The troop size "sweet spot" is large enough to provide an
interactive and cooperative learning environment and small enough to
encourage individual development. Though the ideal troop size is 12
girls, we recommend that groups be no fewer and no larger than:
- Girl Scout Daisies: 5-12 girls
- Girl Scout Brownies:
- Girl Scout Juniors 10-25 girls
Scout Cadettes: 5-25 girls
- Girl Scout Seniors: 5-30
- Girl Scout Ambassadors: 5-30 girls
A Girl Scout troop/group must have a minimum of five girls and two
approved adult volunteers. Be sure to double-check the
volunteer-to-girl ratio table below to make sure you have the right
number of adults present for group meetings, events, travel, and
camping. Adults and girls registering in groups of fewer than five
girls and two approved, unrelated adult volunteers, at least one of
whom is female, will be registered as individual Girl Scouts to
accurately reflect their status and program experience. Individual
girls are always welcome to participate in Girl Scout activities and events.
As you think about where, when, and how often to meet with your
group, consider the needs, resources, safety, and beliefs of all
members and potential members. Include the special needs of any
members who have disabilities or whose parents or caregivers have
disabilities. But, please, don't rely on visual cues to inform you of
a disability: Approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population has a
disability--that's one in five people of every socioeconomic status,
race, ethnicity, and religion.
If you want to find out what a girl with a disability needs to make
her Girl Scout experience successful, simply ask them or their parent
or caregiver. If you are open and honest, they'll likely respond in
kind, creating an atmosphere that enriches everyone.
It's important for all girls to be rewarded based on their best
efforts, not on the completion of a task. Give any Girl Scout the
opportunity to do her best and she will! Sometimes that means changing
a few rules or approaching an activity in a more creative way. Here
are some examples of ways to modify activities:
- Invite a girl to complete an activity after she has observed
others doing it.
- If you are visiting a museum to view
sculpture, find out if a Girl Scout who is with visual impairment
might be given permission to touch the pieces.
- If an
activity requires running, a Girl Scout who is unable to run could
be asked to walk or do another physical movement.
Focus on a person's abilities, on what they can do rather than on
what they cannot. In that spirit, use people-first language that puts
the person before the disability.
When interacting with a girl (or parent/caregiver) with a
disability, consider these tips:
- When talking to a Girl Scout with a disability, speak directly
to her, not through a family member or friend.
- It's okay to
offer assistance to a Girl Scout with a disability, but wait until
your offer is accepted before you begin to help. Listen closely to
any instructions the person may have.
- Leaning on someone's
wheelchair is invading their space and is considered annoying and
- When speaking to a Girl Scout who is hearing impaired
and using an interpreter, speak to the person themselves, not to the
- When speaking for more than a few minutes to
someone who uses a wheelchair, place yourself at eye level.
- When greeting someone with a visual disability, always identify
yourself and others. You might say, "Hi, it's Sheryl. Tara is
on my right, and Chris is on my left."
Registering Girls with Cognitive Disabilities
cognitive disabilities can be registered as closely as possible to
their chronological ages. They wear the uniform of that grade level.
Make any adaptations for the Girl Scout to ongoing activities of the
grade level to which the group belongs. Young women with cognitive
disorders may choose to retain their girl membership through their
twenty-first year, and then move into an adult membership category.