Girl Scout Pathways
Girl Scout pathways allow volunteers to participate in Girl Scouting in multiple ways. Some adults (such as alumnae and parents) register because they want to belong to the organization. The majority of adults, however, register with the intent to volunteer. GSUSA is prioritizing the work related to these members, because volunteers must be in place to help girls belong in the ways that interest them. We’ve worked to develop initial volunteer position descriptions for these direct-service roles, but recognize that additional descriptions must be developed for indirect service volunteers, and the existing descriptions must be further tested. A sample list of volunteer positions and opportunities for each pathway follows: Work directly with girls:
- Camp counselor
- Camp director
- Camp program director
- Event and series program coordinator
- Lead trip advisor/trip advisor
- Troop leader/troop helper
Work indirectly with girls by providing support to adults who work directly with girls:
- Events and series program liaison
- Travel pathway committee member
- Administrative/clerical work
- Board or committee member
- Product sales manager
The camp pathway features day, weekend, and resident experiences that introduce and explore the out-of-doors. A defining characteristic of this pathway is that it is an outdoor, condensed experience.
- Day camp features girls who are currently attending or have completed kindergarten (or older), and who typically meet for at least three consecutive days for four or more hours. The occasional overnight may be offered.
- Weekend camp includes girls currently attending or have completed kindergarten (and above), and typically lasts for two or three days, with overnights.
- Resident camp includes girls who have completed kindergarten, and they camp for three to fourteen days (the average is four nights). Campers live at the program site for the duration of the damp. Resident camp is typically delivered by seasonal, part-time staff during the summer season; this differs from the volunteer-delivered nature of the other pathway offerings.
Events are standalone offerings; examples include a career event for Seniors and Ambassadors, or a leadership conference for teenage Girl Scouts. The primary difference between events and all other pathways is that different girls participate in each event, as opposed to one group of girls coming together regularly.
Series offerings are a sequence of linked program sessions—offered by councils or community partners—that relate to a specific theme or purpose and feature cumulative, sequential experiential learning. Each girl chooses to participate in the entire series as a complete program package; series offerings may be short-term (for example, six days of two-hour daily meetings) or longer-term (such as meeting every two weeks for twelve weeks). The intent is to engage the same group of girls throughout the entire series of program opportunities.
Note: Series offerings may require a pre-requisite to participate from session to session, because girls build on the skills learned at each session
The travel pathway offers girls leadership opportunities and cross-cultural understanding through local, regional, national, and international travel. Girls prepare, plan, money-earn and participate through group travel, council-sponsored trips, or nationally sponsored excursions. The travel pathway also facilitates appropriate progression; for example, younger girls participate in short, local trips to prepare them for longer, international trips as they progress through grade levels.
The troop pathway offers the same group of girls the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities, usually over a span of nine to twelve months. Girls may join at any time during the troop year. 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).
The virtual pathway is an online Girl Scout community that provides girls with the opportunity to participate in Girl Scouting without regard to geographic location. Participation is through a Web-based platform developed by GSUSA and includes interactive and high-quality program activities in a safe, secure online environment. This pathway, when completed, will be delivered by virtual volunteers through two models:
- Group-based model delivers the GSLE via national Girl Scout programming, such as the journey books.
- Issue-based model delivers the GSLE through progressive learning that’s focused on a specific interest or topic.