Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of two, and published sci-fi and horror author.
Groups Similar to Girl Scouts
What are the alternatives to the Girl Scouts? Which programs offer your daughter the same experience of joining a troop, earning merit badges, growing as a leader, and performing community service as scouts outside of Girl Scouts? Conversely, which programs give your daughter a place to socialize with her peers or further her faith outside of Sunday School?
This article provides a synopsis of the following 10 Girl Scout alternatives, listed in alphabetical order, and information on each:
- American Heritage Girls
- Frontier Girls Club
- Girls in Action
- International Order of the Rainbow for Girls
- Knights of Columbus Squire Roses
- Pioneer Club
- National Girls Ministries/Missionettes
Summary of Girl Scout Alternatives
|Program||Open to Boys?||Complementary Program for Boys|
American Heritage Girls
Faith Based Boys
Frontier Girls Club
Girls in Action
International Order of the Rainbow for Girls
Knights of Columbus Squire Roses
Knights of Columbus Squires
National Girls Ministries/Missionettes
AWANA is a Christian Bible study program for children two through high school. AWANA is well known because it is over sixty years old. Awana has separate programs for preschoolers, elementary school children, middle school and high school students. AWANA lessons may be incorporated into Sunday School programs or used as a youth program. AWANA is non-denominational.
- Awana - Home
Training to help Awana leaders, pastors and youth and childrens ministry workers evangelize and disciple kids for Christ.
2. American Heritage Girls
American Heritage Girls or AHG started as a girls’ complementary program to the Boy Scouts. AHG is a growing alternative to the Girl Scouts, complete with merit badges, workbooks, activities, and camping opportunities. American Heritage Girls is open to girls ages 5 through 18.
American Heritage Girls does not have its own campgrounds, but many troops go camping in state and national parks.
AHG split from the Boy Scouts in 2013 due to its acceptance of homosexual boys in its ranks. American Heritage Girls is now the companion organization for the Faith-Based Boys.
- American Heritage Girls | Character Development Organization
American Heritage Girls is a Christ-centered leadership and character development program for girls 5 to 18 years of age. Learn about what AHG has to offer!
3. Frontier Girls Club
Frontier Girls Club is a small program similar to the Girl Scouts. They have an organized program teaching life skills, community service, and leadership. Groups can go camping, though they don’t have facilities in their own right. (Nothing stops a troop from going to the local state park to camp, though.)
Frontier Girls Club is notable for having a program for preschoolers, whereas most similar programs wait until kids start school. They also have a level for girls over 18 who want to participate.
They don’t have a boys-only program, but they have a co-ed program called Quest Clubs.
Read More From Wehavekids
- Frontier Girls Clubs - A scout like youth program for girls
Frontier Girls Clubs is a scout like youth program for girls offered as an alternative to Girl Scouts. We offer more than 1200 individual badges.
4. Girls in Action
Girls in Action is the girls’ complimentary program for the Southern Baptist Royal Rangers program. Girls in Action or GA is intended for girls aged 9 through 16. The girls are sometimes called Missionettes. Younger girls are included in the Baptist Children in Action program.
Girls in Action has a magazine, GA World, published bi-weekly.
5. International Order of the Rainbow for Girls
The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls or Rainbow for short is a girls’ organization within the Masonic lodge program. Rainbows range in age from 11 to 20. The organization focuses on community service. If you are interested in joining Rainbows, contact your local Masonic lodge. Membership is not limited to family members of existing Masons.
6. Knights of Columbus Squire Roses
The Knights of Columbus is a stalwart organization for Catholic men. The Knights of Columbus Squire Roses program is for girls aged 10 through 18. There are fewer Squire Rose circles than groups for boys. If you are interested in joining this Christian women's organization, contact your local parish.
Another Girl Scout alternative for Catholics is Little Flowers Girls' Club, but they are not as widespread as the Knights of Columbus.
- Knights of Columbus Home Page
This is the home page for the Knights of Columbus Squires. Contact the local Circle to find out if there is a Squire Rose Circle in your parish.
The Seventh Day Adventist church runs the Pathfinders, a group open to boys and girls. Pathfinders has merit badges and a green uniform similar to the Girl Scouts. The Pathfinders program is available to children from fifth grade through twelfth grade.
- Pathfinder Club - PathfindersOnline.org
Pathfindersonline.org -- The official North American Division Pathfinder Ministry site.
8. Pioneer Club
The Pioneer Club is a unisex organization for children aged two through fourteen. The Pioneer Club is similar to AWANA in that it can be run as a Sunday school program or as a youth program like Scouts. It is non-denominational but strongly Protestant.
The Pioneer Club has several summer camps in the United States and Canada.
- Pioneer Clubs | children's midweek ministry | church programs for kids
Pioneer Clubs is a proven church-sponsored children's midweek ministry, age 2 through middle school. Our church programs for kids build passion for Christ.
9. National Girls’ Ministries
National Girls Ministries are specific to the Assemblies of God denomination. They have activities for girls from preschool through high school.
The companion program for boys, the Royal Rangers, is for boys in kindergarten through twelfth grade.
- National Girls Ministries
National Girls Ministries Home Page
10. STEP by Alert Cadet
Skills Training for Emergency Preparedness or STEP is a four-week preparedness program for girls 15 and up. STEP teaches skills in wilderness survival and builds leadership. STEP is offered by the creators of the Alert Cadet program for boys. STEP Advanced covers topics from wilderness survival to Bible study to rock climbing.