An Explanation of the Girl Scout USA Program and Awards

Aggie Donch
Co-Leader, Senior Troop 204
New Milford, Connecticut
Northwestern CT Council

Here goes:

Our Cadettes are 11 to 14 years old, usually in middle school / intermediate school / junior high school (depending on what the local school district calls it).

Seniors are 14 to 18, in high school. [As an aside, our Daisies (Rainbow Guides for you guys, no?) are 5 to 6, Brownies are 6 to 8, Juniors are 8 to 11]


To earn the Silver Award, a Cadette must first:

  1. Earn 3 Interest Project Patches (IPP's) related to her Silver Award project.
  2. Earn the Dreams to Reality patch or Career Exploration IPP.
  3. Earn the Cadette Leadership Award or the Leadership IPP.
  4. Earn the Cadette Challenge (a self-examination of her goals and values, and a challenge to herself)


After completing the first four steps, she must then design and carry out a Silver Award project. The project may be designed and carried out by a group of girls or an individual.


To earn the Gold Award, a Senior must first:

  1. Earn 4 IPP's related to her GA project
  2. Earn the Career Exploration pin
  3. Earn the Senior Leadership Award
  4. Earn the Senior Challenge

The Gold Award project must be designed by the individual Senior, although she may enlist others in bringing her project to fruition.

Cadettes and Seniors may also work on Community Service Bars, religious recognitions, and the American Indian Youth Award.

Cadettes may earn the Program Aide pin and patch.

Seniors may earn Leader-in-Training and Counselor-in-Training (LIT and CIT) pins and patches. The next step from LIT is Senior Girl Scout Troop Assistant's (SGSTA) pin, and from CIT is CIT II.

Junior work on Proficiency Badges, Signs (which are kind of group badges with a few other activities to tie them together) and the Junior Leadership Award.

Brownies work on Try-Its.

Everybody from Daisies to Seniors has a patch or pin to work on as they prepare to bridge to the next level, all of which incorporate a rainbow in the design. The Bridge to Brownies is a flat-bottomed low arch shape patch, Bridge to Juniors is a half-circle arc patch (these go on sash or vest back with all other D/B/J stuff for Cadettes and Seniors), the Bridge to Cadettes is a flat strip, Bridge to Seniors is a patch which fits on top of B to C to form a triangle, and Bridge to Adults is a squarish-rectangular pin about the size of the Promise pin.