A system o recognitions is one of the ways the GS program ensures logical, creative, practical, and rewarding results for its members. Recognitions have been an integral part of GS since the earliest days of the organization. They are one aspect of a well-rounded GS program.
GS badges and signs are part of the total recognition system for girls 5-18. Girls work on these recognitions along with other activities presented in their handbook. When earning a badge or sign, a girl selects a certain number of activities from a carefully designed series on a given topic. When she has successfully completed the necessary activities, she receives an insignia to wear on her uniform. The insignia she wears symbolizes her achievement and shows she is able to share her new knowledge and skills with others.
The action based activities in the Badge Book supplement those in the Handbook. They encourage girls to make decisions and give them opportunities to develop knowledge and skills. All the badge activities reflect these common elements: fun, skill development, appreciation leisure time application, service, career exploration, and multicultural/international awareness.
In each area there is a variety of badges with green and tan backgrounds that cover various subject areas. Green badges are designed for girls who have interest in, but little experience with, the badge topic. Tan badges are for girls whose interest is greater and who have already developed some skills in badge topic. Badges with a green background should take a girl 2-3 months to earn, while a badge with a tan background should take 3-4 months to earn. Helping the girls keep this time line in perspective is critical, girls can not expect to properly earn a badge in one meeting. Suggested completion time is based on working on badge activities one hour a week at troop meetings or outside.
Some badges include starred activities. These activities must be completed because they cover basic skills or learning needed to understand the subject area.
Information gathered from 1980 Leader's Guide