Monday, October 24, 2016

Stand Beside Her

From a very young age, girls are inundated with negative messages about behaviors that prevent them from building healthy relationships and ideals about their potential. In fact, research has shown that at nine years old, girls’ self-esteem peaks and then takes a nosedive. The unhealthy self-image that girls develop follows them into adulthood and can prevent them from reaching their fullest potential.

In an effort to show girls that they can be anything they want to be, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast (GSCCC) has partnered with Girl Scouts Heart of the South and Girl Scout councils across the country to take part in the Stand Beside Her Movement, which culminates every year with National Stand Beside Her Week. This year, the week will be celebrated from October 30 to November 5, and the week includes the birthday of the founder of Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low, on October 31.

Stand Beside Her is a call-to-action to find mentors, support and development opportunities for girls and women. At the current rate of change, it will take until 2085 for women to reach parity with men in leadership roles in the United States. And, a study conducted by the Girl Scout Research Institute found that only 21 percent of girls believe that they currently have key qualities required to be a good leader. Girl Scouts are working with the Stand Beside Her Movement to end comparison and competition and create a more collaborative and supportive world so that girls and women can succeed.

Here are some ways that you can celebrate Stand Beside Her Week with your girls:
  • Take the pledge. Visit the Stand Beside Her website and fill out the pledge form to commit to making a change for girls.
  • Chalk It Up to Being a Girl Scout. Girls can come up with messages of encouragement and write them with chalk out in the community. Be sure to get permission first!
  • Start the conversation. Use Leadership Tips for Girls from Ban Bossy, to start the conversation with girls about taking initiative and pushing themselves beyond their comfort zone.
  • We’re a Pair Sock Project. Ask each girl to bring a pair of new socks to a troop meeting. Girls can decorate the socks and should add encouraging messages on the bottom of the socks. Use the free, downloadable sock wrap and have girls exchange socks to remind each other “where you go, I go.”

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Scouting for Food

When Juliette Gordon Low founded Girl Scouts in 1912, she ensured that community service was an important part of the experience for girls. Just like Girl Scouts today, the first Girl Scouts were eager to offer a helping hand to those in need, and they worked together to improve their corner of the world.

This fall, Girl Scouts are asked to participate in Scouting for Food, a collection drive to help stock the shelves at local food banks. What better way to honor our founder than by kicking off this project on her birthday, October 31?

Girl Scouts throughout the region are asked to collect food in a variety of ways. From setting up collection boxes at schools and churches from going door-to-door with a parent asking neighbors to contribute, there are many ways that girls can collect food. Girl Scouts are being asked to bring their donations to drop-off locations on the Southside or Peninsula for the Mayflower Marathon Food Drive on Saturday, November 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For Girl Scouts in North Carolina, we ask that you give your donations to the Foodbank of the Albemarle or one of their participating pantries.

Girl Scouts are encouraged to take part in activities listed in the GSCCC Food Drive patch program during Scouting for Food. Food drive patches can be purchased in the GSCCC shops for $.50. For more information, visit

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Help People at All Times

Community service has been a cornerstone of the Girl Scout experience since the organization was founded more than 100 years ago. This fall, GSCCC has plenty of opportunities for girls to make a difference in the lives of others, in addition to troop service projects.

Public Service Survival Kits 
Girls of all ages are invited to help put together kits made to honor police and fire public service personnel. During the event, local emergency responders will be on hand to speak about their careers. After the event, girls can take the kits they make to hand deliver them to police officers and firefighters in their communities. This event will be hosted on November 13 at two locations—A Place for Girls in Chesapeake and Hidenwood Presbyterian Church in Newport News. Get more information and register here.

Scouting for Food
Kick off this food collection drive on October 31 in honor of Juliette Gordon Low’s birthday! Our founder loved helping others and made sure that community service was a part of our movement. Throughout the region, Girl Scouts can collect food in a variety of ways, and then, bring donations to the Mayflower Marathon Food Drive on November 19. Get more information here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Gold Award Spotlight: Girls Who Code- Yes We Can!

Macallan, a Poquoson Girl Scout, has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

For her project, Macallan started a club at Poquoson Elementary School where she taught girls basic computer programming techniques. Using a variety of software programs, Macallan developed activities to make learning fun for the girls in the club. She started teaching them using a “drag and drop” method, and then moved to a program where girls learned to type commands.

Macallan also used other activities to engage the girls in skills need for computer programming. They learned binary code through a bracelet-making activity and learned the importance of being overly specific while writing commands during a sandwich-making scenario.

“Many girls drop out of higher level classes around middle school so that they are not labeled as a nerd by their peers,” Macallan said. “The girls I have worked with see me as a role model, and they see that dropping out of high level classes is not their only option. They love coding, and I believe that this club will influence their career choices in the future.”

Macallan’s club will be sustained by teachers at Poquoson Elementary School with support from the principal. Many of the girls who took part in the club last year are planning to join again to continue developing their coding skills.

The Gold Award requires girls to identify an issue in the community and carry out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work. Nationwide, less than six percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award, which adds Macallan to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor. In 2016, Girl Scouts are celebrating 100 years of girls changing the world during the centennial year of the Girl Scout Gold Award.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Portsmouth Girl Scouts Help Humane Society

Terra, a Portsmouth Girl Scout, has had a busy summer making a difference in her community. With the help from fellow members of Troop 5125, Terra led a beautification project to benefit the Portsmouth Humane Society. The biggest part of her project was building two picnic tables that she placed at the shelter. They will be used by potential adoptive families to get to know dogs outdoors, as well as by Portsmouth Humane Society volunteers and staff to rest while training and exercising dogs. Terra also helped to fix doors to dog kennels that were in need of repair.

James McLaughlin, administration and special events manager at the Portsmouth Humane Society, shared the shelter takes in more than 2,000 lost, stray and surrendered animals each year. As they help these animals find a new home, it is helpful to have community members, such as Terra and her fellow Girl Scouts, support the Portsmouth Humane Society.