Girl Scout Glossary

No doubt about it – there will be times you don’t understand what Girl Scouts are talking about! Here are definitions of frequently used terms in Girl Scouting. 

Award: Official recognition for Girl Scout achievements and accomplishments. Awards are placed on the front of the uniform. They may be badges or pins.

Badge: Official recognition for Girl Scout achievement, to indicate increased knowledge and skill in a particular subject.  Badges are placed on the front of the uniform.


  • Bridging: The move from one program level of Girl Scouting to the next (e.g. from Girl Scout Daisy to Girl Scout Brownie).
  • Court of Awards: A ceremony that can be held any time during the year to present earned awards of petals, leaves, Journeys, badges, awards, fun patches and any other kind of recognition the girls choose to include.
  • Girl Scouts’ Own: A quiet inspirational ceremony organized around a theme selected by the girls
  • Investiture: A special ceremony in which a new member makes her Girl Scout Promise and receives her membership pin.
  • Re-dedication: A special ceremony for girls or adults, previously invested, to renew their commitment to the Girl Scout Promise.

Community organizer: A volunteer who oversees Girl Scouting in a community.

Counselor-in-Training (CIT): An earned award for Senior (grades 9-10) and Ambassador (grades 11-12) girls who mentor younger girls in a camp setting as they build skills toward becoming a camp counselor.

Customer Care: A team of staff ready to answer all your questions! Contact them at or 888.747.6945.

Day camp: Girls attend summer camp during the day without staying overnight. Different Day Camp opportunities are offered each year.

Daisy Flower Friends: The Flower Friends represent the 10 different lines of the Girl Scout Law and guide Daisies through their Journeys and petals.

Girl Guides: The original name for Girl Scouts, and a term still used in many other countries.

Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE): The Girl Scout program model that engages girls by developing the skills, knowledge, and values needed to be leaders for today and tomorrow.

Grade levels: Daisies (girls in grades K-1), Brownies (grades 2-3), Juniors (grades 4-5), Cadettes (grades 6-8), Seniors (grades 9-10), and Ambassadors (grades 11-12).

GSUSA: Girl Scouts of the United States of America, the national organization which holds the charter for each regional council.

Highest awards:

  • Girl Scout Bronze Award: The highest award a Girl Scout Junior may earn.
  • Girl Scout Silver Award: The highest award a Girl Scout Cadette may earn.
  • Girl Scout Gold Award: The highest award a Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador may earn, the highest award in Girl Scouting.


  • World Thinking Day: February 22, celebrated by Girl Guides and Girl Scouts throughout the world. It encourages girls to remember their sisters around the globe through special projects, international programs, activities, or pen pal correspondence. Girls can earn an award for the front of the uniform.
  • Girl Scout Birthday: March 12, 1912 marks the first Girl Scout meeting in Savannah, GA.
  • Girl Scout Week: An annual celebration during the week of March 12, the Girl Scout birthday.
  • Girl Scout Leader’s Day: April 22, a special day to honor Girl Scout leaders.
  • National Bridging Week: A week to highlight girls in Girl Scouting as they move up, or bridge, to the next grade level.
  • Founder’s Day: Juliette Gordon Low’s birthday, October 31.

Journeys: A themed collection of activities and leadership exploration completed over several troop meetings. It ends with a Take Action project and the experience of creating a small change to make the world a better place. A Journey is a prerequisite to earning a Highest Award.

Journey Summit Award: A special award pin earned by girls who complete three Journeys in one grade level.

Juliette Gordon Low: The founder of the American Girl Scout movement. She formed the first troop meeting in Savannah, Georgia on March 12, 1912. Her nickname was Daisy.

Kaper chart: The Girl Scout version of a chore chart. They’re commonly used for troop meeting tasks or camping chores to encourage leadership, responsibility, and accountability.

Leaves: Awards earned by Girl Scout Daisies. There are two Cookie Business leaves and two Financial Literacy leaves.

MyGS: The online troop management portal to access digital tools available to members, including troop rosters, the Volunteer Toolkit, registered events, and gsLearn.

My Promise My Faith: Girls in grades K-12 earn this award pin by exploring the Girl Scout Law and how it relates to the teachings of their own faith tradition.

Petals: Awards earned by Girl Scout Daisies. Each petal represents a line of the Girl Scout Law.

Program Aide: A Girl Scout Cadette, Senior, and/or Ambassador who has been trained to assist younger Girl Scout groups with songs, games, crafts, ceremonies, or outdoor activities.

Resident camp: A multiple-night camp experience at a Girl Scout camp facility. Different Resident Camp opportunities are offered each year.

Safety Activity Checkpoints: GSUSA’s safety program standards. 

School organizer: A volunteer who oversees Girl Scouting in a school.

Sit-upon: A handmade seat cushion to use outdoors. Use it when the ground is hard or damp to keep clothes clean and dry.

Service Area: A smaller geographic area within Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes. Each service area builds awareness of Girl Scouts within the community and hosts events for girls and leaders.

Service Area Manager (SAM): A volunteer leadership position for the service area. This volunteer partners with council staff and other service area volunteers to support and strengthen Girl Scouts in that region.

Service Area team: A volunteer leadership team member for a service area, working to support and strengthen Girl Scouts in that region.

SWAPS: “Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere.” These are keepsakes exchanged among girls to promote friendship, connection, and understanding.

Tag-a-longs: An informal name for a child who is not a Girl Scout but is present during a Girl Scout event.

Trainer: Sometimes called a facilitator, this experienced volunteer assists with regional and/or council-wide trainings.

Trefoil: The international symbol of Girl Scouting; the three leaves of the trefoil represent the three parts of the Girl Scout Promise.

Troop camping: Camping with your own troop members and leaders.

Volunteer Toolkit (VTK): The Volunteer Toolkit is a digital planning resource tool. Design a customized Year Plan with the girls’ input. Track attendance and achievements. Post meeting dates and field trip information for families to see. Fully customizable, the toolkit is accessible by phone, tablet or desktop.

Volunteer-in-Training (VIT): This award is for girls who’d like to mentor a Girl Scout Daisy, Brownie, Junior or Cadette group outside of the camp experience. Girls who have completed ninth grade, are eligible to earn this award.

World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS): An international educational association of more than ten million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in 150 countries. Learn more at

Trefoil Pin: A membership pin worn by all Girl Scouts and Girl Guides that symbolizes our global sisterhood.

World Centers: Five program activity centers owned by WAGGGS. The centers are located in Mexico (Our Cabana), England (Pax Lodge), India (Sangam), and Switzerland (Our Chalet). The fifth World Center (Kusafiri) rotates locations in Africa.