Thursday, August 28, 2014

Gold Award Spotlight: Two Hands Lacrosse Camp

Margaret, a Girl Scout Ambassador from Chesapeake, has recently earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and award in Girl Scouting.

Margaret, who has been playing lacrosse since middle school, wanted to join a team at her high school. However, due to a low number of girls interested in the sport, there were not enough people to have a team. Recognizing that girls in Chesapeake are not familiar with the sport, Margaret planned and organized a free, weeklong lacrosse camp for girls in the area.

During the week, Margaret introduced 28 girls to lacrosse by teaching them about the fundamentals of the sport, practicing skills, such as tossing and catching, and providing activities for the girls to practice hand-eye coordination. By the end of the week, the girls were ready to play a full game of lacrosse. Each day at the camp, Margaret also took the time to teach the girls a health tip, ranging from the importance of wearing safety gear while playing sports to how to communicate effectively and exhibit the qualities of good sportsmanship.

“I chose this project because I hoped that enough girls would become intrigued by the sport that they would be able to form a team at their high schools,” Margaret said. “Lacrosse is slow-growing in our area, and I wanted to inspire girls to try a new sport.”

After the camp, Margaret shared her lesson plans for the camp with elementary schools in Chesapeake so that activities and games can be used in physical education classes. Margaret’s lacrosse coach has also agreed to continue to host the camp using her lesson plans in the following years to help grow the popularity of lacrosse in the area.

The Gold Award requires girls to identify an issue in their community and carry out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work. Nationwide, less than 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award, which adds Margaret to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Meet Cadence!

Girl Scout Senior Cadence from Virginia Beach gave community service hours this summer to help with a Council archives project. She researched Girl Scout dolls over the years, searched them out in the archive inventory and helped place an exhibit in the lobby at A Place for Girls. Cadence has been a Girl Scout for ten years and is excited about being a Girl Scout Senior and getting started on earning the Girl Scout Gold Award.

"I love working with younger girls, and I know they will enjoy seeing this exhibit," Cadence said. "I think every girl has had at least one doll they have treasured. It might not have been a Girl Scout doll, but this will give them a bit of Girl Scout history in a fun way."

Are you a Girl Scout Cadette, Senior or Ambassador who is interested in Girl Scout history? There are archive projects waiting for you at GSCCC! Contact Communications Director Marcy Germanotta at 549-0836 to get started.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Gold Award Spotlight: Northwest River Park Horse Trail Renovation

Sarah with one of the new trail signs she added to improve
the horse trails at Northwest River Park.
Girl Scout Ambassador Sarah from Chesapeake recently earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement in Girl Scouting.

For her project, Sarah addressed the lack of physical visibility and safety of the horseback riding trails in the woods at Northwest River Park in Chesapeake. She began her project by talking to horseback riders at the park and asking them what changes would make it easier for them to enjoy the trails. When she learned that the government-owned park did not have the funds or staff to revitalize the trail, she decided to take action on her own.

Sarah works on painting a trail marker.
Sarah then made seven signs for the trail and seven sets of guard rail entrances. She also repainted nearly 400 orange horseshoes and replaced them on trees along the path to mark the trail. She then added small trail signs at unofficial entrances to the trail, made a mounting block to help riders climb onto their horse and created a hitching post for a safe place for riders to tie up their horses. After her improvements were made, Sarah created a flier about her project that she left at several local equestrian shops in order to share with the public about the newly renovated trails. Finally, she remade the bulletin board case at the trail and placed an updated park map, including the horse trail entrances, inside the case.

“I love riding horses and wanted to improve a place where people have a chance to ride their horses through nature,” Sarah said.

The Gold Award requires girls to identify an issue in their community and carry out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work. Nationwide, less than 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award, which adds Sarah to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Girl Scouts Explore Chesapeake

Chesapeake Girl Scouts Erin and Darshawn
explored A Place for Girls and The Outback.
The newest Girl Scouts in Chesapeake are eager to get started with their troop this fall, but over the summer have already started their fun and adventure in Girl Scouts by earning the Explore Chesapeake patch. Throughout the summer, they've been learning about historical events that took place in the city, as well as visiting landmarks and important locations in Chesapeake to earn the patch.

On July 26, Girl Scouts met at A Place for Girls, the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast regional program center and headquarters for a day of discovery and exploration. The girls participated in a scavenger hunt that taught them about Juliette Gordon Low, the woman who founded Girl Scouts of the USA in Savannah, Ga. in 1912. The girls also explored The Outback, a nine acre nature area behind A Place for Girls on Bells Mill Creek. In The Outback, the girls observed birds and other wildlife and conquered elements of the fitness trail, including a balance beam and monkey bars.

Earlier in the summer, the girls enjoyed watching Shakespeare in the Grove at Tidewater Community College, planting a seedling at Chesapeake Arboretum and learning about life on a farm during a tour at Bergey’s Breadbasket Dairy Farm, among other activities.

Start your fun and adventure in Girl Scouts today by visiting our website!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Girl Scout Homecoming

This September, Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia are celebrating the pursuit of equality and over 100 years of Girl Scouting in Virginia with special events all month long. All events are free and open to the public. Registration is required and can be completed online here.

Girl Scout Archive Exhibit
Monday, September 8- Sunday, September 28
Virginia Union University, Wilder Library Atrium
1500 N Lombardy Street, Richmond
View hours here.

A Century of Strides: African American Girl Scouts and the Pursuit of Equality in Virginia
Thursday, September 18, 6 to 8 p.m.
Viola O. Baskerville, J.D.
CEO of Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia
Virginia Union University, Wilder Library Lecture Hall
1500 N Lombardy Street, Richmond

Ceremony Commemorating the South's First African American Girl Scout Troop
Saturday, September 20, 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Virginia Union University, Hartshorn Hall
1500 N Lombardy Street, Richmond
Historic marker unveiling and dedication; Remarks by Girl Scout leaders and special guests

Girl Scout Homecoming Service Project- Clean-Up of East End Cemetery
Saturday, September 20, 9 a.m. to noon
Sunday, September 21, 1 to 4 p.m.
Girl Scouts earn a special patch for important work to help clear the burial sites of many once-prominent African American Richmonders. Tour the cemetery complex and visit the grave of the notable Mrs. Maggie L. Walker, who was instrumental in establishing Girl Scout Troop 34, the first African American Girl Scout troop in the South.

Service of Worship
Sunday, September 21, 11 a.m.
Ebenezer Baptist Church
216 W Leigh Street, Richmond
Join Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia to acknowledge the church's pivotal role in establishing Girl Scout Troop 34.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"Duck" Tape Regatta

With rolls of duct tape and cardboard boxes in tow, more than 60 Girl Scouts headed to the beach at First Landing State Park on August 16 for the first annual “Duck” Tape Regatta, hosted by a Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast outdoor adventure group. Seventeen teams of Girl Scouts spent the morning designing and constructing boats using just two materials—cardboard and duct tape. Each team was also given two pieces of PVC pipe to use to make paddles. The girls put their heads together to engineer a boat that could hold one or two of their team members long enough for a short race in the Chesapeake Bay.

Members of Girl Scout Troop 318 from Chesapeake ready to race their boat.
After three hours of building, teams gathered at the shoreline with their boats ready to race. From a bright yellow boat with a pointed bow to a rainbow-colored box with a fin, girls came up with creative designs, all vying for the coveted rubber duck trophy. Teams raced in heats based on age-level with a goal of staying afloat as their boats hit the water. Special guest judges, including Liz Palka from WAVY-TV, rated each boat based on creativity, design and flotation and kept time during the races.

Kathryn from Troop 460 in Virginia Beach
successfully navigated her team's boat
across the finish line. 
Many of the boats floated successfully and girls were able to navigate them into the bay, around an orange buoy and back to the shore. They maneuvered through challenges such as wind, broken paddles and water slowly coming onboard their boats. In the end, teams were awarded with trophies for best design and best d├ęcor, among other recognitions.

“This is a great opportunity for girls to use their imagination and learn about engineering, all while having tons of fun,” Bonnie Taylor, the Girl Scout volunteer who helped plan the event, said. “It’s important to me to make sure girls have opportunities to participate in outdoor adventure activities, and this is just one of the many events we have planned this year.”

Girl Scouts has a long history of getting girls outdoors to participate in fun and enriching activities that allow them to take risks, try new things and build confidence and leadership skills.

View more photos from the day here.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Navy Volunteers Make Improvements at A Place for Girls

On August 13, a group of 22 volunteers from the Navy gave a helping hand to Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast as part of their monthly volunteer efforts. The volunteers spent the day at A Place for Girls, the headquarters and program center for Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast, in Chesapeake.

During the day, the group painted a Conex storage box, cleaned and painted a canoe trailer and cleaned all of the office furniture that will be moved into A Place for Girls in the coming weeks. They also replaced the hot water heater in The Lodge, a program annex building and repaired boards along the wooden walkway in The Outback, a nearly 9 acre nature area situated behind A Place for Girls. This project was essential to helping Girl Scouts maintain a safe environment for girls who attend summer camp at the location.

“I was a Girl Scout while growing up in Texas, and even though I don’t have any daughters, I enjoy giving back to an organization that made a difference in my life,” volunteer Vanessa Braimer said. “I remember being proud of the badges that I earned, and looking back, I see how important it was for me to learn about civic duty at a young age.”

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast relies on volunteers all year long to not only serve as mentors and guides for nearly 15,000 girls across the region, but also to help maintain our camp properties and program facilities. This is the second time that this group of volunteers have spent the day at A Place for Girls, and they plan to continue giving their time and talents to help Girl Scouts.

View more photos from the day here.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Girl Scouts Welcome Four-Legged Visitors at Summer Camp

Girl Scout Daisy Mackenna meets a
trained canine companion.
Girls who are attending Girl Scout Camp Imagimazing Summer Fun in Chesapeake welcomed a few four-legged visitors, as they are working on earning the badge from the Animal category this week at camp. Three dogs from Canine Companions for Independence, along with their trainers, came to the camp so that girls could see what goes into training assistance dogs and how these highly trained dogs enhance the lives of people with disabilities.

During their presentation, the dog trainers demonstrated the commands that they teach, including basic obedience commands, opening a door and retrieving dropped items, such as keys. Afterwards, the girls had the opportunity to pet the dogs, two of which were puppies in the early stages of their training process, and practice commands, including barking on command and shaking “paws.”

Girl Scout Brownie Erin meets
Bella, a puppy that is in training
to be an assistance dog.
Throughout the week at camp, girls have been engaged in a variety of activities where they have learned about what goes into caring for pets and keeping them healthy, investigated wild animal habitats and discussed how humans and animals can care for and help one another. The girls have also had the opportunity to participate in traditional camp activities, including swimming, archery and canoeing.

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast offers nine weeks of day camp, including this week, at A Place for Girls, the regional program center and headquarters in Chesapeake. Girl Scout camp is a unique all-girl environment where girls develop leadership skills, learn how to work as part of a team and make new friends.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Camp Apasus Pool Dedication

On August 13, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast hosted a dedication ceremony for their new pool at Camp Apasus in Norfolk. The pool was made possible through a generous donation from the Norfolk Sertoma Club, a longtime supporter of Girl Scouts and Camp Apasus. The pool dedication was followed by the annual appreciation luncheon hosted by Girl Scouts for the members of the Sertoma Club. During the luncheon, girls who are currently attending the day camp at Camp Apasus sang songs and handed out crafts that they had made to the guests. 

Girl Scouts and members of the Norfolk Sertoma Club
Last summer, members of the Sertoma Club presented Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast with a check for $10,000 to cover the cost of replacing the nearly 40-year-old pool at the camp. The new pool was installed in time for the beginning of the 2014 summer camp season, and was enjoyed this summer by the 54 girls who attend Girl Scout day camp at Camp Apasus, as well as over 300 Norfolk youth during five weeks of day camp hosted by the Sheriff Bob McCabe Foundation. This is the second year that the Foundation has partnered with Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast to offer a free summer camp experience for girls and boys in Norfolk.

In addition to the new pool, a local Boy Scout raised funds and built a deck around the pool to create a safe and stable platform for swimmers for his Eagle Award project. The new deck and pool offer an updated and safer environment for girls to learn how to swim and enjoy the water at Camp Apasus.

Since the 1930s, Girl Scouts have been attending Camp Apasus, where they’re not only building campfires, swimming and making friends, but also learning how to work as a team, develop leadership skills and gain a sense of self-confidence as they try new things. Thanks to the generous support of the Sertoma Club and other community organizations, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast can continue to serve girls, building courage, confidence and character among them, one girl at a time.

Happy campers enjoy the new pool at Camp Apasus.

View more photos from the day here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Virginia Beach Girl Scouts Participate in Internship Experience with Local Entrepreneur

While most Girl Scouts are very familiar with the cookie business, three Virginia Beach Girl Scouts, Morgan Kelly, Baillie McGowan and Reid Wolfe, recently had the opportunity to gain insight into a whole new world of cookies at Lucy’s, an allergy-friendly food manufacturing company known for their gluten-free cookies, in Norfolk. Morgan, Baillie and Reid had the opportunity to participate in an internship experience at Lucy’s after getting to know the company’s founder and chairman, Dr. Lucy Gibney, through her sponsorship of their experience at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York City in March.

Reid, Morgan and Baillie look at marketing collateral
Julie Matthews, communications manager at Lucy's.
The girls started off their day at Lucy’s in the company’s corporate office. After speaking with Dr. Gibney, the girls met with Julie Matthews, the communications manager, to learn about the work that goes into designing cookie boxes, managing corporate social media accounts and updating the website. The girls, who all enjoy foreign language classes at school, were intrigued with the process of designing a package to include the information in more than one language.

Next, the girls traveled about 10 minutes away to the Lucy’s bakery and warehouses, where they learned about human resources, warehouse management and logistics for packaging and shipping. They also donned hairnets for a tour of the bakery, during which they learned about how the production and packaging machines function, as well as the allergy-friendly products that are used in the bakery and the precautions taken to ensure that all of the products manufactured a Lucy’s are not tainted with allergens, including gluten and nuts.

Baillie runs one of the packaging machines during a demonstration inside the bakery at Lucy's.
During the afternoon, the girls taste tested all 12 flavors of Lucy’s cookies, including the two newest flavors, Berry Best Cookie and Lemon Goodness. They also heard from staff members about customer service and helped research an upcoming blog for the Lucy’s website.

For Morgan, Baillie and Reid, this experience gave them the opportunity to learn about the numerous facets of running a business to help them think about what they may like to do in the future. Through her mentorship of these girls, Dr. Gibney has shown them that they can be anything and do anything that they set their minds to.

Dr. Lucy Gibney will be recognized by Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast as a Girl Scout Famous Former at a luncheon on October 30.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Portsmouth Girl Scouts Gearing Up for a Year of STEM Learning

Some of the newest Girl Scouts in Portsmouth have had a busy summer preparing for all of the fun and adventure they're planning for the upcoming year. The girls, who are members of Girl Scout Troop 5782 in the Cross Creek community in Portsmouth, have been meeting twice a month over the summer to get to know one another through fun games, crafts and activities.

So far this summer, the girls have started learning the Girl Scout Promise and Law, which are guiding principles that outline the way Girl Scouts agree to act towards others. Together, they talk about what it means to be friendly, helpful, respectful, considerate and courageous—values stated in the Girl Scout Law. The girls have also been preparing for a big trip at the end of the summer to Busch Gardens to participate in ThrillBuilders, a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program that introduces girls to simple machines and physics concepts. The trip to Busch Gardens is designed to provide girls with firsthand experiences in STEM to build on their interests and encourage them to consider careers in the STEM fields.

Girl Scout Troop 5782
“I see the value in Girl Scouting for my daughters and the other girls in the community,” K-shau-ta Trotter, the volunteer leader of Troop 5782 said. “I know that I can be a role model for these girls and help give them a positive activity to participate in outside of school.”

This fall, the girls will also be attending Science Alive, an annual event held co-hosted by Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast and Norfolk State University, where girls will participate in sessions led by Norfolk State University faculty and students that cover a range of topics, including engineering, chemistry, medicine, biology and physics.

In today’s world, less than 30 percent of STEM careers are held by women, and it is more important than ever to expose girls to a world of possibilities for their future. Through activities such as ThrillBuilders and Science Alive, Girl Scouts allows girls to discover what they are capable of, connect with one another and learn teamwork skills and take action to become resourceful problem solvers. Girl Scouts delivers these opportunities in a comfortable, all-girl environment where girls are more likely to ask questions, try new things and take risks without having to worry about fitting into stereotypes and gender roles they may encounter at school.

The troop members are also looking forward to getting involved in their community by participating in flag ceremonies and service projects, as well as honing their financial literacy skills to participate in the 2015 Girl Scout Cookie Program.

The Girl Scout troop in Cross Creek, as well as a sister troop that is forming in Ansell Gardens, was made possible through a $10,000 grant from the Beazley Foundation. The grant will continue to help fund troop activities, as well as ensure that the girls have program resources and official uniforms.