Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gold Award Spotlight: Animal Etiquette

Girl Scout Ambassador Jamie Lanzalotto from Smithfield, has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement in Girl Scouting.

For her project, Jamie focused on improving the efficiency of volunteers at the Isle of Wight County Animal Shelter. She wanted to help the volunteers have a better understanding of their duties so that the animal shelter would be a cleaner and healthier environment. In order to do this, Jamie made a training video for volunteers and formed a junior volunteer club to encourage local children to get involved in helping the community. At volunteer meetings, Jamie led attendees in activities to help advertise animals available for adoption, showed them proper ways to care for animals and collected donations of food and supplies for the shelter.

“I love animals and this shelter is one of my favorite places to volunteer,” Jamie said. “I chose this project because I wanted to make the shelter a better place and give the animals a better life.”

In order to further support the animal shelter, Jamie created a video about fostering cats and set up a table to recruit volunteers at the Isle of Wight County Fair.

The Gold Award requires girls to identify an issue in their community and carry out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work. Nationwide, less than 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award, which adds Jamie to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

International Girls Day at Old Dominion University

On Sunday, November 16, the Kappa Delta Sorority at Old Dominion University (ODU) hosted over 100 Girl Scouts in grades 6 to 12 from across the region for International Girls Day, an event where girls learned about being healthy media consumers, navigating relationships and building self-confidence. This is the first year that the newly-formed Kappa Delta Sorority at ODU has hosted this event for Girl Scouts.

Baillie and Reid
To start the afternoon of fun and learning, two Girl Scout Ambassadors, Reid and Baillie, shared their own personal leadership story about representing Girl Scouts at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York City in March. Reid and Baillie were two of four local Girl Scouts chosen to participate in CSW, which is dedicated exclusively to gender equality and the advancement of women. Since their experience at CSW, the girls have been able to share what they learned with fellow Girl Scouts and classmates.

“Being a part of CSW was incredibly empowering,” Reid said. “Although I am a teenager, I feel like I have the ability to make a change in the world.”

Following the CSW presentation, girls rotated through a variety of workshops where they explored ways that women are portrayed in the media, talked about healthy ways to deal with stressors, discussed the values of friendship and more. Girls also made map pendants as they talked about the path to achieving their dreams and reaching their goals. All of the activities came from the Girl Scout National Leadership Journeys, which are designed to help girls discover what they are capable of, connect with others to work as part of a team and take action to make a difference.

“It is important to have International Girls Day to help girls build confidence,” Reem Rana, vice president for community service for Kappa Delta Sorority at ODU, said. “We want to help girls strive for success and look for leadership opportunities in their lives.”

Members of Girl Scout Troop 1708 with Kappa Delta volunteers.

International Girls Day at ODU also gave girls the opportunity to experience a college campus, interact with young women who are academically successful and see the opportunities available to them by attending college.

Nationally, the Kappa Delta Sorority has been working with Girl Scouts since 1998. International Girls Day was created on behalf of the Confidence Coalition, which was founded by Kappa Delta Sorority in 2009 to motivate organizations and individuals to help boost self-esteem and confidence among girls and women.

View more photos from the day here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Gold Award Spotlight: Keep Calm, Don't Go Nuts

Girl Scout Ambassador Bronwynn from Chesapeake has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement in Girl Scouting.

Bronwynn’s brother has severe tree nut allergies, and she noticed that many people are not aware of the simple things they can do to keep prevent allergic reactions. For her project, Bronwynn educated members of the community about how to keep people with peanut and tree nut allergies safe and raised awareness about the seriousness of food allergies.

Bronwynn shared food allergy safety tips, such as washing hands after eating and reading food labels before sharing food, with members of the community at a health expo hosted by the YMCA, at local schools and at two events hosted by the Commonwealth Attorney’s office— the Girls’ and Young Women’s’ Empowerment Conference and the Boys’ Leadership Conference. In order for her project to reach people on a larger scale, Bronwynn also created a blog with tips and advice about being mindful of food allergies and conducted video interviews with people who have food allergies that she posted online.

“I’ve seen how hard it is for my brother when people don’t understand his allergies,” Bronwynn said. “His reactions can be very scary, so I wanted to educate people about the severity of allergies and how to handle them so that all allergy sufferers are safe.”

Bronwynn also created brochures about food allergies that she placed at a local restaurant to further raise awareness about the issue.

The Gold Award requires girls to identify an issue in their community and carry out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work. Nationwide, less than 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award, which adds Bronwynn to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Top Ten Reasons to Invite a Friend to Volunteer


Here are the top ten reasons to invite a friend to volunteer with Girl Scouts TODAY…

10. There are 19 days left to take advantage of the Volunteer Invite-a-Friend offer.

9. We’re trying to set a new record for onboarding volunteers in a single month! Help us recruit over 25 new volunteers this month!

8. Who doesn't love SHOPPING FOR GIRL SCOUT GEAR?! During the Volunteer Invite-a-Friend offer, when you invite a friend to volunteer with us, you’ll get a $50 coupon code to use at Girl Scouts’ Official Online Store.

7. Wouldn't it be nice to have ONE MORE Girl Scout sister to share that box of Thin Mints with? As you count cookie money, of course…

6. There are 200 girls at the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast and another 30,000 girls nationwide who CAN’T WAIT to be Girl Scouts. Let’s get these girls involved in the amazing activities we offer today!

5. Remember that time you sang silly Girl Scout songs until your girls got the giggles? EVERYONE could use some more giggles in their lives!

4. Picture your favorite Girl Scout memory. Maybe it was when you were a girl at your first camping trip, maybe it was when you volunteered to take your troop on its first camping trip, or maybe when you realized that without YOU, those moments may not have happened. Don’t you want to invite a friend to make even more of these moments happen?

3. “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold…” Need we say more?

2. Volunteering with girls is like discovering the FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH! Girl giggles, silly stories, new experiences, and breaking out of your comfort zone keep you forever young!

1. Before you came along, your girls were waiting for someone to be their role model. There are girls still waiting for that role model to come along. Invite a friend to make a difference in these girls’ lives today!

Once you’ve invited a friend to start a new troop, let us know RIGHT HERE!

Have a question? Contact joinus@gsccc.org.

Monday, November 10, 2014

International Girls Day at The College of William and Mary

On Saturday, November 8, over 100 Girl Scouts in grades 2 to 5 from across the region gathered in Williamsburg at The College of William and Mary for International Girls Day, an annual event hosted by the Kappa Delta Sorority at William and Mary to teach girls about confidence, leadership and healthy living. This year over 100 members of the sorority volunteered as mentors, activity leaders and organizers for the event.

Morgan and Emilia
The morning began with a presentation from two Girl Scout Seniors, Morgan and Emilia, who talked to the girls about their personal leadership journeys and their trip to represent Girl Scouts at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Morgan and Emilia were two of four local Girl Scouts who traveled to New York to participate in this event dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. Since returning, they have been able to share what they learned with fellow Girl Scouts and classmates.

“It was so amazing to be at the United Nations for such an important event,” Morgan said. “Attending the Commission on the Status of Women made me want to become more involved in educating others about gender equality.”

For the rest of the day, girls rotated through workshops where they talked about body image, practiced a Zumba routine, made bracelets and more. Throughout the day, members of Kappa Delta spread the message that girls can do anything.

Members of Girl Scout Troop 1076
“International Girls Day is a way for Kappa Delta to give back to the community and inspire confidence in girls,” Maren Leibowitz, a member of the planning committee for the event from Kappa Delta, said.

The partnership between Kappa Delta Sorority at The College of William and Mary and Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast also allows girls to experience a college campus, interact with young women who are academically successful and see the opportunities available to them by attending college.

Nationally, the Kappa Delta Sorority has been working with Girl Scouts since 1998. International Girls Day was created on behalf of the Confidence Coalition, which was founded by Kappa Delta Sorority in 2009 to motivate organizations and individuals to help boost self-esteem and confidence among girls and women.

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast is committed to offering opportunities for girls to build courage, confidence and character.

View more photos from the day here.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Gold Award Spotlight: Raised Garden for the Homeless

Girl Scout Ambassador Lauren from Virginia Beach has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement in Girl Scouting. 

For her project, Lauren created a raised vegetable garden for the PIN (People in Need) Ministry, which serves homeless people in Virginia Beach. Lauren recognized that oftentimes meals that are served to homeless people contain fatty, carbohydrate-filled foods and do not include fresh vegetables. Lauren built this garden so that PIN could serve salads at no cost and homeless people could have access to fresh and nutritious foods. She also decided to place the garden in a mobile home park and make the vegetables available to residents there as well.

“I chose this project because I think healthy eating is very important, and I wanted homeless people in Virginia Beach to be able to eat healthy too,” Lauren said. “I have enjoyed volunteering with PIN in the past, and I wanted to work with them to create something that will help those in the community who are less fortunate.”

In order to ensure that her garden will continue to have a positive impact on the community, Lauren organized the Green Team Club at Princess Anne High School to be responsible for renewing the soil and planting seeds twice a year.

The Gold Award requires girls to identify an issue in their community and carry out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work. Nationwide, less than 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award, which adds Lauren to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Society of Women Engineers Day

On Saturday, November 1, over 70 Girl Scouts gathered at Old Dominion University for a day of science fun and exploration during an annual workshop hosted by the Hampton Roads Section of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). Locally, SWE has worked with Girl Scouts for over 25 years to give girls the opportunity to learn new skills, develop self-confidence and explore their STEM interests in a supportive environment.

Girl Scout Junior Katrina gets help putting together
 an electrical circuit from Kim Wright,
a mechanical engineering student at ODU.
SWE member Eileen Leininger, a retired engineer with Newport News Waterworks who has volunteered with Girl Scouts for over 25 years, began the day by talking to girls about careers in engineering. She made engineering relevant for girls by helping them see how everyday items— from parking garages to water pressure in their bathroom sink— involve engineering. When girls to see the relevance of the STEM subjects in their daily lives, they will be more likely to continue to pursue their scientific interests.

Girl Scout Junior Alexis participating
 in the construction challenge.
The girls then participated in a variety of engineering activities, including creating their own water filtration systems, programming robots and putting together electrical circuits. They also participated in a construction challenge to build the highest tower using uncooked spaghetti noodles, tape and one marshmallow, and they learned about wetlands and erosion.

In addition to giving girls the chance to learn and discover in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, SWE Day is an opportunity for girls to interact with women engineers. Today, only one-fifth of American scientists and engineers are women, and Girl Scouts are working to fill the gap by giving girls access to strong female role models in the STEM fields who will inspire girls to envision themselves in similar careers.

The next STEM event for girls, Think Link a Scientist, will take place on Saturday, December 6 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News. This event is open to all girls, whether or not they are currently registered members of Girl Scouts.

View more photos from the day here.