Every year, hundreds of Girl Scouts in western Washington earn their Silver Award—the highest honor for Cadette Girl Scouts. Many of the projects focus on similar issues—like the environment, animals, and anti-bullying—but we are always excited to see the unique twists that girls think up. With creative ideas and unusual points of view, Girl Scouts continually find interesting ways to tackle problems, create change, and make a difference in their communities!
Check out these eight creative ideas for Girl Scout Silver Award Projects …
1. Dig into the Root Cause to Protect Nature
The Project: Silver Creek Site Trail Fence Installation
The Twist: When Girl Scouts Isabella and Hollis wanted to help protect Silver Creek, they zeroed in on the root cause of the issue through some careful observation.
As land stewards for a portion of Silver Creek—which runs through a conservation area in downtown Puyallup—the girls completed many projects to help build up the ecosystem, like weeding out invasive species. As they got to know the area, they discovered a big problem: people were wandering off the trail and damaging fragile new plants, disrupting frog habitat, and causing erosion.
When their first idea of planting a barrier of shrubs didn’t pan out, the girls focused on a bigger solution: building a 93-foot fence to help visitors stay on the trail. They worked with the Pierce Conservation District and the City of Puyallup to complete their task. Now, people can enjoy the pathway and the natural environment, without harming the wildlife. Isabella and Hollis made a big difference by focusing in on the root cause and coming up with a project that provided a solid solution before they got their hands dirty!
Theme: Inclusion and Access
2. Focus on Your Community’s Strengths and Resources
The Project: Run for Those Who Can’t
The Twist: When Girl Scouts Summer, Emma, and Aryana wanted to raise awareness about support and services for people with mobility differences, they turned to their community for help.
Instead of creating resources from scratch, they girls brought together organizations and resources that were already present in their community. They organized a 5k run/walk/wheel event and invited many organizations—including Survivor Outreach, Disabled American Veterans, Community Action, American Legion, Special Olympics, and the Mt. Vernon School District Special Education Department—to set up informational tables. More than 80 people turned up for the event and Emma is hoping to carry the project forward next year as part of her Gold Award project!
3. Make Nature Accessible for Everyone
The Project: Children’s Therapy Garden
The Twist: Girl Scout Victoria knew how calm and peaceful green places can be—but natural tranquility isn’t always accessible in the middle of a town.
To create an urban green space, Victoria built an outdoor therapy garden for kids. She specifically chose a spot next to a speech therapy office so that the garden would be easily accessible for children with special needs who visit the office. Using sustainable, local plants that don’t need much care, Victoria also decorated with colorful birdhouses—large and small!
Theme: Gender Equality
4. Use Media to Fight Media
The Project: A New View is Long Overdue
The Twist: When Girl Scouts Lily, Maggie, and Josephine wanted to educate elementary school students about gender bias and negative stereotypes in the media, they created their own media—a video series and a website—to spread the word!
When these Girl Scouts surveyed several fourth and fifth grade classes, they discovered many facts, including that the majority of boys and girls were worried about their weight, and that many of the children were not aware that images in media do not accurately reflect average people in our society. So they created an educational video with information, interviews with experts—like doctors, media professionals—and hands-on learning activities about stereotyping and the media.
5. Dive into Data to Create Change
The Project: Dress Code Revision of Woodward Middle School
The Twist: When Bainbridge Island Girl Scouts Megan, Cassie, and Emma got interested in how gender bias might be impacting their school’s dress code, they started by gathering hard data.
With the help of an HR professional, they created a survey to find out more about students’ experience. The results: One out of every two girls who took the survey had been dress coded, as opposed to 1/40 boys. With these results in hand, the girls next analyzed the school’s dress code. They highlighted the dress code with three colors—pink for words that pertained only to girls, blue for boys, and yellow that could apply to both. Half of the words were directed only at girls, the other half pertained to both, except for three words that pertained primarily to boys. Using this information, they worked with their school administration to re-write the dress code using only gender-neutral language.
Even when they faced opposition to their project, these persistent Girl Scouts had the research to back up their claims, take a stand, and make a difference!
6. Connect Through Tech
The Project: Seniors and Technology
The Twist: Girl Scouts Emily, Lexi, and Stella decided to make technology a little more friendly for a group of people who don’t always love computers, ipads, or cell phones: senior citizens.
After learning that many senior citizens aren’t very comfortable using technology, the girls decided to set up classes and open sessions to help the members of the Aljoya Senior Center. In particular, the girls focused on teaching skills—like sending emails, texting pictures, or Skyping—that would help people connect with loved ones!
7. Go Digital to Have a Wider Impact
The Project: Back Talk Scoliosis App
The Twist: In order to make her message accessible across the world, Girl Scout Reilly created a mobile app!
After living with a scoliosis back brace for six years, Reilly wanted to share her tips and tricks with other young people who had just been diagnosed. “Over the years, many people have contacted me because their daughter has been diagnosed with scoliosis …I learned that I can be a helpful resource,” wrote Reilly. Her solution? Create the BackTalk Scoliosis App. “I decided to put all of my knowledge into an easily attainable resource that can benefit girls in my community and all over the world.”
8. Create a Not-So-Little Library
The Project: M.Y. Music Book Project
The Twist: Library-related projects are a popular choice—who doesn’t love a good book?—but Port Orchard Girl Scout McKenna knew she wanted to create a library with a unique twist: it would be filled with music books!
After raising over $1,200, McKenna donated a collection of music books and materials to Sunnyslope Elementary School. To show their appreciation, students and staff at the school surprised McKenna by creating a special piano-shaped bookcase to house the McKenna Music Library! Now, the music library—which is full of sheet music, books about instruments and composers, and music-related CDs and videos—will mean students who love music can continue to learn more about their passion.
These are only a handful of the awesome Highest Award projects that we hear about every day! Feeling inspired? Start your Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award project today.
Have you done an awesome project with Girl Scouts? Tell us in the comments!