Girl Scout National Patch Programs

Around 1970 GSUSA began developing I call their National Patch Programs. I have no idea if GSUSA had a name for them.They were meant to enhance the Girl Scouting experience, something less than badge-work and something more than fun patches. Some patches had requirements, some didn't. Some were allowed on the front of the sash/vest/tunic, some weren't. Most had a time-period to earn them, but again, some didn't. 

I'm still on the hunt for more of these patches and their requirements...

The "Keep American Beautiful" (KAB) Campaign began in 1953, but the patch program for youth programs apparently didn't begin until the 1970's.

There are several examples of BSA/GSUSA combined patches and many locally made Keep American Beautiful patches.

The earliest Girl Scout patch shown for KAB is 1972.

Girl Scout Action 70 Program was launched at the Girl Scout Convention in Seattle, WA. The purpose was to improve relations among people.

Ever notice the acorn in the "O"?

Kentuckian Girl Scout Council had this unusual

4 piece Action 70 patch set; with a center piece; friendship-action, service-action and eco-action patches.


Although the eco-action patch did not have a program requirement, the Girl Scout Leader magazine would print thought-provoking short articles around the subject of ecology,
encouraging girls to think for themselves about their role in the ecology movement.

The program was even promoted in an issue of the Ronald McDonald comic book.

The unique font of the lettering as well as the focus of the patch program must have gone over well. 


Eco-Action 1980-1998

Cadettes could earn tan-backed badges until 1995

Eco-Action 1980-1998

Cadettes & Seniors


Eco-Action 1999-2010



Eco-Action 1997-2010

Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors

It appears that this was the only patch program ever converted into earned recognition

Badges for Juniors/Cadettes

 Interest Project Patches/Interest Project Awards for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors. 


Not really patches, but ribbons - unofficial, not to be worn on the front.

The Ambassador and Ambassador Aide program was launched in 1975, 
for Girl Scouts who move and for the new troop that accepted the moved Girl Scout. 

This brief program (gone by 1979) encouraged any Girl Scout who moved to share with her new troop something about her old community; local customs, unique celebrations, etc.
 This would qualify her to be an Ambassador. The troop accepting the new girl would share information about her new community. This would qualify them for the Ambassador Aide patch. 


There is no indication in the October 1975 issue of the Girl Scout Leader magazine that this program was limited to any certain age level of Girl Scouting.

The Eco-Action symbol began as a contest in October 1970, with the top designs on the cover of the Girl Scout Leader magazine March 1971

My Own Thing was a summer program
 for Girl Scouts from 1975-1978.


International Year of the Child 1979

United Nations proclamation

GSUSA noted the theme for Girl Scout Week 1979 was
 "Find The Gift In Every Child".
Celebration in 1979 as the International Year of the Child gives Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. a unique opportunity to focus attention on what Girl Scouting is all about recognizing the potential in all children
 and providing opportunities for them

to discover and express the gifts within themselves. 
Girl Scout Leader Mar/Apr 1979

Every council received a supply of buttons
 with the message "Find The Gift In Every Child" 
along with their IYC task force kit.

The buttons were green on white, about 1" diameter.

Girl Scout Bicentennial Patches

No requirements

Official - worn on the front

The winner of the national patch contest.

2nd place

3rd place


1985 International Youth Year - United Nations declaration.

Girl Scouting's focus was on tree planting.

This 1973-era patch wasn't national, but created at the council level - Black Hawk Council, but found fame when the Girl Scout Leader magazine highlighted it for originality. 2 years later the council notified GSUSA that patch had been sold to 615 Girl Scouts outside of their council. Back then, that was a big deal.So in a sense - it went national!  I didn't want this unique patch's history to be forgotten.

The Girl Scout Contemporary Issues patch program was launched in 1988 with 5 booklets; Tune in to Well-Being - Say no to drugs, Girls are Great, Reaching Out, Into the World of Today and Tomorrow and Staying Safe. These programs were meant to tackle some difficult subjects and they were not with controversy. The Decision for Your Life was not offered in all councils - I remember it wasn't offered in my council shop (Bluebonnet, Council TX) on purpose.

Parental permission was required for some. 

Staying Safe did not offered a patch upon completion, instead it had a certificate.

The 1997 Girl Scouts Against Smoking had only 3 patches for participation;

light blue for Daisys and Brownies, green for Juniors and dark blue for Cadettes and Seniors.

In 1997 the Girl Scout Contemporary Issues of Learning to Read, Girls are Great and Valuing Differences were dropped and the new program called Issues for Girl Scouts was added with 3 programs; Read to Lead, Girls are Great and Connections

Oddly - in 1999 - for reasons unknown, these patches could be placed on the front of the Daisy tunic. By 2000, it was no longer allowed.

1997 As 3 Contemporary Issues programs fading into memory (Right to Read, Valuing Differences and Girls are Great) they morphed into a new program - Issues for Girl Scouts, with 3 familiar sounding titles; Read to Lead, Connections and Girls are Great.

In 1999 a new Issues for Girl Scouts was added, Media Know-How with 3 patches 



























1999 - Girl Scouting in the School Day, all levels

2000 - Girl Scouts Go Global! patch program.

2000 brought us the Girlsports Basic program for Brownies and Juniors. Didn't last long.

2000 also brought us the Girl Scouts Girl Power! program for Juniors, Cadettes and Seniors. Remember that name from the patch (scroll up to the 1970's) from Black Hawk Council?

2000 was a busy year for launching new patch programs. Strength in Sharing: Philanthropy in Girl Scouting examined giving back to the community. All Levels.

2000 - Learning about Government-Partnership for Trust in Government did not include Daisys.

The final launch of 2000 was sponsored by Reader's Digest Association and QSP - Family Reading. Limited to Brownies and Juniors.

2001 - Let's Get Movin'

Brownies/Juniors - New Address...New Friends

Cadette/Senior - Across the State or Around the World

2002 - a new Issues for Girl Scouts - In the Zone: Living Drug Free.

2003 - Fit & Fun for Junior Girl Scouts

2003 Girl Scouts Strong Bones, Strong Girls.

2003 - Follow the Reader: A Girl Scout Family Reading Project, Bilingual - Daisy, Brownie, Junior.

2003 - uniquely ME! The Way to Be, Bilingual

2004 - Staying Safe

2006 - The Penny Project, for Brownies. A similar project was launched for the Juniors, but didn't appear to have a patch.

These patch projects wrapped up around 2008.

Site originally launched November 18, 2000

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