Whether your troop is earning a badge, completing a Girl Scout JOURNEY*, or working towards a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award*; your troop will need to complete a Girl Scout* community service project. As a leader, your job is to guide the girls towards a project that they will see through and enjoy completing. The Youth Strong program gives a leader many resources in narrowing down a project idea based on troop interests and skills.
Discussing Girl Scout* Community Service with your Troop
Before you decide on a Girl Scout* community service project, your troop should create a shared interest chart. You want to make sure that all the girls are invested in the project or they won’t be committed to its success.
For example, try these prompts…
- What scout trips did you enjoy the most?
- Which visitors do you want to learn more about?
- Which activities do you want to do again?
Youth Strong Program
Girl Scout* community service projects need a focus: a place, someone to help, something to change. As your troop finds shared interests, you will find that most these interests can be found in the interest area sections at Youth Strong. Each section then offers 5 patch programs that are multilevel approaches to guide you through a community service project.
Did most your scouts mention enjoying listening to a representative from the local animal shelter that visited your meeting? Then explore the Pet Welfare patch program. This program offers 5 patches at differing levels of ability and time to invest. Your Daisy* and Brownie* troop could comfortably complete the Friend Level the Animal Shelter Drive patch program for instance. As a result of reviewing this program your troop will explore a variety of choices for completing your project. In addition, older or more advanced troops have the choice of a different level Volunteer, Advocate or Delegate.
Did your troop excitedly talk about helping out at another beach cleanup? Maybe you should focus your project on a way to help the environment. Take a look through the Environmental patch program. One of the 5 subcategories- Clean Air, Clean Water, Clean Earth, Recycling or Conservation will help your troop to narrow down how they can make a difference in their community.
All patches for these programs are available at MakingFriends.com.
Time and Ability of Troop
Leaders guide their troops to finding ways they can make the world a better place through Girl Scout* community service. In order to complete your project, your troop needs to be able to complete the task. So, if they aren’t artists, your troop probably shouldn’t chose a mural for the local nursing home. A scout may want to volunteer the animal shelter but be too young. In conclusion, your troop needs to decide how many meetings you will commit to this project or if this project will be done in addition to your meeting time.
Parent Participation in your Girl Scout* Community Service
One of the hardest parts of completing a Girl Scout* community service project is getting the girls to the location where project will be completed. Ask parents if they are willing to carpool so that all girls can participate. If you notice that attendance on field trips is low choose a project that can be worked on at scheduled meetings or start it at your meeting site.
In short, the more engaged your troop and parents are about your project the more successful it’ll be.
*LiveYouthStrong.com and MakingFriends®.com are not affiliated with, endorsed by or a licensee of Girl Scouts of the USA.