The Junior Girl Scout Ways badge is part of the “Legacy” badge set introduced in 2011.
Purpose: When I've earned this badge, I'll know how to use the Girl Scout ways and traditions to make the world a better place.
Activity #1: Match songs to an occasionEdit
Singing brings us all together and helps us feel connected, strong, and proud. Girl Scouts sing in special places or to mark special times – or sometimes – just for the fun of it! There are songs for many different events, and choosing the right ones can make an occasion more meaningful.
- Find lift-the spirit songs. What are good songs to keep little kids occupied on a rainy day? Can you find patriotic songs for a ceremony at the airport to welcome veterans home? Put together a program for an occasion where singing would spread cheer. Then, plan the occasion, and sing your songs.
FOR MORE FUN: Share your songs as a group singing telegram!
- Pick songs for a ceremony or gathering. Get together with other Juniors, and plan music for a Girl Scout gathering – perhaps your next Scouts’ Own, a s’more fest around the campfire, or a hike where you need a get-moving spirit. Find songs that fit the gathering, set the mood, and keep everyone excited. Then, practice them so you’re ready to sing at the gathering.
- Make up a song to share a message. Many songwriters compose songs to share a message they feel is important. Try it! Make up a jingle or song about why you love Girl Scouting and share it with others. Perhaps your song will inspire other girls to become Girl Scouts, too.
Pretend you’re a Girl Scout from 1980. As girls did to earn their Musician badge, pretend you’re selecting the music for a concert for people who like three of the things listed below. Give the name of the music and the composer, and play records of your selections. Choose from the sea or rivers; woods or mountains; fields or meadows; circus or festival; patriotism or parades; elves, fairies, or other mythical creatures; or spiritual feeling.
Girl Scouts have been picking great songs to sing since 1913 – and some hints from the past can still be useful to you today.
1. Begin with some songs your group already knows. You can enjoy singing at once, with not practice.
2. If the girls in your group haven’t sung together very much, select at first new songs that you can learn quickly. Short rounds and fold songs with tra-la-la choruses are good types.
3. After you’ve sung together a while, you will probably want something a little more advanced. Try the longer art songs, simple part songs, and songs with descants. A descant is a contrasting melody, usually sung by a few high voices. No more than a third of the singers should take the descant at one time, and for only one or two verses.
4. Choose songs that suit the occasion. A hike calls for songs with rhythm; a patriotic program suggests songs about our country; and a campfire program is a good opportunity to sing songs about nature and lovely lullabies.
-Girl Scout Handbook, 1940
Activity #2: Celebrate the Girl Scout birthdayEdit
Girl Scout celebrations honor women and girls who change the world. As a Junior, celebrate the Girl scout birthday. On March 12, 1912, 18 girls gathered for the first Girl Scout meeting in the United States. This year, celebrate how Girl Scouts are still going strong a century later!
- Celebrate the Girl Scout Promise. Plan a Girl Scout birthday celebration that focuses on helping others – just like the Girl Scout Promise says. You could invite your friends and family and share how you took action to make a difference, or how you plan to this year. Your party could be occasion to share skills you’ve learned in your badges, like making a great dessert, taking guests for a tour of your garden, or sharing a song or a sonnet you wrote about Girl Scouting!
- Imagine yourself as one of the original Girl Scouts. Read about Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low and why she founded the Girl Scouts. Imagine what it was like to be one of the first 18 girls at the meeting in 1912. Make up a story, play, or mural about being a Girl Scout with Daisy. Share your creation at a Girl Scout gathering.
- Help a Brownie or Daisy group plan a celebration. Help Brownies or Daisies give service in honor of the Girl Scout birthday. You might write a play about Girl Scouting for them to perform, teach songs they could sing at a special occasion, or help them plant a tree!
Tip: Try to celebrate on March 12 – or spread the Girl Scout spirit by holding your celebration on a different day.
“Sisterhood” doesn’t mean just sisters in your family. All the girls and women who are Girl Scouts try to live by the Girl Scout Law. That’s what makes us a Girl Scout sisterhood. Use our Law’s important lines to get closer to your sisters across time and space.
- Make a time capsule. Get together with another group of Juniors to show girls in the future how Girl Scout Juniors practice the Law today. Collect items that show Girls Scout values: perhaps photos, souvenirs from your Leadership Journeys, stories you’ve written, or patches from favorite Girl Scout events. Put them in a waterproof container, and decide on a special place for your time capsule. (Some are buried in the ground or placed in a wall or safe.) Record instructions for when and who should retrieve the capsule!
Tip: Make sure the place is somewhere you have permission to use and that girls will still be able to access when they want to go back in time.
- Scouts’ Own for sisterhood. Invite another group of Girl Scout Juniors to share a Scouts’ Own with you. The theme is the Girl Scout Law – but how you share your ceremony, reflection, and celebration is all up to you.
- Sisters across time. Find two Girl Scout handbooks from the past, and look at two badges girls your age could do at that time. Try an activity from one of the badges that shares or spread the ideas from the Law. (See the next page for some ideas.) Then, share how the activity helped you live the Law.
FOR MORE FUN: Talk to two Girl Scouts from different generations, and find out their favorite badge activities. Ask to see their old handbooks!
Tips for Planning a Scouts’ Own
1. First choose a theme. Then, make a list of different ways you can tell or show the theme – perhaps with songs, music, poems, stories, or thoughts you write down especially for the ceremony.
2. From your list, choose one idea to open the Scouts’ Own. Select the other ideas you want to include – one or two, or half a dozen. Arrange them in an order you like. Decide how to end the Scouts’ Own. (It is Girl Scout custom to assemble and walk quietly to the place where the Scouts’ Own is to be held, and to leave quietly after it is over.)
3. Decide who will perform or lead each part and who will lead the group to the place for the ceremony and back again.
More to EXPLORE
Badge Activities that Celebrate Our Global Sisterhood
These historic badge activities asked girls to be considerate of other cultures, to be sisters to Girl Scouts around the world, and to be friendly and helpful when welcoming others into their communities.
· Make a list of customs, songs, dances, holiday celebrations, and other ways of doing things in your community that can be traced to the people who settled there and to their life in the Old World. (World Gifts badge, 1940)
· Plan a group meeting or a campfire that might be typical of Girl Guides or Girl Scouts in another country. (World Trefoil badge, 1947)
· Pretend you are a hostess to a Girl Scout/Guide from another country. Explain how you would: Greet her and introduce her to your family and friends. Acquaint her with members of your troop and Girl Scouting in this country. Help her understand life in your community, state, and nation. (World Trefoil badge, 1963)
· Learn the Girl Guide or Girl Scout Promise in one other langue and in its English translation. (Girl Scouting Everywhere badge, 1980)
Activity #4: Leave a place better than you found itEdit
It’s the Girl Scout way to care about the world around us – whether it’s a room, a campground, or the world. Practice by leaving a place in your community better than you found it.
- Improve part of a park in your community. Get permission from the person in charge of the park to leave it better than you found it. Maybe your junior group can “adopt” the park for a season and pick up trash, sort recyclables, or weed and water the plants every week.
- Tackle a problem in your neighborhood. Find a problem at your school, place of worship, library, or other neighborhood place, and do something to solve it. For example, you might notice books and games are often out of order in the afterschool play area, and create a system of bins to help organize them. You might see kids riding their bikes without helmets, and organize a bike-fun day for kids to learn how to ride safely.
- Make a walking tour for your community. If people appreciate places, they will want to take care of them! Find out about the history of some buildings in your community. Put together a pamphlet that tells what you’ve learned, along with a map that locates the buildings. Give your pamphlet to friends or to your town’s visitor’s bureau.
FOR MORE FUN: As girls did to earn The World in My Community badge in 1980, add to your map “evidence of the contributions of various ethnic groups, either in the present or the past: architecture, businesses, stores, street names, trees and plants, statues, artworks, boats, etc.”
A wide game is a special kind of Girl Scout game played by Girl guides and Girl Scouts all over the world. It is called a wide game because it covers a bigger area and lasts longer than other games. It is a kind of a trail. It has a story or theme, and everything you do along the trail tells part of that story. The story or theme of your wide game will depend on the place where you play the game and the skills you would like to use.
You can play a wide game at camp, in the city, in the woods, or even in a house. Wherever you play, that place becomes a trail with adventure around each bend. To follow the trail, you must use all your skills – observing, listening, smelling, adventuring, know tying, fire building, cooking, reading and following directions, first aid, history of Girl Scouting – everything!
The trail for a wide game is made up and laid out by a group of older Girl Scouts. The trail can be followed by groups of two or three or by entire troops. Each group starts out along the trail at least 10 minutes apart.
Here is a wide game that Junior Girl Scouts played in 1963. The theme of this wide game is Juliette Low’s birthday.
Team receives a note saying, “Juliette Low started Girl Scouting in the city of Savannah by making a telephone call to her friend. Get your first clue by telephoning the number below. Mrs. Brown, an adult volunteer, will answer. Tell her who you are and ask her where you can find a daisy.”
The team calls Mrs. Brown.
Mrs. Brown tells Girl Scouts where to find a person with a daisy. They find her. She, also, has a pumpkin. She says, “Juliette Low was born on Halloween, so with your knife, safely cut an eye or nose to start a jack-o’-lantern.” Then she shows the team where a trail marked by little paper pumpkins starts, and tells them to follow it.
Two Girl Scouts are stationed at the end of the pumpkin trail. They say that Juliette Low like to put on plays. They ask the team to choose and act out a Halloween ghost or clown. When they guess what the team is acting out, they make a trail sign to show the team which way to go.
Along the path the team meets a person dressed as an American Indian. She tells them that Juliette Low’s grandmother was captured by the Seneca tribe, and lived with them. Her Seneca name was Little-Ship-Under-Full-Sail. If the team can tell north by looking at the sun, the costumed person will give them a sketch map to the next point. The team tells her which way is north, and she gives them the sketch map.
The sketch map leads them to a person with an American flag. She says that the first Girl Scout handbook was called How Girls Can Help Their Country. She asks the team to tell her two ways a Girl Scout can be a good citizen on a hike. Then, she asks them to fold the flag. She then directs them to a trail marked by red ribbons.
At the end of the trail, a person meets the team, and says that Juliette Low had friends all over the world. She asks the team to show how they would greet a Girl Guide from another country. What emblem would the Girl Guide wear that the team, also, wears? Then she says that Juliette Low camped with many girls and was a good storyteller at campfires. The team receives directions that lead to a campfire, and tells them what their part of the campfire is.
Activity #5: Enjoy Girl Scout traditionsEdit
Traditions bring people together. A tradition can be a special food, a ceremony, a song – anything that’s passed along through the years.
- Try a tradition from the past. Find a woman in your community who was a Girl Scout when she was your age. Talk to her about her favorite traditions from her time, and share one with her. You might learn her favorite song, cook a recipe together, or re-create a special ceremony.
FOR MORE FUN: Share your traditions, too! Invite her to one of your meetings or ceremonies.
- Create a game about Girl Scout traditions. Make up a game that uses one or more of the Girl Scout traditions. Perhaps, a relay where girls share the Girl Scout handshake before running, a quiz about Girl Scout camping recipes, or a board game about the circle of friendship. It might be a “wide game,” like the one on the previous pages. Then teach or share the game.
FOR MORE FUN: Write instructions or take pictures or a video of your game so others in the Girl Scout community can play it, too. Now, that’s tradition!
- Start a Dez chain story. Check out Dez the spider in any Junior Leadership Journey. Then, sketch, craft, or sculpt her with lightweight materials, and write the beginning of a story about her. Send your story and artwork to another Girl Scout Junior, and invite her to add to the story and to Dez’s costume. She can send you a picture of her contributions, and send Dez along to another girl.
FOR MORE FUN: Use the skills you learned in your Geocacher badge to make a Dez “travel bug!”