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Who Can Join Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital? 

Girl Scouts is about sharing the fun, friendship, and the inherent power of girls and women in an inclusive, supportive, girl-led environment. Girl Scouts make the world a better place!

What all members share are the Girl Scout Promise and Law, as well as our extraordinary strengths as go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders. Any girl—from kindergarten through 12th grade—can join Girl Scouts. Additionally, if a family with a child of any other gender identity and expression (other than cisgender males*) feels that Girl Scouting is the right community for them, they are welcome.

*Cisgender: A person whose gender identity corresponds to their sex assigned at birth. 

Group of Girl Scouts at the White House

Attracting and Retaining Diverse Leadership

Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital is a welcoming organization that values diversity in our leadership. Our volunteers, staff, and board members reflect the communities we serve. Girl Scout volunteers are a dynamic and diverse group, and there’s no one “type” of volunteer. Whether you’re a recent college grad, a parent, a retiree, or really, anyone with a sense of curiosity and adventure (all genders, who have passed the necessary background screening process), your unique skills and experiences help make Girl Scouting a powerful leadership experience for our youth.

Would you like to be part of the team? Check out our employment opportunities or start as a new volunteer today.

Our History of Diversity

Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts in 1912, during a time when racial segregation prevailed in many parts of the United States. Yet, African American troops formed as early as 1913. Our council, volunteers, and supporters were and remain determined to provide opportunities for all Girl Scouts. For example, in the early 1940s, renowned civil rights activist and educator Mary McLeod Bethune helped start a Girl Scout troop at Logan Elementary School in Washington, DC. Bethune later brought that troop of African American girls to the White House to have tea with Eleanor Roosevelt! Troop leaders navigated a complicated system of segregation but found ways for their Girl Scouts to camp and participate in outdoor activities.*

Overnight camping became a central focal point for volunteers who fought for equal opportunities, and in 1955 Girl Scouts of the District of Columbia finally ended the policy of segregation at council-owned camps.

In 1956, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called the Girl Scouts "a force for desegregation" as volunteers continued to press for adopting policies that would ensure equal treatment for all. For example, in 1960, African American troop leaders Eurselene J. Martin and Lenora Smith pushed Nation's Capital to only work with businesses that did not discriminate against troops like theirs.

Virginia McGuire, the original organizer of District VII in 1934, later became the first African American member of the board of directors at Nation's Capital. In 1972, the council celebrated Ethel Harvey, the first African American president of any Girl Scout council. Progress continued in 1978 as Nation's Capital became the first council to adopt an affirmative action plan to increase non-white participation in leadership roles (volunteer, staff, and board). In 1979, the council started a "Self-Evaluation Committee" required to examine council policies every six years to identify places where change was still needed to address racial inequality.

We are proud of how far our organization has come. As we reflect on our past and look toward the future, we continue to find innovative ways to serve all Girl Scouts. 

Our Response to Racism

The Girl Scout movement has always been one that stood for inclusivity; however, it is not lost on us that unfortunately this is not the experience of every Girl Scout. Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital continues to strive to be a pillar for all youth and adult members, and especially for our communities of color.

Racism and prejudice have no place in our organization, our communities, and our world, and we stand in solidarity with communities of color throughout the world, the nation, and within our Council.

Making the world a better place is the highest principle of Girl Scouts, and as the premier organization dedicated to developing and modeling true leadership, now is the time for us to measure up to that principle for all the communities we serve.

How to talk about Racism 

Here are a couple of resources on how to talk to your Girl Scouts about racism, discrimination, and anti-racism.

  • Check out this article about how to help your kids take action against racism. 
  • Read this article about taking the lead in civic action during this time. 

  • Learn more about why we should teach more than just tolerance and should teach more about inclusivity. 

  • The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture has launched a new online portal designed to help individuals, families, and communities talk about race.

Our Response to Child Labor

Girl Scouts Nation's Capital and its baker condemn the use of child labor and any exploitation of workers. Our baker is committed to working closely with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and other organizations to ensure suppliers adhere to the Global Supplier Code of Business Conduct and human rights policies, including correcting or terminating suppliers who do not adhere to those policies.

While palm oil is an ingredient found in most baked snacks and many other common products sold in the United States, we support our baker's goal of securing a 100% deforestation-free and exploitation-free palm oil supply chain. Our baker is working hard to make the complex shifts necessary to achieve their goal, including a commitment to source only sustainable palm oil that is 100% RSPO Segregated certified to all Girl Scout Cookies and its products.

The world's food supply is intricately tied to the use of palm oil. Promoting proper manufacturing principles is the most responsible approach currently available until other alternatives can be developed that do not have other unintended, harmful impacts. Responsible use of palm oil currently ensures the highest quality products and services as an alternative to trans-fat.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is an important part of the Girl Scout experience. Every purchase of Girl Scout cookies powers life-changing opportunities for thousands of girls in our local communities. Girls learn important life skills, practice leadership and thinking like entrepreneurs, and use their proceeds to give back through service in their communities.