US Pen Pal Network
Connect with other girls in the US
A pen pal is a friend you get to know through letters. She usually lives in another state and will write about her hometown, school, family, pets, customs and traditions, special interest, or talents. Pen pals share things like games, recipes, solutions to problems and photos.
The national US Pen Pal Network connects Brownie, Junior and older girl troops with girls across the country to form lasting friendships. As participants in this program, troops are asked to correspond with pen pals for at least one school year after the link is made.
Does your troop/group want to participate?
To participate, fill out our online request form if you are a member of Black Diamond Council. For your own safety, troops from other councils should not use the form on this council's site - we can only verify the information of our own members. GSBDC troops should NOT contact other councils directly. Please be patient while waiting to be matched with your pen pals. Have questions? Troops from Black Diamond Council ONLY should contact Suzanne Goralczyk
, Program Manager - Events, Travel and Program Resources at 304.366.1442.
Pen Pal Guidelines
- Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council is a member of the US Pen Pal Network. We are able to make links for our member troops with troops in other Girl Scout councils in the United States, depending on availability.
- Troops/Groups must be Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors or Ambassadors.
- Troops/Groups are matched by program level and troop size. There are no provisions for individual pen pals.
- All troops/groups matched through the US Pen Pal Network are expected to maintain correspondence for at least one school year. This doesn’t mean that after a year, you stop corresponding; many Girl Scouts keep writing to their pen pals for as long as 25 years!
- Pen Pal troops are not currently available through the network in Hawaii or Alaska.
- Matches will be made as quickly as possible and can be made at any time. Please wait patiently as the council Pen Pal Coordinator finds a troop/group that is looking for a pen pal in the US. This process may take up to one month, but the timeframe will vary depending on the size of group and available links. Matches will be only be made between August 15 and December 15. Matches WILL NOT be made December 16 through August 14.
Pen Pals Outside the United States
The International Pen Pal program conducted by GSUSA is under revision and they are not currently accepting requests. While the International Pen Pals program is under review, Girl Scout leaders and girls who have internet access can visit the WAGGGS visitors' book website at www.wagggsworld.org
Although staff from the WAGGGS World Bureau in London, England monitors the WAGGGS website regularly, GSUSA advises that girls NOT use their last names or share their e-mail addresses when signing the guest book. If continued correspondence is desired, Girl Scout leaders should contact other leaders using an e-mail address set up for that purpose so that replies can be screened.
How to get started
- The troop/group decides together if they want to be a pen pal with another troop in the US.
- Troops/groups from GSBDC complete the US Pen Pal Network online request form.
- Wait while the council Pen Pal Coordinator finds a troop/group that is looking for a pen pal in US. This will take at least one month. Matches will be only be made between August 15 and December 15. Matches WILL NOT be made December 16 through August 14.
- You will receive a notification email from the Pen Pal Coordinator that includes how to contact the pen pal's troop/group leader.
- You can choose to write a letter or email from the whole troop/group OR each girl and leader can write her own.
- Make sure your envelopes have the correct postage before mailing. A visit to the Post Office can be a fun and educational experience.