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GS Membership stars & year pins

Under the banner of "Once a Girl Scout, Always a Girl Scout"  girls and adults tend to mark their time with Girl Scouting in years. 


1913 - the white felt badge with a palm frond, was used to denote attendance (likely 100%) at Girl Scout meetings.


This 1918 catalog image of the 6-pointed star doesn't show the small metal bars to allow sewing of the star to the uniform.

By 1916 - the 6-pointed star was being used to denote the attendance of Girl Scouts, after 1 year of membership. Gold plate was 100% attendance, no excuses. Silver plate pins were for 90% attendance.


This style lasted from 1916-1929.


Around 1929 the style of the attendance star changed from sew-on to a screw-back style.



In 1930 a bronze colored star was introduced for Brownies. For the Brownies, only 1 absence was allowed. The bronze star could be transferred to the Girl Scout uniform, however, time as a Brownie did not count towards the service stripes. Brownie bronze stars only lasted until 1936.


As early as 1921, Girl Scouts would use silver and gold ribbon on their left sleeve to denote years of service. However, the ribbon was not sold by GS.

In 1933, the Service Stripes were finally offered in the catalog, silver for 5 years service and gold for 10 years service.

This was dropped in 1941.

In 1939 Membership Petals was introduced for Brownies. 


Left: Correct placement of Membership Petals

Right: Incorrect placement (but creative) of Membership Petals on a World War II era Brownie Pin. They should have been stitched to the collar under where the Brownie Pin was attached.


In 1940, attendance was dropped as a requirement for the Attendance Star, and would be simply known as a Membership Star - denoting membership in Girl Scouting. Therefore, there was no longer a need for the silver star and it was dropped. The Brownie bronze star had already been dropped in 1936.


1941 - before metal rationing, Roman Numerals were offered with a small chain to attached to the membership pin.  The 35-year pin was added in 1947, and so on every 5 years. These were offered , though not consistently, until 1985.


World War II metal rationing led to some creative changes in the Membership Star.

The backing of the Membership Star had been a "screw-on" design for several years, but after the war, changes were being implemented. The "clutch-back" style was noted in some catalogs, but it's known that the screw-on was still being offered as well. By 1953, only the clutch-back style was offered.


1963 brought a colorful change to the Membership Stars, 5/8" color-coded plastic discs were now being placed behind the stars. This allowed the membership stars to announce how many years a girl had been in each level  of Girl Scouting. At first there were 4 colors; green for Brownies, yellow for Juniors, white to Cadettes and red for Seniors. When Daisys were introduced in 1984, they used a blue disc. Ambassadors, in 2011 used navy blue.


First offered in 1953, Arabic numerals continue today.


Introduced in 1980, the 10-year pin was for Senior wear (now Ambassadors too) and required council approval. The council approval was later dropped.  This close-up shows the original design (L) with the lumpy trefoil and the post 2011 return to the traditional trefoil. Continues today.



























In 1987, the silver version of the adult Girl Scout Volunteer Years pin (L) was launched. The newer, greener version was in 2012 and the silver one dropped.


Girl Scouts of San Diego offered a specialty 100th Anniversary Cookie disc for the membership star.

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