Girls will create and carry out a Take Action project with every Journey that they complete. Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards and Girl Scouts Forever Green are all Take Action projects.
Take Action is designed to elevate traditional Girl Scout community service projects from meeting an immediate need to advocacy projects that make change happen. Girls identify a cause they feel passionate about, and with advocacy and action, make a change.
Some community service projects address an immediate need in the community: girls organize a book or clothing drive, paint walls to cover up graffiti, or hold a one-time march or fair to highlight a community problem. Although these projects address a need in the community, they do so for only a short period of time.
A Take Action project picks up from where a short-term project leaves off. For example, the girls organizing the book or clothing drive could make their project a Take Action project by holding the drive annually and getting a sponsor to advertise and organize it every year. The girls who painted the walls to cover up graffiti can create a club that travels around the city painting beautiful murals on buildings that have been defaced. And the girls who held the march or fair could expand the event to include community artisans and make it an annual gathering. For each project, girls can publicize and get people in the community to come out and support. They can even get community leaders involved.
When girls pursue Take Action projects, they take time to identify and understand the root cause of the issue they are addressing. Girls also must make sure that each project is sustainable and that the impact is measurable. Because these two words are nebulous and difficult to define, take the time to define each with participants.
The success of the project can be determine based on the number of people the project helped, the number of people who were involved, any reduction in the community’s need, and other concrete numbers.
Girls must make arrangements (such as collaborating with community leaders and/or organizations; building alliances with mentors) to ensure that the project creates lasting change and is not a one-time event.
Take Action encourages girls to think bigger and to address problems in such a way that they do not reoccur. And, perhaps most important, a girl’s Take Action project changes the world in a meaningful way.
Girls can identify community needs. In order for girls to start working on their award projects, they must first find out what the community is in need of. Girls also learn how to identify the root cause of the issue they choose to address.
Girls are resourceful problem solvers. Undoubtedly, there will be roadblocks along the way, which means that girls will need to come up with creative ways to solve the problems that arise.
Girls advocate for themselves and others, locally and globally. As they learn about the issues in their communities and work to solve them, girls stand up for issues they believe in, influence policy, and identify ways to continue their project goals into the future.
Girls educate and inspire others to act. By spreading the word about their experiences, girls educate others about issues that are important to the community and inspire others to act. This approach cannot help but have a positive effect on their communities.
Girls feel empowered to make a difference in the world. Girls develop leadership skills and use the knowledge they gain through their experiences to improve their community…and the world!
Below are the seven steps to a successful Take Action Project:
The GSESC Girl Leadership Experience Team can help! Contact Lesley Robinson, Director of Program Services, at 843-552-9910 ext 2240, or at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about Take Action.