Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fall into STEM

Girl Scouts is all about being girl-led, and developing new programs is no exception. That’s why Girl Scouts of the USA surveyed girls to find out which STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) topics they most want to explore. The results weren’t surprising—computer science, engineering, and outdoor STEM landed in the top three!

Last month, Girl Scouts announced the release of a new set of STEM-focused badges and Journeys. Girls can now earn badges while they take part in science activities that they love, from designing race cars to programming robots to coding.

This fall, GSCCC is collaborating with community partners across the region to provide engaging opportunities for girls to explore the world of STEM and discover their interests in seeking challenges and solving problems. Check out these upcoming opportunities:

Science Alive
September 16
Norfolk State University 
Join us for our eighth annual Science Alive! Enjoy hands-on STEM activities in the fields of engineering, chemistry, medicine, biology and physical science led by NSU faculty and students. Spend time on a college campus and meet sorority sisters.

Synthetic Engineering
October 7
The College of William & Mary
What are SynBio and bioengineering? This event will put the science into everyday life. Ever heard of molecular biology? Understanding how scientists are able to work with DNA in the lab will help you explain SynBio. Participating in hands- on activities in a science lab with bioengineers will help you think like a scientist!

Engineering Women
October 14
Old Dominion University
Led by the Hampton Roads Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (HR-SWE), join us for exciting activities that explore the areas of robotics, electromagnetism, chemistry, hydrodynamics and structural engineering. All-new activities will focus on critical thinking, problem-solving and collaboration. These women engineers are excited to ignite the enthusiasm of tomorrow's engineers, innovators and scientists with a day of fun!

October 21
NauticusJoin us for a fun-filled night at our third annual Nauticus STEAM Night for Girl Scouts! Touch a shark, build and test underwater robotic ROVs and enjoy hands-on activities in our STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math)-themed stations. Meet local professionals in these fields and learn how to make STEAM your career!

These events are open to all girls, whether or not they are currently members of Girl Scouts. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Meeting with Representative Scott

Camille, Representative Scott, Tracy Keller
Girl Scout Ambassador Camille from Hampton, accompanied Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast CEO Tracy Keller on a visit with Representative Bobby Scott on Monday, August 7. Camille had an opportunity to share information about her Girl Scout Gold Award project with the congressman, a project she completed last spring. Through her project, Camille aimed to create a safe space for the children at the HER Shelter to learn about music in a group setting and help them boost their self-esteem.

During the visit with the congressman, Keller spoke about a study, State of Girls 2017: Emerging Trends and Troubling Truths, recently released by the Girl Scout Research Institute. While Virginia ranks thirteenth among the well-being of girls in the 50 states, there is still work to be done. According to the report, 64 percent of eighth-grade girls in Virginia are not proficient in math, and 55 percent of fourth-grade girls are not proficient in reading. Furthermore, 16 percent of girls ages six to 17 in Virginia do not participate in any organized activities, and 22 percent of girls in this same demographic watch television or play video games for more than three hours per day.

Keller shared with Representative Scott some of the ways that Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast is addressing the challenges faced by girls in southeastern Virginia. In June, Girl Scouts hosted a LEGO-themed STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) event for girls in Newport News and their fathers or male caregivers that not only provided an opportunity for them to spend quality time together, but also engaged girls in problem-solving activities and STEM learning. Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast has numerous STEM events planned this fall, including Science Alive, Synthetic Engineering, Engineering Women and Girls STEM Ahead.

events held in conjunction with STEM experts from The College of William and Mary, Norfolk State University and Society of Women Engineers, among others.

“By offering hands-on, girl-led, girl-centered learning in STEM, the outdoors, and entrepreneurship, as well as life-skill building, Girl Scouts helps all girls take the lead early and often,” Keller said.

Representative Scott spoke to Keller about the H.R.1809 - Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2017 that passed in the House and is now in the Senate. This bill, which has strongly been supported by the Congressman, will reauthorize and update the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974. Representative Scott also spoke about preventative solutions that include having innovative and engaging after-school programs for youth, such as Girl Scouts.

Before the meeting ended, Keller thanked Representative Scott for his ongoing support of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and asked that he support the proposed increasing funding for the Title IV Part A of ESSA, the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant Program. This new block grant requires funding to be allocated and spent on partnerships between schools and outside organizations in areas that Girl Scouts excel in, such as STEM. Find out more about how to advocate for the extended funding of this grant program here.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Gold Award Spotlight: The Stories of the Brave

Kathleen, a Girl Scout from Williamsburg, has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, which is the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouts.

The focus of Kathleen’s project was empowering students to be able to positively deal with bullying situations. Kathleen chose a book, “Smile” by Raina Telgemeier, and developed a discussion guide, resource bookmark and information about bullying that she donated in kits to the library. The kits can be checked out by any member of the library and be used in a book club setting. She then scheduled a discussion at the library for people to come and talk about the book and the issue of bullying.

Kathleen also held a book club meeting at a local middle school and donated five books to Hornsby Middle School and Berkley Middle School.

In order to raise awareness about the issue of bullying and her project, Kathleen sent a letter to the editor to let members of her community know about the new resource available at the local library and schools.

“I have experienced a great deal of bullying, which has taken its toll,” Kathleen said. “I wanted to find a way to provide empowerment to others who might also share my story.”

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

Saturday, August 12, 2017

GSCCC Dedicates Addition to Program Center at Camp Apasus with Sertoma Club

A vintage Girl Scout song says it all, “Make new friends but keep the old.” It is a song that encourages Girl Scouts to welcome new members into their friendship circle while cherishing those who have become the strong links that hold that circle together.

On August 9, one of those links, the Norfolk Sertoma Club, was honored and thanked at Camp Apasus. The Norfolk Sertoma Club is a dedicated group of professionals with a common goal of helping people through supporting organizations such as Girl Scouts. Every year, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast holds “thank you” picnic – a tradition that started in the 1950s.

Over the decades, club members have helped maintain the camp property by offering volunteer time for repairs and funding improvements and additions, such as the archery range and the camp pool. Recently, their generosity made it possible for GSCCC to build a screened-in addition to the Sertoma Lodge, a program center fully equipped with kitchen, showers and amenities for overnights. Now, girls using the lodge can also have an outdoor classroom experience.

A special ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new addition was part of this year’s luncheon celebration. Girl Scout campers, alumnae, board members, and more than 30 Sertoma Club members attended.

“We were really excited to see the new pavilion,” Lewis Swartley, president of the Norfolk Sertoma Club, said. “My fellow Norfolk Sertoma Club brothers and I are honored to support Camp Apasus and Girl Scouts today and far into the future. We are committed to helping Girl Scouts in their mission to build girls of courage, confidence and character.”

After the ribbon cutting, GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller gave a few remarks.

“Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast is very fortunate to have such a strong relationship with the Norfolk Sertoma Club, which has supported this unique camp over the years,” Keller said. “Tucked away in a city environment, Camp Apasus is a place where girls can build important skills. Research shows that girls' outdoor experiences are positively linked to their challenge seeking, problem-solving and environmental stewardship. They get that here at Camp Apasus.”

GSCCC Board Chair Carolene Goodwyn-Harris also spoke to guests at camp.

“When girls get outdoors, they can begin to recognize their strengths in a new way,” Goodwyn-Harris said. “It is an experience that can impact them socially, emotionally and physically. Knowing that these outdoor experiences are essential for a well-rounded life, I am thrilled that we have friends like the Sertoma Club to support our efforts.”

After the ceremony, guests were invited to tour the entire camp. While the Sertoma Lodge is the jewel of the camp, there are other great things to see and do at Camp Apasus. It borders Mason Creek, off of Granby Street in Norfolk. Campers and visitors can canoe on the small body of water and take advantage of the five campsites on the property - three with platform tents, fire circles and picnic tables. Two other buildings near Sertoma Lodge are used for storage, one for craft and camp supplies and the other as a boat storage location. A covered pavilion across from Sertoma Lodge serves as an outdoor program and picnic space. During the summer months, an above-ground pool is made available to day campers.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Camp Fury Chesapeake

On Monday morning, 21 Girl Scouts were issued turnout gear, helmets, gloves and safety glasses at the Chesapeake Fire Department Central Supply Warehouse. The girls were preparing to spend the week taking part in Camp Fury Chesapeake, a firefighting and emergency preparedness camp hosted by Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast and the Chesapeake Fire Department.

With stormy weather threatening their scheduled activities for Monday afternoon, the Girl Scouts made some adjustments and headed to Norfolk International Airport, where they watched an airport fire training demonstration and learned about the airport’s unique fire department and equipment.

Later in the week, the girls had the opportunity to put firefighting skills to the test at the Southside Regional Fire Training Academy in Portsmouth, where they climbed an aerial ladder on a firetruck, learned forcible entry skills using a Halligan bar, took part in confined space training and operated hose lines. For many of the girls at Camp Fury, the highlight of the week was rappelling inside Chrysler Hall in Norfolk.

Amber, who will be a senior at Western Branch High School next year, attended Camp Fury Chesapeake for the second year. Inspired by her first experience with the camp, Amber took an emergency medical technician training class during the school year.

“I thought that the class would be complicated, but it wasn’t, especially because I had gone to Camp Fury,” Amber said. “I am now planning to pursue a career as a firefighter.”

In addition to the firefighting experiences they had during the week, the girls learned about other nontraditional careers for women and met women who work in those fields. A panel of female scientists and engineers from NASA spoke to the girls about their experiences in the field of aeronautical engineering. They also welcomed guest speakers from the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office and a female commanding officer in the United States Navy. During the week, the girls also toured the emergency department at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center and learned defensive tactics with the Chesapeake Police Department.

This is the second year that Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast and the Chesapeake Fire Department have partnered to host Camp Fury. The concept of Camp Fury originated in Arizona, and Chesapeake Firefighter Paramedic Mandy George brought the camp to Chesapeake after volunteering at Camp Fury Hampton for a couple of years.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Girl Scout S'mores Cookies Are Back!

Today, National S’mores Day, Girl Scouts of the USA announced that the popular Girl Scout S’mores™ cookies will return as part of the 2018 Girl Scout Cookie season lineup. With its debut last season, the Girl Scout S’mores cookies became the most popular flavor to launch in the 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies.

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast will continue to offer the crunchy graham sandwich cookie with creamy chocolate and marshmallowy filling, along with the classics, which include Thin Mints®, Samoas® and Trefoils®. This means that consumers in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina will again be able to get their hands on the delicious cookies, while powering unique and amazing experiences for girls with every cookie purchase.

Each Girl Scout S’mores cookie is embossed with designs that honor Girl Scouts’ Outdoor badges. The cookie, made with specialty ingredients, was created with emerging consumer trends in mind. It contains no artificial flavors or colors, no high-fructose corn syrup and no hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.

“We are so excited for the return of the Girl Scout S’mores cookie,” Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast CEO Tracy Keller said. “S’mores have strong ties to our organization’s history, and this cookie is just one more delicious way for the community to support local girls.”

Girl Scouts popularized the tradition of making and enjoying s’mores in the outdoors as early as the 1920s, portraying Girl Scouts’ longstanding commitment to outdoor programs for girls. As reported by the Girl Scout Research Institute’s More Than S’mores, there is a positive correlation between outdoor experiences and girls’ understanding of their leadership potential.

All proceeds from the cookie program stay with local Girl Scouts, and Girl Scouts in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina are able to incredible things thanks to their cookie earnings. In the past year, local Girl Scouts have used cookie proceeds to build a buddy bench at their elementary school, purchase treats and toys for police canines, buy holiday gifts for local children in need and so much more.

To learn more about Girl Scout S’mores cookies and the Girl Scout Cookie Program, and to find out when Girl Scouts will be selling cookies near you, visit www.girlscoutcookies.org. For more information about Girl Scouts and how to join or volunteer, visit www.girlscouts.org/join.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Operation School Supplies

GSCCC is excited to be supporting WAVY-TV 10's Operation School Supplies project again this year! For more than 20 years, WAVY-TV 10 has collected school supplies that they donate to local school districts so that students in need can start the year with the tools they need to be successful.

Girl Scouts can support this year's school supply collection drive by dropping donations off at A Place for Girls, located at 912 Cedar Road in Chesapeake, or by visiting one of these live Operation School Supplies events:

Friday, August 4
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Farm Fresh
2110 N. Great Neck Road, Virginia Beach

Friday, August 11
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
Farm Fresh
2190 Coliseum Drive, Hampton

Friday, August 18
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
Farm Fresh
309 S. Battlefield Boulevard, Chesapeake

Friday, August 25
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
Farm Fresh
230 E. Little Creek Road, Norfolk

At each live event, Girl Scouts will take part in helping to collect and sort donated items. Tune into The Hampton Roads Show at 11 a.m. and WAVY News 10 Midday each Friday listed above to get a live update on how the collection is going and to see Girl Scouts taking action.

Last year, WAVY-TV 10 collected more than 50,000 items that made their way to hundreds of classrooms across the region. This year, the goal is to beat last year's total. Students in 12 school districts in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina will receive the donations this year.