The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting

Last night at the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner and Girl Scout Annual Meeting they unveiled the new books and badges that will come out in September 2011. The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting is the new Girl Scout handbook with updated cute try-its and badges. The skills build at each level with the kind of progression we’ve come to know and love in girl scouting but with a change. For instance girls can learn the cooking skill as Brownies when they learn to make some healthy snacks for themselves. Juniors will learn to make a simple meal, Cadettes will learn about eating locally and being a locovore, Seniors will learn about sustainability in the food supply and Ambassadors will cook a dinner party! Each of the skills has a certain number of action items to complete in order to earn the award. The new Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting will also include a handbook section covering traditions and history, an awards log where she can keep track of the badges she’s earned, scrap booking section where she can write reflections about the program and keep photos and other memorabilia.

How do Journeys and Badges differ?

Journeys and badges are designed to be complementary, not to compete. Journeys are the core Girl Scout curriculum. They have been developed to help all Girl Scouts develop the three keys to leadership: Discover, Connect and Take Action. Badges complement the journeys by helping girls build skills on specific topics.
To get a picture of how journeys and other Girl Scout activities work together to make one consistent Girl Scout experience, visit the Girl Scout Web site,
to view the “journey maps.” These maps provide an overview of the total Girl Scout experience for girls at every level. As you mouse over the map, you will see pop-ups that give further information about how to tie traditional Girl Scout activities (such as camping, field trips, and cookie sales) into the journeys.

Here’s what they say about the new program:

In September, Girl Scouts of the USA will release a brand new resource for girls, The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting. There will be six guides, one for each program age level. These easy-to-use resources support the national leadership journeys, while giving girls and leaders a Girl Scout Leadership Experience rich with variety, choice, and relevance.
Each guide includes information about Girl Scouting, badges and awards:

  • Girl Scout history and traditions
  • My Girl Scouts section – a section for each girl to document her experiences; includes pages to scrapbook, draw, journal or save special moments.
  • Legacy Badges in seven progression-based areas
    • Artist
    • The Girl Scout Way
    • Citizen
    • Cook
    • First Aid
    • Athlete
    • Naturalist
  • Financial Literacy Badges (two badges, earn one per year)
  • Cookie Business Badges (two badges, earn one per year)
  • Make Your Own Badge instructions
  • Bronze, Silver and Gold Award information for Girl Scout Juniors through Ambassadors
  • Teen leadership awards
    • Program Aide
    • Counselor in Training (I and II)
    • Volunteer in Training
  • New and updated awards
    • Safety Award
    • Journey Summit
    • My Promise, My Faith

All badges will have five steps and each step will offer three choices.

Skill Building Badges

Additional Skill Building Badge sets will complement each of the three current journey series for Girl Scout Brownies through Seniors. Topics include:

  • Performance
  • Healthy Living
  • Digital Art
  • Storytellling
  • Science & Technology
  • Outdoors
  • Practical Life Skills
  • Do It Yourself
  • Crafts
  • Investigation
  • Animals
  • Manners
  • Adventure
  • Creative Play
  • Innovations

Skill Building Badge sets will be available for purchase separately from The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting.

What you need to know

Girl Scout Daisies will continue to earn petals. Petals will be tied to the Flower Friends found in their journeys and offer brand new activities. Daisies will also be able to earn Financial Literacy and Cookie Business Leaves.

The transition from all current handbooks and badge books will be completed by September 30, 2012.

Although specifically tailored for girls, The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting can be used as a leader resource as well. An adult guide is not necessary or available. Please continue to use the How to Guide… journey companion books for adults, Transforming Leadership and It’s Your Journey—Customize It! for support in delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.

What resources should you be using now? Here’s a chart of what’s available at our council. I think you’ll find that the new Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting updates the materials that we’ve always loved and keeps the core program that girls have always enjoyed and compliments the leadership experience that the Journeys program has brought to Girl Scouts.

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