History

Uniforms
The very first Girl Scout uniforms were homemade from blue cloth, but by four years later membership in the program had grown so much the uniforms became factory-made and were a dark olive or khaki. Early in the history of Girl Scouting, it was believed that a girl in uniform would be easily recognizable as someone courteous, obliging, and willing to help others at all times, not unlike a Boy Scout.
Insignia
Early proficiency badges - there were twenty-six to begin with - were round, with blue thread on white fabric illustrating programs such as Needlewoman, Signaling, and Housekeeping. In 1920, forty-seven badges were available (including Zoologist and Bugler) and colored pictures were shown on gray-green fabric. In 1916, leaders - then called "captains" - wore the same uniform as their charges, with a special pin on their sleeve. Assistant leaders - "lieutenants" - had their own pin by 1917. In 1977, all proficiency badges were grouped into one of five interest areas, and their borders reflected the area by color. The World of Well-Being used red borders, the World of People used blue borders, the World of Today and Tomorrow used orange borders, the World of the Arts used purple borders, and the World of the Out-of-Doors used yellow borders. Today, many unofficial patches are available for activities such as camping, cookie sales, and commemorative events.

Daisy Girl Scouts

Uniforms
Since the launch of the Daisy program in 1984, participants have worn a blue tunic as their only uniform component. The tunic goes over the girl's shoulders and reaches slightly past her waist; there are two fabric ties on each side to secure the piece. Other non-official items, such as blue shorts and a daisy-print t-shirt, are available but not required parts of the uniform.
Insignia
Daisies wear a yellow insignia tab on their tunic, positioned over their heart. Two pins are worn on the tab - the World Trefoil pin, indicating membership in WAGGGS, and the Daisy membership pin, indicating the girl is a member of GSUSA. The Daisy pin is trefoil-shaped with a daisy flower in the center. Daisies do not earn proficiency badges exactly, but instead form a flower on the front of their tunic. The flower begins with the Promise Center, indicating an understanding of the Girl Scout Promise. Learning Petals, forming the rest of the flower, can be earned in any order - there are ten, one for each item of the Girl Scout Law. Unofficial patches and pins are worn on the back of the tunic.

Brownie Girl Scouts

Uniforms
During the Depression, an early Brownie program had its members wear a pointed hat, somewhat like a dunce cap with a floppy tip. An elf was painted on the hat, and if a girl had passed certain tests she earned bells on the tip of her cap. A simple brown dress was worn during the middle part of the century, and later uniforms - through the early 1990s - featured an all-brown jumper or skirt, and starched white shirts with thin orange and brown stripes. Today's Brownies wear an updated uniform in more appealing colors than previous styles. The jumper still has a brown skirt, but the bib portion is a floral print in pink and blue. The shirt, which may be long- or short-sleeved and is worn under the jumper, is powder blue, as are the optional flashes which are worn with brown knee-high socks. The tie is white and says "Brownie Girl Scouts" in blue embroidered script. The felt beanie is an optional element, and girls may choose to wear a vest or sash. As they have been for years, the beanie, vest, and sash are brown (though the elf depicted on the beanie used to be orange rather than blue). Girls may opt to wear a brown skirt instead of the jumper.
Insignia
Early Brownie insignia included the Golden Bar award, representing the golden ground she stood on, ready to help others; and the Golden Hand award, showing that she "could really lend a hand." Today, a Brownie's insignia begins with the Bridge to Brownie Girl Scouts award, given to girls who completed a Bridging Ceremony while they were Daisies. The Bridging patch is an arched rainbow with blue and gold stripes beneath it. A Brownie's insignia tab is brown, and holds the World Trefoil pin and the Brownie membership pin, which is trefoil-shaped and shows a small elf figure. Brownies also get GSUSA and council identification strips, which are worn just below the shoulder seam on the right side of the chest. Beneath these are troop identification numbers, which are brown with white embroidery. Directly beneath the troop numbers are membership stars, one for each year the girl has been a Scout. Each star is backed by a colored disc, including one blue one for the Daisy year and then green discs for each year as a Brownie. The main proficiency award for Brownies is the Try-It, a triangular patch worn in groups of three. Pins for participating in cookie sales are worn above the Try-Its. Some religious organizations have programs for Scouts; these pins are worn directly below the membership stars and above the cookie sale pins.

Junior Girl Scouts

Uniforms
Juniors in the 1960s wore a muted green dress with a yellow fabric tie and a dark green belt. In the 1980s and early 1990s, the uniform became a bright kelly green, and girls could choose to wear a vest or sash. The shirt worn underneath was white with blue and green stripes, and a wool beret was also an element of the uniform. Today, Juniors may still choose between the vest and sash to go with with their white polo shirt. No longer bright, the skirt, sash, vest and socks are again a more muted color. The flashes are white.
Insignia
The Bridge to Junior Girl Scouts award is a rainbow semicircle; most girls who were Brownies also wear Brownie Wings. The insignia tab is green, and in addition to the World Trefoil should carry a Girl Scout membership pin - in traditional or contemporary styles - which for some girls will be backed by a numeral guard showing how many years they have been a Scout (five and ten-year guards are available). Membership stars for years as a Junior are backed by a yellow disc. Beginning in their Junior year, girls also wear a troop crest under their council identification strip and above their troop numerals. The main proficiency badges should be worn on the front of the vest or sash, and may continue to the back if needed. When Intermediates became Juniors, Cadettes, and Seniors in 1963, the original round proficiency badges were divided into two sections. Juniors could do the intermediate-level badges, which had green borders, or could try the more advanced badges, which had a yellow border. Special awards for Juniors include the Junior Aide patch, a red and white leadership pin, the four Signs (Rainbow, Satellite, Sun, and World), and the Bronze Award, the highest recognition available for Juniors.

Cadette and Senior Girl Scouts

Uniforms
After years of a blue and green uniform, older girls now have a "modern" updated uniform. The sash and vest are khaki to match the miniskirt or cargo pants. Cadettes wear a light blue fitted blouse, and the blouse for Seniors is dark blue; both have a small zipper pocket on the left sleeve. Polo shirts in the same colors may also be worn. In the 1970s, Cadettes wore a beret and Seniors a military-like hat. The hat featured a colored cord around it, indicating the troop's main interest - yellow was the "panorama" or multi-focused theme. Seniors also wore ties that matched the cord.
Insignia
The Bridge to Cadette Girl Scouts is a rainbow bar, and the Bridge to Senior Girl Scouts is a rainbow shaped like an arch but with a pointed top. Girls at these levels may also wear their Brownie Wings. The insignia tab for these girls is blue, and may be cluttered with the two usual membership pins, plus Program Aide pins and Counselor-in-Training pins. When the levels were split in 1963, Cadettes could still do the yellow-bordered badges from the Junior handbook, but Seniors could not earn these badges. After the 1977 introduction of Worlds, the borders were colored to the corresponding world and the backgrounds held the green and gold significance. In 1980, interest projects were introduced. Still in use today, the rectangular proficiency badges are open to Cadettes and Seniors. Cadettes may earn a silver leadership award, the Cadette Girl Scout Challenge award, the From Dreams to Reality award, and the Silver Award. The highest award possible from 1918 to 1939 was the Golden Eaglet, which required a girl to earn a minimum number of badges and also to present herself for evaluation by the National Standards Committee, who judged her on service and character. Typically awarded by Juliette Gordon Low herself, the Eaglet was supposed to designate a "perfect specimen of girlhood: mentally, morally, and physically." From 1940 until 1963, the highest award was the Curved Bar, which served as a bridge to Senior Girl Scouting. Because of a metal shortage during the war, the Curved Bar was originally a patch. In 1947, the award became a pin, which was used until the award itself was discontinued in 1963. Until 1980, the highest award was the First Class pin, available to Cadettes. Accompanying the main award were four small pins, each representing the girl's having met a challenge designed to test her ability to use knowledge and skill based on Girl Scout ideals and values. The highest award available today is the Gold Award, which requires a girl to earn seven other special items, and plan and carry out a Gold Award project - a minimum of 50 hours of work. Earning the Gold Award is similar to becoming an Eagle Scout, and for that reason Gold Award recipients are eligible for special college scholarships, are officially recognized by the United States government, and often have preferred status when applying for jobs. Seniors may also earn a gold leadership pin, the Senior Girl Scout Challenge award, and several other leadership and assistant program awards.

Sources

http://www.girlscouts.org/
http://www.praypub.org/

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