Friday, April 16, 2021

Gold Award Spotlight: “Pollinator Power”

Girl Scout Ambassador Christine of Troop 1324 earned her Gold Award through her project titled, “Pollinator Power!” Christine wanted to focus on environmental education and sustainability, so she worked with master gardeners of the Colonial Beekeeper’s Association to address the drastic decline of bees in her community.

“Recent years have seen an extreme decline in pollinator populations, primarily as a result of human activities,” Christine said. “If no action is taken now, future generations will have to deal with a complete upheaval of the food chain and significant environmental impacts.”


Christine learned that a major variable in our community is designer backyard landscaping with non-native species of plants, which greatly reduces the natural habitat for pollinators. She led a project to create a pollinator garden at Yorkminster Presbyterian Church, her church and where her troop meets. Christine created a video presentation for volunteers from the congregation and girls from her troop to explain the necessity of pollinators and shared plans how they could help her create the garden.


She and her volunteers spent hours constructing garden beds and planting native species.


She hopes the education of her congregation will encourage them to adopt these practices, make changes in their own home gardens and to continue to share her message of how small changes can make a big impact on our tiny heroes- the pollinators!





Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Gold Award Spotlight: Unstoppable

Girl Scout Ambassador Elyse earned the Gold Award, by completing a project she titled, “Unstoppable.” Elyse felt there was not enough representation of women in STEM in her school curriculum and on the TV so she decided to write a book that shared information about women in STEM who were historically overlooked!

“Young girls are often not given the exposure to STEM careers that boys typically are through movies, books, toys, along with school,” Elyse said. “In biology, we do lots of water tension labs, but I had never heard of the name Agnes Pockles."


To write her  book, she recruited peer volunteers from The Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in Virginia Beach and assigned each classmate a female figure in STEM to research and illustrate. Each write-up and illustration was edited into a final draft by Elyse and she worked with Amazon as the publisher of her book to get assigned an ISBN number and have copies made. The copies of her book, “Unstoppable: Women in STEM,” were distributed to local school libraries and mailed to girls across the country!


Elyse also designed a Girl Scout patch program that goes along with her book and held a special presentation of her book at the Zeiders American Dream Theater in Virginia Beach on March 13, 2021.


Congratulations, Elyse!



Elyse on open night at Zieder's Theater alongside Zeider’s Community Liason, Sibel Galindez.





Monday, April 12, 2021

2021 Cookie Season Wrap Up and Top Ten Sellers

A BIG thank you to all of our Cookie CEOs who worked so hard, and to the parents and volunteers who’ve made it possible for them to pursue their dreams. Together, we accomplished so much during the 2021 cookie season, including breaking our own Council’s goal! More than 1 million boxes sold.

One of the hallmarks of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience is our cookie program. Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, the largest financial literacy and business entrepreneurship program for girls in the country, our girls learn important skills and gain confidence and initiative. The cookie program lays the foundation for a lifetime of success for our girls and motivates them to never give up and to keep trying. It helps them see the possibilities in all things.

Every Girl Scout Cookie season is challenging, but this year has had to be the most challenging our Council – our girls – have ever experienced. During a pandemic, our girls came up with innovative ways to connect with customers. We recognize this and applaud all the girls who participated. The Girl Scout Cookie Program is life-changing and uplifting!

A special congratulations to our Top Ten cookie sellers! These ten girls sold over 42,000 boxes of cookies combined!


2021 Cookie Program Top 10 Sellers
1) GS Ambassador Makiyah M. (Troop 1320) sold 7,250 boxes
2) GS Senior Maureen K. (Troop 359) sold 5,635 boxes
3) GS Cadette Lorelei T. (Troop 1026) sold 5,415
4) GS Senior Makenzie T. (Troop 4151) sold 3,850 boxes
5) GS Daisy Sophia H. (Troop 1658) sold 3,711 boxes
6) GS Ambassador Rachael M. (Troop 4151) sold 3,670 boxes
7) GS Senior Abigael S. (Troop 235) sold 3,582 boxes
8) GS Junior Madison B. (Troop 778) sold 3,082 boxes
9) GS Junior Alexa R. (Troop 287) sold 3,058 boxes
10) GS Senior Kailie B. (Troop 805) sold 3,058 boxes



We are also pleased to report an outstanding turnout for our Virtual Gift of Caring program. Girls were able to donate – 50,756  boxes of Girl Scout Cookies- 14,066 boxes more than last year- and double what we did in 2014 (just 4 years ago) through a pandemic!

Each and every girl who participated in the Girl Scout Cookie Program deserves to feel proud of their cookie entrepreneurship and willingness to help the community!

 Thank you to all - girls, parents, volunteers and, of course, our customers who made this season a SWEET success!

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Gold Award Spotlight: Musical Therapy Stress Relief

Girl Scout Ambassador Abby earned the Gold Award, by completing her project she titled, “Musical Therapy Stress Relief.” After her grandmother had to have a stay in the hospital, Abby learned about the stress and anxieties that patients sometimes experience during their visit due to being away from home. Abby knew she could help and used her passion for music to make a difference!

“Being in the hospital, facing injury, and recovering from surgery is a stressful time in a person's life,” Abby said. “There are a lot of different uncertainties and outcomes that can occur and this causes stress among patients. The stress can slow the healing process, make their stay longer, only adding onto the stress that is already occurring.” 



Abby worked with Warwick Forest Rehabilitation Center in Newport News, VA to understand the needs of patients and to figure out how she could help. She developed a self-paced learning program to learn to play the kalimba, a small handheld musical instrument known for making relaxing tones.


A kalimba

Her program also provides a way for patients to connect with one another while they practice together and learn how to play the instrument. Forest Rehabilitation continues to use music therapy as an element of their healing process and Abby’s self-paced curriculum gives patients control over their instrument and how fast they learn. 


“Because I provided the resources, the Warwick Forest continues to utilize music therapy in their rehabilitative care activities,” Abby said.


Abby used proceeds earned from participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program to fund her project.


Congratulations, Abby!





Thursday, April 1, 2021

April is Month of the Military Child- Contest Details!

 April is Month of the Military Child

No matter where a family’s military service takes girls, Girl Scouts is at the ready with tried-and-true programming and a supportive network that allows girls to continue their unique leadership journeys; build new friendships; and enjoy a reliable, safe space of their own. 

 Share your story!

Post a picture or video on social media using #MonthoftheMilitaryChild and #BecauseOfGirlScouts, and tag @girlscouts and @gsccc. Don’t forget to enter the GSCCC Month of the Military Child Contest!

 

Have a great story you’d like GSCCC to share to the media or place in our communications? Email marcomm@gsccc.org

 

 Show Your Pride

There’s a special patch and T-shirt you can purchase in our GSCCC shops.  Show you’re part of a global community of military-connected Girl Scouts.

 

GSCCC Month of Military Child Contest

 

To celebrate locally, we're asking all GSCCC Girl Scouts who are military family dependents to submit an entry to win a Girl Scout gift certificate worth $20 that can be used in one of our GSCCC shops during a scheduled visit or pick up experience. There will be two winners - one for the art submission and one for the essay submission. Winners will be spotlighted on our social media. 

Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies & Juniors  - Create a drawing or other piece of art that portrays parent (s) at work, as you know it. Juniors, do the same but add a paragraph detailing what is taking place in the drawing/art. 
Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors & Ambassadors - Write at least a 600 word essay about an experience you had as a military child - perhaps overseas, participating in a special program or why you are proud to be a military child. 

Artwork and essays should be sent to marcomm@gsccc.org.

Deadline to submit is April 30, 2021 at 11:59 PM.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Gold Award Spotlight: “One Unity, One Love”

Girl Scout Ambassador Catriona earned her Gold Award, by completing a project she titled, “One Unity, One Love.” Catriona had a goal to address tensions and promote community and conversation between people of the three Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Islam and Judaism by creating opportunities for interaction and diffusion of culture. To do this, Catriona planned an educational “Unity Walk” followed by an Iftar dinner. 

Guests at the Unity Walk were provided a guided worksheet with directional cues and links to videos for participants to follow along with on 15 stops around Fort Monroe in Hampton, VA. Each stop’s message corresponded with a discussion topic and video of one of the three faiths represented, and aimed to promote a conversation between participants of different faiths.


For example, cue 13, “Hospitality,” of the Unity Walk asks participants to stop in front of the historic Chamberlin Hotel on Fort Monroe and discuss how hospitality is a part of their faith.


“Bringing together members of different religions and giving them an opportunity to learn about each other through a diversity walk showcased certain points of similarity shared by all of the Abrahamic religions,” Catriona said.


Catriona’s event also included an Iftar dinner where guests were invited to have fellowship and share experiences over a traditional meal of many dishes.


“The events went very well,” Catriona said. “It provided a respectful atmosphere of learning and sharing, not only of knowledge and food, but also of culture.”


Catriona’s 36 videos and Unity Walk worksheet are available online for religious centers to continue to use. 


Congratulations, Catriona!





Saturday, March 27, 2021

Gold Award Spotlight: Cats and Bats

Girl Scout Ambassador Reanne earned her Gold Award by completing her project titled, “Cats and Bats!” Reanne used her passion for animals and the outdoors to make a sustainable impact on her community.

Reanne became aware of two separate issues affecting animals in her area and developed solutions to make a difference. Firstly, to address the increasing issue of an influx of feral kittens in the spring months, she constructed ten feral cat homes for a local rescue shelter’s use. When there is an influx, the shelter may take in more kittens, versus turning them away ultimately contributing to an increase of feral cats. Reanne created a brochure for local businesses to display so individuals know what to do when they see feral kittens.


Reanne also became aware of an issue affecting the local bat population, White Nose Syndrome (WNS). WNS is a fungal infection that harms the nose, eyes, and ears of bats and is more prevalent in damp locations. When bat populations are reduced, insect populations subsequently rise. To address this issue, Reanne built 16 bat boxes for York River State Park so the bat population has a number of dry habitats in order to reduce the cases of WNS in the area.


Reanne learned construction and leadership skills while completing her project and says she was pleased to seek a challenge and help the community in not one way, but two.


Congratulations, Reanne!