Girl Scouts offers girls and young women the world’s premier personal growth and leadership development experience. With the help of nearly 10,000 volunteers, we serve nearly 21,000 girls in grades K-12.
Today’s Girl Scouts is focused on building leadership and life skills in girls and young women, and providing opportunities to utilize and sharpen these skills through community service.
Girl Scouts impacts girls by offering a wide variety of programs and activities that meet the developmental, educational, emotional and social needs of girls at six levels:
Five program areas serve as the foundation for the Girl Scout Leadership Experience:
Our program has 15 age-specific outcomes and as the girls progress, they are offered opportunities to lead whenever possible. Through the Girl Scout Leadership Experiencegirls discover themselves, connect with others, and take action to make the world a better place.
Girl Scouts offers a variety of Pathways - ways girls and adults participate - to meet the needs and interests of today's girls.
Girl Scout High Awards – This award is the highest honor a girl can achieve in Girl Scouting. This prestigious award requires hours of leadership development, career exploration and community service, and requires each young woman to select, plan and implement a project that has a lasting impact on a community.
The Business of Cookies - The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the leading business and economic development program for youth in the country. This hands-on leadership development and financial literacy program teaches each Girl Scout valuable entrepreneurial and life skills, like money management, customer service, marketing, goal setting, closing the deal, teamwork and business ethics.
Community Service – A core component of Girl Scouting, girls learn from an early age the value of making a difference in their communities. The Girl Scout Experience gives girls and young women the confidence and the tools to lead and become a citizen who will make a difference in her world.
Nationwide there are over 100 Girl Scout councils. Girl Scouts of West Central Florida serves more than 8 counties throughout West Central Florida. The council operates the Girl Scout Leadership Center in Tampa and five camp properties.
Founder Juliette Gordon Low organized the first group of Girl Scouts on March 12, 1912 in Savannah, Georgia. The Girl Scouts of the USA was chartered by the United States Congress in 1950. Since then, GSUSA has grown to be part of a worldwide family of 10 million girls and adults in 148 counties.
Following the start-up of the first troop by Juliette Gordon Low, the second troop in the country was formed in 1913 right here in the city of Tampa at Hyde Park United Methodist Church. The troop was led by Jessamine Flowers Link, and a historical marker in front of the church attests to the honor.
The first Girl Scout handbook, How Girls Can Help Their Country, was written by Professor Walter J. Hoxie, a resident of Pinellas County. Professor Hoxie’s gravesite is located at the Sunnyland Cemetery in Pinellas County where it is maintained by local Girl Scouts. The first Girl Scout troop in Pinellas County was led by a local teacher, Mary Russel Day, who was Professor Hoxie's daughter.
Girl Scouts of West Central Florida was formed Oct. 1, 2007 through a merger of Girl Scouts of Suncoast Council and Girl Scouts – Heart of Florida Council.