Saturday, April 29, 2017

Virginia Beach Girl Scouts Visit Chocolate Factory

Virginia Beach Girl Scout Troop 152 is a group of lively and energetic second and third graders. The troop meets each week, and together, the girls earn badges, explore the great outdoors and make a difference in their community. In the weeks since Girl Scout Cookie season ended, the girls have toured a police station and earned their Letterboxing badge. On April 20, the girls got together for a “sweet” meeting at the Schakolad Chocolate Factory in Virginia Beach, funded by the proceeds that they earned from cookie sales.

For the troop members, it is important to plan meetings and outings that they can all take part in together, including Aly. Aly, who now lives in The Albero House, an adult care facility at St. Mary’s Home, is a volunteer assistant leader with the troop. Aly was a member of the Girl Scout troop at St. Mary’s when she was younger, and she enjoyed all of the opportunities that she had with Girl Scouts, from building a butterfly garden at St. Mary’s Home to taking a trip to Washington, D.C. Judy Salway, support coordinator at St. Mary’s Home, was looking for a way to get Aly more connected with the community. Knowing all of the fun that she had in Girl Scouts, she contacted her daughter-in-law, Heidi Salway, who is a leader of Girl Scout Troop 152, and the rest is history. Aly is an integral part if the troop and enjoys taking part in activities with the rest of the troop members.

At the Schakolad Chocolate Factory, Aly and all of the troop members made a Girl Scout Trefoil-shaped chocolate lollipop, dipped a marshmallow in chocolate and decorated their own chocolate bars. They also enjoyed a short movie to learn about where chocolate comes from and about the history of the delicacy, and they watched a live chocolate mold demonstration.

“My favorite part was decorating my own chocolate bar,” Olivia, a third-grader in the troop, said. “I can’t wait to get home because I am going to split it in four pieces to share it with my family.”

Troop 152 still has plenty of fun planned before they take a break for the summer. Next on their agenda, the girls will be learning about genealogy. Each girl took home a family tree to fill out at home and share at the next troop meeting as part of earning the My Family Story badge. With cookie season complete and warm weather in the forecast, the troop is looking forward to a spring full of fun and adventure together.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Girl Scout Cookies & Milk – A Sweet Event for North Carolina Legislators

GSCCC Girl Scouts with Secretary Elaine Marshall
Board Chair Carolene Goodwyn-Harris with Senator Bill Cook
What a perfect way to end the Girl Scout Cookie season! Several Girl Scout teens from our North Carolina counties joined GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller and Board Chair Carolene Goodwyn-Harris at an advocacy day Cookies and Milk event in Raleigh on April 26 at the North Carolina Legislative Building. The goal of the day was to reach out to legislators and government officials to share our Girl Scout legislative agenda that included report findings from the State of Girls 2017 report released by the Girl Scout Research Institute. In addition, girl representatives from Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast, Girl Scouts, Hornets’ Nest and Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines shared their leadership experiences and were shining examples of the go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders that Girl Scouts help to build!

Girl Scout CEOs Lisa Jones from Coastal Pines and
Tracy Keller from Colonial Coast with Senator Ingram-Smith
and Girl Scouts Isabella, Nidhi and Victoria
Highlights of the day for all included introductions by Representative Beverley Boswell during the House session and Senator Tamara Barringer during the Senate session, and meeting and hearing from North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall who attended the Cookies and Milk reception. Secretary Marshall spoke to the girls about how she became interested in public office and what her job entails, which involves overseeing a department of 200 employees and responsibilities such as pursuing product counterfeiting as part of trademark protection law enforcement. Marshall stated that while she was not a Girl Scout growing up, she has been a strong supporter of Girl Scouts as an adult and has served as a volunteer in an advisory capacity.

Governor Roy Cooper signing the proclamation in the historic
House chambers in the Capitol
During the afternoon, representatives from the four councils toured the historic Capitol building and had an opportunity to meet Governor Roy Cooper. In the historic House Chambers room, packed with Girl Scout representatives, the Governor’s address to Girl Scouts included praise for the community service they offer, the examples they set for other youth and the importance of the Girl Scout program in developing our nation’s leaders. He ended his time with the group by signing a proclamation in recognition of 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Norfolk Girl Scout Earns Silver Award

Isabella, a Norfolk Girl Scout, has earned the Girl Scout Silver Award, the second highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

Isabella, who volunteers at the Virginia Beach SPCA, started an awareness campaign about the organization for her Silver Award project. She visited Girl Scout troop meetings, where she spoke about adoptable animals and invited a representative from the SPCA to talk about what staff and volunteers do at the shelter. Under Isabella’s leadership, groups of Girl Scouts collected food and toys to donate to the SPCA.

Isabella also took photos of adoptable pets at the SPCA and made fliers that she posted a pet supply stores and libraries around the region.

“I wanted to help homeless animals find homes,” Isabella said. “All animals need a loving place to live.”

The Girl Scout Silver Award is the top award that middle school age Girl Scouts can earn. To earn the award, girls have to identify a need in the community and carry out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Hampton Girl Scout Earns Silver Award

Ashlin, a Hampton Girl Scout, has earned the Girl Scout Silver Award, the second highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

For her project, Ashlin worked with The Cat Corner, a nonprofit, no-kill shelter in Hampton. Ashlin refurbished the bench that sits on the porch of The Cat Corner by peeling off the old paint, filling in the cracks, sanding the wood, adding a coat of primer and adding a fresh coat of paint. Ashlin painted cats and the organization’s name on the bench before securing it back in place at The Cat Corner. She also worked with a Girl Scout troop and taught the girls how to make cat toys, which they donated to The Cat Corner.

Ashlin also interviewed a volunteer at The Cat Corner and put together a video about what people should do if they encounter a stray cat, the importance of spaying and neutering cats and how people can adopt a cat from or volunteer with The Cat Corner. In order to share the information with a wide audience, Ashlin placed her video online for anyone to view.

The Girl Scout Silver Award is the top award that middle school age Girl Scouts can earn. To earn the award, girls have to identify a need in the community and carry out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Dominion Virginia Power Takes a Girl Scout to Work

In the middle of launching a rebrand, Dominion Virginia Power – soon to be Dominion Energy – took time to host a Girl Scout during the Take a Girl Scout to Work Day sponsored by Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast. Girl Scout Breea Sandy was the lucky girl chosen to spend a day with employees at Dominion Virginia Power and was given an opportunity to learn first-hand about various departments at the company, including state and local affairs, design and customer service.

External Affairs Manager Troy Lindsey offered Breea insight into what it takes to be a manager at Dominion and the history of his 15-year career with the company.

“This is a great place to work,” Lindsey said. “When I started in 2001, I set my sights on the job I currently have. I never really thought I would get here so soon, but I have been given many opportunities to grow. As a math major in college, I never envisioned myself in the job I’m in now.”

From being a manager overseeing 25 employees in a call center to analyst and on to his current position, Lindsey says Dominion is committed to assessing the talent of their employees and helping them achieve. With a big grin, he said, “It worked for me!”

For someone who has so much ahead – college and then a first real job – this was good news. Breea said she will look for in an employer like Dominion in the future.

Breea also spent time in the Design department and traveled with Customer Project Designers Nancy Coons and Kim Alvis to a nearby construction site of the new Norfolk Premium Outlets. She learned how important the placement of transformers were, how lines were laid underground and about machinery used to place electric poles.

“I never knew there were so many different types of jobs to choose from,” Breea said. “There were a lot of people who had jobs very different from what they went to college for, so I guess you never know where life takes you. One thing was for sure, everyone told me math was important no matter what, so I guess I’ll keep trying harder at algebra!”

Take a Girl Scout to Work Day is modeled after the national Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work® (TODASTW), where each year more than 3.5 million American workplaces open their doors to over 39 million employees and their children on TODASTW Day. Girl Scouts is committed to providing opportunities for girls to explore and discover in a wide variety career interests. Through opportunities, including Take a Girl Scout to Work Day at Dominion Virginia Power, Girl Scouts is able to introduce girls to professionals who show girls that they can be whatever they want to be.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Scout of the Year 2017

Girl Scout Senior Michaella from Virginia Beach was selected as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) General MacArthur Memorial Post 392 Scout of the Year for 2017.

Michaella has been a Girl Scout for 11 years and is an active member of Troop 475. Last year, she earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouting, for her project about community pride that included building two lending libraries and leading a neighborhood effort to paint a mural in Baylake Pines. During the past year as a Girl Scout, Michaella has also volunteered at the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center, marched in the Veteran’s Day parade and served as a role model and mentor for the members of Girl Scout Troop 13. The members of Troop 13 are now middle schoolers, and Michaella has volunteered with the troop since the girls started Girl Scouts as kindergartners and first graders.

In addition to her success as a Girl Scout, Michaella is active in her school and as a volunteer. She is an honor roll student, a member of the Student Council Association, part of the Art Honor Society and plays on her school’s lacrosse team. She has earned the Gold Level of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award, which requires at least 100 hours of community service, by working with organizations including St. Mary’s Home, Lynnhaven River Now and Club Sandwich, an afterschool program for disadvantaged youth.

Michaella was recognized by VFW Post 392 as Scout of the Year at a meeting on April 5.

The VFW Scout of the Year program is open to youth who have earned the highest honor and achievement in their organization, including the Girl Scout Gold Award, who display standout citizenship, patriotism and love of country.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Gold Award Spotlight: Creating a Nest Success

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

After learning about the lack of suitable habitats for wood ducks in her community, Ashlyn decided to take action to support the wood duck population. After recruiting a team of volunteers to help, she built wood duck houses and installed them at Windsor Castle Park in Smithfield. Although there were birdhouses at the park, there were not designated habitats for wetlands wildlife.

“Wood ducks need very specific living conditions,” Ashlyn said. “I provided housing for the wood duck population in my area, and I encouraged others to follow in my footsteps to help maintain the wood duck population.”

Ashlyn educated members of her community about wood ducks and their habitat needs. She spoke at meetings of the Virginia Master Gardeners in Smithfield, the Smithfield Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, the Isle of Wight County Women’s Club, local Girl Scout troops and her civic league. She also created a Facebook page to share her project with others.

Ashlyn has arranged for members of the Historic Southside Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists to upkeep the wood duck houses. She set up a Wood Duck Specialty Group within the organization and trained members about how to care for the boxes.

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 Ashlyn to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Gold Award Spotlight: King's Grant Nature Buddies

Carley Prendergast, a Virginia Beach Girl Scout, has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

For her project, Carley built a raised garden bed and started a nature activity club at King’s Grant House, a senior living facility. After building the box for the garden, Carley and residents at King’s Grant House planted vegetable and herbs. Over the summer, Carley met with residents to water and maintain the garden. When it came time to harvest, the kitchen staff used the vegetables and herbs in the meals they prepared for residents.

“I was inspired to do this project because my grandmother moved into an assisted living facility, and I saw a need for an engaging outdoor activity for the residents,” Carley said. “A garden seemed to be the perfect solution to bring the residents together, get them active and give them something to be excited about.”

Carley also started a compost bin at King’s Grant House, which will provide nutrient-rich soil for the garden in the future. She arranged for maintenance staff at King’s Grant House to help keep up the garden and for the kitchen staff to continue to use the vegetables and herbs from the garden in residents’ meals.

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 Carley to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

BASF and Girl Scouts Support Native Wildlife One Bee at a Time

A group of Girl Scouts from several troops in Virginia recently took part in a pollinator project hosted by BASF Corporation on their property in Williamsburg, Va.

The girls started the day with an educational session about the different types of native bees and the important role that bees play in today’s food supply. Per the Ecological Society of America and the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign, about one out of every three mouthfuls of food that people eat and beverages that people drink is delivered to them by pollinators.

With help from Kathryn Sommo, a senior scientist with Roux Associates, Inc., a BASF contract partner, the group then installed cavity-nesting solitary bee houses in an adjacent native wildflower meadow. BASF also provided the girls bee houses to take home and install in their yards to encourage the population growth of native solitary bees, such as mason and leafcutter bees. The girls also learned about ways to educate others in their communities to help grow native bee populations by growing food in gardens and planting native wildflowers.

Girl Scouts have a long history of inspiring girls to develop a lasting commitment to the environment by promoting activities that focus on care, conservation and responsibility. Through relationships, such as the one with BASF to help protect bee populations, Girl Scouts cultivate a lasting appreciation for their environments and native wildlife.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Yorktown Girl Scouts Give Back to Camp Burke’s Mill Pond

Members of Girl Scout Troop 1381 from Yorktown recently spent the weekend at Camp Burke’s Mill Pond in Gloucester making an improvement to the camp. The girls put their sewing skills to the test as they made new sets of curtains for all of the windows in Treakle Cabin, the main cabin used by visitors to the camp. The troop members have camped at Burke’s Mill Pond for the past five years, and wanted to make the curtains as a way to give back to a place they have enjoyed so many times. Although much of their time at the camp was spent working on the curtains, the girls also had the chance to enjoy some traditional camp activities and time in the great outdoors.
Sydney, Harper, Zaria, Grace, Isabella, Aubrey and Hayden
In addition to their outdoor adventures, the members of Troop 1381 are active earning badges and giving back to the community. They have most recently completed the requirements to earn the Photography and Dinner Party badges. They also baked cookies that they delivered to first responders at a local fire station. The girls also enjoy activities. This year, they have been ice skating, rock climbing and even tried glassblowing. Before summer comes, the girls are planning to try a yoga class together and make appreciation gifts for Girl Scout leaders in the Yorktown area.

The troop members used proceeds from their cookie sale to purchase supplies to make the curtains. Fellow York County Girl Scouts, Troops 1084, 1097, 1306, 1443 and 4053, also donated help Troop 1381 offset the cost of making the curtains.

Girl Scout Voices Count

At Girl Scouts, we care about your experience, and we want to hear from you!

In April, Girl Scouts of the USA will be conducting a national survey with girls, parents/guardians and troop volunteers called Girl Scout Voices Count to find out what’s working, and what’s not, in Girl Scouts. We will use your feedback to improve our services and programs.

The survey will be open between April 3 and 30, and you will receive an email invitation to participate. As a Thank You, everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a raffle to win one of 20 $50 gift cards!

Please check your email inbox for your personal invitation to the Girl Scout Voices Count survey and share your thoughts.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Girl Scouts Retire the Colors aboard the USS Whidbey Island

Commander Mariah Rule, a Girl Scout Brownie leader of Troop 45 that meets at Saint Patrick Catholic School in Norfolk, arranged to have her troop retire the colors aboard the USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) as part of earning their Celebrating Community badge. Commander Rule was recognized last November as a Girl Scout Famous Former by the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast. She actively connects with other formers in the US Navy and welcomes them into the Girl Scout alumnae network.

Commander Rule helped prepare the girls at a few troop meetings - practice sessions on how to properly retire a flag.

“Truthfully, I have never performed the flag ceremony aboard a ship, but I felt comfortable enough to guide the girls,” Commander Rule said. “We asked the duty section leader ask if there were any former Girl Scouts who would like to help the troop properly perform this ceremony. Six women immediately came forward. It was amazing. I was so excited for our girls to meet these exceptional formers!”

The Celebrating Community badge engages girls in activities that teach them about the community they live in and the celebrations they have, such as flag ceremonies and parades. According to the Girl Scout Research Institute Report Girl Scouting Works: The Alumnae Impact Study, Girl Scout alumnae are more civically engaged and likely to vote than their non-Girl Scout peers. And, the longer women were Girl Scouts, the higher their level of civic participation. Girl Scouts has a longstanding commitment to encourage girls to take the lead in their communities, the government, public policy and the democratic process.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Mad Science at Spring Break Camp

In Girl Scouts, girls are always counting down to the next adventure they will go on together. With summer camp still a couple of months away, nearly 60 Girl Scouts are spending the week getting a taste of the fun to come when school lets out during Spring Break Day Camp at A Place for Girls, the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast regional program center in Chesapeake.

The action-packed week has been full of activities for girls to spend time outside, take part in science experiments, let their creativity flow through art projects and make new friends. On Tuesday, the girls enjoyed an interactive workshop with Mad Science of Hampton Roads all about fire and ice. Foggy dry ice storms and playground balls floating in the air amazed the Girl Scouts as they learned about chemical reactions, air pressure and the states of matter.

“Our goal is to spark the imagination and curiosity of children,” Jen Marcus, owner and marketing director of Mad Science of Hampton Roads, said. “It’s really important to introduce girls to science, since there remains an issue of girls taking advanced science classes and pursuing science focused careers. That’s why I love to partner with Girl Scouts – we’re on the same page with this. I weave in stories about women scientists into the presentations and make a special effort to give them more hands-on experiences. When children learn that science is fun, they don’t see it as difficult or complicated.”

Mad Science of Hampton Roads offers programs for Girl Scouts all year long. They will be at Girl Fest on April 29 at the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach with fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. Registration closes for Girl Fest on April 15 and can be completed online here.

Still to come this week, Girl Scouts will be practicing their aim on the archery range, making slime, exploring the world of engineering through LEGOs with BrickHeadZ, putting their culinary skills to the test during a cooking class and so much more. The girls are looking forward to Thursday night, when they will sleepover at A Place for Girls and have an up-close look at the sky with the Back Bay Astronomers.

Dorothy Morrison, a senior in the recreation management department at Old Dominion University, has been interning with Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast since January to plan and organize the spring break camp. Her goal was to plan a week of fun and adventure for the Girl Scouts, full of time in the outdoors and opportunities to take part in engaging STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities.

Similar to the spring break camp, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast will be hosting Camp Outback, a summer day camp, at A Place for Girls from July 31 through August 25. All girls in grades one through eight are welcome to attend, and registration is open now.

Cookies on Ice

Nearly 400 Girl Scouts took part in Cookies on Ice, an annual celebration of the wrap-up of the Girl Scout Cookie Program, during the Norfolk Admirals final home game of the season on April 8.

Each year at Cookies on Ice, the top cookie seller for Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast, which covers southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, gets to drop the ceremonial puck to kick off the game. Danielle, a member of Girl Scout Troop 5 in Newport News, earned the honor this year. She sold 4,158 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies.

In addition to Danielle's role at the start of the game, Girl Scout Troop 308 from Virginia Beach conducted the flag ceremony and Girl Scout Senior Isabella from Moyock sang the national anthem. The girls who took part in the opening ceremonies then joined their fellow Girl Scouts in the stands and enjoyed watching the Norfolk Admirals take on the Reading Royals.

This year, local Girl Scouts sold more than 1.47 million boxes of cookies. The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the world’s largest girl-led business and the nation’s leading financial literacy and entrepreneurial program for girls. Through the program, girls learn skills that will last them a lifetime, including goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.

View more photos from the night here.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Take a Girl Scout to Work at Jefferson Lab

This month, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast is working with Girl Scout alumnae in a variety of careers to place Girl Scouts in work shadowing positions during Take a Girl Scout to Work Day. Take a Girl Scout to Work Day is modeled after the national Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work® (TODASTW) where each year more than 3.5 million American workplaces open their doors to over 39 million employees and their children on TODASTW Day.

Tatyana, Girl Scout Leader Tamika Butler, Shannon, Rahwa
and Christine Wheeler of Jefferson Lab
On Thursday, April 6, three Peninsula Girl Scouts, Shannon, Tatyana and Rahwa, spent the day at Jefferson Lab, where they met with women working in a variety of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. Shannon, a high school junior who has been a Girl Scout for 11 years, has an interest in pursuing a career in computer science. She has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor a girl can earn in Girl Scouting, and is a member of the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast board of directors. In school, she takes advanced science classes and recently placed at the Great Computer Challenge. She attributes much of her interest in STEM to experiences that she has had as a Girl Scout.

Rahwa, who is also a high school junior, has an interested in biology and has considered a career in the medical field. As she learns more about different careers, she is hoping to study biomedical engineering in college. Tatyana is a high school freshman and has a wide range of interests in STEM. By visiting Jefferson Lab and taking part in other activities with Girl Scouts, Tatyana hopes to explore many career options during her next few years in high school.

The day started in the Support Service Center, where Christine Wheeler, a science education administrator, welcomed Girl Scouts to Jefferson Lab by sharing what scientists are studying there and talking about important safety guidelines to follow while visiting.

Mechanical Engineer Celia Whitlatch shows a flow sensor
she designed as part of a new cooling system at Jefferson Lab.
The girls then visited Celia Whitlatch, a mechanical engineer, in her office and learned about what her job is like. Whitlatch was excited to share with the girls that she had been a Girl Scout while growing up in Arizona. She showed the girls photos from a cooling system project that she worked on, displayed sample pieces that she has designed, including a flow sensor, and talked about her role as a supervisor on construction projects. She then talked about the education she needed to obtain her job, and showed the girls some of her college textbooks, which she still references today when working on projects. Whitlatch also shared that she sometimes faces challenges as a woman in a male-dominated career, especially when it comes to managing a construction site.

“I have never had a female mechanical engineer colleague here at Jefferson Lab in the 22 years that I have worked here,” Whitlatch told the girls. “I used to be shy, but being a female engineer has made me more outspoken. Sometimes have to defend my projects and designs.”

Tatyana, Rahwa and Shannon with Health Physicist Maya Keller
in the Radioanalytical Lab at Jefferson Lab.
The girls then walked to the Applied Research Center, where they met with Maya Keller, who is a health physicist working in the radiation control department at Jefferson Lab. Keller showed the girls a training space used to simulate dealing with radioactive materials. She also talked about the responsibilities she has in her job, including training people about safety around radioactive materials, running the radioanalytical lab and managing the dosimetry program, which monitors levels of radioactivity for individuals working at Jefferson Lab. Keller brought the girls into the radioanalytical lab and discussed how technicians use the different types of machines to measure levels of radiation.

Later in the morning, the girls visited the offices of Michele Joyce, a computer scientist, and Fay Hannon, a physicist, to learn about their careers as well. After lunch in the cafeteria at Jefferson Lab, the girls had the chance to take a tour of the campus and learn more about the research projects conducted there.

Take a Girl Scout to Work Day at Jefferson Lab was designed to give teen Girl Scouts the opportunity to learn more about the wide range of careers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. In today’s world, women hold only approximately 25 percent of STEM careers. And, in some STEM fields, women are even more underrepresented than others. According to the American Physical Society, in 2015, less than 20 percent of bachelor’s degrees in physics were earned by women.

Girl Scouts is committed to providing opportunities for girls to explore and discover in a wide variety of STEM fields. Through opportunities, including Take a Girl Scout to Work Day at Jefferson Lab, Girl Scouts is able to introduce girls women in STEM careers, who show girls that they can be whatever they want to be.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Girl Scouts Explore Art in the Outdoors

Nearly 100 Girl Scouts spent the afternoon of Sunday, April 2 exploring art in the outdoors at Norfolk Botanical Garden during a workshop hosted for Girl Scout Brownies and Juniors. During the workshop, girls worked on earning the requirements for the Outdoor Creator and Outdoor Explorer badges, which were among the five badges added to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience last spring after girls from all over the country voted for Girl Scouts to add a badge category for arts in the outdoors. The badges are designed to inspire Girl Scouts to explore the art that exists all around them.

The workshop took place in the World of Wonders Children’s Adventure Garden at Norfolk Botanical Garden, where the Girl Scouts went on a nature scavenger hunt, looking at different shapes and designs of flowers, trees, rocks and more. They also made leaf rubbings and imprinted leaves into clay. Making rain sticks and using a clay flowerpot to make wind chimes were among the favorite activities for the day, and girls also enjoyed using sticks, flower petals, pinecones and other found objects to construct “elf houses,” which are small, whimsical fortresses.

The Girl Scout Research Institute has found that girls who participate in outdoor activities in Girl Scouts on a monthly basis are stronger challenge seekers and problem solvers. Outdoor experiences help girls develop a strong sense of self and many outdoor activities promote cooperation and team building. Girl Scouts is committed to providing girls with opportunities to explore and discover in the outdoors. Working with community partners, such as Norfolk Botanical Garden, is just one of the many ways that Girl Scouts creates opportunities for girls to try new things, discover the great outdoors and connect with the environment.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Hampton Youth in Government Day 2017

A group of Hampton scouts explored their local government during Hampton City Council Scout Youth in Government Day on March 22. The day was planned by Hampton’s Economic Development Department for youth to explore careers and learn about the importance of financial planning.

The day kicked off at City Hall, where the scouts took part in a financial literacy workshop with Bayport Credit Union. Each scout received a real-life scenario, complete with education and a career, and they had to fill out a budget sheet to live within their monthly salary while being able to afford housing, utilities, transportation, clothing and food. After calculating costs, the scouts sat down with a financial coach to review their choices. The morning’s activities ended with a guest speaker from New Horizons Youth Workforce Development, who spoke to the scouts about the variety of career opportunities and training available in Hampton, as well as the skills needed to acquire those jobs. The scouts then had lunch with members of the city council.

After lunch, the scouts boarded a bus and visited TE Connectivity, a sensor solutions operations company, and the New Horizons Mechatronics Lab, where students learn mechanical and electrical engineering and troubleshooting.

"The scouts were very interactive and engaged in both civic aspects of local government and their future career choices,” Mei Christine Stukes, a Girl Scout leader who attended the day with members of her troop, said. “They gained valuable insight into how to process and maintain improvements as a community. From this program, they understand that it takes teamwork, collaboration and research to achieve a common mission."

Hampton City Council Scout Youth in Government Day is an annual event designed to give youth an inside look in local government operations, as well as to prepare them to lead successful lives.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Thank a Girl Scout Leader

Every day, Girl Scout volunteers make fun, friendship and awesome new experiences possible for girls across the country. On April 22, we celebrate Girl Scout Leader's Day to celebrate the powerful and inspiring contributions volunteers make all year long.

Looking for a way to thank the troop leaders in your Girl Scout's life? Get started with some of these ideas:
  1. Think BIG! Use poster board to create a giant thank you card. Have all of the girls in the troop sign it with messages of gratitude.
  2. Say it with flowers. It can be arrangement of fresh flowers, a potted house plant or even a bouquet of origami flowers made by the troop members. 
  3. Give some new Girl Scout gear. Add a new piece of Girl Scout apparel to your leader's collection. From fleece jackets to baseball caps, the GSCCC shops have something for everyone's taste and style.
  4. Get punny. Give a candle with the message "thank you for spreading the light in Girl Scouting." Package a mug with tea and the message "thank you for being a tea-riffic volunteer." Pick up a dozen donuts and let the leader know you "donut know what you would do without her!"
  5. Share your thanks. Post a message on your social media account with all of the reasons that you appreciate your girl's troop leader. Be sure to include #NVW2017 to call out National Volunteer Week, which runs April 23-29.
  6. Send an eCard. Girl Scouts of the USA has prepared some digital cards! Pick your favorite card design, personalize it and send it to your leader's inbox!
Thank you, Girl Scout volunteers!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

GSCCC Visits Capitol Hill to Champion Girls

Representatives from Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast traveled to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, March 29 to speak at a congressional briefing that focused on the top issues that girls and young women face today and how Congress can advance policies that empower girls. Savannah, a Girl Scout Ambassador from Yorktown, and Marcy Germanotta, communications and marketing director for Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast, joined representatives from Girls Inc. and YWCA USA to share what each of their organizations are doing to overcome challenges and implement programs that work to empower girls.

Germanotta spoke about bullying being a national epidemic and a public health issue. She cited research from The State of Girls 2017, a study conducted by the Girl Scout Research Institute that reported that 25 percent of teenage girls reported that they had experienced some sort of bullying or aggression from their peers.

“At Girl Scouts, we are committed to providing anti-bullying resources for our girls, leaders, volunteers and parents,” Germanotta said. “One of these resources is our highly-recognized program, Be a Friend First.”

Through Be a Friend First, which has been implemented in Girl Scout groups across the country since 2014, girls explore thorny issues, such as peer pressure, stereotyping, gossip and cliques through role playing, creative writing games and discussion exercises. Locally, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast uses the program in troop settings, as well as in-school and afterschool programs throughout the region.

Following Germanotta, Savannah reflected on participating in Be a Friend First with her Girl Scout troop. She shared how Be a Friend First taught her what makes a good friend, how to make a positive impact in her community and how to step outside of her comfort zone to speak out when she sees something wrong.

Savannah, who earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting, also spoke about how Be a Friend First and hearing about a friend’s experience with teen dating violence inspired her to take action though her Gold Award project.

“Sometimes as teens we don’t feel that we have much control over our lives,” Savannah said. “But, Girl Scouts prepared me to identify a problem propose a solution and partner with people that can help.”

For her Gold Award project, Savannah partnered with Transitions Family Violence Services and Michelle Nicole, a local domestic violence author and advocate, to host awareness events at Thomas Nelson Community College, Christopher Newport University and the Hampton Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Inc. Savannah also created an educational brochure that is being used by her school and Transitions Family Violence Services to guide teens that may need help.

“The highlight of my project was when I planned a Wear Orange Day event at my school,” Savannah said. “During the event, more than 200 students and teachers signed a ‘Love is Respect’ banner, and I shared educational resources with the students.”

The congressional briefing on March 29 was the first in a series of briefings to highlight polices, strategies and innovative programs that help inspire girls and young women and prepare them to be leaders in their communities and beyond. Girl Scouts is committed to helping today's girls learn skills and behaviors that unlock their potential and put it to work for the good of all.