Badges, Activities, & Beyond

4 Patch Programs to Explore in 2024

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio (GSWO) has several patch programs that girls can complete to commemorate fun moments, signify participation in an activity, and earn special insignia to attach to their uniforms. Patch programs are a great way to share a unique and tailored learning experience with Girl Scouts, especially one that highlights a topic not yet covered by badge options.

What is the difference between patches and badges?

Badges are official Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) insignia earned by girls earn for completing skill-building activities. These are displayed on the front of a girl’s vest or sash. (Check out our blog post about the Top 5 Reasons to Earn Girl Scout Badges to learn more!)

Patches are given to Girl Scouts for participating in fun and/or educational events, activities, or other programs not officially recognized by GSUSA. Patches are displayed on the back of a girl’s vest or sash. Because patches cover a wide range of topics and interests, your girls are sure to find a patch program that excites them — whether at the national or council level!

Like badges, national patch programs are official GSUSA programs. Girls can find fun ways to boost mental health or connect with their community to spread awareness about climate change. Council-sponsored patch programs are developed locally. Girl Scouts in western Ohio can earn patches for attending certain GSWO events, to acknowledge special anniversaries, or to learn about Ohio wildlife and environments. But the fun doesn’t stop there! Did you know that Girl Scouts can participate in patch programs around the nation? Explore other councils’ websites to discover the rousing opportunities they offer!

As you plan your troop meetings for the new year, you may be wondering what patch programs are available for your girls’ age levels. Keep reading to discover four fantastic patch programs girls of all ages can enjoy!

National Patch Programs

Climate Challenge: As climate change affects our planet, it’s up to us to do what we can to protect the Earth. When you participate in the Girl Scout Climate Challenge, you’ll get outdoors to learn about climate science, connect with your community to understand how it is impacted by climate change, and spread awareness of the issue to make a difference. Whether you learn about the effects of greenhouse gases, talk to local climate experts, or lead a sustainability project, your knowledge and involvement will help you be a climate advocate.

Mental Wellness: Life isn’t always easy, but dealing with tricky emotions doesn’t have to be so hard. Try activities from the Girl Scouts: Resilient. Ready. Strong. program to unlock a patch and strengthen your mental wellness. Nobody can snap their fingers and make the world all sunshine and lollipops, but you can take steps to be ready when things get tough. Go get ‘em, Girl Scout!

GSWO Council Patch Programs

Bat’s So Awesome: Look up to the sky: it’s a bird, a plane… no, it’s a BAT! Bats are one of the most misunderstood creatures in the world. Find out more about these interesting and unique animals by completing the steps for your age level with your troop.

Future Voter: Girl Scouts will be prepared to lead the change in their town, state, and the country as part of our ongoing mission to make the world a better place! How? Start by earning the Democracy badge for your age level. Through these badges, you will understand how local, state, and federal government works. Then continue to build the knowledge and skills you’ll need to be a good citizen by earning your Future Voter patch.

Where can I purchase Girl Scout patches?

Once the required steps for a patch program are completed, patches can be purchased at local Girl Scout Center shops or online for $1.50 less than badges. With this limited cost, patch programs offer more accessibility to new troops with limited resources. Patch activity guides and resources are also free to download online. Whether you’re exploring climate science, diving into STEM, or engaging in community service, these low budget programs enhance the Girl Scout experience and make it even more rewarding!

Girl Scout Patch Programs open a world of possibilities for troops seeking additional adventures and skill-building opportunities. And getting started couldn’t be easier! Visit our website or contact your local council for a list of available programs and accompanying resources.

Have you or your troop completed a favorite patch program? Share your story with us for a chance to be featured on social media (and potentially earn a special Media Influencer patch from GSWO)!

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