Monday, April 28, 2014

Give Local 757

Imagine one day, hundreds of organizations and thousands of people coming together to raise millions of dollars for the greater good. That day is coming up—on Thursday, May 6, the Peninsula Community Foundation of Virginia is presenting Give Local 757, a 24-hour virtual fundraising event. This is an opportunity for nonprofit organizations throughout Hampton Roads to join together to help spread the word and fundraise for our causes.

Everyone can be a philanthropist and participate in Give Local 757 because every dollar counts. Help reignite the spirit of giving and share this event with your friends!

You can donate securely online starting at midnight on May 6, and all donations are tax deductible. Just visit Give Local 757 and fill out the form to donate.

Why support Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast? We build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Through Girl Scouting, girls discover what they are capable of, connect to their communities and take action to make a difference in the world. View one Girl Scouts leadership journey here.

Give Local 757 is part of Give Local America, a nationwide celebration of communities coming together to support local philanthropy. On May 6, people from across the country will be donating to support nonprofit efforts in their communities. 

Help GSCCC win an extra $1,000 as part of Give Local 757 by liking this photo on Facebook before May 5.

Leadership Breakfast

On April 23, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast hosted a Leadership Breakfast in Virginia Beach. This breakfast was an opportunity for over 100 community leaders and friends to learn about the Girl Scout Leadership Experience and the Girl Scout alumnae who support it, including the guest speaker for the morning, Dr. Lucy Gibney. Dr. Gibney is a physician, board certified in Emergency Medicine, and the founder and chairman of Lucy’s, a gluten-free, allergy friendly food company, in Norfolk, Va.

Dr. Lucy Gibney in New York City with the four GSCCC girls
who attended the Commission on the Status of Women.
At the Leadership Breakfast, Dr. Gibney spoke about how she came to support and become a mentor for four local Girl Scouts who attended the United Nations 58th Commission on the Status of Women in New York City in March. She also talked about the importance of volunteer participation in supporting girls and about ToGetHerThere, a campaign by Girl Scouts of the USA to encourage people to help empower girls to be leaders and show them that when girls succeed, so does society.

Dr. Gibney’s presentation was supported by a study by the Girl Scout Research Institute that found while 92 percent of girls believe that anyone can acquire the skills of leadership, only 21 percent believe they currently have most of the key qualities required to be a leader. This discrepancy can be a real barrier to leadership for girls— if they do not feel that they have the skills needed to be a leader, they may be discouraged altogether from aspiring towards taking on a leadership role. Girl Scouts launched ToGetHerThere to bring this discrepancy to the forefront so that people are encouraged to help girls reach their full leadership potential and become the leaders that the world needs.

“Girls need our commitment, our wisdom and our enthusiasm,” Dr. Gibney said. “They also need for us to respect them and for us to respect one another. Girls will benefit from what we do for them and what we do for each other.”

Dr. Lucy Gibney, Candice George, Pam Northam

Dr. Gibney also spoke about Ban Bossy, a public service campaign that was recently launched by Girl Scouts of the USA and Lean In to draw attention to the trend of girls being less interested in leadership roles than boys. When a girl asserts herself, she oftentimes risked being called “bossy,” which is a precursor to words like “aggressive” and “too ambitious.” The time to start building female leaders is now, and it is important that girls are encouraged to develop leadership skills and supported when they take on leadership roles.

Dr. Gibney’s experiences in leadership, along with her financial and entrepreneurial successes, make her a strong role model for Girl Scouts and women everywhere.

Dr. Lucy Gibney, GSCCC board member Marie Vesely and Bobette Nelson
More photos from the breakfast can be found here.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Middle School Madness

This summer, GSCCC is offering a summer camp session just for girls who will be starting middle school in the fall. This unique camp, Middle School Madness, will be held August 10 -15 at Camp Darden.

During their fun-filled week at Middle School Madness, girls will learn how to navigate relationships, find true friendships, deal with social conflicts and gain self-confidence as they complete the Girl Scout Cadette It’s Your World—Change It! aMAZE! Journey. In the supportive all-girl environment of Girl Scout camp, girls will be able to openly talk with their peers, as well as supportive adult counselors, about their fears and concerns about starting middle school.
Girl Scouts will complete the aMAZE!
Leadership Journey at camp.

To coincide with the aMAZE! Journey, girls will take part in activities from the Girl Scouts of the USA Be a Friend First anti-bullying program, which gives girls a chance to explore thorny issues, such as peer pressure, stereotyping, gossip and cliques, by engaging in role-plays, creating writing, games and discussion exercises. Girls will also be encouraged to take on leadership roles with activities through Ban Bossy, a public service campaign recently launched by Girl Scouts of the USA and Lean In to support girls to be ambitious, speak up and take the lead.

At camp, girls will also be able to take advantage of all of the amenities Camp Darden has to offer, including canoeing, swimming, archery and a low-ropes challenge course. They will also explore the new adventures they’ll face in middle school, including changing classes and opening lockers.

Camp registration can be completed online here. For questions about this camp session email All girls, whether or not they are currently registered members of Girl Scouts, are invited to attend summer camp with Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Thank you, Girl Scout Volunteers!

When you just can't wait for what you'll do next, you can do anything!

At Girl Scouts, girls are always counting down to the next adventure they'll go on together. Maybe it's artistic. Maybe it's an experiment. Maybe it's getting outside or helping the community.

This year, you've helped girls have a ton of new experiences that show them just how exciting the world is and what they can achieve. You are awesome and we want to thank you for being a part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience at Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Gift of Caring

Girl Scout Senior Anne and Girl Scout Cadette Amanda
from Troop 558 display a poster about We Care Marines,
the organization they support through Gift of Caring.
There’s a lot more to Girl Scout Cookies than what’s in the box, and this rings especially true for the girls who are members of Girl Scout Troop 558 in Virginia Beach. Since 2011, In addition to selling cookies to customers throughout the city, the girls have sold nearly 700 extra boxes of Girl Scout Cookies through Gift of Caring, a community service project through which Girl Scouts sell extra cookies and donate them to a local charity.

The members of Girl Scout Troop 558 donate their Gift of Caring cookies to We Care Marines, a memorial fund set up by Wendy Childers of Chesapeake in memory of her son Cody, a Marine who was killed in Afghanistan in August 2010. Through the memorial fund, care packages are sent in Cody’s name to deployed Marines to help keep Cody’s memory alive, as well as thank those who are currently serving overseas. We Care Marines has sent more than 3,100 care packages to Marines filled with Cody’s favorite things, including ear buds, movies and lots of snacks.

Girl Scout Troop 558 decided to support We Care Marines through the Gift of Caring program after reading a story about the organization in the newspaper in February 2011. That year, they donated 206 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to the cause. At their cookie booths, Troop 558 proudly displays a poster about We Care Marines and Lance Corporal Cody Childers to share his story and encourage their cookie customers to buy an extra box of Girl Scout Cookies to bring a smile to the face of a member of the military serving our country.

This year, local Girl Scouts sold over 17,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies that were donated to organizations throughout the area as part of the Gift of Caring program. The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the nation’s largest girl-led business and the leading financial literacy and entrepreneurial program for girls. Through the cookie program, girls learn skills that will last them a lifetime, including goal setting, decision making, people skills, business ethics and money management.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Helping Hands Food Drive

Girl Scout Brownie Troop 174 from Virginia Beach on a tour
of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia with Julie Braley,
marketing and business relations director with the food bank.
Community service has been a cornerstone of Girl Scouting since Juliette Gordon Low first founded the organization over 100 years ago. During the month of April, local Girl Scouts are making a difference in the community through the Helping Hands Food Drive, an annual community service project to help stock area food banks and food pantries. On Saturday, April 5, Girl Scouts had the opportunity to take a tour of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia in Norfolk to learn about how food is collected and distributed, hear about hunger statistics in the community and find out ways that they can help.

On the tour, Girl Scouts visited the different functional areas of the food bank, including where volunteers sort food and check expiration dates, where food is delivered, stored and distributed and where partner agencies can come “shop” and choose items to stock their pantries. They also learned about the programs run by the food bank, including the Backpack Program that distributes food through schools to children who are food insecure and do not always know where their next meal will come from and the Mobile Pantry that delivers food to people who cannot travel to a food pantry.

During the tours, Debbie Mergi, corporate outreach manager with the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, pointed out the many empty shelves inside the food bank warehouse. She talked about how hunger is on everybody’s mind during the holidays, but they need donations all year long, especially as summer nears and children will not have access to meals at school.

“Your food drive is so important because it reminds people that there are going to be children without food this summer,” Mergi told the Girl Scouts.

Members of Girl Scout Troop 843 inside the sorting room at the
Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia during a tour of the facility on April 5.

Across the Commonwealth of Virginia, 12.7 percent of the population is food insecure. That means that over 912,000 people in the Commonwealth do not know from where their next meal will come. In North Carolina, 19.3 percent of people are food insecure. These percentages are even higher when looking just at children (16.5 percent in Virginia and 27.3 percent in North Carolina), and food insecurity among children can affect their cognitive development and school performance. Last year, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia served 14.2 million meals, helping almost 400,000 people who struggle with hunger in the community.

Throughout the month of April, Girl Scouts will be collecting food in a variety of ways, from placing collection boxes at schools and churches to asking their friends, family members and neighbors to donate food items. On Saturday, April 26, from 9 a.m. to noon, Girl Scouts and the public can drop off donations at locations found here.

View a shopping list of most needed items by the food banks here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Troop Capitol Hill

In March, Lily, a Girl Scout Cadette from Chesapeake, represented Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast as the only Girl Scout invited to speak at a national congressional briefing hosted by Girl Scouts of the USA Troop Capitol Hill in Washington DC. She spoke about her experience with the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast’s advocacy committee, which allows adult and teen members to speak up for policies that support the well-being of girls through addressing policy makers and fellow stakeholders. She also shared her experiences that were directly related to bullying and relational aggression in school, and how she has learned to navigate unhealthy social situations in a way that allows her to overcome the scenario and recognize the positive people in her life.

Sally Schaeffer, director of public policy with
Girl Scouts of the USA, Girl Scout Cadette Lily, and 
Dr. Kamla Modi with the Girl Scout Research Institute
Lily was joined at the briefing by Marcy Germanotta, communications director for Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast. Germanotta offered perspective on what Girl Scouts in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina does to address issues of physical and emotional health, education, leadership and other topics covered in The State of Girls: Unfinished Business, a study conducted by  the Girl Scout Research Institute. She discussed community partnerships that Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast has developed to engage girls in out-of-school activities, thereby giving girls the opportunity to avoid unhealthy and unproductive behaviors by providing a safe environment with peers they can relate to and role models they can look up to.

Read more about the experience on the Girl Scouts of the USA blog.