What do all of the colorful patches and shiny pins on a Girl Scout uniform mean? Explore our ultimate guide to the meaning behind each of the Girl Scout patches and pins as well as the proper Girl Scout badge, patch, and pin placement. Our guide includes more than 30 different patches, badges, and pins that can be found on the uniforms of each of the Girl Scout levels, from Daisy through Ambassador and even Adult Girl Scout volunteers. Girl Scout badges can be earned in a variety of ways, from learning the Girl Scout Law and Girl Scout Promise to helping out in the community or exploring new skills. The Girl Scout program’s famous annual cookie sale also allows the girls to earn Girl Scout cookie badges! Check out WizardPin's ultimate guide to the many pins, patches, and badges that can be found adorning all of the different Girl Scout uniforms.
When Were the Girl Scouts of America Founded?
The Girl Scouts of America began in 1912 in Savannah, Georgia, when Juliette Gordon Low, nicknamed Daisy, formed the first Girl Scout troop with 18 girls. According to the official Girl Scouts website, “She imagined a movement where all girls could come together and embrace their unique strengths and passions.” More than a century later, the Girl Scout program is still doing just that as it continues to encourage girls to challenge themselves, connect with their communities, and work together to make the world a better place!
What Are the Different Girl Scout Levels?
The Girl Scouts program has six levels for girls: Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador. These Girl Scout ranks are for girls in kindergarten through 12th grade, and most cover two grade levels; Cadette is the only level that covers three years. If a girl joins the Girl Scout program when they are older, they join at the level for their grade.
Girl Scout levels include:
- Daisy: K-1
- Brownie: 2-3
- Junior: 4-5
- Cadette: 6-8
- Senior: 9-10
- Ambassador: 11-12
Can Adults Be Girl Scouts?
Yes, adults can be members of the Girl Scouts. A girl can choose to be a Girl Scout for life, although there aren’t any Girl Scout badges to earn once they graduate from high school. Adult Girl Scouts are usually volunteers who work with troops in a variety of ways. An Adult Girl Scout might be a troop leader, help a troop with the annual Girl Scout cookie sale, or work for their local Girl Scout council.
Adult Girl Scouts also have an official Girl Scout uniform. The current Adult uniform is a navy blue vest. The Adult Girl Scout uniform is also adorned with many of the same pins and patches that are shared across all of the Girl Scout levels. An adult may also wear special Girl Scout pins awarded to them for their contributions as a volunteer. See below for more information about adult girl scout uniforms.
Can Boys Join Girl Scouts?
No, boys cannot join Girl Scouts. While the Boy Scouts opened their program to allow girls to join in 2019, the Girl Scouts believe in giving girls their own space where they can discover their strengths and passions and learn leadership skills. But if you have a child who is interested in learning more about the Boy Scouts of America, check out our other ultimate guide to the badges, patches, and pins on the BSA uniform.
Every Girl Scout troop is unique, and their pins can be, too! Get the whole troop together and design your own pins to wear with pride or swap with other Girl Scouts. With options that range from hard or soft enamel pins to sparkly glitter enamel pins, there are many ways to create custom Girl Scout pins that your whole troop will love! What design would you create for a custom Girl Scout patch or pin for your troop?
The Complete List of Girl Scout Patches, Pins, and Badges and What They Mean
- American Flag Patch: The American flag patch identifies Girl Scouts living in the USA and is worn on all American Girl Scout uniforms. It’s placed at the top right of the uniform, above the council identification set.
- Girl Scout Council Identification Set: The council identification set includes two patches, one that says “Girl Scouts USA” and one with the council name. They are worn together on the right side of the uniform below the American flag patch.
- Troop Numerals: Upon joining the program, most Girl Scouts are assigned to a troop, and the troop numerals represent that troop’s number. They are worn together to create the full troop number and are located on the right side of the uniform under the council identification set.
- Troop Crest: The troop crest is a symbol of the troop’s goal or main interest and is voted on by all members of the troop. Once a troop crest is chosen, it is used for the life of the troop. It is worn just above the troop numerals. Daisies are the only Girl Scouts who do not wear a troop crest.
- Membership Stars and Discs: The membership stars and discs represent the completed number of years in any of the program levels; Girl Scouts earn a star for every year they have completed. The disc color changes to represent each level. The stars are moved onto each successive uniform to show the total number of years the girl has been in Girl Scouts.
- 10-Year Award Pin: The 10-Year Award pin is awarded to girls who have participated in Girl Scouting for ten years and is commonly earned by those who have reached the Senior or Ambassador levels of the program. It is worn on the right, alongside the membership stars and discs that have been earned over the years.
- Girl Scout Bridging Awards: The Girl Scout bridging awards are used to mark the Girl Scout’s graduation from one program level to the next. Girl Scouts earn a bridging award at the end of each level to be worn on the next level’s uniform. Brownies and Juniors wear only their designated level award; Cadettes can keep the same uniform through the Ambassador level and stack the bridging awards as they earn them. The awards are worn on the front right side of the uniform, below the membership stars and discs; if multiple bridging awards are worn, each consecutive award is placed above the prior one.
- Brownie Wings: Brownie wings are used to signify that the Girl Scout was once a Brownie. They are worn on the vest or sash of every Girl Scout who was a Brownie at the Junior level and above. Brownie wings are worn below the bridging award(s).
- Torch Awards: The Torch Award is a pin recognizing that a Girl Scout has acted as a leader in her community. To earn the award, the girl must first complete a Leadership Journey and then serve at least one term in a leadership position at school, in local government, or with another community organization. Only Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador Girl Scouts can earn these awards. They are worn on the right side, next to the My Promise, My Faith pins.
- Counselor in Training Award Pins: The Counselor in Training (CIT) pins signify the completion of a council leadership course and work with younger girls over the course of a camp session. This award can be earned by Seniors and Ambassadors. The CIT II award is earned by Ambassadors, who focus on increasing skills in a specific area during a camp session. These awards are worn in a row underneath the Torch Award(s).
- Volunteer in Training Award Pins: The Volunteer in Training (VIT) Award is for girls at the Senior and Ambassador levels who mentor a younger Girl Scout outside of the camp session experience. It is worn in a row along with the CIT I and CIT II award pins.
- Cookie Entrepreneur Family Pins: The Cookie Entrepreneur Family Pins are earned by a Girl Scout and her family when they participate in the annual Girl Scout cookie sale. It represents families working together to support the Girl Scout and help her learn entrepreneurship skills. They are worn on the right side, to the left of the My Promise, My Faith pins.
- My Promise, My Faith Pins: The My Promise, My Faith pins symbolize that the girl is learning about the connection between the Girl Scouts and their religion, using the Girl Scout Law as a guide. Girl Scouts can earn this pin once a year at each program level. These pins are worn below the bridging awards.
- Community Service Bar: The Community Service Bar symbolizes the difference a Girl Scout had made in their community and can only be earned by those at the Cadette, Senior, or Ambassador levels. It is earned by completing 20 hours of service with a chosen organization in the community. It is worn underneath the My Promise, My Faith pins.
- Service to Girl Scouting Bar: The Service to Girl Scouting Bar symbolizes the difference a Girl Scout has made within the Girl Scouts organization and can only be earned by Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors. The Girl Scout must complete 20 hours of service within the Girl Scouts organization by volunteering at a special event, assisting the council, or helping with special projects. It is worn next to the Community Service Bar.
- Safety Award Pin: The Safety Award Pin is earned by completing steps tailored to each program level. All of the levels except for Daisy have to complete five steps to earn the award; Daisies complete three steps. The Safety Award is worn on the right side, just under the My Promise, My Faith and Cookie Entrepreneur Family pins.
- Girl Scout Badges: Girl Scout badges are a great incentive for Girl Scouts to explore their interests and learn new skills. Each badge is awarded once the girl has completed all of the badge requirements. Girl Scout badges cover a wide range of topics, like STEM, the outdoors, life skills, and entrepreneurship. Each Girl Scout program level has its own set of badges that can be earned, which can be identified by the different shapes used for each level. The badges are worn at the bottom of the uniform on the right side.
- Insignia Tab: The insignia tab is used to hold the World Trefoil Pin and the Girl Scout Membership Pin. It is worn on the left side at the top of the uniform.
- World Trefoil Pin: The World Trefoil Pin symbolizes membership in the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), of which the Girl Scouts of the USA are a part. It is worn at the top of the insignia tab.
- Girl Scout Membership Pin: The Girl Scout Membership Pin shows that the wearer is an official Girl Scout. It is worn on the insignia tab under the World Trefoil Pin. This pin is worn beginning at the Junior level; Daisies and Brownies have their own membership pins.
- Membership Numeral Guard: The number on the numeral guard represents the total number of years the girl has been a registered member of any Girl Scouts or Girl Guides organization. It is attached to the membership pin, and the number is attached to the left of the pin on the uniform.
- Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award Pins: The Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award pins are the highest awards that Girl Scouts can earn. These awards signify completion of work on a major project that correlates to the award level. They are worn directly to the left of the insignia tab, and previously earned awards can be moved onto subsequent uniforms.
- Journey Summit Award Pin: The Journey Summit Award Pin is earned by Girl Scouts who have completed three Leadership Journeys for their program level. This is the highest award a Daisy or Brownie can earn. The Journey Summit Award is worn on the left below the insignia tab. Every Journey Summit Award the Girl Scout has earned at each level is also worn on subsequent uniforms.
- Journey Award Badges: Journey award badges are earned as part of a Girl Scout Journey. A completed Leadership Journey includes one or more badges plus a Take Action Project, a service project that has a lasting effect on the community. Journey award badges are placed on the left side of the vest, starting at the bottom and working upward as more Journey badges are earned. Some Journeys are unique to each level, while others have counterparts at every level.
- World Thinking Day Award: The World Thinking Day Award is earned by participating in activities for World Thinking Day, an international day of friendship that has been celebrated by the WAGGGS since 1926 with a different theme each year. This award is worn at the bottom of the uniform, alongside or just above the Girl Scout badges.
- Global Action Award: The Global Action Award connects the WAGGGS to work together to address the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by taking action in their communities and around the world to make a better future for girls and women. It is worn at the bottom of the vest or sash, alongside or just above the Girl Scout badges.
- Daisy Petal Set: The Daisy petal set is made up of the Daisy Promise Center and ten petal badges. The Promise Center represents the Girl Scout Promise, and each of the petal badges focuses on a different line of the Girl Scout Law. Earning these petals helps Daisies learn Girl Scout values. They are worn on the center of the tunic or on the left side of the vest. The Cookie Business Leaves and Financial Literacy Leaves that accompanied the Daisy petal set were retired in 2022 and replaced with badges.
- Junior Aide Award: The Junior Aide award is the first in a series of mentoring awards that can be earned in Girl Scouts. It is awarded to girls in the Junior level of the program who have assisted Daisy or Brownie Girl Scouts in completing a Leadership Journey.
- Cadette Leader in Action (LiA) Award Badges: A Leader in Action (LiA) award is earned by a Cadette who assists Brownies with one of their Leadership Journeys. The Cadette shares their skills and special talents, teaches a skill from the Journey, and reflects on the experience with the Brownie troop. This award is worn on the bottom left and can be carried over to the Senior and Ambassador vests.
- Cadette Program Aide Pin: The Cadette Program Aide pin is earned by completing a leadership training course, earning a Leadership in Action award, and working with a troop of younger Girl Scouts over six activity sessions. It is only worn by those at the Cadette level and goes underneath the My Promise, My Faith pins.
- Personalized I.D. Pin: The personalized I.D. pin may be used to identify an Adult Girl Scout by name and is often worn during events. It is worn beneath the council identification set.
- Volunteer Insignia Patch: The volunteer insignia patch is used to identify an Adult Girl Scout volunteer. It is worn on the top right, under the I.D. pin.
- Adult Achievement Patches: Adult achievement patches recognize the adult’s role and service to the Girl Scouts organization and come in six distinct colors to identify how they give back to Girl Scouts. They are worn on the lower right side of the vest.
- Volunteer Pin: The volunteer pin is used to identify the adult as a volunteer, and the color of the pin signifies the level of Girl Scouts they volunteer with. A green pin signifies volunteering with all levels or multi-level troops.
- Lifetime Membership Pin: The Lifetime Membership Pin is worn by any adult who is a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts of the USA. It is worn on the right side, to the left of the volunteer insignia patch.
- Adult Achievement Awards: The Adult Achievement Awards are formal awards bestowed upon adult Girl Scout volunteers who have contributed outstanding service and leadership to the Girl Scout organization. There are several achievement awards that an adult Girl Scout can earn; the Thanks Badge is the highest honor awarded. The achievement award pin is worn to the left of the I.D. pin, and only the last award received is worn.