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.
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)
If girls earn these badges does it go on the front or back of the vest?
Once a badge, always a badge. They can go on the front. The only problem is that they may be a different shape or have different dimensions and could throw off the lineup of the newer badges.
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The Brownie tryits seem to be the only ones I had a problem lining up. The junior ones were fine and the IPs seem the same as the senior badges.
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.
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Chris, if you’re looking for singles I do have some brownie badges left. Email me at Useresourceswisely@gmail.com.
[…] There are also embroidery shops and Facebook groups that will help recreate retired Interest Project awards. (And get a copy of an old retired IP badge book online.) […]
Do these books have to requirements in them?
The old books were wonderful. They had everything in them. There are a small number of badges that were online only in the early 2000s but again the old books are comprehensive and terrific. My Cadette loves the book I used as a scout and we often do those!!
I’m glad I kept mine. Br, Jr and Cadette…..
[…] hobbies. My Cadette has developed her hobbies even further by investigating current and retired badges on the subject. She’s done books, art, music, cooking and theater. Each has pushed her in new […]
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.
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
If I could find a source for the new CSA shapes I would be all over that. I started collecting IPs when my girls were in 4th grade and I started hearing complaints about the Cadette program.
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.
Hi Anna, great question! While I have a few random ones leftover that I’d be happy to part with, your best bet is to join trade groups on Facebook. You’ll typically see them in the $1-3 range. Some are more challenging to find at this point than others because it’s been about 7 years since the new program came on board. However, if you’re open, you might find some true gems online that are from programs that even pre-date the Brownie Try-It program!
Anna, I wrote about this last year when the program changed. It includes some group links and other sources for badge and patch programs.
Thank you ever so much! I love the variety of the old ones and it lets my daughter go and explore new things without worrying about how it affects the troop. (One leader’s daughter has done a lot of events to earn badges/journeys on her outside of the troop which is great except that the leader won’t let the girls pick out badges/journeys to work on if someone already has it)
The best place to get try-its is http://www.badgefairy.com/shop