Thursday, October 14, 2021

Bronze Award Spotlight: SPCA Brochure

Girl Scout Juniors Riley, Madeline, Ida, Sarah, Riann, and Samantha of Troop 2573 recently earned their Bronze Award in a project they titled, "SPCA Brochure." The Girl Scouts created an informational brochure that patrons of the Dare County SPCA could take home with them to learn how to care for their newly adopted furry friends.

As part of earning their Bronze Award, the girls researched things of most importance when adopting a dog from an animal shelter or other organization. The girls were required to get information from three sources so they consulted with vets, SPCA employees, and other animal care professionals and compiled that information together. Girls presented the information to their whole troop to get feedback, then collaboratively discussed which were the most important facts. Once decided, the Girl Scouts created a flyer the SPCA could hand out to new pet parents when they adopt a dog. As part of their project, girls also took proceeds from Girl Scout Cookie sales to provide cat and dog toys, food, and treats to Dare County SPCA. Girls took items from home and created homemade dog toys to be donated to the SPCA, as well.

Congratulations to Troop 2573 and thank you for making the world a better place!

Pictured with their brochures: Riley G., Ida B., Madeline H., Sarah S.


Saturday, October 2, 2021

Girl Scouts Girl Fest at Chesapeake City Park on October 23!

Join Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast for Girl Fest Games on October 23, 2021 at Chesapeake City Park! Come enjoy outdoor games, crafts, exhibitor tables, food trucks and MORE from 10 am until 1 pm!

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast is excited to kick off another awesome year of Girl Scouts with YOU! To celebrate, we’ve invited some of our favorite community partners to help us host a day full of fun! Love sports or getting outdoors? You’ll get to try your hand at several different activities like archery, yoga and volleyball- just to name a few! Watch a boxing presentation by a UFC gym and learn about sailing with Sail Nauticus.

There will also be exciting exhibitor tables like The Mariners Museum, MiniMe Events, Grand Slam 2 pitching center and MORE!

Activities & Demonstrations

  • Golf
  • Badminton
  • Archery
  • Javelin Throw
  • Discus Throw
  • Softball/Baseball
  • Soccer
  • Sailing
  • Equestrian
  • Gymnastics
  • Boxing
  • Weightlifting
  • ...and MORE!


  • Mini Me
  • Rhythmic Gymnastics
  • Balance Beams
  • Portsmouth Library
  • Grand Slam
  • Child ID Program
  • Old Dominion University Simulation Center
  • Nauticus
  • The Mariners' Museum
  • New York Life
  • UFC Gym
  • Let Me Be Great Children's Yoga

Our staff will be on site to participate in the fun and help your Girl Scout create make-and-take crafts and answer any questions you may have!

This event is open to Girl Scouts K-12 and their families, tag alongs welcome. Register here to participate. Cost is $10 per Girl Scout and $5 per adult. Register by October 10, 2021 to be entered in a drawing for a FREE Kindle! 

Friday, October 1, 2021

GSCCC Welcomes New Board Chair Marisa Porto

The Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast’s (GSCCC) Board of Directors held their annual meeting on Thursday, September 30. Council CEO Tracy Keller and Board Chair Barbara Tierney presented end-of-year reports that included many high notes, reporting goals being exceeded in membership, program services and revenue. During Keller’s report, she said the interest and determination of the nearly 7,000 girls served kept staff and volunteers looking for more ways to deliver program.  More than 4,000 girls were served through programs that included badge-in-a-box program kits that were delivered to girls, helping girls earn badges in STEM and other badge areas while at home. Keller also said getting outdoors doing activities such as archery and boating were popular among girls, keeping them engaged and allowing them to meet in person during the pandemic.  

 “While we knew it was going to be a challenging year, we aimed at goals that were within the realm of reason during these challenging times,” Keller said. “Yet we set goals that required us to reach and maintain our sustainability. We were very fortunate to have a strong board to lead us and a dedicated staff.”


At the closing of the meeting, the newly elected board members were introduced and officially welcomed. Outgoing Board Chair Barbara Tierney ceremoniously handed the gavel to incoming Board Chair Marisa Porto. Porto, who serves as the Assistant Dean of Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications at Hampton University, is a lifelong Girl Scout who has served on the GSCCC’s Board of Directors as a member at large for many years. The other officers elected and placed in position for two-year terms are Vice Chair Carolyn Pittman and Treasurer Luis Estrada.  Members-at-large include Katina Barnes, Dawn Brotherton, Amanda Howie, Christy Murphy, Michelle Penn-Marshall, Kyle Price, Heather Robinson, Jeff Thomas, and Carletta Waddler.


Following the official meeting, a ceremony was held where outgoing Board Chair Barbara Tierney was presented the sign that will be used for a new bicycle adventure unit at Camp Skimino, a council camp property near Williamsburg. Tierney, a lifetime Girl Scout whose first job was as a camp counselor overseeing a bike unit, was emotional as Porto added that the council was adding 20 new bicycles, safety equipment, and storage space to support the unit in Barbara Tierney’s name. The sign’s graphic was designed similarly to Barbara’s Board Chair patch – Bee Fierce text and an image of a bee. The unit will be ready for sprig adventures and summer camp!  


“ Girl Scouting has been an important part of my family’s history for generations and I have been so grateful to have had an opportunity to serve in this leadership role during such a crucial time,” Tierney said.  

See a new Bike Unit at Camp Skimino presentation from Marisa Porto to Barbara Tierney video here-

Barbara Tierney with her sister Vickie Kearn at the flagpole area at A Place for Girls where several Bricks of Honor were unveiled to honor members of Barbara’s family - a family with a strong Girl Scout history.

Part of the festivities included board members networking and having fun after the official meeting. Each created a boat that the floated in a rain-gutter regatta!

Outgoing Board Member Claire Winiarek with new Board Chair Marisa Porto.

Marisa at the ropes station trying her hand at a clove hitch.

New board member Kyle Price.

Barbara presented a gift to Tracy Keller thanking her for all the support she had given her during her term as board chair.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Gold Award Spotlight: Battling Period Poverty

Girl Scout Ambassador Victoria of Troop 534 recently earned her Gold Award in a project she titled, “Battling Period Poverty.” This Gold Award project focused on the accessibility of feminine hygiene products and the sustainability of those products on the environment. Period poverty and sustainability is an issue that affects girls and women of all ages around the world.

“All around my community, my country, and my planet, there are women who suffer from period poverty,” Victoria said. “Many women and young girls can not attend school or work because they cannot afford menstrual products.”

In her project, Victoria addressed the luxury tax on feminine hygiene care and the tough decisions that some families have to make to afford the necessities, like choosing between food and hygiene products.

To address these issues, Victoria enlisted a team of volunteers from her church that created and distributed sustainable and reusable sanitary pads in various sizes and care instructions to women in her community. Victoria’s design is machine or hand washable and can be used for years and years with proper care. To make a larger impact, Victoria created a website with a PDF template of her sanitary pad design with how-to video instructions for others to use.

Her project was a success and the volunteer team sewed over 150 cloth pads that were used in 20 kits for women and girls that will last them indefinitely. 

Victoria’s website can be found here with more information about her mission and how-to instructions for those interested in recreating her design.

Gold Award Girl Scout Victoria

From Victorias website, she shares designs for girls and women of all shapes and sizes.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Bronze Award Spotlight: Covid-19 Memorial at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center

Girl Scout Junior Cora of Troop 762 recently earned her Bronze Award by creating a Covid-19 Memorial at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center. Cora corresponded with Chesapeake Regional Health Foundation staff and leadership, based inside the Medical Center, to discuss her project idea and find the perfect location for the memorial project.

Cora contacted Carters Country Corner garden center in Chesapeake, VA and they graciously donated a purple Rose of Sharon for her project. 

"I engraved a sign to commemorate all those that were lost, all that suffered and those that helped the victims of COVID-19," Cora said. She went on to give a speech to the hospital administration and staff in a small outdoor ceremony before placing the rose.

Congratulations, Cora! Thank you for making the world a better place.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Alum Spotlight: Sarah Linden

Sail Nauticus Manager Sarah Linden, a former GSCCC Girl Scout who earned her Gold Award now manages Sail Nauticus- a community sailing center that provides after-school programming to Norfolk Public School students as well as a membership program to teach people how to sail and increase access to the area’s maritime resources. In her role, Sarah manages a fleet of boats including a 120-foot tall ship! She joined Girl Scouts in elementary school as a Brownie and continued through her senior year of high school! She grew up outside of Washington, D.C. as part of the Nation’s Capital Council and later moved to the Colonial Coast area.

Sarah went on to earn her Gold Award as a Girl Scout Ambassador by taking action to tackle an issue dear to her community.

“My Gold Award project focused on increasing awareness of the dangers of drunk driving,” Sarah said.  “During my sophomore year of high school, a dear friend’s brother was killed in an accident so, driver’s safety was close to my heart.” 

Sarah's project, completed in 2006, consisted of organizing a school assembly with firefighters, EMTs, and nurses to discuss responses and solutions to the issue. She also partnered with MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and created an anti-drunk driving PSA which was broadcast throughout her high school the week prior to prom.

 She is a Girl Scout for life and has continued to stay involved as an adult.

“Over the years, I have remained engaged with many of the women who were in my troop—even though we graduated in 2006,” she said. “A few years ago, several of us got to attend the GSCCC “Women’s Wellness Weekend” and had an incredible time. I advocate for Girl Scouts in the community. And, of course, I still enjoy purchasing, and nibbling on, Girl Scout cookies.”

 Sarah said sailing has been a passion of hers as long as Girl Scouts and she is excited to share her experience and the thrills of sailing with girls of all ages. 

“Both are profound platforms for building leadership skills, understanding the importance of teamwork, and creating life-long friendships. We'd love to work with your troop to build their confidence and expand their horizons.”

You can find out more about Sail Nauticus and how to get involved at

Thursday, September 23, 2021

2020/2021 Famous Formers Luncheon

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast held their annual Famous Formers Luncheon on September 23 at Cavalier Golf and Yacht Club in Virginia Beach. Seven change-making, women leaders, along with a Corporate G.I.R.L (Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, and Leader) Champion, were honored. Although there was rain throughout most of the day, the luncheon went on as planned and was held in the outdoors under an event tent and attended by 200 guests.

Before the start of the luncheon, honorees were invited to a celebration reception hosted by Strategic Solutions by Tricia. There, past honorees welcomed and congratulated the new class of Famous Formers. The luncheon followed and officially began with a presentation of colors and the reciting of the Girl Scout Promise and Law by Girl Scout Seniors Anna, Elizabeth, Erika, and Rachel. The luncheon was sponsored by Towne Bank, the presenting sponsor, and Newport News Shipbuilding. 

Council Board Chair Barbara Tierney, a past Vice President with Towne Bank, welcomed guests and addressed the honorees stating, “Each one of our awardees has a unique and inspirational story. The seeds of those successes were planted by their experiences as Girl Scouts and the promises our Famous Formers made and the laws they abided by made them the strong women they are now.”

Bonita Billingsley Harris, regional policy director for Dominion Energy and 2019 Famous Former awardee, emceed the event. She introduced each honoree, sharing how Girl Scouting impacted each and spoke about their accomplishments as leaders. Amazingly, the honorees had something in common, they continue to use the life skills they learned in Girl Scouts today! 

“The women leaders recognized, along with the almost eighty women honored before them, have distinguished themselves as leaders in business, marketing, academia, media relations and entrepreneurship,” Billingsley-Harris said. “Leading from the front and empowering others are these incredible Famous Former Girl Scouts. 

The keynote speaker for the event, Dr. Barbara Blake Gonzalez, Chief Administrative Officer of The Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy who was the contributing author of the annual State of the Region and State of the Commonwealth in 2019, gave an inspirational message. She applauded all guests who made a commitment to support girls and women by being at the luncheon. She encouraged all to take action in their workplace or in other ways to extend leadership and opportunities to girls and women.  

Blake reported that gaps continue to exist when it comes to pay parity among the genders. Women on the average make less than men in the same job or position.  She also reported that challenges for women have increased during the pandemic as they have assumed more responsibility as caregivers without compensation and some have left the workforce. Pre-pandemic, nearly 70 percent of women participated in the workforce, with a decline to 50 percent at this time. "We need to champions to promote economic empowerment for girls and women," she said. 

Following they keynote address, each Famous Former honoree was awarded a special plaque by GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller and GSCCC Chair of the Board, Barbara Tierney.

During closing remarks, GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller said," Dr. Blake, it is a powerful moment when women leaders, like you, remind us what the world could be and should be for our girls. To the guests in the room, please join Girl Scouts and our vision of the world where gender parity will exist. Join me in imagining a world where girls will never have to think twice about stepping up to leadership. Imagine a world where girls are confident to use their voices. Girls learning to value themselves and knowing they are valued by others." 

Pictured above, left to right: GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller; Michele Anderson, President and CEO, United Way of South Hampton Roads; Cathy Fox, Business Operations Manager, The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium; Dawn Peters, Associate Planner, Lincoln Financial Advisors; Michelle Woodhouse, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer, Tidewater Community College; Janet Roach, Anchor/Reporter 13NewsNow; Suzanne Garcia, President/CEO, SeaHill Spa at the Cavalier; and Barbara Tierney, Chair of the Board. (Not pictured: Sarah Noffsinger and Holly Deal.)

Visit our Famous Formers page to view a video interview with each honoree.

Please join all of us in congratulating our incredible class of Famous Formers.

2020 Famous Former Honorees:

Holly Deal, Lieutenant Commander of Coast Guard Finance Center, U.S. Coast Guard

Cathy Fox, Business Operations Manager, The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium

Suzanne Garcia, President/CEO, SeaHill Spa at the Cavalier

Dawn Peters, Associate Planner, Lincoln Financial Advisors

Janet Roach, Anchor/ Reporter, 13NewsNow

Dr. Michelle W. Woodhouse, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer, Tidewater Community College

Future Famous Former: 

Sarah Noffsinger, Chesapeake City Schools Teacher

2020 Corporate G.I.R.L. Champion of the Year:

United Way of South Hampton Roads

A special thank you to our media sponsors:

WHRO Public Media

  • Virginia Media
  • Coastal Virginia Magazine
  • 13News Now Logo_2017_Master
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