One of the coolest things about Take Action projects is their flexibility and versatility. Your Girl Scout can dive into problems that she finds interesting and relevant, then spend lots of time working on it or spend just a little time. She can reach out to her nearby friends and family or impact the larger community. Throughout the whole process, she’ll develop project planning and leadership skills and make a difference.
Before we go any further, I’m going to back it up. Let’s explore what Girl Scout Journeys are, why we do them, and how those inspire Take Action projects. Then, we’ll talk about how to execute a Take Action project in a time of social distancing. (Because you’re right, it’s going to look different!)
What’s a Girl Scout Journey?
A Girl Scout Journey is different than a skills-based badge. It’s an extended engagement with a topic that inspires Girl Scouts to create a Take Action project to make the world a better place. Journeys and Take Action projects are created specifically for leadership development because they challenge Girl Scouts to think critically, work collaboratively, and act intentionally.
Girl Scouts has a variety of Journeys for any interest. Classic Journeys explore topics like environmental justice or relationships with friends and society. STEM Journeys dive into how to think and act like scientists, and Outdoor Journeys develop skills for being environmental champions.
What Exactly is a Take Action Project?
A Take Action project is different than a community service project, because Take Action projects address the root cause of an issue and provide a sustainable solution. Girl Scouts of the USA suggests three ways to make a project sustainable:
- Make your solution permanent.
- Educate and inspire others to be part of the change.
- Change a rule, regulation, or law.
Here at Girl Scouts River Valleys, we’ve found that educating and inspiring others to be a part of the change can be one of the best ways to create sustainable solutions. Just think about the ripple effect—if a Girl Scout can teach someone and inspire them to recycle, then that person teaches two more people, and so forth. She has created quite the movement!
We also recognize that Take Action projects look different for every girl—based on her age, interest, and experiences. So, we’ve created a handy Take Action Project guide and broken it up into five components. You can use these components to evaluate your Take Action project, where Your Girl Scout is at, and where she could expand her project.
How Does She Take Action While Maintaining Social Distance?
Remember what I said? Perhaps one of the coolest things about Take Action projects is their flexibility and versatility. While it’s true that Take Action projects are going to look different than they did a couple of months ago, social distancing isn’t an obstacle that Girl Scouts can’t overcome. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Virtual events or virtual town halls: Think about what communities you are a part of. How can you reach them and explore topics they want to learn about?
- Videos: Think public service announcements or instructional videos. What can you teach someone or inspire them to care about?
- Advocacy: It’s always a good time to figure out how to engage your local legislature. Call, email, write a letter about an issue you care about. How many others can you organize to join your movement?
- Digital technology: How can you use social media and digital technology to be a force for good? Can you create an educational webpage or game?
- Kit creation: Do a project, create “kits” with instructions for other to follow your lead.
Please remember to follow social distancing guidelines—variations of “lemonade stands” or going door-to-door are not encouraged.
How Do We Know if We Did it Right?
Do you know that expression, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey?” We often joke that is the perfect phrase for a Take Action project. A Journey and a Take Action project are a process, so continual reflection throughout is a great practice.
- Does this project address an issue or need in the community?
- Was it girl-led and a sustainable solution? (Hint: If you can confidently say that your Girl Scout “created, educated, inspired, organized,” then you’re good to go!)
- What did you learn? Are there things you would want to remember for next time?
Abby Lown – Abby is a STEM Program Coordinator at Girl Scouts River Valleys. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in Biology and spent three years teaching in the Peace Corps in Mozambique. When she isn’t creating cool STEM programs for Girl Scouts, she loves finding new adventures in the Twin Cities or trying her hand at a new recipe.