Welcome to our tip shop. What an exciting time to be a Girl Scout! We are about to kick off our 100 th Anniversary year, and it promises to be a big one for our girls. For the next few minutes we’re going to talk about the National Program Portfolio, and introduce you to the new 100 th Anniversary edition of the handbook: The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting . So, let’s go over some basics first. The first thing every Girl Scout does each year is choose a journey. Girls at each grade level have three fun, exciting, colorful journeys to choose from.
The journeys are the one core resource that guides girls as they discover the three keys to leadership and that helps girls progress toward the 15 leadership benefits that we promise.
This is what financial advisors call a balanced portfolio! The journeys offer girls all the leadership benefits that we’ve promised them and the badges offer them the chance to build specific skills. When a girl goes on a journey, she gets to explore leadership from all different angles. How does a leader identify a problem that needs to be solved? How does she dig deeper to find the root causes of that issue? How does she research solutions that go beyond the surface level of the problem? And how does she team with others on all of the above, multiplying efforts to make the world a better place? That’s what the journeys are all about! The journeys, as you know, aim at all three keys to leadership: Discover, Connect and Take Action. Badges help girls develop specific skills in everything from photography to inventing to camping to geocaching – the list goes on and on! When girls build skills, they become more confident and develop a stronger sense of self, part of our Discover key. (And of course, a girl can use the skills she builds as she goes on her journey!) Journeys offer a wide, 360 degree view of leadership. Badges offer a focus on one topic. Journeys are the core of what Girl Scouting is about. Badges are complementary.
So beginning this fall, girls will have an exciting, new resource: The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting ! If girls want to earn badges to supplement their journey — and you know there’s a great chance that most of them do — they will now have new ones to choose. If girls are currently working on badges, they have until September 2012 to complete those. For the 2012 membership year then, girls will finish up their badges already begun and have a whole new set of badges to consider.
So , how do you mentor the next generation of leaders? Journeys + Badges = The Girl Scout Leadership Experience!
Now, let’s take a look at the new badge format. The format of the new badges is very different. Gone are the long checklists or requirements. In their places are bright graphics, interesting sidebars, tips from history, and ideas of what to do for more fun. Each badge has a purpose (what skill girl will build). In focus groups, girls asked us to tell them what they’d be able to do once they’d earned the badge. Each badge has five steps – a girl must complete all to earn the badge. Each step has three choices for HOW to complete the step. Girls only have to do one, but are free to do more if they’re having fun. Each badge includes a journey tie-in. These are very loose tie-ins, similar to the ones we’ve seen in the online journey maps. It’s a way to help girls and you figure out ways to earn badges as they’re doing journeys. Finally, every badge has a few ideas about how a girl can give service with her new skill. This is in reference to Juliette Gordon Low’s famous quote that a badge is a sign that a girl has developed a skill well enough to give service to it. Does she have to do this to earn the badge? Absolutely not! It’s just planting a seed for girls – now that they know how to do this, how could they help others? Another change you’ll notice is that badges intentionally take time. Hurrying girls through badge requirements in a one-day event wasn’t ever a lasting way to help girls gain a skill. These are proficiency badges, so they are meant to take girls time as they develop their skill and discover more about a topic. That means, when a girl takes the time to earn a badge, we need to make sure we really recognize her efforts, and help parents see the importance of every badge. It’s not about how many badges a girl earns, it’s about the skills she gains! (Repeat that sentence if necessary, to make certain volunteers hear it.)
Also new in The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting are updated Troop Crests. The descriptions include the various ways each symbol has been interpreted over the years so that girls can consider those meanings as they choose their own troop crest. There are two versions of the troop crest descriptions posted: A younger version for Brownies and Juniors and an older version for Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors. If your troop already has a troop crest, you may certainly keep it. If you have a new troop, or the girls are ready for a new one because they’ve bridged or want a change, then these are their choices.
A brand new award introduced in the Girl’s Guide is the Journey Summit Award. Girls earn this award by completing all three journeys at their grade level. It will be placed just below the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards on a sash or vest to recognize the importance of the award. This is now the highest award that a Daisy or Brownie can earn. Also in the Girl’s Guide is a new song! Our own Sandy Thomas, GSUSA’s Vice President of the Global department, wrote “The Journey Summit Song,” which is included in the Girl’s Guide as a possible part of a celebration for girls who earn this award.
The other new award in The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting is the My Promise, My Faith award. Some of you are familiar with the PRAY religious awards. PRAY is an outside vendor. So now, My Promise, My Faith is Girl Scouting’s own national faith recognition. Prior to its development, faith organizations, council staff, and volunteers were consulted as to the interest and viability of a faith pin and we received an overwhelmingly positive response from all. The faith organizations provided valuable guidance that ensures girls of all faiths can earn the pin and view it as a significant award that complements the current religious recognitions PRAY offers. Girls can earn this award each year.
Now let’s look more closely at the badges. The new National Proficiency Badges will fall into 5 badge categories. The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting is the 100 th Anniversary edition of the Girl Scout handbook, so there are lots of references to our remarkable history, including the first category of badges. The legacy badges are topics that have always been represented in badges and are still relevant – so topics include artist, naturalist and cook, and all are progressively more challenging (and fun!) as girls get older. Some badges cover specific skills, and others have been added to teach girls about money and the entrepreneurial skills gained through the cookie sale. And you’ll see that girls can also create and earn a Make Your Own badge each year.
The new badges have progression built right in. As girls grow and move through the Girl Scout grade levels, they can build on the skills they learned in previous years. Here you can see how one of the legacy badges, in the “cook” topic, moves from the Snack badge for Brownies to Juniors learning to cook Simple Meals. Cadettes will earn their New Cuisine badge, Seniors will earn their Locavore badge, and those sophisticated Ambassadors will have a great time with their Dinner Party badge.
Even the Daisies are getting an upgrade. Daisies still have their 9 Journey awards to earn. Now, those popular flower friends are tied to the Daisy petals. Through stories and activities in the Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting, the Flower Friends help girls learn and practice the parts of the Girl Scout Law. Daisies will also be able to earn awards for financial literacy and their cookie business…and their awards are – what else?- leaves!
So, now girls will have a full leadership experience. The Girl Scout Leadership Experience is comprised of two distinct components: the journeys, which develop girls’ leadership ability through the three keys; and badges, which build girls’ skills. If you only focus on one of those, you are not providing girls with the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. The badges help girls’ develop skills and the journeys develop their leadership ability. Both together comprise the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. If we just focus on one half, girls are not getting the full experience, so as we mentor girls, it’s important that we do both: Journeys + Badges = the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. All of this is great news for girls, giving them progression in their choices, variety, and much-needed relevance to their lives.
So to summarize, here’s what comes in The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting. Girls will add in other badge sets as they are ready and as their interests grow. Daisies earn petals that stand for more now, and those Ambassadors getting ready to head to college or career have everything but the skill building badges, giving them plenty of options to tuck into their overly busy lives. New awards have been added, other awards have been updated, and all of it adds to something great for girls. We can’t wait to see the new books, which will arrive in our shop in mid-September. Our council shops are now taking pre-orders, if you want to get them in the hands of your girls as soon as possible. And speaking of girls, let’s talk for a moment about how you will launch The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting with your girls.
Please don’t arrive at the meeting ready to be the expert on their new books. Instead, share the moment. I know it’s hard to wait, but imagine girls’ joy if you all open them up together, and they can see the excitement on your face. As you look through the books for the first time, you’ll find the things you all want to try together, and also discover the individual interests of your girls.
Sometimes we get so caught up in doing things the way we’ve always done them, that we forget what our goal is. We are all focused on helping our girls become leaders, through the three keys and the processes. As we launch this great book with girls, let’s really focus, in particular, on the Girl-Led process. We have been getting some calls from volunteers wondering how they will ever plan their year if they don’t have the badges until September. Girls have a different sense of time than adults, and they’re going to love their Girl’s Guide when they get it! If we are truly Girl-Led, then we won’t plan out the year without the girls. Instead, begin with the journey map using it as a visualization---each Girls Guide to Girl Scouting will have the grade level map! Use it as a starting point for girls---which journey? Which trip? What about the cookie sale? Let them choose a badge or two they’re excited about. Then chart it out with them on the calendar, add more fun activities (Doing WOW! With Brownies? Let’s go to the water park or sledding!) and budgeting, and you have a plan! Your job is not to plan it for them…your job is to guide girls to plan it together, learning by doing it, and letting them have tons of fun along the way.
So, let’s recap…it’s the start of another Girl Scout year and you’re about to launch The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting with your girls. What do girls do? You plan a time when they’ll open their books with you…very exciting! You turn to the journey maps in their books…start by choosing a journey and plan for earning those awards. Now what trip will you add that will really bring the theme to life? Do they want to work on badges, too? Pick one or two. And of course, they can do them independently. If girls want to earn more badges….add a badge set….and, if you still want more….back to the Girls’ Guide for more ideas. Put it on a calendar so girls know what they have to look forward to. It’s the start of our 100 th Anniversary – an exciting time to be a Girl Scout! It’s going to be a great year!
Your Guide to the Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting
Completing the National Program Portfolio Choose a Journey…
Completing the National Program Portfolio … which uses the three keys to leadership
Completing the National Program Portfolio Leadership Journeys (Keys) Badges (Skills)
Completing the National Program Portfolio Add The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting …
Prepare to launch The Girl’s Guide for Girl Scouting with girls! Spoiler Alert! Open the books together, discover what’s inside, share the excitement right along with your girls!
<ul><li>What does it means to be Girl-Led? </li></ul><ul><li>If we are truly girl-led, volunteers will not “plan out the year” in advance, without girls. </li></ul>
So, Let’s Recap… <ul><li>What do girls do? </li></ul><ul><li>Open their books with you and explore the Journey map. </li></ul><ul><li>Start by choosing a Journey and earning those awards—add a trip, cookie sale, a badge and other fun activities to bring the theme to life. </li></ul><ul><li>If girls want to earn more badges, add a badge set. It’s going to be a great year! </li></ul>