The Missing Link: Demystifying Girl Scout Journeys
When we talk Girl Scout National Program, we are referring to the many program elements that help to make up the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE). These elements include the tradition of learning new skills through badge work, working to build leadership skills, and opportunities and make the world a better place by earning awards such as the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards. Both of these long standing traditions are fairly well-known to the Girl Scout community and even the general public, but there is another key element… Girl Scout Journeys.
What is a Girl Scout Journey?
We’re glad you asked! Journeys are the link that connects girls from badges to Highest Awards (Bronze, Silver, Gold Awards). Let’s break it down.
Badges build skills, while Journeys use those skills to help girls plan and implement a sustainable way to solve an issue in their community related to a particular topic. This is all done by following a similar formula for earning the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. We call that formula the 3 Keys to Leadership: Discover, Connect, and Take Action.
Girls explore their community to discover topics that interest them, or they feel passionate about. Girls then identify needs in their community that connect to their interests and passions. This then helps girls collaborate with community members and allies to plan and implement a Take Action (service learning) project that tackles a community need and drives girls’ passion and interests, showing them they can make the world a better place.
Journeys are for girls of all Girl Scout levels. There are 7 different Journey categories, each category has a Journey topic specific to each Girl Scout level. Much like badges, this gives girls a chance to build on a particular topic in progression.
There is a wide variety of Journey categories, and with Journeys being a girl-led experience, girls are free to interpret the Journey more freely than badge work. Whether she is interested in exploring the outdoors and environmental stewardship, wanting to know more about girls around the world, finding ways to connect and build healthy relationships, or she wants to find out more about how STEM can make a positive change in the world, there’s a Journey to take her there!
- It’s Your Story, Tell It!
- It’s Your Planet, Love It!
- It’s Your World, Change, It!
- Think Like a Programmer
- Think Like a Citizen Scientist
- Think Like an Engineer
Guides and meeting plans for each of these categories can be found in the Volunteer Toolkit (VTK). You can also find Journey guide books for It’s Your Story Tell, It!, It’s Your World, Change It! and It’s Your Planet, Love It! Journeys at your local Girl Scout shop.
For more information on Girl scout Journeys, reach out to your Service Unit as there are likely other leaders with best practices, ideas, and resources to share. Also, look for Journey Jumpstart programs and Journey Retreats in the GSWO Program Adventure Guide or again, connect with your Service Unit as many host local Journey events.