How Girl Scout Troops Can Help with Hurricane Harvey Relief

The devastation in Texas from Hurricane Harvey hit close to home for me. I have family who lives right outside the city, and fortunately for them, their homes were spared.

But for many, that was not the case.

One of my first thoughts after hearing about the disaster was, “How can I help?” I am sure that all of you thought the same thing.

Here are some ways that Girl Scout troops can help those affected by Hurricane Harvey

Photo from Pixabay

The Girl Scout of Northeast Texas has a way for leaders and troops to help. Girls can even earn a patch for this special service project.

You can read about how your troop can make the world a better place by going here.

The Girls Scouts of the USA also has ways for your troop to help and be prepared in times of disaster. Find out how here.

A poster on the Girl Scouts Gab Facebook page shared a link for a charity that helps low income students have clean, new underwear. It is called Undies for Everyone and you can read about what they do and how you can donate here.

Valentine’s Day Craft for a Community Service Project and to Earn Daisy Petals

*This post contains affiliate links

Valentine’s Day is a day to show your love and appreciation of others. While it focuses on romantic love for adults, for children, it is all about the special people in their lives. Parents, grandparents, siblings and even a special teacher are the adults that make a child’s world safe and secure.

This holiday can also be a time to do a service project for those who may not have a special someone in their lives or are far away from those whom they love.

Valentine's Day craft kit that makes 12 bears. Give out to those in nursing homes or send overseas to those in the service for a meaningful craft and meeting.

Available at S&S Worldwide

This is a stuffed red bear is a highly rated craft kit from the reviews available on the site. It comes with enough materials to make 12 bears at a very reasonable price. The kit include stuffing, hook-and-loop closure on back, ribbon, and instructions. The finished project measures 4-1/2″ x 5″.

This can help Daisy Girl Scouts earn the Rose Daisy petal, Make the World a Better Place or the Light Green Daisy petal, Considerate and Caring.

You can make also make cards to add to the stuffed bear gift.

Girl Scout Community Service Project-Baking for Others

One of the things I love about being a Girl Scout leader right now is that it is much more laid back than when I first started. Although I stepped down as the 01 Leader at the end of fifth grade, I have still been involved as an 02-present at every meeting and in charge of finding community service projects for us to do.  With another co-leader who is the Cookie Mom, the efforts of running the troop has been made easier for the 01, who steers the ship.

November was a difficult month for us to meet on our regularly scheduled night, so we skipped it. Since December has traditionally been a month when my troop does a service project, I wanted it to continue. My synagogue hosts a group of homeless men for two weeks every December as part of an interfaith hospitality project. One part of what we do is feed them and the volunteers who run it. In the past, my girls made gifts and sent in snacks for each person (you can read what we did in this blog post.)

Since we are small group of five 7th graders, I wanted to do something more hands on. I love to bake, and this is the season for it, so I decided to have the girls bake treats for the men. When the girls were third grade Brownies, we did a HUGE cookie baking for the soldiers project (you can read the guide to how I did this in stations with lots of volunteers in this article). This would be a bit different, since they are older and require less help.

This is an easy way to bake for others, earn a badge, and do a community service project. Perfect for any time of year, it is especially meaningful during the December holiday season of giving.

Photo from Pixabay

Here is how I planned this project.

The key to finishing on time is to be organized. With only one oven, there are only so many trays that could be placed in there at one time. I had 2.5 hours for the meeting, which wound up to be more than I needed.

We were meeting after school on a Friday in my home, and since I now work every morning, all the prep work had to be done in advance. As always, my daughter was my assistant.

In order to save time, I bought box mixes for cake, cookies and muffins. My daughter and I baked the cupcakes and sugar cookies in advance so they would be completely cooled so they could be decorated the next day. That left the muffins and chocolate chip cookies to bake when the girls came over.

Being the mother of twins, I have two (or more) of everything in the kitchen. Baking together has been an incredible bonding experience for my children and me, even in these early teen years. Working together in the kitchen has proven to be a conflict free experience that results in tasty treats for us all.

Once the girls arrived, we started the baking process. First, the girls lined the muffin tins and then made the batter. Once they were all scooped into the pan and in the oven, the girls made the chocolate chip cookies. The cookies went in once the muffins were done.

My Cadette troop baked these cinnamon swirl muffins and more for our Girl Scout December community service project.

Photo by Hannah Gold. All rights reserved.

While everything was cooking and cooling, the girls began to decorate, which, as you would image, a huge hit! I made a sugar cookie glaze right before they arrived, and the girls used that and assorted sprinkles and sugars to create their masterpieces.

Once the cookies were done, they used tub frosting to decorate the cupcakes. I also gave them chocolate chips to use as decorations as well.

There was plenty of extra so the girls could have a sample of their own.

Here are the decorated cookies my 7th grade Cadette troop made for their December service project.

Photo by Hannah Gold. All rights reserved.

(No, that isn’t a cookie bite-a piece fell off when moving it to the serving tray!)

Clean up was easy, as I used parchment paper for my baking stones, muffin liners for the muffin tins and I washed everything as we went along. I used a plastic table cover from the Dollar Store for my kitchen table, so when everything was done, I just rolled it up and tossed it out.

We had about a half hour left before pick up, and the girls did not want to make cards. Since they had not been together as a group since our October camping trip, I let them just hang out and have fun in my basement. They enjoyed that and, in my opinion, it is also a crucial part of the older Girl Scout experience. The girls go to different middle schools (three go to one and the other two go to the other one in town) and will not be together as a group until they all go to the same high school. And since ours is huge, the likelihood of them being in class together is small. Giving my girls time to bond in a casual setting, without any adult assisting in an activity, will help them continue their friendships that will, hopefully, lead them to continue being active in Girl Scouts.

My girls had a great time and I also enjoyed the experience as well.

Have you done a service project this month? What did you do?


A Quick and Easy Service Project for World Food Day on October 16

Here is a Girl Scout service project that is easy to do and will make an enormous difference in your community.

Here is a wonderful idea for your girls to help out the community and celebrate Girl Scout Founder’s Day. You can start planning now and be ready for your October meeting.

Back in May, I shared that our local Jewish Federation Food Bank had totally empty shelves. I had my girls take action and they each brought in a bag or two of food for us to donate.

Quick and Easy Girl Scout community service porject
Our donations…so proud of my girls! Photo by Hannah Gold. All rights reserved.

This did not require any big planning on my part-just two simple emails to the parents about what the plan was. All I had to do was deliver the food at a time that was convenient for me.

World Food Day is October 16th.  While hunger is a worldwide problem, we can help locally. When my troop were Juniors, we did the Birthday in a Bag program for the food bank located in our high school.

This is a simple and easy service project to kick off the year.

 

A Quick and Easy Community Service Project

The picture appeared in my Facebook newsfeed and I felt my heart break. A local food bank posted a picture of empty shelves.

Totally barren.

It is sad to think of families going to seek assistance, only to be told that there is no food to give.

This week, my girls are going to do their share to make the world a better place, to be friendly and helpful and to be considerate and caring.Here is a Girl Scout service project that is easy to do and will make an enormous difference in your community.After clearing it with the leader, I sent an email with the picture and asked the parents to show it to their daughters. I felt that the visual would make an big impact. I saw my own daughter’s reaction when I showed it to her. Her jaw dropped and her faced grew quite concerned.

I sent parents the link to the food bank’s website with their most wanted items list and asked them to bring a bag of food to our meeting this Thursday. If the girls could not attend, I would pick up the bag at their home. All of these food items are already on most (if not everyone’s) shelves. Pasta, tomato sauce, tuna fish, cereal, canned fruit and vegetables…no extra effort was needed on their part. I simply asked them to go to their pantry with their  daughter and fill the bag. I will deliver the bags.

Unlike our big canned food drive,  where we collected over 2,200 cans and boxes when my troop was in third grade, this is not a major undertaking. With busy spring schedules and the last minute urgency, this cannot be that kind of food drive.

But that does not mean that we cannot make a difference in the lives of others. It is the small things that add up to making a change.

There are 10 girls in our troop, and that means 10 bags of food will be brought to the food bank. It may not fill up the shelves, but we will be able to feed a few families.

Imagine if every troop leader did this in their own community…the shelves would be filled.

It is not too late for your girls to do a quick and easy service project to end the year on a positive scouting note!