Badges, Activities, & Beyond, Ceremonies, Traditions, & Awards, Cookies & Beyond, Family Experience, Volunteer Experience

Girl Scout Myths: Debunked!

Girl Scouts is on a mission to empower girls everywhere to become leaders of courage, confidence, and character that make the world a better place. That’s not a myth, but there are some other things we’ve heard that are simply untrue, so we are here to debunk those myths!

MYTH: Girl Scouts aren’t interested in getting outdoors.


  • GSWO has 6 camp properties that welcome girls through council programming, troop outings, and Service Unit events throughout the year.
  • GSWO has a team of staff that are focused solely on providing outdoor experiences.
  • Girl Scouts has a variety of outdoor focused badge and Journey options.
  • These national badges and Journeys as well as the GSWO programming focus on a variety of outdoor topics including exploration, safety, environmental stewardship, outdoor STEM, skill building, and adventure.
  • Browse the GSWO Program Adventure Guide and visit the shop or the VTK to find the outdoor badge and Journey options available for girls of all Girl Scout levels.

MYTH: You must have been a Girl Scout to volunteer for Girl Scouts.


Although many Girl Scout alums do reconnect with the movement as an adult, GSWO is thrilled to welcome just as many volunteers who are new to the organization as troop leaders, cookie managers, service unit members, and other vital roles in the Girl Scout Experience. If you or someone you know wants to know more about the opportunities available, visit our website.

MYTH: Girl Scouts is a female-only space.


  • Let’s clarify. Girl Scouts is a “girl only” space. This means our program is dedicated to serving girls. It does not mean there isn’t room for others to support Girl Scouts.
  • Yes, there are male troop leaders and volunteers, and they are awesome!
  • Yes, we welcome members of the family other than mothers to get involved in the Girl Scout troop. We encourage all members of a girl’s family to step into her world to support her Girl Scout experience.
  • Yes, we encourage all members of our communities to join in supporting girls as they grow into leaders of our communities!

MYTH: Girl Scouts ends after elementary school.


  • Our Cadette, Senior and Ambassador girls (grades 6-12) want everyone to know that Girl Scouts is for girls of all ages! It’s not too late to join. Girls can join Girl Scouts at any point, grades K-12.
  • Girls Scouts is a progressive leadership experience, meaning we don’t stop building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place after elementary school.
  • Older girls (girls grades 6-12) have new adventures, travel opportunities, and leadership opportunities to look forward to on top of continued skill development and community problem solving.

MYTH: Girls Scouts doesn’t have an award equivalent to the Eagle Scout.


  • The Gold Award requires completion of a complex project that prepares girls for a lifetime of possibility, thinking, and doing.
  • Gold Award Girl Scouts identify an issue in their community, develop a plan, lead teams to develop a sustainable solution to the issue, and develop skills in advanced planning, organization, and team building.
  • The Gold Award is impressive to colleges and universities, employers and to the military, which advances Gold Award Girl Scouts a full rank (the same as for Eagle Scouts).

MYTH: Joining a troop is the only way to have a Girl Scout experience.


  • The troop experience is great! However, Girl Scouts is a girl-led experience. This means we work to ensure each girl is empowered to have the experience she desires.
  • Individually registered girls are just as welcome at our council program events, camp and other Girl Scout events as girls in troops. There are some girls who choose to participate in Girl Scouts solely through camp. Some girls are most interested in travel opportunities, and some are looking for a way to explore their community and gain new experiences with their family.
  • Girl Scouts is customizable to the needs of our girls!

MYTH: The Cookie program is all Girl Scouts is.


  • As Girl Scouts, we are proud be powered by the world’s largest girl-led business, but we are so much more than just selling cookies.
  • The Girl Scout Cookie Program is an awesome opportunity girls can choose to participate in to gain 5 business skills: goal-setting, decision-making, money-making, people skills, and business ethics.
  • Cookie sale proceeds funds troop needs, troop trips, Girl Scout programming, Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards, and so much more.

MYTH: All Scouting organizations are the same.


  • Girl Scouts is unique in that we have been a girl-only, girl-led space for more than 100 years. Our founder, Juliette Gordon Low, believed in the power of girls, and we continue that belief today!
  • Girl Scouts works with topic experts to develop programming that meets the needs and interests of girls in a progressive, supportive, safe space where girls can thrive.

If you have questions about the Girl Scout program or Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, please contact our Customer Care team at 888.350.5090 or

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