Since our founding more than 100 years ago, Girl Scouts has been, and will continue to be, an organization rooted in activism, inclusion, and advocacy—in making the world a better place.
Reflecting on this core value, we are reminded that our world is made up of many different cultures, values, and traditions.
We value diversity in all its forms and do not discriminate based on race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, national origin, or physical/developmental disability.
As an organization, we are committed to ongoing accountability, transparency, and organizational growth.
Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths, rise to meet new challenges, and promote equitable outcomes for all.
We acknowledge that our camps and properties reside on the past, present, and future homelands of the Pawnee, Ponca, Oto-Missouria, Omaha, Dakota, Lakota, Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Kaw Peoples, as well as the relocated Ho Chunk (Winnebago), Iowa, Sac, and Fox peoples.
This knowledge allows us to better understand that our opportunity to impact the State of Nebraska and beyond and occupy these lands is a result of a history of Native and Indigenous peoples’ experience of displacement, violence, settlement, and survival—which continues to inform our present and future.
From camps to programs, Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska is dedicated to providing services to guests of all abilities. If a member of your group requires special assistance, please call Member Support at 402.558.8189 or via email to make arrangements. Reasonable accommodations will always be provided when feasible.
Who can join Spirit of Nebraska? Can I join Girl Scouts and participate in troops, camps, and/or programming?
Do I have to use a Girl Scout’s pronouns?
Yes. Girl Scouts are encouraged to ask what each other’s pronoun(s) are and make every effort to use them. This is another way to treat everyone with respect and acknowledge we are all learning.
How do I respond to or support parents or volunteers who argue or question the policy?
Please refer them to their Troop Support Specialist or connect them with the DEI Specialist. As always, you can direct a parent or volunteer to call Member Support to connect them to the appropriate person.
Do I have to provide separate bathrooms/dressing rooms/showers for trans+ and gender non-conforming Girl Scouts?
All members are entitled to privacy while using restroom facilities. This includes toilets, changing areas, and showers. Members have the right to use the facilities of their choosing (men’s, women’s, or gender-neutral facilities (where available). We offer increased privacy in all areas such as shower curtains, partitions, sign-ups for showers for privacy, and more. Accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis at the request of the Girl Scout or family.
For overnight events, where should everyone sleep?
During the registration process, provide an opportunity for campers/families to share their gender identity (perhaps in the “what does your camper need to be successful” question). Unless a camper states otherwise, we should treat them the same as all campers with regard to things like sleeping arrangements, etc. If questions or issues arise among campers, address the issue with respect, protecting the needs of the LGBTQ+ participant, and in an age-appropriate manner.
I don’t feel equipped to navigate gender issues, what can I do?
Speak with the individual, their parents/caregivers (if they are engaged and know), the appropriate troop co-leader, or contact our DEI Specialist.
What if volunteers or employees identify as queer, trans+ or gender non-conforming?
The same guidelines are applicable regardless of whether the individuals are youth, volunteers, or employees.
What are "pronouns"?
Before jumping into pronouns, it’s important to understand the definitions of gender identity and gender expression. This educational video from AMAZE.org gives a brief overview of the terms. Pronouns are how we refer to ourselves in language in place of our proper name. Pronouns may include he/his, she/her, or they/them. An example:
Sure, Molly expresses herself as a woman AND identifies as a woman, so she uses she/her pronouns. However, that is not the case for everyone, as we learned from the video above on gender identity! You can’t know anyone’s pronouns from their name or appearance alone.
How can I be better about pronouns?
Sharing your pronouns creates a safe space for everyone, especially for trans and gender-nonconforming youth. For more information, visit MyPronouns.org.
Language shapes much of the world we live in. How we communicate and engage with one another is a simple but profound way to reflect respect for others, showing that we see and support them as they are. Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska strives to employ language that mirrors the diverse experiences and identities of all our members. While it may seem like a small shift, considering the words we use has a larger ripple effect upon the relationships we build and the type of community that we would like to cultivate. We hope that you will join us as a Council as we continue to learn, grow, and support all Girl Scouts as they work to make the world a better place.
“Simply put, words matter. Language is powerful. It can enhance our empathy, clarity, and understanding of each other as complex individuals with intersectional and varied identities and experiences.”
– Efua Andoh
Ableism: Prejudice and/or discrimination against people with mental and/or physical disabilities.
Ageism: Prejudiced thoughts and discriminatory actions based on differences in age.
Anti-Racism: The policy or practice of opposing racism and promoting racial tolerance.
Bias: An often-implicit inclination, tendency, or prejudice towards someone based on their identity.
Cisgendered: Refers to an individual whose gender identity aligns with the sex they were born with.
Culture: Shared values, beliefs, customs, arts, etc. of a particular group, area, or time.
Disability: A mental or physical condition that restricts an individual's ability to engage in one or more major life activities (e.g., seeing, hearing, speaking, walking, communicating, sensing, breathing, performing manual tasks, learning, working, or caring for oneself).
Discrimination: The practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently.
Diversity: The range of human differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability or attributes, religious or ethical values system, national origin, and political beliefs.
Equality: Achieved when people are treated the same, regardless of what they look like or where they come from.
Equity: Fair and just practices that ensure access, resources, and opportunities are provided for all to succeed and grow.
Ethnicity: Belonging to a common group with shared heritage, often linked by race, nationality, culture, and language.
Gender: Often defined as a social construct of norms, behaviors and roles that vary between societies and over time. Gender is often categorized as male, female, or nonbinary.
Gender Identity: An individual’s internal sense of their gender. This may or may not match their assigned sex at birth.
Inclusion: Involvement and empowerment, where the inherent worth and dignity of all people are recognized.
Injustice: An act that involves unfairness to another or violation of one's rights.
Intersectionality: The interconnected nature of social identities—including race, gender, class, and sexual orientation—and how systems of inequality overlap to create unique dynamics.
Prejudice: An inclination that can be rooted in stereotypes and/or judgement that deny members of certain groups equal recognition and treatment.
Privilege: An unearned, sustained advantage afforded to some over others based on group identities related to race, gender, sexuality, ability, socioeconomic status, age, and/or other identities.
Race: A social construct that divides people into distinct groups based on characteristics such as physical appearance (particularly skin color), ancestral heritage, cultural history, etc.
Racial Justice: The systematic fair treatment of people of all races resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all.
Sexual Orientation: Refers to who someone is attracted to and wants to be in relationships with. This can include gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, and asexual.
Social Justice: A form of activism based on principles of equity and inclusion that encompasses a vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure.
Transgender: A person whose gender identity differs from the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth.
Sources: ADL (Anti-Defamation League); Center for Intersectional Justice; GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network); HRC (Human Rights Campaign); Merriam-Webster; NACo (National Association of Counties)