The best way to deliver the Girl Scout Leadership Experience is through leadership journeys. These powerful, fun and multidisciplinary experiences, each spread over a set of gatherings, are the core of the Girl Scout program. Journeys immerse Girl Scouts in specific themes, which are detailed in each journey’s resources: the girls’ book and the adult guide. The adult guide for each journey also features sample session plans with enriching activities, discussions and reflections for a group of girls, along with corresponding coaching tips. You can customize these sample session plans to fit the needs of your group, whether you guide a troop, volunteer at a Girl Scout camp, mentor girls on a travel adventure, or engage with girls in a series or at an event.
Leadership journeys ensure that every Girl Scout in every pathway receives a consistent, high-quality experience that engages girls in realizing specific leadership benefits. Each journey also offers opportunities to enjoy the longstanding traditions of Girl Scouting, from ceremonies and song to earning awards and related skill badges. The ladder to leadership
shows all of the journey awards available for each grade level. You can also check out the Journey Maps
to see how journeys, badges and activities all work together. Girls can also earn the summit award for completing all of the journeys for one Girl Scout grade level.
Here are a few tips for enjoying a great journey with your group of girls:
- Customize! Your journey’s adult guide offers step-by-step activities, discussions, ceremonies and reflections. But no journey is meant to provide hard-and-fast, unchangeable, lockstep sessions. Along with the girls, make the most of resources in your region to add trips, activities, guest speakers and the other special items to the journey. You’ll find plenty of tips for doing so in your adult guide, and the journey will be so much more fun and relevant as girls make it their own!
- Take your time or speed things up. Sample sessions in the journeys have been created to show how it is possible to have a Girl Scout Leadership Experience in a set number of gatherings. Many girls and adults quickly find there is more they want to do, which is why your adult guide is filled with tips for how to stretch out the experience. As their imaginations take hold, girls will have many more ideas about how to extend the journey. Conversely, you and the girls may decide you want to complete a journey in only four or five group gatherings. Do whatever works for you and the girls.
- Harness the power of stories. All Girl Scout leadership journeys engage girls in stories—real and fictional—of girls and women taking action in the world. Make use of these stories and expand upon them whenever you can—in any way that you and girls will enjoy. Stories, after all, capture the imagination and motivate. Ultimately, girls will create their own stories on the journey, meeting new people and taking action in the world. What other stories are going on in your region, and how can girls connect to them?
- Connect to the three keys. As a volunteer in Girl Scouts, your experiences—and your view of leadership—will influence and inspire girls. Use the reflection exercises in the adult guide to think about the three keys to leadership (discover, connect, take action) and how you can best apply them as you team up with Girl Scouts on their leadership journey.