Quick Start for Brownie Troop Volunteers


 

 

The 10 Essential Elements for Troops

As a Girl Scout volunteer, you can use the 10 Essential Elements to partner with girls and their families, whether your troop meets for a few months or over the course of a year. Click here for a one-page handout that lists the Essential Elements and their definitions.

To support you in the important work you do with girls, we’re offering the following resources for each Essential Element.

Many of these resources are pulled directly from the Adult Guides for the National Leadership Journeys. The Journeys are the core leadership development curriculum for Girl Scouting. There are three Journeys—with a book for girls to enjoy and an Adult Guide for volunteers to use—for each Girl Scout grade level.

The Brownie Journeys are: Brownie Quest, WOW! Wonders of Water, and A World of Girls. Be sure to get your own Adult Guide, which includes step-by-step instructions for each session as well as helpful tips for guiding girls.

1. Welcome Families to Girl Scouts of the USA

2. Show Girls They Belong to a Big Sisterhood

3. Guide Girls to Develop as Leaders

4. Empower Girls to Take Action in Their Communities

5. Support Girls to Build Skills Through Proficiency Badges

6. Expand Girls’ View of the World

7. Celebrate with Ceremonies and Traditions

8. Use a Girl-Friendly Approach

9. Encourage Girls to Earn and Learn Through the Cookie Program

10. Inspire Girls to Continue Growing Through Girl Scouts



1. Welcome Families to Girl Scouts of the USA

Take time—on the phone, online, or in life — to tell grown-ups what Girl Scouting does for girls and why it matters! When they know how important Girl Scouting is, they’ll be more ready to pitch in to help.

Find Out What Brownies Do

Click here for The Girl Scout Brownie Experience. You can print this colorful map to show families or, if you have a computer handy, you can scroll over the map for informational pop-ups.

Give girls and grown-ups copies of the What Brownies Do handout.

Meet Brownie Elf and the Brownie Friends

Play the “Brownie Elf Hiker Song” video to teach girls a song they can sign on their outdoor adventures as Brownies.

Give girls these coloring pages to introduce them to Brownie Elf and the Brownie friends.

Find Out How Brownies Become Leaders

National Leadership Journeys are our core leadership development program. They help girls at each level develop leadership skills. Make copies of the What to Pack for the Journey handout to give grown-ups an overview of what girls do on a Journey.

Play a video for girls and families to show how Brownies can take action to make the world a better place. Try “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” “Brownies Work with City Hall to Improve a Park,” “Troop Inspires a School to Save Water,” or “The Future Makes Us Want to Dance.”

Use the Welcome Letters below to introduce families to what girls will learn on each Journey. Then go over the Family and Friends Checklist for each Journey to show how they can help their Brownie and the troop have a great year.

Brownie Quest

Welcome Letter for Brownie Quest.

Family and Friends Checklist for Brownie Quest.

Print the Assist Your Brownie in Her Quest! handout and give it to families. It will show family members how to do the Making a Family Star activity with their Brownie.

WOW! Wonders of Water

Welcome Letter for WOW! Wonder of Water.

Use the WOW! Wonders of Water Overview to inspire families and friends to volunteer or participate in the Journey.

Use the Sign-Up Form and Assist Your Brownie Along her WOW! Journey to show families how they can support the Brownie team.

A World of Girls

Welcome Letter for A World of Girls.

Use the A World of Girls Overview to inspire family and friends to volunteer or participate in the Journey.

Use the ideas in Assist Your Brownie on her Journey! to show families how they can support their Brownie.

Boosting Brownies’ confidence is one of this Journey’s main goals. Let families know why this is important by handing out Why Self Esteem Matters.


2. Show Girls They Belong to a Big Sisterhood

Girls love to know that they are part of something big, and that they can have an impact on the world—and Girl Scouting is huge! The Movement includes millions of girls who all share an important mission—making the world a better place.

Of course, younger girls often think that Girl Scouting is only their individual troop.

To share the excitement of the big network they’ve joined, show Brownies Our Girl Scout World map, Girl Scout Councils map, and the list of USA Girl Scouts Overseas. Talk about the hundreds of thousands of other Brownies—just like them—around the country. Then add the millions of older Girl Scouts in the United States and other countries. Finish by talking about the millions of Girl Guides, our sisters around the globe, who share our values and mission.

Use the activities below—taken from the Journey Adult Guides—to show girls that they belong to a big sisterhood.

Brownie Quest

Look at these pages from the Journey Adult Guide for helpful tips for connecting girls to a global sisterhood of girls and women.

WOW! Wonders of Water

When you guide the girls’ discussion on Heroines of Water, remind girls of all girls and women around the world who are saving Earth’s water…just like they are doing!

A World of Girls

The Opening Ceremony: A Circle of Adventure helps connect your girls with Girl Scouts all over the world.

As you do the Games Around the Globe activity, remind girls of their Girl Scout sisters who live around the world.

 

3. Guide Girls to Develop as Leaders

Girl Scouting wants every girl to know how to be leader in her own life and in the world around her. Remind girls (and their families!) that they can be leaders by posting this sign to direct them to your meeting place.

Post this sign in your meeting room or on the door—it will remind Brownies and their families of the leadership skills they’re developing.

When you guide girls on a National Leadership Journey, they will experience the three keys to leadership: Discovering Self, Connecting with Others, and Taking Action in the world.

Click on the links below for Journey session descriptions and awards information from the Adult Guides.

Brownie Quest

Read Snapshot of the Quest for a description of the sessions in this Journey.

Read Awards Along the Quest for a description of the awards Brownies can earn.

WOW! Wonders of Water

Read Snapshot of the Journey for a description of the sessions in this Journey.

Read Awards Along the Journey for a description of the awards Brownies can earn.

A World of Girls

Read Journey Snapshot for a description of the sessions in this Journey.

Read Four Leadership Awards for a description of the awards Brownies can earn.


4. Empower Girls to Take Action in Their Communities

Girls want to know they can make a difference in the world around them—which is what you’ll help them do as you guide them on the Take Action project that they do as a part of each Journey.

To find out how other Brownies are helping their communities, check out the online Map It! tool, where girls can post their Take Action and Bronze/Silver/Gold award projects.

Girl Scouts often do both community service and Take Action projects. Both kinds of projects help communities in different ways. To complete a Journey, girls need to do a Take Action project (which some organizations call service learning). Click here to download the Community Service and Service Learning: What’s the Difference? handout to find out more.

Each Journey Adult Guide includes sections to help volunteers guide girls on their Take Action projects. Click on the links below to download pages taken from each Journey’s Adult Guide.

Brownie Quest

Use the Brownie Brainstorm Chart to help girls identify places and projects that need some Brownie ELF action.

WOW! Wonders of Water

Use Choosing a SAVE Project to help girls join forces as a Brownie Team to protect the Earth’s water.

Check out the “Troop Inspires a School to Save Water” video, in which Brownies from Westchester, Pennsylvania, started a program to conserve water by switching to reusable bottles.

A World of Girls

Use the Project Check Sheet: Our Plan to help girls think through what they want to do for a Take Action project and guide them to success.


5. Support Girls to Build Skills Through Proficiency Badges

Girls are proud to say, “See what I can do now!” when they learn something new. Girl Scout badges focus on building new skills.

Check out Anatomy of a Badge to learn how the National Proficiency badges are put together.

Go to the online Badge Explorer to see what topics are covered at the Brownie level.

Print out the Brownies Awards Log to show girls and their families the awards Brownies can earn.

Tell girls about the fun they can have with Make Your Own badge—and let families know that this badge helps girls “learn how to learn,” a key 21st-century skill. Click here to explore the online Make Your Own Badge site, where girls can create and order a badge that shows what they’ve learned. (If you have access to a computer in your meeting space, you can show girls and their families the badges other Girl Scouts have created. If not, you can print out a screen grab or suggest they check out the site at home.)

Get girls excited about earning their Money Manager badge by playing the “Brownie Elf and Friends: Manage Money” animated video.


6. Expand Girls’ View of the World

As girls explore new ideas, go to new places, and meet new people, their understanding of the world—and of what is possible for them—grows. You can help Brownies by taking them on field trips, inviting guest speakers to meetings, or guiding them in activities that help them learn more about the world.

The Journey Adult Guides include ideas for field trips, guest speakers, and activities that give girls a bigger view of the world. Click on the links below for sample pages from each Journey’s Adult Guide to get you started.

Brownie Quest

Use Creative Detours to get ideas for field trips, activities and games tied to the Journey theme. Share the ideas with Brownies and see if they have any to add!

WOW! Wonders of Water

Use Brownies and the Great Outdoors to get ideas for field trips. Share them with Brownies and ask for their ideas, too!

A World of Girls

Use Stories and Their Clues to spark ideas for exploring different cultures and meeting new people whose work involves storytelling.

 

7. Celebrate with Ceremonies and Traditions

Girl Scouts enjoy taking part in time-honored traditions and ceremonies. They also like to make up ceremonies that are especially meaningful to them (in fact, creating brand-new ceremonies is a Girl Scout tradition!).

The Journey Adult Guides include information on beloved traditions and ideas to help girls create new ceremonies tied to Journey themes. Click on the links below for sample pages from each Journey’s Adult Guide to get you started.

Brownie Quest

Girl Scouts love to sing songs—at a meeting, on a hike, or around a campfire! Use the “Brownie Elf Hiker Song” video to teach girls a song they can sing on their outdoor adventures as Brownies. They might like to create their own opening or closing ceremony using the song.

WOW! Wonders of Water

Use Girl Scout Traditions and Ceremonies to share traditions like the Girl Scout sign, handshake, and friendship circle.

A World of Girls

Check out the box “Girl Scout Days to Celebrate” on the Girl Scout Traditions and Ceremonies page. Ask girls what kind of celebration they’d like to create for Founder’s Day, World Thinking Day, or the Girl Scout Birthday.


8. Use a Girl-Friendly Approach

In Girl Scouting, it’s not just what you do with girls, but how you do it that makes the experience fun and meaningful. Girls have fun when they can shape their own experiences, do hands-on activities, and work together as teams. Help make this happen by using Girl Scouts’ Three Processes: Girl Led, Learning by Doing, and Cooperative Learning.

Find Out More about the Three Processes

Watch the “How to Have Fun with Purpose with Girls: 3 Processes for Girl Scout Volunteers” video (in English and Spanish) to learn about the Three Processes and how to use them while guiding girls. You can also print the transcript here.

The Brownie Journey Adult Guides include information about how to use the Three Processes with Brownie-age girls. Click on the links below to find out more.

Brownie Quest 

Want to find out what the Three Processes look like for Brownies? Download What + How: Creating a Quality Experience.

WOW! Wonders of Water

Want an example of how to help Brownies handle conflict resolution (a key part of cooperative learning)? Download Seeing Processes and Outcomes Play Out.

A World of Girls

Want to help Brownies learn to make decisions in a cooperative way? Use this Me and My Girls World activity.


9. Encourage Girls to Earn and Learn Through the Cookie Program

When girls take part in the largest girl-led business in the world (aka the Cookie Program), they earn funds for their Girl Scout activities. They also learn 5 Skills—Goal Setting, Decision Making, Money Management, People Skills, and Business Ethics—that will help them in business and in life.

Find Out More About the 5 Skills

To learn more about the 5 Skills, download What to Do First: 5 Skills for Girls.

To find out more about how the 5 Skills help girls develop as leaders, download The 5 Skills and Girl Scout Leadership Outcomes handout.

Tell Families About How the 5 Skills Help Girls

Share the “What Grown-Ups Need to Know” video with families to help them guide their girls as they earn and learn.

Print copies of My Cookie Business poster so girls and their families can keep a record of what they did and learned during the Girl Scout Cookie Program.

Tell Girls About the Awards They Can Earn

Click here to download the Girl Scout Cookie Activity Pin requirements.

Show girls and their families the Brownies Awards Log to find out if girls want to start thinking like a business owner by earning their Cookie Business badges.

Get Tips on Safety 

Click here to download a list of Safety Tips.


10. Inspire Girls to Continue Growing Through Girl Scouts

Girls are more likely to stay involved in Girl Scouts when they know what lies ahead. Let second-year Brownies know about the exciting opportunities they’ll have to learn new things, meet new friends, and make the world a better place when they become Juniors.

Find Out What Juniors Do

Print The Girl Scout Junior Experience colorful map to get girls and their families excited about the Junior adventures in store for them.

Use this National Leadership handout to show girls and families our leadership program and our badges for Juniors.

Use the Ladder of Leadership handout to show girls and families how they progress through Girl Scouting.

Give girls and their families copies of the What Juniors Do handout.

Show Girls and Families How Juniors Lead

Play the “Juniors Help Historic Building Save Energy” video to show how Juniors in Villanova, Pennsylvania, found innovative ways to help an old building save energy.

Help Girls Bridge to Juniors

Print the bridging requirements to share with girls and families, then celebrate with Brownies as they bridge to the next level of Girl Scouting—Juniors! 

Get More Ideas Online

Keep checking out the ForGirls.GirlScouts.org website, where you’ll find an ever-growing collection of activities, games, and videos you can share with girls.

Follow the Girl Scout Brownies Pinterest board for more ideas about creating a fun and meaningful Brownie experience.