Friday, December 21, 2012

Trefoil Project to Support Connecticut Girl Scouts

As details have emerged about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast is deeply saddened to learn that eight Girl Scout Daisies and sons of two Girl Scout families have died as a result of the shootings. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of all the children who were lost on that day, and with the Connecticut Girl Scout community who are grieving.

Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Anna Maria Chávez offered her condolences to all those affected; you can read her message here.

Many sister Girl Scouts have asked what they can do to help. Girl Scouts of Connecticut is planning a memorial service with the Newtown Service Unit in mid-January. At that time, they will be presenting thoughts, prayers, and well-wishes on trefoil art. If you or any of your troops would like to participate, please send these trefoils to the Hartford Service Center, c/o Trefoil Project, 340 Washington St., Hartford, CT 06106.

Girl Scouts of Connecticut has set up a fund in honor of the Girl Scouts who died during the shooting. The fund will assist girls in attending Girl Scout Summer Camp. If you would like to give, go to, and on the online giving form linked from the site indicate “Sandy Hook Girl Scout Campership Fund” in the “What is this gift for?” box. See here for instructions.

It is highly advisable to receive written permission from parents when discussing sensitive issues of this nature. For parents and volunteers working directly with girls, click here for a list of resources to assist in discussing this tragedy with children and helping the healing process.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

Our thoughts and prayers are with our Girl Scout sister councils (girls, their families and staff members) affected by Hurricane Sandy. More than a dozen councils were impacted, as well as Girl Scouts of USA offices.

In an effort to help those children affected by this disaster, Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast is partnering with local community groups to collect toiletry kits for storm victims. If you are interested in participating, you may drop off donations to A Place for Girls, the Council's program center and headquarters at 912 Cedar Road, or at the Peninsula Service Center at 813 Forrest Drive in Newport News.

Children's Toiletry Kits (All items must be NEW)
1-gallon size plastic zip lock bag
1 toothbrush
1 large comb or small hairbrush
1 face cloth
1 bar of soap
1 "fun" item such as a crayons or packet of stickers
Consider writing a note or including a card of encouragement

While Girl Scouts does not allow fundraising on behalf of outside organizations, we recognize that sending funds to emergency response organizations, such as the Red Cross, is an effective way to immediately help victims of a disaster. Red Cross opened more than 250 shelters across 16 states that provided for nearly 11,000 people. To support Red Cross, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). You can also consider giving a blood donation. All blood types are needed, especially type O positive, O negative, A negative or B negative blood. Call 800-733-2767 (RED CROSS) or visit to make an appointment or for more information.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friends Don't Bully

Middle school is a crucial time of transition and adjustment for girls. They are learning new ways to engage with the world and are developing social leadership skills. But this is also a peak time when girls are more apt to become involved in bullying behavior.

Bullying that takes place among teen girls is often seen as relational aggression. It is done subtly by manipulating a relationship that they are involved in. This can include gossiping, teasing, spreading rumors, excluding others and betraying trust. School-based anti-bullying programs do not always meet the needs of girls because they tend to focus on only physical forms of bullying and they do not offer the skill-building opportunities that girls need to gain the abilities and confidence to help combat bullying behaviors.

According to the Girl Scout Research Institute, 75% of middle school principals today say that bullying is a serious problem in their school. Girl Scouts are working to lower this statistic and be a community partner with the schools by offering opportunities, such as special workshops using the Girl Scout aMAZE Journey resource. These workshops help girls develop friendship skills, stand up for themselves and others, make the decision to avoid gossiping and learn how to resolve conflicts in a peaceful manner.

When a girl is bullied, 85% of the time, nobody steps in to help her. This rattling statistic is being combated by the Girl Scouts who are teaching girls that if they speak up, bullying often stops in seconds. When girls are well-informed about how to deal with bullying behavior and relational aggression, they improve their own relationships, and they have the ability to lead a larger cultural change in their schools and their communities.

On November 17, at Girl Scout Camp Skimino near Williamsburg, the Kappa Delta Sorority from the College of William and Mary will partner with the Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast to host an event to address this issue - “Friends Don’t Bully.”   This experience will help girls build leadership and relationship skills, while enhancing their communication and character development skills. Look for other opportunities in the Council's GO! program catalog that can be found at

Friday, October 12, 2012

STEM Partnerships

This fall, there have been plenty of opportunities for girls to explore science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) - thanks to supportive community partners. Nearly 300 girls attended Science Alive at Norfolk State University and participated in hands-on activities with the university faculty and students. They learned how robots were programmed, generated electricity using a thin solar panel, made telescopes and launched rockets. You can veiw photos from the day on the Council's Facebook!

Valencia Ingram, a Girl Scout alumna who helped the Girl Scouts coordinate Science Alive, has worked as the Education Administrator and STARS Tutoring Director at Norfolk State University for eleven years. She works to help increase the STEM graduation rate at NSU by enhancing the learning environment and encouraging research and achievement in STEM majors.

While Ingram reports that 48% of the STEM majors at NSU are females, she acknowledges the barriers that they face as women in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology.

“Women tend to second guess themselves and have a feeling that they don’t belong in STEM majors,” Ingram said, “Through a series of mentoring and precollege activities, STARS provides support for females majoring in STEM by exposing them to other women working in STEM fields.”

These same methods of encouragement are used by the Girl Scouts to foster girls’ interests in STEM. Today, women across the country are earning only twenty-five percent of the mathematics and computer science undergraduate degrees, so the Girl Scouts are working to fill the gap by giving girls access to strong role models in the STEM fields. By engaging girls in opportunities to learn from female STEM leaders, they are inspired to envision themselves in similar careers.

There are many other STEM events scheduled by GSCCC this membership year. They can be found in the Council's GO! program catalog. The Society of Women Engineers' Day is on October 27 and Night Skies Above Albemarle will take place on February 2, 2013 at the Elizabeth City State University.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Camp Reunions Helped Make New Memories

Girl Scouts across the nation have had a busy year celebrating the centennial of Girl Scouting in the United States. Here at the Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast, our most popular celebrations for alumnae have been camp reunions. The reunions have given former campers and staff members a chance to reconnect, share memories and participate in traditional camp activities.Generations of Girl Scouts came together and celebrated the tradition of sisterhood in Girl Scouts at these reunions - "Once a Girl Scout, Always a Girl Scout!" Many thanks to the Council's Archive's Committee for supplying historical exhibits for each event.

The camp reunions kicked off on July 25th at Camp Apasus in Norfolk where a thank-you luncheon for the Norfolk Sertoma Club, a long-time sponsor of the camp for over fifty years, also took place. In August, reunions were scheduled at Camp Darden near Franklin and Camp Skimino in Williamsburg. Hiking, swimming and S.W.A.P.S. were all part of the fun. You can see photos and videos from all the reunions on the Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast Facebook!

Sing Along at Camp Apasus was led by the Council's Sing-Along Group leader Jo Bazar.

Camp Darden Sing Along on August 4. Favorite song - "Come September"

Camp Skimino Reunion, August 18.

The last reunion was at Camp Burkes Mill Pond on September 22. There was a pirate treasure hunt, outdoor cooking demonstrations, displays, canoeing on Burkes Mill Pond and a camp tour that included the old Mill House.