Monday, October 27, 2014

Guide to Troop Crests

Troop crests can be such a personal decision for a troop. Knowing about the crests and finding the best way for your troop to pick one can lead to a great decision made by a happy troop.

History:
Troop crests were originally patrol crests. Each patrol in a troop would decide what they wanted to represent themselves.
The first four troop crests were the white rose, carnation, red rose, and poppy. These first crests were round with a black background and red embroidered border.
1914 - Troop crests were changed to an oval design with a khaki background and black border.
1918 - Troops could make their own crests and this became widely popular.
1928 - Troop crests were changed to a grey-green background.
1930 and on - Troop crests were changed variously to match the choices in the colors chosen for uniforms.
2010 - A new set of 16 troop crests were released with the oval shape changed to a shield.

To view a collection of troop crests you can go here: http://www.vintagegirlscout.com/trpcrests.html

These are our current troop crests:

And the meanings:

Arrow - Action and moving forward.
Bee - Hard work.
Bluebird - Happiness and good fortune.
Carnation - Health and energy.
Crane - Strength, grace, and honor.
Eagle - Sees important details. (Bring focus to the group.)
Lei - Friendship, love and peace.
Lightning - Good ideas and creative power.
Nautilus Shell - Growing on the inside and outside. (Loving and accepting change.)
Pansy - Loving thoughts and special friendships. (Great Girl Scout bonds.)
Shooting Star - Rare, unexpected, and beautiful!
Sun - Warmth and life. (Helping yourselves and other grow.)
Trumpet - Ready for action.
Unicorn - Courage and beauty.
Waterfall - Always in motion steadily moving toward the goal. (Stay true to what you believe even though the world is always changing.)
White Rose - New beginnings. (New adventures.)

Frequently asked questions:

Who wears the troop crests?
Until recently, troop crests were for juniors and up but with the ciricculum change in 2010, brownies are now able to choose and wear a troop crest.



Where is it worn?
Troop crests are worn below the council ID strip and above the troop number.

When can you change a troop crest?
Girls choose a troop crest at the beginning of a troop (usually at the beginning of the troop year). Troop crests are not supposed to be changed for the life of the troop. However a troop should be allowed to change their troop crest when they gain or loose a fair number of members, girls change troops when bridging to a new level, or if they feel the troop crest no longer represents them (the troop crest decided as brownies may no longer represent the troop as cadettes).

What is the best way to choose a troop crest?
When given the choice with pictures or a list of the symbols, most troops (especially younger ones) will choose the unicorn. Reading off the list above (which are shortened versions) can help not tell them what exact image they are choosing so they are focusing more on the meanings.

What else are troop crests used for?
Troop crests can be used to identify troop equipment or put on a troop flag. This, of course, is not your limit!

This is my favorite crest that definitely represents me!
The lightning bolt!

I think that's awesome since the two troop crests we used when
I was a girl scout were the shooting star and the lightening bolt.

I hope your troop has picked a great one for them!
~Zigg

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