Girl Scout Community Service Projects All Year Long

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There are many Girl Scout community service projects that you can do all year long. During late November and the month of December, there is a huge push for charitable donations. With Thanksgiving and Christmas, people are in need of a holiday meal and gifts for the children. There are also many places that have winter coat drives so that underprivileged children have something warm to wear during the cold weather months.

Even businesses do their major giving during this six week time frame so they can get their tax deductions for the fiscal year.

The truth is, that even though it is wonderful to give during this time of year, there are needs during the other ten months. Your Girl Scout troop can help fulfill these needs and do community service projects all year long.

Girl Scout Community Service Projects All Year Long-Ideas for every month and every season

Photo from Pixabay

The most important thing you have to do as a Girl Scout leader is organize the project. It will be your job to locate an organization and find out what it’s needs are. This needs to be done one or two months before you embark on the community service project, as you will have to let the girls’ parents know what you will be doing. If your girls are younger, they will need adult help collecting items.

If your Girl Scout troop is collecting items for a community service project, then you, as the leader, have to make up a flyer that the girls’ parents can download, print, and distribute.

Here are some ideas for Girl Scout community service projects. They will go in order of the school year.

Girl Scout community service project all year long

By Gentry George, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

September

One community service project your Girl Scout troop can do in September is to collect school supplies for needy children. As the troop leader, over the summer you can ask your school’s principal if there are families in need in your school. If that is too close to home, ask if another principal in the district has some families who need school supplies.

Your troop can either fill backpacks with basic school supplies or donate bags of supplies that the principal can give out to those children who need it.

Another idea is to hold a gently used book drive. You can donate these books to an underprivileged school, to a homeless shelter, or to a children’s hospital.

October

Halloween is a festive and fun holiday that many children celebrate. However, it is disheartening to go trick-or-treating without a costume. As a Girl Scout community service project, your troop can collect outgrown Halloween costumes and donate them to a school or organization in need.

You can create a flyer for the girls to run off and send via email or leave in their neighbors’ mailboxes. Have a pick-up time to leave the costumes on the porch and your girls will collect them.

Available on Amazon

November

In November we honor our veterans on Veteran’s Day. Your girls can make cards for soldiers in Veteran’s hospitals and send or deliver them in person.

Another community service project that your troop can do is to send care packages to our soldiers overseas. There is always someone who knows of a soldier who could use support from home. There might also be an organization in your town whose mission is to send out care packages to our soldiers overseas. Find out items that the soldiers need most and get a collection for them to send out on your troop’s behalf.

December

To get into the spirit of the holiday season, your Girl Scout troop can do many community service projects. There are always families in need who cannot give their children presents and a special dinner for Christmas. See where there is a community Christmas tree and pick a family to adopt. Or you can go to a local shelter and donate toys to the children living there. Newspapers also list families who have needs. Your local churches and synagogues will also know of families who have financial needs at this time of year.

Most people have outgrown or unused coats hanging in their closets. Hold a winter glove and hat drive, or ask for gently used coats to be donated to a shelter.

Available on Amazon

January

In your Girl Scout troop there are bound to be many animal lovers. Why not donate some time at a local shelter as a project? Call one up and ask what items they need and see if the girls have any to give from around their house. There is always a need for old towels, paper towels, and cleaning supplies.

My troop earned their Bronze Award in the spring of 2014. We collected hundreds of items and made dozens of toys for the animals that resided in the no kill shelter. I am proud to share that there was no room in the entranceway and the staff was amazed at what my girls had accomplished.

February

With Valentine’s Day occurring this month, why not make Valentine’s and deliver them to a nursing home as your Girl Scout troop’s service project? Bake or buy some heart shaped cookies, sing a few songs, play a few games and brighten up the day of people who can use some cheering up.

March

One community service project my Girl Scout troop has participated in is donating shoeboxes of toiletries to homeless children. The girls cover a shoebox in a brown paper grocery bag and fill it with toiletries and some goodies a little girl or boy would love to have. At our meeting we decorated the box with markers and stickers. Then we delivered it to the organization collecting the boxes so they can distribute them to the children.

Available on Amazon

April

April is a great time to have a canned and boxed food drive.  Food pantries need food year round, and being several months away from the winter holiday season, their shelves are even more bare. People will be willing to give since it has probably been a few months since there was a food drive. My troop did this for the Girl Scout 100th birthday back in 2012, and we collected of 2,200 cans and boxes to donate to a local food pantry.

May

One favorite Girl Scout warm weather project is to plant flowers in the spring. With the principal’s permission, plant flowers around the girl’s school.

Most troops do not meet in the summer months of June, July, and August. As the leader, you can use this time off to investigate other needs in your community for your troop to participate in during the next school year.

Friday Freebie Girl Scout Founder’s Day Bingo Game

With Girl Scout Founder’s Day coming up soon, leaders need to have some fun activities for girls to play so they can learn about the founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA, Juliette Gordon Low.

Get your free Juliette Gordon Low Bingo Game to play with your troop for Founder's Day

 

Photo from Pixabay and altered on Canva

Jodi Carlson, who did a guest post last month on my blog, has a FREE downloadable game for leaders to use with their troops. It is the Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low Bingo Game. You can get it for free here on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Discount Thanksgiving Craft Kits Get Yours Now

*This post contains affiliate links.

I know what you are thinking…it isn’t even Halloween yet! You have Founder’s Day to celebrate and are in the midst of getting it all together to launch your new troop year successfully.

If you have read this blog for any length of time, you know I am all about organization, saving your time and energy, and saving your troop money whenever possible.

Because I work six days a week, I try to stay on top of my blog in advance. So while looking for some Thanksgiving ideas, I found some really fun looking craft kits for leaders to use during the beginning of the very busy holiday season. These are all priced to sell, as some are clearance items.

Colorations Thanksgiving Turkey Table Topper - Kit for 12

Available at Discount School Supply

This Thanksgiving turkey table topper craft kit makes enough for 12.

Use watercolor paints to create these gorgeous turkeys.

Available at Discount School Supply

I happened to have done this craft with leaf shapes with my preschool class last week. This kit comes with 36 turkeys. All you need is liquid watercolor paint and pipettes, and foam bowls to put the paint in. The girls drop each color where they want. Put the turkey on a foam plate and have the girls create colorful turkeys.

You can find more inexpensive Thanksgiving craft kits here.

Advice to Girl Scout Leaders Both Veteran and New

*Originally published in Spring 2014, with a fall 2017 update.

After six years of leading my daughter’s Girl Scout troop, I have made the decision to step down from my role. Juggling various part-time jobs, a family, a home and other volunteer activities leaves me no time to devote to this role that I have filled for so long. I am now going to be a co-leader, a role with significantly few responsibilities.

As I reflect upon my years as a leader, I would like to offer my advice and words of wisdom to those who are new to the role or are contemplating their own future with the organization.

Advice to Girl Scout Leaders Both Veteran and New

Photo in Public Domain

Whatever Your Co-leader and You Decide to Do, Get It in Writing

This is an essential piece of life advice that I wish I had known when I first started as a leader. I get everything in writing when it comes to my business, but when it came time to start a troop with a friend, the thought did not even cross my mind.

But it should have.

If one of you agrees to do the petals and badges and the other person the Journeys, or if one of you is the outdoor activity leader and the other is the indoor leader, get it in writing. Just send a friendly email saying something like…

I enjoyed planning the year’s activities with you today. I am so happy to be doing the Journeys program while you are leading the indoor badges. Which badge are we going to be working on first? Please let me know.

A time stamped email is the perfect reminder to the person who cannot remember what she promised to do years earlier. You can remind her in a friendly manner by resending the email exchange. With her agreement in writing, there is no denying what she promised to do…even if it is from four years ago.

Get More Registered Volunteers

When my troop was younger, I only had three registered volunteers-my co-leader,my treasurer and myself. While moms were happy to volunteer when the girls were younger, as they got older, they were harder to come by when I needed them. If a parent actually registers, it is a bigger commitment to the troop than just “let me know if you need help”. Girls also like to know that their mom is an “official” volunteer.

You Have More Vested in the Troop Than Anyone Else

Be Like Elsa and “Let it Go”

I have a “no fail” attitude with everything that I do in my life. I do not drop the ball or try to pin the blame on others. So as time went on and I had to handle more responsibilities, I just did. My daughter loved being a Girl Scout and there was no way I was going to do anything other than give her the best experience ever.

In the past, when girls did not complete assignments or hand in paperwork in time, I used to hound parents for them to finish and get it in to me. But over time, I realized that while my daughter was into scouting, these were not my daughters. If it was important to them, then it would get done. If a child missed a deadline and therefore could not attend an event, that was not my fault, but that of her parents.

As Princess Elsa sang in Frozen, I “Let It Go”.  I can only be concerned with one child, and that is my daughter.

I only sold cookies once with my troop and it was so stressful because my Cookie Mom was not the most reliable person for the job (even though she volunteered and was initially excited to do this for her daughter and the troop!)

Selling Girl Scout cookies should only be done if you have the appropriate support from a dedicated Cookie Mom or Dad.

Photo by Hannah Gold

Because I had to do everything, I knew that selling Girl Scout cookies had to be taken off the table if I were to keep my sanity. The girls wanted to sell, but with no one stepping up to help out, I was not going to be one of those leaders who did all the fundraising and all the meeting planning. I had a life beyond my leader commitments, and with all of the Girl Scout cookie drama and stress that takes place year after year, I decided this was one thing I was not going to do.

You do not have to sell cookies, do the QSP fundraiser, do a Journey or anything extra that you do not wish to do. While there are requirements and leader training that must be done, everything else is extra.

Take Lots of Pictures at Every Meeting

Leaders should take pictures at every meeting so they can create a scrapbook with their girls.

Photo by Hannah Gold

One of the best ideas my co-leader had in our early years was to make a scrapbook. Since we had no troop money at that time, it had to be done on the cheap. With a clear-view Avery binder and inserts, along with cheap Dollar Store stickers and clearance stationary, we began our scrap booking adventure.

Years later, the girls love to look through their album and reminisce about their younger years.

It is never too late to start a perpetual scrapbook. Not only does it create great memories, but it is also worth at least two meetings-one in the early winter and one at the end of the year. No planning for you!

I really enjoyed my six years as a main Girl Scout leader.  I wish I had known some of these things when I first began my journey, but I look at it all as a learning experience. Hopefully, you can learn from my journey and make your time as a leader a wonderful one for the girls whom you lead.

For the past three years I have been an active and hands-on co-leader, something I wish I had when I was the 01 Troop leader. During our first year as Cadettes, we retained 11 of our 12 girls. They stayed on to see what scouting with a new leader would be like. Meetings were held once a month in a different location, and we worked on a Journey and on the Marketing badge.

With an experienced, dedicated Cookie Mom (her daughter joined my troop during the last year of my leadership), they sold cookies. The new leader got camping certified and so did another mom, so the girls were excited to go camping in the fall.

While we did go camping, it was only with the five girls who remained.

And we are fine with that. This core group is dedicated to scouting.

Each parent has a role in our troop so that the leader does not have to do it all. We have the leader, the Cookie Mom (also a co-leader), one mom who is camping certified, one who is the Treasurer and myself, a co-leader and the community service co-ordinator. I also plan and run meetings when the leader is too busy with real life.

Our goal is to keep our troop together. One woman cannot do it and not get burned out. Now, as we enter our tenth year together as Girl Scout Seniors, we are down to four girls. It is our goal to keep them together until 12th grade, as it will look great on their college applications to have been doing community service and activities for their entire time they were in school.

 

Easy Halloween Crafts for Girl Scouts

*This post contains affiliate links.

Now that school is in full swing, the shelves in stores are now filled with Halloween candy and decor. Kids love this holiday where once a year, they are permitted to ask for candy from strangers.

If you are celebrating the holiday with your troop, here are some cute craft kits to do with your troop. Do them for a Halloween themed meeting or to include in your Birthday in a Bag Founder’s Day project.

Easy Girl Scout craft for Halloween. Comes with 12

Available on Amazon

This wooden necklace kit comes with enough for 12 girls.

This Monster Magnet craft kit for Halloween comes with enough for 12 girls

Available on Amazon

This adorable Monster Magnet craft kit comes with 12 monsters for girls to decorate.

This Halloween charm bracelet kit comes with enough for 12 bracelets

Available on Amazon

This charm bracelet comes with everything you see-themed charms and colored beads. It makes 12 bracelets.

Here are some other fun options to make your meeting fun and your planning easy!


Here are some more craft kits.