“On My Honor, I will Try:
To do my duty to God and my Country.
To help other people at all times.
To obey the Scout Laws.”
These words, taken from “Scouting for Girls”, the official handbook for Girl Scouts (© 1920), may be worded a little differently than our promise today, but it definitely has the same meaning.
“To help other people at all times,” gives a clear path to one of the most important roles of scouts, helping others. Girl Scouts has a long history of lending a hand where they can, and even if the girls think it is a small thing just the act can have a BIG impact.
For instance, check out the “Peach Pit Champions” in the story below. American chemist James Bert Garner discovered in 1915, the German chlorine gas could be subdued with activated charcoal, made from natural fibers such as those found in peach pits. Two hundred peach pits supplied enough carbon for one filter. Girl Scouts rallied behind this effort to collect them nationwide which helped the war effort in a big way. Something so simple as peach pits, viewed as a waste product, had a huge impact on many lives.
Volunteering and community service involvement are real world ways to teach our next generation the value of compassion, kindness and selflessness.
Maybe this year, while your girls are busy planning their upcoming scout adventures, take a look at some of the ways Girl Scouts USA is asking you to give back to your communities. They have some wonderful Take Action projects that might just spark an interest in your girls. If not, then ask them what might interest them?
Do they like the outdoors, working with animals, writing and coloring cards? There are so many directions that community service projects can take that there is bound to be one they will get excited about.
This year my local council has gone all in with GSUSA’s Girl Scout Tree Promise; “Plant, Protect and Honor 5 million Trees by 2026.” The program teams up with some national partners and will supply a complete package of information to those who wish to participate. Five million sounds like a LOT of trees, but with a membership of two and a half million people? It sounds pretty doable together. You can check out the project at GirlScouts.org or at this link: Girl Scout Tree Promise
There is so much information at GirlScouts.org that you can get lost in it for hours (I know I have!), but I’ve provided a short list below of the top projects they are actively showing. (Follow this link for information about these and other service projects: National Service Projects)
- Girl Scout Tree Promise
- Honoring Changemakers Service Project – This one is fun if you like celebrating those who are helping you make the world a better place.
- Fighting Hunger Service Project– October 16th is World Hunger Day, this project gives easy ideas how to help at a local level to combat this global food crisis.
- Promote the Vote Service Project – Teaching girls about advocacy and civic action is as old as Girl Scouts itself. This is a start in showing girls where to find information about the causes they care about, and about how voting can lead to change, and the power voters can have at shaping the future.
- Citizen Science – This project gives girls the opportunity to collect data and give input about studies and experiments that are some of the globe’s biggest problems. Being a part of a worldwide science experiment is really exciting!
- Letter Writing Service Project – Have the girls use that art talent to draw pictures and write cards to the elderly and their caretakers in this national project.
- Cupid Crew Cards for Valentine’s Day – This was a 2022 project but keep checking the page and see if they update it for another year. Valentine’s Day cards are always fun to make, and to know that they will be given out locally is a great feeling.
There is no wrong or right way to volunteer, some girls may love singing carols at a nursing home, but others may dislike every second of it. Let them explore what sparks their passions and creates memories to carry them forward into setting up a life of community service of their own. Some of your girls may never be exposed to these ideas without you as a Girl Scout volunteer sharing your passions with them!
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” — Anne Frank