by Lily Jaremski
You’ve probably heard of a Girl Scout Journey at some point. Maybe it was mentioned in the requirements for a Highest Award you’re working towards, or you’ve seen Journey Days on the website calendar, or you’ve been looking for a new activity to occupy your rambunctious second-year Daisies.
So, what is a Journey?
It’s hard to explain! It’s also the most common question I get as the Program & Curriculum Specialist here at GSMIDTN.
GSUSA explains it this way: “Girl Scout Journeys are multi-session experiences in which girls dig deeper into their interests and use the skills they gain along the way to make a difference in their community.”
It’s a pretty good summary. Journeys generally take anywhere from four to ten meetings to complete. Through the program, your Girl Scouts gain a better understanding of whatever issue they are tackling and are inspired to put together a Take Action Project that addresses that issue. Along the way, they’ll gain leadership and teambuilding skills.
However, I think GSUSA puts it best when they say, “Explore what really matters to you and use your passion to change the world—that’s what Girl Scout Journeys are all about.”
Really, though, the best way to understand what exactly a Girl Scout Journey is? You have to go on one! Here are the answers to a few more common Journey questions:
- What kinds of Journeys are there?
There are three main categories of Journeys: It’s Your World – Change It!, It’s Your Planet – Love It!, and It’s Your Story – Tell It! There are Journeys for each of these categories at every level. There are also Journeys for each level that focus on the Outdoors, STEM, Engineering, and Computer Programming.
- How do I decide what Journey is right for my troop?
It just depends on your troop. Encourage your Girl Scouts to research each Journey and vote on their favorites. They will be much more engaged if they get to decide which Journey they go on.
- What’s a Take Action Project?
A Take Action project is the service project that Girl Scouts complete to earn their Journey Award. Each Journey will give you guidelines of what your project should be. Focus on what issues you will address rather than the specific project requirements!
- How is that different from a community service project?
A community service project is something done for the community through an established model. Volunteers act as helpers or assistants, and the project changes something quickly.
Take Action Projects are girl-led and entail working with the community to address the root cause of a community issue. They take more time and energy than a community service project.
- Why are Journeys useful?
In addition to ability to earn Highest Awards, Journeys help Girl Scouts unlock their leadership potential through teamwork, individual reflection, and lots of fun. Journeys can also be a great way to become acquainted with Girl Scout traditions, develop new skills, and celebrate the accomplishments of your hardworking Girl Scouts.
- How do I get started?
Start with research. Think about the kinds of Journeys your troop might want to complete…check out ideas that other troops have done. You can stop by the Cabin for supplies or place an order by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also participate in a council-sponsored Journey event. Our team will guide troops through the Journey over one to two days! Check CouncilAlignMENT for future event dates.