As a Girl Scout leader in the US, we try to instill patriotism and love of country. One of the main holidays we should honor is Memorial Day. And the key point we want to get across to our children about Memorial Day is to understand the sacrifices that have been made, and to encourage them to show gratitude and respect for those who have served.
Events to Participate In or Organize for Memorial Day
Participate in a Memorial Day Parade: Many communities hold parades to honor the fallen soldiers. Encourage your troop to participate in the parade, and to wear their uniforms and bring flags or flowers to place on graves.
Visit a National Cemetery: Take a trip to a national cemetery and spend some time walking around, reading the names on the headstones, and reflecting on the sacrifices that have been made. Encourage your troop to leave flowers or small American flags on the graves of the soldiers.
Make care packages for deployed troops: Many soldiers are still serving overseas, and receiving care packages can be a great way to lift their spirits. Have your troop create care packages with items such as snacks, toiletries, and letters of support.
Create a memorial wall: Set up a memorial wall in a public space, such as a library or community center. Encourage people to write messages of support for the troops, or to leave notes honoring a loved one who served.
Host a community BBQ: Organize a community BBQ and invite local veterans and their families. Encourage your troop to help with the planning and preparation, and to spend time talking with the veterans and learning about their experiences.
Donate to a local Veterans organization: There are many veterans organizations, such as a Veterans nursing home, American Legion, or Veterans of Foreign Wars. The American Legion runs a poppy program every year ahead of Memorial Day. Donate cookie money to an organization who supports troops and honors fallen soldiers.
Crafts and Activities that teach about Memorial Day
To teach the importance of Memorial Day, here are some activities that you can do with your troop:
Watch a Memorial Day video: Start by showing your troop a short video about the history and significance of Memorial Day. This will provide a good overview and set the tone for the rest of the activities.
Write letters to veterans: Have your troop write letters to veterans, thanking them for their service and sacrifice. This can be a great way to connect with the community and learn about the experiences of those who have served.
Visit a war memorial: Take your troop to a local war memorial, and spend some time reading the names and learning about the conflicts that are commemorated. This can be a powerful way to connect with history and understand the true meaning of Memorial Day.
Create a memorial craft: Help your troop create a craft that honors the memory of fallen soldiers. This could be something as simple as a handmade card, or a more elaborate project like a wreath or collage.
Organize a flag ceremony: Teach your troop how to properly fold and display the American flag. Then, organize a flag ceremony where your troop raises and lowers the flag in honor of Memorial Day.
We hope these are helpful options to teach your troop about Memorial Day and the ultimate sacrifice families made to help our great nation.