Girl Scout Uniform Requirements

The Girl Scout uniform has requirements as to where badges and patches, as well as pins, belong on the vest or sash.  With most patches being iron on, it isn’t difficult to get it right.

Girl Scout Uniforms Promote Sisterhood Among Scouts

By Father of JGKlein, used with permission (Father of JGKlein, used with permission) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Father of JGKlein, used with permission (Father of JGKlein, used with permission) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
When I was a Brownie Girl Scout back in 1972-1973, I proudly wore my jumper and my beanie to every meeting. My friends and I loved our uniform and were so happy to go to our meetings after school. Back then we walked by ourselves-no parent needed to escort us from one place to the other.When I finished being a Brownie, I passed on jumper to my friend in another apartment building. She lived in the same complex that the girl who gave me the jumper lived in. Back in those days, when you lived in an apartment, you had to get rid of things you no longer used, as there was no storage.

When my older daughter became a Brownie Girl Scout in first grade, back in 2001, she and her friends had the entire ensemble. They all wore to school on meeting day the brown skort, vest and matching official Girl Scout socks.By fifth grade, those who remained kept their vest in their backpacks until it was time for the meeting after school. It was no longer cool to show your scouting pride.

I have been a troop leader since 2008, when my daughter was a kindergarten Daisy Scout. Up until last year, my girls had no problem wearing their vests to school when the occasion warranted it, like on Girl Scout Week. I plan on having them help out our school with various events, and they must wear their vests or sashes if they want to participate. Knowing them I am sure that it will not be a problem!

What Must Girls Wear to Girl Scout Meetings and Events?

While the Girl Scout Council stores offer many accessories to the uniforms girls wear, there is only one actual requirement. Daisy Girl Scouts must have the vest or tunic, Brownie Scouts and above must have the sash or vest.All badges and pins must be placed on the vest in the designated spots.

If you are unsure of patch and pin placement, here is the link to the Girl Scouts of America website that has pictures of where things belong. They even tell you what each pin and patch are.While some badges and patches are iron on, others are not. Do not try to iron on a patch that does not specify that it can be adhered that way-you will melt the patch. Instead, you can use a bondable adhesive like Patch Attach if you do not want to sew them on.

Who Buys Girl Scout Uniforms?

Some troops use their fundraising money to buy each girl’s uniform, while others require parents to pick up the tab.

For my troop, the parents buy the uniform and our dues supply the patches, badges and pins. I did this not only because we are not a fundraising troop, but because if a girl decides to quit scouts, the troop is out the money she fronted for the vest and badges. Then there is the tricky issue of asking parents for money owed to the troop or just eating the cost. If several girls quit, that can add up to a lot of cookie profit.

Girl Scout Shirts – What to Wear Under the Tunic, Vest or Sash

This is the shirt my girls made to earn the Art to Wear Try It.  They wore this for Junior meetings the next year. Photo by Hannah Gold
This is the shirt my girls made to earn the Art to Wear Try It. They wore this for Junior meetings the next year.
Photo by Hannah Gold

I have had very simple uniform requirements in place for my troop. They needed to buy the vest or sash as stated by the Girl Scouts of America. Underneath, they needed to wear a white shirt (some graphics were okay but I really wanted solid white) and jeans. This was very easy for my girls to wear, as they already had these items in their wardrobe!

If you want to add color, why not ask your girls to wear a light blue shirt if they are Daisies, a beige or brown shirt if they are Brownies and a green shirt if they are Juniors. These are inexpensive, machine washable, and can also be worn as everyday attire.

A Brief History of Girl Scout Uniforms

By Photo: User:FA2010 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Photo: User:FA2010 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons 1927 uniform
Uniforms have always reflected the fashion trends of the times. Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts of America, based her original uniform design on the Girl Guides of England, where she got the idea for starting the American movement. Mothers and daughters actually had to sew their own uniforms together! In 1914, the became manufactured in factories, as the there was a substantial increase in girls participating in the movement.Until 1927, uniforms were a very long length, which was reflected in the times. No short flapper outfits for these girls! It was this year that Brownie Girl Scouts got their own distinct uniform, which was different from the older girls.The year 1936 saw a new version of the Brownie ensemble, which gave the girls two choices of hats to wear.Throughout the years, styles for all levels of scouts changed. In fact, the biggest change came in 1973, when the Girl Scouts of America offered pants and shorts were added to the uniform choices. No longer were dresses or skirts required.

Financial Aid

If a girl in your troop cannot afford a uniform, contact your local Girl Scout Council and they can give the girl’s family the paperwork she needs for financial aid.

Who pays for your troop’s uniforms-the troop or the parents?

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