Today I want to first cover how you can work with your girls to come up with an amazing Bronze Award project plus share 25 great ideas that have been done by other troops that you could do in your community or use as inspiration to get your girls excited about their own project.
How to Find a Problem and Solve a Problem
Talk about what a bronze is. Have a conversation about your community, what’s good, what issues are there. After your girls come up with issues, talk about a few and brainstorm solutions. Then have them pick the one they feel strongest about. Discuss solutions more, meet with experts and have them form a plan. It takes a lot longer, but it gives them a sense of ownership and it’s the difference between a community service project and a bronze award.
BRAINSTORMING TECHNIQUE: We shouldn’t start the process with thinking of a project. Start by identifying issues in your community. Then ask “why” again and again until you get to the root cause of that issue. THEN start thinking of a project to address that root cause. As you go through this process some of the ideas your group comes up with may be impractical maybe too expensive, too lengthy, or just plain not doable, but let the girls be as creative as possible. These discussions will help come to the perfect project for the troop.
Questions to Ask If Struggling with Ideas
Ask them questions that will spark ideas and conversations
- What kinds of problems do they see at school?
- Are there kids who don’t have lunch? Who sit alone?
- How are new kids treated?
- Are there parks or open space where there is littering?
- Is there a need for my playground or open space in your community?
The girls need to care about the project, so it needs to be a problem that they have identified and want to fix.
Bronze Award Inspiration
1. Blessing Bags for the Homeless
Blessing Bags for the homeless (each scout can collect items to earn hours, pick a date for assembly to put items in bags, pick date to distribute bags to organization, and end with a wrap up meeting for paperwork.)
2. Create a outdoor classroom
I had our girls go outside of our meeting place (happens to be our school) and observe issues they found and to make notes. I required they all stay together during their tour so they could all discuss. And leaders were only there to assist – it was their project and they had to discuss amongst themselves. We then found a project to do from that – take an unused outdoor courtyard and we’ll be turning it into a basic outdoor classroom. School approved and issue was – area was overgrown and not kept up and they found a way to make it sustainable and school approved with maintenance guys help in discussions of what is needed and what he agreed to do for long term maintenance of area – issues area presents – and landscapers ideas as well. It’s fun to watch them observe and find ideas. They rarely get asked what they think and this project really helps make their different strengths shine!
3. Turn a eye sore into a beautiful art piece
We discussed things to do around town… They came up with a blank wall in the downtown area that had peeling paint and things like that… They talk to the owner about painting the wall… And then putting a mural on the wall… They talk to the elementary and middle school art teachers about drawing the base picture for the mural and then they would paint it in
4. Helping Animal Hospitals
My girls wanted to do something with animals so we got ideas from an area animal hospital. Collected old blankets, towels, & stuffed animals with collection boxes around town that the girls took turns checking. Made homemade cat and dog treats and some homemade toys. On delivery day, the animal hospital gave the girls a tour and each person thanked them for the donations. It’s been a few years ago. I think we just googled ideas. One was a plastic water bottle in an old sock with a knot tied in the sock, so it was a crinkly chew toy. I think for the other, they cut strips off of t-shirts and braided them together.
5. Enhance a Community Garden
Our community has a community garden, with prayer circle, garden and a green house. Each area is dedicated to a cause. We are making some benches to contribute to the cause! The girls are going to paint them fun and bright colors!
6. Helping Other Kids
Our girls wanted to help other kids… they made bags for child protective services… we got the big marshalls/tj max .99 cent bags and labeled the outside 3t boys… there was a pair of pjs or clothes size 3t in there… a book, a stuffed animal, maybe a coloring book, toothbrush each bag also had a fleece blanket they made
7. Bully Prevention
My girls researched statistics on bullying and anti-bullying and made a YouTube video. My second round of girls collected items for the homeless.
8. Screen time Dangers
Our girls made a short movie about the dangers of too much screen time for kids….phones, computers, tv etc. They enjoyed coming up with little skits…it turned out great!
10. Little Free Library
My older daughter’s troop constructed a Little Free Library after collecting books via a Read-a-Thon. My middle daughter’s troop orchestrated a Kindness Campaign and implemented it at a city-wide event (created bookmarks, buttons, had people sign their kindness pledge, made 500 rainbow loom bracelets with a message to pass it own when kindness is observed).
11. Animal Shelter Help
My troop helped an animal shelter they made treats and toys. Each girl had to come up with a treat or toy and brought everything to make it to the group and taught the class to make that toy/treat. That girl then called the animal shelter and brought them to the shelter. lots of leadership and planning as well as speaking in front of a group.
Our girls discussed doing something for an animal shelter, making chemo care kits for our hospital, making toys or blankets for the local safe shelter kids to use/have, and busy blankets for Alzheimer’s residents at the local nursing home. They decided on the busy blankets because they wanted to be able to sew something.
12. Help Stray Animals
Build outside houses for feral cats out of tires or Rubbermaid bins.
13. Start Recycling Program
Start a recycling program at school for those terrible dry erase markers. Sort and send them back to the company. Keep it going…
14. Host a Cop Stop Dinner
One of my grands’ troop was to host ‘Cop Stop Dinners”. work with the police department and learn about police, then host dinners at volunteer homes when the cops just stop for dinner if they are free. Invite neighbors to help with food and be there to visit with the police. Good for them and it is good public relations for police. They get donations from businesses and recruit the hostess homes. Great to show appreciation for our local police. I also invited the fire department which is near my house to come. They announce at role call where a dinner will be held from 4-6 and if they are free they come. I think we had 18 at my house. They also did the Crayon Initiative. both were very successful. there is also a collection of plastic bottle tops that are sent some place and they make lawn timbers out of them.
15. Create a Perennial Garden at an Assisted Living Community
We did a multi season perennial garden at an assisted living community – girls researched hardiness of plants – when they would bloom – if they would continue to divide and fill in – and they had to find ones that all required the same type of sun exposure and water
16. Toy Drive for Children’s Hospital
Our girls planned a toy drive for our local children’s hospital. They wanted to do something to help children in our area. They called the hospital and spoke to a volunteer coordinator about what the hospital needed (which was interesting – like Play Doh for helping kids with their fine motor skills). Then they assigned a category of toys to each grade level. They made posters to publicize the toy drive at school and visited classrooms to talk about it.
17. Paw Wash to help pet owners
We did a paw wash, made dog pull toys and dog scarves for a not for agency called Love of Labs.
18. Global Warming Education
My daughter researched polar bears and threats to their survival. She created a website about them, the related issues, and ways to help. She also made handouts to share and publicized the topics. Still updates the site. Climate change and flooding is a big concern in our area, so it tied in well with local issues as most of her helpful tips related to reducing the impact on the environment..
19. Update a Community Center
Our troop decided our community center was dreary and uninviting, so they canvassed people at a town wide event to find out what the community felt needed the most work there. The top two answers were the lobby and the restrooms. They repainted the restrooms and then designed and painted this mural, symbolizing our town’s farms and pinelands.
20. Easter Egg Hunt for Special Need Kids
My bronze was an Easter egg hunt for the local special need kids and a friend of mine packed school supplies for all the school in and around our area for kids who need them
21. Clean Up the Trash
Trash talk- litter project at a local park & waterfront area by the river. Donated trash cans painted by the girls and they scheduled a trash clean up day to spread the word in community.
22. Help Your Local Zoo
My troop of 5 are working on the Silver at our local zoo making hammocks for the chimp and benches for the new bear exhibit. All supplies have been donated or reused!
23. Friendship Bench
ery interesting ideas. My troops juniors built a friendship bench for the elementary school. My Cadettes are working on making recycling stations at the local parks. And my seniors are working on their gold. One is doing skin cancer awareness and making sunscreen available at the local pools for free.
24. Preschool Hands On Learning
my daughter went back to her preschool and built them a raised veggie garden for hands on learning
25. Food Pantry Creation
Our girls built a Little Free Food pantry and presented what they had learned about food insecurity in our city to the mayor, our state representative, and our neighborhood association. They served and were educated at a local food pantry, soup kitchen, and charitable organization that provides food throughout our state. It was an eye opening experience for me and the pantry has made a difference in at least one life…we found this note the last time we stocked it
I hope you found some good ideas in this list to help get your girls started down the road of going for their bronze or use these ideas for service projects you can do with your girls.