Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Strong Girls

More than 100 Girl Scouts gathered at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) on May 6 to learn about health and the professionals who help people get and stay healthy.

For the younger girls, those in kindergarten through fifth grade, the day started on the lawn among the buildings that make up the EVMS campus. Led by Love Ur Healthy, a platform and movement focused on healthy living, the girls took part in a relay obstacle course, fitness tic tac toe and other teambuilding activities, while learning about fun ways they can exercise and stay active. The girls also made their own fitness journals.

In addition to exercise, the girls learned about nutrition. They saw examples about how much sugar is in foods they eat and practiced identifying different types of fruits and vegetables. The girls also made and enjoyed their own healthy snacks.

“We love to get kits excited about becoming healthy and provide them with fun ways to incorporate activity into their day,” Glenda Campbell, founder of Love Ur Healthy, said. “Teaching girls the importance of healthy living at a young age will help them create long-term habits towards a healthy lifestyle in the future.”

The Girl Scout teens at the event spent the day in EVMS labs, where they took on the role of medical students for the day. The girls learned about taking pulse and blood pressure and practiced CPR on a manikin. They also used virtual training methods to try their hand at laparoscopic procedures and suturing knots. In addition to the technical skills of medicine, the girls worked with EVMS standardized patients to learn about doctor-patient communication techniques.

While women make up a majority of healthcare employees, they have yet to reach parity as key decision makers in the industry. Women are nurses, working in doctors’ offices and home healthcare workers, but less than one-third of practicing physicians are women. For the second year, EVMS hosted this event to give Girl Scouts the opportunity to interact with female role models who work in healthcare and learn about the wide variety of careers in medicine.

Girl Scouts is committed to providing girls with opportunities to learn about ways to be the best they can be, now and in the future. By working with community partners, such as Love Ur Healthy and EVMS, Girl Scouts can help instill in girls the healthy habits and knowledge for their futures that will influence their emotional and physical health. Girl Scouts and its community partners help girls adopt healthier habits by giving health a social relevance, emphasizing physical activity, making good health an attainable goal and utilizing adult role models to show girls that positive outcomes result from healthy behaviors.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Girl Scouts in the Garage

It is no surprise that Girl Scouts do not mind getting their hands dirty. This holds true for the 18 teen girls from the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast who attended the GEICO Car Care Clinic on May 16 at Elite Auto Body in Norfolk. This is the third time that GEICO has hosted a car care clinic for Girl Scouts to teach girls basic car knowledge, including changing a tire, checking the oil and jump starting a car.

“We want to teach girls in the community basic auto care skills so that they become strong community members while driving,” Julia Grim, auto damage management development coordinator for GEICO, said. “Having interactive clinics is important because girls learn a lot more that way.”

Samantha tries to send a text message while trying to keep her
"car" on the road through the driving simulator.
The girls rotated between stations in groups, where they tested tire air pressure, watched a tire-changing demonstration, practiced checking the oil and learned how to jump a car battery. The girls also took part in a distracted driving simulation where they had to “drive” a car using a steering wheel hooked up to a computer while trying to send a text message. The girls quickly learned how dangerous it could be to take their eyes off the road. GEICO also invited representatives from RK Chevrolet to the clinic who gave car-buying advice to the Girl Scout teens.

Francesca checks the oil level in car. 
“Learning how to be safe if I do have an emergency on the road was the most important part of the clinic for me,” Francesca, a Girl Scout Senior from Yorktown, said.

By the end of the clinic, each of the girls earned the Girl Scout Car Care badge, which was designed to provide girls with experiences to master car maintenance responsibilities and learn about safe driving skills. Girl Scouts knows that driving is an exciting step for girls towards independence, which is why the organization partners with experts in the community, including GEICO, to help insure girls will have a safe experience behind the wheel.

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast and GEICO will be receiving the Governor’s Transportation Safety Award in Richmond on June 15 for the car care clinics. The award recognizes individuals and organizations who have contributed to transportation safety in Virginia.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Explore Bike Norfolk

Nearly 40 bike riders strapped on their helmets, topped off the air in the tires and gathered for a bike route briefing in front of Blair Middle School on May 3 as part of a kickoff event for the new Explore Bike Norfolk Girl Scout patch. Norfolk Girl Scout Elsa designed the new patch and, in honor of National Bike Month, planned the kickoff event to invite community members to enjoy the bike lanes that were installed in Norfolk almost a year ago.

“I like to ride bikes with my family, and noticed that new bike lanes were appearing,” Elsa said. “But I also saw that not a lot of people were using them, so I wanted to help spread the word and encourage people to ride their bikes.”

At the kickoff event, the bikers split up into two groups—younger children and their parents when on a 30-minute ride that stayed close to Blair Middle School, and the older children and their parents took a 4-mile ride, starting along Colley Avenue. Along the ride, participants were briefed on safety rules and practiced the correct way to ride in and around traffic. After the ride, representatives from Bike Norfolk handed out bike safety activity books, bumper stickers, bike stickers and bike lights to the participants. Bikers also shared their feedback about the bike lanes, and many of the bikers who went on the ride were looking forward to using the lanes again soon.

Elsa's project was supported by the Norfolk Department of Parks and Recreation and Norfolk City Council Member Andria McClellan. Thelma Drake, assistant director of transportation at the City of Norfolk, stopped by Kinnear’s event to see the bikers off on their ride. Drake thanked Kinnear for her hard work and told her that her efforts have been a force for helping to promote Bike Norfolk.

Elsa developed the Explore Bike Norfolk patch and planned the National Bike Month event to earn the Girl Scout Bronze Award, which is the third highest award girls can earn in Girl Scouting.

Check soon for patch requirements and purchased the patch in the GSCCC shops. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Staying Home with Girl Scouts

May is Homeschool Awareness Month. Andrea Kinnear, a Girl Scout troop leader out of Norfolk, helps run a troop of approximately 45 homeschooled girls ranging from Daisies to Seniors. Using the flexible hours that come with homeschooling, Andrea is able to go more in depth on badge topics than is covered in the badge itself.

“Many of the badges, such as the Animal Habitat badge, flow well into science and humanities curricula at home,” Andrea said.

And, the girls are able to take numerous field trips while earning badges and fun patches. Strawberry picking and a trip to the Chrysler Museum of Art Glass Studio have been some of their recent memorable trips.

Andrea's daughter, Elsa, who is a member of the troop, used the malleability of her homeschool schedule to work on a project to earn the Bronze Award, the third highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouts. She created the Explore Bike Norfolk patch to promote biking in Norfolk.

“Elsa was able to meet Girl Scout council staff to discuss her goal,” Andrea said. “Her schedule permitted her to meet with council staff during the day, contact officials with the City of Norfolk during work hours, promote her project on HearSay with WHRO and participate in the City’s photography ad campaign.”

Andrea has been a troop leader for four years. This year, she shifted her volunteer role to focus on supporting the troop through the Girl Scout Cookie Program. This winter, she coordinated more than 25 cookie booths for the troop.

“As homeschoolers we are able to open booths during the day, Andrea said. “The Norfolk Commissary and the Old Dominion University bookstore are our favorite weekday booths.”

The flexibility of a homeschool schedule also allows the troop members to take part in a variety of projects to help improve the community. The troop meets at the Unitarian Church in Norfolk, and the girls have helped maintain the church property through a wide variety of projects, from insulating pipes for winterization to beautifying the grounds by planting flowers. The troop has also donated food to the Ronald McDonald House and has donated cookies to the USO, For Kids and more.

By incorporating Girl Scouts into their homeschooling schedule, the Kinnear Family is able to take part in a wide variety of activities and be a part of an organization that gives girls opportunities to be go-getters, innovators, risk-takers and leaders.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Silver Award Project with the Outer Banks History Center

Girl Scout Cadette Rylee from Wanchese in the Outer Banks has earned the Girl Scout Silver Award, the second highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

For her project, Rylee worked with the Outer Banks History Center, a regional archives and research library administered by the North Carolina State Archives. Rylee worked on a number of tasks to assist with preservation, including placing photos and negatives into sleeves for storage, organizing newspaper clippings and placing slides into acid free enclosures as part of an archival rehousing process. She also helped organize the archive collection and create inventories to help track items in the collection, and she worked on creating a finding aid for the Catherine and Donald Bryan Collection.

In addition to her assistance with the collection, Rylee also helped organize a storage room and re-shelve materials at the history center.

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.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Math and Movement

Seventeen Girl Scouts spent Sunday afternoon learning about movement and math during a workshop hosted by Young Audiences – Arts for Learning- Virginia at A Place for Girls, the Girl Scout regional program center in Chesapeake. Sheena Jeffers, arts integration director for Young Audiences, led the workshop to teach girls about math and healthy living through modern dance.

Jeffers led the girls in a warm up activity, and explained to them that they could use the same warm up routine before any physical activity, from a soccer game to a hike with their Girl Scout troop. She then shared with the girls how math concepts are integrated in dance in a variety of ways.

“I didn’t always love math class in school,” Jeffers shared. “But I really love dance, and the deeper I got into dance, the more ways I saw that math is hidden in dance. Now I like to teach others about how math can be fun.”

Jeffers taught the girls about some fundamentals of dance, including levels, speed and shapes. She then introduced the girls to their first mathematical concept of the day— geometric reflection. Girls paired up and mirrored each other’s movements, trying to create the same shapes with their partners across from them. Their challenge was to incorporate the fundamentals of dance that they had just learned into their movements. For this activity, Jeffers also talked to them about symmetry and asymmetry.

Jeffers then used pivot turns to go over fractions, degrees and percentages. The girls made quarter turns, half turns or full turns based on the command from Jeffers—make a 360 degree turn or turn 50 percent of the way around. They also went over acute, right and obtuse angles using their legs to make different angles. Then, the girls broke into small groups and choreographed at 32-count dance incorporating everything they had gone over that day.

Next on the agenda, Jeffers talked to the girls about healthy living and calories. Jeffers shared that an hour of dance, which they had just completed, burns about 350 calories. The girls then mixed their own trail mix to fuel their bodies with the same amount of energy they had just burned. Jeffers showed the girls how to read the calorie about on the nutrition label and calculate the calories they were adding to their trail mix. After enjoying their snacks, Jeffers and the girls worked creating more choreography that included math concepts.

Studies have shown that girls lose interest in math and science during middle school and that STEM interest is low for girls, compared to boys. According to the Girl Scout Research Institute, much of the research on this topic has focused on representation of girls and women in these fields, primarily on the obstacles preventing more girls and women from entering them. Girl Scouts is shifting the focus toward understanding and developing solutions for what works for girls who show interest and engage in the fields of STEM. By collaborating with organizations, such as Young Audiences – Arts for Learning- Virginia, Girl Scouts can provide opportunities for girls to learn about how to lead healthy lives and engage in activities to explore the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. Girl Scouts also offers nearly 40 badges for girls to earn through STEM activities, including Money Manager and Home Scientist.

Through exposure and education, both formal and informal, Girl Scouts and their partners in the community will send the message to girls that STEM careers can fulfill their desires to solve problems and make the world a better place.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Celebrating the 2017 Cookie Entrepreneur Officers

On Saturday, May 6, the 100 local Girl Scouts who sold at least 1,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies this year were recognized during as CEOs, or Cookie Entrepreneur Officers, during a luncheon held in their honor. The event was held on the top floor of the Dominion Enterprises building in downtown Norfolk.

At the luncheon, the girls enjoyed a meal with Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast CEO Tracy Keller and Dominion Enterprises executives, including Susan Blake, vice president of human resources for Dominion Enterprises, Debra Bunn, chief accounting officer and Wendy Froehlich, vice president of marketing at For Rent. The representatives from Dominion Enterprises congratulated the girls for their hard work and recognized the important life skills they develop through participation in the Girl Scout Cookie Program.

This year's top three cookie sellers with representatives from
Dominion Enterprises and GSCCC
“Here are Dominion Enterprises, about 300 of our 800 employees are salespeople, just like you girls are,” Blake told the girls. “Through the cookie program, you are learning important skills that will help you in the future.”

The girls were individually recognized by Keller and received the rewards they earned through the cookie program, as well as a briefcase and business cards to use for next year. Keller asked each girl to share a top-selling strategy with their fellow cookie entrepreneurs. Tips included keeping their order cards from the previous year to follow up with customers, setting an attainable goal, staying positive and working hard all cookie season long.

The luncheon was generously sponsored by Dominion Enterprises, which recognizes the important financial literacy, business and marketing skills that girls develop through participation in the Girl Scout Cookie Program.

“While we all love to eat Girl Scout Cookies, we hope that customers know that when they purchase cookies, they are supporting the nation’s leading financial literacy and entrepreneurial program for girls,” Keller said. “The process of selling cookies teaches girls goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. Girls will use these skills for the rest of their lives.”

This year, nearly 7,000 Girl Scouts in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina sold 1,479,660 boxes of cookies.

View photos of the top sellers here.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Give Local 757

GSCCC is excited to be part of Give Local 757, the largest fundraising event in Hampton Roads! For 24 hours, starting at midnight on May 9, everyone can be a philanthropist by choosing a cause and making a donation to help make a positive impact on the community.

Here are the top five reasons why you should choose Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast and invest in girls as part of Give Local 757 on May 9:
  1. Girl Scouts are big thinkers, groundbreakers and role models. While some people still think of us as just cookies, campfires and friendship bracelets, Girl Scouts is so much more.
  2. When girls succeed, so does society. We provide girls with a place to discover their passion, find their voice and make a positive impact in their communities. These girls are building a better world for all of us!
  3. Giving for girls is giving for the whole community. Community service is a cornerstone of Girl Scouts. Every year, Girl Scouts collectively spend more than 75 million hours improving their communities. 
  4. Girl Scouts teaches girls to take the lead. Girl Scouts gives girls the experiences they need to become bold, honest and determined to succeed. That explains why half of all U.S. businesswomen were Girl Scouts.
  5. Girl Scouts design robots, start garage bands, and improve their communities— and yes, they sell the best cookies on the planet. These experiences are giving girls the courage, confidence and character to make the world a better place.
Mark your calendar for May 9 to give for girls. Any amount you can give will help us build the next generation of G.I.R.L.s— go-getters, innovators, risk-takers and leader. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Troop 1120 Food Drive

Girl Scout Cadette Troop 1120 held their eighth annual food drive on April 22 to benefit the Parish Thrift Food Pantry in Poquoson. The troop chose a theme— The Great Food Raise— for this year’s event. The troop members challenged on another to collect at least 25 pounds of food prior to April 22. On the day of the food drive, the girls brought all of the food that they had collected and then went door-to-door in the community to collect non-perishable food items.

After collecting donations, the girls returned to the Parish Thrift Food Pantry, where they sorted the food. They then organized it on the shelves at the food pantry so that it would be ready to serve people in need.

During this year’s food drive, the troop members collected more than 560 pounds of food, an increase of nearly 60 pounds from last year’s collection.

Community service has been a cornerstone of Girl Scouting since the organization was founded 105 years ago. Girl Scout Troop 1120’s food drive is just one of the many ways that Girl Scouts are making a positive impact on their community.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Take a Girl Scout to Work at WHRO

Isabella and Barbara Hamm Lee
Barbara Hamm Lee, host of “Another View” on WHRV, welcomed Isabella, a Norfolk ninth grader, to WHRO on April 14 as part of the Take a Girl Scout to Work program. Take a Girl Scout to Work Day was modeled after the national Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, where each year more than 3.5 million American workplaces open their doors to more than 39 million employees and their children.

Isabella, accompanied by her mother Dawn Devita, started her day in the production meeting for “Another View.” The hour-long program, during which Lee discusses today’s topics from an African American perspective, airs every Friday at noon. With less than two hours until going live, Isabella joined Producer Lisa Godley and Audio Engineer Victor Bowen in Lee’s office to go over the final plans for the show. Lee shared with Isabella how she is always monitoring the news, looking for topics that would be of interest to her listeners, during the week leading up to the show. During Isabella’s visit, Lee was gearing up for her monthly roundtable episode, where she welcomes regular guests to share their perspectives on the topics that Lee chooses. After reviewin a sound clip and confirming some facts for the topics of the week, Isabella headed to the production booth, while Lee finished preparing for the show and welcomed her guests.

In the production booth, Bowen showed Isabella the equipment that he uses to manage the sound for the program, including adding sound clips from newscasts and letting callers ask questions on air. He also talked about his background and the education needed to become an audio engineer. Right before going live, Godley arrived in the production booth, ready to run the show from behind the scenes. She showed Isabella how she can communicate with Lee via instant message during the live show to let her know about callers and feedback from listeners.

“My favorite part of the day was when Barbara and her guests were on air,” Isabella said. “I liked listening to them and getting a clearer understanding about how they felt about specific topics.”

After the show, Isabella had the chance to meet the roundtable panelists and speak to them about their careers, ranging from college professor to newspaper columnist. Before heading out for the day, Isabella had another chance to chat with Lee in her office about her job. Isabella, who is homeschooled, was excited to learn from Lee that WHRO has an education department with resources for students who are homeschooled. Isabella also had the chance to share her interests with Lee and was excited to share that she has recently earned the Girl Scout Silver Award, which is the second highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

Lee, who is a Girl Scout alumna, signed up to host a girl for Take a Girl Scout to Work Day through the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast alumnae association. Through opportunities, such as Isabella’s experience with Lee, Girl Scouts is able to introduce girls to professionals who show girls that they can be whatever they want to be.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Girl Fest 2017

Nearly 800 Girl Scouts and their families spent their Saturday enjoying Girl Fest at the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach.

The morning kicked off with a breakfast hosted by GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller for the Girl Scouts who sold at least 100 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to donate to the USO through Gift of Caring, an annual community service project where cookie customers purchase an extra box of cookies to donate to the military, first responders or a local charity. Sixty local Girl Scouts were invited to the breakfast. Paula Moran, president and CEO of the USO of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia, enjoyed breakfast with the Girl Scouts who were able to attend and thanked them for their hard work. She shared how much soldiers enjoy a taste of home when they receive a shipment of Girl Scout Cookies while stationed overseas. This year, local Girl Scouts donated 24,001 boxes of cookies to the USO. Following the breakfast, Girl Scouts took part in a ceremonial cookie donation, as they loaded cases of cookies from a truck into an airplane on display at the Military Aviation Museum.

Maureen Keller, a Chesapeake Girl Scout, was the top seller of Gift of Caring cookies this year, selling 386 boxes to be donated to the USO.

During Girl Fest, Girl Scouts and their families toured the museum’s aircraft collection and learned about the prominent role innovative and risk-taking women have played in the history of aviation. Doris Baker, a docent at the Military Aviation Museum who takes on the role of Rosie the Riveter, shared her own personal story as a Girl Scout troop. In 1955, she started a troop of Girl Scout Brownies in Virginia Beach, and the women who were members of the troop still stay in touch with one another today.

Girl Scouts and their families also had the chance to visit community partner exhibits and take part in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities. They enjoyed launching paper rockets with members of the Civil Air Patrol, sitting in the pilot’s seat and learning about navigation with Epix Aviation, building LEGO creations with BrickHeadz and taking part in science experiments with Mad Science of Hampton Roads.

SaraBeth, a country singer and songwriter from Nashville, performed a lunchtime concert, starting with the national anthem. As she sang, three skydivers from Skydive Suffolk, who are also Girl Scout alumnae, parachuted down over the museum. One of the skydivers, Nicole Condrey, parachuted down with a large American flag attached to her harness. SaraBeth also performed “Girl Scout Cookie Monster,” a hit among her Girl Scout fans.

A huge thank you to the sponsors and media sponsors for Girl Fest: Arconic Foundation, PRA Group, Eagle 97.3 and WAVY-TV 10.

Laura Caso and Deitra Tate with Girl Scouts at Girl Fest.
Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast hosts events for Girl Scouts of all ages throughout the year. For more information, visit

View more photos from the day here.