As Girl Scouts reach and pass their first centennial, looking back to where we have been gives us an idea of the accomplishments that have been made by one person’s vision — Juliette Gordon Low. The Girl Scout Traditions badge set allows you to explore not only each level available as of 2012, but also general traditions that have been developed by Girl Scouts worldwide for generations.
NOTE: Read through the steps below. Note any resources that you might need to complete this badge program. Check SUPP_GS_Traditions_Glance.pdf for a listing of all Girl Scout Traditions supplements. If you need resources beyond what is provided, check your Service Unit and Council archives. You can also check with other leaders for assistance with acquiring materials.
Girl Scout Brownies are girls in grades 2 and 3. Explore their past and future with this badge program.
Exploring the past
1. Starting of Girl Scout Brownies.
Girl Scout Brownies was started in 1916 when the first Brownie troop was established in Marblehead, Massachusetts. At that time, girls ages 7-10 could join Girl Scouts. Books for leaders were first available in 1926; the girls’ version wasn’t available until 1951. First grade Brownies were added in 1973 with Brownie B’s. Try-Its were introduced in 1986. When insignia wasn’t available, Brownies had “Things to Do.” What would you do with Girl Scouts and no direction as the leaders did at the beginning?
2. Decade sampler.
Do at least one activity per decade (1926 to present) to experience what Girl Scouts did in the past as Girl Scout Brownies. Find information from one of these:
- Handbooks (badge requirements, things to do, activities)
- Leader’s Guides (things to do, activities)
- GSUSA supplemental materials
- Local “council own” badges / programs
- Historical Girl Scout YouTube videos
- Girl Scout Alumnae
- Supplements for the Girl Scout Traditions badge set (AEP)
If you cannot find Girl Scout specific activities, try some of the activities listed in Step 4. For additional ideas, see the badge program “Girl Scout Traditions” for non-level activities and materials.
3. Adapting to the times.
Some of the activities may not correspond to beliefs or resources we have today. Find an activity, or more than one, and look for an equivalent you might do today. Adapt your activity if there is no updated equivalent so girls today can try it. Share your final activity with others.
4. History sampler.
Experience the world as the girls did in the past. You can do one or more of the following:
- Watch a period movie
- Watch newsreel reports that used to run before movies
- Listen to old radio station broadcasts
- Historical reenactments
- Educational activities
- Local events
- Conduct research at your local library
- Trends at that time including music, fashion, popular activities, etc.
Feel free to do other activities that give you a sense of the history of Girl Scout Brownies.
5. Earn insignia.
Completely earn one badge from your level doing the requirements from at least ten years ago. If there is no badge, try some of the activities they did to see if any can be used with your girls today. Look for a badge to wear or create a charm or other item that illustrates the requirements / activities you did to show your proficiency. If you find activities that you enjoy more than the badge(s) at your own level, share them with others.
6. Earn patches.
Girl Scouts partners with many organizations to provide current materials for girls. They also create a lot on their own. Review patch programs that were available in the past and earn one that would have been done by Girl Scout Brownies. Again, try to find a patch to wear or create a charm or other item to show your proficiency.
7. Additional awards.
Explore any additional awards girls at your level may have earned. This might include higher awards, bridging awards and participatory awards. How have these changed over the years?
8. My own experience.
Girl Scout Alumnae are adults that were previously with GSUSA but may not now be active. Review your own experiences with Girl Scouts. Collect stories / items you might want to share with new Girl Scouts.
9. Troop event.
Prepare a troop event to share what you learned with your girls while exploring the past.
10. Larger event.
Work with a group of adults to create and offer an event outside your own troop / group. Use the materials you have found while exploring the past or start a new tradition.
Moving to the future
11. Explore badges.
Review the Girl’s Guide for Girl Scouting for your level. Review and do one badge for your level. How does it compare with insignia that could previously be earned?
12. Explore Journeys.
Review at least one of the Journeys. How might you customize it to make it more palatable to girls at your level? Brainstorm ideas and put them inside your Journey so you have them when you review the Journeys with your girls.
13. Create your own badge.
Share the excitement of changing the world. Challenge yourself to create a badge program that you feel girls at your level might enjoy. Ask your girls to review your badge and make suggestions for improvement. Offer it to others outside your normal troop / group.
- Listing of all supplements available with the Girl Scout Traditions Badge Set.
- As of August 2004, it stood at 306 supplements for all eight badge programs.
Sites to Explore