New Exhibit: 50 Years, 4 Levels, 1 Program

In September 1963, Girl Scouts changed from a three-level program to a four-level structure. The Intermediate program was divided into Juniors (grades 4–6) and Cadettes (grades 7–9). The restructuring was accompanied by the release of new handbooks for each level, as well as new badges, uniforms, and awards.

The Nation’s Capital Archives and History Committee has created a new exhibit to mark the 50th anniversary of that exciting program. Items are on display in the lobby of the Council headquarters at 4301 Connecticut Ave. NW.  How many items do you recognize?

, Girl Scout History Project

The October 1963 issue of Leader magazine kicked off the new program.

, Girl Scout History Project

The new handbooks went on sale on September 9, 1963, and books purchased that first week came with a special commemorative bookplate.

, Girl Scout History Project

New badges were introduced for the Juniors and Cadettes.

, Girl Scout History Project

Committee members Virginia Walton (left) and Bonnie Johnson check to make sure the badge sash is correct.

, Girl Scout History Project

The first Cadette uniform was a variation on the alternate Intermediate uniform.

, Girl Scout History Project

The new yellow-bordered Cadette badges were sewn on sashes beneath the Junior/Intermediate badges.

, Girl Scout History Project

New insignia included the Sign of the Arrow and Sign of the Star for Juniors and new interest patches for Seniors.

, Girl Scout History Project

Cadettes had their very own logo!

The handbooks, badges, and awards combined to create a framework of progression. One program, built on one foundation, would be adapted to four ages levels.

That foundation contained six basic elements, which are still followed 50 years later:

  • Dedication to the Promise and Laws,
  • Commitment to service,
  • Belief in girl-leader planning through the patrol system,
  • Participation as citizens in a democracy,
  • Hopes for international friendship, and
  • Concern for health and safety.

Text and Photos © 2013 Ann Robertson

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