05 Oct

Will You Still Need Your Badges When You Grow Up? Understanding How Girl Scout Patches and Badges Define Success

By Monique Tinglin, Ambassador Girl Scout and Delegate for the Girl Scouts of Greater New York Council

As the saying goes, eighty percent of success is showing up. The other twenty percent is what one does when one gets there! As Girl Scouts, we recognize this; that is why we have participation patches for showing up that we wear on the back of our vests and sashes. It is our badges that we really have to work for – and it is those that go on the front of our vests and sashes. Patches represent eighty percent of success; our badges represent the other twenty percent.

As a culmination of our 2011/2012 Scouting Year and to commemorate the Girl Scouts of the USA’s 100th anniversary, our troop visited Georgia and South Carolina. We have patches from the CNN Center; the Fernbank Museum of Natural History; the Georgia Aquarium; the King Center; Six Flags over Georgia; World of Coca-Cola; the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace; Savannah Riverboats; and Hilton Head, South Carolina. We showed up and had a ton of fun!

However, before arriving at each venue, we were proactive. We researched the requirements we needed to complete in order to earn the badges that correlated with the activities we would participate in at each location. We also prepared our own meals, budgeted and planned our trip, made flight reservations, and booked our hotels. It is no surprise that we earned a lot fewer badges than patches; to be exact, each girl earned two badges and received nine patches.

Badges take more time, more thought, and more planning to execute. I will hold on to all of my badges and patches forever – as I hope every Girl Scout would. The memories of each Girl Scout closing ceremony during which I received them remain close to my heart. They demonstrate that we know what it takes to be successful – and that as Girl Scouts we value participation, engagement, and achievement.

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