Collectible Girl Scout Badges and Patchs

When Juliette Gordon Low started the first Girl Scouts group, there were no official badges. After writing the requirements, she and other mothers cut circles of fabric and hand-stitched the design on the fabric. While the first troop was organized in 1912, it would be another year that the first badges were issued.

What were some of the original Girl Scout badges?

The first Girl Scout badges were based on the goals Juliette Gordon Low set when founding the program. Unlike today's age-based programs for Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, and Ambassadors, girls moved through the different levels of the program by earning badges. The first badges were on a white background keeping with the original blue and white uniform. These badges were:

  • Artist: Introduced in 1918, this badge pictured an artist’s palette. The first designs did not have spots on the palette while later ones did. The original badge design was discontinued in 1927.
  • Athlete: The first one shows crossed oars and was discontinued in 1920 to be replaced by one showing a ball.
  • Citizen: This badge pictured a black and white flower-like symbol and was originally issued in 1918. It was then reissued in 1920 but only lasted one more year each, making it one of the hardest badges to find.
  • Cook: Originally released in 1920, it shows a rectangle with lines sewed on it. Girls could earn it until 1927.
  • First Aid: This badge shows a red cross in the middle of a black circle. Girls could earn it from 1920 to 1924.
  • Naturalist: This badge showed a gray flower with white leaves. It was initially issued in 1920 as the “Naturalist” badge, in 1920 as the “Flower Finder”, and in 1925 as the “Wildflower Finder” badge.
How can you date Girl Scouts badges based on their color?

Badges made from 1918 to March 1919 featured images on white fabric while most of those released from March 1919 to March 1929 were sewed on khaki fabric. The background fabric changed to a gray-green in July 1928, changing to silver-green a decade later. Bright green fabric started being used in 1948. Badges were a square shape until 1955 when embroidery-framed badges were introduced and became circles, with the exception of the “Worlds to Explore” badges in 1977. They remained practically unchanged until 2012.

What are Girl Scouts cookie patches?

The first factory-made Girl Scouts cookie sales occurred in 1926, but the organization did not offer patches until the 1950s. Back then, girls who sold 20 boxes received a Girl Scouts patch that said “Lady in Waiting” while those who sold 40 boxes received a patch saying “Cookie Princess.” Girl Scouts who sold 60 boxes or more received a patch saying “Cookie Queen.” These patches were made of green felt and had yellow embroidery. Starting in the 1970s, some councils started issuing their own Girl Scouts patches for cookie sales, and the first cookie pins were issued in 1999.