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What Girl Scouts do in times of disaster

We were devastated to hear of the damage that Typhoon Haiyan did to the Philippines. NBC News has helpfully provided a list of some of the organizations offering relief to survivors of the typhoon, so we wanted to include that link for you guys.

You can learn more from this handy-dandy print out: Girl Scouts Disaster Repsponse

Check out the message below from Girl Scouts of the USA:


Dear Girl Scout Leaders:

We know many of your girls are eager to help those affected by recent disasters.  Here are a few things to keep in mind that can turn times like these into a truly teachable moment:

Be clear about how we want girls to be able to lead. 

Remember that the first two Take Action Outcomes of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience are: 1) Girls can identify community needs and 2) Girls are resourceful problem solvers.  (Transforming Leadership, page 37)

Each outcome is broken out by Girl Scout level and gives great examples of what leadership looks like at each grade level.  The aftermath of a disaster is such an important time to help girls practice these skills age-appropriately before leaping into “doing something.”

Be careful about collecting “stuff!”

Every National Leadership Journey contains ideas for girls about how to identify needs—and develop realistic action plans.  Many times, the best thing we can do in disaster situations is to aid first responders and first responder organizations such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army who are already out in the field lending a helping hand. Working with organizations whose main purpose is first-response makes our efforts more effective.    

Here are a few specific examples you might find helpful to point out to girls and parents:

GIRLtopia Leadership Journey (Girl Book)

  • The Case of The Goody Bags, pages 72-73

Agent of Change (Girl Book)

  • The Good of Service and the Power of Action, page 66
  • A Food Drive with Great Taste, page 74

Get Moving! (Girl Book)

  • Brownie Quest (Adult Guide)
  • Brownie Brainstorm, pages 76-77

Troops can decide to use their troop funds to donate to organizations that they feel as a group are worthy causes.  Remember, per national Girl Scouts policy, girls are not to engage in fundraising for other organizations. 

Thanks for reading—and thanks for all you do to lift up the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.