Program FAQs

The Girl Scout Leadership Experience
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

The Basics
The New Membership Levels
Program Level Specifics
The Journey Books
The Awards
The Girl Scout Uniform


The Basics

Q:  What is the Girl Scout Leadership Experience?

A:  The Girl Scout Leadership Experience engages girls in discovering themselves, connecting with others, and taking action to make the world a better place.


Q: What are the three keys to leadership and how do they relate to the Leadership model?

A: Discover, Connect, and Take Action. These three keys are defined as:

Discover: Girls understand themselves and their values and use their knowledge and skills to explore the world.

Connect: Girls care about, inspire, and team with others locally and globally.

Take Action: Girls act to make the world a better place.

In Girl Scouting, Discover + Connect + Take Action = Leadership. All Girl Scout experiences are designed to tie to one or more of the 15 national leadership outcomes, or benefits, categorized under the three keys to leadership. The three keys to leadership replace Girl Scouting’s “four program goals.”


Q: What are the Girl Scout processes?

A: In Girl Scouting, it’s not just “what girls do” (activities), but “how” (processes) they do them (activities).  When used together, these processes—Girl Led, Cooperative Learning, and Learning by Doing—ensure the quality and promote the fun and friendship so integral to Girl Scouting. Here’s how Girl Scouts defines these processes:

Girl Led: Girl led is just what it sounds like—girls play an active part in figuring out the what, where, when, how, and why of their activities. They lead the planning and decision-making as much as possible. This ensures that girls are engaged in their learning and experience leadership opportunities as they prepare to become active participants in their local and global communities.

Learning by Doing: A hands-on learning process that engages girls in continuous cycles of action and reflection that result in deeper understanding of concepts and mastery of practical skills. As they participate in meaningful activities and then reflect on them, girls get to explore their own questions, discover answers, gain new skills, and share ideas and observations with others. Throughout the process, it’s important for girls to be able to connect their experiences to their lives and apply what they have learned to their future experiences.

Cooperative Learning: Through cooperative learning, girls work together toward shared goals in an atmosphere of respect and collaboration that encourages the sharing of skills, knowledge, and learning. Working together in all-girl environments also encourages girls to feel powerful and emotionally and physically safe, and it allows them to experience a sense of belonging even in the most diverse groups.


The New Membership Levels

Q: What are the new program grade levels?

A: The National Board of Directors approved these grade levels in 2006 to provide increased differentiation and advancement as girls experience Girl Scouting. The new program levels are effective beginning in fall 2008. Depending on local needs, councils may transition to these categories up until fall 2010.

Girl Scout Daisies - (Grades K-1)
Girl Scout Brownies - (Grades 2-3)
Girl Scout Juniors - (Grades 4-5)
Girl Scout Cadettes - (Grades 6-8)
Girl Scout Seniors - (Grades 9-10)
Girl Scout Ambassadors - (Grades 11-12)


Q: How will home-schooled or independently registered Girl Scouts use the journey materials?

A:  Girl Scouts who are on their own—and the adults who guide them—are encouraged to network with other Girl Scouts in their communities. One of our three critical processes of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience is cooperative learning. Sharing some of the discussions and experiences with others will enrich the journey and provide girls with opportunities to increase team-building and networking skills.


Q: How will multilevel groups use the journeys?

A: Let’s use It’s Your World-Change It! series as an example.  Girls at every level will be engaged in taking action.  Taking action provides a unifying theme for multi-grade level groups so girls at multiple grade levels can have their own grade-appropriate journey, yet they will be able to support each other in accomplishing goals.  All the journeys encourage girls to share or “pass forward” some of what they are learning and experiencing with other girls. Multi-grade groups offer a wonderful setting for this to happen.


Program Level Specifics

Q: What does the new two-year Daisy experience offer girls in K-1?

A:  Adults guiding Daisies are encouraged to follow the many tips and suggestions in the “how-to” adult guide that accompanies the journey.  Adults will quickly find that with a little imagination, this Daisy journey can extend far beyond the six sample sessions provided in the book.  As new journeys continue to be developed, Girl Scout Daisies can continue using existing Daisy resources and earn Daisy Petals, if they choose.

It’s official!  Girl Scout Daisies may participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Sale starting with Fall Product Activities in 2008.  This includes girls both kindergarten and first grade. 


Q: What will be special for the new Ambassador level? How will girls bridge?

A:  The journey for Ambassadors, Your Voice, Your World: The Power of Advocacy, engages Ambassadors in an advocacy experience. When they have completed the steps to advocacy, they will earn the new Advocate Award created especially for girls at this level. Ambassadors are encouraged to “pass on” to younger girls some of what they learn on their journey.. A bridging award will be available for Ambassadors in spring 2009, and girls who begin the Ambassador level in fall 2008 may earn this award retroactively. 


Q:  What is happening with the PA (Program Aide)?

A:  This program is very much a part of Girl Scouts and will be updated within the next few years to reflect elements of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.  Current guidelines remain in effect during the transition period.


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.


The Journey Books

Q: What are the books for girls in the first series of leadership journeys?

A: The first books for girls are all part of the It’s Your World—Change It! series of leadership journeys. This series features one new book for girls at each grade level in Girl Scouting:

Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden
Brownie Quest
Agent of Change (for Juniors)
aMAZE (for Cadettes)
GIRLtopia: Toward an Ideal World for Girls (for Seniors)
Your Voice, Your World: The Power of Advocacy (for Ambassadors)

At every grade level, these books place great emphasis on inviting girls to “Take Action” on an issue they care about. The books also contain stories, inspirational material, Girl Scout history, traditions and values, facts and games, and open spaces for girls to fill in their own ideas and memories.

“How to” books have been created for adults corresponding to each of the girl books.  These guides for adult volunteers offer support, including sample sessions to tailor with girls, to carry out the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.


Q:  What is the retail cost of the journey books?

A:  All grade-level girl books cost $7.00.  The adult sets, consisting of a girl book packaged with the adult guide, are $15.00.  Girl Scouts of the USA is aware of the importance of being cost-conscious and has worked to provide excellent value.  It is ideal for every girl to have her own book to fully experience the journey.


Q: How many other journeys will be developed and when will they be available?

A: Girl Scouts of the USA anticipates three journeys for every grade level by 2010.  A second journey series will roll out in 2009, and the third is anticipated for 2010.


Q:  Do journeys need to be done in any particular order?

A:  There is no particular order or rush to complete the journeys.  They can be done in any order.
Q: What will happen to the existing badge books, handbooks, and STUDIO 2B books?

These books remain available and viable Girl Scout resources. Girls may continue using them based on their interests.

As the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, is phased in between 2008 and 2010, Girl Scouts of the USA will determine  which resources might still be needed to supplement the new approach  as well as which current resources might be adapted to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience for use beyond 2010.  Information will be provided with advance notice as decisions are made. Girls will always have a chance to complete existing plans and transition to new materials.


The Awards

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.


Q:  What is the LiA (Leader in Action) award for Cadettes?

A:  Girl Scout Cadettes have an opportunity to put their skills to work assisting Girl Scout Brownies on their Quest.  Brownies (and their volunteers!) will appreciate having Cadettes along on the journey –and Cadettes will benefit from having the opportunity to have a position of responsibility.  The steps for Cadettes to earn the LiA are described in the Adult Guide for “Brownie Quest” and online at


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:  Can a journey activity be used to meet a badge requirement?

A:  The new journey awards are based on participation in a whole series of inter-related activities and discussions tied to the intended outcomes and are woven throughout the book.  So rather than each experience in a journey meeting a specific requirement, each contributes to the overall experience.  So, journey activities cannot be counted as completion of a badge activity requirement. 


Q:  Where are the awards worn?

A:  The journey awards are official and girls wear them on the front of the sash and vest.  At the Daisy level, girls may add the journey awards to the front of their tunics, in a place of their choosing.  If Daisies opt to wear the new Daisy vest, the journey awards will be worn on one side of the vest and the current Daisy Center and Petals can be worn on the other.


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 Girl Scouts of the USA is considering and analyzing this possibility. Further information will be available in 2009.


Q: What about local badge activities and programs including Council’s Own or Troop’s Own Awards?

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.  The badges for “Council’s/Troop’s Own,” are official awards and are worn on the front of the uniform sash or vest.


Q:  What is happening with adult recognitions?

A:  The adult recognitions booklet is under revision.  Current recognition pins will still be available until at least 2010 during this period of transition.


The Girl Scout Uniform

Q:  What is the new Girl Scout uniform policy?

A:  The National Board of Directors approved a new uniform policy, to begin in fall 2008.  This new uniform policy was designed to be inclusive and to allow girls to wear white tops and khaki bottoms (skirt or pants) which they may in fact already own in their school uniform wardrobe. This policy best meets the needs of girls from all economic realities, while still presenting a unified appearance in public.

Girl Scouts who already own previous official uniforms may continue to participate in official ceremonies utilizing these uniforms. “Once official, always official” so the saying goes. However, it is important not to mix prior uniforms with current, but to remain consistent in wearing one uniform dress code.

Based on this policy, girls at each level will have one official uniform item (e.g., tunic, vest, sash) so they can display the pins and badges they earn. 

Girl Scout Juniors and older program level groups will wear their vests and sashes with white shirts and khaki pants, making it easier for more girls than ever before to show their pride as Girl Scouts. 
Daisies and Brownies may also wear “khaki and white” or choose to wear full uniform ensembles for their age level.  The Daisy tunic remains available.

There is also a collection of casual uniform components available for girls to enjoy. 

The official uniform for adults is navy blue business attire worn with a scarf and membership pins for women and a tie for men. 






Keeping Hawaii Beautiful

Adults involved with Girl Scouts provided almost 118,000 hours of volunteer services in their communities last year, valued at over $2.2 million.

Members of the Girl Scouts are active, compassionate and involved citizens within their local, national and global communities.



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