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Girl Scouts Beyond Bars (GSBB)

Girl Scouts Beyond Bars (GSBB) is a unique program that gives girls age 5 through 17 the opportunity to build and maintain relationships with their incarcerated parents. The program also brings together girls whose families have been impacted by incarceration. Our mission is to decrease the effects of parent-child separation and rebuild bonds between parents and children.

We offer programming for all girls whose lives have been touched by incarceration, including girls with currently incarcerated parents, girls adjusting to a parent’s community reentry, or girls affected by incarceration in other ways. The program is offered at no cost to participating families.

This life-changing program is made possible through the generous support of donors. Make a gift today.

To register or for more information, please contact:

Cheryl Martin
Family Support Program Supervisor
253-682-8816 or Cmartin@girlscoutsww.org

 

GSBB Troop Locations

Community troops*

  • Pierce County
  • Thurston County
  • Snohomish County

Facility troops

  • Monroe Correctional Complex
  • Mission Creek Corrections Center (Women)
  • Washington Corrections Center for Women

*We’re expanding! If you don’t see your county listed, contact us for more information.

The Effects of Incarceration on Children

“Nationally, the number of kids who have had a parent in jail or prison at some point in their childhood hovers around 5.1 million ­— a conservative estimate.”*

Between 1980 and 2014, the number of incarcerated women increased by more than 700%, rising from a total of 26,378 in 1980 to 215,332 in 2014.

“Kids with incarcerated parents are significantly less likely to live in neighborhoods that are able to be supportive of families.”*

*Statistics cited by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

How GSBB Makes an Impact
  1. Provide a unique, supportive space for girls to connect with other girls going through similar life experiences.
  2. Allow girls to establish and maintain healthy relationships with their incarcerated parents.
  3. Encourage girls to recognize their own self-worth and learn life skills.
  4. Provide positive adult mentorship and the ability to talk openly about their parent's incarceration.
What Do Girls in the GSBB Program Do?

Girl Scouts Beyond Bars not only helps girls build relationships with incarcerated parents, but also delivers the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to girls in the communities where they live. Girls experience all the fun of Girl Scouting alongside peers they can relate to in a community troop or facility troop setting.

In this program, they may:

  • Establish and maintain healthy relationships with incarcerated parents.
  • See parents in positions of leadership.
  • Bond in a supportive space with other girls who have faced similar challenges.
  • Talk openly about their parent's incarceration and receive positive adult mentorship.
  • Recognize their own self-worth and find their identities outside of the personal challenges they face.
  • Have fun! Girls enjoy all the skill-building and memory-making of the Girl Scout experience.

Special opportunities include:

  • Attend Girl Scout summer camp at no cost to the guardian.
  • Attend troop outings throughout the year with financial support from the Girl Scouts Beyond Bars program.
  • Work on badges, patches, and Journeys with their parent at the facility or alongside other girls in a community troop.
  • During cookie season each spring, girls learn valuable business skills like perfecting a sales pitch and managing money.
What Do GSBB Troops Look Like?

Community Troops:

Serve girls who have been affected by the incarceration of a loved one, providing a safe environment for girls to connect with peers who share similar experiences. Community troops offer a traditional Girl Scouting experience, complete with regular meetings, outings, camping, and, yes – the Girl Scout Cookie Sale!

Facility Troops:

Serve girls with currently incarcerated parents. Meetings are held monthly at correctional facilities, and for many girls and parents, these troop meetings are the only time they see each other. Girls and parents spend valuable bonding time together as they work on the Girl Scout curriculum, including a once-yearly sleepover held at the women’s facilities and an extended visit day held at the men’s facilities.

Does GSBB Cost Money?

The Girl Scouts Beyond Bars program is fully subsidized by our financial assistance program. Girls participate in troop activities, camp, and more, at no cost to their families!

Ready to get started? Contact us. 

   

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Girl Scouts Visit Moms for Prison Sleepover in Gig Harbor

More than a dozen girls had a sleepover at a Gig Harbor prison in 2018, visiting their moms who are incarcerated there. It’s the highlight of the year for inmates – and their daughters. Watch the King 5 Story Here.