Wednesday, December 13

Girl Scout Participation Badge: Earthpact

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According to the Girl Scout web page, “EarthPACT(EP) is a grant-funding project that supports partnership between Girl Scout councils and local government, national or local non-profit organizations, or business to engage girls in conservation activities that benefit local native animals or plants, develop leadership skills, and explore careers.” 

With the girls in the group, follow the next simple steps to plan and carry out activities towards earning the EarthPACT badge. 

1. Identify local government, national or local non-profit organizations to partner with.

Click here to search for local and national non-profit organizations. For example, if you are looking for an organization in your city, after clicking on Local Government, you will need to click on American Hometowns, choose the state, the city, and then search the city website for the type of organization you want to partner with. If you already know the website for your city, then you can access it directly.

If you don’t find anything of interest at your local level, go back to the beginning and search county, state, and national organizations.

Once you have identified and chosen an organization that interests the girls, contact the individual(s) listed to see what types of projects they might need completed and discuss obtaining a grant to pursue the activity.

2. Choose the project.

With the girls discuss what they think will be fun, interesting, and of benefit to the community.

If you have decided to pursue the activity with all Girl Scouts levels, make sure the activity will have enough job variety to fit all the different age groups. You want all the girls to feel involved and accomplished.

Also, remember the activity needs to be fun and rewarding. The ultimate goal, after receiving the badge, is to instill a lifetime desire to take care of local animals and plants while developing leadership skills and explore careers.

3. Put the project in action.

Now the real fun begins.

Discuss with the girls how they think their activity should be implemented.
Have they decided to beautify a park by planting new plants and flowers? Make a list of all necessary items that will allow them to complete the task.

Assign tasks based on the age group and individual ability. Make sure to emphasize that no task is too small and that all are needed in order to complete the assignment.

The day of the activity, make sure that there are plenty of drinks (water is best) and snacks for all participants.

Get to work and remember: have fun! 

Here are some ideas that should apply to most local organizations

1. Freshwater Conservation
Most places across the globe have at least one source of freshwater nearby. Sources of freshwater are defined as lakes and rivers. Check out the Climate Change link for ways to get the girls involved in these types of nature conservation projects.

2. Protected Areas
Again, it should not be difficult to find, in close proximity to your location, an area that is protected. Think about parks and other natural habitats. Although these areas are already defined and receive funding, there is always need for volunteers to carry out projects. The Climate Change link for ways to get the girls involved in these types of nature conservation projects.

3. Climate Change
The actual project may be just for the older group; however, the actual issues can be introduced to all ages as even the younger girls can be spokespeople for the project.
Check out the Climate Change link for ways to get the girls involved in these types of nature conservation projects.

If you find difficult navigating the different local and national organizations sites to locate a suitable project, you may want to contact local science teachers (from elementary school to college) and inquire with them of organizations and projects. Most science teachers are involved with such organizations to help conserve the environment.

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