Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Let's Read, Let's Move!

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast welcomed new Girl Scouts to the organization during Let’s Read, Let’s Move, a family fun event held on September 28 at the Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library in Virginia Beach. Girls and their families were invited to learn more about Girl Scouts, as well as participate in activities to teach girls about healthy living and the fun of reading.

Newly-registered Girl Scout Daisy Mia
with WAVY-TV Anchor Lex Gray
During the afternoon, girls had the opportunity to meet WAVY-TV Anchor Lex Gray, who read The Adventures of Rowena and Carrot Jam The Rabbit to girls and gave them copies of the book. They also made crafts, including friendship bracelets and bookmarks, and made their own spinner wheels with activities for staying active. The Virginia Beach Reading Council attended and allowed children to choose a book to take with them to help build their home library.

Studies show that addressing both the needs of mind and body are part of the healthy development of children. Academic success is more likely to happen when a child maintains good health through exercise and diet, along with adding reading as a routine activity. Girl Scouts is committed to providing fun, dynamic and interactive experience for girls to attain practical life skills related to healthy living, reading, writing and communicating through national proficiency badges and resources.

View more photos from the day here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Gold Award Spotlight: Skills and Drills

Girl Scout Ambassador Poppy from Poquoson has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement in Girl Scouting. For her project, Poppy organized a seven-week basketball skills and drills camp that she hosted for 74 students at Sanford Elementary School in Newport News. She chose to run a camp at Sanford because the school has very few afterschool activities, and she wanted to provide an outlet for children to release stress, learn, play and be active.

During the camp, Poppy and a team of volunteers that she organized, taught the children basketball skills, including dribbling, passing and shooting. They also played games to help work on their skills and ended the camp with a basketball game tournament.

“Playing sports has given me amazing opportunities and made me the confident person I am today,” Poppy said. “I wanted to share my love for sports and make all the kids who participated feel how amazing it is to be a part of a team.”

After the camp, Poppy donated the basketballs that she purchased for the camp to Sanford Elementary Schools so that the students would continue to have access to them. She also gave her lesson plans for the camp to the physical education teacher at Sanford so that she can continue to help the students develop basketball skills.

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 Poppy to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Science Comes Alive for Girl Scouts

Building telescopes, discovering the world of nanotechnology and programming robots were just a few of the activities on the agenda for over 200 Girl Scouts on September 27 during the fourth annual Science Alive, an event hosted by Norfolk State University to introduce girls to the world of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

Girl Scout Cadette Emily tests out the
telescope that she built.
During the full-day event, faculty and students at Norfolk State University led sessions that covered a wide range of topics in the STEM fields, including biology, geometry, atmospheric science and nursing. Girl Scouts made tornados in a bottle while learning about atmospheric pressure, put together snap circuits for a lesson in electronics and engineering and looked at shells, barnacles and a jellyfish under the microscope during a biology session.

Girl Scouts, along with the Norfolk State University volunteers, also participated in a traditional lunchtime dance party, and the girls had the chance to talk to the students about college life. While the Girl Scouts were experimenting, parents had the opportunity to participate in workshops about preparing for college and receive training to facilitate Techbridge, a STEM kit that volunteers can use to introduce girls to a variety of topics in science and engineering.

Dr. Morsi from Norfolk State University helps
Girl Scout Junior Anna get started with snap circuits.
Science Alive is designed to give girls the chance to explore and discover in STEM in the supportive, all-girl environment of Girl Scouts, where girls feel more comfortable asking questions and trying new things. Today, women hold only about 25 percent of STEM careers, and Girl Scouts are working to fill the gap by engaging girls in opportunities to learn from female STEM leaders, who inspire girls to envision themselves in similar careers. Science Alive is a fun and informal way for girls to work as part of a team to become resourceful problem solvers and build leadership skills.

Girl Scouts is committed to giving all girls the opportunity to participate in STEM experiences. Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast and the local chapter of the Society of Women Engineers will be presenting workshop for girls in fourth and fifth grade on Saturday, November 1 at Old Dominion University. Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast is also partnering with the Virginia Living Museum to host an evening of science and exploration on Saturday, December 6 at the museum for girls from kindergarten through 12th grade. These STEM opportunities are open to all girls, whether or not they are currently registered as a member of Girl Scouts.

View more photos from the day here.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Virginia Beach Woman Recognized for 65 Years as a Girl Scout

Lila Davis was 8 years old when she first joined a Girl Scout troop in Virginia Beach. She has fond memories from her childhood as a Girl Scout— earning badges, spending time in the outdoors and forming friendships with her fellow troop members. Now, 65 years later and a lifetime member of the organization, Davis continues to be an active volunteer and supporter of Girl Scouts. On September 24, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast hosted a reception for Davis at Atlantic Shores Retirement Community, where they pinned her with a 65 year pin and recognized her as a member of the Juliette Gordon Low Society for her commitment to the future of Girl Scouts through planned giving.

GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller pins Lila Davis to recognize
her 65 years in Girl Scouts
During the reception, Davis had the opportunity to share some of her favorite memories from her time as a Girl Scout. She told a story about traveling by train to Michigan in 1956 as one of eight local girls who were chosen to attend the first Girl Scout Senior Roundup, an international gathering to show off the best of Girl Scouting. Davis had such a wonderful experience that three years later, she traveled to Colorado Springs for the second Roundup as a troop leader.

The spirit of Roundup is something that has stayed with Davis throughout her life, and she has had the opportunity to reconnect with other Roundup attendees at reunions over the years. Next September, she plans to attend the reunion in Idaho.

Currently, Davis is an active member of the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast Archives Committee, where she has taken on the responsibility of helping create and place many historical exhibits throughout southeastern Virginia. She is also a member of the local Girl Scout Sing Along group. Earlier in the year, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast recognized Davis with the Dorothy Barber Lifetime Achievement Award for her success in her personal and professional life, as well as her contributions to the community and Girl Scouts.

Lila shared her special day with Girl Scout friends.
At the reception, Davis invited her friends to share their own memories from their experiences in Girl Scouting. Some of the favorite memories that women shared were from their times at Girl Scout camp, both as campers and counselors. Guests also enjoyed refreshments and fellowship, as well as the chance to browse items from the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast archive collection relating to the Girl Scout Senior Roundups.

View more photos from the reception here.

The State of Girls: Unfinished Business Forum

Although girls in the United States have made substantial progress in the classroom and elsewhere, persistent disparities and challenges exist that could keep girls from achieving their full potential. On Tuesday, September 23, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast and Women’s Center at Old Dominion University hosted a forum, The State of Girls: Unfinished Business, to discuss a groundbreaking report released by the Girl Scout Research Institute that stakes out key issues and major trends affecting girls’ leadership and healthy development in the United States today.

Speakers at the forum included La Wanza Lett-Brewington, director of the ODU Women’s Center; Lynn Waltz, MFA, director of ODU Peninsula Center and Theveline Felix, ODU senior communications student. Barbara Hamm Lee, host of Another View on WHRV, served as the moderator for the forum and led engaging discussions about education, media and leadership.

Throughout the evening, panelists spoke to the importance of having programs in place to give girls and women the opportunity to take on leadership roles. They also talked about the importance of helping women realize that caring for children and taking care of a home are management skills that can translate into the workforce.

“Many girls in college are apprehensive to look for leadership,” Lett-Brewington said. “We need to redefine leadership so that women know they’re capable and experienced in managerial roles.”

These thoughts parallel findings from the Girl Scout Research Institute that for most girls, self-confidence is the factor that most strongly influences their desire to actively pursue leadership roles. In fact, researchers found that while 92 percent of girls say that anyone can acquire the skills of leadership, only 21 percent believe that they currently have most of these key qualities.

Panelists also spoke about the importance of education and how poverty can directly affect a child’s access to education. Waltz shared that children in poverty have a dropout rate seven times the rate of children who come from financially stable homes. The Girl Scout Research Institute reports that for girls, completing high school is essential for their success later in life, as having a high school degree leads to better job opportunities, higher earnings and increased access to health insurance.

“Engagement is the best indicator of success,” Waltz said. “We need to find ways to engage young people in their education.”

Other topics the panelists talked about included the issue of wage disparities between genders, the role of the media in reinforcing traditional gender roles, the benefits of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education for girls and ways to mentor girls to help them understand opportunities for them in education and the workforce.

A report similar to The State of Girls: Unfinished Business has never been conducted, making it a much-needed resource in the field for educators and advocates. Through the forum, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast and Women’s Center at Old Dominion University were able to increase awareness about the need to create policies and programs that will address issues that impact girls today and in the future.

View more photos from the event here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Girl Scout Earns Silver Award for Hosting Integrated Dance Festival

Girl Scout Jaya from Kill Devil Hills has earned the Girl Scout Silver Award, the second highest honor and achievement in Girl Scouting.

For her project, Jaya organized and hosted the Dare County Integrated Dance Festival at the Dare County Arts Council. Integrated dance incorporates people of all ages, with and without disabilities, who perform as a group. Jaya planned this event because she wanted to raise awareness in the community about integrated dance and help dissolve stereotypes about disabilities.

For the festival, Jaya organized performers and dances from her church’s dance ministry, Liberty Christian Fellowship, and the Monarch Beach Club, a day program that provides support, services and activities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She also choreographed and performed a dance at the festival with her sister, as well as prepared and performed solo pieces. In addition to the dances, Jaya gave a speech that she wrote about dancing and disabilities, and hosted a question and answer session with the audience. At the end of the festival, Jaya welcomed members of the audience on stage for them to try integrated dance for themselves. Additionally, Jaya created an informational brochure about integrated dance that she distributed at the festival.

Jaya also scheduled community partners, including the Outer Banks Family YMCA and the Monarch Beach Club, to set up tables at the festival to share their mission with those who attended the festival.

“I think that my dance festival really had an impact on people,” Jaya said. “I was so happy that everything went so well, and everyone had a good time.”

After the festival, Jaya created an online scrapbook, a public service announcement and a blog about integrated dance in order to further educate people about the subject. Jaya continues to update her blog so that followers can stay updated about recent news on integrated dance.

To earn the Girl Scout Silver Award, girls must identify an issue in their community and carry out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work. The Girl Scout Silver Award is the highest award that can be earned by Girl Scouts in middle school.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Virginia Beach Girl Scout Troop Participates in Day to Serve

In Girl Scouts, girls are always looking for ways to make the world a better place. On Sunday, September 14, members of Girl Scout Troop 924 from Virginia Beach spent the day participating in an International Coastal Clean-up at Little Island Park, located in the Sandbridge section of Virginia Beach. Not only did the girls pick up trash and litter to clean the beach, but they also recorded everything that they found in order to submit it to a data summary that is used by an international organization for conservation research.

Alexandria, Eliza, Natalia, Journey and Kelsie from Troop 924
helped clean the beach as a Day to Serve community service project.

The members of Troop 924 chose to do this community service project as part of Day to Serve, an effort across Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and Washington D.C. during the month of September to promote volunteerism. Day to Serve is an annual event intended to break down barriers, build friendships, unite people and make a positive impact on the community. Find a volunteer opportunity near you on this interactive map, or add your own community service project here

To submit your Day to Serve project, send an email to marcomm@gsccc.org