Category Archives: Badges
With Monday’s eclipse looming, we know that many Girl Scouts all over the country will be watching either on their school grounds or with their family in the path of totality.
In the Archives, while we do not have much eclipse-related materials, we do have some items on the night skies, including this Luminous Pocket Planetarium from 1948.
Looking to the skies has been a favorite activity in Girl Scouts for many years. In the original handbook, “How Girls Can Help Their Country” (1916), JGL includes a section on Stars and details of the sky on pages 83-91.
This Luminous Pocket Planetarium was printed by GSUSA in 1948, and the card insert details the night skies in winter and in summer.
Some of the current badges that use this information include:
Junior (Grades 4-5): Camper Badge, Step #5: Head out on your trip and have some nighttime fun. Maybe have the girls try to spot some constellations!
Cadette (Grades 6-8): Night Owl Badge, Step #4: Explore nature at night–Choice #1 is to examine the night sky. (The badge also mentions that you might “make a drawing of the Big Dipper and North Star twice in one evening three hours apart as Cadettes in 1963 did to earn their Star badge. Or, you could look through a telescope at three or more heavenly objects, such as a star cluster, a galaxy, or a moon, as girls did to earn their Aerospace badge in 1980.”
We would love to receive photos or stories of how you and your troop watched the eclipse on Monday, August 21!
Twenty five years ago today, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law by President George W. Bush. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. It protects against discrimination similar to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origination, and other characteristics illegal. In addition, the ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities such as providing ramps for employees who are confined to wheelchairs. Any public and/or commercial facility, such as restaurants, hotels, stores, and public transportation, must also provide access.
Did you also know that, long before any such act as the ADA, the first Girl Scout troop for the physically handicapped organized here in Atlanta was in 1947? Mrs. Charles B. Brown organized the troop of six wheelchair bound girls at Aidmore Hospital for Crippled Children. Under the name Crippled Children’s League of Georgia, the first clinic for crippled children was held in Marietta, Georgia, and from 1941 to 1954 the successful institution was in operation at 918 Peachtree Street. Today it is known as Elks Aidmore, Inc. and is not limited to helping young people with just physical handicaps, but those with mental disabilities as well. It is now located on 141 acres in Conyers, Georgia.
Do you want to learn more about what it would be like to live as someone with a physical disability? Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta has two awesome Council’s Own badges that will allow you to do just that: “What If I Couldn’t” and “Georgia Rocks and Rolls.”
(Click on the names of the above badges to get the requirements for them.)
How is everyone in Atlanta enjoying this beautiful Spring weather? It’s been really nice recently, and although the forecast calls for one last cold snap this weekend, Spring is officially here! Last Friday, March 20th, was this year’s Vernal Eqinox, the first day of Spring. What are you doing to spend time outside before the vicious Georgia summer gets here? Maybe you’ve already planned a camping trip or two… Pictured here from left to right are the Junior Camper badge of today, the Campcraft badge, and the Outdoor Cook badge, both in use from 1938 to 1963:
Or maybe camping’s not your thing? That’s ok! There are all kinds of outdoor badges that Girl Scouts over the past century have been able to earn. Get outside and observe animals, plant some flowers, take a day hike, or play some outdoor games! Pictured below are the 1955-1963 Sports badge, the 1938-1963 Swimmer badge, and today’s Junior Gardener badge:
Whatever it is you decide to do, just have fun outside during this gorgeous weather! Happy Spring, Girl Scouts!
Thanksgiving is only two days away and we want to continue our celebration of Native American Heritage Month here at the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives! Did you know that Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta has two Council’s Own badges about the Native Americans of Georgia? Called “Georgia’s Native People,” a badge can be earned by both Brownies and Juniors that teaches all about the American Indians that were once so prevalent here in the northern region of Georgia.
The Brownie badge features a traditional Cherokee Indian design, one that might have been woven onto a girl’s dress using quills or beads.
The Junior badge also features a traditional Cherokee design, a flower that a girl might bead into her moccasins.
Both badges focus on the history, traditions, and culture of the Native American Cherokee Indian tribe and help girls find out what it was like to be a girl who lived as one of Georgia’s First People.
Both of these badges are available in your local Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Badge and Sash Store now! If you and your troop is interested in earning this badge, you can download a pdf version of the requirements here for the Brownie badge, and here for the Juniors.
If you have any questions about either of these badges or would like to check out one of the several resource boxes pertaining to this badge that we have available in the Resource Center at the Mableton Service Center, please contact us or stop on by!
Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Did you know that November is Native American Heritage Month? It seems only fitting that during the month in which we celebrate the first Thanksgiving the English Settlers and the American Indians shared back in 1621, we should take some time to learn more about the people that called this land home long before the “Pilgrims” ever arrived.
Here are just a few places on the internet that you can check out to learn a little more about Native American culture and heritage: History.com, Wikipedia, National Museum of the American Indian website, and countless more.
Did you know that from 1963-1980 there was a Junior Proficiency Badge called Indian Lore? It featured an embroidered image of a Native American kachina doll of the Native American Hopi tribe. It is a figure carved of wood, or root, and it is used to teach young girls about the katsina, beings that control aspects of nature such as rain, and act as messengers between people and the spiritual world.
Here are the requirements for the Indian Lore badge:
1. Know the history of the Indians who once lived nearest your home. Describe their homes, costumes, and food and tell where their descendants live today.
2. Describe briefly the different kinds of Indians that lived in North America. Tell how their way of life was affected by the part of the country in which they lived.
3. Tell what states have names of Indian origin. Give the meaning of three names.
4. Read at least 3 Indian legends. Choose one and tell it to a group of Brownies or other friends.
5. Make a useful article such as a sheath for a knife or ax and decorate it with authentic Indian designs. OR make a model of a tepee or other type of Indian dwelling.
6. Learn to play an Indian game and teach it to your patrol or troop. OR show some Indian dance steps OR perform an Indian dance in camp or at a troop meeting.
7. Teach an Indian song to your patrol. Explain its meaning and how the song was used by the Indians. OR make a simple Indian musical instrument and use it in camp or at a troop meeting.
Although the Indian Lore badge was unfortunately retired in 1980 it can still be earned and if you are interested in acquiring some of these badges for your troop, please contact us! We have many resources at our fingertips to help you in your search. Keep an eye out for next week’s blog post as we here at the GSGATL History and Archives Committee continue our celebration of Native American Heritage Month!
Everyone knows the saying, “Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout,” right? Well, did you also know that “Once a badge, always a badge?” YES! If you can find the retired/discontinued badges that you want (think eBay, Etsy, or even back-stock at your local Badge and Sash store and/or council online stores), then you can earn them with your girls! This is wonderful news for us here in the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta History and Archives Committee because that means that several awesome history-related badges that we thought were previously unavailable are now available again!
One badge is a Brownie try-it called “Listening to the Past.” We’ve made a blog post all about this badge and the requirements involved and if you’re interested, click here to read it.
Another badge for Juniors is called “Across Generations.” Girls must earn any six of the following ten requirements:
- These Are Their Lives
Interview one or more older adults to find out about their lives. Ask them about dates, special events, or other important days that they remember. Create a painting, time line, or scrapbook showing these important experiences. Give it to the person you interviewed.
- Learn a New Skill
Invite a person who is 70 years old or older and has a special hobby or skill to share it with your troop or family.
- Make A Friend
Visit a person in a nursing home or senior center at least two times. Ask her about her live, share pictures from your life, teach her one of today’s songs or learn a song from her childhood.
- Be A Helper
Find a way to assist an older person in your community. Help an older neighbor with her gardening, help a friend’s grandmother with chores, or read to someone whose eyesight is failing.
- Service Directory
With your troop create a list of community agencies, schools, house of worship, or organizations that help older people. Contact each organization and find out if it allo2ws girls to volunteer. If it does, what commitment is required? Does the organization provide training? Compile this information in a directory. Work with your leader or another adult to make copies of the directory available for people who want to do service project.
- Girl Scouts Past and Present
Find women in your community who were Girl Scouts from 1912 to 1950. Invite them to share their Girl Scout memories with you. What has stayed the same in Girl Scouting? What has changed?
- Share the Fun
Visit a nursing home, retirement home, or senior citizen’s center. Participate in an activity such as singing or a game or craft session. Or create a special activity that you then share with a group of senior citizens.
- Love What You Do
Invite an individual over the age of 65, who is active in her career, to come to your troop or group and discuss what has made her happy and successful in her work.
- What’s So Funny?
Find out how humor has changed over the years. Look at cartoons or comic books from 20 or 30 years ago. Ask your local librarian to help you find them. Next, read the funnies in your local paper or your favorite comic book. What’s different? What’s the same?
- Food Through the Years
Invite a senior citizen to do a cooking project with you. Prepare recipe she enjoyed as a youngster. Ask her how food preparation has changed. Are some ingredients that used to be easily available now hard to find? What new kitchen equipment has been invented that makes cooking much quicker and easier?
Also for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors there is a badge called “Heritage Hunt.” Like the above Brownie try-it, we’ve written a blog post about this badge before. Click here to check out the requirements!
These are just a few examples of the retired and/or discontinued history-related badges that can still be earned! There are plenty of others out there, all you have to do is a little searching. If you have any questions or need help with any of these badges, please contact us at GirlScoutArchivesAtlanta@gmail.com.
It starts with us!
This past weekend, on Saturday, August 9th, was the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Volunteer Leadership Conference. Where you there? We were! The GSGATL History and Archives Committee had a booth set up all day long sharing info and educating everyone about who we are and what we do! Everyone had a lot of fun spreading the word about what the Archives can do to help volunteers grow and strengthen their leadership experience.
The Volunteer Leadership Conference was held at the Cobb Galleria off of Cobb Parkway, near Marietta, Ga. It focused on learning experiences and how volunteers and leaders can make the most of their knowledge of Girl Scouting while facilitating the volunteers of tomorrow.
Archive committee members educated leaders about the many items we have in the collection that can help them and their troops complete programs and earn badges. For example, did you know that in the Archives we have resource boxes for each age level that will help you complete the history portion of the Girl Scout Way badge?
How has our Girl Scout Law changed over the years? Our uniform? Our ceremonies? Our songs? We can help you learn all about the traditions of our Girl Scout Sisters of the past and how they relate to Girl Scouts of today, then share your new found knowledge with your troop or other Girl Scout leaders and volunteers!
If you missed this year’s Conference, we welcome all of you to make some time to come by the Mableton Service Center and see what we have to offer for you and your Scouts!
Interest Projects are what girls aged 11-17 work on to learn about various topics and to gain new skills—everything from fashion and fitness to communication and camping. The Girl Scout has to earn two Skill Builders activities and two activities from any of the four categories, but not both from the same category. She also has to design and do one activity based on a goal she sets for herself, and prepare a short reflection describing the parts of the Girl Scout Law that relate to what she did. This Interest Project is named Museum Discovery.
Museums offer visitors unparalleled opportunities to become absorbed in the past, to ponder the present, and to envision the future. Whether you are walking through a model of a human heart in a science museum or watching a re-enactment of a scene from colonial America at a historical site, museums can be magical and intriguing places. Discover something new about an old favorite, or explore online a new museum anywhere in the world.
- Visit a museum of your choice. Take in the exhibits on your own. Then, if possible, arrange for a “behind-the-scenes” tour. Determine how the museum is meeting its mission or objectives by asking your guide questions and by observing how others use the museum. Discuss with others what you like most about this museum, and how you might change it to meet the needs of different age groups, cultures, or people with disabilities.
- Develop a mini-exhibit for your Girl Scout Council on Girl Scout history. You will need to research, organize, catalog, exhibit, and learn how to care for the display items.
- Design your own museum! Choose a theme, determine your objectives, plan exhibits and activities, and diagram one or more of the exhibit spaces. Select a theme from the list below or come up with one of your own. (Children, film and broadcasting, history, natural history, science and technology, automobiles, fashion, art, women’s history, living museums such as zoos, aquariums, or botanical gardens.)
- Visit or learn about the exhibits at Juliette Gordon Low Girl Scout National Center in Savannah, Georgia, or GSUSA’s National Historic Preservation Center. If possible, visit a historical exhibit at your Council.
- Build a model or draw a blueprint of a site, such as a medieval castle, a modern skyscraper, a sports arena, or a neighborhood. Describe your model in writing on an exhibit card.
- Visit at least three American (including the Smithsonian) and three foreign museums online. Visit at least three virtual museums online, keep a log of what you see, and compare your experience to an actual trip. Develop an online tour for a family member or friend based on her interests.
- Museums house priceless and irreplaceable collections of all kinds–from dinosaur bones to manuscripts from ancient times. Discover the high-tech security methods museums use to protect their collections from vandalism or theft.
- If moon rocks were exposed to the air, they would rust. If medieval tapestries were placed in direct sunlight, they would fade. Find out about the special lighting, temperature, and humidity systems that museums use to exhibit rare and delicate objects.
- Visit a local museum and check if it is accessible to people with disabilities. What technologies are used to aid people with disabilities to visit museums? After your visit, make a list of recommendations on how you would improve the facilities.
- Find out how audiovisual materials such as videotapes, music cassettes, films, slides, and photographs are preserved.
- Develop or facilitate an activity for younger Girl Scouts at a local museum. For example, you might arrange a sleepover at a historical site or science museum.
- Create a small exhibit on something you feel strongly about. Arrange to show or share this exhibit in your local Girl Scout Council, house of worship, or school. Topics might include women in the arts, women’s inventions, the history of music or dance, fashion, a conservation issue, or civil liberties.
- Form a museum association for people your own age and explore ways to provide service to a local museum, library, historical society, nature museum, zoo, or botanical garden as aides, docents, or museum interpreters. Or participate in an existing volunteer program. Evaluate your training and experience.
- Develop a directory of local and regional resources for your Council or Service Unit, including museums, historical societies, botanical gardens, zoos, arboretums, libraries, or exhibits. Mke sure to include features (elevators, audio tours, Braille guides, etc.) that make each site accessible to a broad audience. Suggest how these places could provide educational experiences for Girl Scouts.
- Find out about three careers that are museum-based, such as conservator, educator, librarian, graphic artist, researcher, public relations or communications staff, fund-raiser, or editor of a museum publication. Find out what educational preparation and training are required for these positions.
- Identify two museum studies programs at colleges or universities. Find out if these programs might enable you to work in a specific kind of museum: for example, a museum devoted to art history, science education, American history, or zoology.
- For one day, shadow a person with a museum-related career. If there is no museum in your area, check to see if there is a museum outreach program that comes to your community, a nature center, zoo, botanical garden, or other facility. Or shadow someone who contracts with a museum, such as an exhibit maker, storyteller, or artisan. What kinds of skills does the person practice on the job?
- Learn about maintaining exhibits at living museums such as zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens. Request a behind-the-scenes tour and ask questions about training and experience in this field.
- Work as an intern or aide in a museum.
In our Georgia Archives Month Display, we highlight badges current Girl Scouts can earn that relate to history. At the Brownie level (grades 2-3), one of the badges that can be earned is called “Her Story” On pages 106-107 of Try-Its for Brownie Girl Scouts (New York: Girl Scouts of the USA, 2000), the badge description and suggested activities are listed. In earning the badge, the Brownie is required to do four activities out of six.
“An issue is a subject or topic that people may have strong feelings about and want to discuss. How can you learn about issues important to women and girls?”
- A Girl Scout’s Story: Read about Juliette Gordon Low in your Brownie Girl Scout Handbook. Or check out her story online. Then try to find a woman in your community who was a Girl Scout a long time ago. Invite her to speak to your troop, if possible, or interview her. Find out about her memories of being a Girl Scout.
- Talk to Women: Ask five women to tell you about what they believe are the three most important issues facing women today. Make sure you ask women of different ages, from teenagers to women over 70 years old. Include at least two women from a race or ethnic group different from your own. How are the answers similar or different? Share what you learned with the other girls in your troop or group.
- Create Tales: What are some of your favorite fables and fairy tales? Would these stories be different if they were written today? How would the girls and women in the story be different? Or would they be the same? Change a story to show how today’s girls and women would think, feel, or act. Share your story with others. Write it down, draw a comic strip, or act it out.
- A Ceremony to Honor Women: Plan a simple ceremony to honor women. You can recite poems written by girls or women. Or you might like to perform a skit or make up a song about a woman in history or in your community. If you can play an instrument, play along to the song. Invite women who are special to you and your community.
- Help in Your Community: Service is an important part of being a Girl Scout. Look at the section on service on page 92 of your handbook. Would you like to do a service project that helps women and children? Choose a service project you would like to do, with your leader’s assistance, from the following list: 1) Make baby bundles. Include supplies like diapers, baby wipes, and bottles. Donate them to a community agency. 2) With your troop or group, make a quilt to give to a woman and her newborn baby at a local hospital. 3) Collect toiletries like toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorants, shampoo, combs, and hairbrushes and give them to a shelter that helps homeless women.
- Your Story: Think about where you will be when you are a grown-up. Create a time line for yourself like the one below. Write in your time line what you would like to do or to have happen in your future.
For leaders and interested readers, further information about women in Georgia can be found at
- Georgia Women of Achievement: Recognizing and honoring women native to or clearly identified with the State of Georgia. Juliette Low was one of the first women inducted in 1992.
- Georgia State University’s Women Collection: Established in 1995, is dedicated to collecting, preserving and making available the documentary heritage of women in Georgia and the South.
- Women’s History Month Resources from the Digital Library of Georgia
Girl Scouts In Action: Helping Women in the Community
At the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Morgan Coffey, 18, was honored as being one of ten 2009 National Young Women of Distinction. To be considered for this honor, the Girl Scouts had to have earned Girl Scouts’ highest award, the Girl Scout Gold Award, and spent one to two years on a community action project that has had far-reaching effects in her community and beyond.
She wanted to help victims of abuse so she created both the Victim Support Initiative, which provides 500 brochures filled with helpful information for victims of abuse, and are distributed by the DeKalb Police Department’s Special Victims Unit, and Change in a Bag, which provides abuse victims a fresh change of clothing. Morgan also founded the non-profit, Stronghold Atlanta, to help women and children who are victims of domestic violence. The full press release from March 18, 2010 is in PDF.