Finding requirements for retired badges and interest projects

It’s been four years since Girl Scouts unveiled its journeys and “Girls’ Guide to Girl Scouting” programs. And I’ll admit, I still reach  back to the old favorites.retired badges requirements

My Junior Top Chef would be bored with Simple Meals. Instead I’ve reached back into my old Girl Scout badge book for a challenge. Instead of prepping a simple meal, my daughter planned a three-day, low-cost campout menu for our family vacation.

Instead of just one sports badge, our troop, a very sporty group of girls, has looked back to earn retired badges for Field Sports and Court Sports.

In our metro area camp, we earned Outdoors in the City. We learned from a local meteorologist to earn our Weather Watch badge. And it won’t be their last retired badge to earn.

I’ve heard from more and more leaders who want their girls to find badges that meet their interests. They’re not content to a few dozen options, or the vague and costly Make Your Own Badge. Instead, they’re turning to trading for retired and discontinued badges online.

There are Facebook groups to swap for retired and Council’s Own badges, patches and interest projects, however, finding requirements online for these older awards can be tricky. Here’s a tip: Resort to good-old paperback.

Our local library is more likely to carry old Try-It books than the new Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting. Or check with your local service unit, or even your council’s history room. If you can’t find them there, I’d recommend hunting online for the original guides and badge books. Often you can get them for just a few dollars.

Here are some quicklinks to get you started. I appreciate any purchase through these Amazon links, as it helps support this site and my crazy ideas for my troop.

Books from the 2000’s

Try-Its for Brownie Girl Scouts (2000)

The Guide for Brownie Girl Scout Leaders (2000)

Junior Girl Scout Badgebook (2001)

Junior Girl Scout Handbook (2001)

Books from the 1990’s

Brownie Girl Scout Handbook (1993)

Junior Girl Scout Handbook (1994)

Cadette Girl Scout Handbook (1995)

Interest Projects for Girls 11-17 (1997)

Books from the 1980’s

More Brownie Girl Scout Try-Its (1989)

Girl Scout Badges & Signs (1980, includes Junior & Cadette badges)

Cadette & Senior Interest Projects (1987)

Cadette & Senior Girl Scout Handbook (1987)

You Make the Difference: Handbook for Cadette & Senior Girl Scouts (1980)

Books from the 1970’s

Worlds to Explore Handbook for Brownies & Juniors (1977) 

Brownie Girl Scout Handbook (1975)

Cadette Girl Scout Handbook (1975)

Cadette Girl Scout Handbook (1971)



  1. Glad I came across this. Was just speaking with my husband about how ‘lacking’ I find today’s brownies/girlscouts compared to how it was when I was a girl. I had the thought what if we did the old activities with our kids and hopped on google..which led me here. Thanks for posting the links, we will definitely be utilizing them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been a leader and volunteer for a LONG time, and have seen the many (too many) changes to the program. These current badges are way too easy for the girls, but fortunately I DO have almost all the old handbooks and badge books clear back to 1923, so we pull the old and more challenging requirements out for the girls to use; The best program they ever had was the The Worlds to Explore, and am so sorry they CHANGED it, and kept changing it. The handbook and badge books were so much better than the Girls Guide to Whatever level and can’t stand the Volunteer Toolkit. I’ve let my council and national know my feelings. I have a multi-level troop and want to challenge the girls. They are SUPPOSED to be PROFICIENCY badges.


  2. I have someone that can recreate the badges. i’m on my second round of GS with my 1st daughter 21 in college and my youngest 7 a brownie. I have a multi level troop brownie/jr and there are badges that just seemed to work better together under the old program before the journeys. Like there is potter try it and none for jrs. but if I go back, I have the ceramics and clay jr badge. So I’m mixing old with new. For kitchen scientist, I used mainly the program from science wonders. it was more fun. Really not overly impressed with the new program and I can go back to when they had to do the signs for Jr bronze. I like that program better. I remember complaining about studio 2b…..LOL not thrilled on the journeys.
    Glad I’m not the only one going with the old badges. I have a girl that wants to do something with knitting….have to go with the hobbies one


  3. Do you have any suggestions on where to find the old “try-its”

    My daughter is a brownie and her interests don’t always line up with the current offerings or her troop “thinks” they will be working on a specific badge. We were excited to work on a make your own badge (it was in the brand new book we bought at the council store) and let’s just say there were many tears after the amount of effort put in only to find out that the program was discontinued before she even joined girl scouts.

    The council recommended doing web searches to see if there were an council own equivalents or older badges and it’s been rather frustrating as we will do searches and see brownie badges/try-its even the requirements sometimes (but not picture of the badge) but no clue on how to find the physical badge. Thanks to the internet it is near impossible for me to figure out what are “current” vs. retired council own items (thank you for your site!). Some councils I’ve called are polite when I ask but others have been less than gracious.


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