A Girl Scout who is 8 through 11 years old, or in the third, fourth, or fifth,

K

Kaper - A temporary job or responsibility.

Kaper Chart - A chart showing each girl's or each group's job on any given project. It provides for rotation of jobs and sharing of responsibility.

L

Lady Baden-Powell - The wife of the founder of Scouting and Guiding. She was the World Chief Guide from 1930 until her death.

Leader - An adult member of the organization who meets with a troop/group of girls to help it achieve the purpose of Girl Scouting and has completed the required leadership training.

Leaders’ Day - Celebrated every year on April 22nd

Leader-in-Training (LIT) - A qualified Girl Scout (grades 10-12) who is taking a Leader-in-Training course to learn troop leadership skills.

Logo - The three contemporary heads (never separated from our name) or the traditional eagle.

Lord Baden-Powell - Founder of the Scout and Guide movements for boys and girls. He was the World Chief Scout from 1920 until his death in 1941. (He rhymed "Baden" with "maiden" and "Powell" with "knoll.")

M

Macy – Shortened name for Edith Macy Conference Center located in Briarcliff Manor, NY.  Many national training opportunities and conferences are held here for both GS staff and volunteers.

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

Member Country - A country in which there is a national Girl Guide or Girl Scout association belonging to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.

Money-earning – Refers to activities following a planned budget and carried out by girls and adults, in partnership, to earn money for the group treasury.

Motto - "Be Prepared." A motto adopted as a guiding principle for members.

N

National Centers - Two centers, owned and operated by Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., Juliette Gordon Low's Birthplace, Savannah, Georgia; and Edith Macy Conference Center, near Pleasantville, N.Y.

National Council - The membership body of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. Membership consists of elected delegates from councils, the National Board of Directors, National Nominating Committee, and other elected persons. National Council Meetings are held every three years.

National Dues - The $10 membership fee, paid to Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., to register a girl or an adult with the national organization and pay for activity/accident insurance coverage.

Nosebag - A lunch carried in a paper sack or bandanna.

O

Online Safety Pledge - Girls and adult sign a form after discussing how to conduct themselves while using the Internet. The "My Online Safety Pledge" can be found in Girl Scout Handbooks and Safety-Wise.

Opening - Any standard activity that signals the formal beginning of a meeting, (i.e., reciting the Girl Scout Promise, flag ceremony, song, game, etc.).

Operations. Activities required to carry out the operating objectives of a council and performed by operational volunteers and/or employed staff, who are ultimately accountable to the CEO.

P

Participation Patches & Pins - Supplementary insignia. Focus is on participation – no set requirements. Developed at national or council level.

Pathfinder - The council newsletter mailed to Girl Scout adults in the council.

Patrol System - A representative form of troop government composed of groups of no more than eight girls with a girl leader who is a member of the Court of Honor.

Permission Slips - Used to inform parents/guardians of a troop meeting away from the regular meeting day, place, or time or if addressing a sensitive issue.

Pluralism - A system that holds within it individuals or groups differing in basic background experiences and cultures. It allows for the development of a common tradition while preserving the right of each group to maintain its cultural heritage. It implies mutual respect.

Policy - An established course of action. Council policies are approved by the Board of Directors.

Program Aide - A Girl Scout 12-17 who is trained to give service to younger Girl Scouts and shares with them her talents, skills, and enjoyment of Girl Scouting.

Program Goals - Our goals for girls: Developing Self-Potential, Relating to Others, Developing Values, Contributing to Society.

Program Standards - Basic levels of health and safety that must be provided to girls. There are 35 Program Standards listed in Safety-Wise that must be followed. 

Q

Quiet Sign - A traditional technique for obtaining silence at all Girl Scout meetings, made by raising the right hand with an open palm. Group members raise their hands and become quiet until complete silence is established.

R

Rededication - A ceremony held at special times when a Girl Scout who has been previously invested, renews her/his (adult male) Girl Scout Promise and commitment to Girl Scouting.

Resident Camp - A camp where girls register as individuals and live away from home for a week or more.

S

Safety-Wise - A book of program standards, safety guidelines, and activity checkpoints for common Girl Scout activities.

Scribe - The troop secretary.

Service Projects - Service is inherent in the Girl Scout Promise and Law and given without expectation of payment or reward; providing service to others helps the service provider as well as the service recipient.

Service Center - The council’s business office

Service Mark - The Girl Scout service mark is composed of two parts: the symbol (the trefoil with three profiles) and the logotype (the words Girl Scouts, in the Frutiger typeface, along with the registration mark ®). Both components of the service mark must be used together.

Service Team - The unit manager, troop organizer (s), and troop consultant(s) who help to organize troops and provide program support in a service unit. Other service team members could include product sales managers, public relations, treasurer/secretary, service unit events manager and other support personnel.

Service Unit - A unit designed to facilitate delivery of services to Girl Scout troops in a designated geographic area.

Service Unit Manager - An adult volunteer who is responsible to see that troops are established and maintained within a service unit’s geographic area. (may have a different names in other councils)

Signs - Invitations to action for Junior Girl Scouts. There are four signs - Sign of the Rainbow, Sign of the Sun, Sign of the Satellite, and Sign of the World - earned by completion of badges and other required activities.

Sit-Upons - Something to sit on.

Slogan - "Do a good turn daily."

S'mores - A sandwich made with graham crackers, chocolate, and a roasted marshmallow.

STUDIO 2B - Program resources developed with girl input for girls ages 11-17.

Swaps - Tokens of friendship exchanged by members at Girl Scout activities.

T

Tagline - Girl Scouts. Where Girls Grow Strong

Talking Stick - A tool used in Brownie GS to encourage girls to take turns addressing the group.  A stick is passed around as each person talks.  The person holding the stick is the only person permitted to speak.

Town Meeting - A system of troop government in which the total group makes decisions.

Training - Basic leadership courses required of troop leaders, co-leaders, and assistant leaders. Outdoor training (also required) and workshops in all program areas are offered throughout the year.

Trefoil - The official emblem of the Girl Scout movement in the United States of America, registered in the United States Patent Office by Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.

Troop/Group Camping - A camping experience of 24 or more consecutive hours, planned and carried out by a group of Girl Scouts and leaders, using council-approved sites.

Troop/Group Committee - A group of men and women who are registered with a Girl Scout troop and who help girls and leaders carry out their plans.

Troop/Group Dues - Money paid by the girls to finance troop activities. Amount of dues and method of collection are determined by girls and leader(s). Daisy Girl Scouts do not pay troop dues.

Troop/Group Meeting - The meeting of Girl Scouts and their adult leaders. Time and duration of meetings may vary. Recommended duration is one to two hours. Troops may meet once a week, twice monthly, etc. (See Safety-Wise and The Guide for Daisy Girl Scout Leaders.)

Troop Organizer - The adult volunteer in a service unit who places all girls in troops.  The organizer helps to find meeting places, set up back accounts, and performs other duties to establish troops in the service unit.

Try-Its - Awards earned by Brownie Girl Scouts.

U

Unit - A small group or groups formed at a day or resident camp for the purpose of separating campers by age or interest or a portion of a campsite designated as a living area for a group of campers.

V

Vision Statement – Girl Scouting: For Every Girl, Everywhere

W

Walking Salad - A salad that is easy to carry and eat on a hike.

Wide Game - A way to move a large group through a series of activities that are tied together with a common theme.

Wider Opportunity - Any Girl Scout activity that takes girls outside their own troops and/or councils.

World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) - The international organization of Girl Guides and Girl Scout associations. Organized in 1928.

World Thinking Day - February 22, the birthday of both Lord and Lady Baden-Powell, celebrated as the day in which Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all over the world think of each other and exchange greetings.

World Trefoil Pin - A pin with a gold trefoil on a blue background, worn by all members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.

World Centers - Centers for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts owned and operated by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. They include: Pax Lodge in London, England; Our Cabaña, near Cuernavaca, Mexico; Our Chalet, near Adelboden, Switzerland; and Sangam, in Poona, India.

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