Thursday, March 22, 2018

Girl Scout Media Girl Julissa goes to the Virginia Zoo

Girl Scout Junior Julissa, one of our Council’s Media Girls, took time to tour the Virginia Zoo and interview the Zoo’s PR Manager, Ashley Mars. Julissa said this was one of her best reporting assignments, even though she has only had three to date. She loves being a Media Girl and meeting other Girl Scouts and friends who she interviews to tell their stories. She also likes attending the Media Girl events to learn more about careers in communication and building skills such as photography.  

While Ashley was never a Girl Scout, she told Julissa that she would have loved to have been one. Ashley loves seeing Girl Scouts come to the Zoo for overnights or day visits.

“When I asked Ashley what her job was, she told me she used to write and create designs for newspapers and worked at The Virginian-Pilot for a while,” Julissa said. “Now, working at the Virginia Zoo, Ashley is in charge of taking pictures of the animals and posting them on the Zoo’s social media sites. She also writes and designs many of the signs that Girl Scouts will see when they attend Zoo Fest.”

When asked by Julissa what Girl Scouts can expect at the upcoming April 15th Zoo Fest, Ashley replied, “Zoo Fest will be full of surprises with special activities just for Girl Scouts on that day. We’ll have pop-up shows with animals that docents will be offering and fun educational activities. Girls can also expect to do some arts and crafts with animal themes and time to explore the Zoo’s gardens and animal exhibits. And girls and their families can have fun in our gift shop that has stuffed animals, jewelry and educational toys.”

Julissa is really excited about going to Zoo Fest with her family and working on some Girl Scout badges while there, including the 2018 Zoo Fest Patch! The deadline to register for Zoo Fest is April 5, 2018. Click here to register for Zoo Fest. 

For more information on special programs such as overnights at the Virginia Zoo, click here.

Can you identify this furry friend you’ll meet at the Virginia Zoo?

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

2018 Samoa Soiree

More than 300 guests packed the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside hotel to celebrate the tenth annual Samoa Soiree on March 17. Chefs from restaurants and catering companies competed to walk away with awards for best savory or best dessert. 

Hosted by Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast, this annual event raises funds to support Girl Scouting in our area. 

This year, Chef Kyle Fowlkes from the Cyprus Grille at Embassy Suites Hampton won the Judges' Best in Presentation Award and the People’s Choice Award for Best Savory. His savory dish was gnocchi and veal topped with spinach and a cherry cream sauce. He used the Girl Scout Do-si-Dos Cookie and Girl Scout Toffee-tastic Cookie as magical ingredients! Chef Chris McLeod from The Dirty Buffalo won the People’s Choice for Best Dessert for his Mini Samoa Pudding Cake. His recipe was even published in Coastal Virginia Magazine. All the chefs used a Girl Scout Cookie variety as a key ingredient in their creation.

Best Dessert: Handsome Biscuit, Flan with Thin Mints and a touch of Wildflower Honey
Best Savory: Mixxer’s Kitchen, Lemony fried crab cake with Savannah Smiles Cookie
Best Presentation: Cyprus Grille, Sous Vide Veal with Toffee-tastic and Do-si-Dos Cookies
Most Creative Use of a Girl Scout Cookie: Spirit Cruises, Thai Veggie Bite
People’s Choice for Best Dessert: The Dirty Buffalo, Mini Samoa pudding cake made with Thin Mint Cookie
People’s Choice for Best Savory: Cyprus Grille, Sous Vide Veal
Best in Show: Sysco of Hampton Roads, Pork Belly Girl Scout Do-si-Do Cookie

The culinary delights were judged by local celebrities and foodies, including Patrick Evans-Hylton, publisher of Virginia Eats + Drinks Magazine; Grace Silipigni, online content editor of Coastal Virginia Magazine; Don London, vice president of operations at Entercom Communications Corporation; Carolyn Pittman with Newport News Shipbuilding; Toiya Sosa with GEICO; Xerxes Nabong, Yelp community director; Ashley Smith, 13News Now anchor and Peggy Sijswerda, editor and publisher of Tidewater Family Magazine and Tidewater Women Magazine.

This year’s participating restaurants included: Cyprus Grille at Embassy Suites Hampton, Handsome Biscuit, Hilton Norfolk The Main, II Giardino Ristorante, Mixxer’s Kitchen, RJ’s CafĂ© at the Salvation Army Kroc Center, Sheraton Norfolk Waterside, The Dirty Buffalo, The Skinny Dip Frozen Yogurt Bar, Spirit Cruises and Sysco Hampton Roads.

The event was generously sponsored by GEICO, Enspyr, Wall, Einhorn & Chernitzer P.C. and Newport News Shipbuilding. Many thanks to our media partners who supported the event and helped us spread the word about this unique event: 2WD 101.3, 13News Now, Coastal Virginia Magazine, Tidewater Women Magazine, VEER Magazine, Yelp and Virginia Eats + Drinks.

To view more photos, click here.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Gold Award Girl Scout Krysta's Forgotten Horses

An avid horse lover, Krysta Rutherford, recently completed her Girl Scout Gold Award project, “The Forgotten Horses.” She documented through video the need to save the critically endangered breed of horse: the Colonial Spanish Mustang. The video engages people of all ages and brings awareness to the story and heritage of the animal.

Her self-proclaimed love for the breed started in 2013 when Krysta adopted Katalina, a Corolla Spanish Mustang. Her horse had to be removed from the wild and it got Krysta thinking about horses on the critically endangered breed list. She recognized the enormous benefits the horses brought to her community, including their ability to help people with disabilities, diseases or other special conditions.

For more than a year, Krysta traveled thousands of miles in her quest to assemble the story of the Colonial Spanish Mustang. She visited places in Virginia, North and South Carolina and even Texas!  Through her Girl Scout Gold Award project, she was able to meet and visit experts in the field of conservation that added their voices to the video.  

"This project has continued to reinforce what my career may be in the future,” she said. “I am planning to focus on environmental science/studies with a focus on wildlife and/or marine life conservation."

The film has reached thousands of people through event showings, articles, presentations and other postings. The project continues to be sustained with the help of several organizations in a number of ways, including links to the film on their website. 

As a result of her project, a number of individuals have asked how they can help the cause.  Krysta has even received an email from someone in France who has asked for a copy of the film!

Visit the website Krysta made for her project The Forgotten Horses 

Click here to watch Krysta's Gold Award video.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Little Library - Chesapeake Health Department

Thanks to Girl Scout Cadette Ashlina Keller from Troop 805 in Chesapeake, the Chesapeake Health Department has a Little Free Library! The new addition that is situated in the lobby of the Chesapeake Health Department supports the mission of the No Hit Zone, an initiative of Champions For Children - Prevent Child Abuse Hampton Roads - as a means to encourage reading and positive parenting.

Kimi Stevens, the public relations representative for the Chesapeake Health Department, says the library, designed in the fashion of produce cart, has really been successful since being placed. The colorful cart made by Ashlina holds dozens of free books she and friends collected. The books are directed to young clients in both English and Spanish.

" Before we installed the library, the main source of client/child interaction came from mobile devices," Kimi said. "This type of interaction sometimes left the children agitated and disengaged. The Little Free Library has made a huge impact on our clients, their families and our staff. The children love it! We love it!  We can't keep new reader books in stock, but we can count on Girl Scouts and friends in the community to continue to donate books and keep it stocked."

During Ashlina's presentation at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, she said as a young child she visited the Chesapeake Health Department and wished there had been a book cart like this for her use.

" I love reading,"she said. "This project was very meaning to me and I hope it helps more children and parents find enjoyment out of reading and sharing the reading experience together."

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was done on Read Across America Day, a nationwide reading celebration that takes place annually on March 2 - Dr. Seuss's birthday. Ashlina brought one of her long-time favorite books by Dr. Seuss to the ceremony and read a quote, "You have brains in your head, You have feet in your shoes, You can steer yourself in any direction you choose."

 We are grateful Ashlina's feet were pointed towards the Chesapeake Health Department!