How Do You Earn Girl Scout Fun Patches?

Girl Scout fun patches are a way for the girls in your troop to express themselves. Typically, fun patches require an activity to be earned, but some fun patches do not have a specific activity attached to it. For example, if a girl’s mother is the troop’s leader, she can wear the “My Mom is a Leader” fun patch. If another parent volunteers to be the Cookie Mom, then she can have the “My Mom is the Cookie Mom” patch. Other examples of patches that do not require an activity are the 100th Anniversary fun patch or the “Happy Birthday” patch.

How do Girl Scout troops earn fun patches?

Photo by Hannah Gold

Patches Versus Badges

Girl Scout fun patches are different from badges. They cannot be worn on the front of the vest or sash, they must be worn on the back. The patches can also be placed on other clothing or tote bags if a troop is so active that there is no space on the girl’s uniform.

Leaders Have Different Opinions About How Girl Scout Fun Patches Are Earned

A question that comes up in Girl Scout leader forums from time to time has to do with fun patches and exactly how they are earned.  Some leaders believe that they should be exclusively for activities done together as a troop-sort of a souvenir of what the children did. For example, cookie sale and QSP patches are something a troop does together.

Girl Scout Cookie Patch

Photo by Hannah Gold

Another reason why some leaders do not want non-Girl Scout events is that it takes away from what the troop does together and minimalizes the leader’s work. After all, a patch means time and effort was put forth to plan the activity that earned the patch.

Others believe that this is a non-issue.  If a girl did something outside of troop time that she wants to buy a patch to wear on her uniform, why not? A trip to the science museum or to an art exhibit demonstrates that the child did an educational activity and might have learned something from the experience.

Girl Scout Fun Patch

Photo by Hannah Gold

There are special nights at water parks and other amusements that cater to scouts. Typically, they offer troops or those active in scouting a discount, and a badge is also part of the package.  If she cannot wear it on her vest, what is she supposed to do with it?

Perhaps a child took part in a community service project on her how or with her place of worship.  This is most certainly worthy of a patch to be worn on her sash!

Councils sponsor all kinds of events throughout the year and patches are given out as part of the girls’ participation. Why should a child be prevented from wearing something she earned simply because everyone in her troop did not attend?

Part of the scouting culture is self-discovery. If a troop does not meet over the summer, the girl can earn patches on her own. Again, this is educational and girl-led, as this is something that interests her. Part of the scouting experience is to grow leaders who can act and think for themselves, so if a child wants to learn archery and there is a fun patch for it, let her wear it!

Build a Bear Fun Patch

Photo by Hannah Gold

My younger daughter and a friend of hers were the only two girls who liked to earn their own patches over the summer.  When we met again in the fall during the new school year, the others in our troop would be impressed by how many new emblems they sewn had on the back of their uniforms. All girls had the opportunity to do this, but very few did. Both girls had an enormous sense of pride with the work they did over the summer.

A Junior Shows Off Her Sewing Skills

How to Earn Girl Scout Fun Patches

Girls can earn these colorful embroidered symbols during a troop meeting. For example, if a troop leader wants to do some activities that do not tie into the new Girl Scout Journeys program, but can no longer find enough of the retired badges, a fun patch can be used as a substitute.

They can also be earned during troop meetings for doing a community service project (like a canned food drive or baking for the troops) or going on a field trip (like Build-a-Bear).

As mentioned before, girls can also earn them on their own. For example, many sports teams have special scout nights for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. During these special events, a patch is given to each scout who comes in uniform. Free events at Home Depot, where children learn how to do different woodworking crafts, often give a patch as part of the program. These can be worn on the back of the vest.

Where to Buy Girl Scout Fun Patches

There are several places to buy the patches. The first place to look is your local Girl Scout Council store. You can call ahead and see if they have the patch you want. Stores also have websites that are connected to larger Council stores. They can send the patch you want to your local store and you can pick it up there.

The Girl Scouts of the USA have just launched their own “Design a Badge” program. Girls can do an approved activity and then design their own fun patch for a low price. There are hundreds of different designs and colors, so no one in your troop should have the same one.

Don’t stress over fun patches. Let the girls wear them with Girl Scout pride!

1 thought on “How Do You Earn Girl Scout Fun Patches?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *