What Is Girl Scouting?

Girl Scout Pathways

When a girl or an adult joins the organization, she or he becomes a Girl Scout member. Girls then have the opportunity to choose any one, all, or some of the pathways in which to participate within a single school year.

Watch why Girl Scouting is important to me, featuring Girl Scout Gold Awardee Grace from GSCCC.

The flexibility of pathways allows adults to participate in Girl Scouting based on their lifestyle and availability - whether the adult prefers to partner directly with girls throughout a membership year, participate for only a few weeks or months, or work with other adults in a variety of roles.

So what does pathways mean for girls and adults everywhere?

  • Membership flexibility and participation options
  • Increased volunteer retention and recruitment - more adults to serve and support more girl members
  • Increased flexibility encourages more girls to join
    Girl Scouting
  • Increased interest from adults who desire to
    provide direct service to girls through more short
    term volunteer opportunities
  • Current girl and adult members can remain with the
    organization longer because of the flexible ways to join and volunteer
  • Most participants find the choices and flexibility offered by the pathways model is an ideal approach to providing girls access to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.

GS_PathwaysCamp Pathway

This pathway captures participation in day/twilight or resident camp. It allows girls to participate in the outdoors and/or focus on environmental education. It's available to any girl regardless of previous Girl Scout involvement, can be volunteer or staff led and supported, is offered and repeated throughout the membership year, and requires council approval to operate. Girls must be currently attending or have completed Kindergarten to participate.

Event Pathway

This pathway offers a variety of scheduled activities that are open to all girls by grade level. Girls may choose to participate in as many events as they like, exploring their skills and interests along the way in a variety of thematic areas such as community service, cultural arts, overnighters, healthy living, math and science, financial literacy, aquatics, environmental awareness, and much more. Girls get the necessary guidance from adult volunteers and council staff to develop their skills and understand how those skills can be used to make a difference in the world.

Series Pathway

This pathway offers activities for the same group of participating girls, scheduled over four to eight weeks, relating to a specific theme or purpose. Series are developed with the intent that each registered participant attend all sessions scheduled throughout the course of the offering, because sessions are designed so that each day builds towards the next and culminates upon the delivery of the last session activity.

Travel Pathway

This pathway offers girls, regardless of previous Girl Scouting involvement, leadership and cross-cultural opportunities through regional, national, and international travel. Girls can participate through volunteer led or council led trips -- or nationally- and international-sponsored trips called destinations. Girls will meet with other girls and adults, participate in a girl centric planning component, travel to a destination and take part in a service learning Take Action project. They can also participate in money-earning activities.

Troop Pathway

This pathway offers girls an opportunity to work with the same group of girls in their own grade level, usually over a span of about nine months, in partnership with two or more appointed adult volunteer advisors. Girls may join at any time during the membership year. The troop/group meets for the enjoyment and benefit of the girls and meetings are built around the girls' ideas. Girl planning, in partnership with adult volunteers help to develop a team relationship, making space for the development of leadership skills, and allowing girls to benefit from the guidance, mentoring, and coaching of caring adults. Note: A troop that also goes camping or travels as a group is still operating in the troop pathway (not the camp or travel pathways).