Volunteer Oportunities Oval.png

Programs and ActivitiesOval.png

Cookies & More Oval.png

Shop Oval.png

Family Annual Giving Oval.png

Home » FAQs » Glossary A-L » Glossary M - Z

A - L

M N O P- Q R S T U V W-Z

Macy - see also Edith Macy Conference Center -A year-round, training facility providing professional development courses for Girl Scout adults and nonprofit and for-profit groups.

Member Country - A country in which there is a national Girl Guide or Girl Scout association belonging to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.

Membership Development Specialist - An employed professional who is responsible for setting up Girl Scouting in a given geographic area.

Membership Service Managers (MSM) - A professional who advises, monitors, and supports service units; serves as the staff liaison between the council office and service unit volunteers. Primarily provides customer service.

Minimal-impact camping (low-impact camping) - Camping in which no trace of activities is left at the site. The physical landscape of the campsite is preserved, as well as the solitude and spirit of the wilderness. At an established site, minimal-impact camping means that the camper leaves the place cleaner than she found it and minimizes her impact on the Earth.

Money-earning - See Troop/group money-earning.

Motto - "Be Prepared." A motto adopted as a guiding principle for members.

Back to top

National Board of Directors - A body that manages the national Girl Scout corporation between sessions of the National Council. On the National Board are the Chair of the National Board of Directors, two Vice Chairs, the Secretary and Treasurer, and 35 members-at-large. Elected by the National Council, all of these positions have a three-year term. Girl Scouts of the USA's constitution, found in the Blue Book of Basic Documents 2012, gives restrictions on tenure for them. The chair of the National Board Development Committee, if not already elected to the board, serves as an ex officio member of it.

National Centers - Two centers, owned and operated by Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., Juliette Gordon Low's Birthplace, Savannah, Georgia; and Edith Macy Conference Center, near Pleasantville, N.Y.

National Council - The membership body of the national Girl Scout corporation in meeting assembled. National Council Meetings are held every three years. It includes:
• Delegates elected by local Girl Scout councils and USA Girl Scouts Overseas.
• Members of the National Board of Directors and National Board Development Committee.
• Past Chairs of the National Board of Directors.
• Other members elected by the National Council.The National Council:
• Elects the National Board and National Board Development Committee.
• Amends the Constitution of Girl Scouts of the USA.
• Establishes requirements for credentials, such as those for membership and Girl Scout council charters.
• Determines overall policy for the Girl Scout Movement and program in the United States by considering proposals fostering and improving Girl Scouting, by receiving and acting upon reports of the National Board, and by guiding the board on the general direction of the Movement and program.

National Council delegate - A person 14 years of age or over, elected by a local Girl Scout council as a voting member of the National Council (Girl Scouts of the USA corporation). Each local council and USA Girl Scouts Overseas can elect one delegate, as well as another one for every 1,800 girls under its jurisdiction. To count toward the 1,800, a girl must have been a member registered with Girl Scouts of the USA as of September 30 of the year preceding the National Council's regular session. The prescribed number of girls is adjusted up or down as necessary to keep the local council and overseas delegate total as close as possible to 2,000. National Council delegates serve for a three-year term.

National Dues - The $15 membership fee, paid to Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., to register a girl or an adult with the national organization and pay for activity/accident insurance coverage.

National Headquarters - The Girl Scout national organization's center of operations, located at 420 Fifth Avenue in New York City. This nucleus for U.S. research and development in Girl Scouting takes up nine floors of a 39-story office condominium building that extends from 37th to 38th Streets. The building houses the organization's national staff.

Back to top

Online Safety Pledge - Girls and adult sign a form after discussing how to conduct themselves while using the Internet. The "My Online Safety Pledge" can be found in Girl Scout Handbooks and Volunteer Essentials.

Opening - Any standard activity that signals the formal beginning of a meeting, (i.e., reciting the Girl Scout Promise, flag ceremony, song, game, etc.).

Operations  - Activities necessary to carry out the goals and policies of the council, such as training leaders and providing program for girls. The chief executive officer (CEO) of the council is responsible for operations.

Our Cabaña - A program center located in Cuernavaca, Mexico, owned by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. Learn more in Global Girl Scouting: WAGGGS: World Centers.

Our Chalet - A program center located in Adelboden, Switzerland, owned by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. Learn more in Global Girl Scouting: WAGGGS: World Centers.

Outdoor education - Using the Girl Scout program outdoors to allow girls to grow in relation to each of the three keys to leadership.

Back to top

P -Q
Participation patches and pins - Supplementary insignia received by girls for simply participating in an event or activity. Girls wear participation patches and pins on the back of their Girl Scout uniform.

Patrol leader - Elected or appointed leader of a troop/group patrol.

Patrol system - A form of troop government composed of patrols and a Court of Honor. Girl Scout Junior troops often use the patrol system.

Pax Lodge - A program center owned by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. Located at Olave Centre, the association's main office in London, England. Learn more in Global Girl Scouting: WAGGGS: World Centers.

Permission Forms/Slips  - Used to inform parents/guardians of a troop meeting away from the regular meeting day, place, or time. Forms are available at www.girlscoutshh.org/forms in the Trips section to your membership services manager.

Phone tree  - A list of people, with their phone numbers, arranged to facilitate a chain of calls in an emergency. The person who gets the first call contacts a designated small group of people, who then call others on the list. A good way to set up emergency notification for any troop trips or overnights, or to let parents know that the girls will be late coming back from a trip.

Pluralism - The term used in Girl Scouting: 
-To reflect the full diversity of the population in its girl members, volunteers, and staff; 
-To eliminate institutional racism throughout the Girl Scout movement; 
-To initiate effective interaction among diverse population groups. 
Pluralism supports the notion: “Everyone is different and we are supposed to be that way.”

Policy - An established course of action that must be followed. Look for Girl Scout policies in the Blue Book of Basic Documents 2012

President - The principal elected officer of a local Girl Scout council corporation. Chosen by the corporation, the president presides at its business meetings. As chair of the corporate board of directors, she or he leads it in carrying out its ultimate authority for governance.

President's Volunteer Service Awards - An initiative, sponsored by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation and other groups, which recognizes hours of service in the community by groups and individuals at all grade-levels, including adults. Check with your local Girl Scout council or visit the President's Volunteer Service Award Web site for more information.

Product sales - Council-sponsored Councilwide program activities in which troops/groups may sell authorized, tangible products, such as Girl Scout Cookies®

Program Goals - Our goals for girls: Developing Self-Potential, Relating to Others, Developing Values, Contributing to Society.

Program Standard(s) - An established level of quality or achievement for measuring and judging a local Girl Scout council's performance in delivering the Girl Scout program to girls.

Promise Center - Award earned by Girl Scout Dasies. A girl receives this award after showing her troop leader she understands the Girl Scout Promise. Learn more about the Girl Scout Daisy Promise Center and Learning Petals in Girl Scout Central.

Quiet sign - When a girl or an adult has something to say to a group of noisy people, a hand is held straight up in the air. Whoever sees this also holds up their hand and stops talking until the entire group has a hand in the air and is no longer talking.

Back to top

Rededication ceremony - A reaffirmation of a Girl Scout member's belief in the Girl Scout Promise and Law.

Registration  - Annually, both girls and adults are required to register as members of Girl Scouting.

Religious and other awards - Official awards earned for completing requirements set by religious/other organizations or by Girl Scouts of the USA. These awards are all worn on a similar place on the Girl Scout uniform.

Resident camp - A local Girl Scout council-sponsored camp where girls attend for a week or more or stay overnight. They live in units and plan programs with a staff of trained counselors.

Back to top

Safety Activity Checkpoints - Publications available from local Girl Scout councils, containing Girl Scout Program Standards and Guidelines that provide for the health and safety of all girls.

Safety Wise (Chapter 4, Volunteer Essentials) - An on-line manual, written by GSUSA for nationwide distribution, that provides standards and safety guidelines for common Girl Scout activities and provides basic resources for leaders. This Chapter needs to be consulted prior to planning troop trips, events and activities.

Sangam - A program center located in Pune, India, owned by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. Learn more in Global Girl Scouting: WAGGGS: World Centers.

Seniors - Girls in grades 9-10 are Girl Scout Seniors.

Service Projects - Service is inherent in the Girl Scout Promise and Law and given without expectation of payment or reward; providing service to others helps the service provider as well as the service recipient.

Service Unit - All registered members in a specified community or geographic area, as designated by the local Girl Scout council; previously known as “community” or “neighborhood”.

Service Unit Camping - an overnight camping experience organized by the Service Unit team for teh benefit of the Service Unit.

Service Unit Manager (SUM) - Supervises the community (geographic area assigned by the council). Serves as the liaison between local troops and the membership department/council.

Service Unit  Welcome Meeting - The introduction for the new adult volunteer to the volunteer training progression which includes basic information on the service unit and the Girl Scout program.

Sit-Upon - Little pads constructed of newspaper and vinyl or similar products; made by the girls and leaders. They are used to “sit-upon”, usually while camping, but also wherever there is a need.

Slogan - "Do a good turn daily." Emphasizes one of the means by which the purpose of Girl Scouting is carried out.

Sponsorships - The donation of building use, materials, time, etc., by individuals, agencies, organizations, churches, schools, etc., to a Girl Scout troop or community. Whenever someone does this, they are “sponsoring” Girl Scouts.

S'mores - A sandwich made with graham crackers, chocolate, and a roasted marshmallow.

Standard - An established example which serves as a guideline for action.

Swaps (Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere) - Tokens of friendship exchanged by girls at events.

Back to top

Town Meeting - A form of troop government used primarily with Girl Scout Junior, and above, age-level troops. Works best with smaller size troops. 

Trainer  - A volunteer facilitator who has taken training in how to train adults and who conducts training for other volunteers.

Troop Camping - an overnight camping experience organized by the troop leader and member of a troop.

Troop Committee - An adult network providing support to the troop. 

Trefoil - Traditional or contemporary, the official emblem of the Girl Scout movement in the USA as well as that of other WAGGGS member organizations. 

Troop/Unit Camping  - Camping led by trained volunteers. Places may be backyards, council camps, national parks. Times can vary from overnight to several weeks.

Troop Dues - An amount set by the girls and leaders to be brought weekly or monthly to finance the program and activities of the troop.

Troop Government -  Each Girl Scout age level utilizes forms of troop government to guide the girls in their decision-making and planning. Examples are the Daisy Circle, Brownie Ring, patrol system, and town meeting.

Troop/group money-earning - An activity planned and carried out by girls to earn money for troop/group expenses.

Unit - A small troop/group formed at a day camp or resident camp. Girl Scouts assigns campers to a unit based on age or interest. Also a portion of a campsite designated as the living and working area for a group of campers.

USA Girl Scouts Overseas (USAGSO) - Girl Scouts of the USA's overseas arm, which delivers the Girl Scout program to American girls and girls attending American or International schools outside the continental United States. Learn more in Who We Are: USA Girl Scouts Overseas.

Volunteer - See also Girl Scout volunteer - An adult who contributes her or his time to a local Girl Scout council or Girl Scouts of the USA without the expectation of compensation (other than reasonable reimbursement or allowance for expenses) or any other thing of value in lieu of compensation. Volunteers typically give their time as troop/group leaders/advisors, coaches, mentors, board members, delegates, or assist girls in special projects in their area of expertise.

Volunteer Essentials  (VE) (formerly Leadership Essentials) - After completion of the Welcome Orientation Meeting, the next required training to help you get started as a leader.

Watcher - A person trained in basic water rescue who works under the direction of the lifeguard.

Wide game - A themed event with a number of stations. Groups rotate between the stations, completing activities at each one.

World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) - An association of Girl Scout and Girl Guide national organizations around the world.  WAGGGS serves approximately eight million Girl Scouts and Girl Guides in 144 countries. Through Girl Scouts of the USA's membership in WAGGGS, each girl and adult registered as a Girl Scout in the United States becomes part of the Girl Guide/Girl Scout world movement. The World Association's mission is to enable girls and young women to develop to their fullest potential as responsible citizens of the world. Learn more in Global Girl Scouting: WAGGGS.

World Centers - Centers for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts owned and operated by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. They include: Pax Lodge in London, England; Our Cabana, near Cuernavaca, Mexico; Our Chalet, near Adelboden, Switzerland; and The Sangam, in Poona, India.

World Thinking Day (Formerly, Thinking Day) - February 22, the birthday of both Lady Baden-Powell, World Chief Guide, and her husband, Lord Baden-Powell, founder of Boy Scouts. First celebrated in 1927, the day was renamed at the 1999 Girl Guide/Girl Scout World Conference. Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all over the world use the day to think of each other and exchange greetings, learn about other countries, and give to the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund. Learn more in Global Girl Scouting: World Thinking Day.

World Trefoil Pin - A pin with a gold trefoil on a blue background, worn by all members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.

Back to top

In This Section
FAQs Frequently Asked Questions
Summer Camp FAQ's Summer Camp FAQ's
Online Membership Registration FAQ's Online Membership Registration FAQ's
Gold Award FAQ's Gold Award FAQ's
Silver Award FAQ's Silver Award FAQ's
Leader FAQ's Leader FAQ's
Glossary A-L
Glossary A-L
·  Glossary M - Z
In This Section



solid trefoil cropped.png