Thursday, December 12, 2013

Dedication of Oma's Daisies' Boathouse at Camp Skimin

On Sunday, December 8 Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast hosted a dedication ceremony of Oma’s Daisies’ Boathouse at Camp Skimino in Williamsburg. This facility was constructed during the fall thanks to a generous donation of $25,000 from Marion Kaurup. This much-needed boathouse will help to ensure that generations of girls can enjoy canoeing on the camp’s pond.

Marion Kaurup and GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller in the boathouse.
During the ceremony, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast CEO Tracy Keller spoke about the many skills girls gain through program activities such as canoeing and how this gift will enhance the waterfront activities at Camp Skimino. Chair of the Board Melissa Burroughs also spoke and took part in commemorating Kaurup's generous donation with the presentation of the boathouse tribute plaque. Two benches, located next to the boathouse, were also presented to honor Marion and pay tribute to her late husband Arthur.

Marion was asked to speak during the dedication ceremony. She recalled how she was recruited to lead her daughter's Girl Scout Junior troop in the 1950's when the family lived in Brooklyn, New York. She later volunteered to be a Girl Scout Daisy leader when the program was launched in 1984 by GSUSA.

During the dedication program, Marion and her daughter Carol, along with other family members, took part in a sing along led by Girl Scout Alumna Jo Bazar. Kaurup was proud that she still remembered many of the songs from her early Girl Scout years and beamed with a big smile when she taught guests an extra verse to the song Make New Friends!

 Marion shared with guests that camping, canoeing and doing community service projects to support the church where the troop met were some of her favorite memories.She added that she was making new memories in Girl Scouts, thanks to her grandson, Jody Kaurup, who serves as GSCCC's Property Manager. He keeps her up to date with national Girl Scout news and sends her photos of the happenings at GSCCC.

The dedication ceremony was followed by refreshments and a tour of the camp.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

National Girl Scout Recruitment Week

As part of National Girl Scout Recruitment Week, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast will be hosting a series of literacy awareness events on Sunday, October 6. The events, Girls Who Read Lead, will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. and offer hands-on activities and information booths, as well as introduce girls to special speakers. Current members of Girl Scouts who wear their uniform or Girl Scout T-shirt and bring a friend to register to be a member will receive a free gift!

WAVY-TV Anchor Cheryl Tan will be present at the Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library location in Virginia Beach. Other guests include: American Girl book author Sharon Cindrich, The Virginian-Pilot reporter Kathy Adams, blogger and author Maggie Ruch, Spectrum Puppets and Theatrix Productions Children’s Theater. Two Virginia Beach Girl Scouts will also speak - Erin Winebrenner will share her literacy-related Girl Scout Gold Award project that benefited the Samaritan House, and Julia Inglesby will share her experience as one of eight girls from across the country that represented Girl Scouts at the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education.

These events are an opportunity for girls and their families to learn about Girl Scouting and register to become a member of the premiere organization for girls, as well as learn the importance of reading, writing and communicating. Research shows that girls with enriched literacy skills attain higher levels of education, are more apt to achieve higher-paying jobs, and are more likely to hold leadership positions in their communities.

National Girl Scout Recruitment Week is being launched with the help of First Lady Michelle Obama, our Honorary National President who is also an advocate for literacy. The First Lady has taped a video highlighting the importance of volunteering for Girl Scouts. We ask that you help us get the word out about Girl Scouting by sharing this video!

You can read more about the national campaign to recruit new members on the Washington Post website here. The nationally syndicated television show The Daily Buzz has done a segment with a volunteer and two Girl Scouts that is airing across the country. You can view the segment online.

Visit Girls Who Read Lead event page for details. Thank you WAVY-TV 10, FOX43 and for sponsoring Girls Who Read Lead!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast Hold Gold Award Alliance Event

Women who earned the top award in Girl Scouting, now called the Girl Scout Gold Award, gathered at Natural Elements Day Spa and Salon in Chesapeake on September 20 for a networking event. The Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast held the event to locally launch the Gold Award Alliance which is a national Girl Scout alumnae effort. Natural Elements, co-owned by Girl Scout alumnae Suzanne Garcia and Audrey Brown, offered guests a variety of free services during the event that included manicures, hair consultations and facials. 

Girl Scout alumnae guests also shared stories about their experiences in Girl Scouting - their projects they completed to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, or one of its predecessors, including First Class and Curved Bar. Girl Scout alumnae and Gold Award recipients Leslie Clements and Jennifer Merritt, who were in the same troop for many years, had fun reconnecting at the event. Clements now teaches English courses at Virginia Wesleyan College and Tidewater Community College and says her Gold Award project was a natural beginning for what she does now as a teacher.

Both Clements and Merritt agree that earning the Girl Scout Gold Award helped to give them confidence and set them up to be successful beyond high school.

“It gave me the opportunity to do something independently,” Merritt said. “The leadership skills I gained while learning how to work on a project on my own have come in handy in my professional life.”

The Gold Award Alliance was formed as an opportunity for women who earned the highest award in Girl Scouting to reconnect with one another, as well as to mentor girls who are currently working on earning the Girl Scout Gold Award and to help increase recognition of the Gold Award and Girl Scouting in the community. Those interested in joining the alliance can email

Today, less than 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts nationwide earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, which makes these women part of an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I Have a Dream - 50th Anniversary of March on Washington

An article about Girl Scouts was published in TIME magazine’s special edition about the March on Washington. The story, sponsored by AT&T and Geico, charts the Movement's long and proud legacy of diversity and inclusion and notes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s statement that Girl Scouts was a “force for desegregation.”
TIME also hosted a roundtable discussion in Washington, D.C., that included Anna Maria Ch├ívez, Chief Executive Officer of GSUSA, Lydia Soto-Harmon, Chief Executive Officer of the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital, and a number of others.

In addition, Anna has written a column for the Huffington Post, which also focuses on Girl Scouting and our commitment to diversity. “We have come a long way since Dr. King's dream inspired our nation to root out racism a half a century ago,” Anna writes. “Now, as then, we still have a lot of work to do for that dream to become a reality—but we are making progress.

To honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and our Girl Scout commitment to diversity, consider introducing girls to the GSCCC I Have a Dream council badge.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Beazley Foundation Awards Grant to Girl Scouts of Colonial Coast

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast has been approved to receive a $10,000 grant from the Beazley Foundation to serve at least 50 girls who live in at-risk areas in Portsmouth. The girls will participate in financial literacy, healthy living, and environmental activities. There will also be opportunities for teen girls to participate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) projects, as well as career exploration activities. Additionally, the girls served through this grant will participate in the new Girl Scouts of the USA bullying prevention series, BFF: Be a Friend First, which teaches girls how to build social and emotional skills, the importance of respecting others and ways to make healthy and responsible decisions. 
“Helping girls living in at-risk areas today may prevent poverty and illiteracy in their future,"Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast CEO Tracy Keller said. “If we don’t invest in preventative programs, such as the high-quality ones offered by Girl Scouts, we run the risk of our young people engaging in high-risk behaviors that have economic and social implications.”

The Girl Scout Leadership Experience will have a lasting impact on the girls who participate. The Girl Scout Research Institute has found that women who were Girl Scouts display a more positive sense of self, are more engaged in community service, are more civically engaged and attain higher levels of education than women who were never Girl Scouts.

The girls served through this grant will receive handbook resources,Girl Scout uniforms, and will be able to attend summer camp sessions where they will continue to build leadership skills and learn how to work as part of a team.

Support through grants, such as the one presented by the Beazley Foundation, allows Girl Scouts to further their mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Legislative Relief for Girl Scouts' Pension Program

Charitable Pension Flexibility Act

Representatives Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Ron Kind (D-WI) introduced a bipartisan bill on May 23 that enables Girl Scouts and similar charities with affiliates, such as universities and non-profit hospitals, to opt-in early starting next year to the pension funding rules that cover corporate plans - the Charitable Pension Flexibility Act (H.R. 2134).

The bill would smooth pension expenses at more consistent levels, so there is not a spike in paying much higher amounts projected for the next three years. Key to this legislation's success is strong, bipartisan support.

Consider taking action and urge your U.S. Representative to support the Charitable Pension Flexibility Act. Take Action!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Girl Scouts-Western Oklahoma Tornado Relief Fund

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast joins the nation in offering our thoughts and prayers to those who have been affected by the tornado that devastated the Oklahoma City area on Monday, May 20.

We have learned that Girl Scouts-Western Oklahoma Council appreciates all of the good wishes being sent to them by fellow Girl Scouts, but they are unable to handle all of the calls and emails at this time. Instead, they ask that you check their website or Facebook and Twitter feeds for the latest information.

The council cannot accommodate material donations but asks that those interested in donating do so through the Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma Tornado Relief Fund. You can also text the word GIRLS to 20222 to make a $10 donation.

Another way to show your support is to send messages or art in the shape of the Girl Scout trefoil.

Send your trefoil artwork to:
Girl Scouts-Western Oklahoma
Mary Nichols' Family Leadership Center
6100 N. Robinson Ave.
Oklahoma City, Okla. 73118

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Helping Girls Gain Financial Literacy

On Saturday, April 27, Girl Scouts of all ages attended workshops geared at financial literacy at A Place for Girls, the headquarters and program center for the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast. The workshops were part of an event, Financial Fitness, organized by the Tidewater Chapter of the Virginia Society of CPA's.

Members of the Chapter, many former Girl Scouts, led age-appropriate workshops that helped girls meet requirements for Girl Scout awards, such as the Money Manager badge. Girl Scout Daisies learned about coins and paper money; Girl Scout Brownies were introduced to philanthropy and took part in a community service project; Girl Scout Juniors had lessons on maintaining a budget; Girl Scout Seniors compared costs and conducted simple consumer research projects, and Girl Scout Ambassadors found out what it would take to live on their own.

From the youngest Girl Scouts in kindergarten learning how to save money to the Girl Scouts in high school learning to be smart consumers, girls were encouraged to think about their futures and to be prepared. Events such as Financial Fitness are only part of what Girl Scouts is doing to place attention on financial literacy.

The Girl Scout Research Institute recently published a study called Having It All: Girls and Financial Literacy. In this study, they found that girls are optimistic about their future lives but admit to lacking the financial confidence and knowledge they will need to achieve their dreams. They also found that many girls are open to learning about financial literacy and are interested in participating in activities that teach them how to set financial goals and how to manage money.

As financial literacy becomes a growing concern in the country, Girl Scouts are working to lead the way to give girls the tools to become financially independent and empowered. Opportunities such as Financial Fitness: The Sequel allow girls to gain financial confidence, learn how to have open conversations with their parents about money matters and be on track for a financially successful and independent life.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Helping Hands Food Drive

Girl Scouts Lend a “Helping Hand” with Council-Wide Food Drive

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast, in partnership with TowneBank, Walmart and media sponsors -Tidewater Parent Magazine, WAVY-TV 10, Face of Fox43 and Adams Outdoor - will be hosting the 2013 Helping Hands Food Drive on May 4 from 9 noon. Girl Scouts, and friends from the public, are invited to collect non-perishable food items and bring their donations to area Walmarts where volunteers will receive, sort and load the donations onto food bank trucks.

Hunger affects many residents of our community. They may be homeless, parents working for low wages, residents suffering from the recent loss of a job or senior citizens living on fixed incomes. The Girl Scouts are taking action to help those in need through this community service project.

As part of the food drive effort, Girl Scouts are challenged to hold collection drives at schools, churches and other venues in the community during April. The collected food will be brought to the Walmart locations on May 4. Girl Scouts who participate may enter a collection contest! The contest rules, along with tips and a public service announcement, can be found on the Council's website.

Get involved and lend a hand. Make a difference, because no child deserves to go to bed hungry.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Product Sales Program Update

The Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast requests that the use of Council issued endorsement stamps be discontinued when depositing checks directly into any of the Council bank accounts (ECB, Monarch, PNC, SunTrust, Wells Fargo). Effective April 1, 2013, all checks deposited to any of these accounts should be endorsed by writing “For Deposit Only GSCCC” on the back of checks.

Please return all Council issued deposit stamps to GSCCC Finance Director April VanSkiver by May 31, 2013. These stamps may be brought to any Council office or given to your staff liaison/representative.

Thanks for your help!

Monday, March 11, 2013

GSCCC Girl Scout Honored with a Prudential Spirit of Community Award

On March 9, at the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast annual meeting, Girl Scout Ambassador Orion Dunbar was recognized as a distinguished finalist for the 2013 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards and was presented with a bronze medallion by a Prudential representative.

The Prudential awards program represents the United States’ largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service. All public and private middle level and high schools in the country, as well as all Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and Hands-on Network affiliates, are eligible to select a student or member for a local Prudential Spirit of Community Award. Nearly 5,000 teen applicants were reviewed by an independent judging panel, which selected 102 state honorees and another 234 distinguished finalists based on criteria including personal initiative, effort, impact and personal growth.

Orion Dunbar has been dedicated to environmental stewardship for almost her entire life. Her efforts to promote recycling started in 2004 when she founded her own recycling company called R.O.C.K.—Recycle Our Clothes for Kids. When she was nine years old, her mother turned some jeans into cutoff shorts, and Orion discovered that the leg of the pants fit perfectly on her head. She added some feathers and jewels for decoration and had her very own hat.

Orion began setting up booths at festivals for children to make their own recycled jean hats and while doing so, set up a jar to collect money for the Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters. Through R.O.C.K., she partnered with Wrangler Jeans, CHKD Thrift Store and Norfolk Festevents to help raise money for CHKD, which she chose to raise money for because she wanted to help fund the educational programs the hospital provides.

As part of her Girl Scout Gold Award, this past year Orion expanded R.O.C.K. to include Teens for Jeans. This project engages high school students to host jean drives at their school in order to collect jeans to donate to homeless shelters. 1.7 million teenagers are homeless and jeans are the number one item requested by them in homeless shelters.

Orion currently leads the Teens for Jeans project at Western Branch High School, where she is a senior and leading the efforts to collect jeans for the local FORKIDS shelter.

Congratulations to an outstanding Girl Scout – Orion Dunbar!

Monday, February 11, 2013

National Girl Scout Cookie Day

Girl Scouts of Colonial Coast were busy on National Girl Scout Cookie Day! A visit was made to the Navy Mobilization Processing Site where a unit was getting ready to be deployed. They were presented with a Cookies and Milk (Coffee/Tea) reception led by a group of Girl Scouts who are home schooled. The girls had created thank you cards to give out to each military member guests, and they read poems and sang during a special program. The uniformed guests sampled the variety of cookies that were set out on trays - everyone wanted Thin Mints! Each also received a box to take with them as a reminder of how much they are appreciated.

Later that day, an Open House program was held at A Place For Girls. Juliette Low read to visitors and played the Cookie Twister game with guests. The spotlight was on the new Girl Scout cookie boxes that received an overhaul this year, along with the real purpose of the program - to teach girls five essential life skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, and business ethics and people skills.

On February 8, National Girl Scout Cookie Day, the message that was shouted out with the help of social media and Council communications was to buy one more box of Girl Scout cookies this season and support the Girl Scout Leadership Experience! For outcomes of the Girl Scouts’ social media team's contest - #onemorebox - visit Girl Scouts of the USA Facebook Girl Scouts of the USA Facebook. It was a great way to celebrate the largest girl-led business enterprise in the world.

According to a survey from the Girl Scout research institute, 85 percent of Girl Scout “cookie entrepreneurs” learn money management by developing budges, taking cookie orders and handling customers’ money. Research also shows that 83 percent build business ethics; 80 percent learn goal setting; 77 percent improve decision making; and 75 percent develop people skills.

Locally, Girl Scout cookies will be sold through March 24, 2013 and booth sales begin on February 24. We hope more boxes of cookies and thank you cards will find their way into the hands of more military members as we ask area customers to purchase cookies through the Gift of Caring Program!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Enter a Contest and Celebrate Women’s History Month!

Girl Scouts are invited to enter the 3rd annual Coast Guard Federal Women's Program Girl Scout Poem and Poster Contest. All entries must reflect the National Women's History Month 2013 theme: "Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics."
You can read more about Women's History Month.

· All Girl Scout Daisies and Brownies are eligible to enter the poster contest.
· All Girl Scout Juniors, Cadettes, Ambassadors and Seniors are eligible to enter the Poem Contest.

The winners in each category will be guests at the organization's annual luncheon to be held in March. Each winner and one guest will receive a free ticket to the luncheon.

Additional tickets may be purchased for additional guests. The poster will be on display at the program and at the lunch. The Poem winner will read her poem at the luncheon.

The deadline to enter the contest is March 8, 2013. All entries may be sent/brought to A Place for Girls or to the GSCCC Peninsula Service Center. Questions may be directed to

Monday, February 4, 2013

National Girl Scout Cookie Day is February 8

Join the fun and festivities on National Girl Scout Cookie Day - Friday, February 8, when we'll celebrate the world's largest girl-led business.

When a girl participates in the Girl Scout Cookie Program, she’s not only having fun — she’s learning important skills like goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics.

Support National Girl Scout Cookie Day and plan to place your order or purchase one more box!

Stop by and celebrate National Girl Scout Cookie Day with GSCCC during the Open House at A Place for Girls, 912 Cedar Road in Chesapeake, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., where you'll find - cookies to sample, a Girl Scout Cookie archive exhibit, meet storyteller “Juliette Low”, great shop bargains and much more!

Get the scoop on a Facebook contest and more National Girl Scout Cookie Day Information

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Community Service in January

January was a busy month for Girl Scouts. In addition to kicking off the Girl Scout Cookie Program season, girls were involved in many community service projects.

Girl Scout Troop 269 in Virginia Beach created care kits for the Virginia Beach Department of Human Services – kits that will be distributed to children being placed in foster care. For the kits, they collected hygiene items, such as tooth brushes, tooth paste and combs, as well as hat, gloves and scarves. The girls made journals to place in the kits as well. Some donations were purchased using their “cookie dough” from troop funds, and others were collected from the girls’ schools.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, Jan. 21, the troop assembled the kits in pillow cases at Virginia Wesleyan College. Rhonda Hoffman, M.S.W., a case worker with the Department of Human Services, met with the troop and provided information about the foster care system. She thanked the girls for their contribution and assured them it would be put to good use.

“We were inspired by one of the girls in our troop who has had a foster care experience,” Diane Hotaling, a troop parent said. “We know that children who suddenly find themselves in foster care arrive with just the clothes on their backs and we wanted to change that for as many children as we could with these care kits.”

Saturday, January 26, 2013

2013 Samoa Soiree

Once again, Girl Scouts of Colonial Coast will host the annual Samoa Soiree where chefs from select area restaurants will be challenged to create desserts and appetizers using Girl Scout cookies as the key ingredient. These one-of-a-kind culinary delights will be judged by area celebrities, among them – food writer and critic Patrick Evans-Hylton and WVEC anchors Vanessa Coria and LaSalle Blanks. Not only will there be fine food and beverages, but fine music supplied by the Jim Newsom Band. This event offers an opportunity to enjoy friends in an entertaining atmosphere while supporting Girl Scouts! A silent auction will also be part of the festivities, so be ready to bid on some choice items. Tickets are available for purchase at only $50 per person.

Samoa Soiree details & tickets
Samoa Soiree Facebook

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Power of the Girl Scout Cookie Program

Girls bring home more than patches and recognitions when they participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Starting with Girl Scout Daisies, they gain something much more important that they will hold on to all their lives - self-confidence. It may take the help of a Girl Scout team - encouraging leaders, involved parents and cheering troop members - but girls overcome their shyness when they greet customers and offer cookies for purchase. That confidence spills over in her ability to work with others in her troop/group, at school and at home. She becomes a confident and organized person who is ready for the next challenge. And there's more benefits waiting for girls, who participate - the ability to set goals, make decisions, manage money, and understand business ethics. These ingredients, when combined, create success! Learn more Cookie Program