Planning a large service project or school project can be overwhelming, as you need to manage resources and keep a track of your project life cycle! As a good starting point for anything small, these free printable service project planner pages can help you plan your project and track your progress.
My daughter has been in Girl Scouts since she was a young girl. I've been a troop leader for many of those years. She earned quite a few badges and had all kinds of fun experiences, from selling Girl Scout cookies to cardboard boat races to learning to pitch a tent. In an all-girl setting, she learned about leadership and using her voice.
But what I'm most proud of from her Girl Scout experience are the opportunities she's had to give back to her community. This past spring our troop completed a large service project for the girls to earn their Silver Award. The Silver Award is kind of a big deal. It's the biggest award a Cadette (6th, 7th and 8th grade) can earn, requiring at least 50 hours of service from each girl.
For their project, they restored some rather large murals at their old elementary school and also replaced a crumbling mosaic with a fresh new design. This was a large, multi step project. They wrote and submitted a proposal to the school's principal. They met with the original mural designer and created a new design for the mosaic. The created a budget and then raised the money they needed. Oh, and then they actually restored the murals and created the mosaic.
This is one of the three murals they restored.
Like I said, a big deal.
It's also overwhelming from an organizational standpoint. There are just so many details, so many lists to make. Task lists, budgets, schedules. Where to even start?
Mostly we just muddled through our project, creating tasks lists and schedules on the fly. We made our budget old school using notebook paper and pencil to list all our anticipated supplies and how much they'd cost. But without a central place to keep all of our paperwork, I'd lose the notebook we had written it down in and we'd have to create a new task list at the next meeting.
Now that they've done the work and they've received their awards, I couldn't help but think there was a better way to tackle this. What we needed (and by we, I mean the troop leaders AND the girls) was a more structured way to help us keep up with the planning and business of our large service project. We probably also needed a better way to spread awareness of our project. I've recently been told about text message campaigns that can be hosted by companies like Tatango for non-profit projects. If we knew about it at the time it could have helped. But then we come back to the whole structure problem, if we just had a better plan then things could have been so much smoother.
With that in mind, I've created a set of printable service project planner pages to help you through the process of a large service project (scouts or otherwise), or perhaps just a large group project for school. Rather than cramming all of the project planning on to one page, the set includes 8 different pages that take you through planning to tracking service hours to budgeting. There are even pages for noting successes and challenges along the way. You could opt to print them in the format you would prefer using online software such as Soda PDF (sodapdf.com/pdf-to-docx) and have them ready for you to begin organizing your day!
If I were doing this project again I'd make a planner for myself and also have the girls all keep a planner of their own. It would help them better understand the process for their project and it would also be great learning tool for them.
I've got a link to download all 8 of the pages in a single zip file at the end of this post. But first, let me tell you a little about each page.
Service Project Planner Pages
Provides a high level view of your project. State your goal (what your project hopes to accomplish), and then list out the milestones you'll need to achieve to meet that goal. You can check them off as you meet each milestone.
Gives a more detailed look at each milestone on the way to your project, breaking it down into tasks that need completed. You'll need one of these sheets for e ach milestone on the Goals/Milestones page. You can assign tasks to individuals (or groups) and then check them off as they are completed.
Keeps up with the number of service hours completed by each participant in your project. Many service projects (scouts or otherwise) will require a certain number of hours from each participant. Write the names of your troop or team members across the top, and then track their hours for each activity. At the bottom, add the numbers down the columns to get a total number of service hours for each troop or team member.
Helps you create a budget for your project. List out expenses and then total them up for a total project cost. Each line has blanks for the item, the quantity required, the unit cost, and then the total cost for the item. To figure the total cost for each item, multiply the quantity by the unit cost. For example: 4 widgets (quantity) x $3.50 (unit cost) = $14.00 total cost for widgets.
Tracks your progress toward your fundraising goal. Most likely, your fundraising goal will be the total projected cost. Write in your fundraising goal at the top, then fill in the blanks on the chart with your goal and also intervals along the way. You can color in the chart as you reach the intervals so you can see your progress toward your goal.
Keeps track of your project expenses. This page is set up like a checkbook registry, with columns for transaction, expenses/income, and a running balance.
Gives a space to record challenges you encounter and the solutions you used to meet them. Most service awards or group projects will ask for a reflective essay of some sort and usually they'll ask about challenges you've encountered. Sometimes by the end of a long-term project, you forget what those challenges were. This page allows you to keep track of the challenges as well as how you solved them so you'll have that information at hand when you write your end of project report.
Gives a space to record successes – small and large – as you complete your project, and also a place to think about the impact of those successes on the project or your community. Like the information on the Challenges/Solutions page, this will be helpful when filling out a final report or writing a reflective essay on the project.
I'm providing these service project printable planner sheets for free. If you want to share the planner pages, please just link to this post. I get paid by advertising on this post. If you email the file to someone, I lose the pageview that I'd get if they came here to download it themselves. Thanks so much for your help on this!!
If you use these service project planner pages on your service project, I'd love to hear about it!! Drop me a comment and let me know how your project turned out!
Looking for more Girl Scouts crafts? Check out this adorable DIY faux marquee sign that was inspired by a sign the girls created for cookie booth one year.