The Birthday of our Country is a time for flags and fireworks, family and friends, food and fun.
Here are my suggestions for Girls Scouts and their families to CELEBRATE, and to keep the SPIRIT of the HOLIDAY intertwined with the festivities. Remember, holidays, like Independence Day, are a great reason to get your Girl Scout Troop together… not that any reason is needed to get together with your Girl Scout friends.
First thing on Thursday morning, July 4, be sure to fly an American flag in recognition of the holiday. Since July 4 is so close to the weekend this year, many people will be “making a weekend of it” by celebrating from Thursday thru Sunday. It's fine to fly your flag each day; just be sure to observe the rules of "Flag etiquette."
Include our American history into your barbeque, picnic or pool party. Read aloud the Declaration of Independence. You can have one person read the whole thing... or you can divide it up among the group. For a more kid-friendly version, try this website. Adults will enjoy this version, too! It helps to tell the story of how and why the Colonial citizens felt the need to declare independence, and it recognizes that there was still work to be done in order to ensure that ALL were included in the freedom that we sought!
Let’s put on a play! Every great summer event will benefit from outdoor theatre! Transform your deck, porch or patio into a stage to perform a skit about Independence Day, the American Revolution or another aspect of our great American heritage. Click for some skit ideas. You can find other skits online and at the library, or make up your own way to tell the story. -- Your skit or play might include reading the Declaration of Independence!
Listen to patriotic music and sing a few patriotic songs! My favorite is the concert from Washington, DC titled The Concert/A Capitol Fourth (one year I was even there in person). Everyone can enjoy it on one of our local PBS stations from 8:00 to 9:30pm ET or listen to this concert on NPR Radio (93.9 FM in the New York area; check www.wnyc.org for scheduling on that date).
For festive foods and crafts, visit Girl Scouts of Nassau County's Pinterest page "Tis the Season" to see great ideas for eating and decorating with Red, White and Blue.
There is also a number of fireworks celebrations on Long Island in the coming days.
Always remember to BE SAFE and HAVE FUN! Keep our Girl Scout Promise and Law in the front of your brain and your heart ... We Girl Scouts promise to do many things that relate to this holiday ... Serve our country ... respect authority ... use resources wisely. And leave the Fireworks for the professionals!
Don’t forget to share with us how you and your Girl Scout Troop spend this special holiday! You can post photos and stories to the GSNC Facebook page or send us a Tweet. We'd especially like to hear how you combine community service with summer fun on July 4th and throughout the summer.