program resources

The Girl Scout Leadership Experience

The Girl Scout Leadership Experience engages girls in discovering themselves, connecting with others and taking action to make the world a better place. Even at the youngest ages of Girl Scouting, girls can gain leadership skills they will carry with them throughout their lives. The Girl Scout focus on leadership shows girls that they are leaders right now in their everyday lives, and they will continue to be leaders as they get older. In Girl Scouting, Discover + Connect + Take Action = Leadership.

  • Discover : Girls understand themselves and their values and use their knowledge and skills to explore the world.
  • Connect : Girls care about, inspire, and team with others locally and globally.
  • Take Action : Girls act to make the world a better place.

Girl Scouts USA has an electronic resource that further explains the structure and benefits of this great leadership model.

Using Journeys & Badges Together

The graphic below explains how the journeys and badges work together. Journeys and badges are designed to be complementary, not to compete. Journeys are the core Girl Scout curriculum. They have been developed to help Girl Scouts develop the three keys to leadership: Discover, Connect and Take Action.

Badges complement the journeys by helping girls build skills on specific topics. To get a picture of how journeys and other Girl Scout activities work together to make one consistent Girl Scout experience, view the journey maps on the Girl Scout website. As you mouse over the journey map, you will see pop-ups that give further information about how to tie Girl Scout activities (such as camping, field trips, and cookie sales) into the journeys.


  • Where can I learn more about the journeys?
    It’s Your World: Change It!     Learn more
    It’s Your Planet: Love It!        Learn more
    It’s Your Story: Tell It!           Learn more
  • What does it mean to “customize” a journey?
    Journeys only come to life when girls and volunteers sprinkle in their own interests, talents, creativity and imagination to shape the journey experience. You can also call upon a range of local experts who can enrich the girls’ experience. Check out tips and suggestions in the girls’ book, adult guide and in It’s Your Journey-Customize It! All area available in the GSCM retail stores.
  • Will it be possible for badge requirements to count toward fulfillment of journey requirements? Journey awards are based on a girl’s participation in a whole series of interrelated activities and discussions that contribute to a girl’s overall experience and that help her develop the three keys to leadership.  Badges focus on one specific skill (for example, creating a piece of art or learning first aid). For that reason, journey activities cannot be counted as completion of a badge activity requirement. Keep in mind that the journeys are very flexible and that requirements for earning awards are not meant to be rigid. What’s most important is that girls gain exposure to a variety of opportunities and enjoy activities based on the three keys (Discover, Connect, Take Action).

The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting:


  • What is The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting?
    In September 2011, Girl Scouts USA debuted this exciting new resource for girls. Girls at each grade level have their own The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting so there are six publications. It is 9×12 standard three ring binder so girls can add pages and other mementos to it. The sections include badge offerings; a handbook section covering traditions, history and bridging; and a “My Girl Scouts” section. View the Handout.
  • Who gave input into the development of The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting?
    More than 1,000 girls, parent, and volunteers from all over the country participated in online surveys and focus groups to help GSUSA develop The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting.  More than 30 volunteers, national operational volunteers and council staff from various locations met online for months to offer input into the format and the content of the badges. Within Girl Scout headquarters, teams from several departments made recommendations on format and content. Before finalizing, girls from all backgrounds and across grade levels offered feedback on the content in its formative stage.

Recordings of past volunteer enrichment webinars are available on our webinars page. The recordings cover a variety of topics including, journeys, the new Girls’ Guide to Girl Scouting handbooks, Girl Scout recruitment, Girl Scout ceremonies and more.

Live webinars are occasionally offered through the online conferencing service GotoMeeting. You must register for a webinar, just like all other training courses. Information on how to access the webinar will be sent to you after you are registered. Click here to view current webinar offerings and to register.


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