Service vs. Action: What’s the Difference?

Community Service Patch


Girl Scouts often do both community service and Take Action and higher awards projects. Both kinds of projects help communities in different ways. What’s the difference?

Direct and immediate service changes something right now. Longer-lasting action gets at the root cause of issues.

Community service makes the world better for some people “right now.” For example, collecting cans of food for the local food pantry feeds people “right now.” Gathering toys for a homeless family shelter makes kids happy “right now.” Providing clothing and toiletries to people who have suffered a disaster helps them get through a traumatic event “right now.” These acts of kindness are important ways to help some people—right now.

Take Action projects, along with the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Awards, address the root cause of an issue, and come up with sustainable, longer-lasting solutions. These projects strive to make the world a better place for more people for a much longer time. Sometimes, service and action just naturally blend together into one sustainable effort. As a Girl Scout, you use both service and action to live out the Girl Scout Law and “make the world a better place!”

For a more detailed explanation, check out the Louisiana East Council’s website at



Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting video