Life Skills

Democracy for Seniors


Federal Spending

Find out how funds are allocated by Congress—and see if you agree with their decisions.

Activity Details

Time needed: 1–2 hours

Materials needed:

  • Computer, tablet, or phone with internet access 
  • Drawing paper and markers or software that can used to make a pie chart


The legislative branch, or Congress, is the branch of the United States government that creates laws. Two groups make up Congress: the House of Representatives and the Senate.

You are going to find out how funds are allocated by Congress—and see if you agree with their decisions! 


Whether you realize it or not, you probably have some political issues you’re passionate about. Maybe you’re determined to spread the word about climate change, or maybe you want to improve the lives of your city’s homeless veterans. If you want to make a difference, you can start by fully understanding how your government works. Informed citizens are changemakers! 

One responsibility of Congress is creating the federal budget. Spend some time researching the big buckets of spending in the United States. What percentage of the budget is typically spent on the military? What about health care? 

Then, create your own pie chart showing how you’d recommend allocating funds if you were a member of Congress. 


Think about what you just did:

  1. What was the most surprising thing you discovered?

  2. How did your pie chart compare to the real federal budget?

  3. Would you want to be a member of Congress? Why or why not?

  4. How can you share what you’ve learned with other girls?

Troop Leaders:  The instructions for all badge steps are available free of charge in your  Girl Scout Volunteer Toolkit.

Girl Scouts at Home activities have been adapted from existing Girl Scout programming and optimized for use at home during a period of social distancing.

Adapted from Step 3 of the Democracy for Seniors badge. Purchase the badge booklet to complete all requirements and earn the badge

Made possible by a generous grant from the Citi Foundation.