Monday, August 19, 2019

Gold Award Spotlight: Educational Videos for AP Students

Grace Payne has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouts. 

A motivated and dedicated student, Grace decided to use her Gold Award project, “Educational Videos for AP Students,” to help her peers better prepare for their Advanced Placement (AP) Art History exam. She created online videos that were engaging and informative which allowed students to access content at any time that would not only prepare them for the exam, but also allow them to find ways to relate to the information they were learning during the course. Grace also created a lesson plan and supplied materials to host an AP review session during class, which increased her peers’ success rate.

“My videos touch on some of the more challenging aspects of the course, preventing students from becoming discouraged in their learning by providing concise explanations and ways to retain the information and be successful on the AP test,” she explained.

Grace’s project will be sustained thanks to her resources being available online for other students to use. Her former AP Art History teacher will also be able to help students in the future by making the videos she made a part of his exam review before the test.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Gold Award Spotlight: Trantwood School Supply Drive

Girl Scout Ambassador Jessica has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouts.

For her Gold Award, “Trantwood School Supply Drive,” Jessica helped make a lasting impact on students and teachers in her community by creating and stocking a school supply closet with essential school items. The supplies, she said, would be instrumental in helping to set students up for success when they start school. Jessica placed donation boxes around the community to gather items which helped to increase the number of school supplies in the closet. She gathered more than 600 supplies, allowing the closet to be fully stocked. 

“This project opened my eyes to what some families go through to send their kids to school,” she said. “It is heartbreaking that many kids go to school every day and don’t have anything with them for learning.”

Students who may not be fortunate enough to start school with the supplies they need will be able to benefit from Jessica’s project, which will be sustained by her church’s youth group, for years to come. 

Monday, August 5, 2019

The Wild Things take on three-part hiking experience

A guest blog written by Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast Volunteer, Bonnie Taylor. 

The Wild Things of GSCCC took on the Triple Crown of Virginia recently, a three-part hiking experience in Roanoke, Va. which features three iconic vistas—Dragon's Tooth, McAfee Knob and Tinker Cliffs. This was a very challenging and ambitious goal, but don’t think for a minute that we couldn’t do it! 

On Tuesday we took on Dragon’s Tooth.  This is a 4.1-mile out and back with 1,227 feet elevation change (each way!).  There was a lot of bouldering required for this hike.  We were climbing rocks almost straight up!  

On Wednesday we took on McAfee Knob.  This is the most photographed spot on the Appalachian Trail.  This hike took us 7.6-miles with 1,591 feet of elevation change (each way). The view from the Knob is simply breathtaking.  

Then on Thursday we took on Tinker Cliffs – the most challenging of all. This was a 7-mile hike with 1,902 feet in elevation change (again, each way). So overall, we hiked 9,440 feet in elevation change!  

Yes, there were some sore muscles. Yes, there were some blisters and YES there were smiles and arms raised in victory! These girls can say “been there, done that and got the t-shirt!”  

Did I mention we did this during the hottest week of the year? I recommend everyone try this hike, I just don’t recommend you hike this during the month of July!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

2019 Famous Formers

Each membership year, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast recognizes local Girl Scout alums who are leaders in their field as Famous Formers. These women serve as role models for girls today- the future leaders of tomorrow.

The list of women selected to be 2019 Girl Scout Famous Formers is in!

Congratulations to the following Girl Scout alums who will be recognized at our 2019 Famous Formers Luncheon being held on November 21st at Hilton Norfolk The Main:
  • Kathryn Godby, senior engagement manager for Hewlett Packard Enterprises
  • Janice "Jay" Johnson, community activist for Virginia Organizing
  • Joann Bautti, director of student affairs for Eastern Virginia Medical School
  • Lisa Spiller, distinguished professor in the department of management and marketing at Christopher Newport University
  • Tricia Hudson, president and owner of Strategic Solutions by Tricia, LLC.
  • Bonita Harris, media and communications relations manager for Dominion Energy
We also would like to congratulate Michaela Britt, store operations analyst for Dollar Tree, on being selected as our 2019 Future Famous Former.

The women who will be honored at this year's luncheon are among an elite group. There are currently more than 50 million Girl Scout alums nationwide. These women include 55% of the females in the 115th U.S. Congress, every female secretary of state in U.S. history, and more than half of female entrepreneurs and business owners.

In addition, GSCCC would like to applaud TowneBank for being selected as our 2019 Corporate G.I.R.L. Champion of the Year award. This is the first year GSCCC is honoring a company with the award during the Famous Formers Luncheon. To earn the award, a company must have made efforts:
  • to better the environment in the community around them
  • toward gender parity in STEM fields
  • to provide their employees learning, training and education opportunities to continue to hone employees' skills
  • to recruit and retain women in leadership roles 
At the luncheon, guests will hear from Dr. Patricia Turner of The Norfolk 17, the first group of African American students to integrate into Norfolk Public Schools. Dr. Turner, a Girl Scout alum, will share how her life-altering experiences in her youth made her the G.I.R.L. champion she is today.  

Please plan to purchase a ticket to the 2019 Famous Formers Luncheon and meet these impactful women.

Tickets are on sale now! For more information, visit or click here to reserve your spot.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

BIG NEWS: 42 news Girl Scout badges to change the world!

Say hello to 42 NEW Girl Scout badges and one NEW Journey exclusively for girls ages 5–18!

Excited?! The new badges and badge requirements are available in the Girl Scout Shop.

The new programming allows girls to make their own choices about how they want to experience and influence the world while preparing them to address some of society’s most pressing needs through hands-on learning and real-life problem-solving in cybersecurity, coding, space exploration, and citizen science. But wait, there’s more! For the first time ever, girls can choose between two ways of earning their Outdoor badges—it’s an adventure seeker’s dream come true! 

Giving girls choices is important for developing their sense of self, their own voice, and gender equality: 
research from the World Bank Group shows that increasing women’s agency and decision-making abilities is key to improving their lives, communities, and the world. Additionally, Girl Scouts are more likely than other girls to take an active role in decision making (80% vs. 51%). 

You’re invited to the blaze-your-own-trail adventure. We hope you love it as much as we do! 

The new programming for girls in grades 6–12 includes:
·                     Nine Cybersecurity badges, created in partnership with Palo Alto Networks, through which girls learn about the inner workings of computer technology and cybersecurity and apply concepts of safety and protection to the technology they use every day. Activities range from decrypting and encrypting messages, to learning proper protection methods for devices, to exploring real-world hacking scenarios (funded by Palo Alto Networks).
·                     Three Space Science badges, through which girls explore topics such as the universe and their place in it, properties of light, and inspiring careers in space science (funded by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and led by the SETI Institute).
·                     Think Like a Citizen Scientist, a Girl Scout Leadership Journey during which girls participate in interactive activities to practice observation techniques; collect data; and share their findings with real-world scientists through an online network. As with all of Girl Scouts’ Leadership Journeys, girls use their newly honed skills to take action on a community issue of their choosing (funded by Johnson & Johnson and The Coca-Cola Foundation).
·                     To prepare girls in grades 6–12 to pursue computer science careers, Girl Scouts will launch the organization’s first Cyber Challenge events in select areas this fall. At these events, which will take place October 19, girls will learn crucial cybersecurity skills by completing challenges such as running traceroutes and identifying phishing schemes (funded by Raytheon).                 

With the new release, all Girl Scouts in grades K–12 will have the opportunity to earn their Cybersecurity and Space Science badges, as well as complete the Think Like Citizen Scientist Journey. The new programming for girls in grades K–12 includes:

·                     12 Outdoor High-Adventure badges, designed for girls to explore nature and experience exciting outdoor adventures like backpacking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, rock climbing, and tree climbing—giving them the confidence to support one another, take healthy risks, and spend dedicated time in nature. These are the first Girl Scout badges that members can earn by choosing one of two self-directed paths (funded by The North Face).

Want to help girls earn their Outdoor High-Adventure badges? Consider becoming an Outdoor Program Facilitator! Click here to learn what it's like to be a Girl Scout Outdoor Program Facilitator from GSCCC volunteer, Theresa Wiggs. 

·                     18 Coding for Good badges, which not only teach girls the basics of coding but also detail how every stage of the coding process provides girls with opportunities to use their skills for good. Girls will learn about algorithms through age-appropriate, creative activities, such as coding positive memes to spread a message about a cause they care about, designing a digital game to educate people about an issue, and developing an app to promote healthy habits. Every Coding for Good badge includes a plugged-in and unplugged version, so that all girls can learn the foundations of coding, regardless of their access to technology (funded by AT&T and Dell).

"We're so excited to have new badges that will strengthen girls' critical-thinking and problem-solving skills so they can create their own success," Tracy Keller, GSCCC's CEO, said. "As Girl Scouts, girls can work to earn badges in just about everything that piques their interest. From learning about cybersecurity to learning the business smarts and confidence they need today and tomorrow, our badge programs will introduce them to new things and help them achieve anything they put their minds to."

“Girl Scouts has ignited the power and potential of girls for over a century, and we are committed to ensuring that today’s girls are the future of American leadership,” said GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo. “Girl Scouts is where girls can explore new subjects, discover their passions, learn to take smart risks, and become their best, most confident selves—whether they want to become a NASA astronaut, an entrepreneur, a rock climber, a coder, or a cybersecurity agent.”

GSUSA works with top organizations in fields that interest today’s girls. Combined with Girl Scouts’ expertise in girl leadership, these organizations and specialists advise and weigh in on content to provide the most cutting-edge programming available to girls. Content collaborators include codeSpark, the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC), SciStarter, and Vidcode. In true girl-led fashion, girls also tested the new offerings.

There’s just no doubt about it: Girl Scouts is the single BEST place for girls. Delivering a one-of-a-kind leadership development program (and the largest in the world for girls!), Girl Scouts provides girls with unlimited girl-led adventures found nowhere else. 

Not a Girl Scout yet? No problem! Troops are forming now—
join Girl Scouts today.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Gold Award Spotlight: Uplifting Wolverines

Girl Scout Ambassador Corryn has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouts.

For her Gold Award, “Uplifting Wolverines,” Corryn wanted to uplift the student body at her high school through a mural that included positive sayings and quotes. The idea came to her after a tragic event happened at her school that affected her peers. She recognized that school can be a stressful time for teenagers and wanted to find a way to help the entire student body. By creating the mural, she was able to give back to the school and the students in her community, something that will have a positive impact on them for years to come.

“I feel this has impacted my school’s environment because if people are having a bad day there is something they can look at that has the potential to lift their spirits even if it’s just for a minute,” she explained.

Corryn hopes her project will be made sustainable with the help of her school’s administrators as they work to share the message of positivity Corryn created.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Gold Award Spotlight: The real truth about nutrition and physical fitness

Isabella Devita has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouts.

Through her project, “The real truth about nutrition and physical fitness,” Isabella aimed to teach the youth in her community about health and wellness. With the help of her jiu-jitsu coaches, she was able to hold sessions about safe exercise techniques and created flyers with information about healthy eating habits.

“Obesity is a problem in the U.S. The importance of eating healthy and exercising can allow you to have a longer life span because it reduces heart disease, diabetes and other illness. If students know how to take care of themselves they will feel good about themselves,” she explained.

She wanted to make it easier for kids to understand the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. Along with the exercise classes and flyers, Isabella plans to keep her Facebook account dedicated to exercise and her YouTube account active to improve the sustainability of her project.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Girl Scout Summer Bucket List

Have you registered or renewed for the 2020 membership year? Have fun with us this summer when you continue your Girl Scout adventure with these summer bucket list items. If you've registered or renewed, you've already completed the required activity! All you have to do is complete three additional, optional summer activities to get a Summer Bucket List patch.

Required activity:

Register or renew for the upcoming 2020 membership year.

Optional activities—Complete at least three:

1. Visit a Girl Scout Retail Shop
Bring along an adult and visit a GSCCC Retail Shop to ask for your Get Outdoors Challenge sheet. Make sure to take pictures as you complete various items on the sheet and post them using the hashtags #gscccsummerbucketlist and #gsccc. If your account is private or you do not use social media, email your photos to with the subject line “Summer Bucket List.”

2. Decorate a Flat Juliette
Print and decorate a Flat Juliette so that she can accompany you on your summer adventures. Take a picture and post it using the hashtags #gscccsummerbucketlist and #gsccc. If your account is private or you do not use social media, email your photos to with the subject line “Summer Bucket List.” Flat Juliette can be downloaded here. Print her on cardstock or laminate her to help keep her in tip-top shape throughout your adventures.

3. Attend a Girl Scout event
Girl Scouts Love State Parks- Join in with Girl Scouts from around the country to show your love for our state parks! A Leave No Trace and/or community service activity will be offered at York River (July 13th), Chippokes State Park (July 13th), and Jockey's Ridge (July 14th).

Registration, which includes the Girl Scouts Love State Parks patch, is free for the first 100 girls. After that registration will be $3. Patches will be mailed after the event.

Healthy Habits Healthy Families- Healthy habits for a healthy community begins with you. Become aware of how your healthy choices affect your lifestyle, relationships and community. This fun and health awareness day in partnership with the City of Chesapeake Police Department will be a day you won't want to miss! The deadline to register is 9/19 and the event takes place on 9/28.

For additional events, or to register for those listed above, check out the GSCCC event page.

4. Find another Girl Scout
Ask around and see who you know that was (is) a Girl Scout. Take a picture with them, or find a GSCCC staff member, post it, and use the hashtags #gscccsummerbucketlist and #gsccc. If your account is private or you do not use social media, email your photos to with the subject line “Summer Bucket List.”

5. Say "thank you!"
Community service is something Girl Scouts know a lot about! Participate in a community service project by creating a thank you card and delivering it to someone in your community who helps you. It could be a librarian, a police officer, your teacher, or anyone else that you want to say thank you to. Take a picture with the card recipient and post it using the hashtags #gscccsummerbucketlist and #gsccc. If your account is private or you do not use social media, email your photos to with the subject line “Summer Bucket List.”

6. Get social with us!
If you’re under 13, talk with your parents and ask them to follow us our social media accounts. We share lots of great stories, events and inspirational messages all year long.


7. Complete a Girl Scout Activity Pack
Complete a Girl Scout activity pack and document the activities by posting a photo using the hashtags #gscccsummerbucketlist and #gsccc. If your account is private or you do not use social media, email your photos to with the subject line “Summer Bucket List”.

Choose any of the kits and have fun trying out all of the activities from games, experiments, and more! Activity Pack 1, Activity Pack 2, Activity 3.

8. Invite your parents to join!
Girl Scouts is a family affair and many parents really enjoy spending quality time with their girl through Girl Scouts! We encourage an adult in your family to register as a troop volunteer. There are many volunteer positions available to suit your strengths. Learn more about volunteering.

Once you have completed your activities, send an email to and let us know which three activities you've completed. Don’t forget to include your name! We’ll send you a certificate that you can bring to either of our retail shops to pick up your Summer Bucket List patch.

Need help? Are you looking for more information? Have a specific question about this activity or need assistance with registering/renewing a membership? We are just a phone call or email away. Contact our Customer Care team at or 757-547-4405.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

The importance of civic education

GSCCC staff and volunteers gathered to watch the
livestream on civic education

Guest blog written by GSCCC Marketing and Communication Intern Rebecca Schamel.

I attended a viewing of a livestream event called “Preparing the Next Generation of Informed and Engaged Citizens.”  The purpose of this event was to stress the need for more education in the field of civics to our young people so they will have a better understanding of how government works and how they can be involved.  After-school programs such as Girl Scouts, can offer girls a way to learn more about civics and the importance of being well informed about local, state, and national government.
The livestream event had an amazing panel of bipartisan women. Chelsea Clinton, vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, was the moderator.  In addition, there were four other panelists to give voice to the importance of civics in our society and schools. Panelist included: Secretary of the U.S. Senate Laura Dove, who started her career as a page and held other positions until she became the Republican Secretary in 2003; New York Attorney General Letitia James, the 67th attorney general for the state. James was the first African American woman to hold citywide office in New York. James is an advocate for the city’s most vulnerable communities.  Chief Education Officer at iCivics Dr. Emma Humphries, is helping children become interested in learning about civics through interactive and engaging learning resources. Gold Award Girl Scout Lauren Hoaglund was the final person on the panel.  She has been involved with Girl Scouts since the third grade and she created a Gold Award project to educate middle and high school students about civics. She hoped this project would inform them about government and encourage them to consider running for office someday.
According to the Annenberg Public Policy Center, only 32 percent of Americans can name all three branches of government, and 33% of Americans cannot name any branches of government.  Panel members agreed that this must change.  Youth and adults need to understand the issues that affect our lives, our communities, and our nation. Chelsea Clinton said, “For a long time I have been concerned about some of the statistics you have heard about earlier.”  She pointed out this affected those who had been excluded from government; indigenous Americans, people of color, girls and women.

She went on to say, “The Girl Scouts are leaders, risk takers, and innovators. We empower girls and women with a robust civics education and toolkit.” She told the story that at age three she was at one of her father’s campaign rallies, waving the American flag and handing out stickers. “Because that is what you can do when you are 3 or 4 years old.”

Gold Award Girl Scout Sofia Richardson said, “I’m excited to be here today to learn more about how civic education prepares girls like me to be active participants in our government and to stand up for issues that we care about in our communities.  At Girl Scouts when girls learn about the role government plays in our lives, we are empowered to make positive changes and fill a responsibility to our country and its’ future.”

As a college student, I think it is very important to know how civics affects everyone. Through civic education, girls can learn how important it is to vote, community issues, and get to know the people who run for office.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

2020 Summer Camp Theme Contest

Want to win a free week of summer camp for 2020? Then enter our second annual Summer Camp Theme Contest!

We received some great ideas last year and we can't wait to hear YOURS!

Girls and/or troops can help create a girl-led summer camp week for 2020 by submitting their ideas. The winner will receive that week of camp for free! Entries will be accepted online or on paper applications which will be available at summer camp and Council offices in Summer 2019. Click here to enter.

The contest runs June 1 through September 15, 2019. Click here to view more details.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Gold Award Girl Scouts recognized by VFW

Becoming a Gold Award Girl Scout allows girls to take advantage of opportunities in their communities that they may not have had the chance to experience otherwise. From entering the military one rank higher to earning college scholarships, going for Gold sets girls up for a lifetime of achievement.

Girl Scout Krysta
with VFW Virginia State Commander
Ken Wiseman
Recently, three of our Gold Award Girl Scouts were recognized by their local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) posts as Scout of the Year. Because of their dedication to the community through their Gold Award projects, all three girls were also recognized with Scout of the Year awards within Virginia's VFW District 2. Read more below.

Girl Scout Ambassador Krysta, who used her Gold Award project to raise awareness of the endangered horse species, the Colonial Spanish Mustang, was awarded Scout of the Year for VFW Post 8545 in Smithfield. Krysta also received first place in the district.

Girl Scout Lea
with VFW Post 2894 Commander
Chris Mulholland
Girl Scout Ambassador Lea used her Gold Award to establish a recycling program for oyster shells from local restaurants in her community. With the help of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Lea created a sustainable system for the shells to be returned to the bay to create reefs to help the oyster population grow. Lea earned Scout of the Year recognition for VFW Post 2894 in Chesapeake and took second place in the district.

Girl Scout Ambassador Kaylee used her Gold Award project to help students in her community talk with their parents and guardians about mental health. She created labeled bookshelves and stocked them full of pamphlets to generate conversation about the topic. Kaylee earned the title of Scout of the Year for VFW Post 4809 in Norfolk and placed third in the district.
Girl Scout Kaylee
with VFW Post 4809 Commander
Scott Bannon

Every year, Gold Award Girl Scouts are eligible to apply for the VFW Scout of the Year program which gives them the chance to earn scholarship money. For more information on the program or to find your local VFW post, click here.    

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Gold Award Spotlight: Destination Pollination

Girl Scout Senior Emma has earned her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouts.

Emma wanted to start a buzz in her community about the decline in the bee population. With the help of the Tidewater Beekeeper Association (TBA), she was able to raise awareness for bee sustainability in Chesapeake through her project, “Destination: Pollination.”

“My project addressed the decline of the bee population at a local level. The impact was in direct support of the bees in Chesapeake, Virginia. When bees are supported locally, it contributes to the overall bee population in the greater bee ecosystem,” she said.

With the help of over 100 hours of hard work and generous donations from the community, Emma was able to complete her mission. While working with TBA, Emma created a pollinator garden for the more than 10 beehives on TBA’s property. The garden serves as a way to teach people about the importance of bees in the environment and provide easy access for the bees to pollinate their ecosystem.

In addition to the garden, Emma created a brochure with TBA to raise awareness, presented to members of her community, made organizational and community connections, and created an online petition which connected more than 15,000 social media accounts worldwide to more information about her project.

“In an effort to address a declining bee population in my community, the impact reverberated throughout the nation and the world. By providing pollination opportunities in Chesapeake, it strengthens the system. This strengthening is two-fold. First, stronger and healthier bees locally support regional systems, which support the national systems, which then supports the bee population worldwide. I also connected through the National Wildlife Federation and was able to get this project certified by them,” she said.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

2019 Cookie Entrepreneur Officer Celebration

On Saturday, May 18, GSCCC celebrated our Cookie Entrepreneur Officers who sold 1,000 boxes or more of Girl Scout Cookies this year. More than 100 girls gathered at Camp Skimino in Williamsburg to be rewarded for their success. The camp, a year-round, 98-acre location recently won the title of Best Summer Camp as part of Coastal Virginia Magazine’s Best of Readers’ Choice Award contest, making it the perfect place to celebrate this year’s top sellers! Want to attend this camp? Click here to register for summer camp by May 31.

At the outdoor event, the girls enjoyed high-adventure camp activities like canoeing, rock wall climbing, archery and more. Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast CEO Tracy Keller congratulated the girls on a job well done before the girls shared their goals for the upcoming season, some go-getters even aiming to sell 5,000 boxes!

GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller and Makiyah
Before the closing ceremony, Keller took time to recognize the top three Girl Scouts in the Council who sold the most boxes of cookies. Girl Scout Cadette Danielle from Troop 5 sold 4,468. Girl Scout Senior Makiyah from Troop 1320 sold 4,288. Girl Scout Cadette Maureen from Troop 805 sold 4,047. The top three sellers also finished in the top three for 2018. Below are the girls who completed our top 10 list this year:

4. Jasmine (Troop 10140) sold 3,867 boxes.
5. Sariyah (Troop 1333) sold 3,400 boxes.
6. Abigael (Troop 235) sold 3,006 boxes.
GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller and Maureen
7. Audrina  (Troop 1038) sold 2,950 boxes.
8. Lorelei (Troop 1038) sold 2,911 boxes.
9. Alexis  (Troop 628) sold 2,765 boxes.
10. Makenzie  (Troop 4151) sold 2,550 boxes.

Congratulations to all of our CEOs on a job well done this cookie season! Click here to view more photos from the day’s event.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the nation’s leading financial literacy and entrepreneurial program for girls. Through the program, girls learn skills that will last them a lifetime, such as goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.

Registration to attend day and overnight summer camp sessions with Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast is open until May 31. Girls in grades 1-12, whether or not they are members of Girl Scouts, are invited to attend. Weekly camp sessions will take place between June 16 and August 23. For a complete list of camp sessions and to register, visit or call 757-547-4405.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Gold Award Spotlight: Northwest River Park Beautification and Advocacy Plan

Girl Scout Ambassador Claire has earned her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouts.

“A diamond in the rough” is how Claire described Northwest River Park before she was able to assist in improving the park’s aesthetics and safety.

Claire knew she could leave a lasting impact on her community by improving the look of Northwest River Park so she took action! She enlisted the help of her family, troop and park rangers to assist her during her project, “Northwest River Park Beautification and Advocacy Plan.” By replacing the landscape around the boathouses, spreading new gravel on the path to the ranger meeting building and building a path from the boathouse to the playground, Claire was able to reach her goals for the project.

“The issue my project addressed was the need for improvements to the park’s camping area. My project not only addressed that need, but I was also able to advocate for the park by writing an article about my project,” she said.

To draw attention to the park, Claire wrote an article for the Tidbits of Chesapeake.

“Each phase of my project was important, but I am convinced that the most successful aspect of my project is sharing it with the community in an article I wrote for the local media. Writing, editing and working with the representative from The Virginian-Pilot was very rewarding. I was able to advocate for the Northwest River Park and encourage others to follow my lead and work to preserve and enhance community parks,” she recalled.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Celebrating Special Bonds of Moms and Daughters in Girl Scouts

It’s a precious gift – shared experiences between mothers and daughters that create lasting memories. Girl Scouts is the perfect place for this to happen! Many Girl Scout alum report spending special time with their moms as one of the benefits of their Girl Scout experience.

What better time than Mother’s Day to celebrate the bond between a girl and her mom as they go through the Girl Scout experience together! Maybe it’s a weekend at camp, a troop painting party or a field trip to a museum. There’s so many ways that moms and girls share time as Girl Scouts, doing what they both value and care about.

Girl Scout Claire and her mom, Carolyn Pittman, love to do things together in Girl Scouts. Carolyn has been a Girl Scout volunteer for years and currently serves as GSCCC's Board Vice-Chair. As a busy professional and involved volunteer, her time is scheduled out in detail, but she always makes time to be with Claire and that includes Girl Scout time.

Meet Carolyn and Claire!  

Carolyn, what has been your personal Girl Scout journey?  

My journey with Girl Scouts began with my daughter, Claire, when she became a Daisy at age 5, and I became a volunteer and troop leader.  Since that time, we moved from Texas to Virginia, and Claire has continuously been an active Girl Scout.  In 2014, I accepted a position on the Council’s Board of Directors and have served at large, as Audit Committee member and chair, Finance Committee member and chair, Treasurer, and currently as Vice-Chair.  Claire has now bridged to Girl Scout Seniors and is in a troop in Yorktown.

She’s been very active as a Girl Scout. Claire has earned the Bronze Award and the Silver Award along with summit pins for each level she has completed in Girl Scouts, Daisy through Cadettes.  She has also been a Cookie CEO since 2014.  Claire's favorite service project was planting a tree at Mount Vernon Elementary School.

How have you been able to incorporate Girl Scouts into your busy schedules?

Girl Scouts is an organization for girls, dedicated to help them train as innovators and leaders of tomorrow.  We could not do what we do without the lessons and support we get from Girl Scouts.  It is part of our routine. 

What special element of Girl Scouts has helped strengthen your relationship? 

Cookie sales has strengthened our relationship because my profession is business and finance.  Through the cookie sales program, Claire has developed an interest in business.  She is a Cookie CEO and now aspires to be a corporate CEO one day.

Why do you feel Girl Scouts is important for girls? 

Finding one's voice is so important, and Girl Scouts gives the empowerment to girls to find their voice in various ways.  From community service to cookie sales, from friendship to taking action, from creating and discovering to teaching and leading, Girl Scouts allows girls to find their passion and strength while supporting others on the same journey.

Why does Claire feel it is important and what is she looking forward to this summer and next year as a Girl Scout?

Claire feels Girl Scouts is important because you learn about your community and make it a better place by doing service projects.  She looks forward to planning her Gold Award project and continuing to work with her Girl Scout friends in enjoyable and productive ways, including the 2020 cookie sale.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

2019 Gold Award Celebration

On Saturday, May 4, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast celebrated the 27 girls who earned their Gold Award during the 2019 membership year. Among those who attended to celebrate the girls’ accomplishments was Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander, Delegate and Girl Scout alum Cheryl Turpin and Delegate Joseph Lindsey.

The evening kicked off at Dominion Enterprises with welcoming remarks from GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller, and words of encouragement from Gold Award Girl Scouts Camille Birdsong and Sarah Buck.

“This isn’t the end of your journey, ladies. The best is yet to come and your foundation is solid,” Buck said.

The girls honored on Saturday joined an elite group of women who have made a lasting impact on their communities by going for the Gold. From creating bookshelves stocked with resources to help teens talk about mental health to raising awareness for honey bees in need of conservation, Girl Scouts used their Gold Award projects to draw attention to issues important to them to 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.

Open to girls in high school only, the Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls (and the most difficult to earn), and it’s available exclusively to Girl Scouts. Some of the benefits of Going Gold include earning college scholarships, entering the military on rank higher and so much more.

Recognition was also given to GSCCC’s three 2019 National Gold Award Girl Scout Nominees on Saturday: Savannah Bowers, Kaylee Keegan and Ariel Hofman.

Every year, councils are asked to select their top three Gold Award Girl Scouts for this honor to compete for national recognition. This honor is given to those whose Gold Award projects demonstrated extraordinary leadership, had a measurable and sustainable impact, and addressed a local challenge related to a national and/or global issue. National Gold Award Girl Scouts represent Girl Scouts of the United States of America as speakers at local and national events. Final selected honorees will receive professional public speaking training, have the opportunity to reach a broad audience while highlighting the importance and impact of their projects and are awarded college scholarships.

The event was generously sponsored by TowneBank and Raymond James.

To view more photos, click here.

Delegate and Girl Scout alum Cheryl Turpin
with Girl Scout Kaylee

Sunday, May 5, 2019

The Girl Scout Leadership Experience

In Girl Scouts, we say ‘yes’ to every girl. The Girl Scout Leadership Experience is a unique opportunity for a girl to take charge of her life, learn how to use her voice and develop leadership skills that will last her a lifetime. With the help of people like Enfinity Dickerson, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast’s (GSCCC) community troop program specialist, the dream of being a Girl Scout can become a reality for girls in underserved areas. Enfinity is majoring in Human Services and minoring in Children’s Rights at Old Dominion University (ODU). She has always had a passion for helping children and wanted to find a job where she could give back.

Enfinity has been delivering Girl Scout program in two schools in the Hampton Roads area. She just completed a mindfulness series at Cradock Middle School in Portsmouth and is presently working to deliver a robotic and cybersecurity program to girls at the Bettie Williams Elementary School. Her curriculum has consisted of the girls earning their Robotics badges and they are currently working toward their cybersecurity badges. The program uses hands-on teaching methods that allow the girls to gain valuable skills that they can use for the rest of their lives.

“They are learning about safety online, an important lesson due to the wide access to the Internet by children. Also, they are learning about computer protection and how to avoid viruses,” she said.

When girls are taught about cybersecurity, they are being encouraged to be digital leaders, which can have a positive impact on their futures. According to the Girl Scout Research Institute: 67% of girls who are digital leaders have an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers and 51% of female digital leaders have an interest in tech careers. An increase of girls who are interested in STEM can cause the gender gap to shrink in fields that have been historically dominated by men.  

Community troops also offer girls the Girl Scout experience. During their meeting the girls learn the importance of sisterhood and leading by the Girl Scout Law every time they meet.

“The girls loved learning the Girl Scout Law,” Enfinity said. “They particularly embraced the part of the Law that says ‘be a sister to every Girl Scout.’ That’s been a big part of their Girl Scout experience. The girls seem to become closer at every meeting.”  

After she graduates from ODU in May, Enfinity will continue her time as a Community Troop Program Facilitator. In her role she will be able to spread more knowledge and have a positive effect in more girls’ lives.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Women take the wheel

Last month, Girl Scouts of all levels met at Tidewater Community College for the Women Take the Wheel event. The girls were given the opportunity to explore nontraditional careers for women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This allowed girls to ask questions about the career fields and gave them the hands-on experience with some of the equipment that would be used on the job.

Both male and female professionals from the trucking industry, U.S. Army, U.S. Coast Guard and many careers that use STEM came to speak with the girls about the importance of women in these fields. According to the Girl Scout Research Institute, more than three-quarters of the girls that have participated in events that integrate STEM professionals agree that “there is at least one adult who has helped me think about my future.” Having the chance to talk to professionals from these nontraditional careers opened girls’ eyes to paths that they may not have been exposed to and can play a pivotal role in their future.

“I loved everything about the event because I was able to join in on the demonstrations,” said Girl Scout Brooke. “I learned how to tie a maritime knot. I explored a simulation of a cargo ship, an 18-wheeler tractor trailer truck and a fire truck. I loved the Coast Guard boat and got to explore many interesting items (bullet proof vest and a cold-weather suit).”

Hands-on activities such as augmented reality (AR) technology and maritime simulators gave the girls a chance see how they would be able to use different technologies in various jobs. This allowed the girls to learn about STEM in new ways.

Augmented reality intrigued a lot of the girls. They learned that AR was used by Newport News Shipbuilding to quickly scan different items on the ship and instantly know whether something needs to be fixed and how to do it.

“We are using it [AR] to learn how to fix things on the ship,” Girl Scout Daisy Juliana Kiefer said while using the AR to point at different objects in the room.

Girls and their mothers were surprised at how many STEM opportunities there are for women.

“When I signed Sofia up for the event, I knew the direction of the event was something she’s never been exposed to before,” said Anna Patrizi, mother of Girl Scout Brownie Sofia. “As a parent, I feel like it’s important to give your child those opportunities. Women Take the Wheel seemed like such an empowering event.  We learned so much together. I think that’s what made this event extra fun for her. I watched her learn how to read a map, steer a cargo ship with the use of a simulator, learn the process to make parts from 3D imaging and make repairs with digital technologies. But most important, we learned these evolving jobs are available to women!”

Events like this and many others hosted by the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast help girls see the opportunities that are available to shrink the gender gap in careers that historically have been male dominated. There is no better time than the present to make a positive change in STEM careers with a larger representation of strong G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)™.