Honor Martin Luther King Jr. through Service All Year Long
Martin Luther King Jr. was a civil rights leader who called for connection and community across all aspects of society. While he is most known for leading the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, as well as his impactful “I Have a Dream” speech, Martin Luther King Jr. also believed in the power of service. As an honor and a reminder of the incredible achievements and leadership of Martin Luther King Jr., the third Monday of January — chosen as a celebration of King’s birthday — is the only federal holiday designated specifically as a National Day of Service.
As King once said, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” There is no better way to honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and further his goals of community and togetherness all year long than by giving back with your Girl Scout friends!
Much of Girl Scout programming is based on many of the same ideals as MLK’s vision for community. Civil action, leadership, and service-learning are all present throughout many different badges, Journeys, and other Girl Scout awards. If you’re looking for ways to create change and service your community in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., here are some awesome places Girl Scouts can start!
- The Citizenship, Democracy, and Digital Leadership Badge Series are great way for all levels of Girl Scouts to learn about our country, give back to their community, and to stand up for what they believe in — just like Martin Luther King Jr.! Citizenship badges line teach girls what it means to be an active and engaged citizen, as well as how every community is unique and important. The Democracy badge series is all about the government, from city council to Congress, and how girls can be active citizens through voting. The Digital Leadership badge series takes advocacy into the 21st century by teaching girls how to be responsible citizens on the internet and how to advocate for their beliefs on social media.
- Take Action projects are the final step in a Girl Scout Journey. Journeys are a series of awards that help girls to learn about the world around them, issues in their communities and inspire them to create change. A Take Action Project gives girls the opportunity to become leaders in their community by planning and implementing a service-learning project using the skills and knowledge gained through a Journey. Girls of all levels can participate in Journeys and Take Action Projects.
- Community Service Bar Awards for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors are great ways to show your Girl Scout spirit and give back to the community! Girl Scouts can earn this award by volunteering with community organizations for a total of 20 hours.
- Girl Scout Highest Awards are the ultimate dedication to service and giving back to the community with lasting change! Girls can earn their Bronze, Silver, or Gold Awards by completing Journeys, planning a project that meets a need in their community, and creating change by spreading the word about their projects. Learn more about the specific requirements for these awards at each grade level:
Looking for a shorter commitment that still creates change in the community? Reach out to local organizations to find out about service opportunities in your area! Don’t forget to take time this month to share the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with your Girl Scout sisters.