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My 10-year-old daughter is currently a Girl Scout (she's a Junior), and I learned through some research that there will be some major changes coming to Girl Scouts in October. Grade levels for the various levels are being re-aligned to make room for a new level. Also, the words "Girl Scouts" will be tacked on to the beginning of each level name to emphasize that the girls are part of Girl Scouting. The decisions to make these changes came about in August 2006 when the National Council of GSUSA voted to make the changes.

Girl Scout Daisies will become a two-year program for girls in Kindergarten and 1st grade. Girl Scout Brownies will become a two-year program for 2nd and 3rd grade girls. Girl Scout Juniors will become a two-year program for 4th and 5th grade girls. Girl Scout Cadettes will be a three-year program for girls in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. Girl Scout Seniors will be a two-year program for girls in 9th and 10th grade. And the new level, Girl Scout Amabassadors, will be for girls in 11th and 12th grade.

Change will also be coming to the Girl Scout uniforms. Starting in October, all Girl Scouts will be expected to wear white shirts with a pair of khaki pants. Official uniform components (tunic, sash, or vest) will still be available for all levels to display their insignia. Girl Scout Daisies and Girl Scout Brownies will still have a full uniform selection. Girl Scout Seniors and Girl Scout Amabassadors will have an option to wear a scarf to conform with the rest of the WAGGGS groups. Also, the adult uniform will undergo a change. Men and women will wear navy blue business attire; men will have a tie available to wear, while women will have a scarf.


Lesley Aeschliman
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You didn't say how you felt about these changes - I work part time for GSA, in the Outreach Dept., so the changes don't affect me much, but for the most part I think it is a good change, and will hopefully attract more parents and teachers to mentoring and volunteering as troop leaders!


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Originally Posted By: Laura-Senior-Issues
You didn't say how you felt about these changes - I work part time for GSA, in the Outreach Dept., so the changes don't affect me much, but for the most part I think it is a good change, and will hopefully attract more parents and teachers to mentoring and volunteering as troop leaders!


I was a brownie co-leader and girl scout co-leader when my daughter was in elementary school - I can't say enough how helpful it was to have co-leaders; I think that is why our girls could continue on so much longer than other troops.

Of course it was difficult enough to find women who could step up to volunteering as leaders without expecting co-leaders to sign up - I can't imagine how difficult it must be today, with working women stuck in traffic messes and longer commutes. Who are the women who volunteer in 2008?

When my daughter first started, we could still find the little brown brownie uniforms at thrift stores, and I would buy and wash one for each girl to wear if she liked.

We walked around the neighborhood with her pulling a wagon full of cookies, knocking on doors as women arrived home from work, and it was delightful to see women in power suits carrying briefcases stop and wait for my daughter to talk to them. About half of them sang a song with her, "I've got something in my pocket that belongs across my face..." - of course my daughter loved it.

Now I am certain they don't allow door to door sales ~ but I wonder how many successful women did start out in girl scouting.

I wish everyone the best of luck with the new titles and uniforms. I hope they use up all the old stationery, etc, after they've made the change. As I recall, it cost quite a bit of money to volunteer as a leader. It was a great investment in our wonderful troop of girls.

My daughter's group included a girl with Down syndrome.

Pam W
SE of Seattle

Originally Posted By: Lesley - Anime Editor
My 10-year-old daughter is currently a Girl Scout (she's a Junior), and I learned through some research that there will be some major changes coming to Girl Scouts in October. Grade levels for the various levels are being re-aligned to make room for a new level. Also, the words "Girl Scouts" will be tacked on to the beginning of each level name to emphasize that the girls are part of Girl Scouting. The decisions to make these changes came about in August 2006 when the National Council of GSUSA voted to make the changes.

Girl Scout Daisies will become a two-year program for girls in Kindergarten and 1st grade. Girl Scout Brownies will become a two-year program for 2nd and 3rd grade girls. Girl Scout Juniors will become a two-year program for 4th and 5th grade girls. Girl Scout Cadettes will be a three-year program for girls in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. Girl Scout Seniors will be a two-year program for girls in 9th and 10th grade. And the new level, Girl Scout Amabassadors, will be for girls in 11th and 12th grade.

Change will also be coming to the Girl Scout uniforms. Starting in October, all Girl Scouts will be expected to wear white shirts with a pair of khaki pants. Official uniform components (tunic, sash, or vest) will still be available for all levels to display their insignia. Girl Scout Daisies and Girl Scout Brownies will still have a full uniform selection. Girl Scout Seniors and Girl Scout Amabassadors will have an option to wear a scarf to conform with the rest of the WAGGGS groups. Also, the adult uniform will undergo a change. Men and women will wear navy blue business attire; men will have a tie available to wear, while women will have a scarf.


Pamela Wilson - Children with Special Needs Editor
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There is a ton of training, free, available from councils these days for leaders, and co-leaders, plus the regulations state that you are "in uniform" if you are wearing your girl scout pin, so that uniforms aren't required - I still have a picture of me in my brownie uniform (some 45 years ago!) and my junior sash and its badges is one of my treasures. As we encourage moms AND dads to volunteer, and provide as much training as we can, we hope that the co-leader idea will become even more popular, taking the burden of a troop off the shoulders of any one person. We work, in my department, with the schools, running short term programs to introduce girls to scouting, and sometimes we find teachers and support staff who are willing to take on leadership roles.
We also really encourage girls, parents and schools to get involved with cookie sales, as for many, if not most, girl scout councils, that is a major source of revenue. During recession times, when money is tight for charities, churches and other non-profits, we rely even more heavily on those sales to support our programs, and to get the word out there about girl scouts, since the work we do, whether paid or volunteer, is so important to girls nationwide.
Okay, getting off my soapbox now! smile


Laura Strathman Hulka - Senior Issues Editor
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When it comes to the changes, I think it's going to be hard for me truly have an opinion until after the change is made. In the short term, the only real effect it's going to have on my 10-year-old is the fact she will only have two years as a Junior Girl Scout instead of three.

However, I will feel the changes more when my younger daughter (who is currently 3 years old) becomes a Girl Scout Daisy in a few years.

Speaking of the Daisy level, my biggest wonder is how exactly GSUSA is planning to extend it out to two years. I hope there is an overhaul to the Daisy level. As the program was run when my older daughter was in it (basically, they got a petal for each meeting they attended), it would very difficult to extend that out to two years and keep it interesting for the older girls in the level.


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I was a very active Girl Scout until I was about 12. I LOVED it, my family is all very involved in Girl Scouts. I think the changes sound positive. Organizations like Girl Scouts need to find ways to continually evolve, otherwise they will die. I think Girl Scouts has done a great job of staying current, and I think these changes are going to help them stay current and appealing to girls.

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Kindergarteners "ain't what they used to be!" I think that GSA is realizing that education is being focused at younger ages... (I mean in regards to subjects learned, expectations of capabilities, preschool education influences etc.) and so they are trying to bridge the gap in a more flowing manner - from my GS work, at all age levels, I can see that there seems to be a logical break in maturity and skills at each place the GS has created new age bracketing. The focus for GSA now, I believe, is to be more inclusive, more outreach directed, and providing a higher level of involvement of program directors, membership directors and other paid staff with the volunteer core... Just my take on it!


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I've written a series of articles on these changes if you're interested: BellaOnline ALERT: Raw URLs are not allowed in these forums for security reasons. Please use UBB code. If you don't know how to do UBB code just post here for help - we will help out!

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The new uniform "rule" is that you have to be wearing your pin and a sash or vest to be in uniform.

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As a Junior leader and working mom, the changes don't seem that drastic. My troop will be mostly 5th graders and second year Juniors so the changes won't affect us that much either. I only have an official co-leader on paper but it does help me get meeting volunteers more willingly! With the council mergers, the emphasis on training has gone up in my area. The leader trainings tend to be very high quality but not offered often and council can be very inflexible if you have to leave early/come late etc. The biggest feedback we get from our Service Area, in fact, is about Council inflexibility or lack of responsiveness (the computers this year have been a mess!). The uniforms shouldn't be a big sticking point. I would love it if my girls would turn out in full uniform for events, but usually it's a trick to even get vests on! The Daisy program will definitely need to be revamped and made more Brownie-like to go 2 years!

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