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What is a Brownie Girl Scout?

Jason C. Chavis
Jason C. Chavis

A Brownie Girl Scout is a member of an organization that promotes the education of girls in outdoor activities, entrepreneurial initiatives and arts. The Brownies are comprised of girls between the ages of seven and ten years. Depending on the exact location of the organization, the activities range from urban citizenship to outdoor camping. In general, the Brownie Girl Scouts are an inclusive group with a strong emphasis on diversity.

The Brownies are essentially a young girl version of the Girl Scouts. It represents the female version of the Cub Scouts. Unlike many other groups, the Brownies focus on supporting the different types of girls that exist within the United States. They were one of the first organizations to support the membership of handicapped and disabled people and also support religious diversity. The motto is allowed to be adjusted to fit whatever spiritual belief an individual Brownie Girl Scout may have.

The Brownies promote the education of girls in outdoor activities.
The Brownies promote the education of girls in outdoor activities.

One of the major features of the Brownies are the concept of “Try-Its.” These are activities and programs that earn girls badges and awards for different activities and programs. Brownies perform a range of actions from taking part in major events to attempting to complete a basic task. Examples of different activities include learning about veterinarian care for animals, assembling community clean-up projects, exploring early American life, decorating T-shirts, selling cookies, learning to swim or simply learning a magic trick.

Each Brownie Girl Scout belongs to a group called a troop. These troops are led by certified trainers called guides. The organization of the troop varies depending on the leader, however, most groups act as a guided democratic institution. The members work with the guide to come up with programs and ideas in which they will take part. Leadership skills are a major focus of this organization.

The Brownies were established as an offshoot of the Girl Scouts. Juliette Gordon Low created the U.S. Girl Guides in 1912 based on the organization in England. Lord Baden-Powell, the director of the Boys Scouts, created a branch of younger girls in 1914 to complete the different age groups of scouts. The original name for the group was the Rosebuds, however, this was changed by Baden-Powell's wife after members complained about the name. The Girl Guides became the Girl Scouts a short time later, bringing with it the nomenclature for the Brownies.

Girls can join the Brownies by contacting a local Brownie Girl Scout council in their area or by calling toll-free (800) GSUSA4U [(800) 478-7248].

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Discussion Comments


I'm not sure of the system is different in the UK, but I was a Brownie for a few years as a child. I remember practicing for my ironing badge with a tea towel. I was so painfully slow my poor mother must have had the patience of a saint!

For some reason I never graduated to the Girl Guides, as it was known then. I did become a Brownie leader as an adult though. I was Tawny Owl, a position I really enjoyed.


I was a part of the Brownies for a few years, but lost interest after a while and became involved with other things.

Some of my friends continued on and earned several girl scout patches. Sometimes I wish I had stuck with it longer because it seemed like they got to go on some cool trips as they got older.

I know this program has been around for a long time, and think it is a great way for girls to meet together, learn and give back to the community at the same time.


I remember wearing my Brownie Girl Scout sash with pride. I was motivated to get as many patches as I could.

The only thing I remember not liking about it was the color. I always thought brown was such a dull color for all the fun things we got to do when we were in Brownies.

Growing up in a small town where we didn't have a lot of extra activities to be involved in, being a part of the Brownies was a big thing.

I am thankful for the volunteers who took time out of their busy schedules to make sure we were able to participate in a lot of great activities. I have very fond memories of being a Brownie.


Before I was ever a Brownie, I was a Bluebird. I don't know if they still use this term today, but when I was growing up this was for the younger girls who weren't quite old enough to be Brownies.

I remember having a felt blue bird that was pinned to my dress with a slot for my dues each time we met. I think it cost me a dime every time I went to a meeting.

Being a Bluebird was OK, but the coveted thing was to become a Brownie. My older sister was a part of the Brownies, and I couldn't wait until I was old enough to have my own Brownie Girl Scout uniform.


@EdRick - The similarity between Brownies and Cub Scouts is more in their age than in the organization. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are very different organizations. They may do some similar activities (e.g., camping,) but they are arranged differently and have different philosophies (gay atheists are welcome in Girl Scouts, but not Boy Scouts).

Brownies are actually full Girl Scouts; all the levels K-12 (and beyond) are part of Girl Scouts of the USA.

Daisy Girl Scouts are the newest level. I was actually one of the very first Daisy classes in the mid-80s. They are in kindergarten and first grade, generally, while Brownies are in second or third grade.

I hope that your daughter does want to be a Girl Scout someday! I was in for twelve years myself and it was really wonderful for me. I even got a small college scholarship!


So are is a Daisy Girl Scout even younger than a Brownie? I'm thinking ahead to when my daughter will be of an age for Girl Scouts. How old are Brownies, anyway?

Now, I remember that when my son was a Cub Scout, they weren't considered Boy Scouts - they sort of graduated to Boy Scouts. Is Brownies like that?

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    • The Brownies promote the education of girls in outdoor activities.
      By: mickyso
      The Brownies promote the education of girls in outdoor activities.