Vintage Girl Scout Online Museum
Brownie Wings were first introduced in the Girl Scout catalog in 1927, noting that they were white, green and red dye fast embroidery thread on brown material. This was the same coloring that Girl Guides in the U.K. were using, and even today some WAGGGS countries still use.
In 1931 a new, smaller brown embroidered wing on "Girl Scout Cloth" was offered. It was decided that Brownies who only earned the "Golden Bar" level before moving on to Girl Scouting would be given the brown wings. Brownies who earned the "Golden Hand" level would received the colorful wings when moving on to Girl Scouts.
Brownie Wings were never to be worn on the Brownie uniform.
The Spring 1935 Girl Scout catalog notes that the colorful wings were on brown felt.
In 1935 the colorful wings were dropped in favor of bright yellow embroidery on green backing. The Fall 1935 still showed the colorful wings, but described the new yellow wings, called "Gold Wings".
Brown Wings were sold until 1939.
Although there are production variations in the "Gold Wings" the style has remained the same and is in use today. Older wings were embroidered on felt and often did not survive laundering.
In 1948 the "Gold Wings" name changed to Brownie Scout Wings
In 1963 the name was simplified to just "Brownie Wings." In 1970 thermoplastic backing was added to the wings and the "felt" was changed to synthetic material at some point. Attempts were made that Brownies might "earn" the wings doing advanced projects over the years, but there are no requirements for the wings. They simply indicated membership in the Brownie level of Girl Scouting
1977 brought the first "bridging" patch to Girl Scouting. This was a green arch patch that said "Bridge to Juniors." It was meant to form a complete set of Brownie patches that included the Brownie "B"'s and the Junior Aide patch. The bridge showed that the Brownie had completed steps to be ready for Junior Girl Scouting. The Brownie Wings continued to be used.
The new Bridge to Cadette patch was first offered in 1980.
In 1984, the Daisy age level began to offer "Beginning Daisy Girl Scouts Certificate" and "Ending Daisy Girl Scout Certificate" for the girls. These were popular, and some councils began to offer bridging certificates for the other age levels.
1986 was a transitional year, the green Bridge to Juniors and the yellow Bridge to Cadettes were offered side-by-side with the new bridging patches.
Unlike all the other bridging emblems, this one is a pin.
In 2008 a change in wording happened in Girl Scouting. Whereas before we would say Daisy Girl Scouts or Brownie Girl Scouts, in 2008 the names changed to Girl Scout Daisy, Girl Scout Brownie, etc.
During the very busy years of Girl Scouting's 100th Anniversary celebrations, the bridging emblems began to change. With the new Ambassador program, the new "arc" bridging emblems began to appear. In 2013 the new Bridging to Girl Scout Brownie arc emblem appeared on the cover of the 2013 GS catalog. By 2014 all the girl levels had new arc emblems. The Bridging to Girl Scout Adult emblem is still a pin.
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