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 volunteers have had many titles and positions over the years. Let’s explore their development and expectations of GSUSA.
Exploring the past
1. Captain, leader, facilitator.
When volunteering with Girl Scouts began, captains lead their girls. We’ve also been called leaders and facilitators. As you look through the history of Girl Scouts, pay attention to the changing titles and responsibilities for adults who work with the girls.
2. Looking to the past.
Review the various “leader’s guides” provided as supplements to this badge program. Note items you think the girls might like to try that have been removed from the latest materials provided by GSUSA. Present them at a special meeting for your troop, a service unit event or make a training of your own to share with others.
3. Customizing your materials.
If you’ve looked through the level badges, you’ll see that it was not unusual to have a lack of formal materials or badge requirements. It took imagination and resourcefulness to provide programming for girls. This holds true today as we move into the Journeys as the way to expose girls to leadership. Customize activities to compare our current program with that of the past.
4. Learning to step back.
When girls first become Girl Scouts as Daisies, it is up to the adult volunteer to provide programming for the girls. As the girls move up in levels, the girls slowly take over the programming and the volunteer becomes an advisor. This progression is evident in other areas in addition to programming. Review how adults allow the girls to become leaders through taking charge of their own activities.
5. Online resources.
The Web has opened up a way for creative adults to find, make and share materials with each other. This takes a lot of the pressure of leading girls off. It also allows you to expand programming in ways you may not be familiar with, but you can acquire enough information to start the girls on the path. Find something your girls are interested in pursuing and learn how other volunteers have presented the same information, somewhere the girls can go to find the information or the resources so you / your girls can create new programming.
6. Other adult volunteer positions.
As an adult, you can volunteer for many positions that do not interact directly with the girls as a leader. From volunteering to put on a specific program to training other adults, there are many volunteer positions that are available. Review your council’s Web site or contact someone “above” you within the Girl Scout organization and learn about additional volunteering roles you might choose to participate in. Find out what you need to do to fill the volunteer roles.
7. Training for adults.
GSUSA provides online training for basic information. After that councils and volunteers provide training for new adults. Find out what training you are required for the level where you currently volunteer. If you’ve not taken anything, schedule and take the training.
In addition, supplemental training can be found with additional classes to learn songs, games, ceremonies and more. Find out if your council has supplemental trainings, whether offered individually or as a “leader’s day” or “leader’s weekend” event. Choose one and attend to find out more about trainings available to support you in your volunteer efforts.
8. Girl Scout Leader’s Day.
In 1982, Girl Scout Leader’s Day was celebrated for the first time on April 22nd. While you may feel that you shouldn’t point out to your girls that it is a day honoring you and the work you do, share this with your girls. Plan a special meeting doing something you enjoy and share your enthusiasm with your girls.
9. Girl Scout adult insignia.
Like the girls they work with, adults also have items they can wear to show their support of Girl Scouts. Find the image of adult insignia on the link above and research those items. Acquire those items that reflect your work as a volunteer with Girl Scouts.
10. GSUSA recognitions.
GSUSA has adult recognitions. While some may be earned such as leaves for training you take above that required, some are given to you for service. These are recognitions from other adults who feel you’re going beyond the efforts required of your volunteer post. Investigate adult awards and how to get them for yourself or recommend someone else.
11. Fun patches.
Girls love fun patches. Everything you do may not go toward earned insignia. Many times, adult volunteers purchase an additional patch for themselves so they can remember the fun too. Explore ways you can collect fun patches and display them.
12. Girl Scout Alumnae.
If you’ve been a Girl Scout or volunteer, you are a Girl Scout Alumnae. From current estimates, there are 50 million of us. Find a Girl Scout Alumnae organization within your council or online and see what they do. Determine if this is something you’d like to participate in.
Non-Girl Scout support
13. Training outside Girl Scouts.
Training for adults is not limited to the classes and weekends provided by council and volunteers. From PBS and their science workshops for Zoom!, Fetch! and Design Squad to local craft classes — anything you learn that you can share with your Girl Scouts can be counted for training hours. Look for local or online classes. Participate in one that you feel you can use with your Girl Scouts.
14. Enrichment Project.
The EP provides badge programs to give you even more support. You can learn at your own pace. Often, support materials can be taken back to trainings and meetings to share with other Girl Scouts. Find a badge program you feel goes beyond your comfort zone and try it. The EP is a great way bring new ideas and skills into your programming.
- Listing of all supplements available with the Girl Scout Traditions Badge Set.
- As of August 2014, it stood at 306 supplements for all eight badge programs.
Sites to Explore