Spring has officially sprung, and Girl Scouts everywhere are looking forward to more sunshine as summer approaches. But there’s more to do than soak up the sun—a Girl Scout’s work is never done! Bring a little light into someone’s life with these 7 springy service projects!
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Donate your old clothes
Bring a whole new aspect to spring cleaning! Have your girls go through their closets to pick out clothes that don’t fit them anymore. Make sure they are still in good condition: no mysterious stains, tears, holes, or wear-spots. Then bag them up and take them to your local non-profit thrift store or homeless shelter.
For extra Brownie points (or Daisy points or Cadette points…) call ahead to find out what kinds of clothing your local shelters are looking for—that way you can make sure whoever needs those clothes right now will get them!
Be engaged citizens
Democracy and community are at the heart of Girl Scouts, so find ways to give back and get involved! Have your girls write letters saying thank you or suggesting ideas and changes to your senator or congressman, organize a public tour of your town’s history, or help people register to vote! Participating in democracy doesn’t have to be a divisive or political event, so be careful to not make this about any specific political party, even if you have a personal preference. This is about making sure every voice is heard, every opinion is respected, and exposing your girls to a hands-on lesson about democracy! Plus, there are Citizen badges girls can earn while they learn to be an active member of their community.
Collect food to donate to a food bank
Donating canned and non-perishable goods to food banks is a popular activity around Christmas and Thanksgiving, but under-resourced communities appreciate food all year round. Put up flyers around your school and community, and see if parents will do the same at their places of work. Try and collect the things your food bank needs the most—proteins like canned tuna, fresh and canned vegetables and fruit, supplies like paper towels, and drinks like juice boxes tend to be among the list. Or, reach out and ask how else you and your troop can help!
Learn to knit/crochet and make blankets to donate
Learn a crafty skill and do a service project all in one! Learning to knit or crochet is a great hobby, but with your powers combined you and your girls can turn this peaceful pastime into a project to help others. If each girl knits or crochets a square, you can sew them together to make a quilt (or a couple baby blankets) that you can then donate to a children’s hospital, homeless shelter, or animal shelter.
Organize a scavenger hunt for your neighborhood
Whether it’s a springy Easter egg hunt, a geocaching event, or a regular scavenger hunt, kids of all ages will have a blast in your neighborhood! Set up flyers, get community leaders involved, and choose a day with beautiful weather. Hide your items in places that will be safe for kids to be running around, like a local park. Pick hiding spots at different levels of difficulty, and encourage older children to leave the easier clues for the younger ones, then make a little map of where you put everything; you don’t want to leave anything behind to litter up the park!
Pro Tip: Check Volunteer Essentials and make sure you are following the safety and event planning guidelines mentioned in the “Girl Scout Safety Guidelines” of the Safety-Wise section.
Read to others
Books are the best: they open up whole new worlds to anyone that reads them. Have your girls read to others who might need help, such as seniors at a nursing home whose eyesight might not be good enough to read anymore (and who will enjoy the company tremendously) or young kids at your local library to introduce them to the joy of reading.
Plant a garden or weed a garden
What better spring service project than planting a garden! Reach out to one of the many gardening non-profits such as Planting Justice or your local community garden to plan a gardening day for your girls. Not only will they learn about plants and flowers and get their hands dirty, but they will make the world a greener place, and maybe even help provide fresh fruit and vegetables for people who need it.
Whatever you do for a service project this spring, your girls will learn a valuable lesson about caring for their community, and all the ways they can continue to help throughout their lives. Make sure to post photos of your girls hard at work and share with tag @GSNorCal—we can’t wait to see what they will accomplish.
What to do next:
- Stuck on ideas for fun meetings or service projects? Our collection of fun patches can be a great source of inspiration, and nothing gets girls excited about a new project like a beautiful new patch for their uniform.
- Have some older girls in your troop? Learn more about how community service can serve as inspiration for some of Girl Scouts’ highest awards.
- Did you know that organizations like Youth Service America will provide your girls with funding for their service projects? It’s true! Check out YSA’s website to find out about available grant opportunities.
Katie Mock—Katie is the Marketing Copywriter for the Girl Scouts of Northern California, where she writes everything from tweets to Trailhead articles, and makes sure everyone dots their ‘i’s and crosses their ‘t’s. Although she was a Girl Scout for only a few years, her experiences with Girl Scouts, combined with attending a single-sex high school, gave her a profound appreciation for the power all-girl spaces have to change girls’ lives for the better. Katie moved to the Bay Area after graduating from the University of Chicago with a B.A. in Linguistics; when she’s not diving into writing with a red pen, you can find her geeking out about the latest sci-fi novel, cooking anything from traditional Japanese Cuisine to pizza, or cuddling her two cats.