"Service is an important element of the Girl Scout program and is performed to better the quality of life for others, without regard for personal reward."
Service has always been a vital part of Girl Scouting, and Juliette Low made service a cornerstone of the Girl Scout movement she founded. Service projects offer Girl Scouts a unique opportunity to help address needs in their community. Providing service can light up the leader in every girl!
Through service, girls:
- Discover themselves and learn what issues are important to them.
- Connect with others, while learning about the needs of their communities.
- Take Action to address those needs.
Troops may choose to participate in a GSNWGL Council-Wide Service Project or plan and implement their own, based on local needs.
Check out this packet about Take action projects.
See below for great service project ideas and guidelines.
Council-Wide Service Projects and Opportunities
How to Choose a Good Service Project
Adult troop leaders can guide the girls in determining:
- Girls' interests and skills
- Community needs or wants
- If outside help or resources are needed
- How much time the project will take
- Safety considerations
Criteria for a Good Service Project
As a troop leader ask yourself these questions:
- Is it age appropriate?
- Is it within the skill level of the girls?
- Does it follow Safety-Wise standards?
- Does it provide opportunities for girls to Discover, Connect and Take Action?
- Does it allow the girls to see the results of their efforts?
- Does it introduce girls to others in the community?
How to Determine if a Project Works for Your Troop
- Identify a problem - Have the girls identify issues or needs of the community, problems observed or experienced first hand or learned about from media or bulletins in places of worship. Ask girls to select one in which they have a genuine interest and narrow it to a scope and size they can handle.
- Look at possible solutions - What can girls do to help? What other community groups might be able to participate? What resources or skills do the girls have that might make a difference? How much time are they willing to spend? Identify a target population and the number of girls available to serve. Evaluate practical aspects like transportation, safety, equipment, budgets, etc.
- Make a commitment - Community service should be ongoing, not isolated. One time projects are not as effective as continued opportunities to serve. All projects need not be large or time-consuming but rather provide a series of experiences that help girls become responsible citizens.
- Reflect on the impact of service - Giving service can change the way we look at our own lives. Service can influence career plans and promote new attitudes. Beyond evaluation, reflection allows girls to consider what the experience has meant personally.
Safe and Sound Service Projects
Refer to Safety-Wise for health and safety guidelines for all Girl Scout activities. Each troop is given a copy of this book in their initial troop packet. Check with your Service Team or Membership Manager if you need a Safety-Wise book.
Girl Scout service projects:
- Cannot raise funds for another organization
- Cannot endorse commercial projects or services unless you have received written permission from GSUSA and it must be consistent with Girl Scout principles and activities
- Cannot work on or support a political campaign as a Girl Scout
After your service project
If you participate in a service project of any kind, please let us know about it! Your project and photos may appear on our website or other promotional material (with permission), and will inspire others. Email your Membership Manager to let her know about the great things you and your troop are doing!