Monday, April 30, 2018

Virginia Beach Girl Scout Ambassador Haley has earned her Gold Award

Haley Brown has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting. Haley is a senior at Frank W. Cox High School.

Her project “Pallets for the Pantry,” allowed Haley to impact her community and draw attention to people in need of food all while reusing her resources wisely! Haley saw a need within her church to raise money and awareness for the food pantry and went straight to work.

She created works of art with the wooden pallets her church’s food pantry had lying around. The pallets, which would have been disposed of at the dump, are what the pantry receives food shipments on. She made a scarecrow, snowman, American flag and a towel rack.

Once her work was complete, she gave the art to the food pantry to sell to church members. The money raised went right back to the pantry.

“My project not only shows support for the environment but for those in my community in need of proper nourishment to help them stay alive and healthy,” Haley explained.

Haley was able to save several wooden pallets from ending up in a landfill and adding to the waste produced by society.

With the help of the youth at her church, Haley’s project will be sustained. The group plans to have a work day at least once a year to create similar works of art.

Haley learned valuable life lessons while she worked on her project, including how to manage her time wisely.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Norfolk Girl Scout Ava has earned her Gold Award

Ava Gonzalez has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting. Ava is a senior at Granby High School.

For her project “Gardening for History,” Ava chose to create an outdoor garden exhibit for the Hunter House Victorian Museum, a Norfolk home turned museum built in 1894. Ava’s garden brings life to the museum which also features Victorian furnishings and decorative arts belonging to the Hunter family. 

Adding to the theme of the home, Ava decided to include herbs and vegetables that would have been planted in a garden during the 19th century. She also created signs and cold frames which work to protect the plants during adverse weather conditions.

“Gardening for History” is a free, educational exhibit that introduces green spaces to an area that lacked them beforehand.

“It was my goal to improve upon free educational space outdoors so that families had a quiet space in nature to learn and enjoy in,” Ava said. “By choosing a location open to many pedestrians, I hope the exhibit will foster a love of history, gardening and make a peaceful space accessible to everyone.”

Ava learned several things while working on her Gold Award project, including how to work with a diverse group of people.

Her project will be sustained by the museum with the help of supplemental materials Ava provided before she completed the garden.

Ava will present her garden to the public during an unveiling of her project on April 28 from 2-3 p.m. at Hunter House Victorian Museum.

Check out her Gold Award video here.

Girl Scouts win first place in ROV competition

Six Girl Scout teens took home the first place title at the Mid-Atlantic Regional ROV Underwater Robotics Competition on Saturday, April 21.

The annual event enables students from several states to learn more about STEM and apply that knowledge to create underwater robots. This year, groups were tasked with building a robot that can find the wreckage of an airplane, install equipment to monitor earthquakes and complete a renewable energy project. 

While the competition’s theme and mission changes from year to year, this year’s theme highlighted the role the robots play in the Pacific Northwest since the international competition will take place near Seattle.

“The Unsinkable Girl Scouts” formed their team to function like a company, according to the group’s CEO and Systems Engineer Kaylee Keegan. The team included: CFO Natalia Barber from Troop 643, COO Elizabeth Keegan, Research and Development Engineer Beth Bolyard, Marketing Specialist Alex Dicken from Troop 662 and Safety Manager Madison Smith from Troop 662.

With the help of two mentors, Maeanna Stover and Rick Dyer, the girls assembled their ROV, R.O.S.A. (remote operated submersible apparatus) which was made of PVC pipes and pool noodles.

 Together, the girls overcame several obstacles, including learning how to fix a broken switch on their control box on their vehicle.

“We did run into a few problems very close to the competition,” Kaylee said. “Luckily it was an easy fix and we were able to replace the switch.”

Time, knowledge and travel distance also tested the girls’ ability to work together in order to take home the winning title.

“A lot of other groups participating have clubs at their school, so it is easy for them to work in class or every day after school on their ROV. These students also learn the information needed to participate within their classes. For us, we have members from Chesapeake and Virginia Beach who have some to no background in engineering, and the distance limited us to one or two time every weekend which put us at a disadvantage,” Kaylee explained.

Communication, extensive planning and lessons from their mentors enabled the girls to assemble their robot in enough time to compete.

Judges scored the girls’ vehicle project in several categories: product demonstration, presentation, marketing display, company spec, corporate responsibility and safety.

The girls were up against three other groups in their division, “Scout.” The Unsinkable Girl Scouts’ product demonstration blew the competition out of the water with a score of 95! The team of Girl Scouts also ranked the highest in presentation. In total, the girls gathered 211 points.

Over 160,000 Girl Scouts participate in STEM programs annually. According to the Girl Scout Research Institute, by participating in STEM related activities, girls become more positive about the field and want to learn more about STEM careers.

Kaylee said her team felt pretty empowered by winning first place because the competition was largely dominated by males.

Throughout the competition, the girls learned new skills and even expanded their knowledge of STEM. Way to go, G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Cookie CEOs celebrated their success this cookie season

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast celebrated top cookie sellers for the 2018 season on Saturday, April 21. The event catered to 119 girls who sold over 1,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies.

The top 10 girls who sold the most boxes were treated to a breakfast at Varia inside The Main in Downtown Norfolk with Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast’s CEO Tracy Keller. The girls traveled in style as they toasted sparkling cider inside a limo to celebrate their success.
The fun continued as the VIP Girl Scouts arrived at Signet Bowling Center and joined their sister Girl Scouts for bowling, games, food and a photo booth!

This year, the top 10 sellers and the number of boxes they sold include:

1.       Danielle Stowell- 4,650
2.       Maureen Keller- 3,737
3.       Makiyah Murray- 3,110
4.       Sariyah Vann- 2,607
5.       Abigail Morrisette- 2,450
6.       Jasmine Barbour-Bassett- 2,404
7.       Lorelei Timmons- 2,403
8.       Jada Johnson- 2,364
9.       Rachel Wang- 2,331
10.   Lily Tomlinson- 2,272

Tracy delivered remarks to the dedicated group of entrepreneurs and encouraged them to write down their goal for next year to make sure they achieve it.

Danielle, Maureen and Makiyah shared their secret to success with the other girls. They have set their goals high for next year’s cookie season!

Click here to view more photos from the event.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Take a Girl Scout to Work Day

Three lucky Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast’s Media Girls were able to shadow media professionals in the workplace during “Take a Girl Scout to Work Day.”

Girl Scout Ambassador Lily Tomlinson visited 13News Now on April 4. She submersed herself in the newsroom and learned what it takes to share the news with people every day.

She attended the morning editorial meeting where reporters, producers, editors and managers discussed story ideas for the day. Lily also sat with a broadcast producer and digital producer which allowed her to learn more about the different types of production. During the noon broadcast, she got a front-row seat to the show! Lily was even given a headset so that she could hear the producers and directors talk while the crew was on the air.

“When I visited WVEC, I gained an understanding of how much effort goes into making a newscast,” Lily explained. “Many people with different gifts collaborate to make their broadcast a success. Each step of creating the broadcast is necessary and irreplaceable, and without just one person using their talents, the news would lack something not only important, but also special.”

As a Media Girl, Lily has worked both on and off screen and has found the news industry to be interesting.

“I always felt excited and expectant to visit any news station with the Girl Scout Media Team. I saw everyone’s love for sharing the news with others, and their passion drew me in to explore the field,” Lily said.

Girl Scout Cadettes Krystina Brook and Maureen Keller also participated in “Take a Girl Scout to Work Day.” The pair visited Cox Communications Inc. on April 5 and learned a lot about working with the media from Girl Scout alum and Public Relations Manager for Cox Virginia, Sarah Buck.

Throughout the day, Krystina and Maureen met with members representing the Public and Government Affairs, Production, Programming and Customer Care teams. Since both Cadettes have demonstrated an interest in the media, Sarah took the time to take them down to the recording studio to practice their interviewing skills.

While there, the girls sat on the set of “A Las 11 por el 11,” a Spanish program produced by Cox Communications. Sarah reviewed with them how important it is to have three clear communication points that they want to make before speaking with the media, and to speak in sound bites so that production is easily able to edit a segment if needed. The girls took the advice and put it into practice as they took turns interviewing on camera

After finishing up their practice interviews, it was time to see the set in action. The girls participated as part of a live studio audience for the recording of the Saturday, April 7 airing of “A Las 11 por el 11.” In addition to watching the show’s recording live, they took turns visiting the control room during recording to see the process of a show being prepared for TV broadcast.

Finally, the day wrapped up in Sarah’s office as the girl’s asked Sarah questions about her job and what it is like being a public relations manager. Together, they discussed the importance of community outreach and the girls were able to ask Sarah about her involvement with Cox Charities. Sarah shared with the girls how proud she was to be involved with Cox Charities, and specifically of her work with Connect2Compete, an initiative which provides low-cost internet services to qualifying families who receive government assistance.

“Girl Scouting taught me the basics of leadership and reinforced the importance of giving back at a young age,” Sarah said. “I am pleased to see girls like Maureen and Krystina taking the extra time to focus on their personal development by participating in opportunities like Take a Girl Scout to Work Day.”

Thank you Sarah, Cox Communications and 13News Now for hosting Take a Girl Scout to Work Day and providing these Media Girls with an unforgettable opportunity.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Zoo Fest with Girl Scouts

Over 1,000 Girl Scouts filled the Virginia Zoo on Sunday for a day full of G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ activities.

Before the day started, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast and the United Service Organizations of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia (USOHRCV) recognized some special Girl Scouts.  

Girls who sold more than 108 boxes of Gift of Caring Girl Scout Cookies, cookies purchased by customers to be donated to the USO, received a thank you certificate from USOHRCV President and CEO, Paula Moran. Then, the girls worked together to fill two USOHRCV vans with cookies. The girls donated over 27,000 boxes that will be distributed to the men and women who serve our country. 

“This means a very, very great deal to the USO,” Paula said during the ceremonial donation. “Those Girl Scout Cookies mean home, comfort and they are just delicious! Thank you so much for going that extra mile for your service members.”

To hear more of the ceremony opening remarks from GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller and Paula Moran, click here.

The go-getter Girl Scouts were also treated to a VIP session with the zoo’s only sloth, KC. Girl Scout alum and Gold Award recipient, Stephanie, introduced the VIPs to KC and taught them about the sloth’s day-to-day activities, hobbies and shared other interesting facts about the animal.

As the day progressed, more girls arrived to spend their Sunday learning about the zoo creatures, their habitats and how Girl Scouts can help protect them and their environment.

Girls of all levels worked on badges and journeys throughout the day with the help of experts stationed in various parts of the zoo. They also participated in environmental activities with the help of organizations like the Butterfly Society of Virginia.

The day was packed with interactive stations for the girls to visit as they worked together to make projects and spend time outdoors.

Getting outside is a large part of the Girl Scout experience. Compared to a national sample of girls, Girl Scouts reported much higher levels of environmental stewardship, according to the Girl Scout Research Institute. The institute also found that the difference between girls involved in Girl Scouts and those who are not may stem from the Girl Scout organization’s dedication to environmental service, which may provide girls with a sense of purpose and socialize them into an environmentalist mindset- one that promotes connection with, concern for, and conservation of the environment.

Girl Scouts continue to thrive in an environment that is constantly changing with the help of events such as Zoo Fest that allow them to develop knowledge of the outdoors.

To view more photos from the day's festivities, click here.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Chesapeake Girl Scout Sydney has earned her Gold Award

Sydney Mazat has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, which is the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouts. Sydney is a junior at Grassfield High School.

After completing over 80 national park junior ranger programs, Sydney decided to use the information she learned over the years to create a Girl Scout Gold Award project, “Junior Ranger Program at Northwest River Park.” She created an interactive booklet which allows kids to learn more about the surrounding area in a fun way, including by doing a scavenger hunt!

Her project encourages kids of all ages to get off of their electronics and enjoy the outdoors. The program she developed teaches kids about the local ecosystem of the park without the distraction of phones and other devices. She is confident that through her project, participants will put down the electronics in order to gain knowledge and an appreciation for Northwest River Park and nature in general.

Program participants also have the opportunity to earn a Junior Ranger pin and a certificate of accomplishment once they complete the course.

Sydney’s project was on display at a Family Fun Day at Northwest River Park recently, which had over 15,000 visitors. She was able to encourage kids to complete the program.

“The most successful aspect of the project was getting kids of all ages outdoors and learning about nature,” Sydney said. “On Family Fun Day alone, hundreds of people started the junior ranger program, and as the day’s Junior Ranger Deputee, I was able to swear in many junior rangers.”

Sydney’s project will be sustained by the Chesapeake Department of Parks and Recreation.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Virginia Beach Girl Scout Charlotte has earned her Silver Award

Girl Scout Cadette Charlotte Scalzi from Troop 467 has earned her Girl Scout Silver Award, the second highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouts.

For her project, “Charlotte’s Charms,” Charlotte created one-of-a-kind bracelets for girls and boys to show them they can “shine bright.” Her inspiration for the jewelry came from a quote Dumbledore, a well-known character in Harry Potter, said: “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Charlotte’s mission is to inspire self-confidence and start a chain of kindness with each bracelet. Each bracelet is adorned with a star charm which serves as a reminder that the person wearing the jewelry is unique and loved.
Every month, she donates the jewelry to Connect With a Wish (CWW), an organization that helps foster children. When the kids enter foster care, they receive one of Charlotte’s bracelets. She also gives her accessories to her peers at school when they are going through a difficult time.

Her bracelets also come with a personalized message of inspiration, letting the recipient know how loved and special she or he is!