Working with Cadettes

Understanding Healthy Development for Girl Scouts

Just being attentive to what girls are experiencing as they mature is a big help to girls. So, take some time to understand the
likes, needs, and abilities of girls in this grade level. As you listen and learn along with girls, you may find it useful to review the
highlights of their development in the chart below. Of course, each girl is an individual, so these are only guidelines that help you
get to know the girls.

Cadette Meeting Activity

Cadettes are ready to grow beyond their typical school meeting place, and it’s a good time to move your troop meetings to a new location, or rotate locations, to keep things changing for these girls on the go.

Meeting times might be extended to up to two hours, to allow plenty of time for socializing and small group discussion, which is important in girl-led leadership but also takes more time.

Encourage Cadettes to keep their own records and notes about Girl Scout activity. In-person meetings can use troop notebooks the troop leader takes home to review; virtual meetings can include shared documents stored in the cloud. Leaders can use these notes to combine ideas, remind girls of their goals, and help them identify next steps of whatever project they are working on.

Diverging Interests

Middle school sports and extracurriculars are hugely important for Cadettes. Not only do these girls get a busier schedule, but you may also begin to see a divide in the direction they want their troop to take. For example, it’s normal for middle schoolers to identify and pursue their own unique hobbies and start to self-select out of opportunities that don’t hold as much interest for them. Invite girls to attend as many events as possible, but don’t make a girl feel awkward for not attending an event she wasn’t interested in. To keep the troop together, emphasize the fun and value of “learning by doing” as a group.

Practicing a form of troop government may become more important and valuable to middle schoolers who can apply their Girl Scout leadership skills in school leadership positions. Encourage girls to pursue those school positions and recognize their effort with the Girl Scout Silver Torch award and Community Service bars.

Girl Scouting is a learning experience. 


For the most up-to-date information on the Girl Scout Cadette Vest and Sash, Badges and Awards, and Journeys visit the Girl Scouts online shop and/or explore the national website.