In the Girl Scout journey, earning the “Be a Sister to Every Girl Scout” petal for your vest indicates that you’ve practiced the art of friendship. From sharing to invitations, teaching, and learning, these activities create meaningful and lasting relationships between girls in your troop and beyond. With younger and older girls having different Girl Scout petal requirements to earn the violet petal, it’s helpful to have a master list of incredibly fun friendship-building activities.
1. Mail a Hug
Have girls trace each other with their arms out on a piece of butcher paper and then cut out the outlines. They can decorate the figures to resemble themselves and decide who to mail them to. Include a personal note or a poem about friendship. Then fold, address, and mail!
Learn More: The Lean Green Bean
2. Kindness Rocks
Prep for this activity by finding or buying palm-sized rocks. With acrylic paint, paint them a solid color first and then add details and kind messages using paint markers. Spray with sealant & hide them around your town for friends to find.
Learn More: No Time for Flashcards
3. Pen Pals
Form a partnership with another troop or use websites to find a global pen pal for your troop. There are multiple resources online. Help girls write introductory letters about themselves that are complete with questions for their new friends. Address the envelopes, mail them, and wait for a response!
Learn More: Mighty Kids Academy
4. Donation Drive
Support kids in need in your own community by hosting a donation drive. Work with a local partner organization to create a list of needed supplies. Help your scouts advertise the drive online, including the date, time, location, and supplies needed. The girls can then deliver the items themselves.
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Play charades, take turns telling stories, and make s’mores for traditional fun. To build camaraderie with modern elements, play glow-stick tag, sing songs and take turns guessing its title, and explore the stars with incredible apps on your smartphone.
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Being a friend can be difficult at times- especially when there are bullies! Ask girls to share examples of bullying they’ve seen and then have them role-play how they might stand up for themselves and for a friend.
Learn More: Stop Bullying
7. Friendship Handshakes
Friendship handshakes don’t have to be secret! Have scouts create a unique handshake with several girls in their troop, and then use them to greet each other whenever they meet. Find a guide or use example videos for ideas.
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8. Around the World Foods
Satisfy curiosity and hunger by planning an event where girls create and bring in foods from around the world. They can provide information about their dish and tell others what life is like in these countries; promoting a world vision for girls.
Learn More: Four Around the World
9. Cultural Guest Speaker
Promote cultural awareness by learning how life in other countries differs from our own. Ask an exchange student at a local school if they will present. They can share photos, discuss traditions, and share foods while also pointing out similarities.
Learn More: Kid World Citizen
10. Thumbprint Friendship Tree
Demonstrate collective friendship by creating a thumbprint tree for each girl to take home. Each girl draws a tree background. Then, with paint or ink, they can dip in their thumb and press it onto every tree like a unique leaf.
Learn More: Aussie Childcare Network
11. Trust Fall
Trust-building games foster confidence, trust, and friendship. One girl stands on a chair; crossing her arms. Then she falls backward into the open arms of her friends. Team members stand facing one another and extend their arms; joining with the girls opposite them.
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12. Promise Pals
Have each girl brainstorm a way that she can individually be a friend to every Girl Scout. Go around the circle and share ideas. Each girl shares again, saying, “I Promise to…” thereby making a pact-like the age-old Buddy System.
Learn More: GSKSMO
“Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere” create fun tradable activities for girls to trade with a new friend. Each has a SWAPS banner at home – felt on a coat hanger will work – where she safety pins her new trinkets.
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14. Scavenger Hunt
Create a butcher block paper with various characteristics and likes on it; the more creative the better. Girls talk to each other to discover their likes and then write that girl’s name on the sheet in the corresponding place.
Learn More: Quick Hunts
15. Games from Around the World
Learning games from around the world promotes geographic and cultural appreciation. Have girls research a game and teach it to their troopmates. They should then mark the location on a map and give specific instructions to their friends on how to play the game.
Learn More: Parents
16. Singing with Elders
Arrange a date with a local nursing home to visit and prepare several songs to perform with your girls. Choose musical instruments to share and even make cards for the guests. Be sure to have them invite guests to clap and sing along!
Learn More: Reach Out Arts
17. Plant a Garden
Watch daisies grow by planting a garden! Seek out a place to embellish with flowers, such as the front of a library, and discuss what flowers need in order to grow. Plant and continue to water them. Parallel this activity with a discussion on cultivating and maintaining friendships.
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18. Friendship Trail Mix
Provide girls with a list of non-messy snacking options i.e. marshmallows, raisins, M&Ms, and ask each girl to bring her favorite. Pour the snacks into a big bowl, mix, and share in baggies or disposable cups. Discuss how your troop is like the mix; each person is unique.
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Have each girl bring in her favorite book and give a brief talk about the book. If you have consent, record and post these as BookToks on your troop’s social media. They should give a summary of the plot and why they like it.
Learn More: Millikin University Library
20. Friendship Interviews
Create a list of questions that your girls want to know about each other; from the usual “favorite color” to the more unusual “least favorite Disney character.” Prep into a printable list and have girls interview each other and then tell the group one thing they learned.
Learn More: Mum Lyfe