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Girl Engagement Initiative (GEI)

Community Outreach

GSSEM's Girl Empowerment Program (formerly the Girl Engagement Initiative) helps give girls in grades K-8 a full Girl Scout experience during regular school hours.

The girls belong to troops, take field trips, earn badges, and sell cookies—but they do so during school hours to eliminate the transportation barrier that after-school meetings require.

About the Girl Empowerment Program (GEP)

The Girl Empowerment Program was started as a way to meet the demand for Girl Scouting in schools where recruiting volunteers to serve as troop leaders proved challenging.

The in-school and after-school Girl Scout troops are run by GSSEM staff members who work closely with school leaders to develop a Girl Scouting experience that meets the needs of the school and girl participants.

We also conduct programming at shelters in Flint and Port Huron.

School Partners

We currently serve over 3000 girls in the following locations:

  • Detroit Public Schools
  • Ecorse Public Schools
  • Flint Community Schools
  • Monroe Public Schools
  • Pontiac School District
  • Port Huron Schools
  • River Rouge School District
  • Romulus Community Schools
  • Taylor School District

Girl Scouts can be a great partner in rounding out a girl’s educational experience. We offer opportunities to explore and learn about STEAM, Financial Literacy, Outdoor Education and Camping, bullying prevention, and more.

Girls in the GEP program will earn badges and complete Journeys—just as they would in a traditional troop. This past year, our girls earned badges in robotics, online etiquette, managing money, environmental science, outdoor arts, and much more. They completed Journeys such as the "Wonders of Water" and "Between the Earth and Sky."

In the summer, they're invited to attend camp, complete badge workshops, or attend exciting field trips to local museums, theaters, colleges, and more. We have girls that participate in the Junior First Lego League and compete against other troops in our GSSEM Expo.

Girls in the GEP programs also sell cookies. Along with support from their GEP troop leader and the Council, girls are encouraged to participate in the Cookie Program, building skills in budgeting, learning money managing and sales, earning financial literacy badges, and participating in one of our longest-standing traditions!

Download the general permission form >>

Are you interested in bringing the Girl Empowerment Program to your school?

Due to funding restrictions, the Girl Empowerment Program is only available for schools and organizations in Detroit, Downriver, Flint, Pontiac, or Port Huron. If your school already has an active, volunteer-led troop, we can't begin a new troop.

For information on how to get GEP started at your location, please email Shannon Fransen, Director of Council Initiatives, at

Are you interested in supporting the Girl Empowerment Program?

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