Take Action Project
Take Action Projects
To take action means to make the world a better place.
Not sure how to get started on a Take Action project? Follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Community Mapping
A community map is a drawing or a list that shows the community’s needs and resources, including contacts that might help girls when working on a Take Action project.
Have girls draw a picture of their community. Include resources such as the library, animal shelters, parks department, and more. If your group is having a hard time visualizing their community take a walk around your neighborhood to get ideas. Next have the girls think about issues or problems in their community. You can have girls ask their parents and watch the local news so that they have ideas for the next meeting, if they need time to research.
These problems may be small or large issues. Some examples may include: an old unsafe playground at the local park, many stray cats that don’t have a home, nothing for teens to do on the weekend, bullies at school, etc.
Important: One key to a great Take Action project is to determine what the community needs before creating the Take Action project. There is nothing worse than creating a project, then finding out that it was not needed. Also, these projects should be girl-led, so make sure your girls care about the issue at hand and that they can complete the project.
Step 2: Take Action vs. Short-Term Project
After the girls have determined one or more problems in their community, and some potential resources for helping with the problem, it is time to create the Take Action project.
While short-term community service projects address the immediate needs in the community and are important, they only help for a short period of time. Take Action projects are lasting service projects that make long-term change. To create this long term change, a Take Action project should be:
- Measurable — The success of the project can be determined 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.
- Sustainable — Girls should make arrangements to ensure that the project creates lasting change and is not a one-time event. Girls can do this by collaborating with community leaders and/or organizations, building alliances with mentors, etc.
Short-term community service projects are important parts of the community, and your troop may still participate in and plan these projects.
- The issue: Local food pantry needs help
- A short-term project: Collect nonperishable food items through a food drive at school.
- A Take Action project: Collect food and also develop a recipe book of nutritious foods using simple ingredients. Find a local printing company to print several copes and give the original to the food pantry to make more when needed.
Step 3: Plan and Go For It!
Sit down as a group and determine who will do each step of the project. Remember this is a girl-led project, so step back as much as possible and only help when needed.
Take time to write down each step and who is in charge. Keep the project plan close at hand so you can check back to it to see who needs to do what step. Look back to your list of community resources to see who may be able to help your group during the project.
If the group gets stuck on a certain step, it is ok to take a break and come back to it another day. Giving your group some time may help you all to see the project in a new way.
Step 4: Celebrate!
Once your project is complete, take time to celebrate as a group. Plan a party or ceremony to talk about what the girls have achieved. Think about inviting community resources or family members. Your group may also want to post a video of your project on the council’s YouTube channel, or write to us through Facebook to let everyone in the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois community know about your accomplishments.