Badges, Patches & Awards: September 2008 Archives

Did you know our Council offers several patches that are specific to to South Alabama?   These popular patches help troops get the most out of local events and learning about local history.   There's a patch on Mardi Gras, on the International Festival, and on the America's Junior Miss Program. 

Other patches that are not event specific but relate to our unique area are the Baldwin County, Beach Awareness, AfricaTown, and Ronald McDonald House patches.

Still other patches have been developed by local Volunteers and Staff that can be used by troops anywhere; these patches are popular throughout the country!  They include "Together We Prepare", "Our Community", and "Honor Troop".

Check out all these patches in our own Patch Book.

getwiththeland_patch.jpg Want to take caring for the environment a step further? Brownies, Juniors, and Girl Scouts 11-17 can earn the Get with the Land Patch by doing environmental projects in partnership with federal natural resource agencies!  Did your troop participate in Coastal Clean Up?  If so, you're already half way there! Here's how:
*  Visit the Girl Scout web site to see the requirements for earning the patch.

*  Contact the council to borrow a Linking Girls to the Land resource guide and video

*  Work with a federal natural resource agency on a volunteer project, like National Public Lands Day or Coastal Clean Up.

*  Complete one Try-it or Badge related to the environment, outdoors, or science. Brownies, you could do the Earth is Our Home or the Eco-Explorer Try-It! Juniors, you could do Earth Connections or Eco-Action.

 

Earning the patch is fun. Plus you'll feel good about doing something to help improve the environment in your community!

Q: Can girls still earn badges, apart from journeys?
A:
Girls are welcome to continue choosing and earning badges that represent their varied interests. Earning badges is an important tradition in Girl Scouting and it is here to stay! As adults and girls become more familiar with the elements of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, they will even be able to see how the Discover, Connect, and Take Action leadership keys can be integrated into earning badges.

Of course, no matter what activities girls do in Girl Scouting, the experience is always best when it incorporates the Girl Scout processes: Girl-Led, Learning by Doing, and Cooperative Learning.

Q: What is the future of badges?
A:
Over the next several years, Girl Scouts of the USA will be updating some badges to ensure the learning experiences tie to the national leadership outcomes intended for girls. As new or refreshed badges become available and "old" badges are phased out, girls will have time to transition. They will not "lose out" on activities they have begun or planned. 

Girl Scout members have expressed interest in the availability of badges online and GSUSA is considering and analyzing this possibility. Further information will be available in 2009.

Q: What about local badge activities?
A:
Locally created badge activities remain an important way to respond to the interests and needs of girls. By using the Leadership Experience as the "engine" for all programming, Girl Scout councils will be able to begin adjusting local offerings, purposefully planning them based on the leadership outcomes intended for girls.

Awards
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Q: What new awards can girls earn with the It's Your World--Change It! journeys?
A:
Girl Scouts at each of the six grade levels have a chance to earn new official awards as they complete steps along the journey. The awards are designed to be worn on the Girl Scout uniform. Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, and Cadettes have the chance to earn several badges along the journey. Seniors and Ambassadors can mark the completion of their journey with a pin or badge.

The steps for earning the awards are clearly explained in the "how-to" books for volunteers created for each journey. Girls have information about the awards in their books, too. The journey books for girls and adults also have suggested reflection and ceremony ideas related to earning the awards. The goal is to provide opportunities for girls to fully understand the achievement and growth the awards represent.

Of course, no matter what activities girls do in Girl Scouting, the experience is always best when it incorporates the Girl Scout processes: Girl-Led, Learning by Doing, and Cooperative Learning.

Q: How do the Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards fit into the Girl Scout Leadership Experience?
A:
  Girl Scouts of the USA is working to update the requirements for earning the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards and new guidelines will be available online in spring 2009.  During the transition years (2008-2010), girls may continue earning the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards based on existing standards.

Q: How can Girl Scout councils prepare for the future of the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards?
A:
Girl Scout communities eager to begin planning for the updated approach to the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards prior to spring 2009 may note the following:

Grade Levels for Earning the Awards

Bronze Award: Earned by Juniors (4th-5th grade)
Silver Award: Earned by Cadettes (6th-8th grade)
Gold Award: Earned by Seniors or Ambassadors (9th-12th grade)

Anticipated Pre-Requisite Steps

The It's Your World--Change It! journeys have been intentionally designed to engage girls in a critical thinking process related to identifying and researching issues they care about, developing community networks, and creating and implementing plans to take action. Upon completion of the journeys, girls will be prepared to carry out substantial award projects. Based on this, Girl Scouts of the USA anticipates that when girls complete the journeys in this series, they will have completed the prerequisites, at the relevant grade levels, for Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award projects and ultimately earn the awards.

Options for the 2008-2009 Membership Year:

  • Girls may earn the Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, or Gold Awards following existing guidelines.

OR

  • Girls may complete a journey and, upon release of the new guidelines in spring 2009, begin work toward the Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award.

Want to know more?
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Read about the leadership journeys here or contact Cheryl Miller at cmiller@girlscoutssa.org.

patch-religious-091808.gifLearn about religious awards through the TO SERVE GOD PUZZLE PATCH program. The requirements for the Puzzle Patch are simple: girls and adults must learn about religious awards (by making or attending a presentation) and make a commitment. Sample scripts and other presentation materials are available here. If you are earning the Puzzle Patch for the first time, you can purchase the anchor patch (which is the kneeling Girl Scout). If you already have the anchor patch, then the current segment for this year is the eagle soaring high. If you have questions, visit the P.R.A.Y. website or call 1-800-933-7729.

Water Drop Patch

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patch-waterdrop-091808.gifThe popular Water Drop Patch Project, co-produced by Girl Scouts of the USA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been given a face-lift!  This would be a great project to coordinate with World Water Monitoring Day, September 18.
The Water Drop Patch Project inspires Girl Scouts to learn about water quality and to take action to protect and restore local water resources. Aligned to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, this manual is now available online and in print and designed for council staff and adults who work with Girl Scout Brownies through Ambassadors.

'Ear ye, 'Ear ye!  Okay, I'll stop.  So much for corny jokes!  We are fortunate enough to have 2 corn mazes for our girls to run through, get lost in, and triumphantly emerge from.

patch-cornmaze-hickoryhills.gifHickory Hill Farms near Wetumpka has Girl Scout patches available for the girls when they complete the maze.  They are offering group rates of twenty or more for just $5.00 a person!

Click here to get more information.

 

Seward Farms will offer a corn maze again this year  on Saturdays from September 13 - October 31. patch-cornmaze-sewards.gif Seward Farms is located on Tanner Williams Road at the Alabama/Mississippi state line.  Cost is $8.50 per Scout, which includes the maze and three activities. Patches are available for 50 cents. Click here for more information.

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 ERTHNXT, the nonprofit organization that provided 14,000 trees for Girl Scouts to plant nationwide announces a new patch program!  Trees for the 21st Century offers an easy-to-use tree planting and education toolkit, connecting children and young people to the wonders of trees and the outdoors. The kits include science-based activities designed for adults working with children and youth ages 6 to 18.  As the children learn why and how to plant trees, activities reinforce the value and importance of ongoing care and encourage youth stewardship.
This cost-effective program averages $3.50 to $6 per girl for groups of 10.
Click here to learn more and order your tree kits!  Questions?  Contact Erthnxt.

 

 

Here is a great trip for Brownies! Thanks to one of my co-leaders, Willa, for finding this.

It is at the Anniston Museum of Natural History. They have a 'Badge in a Box' tour where the Brownies earn 5 badges in one day. Hope you find this useful and pass it along.

Later,

Julie Sosebee

 

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