Tuesday, July 25, 2017

New STEM and Outdoor Badges

We are excited to announce the release of new badges and Journeys in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and the outdoors! The requirements for the new program content are available on the Volunteer Toolkit.

With the introduction of 23 new badges, which marks the largest program rollout in almost a decade, Girl Scouts can earn badges for designing robots and racecars, going on environmentally-conscious camping trips, writing code, collecting data in the great outdoors and so much more. GSUSA created programming that included contributions from many notable organizations, including: Code.org, GoldieBlox, SciStarter, Society of Women Engineers and WGBH/Design Squad, as well as the outdoor-focused Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

New Journeys

Anchored by the new Troop Camping badges, the Outdoor Journey will deepen girls' outdoor skills through badges that lead to a Take Action project and inspire girls to take an interest in environmental stewardship. Available for Daisy, Brownie and Junior troops. Formatted as downloadable PDF on the Volunteer Toolkit for Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors.

Junior Think Like an Engineer
Award Badge
Think Like An Engineer 
Girls will learn how to think like a designer by participating in hands-on design challenges and completing a Take Action project. Available for Daisy, Brownie, Junior and multi-level (K-5) troops.

Think Like a Programmer 
Girls participate in interactive computational-thinking activities to learn how programmers solve problems. Girls also complete a Take Action project.  Available for Daisy, Brownie, Junior and multi-level (K-5) troops.

Think Like a Citizen Scientist
Girls learn the scientific method by undertaking a citizen science project that involves making observations, collecting data and working with scientists to receive feedback on research and findings. Girls also complete a Take Action project. Available for Daisy, Brownie, Junior and multi-level (K-5) troops.

New Badges

Brownie Programming Robots Badge
Girls design their own robots after learning how they are built and programmed. Available for Daisy, Brownie and Junior troops.

Mechanical Engineering
Girls complete hands-on engineering activities, such as building and testing roller coasters, racecars and robots. Available for Daisy, Brownie and Junior troops.

Daisy Outdoor Art Maker Badge
New Badges for Daisies
Two new Daisy badges: Outdoor Art Maker and Good Neighbor, give the youngest Girl Scouts a chance to get in on the creativity other Girl Scouts already enjoy and discover all about their school, city and state.

Girls' Choice- Troop Camping
Girls from across the United States had the chance to vote on their favorite badge category, and earlier this summer, we released a new set of Troop Camping badges.  Available for Daisy, Brownie and Junior troops on the Volunteer Toolkit.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Join Us to Do S’more with Girl Scouts!

Families interested in learning more about Girl Scouts are invited to celebrate National S’mores Day with Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast at the events listed below. Make your own delicious s’mores, try your hand at cool science and engineering activities and sign up to become a Girl Scout! Register to attend an event here.

Friday, August 4
6 to 7 p.m.
A Place for Girls
912 Cedar Road, Chesapeake

Thursday, August 10
6 to 7 p.m.
Camp Skimino
448 Fenton Mill Road, Williamsburg

Thursday, August 10
6 to 7 p.m.
Courthouse Community United Methodist Church
2708 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach

Sunday, August 20
6 to 7 p.m.
Camp Apasus
8420 Granby Street, Norfolk

Sign up for Girl Scouts, and you are in for a year of opportunity, excitement and new experiences! Staff will be on hand at each event to help you register. Girl Scouts is open to all girls in grades K-12, and parents and caregivers are invited to join the fun as volunteers.

Take part in your first Girl Scout community service project by bringing school supplies that will be donated to local schools through WAVY-TV’s Operation School Supplies.

For more information about Girl Scouts, visit www.gsccc.org or call 757-547-4405.

Friday, July 21, 2017

5 Reasons You Won’t Want to Miss Science Alive

For the past seven years, Norfolk State University has hosted hundreds of Girl Scouts for Science Alive. The day is full of cool science activities, inspirational women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and so much more! This year, Science Alive is scheduled for September 16. Here’s why you don’t want to miss out on the fun:
  1. Hands-on STEM experiences like no other. Norfolk State University opens the doors of its state-of-the-art facilities for Girl Scouts to use. This year, girls can expect to learn the ins and outs of creating and designing video games, uncover the mysteries behind slime and goo, explore how tools are used at the nano level and more!
  2. Meeting the experts: women who are studying and teaching STEM. Each workshop at Science Alive is run by faculty and students at Norfolk State University. Girl Scouts get to spend the day learning from women in STEM, who show girls that they can be anything they want to be!
  3. Beyond the classroom. Outside of the fun STEM activities, Science Alive is a great opportunity for Girl Scouts to explore life on a college campus. They get to tour academic buildings and the student center, as well as speak to students about college life. This helps girls prepare for their own academic futures.
  4. Workshops for the parents, too! A special adult session is offered during Science Alive for parents, caregivers and troop leaders to learn more about tutoring and college readiness.
  5. DANCE PARTY! One of the highlights of Science Alive each year? The lunchtime dance party! Girl Scouts and Norfolk State University students dance to the beat before kicking off the afternoon STEM sessions.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Meet Popsicle and Blossom, the High Adventure Counselors!

Blossom, left, and Popsicle
If you look up in the trees at camp, you will probably see Poppy Crawshaw and Tessa Coughtrey, also known as Popsicle and Blossom by their campers, they are two of the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast’s adventure counselors for our summer residence camps.

Poppy joined Girl Scouts as a Daisy and went on to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, which is the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting. She completed her Gold Award project in 2014 when she ran a basketball camp for 75 third, fourth and fifth graders at a Title I school. Her goal was to give kids a safe, healthy way to let out energy and frustration from their school and home lives. The elementary school where she did the program at is in a low-income area and 75 percent of the students are on free-and-reduced lunch. Poppy has always been inspired to give back to her community, which led to her decision to become a camp counselor for GSCCC.

“I became a counselor to give back to the Girl Scout community because they gave so much to me,” Poppy said. “I went to camp as a kid and looked up to my counselors as role models and I hope to be that for these girls.”

Poppy’s favorite part of camp is seeing the girls grow in just one week of camp. She knows how to follow the Girl Scout motto by helping girls grow in confidence by being surrounded by strong girls and women.

Tessa became a Girl Scout at the age of five. Twelve years later, Tessa earned the Gold Award by writing a U.S. History curricula for second, fifth and eighth graders around her hometown of Edenton, NC. The curricula was about the Edenton Tea Party, which was a major event in women’s history and is largely considered the first organized political actions by women in the United States. A total of 51 women signed a petition to stop using British goods during the American Revolution. Tessa continues to empower young girls as a high adventure counselor.

“I love Girl Scouts as an organization, and it is the perfect thing to do while I’m off school for the summer,” Tessa said. “I’m an adventure counselor, and I love watching and encouraging girls’ confidence through adventurous activities. And, I’ve met some of my best friends here!”

GSCCC summer camps continue through August. There are still spaces to register your daughter for a week, or more, of fun and adventure at Girl Scout camp.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Girl Scout Troop 626 Retires Flags for Bronze Award Project

Girl Scout Troop 626 from Virginia Beach recently earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award for their project, which focused on respect for and proper disposal of American flags.

The troop members started their project by learning about the origin and history of the American flag. They also researched ways to respectfully retire the flag and how to identify when a flag just needs to be repaired instead of retired. They learned that as long as repairs are not noticeable and do not alter the dimensions of a flag, that minor damages can be repaired. Flags with large tears or excessive fraying, however, should be retired.

Armed with new knowledge, the troop members collected flags that needed to be retired from their local library. The flags were worn, soiled, faded or torn beyond repair. During their research, the girls learned that oftentimes, flags are cremated with American military veterans. They set aside a number of flags and donated them to a local funeral home to be used in this manner.

For the remaining flags, the girls organized a flag retirement ceremony, and they invited their families to take part in the event. In keeping with the guidelines of the United States Flag Code, the girls respectfully cut the flags and burned them in a small fire. They made sure that the flag retirement ceremony was solemn and dignified.

The Girl Scout Bronze Award is the third highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting. In order to earn the award, Girl Scouts identify a need in their community and organize a Take Action project to put their solution for the need in motion.

Community in Costa Rica

By Troop 771

Troop 771 from Chesapeake traveled to Costa Rica this summer. Although the timing of the trip was exactly the same as the Council sponsored trip, it was not the same trip. But, our itinerary was almost exact, and we even ran into each other a few times.

We did have a couple of exceptions. We had the opportunity to interact with the Maleku indigenous tribe.  Their numbers are dwindling rapidly and they are expected to be extinct within 60 years. We were treated to their traditional drink and they danced for us. We also painted either a butterfly or toucan on balsa wood with their guidance.

We also met with local Scouts on the beach where we made guacamole together and then built a fire and roasted marshmallows. We took turns singing songs to each other.  Our girls got to practice their Spanish and the Scouts were able to practice their English. Then, two days later, we met the Scouts at their school where we donated more than 100 pounds of school supplies and about 15 soccer balls!!!!  They were so excited. We spent the morning painting shelters in the schoolyard with the Scouts. They use these shelters for their break time and sometimes eat their lunches there. We were able to see some classrooms and then we played some typical games with the Scouts. We then were given special coins from the Scouts as SWAPs.

We experienced so much it’s hard to say what was the most fun! We were able to see four kinds of monkeys, two kinds of sloths, four kinds of toucans, scarlet macaws, crocodiles, snakes, tarantulas and tree frogs! We visited coffee, chocolate and pineapple plantations! We ziplined, climbed a volcano, hiked down a waterfall, cruised on a crocodile river and went whitewater rafting!

If you ever get the chance to go to Costa Rica – you simply must go!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Troop 310 Earns Bronze Award

Congratulations for the nine members of Girl Scout Troop 310 in Chesapeake for earning the Bronze Award! The Bronze Award is the third highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

For Troop 310, the process to earn the award started months ago, when they decided that they wanted to take action to make a difference for the Portsmouth Humane Society. The girls invited a representative from the Portsmouth Humane Society to speak at a troop meeting to learn more about the organization's needs. She shared with the girls that the shelter is always in need of toys and treats for the animals.

Armed with new knowledge, the girls researched projects, keeping in mind that they had a budget, they wanted their project to be environmentally friendly and they wanted to be able to engage other children in their community in their project. In May, the girls toured the Portsmouth Humane Society and that same night, they attended the Greenbrier YMCA Parents Night Out and lead the children there in creating 48 cat scratchers, 46 cat toys from wine corks, 47 dog pull toys from T-shirts and 78 frozen dog treats. The next weekend, the girls delivered their donations to the humane society, visited with the animals there and learned about volunteer opportunities there. 

Other members of Troop 310 will be holding a similar event this fall to complete their final requirements to earn the Bronze Award as well. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

A Touch of the Tropics

An adventure of a lifetime—two years in the making. On June 24, 38 travelers from GSCCC took off from the Norfolk International Airport. Final destination: Costa Rica.

The group started their trip in the Arenal region of Costa Rica, named for the Arenal Volcano that dominates the landscape. There, they visited a coffee plantation and a chocolate planation, complete with tastings at each site. They also hiked in Arenal Volcano National Park, kayaked on Arenal Lake, swam in hot springs heated by the volcano’s geothermal activity and trekked to La Fortuna Waterfall.

From there, they traveled by bus to the Green Mountain region of the country, where they toured the Saint Elena Cloud Forest, went horseback riding in Monteverde and soared over the treetops while zip lining. The group left a positive mark in Costa Rica as they worked together to plant a tree on a reserve.

On day six of the trip, the group headed to the Pacific coast. They hiked into the rainforest, where they saw tropical plants and exotic wildlife, including iguanas, tree frogs, and butterflies. They spent the afternoon up close with crocodiles, monkeys and birds on a river cruise.

“One of the best parts of the whole trip was getting to meet Girl Guides and Boy Scouts from Costa Rica,” Eileen Livick, the GSCCC travel volunteer, said. “Despite some language barriers, the girls got the chance to learn more about life in Costa Rica, and the scouts taught us some of their traditional songs in Spanish.”

Before heading back to the United States, the group enjoyed a traditional Costa Rican dinner, complete with folklore dancing, and went whitewater rafting on the Sarapiquí River.

For Kilani, a Girl Scout Senior from Moyock who travelled with the group, the journey to Costa Rica was her first time leaving the country. For her, this adventure was all about opportunities to meet new people, taste new foods and see new places.

Want to explore the world with Girl Scouts? Spots are still open to join GSCCC on a Mediterranean adventure in July 2018 and a trip to Scotland and Ireland in the summer of 2019. For more information, contact Eileen Livick at queenleen221@gmail.com.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Girl Scout Camp Counselor Got Her Start as a Camper

Sarah Petengill spent many weeks of her childhood summers at Girl Scout Camp Skimino. At camp, she always admired her camp counselors, and she knew that one day, she wanted to be a camp counselor to be a role model for girls too. This summer, Petengill made her dream a reality, and she is working as the arts and crafts manager for Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast. Throughout the summer, she is travelling to Girl Scout camps across the region-Camp Darden, Camp Apasus, Camp Skimino and Camp Outback-to bring her creativity, leadership and inspiration to hundreds of girls.

Last week at Camp Apasus in Norfolk, Petengill helped girls think outside the box in the arts and crafts cabin through a variety of projects. On Friday, the girls designed their own boats out of paper bags and craft sticks. This project not only allowed girls to use their creativity, but also required them to use their resources wisely so that their boat would float in a vat of water.

After a summer of fun and adventure with Girl Scouts, Petengill will be attending Radford University in the fall.

There are still spaces open for girls to attend summer camp with Girl Scouts. All girls are welcome. Find more information at www.gsccc.org.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

My First Year as a Girl Scout Leader

By Emily Holmes, leader of Girl Scout Troop 723 in Moyock

My first year as a Girl Scout troop leader was a great success. I started out with seven girls in mid-October and eight more girls joined the troop by the time summer came around. All of them were first year Daisies, half in kindergarten and half in first grade. During our first year, 12 girls completed earned all of their Petals, and the remaining three are not far behind.

All of my girls participated in the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Together, they sold more than 2,500 boxes of cookies. About half of the girls sold more than 200 boxes and one sold more than 600 boxes! My girls also participated in parades, took part in Earth Day activities, went caroling and attended World Thinking Day, just to name a few of the wonderful things we did this year. We had an end of year party where we awarded the girls their Petals, rewards from the cookie program and fun patches. The girls earned a combined 130 fun patches this year!

Our entire troop renewed for next year, and we had three moms step up to become co-leaders. As a leader, I have become CPR/AED/First Aid certified, completed Outdoor I/II training, attended Girl Scout Program Basics I/II as well as many online trainings. We have had a great year and we have learned so much. I am already excited about next year— half of my girls will be bridging to Brownies in the fall and new adventures will begin.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Gold Award Spotlight: Volleyball for All

Morgan, 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, Morgan created a volleyball camp for teens in the Green Run and Kempsville neighborhoods to have a low-cost, close-to-home opportunity to play volleyball.

“I love volleyball, but it can be expensive,” Morgan said. “I know that many kids might not have extra money to spend on sports or parents available to drive them across town for volleyball clinics. That’s why I took it upon myself to bring the camp to them.”

Morgan connected the Kempsville High School and Green Run High School volleyball coaches to bring skills clinics and conditioning programs open to students at both schools, as well as the neighborhood middle schools, for no cost.

Morgan also created website to serve as a resource for players, parents and coaches. It includes sample drills, information about rules of the game and things that players and families can do off the court to condition and work on skills at home. Through her project, Morgan aimed to not only increase players’ skills, but also create an opportunity for fitness through a fun sport that families can do together.

After running her clinics for two years, they have been expanded to Tallwood High School, and Tallwood High School will be offering clinics for middle school students in addition to the school’s own students.

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