Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Girl Scouts get ready for business at Cookie Leadership Institute

Cookie season is less than a month away. Have you created your cookie business plan yet?

Girl Scouts from all over the Council recently had some help developing their Cookie Program goals at the Cookie Leadership Institute.

Nicole Stuart, president of Top Guard Security, and Carol Curtis, president and founder of Noah Enterprises, Inc., came by A Place for Girls to help girls get ready to achieve their goals. The two Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast Famous Formers were joined by Lilliea Jackson, sales operations manager at Little Brownie Bakers

During the leadership session, Lilliea showed Girl Scouts how to think like a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) ™ and develop their own cookie business plan.
Lilliea showed Girl Scout Morgan from Troop 963 how to create her own
business plan for the upcoming Cookie Program. 
Girl Scouts learned how to define their own brand by choosing a business a name, tagline and logo that made them unique and how to create a marketing message that customers would love. They also learned how to set a goal that would help them see the results they needed achieve their goals.

It can be challenging to be a girl in the business world, as Nicole told the girls during the leadership session. But being a Girl Scout alumna herself, she knows that Girl Scouts have what it takes to succeed in any arena—including business.
Nicole coached Girl Scout Hannah from Troop 648 on creating her
marketing message and how to achieve her cookie goals.
Carol said she is used to being the only girl in the room sometimes, but that doesn’t stop her from taking the lead in tough situations. Sometimes that means working together as a team and being respectful of everyone’s ideas.

“I have to show them that I am able to solve problems and do the right thing,” Carol said. “What I do is offer my suggestion and then ask others what their ideas are and create a solution using ideas from everyone.”

Both Carol and Nicole told the Girl Scouts that teamwork is an important aspect of successful planning.

Even though she was very shy, Nicole said she knew that getting out there and talking to people was a must to make her business grow. Now, she has the largest security business in Hampton Roads, with over 850 employees.
A Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast Famous Former, Carol told the Girl Scouts
in attendance that they, too, have what it takes to succeed in business.
“You don’t have to be the most popular girl in school to succeed,” Nicole said. “You just have to set a vision and work hard and see that vision through.”

At the beginning of the Cookie Season earlier this year, it snowed a lot! But Girl Scouts made the most of those snowy days and went door to door anyway.

Carol told the girls that sometimes, even she has a day that doesn’t go the way she had planned, but by working hard towards her goals, she turns those not-so-perfect days into successes.

“When you have those challenges, you just say it’s ok,” Carol. “You’re going to make the best you can of today and tomorrow will be even better.”

Girl Scouts Take Action with the Norfolk Admirals

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast posed with Norfolk Admirals Mascot Salty Dog!
'Tis the season for hockey games and donating holiday gifts. This Saturday night, you can do both!

The Norfolk Admirals are asking Girl Scouts and their families to bring a donation for Toys for Tots to their game this Saturday night.

The game starts at 7 p.m. at the Norfolk Scope.

To get tickets for the Girl Scouts Take Action with the Norfolk Admirals game, purchase tickets for $16 per person by visiting the Norfolk Admirals website. Make sure you use the Girl Scout code: girlscoutstakeaction

Be sure to wear your Girl Scout uniform! If you would like to have your troop seated together, add your troop’s number when you order your tickets online.

For more information about Saturday’s game, visit the event page on the Council’s website.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Annual Cookie Kickoff prepared Girl Scouts for sweet success

Were you one of the 1,600 people that came out to the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center for the Cookie Kickoff on December 9?
From Troop 273, Girl Scouts Cameron Wright, Shelby Smith,
Samarrah Whiting, Nycia Walker, Leah Wright and Aryanna Weaver
stopped by the official Cookie Kickoff photo booth.
If you were, you already know there was tons of fun—and learning—to be had by all.

Girl Scouts from all over the Council came out to the event, eager to learn what it takes to successfully manage their own cookie program. Stations were set up to help girls learn how to manage money, set and achieve their goals, people skills and business ethics.
Junior Girl Scout Evelyn Parrish from Troop 1344 in Yorktown got a
close look at one of the aquarium's komodo dragons.
Of course, the Cookie Kickoff wouldn’t have been complete without a cookie tasting booth. Did you get to taste one of your favorite Girl Scout cookies?

TowneBank sponsored this year’s kickoff, and their assistant vice president Stacey Hasty—a Girl Scout alumna—talked to girls about money management and goal-setting. She thinks the program is a great way for girls to develop leadership skills!
Girl Scout Daisy Chinasa Troxler from Troop 14 told TowneBank Assistant
Vice President Stacey Hasty about her experience with money management. 
“It’s an opportunity for them to shine and get them to talk to others,” Hasty said. “It also teaches them basic finance skills and how to set and achieve. It’s just beneficial on so many levels.”

While learning all about the upcoming Cookie Program, Girl Scouts and their families also got to check out many of the aquarium’s exhibits, including an up-close look at komodo dragons, jellyfish, sharks and this year’s cookie mascot, the sea turtle!
Troop 57 Girl Scout Cadette Samantha Bailey got some face time with this
year's cookie mascot at the Cookie Kickoff.

If you visited the touch tank, you could even reach in and pet one of the many types of stingrays swimming around.

Girl Scout Junior Bianca touched a stingray—she said it was awesome, even if the stingray felt a little slimy!
Girl Scout Junior Biana Marcelin from Troop 78 spent some time
with the stingrays at the touch tank, along with GSCCC's Chris Ramos-Smith. 
How does your troop plan to use their cookie proceeds this year? Troop 1119 from Williamsburg said they hope to plan a multi-day camping trip, while Yorktown’s Troop 1052 will put their proceeds towards an outing at Ocean Breeze Water Park and next year’s holiday gift giving to an organization in need.

 Are you all set to sell cookies on January 6?

If you have photos from the kickoff and want to share them on social media, use #cookiekickoffgsccc so others can find them!
Norfolk's Troop 4159 took a quick break next to the wave machine
for a group photo.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Camp Skimino has a new indoor rock climbing wall

Did you hear? There’s a new indoor climbing wall at Camp Skimino! On Saturday, December 2, Girl Scouts scaled the new 16-foot-high climbing wall in Williamsburg.

Girl Scout Laine neared the bell—and range it—
at the top of the climbing wall at Camp 
Skimino on Saturday.
Because of a generous donation of more than $12,000 from the Lynnhaven Shores Service Unit, Linda Linke, Susan Ramsland and Carol Watkins, the climbing wall was able to be constructed.

If you haven’t tried your hand at rock climbing before, now is the time!

Not only does rock climbing help you build up your confidence and overcome fears, it also gives your body and mind a great workout.

While it’s a great physical challenge to climb, you’re also putting your problem-solving skills to the test by evaluating your next move up the wall.

To show the Council’s appreciation, Girl Scouts from the service unit were the first to ascend the wall.

“I was climbing up and I looked down and I was really nervous,” Girl Scout Addison Bremer said. “But then I felt like, ‘I got this, I got this.’ So I let go and I fell down and it was awesome.”

As our Girl Scouts proved on Saturday, it can also be a very social activity. Climbers often take turns holding the ropes and helping each other navigate the best climbing path. It’s a great opportunity to strengthen communication and relationships with your friends and troop!

As girls began to climb, those waiting their turn cheered others on to reach the top and ring the bell. For one girl, her experience took her from, "I am just going to watch" to "I will give it a try." When she reached the top, she rang the bell to signal that she had successfully completed her climb.

"The pure joy on her face was worth all the effort put into raising the funds to build the wall," said Susan Ramsland.

"It's a big deal to be able to offer this type of activity in anaa-girl environment," added Carol Watkins.

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast CEO Tracy Keller with Girl Scouts Laine,
Maddie, Alexis and Climbing Wall facilitator Elizabeth Ramsland had
the honor of cutting the ribbon at the climbing wall dedication.

Girl Scout volunteers Elizabeth Ramsland and Janice Ingham ensured that all climbers were safe while testing out the wall by checking that all lines were straight and harnesses were correctly worn. Both are trained climbers. 

They also helped cheer on each Girl Scout as they took on the challenge.

“You want to make sure that safety is your number one priority,” Elizabeth said. “You want to be able to save people but also encourage them because going up high is kind of scary.”

Break out your running shoes—the 4th Annual Cookie Classic Run is coming up soon!

The 2018 Cookie Classic Run is happening on Saturday, January 20, meaning you’ve got just over six weeks to train for the Trefoil Trek 5k and the Samoa Stroll One-Miler.

If you haven’t participated in the annual run, don’t worry! Volunteer organizer Candice Cherry has all the details to bring you up to speed.

Cookie Classic Run volunteer organizer
Candice Cherry said the Cookie Classic is
a race for everyone.
Set in the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail in Chesapeake, the course is a flat and fast loop around the Great Dismal Swamp. 

Since the very first event in 2015, the number of participants has doubled, Candice said. In January, more than 400 runners participated in the Cookie Classic.

Why? The Cookie Classic is a race for everyone—Girl Scouts and their friends, families and community members of all ages are all invited to participate.

“We’ve got everyone from little kids to seniors coming out to run,” Candice said.

Long distance runners can register for the Trefoil Trek 5k. For a shorter sprint, runners can opt for the Samoa Stroll One-Miler. But Candice said if runners really want a challenge, they can go for the Thin Mint Challenge.

“The Thin Mint Challenge is for runners who want to participate in both the 5k and the One-Miler,” Candice said. 

Since the Cookie Classic starts at 9 a.m., Candice said it’s important to dress appropriately for the weather. But when planning your race day outfit, be sure to incorporate some cookie-themed fun. Awards will be given out for the best cookie and Girl Scout-themed outfits.

At the 2017 Cookie Classic, Julie, a member of Troop 5563,
was the first Girl Scout to cross the 5K finish line.
One thing you shouldn’t do is wear brand new running shoes. Candice suggests putting on a pair of worn-in sneakers to successfully sprint through the courses.

The best part of the run, Candice said, is how all of the runners work together to encourage other runners to finish and do their best.

“Whether the runners are friends or not, they always encourage others to push through and finish,” Candice said.

All participants get a prize. 5k finishers will receive a medal and one-miler finishers will receive a patch. Thin Mint Challengers will receive both.

Registration for the Cookie Classic is already open. Runners can head over to the website to get started.

All proceeds from the Cookie Classic benefit local Girl Scouts.

“The funds we raise are used to assist girls at a council level on outdoor activities and education,” Candice said.

If you want to help ensure the race is a success, Candice is always looking for more volunteers—even if you just come out and cheer for the runners!

For more information on the run and how you can get involved, head over to the official website.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Gold Award Spotlight: Revolutionary Winter Guard Cadets

Virginia Beach Girl Scout Cheyenne has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

Cheyenne, who has been a part of color guard for seven years, wanted to raise awareness about the sport and give children an opportunity to try color guard. For her project, Cheyenne created a daughter program for the Revolutionary Winter Guard, a color guard program she was a part of. She hosted her program in the summer to prepare children ages six to 17 to participate in the junior winter color guard program. She held practices three times a week, and at the end of the program, the participants performed a show for their friends and family members.

“Color Guard is my passion, and I wanted to share it with my community,” Cheyenne said. “It benefitted the children who participated by giving them a new set of skills. It also benefitted local high school marching bands who gained two new members who marched in my program.”

Through her project, Cheyenne hopes that she enlightened children and her peers with a whole new world of art, music, dance and sports, all in one activity.

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

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Gold Award Spotlight: Mental Illness Through Art

Catherine, a Virginia Beach Girl Scout, has earned the Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

For her project, Catherine organized an art exhibit at Princess Anne High School dedicated to art created by teens that reflect mental illness. She invited students at her school to create art pieces to represent personal experiences they have had with mental illness, how they feel about the issue and how they have watched their peers struggle.

At the art exhibit, guests viewed the art submissions, learned about mental health from a representative from the National Alliance on Mental Health and took part in stress relieving activities, including coloring. There was also a display made by a member of the Psychology Club at Princess Anne High School about the government’s impact on mental health and how to contact government officials about mental health issues.

“Mental health is a sensitive topic for many people to talk about, making it hard to verbalize how they feel,” Catherine said. “The art exhibit was an opportunity for students to express emotions they might feel when handling anything related to mental health.”

Catherine also created a video that she placed online to help inform people about what they can do to advocate for mental health, as well as an overview of the art exhibit she organized.

Catherine has arranged for members of the Psychology Club to host a mental health art exhibit on an annual basis. As a senior, Catherine will be leading efforts to hold next year’s event and show younger students how to host the event after she graduates.

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