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Top 5 Alternatives to Girl Scouts

The last few decades have seen some major changes in the Girl Scout program. Once a skills based program, Girl Scouts shifted to a leadership based movement in the early 2000’s. Gradually they reduced concentration on badge earning and the focus became their Journeys, a single subject workbook that encourages girls to take action within their communities.

While the new program has some positive aspects, it is no longer scouting as we knew it, and many families have begun looking for an alternative to Girl Scouts. Listed below are five alternatives to Girl Scouts that you may wish to consider.

  1. Frontier Girls
  2. Quest Clubs
  3. Scouts BSA
  4. 4H
  5. Campfire

Frontier Girls (

  • Girls only
  • Ages 3-103
  • Promise includes God, but program is open to all faiths
  • More than 1,200 badges
  • Mission: Raising women of honor to be the mothers and leaders of the future, through life skills, leadership, character building, teamwork, and service to others.

Frontier Girls is a scout-like program designed for girls ages 3-103. They offer thousands of badges in nine areas of discovery and add more every month. In addition to their badges, there are a variety of higher awards that can be earned on topics such as life skills, leadership, character and service to your community. The Frontier Girls program is designed so that multiple age levels can all participate in the same troop and they even offer a level for adults to participate. The program focuses on life skills, patriotism and community service. Eligible members may also apply for the three continuing education scholarships offered.

Quest Clubs ( )

  • All girls, all boys, or coed
  • Ages 3-103
  • No required religious component
  • More than 1,200 badges
  • Mission: To instill a love of learning in children and adults of all ages, and to give them the confidence and character to excel in the area of their choice.

Quest Clubs is a coed spin off program of Frontier Girls. While Quest uses the exact same badges and awards, with thousands to choose from, it is designed so that any group can use the resources to design a club to suit their own needs and goals. Some Quest Clubs are all boys, some are all girls, and some are coed. Some are highly religious while others are completely secular. While there is no required uniform for Quest, vests are available in up to 20 different colors, if you wish to design your own. Quest Clubs are also allowed to choose their own club name such as Adventure Kids, the Wildflower Tribe, or Frontiersmen. Each Quest Club is completely different based upon the needs and goals of the group. Quest Clubs can even be used in the classroom, helping students visually see what they have learned about over the course of a school year.

Scouts BSA ( )

  • All girls, all boys, or coed
  • Cub Scouts ages 5-10, Scouts ages 11-17
  • Oath includes God, but program is open to all faiths
  • More than 135 badges
  • Mission: To prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law

Scouts BSA is the new branding the Boy Scouts adopted after their decision to admit girls in 2018. This new coed program maintains the traditional scouting history of the Boy Scouts and now allows girls to earn their badges and reach Eagle Scout status. Girls wear the same uniform as the boys and are offered the same programming focusing on developing character, citizenship, and personal fitness.

4H ( )

  • All girls, all boys, or coed
  • Cloverbud Ages 5-7, 4H ages 8-18
  • No religious component
  • More than 119 project awards
  • Mission: To develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility and life skills of youth through experiential learning programs and a positive youth development approach.

4H is a cooperative extension of over 100 universities across the nation to provide experiences where young people get to learn through hands-on involvement. 4H frequently brings thoughts of country kids raising and selling goats and chickens, but it is so much more than agriculture. While animal science is by far their largest program section, they also have programs for STEM, healthy living, civic engagement, and more.

Camp Fire ( )

  • All girls, all boys or coed
  • Ages 5-17
  • No religious component
  • More than 70 patches to earn
  • Mission: To help kids and teens find their sparks and to find the dignity and worth of each individual and eliminate human barriers based on all assumptions that prejudge individuals. 

While Campfire started as an all girl program in 1910, by 1975 they expanded the program to include boys and by 1993, Camp Fire added sexual orientation to its official inclusion policy. Their club program focuses on inclusion, camping, life skills, and community service.

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