Frequently Asked Questions
We freqently are asked the following questions regarding Girl Scout rumors and information. The positions described below are positions taken by Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) as well as Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa.
What is GSUSA’s position regarding human sexuality, birth control, abortion?
Girl Scouts of the USA (and Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa) does not take a position or develop materials on these issues. We feel our role is to help girls develop self-confidence and good decision-making skills that will help them make wise choices in all areas of their lives.
Parents or guardians make any decision regarding program participation that may be of a sensitive nature. Consistent with that belief, GSUSA directs councils, including volunteer leaders, to get written parental permission for any locally planned program that could be considered sensitive.
Does GSUSA have a relationship with Planned Parenthood?
Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa does not have a local relationship or partnership with Planned Parenthood. In addition, Girl Scouts of the USA has no relationship with Planned Parenthood and has never received financial support or compensation from Planned Parenthood. In some areas of the country, Girl Scout troops or groups may choose to hold discussions and may choose to collaborate with a local organization that specializes in these issues. Participation in these discussions is optional, and parental consent must be provided prior to a girl’s participation.
Did GSUSA distribute a Planned Parenthood brochure at a United Nations event?
No we did not. In 2010 GSUSA took part in the 54th Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations. Our participation in that conference was the subject of numerous internet stories and blogs that were factually inaccurate and troubling. Girl Scouts had no knowledge of the brochure in question and played no role in distributing it.
Does Girl Scouting support families of faith?
Yes. Girl Scouting supports girls from all backgrounds and beliefs. While we are a secular organization that refrains from teaching religious or spiritual beliefs or practices, we believe that the motivating force in Girl Scouting is a spiritual one, and we greatly value our longstanding partnerships with religious organizations across many faiths that share the values of the Girl Scout Promise and Law.
We encourage girls to develop connections to their own spiritual and religious beliefs by earning recognitions provided by their faith communities and by earning the new My Promise, My Faith pin, which helps a girl deepen the connection between the Girl Scout Law and her faith. We support the right of faith leaders to verify that program delivered to girls in their places of worship is consistent with their faith’s teachings.
What is GSUSA’s relationship with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts?
The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) is comprised of 145 member organizations which promote mutual understanding and cross-cultural
opportunities for girls around the world. Girl Scouts of the USA is one of the 145 Member Organizations.
Each Member Organization creates its own programs and pursues advocacy efforts based on the needs and issues affecting girls in their individual countries. GSUSA does not always take the same positions or endorse the same programs as WAGGGS. GSUSA's relationship with WAGGGS is akin to the US relationship with the UN. The United States may not agree with every position the UN takes, but values having a seat at the table.
Does GSUSA have a financial relationship with WAGGGS?
Every Girl Scout and Girl Guide organization is a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts – and each Member Organization, including Girl Scouts of the USA, pays dues. WAGGGS operates in much the same way as the United Nations: each member organization pays dues based on the size of its membership and the per capita income of the country in which the organization resides.
I've heard about a transgender situation at another council. What is your position?
GSUSA Statement on Transgender youth
Girl Scouts of the USA is an inclusive organization, and we welcome all girls in kindergarten through 12th grade as members. Acceptance of transgender youth, if the situation would arise, is handled on a case-by-case basis, with the welfare and best interests of the child in question as a top priority.
I've heard about threatened boycotts of the Girl Scout Cookie Program. What's going on with that?
As a beloved American institution, the Girl Scout cookie program is a natural target for those seeking to draw attention to themselves or their cause. It’s important for everyone to know that nearly 100% of the proceeds from these sales stay in the local market and are used to fund programs for girls.