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Frequently Asked Questions
USA Girl Scouts Overseas

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about USA Girl Scouts Overseas:

 


Q: What is USA Girl Scouts Overseas?

A: USA Girl Scouts Overseas is Girl Scouts of the USA's overseas arm, which has provided Girl Scout program for American girls living outside the United States since 1925. We serve nearly 17,000 members in 91 countries, including, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Guam. Originally established to support Girl Scouting in American military families living abroad, USA Girl Scouts Overseas today has a membership that is approximately 56% non-military and 44% Military.

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Q: What does USA Girl Scouts Overseas do for girls and their families?

A: For 80 years, USA Girl Scouts Overseas has been helping girls and families make a smooth transition to their new location. Whether a family relocates with a corporation, the military, an embassy, or missionary services, a girl must leave all her friends, her faith community, her grandparents and everything that is familiar to her…yet she can still remain active in the U.S. Girl Scout organization through its overseas branch. Belonging to a familiar, reputable group gives girls the security of knowing that they'll have an instant group of friends when they reach their new home.

Families relocating overseas may contact the USA Girl Scouts Overseas headquarters for additional information on how to become involved when they reach their new home. Staff will inform the overseas committee at the new location that the family is on its way. See Relocation Help for more details on how USA Girl Scouts Overseas can help you. Find out more about Overseas Locations.

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Q: How is USA Girl Scouts Overseas organized?

A: Girl Scouts of the USA authorizes "overseas committees" in communities outside of the United States, since Girl Scout councils do not exist overseas. These overseas committees are collectively known as USA Girl Scouts Overseas. While girls live in other countries—whether they hold an American passport or attend American or international schools—USA Girl Scouts Overseas provides them with the fun, friendship, and adventures of Girl Scouting no matter where they are in the world.

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Q: Does USA Girl Scouts Overseas operate similarly to Girl Scouts in the United States?

A: Girls and adults involved in USA Girl Scouts Overseas use the National Program portfolio GS Journeys and the Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting, insignia, and uniforms as their Girl Scout sisters in stateside troops. USA Girl Scouts Overseas creates exciting options for learning, exploring, and appreciating the girls' new surroundings. Girl Scouting overseas is flexible and adaptable to meet the needs of a particular country or location. Girl Scout activities are offered in science, technology, sports, careers, leadership, computers, global awareness, and more. In addition, USA Girl Scouts Overseas provides girls the opportunity to experience firsthand the international Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting sisterhood.

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Q: Why become involved in USA Girl Scouts Overseas?

A: Families today are getting the chance to move overseas because of career choices, as well as for business, education, government, embassy, missionary, and other reasons. After the move, Girl Scouting is a great place for girls to learn about their new culture, develop leadership skills, have fun, and make friendships that may not only last a lifetime, but also span the globe. Girl Scouting is the common denominator for girls no matter where they move in the world.

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Q: How can adults get involved?

A: Volunteer adult leadership is essential to the Girl Scouts Overseas. Many volunteer opportunities are available for adults interested in making a difference in a young girl's life, including working directly with girls as leaders or offering administrative support to troops.

For those family members prohibited from working in a foreign country because of its laws, Girl Scouting is the perfect place to share your expertise and increase your skills in a particular area of interest. Please contact USA Girl Scouts Overseas for more information on volunteer opportunities with your overseas committee. Also see Volunteers on this site.

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Q: How do USA Girl Scouts Overseas and Global Girl Scouting differ?

A: USA Girl Scouts Overseas serves American girls living overseas and girls attending American or international schools. Global Girl Scouting refers to all aspects of the relationship between Girl Scouts of the USA and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, the 144 other WAGGGS member countries and the four world centers of WAGGGS. Activities in this area include writing letters of introduction for GSUSA members traveling abroad, facilitating international travel opportunities, distributing WAGGGS program initiatives to GSUSA councils, and posting job vacancies at the four world centers. The Juliette Low World Friendship Fund, which promotes Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting around the world, also falls into this area. For more details, see Global Girl Scouting.

USA Girl Scouts Overseas collaborates with its sister host country Girl Guide/Girl Scout organizations to provide the ultimate international experience for girls. Awards such as the International Friendship Recognition Pin allow U.S. Girl Scouts overseas and host country girls the opportunity to work together, learning and experiencing each others' cultures and appreciating their differences (See Insignia and Awards for more details). USA Girl Scouts Overseas requests permission from host country Girl Scouts/Girl Guides to organize in an American or international school.

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