Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Gold Award Spotlight: Fire Safety at First Landing State Park

Our region is full of beautiful parks and historic landmarks. Some places, like First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach have both. Girl Scout Ambassador Ainsley earned her Gold Award by contributing to fire safety and park preservation at First Landing State Park.

First Landing has five historic cabins that were built in the 1930's
by the Civilian Conservation Corp. The cabins can be rented by visitors to the park and have fire circles for use outside. Unfortunately, bringing camp chairs or other portable camp furniture too close to a flame can easily cause them to ignite. In order to protect the cabins and grounds from fire damage, Ainsley created ten sturdy wooden benches for use around the campsites.

During her project, Ainsley worked right beside two benches that were under repair from previous fire damage. It was a reminder of how fast an accident can happen.

“The flames were contained quickly but could have easily damaged a historic piece of property. It’s a butterfly effect,” Ainsley said.

Ainsley did not stop there! To make a lasting impact, she designed brochures and a website that have blueprints and step-by-step instructions on how the benches are created. Ainsley’s project not only made the park better for visitors but she also has done her part to help preserve history.

Thank you, Ainsley!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Gold Award Spotlight: Be Positive!

For most kids, school is usually a happy place to be. There are friends, fun and time to learn interesting things. Unfortunately,  sometimes students may experience negativity and unhappy thoughts while at school from different causes like family issues, peer-pressure, low self-esteem and bullying. Negative feelings at school can be distracting and might even get in the way of learning. 

Girl Scout Ambassador Lauren knew she could help kids in her community have a better experience during their school day by using her talent in painting. To address this issue, Lauren created four colorful murals throughout Grafton Bethel Elementary school in York County, Virginia, that featured messaging like “Throw kindness around like confetti,” and “Great Grizzlies are respectful, responsible, safe, and kind.” 

“Through my paintings, I strived to create a positive environment in all areas of the school where children could be reminded that they are safe and respected individuals,” Lauren said.
In addition to the murals, Lauren visited the classrooms of third, fourth, and fifth grade students at the school to do educational activities and read a book about friendship.

Sometimes there are bumps in the road. Lauren got an injury from soccer while working on her Gold Award- but that did not stand in her way. Once recovered, she picked up where she left off and continued to fulfill her commitment to bring positivity to the students at Grafton Bethel Elementary.

Lauren hopes her murals to bring positivity and spark kindness for many years to come.

Thank you Lauren for making the world a better place!


Friday, May 22, 2020

Cookie Season Wrap-Up and Top Ten sellers!

The 2020 Girl Scout Cookie season here at GSCCC is over and we want to recognize all of the hard work and dedication that went into making this cookie season a success- and a HUGE success it was. We had over 6,000 girls participate in the cookie program, many for the first time as a Girl Scout.

During this unprecedented time, our girls faced challenges and proceeded to find creative ways to reach their goals. A total of 1,571,512 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies were sold! Our Girl Scouts were also able to donate 68,159 boxes of cookies to the United Services Organization (USO) as well as to local heroes. 



A special congratulations to our Top Ten - these Cookie Entrepreneurs met outstanding goals! 

2020 Cookie Program Top 10 Sellers

1) Makiyah M. (Troop 1320) sold 5,605 boxes
2) Danielle S. (Troop 5) sold 5,115 boxes
3) Jasmine B.B. (individually registered girl) sold 4,713 boxes
4) Maureen K. (Troop 359) sold 4,691 boxes
5) Morgan N. (Troop 373) sold 4,659 boxes
6) Abigael S. (Troop 235) sold 3,605 boxes
7) Lorelei T. (individually registered girl) sold 3,138 boxes
8) Amiyah S. (Troop 40) sold 2,833 boxes
9) Alexis V. (Troop 628) sold 2,804 boxes
10) Madison M (Troop 661) sold 2,607 boxes


All girls who participated in the cookie program deserve to feel proud of their cookie entrepreneurship and willingness to help the community! Read on to hear some more exciting stats about this cookie season-


  • 60 girls sold 1,500+ boxes ( a free Lifetime Membership is among the rewards given out in this category) 
  • 148 girls sold 1,000+ boxes and have achieved CEO status 
  •  247 girls sold 750+ boxes and have achieved Super Seller status
  • 46 girls sold 132+ Gift of Caring boxes





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

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Girl Scout alum Frances Carr Celebrates a Lifetime of Friendship with Memorial Brick

Girl Scout alum Frances Carr from Suffolk has many memories of leading a troop and the fond friendships made through Girl Scouts. She became involved as a Girl Scout leader when her daughter, Dabney, became interested. Both found a lifetime connection with Girl Scouts, a true sisterhood that has held up over time. 


While there are many great memories, Frances recalls traveling to England to visit the Pax Lodge and then onto Switzerland to the Chalet - both centers part of the Word Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides, as a favorite. As the troop was camping most of their time in Europe, this meant months of detailed planning for meals and essentials they would need to pack. Frances still has those planning records and photos and other memorabilia from the trip. She remembers fantastic hikes, and side adventures- one particularly memorable trip involved caving.  


The trip was a learning experience and an opportunity to meet Girl Guides, great friends they would continue to keep in touch with over the years. Frances said there are so many great stories to be shared from that trip! There are also countless fond memories from other trips including another to Canada where the group stayed together at a Girl Guide camp. 


The troop members have kept in touch over the years, first through letters, then emails and now through social media. They have even held reunions regularly. One of the reunions was held at the Francis Land House, an historical home and museum in Virginia Beach. Their trip was among those showcased in an exhibit on Girl Scout Wider Opportunities - now called Girl Scout Destinations. 

With a lifetime of memories and friendships made, Frances decided this year to purchase a brick in honor of the troop and hopes the "girls," now in their 50s, will attend the brick ceremony and dedication in July that will be held at A Place for Girls in Chesapeake, Virginia as a way to immortalize their journeys together. 

Here is a video interview with Girl Scout alum Frances Carr:


Visit our site at gsccc.org or visit our Buy a Brick page.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Gold Award Spotlight: The Buddy Builder

As Girl Scouts, we know you can’t ever have too many friends. Having friends in school helps ease stress and makes time spent more enjoyable. When kids are confident and comfortable they will have a better experience at school and may have an easier time learning. Unfortunately, for some children, it can be hard to find a friend whether they are shy or maybe just recently moved to a new place. 


Girl Scout Ambassador Sophia earned her Gold Award by creating a way for kids in her community to more easily make a new friend through her Gold Award project “The Buddy Builder” by making Buddy Benches. Buddy Benches are colorful benches placed at parks or playgrounds. The benches have a special meaning. When someone is on the Buddy Bench, that indicates that they are looking for a friend to play with. 

Sophia crafted the Buddy Benches from wood by hand with the help of her family and painted them with bright colors in animal themes that would appeal to elementary aged kids. She placed the colorful, inviting benches at four local elementary schools. 

Sophia wrote and illustrated a book to go along with each bench for the schools she worked with. Sophia had two copies of her book made for each school library. After placing the benches on each school’s playground, Sophia went to several classes of all different ages to read her book and explain what the bench means. 

“There are three rules for using the bench,” Sophia said. “If you see someone sitting on the bench, invite them to play. If you are sitting on the bench, say yes to the first person that asks you to play. Don’t forget, the bench is for kindness only.” 

Sophia hopes her benches make it easy for children to identify someone who might be in need of some kindness and to learn how to have the confidence to ask someone to be your friend. 

Congratulations, Sophia!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Introducing U-Pick: Summer Adventure with GSCCC!

While the situation we are in is fluid, one thing remains constant - our love for the outdoors! We know it is disappointing to have traditional resident and day camps cancelled, but we are go-getters, innovators, risk-takers and leaders that are ready for a new experience: U-Pick: Summer Adventure with GSCCC! 

Girls thrive in an all-girl, girl-led outdoor environment. They can find that environment by participating in U-Pick: Summer Adventures with GSCCC. We are confident that girls will be able to make Girl Scout memories and friends while building skills that will last a lifetime.


There are a variety of options for camp this year that will fit any schedule and allow girls to complete badge components. Girl Scouts have the option to attend camp on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, or Tuesday and Thursday. Pricing will be $30 for 2 days, $50 for 3 days. Older girls including 2nd/3rd year Cadettes and up are encouraged to register and assist their sister Girl Scouts with having a one-of-a-kind outdoor experience this year with the leadership track at a cost of $20.

Once a selection has been made, girls will receive activity packs that contain materials needed to complete various projects this camp season. The items will all be related to a themed week of adventure! Girls will engage with one another and Council staff via Zoom in the morning and afternoon each day of camp. The remainder of the week, campers will be encouraged to complete their outdoor adventure activity packs and contact us if they have any questions. We are here and will ensure your Girl Scout has the best camp season no matter where she is!

Read on for details about the schedule or click here

Week 1 June 22nd – June 26th
Eco World- Make the world a better place during this week. Learn how to care for the natural world and the animal that live in it. Badge Components: Daisy – Eco Learner, Brownie – Bugs, Juniors – Animal Habitats, C-Eco Trekker

Week 2 June 29th – July 3rd
Flower Power – Discover your green thumb. Learn about the importance of gardens and pollination to the bee population. Badge Components: Daisy – Outdoor Art Maker, Brownie – Senses, Juniors – Flowers, C-Trees

Week 3 July 6th – July 10th
Sky Quest –Learn all about the sky during the day and at night during this week. Badge Components: Daisy – Space Science Explorer, Brownies – Space Science Adventurer, Juniors – Space Science Investigator, C – Space Science Researcher

Week 4 July 13th – July 17th
Outdoor Crafty Creators – Get crafty this week and learn to make art in the outdoors. Badge Components: Daisy – Outdoor Art Maker, Brownies – Outdoor Art Creator, Juniors – Outdoor Art Explorer, C- Outdoor Art Apprentice

Week 5 July 20th – July 24th
Outdoor Tech – Create a sun dial and learn how to tell what time it is based on the sun's position. You will also learn about maps and other outdoor navigation techniques. Badge Components: Daisy –Space Science Explorer, Brownie – Outdoor Adventurer, Junior -Camper, C – Primitive Camper

Week 6 July 27th – July 31st
Forest Explorers- Explore the ‘forest’ of your own outdoor space. Search for signs of wildlife or a forest fairy while learning about the natural world. Badge Components: Daisy –Eco Learner, Brownie – Eco Friend, Junior –Animal Habitats, C - Trees


Week 7 August 3rd – August 7th
Nature Spy – Learn about the environment while solving a mystery. Badge Components: Daisy –Eco Learner, Brownie – Eco Friend, Junior –Animal Habitat, C – Eco Trekker

Week 8 August 10th – 14th
Going Green – Learn how to reduce, reuse and recycle during this week. Badge Components: Daisy –Eco Learner, Brownie – Household Elf, Junior –Eco Camper, C- Eco Trekker

Week 9 August 17th – 21st
Nature Journaling – Learn the art of nature journaling and how to observe the natural world during this week. Badge Components: Daisy – Outdoor Art Maker, Brownies – Outdoor Art Creator, Juniors –Drawing, C- Outdoor Art Apprentice

U-Pick FAQ

We will host two parent meetings to answer questions on the following dates:
o May 19th 7pm Live Zoom
o June 3rd 7pm Live Zoom

When does registration open for U-Pick: Summer Adventures with GSCCC?
- Registration will open on May 13th for U-Pick: Summer Adventures with GSCCC

Can my Girl Scout attend the entire week?
- No. Daisy, Brownies, Juniors and 1st year Cadettes will be doing the same activities during both the two and three day session during the week. If you register for the two day session you will have fewer activities than the three day session. The only exception to this is 2nd/ 3rd year Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors (See: Leadership Track)

-What is the leadership track?
- 2nd/3rd year Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors will register for the entire week and will help and guide younger girls through activities for that week. They will also participate in Zoom discussions and other activities around leadership. If they register for more than one week, they may have the opportunity to design an activity for girls to complete based on the theme. If they cannot attend the whole week, they can come to the session they are available for.

How often will my Girl Scout be on Zoom?
- We are keeping it to 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon each day they are registered. There will be an optional all group activity on Fridays for an hour as well. There will also be the possibility of an ‘add –on’ partner program for an additional fee.

What does the Monday, Wednesday Friday schedule look like?

- 9am zoom to learn about how to do activities the day (w/breakout group for levels)

- 2pm zoom to share how their activities went (w/ breakout group for levels)

- Optional Friday 12:30pm – 1:30 – Talent Show or sing along or other all camp group activity

What does the Tuesday and Thursday schedule look like?

- 10:30am zoom to learn about how to do activities for the day(w/ break out groups for levels)

- 3:30pm zoom to share how their activities went (w/ break out groups for levels)

- Optional Friday 12:30pm – 1:30 – Talent Show or sing along or other all camp group activity

What does the leadership track schedule look like?

- Attend all regular schedule zooms for younger girls Monday – Friday as above

- Additional Zooms: 10:30am MWF and 2pm T/Th to discuss their leadership activities and planning for younger Girl Scouts

What if I have Girl Scouts in multiple levels attending, how will break out sessions work?


- If you have more than one girl on a screen at a time they can both attend the same breakout group regardless of their level. If you would like them to attend with their levels you can have them sign in separately.

Will there be staff on Zoom and in breakout Rooms?
- Yes there will always be adults on Zoom and in breakout rooms to monitor activity and lead discussions.

Does my Girl Scout have to attend the Friday all group session?
- No this is not required, it is an additional opportunity to any girl registered for the week to do a group activity.

Will I need to provide any supplies?
- The majority of supplies will be provided for each registered girl. We ask that you have scissors, glue/tape, crayons/colored pencils or markers and writing implements available for your girl to use to complete some activities. Everything else will be provided.

Will I need to do every activity with my Girl Scout?
- The idea is for the girls to be able to complete the activity on their own – all girls are different and some may need assistance especially your Daisy Girl Scouts. Each activity will have directions on how to complete the activity and all supplies listed (either from home or the kit provided). Staff will also walk girls through activities during the morning Zoom sessions.

What is the cost of the U-Pick: Summer Adventures with GSCCC?
- 2 Days is $30
- 3 Days $50
- Leadership Track $20

How will we get supplies for the week?
- Pickup Locations throughout the councils during a designated time (TBD)
- Mailing – You will choose this during check out for an additional $5

What will happen to the deposit or money I paid already?
- You will automatically receive refund from any money paid. If you would like your money to be transferred to U-Pick: Summer Adventures with GSCCC please contact customercare@gsccc.org. Refunds will begin the week of May 18th.

Cookie Rewards FAQ’s


What do I do if my Girl Scout selected CAMP CREDITS?
- Keep the Credit; all credits may now be redeemed to register for a U-Pick Summer Adventure, shop at a GSCCC retail location or to pay for a GSCCC program/event.
- Choose the Reward; at each of the 3 levels a camp credit is offered there is also 1 or 2 reward options.


What do I do if my Girl Scout earned a FREE WEEK OF CAMP?
- You will receive a gift certificate for a free week of camp during the summer of 2021 or Lifetime Membership (2021 - 12th graders only).
- Rewards are non-transferrable and may not be transferred to another girl.


If I am a Troop Leader what should I do?
- Communicate with girls and their caregivers in regards to their options.
- Contact their SU Cookie Coordinator if they have already submitted final rewards and need to make changes


What if I have more questions regarding cookie rewards? - All questions should be sent to customercare@gsccc.org.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Want to help the community? Protective Face Mask Tutorial and New Patch Opportunity

Here's a community service project that you can do that can benefit your family and friends in the community. Throughout our area and many places in the nation, there is currently a need for protective face masks. For those of us who sew - or want to learn to sew - this project can make a huge difference. Let's give a helping hand and follow best safety practices by making protective face masks. While doing it, you can earn a Girl Scout patch!  
Learn how to easily sew a surgical face mask with this step-by-step tutorial done by our very own Girl Scout Caroline! You can also read how-to instructions below for making a standard face masks below. 


 Making A Face Mask



Materials Needed

· Cotton fabric, tightly woven
· 1/8" elastic, or fabric ties

Tools
· Sewing machine and thread
· Scissors
· Ruler
· Sewing pins or clips

Instructions:

1. Cut the fabric.
For an adult size mask, cut 1 fabric rectangle 16″ long and 8.5″ wide. Cut 2 pieces of elastic, each 7″ long. Or, cut 4 fabric ties 18" long.
For a child-size mask, cut 1 fabric rectangle 14″ long and 6.5″ wide. Then, cut 2 pieces of elastic, each 6″ long.

2. Sew the top side, with pocket opening.
Fold the fabric in half, with the right sides facing.
Sew along the 8.5″ width edge, using a 5/8″ seam allowance. Leave a 3” opening in the center of this seam to create an opening for the filter pocket, and to allow the mask to be turned right side out after sewing.
Press the seam open. Topstitch/zig-zag stitch along both sides of the seam for a neater edge.

3. Pin Elastic or Fabric Ties.
Pin one piece of elastic to each side of the mask, one end to the top corner and one end to the bottom corner. If using fabric ties, pin one tie to each corner, with the rest of the tie sandwiched inside the two layers of fabric.

4. Sew the Sides.
Sew the sides of the facemask. Backstitch over the elastic or fabric ties to secure them.
Clip the corners, turn the mask right side out, and press with an iron.

5. Sew the Pleats.
Create three evenly spaced 1/2” pleats. Pin the folds in place, making sure all pleats are facing the same direction. Sew down each side to secure the pleats.
For information on how to donate your masks or if you have questions, contact Donna at customercare@gsccc.org. 
If you'd like to receive the Mask Making patch, they may be purchased at our GSCCC shops.