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How To Create An Inclusive and Neurodivergent-Friendly Girl Scout Troop


Time to read 2 min

Girl Scouts is a truly excellent organization for girls to participate in. Many adults will have fond memories of joining Girl Scouts, learning new skills and activities, and earning patches for their Girl Scout uniform that highlight their proficiency in certain practical skills. Girl Scouting is a movement that has supported the growth and development of girls for over 100 years and continues to offer fun and the opportunity to learn new skills. However, autistic and other neurodivergent girls may struggle to integrate into traditional Girl Scouting groups. Their special needs and behavioral issues may pose challenges and require additional planning to accommodate them. Today, I will focus on creating an inclusive and neurodivergent-friendly Girl Scout troop, providing a safe and inclusive learning environment for all the girls in your troop.

Educating Girl Scout Leaders and Girls

It is important to educate both the Girl Scout leaders and the girls themselves on aspects of neurodivergence. Remember that no two neurodivergent girls will be the same. Their skills may differ along with any special needs that they have. A comprehensive knowledge and understanding of neurodivergence can help when communicating and planning activities for a neurodivergent girl. One common form of neurodivergence is children who are on the autistic spectrum. It is estimated that 0.6% of the American population has some form of autism (including Asperger’s syndrome). A key way to understand this condition more effectively is by downloading a dedicated autism website such as These types of websites contain a wealth of information on the subject, with resources that can help to educate all ages. In addition, they may include practical activities or environmental considerations that are ideal for neurodivergent girls to participate in. Put simply, with neurodivergent children, knowledge is power. Becoming informed on the topic in your Girl Scout troop will help you to create a more inclusive and friendly environment for neurodivergent Girl Scout members.

Consider the Inclusive Environment

It is also incredibly important to create an environment at your Girl Scout troop that supports the well-being of neurodivergent girls. As previously mentioned, no two neurodivergent children are the same, but some environmental factors may affect many girls. Generally, the environment should be free of excessive lighting and ambient sounds as these can serve as distractions or even negatively affect the well-being of neurodivergent girls.

In addition, structure and consistency are common requirements for many neurodivergent girls. Plan Girl Scout meetings so they start at a regular, pre-determined time and advise all Girl Scout members on what the meeting will cover. Sticking to a fairly rigid routine regarding agenda and the types of activities will help immensely.

Be Inclusive with activities for all abilities

All Girl Scout leaders must plan activities that are suitable for all levels of ability. Some neurodivergent girls may have extended concentration problems, while others may find communicating challenging. Understand the key strengths and weaknesses of your neurodivergent girl members and aim to tailor or modify activities that will play to their strengths. This will help keep activities fun while minimizing the risk of frustration.

Enjoy every minute being a leader and continue to inspire your girls!