Membership levels of the Girl Scouts of the USA


Membership levels of the Girl Scouts of the USA

Since 2008, Girl Scouts of the USA have had six age levels: Girl Scout Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador. Girl Scouts move or "bridge" to the next level, usually at the end of the school year they reach the age to advance. They are considered in the appropriate level based on their grade on 1 October, the start of a each new Girl Scout year. There are exceptions for "special needs" but Girl Scouts who are "young in grade" have not been specifically considered. Each year of Girl Scouting is represented on the uniform by a small, golden, five pointed membership star (one per year) with colored background discs which represent level. Girl Scouts used to wear similar uniforms to other groups in WAGGGS. Now a white shirt and khaki bottom is accepted for all levels.

Contents

Girl Scout Daisies

Girl Scout Daisy is the initial level of Girl Scouting. Named for Juliette "Daisy" Gordon Low, GS Daisies are in kindergarten and first grade (around ages 5–7).[1][2][3] They typically meet in groups of ten girls with two adult leaders who help the girls plan activities to introduce them to Girl Scouts. GS Daisies earn the Promise Center and Petals, which focus on the Girl Scout Law and are placed on the front of the tunic in a daisy design. They may also earn or receive patches for the back of their uniform, which consists of a light blue tunic, a blue membership disk, and the GS Daisy Pin. They may also wear their tunic with a white shirt and khaki bottoms. They use the Daisy Girl Scout Activity Book to work on activities, may camp only with a parent present, and have the option to sell Girl Scout cookies. New "Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting" handbooks will be introduced in Fall 2011 for all levels.

Girl Scout Brownies

Girl Scout Brownies are in second and third grades (around ages 6-9).[4][1][3] and earn triangular shaped Brownie Girl Scout "Try-Its". Try-Its are designed to introduce girls to new activities and let them try it out— proficiency is not required or expected. Their uniform consists of a brown vest or sash, with green membership disks, and the Brownie Pin. They may also wear their sash or vest with a white shirt and khaki bottoms. GS Brownies use the Brownie Girl Scout Handbook and earn badges from the Try-Its for Brownie Girl Scouts book. New "Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting" handbooks will be introduced in Fall 2011 for all levels.

Unlike some of the other levels, the name Brownie is commonly used with Girl Scout/Girl Guide organizations around the world and has its origin from Brownies in the British Girl Guides.

GS Juniors

Girl Scout Juniors are in fourth and fifth grades (around ages 9–11).[5][1][3] The Girl Scout Junior Girl Scout uniform is a green vest or sash with yellow membership disks with white shirt and khaki bottoms. Girl Scout Juniors are the first level to wear the official Girl Scout Pin on their uniform. They also use the Junior Girl Scout Handbook and earn badges from the Junior Girl Scout Badge Book. Badges require more skill at this level as the girls gain proficiency. GS Juniors may also work on other awards including the Leadership Award, Junior Aide, and the Junior Girl Scout Signs and are eligible to earn the Bronze Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting available at this level. New "Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting" handbooks will be introduced in Fall 2011 for all levels.

GS Cadettes

Girl Scout Cadettes are Girl Scouts who are in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades (around ages 11–14).[6][1][3] GS Cadettes earn Interest Projects or work on Focus booklets, and wear khaki sashes or vests, their pins and white shirts with khaki bottoms as uniforms, Their membership stars have white disks. GS Cadettes may use the Cadette Girl Scout Handbook , while Interest Projects(IP) requirements are found in the book Interest Projects for Girls 11-17 or online. New IPs have been designed by older girls and any IP can be completed using the new LEARN, SHARE, DO model. Besides IPs, GS Cadettes may work on Program Aide, the Leadership Award, the Career Award, and the Challenge; typically Girl Scouts at this level are encouraged to assume leadership roles within Girl Scouts, such as assisting in leading and coordinating service unit or association events. Girl Scout Cadettes are eligible to earn the Silver Award, which is the highest award available to girls at this level. New "Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting" handbooks will be introduced in Fall 2011 for all levels.

Girl Scout Seniors

GS Seniors are Girl Scouts who are in ninth and tenth grades (around ages 14–16).[6] Girl Scout Seniors wear the same uniform as Girl Scout Cadettes — however, the disks for their membership pin is red membership. Although they earn the same Interest Projects and STUDIO 2B Focus booklets, GS Seniors may also use the Senior Girl Scout Handbook and work on Program Aide, Leader-in-Training, or Counselor-in-Training, along with the Leadership Award, and Career Award. (4B Challenges were retired.) GS Seniors are typically encouraged to create and lead activities for younger Girl Scouts, and to take a leadership role in organizing and assisting with Council and service unit/association events and activities. Girl Scout Seniors are eligible to earn the Gold Award. New "Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting" handbooks will be introduced in Fall 2011 for all levels.

Girl Scout Ambassadors

On August 26, 2006 the National Council of GSUSA voted to change the level system ,of October 2008.[6] The Senior level, which previously included girls in grades 9 through 12, was split, and girls in grades 11 and 12 (around ages 16–18) became Ambassador Girl Scouts, the new highest level. Girls in 9th and 10th grade remained Girl Scout Seniors. Girl Scout Ambassadors wear the same khaki colored vest or sash as Girl Scout Cadettes and Seniors. Their membership disks are dark blue.[3] New "Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting" handbooks will be introduced in Fall 2011 for all levels.

Adult members

Adults, both men and women, can join Girl Scouts also and participate as leaders or in other volunteer roles. Adults do not need to have a child in the program in order to volunteer with Girl Scouts.

Campus Girl Scouts

Young adults who attend an institute of higher learning may join or start a Campus Girl Scout group on their campus. While Campus Girl Scouts are full adult members in Girl Scouts and do not form a troop or sell cookies, joining Campus Girl Scouts allows them to get involved with their campus community and beyond. They may lead troops, volunteer for Council events, help with paperwork or the cookie sale, complete service projects- their activities are driven by the members of the group..[7]

History

Initially the United States Girl Scout program, started in 1912, had one level for girls ages ten through seventeen, but it soon added two more levels. Brownies for younger girls was officially recognized in the mid 1920s though it had existed earlier. At the same time older girls (over eighteen or over sixteen if First Class Scouts) became known as Senior Scouts.

In 1938 age divisions were set as

  • Brownies (ages seven through nine)
  • Intermediates (ages ten through thirteen)
  • Seniors (ages fourteen through seventeen)

In 1963 this was rearranged to

  • Brownies (ages seven through nine)
  • Juniors (ages nine through eleven)
  • Cadettes (ages eleven through fourteen)
  • Seniors (ages fourteen through seventeen)

In 1984, the Daisy program for kindergarteners (age five) was introduced, and around 2003 the Studio 2B program for girls eleven through seventeen was introduced as a way to give older girls more options in Girl Scouts, although many girls still called themselves Cadettes and Seniors. STUDIO 2B was discontinued as a program option in 2007.

  • Daisy Girl Scouts (5 & 6 years old or in kindergarten)
  • Brownie Girl Scouts (6-8 years old or in grades 1-3)
  • Junior Girl Scouts (8-12 years old or in grades 4-6. In some situations, girls age eight and in third grade may be Juniors.)
  • Cadette Girl Scouts (12-14 years old or in grades 7-9)
  • Senior Girl Scouts (14-17 years old or in grades 10-12)[8]

In 2008 another reorganization took place. Girl Scout Ambassador level was added. All levels were changed to have Girl Scouts at the start of their name, e.g. "Girl Scout Brownies" instead of "Brownie Girl Scouts", and levels were changed to be by grade only instead of by age or grade.

  • Girl Scout Daisy (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)

Outside the age level programs, there have been somewhat separate programs for Mariner Scouts (1934–present) and Wing Scouts (1941-1970s).

In addition, there are Girl Scouts known as Juliettes, who are independent of any troop due to lack of a troop to join or because other commitments don't allow them to actively participate with available troops. A Juliette is still placed in her appropriate grade level and works on program as would any other girl her age in a regular troop. A number of Girl Scout councils are discouraging the use of "Juliettes".

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Join Us: Girls". Girls Scouts of the USA. http://www.girlscouts.org/join/girls.asp. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  2. ^ "Girl Scout Daisy, grades K-1". Girl Scouts of the USA. http://www.girlscouts.org/program/gs_central/what_is_gs/daisy.asp. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "What was Approved?". Columbia River Council (GSUSA). http://www.girlscoutscrc.org/News/gsusa.htm. Retrieved 2007-02-01. 
  4. ^ "Girl Scout Brownie". Girl Scouts of the USA. http://www.girlscouts.org/program/gs_central/what_is_gs/brownie.asp. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  5. ^ "Girl Scout Junior". Girl Scouts of the USA. http://www.girlscouts.org/program/gs_central/what_is_gs/junior.asp. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  6. ^ a b c "Girl Scouts 11-17". Girl Scouts of the USA. http://www.girlscouts.org/program/gs_central/what_is_gs/11_17.asp. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  7. ^ "Campus Girl Scouts". Girl Scouts of the USA. Archived from the original on 2008-08-01. http://web.archive.org/web/20080801021145/http://www.girlscouts.org/join/campus/. Retrieved 2007-02-12. 
  8. ^ http://www.main.org/gsusa/division.htm Lone Star Girl Scout Council

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