Girl Scouting in New Jersey
My daughter has tried everything from dance lessons to cooking classes, but the one activity that has kept her interest for the past 6 years is being a Girl Scout. We started the scouting journey together when she was in kindergarten. She was an adorable Daisy Scout and I became an enthusiastic troop leader. For the past 6 years I have had the pleasure of watching a group of girls mature from wild 5 year olds, who spent meetings crafting and giggling, to enthusiastic young ladies who have learned the values of friendship, the outdoors and community service. Just this year, the girls in our troop earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award for creating an organic garden and donating the crop to the local food pantry. In addition to teaching valuable lessons, Girl Scouting is just plain fun. Who doesn't love earning patches, selling cookies and making new friends? Read on for some great information on getting involved with Girl Scouts in New Jersey. For more great after school activities, check out our Classes and Activities Guide.
The History of Girl Scouts
Juliette "Daisy" Gordon Low founded the girl scouts in 1912. She believed that all girls should be given the opportunity to develop physically, mentally and spiritually. Scouting brought girls out of isolated home environments and into community service and the open air. Girl Scouts hiked, played basketball, went on camping trips, learned how to tell time by the stars and studied first aid. Today, Girl Scouts of the USA has over 3.2 million members. Here in New Jersey, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in this great organization.
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What's Scouting All About?
Girls can join Girl Scouts at any age, beginning in kindergarten. Based on location, girls can register through their local Girl Scout council. Once registered, girls can join a local troop. Troops generally meet twice a month and work on completing Leadership Journeys. On each Journey, everything the girls do--whether it's performing science experiments, creating art projects, cooking simple meals, or learning to protect the planet's water supply--is aimed at giving them confidence, connecting them to the world around them and teaching them to take action.
Girls can also participate in Girl Scouts as an individual member, called a Juliette. Lets face it, sometimes schedules are so busy that it's hard to find a troop that meets at a convenient time. As a Juliette, Girl Scouts can participate in special events, camp and even sell cookies. A Juliette can complete Journeys through council run programs and attend as many or as few activities that interest them and fit their schedule. Councils offer a variety of activities including archery, robotics and travel clubs.
There are 14 Girl Scout camps throughout the state. Year round they are open for troop encampments. During the summer months, most run a summer camp program. Reasonably priced weekly camps are available that incorporate a variety of activities including swimming, horseback riding, zip lining and boating. For more information, visit your local council website.
The easiest way to get involved in Girl Scouts is volunteering. All it takes to be a leader is a little patience and creativity. Council training is provided, and Journey Leader Guides are easy to follow and full of great ideas. Being a part of the troop is a great way to bond with your daughter and her friends.
Local Girl Scout Councils
Below are the New Jersey's four Girl Scout Councils. Click on the links for more information about registration, activities and camping.