Badgework FAQs

Q. What is VIT? Does it replace LIT?

A. The newly named VIT award refers to Volunteer-in-Training. Yes, it replaces the LIT award (Leader-in-Training) and is earned by Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors who want to mentor girls in a pathway other than the camp pathway.

Q. Will GSUSA produce a council guide to Program Aide (PA), Volunteer-in-Training (VIT), and Counselor-in-Training (CIT) prior to the launch of The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting?

A. GSUSA is producing support materials for the Girl’s Guide, including guidelines for the new awards, to be released in spring. Please keep in mind, however, that girls can continue to earn current PA, CIT, and LIT awards and will have a year from September 2011 to transition to the new resources. As a note, these awards will have the fewest changes so you can continue to use the current awards with confidence until new awards are released.

Q. Will Service Bars continue?

A. Yes. Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassador will continue to earn Community Service Bars. This award will encourage girls to practice the values of the Promise and Law as they make a difference in their communities. Two Service Bars will be offered at each level: Community Service Bars whereby a girl volunteers 20 hours of service to a community organization and the Service to Girl Scouting Bar whereby a girl volunteers 20 hours to the Girl Scout organization.

Q. What is the difference between Service and Take Action projects?

A. When girls pursue service projects, they are addressing an immediate short-term need in the community. When girls pursue Take Action projects, they take time to identify and understand the root cause of the issue they are addressing. For example, as service projects, girls might organize a book or clothing drive, paint walls to cover up graffiti, or hold a one-time march or fair to highlight a community problem. Although these projects address a need in the community, they do so for only a short period of time.

A Take Action project picks up from where a short-term project leaves off. For example, girls organizing the book or clothing drive could start a Take Action project by creating a clothes closet for the community. The girls who painted the walls to cover up graffiti can create a club that travels around the city painting beautiful murals on buildings that have been defaced. And the girls who held the march or fair could expand the event to include community artisans and make it an annual gathering.

An easy way to remember the difference between short-term service projects and Take Action projects rests on whether the project is being done for the community or with the community. If a girl is doing something for the community, most likely she is working on a short-term service project. If she is doing something with the community, she is working on a Take Action project.

Q. What are requirements for the new Journey Summit Pin?

A. When a girl completes all three journeys at her level, she earns the Journey Summit Pin. Earning this award demonstrates that a girl knows “to her core” what it means to be a leader.

Q. Does the My Promise, My Faith pin replace religious awards? Will GSUSA still offer the other religious awards through PRAY?

A. GSUSA is proud to offer girls the opportunity to deepen their faith by earning the My Promise, My Faith pin–the only national faith award girls can earn. PRAY is a private vendor and not connected to Girl Scouts of the USA. Girls can continue to earn PRAY awards administered through their individual faith communities.

Q. Why is GSUSA eliminating the XYZ badge? It was a popular badge girls loved.

A. In developing The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting, GSUSA carefully reviewed all Try-Its, badges, Interest Projects, and other awards. Many had not been revised in more than a decade and were obsolete or outdated. With the launch of the Girl’s Guide, requirements for the revised badges—developed specifically for each grade level—will reflect the most current information on a range of topics. Also, badges are housed in a binder format so new badges and updates can be added easily. Lastly, content was written with a multi-disciplinary approach, meaning that specific interests, such as geology and architecture, can be woven into badge and journey activities and experiences.

Q. Can more than one girl work on a Make Your Own badge?

A. If a group of younger girls (Brownies or Juniors) wants to make a badge together, they can. When they work as a team, everyone needs to contribute equally to the creation of the requirements and their completion. Of course, a Brownie or Junior could also create a badge on her own. The group option is offered since younger girls might find it easier to brainstorm ways to learn a skill as a group.

Older girls (Cadettes through Ambassadors) are able to take on more challenges and to work independently. For that reason, they should create their badges as individuals in order to get the most out of the Make Your Own process.

Q. Once a girl creates her Make Your Own badge, can other girls earn it?

A. When a girl earns her Make Your Own badge, she gains skills not only in the topic she has chosen but from the process of creating the badge. Therefore, girls can only earn the Make Your Own badges they create. If Make Your Own badges were available to all girls they would lose their value as “make your own” as well as the intrinsic skills that come from creating, developing, and completing a project.

Q. Why are girls limited to one Make Your Own Badge a year?

A. Girls are limited to one Make Your Own badge per year because the heart of the GSLE is one shared, national experience for girls. In order to create this shared experience that emphasizes the leadership skills we promise, we want girls to take part in the same programming as other girls their age across the nation.

Q. When do you anticipate the new pins being available? I am referring to the My Promise, My Faith pin, the Safety Award, the Community Service bar, the Service to GS bar, etc?

A. Please check with your council shop to see when they will get the pins — a lot depends on when orders are placed.

Q. For girls who are already second-year Cadettes, can they still earn all three of the My Promise, My Faith pins? The requirements say one per year, but as second-year Cadettes that leaves one year and pin out.

A: If this is of interest to the girls, then they can do this within their grade level. (In other words, second-year Brownies could do a “first year” pin, but should not go back to the Daisy pins. Cadettes should not go back and try to earn the Brownie or Junior MPMF pins.) Of course, once the Girl’s Guides have been in use for two years, this should no longer be an issue, since girls should be earning the pin each year, as recommended.

Q. Will journey books (and GGGS) will made available for the visually impaired?

A. Journey books are in the process of being translated into Braille and will be available early next year.

Q. Is there a badge for XYZ topic/subject? E.g., helping girls with chronic illnesses.

A. Yes. Girl Scouting gives girls the opportunity to identify problems that matter to them and become leaders who take action and change the world.

There are many different ways for teen Girl Scouts to earn a badge on a particular topic, for example, helping younger girls with chronic conditions. Here are a few examples: A teen could choose one of the National Leadership Journeys and choose to earn the associated leadership award by creating a take action project focused on this area of interest. For example, on the Your Voice, Your World journey, a teen could advocate for the needs of chronically ill younger girls and earn the “Advocate” award. Or, she could choose the GIRLtopia journey and earn a “Visionary” award through a project that makes the world better for chronically ill children. After completing a leadership journey, a teen Girl Scout could go on to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting, by designing and executing her own, sustainable plan to help girls with chronic illnesses. Other possibilities: a teen could earn the “Coaching” badge by helping girls with disabilities develop and implement exercise routines that work for them; the “Women’s Health” badge by choosing a health topic and educating others about it; or a First Aid badge by focusing on some of the particular emergencies girls with a chronic illness may confront.

Q. Will new guidelines for Councils’ Own badges be released this year?

A. New guidelines for Councils’ Own badges are currently in development and will be released in Spring 2012. We would advise not to develop any new Councils’ Own badges but girls can continue to earn existing Councils’ Own as well as the host of new Legacy and Skill-building badges released with the Girl’s Guide.