Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tell Your Friends About Girl Scouts!

Help us spread the word about the amazing journey girls (and adults!) will find in Girl Scouts! Send this invitation to a friend to volunteer or sign their special girl up for Girl Scouts. Don't keep it a secret. With us at their side, girls can explore every dream, discover what they love, and learn the skills that will set them up for life! Share this post with your friends by using one of the buttons below.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Currituck Twilight Camp

Evenings during the week of July 14, the Moyock Library was filled with some of North Carolina’s youngest scientists, as a group of 15 Girl Scouts took part in a volunteer-led summer camp. The girls, who will be entering grades 4-8 in the fall, participated in activities all week long that introduced them to the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

Girls learn how to make a mold of a
shoe print from Detective Stallings.
Throughout the week, the girls worked together to solve a mystery using forensic skills that they learned along the way. On Wednesday evening, Detective Stallings from the Currituck County Sheriff’s Office came to teach the girls about casting footprints and taking fingerprints—two commonly used methods of gathering clues at a crime scene.

During the week, the girls also used chemistry to make bath soaps, explored how animal microchips function and learned how bone measurements can be used to determine a person’s height. The camp finished on Friday with a pizza party and a sleepover.

“I hope they remember that camp is fun, and Girl Scouts is for every age,” Michelle Santa, a Girl Scout volunteer who organized the camp, said.

Santa, who has been a volunteer with Girl Scouts for the past 11 years, decided to organize the camp so that Girl Scouts in Currituck would have a fun and engaging chance to explore STEM activities and careers.

Girl Scouts is committed to empowering girls to pursue any field of interest by offering a wide variety of activities and programs. In recent years focus has been placed on STEM subjects in order to encourage girls to explore and learn about fields where females are underrepresented.

Girl Scouts who attended Twilight Camp in Currituck enjoyed learning
about crime-solving techniques from Detective Stallings from the
Currituck County Sheriff's Office.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Girl Scout Earns Silver Award for Renovation Project

Girl Scout Cadette Katelyn from Troop 643 in Chesapeake has earned the Girl Scout Silver Award, the second highest award a girl can earn in Girl Scouting, for her project that focused on the refurbishment and decoration of a bedroom at The Lodge, a Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast program annex building, located next to the regional program center in Chesapeake.

Katelyn painted stars on the bedroom ceiling
to resemble the night sky.
After a stay at The Lodge, Katelyn noticed that most girls favored the smaller decorated bedroom, and this inspired her to decorate the largest bedroom with a camping theme. She decided to renovate the space to make it a more enjoyable space for girls to stay.

To renovate the space, Katelyn repainted the room to resemble the night sky and forest, and painted the attached bathroom sky blue. She also made curtains to decorate the bottom bunks, creating a tent atmosphere. She built two bookcases that resemble canoes, as a way to represent a favorite camp activity while creating a functional storage space. She hosted a book drive to fill the shelves she made—one shelf with books related to Girl Scouting and one shelf with recreational reading materials.

“I hope my project inspires more action to decorate and update The Lodge,” Katelyn said. 

The Girl Scout Silver Award requires girls to 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 top award earned by Girl Scouts in middle school.

Katelyn put a coat of varnish as a finishing
touch on the canoe bookshelves she built to
create a library in The Lodge. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Girl Scout Earns Silver Award for Project Benefitting Peninsula Pet Pantry

Girl Scout Senior Katie from Williamsburg has earned the Girl Scout Silver Award, the second highest achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting. For her project, Katie focused on bringing awareness to and collecting supplies for the Peninsula Pet Pantry, an organization that provides temporary pet food and supply assistance to pet owners on the Peninsula facing financial hardship.

Katie delivers pet supplies that she collected to Geralyn Nelson,
volunteer coordinator and co-founder of Peninsula Pet Pantry.
For her project, Katie hosted a pet food drive by placing collections for pet supplies at her school and at local businesses. She helped to promote her efforts by writing letters to the editor to local newspapers, writing public service announcements for radio and making announcements at her school. Through her project, Katie aimed to not only collect donations for the Peninsula Pet Pantry, but also to educate her community about mission and efforts of the organization.

“In this day and time, humans aren't the only ones who need food assistance in the community,” Katie said. “My project focused on bringing attention to the plight of pet owners who may have to decide whether to feed themselves or their pets.”

The Peninsula Pet Pantry was founded to help decrease the number of pet surrenders to local animal shelters due to people not being able to afford pet-related expenses. They help pet owners with food, flea and tick prevention, referral services and more.

The Girl Scout Silver Award requires girls to 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 second- highest a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Girl Scouts Visit Old Coast Guard Station Museum

Girl Scouts began their ghost lore tour out front
 of the Old Coast Guard Station Museum.
As the sun began to set over the Virginia Beach Oceanfront on July 2, a group of seven Girl Scouts from Troop 636 and their families made their way to the beach to take a step back in time. They arrived at the Old Coast Guard Station on Atlantic Avenue as beachgoers made their way off of the sand, and the Girl Scouts were ready for an evening of local legends and true accounts of shipwrecks, ghosts, pirates and witches.

The tour was led by Leslie Clements, director of programs, education and volunteers at the museum, who began the evening’s activities by gathering the girls in front of the Old Coast Guard Station, which dates back to 1903. She asked the girls to close their eyes, listen to the sounds of the ocean and use their imagination to picture the isolated shoreline that existed when the lifesaving station was constructed. With this vision in mind, Clements told the girls about the hauntings reported in the museum, which over the years, served as a base for crews of surfmen who stood watch all day and night to rescue people and property from shipwrecks. She also talked to them about the demanding lifestyle of surfmen, ways that people were brought to shore during storms and how shipwreck survivors stayed alive until help arrived.

Troop 636 learned the story behind the
Norwegian Lady statue on the boardwalk.
During the 90-minute walking tour, which included stops along the boardwalk and at former beach cottages, Clements captivated the girls with stories of local Blackbeard sightings, the witch trial of Grace Sherwood, firsthand accounts of paranormal activity at the old Cavalier Hotel, the significance of the Norwegian Lady statue at 25th Street and more. Through her stories, Clements, who is a Girl Scout alumna and earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, shared with the girls unique, unearthly and sometimes unbelievable accounts in the more than 400 year history of present-day Virginia Beach.

For the members of Troop 636, the ghost lore tour at the Old Coast Guard Station Museum was just one of the many landmarks that they’ll visit this summer while working on completing the requirements to earn the Explore Virginia Beach patch. Their tour this month fulfilled the requirement to visit a water safety and rescue site in the city. These summer outings are a fun way for the girls in Troop 636 to keep in touch after a busy year in Girl Scouts, during which they sold cookies to raise funds for outings such as their trip to the Old Coast Guard Station Museum, worked on earning badges and more. During the past year, the older members of the troop also earned the Girl Scout Silver Award, the second highest award in Girl Scouting, for their project that created much-needed shade for animals in the outdoor area at the Virginia Beach SPCA.

The Old Coast Guard Station Museum is just one of the many community partners that offer special programs and tours for local Girl Scouts. Through their tour at the museum, the girls had a unique opportunity to learn about significant sites and events in the development of the city they call home today.

Girl Scout Troop 636 with Leslie Clements (far right in photo), director of programs, education
and volunteers at the Old Coast Guard Station Museum in Virginia Beach.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Girl Scout Earns Silver Award for Art Education Project

Nina sorts through donated crayons
for her Silver Award project.
Girl Scout Senior Nina from Newport News has earned the Silver Award, the second highest award a girl can earn in Girl Scouting, for her project that focused on art education for young children.

For her project, Nina taught art classes to children at PORT Emergency Homeless Shelter and Downtown Hampton Child Development Center. During the classes that she taught to over 100 children, Nina gave each child a drawing book she had made with easy steps to guide the children to draw animals. She also presented the children with crayons she had made from melting down used crayons, as well as a small pack of new crayons.

Nina also packaged her drawing books and crayons and gave them out to four preschools and childhood development centers on the Peninsula. She included an instructional guide for teaching the classes she designed with each packet so that her project can be delivered to even more children.

“I chose my project because I wanted to teach younger children and those less fortunate about the basic drawing shapes and give them the ability to express themselves through art,” Nina said.

Nina hopes that her project made an impact on encouraging young children to use their imagination. She chose to present her art classes to at-risk youth in order to give them an opportunity to learn about expressing themselves through art, as well as method to help relieve stress.

The Girl Scout Silver Award requires girls to 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 second- highest a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Day Camp at Burke's Mill Pond

Girl Scouts had the chance to learn archery
for the first time at Burke's Mill Pond this
During the week of June 23, nearly 75 Girl Scouts who live in the Gloucester area had the opportunity to experience Girl Scout camp during a volunteer-led day camp at the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast Camp Burke’s Mill Pond. During the week, girls honed their observation skills as they earned a badge in the Investigation category for their age level. From code names to invisible ink, they practiced the art of detection, followed clues and put all five senses to the test. The girls also enjoyed all of the activities that camp has to offer, including canoeing, swimming, and for the first time this year, archery.

Each day at camp, the girls started the day with a flag ceremony, which is a tradition in Girl Scouting. They then rotated through activity stations, working on badge requirements in the lodge, taking to the lake to learn canoeing techniques and heading out to the field for archery and the swimming pool. Girls were guided through activities to earn badges by older Girl Scouts volunteering as Program Aides, a leadership program for Girl Scouts in middle school to share their interests and experiences with younger girls. Many of the Program Aides attended day camp at Burke’s Mill Pond when they were younger and were eager to serve in leadership roles this summer.

The camp was led by volunteer director Kelly Hall, who was the assistant director for this day camp last year. Hall, who has two daughters in Girl Scouts, has fond memories of camping at Burke’s Mill Pond while growing up.

Camp Director Kelly Hall
“I had so many great experiences here as a child, and I enjoy being able to continue to offer the camp experience for girls in Gloucester today,” Hall said.

In addition to the day camp experience, Hall arranged for the girls to be able to spend the night and camp out on Thursday so that girls could make s’mores, sing songs and share skits around the campfire, all traditional Girl Scout camp activities.

Shannon Williams, whose daughter is a Girl Scout Daisy, also volunteered her time at the day camp. Williams enjoys participating in Girl Scouts with her daughter because it is a way for them to experience new things together.

Girl Scout volunteer Shannon Williams, left, went canoeing for
the first time last week at Burke's Mill Pond.
“This week is the first time either of us have been canoeing, and we both love it,” Williams said. “My daughter thought swimming would be her favorite activity, but we have both enjoyed canoeing each day.”

Girl Scout camp offers an all-girl environment where girls develop self-confidence, try new things, learn to work as part of a team and gain social skills as they connect with their peers and the adult volunteers who serve as role models. Girls also gain a respect for nature as they unplug from technology and become more aware of their environmental surroundings.

Girl Scouts paddled out into the lake and learned self-rescue
skills during their time at day camp.