Badges, cookies and friends, oh my! Sure, Girl Scouts is fun, but for the last 100 years this organization has cultivated leadership skills and a love of community service in girls of every racial, ethnic, socioeconomic or religious background, from ages 5-17.

In 1917, San Diego’s very first Girl Scout troop was formed in Coronado. Now, there are over 31,000 girl and 13,000 adult Girl Scouts in San Diego and Imperial counties. Relive your own Girl Scout days by signing your daughter up–from as early as kindergarten.

Participate in a Troop or Independently

Advances in technology enable girls to participate in multiple ways. First, visit Girl Scouts San Diego online to fill out the registration form or have one mailed to you. The annual fee is $12 and financial assistance is available for eligible families. Girls will need to accept the Girl Scout Promise and can join at any time during the year. Next, girls choose to:

  • Join a troop with a group of girls her age.
  • Become an independent Girl Scout member and enjoy a variety of activities outside of traditional troop settings.
  • Travel to regional, national and international destinations (older scouts).
  • Attend Girl Scout day or resident camp.
  • Join a series that focuses on a particular topic such as careers, engineering, sports, or theater.
  • Come to single day events and meet different girls at every one.
  • Experience virtual programs delivered in a secure environment.

After registration is submitted, Girl Scouts San Diego will contact parents to walk through participation options. If desired, they can find a troop at the child’s school or nearby.

Daisies: From Kindergarten Through 1st Grade

As if kindergarten isn’t a big enough deal, this is also when girls are eligible to become Girl Scout Daisies. Daisies dress in a darling blue uniform. Check to see if your Daisy troop is wearing the vest or tunic and whether or not the skirt or other pieces are necessary. At this age, things are a bit more relaxed than scouting at higher levels, but the girls learn about science, nature, the arts and their own community. Meetings are as often as the troop decides and girls remain Daisies through 1st grade.

The next levels of Girl Scouts include Brownies, Juniors, Cadets, Seniors and Ambassadors.

The Largest Girl-Led Business in the USA:  Girl Scout Cookies

Beloved Thin Mints, Samoas and more emerge during the first quarter of every year. The nearly $800 million Girl Scout Cookie Program raises money for individual troops and local councils. In fact, 100% of cookie proceeds remain in San Diego and Imperial counties to support local programs. Through the selling cookies, girls learn goal setting, decision-making, money management, people skills and business ethics. Yes, even Daisies and independent Girl Scouts can sell cookies!

Through Operation Thin Mint, cookie lovers may purchase cookies for deployed military troops. On May 4, local Girl Scouts will meet at the USS Midway for a free event complete with live music, girl activities, and photo opportunities to celebrate the program and hand over the cookies designated for our overseas troops. Activities begin at 8:15am and wrap up around 10:00am.

Not sure where to buy Girl Scout cookies? There’s an app for that.

Resources Around San Diego

Girl Scouts San Diego maintains several properties around the county including locations in Balboa Park, Carlsbad and Escondido. If you go, perhaps leave the kids at home otherwise you may walk out of the Girl Scout store with a bit more than just a uniform. Some properties have space for training and even overnight camps.

And, don’t worry about your lack of sewing skills as no needle and thread is required to add badges to the uniforms. They’re iron-on these days (whew) and Girl Scouts USA has directions online showing where to place insignia on a uniform.

Girl Scouts San Diego
1231 Upas Street
San Diego, Ca 92103

Have you talked to your little girl about signing up for the Girl Scouts? 

–Katie Dillon

Top photo credit: Flickr, ayasud
Middle photo credit: Flickr, Wesley Fryer
Bottom photo credit: Flickr, The U.S. Army