A Spotlight on Special Initiative for Service Unit 620
620. That’s the service unit number for 77 troops in the Kansas City, MO area. That is also the number of community service hours Girl Scout members in Service Unit 620 have pledged to complete this Girl Scout year.
What came out of a small troop project for Girl Scout Leader Valerie Johnson has had a ripple effect far beyond just the girls in her Junior troop.
Last year Val noticed that her girls were participating in several great service activities on their own and wanted to create a way to recognize and encourage both individual and troop service projects. They started out with a troop goal of 100 hours between the 16 of them. At the end of the year, Troop 4519 had more than doubled their goal with over 245 hours completed!
Having chaired Service Unit 620’s World Thinking Day event for the past two years, Val was ready for a new challenge, so she brought this idea of service hour tracking to the service unit level. “From talking to other Girl Scout leaders, I KNEW our service unit was doing a lot of great service out there and I wanted to find a way to capture, celebrate and maybe inspire others to lend even just one hour of service to their community,” Val said.
From that, 620 Hours from Service Unit 620 was born.
Jada Sudduth from Troop 3335 knows that service is important, even at the young age of 11.
“Since this community is our community, we should help. It’s good to give back to people and to help them, so they can help other people,” Jada said.
Keeping track of the hours has been relatively easy for Val. Each troop leader logs their girls’ hours into their website and everyone in the service unit can see what girls are up to. Projects range from volunteering at council-wide Girl Scout events to spending time at retirement communities, making food baskets for those in need, putting on anti-bullying programs and so much more.
As of today, Service Unit 620 has SURPASSED their goal, logging 713 hours and they still have four months to go!
“This has been such a win! First, there have been some great discussions as to what activities constitute ‘service’ and the girls discuss and determine. For example, they determined that selling cookies – while a good thing – isn’t giving service but volunteering for a community parade or march is,” Val explained.
We love how Service Unit 620 are G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)™ through this effort and can’t wait to share how many hours they completed at the end of May!
How is your troop or service unit helping make the world a better place? Share your great service projects in the comments section below.
And, don’t forget… March is Inspire a Girl Month of Service. Girl Scouts who complete and log a service project in March receive the special patch. Watch the February 17th S’MORE for all the details. Start planning your service project today!