The Journeys offer girls all the leadership benefits that we’ve promised them and the badges offer them the chance to build specific skills. When a girl goes on a Journey, she gets to explore leadership from all different angles. How does a leader identify a problem that needs to be solved? How does she dig deeper to find the root causes of that issue? How does she research solutions that go beyond the surface level of the problem? And how does she team with others on all of the above, multiplying efforts to make the world a better place? That’s what the Journeys are all about! The Journeys aim at all three keys to leadership: Discover, Connect, and Take Action.
The "sample sessions" in the adult guides are intended not as a "set number of meetings" but to provide momentum and a road map for a "whole adventure" that has more impact then any one activity in the journeys.
Today’s busy Girl Scout volunteers have been asking for easy ways to guide girls through the wealth of experiences that Girl Scouting offers. Those requests were answered with Leadership Journeys for each grade level.
Easy-to-use companion adult guides accompany each leadership journey and are designed to help volunteers guide girls easily through fun and meaningful experiences. The adult guides will also help volunteers to understand and observe the impact of the program on girls’ lives.
Getting Started with Journeys – and Beyond!
Wondering what Journeys are, or how to use them with girls? Want to help girls customize their Journey experience by adding in badges, cookies, camping, and events? Read on for some tips and ideas for getting started!
The leadership Journeys allow girls to hone their leadership skills while exploring a particular topic. As girls progress through their journey, they experience opportunities to discover their strengths and interests, connect with the community and their sister Girl Scouts, and combining this knowledge, take action in their community.
Each Journey has a selection of activities and experiences that are tied to the 15 national outcomes found in the Girl Scout Leadership Model. In the adult guide, sample session lay out a basic plan for the journey, but each journey is meant to be customized by the girls.
In each grade level, the Journeys build upon skills girls learned in previous Journeys, so they can climb the Ladder of Leadership. Click on the image to see a larger version.
There are three Journeys series to choose from:
- It's Your World—Change It! focuses on how girls relate to each other, their local community, and the world and encourages advocacy on all levels.
- It's Your Planet—Love It! issues a call for action to the environment, inviting Girl Scouts to explore the natural wonders of the world, become stewards of our fragile planet, and investigate the science that keeps our Earth spinning.
- It's Your Story—Tell It! offers a fun approach to building girls' leadership and self-esteem through storytelling and creative expression.
You can find all the adult guides in our shop. GSNorCal has also developed Your First Six Meetings for Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors. These resources will help you get started with the Girl Scout Journeys.
The Girl Scout Journeys Jump to Journeys Patch
The Jump to Journeys patch is designed to give you, as the leader/advisor of a troop/group, a taste of the activities offered in the journeys for the grade level you are working with. By doing the activities and earning this patch with your troop/group you and the girls will have the information you need to decide which journey to dive into. When your troop/group finishes the requirements the patch is available for purchase in your local Girl Scouts of Northern California retail store.
- Daisy Taster Activities
- Brownie Taster Activities
- Junior Taster Activities
- Cadette Taster Activities
- Senior Taster Activities
- Ambassador Taster Activities
Here are some snapshots of all the Journeys for every age level to help your troop decide which Journey they are interested in doing first. These are merely snapshots. Details on how to earn Journey leadership awards are in the Adult How-To Guide for each Journey. Click on the journey imagesbelow for your grade level to download the snapshot. Or browse the GSUSA Flipbooks.
Tips For Working With Journeys
Step 1: Explore Journeys
Fun and Direction: the Adult Guides and Girl Books
Each Journey has two books: the adult guide and the girl book. The girl book is just that – a book for girls with stories, activity ideas, and ways to reflect on their experience in Girl Scouts. Girl books are used in meetings, and also provide girls a way to stay engaged with Girl Scouts outside of meetings.
The adult guide for each Journey provides all the information and activity ideas you need to provide your girls with an amazing Girl Scout experience.
Each adult guide includes:
- Explanations of Journey themes
- Sample session outlines and activity descriptions
- Tips for encouraging girls to choose and complete activities
- Tips for supporting girls as they take on leadership
- Ideas for Take Action projects
- Steps for earning the awards
Each Journey contains a set of sample “sessions” related to the Journey theme. Each Journey session is customizable for troop needs: a session can take place at one troop meeting, a series of troop meetings, or as part of an outing, event, camp or trip.
The sample sessions in each guide give you the step-by-step directions you need to bring the journeys to life, and include plenty to do during your Girl Scout year. Remember, though, you don’t have to do everything exactly as laid out in the books. You can add or subtract sessions as needed; you can also customize the activities in each session to meet the needs of your girls. However, if you’re super busy (and who isn’t?), you can rest easy knowing that the adult guide will give you a clear plan for each session – you don’t have to change a thing!
Step 2: Complement Journeys with Badges, Cookies, and More!
In keeping with the “journey” theme, “side trips” such as badges, cookies, camping, and events are the natural complement to badges. A Journey gives girls a consistent experience that ties their whole year together. Badges, try-its, cookies, camping, and events enable girls to further explore topics of interest.
Invite Girls to Customize!
Before girls even open their journey books, ask what the journey’s theme means to them. Maybe the theme ignites a discussion that helps the girls chart their course for the year! Probe to find out what the girls are most interested in accomplishing and enjoying over the year. This is your chance to encourage girls to dig deeper:
- Which badges can the group work on to deepen their skills in this area, or another area of interest?
- Can they organize and plan a field trip to find out more about the topic?
- Are there events that tie into their interest?
- Can the girls find an expert in the field to invite to their meetings?
Each adult guide also has more tips for customizing the journey. Did the Junior “Agent of Change” journey spark an interest in animals or animal shelters? Maybe girls will want to earn their Pet Care or Wildlife badges, or earmark money from the Girl Scout Cookie Program Activity to fund a Take Action project benefiting their local shelter. Are your Daisies inspired by the stories in the Daisy Flower Garden? Maybe they’ll want to visit a farmer’s market, eat garden veggies, or explore a working farm! There is a world of possibilities waiting for your girls.
Step 3: Enjoy!
Finally, you can step back and watch how the girls - with your knowledge, support, and guidance - have an enormously fun and rewarding experience. You can take pride as girls earn exciting awards, enjoy time-honored Girl Scout ceremonies, and learn how to care for their world. Most of all, the Journeys and their “side-trips” give you the tools you need to make a difference in the lives of girls.