Girl Scout Volunteers: The Love is Real!

Everyone can agree that change is constant. And that experiencing something new is so much better when you have a cheerleader, friend, or mentor by your side.

Girl Scout troop leaders and volunteers are the role models that help Girl Scouts unleash their inner G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ spirit to take the lead and make changes in the world in big and small ways. After reading notes from Girl Scout volunteers across the country, we at Girl Scouts of the USA know that millions of girls are fearlessly facing “firsts” and taking on life’s challenges every day.

When we asked volunteers to share why the experience is worth their time, the responses made us break out the tissues. Here are some of our favorites!

“Every smile, every giggle, every time the light bulb goes on, every connection that builds a bond, every wow, every gasp, every sigh, every tear, every single time a girl gets to be a girl and a sister and a leader and on and on and on.”-Kathy P.

 

“In 2014, I was in the hospital recovering from a critical illness. One of my caregivers was one my former Girl Scouts. She took such good care of me. I felt safe whenever she was assigned to me.” -Jane G.

 

Your shy girl finally has some confidence to speak in front of people.”-Sheila L.C.
You get a surprise thank you card like this…she is not my daughter biologically but it makes my heart happy that she thinks of me that way.”-Sandi S.A.

 

“I love my time as a volunteer. Volunteering has given me so much love, friendship, and kindness from the girls, fellow volunteers, & GSNEO staff. These people who I now consider family have inspired me to be a better person. I have my troop leader to thank for starting me out on this life long journey of ‘On my honor…’”-Amy S.

“You’re recognized as the ‘Cookie Momster’ by a lot of people in town from the years you were SUCM. And you’re not wearing your ‘momster’ hat.”-Donna G.

 

“You get a call or card from a girl you haven’t seen in 35+ years to let you know that she appreciates what you did for her.”-Donna S.

 

“When your Cadette troop finishes their New Cuisine badge by learning how to make Gorditas from a troop member’s Mom from Mexico.”-Sarah H.L.

 

“You know how many cases of cookies fit in each type of vehicle.”-Angela K.C.

 

 

“You have a diverse group of girls and they are all friends who build each other up!!!!!”-Michele W.

 

Originally appeared on GSUSA Girl Scout Blog April 15, 2018

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Posted in Advocacy, Community Service, Volunteers | Tagged , , , ,

3 Ways to Unleash Your Daughter’s Inner Wonder Woman

With unstoppable bravery, super-human strength, and unwavering dedication to truth Camp Tap and justice (not to mention that awesome outfit) it’s easy to understand why little girls might be obsessed with Wonder Woman — and why parents might find the classic super hero to be a good role model. What mom or dad wouldn’t want a daughter who knows what she believes in and stands up for what’s right?

The problem is of course, that when girls are “kept safe” from even the smallest risks or failures, they are also being deprived of valuable experiences that could build up their resilience and help them grow into confident, strong, capable young women. And just as it’s only by taking the risk you realize her full potential and she transforms into the Wonder Woman we all know and love, your daughter may also need some freedom and space to realize her full potential.

Basically, the lesson here is whether your daughter is six or sixteen, you have to let go to let her grow. Here are just a few ways you can start doing that today:

Stand Back
When you see your daughter stretching to reach the cereal on a high shelf, do you walk over and grab it for her? Do you still order for her at restaurants, even though she’s old enough to read the menu and make her own decisions? When she has a problem at school, do you step in right away rather than letting her try to work it out first? If you said yes to any of these, you might be in need of some tough love. As a parent, we should  prepare our daughters for life. When you step in, you’re essentially blocking your daughter from stepping up and growing her own skill set (and the confidence that goes along with that). Plus, you could actually be making her doubt her own abilities. After all, if she were capable of handling these situations on her own, why would you be so eager to problem solve for her?

Encourage Adventure
Slumber parties and residential summer camp stays will help your daughter gain independence and see how brightly she can shine on her own. As she gets older, meeting up with friends for an unsupervised afternoon of fun—or even taking a day trip with her best friend—will give her a little more freedom and make her even more self-reliant. After all, your daughter is going to want to leave the nest someday. These baby steps will prepare her to stand courageously on her own when that day comes.

Cheer Her On
Allow your daughter to take chances and learn new skills, participate in a sport she has never done, or an activity that is new to her. So, if you’re worried that your not-so-coordinated daughter will hurt herself if she tries skateboarding? Keep those thoughts to yourself and let her hop on board. Think your tween daughter’s dreams of going to an Ivy League college one day are unrealistic? Tell her to look into what kinds of grades and scores she’ll need to get in, then encourage her to work for it. You know how people say if you shoot for the moon, you’ll at least reach the stars? The same goes here. If your daughter’s aiming for really big or slightly out-of-reach things and doesn’t succeed, it’s not a total wash. In fact, it can be a big win in terms of her learning about herself, her abilities, and where she has room for improvement. It’ll also help her grow more resilient and ready to handle life’s ups and downs. But who knows? Maybe she’ll hit her target. Life’s full of surprises, and your daughter is, too.

Taken in part from Girl Scouts Heart of Central California blog.

Posted in Membership, Program & Activities, Summer Camp Activities | Tagged , ,

4 Awesome Ways to Thank a Girl Scout Volunteer

April is National Volunteer Month! Celebrate your favorite Girl Scout volunteers with blogthese thoughtful ideas! Whether you choose to do one activity or all, you’re sure to make the volunteers in your life feel loved and appreciated and remember all the reasons why they continue to give their time and hearts to the Girl Scout mission.

1. Send a personalized ecard! Who doesn’t love a fun ecard? This month, show the Girl Scout volunteer in your life—your Girl Scout VIP!—just how much they mean to you by choosing from one of four awesome predesigned ecard templates. Just fill in the blank to finish the sentence (keep it short and sweet, please!) and share your ecard with them on Facebook, on Twitter, or by email—SWEET! Get started.

2. Shout them out on social media! What better way to make your favorite Girl Scout volunteer feel special than to shout ‘em out for the world to know? They’re the best, and you’re proud to say it loud and clear: I love my Girl Scout volunteer!

During National Volunteer Week (April 15–21), head on over to your favorite social media pages and share why this volunteer (or volunteers!) is so special to you. Make sure to tag @girlscouts and @gscentraliland include the hashtag #NVW2018 so we can follow the love.

3. Write them a handwritten letter! That’s right. Imagine their surprise when they open their mailbox and find an old-school letter from you. Need a little inspiration? Here are a few things you could include:

  • Why your favorite Girl Scout volunteer is so special
  • An especially memorable time when you were happy to have their guidance and support
  • How they have made a difference in your life
  • Your three favorite things about them

4. Buy them something special with this offer from the Girl Scout Shop! Visit our shops located at all our service centers, or shop online and bring a smile to a volunteer’s face with a fun little token of your appreciation.

Know someone who isn’t a Girl Scout volunteer but would make a great one? Use one (or more!) of these thoughtful appreciation ideas to let them know how they could make a lasting difference in girls’ lives today!

Posted in Advocacy, Membership, Volunteers | Tagged , , , , ,

Hello Spring!

It’s Spring! We are fortunate enough to have clear skies, sunshine, and blooming flowers, Outdoorswe bet you can’t wait to starting enjoying the outdoors. What better day to turn off the TV and video games and get active? After much of the country has spent months being cooped up inside during the winter months, we all need some fresh air!

Plus, it’s good for you! In 2014, the Girl Scout Research Institute proved the value of outdoor exposure in their study More Than S’mores: Successes and Surprises in Girl Scouts’ Outdoor Experiences. According to this report, the outdoors offers benefits often unavailable inside, including the freedom to move around freely and be as loud as you want. Whereas the indoors inhibits your ability to run, jump, and relay race—the outdoors is literally your playground!

The research also discovered four ways girls benefit by being outside:

  1. Girls really enjoy outdoor activities.
  2. Monthly outdoor exposure contributes to girls’ challenge seeking and problem solving.
  3. Girl Scouts who get outdoors are twice as likely to connect with and care for the environment than non-Girl Scouts.
  4. Girls of color and girls in lower socioeconomic backgrounds report even stronger benefits from outdoor experiences.

Get your girl outdoors! Summer camp is a great way to introduce the wonders of the outdoors! See all the awesome summer camp opportunities!

Posted in Camps & Property, Membership, Program & Activities, Summer Camp Activities | Tagged , , , , ,

Thank You Cookie Volunteers & Parents

We are nearing the end of our Cookie Program and we want to SHOUT OUT our amazing 18_MarComm_Thank-You-Month_Social-Media_Bloglead taking, logistics crushing, mountain moving, make-it-happen-no-matter-what cookie volunteers and parents who work so hard and give so much during Girl Scout Cookie season to ensure girls’ success—you are a BOSS!

Because when you support girls as they run their very own cookie businesses (through the largest entrepreneurial program for girls in the world!), you’re playing a key role in powering unique experiences for them and their troops all year long. You’re also making it possible for them to learn essential life skills that will set them up for a lifetime of leadership, success, and adventure. Because success is the Girl Scout way, and the cookie program would not be as effective as it is without your undying passion, dedication, and hard work. That’s a fact!

So the next time you feel tired, a little overwhelmed, or even ready to quit, please know that we see you, we appreciate you, and what you’re doing for the girls in your community is meaningful and long-lasting. It is mentors like you who make sure your girls’ G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ spirit continues to shine bright—not just during cookie season but all year.

Today, no matter what your role is at Girl Scouts, take the time to celebrate everyone in our unstoppable Movement. Let the cookie volunteers, leaders, and parents you work with know:

  1. How their work makes a difference to you and the girls they serve
  2. One thing you appreciate most about their efforts during cookie season (and beyond!)
  3. One time they really helped you or one of your girls out of a bind
  4. A unique story about a girl who they might have had an extra special effect on through their mentorship during this super busy time of the Girl Scout year

Write them a thank-you note (have the girls in your troop join in on the fun too!); bring a special treat to your next troop meeting for them; or shout them out, loud and proud, on social media. We can’t wait to hear your best thank-yous and fill up on all that heart-warming, life-changing, bond-forming appreciation!

Posted in Cookie Activity, General, Product Sales, Volunteers | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Celebrate Girl Scout Week Like a G.I.R.L.

Girl Scout week is just around the corner, March 11-17. Let’s get ready for that special Girl Scout Weektime of the year when Girl Scouts of all ages celebrate and show the world what it means to be a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™. To make this year’s activities extra special, we’ve created a Girl Scout Week celebration guide to get you started.

March 12, 2018 marks the day our founder, Juliette Gordon Low, started the first Girl Scout troop with 18 girls. And since one day just isn’t enough time to honor such a momentous occasion, we’ve dedicated a whole week to celebrating the greatness of Girl Scouts!

For 106 years, Girl Scouting has helped girls build courage, confidence, and character, promoting G.I.R.L. experiences where girls become go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders. Girl Scout Week is the perfect time to embrace your Girl Scout identity, reflect on our traditions, and reconnect with the Promise and Law.

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

How the Girl Scout Cookie Program Helps Girls and the Girl Scout Council

When you buy delicious Girl Scout Cookies, you’re helping to power new, unique and amazing experiences for girls—experiences that broaden their worlds, help them learn essential life skills, and prepare them to practice a lifetime of leadership. And guess what—100 percent of the money stays local! That means you’re not only supporting girls’ success, but the success of your community too—sweet!

Whether it’s a trip to a breathtaking place they’ve never been before, an opportunity to attend Girl Scout camp and revel in the power of the great outdoors, or the chance to try something new, every experience helps them find the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ within to do amazing things for herself and for her community.

Your Girl Scout Cookie Purchase = Amazing Experiences for Girls

5 Skills Learn

Our cookies are on a mission: to help girls learn five skills that are essential to leadership, to success, and to life.

Skill #1—Goal Setting
“I know I can do it!”

“We’re all about trying new things and having fun. Selling cookies is about both. My friends and I work together to set our team goal for the season; maybe we’ll donate to our local animal hospital or go on an adventure. Sure, selling the cookies is great. But what we do with the money we earn is even greater.”


Skill #2—Decision Making
“I make smarter decisions.”

“When I sell cookies with my Girl Scout forever friends, we make our own decisions, like how many boxes we want to sell. We all have to agree on what we’ll do with the money, which means talking it out and being okay not getting our way sometimes. And we have to figure out how to solve problems, like what to do when one of the girls is sick and can’t help out. Our decisions matter.”


Skill #3—Money Management
“I make change happen!”

“It’s cool that I get to make change when someone buys cookies. I’m really careful about it. I count it out twice, so I know it’s totally right. And I know each box sold gets us one step closer to our goal.”


Skill #4—People Skills
“I get a lifetime supply of confidence in every box.”

“I’ve met so many new people at our cookie booth. And I’ve gotten really good at chatting with them about how we are doing more than just selling Girl Scout Cookies. We’re earning money to achieve our cookie-season goals and do great things.”


Skill #5—Business Ethics
“Selling cookies is more than just business.”

“The other day at the cookie booth I made my friend’s mom laugh really hard and she totally forgot her change. I made sure she got it back. She was so impressed she bought another box of cookies. Now I’m even closer to reaching my goal for robotics camp.”



Girls put their cookie earnings to good use.
Did you know the Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world? It’s true—and it’s pretty amazing!!

All of the net revenue raised through the Girl Scout Cookie Program—100 percent of it— stays with the local council and troops.

Or they may use the money earned to fund a project that will improve their community, or donate the money to a worthy cause.

Posted in Cookie Activity, Product Sales | Tagged ,

National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend

Girl Scouts of Central Illinois will join Girl Scout councils February 23–25 to participate in National GS Cookie Weekend 2018National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend 2018, which celebrates all the fun, learning, and excitement that selling cookies has powered for girls over the last 101 year. The weekend highlights some of the most creative and successful Girl Scout Cookie entrepreneurs, as well as the positive change that cookie earnings make possible in communities across the United States. One hundred percent of the net revenue raised through Girl Scout Cookie sales stays with the local Girl Scout council and troop, so customers who purchase cookies are making an important investment in their communities and supporting millions of fun and formative leadership experiences for girls.

During Girl Scout Cookie season, each amazing young G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™is not only selling delicious cookies but also building essential life skills, such as goal setting, people skills, and business ethics—which are essential for 21st century leadership. And the more cookies girls sell, the more earnings they have to power impactful community projects and personal enrichment experiences, such as camping and traveling. From a Brownie troop that prepared meals for residents at a local homeless shelter, to a Senior troop that saved two years’ worth of cookie earnings to travel to the Amazon basin in Ecuador to help build a high school, Girl Scouts are doing amazing things made possible by each and every cookie sale.

“National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend is one of the most significant occasions on the Girl Scout calendar,” states Sylvia Acevedo, GSUSA’s interim CEO. “It is one of our signature opportunities to convey how the Girl Scout Cookie Program effectively prepares the next generation of female leaders. For more than a century, selling cookies has served as one of the most powerful and successful paths toward transforming girls into entrepreneurial trailblazers. The earnings generated from the cookie program benefit Girl Scouts and their communities by empowering the girls to take meaningful and important actions to effect positive change.”

National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend offers go-getter girls a chance to show off their cookie-selling skills by participating in booth, door-to-door, and digital sales throughout the country. During this year’s cookie weekend, hungry customers will be able to get their hands on their favorite Girl Scout Cookies, including the best-selling Thin Mints® and Samoas®—so join in the fun of National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend 2018! Visit www.getyourgirlpower.org.org or use the official Girl Scout Cookie Finder app, free on iOS or Android devices, to find Girl Scouts selling cookies near you.

Posted in Cookie Activity, Product Sales | Tagged , , , ,

World Thinking Day 2018

As a Girl Scout, you are part of a special group of girls that stretches across the world.

On February 22 of each year, Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from 146 countries WTD2018celebrate World Thinking Day. (That’s one big celebration!)

Celebrated since 1926, World Thinking Day is a day of international friendship. It is an opportunity to speak out on issues that affect young women and fundraise for 10 million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in 150 countries.

World Thinking Day is a way to celebrate with girls all over the world by doing the same activities. The 2018 World Thinking Day theme is “Impact.” Making an impact means having a strong effect on something or someone.

This World Thinking Day, Girl Scouts and Girl Guides will think about what it means to make an impact on the world—and celebrate being part of the global sisterhood that is Girl Scouts + Girl Guides. Check out these World Thinking Day award activities.

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