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.
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.
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 “Listening to the Past.” On pages 154-155 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.
“When you listen to the past, what will you hear? You will hear stories about how people used to live and what children did a long time ago. When you listen to people talk about their past, you are participating in oral history. You can also listen to or see the past in museums, storybooks, skits, and movies. Listen carefully and see what you can learn.”
- Community stories: Listen to the stories of some of the oldest people in your community. Find them through a senior citizens’ organization, a religious group, a nursing home, or even in your family. Tape their stories or take notes. Share the stories with members of your family and your Brownie Girl Scout troop or group.
- If These Buildings Could Talk: With an adult, visit the historic buildings, monuments, and sites in your neighborhood or in the nearest city. Learn an interesting story or fact about each.
- Visit the Oldest Cemetery: Get permission to visit the oldest cemetery in your area. Do the following activities: 1) Find the oldest dates on the gravestones. Write them down. How old were the people when they died? 2) Write down some of the most unusual names. What is the most common name? 3) Take photographs, make rubbings, or draw pictures of the most unusual gravestones.
- Tell Stories of the Past: Read two stories written in the past or about the past, and tell them to others.
- Acting Out: Act out a scene from the past. Choose a favorite person or fictional character from the past. Do one of these activities: 1) Act out a scene from her life or from the fictional story. 2) Dress up like her and act like her during your Girl Scout meeting. Here are some suggestions: Joan of Arc, Sacagawea, Anne Frank, Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller.
- Games of the Past: It may be hard to believe, but years ago your mother, father, grandparents, aunts, and uncles were all young children. They played some fun games. Here is a list: Dodgeball; Red light/Green light; Tic-tac-toe; Simon Says; Guess What I Am; Kick the Can; Jump Rope Rhymes; Jacks; Doggy, Doggy, Where Is Your Bone; Crack the Whip; Sharks and Minnows. Ask family members and neighbors if they have ever played any of these games. Then select a game and learn how to play it. Teach the game to others.