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Uniforms have been a part of Girl Scouts from the very beginning, and adult uniforms are no different. Adults have worn a wide variety of uniforms that ranged from floor length skirts to the first pant suits in the seventies. It’s quite fun to look back through the years and see how uniforms have evolved, although when a volunteer finds their childhood uniform in a museum it can be a bit of a shock!
As fun as it is to look back through the years, we’ll be covering the ins and outs of today’s adult uniform in this post! Each pin and patch has meaning and place—some show how long someone has been in Girl Scouts, some give insight on what type of volunteering they do, others are awards they’ve earned as adults for being awesome volunteers. It’s fun to spot these out and about at events, camps, and leader meetings to learn how your fellow members (and Girl Scout sisters) have chosen to incorporate Girl Scouts into their life.
Adult uniforms are navy, and consist of a few key elements to be worn for various occasions. We have official blue button-down shirts, polos, and cardigans with the Girl Scout embroidered logo, which act as the base for the scarf, patches, and pins. The scarf is really what brings the look together. The green scarf with neck slide on the left is great for troop activities. Each girl level has a scarf as well, so the adults coordinate with and set the tone for the troop. The silk scarves are both more casual and more formal—a very versatile accessory often seen at larger events like the National Girl Scout convention, award ceremonies, council summits, and more.
You might spot a green patch on the navy uniform: the volunteer insignia patch! New this year, it can be adhered to any shirt, jacket, or top. This is just to identify you as a Girl Scout Member, worn on the right side of your top.
Insignia Tab and Pins
A classic piece of the Girl Scout Uniform, the Insignia Tab can be tacked on to any outfit. The green tab is exclusive to adult members. The pins all carry their own meaning and the whole tab is worn on your left chest centered over your heart. I’ve included a little diagram that describes what each pin means!
- Official Volunteer Pin: this comes in a unique color per Girl Scout level to help you find your fellow volunteers working with similar age groups. You can use green to showcase that you volunteer with multi-level troops or to say that you work with all levels of girls.
- World Trefoil Pin: this pin goes at the top of your insignia tab and shows that you are a part of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). On it are three leaves representing the Girl Scout Promise, with a flame that stands for loving all the people in the world. The compass needle is to guide you, and the two stars are the Girl Scout Promise and Law. The outer circle represents the World Association, and the golden yellow trefoil on a bright blue background stands for the sun shining over the children of the world.
- Position Pins: these pins show off how you choose to volunteer within the Girl Scouts. Yellow stands for troop volunteers, red for program or event volunteers including camps, light blue is for Service Units, and so on. Some volunteers even stack two to three to show all their different areas of service!
- Membership Pin: This shows you are an official member of Girl Scouts! You have the choice of wearing the traditional membership pin as shown in the picture or the contemporary version.
- Numeral Guards: These dangling charms are used to show how many years you’ve been a Girl Scout, the fun and daunting part is you begin counting from when you were a girl! These pins are made in five year increments and go up to eight-five years! The chain attaches to the membership pin.
The next piece of the adult uniform are the very important adult awards! Did you know that adult volunteers can be recognized for their amazing efforts in supporting girls? These awards are typically pins, worn on the right side of your uniform shirt or top along with the green volunteer insignia patch, or on a pin lanyard.
With these pins on display you begin to literally see what dedication your fellow volunteers bring to the organization, and get to know our Girl Scout community better!
Bonus Insignia: The nametag! Worn on the right side of the uniform, these are completely optional, and you can have anything within the character limit printed. Some volunteers use their camp name, some want to list their troop number, others just simply want their name. Your local council Girl Scout store can order them for you.
All in all, uniforms bring a lot of value to being a Girl Scout member. They showcase your accomplishments, they set a model for others around you (including girls), they identify us as Girl Scouts to our community, but I think the most important element of the uniform is the reflection they create. As we and our girls look back on our Girl Scout experiences, these uniforms and awards help us remember how we’ve ended up where we have. Reflection is an important piece in many Girl Scout activities and badges, and it helps us move forward together.
Psst—One last thing: I couldn’t resist sharing at least one vintage adult uniform! I urge you to search the internet for uniforms over the past 100+ years, they’re quite a blast from the past! You can see vintage Girl Scout uniforms at our Alameda retail shop, or borrow them from the council for events!
What to do next:
- Inspired to add to your own uniform collection? Want to represent Girl Scouts in casual attire? Check out the Adults section of our store.
- Girl Scouts wouldn’t be able to do what they do without their awesome troop leaders and adult volunteers! Find out how to recruit more parent volunteers, how to best communicate with troop parents, and how to thank troop parents for their involvement (if you nominate them for an award, they can add it to their uniform!)
- Take a walk down memory lane, and visit the Alameda retail shop to see vintage Girl Scout uniforms for every age level.
Cambria Griffin—Cambria is the Director of Retail and Office Operations at Girl Scouts of Northern California where she oversees six retail stores and offices plus one online store. She’s based in the East Bay, and is often out and about searching for the areas hidden gems. Cambria loves talking with volunteers to understand how she can best support their needs through the product carried in her stores. She especially loves helping girls budget wisely while shopping with their rewards cards.