Posts Tagged ‘Troop Community Service’

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Girl Scout Seniors Taking Root

October 23, 2017

For over a century, Girl Scouts have been taking action within their communities to make the world a better place. When Girl Scouts take action, they are identifying a problem and creating a sustainable solution, while working together as a team as they put their plan into action. When girls expand their network and work together as a team, they are able to build off each other’s strengths while making an impactful difference.

And that’s exactly what local Girl Scout troop #1555 and #1114 did.

When Deda Band and Mary Hunt stepped on as co-leaders of Troop #1555 they looked to long time co-leader and mentor, Donna Hayes for guidance and advice. Donna was the co-leader of Troop #1114 when the troop leader met and decided to collaborate working on Journeys and badges together to help better serve their Girl Scout Seniors.

In Spring 2017, the Girl Scout Seniors decided to come together to complete the It’s Your Planet – Change It! Sow What Journey. After discussing the topics of the It’s Your Plant Journey and It’s World Journey – the troops decided that they had a strong interest in exploring food sustainability through the Sow What Journey.

To kick-off their Journey, the girls held a lock-in where they worked through the activities in the Sow What Journey handbook while focusing on the topic of sustainability. After establishing the needs of their community, the troop headed out to do hands-on activities to help them work towards the Journey.

Troop #1555 and Troop #1114 visited the Ninja Cow Farm in Raleigh where the family raises and sells humane, grass-fed livestock. At the farm, the troops learned about the benefits of purchasing local products and raising and selling livestock in a humane way.

Another highlight of the Journey was going to Pompoeri Pizza in Durham. The girls spoke with the staff about how they created a restaurant focused on eating local and being sustainable. The girls got a first-hand lesson in aquaponics, which Pompoeri uses to grow herbs.

The leaders saw a strong tie between the Sow What Journey and Locavore badge, so the girls worked on the badge in conjunction with the Journey activities. The troops put on their chef hats and made fresh strawberry jam, salsa, and guacamole as part of the badge.

Both troops love the community service they get to do as Girl Scouts. To close out the Sow What Journey, the troops went to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to help prepare meals as part of the Food Bank’s effort to fight hunger. They got their hands dirty as cleaned and prepped potatoes. The girls have loved their experiences at the Food Bank and cherish them as some of their favorite Girl Scout memories.

Through the Journey handbook activities, the many outings, and service at the Food Bank, Troops #1555 and #1114 learned the benefits of sustainability and purchasing local foods. Many members of the troop are more intentional about the food they purchase and being educated about what they are eating after completing the Sow What Journey.

When asked what advice, she would give to co-leaders working on a Journey, Deda Band said, “I would encourage troops to work together and collaborate. Brainstorming and planning is easier when there are multiple co-leaders working together. “

Troop #1555 and #1114 valuable their sister troop and the experiences they’ve had together.

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Helping the World Along, One Project at a Time

March 14, 2016

Service Projects Girl Scouts

By Meridith Orr, Program Executive

“This simple recipe for making a very little girl perform every day some slight act of kindness for somebody else is the seed from which grows the larger plant of helping the world along—the steady attitude of the older Scout. And this grows later into the great tree of organized, practical community service for the grown Scout –the ideal of every American woman today.”   – definition of the Girl Scout slogan “Do a Good Turn Daily” in Scouting for Girls: Official Handbook of the Girl Scouts, 1920

As a Girl Scout explores her world, she may discover and explore issues that matter to her and her community.  With the aid of a troop leader, she can reflect on this learning and either alone or with her troop sisters, take some sort of action to make a difference.  This can happen in the form of a service project or a Take Action project.

Both service projects and Take Action projects help the community in different ways.   A service project provides more immediate assistance, while take action projects address the root causes of issues, take longer to complete, and have a component of sustainability.  For troops who want to learn more, here are some great examples of these differences as well as an interactive resource for exploring Take Action Projects.

For troops who are eager to do some good, but may still be unsure of what they want to do, here are just a few ideas to get your journey of service started.  Some may lend themselves easily to a day of service, while others may inspire a longer-term commitment.

Animals

For many troops and individual Girl Scouts, animal shelters are a great go-to project.  There are also other animal-centric causes and organizations worthy of consideration including rescue organizations, service animals, and wildlife sanctuaries.  For example, Neuse River Golden Retriever rescue advocates responsible pet ownership, community education and protection of the breed.

People

Nursing homes and hospitals are always good places to give service, and they need people year-round.  There are many ways to provide service and give comfort to our elderly. If you’re looking for something beyond blankets and holiday songs (which are still great ways to give time), consider music and game therapy for seniors and other people in care.  Music and Memory helps seniors communicate by bringing them the songs that formed the soundtrack of their lives: Simple engagement can bring joy to seniors and help their overall wellness.

Environment

Want to get “back to basics” and help create a more sustainable world? Explore community supported agriculture (CSA). Wildwoods Farm in Chapel Hill will be opening in the spring for all ages to learn about different farming and growing techniques, as well as caring for the animals in the sanctuary.

How do you explore service opportunities with your troop? Have some good stories to share? Please share them with us in the comments! 

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