Girl Scouts of the USA

Founded in 1912, the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), has long been preparing girls for leadership roles. As the largest voluntary organization for girls in the world, the Girl Scouts are committed to peaking the interest and listening to the voices of millions of girls, as well as the women and men who serve them. The purpose of Girl Scouting is to inspire girls with the highest ideals of character and conduct, so that they may become capable and inspired citizens. Girl Scouting seeks to accomplish this goal through innovative programs that provide girls with opportunities to explore the world's possibilities while having fun with their peers in supportive, all-girl settings.


420 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10018-2798
Ph. (212) 852-8000 / 1 800 478-7248
Fx. (212) 852-6509/6510


Principal Staff

Anna Maria Chávez, CEO

Connie L. Lindsey, Chair of the National Board of Directors

Nhadine Leung, Chief of Staff

Delphia York Duckens, Senior Vice President, Fund Development

Jaclyn E. Libowitz, Chief of Staff

Florence Corsello, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Business Services

Danny Boockvar, Chief Customer Officer, Girl Scouts of the USA

Deb Taft, Chief Development Officer, Girl Scouts of the USA

Michael Watson, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Girl Scouts of the USA

Featured Events


Projects & Campaigns

The National Program Portfolio

The National Program Portfolio has two main parts – the National Leadership Journeys and the all new The Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting. Complemented by the Girl Scout Cookie program, Girl Scout travel and Girl Scout awards, the National Program Portfolio is designed to help girls develop as leaders and build confidence by learning new skills. It also ensures that Girl Scouts at every level are sharing a powerful, national experience—girls together changing the world!


On every Leadership Journey, everything 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 the benefits of the Girl Scout "Keys to Leadership": Discover, Connect, Take Action.

Girl's Guide

Everyone knows that Girl Scouts have badges. But The Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting has more than just exciting, new badges for every age level. Each guide contains: 

-A colorful, easy-to-use binder specially designed for girls at each level. The binder comes chock full of essential information and badge activities—plus girls get to customize their own experience by choosing and adding in additional badge sets.

-Legacy, Financial Literacy, and Cookie Business badge activities—or, for Girl Scout Daisies, petal and leaf activities. For more information about the National Proficiency badges, check out How the National Girl Scout Program Portfolio Works.

-A detailed diagram showing where girls place the badges, pins, or awards with pride on their vests or sashes.
Ideas to help girls tie their badges right into their Journeys.
-Vintage illustrations and quotes from Girl Scout history to help girls feel connected to the proud traditions of the past.
An awards log showing girls every award and badge available at their level, as well as the entire badge program at every level, so girls can see how their skills will grow in Girl Scouting.
Highest Awards
We know you want to do good things for the world. Help the people who need it most. Protect animals that can't speak for themselves. Treat the environment with the respect it deserves. We know you have great ideas, ones that make a lasting difference. And that you're more than ready to work hard to put those ideas into motion. Girl Scouting's highest awards—the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards—are your chance to make a lasting difference in your community . . . and in the larger world. Click below. And start changing the world today!
Every girl deserves a chance to see the world. Girl Scouts offers many different travel opportunities so girls can see new places, meet new people, and learn about different cultures and ideas. Whether exploring their own neighborhoods, going on overnight camping trips, participating in community service projects, or flying to one of the four world centers, Girl Scouts are continually expanding their horizons.
Girl Scout Cookies
When a Girl Scout sells you cookies, she's building a lifetime of skills and confidence. She learns goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics—aspects essential to leadership, to success, and to life.
By putting her mind and energies to something, a Girl Scout can overcome any challenge. There are no limits. She can be anything. She can do anything.
Program Basics
Girl Scouts earn badges, hike and camp, participate in the cookie program, and much more. They improve neighborhoods, protect the planet, design robots, and establish sports clinics. See what a great Girl Scout year can look like for each grade level by visiting Girl Scout GPS!
Girl Scout program starts girls off on a Journey of their choice from the National Leadership Journeys series. They'll earn awards, have fun, and take on projects that change the world.
Girls then add The Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting to their program portfolio. TheGirl's Guide offers girls national proficiency badges, traditions and history, an awards log, and much more. Let Brownie Elf walk you through a fun video (below) describing the Girl's Guide. For complete information about what girls from kindergarten through high school do in Girl Scouts and the awards they can earn, please see the main Program page.


Reports & Resources

While lack of financial literacy is a growing concern for everyone today, relatively little research has been done on how young people think about and experience money and finances, with even fewer studies focusing on girls specifically. To address this gap, the Girl Scout Research Institute conducted a nationwide survey with over 1,000 girls ages 8−17 and their parents to better understand girls' level of financial literacy and their confidence about, attitudes towards, and experiences with money. Having It All: Girls and Financial Literacy reveals that girls need and want financial literacy skills to help them achieve their dreams, with 90 percent saying it is important for them to learn how to manage money. However, just 12 percent of girls surveyed feel "very confident" making financial decisions.

Financial Literacy

Having It All: Girls and Financial Literacy (2013)

Girls and Media

The Net Effect: Girls and New Media (2002)

Beauty Redefined: Girls and Body Image Survey (2010)

Who's That Girl: Image and Social Media Survey (2010)

Real to Me: Girls and Reality TV (2011)

Girl Leadership, Beliefs, and Values

The Resilience Factor: A Key to Leadership in African American and Hispanic Girls (2011)

Good Intentions: The Beliefs and Values of Teens and Tweens Today (2009)

Transforming Leadership Continued (2009)

The New Leadership Landscape: What Girls Say About Election 2008 (2009)

Transforming Leadership: Focusing on Outcomes of the New Girl Scout Leadership Experience (2008)

Change It Up! What Girls Say About Redefining Leadership (2008)

Exploring Girls' Leadership (2007)

Girl Scouts Survey on The Beliefs and Moral Values of America's Children (1989)

Girl and Youth Development

Paths to Positive Youth Development (2003)

The Ten Emerging Truths: New Directions for Girls 11-17 (2002)

Snapshots of Young Lives Today (2001)

Healthy Living

Beauty Redefined: Girls and Body Image Survey (2010)

The New Normal? What Girls Say About Healthy Living (2006)

Weighing In: Helping Girls Be Healthy Today, Healthy Tomorrow (2004)

Feeling Safe: What Girls Say (2003)

How America's Youth Are Faring Since September 11th (2002)

Teens Before Their Time (2000)

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

Generation STEM: What Girls Say about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (2012)

The Net Effect: Girls and New Media (2002)

The Girl Difference: Short-Circuiting the Myth of the Technophobic Girl (2001)


Voices of Volunteers 18-29 (2003)

The Community Connection: Volunteer Trends in a Changing World (2002)

National Profile of Adults in Girl Scouting: Executive Summary (1998)

Girl Scout Outcomes

Linking Leadership to Academic Success: The Girl Scout Difference (2012)

Mapping the Girl Scout Leadership Experience Outcomes to the Search Institute's Youth Developmental Assets(2012)

Transforming Leadership Continued (2009)**

Transforming Leadership: Focusing on Outcomes of the New Girl Scout Leadership Experience (2008)**

Girl Scouts Beyond Bars Evaluation Report (2008)**

GirlSports Basics National Evaluation (2003)

Junior Girl Scout Group Experience: Outcomes Measurement Guide (2002)

Tool Kit data analysis supplement (2001)

Tool Kit for Measuring Outcomes of Girl Scout Resident Camp (2000)

Girls, Families, and Communities Grow Through Girl Scouting (1997)

Girl Scouting

Girl Scouting Works: The Alumnae Impact Study (2012)

Defining Success: American Women, Achievement, and the Girl Scouts (1999)

National Profile of Adults in Girl Scouting: Executive Summary (1998)

Strength in Diversity: Toward a Broader Understanding of Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Girl Scouting: Final Report (1994)

The Girl Scout Experience Among Young Girls Today: Towards a Marketing Strategy for Girl Scouting (1992)

Girl Scouts: Its Role in the Lives of American Women of Distinction (1991)

Girl Scouts: Who We Are, What We Think (1990)


Center News

Nationwide Study Finds That Teenage Girls Have Mixed Feelings About the Fashion Industry
Friday, February 5, 2010 - 12:19pm

February 10, 2010



NEW YORK, N.Y. —The increased scrutiny of the fashion industry and its use of ultrathin models isn’t without validation, as nearly 9 in 10 American teenage girls say that the fashion industry is at least partially responsible for "girls' obsession with being skinny," according to a national survey released today by the Girl Scouts of the USA.

The nationwide survey, which included more than 1,000 girls ages 13 to 17, finds many girls consider the body image sold by the fashion industry unrealistic, creating an unattainable model of beauty. Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed say the fashion industry (89 percent) and/or the media (88 percent) place a lot of pressure on them to be thin. However, despite the criticism of this industry, 3 out of 4 girls say that fashion is "really important" to them.

A substantial majority of those surveyed say they would prefer that the fashion industry project more "real" images. Eighty-one percent of teen girls say they would prefer to see natural photos of models rather than digitally altered and enhanced images. Seventy-five percent say they would be more likely to buy clothes they see on real-size models than on women who are super skinny.

In addition to celebrities and fashion models, the study also showed that peers (82 percent), friends (81 percent), and parents (65%), are strong influences in how teenage girls feel about their bodies. Girl Scouts of the USA, who partner with the Dove® Self-Esteem Fund to offer self-esteem programming for girls nationwide, will be focusing their core leadership program to address the issue through its uniquely ME!, program.

“The fashion industry remains a powerful influence on girls and the way they view themselves and their bodies,” said Kimberlee Salmond, Senior Researcher at the Girl Scout Research Institute. "There is little question that teenage girls take cues about how they should look from models they see in fashion magazines and on TV and it is something that they struggle to reconcile with when they look at themselves in the mirror."

The Girl Scout survey comes amid continuing controversy over super thin models, so-called "size zeros." Critics say the models are dangerously underweight and have charged that the fashion industry's preference for waif-like women has led to models engaging in obsessive dieting and extreme weight loss, as well as set a poor example for teenage girls. Fashion shows in Madrid, Milan and elsewhere now ban models below a certain body-mass index.

This topic, along with the survey results, will be the focal point of a media event held at Bryant Park Hotel on February 10th 2010, one day before New York City's legendary Fashion Week begins. With celebrity panelists and expert guests, Girl Scouts of the USA hopes to address the impact of fashion on girls.

The health implications of the preoccupation with super thinness are serious. Nearly 1 in 3 girls say they have starved themselves or refused to eat in an effort to lose weight. In addition, 42 percent report knowing someone their age who has forced themselves to throw up after eating, while more than a third (37 percent) say they know someone their age who has been diagnosed with an eating disorder.

The survey, conducted by the youth research firm Tru, also found most teenagers consider weight loss measures—even some of the more extreme— acceptable. Twenty-five percent say it's acceptable for girls their age to take appetite suppressants and/or weight-loss pills, and nearly 1 in 5 consider plastic surgery and/or weight-loss surgery acceptable.

About Girl Scouts
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls with 3.4 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls' healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect, or donate to Girl Scouts, call (800) GSUSA 4 U (800-478-7248) or visit
About the Dove Self-Esteem Fund
The Dove Self-Esteem Fund was established as an agent of change to inspire and educate girls and young women about a wider definition of beauty.  It is committed to help girls build positive self-esteem and a healthy body image, with a goal of reaching 5 million girls globally by the end of 2010.  The Fund is part of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, a global effort designed to widen today’s stereotypical view of beauty. 

The Dove Self-Esteem Fund is a global project, which consists of a network of local country initiatives linked in strategy and direction by a global steering group.  In each country, the Dove Self-Esteem Fund supports a specific charitable organization to help foster self-esteem. In the U.S., it supports the Girls Scouts of the USA to help build confidence in girls 8-17 with after-school programs, self-esteem building events and educational resources.

Ten Girl Scouts Honored as 2009 National Young Women of Distinction
Friday, February 5, 2010 - 11:38am

January 13, 2010



NEW YORK, N.Y.—Girl Scouts of the USA is proud to announce its 2009 National Young Women of Distinction honorees. Each of the ten young women has earned her Girl Scout Gold Award—the highest award in Girl Scouting—and has been selected as a National Young Woman of Distinction for demonstrating extraordinary leadership in the completion of her community action project. The Girl Scout Gold Award is earned by fewer than six percent of all Girl Scouts.

Each honoree spent one to two years on a community action project that has had far-reaching effects in her community and beyond. Among the honorees this year are authors, advocates, and environmentalists with projects based in a wide range of locations—from India, Africa, and China to neighborhoods in Louisiana and California.

The young women will be honored at a special awards ceremony on February 27 during the Girl Scout National Corporate Leadership Meeting in St. Louis.

"Earning the Young Women of Distinction designation is truly a remarkable achievement, and these young women exemplify leadership in all its forms," said Kathy Cloninger, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of the USA. "They saw a need in their communities and around the world and took action. Their extraordinary dedication, perseverance, and leadership, is making the world a better place."

We would like to thank the Ford Motor Company Fund and the Kappa Delta Foundation for supporting the 2009 Young Women of Distinction and helping us build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.
The 2009 National Young Women of Distinction are:
Hosanna, 17
Silver Sage Girl Scout Council
Twin Falls, Idaho
Originally from Fiji, Hosanna moved to the United States following a coup d' état in her homeland. She founded 2-Way Street to empower, enable and encourage refugee and at-risk immigrant youth to develop a sense of community identity in the United States. With the support of adult and student mentors, community organizations, schools, and various agencies, youth participate in service, educational and mentorship programs to foster civic responsibility. 2-Way Street's motto is, "It takes all of us to do what we are called to do." Hosanna and 2-Way Street motivate youth to reach their full potential, providing a valuable asset to both youth and their respective communities.
Malia, 16
Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles
La Cañada, Calif.
After researching a high-traffic area where trucks were repeatedly involved in collisions, Malia discovered that the California Department of Transportation had erroneously noted that trucks were not allowed on the route. Malia also learned that GPS devices were directing trucks to the hazardous area and there were no road signs to warn drivers of the impending steep mountain area. She advocated for a law to ban trucks from the route by letter-writing, petition-signing, public speaking, and testifying before the state legislature's transportation committee. After her research, another truck accident occurred—killing two people and injuring a dozen others. In August 2009, a law to ban trucks on Angeles Crest Highway was passed because of her efforts.

Angeles, 16
Caribe Girl Scout Council
Guaynabo, P.R.
An avid soccer player, Angeles created Clinicas de Soccer en Juan Domingo, a sports program for children with limited resources in an underserved community in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. "My goal was to make a difference in the lives of young people," she said. The program involved the participation of parents, physical education teachers from the local public schools, and donations from the private sector. Students not only learned how to play soccer, but also Yoga and the benefits of good nutrition. She has indeed made a difference in their lives. Three talented students have been able to continue soccer lessons in a private league and the soccer clinics are continuing to provide services in the same place where Angeles first began her work.


Shannon, 16
Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey
Basking Ridge, N.J.
SHARE—SHannon's  After-school
Reading Exchange—was founded out of a desire to empower girls in East Africa to reach their highest potential through reading. Shannon noted that "collecting book donations and renovating the SHARE classroom was relatively easy; the challenge was convincing the mothers to allow their daughters to stay and read afterschool—and not being immediately available to do the household chores of collecting water, farming, and caring for siblings." So she partnered with Community Solutions for Africa's Development (COSAD), an international nonprofit, and in 2008, Shannon created the first SHARE room in the Kiteyagwa Primary School in Bukoba, a rural village in Tanzania. To date, SHARE, whose slogan is, "Today a reader, tomorrow a leader," has expanded to three Tanzanian schools, helping approximately 150 girls improve their reading and English language skills.

Maris, 17
Girl Scouts of Louisiana East
New Orleans, La.
Touched by the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, Maris decided to contribute to the continuing revitalization efforts in her hometown. Her project addressed the lost tree canopy in New Orleans. She organized and led efforts to plant 26 caliper trees in New Orleans East, a section of town north of the Intercoastal Waterway. It was the first tree-planting mission of its kind in the area. Maris partnered with Parkway Partners, a New Orleans-based group dedicated to urban forestation. Her work not only beautified the area, but also fostered awareness of the increasing need to replace trees in post-Katrina New Orleans.



Leah, 17
Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana
Chicago, Ill.
Project Laughter is a multimedia art form using theater, video and reading to bring humor to hospitals and school programs in and around Chicago. As creator of Project Laughter, Leah wrote an original play—The Wonderful and Amazing Adventures of Princess Clementine—and staged it with members of her school's theater troupe. "The play is about the journey a young girl took to learn to love herself and discover her place in the world," Leah said. She created a DVD of her performances and then wrote, illustrated and hand-bound the story of Princess Clementine. The DVD and book can be used for educational purposes, lifting the spirits and opening the minds of children throughout Chicago.

Monisha, 17
Girl Scouts of Northern California Cupertino, Calif.
Monisha's compassion for children with disabilities was the motivation for the Indian Disability Center. "People who are visually impaired in poor countries like India are often the most persecuted and have the least chance of climbing out of poverty," she said. "The odds are stacked against them from birth, as there is nothing to help them gain an education, continuing the vicious cycle of poverty." Monisha discovered that less than five percent of reading materials are in an accessible format such as Braille or talking books. She established a free learning center in the region of Chennai, India, exclusively for people who are visually-impaired. At the center, they can use assistive technologies to browse the Internet, access important educational and informational materials, or simply check e-mails and keep in touch with friends and family.
Morgan, 17
Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta
Atlanta, Ga.
Morgan wanted to help victims of abuse so she started both the Victim Support Initiative, which provides 500 brochures filled with helpful information for victims of abuse and are distributed by the DeKalb Police Department's Special Victims Unit, and Change in a Bag, which provides abuse victims a fresh change of clothing. Morgan also founded Stronghold Atlanta to help women and children who are victims of domestic violence. When people enter a hospital or shelter after reporting abuse, their clothing is taken for evidence and they are given a hospital gown to wear or offered clothing from a rummage closet. Stronghold Atlanta provides new or gently used outfits for use by the victims.
Vivian, 16
Girl Scouts of Central Texas
Austin, Texas
Following a devastating earthquake in Sichuan, China, on May 22, 2008, Vivian focused on the children affected by the disaster. She created Adopt-a-Pal, with a goal of fostering fellowship between American teens and Chinese children who lost their parents or were disabled during the earthquake. She recruited American teenagers fluent in Chinese to serve as pen pals with the Chinese children. She prepared the volunteers to write letters to address the specific needs of the children, and she sent them a 71-pound care package that included high-quality backpacks, MP3 players, journals and school supplies. The pen-pals continue to write to each other.



Hanna, 18
Girl Scouts North-Central Alabama
Birmingham, Ala.

Hanna's personal struggle with dyslexia inspired her to help others. She wrote an online book, Hanna and Her Dinosaur, which chronicles Hanna's early experiences with the disability. "I hope that my book helps many children receive the early intervention needed to be successful in life." Hanna also wanted to provide parents with the top signs and symptoms of dyslexia. "Dyslexia is often viewed as an 'invisible disability.' What's more, many school systems fail to recognize dyslexia as a disability, preventing children from receiving the help they need." Hanna's online book is a universal educational tool for people of all ages.



Learn more about the highest awards in Girl Scouting.
About Girl Scouts
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls with 3.4 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls' healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect, or donate to Girl Scouts, call (800) GSUSA 4 U (800-478-7248) or visit