Getting Started with Journeys
Wondering what Journeys are, or how to use them with girls? Want to help girls customize their Journey experience by adding in badges, cookies, camping, and events? Read on for some tips and ideas for getting started!
Step 1: Explore Journeys
Fun and Direction: the Adult Guides and Girl Books
Each Journey has two books: the adult guide and the girl book. The girl book is just that – a book for girls with stories, activity ideas, and ways to reflect on their experience in Girl Scouts. Girl books are used in meetings, and also provide girls a way to stay engaged with Girl Scouts outside of meetings.
The adult guide for each Journey provides all the information and activity ideas you need to provide your girls with an amazing Girl Scout experience. Each adult guide includes:
Explanations of Journey themes
Sample session outlines and activity descriptions
Tips for encouraging girls to choose and complete activities
Tips for supporting girls as they take on leadership
Ideas for Take Action projects
Steps for earning the awards
Each Journey contains a set of sample “sessions” related to the Journey theme. Each Journey session is customizable for troop needs: a session can take place at one troop meeting, a series of troop meetings, or as part of an outing, event, camp or trip.
The sample sessions in each guide give you the step-by-step directions you need to bring the Journeys to life, and include plenty to do during your Girl Scout year. Remember, though, you don’t have to do everything exactly as laid out in the sample sessions. You can add or subtract sessions as needed; you can also customize the activities in each session to meet the needs of your girls. However, if you’re super busy (and who isn’t?), you can rest easy knowing that the adult guide will give you a clear plan for each session – you don’t have to change a thing!
Step 2: Complement Journeys with Badges, Cookies, and More!
In keeping with the “journey” theme, “side trips” such as badges, cookies, camping, and events are the natural complement to badges. A Journey gives girls a consistent experience that ties their whole year together. Badges, cookies, camping, and events enable girls to further explore topics of interest.
Invite Girls to Customize!
Before girls even open their Journey books, ask what the journey’s theme means to them. Maybe the theme ignites a discussion that helps the girls chart their course for the year! Probe to find out what the girls are most interested in accomplishing and enjoying over the year. This is your chance to encourage girls to dig deeper:
Which badges can the group work on to deepen their skills in this area, or another area of interest?
Can they organize and plan a field trip to find out more about the topic?
Are there events that tie into their interest?
Can the girls find an expert in the field to invite to their meetings?
Each adult guide also has more tips for customizing the journey. Did the Junior Agent of Change Journey spark an interest in animals or animal shelters? Maybe girls will want to earn their Animal Habitat badge or earmark money from the Girl Scout Cookie Program Activity to fund a Take Action project benefiting their local shelter. Are your Daisies inspired by the stories in the Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden Journey? Maybe they’ll want to visit a farmer’s market, eat garden veggies, or explore a working farm! There is a world of possibilities waiting for your girls.
Step 3: Enjoy!
Finally, you can step back and watch how the girls - with your knowledge, support, and guidance - have an enormously fun and rewarding experience. You can take pride as girls earn exciting awards, enjoy time-honored Girl Scout ceremonies, and learn how to care for their world. Most of all, the Journeys and their “side-trips” give you the tools you need to make a difference in the lives of girls.