Superpower Your Girl Scout Year

Meet the best tool a leader could ever ask for when leading their Girl Scout troop . . . The1496328367984 Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) is a digital resource that supports troop leaders and co-leaders, making the process of running a troop easier and more efficient. Check out some of the toolkit’s top features below. Then watch the video playlist above for a detailed walk-through.

Look What’s New to the VTK:

  • Outdoor Journey for Dasies, Brownies and Juniors with multi-level content.
  • Three (3) brand-new STEM Journeys in engineering, programming and citizen science.
  • 38 new badges and Journey awards to chose among, including the first-ever Daisy Outdoor and Citizen badges.

Through the VTK, troop leaders can:

  • Plan the troop’s calendar year
  • Email parents with one click.
  • View the troop roster, renew girls’ membership, and update their contact information.
  • View Daisy, Brownie, and Junior Journeys and badges to plan for troop meetings. There are three prepopulated year plans in the VTK for Daisy, Brownie, and Junior leaders, with 15 meetings each.
  • Customize meetings by troop year with other badge and Journey options.
  • NEW! Access the VTK as a multilevel troop (troops with a mix of girls in Daisy, Brownie, and Junior levels).
  • Explore individual meeting plans that show a breakdown of every meeting, including a list of the materials needed, and editable time allotments for each activity within a meeting.
  • Record girls’ attendance at meetings and their badge and Journey achievements.
  • Add council or custom troop events to the troop’s calendar.
  • Enter the troop’s finances (depending on the council’s process).
  • Easily locate resources, such as Safety Activity Checkpoints.
  • NEW! Access 18 activities that now include a “Get Outside” option, which provides alternative outdoor options.

What About Parents?

  • Parents can now access the VTK to see what their girl’s troop or group is doing (e.g, meeting information and which badges and Journeys she is working on).
  • Parents can also view the troop’s finances (depending on the council’s process).

Log in today! Click on My GS in the upper right-hand corner to get started. First time user? Use this handy guide!

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Posted in General, Membership, Program & Activities, Volunteers

Unleash the Super Hero Inside – Fall Product Activity

The Fall Product Activity is a council-sponsored program that combines educational 2017 FP Imageactivities with money earning opportunities for the troops. The activity takes place October 1-20, 2017 and  is directed toward family and friends- those closest to Girl Scouting and enables troops to earn start up money by selling magazine subscriptions as well as nuts and candy.

Programming focuses on leadership, collaboration and exploring personal values through discovering, connecting and taking action to help girls explore their future potential.

The 5 Skills:
The Fall Product Activity teaches Girl Scouts 5 core skills to grow into leaders in their own life, in business and in the world.

Online Learning:
For online learning activities designed to enhance the troop program activity pieces, click here!

Goal Setting:
Setting goals is the key to a successful sale. Troops and girls who set goals earn big. Talk about what your plans are for the fall and what the funding would be needed to make it happen. Give your girls the opportunity to fully experience Product Sale Programming and don’t skip the Goal Setting and Decision Making skill building! The Fall Product Sale isn’t as simple as saying “sell 350 boxes of cookies” since the product line is varied. By leveraging all product options, the girls can discover, connect and take action to meet their troop’s funding needs.

Posted in Fall Product Activity, General, Product Sales, Volunteers

Happy 2018 GS Membership Year!

Here at GSCI we are all very excited to kick off our new membership year with optimismGirl that we are poised to bring the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to thousands of girls across the state of Illinois! Of course, we couldn’t do it without the help of our parents and leaders, so welcome and thank you for recognizing that the mission of Girl Scouting is unduplicated and will provide your girls with an experience unmatched by any other extracurricular that they could participate in!  2018 will see the launch of G.I.R.L. in force. Our Go-getter, Innovator,
Risk- taker and Leader will soon be experiencing new and improved outdoor badges and journeys as well as increased STEM opportunities. All of this will be easily accessed for our K-5 and multi-age troops via the VTK (I know, alphabet soup right?) The new Volunteer Tool Kit, which is planned to expand to include older girl troops eventually, gives leaders access to programming to help girls work on Girl Scout badges and Journeys and allows the leaders and girls to plan their year ahead all while providing access to awesome tools for their troop and eventually their troop bank account information. If all that’s not enough, we have amped-up our traditional programming this year that includes a reprisal of the Quincy Mall Event, Girl Scout Extravaganza, GS Day at the Capital, GS Day at the Cardinals (stay tuned for a super exciting announcement) and based on input from our Voices of the Girl survey and local focus group input we have added more core (staff-led) camping opportunities. All of this and more awaits you and our girl members in 2018. We hope you enjoy the year as much as we intend to!

Pam Kovacevich
CEO, Girl Scouts of Central Illinois

 

Posted in Community Service, General, Membership, Program & Activities, Volunteers

New Badges and Journeys!

GSUSA has introduced 23 new badges in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and the outdoors – the largest programming rollout in almost a decade! Girl Scouts will be able to design robots and racecars, go on environmentally conscious camping trips, create algorithms, collect data in the great outdoors, try their hand at engineering, and so much more. And the best part? These new badges are girl-tested and girl-approved!

The new Girl Scout programming builds girls’ skills and encourages their interest in STEM and environmental conservation from an early age – areas girls are not typically encouraged to explore outside Girl Scouting – increasing their confidence in an all-girl, girl-led environment where they feel comfortable to try new things, take appropriate risks, and learn from failure.

Posted in Membership, Program & Activities, Uncategorized | Tagged ,

New Adventures Plus

You’ve got mail! The 2017-2018 Adventure Guide Plus should be in your mailbox! Registration opens August 9th. EventsAdventures+Plus+2018+Cover2 are based on four pillars: Entrepreneurship (Guardians of the Girl Scout Galaxy), Outdoor (Camp Discovery), STEM (museum events), and Life Skills (Mom and Me First Aid Tea). Don’t forget about the Momentous events Big Tap Campout, Quincy Mall Event, STEM Explorers, Career Day, Cookie Rallies, Polar Bear Lock-in, Leadership Summit, Honor Brunch and Girl Extravaganza, Family Day at Camp Widji, and Girl Scout Day at the Capitol! We can’t wait to see you there!

Posted in Program & Activities

Join Us for Leader Chats

Based on leader feedback, GSCI has created Leader Chat to support leaders in making the process of running a troop easier and more efficient. It’s a way of keeping our leaders informed and engaged.

GSCI staff members will be facilitating Leader Chats on a monthly basis through online webinars on varying topics all specifically designed to help you plan and stay organized throughout the Girl Scout year. Each month we will explore a new topic in a 30-minute webinar in which you can participate won your computer. We will offer three convenient dates and times for you to join us.

Our September Leader Chat will explore the Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) and the new badges and Journeys.

  • Wednesday, September 13 from 7:00 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, September 14 from noon – 12:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, September 19 from 7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Choose which date and time works best for you. Register for the Leader Chat and then join us for an enlightening 30 minutes that will organize your Girl Scout year like never before!

You must register to join us. Once we have confirmed your registration you will get the online webinar information sent to your email.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Customer Care or Membership Support Specialist at customercare@girlscouts-gsci.org or 888-623-1237.

Posted in Membership, Volunteers | Tagged , ,

You are more than a Girl Scout.

You’re a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™.

We believe there’s no such thing as too much. That there’s no excuse for making excuses. Our strength doesn’t Email_Patch come from how much we can lift but from how often we can lift ourselves back up. We are everyday optimists. Adventure seekers. Problem solvers. We are girls, troop leaders, mentors, advocates, parents, and Girl Scouts. We are G.I.R.L.s (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, and Leader) . We will not stop. In fact, we’re just getting started.  Renew today!

Posted in Membership

GSCI Cookie Updates: S’mores are Back and Introduction of Standardized Pricing

It’s National S’mores Day, and we’re excited to announce that our popular Girl Scout S’mores™ will return as part of the 2018 Girl Scout Cookie season lineup. With their debut last season, Girl Scout S’mores became the most popular flavor to launch in the 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies. Whoa!

The Girl Scout S’mores™  cookies capture the adventurous spirit, love of the outdoors, and feeling of community that is the cornerstone of our organization and plays an important role in girls’ leadership development. A delicious way to support girls as they hone leadership, financial literacy, business, and people skills, while using their cookie earnings to address community issues, or invest in fun and educational experiences.

Additionally, beginning with the 2018 sale, the S’mores will be priced at $5 along with all other varieties of Girl Scout cookies. Since 2012 GSCI has and will continue to experience increases in our cookie cost. For the last 5 years GSCI has absorbed those cost increases and not passed them along to the consumer. Standardizing cookie prices is beneficial to the council because it offsets some of those increases. It is advantageous to the troop and the girl because it increases troop profit and, as we were told in our focus groups, makes the process of explaining the difference in price easier for the girls.

More specifically, standardized pricing will be advantageous in the following ways.

  1. Troop profit will increase by 20% or $.60 per box (an increase of $.10 per box).
  2. Standardized pricing will make it easier for girls to communicate cookie pricing.
  3. All varieties will be available to “trade out” at your local service center.
  4. It will no longer be required to transfer cookies or add girl sales by variety.
  5. Keeping track of the amount each girl owes will be simple.
  6. GSCI will offer the same outstanding programming as in the past, along with maintaining exceptional summer camp pricing.
  7. GSCI will continue to enhance the superior cookie recognition program.
  8. Our sister councils to the north, GSNI and GSCNWI, will also be selling at $5 per box for all varieties.

One hundred percent of the cookie earnings stay with our local council, benefiting girls through programmatic experiences. Girl Scout troops then decide how those funds are invested in educational experiences and Take Action projects that benefit their local communities – through girl-led activities that foster leadership skills. Girls who participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program learn how to manage money, set goals, make decisions, and communicate with adults – skills that aren’t necessarily taught in school, but are invaluable to their future and the future of the global economy.

Posted in Uncategorized

Girl Scout council’s new cookie baker spells sweet success for girls

NewBaker_SocialPost1Little Brownie Bakers has been selected as the new cookie baker for Girl Scouts of Central Illinois (GSCI). Cookie customers in the central Illinois region will now be able to buy name-brand Girl Scout Cookies® like Samoas®, Tagalongs® and Do-si-dos®. It’s good news for girls, too, because name-brand cookies help them reach high goals.

“We are excited to begin our relationship with Little Brownie Bakers,” said GSCI CEO Pam Kovacevich. “Not only do they provide well-known cookies, but their digital tools and excellent customer service will help our girls meet their personal goals and power their Girl Scout journeys to even greater heights.”

Little Brownie’s digital tools are fully integrated with Girl Scouts of the USA’s Digital Cookie online selling platform. Girls can choose to use Digital Cookie in addition to other sales channels in order to reach a larger customer base and sell cookies on the internet.
Little Brownie Bakers is a division of Kellogg and supplies the majority of councils all over the country with delicious name-brand Girl Scout Cookies:

• Samoas® – Chewy and rich, sprinkled with toasted coconut, and striped with a dark chocolaty coating
• Thin Mints® – Crisp, chocolaty and minty!
• Tagalongs® – Made with the same yummy peanut butter as Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
• Do-si-dos® – Crunchy peanut butter sandwiches, baked with baby rolled oats
• Trefoils® – Delightfully simple and satisfying shortbread
• Savannah Smiles® – Crisp, zesty lemon cookies honoring the birthplace of Girl Scouting
• Toffee-tastic™ – Gluten-free buttery cookies bursting with toffee flavor (Optional specialty cookie.)
• PLUS: A BRAND NEW COOKIE, COMING SOON!

As Girl Scouting prepares to celebrate 100 years of girls selling cookies, Girl Scouts of Central Illinois looks forward to a bright future for the council.

Posted in Uncategorized

New Lodge Construction Planned for Camp Widjiwagan

CampWidjiwagan_signGirl Scouts of Central Illinois (GSCI) will begin construction on a new lodge for Camp Widjiwagan this spring. The new facility, made possible by a lead donation of $150,000 from Levi, Ray & Shoup, will feature over 2,000 square feet of climate controlled programmatic space including a dining area and kitchen facilities. A lakefront porch will add another 560 square feet of programmatic space to the structure.

“Camp Widjiwagan has been a mainstay for central Illinois girls since it opened in 1937,” said GSCI CEO Pam Kovacevich. “It became apparent that renovating the current lodge structure was cost prohibitive and our efforts turned to finding the donor dollars to allow us to build a new facility. The LRS donation will allow us to build a new structure that will enable us to deliver year round programming as well as the traditional summer camp programs. The LRS Lodge will serve girls for many years to come.”

Camp Widjiwagan, recently named the area’s Best Summer Camp for the second year in a row, is a sixty-two acre wooded site on Lake Springfield. The camp has been serving girls, both Girl Scouts and non-scouts, for almost 80 years. Camp Widjiwagan was named in a contest – it is an Ojibwa Indian name meaning “comradeship.” “Widji,” as it is affectionately called, features a boat house, in-ground pool, platform tent units, and many other structures used by countless girls over the years. Girl Scout summer day camp will be held at Camp Widjiwagan this summer with registration opening on February 10.

“We know how important Camp Widjiwagan has been in the lives of Springfield-area girls, families and troops for many years,” LRS president and CEO Dick Levi said in a statement, “and we’re proud to help with the construction of a lodge that will amplify that impact and continue the camp’s legacy for years to come.”

GSCI anticipates that they will break ground on the project in early April with a completion estimated in early August. Additional donations are still being sought to support the facility. For information on donating to this project, contact Kate Peters, Chief Operating Officer of Fund Development, at kpeters@girlscouts-gsci.org or (217) 241-3743.

LODGE OPEN HOUSE – FEBRUARY 7

In honor of the new construction, Girl Scouts of Central Illinois will be holding an Open House at the Camp Widjiwagan Lodge (71 Wienold Lane, Springfield) on Sunday, February 7, from 1-3 p.m. This will be an opportunity for past campers and current supporters to visit the current lodge, learn more about the new construction, and enjoy refreshments. Attendees are asked to RSVP to Lisa Wall by February 5 by calling (217) 523-8159, ext. 1602, or emailing
lwall@girlscouts-gsci.org.

Posted in Camps & Property, Fund Development | Tagged