Monday, July 16, 2018

Girl Scouts explore STEM at school

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast brought the Girl Scout Experience to several public schools this year to allow girls to learn more about Girl Scouts, leadership, STEM and how they all work together.

In Franklin, girls in grades K-5 at S.P. Morton Elementary School participated in enrichment programs that focused on STEM related projects. During the six-week adventure, girls worked on many STEM Journeys and earned a badge that included the Think Like an Engineer journey. They had fun with circuitry kits and other engineering activities that showed them just how valuable Girl Scouts is!

The administration at S.P. Morton Elementary School also got in on the fun.

In February, Franklin Schools Superintendent Tamara Sterling and Principal Sherie Davis participated in an investiture ceremony to become Girl Scout members at a sign up event. They were there to talk to parents and to support the in-school STEM program.

“This type of community partnership with our schools will help us meet the needs and interests of more girls and will encourage them in explore STEM outside of the classroom,” Superintendent Sterling said.

Girls at Joseph P. King Jr. Middle School got to participate in Girl Scout activities through a partnership with the school and with the help of Franklin Southampton Charities. Girl Scouts helped them “Be a Friend First.”

The Hampton School Age Program and Newport News Shipbuilding also allowed Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast to bring the power of Girl Scouts to a group of students in Hampton Public Schools.

At Samuel P. Langley Elementary School, girls interacted with circuitry kits and learned more about the engineering field. Several girls even said they are considering a career in STEM as they wrapped up their time in the program.

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast would like to thank Franklin Southampton Charities, Newport News Shipbuilding, Franklin and Hampton Public Schools for allowing us to bring the Girl Scout Experience to these amazing girls.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Camp Fury Norfolk

The last week in June was an exciting time for a group of go-getter Girl Scouts who took part in Camp Fury Norfolk, a summer camp hosted by Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast and the City of Norfolk Division of Fire & Rescue to introduce girls to nontraditional careers for women, including firefighting. 

While at Camp Fury, the girls were encouraged to try new things that helped them develop teamwork skills and build self-confidence.

Each day was a new adventure and challenge for the girls. The week began with physical training followed by a variety of events which allowed the girls to work alongside female firefighters and learn about what it takes to keep the community safe. At Norfolk Station 9, the Girl Scouts rotated through stations designed to enhance their firefighting skills. 

Once the campers were fitted with their gear on the first day, they practiced CPR, forcible entry and search and rescue missions. Other activities throughout the week included: observing a vehicle extrication demonstration, repelling in Downtown Norfolk, spending the day with Female Norfolk Police Officers to learn more about their important role in the community and learning more about NASA from female engineers.

"Women are more powerful and capable of things than other people think. We have more intelligence and more power and it's just hidden and people need to see that," Girl Scout camper Lynae said as she thought about her time at Camp Fury Norfolk.

On Thursday, the girls spent the night aboard the USS Battleship Wisconsin before graduating from the program on Friday.

“My favorite part of the week was repelling because it was energizing,” second year Camp Fury Norfolk Girl Scout Taerion said.

Camp Fury Norfolk started in 2017 when Darlene Braun, Norfolk firefighter and paramedic, decided to bring the camp to the city after volunteering with other Camp Furys in the area. Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast also partners with the City of Chesapeake and the City of Hampton to bring the Camp Fury experience to Girl Scouts in Hampton Roads.

Camp Fury is designed to immerse girls in a supportive, all-girl environment where they can develop leadership skills and confidence as they embrace the unfamiliar, take risks and discover what they are capable of. 

Click here to view more photos.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Williamsburg Girl Scout Caroline has earned her Silver Award

Girl Scout Cadette, Caroline Fuller, has earned her Girl Scout Silver Award for her project “Full STEAM Ahead!”

For her project, Caroline developed her own STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) activities and shared them with students in public schools as well as the home school academy. With the help of her lesson plans, students in preschool through sixth grade crafted things like magnets and simple machines.

To the left is a photo of an activity Caroline put together to supplement a third grade classroom teacher's unit on counting money up to $2. She set up a store with prizes. Students chose two prizes, added up the total cost, and practiced paying (using play money) in two different ways. The students got to keep the prizes!

To sustain her project, Caroline kept a binder with all of the different lessons that she created so that they could be recreated in the future. In total, she taught over 25 lessons to children in the public school and home school academy.

Although Caroline has completed her leadership project, she is still teaching her lesson plans.

The Girl Scout Silver Award is the top award that middle school age Girl Scouts can earn. To earn the award, girls have to identify a need in the community and carry out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Vulcan Materials Company donates 42 tons of stone to Camp Skimino!

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast appreciates our volunteers and donors!

From the military to clubs like the Rotary and our Girl Scout families, so many people and organizations in the community help us to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.

Vulcan Materials Company, the nation’s largest producer of construction aggregates and a major producer of aggregates-based construction materials, recently donated 42 tons of stone to Camp Skimino. The stone is currently being used to keep the road and trails safe at camp!

The company has donated stone and gravel to Camp Darden and Camp Skimino since 2012.

With the help of Vulcan Materials Company and other organizations, the GSCCC property team is able to keep our camp locations safe for Girl Scout campers and guests.

Thank you, Vulcan Materials Company, for your generous donation and continued support of Girl Scouts!

If you would like to make a donation to one of our camp locations, please contact or call 757-547-4405.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Girl Scouts in Virginia Beach earn their Inside Government Badge

 Girl Scout Troops 208 and 828 recently learned more about the inner workings of government from a Virginia Beach Delegate with the help of Girl Scout Junior Julissa.

Julissa led her troop to receive the Inside Government Badge after meeting Delegate Kelly Convirs-Fowler at the Beach Girls Rock seminar for fifth graders.

A requirement for the badge is to interview an elected official to learn more about their role in the government. While girls are working on the badge, they also can learn how to become active citizens. Julissa led a meeting to complete their badge requirements and invited Delegate Fowler to talk to the girls about the government and her role in it.

A week prior to their meeting, the girls learned some general information about how the government works, including how a bill becomes a law. When it came time to meet with Delegate Fowler, the girls were prepared and had a lot of questions.

Delegate Fowler was elected last year after beating incumbent Ron Villanueva. She explained to the girls that she never expected to be in the government. She was once a third grade teacher, and before getting elected, she became a Real Estate Agent. Once she got to the Virginia House of Delegates, she was placed in the Election Committee as well as the Science and Technology Committee, where she votes on bills that are related to those committees. While she explained how bills become laws, she also elaborated on the importance of talking to your local representatives to enact change in your community.

“If you don’t call, email or write a letter to your representative, they are not going to know what you want and what needs to be done,” she said.

After her talk, Delegate Fowler opened the floor to the girls and answered some of their questions. The girls asked questions about Amber Alerts, school shootings and how they can be active citizens.

This group of go-getter Girl Scouts shared with Delegate Fowler how they were already using their voices to change things in their community. The girls had been hard at work trying to get their neighborhood streets repaved because they hadn’t paved in over 30 years! The girls helped by having members of the community sign a petition to send to their elected official. Delegate Fowler applauded the girls for their hard work and told them who they could contact to get the roads repaved. 

After their questions, the girls held their own mock election where they each ran for different branches of the government. They even made signs and had campaign speeches prepared to share with the group. Then, they each voted with ballots and homemade voting booths.

From this experience, all of the girls learned a lot of different things about how the government works. Julissa learned that in order to be an active citizen, “you must speak to your elected officials so that they can help solve the issues in your community.”

Thank you, Delegate Fowler, for teaching the girls more about the government!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Explore the outdoors with The Wild Things!

Are you a Girl Scout who loves the outdoors? Do you enjoy challenging yourself and stepping out of your comfort zone? Have you heard about The Wild Things?

Founded by Bonnie Taylor, a dedicated 13-year GSCCC volunteer, The Wild Things was organized after Bonnie and two former volunteers kept getting several requests from other girls to go camping with troops.

“I ‘almost’ always said yes. Then we realized that so many girls were missing out on so much simply because their troop leaders didn’t want to, or didn’t know how to do all these types of camping,” Bonnie explained.

Several girls came up with the name “The Wild Things” and the rest is history!

The group hosts a lot of different events, including hammock camping, hiking and even repelling. A group of girls recently camped in hammocks and Bonnie also took 13 girls repelling in Shenandoah National Park. Talk about fun!

As Girl Scouts, programs are girl-led which allows girls to have a say in what they do.

“I ask the girls what they want to do,” Bonnie said. I use my own daughters as sounding boards and ask ‘would this be fun?’ and I also get lots of emails from people asking if I could do this or that.”

Girls gain confidence, make memories and challenge themselves in so many ways when they join the fun! The best part is that because of Bonnie’s skill set, all kinds of adventures are available for girls. It’s no wonder why the events almost always have a waitlist!

A hard-working volunteer, outdoor facilitator, mother and wife, Bonnie now has two troops and still runs The Wild Things.

Thank you, Bonnie for helping us build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place!

 Click here to register for upcoming events. Remember, spots fill up fast!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Suffolk Troop 273 donates over 2,500 pounds of food to local foodbank

Girl Scouts from Troop 273 in Suffolk have helped end the fight against hunger by collecting over 2,500 pounds of non-perishable items for donation!

The Helping Hands Food Drive was organized by Troop Leader Ciara and her daughter Aliya Summers because of their participation in a food drive that was hosted by Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast in the past.

Aliya was able to get her entire troop excited and on board with collecting as many goods as possible to give back to the community and present them to the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank.

The girls were able to collect items by doing walkabouts, contacting family and friends, as well as placing donation boxes in schools and churches. Their hard work allowed the girls to individually raise 1,133.5 pounds of non-perishable items. Four girls stood out among the troop taking the first, second, third, and fourth place for the most pounds collected. Below is the list of winners with how many pounds of food they collected:

1st place- Junior Aliya collected 343.5lbs of food

2nd place- Daisy Aryanna gathered 282.5lbs of food
3rd place- Brownie Shelby collected 173lbs of food
4th place- Daisy Morgan gathered 97.5lbd of food

The winners were given gift certificates to the Girl Scout Shop at A Place for Girls.

At the end of April, the girls made a final push to collect extra donations. The troop participated in an eight-hour food donation event at a local Kroger. In comparison to the past, the troop put in more volunteer hours with the help of more girls. At the conclusion of the
event, they were able to beat last year's record by over 1,100 pounds of items which brought them to their total of more than 2,500 pounds. This is a record year for Troop 273!

For their participation in the food drive, the girls earned a Food Drive Patch. And, the girls who volunteered and toured at the Foodbank received an additional patch for their hard work!

They have not set a goal for next year, but are looking forward to making this an annual project and raising the bar to bring more items to the community. The girls will be meeting all summer long to make new goals and become better leaders!

Troop 273 has spots available for Juniors and Cadettes. Contact GSCCC at 757-547-4405 or email us at for help getting in Troop 273. The troop meets every other Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Happy Father's Day!

This Sunday, we will take the time to honor and celebrate the fathers and father figures who help us build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.

Darrell Fann is one of those dads.

He has been a proud Girl Scout volunteer for six years. What first started as getting a troop together to ensure his daughters had the Girl Scout Experience has turned into years of troop leading and outdoor adventures.

“A big part of Girl Scouts is that it is girl-led. While having a strong female role model is very important, I also believe it is as important to have male role models,” Darrell explained.

Being the go-getter Girl Scout dad that he is, Darrell started his time as a volunteer by becoming the co-leader of his daughters’ Girl Scout troop to help get the troop up and running since there wasn’t one available at the time. He has since become the troop leader with help from his co-leader and troop parents.

Shortly after the troop’s first  Service Unit Encampment, Darrell learned that a lot of work went into participating in outdoor activities. He then took all of the outdoor training classes that he could so the girls in the troop could experience outdoor adventures. After two years of training and leading weekend events, he started to add different activities to the troop’s agenda such as canoeing.

Since his first two years as a Girl Scout, he has continued to look for ways to help his troop progress. So, when Darrell was able to volunteer with The Wild Things to get insight into some more weekend adventures for the older Girl Scouts, he didn’t hesitate to be a part of the group!

Aside from outdoor activities, Darrell has also trained adults for over four years and led his service unit camp activities for the past three years. Darrell has even dedicated his time to serve as a volunteer for different council programs such as STEM at Nauticus and Core Camp. He now helps plan, organize and execute adventures for Girl Scouts to explore the excitement of the outdoors in activities like bike camping and backpacking.

For him, the most rewarding part of his Girl Scout Volunteer experience has been the transformation that he has seen in his daughters. He has seen them grow as leaders and become more active and comfortable with leading and planning group activities.

As an adult volunteer, Darrell believes that there are very valuable lessons that can be learned by being a Girl Scout.

“The experiences and lessons learned from Girl Scouts help teach both personal responsibility and leadership, as well as support for your troop members, the broader Girl Scout impact and supporting your local community.”

Darrell’s hard work earned him the Honor Pin in 2015 for his time training adults for outdoor activities and the Thanks Badge in 2017 for his continuing efforts in outdoor training and co-leading The Wild Things events.

Thank you, Darrell, for your continued dedication to the Girl Scout Mission, and thank you to all of our dads man enough to be a Girl Scout! We appreciate you.

Happy Father’s Day!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

2018 Gold Award Celebration

On Saturday, June 9, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast honored 30 girls who earned their Gold Award during our 2018 membership year.

From creating and selling works of art to help out a local church food pantry, to raising awareness about the dangers of driving under the influence, Girl Scouts used their Gold Award projects to draw attention to issues important to them which allowed them to use their voice and enact change in their communities. Click here to see a full list of the girls who were honored along with the title and description of their project in the Gold Award Keepsake Booklet.

The evening’s celebration was emceed by Host of Another View, Barbara Hamm Lee who is also a Girl Scout alum and Famous Former.

Several special guests also attended, including Norfolk City Councilwoman Andria McClellan and Dr. Patricia King, newly elected Chesapeake School Board Member and psychiatrist.    

While guests enjoyed refreshments and the girls’ projects, Angie Hoen, vice president of Townebank delivered opening remarks to the girls.

“These young ladies have envisioned this mountainous achievement, looked at that mountain-high goal, climbed it as their own and said to their leaders, their families, their mentors and this Council, ‘come on, we’re going over that mountain,” Angie said as she congratulated the girls on their accomplishments.

During the celebration, Chesapeake Girl Scout Kaitlyn Duffy was honored posthumously for her project, “Protecting the Skin You’re In,” which worked to raise awareness of Melanoma and the importance of protecting your skin to prevent the disease. Kaitlyn lost her life in a tragic car accident last year. Both of her parents accepted the Gold Award pin in her honor.

Helen Kattwinkel, Gold Award Committee Member, read the Girl Scout Gold Award Charge which was followed by a toast led by the Board of Directors Chair, Carolene Goodwyn-Harris.

“For those of you that know me, you know I speak to leaving our footprint so that others may benefit from our time and treasure. Today, I say to you, our G.I.R.L.s, your footprint already goes beyond what most will be able to achieve in a lifetime. We commend you as you serve as an example to so many others,” Carolene toasted.

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast also recognized our three 2018 National Young Women of Distinction Nominees: Ava Gonzalez, Krysta Rutherford and Tara Grady. Read more about the honor here.

“I am inspired by the leaders I see today in this room-my Gold Award Girl Scout Sisters,” GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller explained to the girls and their families.

Congratulations to all of the girls who worked hard and went for the Gold! We are so proud of you.

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast would also like to thank Townebank for sponsoring the night’s celebration.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Chesapeake Girl Scout Katie has earned her Silver Award

Katie La Londe has earned her Girl Scout Silver Award. Katie is an eighth grader at St. Matthews Catholic School in Troop 4161, a troop that has done several community service projects!

For her project, Katie built a food donation box for her church, St. Matthews Catholic Church. Her goal was to not only be able to collect more food for the pantry, but to also make it easier to transport. The church had an old shopping cart they used to collect donations and then take to the church office. It did not hold a lot of food and since the cart was old, the wheels did not move very well.

Katie purchased a flat cart and attached two large rubbermaid bins to it. She then had a cabinet built around the cart for donations. The front of the cart has two holes carved out and below the holes, she put boxes and cans. On the left side of the cabinet is a place to donate paper bags and on the right side is a door so people can remove the cart and push it to the main church office to be unloaded. A corkboard was attached to the top of the cabinet for flyers and announcements on food pantry needs. The new cart separates the boxes and cans so items are not damaged. It also helps save time for the people in the pantry so they don’t have to sort. It’s also much easier to maneuver. The cart not only helps the St. Vincent DePaul Society volunteers, but it also helps those in the community who come in for food.

Katie joined Troop 4161 in first grade. Since then, she has earned the Bronze Award, Junior Summit Award, Cadette Safety Award, Cadette My Promise, My Faith Year 1 & 2 Award, Cadette Community Service Bar and now, the Silver Award.

Her troop of nine girls is very active. They have done many community service projects, including helping the SPCA with a food drive and cleaning the church's library.

The girls are also very smart with their Girl Scout Cookie money! They have saved for the last three years in order to take a trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania. Good job, girls!

The adventures for the troop don’t stop there. Most of the girls are also planning to go to camp- something Katie loves!

Katie continues to help with the food collection at her church which is also where her troop has meetings. She dedicates her time to taking food out of the container and getting it to the pantry.  

Monday, June 4, 2018

Newport News Girl Scout Paula-Ann Robertson has earned her Gold Award

Paula-Ann Robertson has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

For her project, “Clothes for a Cause,” Paula-Ann created a clothes closet aimed at helping less fortunate people in the area find suitable garments to wear to a job interview. She ran her closet out of First Christian Church in Hampton, Virginia. Paula-Ann was able to reach a large audience with the help of a free meal program the church runs every Tuesday night. After the guests enjoyed a hot meal, they were given the option to get clothes from the closet with the help of volunteers.

Before the closet was available to the public, Paula-Ann put in a lot of hard work to make sure everything would run smoothly and efficiently. She made the racks and shelves the clothes would be stored on, recruited volunteers and made sure they were informed and gathered plenty of clothes, all before the grand opening of the closet.

Paula-Ann’s project drew attention to groups in the community who did not have access to the resources they needed to live a better life. “Clothes for a Cause” also allowed her to enhance her leadership, communication and critical thinking skills.

“Having completed the journey of this project, I have learned more about myself and the world around me,” Paula-Ann explained. “This project taught me how to lead a group of adults and not let age hold me back.”

With the help of her project, she was able to help several people in the community and work to bring attention to the issue of homelessness in Hampton Roads and the lack of resources available to those people. Paula-Ann got to see, fairly quickly, just how rewarding it was to have done the project.

“One of the happiest moments during my project was when she (a guest of the clothes closet), got a new job using the resources and skills that we provided her. I learned that little things like this during the long project process make the hard work worth it,” she said.

To help keep the closet up and running, Paula-Ann created and delivered operating procedures for members of the church and other volunteers. She also made a website with tips on how to start a clothes closet in other areas of need. Click here to visit the page.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Summer Camp Theme Contest

Girls are the heart of Girl Scouts — and their voices are vital to who we are and what we do. That’s why Girl Scouts is girl-focused, girl-led and only for girls.

This year, girls have one more way to use their voices in Girl Scouts. It’s their chance to speak up! Girls and/or troops can submit their ideas in GSCCC’s first-ever Summer Camp Theme Contest. The winner will receive that week - the winning session name - of camp for free! Entries will be accepted online or on paper applications available at summer camp or Council offices in Summer 2018. 

Click here to view the flyer and print a hard copy application. Or, click here to enter online.

Have fun and be creative! 

Contest Rules:
  • Contest runs June 1 – September 15, 2018
  • Winner will be announced November 1, 2018
  • Eligibility: current, second-year Daisy who will bridge to Brownies by Summer 2019 through Ambassador
  • Multiple entries per girl/troop will be accepted
  • One winner (girl or troop) will be selected
  • Prize:
    • Individual girl – That week of camp free in 2019
    • Troop – The cost of one week of camp for one girl to be shared by all age eligible troop members towards their registrations
    • Prize applies to the winning theme week only (non-transferrable)
  • Questions? Contact or call 757-547-4405

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Chalk it up to Girl Scouts Sidewalk Art Contest

Let your inner artist shine and help get the message out about Girl Scouts with the Chalk it up to Girl Scouts contest! 

Throughout June – the Great Outdoors Month – we’re asking Girl Scouts to get outside and use sidewalk chalk to create awesome art. To help spread the word that Girl Scouts is the best organization for girls, we want you to add our website and include "Be a Girl Scout" somewhere in your creation! 

What a fun way to lead more girls and volunteers to Girl Scouts! For a full list of contest entry guidelines, see below. The photo with the most likes and shares wins!

Contest Rules:
  • Contest runs June 1 – June 30
  • Photo must be posted to Facebook using the hashtag #chalkitup2girlscouts
  • Art must include and "Be a Girl Scout"
  • All girls in the photo must have a signed photo permission form (click here to download the form)
  • Two winners will be announced July 3, 2018 on our Facebook page
  • Eligibility: current registered member
  • One entry per person
    • Troop entries are encouraged; only one entry from each troop will be accepted
  • Prizes:
    • First place- $50 Walmart Gift Card
    • Second place- 6ft Troop Banner

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Check out the Outback!

It’s finally warm outside, which means it’s almost camp season!

As you are preparing for your outdoor adventures this summer, consider visiting the Outback at A Place for Girls in Chesapeake, Virginia.

The Outback, an 8.5-acre natural area behind A Place for Girls, is part of the South Chesapeake Loop of the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail. Visitors may encounter birds ranging from nuthatches and warblers to stealthy great blue herons hunting in the shallows of Bell Mill Creek that runs through the property. In the summer, look for warblers, flycatchers and other woodland birds.

Boardwalks over the creek's brackish waters provide views of estuarine species such as killifish, fiddler and blue crabs. The elevated platform overlooking the creek is an excellent place to scan for large wading birds and provides eye-level views of the ospreys that nest nearby. The trail continues to meander past a canoe launch, picnic areas and a fitness trail.

Did you know the Outback is an official designated Lou Henry Hoover Memorial Sanctuary? It’s named after one of our country’s past first Ladies who was also a Girl Scout and outdoor enthusiast!

There are tons of patch activities girls and their families can do while visiting the outback. Walk nature trails, meander on the boardwalk to view birds and surrounding, climb the observation tower and more.
There are four picnic pavilions as well!

There’s also a Health and Fitness Trail patch you can earn while in the Outback! Challenge yourself on our fitness trail while enjoying the outdoors. You can find requirements for both patches on our website’s Patch Programs Page.

Be sure to check out our day camp options available for girls this summer at Camp Outback! Click here to register.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Hammock camping with Girl Scouts

If you’re wondering what it’s like to camp in a hammock, just ask one of the several girls who tried it last month at Newport News City Park Campground.

The trip, just one of several put on by The Wild Things, allowed most of the girls to go hammock camping for the first time. They also held a cook off that took the camp ranger by surprise!

Why hammock camping? Well, not only is it tons of fun, by hammocks take away a lot of the challenging parts of camp. You don’t take up a lot of space, affect the ground or need a large plot of land. Just pick a spot that has some trees, make sure you have sturdy straps to tie your hammock to the tree and you’re good to go!

“All I can say is try it,” Bonnie Taylor, creator of The Wild Things, expressed.

It was such as success that Bonnie received nothing but positive feedback. Many of the hammock campers said they would do it again on their backpacking adventure!

Try out camping in a hammock this summer at our Camp Darden location! They are nap-tested and girl-approved. Share your experience with us and you may be featured on this blog!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Strong Girls Visit EVMS

Girl Scouts learned first-hand what it takes to work in the medical field from professionals and got to apply their knowledge of STEM during some engaging activities on Saturday, May 5 at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Teen Girl Scouts took part in small group simulations. Girls used computers to test their skills at virtual laparoscopy, a surgical procedure that requires both patience and a steady hand. They also got a hands-on tutorial on how to do an ultrasound and learn how to react in emergency situations.

Sasha Edwards, a senior simulation specialist at EVMS and former Girl Scout, taught the girls CPR techniques and how to respond in emergency situations.

“Saturday was amazing! I love seeing the girls engaged and working together on CPR mock code,” Sasha explained. “We didn’t have this kind of technology when I was a Girl Scout back in the early-mid-eighties.”

As Girl Scouts, girls are exposed to activities in the STEM field which allows them to see that they too can have a future in that career field. According to the Girl Scout Research Institute, 77% of girls say that because of Girl Scouts, they are considering a career in technology. Girls in STEM are interested in many careers, chiefly among them being careers in the medical/health care field.

Girls attribute their increased interest in STEM activities, classes, and careers to the STEM programs they engage in through Girl Scouts, and say that these programs have made more of an impact than other programs in which they have been involved.

“The STEM field is evolving, but is still very male dominated (only about 29% of women are involved in the science and engineering workforce). Exposing young women to careers in the STEM fields hopefully gets them more interested, and will allow them to think outside the box of traditional women’s careers,” Sasha said.

Emilee Bohle and Ashleigh Mann, Girl Scout Cadettes, both agreed that their time at EVMS on Saturday made them want to learn more about careers in the medical field. The girls were intrigued by the resources available to them at EVMS.

Younger Girl Scouts were also able to learn about health and wellness with special events catered to them throughout the morning and early afternoon. The girls participated in stations facilitated by Love Ur Healthy.

The girls worked on their Strong Girls Patch while completing a relay obstacle, playing fitness Tic Tac Toe and learning more about healthy snacks, drinks and activities.

Thank you to EVMS, Love Ur Healthy and the instructors who volunteered their time to teach Girl Scouts more about STEM on Saturday.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Virginia Beach Girl Scout Ambassador Haley has earned her Gold Award

Haley Brown has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting. Haley is a senior at Frank W. Cox High School.

Her project “Pallets for the Pantry,” allowed Haley to impact her community and draw attention to people in need of food all while reusing her resources wisely! Haley saw a need within her church to raise money and awareness for the food pantry and went straight to work.

She created works of art with the wooden pallets her church’s food pantry had lying around. The pallets, which would have been disposed of at the dump, are what the pantry receives food shipments on. She made a scarecrow, snowman, American flag and a towel rack.

Once her work was complete, she gave the art to the food pantry to sell to church members. The money raised went right back to the pantry.

“My project not only shows support for the environment but for those in my community in need of proper nourishment to help them stay alive and healthy,” Haley explained.

Haley was able to save several wooden pallets from ending up in a landfill and adding to the waste produced by society.

With the help of the youth at her church, Haley’s project will be sustained. The group plans to have a work day at least once a year to create similar works of art.

Haley learned valuable life lessons while she worked on her project, including how to manage her time wisely.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Norfolk Girl Scout Ava has earned her Gold Award

Ava Gonzalez has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting. Ava is a senior at Granby High School.

For her project “Gardening for History,” Ava chose to create an outdoor garden exhibit for the Hunter House Victorian Museum, a Norfolk home turned museum built in 1894. Ava’s garden brings life to the museum which also features Victorian furnishings and decorative arts belonging to the Hunter family. 

Adding to the theme of the home, Ava decided to include herbs and vegetables that would have been planted in a garden during the 19th century. She also created signs and cold frames which work to protect the plants during adverse weather conditions.

“Gardening for History” is a free, educational exhibit that introduces green spaces to an area that lacked them beforehand.

“It was my goal to improve upon free educational space outdoors so that families had a quiet space in nature to learn and enjoy in,” Ava said. “By choosing a location open to many pedestrians, I hope the exhibit will foster a love of history, gardening and make a peaceful space accessible to everyone.”

Ava learned several things while working on her Gold Award project, including how to work with a diverse group of people.

Her project will be sustained by the museum with the help of supplemental materials Ava provided before she completed the garden.

Ava will present her garden to the public during an unveiling of her project on April 28 from 2-3 p.m. at Hunter House Victorian Museum.

Check out her Gold Award video here.

Girl Scouts win first place in ROV competition

Six Girl Scout teens took home the first place title at the Mid-Atlantic Regional ROV Underwater Robotics Competition on Saturday, April 21.

The annual event enables students from several states to learn more about STEM and apply that knowledge to create underwater robots. This year, groups were tasked with building a robot that can find the wreckage of an airplane, install equipment to monitor earthquakes and complete a renewable energy project. 

While the competition’s theme and mission changes from year to year, this year’s theme highlighted the role the robots play in the Pacific Northwest since the international competition will take place near Seattle.

“The Unsinkable Girl Scouts” formed their team to function like a company, according to the group’s CEO and Systems Engineer Kaylee Keegan. The team included: CFO Natalia Barber from Troop 643, COO Elizabeth Keegan, Research and Development Engineer Beth Bolyard, Marketing Specialist Alex Dicken from Troop 662 and Safety Manager Madison Smith from Troop 662.

With the help of two mentors, Maeanna Stover and Rick Dyer, the girls assembled their ROV, R.O.S.A. (remote operated submersible apparatus) which was made of PVC pipes and pool noodles.

 Together, the girls overcame several obstacles, including learning how to fix a broken switch on their control box on their vehicle.

“We did run into a few problems very close to the competition,” Kaylee said. “Luckily it was an easy fix and we were able to replace the switch.”

Time, knowledge and travel distance also tested the girls’ ability to work together in order to take home the winning title.

“A lot of other groups participating have clubs at their school, so it is easy for them to work in class or every day after school on their ROV. These students also learn the information needed to participate within their classes. For us, we have members from Chesapeake and Virginia Beach who have some to no background in engineering, and the distance limited us to one or two time every weekend which put us at a disadvantage,” Kaylee explained.

Communication, extensive planning and lessons from their mentors enabled the girls to assemble their robot in enough time to compete.

Judges scored the girls’ vehicle project in several categories: product demonstration, presentation, marketing display, company spec, corporate responsibility and safety.

The girls were up against three other groups in their division, “Scout.” The Unsinkable Girl Scouts’ product demonstration blew the competition out of the water with a score of 95! The team of Girl Scouts also ranked the highest in presentation. In total, the girls gathered 211 points.

Over 160,000 Girl Scouts participate in STEM programs annually. According to the Girl Scout Research Institute, by participating in STEM related activities, girls become more positive about the field and want to learn more about STEM careers.

Kaylee said her team felt pretty empowered by winning first place because the competition was largely dominated by males.

Throughout the competition, the girls learned new skills and even expanded their knowledge of STEM. Way to go, G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Cookie CEOs celebrated their success this cookie season

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast celebrated top cookie sellers for the 2018 season on Saturday, April 21. The event catered to 119 girls who sold over 1,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies.

The top 10 girls who sold the most boxes were treated to a breakfast at Varia inside The Main in Downtown Norfolk with Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast’s CEO Tracy Keller. The girls traveled in style as they toasted sparkling cider inside a limo to celebrate their success.
The fun continued as the VIP Girl Scouts arrived at Signet Bowling Center and joined their sister Girl Scouts for bowling, games, food and a photo booth!

This year, the top 10 sellers and the number of boxes they sold include:

1.       Danielle Stowell- 4,650
2.       Maureen Keller- 3,737
3.       Makiyah Murray- 3,110
4.       Sariyah Vann- 2,607
5.       Abigail Morrisette- 2,450
6.       Jasmine Barbour-Bassett- 2,404
7.       Lorelei Timmons- 2,403
8.       Jada Johnson- 2,364
9.       Rachel Wang- 2,331
10.   Lily Tomlinson- 2,272

Tracy delivered remarks to the dedicated group of entrepreneurs and encouraged them to write down their goal for next year to make sure they achieve it.

Danielle, Maureen and Makiyah shared their secret to success with the other girls. They have set their goals high for next year’s cookie season!

Click here to view more photos from the event.