Girl Scout Silver Award - Giving back to the Community

Jeannie being pinned her Silver Award

Today’s post comes from a Cadette Girl Scout leader from Troop 1563 in Manchester, Md.  One of her girls, who is also her daughter, earned her Silver Award in September of this year. She held a clothing giveaway after finishing the Amaze Journey.

Jeannie’s Silver Award Project

Jeannie sought clothing donations from church family, the public, as well as at her school. They washed them up, sorted them and stored them until the day of her giveaway. Jeanie sought family-friendly door prize donations from area merchants. She was able to get several donations including roller skating admissions, movie theatre admissions, a restaurant gift certificate and a grocery store gift card. With additional donations from an area grocery stores she was also able to offer free lunch at her clothing giveaway. They were able to offer hot dogs, macaroni & cheese, and assorted sweets in addition to soft drinks.

The day of her giveaway, September 22, 2012, folks from the community were invited to come to their church and help themselves to the free clothes in the Fellowship Hall. Housewares, toys and other items were also laid out on tables for people to pick up. The guests could start with three large trash bags, plus they could fill boxes as well. Fifty to sixty people attended that day. It was a very successful event.

We hope this inspires another Girl Scout Cadette who may be wondering what to do for a service project or a Silver Award project.

Girl Scout Silver Award - Giving back to the Community A Community Service fun patch is a great addition to every Girl Scout vest.

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11 responses to “Silver Award – Giving back to the Community”

  1. Melody says:

    Nice service project. Not a Silver Award worth project. Where is the sustainability and the measure-ability of the project? This would be a take action project if she had a definite number of people served, the number of items handed out, and some type of sustaining aspect such as a workshop to learn to make clothes, or an organization that would continue to do the give away once or twice a year. Maybe a resource workshop to help to set up a recycled clothing club that would meet occasionally to allow people to trade clothing. As it is now, this would not fly in my council.

  2. Kris says:

    I don’t think this write up may include everything she has done to be awarded the Silver Award, as it’s rather short description of the project. Also, sustainability for the various metallic awards are different… I think that needs to be kept in mind also.

  3. Jody says:

    I agree. I am a leader of a Cadette troop and am struggling to help the girls come up with Silver Award projects largely due to the sustainability element. I am frustrated by this added element and the journey process. I’ve tried to stay positive for my girls but am unsure that I can continue leading them forward. I’ve had to turn down activity ideas that lacked the sustainability factor and I’m afraid of discouraging the girls. There must be a better way.

  4. Yesenia says:

    Hello Jodi–I am a new Daisy Leader—I would love some ideas if you can send them my way:

  5. Mary says:

    Under the new Silver Award guidelines, this would qualify as a service project rather than a Silver Award. Thanks for sharing a great idea I know it will inspire other girls. A way to make it sustainable would be to set up a thrift store at a church or organization that could make the giveaways availalbe on a continuing basis. Please do not get discouraged as we are here to help each other along the way! There are MANY wonderful Silver Project ideas out there!

  6. Diana says:

    I understand the need to have the Silver Award be a project that involves a great deal of effort but the sustainability component just about makes the Silver Award unattainable. After two rejected projects my daughter has given up on the idea of earning her Silver and may drop out of Girls Scouts. I am hearing similar frustration with other troops. It is easier to do community projects without getting going through all the hoops the Girl Scouts set up. I think they forget that the girls are only 13-14 years old. As the girls move into high school they can build up their community service resume without being a Girl Scout and still make an impression on the colleges they apply to.

  7. Denise says:

    Some methods for adding sustainability to projects are to find others to take on the project as an annual event, write a “how to” manual and give copies to the various entities involved in the project so others can recreate something similar in the future (to the sponsoring church and other nearby churches, the local library or volunteer placement centers, and to high school NHS advisors and other school- or community-based service clubs, etc). Also, a girl can help start a school, church, or community club to keep her project going. Educating the community on a subject related to the Silver Award project through public speaking events adds both leadership and sustainability. All these things are allowed by our council.

    Adding a workshop or two to have volunteers learn to make other items to give out on the donation day could also add sustainability. Items could be something as simple as fabric or craft foam eyeglass covers, water bottle holders, decorated pillowcases, decorated reusable cloth grocery bags, etc.

    There are many things that a girl can teach others to make that might relate to her Silver Award project. (or Gold, Bronze, etc) Even having her volunteers learn to make homemade pet food treats for a similar giveaway day would be something ‘easy’ to benefit the pets of the recipients who may not have much extra money for that kind of purchase themselves. The sustainability part factors in when volunteers learn some new skills that they can repeat and teach to others in the future.

  8. Bonie says:

    Thank you very much, Denise, for your post to assist in the struggle for girls who desire to obtain the Silver Award but are having a hard time with certain aspects of the quest. I am a Girl Scout leader of 14 years and know that discouragement is never the aim of Girl Scouts. We sometime overthink things and do not think of going to the powers to be to gain clarification when frustrated. You stepped right up and made things plain. Sometimes going to training would also assist with the struggles.

  9. Laury says:

    As this was done in 2012, it was prior to the change in the bronze & silver sustainability requirements. My girls earned their bronze prior to the change and made fleece mittens and duct tape totes for the homesless and near homeless clients of some of the local food pantries. Would not work now, but what a great idea!

  10. Terri says:

    I just finished a council training on the Silver award and am even more confused about the sustainability aspect. They said in our training, that bronze, silver, and gold have different degrees or levels of sustainability. They also told us, however, that a “take-action project” is not a silver project. A silver project can be a “continuation and extention of a take-action project.” Here is what I am telling my cadettes – to ensure sustainability there should create a permanent structure that will be used beyond the immediate time frame of the project (like a park bench) OR involve education. If they create a pamphelet or video that can be used to continually educate people about a cause (how to recognize stroke symptoms, how to care for pets) that would provide sustainability.

  11. Olivia says:

    This technically qualifies as a service project, but one easy way to make most service projects sustainable is to add a teaching element. Have the girls teach younger girls from the troop about whatever project they are doing, and encourage them to spread the word. You can also host a booth at a festival and have children there make bookmarks with facts about their project on them, or something similar. My troop did their bronze award this way, about air pollution, and they could get 4-6 hours at a time at one of those booths, depending on how long they stayed.

    Hope this helps!

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