Unless you’re really
old experienced like I am, you may not remember a time when Brownies did not earn badges. But it’s true.
The first comprehensive badge program for Brownies was introduced in 1986 and was called Try-Its.
Just as the name suggests, they were geared towards having Brownies just “try it.” There was really no expectation of mastering a skill as in the badges for the older levels.
So in a way, they were our first participation awards!
A Brief History
The first set of Try-Its released in 1986 numbered only 15 in total. Girl Scouts issued three for each of the five worlds:
- World of Well-Being
- World of People
- World of Today and Tomorrow
- World of Art
- and World of Outdoors.
You could quickly tell which world each Try-It belonged to based on the color of its border.
As you can imagine, Brownies were thrilled to earn badges just like their older Girl Scout sisters. Additional try-its were introduced over the next several years until there were a total of 57 available.
eliminated retired in 2011 when Girl Scouts overhauled their badge programs for all levels.
However, as they say, “Once a badge, always a badge,” so your Brownies can still earn these Try-Its today and wear them proudly on their uniform.
Earning Try-Its Today
Try-its come with six proposed activities, of which Brownies must complete four of them. This means that generally, most troops should be able to earn a Try-It even if your meeting time is only an hour.
Requirements can be found in the Try-Its for Brownie Girl Scouts handbook, sometimes on Amazon or online used book stores.
Now where to find the actual badges? You may not be able to purchase Brownie Try-Its in your local council store, but they are still available in Facebook groups, on eBay, or through online collectors.
And from a financial perspective, these are most likely cheaper than current badges. So, if your troop is just starting out or low on funds, Try-its may be a great option to move your troop forward.
I’ve put a list of the Brownie Try-Its in this table. If the Try-It is highlighted, you can follow the link to the plans that I used with my troop.
List of Brownie Try-Its
Around the World
Art to Wear
Brownie Girl Scouts Around the World
Brownie Girl Scouts Through the Years
Caring and Sharing
Citizen Near and Far
Colors and Shapes
Earth and Sky
Earth is Our Home
Eat Right, Stay Healthy
Girl Scout Ways
Listening to the Past
Make It, Eat It
Me and My Shadow
Numbers and Shapes
People Are Talking
People of the World
Playing Around the World
Point, Click and Go
Puppets, Dolls and Plays
Ready, Set, Go Camping
Science in Action
Sounds of Music
Sports and Games
Stitch It Together
Wave the Flag
Working It Out
Finally, if you’re having trouble finding some of these old Brownie Try-Its or don’t know how to adapt them to the 21st century (they are over 30 years old!), just reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment below.