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