Friday, December 26, 2014

Meet Samoa Soiree Participant: Chef Kyle Fowlkes

This spring, chefs from across Hampton Roads will be putting their culinary creativity to the test as they participate in Samoa Soiree, an annual event hosted by Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast where chefs use Girl Scout Cookies to make unique desserts and appetizers. This year, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast will be welcoming Chef Kyle Fowlkes, executive chef for Embassy Suites Hampton Roads—Hotel, Spa and Convention Center, as well as the Cyprus Grille Restaurant, as a participant.

Chef Kyle got an early start in the kitchen. He remembers working alongside his grandmother from an early age while growing up in Massachusetts. Her cooking gave him the opportunity to sample New England fare, as well as her native southern cuisine. Now, Chef Kyle looks back and says that it was the experiences with his grandmother that led him to pursue a career in culinary arts.

A 2003 graduate of Johnson & Wales University in 2003, Chef Kyle learned about the Samoa Soiree at a local Johnson & Wales alumni event when he met Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast CEO Tracy Keller, a fellow JWU alumna.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing what creative dishes other chefs come up for at the Samoa Soiree,” Chef Kyle said. “I also can't wait to work with my team to see what we can come up with.”

Chef Kyle, who has been with Embassy Suites in Hampton since 2005, currently oversees a culinary team that serves as many as 2,500 people in one seating and has catered to guests including state government officials, presidents of Fortune 500 companies and military generals. Chef Kyle, who has lived in Virginia for over 20 years, is committed to using locally grown produce, artisan cheeses, meats and seafood from the Chesapeake Bay in his dishes.

With a myriad of recognitions and awards on his résumé, Chef Kyle most recently took home the runner’s up award from the Virginia is for Lovers Culinary Madness Challenge for his delicious recipe—Nana’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken. He also participated in the most recent Tastefully Yours fundraising event to support the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, where he took home a people’s choice and a judge’s choice award for his house made pimento cheese fritters and French macarons. Chef Kyle regularly appears on The Hampton Roads Show to share his recipes with local audiences.

In addition to wowing Hampton Roads with delicious flavors, Chef Kyle is also dedicated to giving back to the community. He speaks at area high schools and volunteers as a mentor for students who are interested in pursuing culinary arts. He is also a proud sponsor of a regional women’s finance group, for which he hosts monthly food and wine pairing events.

What can guests expect from Chef Kyle at Samoa Soiree? That’s a secret until March 7, but he is known for bringing southern cuisine to live with a contemporary American and Asian flare. He also says that Samoas are his favorite Girl Scout Cookie variety. Everyone is invited to join Girl Scouts for this adult-only tasting event at the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center, which also includes live music and a silent auction. More information about the event and purchasing tickets can be found at www.gsccc.org.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Gold Award Spotlight: Butterflies and Books

Girl Scout Senior Emilia from Seaford has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement. Emilia learned that children who are independent readers perform better academically and are more successful in life than their peers who do not read independently. For her project, Emilia focused on encouraging students at Seaford Elementary School to become lifelong readers with the hope that it would also lead them to success in the future.

To begin her project, Emilia surveyed the students at Seaford Elementary School to learn about what books they enjoy reading. Using this information, she developed a mural design, and since the school has a butterfly garden, also included butterflies in the design. During the summer, Emilia painted the mural inside the school and finished it in time for school to start this fall.

“I chose this project because I have always loved art and saw it as a way for me to spread word about the importance of literacy,” Emilia said. “Through my project I showed the students at Seaford Elementary School the possibilities that reading can offer them.”

Once the school year started, Emilia made presentations about the mural and its message of universal literacy to students, teachers and administrators at the school. She also talked about the process of transforming a sketch and mural design into a large mural.

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

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Girl Scout Alumnae Reconnect

Whether she grows up to be the CEO of a corporation or the CEO of her home, Girl Scouts prepares girls to be leaders. In fact, Girl Scouts is the world’s most successful organization dedicated to creating girl leaders, with 2.8 million active members and over 59 million alumnae. A girl’s experience in Girl Scouting doesn't end when she graduates from high school—she’s part of a lifelong network of women who serve as role models and mentors for future generations.

Girl Scout Alumnae Amy Godby and her mother Kate Godby
Amy Godby, a Girl Scout alumna who now lives in Virginia Beach, has recently taken on a volunteer role to help reconnect Girl Scout alumnae in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina with Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast. On December 11, Godby and Girl Scouts hosted a social event at Mermaid Winery in Norfolk as an opportunity for alumnae to hear from Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast CEO Tracy Keller and learn about what Girl Scouts are doing today and how they can get reengaged with the organization.

“As Girl Scout alumnae, our experiences in Girl Scouts influenced who we are today,” Godby said. “Being a part of the Girl Scout Alumnae Association is a chance to share our amazing experiences, catch up with old friends and meet extraordinary women who are a part of the Girl Scout sisterhood.”

Godby, who first joined Girl Scouts as a Brownie in Richmond, Va., says that some of her favorite memories from those times were at Girl Scout camp, where she learned how to sail, made friends around the campfire and learned how to live among nature. She also really enjoyed getting to visit the home of the founder of Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low, in Savannah, Ga.

For Godby, these fun and meaningful moments in Girl Scouts culminated with earning the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement in Girl Scouting. For her Gold Award project, Godby focused on domestic violence awareness. She created fliers with information about signs of abuse and how to get help that she posted all over the community. She also collected hygiene items for people staying at the Genieve Shelter in Suffolk and hosted a relationship violence seminar designed to teach teenagers about relationship violence and domestic abuse.

“I was more proud of my Gold Award than graduating from high school and going to college,” Godby said. “I had a very personal inspiration for my project, and I put so much hard work into it. I was also really proud that I was able to inspire others in the community to take action for victims of domestic violence through my project.”

Godby, a graduate of Virginia Tech, kept in touch with girls from her troop while she was in college and reconnected with Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast by coordinating a corporate sponsorship from her employer Reddix and Associates for the Girl Scout Famous Formers luncheon in November. For Godby, it’s important to stay connected to Girl Scouts because it’s an organization that means a lot to her and a way for her to continue to stay involved in making a difference in the community.

Girl Scout alumnae who would like to reconnect with the organization can register for the Girl Scout Alumnae Association here. To find more information about Girl Scouts in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, visit www.gsccc.org.

View more photos from the event here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

United Way Supports Girl Scouts

For over 100 years, Girl Scouts has been building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. For Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast, this is made possible in large part through funding from five local United Way agencies. Funds from United Way, which is committed to investing the in community to make it a better place to live, helps give girls access to a variety of program opportunities and allows Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast to offer financial assistance to girls who would otherwise not be able to participate in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.

United Way of South Hampton Roads CEO and President
Carol McCormack with Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast
 CEO Tracy Keller at the GSCCC regional headquarters and
program center on December 17
Over the years, United Way funding has allowed Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast to serve hundreds of "at-risk" girls- youth who are less likely to transition successfully into adulthood and achieve economic self-sufficiency. By giving these girls the gift of Girl Scouts, they discover what they are capable of, connect with others and build healthy relationships and take action to become resourceful problem solvers. From cleaning up their local park or learning how to canoe at camp to putting together electrical circuits or learning financial skills through the Girl Scout Cookie program, these girls are inspired to achieve and reach their fullest potential in life.

Each year, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast, with help of generous supporters, invests $307 in each girl. We thank supporters, such as United Way, for their commitment to this generation of girls- young women who are learning to lead for the future. Learn more here.

Norfolk Girl Scout Earns Silver Award

Girl Scout Senior Alexandria from Norfolk, has earned the Girl Scout Silver Award, the second highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouts. Alexandria, who is a member of Girl Scout Troop 115, has been a Girl Scout for four years.

For her project, Granny’s Love Blankets, Alexandria hosted several workshops to teach youth in the community how to slip stitch blankets. She then took each blanket that was made to donate to residents at Shepherd’s Village Assisted Living Facility in Norfolk.

Alexandria chose to do this project in honor of her deceased grandmother Cora Tabb as a way to give back and show appreciation for the elderly members of the community.

To earn the Girl Scout Silver Award, a girl must identify an issue in her 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 prior to September 30 of their freshman year of high school.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Girl Scouts Honor Veterans at Wreath Laying Ceremony

Girl Scout Junior Abigail from Troop 4313 in Suffolk
On Saturday, December 13, over 250 Girl Scouts from across the region honored veterans by helping to place over 6,000 live, green wreaths on graves at Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk. This year marks the 10th anniversary of The Horton Wreath Society honoring veterans with a wreath laying ceremony.

Girl Scouts first observed active duty members of the military place wreaths on the first row of headstones in the cemetery to see the proper way to honor the veterans while placing wreaths. Girl Scouts then joined over 3,000 people from the community in line to collect wreaths and place them on graves. Before placing the wreath, girls took the time to read the headstone, learn about the deceased’s service to the country and understand the meaning of ranks and symbols on the headstone.

Following the placement of the wreaths, Girl Scouts attended a formal ceremony at the cemetery with taps and bagpipes.

The Horton Wreath Society hosts this event annually to remember the sacrifices, respect veterans and educate future generations those who have served the country.
Girl Scout Troop 357 from Suffolk

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gold Award Spotlight: Avian Architecture

Girl Scout Ambassador Kaˋiulani from Virginia Beach, has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement in Girl Scouting.

For her project, Kaˋiulani focused on the competition between migratory indigenous species of birds and non-migratory invasive species of birds for food and space in her community. She recognized this to be an issue because this competition can force indigenous birds to change migration patterns and settle in other places, thereby causing a decline in the population of indigenous birds.

Kaˋiulani selected six bird species that are native to Virginia and constructed 20 birdhouses that would create ideal homes for each of the species. She then installed the birdhouses along the trail at Red Wing Park. In addition to the birdhouses, Kaˋiulani also posted information about each of the bird species on the trail in order to educate the public about local bird species. After the birdhouses were installed, Kaˋiulani hosted a special event at the park to share her project with others.

“In addition to the educational benefits, my project also allows visitors to the park to observe and enjoy indigenous birds of Virginia,” Kaˋiulani said.

Kaˋiulani chose this project because she has enjoyed going to Red Wing Park since she was little, and she wanted to add something special to the park. She is also interested in science, and through this project she learned more about basic principles of life science, including natural selection and competition.

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

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Girl Scouts Visit Center for Innovation for Orion Launch

On Thursday, December 4, a group of Girl Scouts from Suffolk were invited to the Lockheed Martin Center for Innovation to watch a broadcast of the Orion launch and learn about the world of aerospace engineering. Although the launch ended up being delayed until the following day, the girls enjoyed learning about the Orion flight test being a big step in sending humans farther into space.

At the Center for Innovation, the Girl Scouts were guests of the National Institute of Science, thanks to Becky Jaramillo, a Girl Scout alumna and a key educator with NIS. In her current role, Jaramillo has developed STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum, including award-winning video segments for NASA, and given her time to help Girl Scouts deepen their understanding of STEM subjects. While visiting the Center for Innovation, Jaramillo talked to the girls about aerospace technology and led them in a variety of fun and engaging science experiments.

Girl Scouts at the Lockheed Martin Center for Innovation with NIS Educator Becky Jaramillo

“This was an amazing opportunity,” Cheryl Watters, the leader of Girl Scout Troop 5450 that attended the event, said. “I was so impressed with the high school students who won the design challenge from the Governor’s School. I know the girls in my troop were in awe of their accomplishment. Being among the engineers and all the professionals from the National Institute of Science and Lockheed made me feel like I was at Mission Control! The visit to the Center for Innovation extraordinary and so were the opportunities the girls had while there. Both of my daughters who are in Girl Scouts have been at other STEM events, most recently the Girl Scout event hosted by the Society of Women Engineers at ODU. My youngest daughter is now determined to become an engineer. This special opportunity just made her more determined to reach her dream. ”

Women role models, such as Jaramillo, and community partners, such as the Center for Innovation, make it possible for girls to explore their interests in STEM and see that girls can do anything they put their minds to. In today’s world, where women hold only about 25 percent of the STEM careers, Girl Scouts is committed to giving girls opportunities to interact with women in STEM so that they can picture themselves in similar careers in the future. Inspiring success in girls and encouraging them to aim for excellence is a key component of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, which helps each girl develop her full potential and become a competent, resourceful woman.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Think Like a Scientist

From learning about constellations in the night sky to discovering the life under the sea, over 400 Girl Scouts learned how to think like a scientist during a special event hosted for Girl Scouts on December 6 at the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News.

A hornet's nest was just one of the many exhibits
Virginia Beach Girl Scouts Sarah and Madison
viewed during Think Like a Scientist
During the event, the girls participated in a variety of activities that taught them about the regions of Virginia and the plants and animals that live there. From the coastal plains to the mountain coves, girls toured a variety of exhibits where they looked at sand and feather samples under a microscope, explored types of butterflies native to the region and discovered the rich biological history of the commonwealth.

They also visited an exhibit that taught them about a career in veterinary medicine, watched honeybees hard at work in the hive at the museum, saw the water cycle in action and learned about scientific principles, including gravity, pressure and force.

While at the Virginia Living Museum, girls also had the opportunity to visit the Abbitt Planetarium where they learned about planets, stars, black holes and studying Earth from space. They also saw a moon rock sample on exhibit from NASA and participated in an “instant snow demonstration” to teach them about energy levels and chemical reactions.

This event was designed to show girls that no matter their interests, there are activities and careers in the sciences for them. Today, women hold only about 25 percent of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers. Girl Scouts are working with community partners such as the Virginia Living Museum to fill the gap by giving girls the chance to participate in a wide variety of STEM activities. This event was a fun and informal way for girls to gain insight into the world of science while cultivating their problem solving, teamwork and leadership skills.
Girl Scout Junior Ivanna from Norfolk viewed a feather under a
microscope in the biology workshop at Think Like a Scientist.
The next Girl Scout STEM event, Cosmic Cuisine and Galaxy Grub, will take place on Friday, February 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton. This event is open to all girls, whether or not they are currently registered members of Girl Scouts. For more information, visit www.gsccc.org.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Amazing Cookie Kick Off

On November 22, nearly 800 Girl Scouts gathered at the Children’s Museum of Virginia for the 2014 Girl Scout Cookie Kick Off to celebrate the upcoming Girl Scout Cookie Program. The cookie program, which kicks off locally on January 10, is the nation’s largest financial literacy and entrepreneurial program for girls.

Girls from Troop 1554 in Williamsburg with the goal trackers
that they made during the cookie kick off.
At the kickoff, girls learned the skills they need to become a CEO—Cookie Entrepreneur Officer. They practiced their sales pitch, set goals for the season and made goal trackers, learned safety tips and more. They also signed a giant 40th birthday card for Samoas—the second highest selling cookie variety in Hampton Roads.

During the event, girls tasted the new cookie that will be available during the upcoming season—Rah Rah Raisins, an oatmeal raisin cookie with Greek yogurt- flavored chunks. Before the end of the evening, girls made Rah Rah Raisins-themed pompoms and took part in a dance party.

The activities were designed to teach girls five skills that are essential to the Girl Scout Cookie Program and to success in life—goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. Through the activities, girls completed requirements to earn the Cookie Activity Pin, which recognizes girls for learning these essential skills, as well as cookie business badges.

Beginning January 10, Girl Scouts in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina will begin taking orders for Girl Scout Cookies through traditional door to door sales and through Digital Cookie, a new online platform designed especially to teach girls about digital entrepreneurial skills. Cookies will be available for sale at booths starting February 22. Cookies are still just $3.50 per box, and all proceeds stay in the area to support local Girl Scouts.

Girl Scouts from Troop 115 in Norfolk at the fun photo booth.

View more photos from the evening here.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

New Patch Series from P.R.A.Y.

Programs of Religious Activities with Youth, also known as P.R.A.Y., offers programs and resources to help Girl Scouts grow their faith. Girls can earn religious recognitions through activities they complete with parents and clergy. Each religious organization develops and administers its own program.

Recently, P.R.A.Y. introduced a new program called Bible Basics RP3, which is designed to help girls get into the Bible. This series is designed for girls of all ages, as there are questions for both younger and older children included in the series.

The Bible Basics RP3 series has three patches that girls can earn: The Good Book, Out of the Water and Birds of the Air. Each patch focuses on a simple object and will require three separate sessions to complete. During each session, girls will Read a Bible story, answer questions to Picture the story, discuss issues to ponder its meaning and choose an activity to Put into action.

Requirements to earn the patches can be downloaded for free here, and patches can be ordered online here. These patches are separate from the P.R.A.Y. awards and do not require workbooks or an application/ review process by clergy.

Everything in Girl Scouting is based on the Girl Scout Promise and Law, which include many principles and values that are common to most faiths. Although a secular organization, Girl Scouts has always encouraged girls to take their own spiritual journeys. At all levels of Girl Scouting, girls can earn religious recognitions, as well as the My Promise, My Faith pin, which helps girls strengthen the connection between their faith and Girl Scouts.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Gold Award Spotlight: It's a New Day

Girl Scout Ambassador Kennedy from Chesapeake has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement in Girl Scouting.

For her project, Kennedy focused on improving the experience of individuals staying at the H.E.R. Shelter, which provides emergency shelter for those affected by domestic violence, as well as homeless individuals. Kennedy recognized that the high turnover rate of residents and the shelter caused many of the rooms to be run down. She cleaned, painted and remodeled three rooms at the shelter. She added new bedding and sewed throw pillows to place on the beds.

Kennedy also hosted an art class for children staying at the shelter, where they made melted crayon artwork and colored pages from coloring book. Kennedy hosted this class not only to entertain the children, but also to show them that creating art is an excellent way to deal with stress and cope with the difficult situations that they may face.

“The goal of my project was to give the women and children at the shelter a greater sense of pride and dignity while they’re staying at the shelter,” Kennedy said. “It was a way to brighten their day and signify a positive change is on the horizon.”

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

Monday, December 1, 2014

Digital Enhancement to Girl Scout Cookie Program Makes National Debut

This Girl Scout Cookie season, hungry shoppers will be able to purchase cookies where they never could before—online. Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast announced today that for the first time in its history, girls from local troops will be able to sell Girl Scout Cookies to customers online through a brand new national platform—Digital Cookie. This groundbreaking platform will expand the iconic cookie program by adding a digital layer that broadens and strengthens the 5 Skills girls learn in the traditional cookie program— goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.

Digital Cookie follows Girl Scouts’ classic, hands-on approach to teaching girls new skills by introducing vital 21st century lessons about online marketing, application use and e-commerce to more than one million excited Girl Scouts. Through the platform, Girl Scouts will maintain their own protected, personalized websites to market their cookie business to local consumers, accept orders via credit card and activate cookie shipments directly to customers. From the website, customers can choose the cookie varieties they would like to purchase for themselves, and they can also select to purchase cookies for Gift of Caring, a program through which Girl Scouts donate cookies to members of the military. Customers will have to pay shipping and handling fees in addition to the cost of the cookies.

The platform places an emphasis on the safety of girls and customers alike and offers an online experience that allows girls to learn about digital money management using dashboards to track their sales and goals.

“Through Digital Cookie, we are bringing the Girl Scout Cookie Program fully into the 21st century,” Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast CEO Tracy Keller said. “Digital Cookie lets us continue our proud tradition of teaching today’s girls the skills of tomorrow, while remaining true to the core principles taught by our iconic cookie program.”

In today’s world, only 21 percent of chief information officers at Fortune 100 companies are women and even smaller numbers are CEOs of firms engaged in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. Digital Cookie tailors the traditional Girl Scout Cookie Program to fit the modern world, helping give more girls an important foundation in technology, as well as combining customer relationships, interpersonal skills and e-commerce training.

“Girl Scout Cookies have always been about so much more than a delicious treat—they’re about helping girls learn important business lessons,” Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Anna Mariz Chávez said. “This year, when you’re buying Thin Mints and Samoas online, you can feel good that you’re helping girls learn the 5 Skills the cookie program has always instilled in a 21st century way, turning today’s girls into tomorrow’s business and tech leaders.”

As with the traditional cookie program, the net revenue earned from the cookie sale will support local Girl Scouts in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. Girls decide how to spend their troop cookie money and invest it back into their neighborhoods through community service projects and learning experiences.

Today’s launch of Digital Cookie represents an initial phase of a program that will progress over time. Future versions of Digital Cookie will create better user experiences for girls and customers alike and a more robust customer interface. Find more information here.

Girl Scouts in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina will begin taking orders for cookies on January 10, 2015. For more information about the local Girl Scout Cookie Program or joining Girl Scouts, visit www.gsccc.org.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Cards, Cards, Cards

On Saturday, November 15, over 60 Girl Scouts were busy cutting, gluing and stamping to make thank you cards, birth announcements and other greeting cards as part of a community service project. These cards will be donated to veterans and other members of the community during the holiday season as a reminder that they are appreciated and remembered.

Girl Scout Daisy Alyssa from Virginia Beach
with the patriotic thank you card  that she
 made to send to a veteran.
Demonstrators from Stampin’ Up, a home-based creative products business, helped girls design and put together the cards. Two groups of girls worked on making birth announcements that will be donated to new mothers through Children’s Health Investment Program. Another group of girls made patriotic-themed thank you cards for veterans. Girls also made greeting cards to be donated with a special message to brighten the day of residents at a local assisted living facility.

This holiday season, Girl Scouts from across the region will be participating in projects to improve the community. From hosting food drives to tending to gardens at local schools and churches, Girl Scouts are committed to taking action to make the world a better place.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

North Carolina Girl Scouts Host Food Drive

This fall, over 40 Girl Scouts from 11 different Girl Scout troops in the Outer Banks participated in a food collection drive to support local families in need. The Girl Scouts collected 931 pounds of food that they donated to the Roanoke Island Food Pantry and the Beach Food Pantry.

Members of Troop 2512 from Kill Devil Hills dropping off
the food donations that they collected
To collect the food, the girls distributed bags and fliers to friends in the community, and then went back to collect the donations. They also helped to unload the food at the donation sites, where it was weighed and sorted before being distributed to needy families in the Outer Banks.

“The Girl Scouts arrived at the drop off station full of excitement and joy,” Bob Noffsinger, a coordinator at the Roanoke Island Food Pantry, said. “This food drive was a great way to inspire the girls to be generous in service to others.”

In North Carolina, nearly 20 percent of residents are considered food insecure, meaning they do not have consistent and reliable access nutritional to food. Food drives, such as the one hosted by the Girl Scouts, help add a great variety to the food on the shelves at food banks.

For over 100 years, Girl Scouts have been committed to making the world a better place. From collecting food for those in need to tending to gardens at local schools and churches, Girl Scouts are committed to taking action to improve the community.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Volunteer Invite-a-Friend

The Volunteer Invite-a-Friend offer ends THIS Monday, so make sure you submit information for any new volunteer you recruited RIGHT HERE by December 1, 2014!

Remember, if you recruit any new troop leader for a Girl Scout Daisy, Brownie, or Junior troop, YOU will receive a $50 coupon code to the Girl Scout Official Online Store and your new volunteer will receive a Volunteer Resource Pack that includes a Girl’s Guide, a Journey set, a badge pack a tote and pins.

Imagine what you could do with $50 to the Girl Scout Official Online Store. You could buy…
  • Eight Brownie sashes for your girls to wear as they show their Girl Scout pride!
  • An awesome Girl Scout fleece, scarf, and gloves for those cold winter days.
  • Six Journey books for your girls to use as they grow into wonderful leaders.
  • Two mini-microscope sets for all the exploring your girls love to do. 
But even more importantly… inviting just one more troop leader to start a K­–5 troop enables us to serve at least five more girls!

Have questions? Contact joinus@gsccc.org.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gold Award Spotlight: Animal Etiquette

Girl Scout Ambassador Jamie Lanzalotto from Smithfield, has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement in Girl Scouting.

For her project, Jamie focused on improving the efficiency of volunteers at the Isle of Wight County Animal Shelter. She wanted to help the volunteers have a better understanding of their duties so that the animal shelter would be a cleaner and healthier environment. In order to do this, Jamie made a training video for volunteers and formed a junior volunteer club to encourage local children to get involved in helping the community. At volunteer meetings, Jamie led attendees in activities to help advertise animals available for adoption, showed them proper ways to care for animals and collected donations of food and supplies for the shelter.

“I love animals and this shelter is one of my favorite places to volunteer,” Jamie said. “I chose this project because I wanted to make the shelter a better place and give the animals a better life.”

In order to further support the animal shelter, Jamie created a video about fostering cats and set up a table to recruit volunteers at the Isle of Wight County Fair.

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

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

International Girls Day at Old Dominion University

On Sunday, November 16, the Kappa Delta Sorority at Old Dominion University (ODU) hosted over 100 Girl Scouts in grades 6 to 12 from across the region for International Girls Day, an event where girls learned about being healthy media consumers, navigating relationships and building self-confidence. This is the first year that the newly-formed Kappa Delta Sorority at ODU has hosted this event for Girl Scouts.

Baillie and Reid
To start the afternoon of fun and learning, two Girl Scout Ambassadors, Reid and Baillie, shared their own personal leadership story about representing Girl Scouts at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York City in March. Reid and Baillie were two of four local Girl Scouts chosen to participate in CSW, which is dedicated exclusively to gender equality and the advancement of women. Since their experience at CSW, the girls have been able to share what they learned with fellow Girl Scouts and classmates.

“Being a part of CSW was incredibly empowering,” Reid said. “Although I am a teenager, I feel like I have the ability to make a change in the world.”

Following the CSW presentation, girls rotated through a variety of workshops where they explored ways that women are portrayed in the media, talked about healthy ways to deal with stressors, discussed the values of friendship and more. Girls also made map pendants as they talked about the path to achieving their dreams and reaching their goals. All of the activities came from the Girl Scout National Leadership Journeys, which are designed to help girls discover what they are capable of, connect with others to work as part of a team and take action to make a difference.

“It is important to have International Girls Day to help girls build confidence,” Reem Rana, vice president for community service for Kappa Delta Sorority at ODU, said. “We want to help girls strive for success and look for leadership opportunities in their lives.”

Members of Girl Scout Troop 1708 with Kappa Delta volunteers.

International Girls Day at ODU also gave girls the opportunity to experience a college campus, interact with young women who are academically successful and see the opportunities available to them by attending college.

Nationally, the Kappa Delta Sorority has been working with Girl Scouts since 1998. International Girls Day was created on behalf of the Confidence Coalition, which was founded by Kappa Delta Sorority in 2009 to motivate organizations and individuals to help boost self-esteem and confidence among girls and women.

View more photos from the day here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Gold Award Spotlight: Keep Calm, Don't Go Nuts

Girl Scout Ambassador Bronwynn from Chesapeake has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement in Girl Scouting.

Bronwynn’s brother has severe tree nut allergies, and she noticed that many people are not aware of the simple things they can do to keep prevent allergic reactions. For her project, Bronwynn educated members of the community about how to keep people with peanut and tree nut allergies safe and raised awareness about the seriousness of food allergies.

Bronwynn shared food allergy safety tips, such as washing hands after eating and reading food labels before sharing food, with members of the community at a health expo hosted by the YMCA, at local schools and at two events hosted by the Commonwealth Attorney’s office— the Girls’ and Young Women’s’ Empowerment Conference and the Boys’ Leadership Conference. In order for her project to reach people on a larger scale, Bronwynn also created a blog with tips and advice about being mindful of food allergies and conducted video interviews with people who have food allergies that she posted online.

“I’ve seen how hard it is for my brother when people don’t understand his allergies,” Bronwynn said. “His reactions can be very scary, so I wanted to educate people about the severity of allergies and how to handle them so that all allergy sufferers are safe.”

Bronwynn also created brochures about food allergies that she placed at a local restaurant to further raise awareness about the issue.

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

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Top Ten Reasons to Invite a Friend to Volunteer


Here are the top ten reasons to invite a friend to volunteer with Girl Scouts TODAY…

10. There are 19 days left to take advantage of the Volunteer Invite-a-Friend offer.

9. We’re trying to set a new record for onboarding volunteers in a single month! Help us recruit over 25 new volunteers this month!

8. Who doesn't love SHOPPING FOR GIRL SCOUT GEAR?! During the Volunteer Invite-a-Friend offer, when you invite a friend to volunteer with us, you’ll get a $50 coupon code to use at Girl Scouts’ Official Online Store.

7. Wouldn't it be nice to have ONE MORE Girl Scout sister to share that box of Thin Mints with? As you count cookie money, of course…

6. There are 200 girls at the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast and another 30,000 girls nationwide who CAN’T WAIT to be Girl Scouts. Let’s get these girls involved in the amazing activities we offer today!

5. Remember that time you sang silly Girl Scout songs until your girls got the giggles? EVERYONE could use some more giggles in their lives!

4. Picture your favorite Girl Scout memory. Maybe it was when you were a girl at your first camping trip, maybe it was when you volunteered to take your troop on its first camping trip, or maybe when you realized that without YOU, those moments may not have happened. Don’t you want to invite a friend to make even more of these moments happen?

3. “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold…” Need we say more?

2. Volunteering with girls is like discovering the FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH! Girl giggles, silly stories, new experiences, and breaking out of your comfort zone keep you forever young!

1. Before you came along, your girls were waiting for someone to be their role model. There are girls still waiting for that role model to come along. Invite a friend to make a difference in these girls’ lives today!

Once you’ve invited a friend to start a new troop, let us know RIGHT HERE!

Have a question? Contact joinus@gsccc.org.

Monday, November 10, 2014

International Girls Day at The College of William and Mary

On Saturday, November 8, over 100 Girl Scouts in grades 2 to 5 from across the region gathered in Williamsburg at The College of William and Mary for International Girls Day, an annual event hosted by the Kappa Delta Sorority at William and Mary to teach girls about confidence, leadership and healthy living. This year over 100 members of the sorority volunteered as mentors, activity leaders and organizers for the event.

Morgan and Emilia
The morning began with a presentation from two Girl Scout Seniors, Morgan and Emilia, who talked to the girls about their personal leadership journeys and their trip to represent Girl Scouts at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Morgan and Emilia were two of four local Girl Scouts who traveled to New York to participate in this event dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. Since returning, they have been able to share what they learned with fellow Girl Scouts and classmates.

“It was so amazing to be at the United Nations for such an important event,” Morgan said. “Attending the Commission on the Status of Women made me want to become more involved in educating others about gender equality.”

For the rest of the day, girls rotated through workshops where they talked about body image, practiced a Zumba routine, made bracelets and more. Throughout the day, members of Kappa Delta spread the message that girls can do anything.

Members of Girl Scout Troop 1076
“International Girls Day is a way for Kappa Delta to give back to the community and inspire confidence in girls,” Maren Leibowitz, a member of the planning committee for the event from Kappa Delta, said.

The partnership between Kappa Delta Sorority at The College of William and Mary and Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast also allows girls to experience a college campus, interact with young women who are academically successful and see the opportunities available to them by attending college.

Nationally, the Kappa Delta Sorority has been working with Girl Scouts since 1998. International Girls Day was created on behalf of the Confidence Coalition, which was founded by Kappa Delta Sorority in 2009 to motivate organizations and individuals to help boost self-esteem and confidence among girls and women.

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast is committed to offering opportunities for girls to build courage, confidence and character.

View more photos from the day here.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Gold Award Spotlight: Raised Garden for the Homeless

Girl Scout Ambassador Lauren from Virginia Beach has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement in Girl Scouting. 

For her project, Lauren created a raised vegetable garden for the PIN (People in Need) Ministry, which serves homeless people in Virginia Beach. Lauren recognized that oftentimes meals that are served to homeless people contain fatty, carbohydrate-filled foods and do not include fresh vegetables. Lauren built this garden so that PIN could serve salads at no cost and homeless people could have access to fresh and nutritious foods. She also decided to place the garden in a mobile home park and make the vegetables available to residents there as well.

“I chose this project because I think healthy eating is very important, and I wanted homeless people in Virginia Beach to be able to eat healthy too,” Lauren said. “I have enjoyed volunteering with PIN in the past, and I wanted to work with them to create something that will help those in the community who are less fortunate.”

In order to ensure that her garden will continue to have a positive impact on the community, Lauren organized the Green Team Club at Princess Anne High School to be responsible for renewing the soil and planting seeds twice a year.

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

Monday, November 3, 2014

Society of Women Engineers Day

On Saturday, November 1, over 70 Girl Scouts gathered at Old Dominion University for a day of science fun and exploration during an annual workshop hosted by the Hampton Roads Section of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). Locally, SWE has worked with Girl Scouts for over 25 years to give girls the opportunity to learn new skills, develop self-confidence and explore their STEM interests in a supportive environment.

Girl Scout Junior Katrina gets help putting together
 an electrical circuit from Kim Wright,
a mechanical engineering student at ODU.
SWE member Eileen Leininger, a retired engineer with Newport News Waterworks who has volunteered with Girl Scouts for over 25 years, began the day by talking to girls about careers in engineering. She made engineering relevant for girls by helping them see how everyday items— from parking garages to water pressure in their bathroom sink— involve engineering. When girls to see the relevance of the STEM subjects in their daily lives, they will be more likely to continue to pursue their scientific interests.

Girl Scout Junior Alexis participating
 in the construction challenge.
The girls then participated in a variety of engineering activities, including creating their own water filtration systems, programming robots and putting together electrical circuits. They also participated in a construction challenge to build the highest tower using uncooked spaghetti noodles, tape and one marshmallow, and they learned about wetlands and erosion.

In addition to giving girls the chance to learn and discover in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, SWE Day is an opportunity for girls to interact with women engineers. Today, only one-fifth of American scientists and engineers are women, and Girl Scouts are working to fill the gap by giving girls access to strong female role models in the STEM fields who will inspire girls to envision themselves in similar careers.

The next STEM event for girls, Think Link a Scientist, will take place on Saturday, December 6 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News. This event is open to all girls, whether or not they are currently registered members of Girl Scouts.

View more photos from the day here.

2014 Girl Scout Famous Formers

On Thursday, October 30, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast recognized six local Girl Scout alumna as Girl Scout Famous Formers during a luncheon held in their honor at the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club. This event is held annually to honor local women who continue to exemplify the values of Girl Scouting through their leadership roles in the community.

Girl Scout Cadettes Lily and Sianna with Laura Contreras-Rowe
During the luncheon, guests heard an inspiring message from keynote speaker Laura Contreras-Rowe, a third generation Girl Scout, author, motivational speaker, philanthropist and real estate agent. Rowe attributes her time in Girl Scouts to who she is today and fondly looks back at her time as a Girl Scout, even recognizing that she started her sales career selling Thin Mints. During her remarks, Rowe shared the story behind her nonprofit organization, The Got Sole Project, which collects and distributes new and gently used shoes.

“When I started The Got Sole Project, I never knew how big it would get and how great of an impact it would have,” Rowe said. “It is in all of us to give back, and I want you to make a difference.”

Guests also heard from Girl Scout Ambassador Lauren Prox, who shared what she learned about leadership and success on her recent trip to the national Girl Scout Leadership Institute in Salt Lake City.

Each Famous Former honorees was presented a plaque by Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast CEO Tracy Keller and Board Chair Melissa Burroughs. This year’s honorees were: Dr. Wanda Barnard-Bailey, deputy city manager for City of Chesapeake; Dr. Lucy Gibney, founder and chairman of Lucy’s, an allergy-friendly food manufacturing company; Susan Mayo, president of Susan T. Mayo Consulting; Regina Mobley, news anchor for WVEC-TV 13; Janis King Robinson, vice president of operations for Sentara Albemarle Medical Center; and Jeanne Zeidler, president and CEO of Williamsburg Community Health Foundation and former mayor of the City of Williamsburg.


Nationwide, there are 59 million Girl Scout alumnae. The Girl Scout Research Institute conducted a study among these alumnae and proved that Girl Scouting has tangible benefits. According to the report published by the Girl Scout Research Institute, Girl Scout alumnae display positive life outcomes to a greater degree than women who were never Girl Scouts. Girl Scout alumnae attain higher levels of education, report a higher household income, are more civically engaged and are more like to volunteer than non-alumnae. Girl Scout alumnae know firsthand how Girl Scouts can have a lasting positive impact on the life of a girl, and serve as role models for girls today—the future leaders of tomorrow.

This event was generously sponsored by Inside Business, Tidewater Hispanic News, Ticatch Financial Management and A. Reddix and Associates.

The next Girl Scout event for alumnae and adults in the community is the Samoa Soiree, a signature tasting event that will be held on Saturday, March 7 at the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center in Norfolk.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Girls Asked to Vote on Outdoor Badges


Four Girl Scout outdoor badges will be added to the Girl Scout program line up in fall 2015- one at Brownie, Junior, Cadette and Senior levels.

Girl Scouts of the USA will use a "Girls' Choice" process to choose the badges, which includes polling Girl Scouts to let the girls takes the lead on deciding which new badges will be created.

There will be two rounds of polling. First, girls will vote on which content area they're interested in within the Outdoor category, for example, Outdoor Recreation or Outdoor Survival. Once a majority vote indicates a content area, girls will vote on the actual badge topic, such as Hiking or Camping, based on their grade level in the coming year.

Here is the timeline:

October 31- November 30: Girls will vote on the content area they are interested in within the outdoor category.

December 1- December 31: Girls will vote on the actual badge topic.

March 12, 2015: The four Outdoor badges will be announced and content and product development will begin.

Girls can cast their vote here: http://bit.ly/1sS9nBA

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

New Girl Scout Poll Affirms Girls' Interest in Public Service, Illustrates Immense Barriers

Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) today released findings from a new ”pulse poll” showing that while the majority of today’s teen and tween girls are interested in politics (67 percent), and most are engaged in political, civic or leadership activities (93 percent), only a minority (37 percent) are interested in pursuing a career in politics. The pulse poll was conducted in September by the Girl Scout Research Institute with a national sample of more than 1,000 girls in the U.S. between the ages of 11 and 17, with demographics matched to the U.S. Census distribution of girls in this age range.

Girl Scouts with Hampton Mayor George Wallace to receive a
Girl Scout Week Proclamation in March 2014.
The discrepancy between girls’ desire to engage in the political world and their actual involvement in it is troubling. While, according to the poll, 78 percent of girls want to make a difference in the world and 76 percent want to help people, 92 percent of those girls believe there are other ways than politics to make a difference in the world—and 61 percent would rather be a movie star than president of the United States.

Interestingly, the fact that girls by and large don’t want to enter politics does not point to a lack of faith in their own abilities. Eighty-four percent of girls say “I am smart enough to have a career in politics.” What they are calling for is more support and encouragement from society, the media and adults, to pursue a career in politics. Sixty-five percent of girls feel more mentoring from current politicians and positive stories in the press would encourage them to pursue political careers.

"This new research shows real promise when it comes to girls’ political aspirations—but we need to give girls more support and opportunities to experience and get excited about politics,” says Senior Researcher Kamla Modi, Ph.D., of the Girl Scout Research Institute.

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast, which serves girls in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, is committed to offering girls opportunities to learn about government and be engaged in advocacy work. Last month, a group of seven Girl Scouts from Hampton Roads met with Senator Tim Kaine to inform him about Girl Scout initiatives in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and share the ways STEM opportunities through Girl Scouts have impacted their career aspirations.

Girl Scouts and GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller with Senator Tim Kaine in September 2014.

Read the full results of the pulse poll here.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Gold Award Spotlight: Alone Without a Home

Hampton Girl Scout Charlotte has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement in Girl Scouting. Charlotte also earned the Girl Scout Bronze and Silver Awards, represented Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast as a National Delegate and served as a member of the board of directors.

For her project, Charlotte worked with Commonwealth Catholic Charities to help refugees who recently moved to the Peninsula to acclimate to the area. Charlotte helped to provide clean, furnished apartments for three families and supplied food and personal care items for each of the families. She also created translation cards that she attached to furnishings and household items to help families learn English. Finally, she created a welcome manual for each family that included English phrases and information about local schools, resources and community services.

“I chose this project because my church sponsored a refugee family a few years ago, and I was amazed at their resiliency with the support of the church,” Charlotte said. “I wanted to also help refugee families as they transition to life on the Peninsula.”

Charlotte also made a presentation at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hampton, where she shared information about the circumstances that lead to a person becoming a refugee, the process that refugees go through to move to the United States and what people can do to help. The Commonwealth Catholic Charities will continue to use Charlotte’s welcome manual to help refugees acclimate to their new community in Virginia.

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

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Girl Scouts Learn from Local Sheros

Sheros—or female heroes— aren't just characters in movies and books, and 150 Girl Scouts had the opportunity to meet local sheros during a special event about emergency operations and medicine event held earlier in October at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. During the day, girls from grades K-12 had the chance to learn about healthy living and well-being as they stepped into the roles of nurses, first responders and other professionals. This helped the girls to discover how their shero powers can make the world a better place.

Girl Scout Junior Dominique with
Norfolk Firefighter Tina Jones
The event began with a session led by Norfolk Firefighter Tina Jones who talked to the girls about the importance of staying calm during an emergency and what it’s like to be a firefighter. She also shared that she enjoys her job because she gets to help people every day.

“Firefighters are here to help,” Jones said. “In fact, a lot of what we do as firefighters goes along with the Girl Scout Promise and Law—we do our best to make a difference.”

Girls then attended workshops where they made first aid kits and tried on turnout gear with Chief Battalion Amy Valdez and Kathleen Pearson from the Virginia Beach Fire Department and learned about preparing for an emergency by decorating pillowcases that they could quickly fill with important items in case they ever need to leave their house in a rush due to an emergency. The girls also learned about organ donation from Cindy Harris, who lost her son Paul in 2006 following a car accident. She shared her story and talked about why she volunteers with LifeNet today to help families facing the decision about donating the organs of their loved ones. During the afternoon, girls heard from nurses and learned about pediatrics.

Virginia Beach Firefighter Kathleen Pearson and Girl Scout Ambassador Megan

Girl Scouts is committed to giving girls opportunities to explore careers and discover that they can be anything they want to be. By introducing girls to women in a variety of careers, girls can picture themselves in a similar role and are motivated to follow their dreams. Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast will be offering an opportunity for girls to learn about careers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields on December 6 at Think Like a Scientist!, which will take place at the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News.

View more photos from the day here.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Gold Award Spotlight: Disability Awareness

Girl Scout Ambassador Lauren from Smithfield has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement in Girl Scouting. For her project, Lauren addressed the issue of bullying, especially in settings where students with special needs are bullied in school.

Lauren began her project by researching a variety of disabilities, including autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, blindness, deafness and dyslexia. She then created a binder for each of these topics that she filled with child-friendly explanations of each disability, pictures of children with the disability and a video about how to recognize different disabilities. The binders also included activities designed to help children to better understand challenges that some of their peers face, including sign language and braille activities.

When her binders were complete, Lauren presented her project to an administrator at Driver Elementary School in Suffolk, where it will be used as a resource for students and teachers to better understand students with special needs and gain insight into the learning and social challenges that they face. Lauren hopes that this education will help to decrease, and eventually end, bullying.

“I chose to do this project because of the bullying and discrimination that I experienced in elementary school,” Lauren said. “I wanted to help other students and hopefully prevent them from experiencing the same pain.”

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

Monday, October 20, 2014

Meet Famous Formers Honoree Regina Mobley

So far, we've introduced you to two of the six women being honored by Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast as Girl Scout Famous Formers this year. GSCCC will be celebrating these honorees at a luncheon on October 30 in Norfolk. Now, we would like to introduce another honoree, WVEC Anchor and Reporter Regina Mobley.

Mobley, who was born and raised in Norfolk, joined a Girl Scout troop that met at a church in her neighborhood when she was in elementary school. She has fond memories of camping in her troop leader’s backyard and proudly wearing her Girl Scout uniform as she marched in community parades.

One of the most impactful experiences that Mobley had as a Girl Scout was the opportunity to take part in an outdoor event for troops around Norfolk at Camp Apasus, a Girl Scout property on Masons Creek that Girl Scouts continue to use today. Most of Mobley’s childhood was spent at activities in her neighborhood—at church, at school and with family. Mobley recalls that her experience at Camp Apasus was one of her first experiences interacting being in a mixed environment with both black and white people.

“Before we went to camp, we wondered if we would be accepted by the white girls there,” Mobley said. “It ended up being a really positive experience and helped prepare me for what desegregation would mean in my community.”

When she was 17 years old, Mobley became fascinated by the production of World News Tonight and set a goal to become a news anchor. After graduating from Granby High School and then Norfolk State University, she worked at local radio stations before achieving her dream and becoming a news reporter at WTKR. Looking back, Mobley says that the most significant assignment in her career was interviewing President Barack Obama in March 2011 about the No Child Left Behind Act. She was the first local news reporter to interview President Obama while he was in office.

Earlier this year, Mobley was inducted into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame, which recognizes communication professionals with exceptional careers in journalism, public relations, advertising and other media fields. Over the years, Mobley has continued to exemplify the values of Girl Scouting, both in her career and in volunteer roles, as a friendly, helpful, responsible role model in the community.

Mobley says that being a Girl Scout gave her a sense of belonging and a taste of accomplishment at a young age. She recognizes how impactful it was for her to be part of a positive and supportive organization when she was a young girl.

In addition to Mobley, five other local Girl Scout alumnae will be honored as Girl Scout Famous Formers this year: Dr. Wanda Barnard-Bailey, deputy city manager for City of Chesapeake; Dr. Lucy Gibney, founder and chairman of Lucy’s, an allergy-friendly food manufacturing company; Susan Mayo, president of Susan T. Mayo Consulting; Janis King Robinson, vice president of operations for Sentara Albemarle Medical Center; and Jeanne Zeidler, president and chief executive officer of the Williamsburg Community Health Foundation.

This year’s Girl Scout Famous Formers Luncheon will be held on Thursday, October 30 at 11:30 a.m. at the Norfolk Yacht Club. Tickets for the luncheon are $40 each and can be purchased online or by calling 757-548-9438.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Gold Award Spotlight: Flute Therapy

Chesapeake Girl Scout Natazzja has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement in Girl Scouting. For her project, Natazzja organized a music program to unite youth and people who reside in local nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Natazzja, who plays the flute, recruited fellow members of the band at Indian River High School to plan and carry out 17 musical performances at six nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Chesapeake, Elizabeth City and Norfolk. During the performances, Natazzja and fellow musicians played a variety of music, including patriotic and spiritual songs.

“Through Girl Scouts, I have been visiting nursing homes since I was in first grade, but not all youth have been in nursing homes or around the elderly on a regular basis,” Natazzja said. “My project has helped to connect youth and the elderly.”

Natazzja also created a manual with instructions about how to plan and carry out her music programs so that students from the band, orchestra and chorus at Indian River High School can continue to host musical performances at local nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Her manual includes contact information for the facilities where she performed, tips for rehearsing for a performance and information about selecting songs to perform.

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

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Meet Blair, Girl Scout Leadership Institute Delegate

This year, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast is sending ten girls to attend the Girl Scout Leadership Institute (GSLI) that is taking place in conjunction with Girl Scout National Convention from October 16 to 19 in Salt Lake City. GSLI takes place every three years and provides girls ages 14 and up with leadership skill-building activities that are tied to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. This year's theme is Discover, Connect, Take Action: Girls Change the World.

One of the girls who will be representing Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast at GSLI is Blair, a Girl Scout Ambassador from Chesapeake. Now a senior at Western Branch High School, Blair joined Girl Scouts when she was in kindergarten and has been a Girl Scout even since. Blair had the opportunity to attend a GSCCC trip to Australia and New Zealand in 2011, where she and 34 other local Girl Scouts took a skyline gondola ride, visited a jade factory, toured the Sydney harbor, met kangaroos and koala bears and so much more.

Blair is currently working on earning the Girl Scout Gold Award. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family. She is very excited that she has the chance to represent Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast at GSLI this year.

Get more updates from GSCCC at National Convention by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sisterhood on the Fort—Social Enjoyment and Civic Engagement

On Saturday, October 4, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast and the Casemate Museum at Fort Monroe National Monument held an opening reception for a new exhibit, Sisterhood on the Fort, about the history of Girl Scouting on Fort Monroe. This exhibit, which will be on display through April 2015, represents the first time that the Casemate Museum has partnered with a community organization to create a historical display.

GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller, Girl Scout Cadette Sianna,
Casemate Museum Director Robin Edward Reed, Nicole Stuart
and Chris Stuart, owners of Top Guard Security
During the reception, Girl Scout Cadette Sianna helped with the ribbon cutting to officially open the exhibit, along with Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast CEO Tracy Keller and Chris and Nicole Stuart of Top Guard Security, the sponsors for the exhibit and reception. Girl Scout alumnae and friends from the community had the opportunity to view the exhibit and share memories from their own experiences in Girl Scouts. 

“I really enjoyed my time in Girl Scouts,” Eola Dance, chief of visitor services and resource management at Fort Monroe National Monument. said. “I think it really played a part in my interest in history, nature and service organizations and helped me get to where I am today.”

Eola Dance, right, and her mother Elvena Lewis
The exhibit explores the formation of Girl Scouts on the military installation in 1926, 14 years after the organization was founded in Savannah, Ga. Through photographs, letters and stories, as well as vintage uniforms and handbooks, the exhibit examines the development of the Girl Scout Movement in the unique setting of Fort Monroe, a place that many military families have called home over the years.

The display also includes accounts of the Girl Scout experience on Fort Monroe during World War II, as well as the troop activities and community service projects in the decades that followed. As girls moved on and off of Fort Monroe with their families, Girl Scouts offered a familiar activity that allowed girls to make new friends and be involved in their community.

Items from the collections of both Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast and the Casemate Museum are featured in the exhibit.

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast has also recently partnered with Fort Monroe National Monument to create a Junior Ranger patch for girls to earn while visiting the site. More information about Girl Scouts can be found here.

Admission is free for self-guided tours of the Casemate Museum, which includes the Girl Scout exhibit. The Casemate Museum is open Tuesday- Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information about museum hours and location, call 757-788-3391.