Counting down to the 110th birth of the Girl Scouts of the USA on March 12, 2022.
Pssst: That’s TOMORROW
The Girl Scout movement underwent dramatic changes in the 2000s. While there had been incremental changes to badges, age levels, and council boundaries before, this time sweeping changes were simultaneous.
All initiatives were part of the all-encompassing Core Business Strategy.
Girl Scout Leadership Experience
GSUSA introduced a completely new program curriculum for all age levels. The centerpiece of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience was the Journey–a vaguely defined theme that structured a troop year.
Badges seemed to be an afterthought as they rolled out roughly three years after the journeys. The badges looked completely unfamiliar. Designs that traced as far back as 1912, such as Cooking, were discontinued. A key element of historical continuity was lost.
Age Levels Redefined
Program levels were shuffled. First graders became Daisies, not Brownies. Now each level Brownies, Juniors, Seniors, and Ambassadors (a new level for 11th and 12th graders) were shortened from three-years to two, except for Cadettes, which remained three years, to match middle school grouping.
The realignment project was designed to consolidate 315 councils into 100.
While Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors still had recognizable uniform options, the new dress code for all ages was white polo, khaki bottom (pants, skirts, shorts, etc.) plus a sash or vest.
Will the Girl Scouts crumble under all of these changes? Will the movement survive? Stay tuned ….(Spoiler alert: YES).
©2022 Ann Robertson, writer, editor, and Girl Scout historian