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You are more than a Girl Scout. You’re a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™.

We believe there’s no such thing as too much. That there’s no excuse for making excuses. Our strength doesn’t come from how much we can lift but from how often we can lift ourselves back up. We are everyday optimists. Adventure seekers. Problem solvers. We are girls, troop leaders, mentors, advocates, parents, and Girl Scouts. We are G.I.R.L.s (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, and Leader). We will not stop. In fact, we’re just getting started. Renew today.

 

 

GSUSA Membership Fees

Why are Girl Scout membership dues increasing? What is the money being used for?

Girl Scouts of the USA has taken many measures to reduce operational expenses, and is collaborating with councils to focus on developing new revenue streams to support our Movement. The increase in membership dues, along with other efforts to secure external funding, will help GSUSA make important investments in our programming and technology and maintain a strong financial position in order to grow our Movement and continue to deliver our mission for future generations.  

Does the increase to membership dues apply to girls and adults?

Yes. The annual membership dues will increase from $15 to $25 for both girl and adult members.

Will the increase affect the membership dues for lifetime members?

Lifetime membership dues are currently $375 and a special lifetime membership, at the current reduced cost of $195, is offered to girls who are registered Girl Scouts at the time of their high school graduation. In accordance with GSUSA’s Blue Book of Basic Documents, lifetime members pay 25 times the annual membership dues at the time they become lifetime members, and girls who are registered Girl Scouts at the time of their high school graduation pay 13 times the annual dues, provided they apply for lifetime membership before their current annual membership expires.

At this time, the National Board is considering the effect the increase on annual membership dues will have on the cost to become a lifetime member, and GSUSA will make an announcement as soon as a decision is made.

When will the increase take effect?

The increase in membership dues will be implemented for the 2018 membership year, effective October 1, 2017. It will begin to be collected during Early Bird registration starting in spring 2017.

How will this increase help girls?

The additional funding received through membership dues will support GSUSA’s vision to serve as many girls who want to be Girl Scouts as possible—regardless of their means, neighborhood, or family backgrounds. This increase reflects the value of the unique and meaningful 21st century Girl Scout experience we have envisioned delivering to all girls.

Through GSUSA’s enhanced program experiences in STEM, entrepreneurship, outdoor, and life skills, girls are empowered with the skills and entrepreneurial know-how to lead and succeed in the industries of tomorrow. At the same time, they also help improve their communities, develop their own advocacy and service projects, and tackle local and global issues such as poverty, illiteracy, and pollution.

It will also enable Girl Scouts to develop and implement digital innovations and technology—like the Digital Cookie Platform—to enhance the girl experience and provide a safe digital space for girls to share, explore, connect, and learn. 

How will this increase help volunteers?

GSUSA is making significant investments to advance the resources, training, and technology needed to deliver an exceptional girl and volunteer experience. Volunteers are now able to complete the recruitment process in a matter of days instead of weeks or months and the number of girls on waiting lists has been significantly reduced. Our digital Volunteer Toolkit makes forming and maintaining a troop easier than ever before, which means more time spent with girls and less time on administrative tasks. Volunteers can plan a whole year of impactful activities to ensure their girls receive the best Girl Scout experience possible.

Nearly half of Girl Scouts’ members are already experiencing the benefits of a more advanced online system, and with the additional funding from membership dues, GSUSA hopes to equip the majority of our membership with these digital resources by 2017.

Will the membership dues change each year?

The annual membership dues are determined by GSUSA’s National Board of Directors. The last increase occurred in Fiscal Year 2014. GSUSA has not yet made a determination for future years.

 

 

Girl Scouts of Southern Appalachians Council Service Fee

Does the council service fee apply to both girls and adults?

No, the council service fee applies only to girl registrations. The total cost for girl participation (not including any troop-level dues, uniform or event expenses) is $35 for the 2017-18 membership year ($25 annual membership dues to GSUSA plus $10 council service fee that supports GSCSA). 

Will financial assistance be available to cover membership dues and the council service fee?

Yes, as always, financial assistance will be available for girls who qualify. For more information on financial assistance, contact your experience manager. 

How will the new council service fee impact adults?

The council service fee will not affect adult membership. GSUSA’s annual adult membership dues will be $25, all of which will continue to go directly to GSUSA. 

What impact will the council service fee have on lifetime members?

As lifetime membership is only available to adults, the council service fee has no effect on lifetime membership. 

Why is the council service fee being implemented at this time?

Economic realities face us all. Girl Scouts needs sustainable income to ensure the quality of service to and the safety of girls. The 52nd National Council Session in 2011 provided volunteer delegates the opportunity to take action in response to this issue. Delegates from councils nationwide voted to approve the council service fee, which is not to exceed GSUSA’s annual membership dues.

Girl Scouts sell a lot of cookies. Why doesn’t that cover the cost of the Girl Scout program?

The council service fee provides a sustainable source of income that supports our local Girl Scout council. Though the Girl Scouts attract funding from a variety of sources, the council service fee, along with product sales, grants, and donations will give us the financial capacity to provide a more consistent, quality program to girls. 

Don’t my troop dues support Girl Scouts?

Troop dues are determined by each troop and vary in amount and frequency. They may cover uniforms, books, materials, and outings. Troop dues do not support GSCSA in providing girl programs available throughout the year to Girl Scouts at every level, volunteer support and services, membership recruitment, and maintenance of our many facilities including Girl Scout service centers and camps.

Can I use troop proceeds to pay for my troop’s membership dues and council service fee?

Yes, troop proceeds from product sales are a great way to cover membership costs for your troop.  

How will the council service fee be collected?

Volunteers and parents may continue to use our online registration system for renewing annual membership dues. Beginning with Early Bird in spring 2017, the council service fee will be included in the online registration system so that troops and families may continue to make a single convenient payment for their annual membership dues and fee.

Why don’t adult members pay the council service fee?

The council service fee applies only to girl members because our service is to the girls. Well-trained adult volunteers are part of the service we provide to girls but the direct service is delivered to the girls.

Does GSCSA anticipate the council service fee will cause a decrease in girl membership?

Due to the financial assistance our council provides, individual finances are not typically a factor for girls leaving the program. Reasons girls have provided for leaving the organization include lack of time, too many other commitments, lack of an adult volunteer to facilitate the program, and troop disbandment. Our council is allocating more resources toward providing a quality experience to girl members in order to reduce the number of girls who leave the program. It is important to remember that financial assistance will still be available to qualifying girls.

Will the council service fee amount change each year?

The amount of the council service fee is set by the council’s board of directors and can be no more than the annual membership fee set by GSUSA. At this time, our council has no plans to increase the fee on an annual basis.

How does the cost to join Girl Scouts compare with other youth-serving organizations?

With this membership increase, Girl Scouts is keeping pace with the marketplace. The following are examples of costs associated with other youth activities around our council:

  • The annual membership fee for Boy Scouts of America is $24.
  • The joining fee for teens ages 13–17 at the YMCA in Greenville, TN is $20, plus a $326 yearly fee. At the YMCA of Bristol, the joining fee for youth ages 0 – 17 is $30, plus a $36 monthly fee.
  • Membership at Boys & Girls Club of Clinch Valley in Oak Ridge, TN is $15 per year, plus $25 per week.
  • On average, nationwide, dance classes cost anywhere from $40 to $160 per month. Some studios also charge a registration fee.
  • According to the International New York Times, the cost of youth sports is up to 10.5 percent of a family’s gross income, meaning that a family with an income of $50,000 per year could be spending $5,500.