Monday, December 25, 2017

Gold Award Spotlight: Band Aids for the Band Help New Students Get Involved

Carolina has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award. Carolina has been a Girl Scout for 13 years!

For her project, she created Band Aids for the Band—a training program that helps guide incoming freshmen through joining Great Bridge High School’s marching band program.

“I remember how stressful it was to start high school in the marching band,” Carolina said. “I wanted to make a difference to new members to become confident, understand what is expected in marching band, and gain a sense of belonging.”

It took almost 160 hours of hard work and dedication, but Carolina put in the necessary work. She designed a four-day mentorship camp to teach new band members all of the basics. Since its beginning, Carolina has run the program for two years.

Carolina also put her organizational skills to the test while creating the Band Aids for the Band program. She developed a system to organize the band room’s storage closet, which was full of sheet music, instruments and color guard equipment.

Because of Carolina’s new storage system, instruments in need of repair were brought back to life! 

After Carolina graduates from Great Bridge, the program will continue on. She has trained a fellow student to run the program. That student has also committed to training their own replacement to keep the mentorship program going.

The program worked so well that Carolina’s band director wants to tell other high school directors about it, Carolina said.

“Overall, I just wanted to see something that is so dear to my heart grow and thrive to be its best,” Carolina said.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Girl Scout Julissa practiced her Media Girl skills at this year's Cookie Kickoff

At this year's Cookie Kickoff, one of our very own Media Girls got to try her hand at interviewing others at the event!

How did it go? Girl Scout Junior Julissa from Troop 828 in Virginia Beach told us all about her official Media Girl duties.

Julissa was responsible for interviewing Girl Scouts and Troop Leaders about their cookie goals for the upcoming year.

"I got to interview Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes and Seniors," Julissa said. "The girls were asked what their names were, what troop they were from and what their cookie goal was for the year. The highest goal was to sell 2,000 boxes of cookies."

Julissa admitted that since it was her first big Media Girl task, she was a little nervous. But she was able to harness that energy and use it to get to know all about what goals Girl Scouts are setting this cookie season.
Girl Scout Julissa, left, interviewing Girl Scout Kaitlyn from Troop 1346
at this year's Cookie Kickoff.

"I did my best to not show [my nervousness] by smiling," Julissa said. "I know that a smile is contagious and it can change somebody's day. I hope to learn as much as I can so that in the future I can help other girls who would like to be part of Media Girls team."

Because she was tasked with interviewing so many girls, Julissa said her favorite part of Cookie Kickoff was getting to meet so many new friends—even if it was a little loud at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.

"My favorite part was meeting many other Girl Scouts just like me," Julissa said. "I especially remember meeting a group of Daisies. They all came up to me, hugged me and told me I was their new BFF! They put a big smile on my face."

After fulfilling her Media Girl duties, Julissa had fun touring the museum
and checking out some of the hands-on activities.
All in all, being a Media Girl at an official event was a lot of fun for Julissa, and she said she's looking forward to being a Media Girl at upcoming events next year—and even doing radio and television interviews.

"I think this would be a nice experience since I'm new to Media Girls," Julissa said. "I would also love to attend the Norfolk Tides game and Zoo Fest."

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Gold Award Spotlight: A Kayak Storage Rack for Veterans

Natalie has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award—the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

A graduate of First Colonial High School, Natalie has been a Girl Scout since she was in First Grade!

For her project, she raised more than $1,000 to build a kayak storage rack at LZGrace, a local organization that provides care for veterans and first responders.

To raise the needed funds, Natalie organized a community yard sale where she gathered donated items from friends, family and neighbors. Instead of putting prices on each item, Natalie simply asked for whatever donation each customer would like to give.

“I had many veterans that attended the sale and they were very excited to hear about what I was doing,” Natalie said.

After raising enough money, Natalie purchased the materials to make her plan a reality. Along with a small team, Natalie designed and built and the kayak rack herself!

With the addition of the kayak storage rack, veterans receiving care at the organization can now add kayaking to the list of activities to enjoy.

“There are many problems that these warriors go through,” Natalie said. “One of the more severe issues these warriors go through is suffering from PTSD.”

Natalie worked with the organization’s leaders to ensure the future maintenance of the storage rack. The addition of the rack has made it possible for LZGrace to purchase additional kayaks for their clients to use.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Kitty Hawk Girl Scout—and golfer—earns Silver Award

Shannon has earned the Girl Scout Silver Award—the second-highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting. She's been a dedicated Girl Scout for 10 years!
Shannon said she had a lot of fun working with
Christy Roberts, P.E. teacher at First 
Elementary, left, and Principal Drew 

To earn her Silver Award, Shannon created a program for students who want to learn how to play golf. Shannon raised money to put together golfing equipment kits for schools in her school district to use.

Her program—called SNAG, or Starting New at Golf—allowed many students to try playing golf for their first time!

Shannon really enjoyed helping others learn a sport that she really enjoys. She had a lot of fun working with the teachers, too!

"Finishing my Silver Award was a lot of work but also a lot of fun," Shannon said. "My favorite part was teaching the P.E. teachers how to use the equipment and helping the kids learn how to play golf."

Shannon was able to purchase the golf equipment by taking donations from many local businesses. Because of her hard work, she also received a grant from the Carolinas Golf Association and donated equipment from the SNAG Company.

Shannon said some the schools in her district are already using the kits she put together. She hopes that each kit will help students learn about golf and how to play the game before they reach middle and high school so that when they're able to join school teams, they already know how to play.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Troop 442 wants you to Say No to Tobacco

Troop 442 is taking action and challenging you to Say No to Tobacco. Through their Girl Scout Breathe Journey, these girls are working to spread awareness about the dangers of smoking.

Girl Scouts Addison, Kristin and Madilyn recently shared information about their journey.

The troop set up an Instagram account——to share their message with Girl Scouts, friends and social media users far and wide.

Girl Scout Madilyn encourages anyone who uses tobacco to consider stopping.

“If you stop smoking for two hours, it can already improve your health,” Madilyn said.

Their first Instagram challenge asks users to consider what they can do in just one breath. Girl Scouts have already posted challenge videos showing that in one breath, they can do many things like sing, play baseball, do push-ups, skateboard and draw.

Search for #onebreathchallenge on Instagram to see their videos!

If you are ready to take the troop’s challenge, make your own video of what you can do in one breath and share it by using #onebreathchallenge

So far, Troop 442’s Instagram account has 30 followers, but they’d love to have at least 50, so go follow them and share their project with all of your friends to help them achieve their goal.

Troop 442 has one request to keep you healthy:

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gold Award Spotlight: Band Ambassadors Encourage Students to Continue Music Education

Brianna has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award—the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

Brianna graduated from Smithfield High School in 2017 and currently attend The College of William and Mary. She has been a Girl Scout for eight years.

To earn the Gold Award, Brianna created the Band Ambassadors program between Smithfield Middle and High Schools. The program enabled high school band students to encourage middle school band students to continue their music educations.

Because of the program, students were able to transition to high school much easier because they had already developed friendships with older students in the band program.

“I chose this project because I love playing music, and I wanted to share that live with other people,” Brianna said. “I also noticed that there were a large number of students dropping out of band programs throughout their school career, and I wanted to fix that problem within my community.”

Because of her love of music, Brianna also gave a presentation to students and parents about how important music education is and what some of the benefits of the band program are.

After Brianna graduated, many of the students who participated in the program as middle school students became mentors to younger students, ensuring that another generation of band students will benefit from Brianna’s hard work.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Girl Scouts get ready for business at Cookie Leadership Institute

Cookie season is less than a month away. Have you created your cookie business plan yet?

Girl Scouts from all over the Council recently had some help developing their Cookie Program goals at the Cookie Leadership Institute.
Nicole Stuart, president of Top Guard Security and 2017 Girl Scout Famous Former.
Nicole Stuart, president of Top Guard Security, and Carol Curtis, president and founder of Noah Enterprises, Inc., came by A Place for Girls to help girls get ready to achieve their goals. The two Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast Famous Formers were joined by Lilliea Jackson, sales operations manager at Little Brownie Bakers

During the leadership session, Lilliea showed Girl Scouts how to think like a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) ™ and develop their own cookie business plan.
Lilliea showed Girl Scout Morgan from Troop 963 how to create her own
business plan for the upcoming Cookie Program. 
Girl Scouts learned how to define their own brand by choosing a business a name, tagline and logo that made them unique and how to create a marketing message that customers would love. They also learned how to set a goal that would help them see the results they needed achieve their goals.

It can be challenging to be a girl in the business world, as Nicole told the girls during the leadership session. But being a Girl Scout alumna herself, she knows that Girl Scouts have what it takes to succeed in any arena—including business.
Nicole coached Girl Scout Hannah from Troop 648 on creating her
marketing message and how to achieve her cookie goals.
Carol said she is used to being the only girl in the room sometimes, but that doesn’t stop her from taking the lead in tough situations. Sometimes that means working together as a team and being respectful of everyone’s ideas.

“I have to show them that I am able to solve problems and do the right thing,” Carol said. “What I do is offer my suggestion and then ask others what their ideas are and create a solution using ideas from everyone.”

Both Carol and Nicole told the Girl Scouts that teamwork is an important aspect of successful planning.

Even though she was very shy, Nicole said she knew that getting out there and talking to people was a must to make her business grow. Now, she has the largest security business in Hampton Roads, with over 850 employees.
A Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast Famous Former, Carol told the Girl Scouts
in attendance that they, too, have what it takes to succeed in business.
“You don’t have to be the most popular girl in school to succeed,” Nicole said. “You just have to set a vision and work hard and see that vision through.”

At the beginning of the Cookie Season earlier this year, it snowed a lot! But Girl Scouts made the most of those snowy days and went door to door anyway.

Carol told the girls that sometimes, even she has a day that doesn’t go the way she had planned, but by working hard towards her goals, she turns those not-so-perfect days into successes.

“When you have those challenges, you just say it’s ok,” Carol. “You’re going to make the best you can of today and tomorrow will be even better.”

Girl Scouts Take Action with the Norfolk Admirals

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast posed with Norfolk Admirals Mascot Salty Dog!
'Tis the season for hockey games and donating holiday gifts. This Saturday night, you can do both!

The Norfolk Admirals are asking Girl Scouts and their families to bring a donation for Toys for Tots to their game this Saturday night.

The game starts at 7 p.m. at the Norfolk Scope.

To get tickets for the Girl Scouts Take Action with the Norfolk Admirals game, purchase tickets for $16 per person by visiting the Norfolk Admirals website. Make sure you use the Girl Scout code: girlscoutstakeaction

Be sure to wear your Girl Scout uniform! If you would like to have your troop seated together, add your troop’s number when you order your tickets online.

For more information about Saturday’s game, visit the event page on the Council’s website.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Annual Cookie Kickoff prepared Girl Scouts for sweet success

Were you one of the 1,600 people that came out to the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center for the Cookie Kickoff on December 9?
From Troop 273, Girl Scouts Cameron Wright, Shelby Smith,
Samarrah Whiting, Nycia Walker, Leah Wright and Aryanna Weaver
stopped by the official Cookie Kickoff photo booth.
If you were, you already know there was tons of fun—and learning—to be had by all.

Girl Scouts from all over the Council came out to the event, eager to learn what it takes to successfully manage their own cookie program. Stations were set up to help girls learn how to manage money, set and achieve their goals, people skills and business ethics.
Junior Girl Scout Evelyn Parrish from Troop 1344 in Yorktown got a
close look at one of the aquarium's komodo dragons.
Of course, the Cookie Kickoff wouldn’t have been complete without a cookie tasting booth. Did you get to taste one of your favorite Girl Scout cookies?

TowneBank sponsored this year’s kickoff, and their assistant vice president Stacey Hasty—a Girl Scout alumna—talked to girls about money management and goal-setting. She thinks the program is a great way for girls to develop leadership skills!
Girl Scout Daisy Chinasa Troxler from Troop 14 told TowneBank Assistant
Vice President Stacey Hasty about her experience with money management. 
“It’s an opportunity for them to shine and get them to talk to others,” Hasty said. “It also teaches them basic finance skills and how to set and achieve. It’s just beneficial on so many levels.”

While learning all about the upcoming Cookie Program, Girl Scouts and their families also got to check out many of the aquarium’s exhibits, including an up-close look at komodo dragons, jellyfish, sharks and this year’s cookie mascot, the sea turtle!
Troop 57 Girl Scout Cadette Samantha Bailey got some face time with this
year's cookie mascot at the Cookie Kickoff.

If you visited the touch tank, you could even reach in and pet one of the many types of stingrays swimming around.

Girl Scout Junior Bianca touched a stingray—she said it was awesome, even if the stingray felt a little slimy!
Girl Scout Junior Biana Marcelin from Troop 78 spent some time
with the stingrays at the touch tank, along with GSCCC's Chris Ramos-Smith. 
How does your troop plan to use their cookie proceeds this year? Troop 1119 from Williamsburg said they hope to plan a multi-day camping trip, while Yorktown’s Troop 1052 will put their proceeds towards an outing at Ocean Breeze Water Park and next year’s holiday gift giving to an organization in need.

 Are you all set to sell cookies on January 6?

If you have photos from the kickoff and want to share them on social media, use #cookiekickoffgsccc so others can find them!
Norfolk's Troop 4159 took a quick break next to the wave machine
for a group photo.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Camp Skimino has a new indoor rock climbing wall

Did you hear? There’s a new indoor climbing wall at Camp Skimino! On Saturday, December 2, Girl Scouts scaled the new 16-foot-high climbing wall in Williamsburg.

Girl Scout Laine neared the bell—and range it—
at the top of the climbing wall at Camp 
Skimino on Saturday.
Because of a generous donation of more than $12,000 from the Lynnhaven Shores Service Unit, Linda Linke, Susan Ramsland and Carol Watkins, the climbing wall was able to be constructed.

If you haven’t tried your hand at rock climbing before, now is the time!

Not only does rock climbing help you build up your confidence and overcome fears, it also gives your body and mind a great workout.

While it’s a great physical challenge to climb, you’re also putting your problem-solving skills to the test by evaluating your next move up the wall.

To show the Council’s appreciation, Girl Scouts from the service unit were the first to ascend the wall.

“I was climbing up and I looked down and I was really nervous,” Girl Scout Addison Bremer said. “But then I felt like, ‘I got this, I got this.’ So I let go and I fell down and it was awesome.”

As our Girl Scouts proved on Saturday, it can also be a very social activity. Climbers often take turns holding the ropes and helping each other navigate the best climbing path. It’s a great opportunity to strengthen communication and relationships with your friends and troop!

As girls began to climb, those waiting their turn cheered others on to reach the top and ring the bell. For one girl, her experience took her from, "I am just going to watch" to "I will give it a try." When she reached the top, she rang the bell to signal that she had successfully completed her climb.

"The pure joy on her face was worth all the effort put into raising the funds to build the wall," said Susan Ramsland.

"It's a big deal to be able to offer this type of activity in anaa-girl environment," added Carol Watkins.

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast CEO Tracy Keller with Girl Scouts Laine,
Maddie, Alexis and Climbing Wall facilitator Elizabeth Ramsland had
the honor of cutting the ribbon at the climbing wall dedication.

Girl Scout volunteers Elizabeth Ramsland and Janice Ingham ensured that all climbers were safe while testing out the wall by checking that all lines were straight and harnesses were correctly worn. Both are trained climbers. 

They also helped cheer on each Girl Scout as they took on the challenge.

“You want to make sure that safety is your number one priority,” Elizabeth said. “You want to be able to save people but also encourage them because going up high is kind of scary.”

Break out your running shoes—the 4th Annual Cookie Classic Run is coming up soon!

The 2018 Cookie Classic Run is happening on Saturday, January 20, meaning you’ve got just over six weeks to train for the Trefoil Trek 5k and the Samoa Stroll One-Miler.

If you haven’t participated in the annual run, don’t worry! Volunteer organizer Candice Cherry has all the details to bring you up to speed.

Cookie Classic Run volunteer organizer
Candice Cherry said the Cookie Classic is
a race for everyone.
Set in the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail in Chesapeake, the course is a flat and fast loop around the Great Dismal Swamp. 

Since the very first event in 2015, the number of participants has doubled, Candice said. In January, more than 400 runners participated in the Cookie Classic.

Why? The Cookie Classic is a race for everyone—Girl Scouts and their friends, families and community members of all ages are all invited to participate.

“We’ve got everyone from little kids to seniors coming out to run,” Candice said.

Long distance runners can register for the Trefoil Trek 5k. For a shorter sprint, runners can opt for the Samoa Stroll One-Miler. But Candice said if runners really want a challenge, they can go for the Thin Mint Challenge.

“The Thin Mint Challenge is for runners who want to participate in both the 5k and the One-Miler,” Candice said. 

Since the Cookie Classic starts at 9 a.m., Candice said it’s important to dress appropriately for the weather. But when planning your race day outfit, be sure to incorporate some cookie-themed fun. Awards will be given out for the best cookie and Girl Scout-themed outfits.

At the 2017 Cookie Classic, Julie, a member of Troop 5563,
was the first Girl Scout to cross the 5K finish line.
One thing you shouldn’t do is wear brand new running shoes. Candice suggests putting on a pair of worn-in sneakers to successfully sprint through the courses.

The best part of the run, Candice said, is how all of the runners work together to encourage other runners to finish and do their best.

“Whether the runners are friends or not, they always encourage others to push through and finish,” Candice said.

All participants get a prize. 5k finishers will receive a medal and one-miler finishers will receive a patch. Thin Mint Challengers will receive both.

Registration for the Cookie Classic is already open. Runners can head over to the website to get started.

All proceeds from the Cookie Classic benefit local Girl Scouts.

“The funds we raise are used to assist girls at a council level on outdoor activities and education,” Candice said.

If you want to help ensure the race is a success, Candice is always looking for more volunteers—even if you just come out and cheer for the runners!

For more information on the run and how you can get involved, head over to the official website.