It makes me so proud to say my troop is girl-led. Our girls are “out of the box” thinkers, and proved it this year—it’s been so much fun to watch them take basic badge requirements and come up with inspired, creative activity ideas to fulfill them!

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If you have a group of clever, innovative, and creative girls, or just want some fresh ideas for badge work, here are 5 activities that will help your girls complete certain badge tasks in ways you might not have thought of!

Build Derby Cars

Our girls loved hosting their very own derby this year with homemade pine-wood cars. No matter if you choose to go the traditional route and call it a “Pinewood Derby” or make it cuter by calling it a Powder Puff Derby, this activity challenges girls to use STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) skills to create their own beautiful, efficient cars to win the derby. This crafty competition completes the Daisy Model Car Design Challenge badge, the Brownie Race Car Design Challenge badge, and the Cadette Woodworker badge!

Girl Scout Cookie Derby Car

Made by Alexis
Troop 2760, Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains

Make Mini Meals

Our troop is a troop of foodies. We took some of the requirements for the Brownie Snacks, Junior Simple Meals, Cadette New Cuisines, and Senior Locavore badges and made mini versions of the food they suggested. From mini smoothies to tiny tacos, each thing we ate was just a couple of bites so everyone got to try each groups prepared foods (FYI Delish and Whole Foods have some tasty mini recipes). Plus we talked about how to eat well for our individual needs, being mindful while we eat our food, and ways to use our food resources wisely and limit waste.

Pro Tip: Having trouble navigating everyone’s allergies, food intolerances, or just plain ol’ dislikes? Check out my other blog post for some snack attack tips!

Experiment with Art

This year the girls voted unanimously to take the Junior Outdoor Art Explorer badge to “next level”. Instead of finding art in the outdoors in the usual way with wind chimes and painting with flowers, the girls wanted to go big—if you’re leading an imaginative group of Daisies or Brownies, these ideas will be perfect. Respecting the principles of Leave No Trace, the girls voted for activities like painting on a large clear shower curtain to see how the light reflects through the colors, poured painted pots, catapult painting, and nature prints made of clay. They also plan to have a dance party in the grass and make wind streamers.

Imagine Your Own Adventure

Who says you have to live in reality all the time? Our Brownies pretended to be stranded in the forest where they had to live off the land. They built an outdoor fort (we used cookie case boxes and an old sheet), made mud pies in a mud kitchen, built a (pretend) campfire and made stone soup. Give them the materials and let them have some messy fun! Your Brownies will have their Outdoor Adventurer badge earned in a heartbeat.

Host a Mermaid Camp

Imagine the life of a mermaid: swimming around the quiet of the ocean, colorful fish as your friends… it sounds pretty magical! Host your own mermaid party and complete many of the requirements for the Brownie Senses badge, the Brownie My Best Self badge, the Cadette Science of Happiness badge, the Senior Women’s Health badge, and Ambassador Water badge through exploring the life and themes of a mermaid! Everything from learning to relax, making healthy eats, and learning to listen to the sounds of nature to relax all can help girls learn to focus on being their best (mermaid-y) selves.

No matter what activities you choose to do, or which badges you decide to earn as a troop, you and your troop will have a blast exploring and learning together. On top of that, these badges and activities help girls learn to find solutions to any problem, step up as leaders and value their own opinions and ideas, as well as develop a strong and healthy sense of self. So don’t be afraid to try out of something new and exciting, and always remember to let the girls take the lead!

What to do next:

  • Share your troop’s out-of-the-box activity ideas in the comments section!
  • Looking for a related read? Check out Girl Scouts of Western Ohio’s blog post, Three Reasons to Get Creative with Your Troop.
  • Not sure where to start? Browse the Badge Explorer, and find inspiration from the listed requirements.
  • Whether they’re earning an outdoor-themed badge or a financial literacy-themed badge, review the Planning in a Girl-Led Environment section of Volunteer Essentials to keep their activities girl-led.

Richel NewborgRichel Newborg—Richel is a troop leader to Troop 2740 located in Fort Worth, Texas (although she was born and raised in California). Her mom and grandmother were also Girl Scout Leaders. Her favorite memory so far as a troop leader was packing friends, family, and excited girls into her living room (almost 50 people) when their bridging/rededication ceremony was rained out. It was crowded but an awesome celebration of Girl Scouting and they even managed to have a real bridge!