Friday, April 13, 2018

World Association Pin

The World Association pin is worn by Girl Scouts and Girl Guides all over the world. All girls and leaders can wear this pin, symbolizing their membership in the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).  If your girls do not have this pin, Thinking Day is a good time of year to talk about it and hand it out.

Blue and Gold: The blue represents the blue sky and the sun shining down on the all peoples of the world.

The Vein: A compass needle that points the way.

Trefoil: Represents the three parts of the promise that is present in all Girl Scout promises, worldwide.

Two Stars: Representing the promise and the law.

Flame: At the base, the flame represents the eternal love of humanity.

The Gold Circle: Shows that we are an growing movement; it is open at the bottom to symbolize that the circle is always open to new members.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

What's it all About?

When people think about Girl Scouts, they generally think about cookies. Common sense would suggest, however, that millions of young women do not become Girl Scouts in order to sell those boxes. The Girl Scout program has a foundation in the Promise and Law.

The Girl Scout Promise

On my honor, I will try:
To serve God* and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

The Girl Scout Law

I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
and to
respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.

In addition to the promise and law, the program also has four fundamental goals that encourage girls to:

* Develop to their full potential.
* Relate to others with increasing understanding, skill, and respect.
* Develop a meaningful set of values to guide their actions and to provide for sound decision-making.
* Contribute to the improvement of society.

The program thus encourages girls and young women to take care of themselves and others in a way that contributes to the overall good of society. These values can be found in several of the Girl Scout traditions and in the program itself. For example, Girl Scouts have always been taught to leave a place better than how they found it. Be it a wilderness trail, a meeting place, or their own backyard, girls are reminded to make the world around them just a little bit better.

At each level an appropriate amount of leader guidance is mixed in with an appropriate amount of girl initiative. At the Daisy level, input from the girls is limited, which makes sense at an age when many of them still can’t tie their shoes. As girls age though, they are encouraged to take more and more control over the troop management. In this way, girls learn to make wise choices for themselves and emerge into adulthood with the confidence to direct their own lives.

Probably most telling is the program’s tag line: “Girl Scouts, where girls grow strong.” No other program in the US is so devoted to the overall success and development of girls...and you thought it was all about cookies.

Girl Scout Pins

The Brownie pin, the traditional Girl Scout pin, and the new contemporary pin are worn to indicate membership in the Girl Scouting movement in the USA. Both are in the shape of a trefoil. The three “leaves” of the trefoil represent the three parts of the Girls Scout Promise.

The traditional pin features an American eagle and shield, both of which are also a part of the great seal of the United States of America. The eagle is used to represent power and strength, and the shield is there to represent protection. The Great Shield of the United States shows the shield resting only on the eagle to represent our self-sufficiency as a country. In Girl Scouts, young women learn to become self-reliant citizens of the United States.

In the right talon of the eagle is an olive branch and in the left is a bundle of arrows. Although the eagle is looking at the olive branch as an indication of our nation’s preference for peace, the arrows indicate our readiness to fight for our ideals. Girl Scouts in the USA, likewise, are peace-loving but are willing to fight for what their beliefs. The readiness of the country to defend its ideals mirrors to Scout motto of “Be Prepared.”

The seal of the United States contains a scroll on which is printed “E Pluribus Unum” meaning, one from many. The many states make up the nation. The many girls make up troops and the troops make up neighborhoods. Neighborhoods make up Councils, which in turn make up the American Girl Scouts. From the single girl to the national movement, the many (three million) make one.

The contemporary pin retains the trefoil shape of the traditional pin but in the place of the eagle and shield are the silhouettes of three girls. Girl Scouting is a dynamic and changing organization and the new pin presents “the new face(s)” of Girl Scouting.

The new trefoil design features open edges to indicate the organizations openness to change. The organization is strengthened by the flexibility to accept and embrace change.

The three faces are looking right, toward the future. The young women of the scouting movement are our future.

The three faces represent the movement’s commitment to pluralism and diversity. Girl Scouts embrace all girls as members regardless of racial, cultural, or socio-economic status.

World Trefoil Pin

The World trefoil pin is worn to indicate membership in the Girl Scout and Girl Guide organization of the world.

The blue background stands for the sky while the gold stands for the sun. Around the world, we all share the same sky and the same sun.

The trefoil shape, as in the USA Girl Scout pin, represents the parts of the promise. All Girl Scouts and Guides around the world have a promise that is unique to their country but that features three central parts.

The two stars represent the promise and law. As with the promise, each country has its own version of the Girl Scout/Guide law.

The base of the trefoil is in the shape of a flame, representing our love for humanity and the flame that burns in every Girl Scout/Guide’s heart.

The line in the center is a compass needle pointing us in the right direction, guiding us and the outer circle of the pin represents the association of all Scouts and Guides throughout the world.

Both pins are always worn on the left side over the heart.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Investiture and Rededication

An investiture ceremony welcomes new girls or adults into Girl Scouting. It can be a very memorable and meaningful step for girls as they becomes Girl Scouts.  Although a majority of girls will be Daisies when they invest, girls can and do join Girl Scouts at all ages.  An investiture is appropriate for any new members.

A rededication ceremony allows girls and adults who have already been Girl Scouts to reaffirm their commitment to Girl Scouts as outlined in  the Girl Scout Promise and Law and to reflect upon the meaning of Girl Scouting in their lives. 

Investiture and Rededication ceremonies are usually held at the beginning of a Girl Scout year.  Many troops/groups have a joint investiture and rededication ceremony each year.  A ceremony can be anything your girls want it to be.  Formal ceremonies have their place, but my girls once held their ceremony in a maze at Girl Scout camp.  It was one of the most memorable ceremonies the troop ever held.

Here here are some great links:



INVESTITURE/REDEDICATION PATCHES (to be worn on the back of a vest; search for "investiture" and/or "rededication")

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Girl Scout Records

I got a call today from a leader asking me how on earth kept track of who did what.  She was trying to do a spreadsheet and was getting lost in her own details.  My answer is that I use G-Scoutmate software. It allows me to track badges and other awards, service hours, and, perhaps most importantly, banking.  When it comes time for me to do my financial reports, I just print out reports from the software, fill in the Council's form with the numbers and voila... done.

As far as badges, you can input requirements done for multiple girls at one time.  I find it useful to flip through the girls' records periodically to see how far away they are from completing badges.  The software update also includes Journeys, although the software makers must have been as perplexed as everyone else where they are concerned.  The Journeys are listed but without requirements so all you can do is mark off if and when a girl completes a particular Journey.  There is no way to track what steps girls are taking along the way.  The bronze, silver, and gold awards likewise have not been updated.  They still have the old requirements contained in the software.

One thing that I like about the program is that you can print off reports that detail every accomplishment a girl has completed.  I do this every time a girl leaves my troop for whatever reason.  Eventually, I will be giving all my girls a copy for use in writing their college applications.  The software can be purchased at your local council office.  For more information, check here:

A quick search around the web suggests that only G-Scoutmate has even started to generate trackers for the new program.

If you aren't computer savvy, the old standby are paper trackers.  Pinterest has a lot of sources for page trackers.

Feel free to leave a comment and a link if you have a tracking resource.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Badge Areas of Concentration

What was once old is now new again. GSUSA revamped their badge books and one of the components is a set of badges that girls can work on continually as they advance through the years, creating a core set of skills. The core areas to be covered by badge work at each level include the following:

1. Artist
2. Athletics
3. Citizen
4. Cook
5. First Aid
6. Naturalist
7. Girl Scout Ways
8. Outdoors

These nine areas echo some of the old core programs, such as the "Worlds to Explore," which included the World of Arts and People, the World of Today and Tomorrow, the World of Well Being and the Out-of-Doors.

My immediate thought was "thank goodness, something to work on that is NOT a Journey." My second thought was that this list represents a fair representation of the kind of practical skills that all young people should learn. These two positive thoughts led to a third though, namely why do the new Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards require something as useless as the Journeys when they could include a solid foundation of skills in various areas as represented by this list?

The one area that was missing from what I would call the Girl Scout core when this program was rolled out was camping and/or the out of doors. The wide-scale sell off of Girl Scout camp properties when this program rolled out signaled to many leaders a departure from a focus on the out of doors. It took a few years, but not only did the outdoors make an appearance as a core program but so did STEM. 

To return to the idea of what was old is now new again, my one complaint on that score is that, unlike Boy Scouts, GSUSA seems to believe that the wheel must continually be reinvented. I would instead argue that the wheel may need polishing and/or updating but the continual upheaval of the core program does little but enrage volunteers and distance those who value the traditions as set down by Juliette Low. That concern aside, I am hopeful that these new core badge programs will form a true core that will allow leaders to all but abandon the Journeys.

FAQs about Girl Scouts

How old do you have to be to be a Girl Scout?

Girls can become Girl Scouts when they enter Kindergarten.

Daisy Girl Scouts (grades K-1 or ages 5-6)
Brownie Girl Scouts (grades 2-3 or ages 7-8)
Junior Girl Scouts (grades 3-5 or ages 9-10)
Cadette Girl Scouts (grades 6-8 or ages 11-13)
Senior Girl Scouts (grades 9-10 or ages 14-15)
Ambassador Girl Scouts (grades 11-12 or ages 16-18)

Independent Girl Scouts (those without a troop) are referred to as IGMS (Independent Girl Members).

College-aged girls may also continue with Scouting by becoming a Campus Scout. Contact your local council for more information.

Are uniforms mandatory?

Absolutely not. At each level, it is best to own a sash or vest, but other items are optional. The new Girl Scout uniform, however, is easily purchased in that it consists of khaki pants and a white polo shirt. For more information see: Buying Girl Scout Uniforms

How much does it cost to be a Girl Scout?

National dues are currently $25. Each troop can set their own troop dues as well, but if there is a hardship, arrangements can generally be made through your local Girl Scout council. No interested girl should feel as if she can't be a Scout because of a lack of money.

Can a boy be a Girl Scout?

Well, yes and no. Girl Scouts was founded and continues to exist to serve the unique and individual needs of girls. Thus boys cannot be Girl Scouts but boys who identify as girls are also welcome.

Adult males over the age of 18 can join Girl Scouts. All troops must have at least one female leader to serve as a role model for the girls in the troop, but men can serve as co-leaders.

Are the Boy and Girl Scouts related?

The two organizations are related only by accident of naming. They are completely separate entities.

What is the Girl Scouts' highest award?

Girl Scout's highest award is the Gold Award. To earn it, a girl must complete the Silver Award or two Journeys and then carry out a service project.

Have another question? Ask me.