Thursday, January 20, 2022

Bronze Award Spotlight: Williamsburg Food Drive

Girl Scout Cadettes of Troop 1284 LaRue, Lillian, Lilah, Kailani, Anna, Maryah, Addison, Victoria, and Armani were recently awarded the Girl Scout Bronze Award by completing a service project they titled, “Williamsburg Food Drive.”

To get started, during troop meetings, the girls began discussing what needs their community had and how they could help those needs be met. The Girl Scouts agreed to host a food drive with plans to donate to a local organization in Williamsburg, House of Mercy, which helps people locally meet their food, shelter, and personal needs. 

To get the word out about their project, they advertised via social media, posters, flyers, word of mouth, texting, and phone calls. The girls also handed out candy during the Williamsburg Holiday Parade with information about their service project and how to donate. The week of the drive, they discussed what kinds of things they might expect to receive in donations, and set up and labeled bins to sort the food on the day of the event. The girls also made posters and signage to be used at the two day drop-off donation event they held in December 2021. 

Troop Leader of Troop 1284, Tonia Horton, said, “During the drop-off event, the girls handed out flyers, spun their hand-made posters, and talked to people about the food drive. They even cheered, did the wave, and sang songs.”

She continued, “We were really amazed to see how the community responded, and we got an excellent turnout, especially on day two. We had a lot of people come back because of the girls' enthusiasm on day one.” 

During the food drive, the girls sorted everything into bins as it came in and in all collected over 600 pounds of food and $60 in monetary donations, which they donated directly to House of Mercy in Williamsburg. 

Tonia said, “It was a wonderful event, and the girls all left feeling really good about making a difference. It was a true joy to see how much effort they put into making this a success, and how happy they were with the results.”

Congratulations, Girl Scouts!

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Silver Award Spotlight: Soccer Equipment Collection for the Luke Messick Futbol Charities Inc.

Girl Scout Cadettes Jillian and Madelyn recently earned their Silver Award by completing a project they titled, “Soccer Equipment Collection for the Luke Messick Futbol Charities Inc.”

The Girl Scouts collected soccer jerseys, socks, and soccer balls to benefit Luke Messick Futbol Charities Inc. By collecting these items, they helped to provide dozens of children in Ghana, West Africa with equipment to practice the very popular futbol, or soccer, as we call it in the United States. The girls collected the items with the help of members and staff at Beach FC, located in Virginia Beach, a soccer organization that provides recreation and training to soccer players locally.  

“To collect our equipment we set up a stand at the Beach FC preseason camp and the Beach FC Futsal Facility,” the girls said.  “We also partnered with the Luke Messick Futbol Charities Inc. and this is where we gave our equipment to.”

Upon completion of the drive, the equipment was donated to Luke Messick Futbol Charities Inc who organized air transport of the equipment to the Young Orphans Futbol Club in Ghana, West Africa.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Gold Award Spotlight: Isle of Wight County Litter Prevention Community Education Program

Girl Scout Ambassador Elise of Troop 4170 recently earned her Gold Award by completing a project she titled, “Isle of Wight County Litter Prevention Community Education Program.” Elise worked with DeAnna Lawrence of Isle of Wight County Solid Waste Division and Lynn Briggs of Isle of Wight County Schools to create an educational program and website for the community to educate about outdoor waste prevention. Elise said she learned environmental stewardship through Girl Scouting and wanted to make a difference.

“I found through my research that my county did not have an active litter prevention program, and I wanted to do something,” Elise said. “People do not know the true harmful impacts of littering, so they continue to throw trash on the ground and in the water,”

Her program is aimed at elementary aged students and explains the environmental dangers of littering. In addition to the educational program, Elise also organized a clean-up day with Beta Club volunteers of Smithfield High School at four area elementary schools, Hardy Elementary School, Windsor Elementary School, Carrsville Elementary School and Carrollton Elementary School. Julie Eng of Smithfield High School pledged to continue the annual clean up each spring as a project with her high school student volunteers.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Alum Spotlight: Famous Former Dawn Peters

 Since 1917, Girl Scouts have been selling their iconic cookies to fund unique trips and experiences. Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast is no short of successful cookie entrepreneurs. Last year, we recognized Dawn Peters financial advisor for Lincoln Financial Advisors in our latest class of famous Formers honorees. 

Dawn spent a good deal of her childhood in Girl Scouts enjoying her family‘s generational tradition of being a Girl Scout. She says her love for business and finance came from her success as a Girl Scout Cookie seller. She also loved earning badges and having leadership opportunities. As an adult, she engaged as a Girl Scout volunteer leading troops for both her daughters. Dawn has been a financial advisor since 1998. She joined Lincoln Financial Advisors in August 2012 and has been a successful female businesswoman ever since. 

Hear from Dawn Peters in a video below as she shares how participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program gave her the courage, character and confidence to follow her dreams in pursuit of a career in finance. 

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Gold Award Spotlight: Citizenship for Young Learners

Girl Scout Ambassador Caroline recently earned the Gold Award by completing a project she called, “Citizenship for Young Learners.” She worked with Lee Ann Chisenhall, Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools Social Studies Coordinator to understand the needs of an existing citizenship program for first graders, Daughters of the American Revolution First Grade Citizenship Program, and created a video curriculum to support the program county-wide.

She organized interviews about citizenship with Senator Monty Mason, representative of the Peninsula’s 1st Senate District, Dr. Howard Townsend, principal of Jamestown High School, Dr. Matt Eppright, coach of the Tidewater Sharks, and Mr. Leslie Hall of the Williamsburg James City County  Fire Department. Using clips from the video interviews along with other interactive elements, Fuller created three SOL aligned video lessons for classroom use: Citizenship at Home and in Your Classroom, Citizenship in Your Community, and Citizenship in Your State and Country. 

“Citizenship is an important topic in education, especially in younger grades,” Fuller said. “Besides identifying as a citizen of a nation, the dictionary also defines citizenship as the quality of an individual’s response to membership in a community. Being an involved, engaged part of the community is an important life skill.”

Caroline's curriculum is available to all first grade teachers in the Williamsburg James City County School District. 

Congratulations, Caroline!

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Girl Scouts Serve Up Thoughtful Gestures This Fall

Community service projects make the world a better place right now. Whether girls engage in a short-term community service project, like collecting toys for kids who live in shelters, or a long-term or recurring project, like weekly volunteer shifts at a soup kitchen, their work fills an immediate need in the community. As they look for meaningful ways to contribute to their community, they sharpen their problem-solving skills and expand their interests.

For Girl Scouts, serving their communities is a year-round affair, and as the weather cools down, there comes an extra sense of warmth from helping others – especially during the holiday season. Dozens of troops in our Council have been hard at work this fall serving up thoughtful gestures throughout their communities. Here are a few spotlights of Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast making a difference- 

For a second year, the York-Poquoson Girl Scouts of Service Unit 150 put together nearly 500 "Boo-Bags" (Halloween candy and non-edibles) and donated them to the Poquoson Food Pantry and St Luke's Food Pantry for distribution prior to Halloween. Back in 2020, all trick-or-treating was canceled due to the pandemic, so the Girl Scouts worked together to find a community solution, the "Boo-Bags." Due to its success and popularity, they chose to repeat the project again in 2021. Almost 80 girls participated this year; 10 troops and one Juliette.  

Girl Scout Daisy Ellie has continued her tradition of collecting toys for children at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters (CHKD)!  Read a feature of this service project by WAVY TV 10 here- 

Girl Scout Troop 1515 was among the many troops who participated in the council-wide No-Sew Blanket community service project! This troop started with 12 girls at the start of fall and now has grown to have 36 girl members!  Here, sisters Girl Scout Junior Kaitlyn and Girl Scout Daisy Samantha show the camera their no-sew blanket creations ready for donation to youth in need! 

Girl Scout Ambassador Evelyn recently earned her Gold Award by creating a program designed to spark young children's interests in STEM fields, recognizing female STEM professionals along the way! Her story was highlighted by The Virginian-Pilot! 

Girl Scout troops of Service Unit 250 in the Lynnnhaven Shores area of Virginia Beach recently worked together to stuff and donate 200 stockings to give to the Salvation Army for distribution to families in need. Service Unit 250 has been participating in this particular community service project in cooperation with the Salvation Army for over 20 years. Pictured here is Girl Scout Brownie Savannah, member of Girl Scout Brownie Troop 343, helping to deliver the service unit's filled stockings to the Salvation Army's Christmas Depot. 

Thank you to all Girl Scouts, volunteers, and alum who are working to make the world a better place through your commitment to service! 

Gold Award Spotlight: Music for a Cure

Girl Scout Ambassador Madison recently earned the Gold Award by completing a project she titled, “Music for a Cure.” She worked with Music Therapist, Christopher Byrd, of Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters to create a neurologic music intervention curriculum for use with a nearby elementary school’s special education program and aa local high school’s student clinic. Madison had a goal to use professional music intervention protocols with students to alleviate certain concerns while they are in a school setting.

The program, which includes audible musical components and hands on components based on scientifically proven methods, was used at the schools in classroom and clinic settings. Teachers with the special education program reported positive outcomes like good moods and increased attention spans for students after participating. The school clinic reported that students found the audible component to be soothing and help alleviate minor complaints like headaches for high school students. She says neurological issues can be common but there are ways to help.

“There are many neurological disorders and problems present in my community,” she said. “These range from some that are more common, like depression and anxiety, to some that are less common like Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome and special needs-based disorders. After personally experiencing many challenges from these types of disorders, I helped students in my community and elsewhere by reducing symptoms of some of these challenges.”

Congratulations, Madison!