The Art of Earning a Brownie Girl Scout Painting Badge

December 30, 2011 at 7:21 pm 11 comments

There comes a time in every Brownie leader’s life when she must prepare for her first field trip with the girls, and so was my task for my third meeting. In fact, I prepared for two field trips at once.

The troop had a fantastic opportunity to work with an artist in an art gallery and to create pieces using non-traditional materials. This was a very exciting venue for our girls to earn their Painting Badges. Moreover, the girls were given the chance to sell their art at an Art Walk and give back to their community. It was a beautiful lesson that was going to come full circle.

In preparation, several things had to be done to make this trip seamless. First, our Transportation Coordinator filled out the Parent Permission forms and emailed them to the parents for their signatures. Next, he arranged for three drivers, besides me, to transport the troop to the Art Gallery. (Here’s a tip to make transportation easier: consider making multiple transportation binders. In each binder, includes a complete set of Health Histories for the girls in the troop, blank Accident/Incident Forms, and blank Adult Health Histories for each driver to fill out as needed. I also suggest keeping a set with your first aid kit. For more organizational tips, please feel free to email me at

The next task was to collect donations of 4×4 ceramic tiles and new or used nail polish and acrylic paints. The final task was to purchase materials to transform the girl’s painted ceramic tiles into coasters to sell. This included adhesive cork backing and small stickers printed with “Made with Love” and our Troop Number.

Once our preparations were complete, and snacks primarily eaten in the car on the way to the art gallery, we arrived at our destination where we began our third Brownie meeting, as outlined here, using the Girl Scouts of America’s meeting structure.


  • Walk through

As we waited for everyone to arrive, the girls finished their snacks. Then they had the opportunity to walk through the gallery and enjoy the art.


  • Promise
  • Law
  • Brownie Smile Song
  • Attendance

Convening in a Brownie Circle outside the gallery on our sit-upons, the girls opened our meeting with the Girl Scout Promise, Law, Brownie Smile Song, and attendance, each led by a new volunteer.


  • GIve Back Badge
  • Internal Ceremony

“The first order of business is to introduce you to a new badge we will be working on, called the Give Back Badge. Who can tell me what it means to give back?” I asked. After some discussion, I went through the Give Back Badge pamphlet from the Brownie Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting binder. Moving through each of the five steps, I outlined for the girls that (1) we would be researching businesses that give back between now and our next meeting; (2) we would be selling our art at an “Art Walk” in a couple of weeks with a goal of selling all 60 pieces that we make today; (3) our plan is to donate 50% of the proceeds to a business or charity that gives back selected by the girls; (4) during the Art Walk we will be asking our customers what they would like to see improved in their community, as this may help us with our decision or for future project ideas; and (5) that we will collect contact information from our customers during the Art Walk who would like to know who we end up donating our money to.

The next order of business was to move into our first Internal Badge Ceremony, a ritual I created to earmark the giving of a badge and to make it special. While my co-leader passed out the badges and their corresponding introduction/memory slips, I began:

“Earning a badge means that you’ve learned something new and that you’ve learned it so well that you can use your new skill to help others. I’m so excited I can’t hide how happy I am inside, to present this to you with pride. Congratulations troop, on receiving your Girl Scout Ways badge! You have earned this badge today because you have learned four new Girl Scout ways. You have learned the Girl Scout Handshake and the Brownie Smile Song. You have assembled an important first aid kit for the Troop and made your first Sit Upon. Plus, you have reviewed the Girl Scout Promise and Law.

Ladies, always remember, Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character, the 3 C’s that make the world a better place! As a Girl Scout, you are a leader in your daily life, a leader in the world, and YOU can do extraordinary things!”


  • Painting Badge

Our host at the art gallery, Vanessa, graciously led the girls through an hour and a half lesson. As they walked around the gallery, she showed them various art styles (modern, abstract, impressionist), using the works on the gallery walls as illustration. She then introduced the lesson plan and had the girls paint tiles covering each with nail polish. She offered a variety of tools for the girls to use next. Using sticks, sponges, Q-tips, and brushes, she invited the girls to paint what moved them with acrylic paint over the polish. The two mediums together created a lovely texture and depth. Once the tiles were finished, they were laid together to create a beautiful mural.

Tile Mural


Reminding the girls that Brownies always leave a place cleaner than when they found it was a helpful motivator, as there was much to clean-up this day.


  • Friendship Circle

The girls formed a Friendship Circle outdoors and sang the Friendship Song and then ended the meeting with a fun and giggly hand squeeze. It was with much enthusiasm that everyone went home, excited to gather again for the Art Walk coming up in a few Saturdays.

The Art Walk

Even though the Art Walk itself was cancelled, the weather was miserable, and there was very little foot traffic, I would be remiss if I didn’t share with you how much fun we all had.

Display Table

Those girls who couldn’t be with us on Saturday contributed by making signs, post cards for customers who wanted to be contacted, and name tags for the groupings of coasters. Tile groupings got such names as Beach Days, Modern Art, and The Happiness. The spelling on the name tags was even more precious than the names themselves.

We made beautiful displays using buffet plate servers for added height and elevation, table clothes for added class, and balloons on sticks to add just the right pop of color. Of course, the warm brownies proudly displayed on cake platters were a huge draw.

Table Display II

Table Display II

Our girls worked one-hour shifts and they were troopers. They sold coasters and brownies and made over $322 that day! Imagine what they could have done if it wasn’t cold and rainy. Anyway, I can’t wait to find out at our next meeting where they decide to donate their money.


The art of any good meeting is preparation. Having to do lists and some routine systems and procedures in place is extremely helpful for repetitive monthly meetings. For example, here is my Meeting Prep worksheet. I have one of these printed in advance for each meeting, as well as this Meeting Worksheet. These allow me to write ideas and notes as they come up and to keep things organized, especially when planning two meeting at once.

Entry filed under: Celebrations, Girl Scouts, Party Planning, Play. Tags: , , , , .

Earning a Brownie Girl Scout Snack Badge Using the Power of a Theme Creating a Celebration Plan for the Year

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Daria  |  January 16, 2012 at 5:22 am

    I have a brownie girl scout troop and very interested in making coasters with nail polish and acrylic paint. Could you explain what you needed and the steps you took from start to finish. Thank you do much:)

    • 2. YouCanPlanAParty  |  January 25, 2012 at 7:21 am

      Hi Daria~
      Such a fun and simple project the girls can easily do themselves. First gather your materials: 4 x 4 ceramic tiles, preferably solid colors (white, blue, or even black work well); old or new adult nail polish in an array of colors (don’t forget to include some iridescence ones and some with sparkles for added pizzaz); acrylic paints in various colors; and unique painting tools such as sticks, q-tips, sponges, and small metal tipped items. Next, have the girls paint the entire tile in nail polish, one or two colors is great. The nail polish provides a wonderful texture and background for the tile. Once it dries a bit, using the acrylics, have the girls paint on top of the nail polish. The Girl Scout lesson was to learn to paint using items you wouldn’t normally paint with, hence the unique types of tools, but small brushes are fine too for greater control. Once the tiles are completely dry, you can coat them with a layer of paint sealer and adhere some cork on the backs, making the perfect coaster. Or you can group them together and create a mural. Whichever you decide to choose, the best part is the girls will have learned a project that they can easily teach other friends, suggest at a slumber party or pass onto their siblings. Have fun!

  • 3. thefrugalcrafter  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:24 am

    well done! I’ve made these with my children but never thought to do with with the scouts!

  • 4. Mary Ellen Nunes, Troop 82130  |  August 28, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    What a great idea for my troop of brownies and juniors. Thanks for sharing so much of your hard work!!

  • 5.  |  October 17, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    This is a good tip especially to those fresh
    to thee blogosphere. Brief but very accurate information… Many thanks for sharing this one.
    A must read article!

  • 6. Nichelle  |  January 22, 2014 at 2:25 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your painting badge project. I will share this project with Troop 40022. I will also use your worksheets to stay organized and plan ahead to ensure that all steps are completed to receive a badge.

    • 7. Shelby Phillips  |  January 27, 2014 at 10:22 pm

      It is my absolute pleasure. I love being involved in creating girls or confidence, courage and character.

  • 8. Jess  |  February 24, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    Loooove your girl scout posts!! Please keep posting your great ideas!!

    • 9. Shelby Phillips  |  September 19, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      Thanks for the love Jessica! With two troops and several positions on my local service unit, I am so busy “doing” Girl Scouts that writing about it has had to take a back seat. I’ll see what I can do in the near future. I have a 5th grade Junior Troop now, AND a 3rd grade Brownie Troop…should be plenty to write about. 🙂

  • 10. deluxe standing  |  June 4, 2015 at 4:58 pm

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    I’m glad that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this.
    Thank you for sharing.

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Shelby L. Phillips

As an intuitive transformational messenger, a communicative wife of nearly 30 years, and an open-hearted mother of two, I take pleasure in telling good news stories, connecting people to the eight dimensions of well-being, and inspiring us to love ourselves and each other because life really is worth celebrating! Find out more about me at


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