The Girl Scout Leadership Experience
Girl Scouts of the USA has an exciting portfolio of resources, including a collection of badges aimed at giving girls the skills they need to succeed. Our books—the Journeys and The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting—and national program awards—like badges and pins—are an important part of how Girl Scouting helps girls experience the power of millions of girls changing the world together.
The Girl Scout Leadership Experience is designed to help girls discover themselves and their values, connect and team with others, and take action to make the world a better place. These are Girl Scouting’s “Three Keys to Leadership.” In Girl Scouting, Discover + Connect + Take Action = Leadership. All Girl Scout experiences are intentionally designed to tie to one or more of the 15 national leadership outcomes, or benefits, categorized under the three keys to leadership.
Girl Scout experiences are also, as much as possible, girl led and encourage learning by doing (experiential learning), and cooperative learning. No matter what age, girls learn the value and the fun of sharing experiences in an all-girl environment, with caring, trained adults to serve as mentors and role models. All activities are designed with girls in mind to spark their interests, address their concerns, build their skills, and explore the world around them.
National Leadership Journeys
National Leadership Journeys help Girl Scouts learn and practice the Three Keys, aid their communities, and earn leadership awards, progressing up Girl Scouting’s Ladder of Leadership as they do so. There are three series of Leadership Journeys, each about a different theme; the girls can choose the theme that interests them most. At every grade level, these books place great emphasis on inviting girls to “Take Action” on an issue they care about. The books also contain stories, inspirational material, Girl Scout history, traditions and values, facts and games, and open spaces for girls to fill in their own ideas and memories.
The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting and National Proficiency Badges
In addition to the Leadership Journeys, girls at each Girl Scout grade level have their own edition of The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting—a binder full of information about being a Girl Scout and how to earn certain badges, including ones about financial literacy and the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Girls who want to earn more badges can add a Skill Building Badge Set tied to the theme of the Journey they’ve chosen.
When a Girl Scout earns a badge, it shows that she’s learned a new skill, such as how to make a healthy snack or take great digital photos. It may even spark an interest at school or plant the seed for a future career. Girl Scout Daisies earn Petals and Leaves (which form a flower) instead of badges.
Two of the Journey series—It’s Your World—Change It! and It’s Your Planet—Love It!—are available in Spanish, as are two supporting books for Spanish-speaking volunteers to use with Spanish-speaking and bilingual Girl Scout Brownies and Juniors :¡Las Girl Scouts Brownies Cambian El Mundo! (Girl Scout Brownies Change the World!) and ¡Las Girl Scouts Juniors Apuntan a las Estrellas! (Girl Scout Juniors Reach for the Stars!). The books, which introduce the Girl Scout movement to these girls and their families, provide everything you need for a fun-filled year in Girl Scouting.
Make Your Own Badge
Girls are welcome to develop and complete activities to make their own badge—a great way to explore a topic of personal interest. Once girls check the Awards Log in The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting to make sure there’s not already a badge on their topic, they’ll follow steps outlined in that handbook to complete the requirements for their very own badge. Even better, they can go online to design and purchase a badge that later arrives in the mail! For more information, check out the Make Your Own Badge website at www.gsmakeyourown.com.
The For Girls section of girlscouts.org (http://forgirls.girlscouts.org) features a variety of videos, games, blogs, and other fun ways to enrich the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Both girls and volunteers will have fun with Badge Explorer, an overview of all of the badges girls can earn. For Girls is updated frequently, so check back often—and invite girls to do the same!
Girl Scouts and Faith
Girl Scouts of the USA is also offering girls the opportunity to deepen their faith by earning the My Promise, My Faith Pin–the only national faith award girls can earn. Girls can continue to earn religious awards or PRAY awards which are administered through their individual faith communities. All religious awards including the My Promise, My Faith pin are designed for individual girls to work on their own, and not as a group award. Girls can earn one pin every year. By the time a girl goes from Daisy to Ambassador, she can earn 13 pins.