Sponsors: Originally Christian Service Brigade - now sponsored by several organizations
Started: 1939 as the Girls' Guild
Name Change - 1941
The Christian centered Pioneer Girls Club began in 1939 in Illinois and was called the Girls Guild. This group was for girls of all ages and had four ranks; Royal Helper, Royal Maiden, Royal Lady and Royal Princess. They could earn badges in four fields; outdoor, nature, music and hostess. The program was the sister-program of the all-boy Christian Service Brigade.
In 1941 the program's name was changed to Pioneer Girls and the program was revamped. Girls under the age of 10 were Pilgrims and could earn a star and two badges; music and nature. Girls 11 and older were Pathfinder, Homesteader and Harvester ranks. Generally speaking girls 15 and older were considered Explorers, but at this time it was not a rank.
Later the Pioneer Girls had 3 age levels; Pilgrims, Colonists and Explorers, and in 1974 there were 5 age levels.
Through the years the program continued to grow and change.
Finally the Pioneer Girls and the Christian Service Brigade merged to become the Pioneer Clubs and continues today.
Pin is a log cabin house
Although Pioneer Girls in high school weren't an official rank yet, they did have their own embroidered emblem and were called Explorers.
In 1959, Moody Press released Pioneer Girls adventure books by Bernard and Marjorie Palmer, followed by others:
Pioneer Girls and the Strange Adventure on Tomahawk Hill - 1959
Pioneer Girls at Caribou Flats - 1959
Pioneer Girls and the Mystery of the Missing Cocker - 1959
Pioneer Girls and the Mystery of the Oak Hill Mansion - 1959
Pioneer Girls and the Secret of the Jungle - 1962
Pioneer Girls and the Mysterious Bedouin Cave - 1963
Pioneer Girls and the Dutch Mill Mystery - 1968
1963 - Changes in the program;
Pilgrims and Colonists become 2 separate programs and the
Explorer program is officially added
Pilgrims were now sub-divided into 2 groups; 3-4th graders and 5-6 graders.
Pilgrim badges continued as words embroidered in red on blue fabric.
Badge list for all Pilgrims: Book, Citizenship, Handcraft, Kitchencraft, Loyalty, Nature, New Life, Outdoor, Pets, Safety, Sewcraft, Song, Water, Advanced Water
Badge List for 5th and 6th grade Pilgrims: Advanced Kitchencraft, Air Riflery - Marksman, Air Riflery - Sharpshooter, Bible, Campcraft, Collections, Drawing, Games, Garden, Hiker, Home Care, Intermediate Swimming, Memorization, Missions, Naturecraft, Nature Exploration, Sightseeing
Colonist: In addition to a new rank and new badges, there were also now "group badges", to be earned in a group setting.
Explorers - The new rank of Explorer was added in 1963, and was for girls in high school. However, the term Explorer had been part of Pioneer Girls from the early days.
1974 - Changes in the program
n 1974 the Pioneer Girls program changed it's program age levels:
Voyager (2nd grade)
Lavalier (3rd, 4th grade)
Trailblazer (5th-7th grade)
Shikari (7th-9th grade)
Explorer (9th-12th grade).
During this time, Pioneer Girl badges were round, blue embroidery on yellow fabric. Examples;
1963 era Pioneer Girls Explorer Jacket
Pioneer Girls Ring
Pioneer Girls Bracelet
Pioneer Girls Songbooks, the purple one is 1972
The Slender Thread
Stories of the Pioneer Girls' First 25 years
Pioneer Girls Wagon Pin
All summer camps for Pioneer Girls' were named Camp Cherith