Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts organization in 1912. The Girl Scouts' stated goals include community involvement and getting girls outside. With these goals, a natural partnership exists between the Girl Scouts and Earth Day. Games, a tradition at Girl Scout meetings, teach through interactive, fun, hands-on activities.
Before the hike down a local trail, salt the trail with litter. Keep a list of the items and the general area of where you place the items along the path. Tuck the items away under leaves and sticks, leaving only part revealed. Appropriate items include napkins, water bottles, food wrappers, cigarette butts and mosquito repellent cans. Crumple lightweight items to prevent them from flying away. Be flexible and include items you find as you are laying out the game. Lead the scouts down the trail. Give them paper and pencils. Instruct them to make a note of every trash item they've seen. Collect the papers, shuffle them and have another girl score the sheet. Walk down the trail, picking up the litter and scoring the lists as you go.
Earth Day Quiz
Write up multiple-choice questions related to Earth Day. Have the girls write down their answers. After they have answered all the quiz questions, allow them to score their own quizzes. Suitable subjects for questions include those related to trash decomposition rates, the history of Earth Day and manmade disasters as well as carbon dioxide pollution and the EPA. Some example quizzes appear in the suggested resources.
Cut 2-inch-square pieces of "food" out of brightly colored construction paper including red; don't use green or blue as they will be hard to find. Spread the paper food in a field, scatter the pieces widely and tuck some pieces under leaves. Divide the scouts into three teams -- grasshoppers, rats and hawks -- and give them different colored arm bands. First, give the grasshoppers a paper bag and let them forage for the pieces of paper for 30 seconds before releasing the rats. The rats will hunt the grasshoppers by tapping them on the shoulder; when tapped on the shoulder, the prey gives the predator its bag of "food" and sits on the sidelines. After 30 seconds, release the hawks to hunt rats with the same rules of taking the bag of food from a rat when tapped on the shoulder. After 30 seconds, call the game.
Tell the scouts that each piece of red food had insecticide on it. Have them count the paper "food". Count as dead any grasshopper that survived being hunted but ate an insecticide-sprayed red square. Count any rat as dead that survived being hunted but ate more than six red pieces of "food." Have the hawks count their red pieces of "food." The hawks with the most red "food" can't hatch babies because their egg shells are too thin because of the pesticide. Send all the girls out to pick up any paper that was missed.