I've sort of mentioned this a couple times, but I thought I'd put together a post to focus on the topic.
The Cadette troop that I help lead decided last year they wanted to do one "badge meeting" and one "service meeting" each month. The girls really want to earn those President Volunteer Service Hours and they want to earn hours for Hearts of Service, which a program our Service Unit provides. They have hearts of gold and enjoy helping others.
Each month, we have two meetings. One is almost 3 hours long and is focused on a badge, fieldtrip, or activity of some sort. The other is about 1 1/2 hours long and we do various service projects.
At the beginning of this year, we sat down with the girls and had them brainstorm about the service projects for the year. We did this in junction with planning the badges. It was much easier this year, because we had a list to start with. BCG Patches has the Helping Hands patch program and we used that when we ran out of ideas on who to help.
September we made cards for a dear friend's Mom. October we'll be making treat bags for the teachers at the girls' school.
I know when the girl's were younger badges were where it was at, but as they grow sometimes they don't have the same desire to earn badges about food or financial literacy. Girl Scouts, as you know, is girl-led. Allow them to change their meeting structure to fit their passions. That may mean a service meeting, such as ours. It may mean a "dinner and movie" meeting or something that is not the traditional meeting plan when we think of a troop meeting. But, that's okay. Keep them interested. Keep them coming back. Be flexible and roll with their ideas.