What is the Correct Placement for Girl Scout Badges?
Fun Patches on Cadette Vest
Girl Scout Insignia, Badge, Patch and Award Basics
A Girl Scout may wear a vest or sash as part of her uniform. Her vest or sash may display the following:
- Earned Awards - Skill-builder badges, Journey badge sets, Pins
- Recognitions - Fun Patches, Unofficial Emblems or Pins
- Insignia and emblems - Troop, Council, National
In general, earned awards are displayed prominently on the front of the sash or vest, and fun patches and non-official emblems go on the back. Insignia, which consists of the World Association pin and Girl Scout pin placed on a felt tab, goes over the girl's heart, on the left side of her vest, or pinned to her shirt if she has a sash.
Some good resources that include pictures of how to place insignia, badges, patches and pins are found at these locations:
Girl Scouts USA - National website with parent resources about each program age level
What Kinds of Badges and Awards Might a Girl Scout Have?
First consider what kinds of insignia, badges, pins and patches your daughter may receive during the program age level years. Using the Junior Girl Scout age level as an example, we know that they are girls who are in school grades 4-5. They wear either a green vest or sash as their uniform piece. The official insignia, emblems, badges and awards they may receive or earn during these two years may include:
- World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) pin
- Girl Scout membership pin
- American Flag
- Council patch
- Troop crest
- Troop numbers
- Membership stars with color discs (yellow for Junior years)
- It's Your World, Change It! (badge set)
- It's Your Planet, Love It! (badge set)
- It's Your Story, Tell It! (badge set)
Legacy Skill Builder Badges:
- Cookie Business
- Financial Literary
- First Aid
- The Girl Scout Way
- Signs (sun, rainbow, world, star)
- Bronze (pin)
- Brownie "fly-up" wings
- Bridge to Juniors
- Safety (pin)
- Junior Aide
- Junior Leadership (pin)
- My Faith (pin)
Junior Girl Scout Badge Placement Diagram
Where to Place Badges on a Junior Girl Scout's Vest or Sash
Insignia, placed on a felt tab, will go over the girl's heart on the girl's left vest side. Next to the insignia and to its left goes the highest award for the program age level. For juniors, this would be the Bronze Award pin. Underneath the insignia, the Sign badges are placed, grouped together in a rectangle. Cookie sales activity pins can go to the left or just underneath the Signs. Journey patch sets go under the Signs, and skill-builder badges are placed along the hemline on both sides of the vest.
Emblems are placed on the girl's right side of the vest. At the top, the American flag patch is placed. Below it goes the council's emblem. If the troop has a crest, it is placed below the council's emblem and above the troop numbers. Below the troop numbers, membership stars are placed in a row. Each star should have a color disc that goes between the star and the uniform piece.
Award pins, badges and patches go below the membership stars. The Safety award, if earned, goes immediately below the membership stars. The Bridge award to the program age level goes below the membership stars. The Junior Aide award, if earned, goes below the program age level bridging award. Brownie fly-up wings follow below. Awards such as the My Faith pin and the Leadership pin go below the Brownie wings if earned.
Note, if the girl did not earn the Junior Aide award, or was never a Brownie and thus does not have Brownie wings or a Bridge to Juniors badge, then the My Faith and Leadership pins can be grouped closer to the membership stars if desired, but always above any skill-builder badges.
Placing Girl Scout badges and such on a sash is a little more straightforward. There is a sort of hierarchy. Emblems go at the top of the sash and in order of importance: American flag, Council patch, troop crest, troop numbers, membership stars, Bridge award, Junior Aide award, Brownie wings. Following the wings are awards also in order of importance: My Faith pin, Leadership pin, Safety pin, Cookie sales pin, and Journey badges. Skill builder badges go at the bottom. The highest program level award - the Bronze award for Juniors - goes at the same level as troop numbers. Remember that when wearing a sash, insignia pins go on a felt tab which is pinned to the girl's shirt, over her heart on the left side and not onto the sash itself.
What Pins or Badges Carry Over to the New Vest or Sash When Girls Bridge?
When a Girl Scout bridges to the next program age level, some of her pins and awards move onto the new vest or sash, including:
- Insignia - the felt tab is left on the old vest or sash and the insignia pins themselves move to a new tab and onto the new vest or sash.
- Bronze and Silver award pins - the former program age level award is always placed under the current age level award. Example: Bronze award pin is below the Silver award pin.
- Membership stars and color backs - create a new row as necessary to accommodate all stars.
- Brownie wings - the wings are always placed underneath the current program age level bridging award patch.
Tips For Placing Badges on Girl Scout Vests or Sashes
- The placement of insignia and emblems on the Girl Scout vest is the same for all program age levels. Skill-builder badges are always placed on the front of the vest along the hemline for all program age levels. Journey badge sets always go above skill-builder badges (and below insignia) on the girl's left side. Other earned badges and awards go in the middle of the vest, and is usually the source of most confusion. It's okay if you don't place things perfectly, it's more important that you've said "yes" to Girl Scouts in the first place! Remember, you can always move things around later, particularly if you or your daughter sew things in place instead of ironing badges on.
- If you know for certain that your daughter will earn two Journey badge sets (more typical for Cadettes, who have an extra year to earn them) then leave some room so that the sets can be placed side by side. Otherwise, center the earned Journey set on the vest. If by chance she does earn another set, place it below the first one.
- Start by placing skill-builder badges or patches along the bottom edge of the vest or sash, especially for fun patches. That will give you more room to add above and you will be less likely to run out of space.
- If you iron-on badges or patches, take the time to sew just a few stiches on each badge or patch. Sometimes the iron-on glue loosens, so the extra stitch or two can help keep from losing a badge or patch completely.
- It's perfectly okay to put earned badges and pins on the back of a vest or sash if the front side is out of room.
- Always ask your Girl Scout what each badge was for. It helps to reinforce the program goals of building character and confidence in girls.
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