Parents, Volunteers

The Five Essential Steps to ‘Take Action’

Take Action is one of the defining elements of Girl Scouts.

In our previous post on Take Action vs. Community Service, we provided a general overview to distinguish these two types of service. To re-cap, the most essential takeaway regarding Take Action projects, or “service learning,” is to research the root issues of a community problem so that you can make a plan with both your heart and head to address them and create long-lasting change. Take a look at this review to discover how the steps you can take to transform a community service project into a take-action project.

Now that we understand what a Take Action project is, what are the five essential steps you need to take to get the ball rolling?

1. Build Your Team.

Rally together the top-notch Girl Scouts in your community or other go-getter friends around your age to take on this adventure together, including your troop/group volunteer. More innovative team-players means more minds to generate original ideas, and more ways to positively impact your community!

2. Explore Your Community.

There are so many ways to make a difference, but one of the most important things to be sure of is that there is an actual need in the community for the action being taken. And this need can only be identified once you get out there!

Take some time to consider which aspect of your community YOU want to investigate. Perhaps your neighborhood? Your school? Maybe your favorite non-profit or local park! Think of yourself like a detective, a master of observation. Keep your eyes peeled for problems that could be fixed, or take a note of how things can be improved.

After you have done some ground work, check out this Community Mapping resource that you can use to kick-start a brainstorming session with your team. Encourage each other to find connections between your community resources, personal skills/interests, and gaps/issues in your community. Sometimes it’s easiest to start this exercise with a fictional scenario, like Gotham City from Batman.

3. Identify Your Project & Make a Plan.

Now that you’ve become a community problem-solver, come back together with your team to share what you have observed! Work with your group to compare ideas and narrow down all of your potential topics to three that interest everyone involved.

Before you make your final cut, gather more information regarding the topics so you can see how you can best make a difference. Make a few calls and do some more research to be sure that there is an existing need for  your Take Action project and that you will be able feasibly accomplish your goal!

Once you have chosen your project, plan out your mission with your Girl Scout sisters to pin-point every step along the way before you get started. Girl Scouts are always prepared to tackle obstacles that spring up out of the woodwork.

4. Put Your Plan into Motion.

Delegation is your friend! It’s time to outline your overall logistics by assigning roles to your team members and plotting out an extensive list of tasks and deadlines. Make sure you adhere to money-earing rules as outlined in Volunteer Essentials (page 63 of the 2018 edition). Now get out there, and Take Action!

5. Spread the Word!

Because you deserve it!

First, thank everyone who assisted you with your journey. Everyone will love to hear about all that you accomplished with their help!

Second, create a story out of your experience so you can share it with others. You can show your community what you learned and inspire others to work for their communities as well. Call the local paper or news station to get featured!

Finally, celebrate your successes! You helped create a better world by taking healthy risks to help your community.


Remember, if you ever need assistance with getting started, your regional program manager is just a phone call away. Not sure who your regional program manager is? View the staff directory online, or contact the Customer Care Team at 888.350.5090 or customerservice@gswo.org!