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

Friday, September 19, 2014

Day of Caring at Camp Skimino

On Friday, September 19, over 25 staff members from Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center gave a helping hand to Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast as part of Day of Caring, sponsored by the United Way of Greater Williamsburg. Volunteers spent the day at Camp Skimino, a nearly 100 acre Girl Scout camp in Williamsburg used year-round by Girl Scouts and other community organizations. 

During the day, the volunteers split into two groups to work on improvement projects at the camp. One group volunteers put a fresh coat of paint on the Health Lodge, as well as the porch and ramp leading to the lodge. They also replaced a window and water-damaged wood on the building. The second group painted a lodge used by Girl Scouts for camping and special events. 

The annual United Way Day of Caring was established to promote volunteerism, as well as to raise awareness about organizations that are making a difference in the community. Each year, hundreds of volunteers from the business sector participate in Day of Caring and give service to nonprofit organizations to show how people working as part of a team for the common good can do great things and make a positive impact on the community.

With updated camp facilities, Girl Scouts will be able to provide an improved experience at Girl Scout camp, which provides a safe, all-girl environment where girls learn new skills, build confidence and try new things. Day of Caring was a fun-filled day of hard work, as volunteers from across the Greater Williamsburg area gave their time and energy to help build and strengthen the community.


View more photos from the day here.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Gold Award Spotlight: Sports Safety

Girl Scout Ambassador Margaret from Chesapeake has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement in Girl Scouting. For her project, Margaret focused on the increased number of sports-related injuries among young athletes. In order to educate the public about this issue, as well as help prevent future injuries, Margaret hosted three workshops at two Chesapeake Montessori schools and held clinics at local sports tournaments at Virginia Wesleyan College. She also created an interactive presentation about the issue that she presented at the Greenbrier YMCA’s Healthy Kids Expo. Through these events, she was able to reach a wide variety of people and spread the word about preventing and recognizing sports injuries.

“I chose this project because I have aspirations to become a physical or occupational therapist where I would encounter many sports-related injuries that are similar to the ones I researched during my project,” Margaret said.

Margaret also created brochures that include statistics, facts and tips on sports injury prevention and recognition, which she placed at the Chesapeake Central Library and the Great Bridge Recreation Center to reach even more members of the community.

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

Friday, September 12, 2014

Day of Caring at A Place for Girls

Eight volunteers from TowneBank gave a helping hand to Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast as part of Day of Caring, sponsored by United Way of South Hampton Roads. Organizations across the region are benefitted from this special day, held on Friday, September 12.

Volunteers spent the day at A Place for Girls, the headquarters and program center for the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast located in Chesapeake. They put a fresh coat of paint on one of the picnic pavilions in The Outback, a nearly 9 acre nature area situated behind A Place for Girls. The pavilions are used by both Girl Scout members and visitors all year long as they enjoy the boardwalk that meanders through the tidal wetlands, a health and fitness trail, two boat docks for canoeing and kayaking on Bells Mill Creek and a 50 foot observation tower.

Barbara Tierney and Dee Kloskin
Among the volunteers was Barbara Tierney, retired senior vice president at TowneBank and Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast board member. This is the second year in a row that she and a team from TowneBank have worked with Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast for Day of Caring.

“I was a Girl Scout when I was growing up, and it certainly enhanced my life.” Tierney said. “It’s amazing to see the great things that girls are doing today, and I am glad that we can help make a difference for Girl Scouts.”

The annual United Way Day of Caring was established to promote volunteerism, as well as to raise awareness about organizations that are making a difference in the community. Each year, hundreds of volunteers from the business sector participate in Day of Caring and give service to non-profit organizations.

Thank you to all of the volunteers from TowneBank for making a difference at Girl Scouts!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Guest Blogger: Girl Scout Cadette Sianna

This blog post was written by Girl Scout Cadette Sianna from Norfolk.

My name is Sianna  and I am a first year Girl Scout Cadette. I went to Fort Monroe in August because I was doing a photo shoot, representing Girl Scouts and helping launch the Junior Ranger Program for kids.

Fort Monroe is in Hampton, Virginia, and it’s completely FREE! Now if you go to the museum, you don't have to go through security and the museum is lots of fun. It’s an amazing place to visit, and I learned lots of facts while I was there. For example, the Junior Ranger mascot is a cartoon version of a real dog that helped out at the base. I also got to walk into the real cell that Jefferson Davis was imprisoned in for about four months.

Sianna was sworn in as a Junior Ranger at Fort Monroe by
Kirsten Talken-Spaulding, who is superintendent of
Fort Monroe National Monument and a Girl Scout alumna.
The Junior Ranger Program is meant for kids ages 5-12 but you don't have to be a kid, lots of adults do it too (they are called “Not So Junior Rangers”). All you have to do to complete it is pick up the book from the Visitor Center, finish the book, (you have to do most of the book if you're over 8, and less if you're younger) then one of the rangers will swear you in as a Junior Ranger, and you get a pin.

I went out West this Spring and did the Junior Ranger program and collected badges and patches from seven national parks. You can collect park stamps by going to the visitor center and you will get a stamp for that park. My favorite park was the Grand Canyon, because I went there when I was 3, and it brought back memories from when I was little. While I was there I got sworn in as a Junior Ranger for the Grand Canyon.

I hope you all go to Fort Monroe and enjoy all they have to offer.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Gold Award Spotlight: Merry Melodies

Girl Scout Ambassador Mary Elysse from Moyock has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement in Girl Scouting. For her project, Mary Elysse developed a program to bring weekly live music performances to the Currituck House, a senior living facility in Moyock. Mary Elysse used her talents for singing and playing ukulele and guitar to entertain the residents at the Currituck House. She also invited guests, including the female quartet from her church, to perform along with her once in a while. During each performance, Mary Elysse engaged the residents in a variety of songs, ranging from hymns to show tunes.

“I have always loved music and my grandfather was my first music teacher,” Mary Elysse said. “He was a resident of the Currituck House during the last summer of his life and he always said he wished there was live music to enjoy, so I decided to do my Gold Award project in his memory.”

Her favorite part of the project was having the opportunity to get to know some of the residents at the Currituck House. She got to learn about their fascinating lives and saw firsthand how music reaches people in a way that words cannot.

After nearly a year of running the live music program, Mary Elysse shared her project with her fellow members of the chorus at Currituck County High School and the students are going to help continue the project after Mary Elysse graduates.

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