Archive for the ‘Programs’ Category

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A Quick Guide to Girl Scout Badges and Patches

September 29, 2014

By Meridith Orr, Program Executive

Girl Scouts can earn Badges (front of the uniform) or Patches (back of the uniform).

Girl Scouts can earn Badges (front of the uniform) or Patches (back of the uniform).

“The symbols which you wear on your sleeve mean that you have an intelligent interest in the subjects you have chosen, understand the principles of them, and can give reasonable, practical proof of this.” – Scouting for Girls, Official Handbook of the Girl Scouts, published by The Girl Scouts, Inc., 1920

The great news is many new members join our movement each year. And any experienced Girl Scout knows there’s a lot to explore – and learn – in Girl Scouts, especially the many types of badges and emblems that decorate Girl Scout sashes and vests.

So what’s it all about?

The most important thing to know is that all badges or patches earned in Girl Scouts are meant to show a girl’s achievement and are most meaningful when a girl can clearly articulate what she has achieved. For those of you who don’t know a patch from a petal, here’s a quick guide.

BADGES

Badges” refers to Girl Scout’s National Proficiency Badges, which are worn on the front of the uniform. They have a distinct shape and color that corresponds to each grade level. For example, Girl Scout Brownie badges are triangles, Junior badges are circles, and Cadette badges are diamond-shaped.

Badges have five steps with three different options for each step, and once completed, a girl should be able to demonstrate skill or knowledge of that topic. There’s a handy pull-out chart for all available badges, including the Skill-Building badges for in The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting.

And coming soon is our very own “Council’s Own Badge” program that provides girls with a unique, local opportunity that they cannot experience anywhere else. It is an award developed according to our national Girl Scout Leadership Experience guidelines, and can be worn on the front of the uniform. Only girls from Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines can earn one of our 10 Council’s Own badges. Stay tuned for more information our our council’s badge program, which is getting refreshed and updated as we speak!

Girl Scouts can also choose a “Make Your Own” badge! Girl Scout Brownies through Ambassadors can develop their own badge once a year, following particular guidelines of course.

What about our youngest Girl Scouts? Our Daises Girl Scouts (grade K-1) earn “Petals” that represent the 10 parts of the Girl Scout Law. Those petals are placed around a daisy center on the front of a smock or vest. In addition, Daisies can earn Financial Literacy “leaves” and Journey award patches.

PATCHES

“Patches” are fun ways to document a council or local area event. They are always worn on the back of the uniform. All patch programs include content from the National Leadership Journeys to provide girls with meaningful experiences on their path to leadership. Some patches unique to our council include the Hurricane Awareness patch which was introduced as a Patch of the Month this summer. Going forward, our council will be featuring one Council Patch each month, where girls across our 41 counties can explore and learn together.

My final words to live by, at least when it comes to badges and patches are “Educate, don’t decorate.” It’s not a competition for which troop has the most. It’s about exploring new things, discovering new skills, building skills for leadership, and having fun!

What badges or patches are your favorite or most meaningful, Girl Scouts? Tell us in the comments below! 

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Paving the Way to Courage, Confidence and Character

August 31, 2014

By Lori Winkelstein – Lifetime Girl Scout

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10 amazing Girl Scout women have set the standards for my life. Most of them worked full time, kept their families running smoothly and still had time for Girl Scouting. Their examples along with a lot of love and caring have helped to establish my personal character.

I have chosen to purchase a brick for each of these 10 women to help honor who they are, their impact on my life and their passionate commitment to Girl Scouts.

The first four are for my troop leaders as I was growing up in Missouri – Lee Wilkerson, Sharon Pike, Jane Casati and Sharon Garrett! Each of these women provided me with opportunities that I never would have had otherwise. I can still remember the first campfire I lit! I pitched my own tent and slept in it – then re-staked it in the middle of the night when it fell down. I learned to steer my canoe! I had to eat my own cooking! The icing on the cake was when my Girl Scout Senior troop went to Our Chalet in Switzerland! I never would have had the chance to travel to outside the US without my Girl Scout opportunities. These four brick represent how Girl Scouts has given me courage to continue to try new things.

The next four bricks are in honor of my wonderful mentors as an adult volunteer with Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines – Sally Gill, Gwen Harker, Rachelle Deats and Dottie Gilbert. Each of these women has helped me along my path and guided me to be better in all the roles I have had in Girl Scouting. These four bricks represent how Girl Scouts has given me confidence to make a difference in my world.

Mary Daly is a life-long Girl Scout friend, we started Girl Scouts together 44 years ago and we are both still actively involved. Her brick represents the life-long relationships you gain in Girl Scouting.

And lastly, the final brick is in honor of Sasha, my daughter. She has given me a chance to re-live my personal Girl Scout experiences as she has made her own discoveries through Girl Scouting. Not only have I grown as a Girl Scout, but have had the honor and privilege to see her grow into a young woman of courage, confidence and character.

Each of these women, have help pave the way to the person I am today – and I am grateful. For me, dedicating a brick in the Camp Graham campfire circle was a wonderful way to honor these fabulous women who have helped me become a better person.

Do you have a special Girl Scout in your life? Someone who helped you in a way you’ll never forget? Purchase a commemorative brick for the Camp Graham Fire Circle in their honor and help us build a foundation for our girls’ success for many years come. Don’t forget to join Lori by becoming a Girl Scout volunteer and giving back to girls in your community! Use event code 367F22 when you register and be entered to win an iPad!*

*First time, new members only are eligible to win. Must register by 9/30/14 to qualify.

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