Monday, June 25, 2018

Explore the outdoors with The Wild Things!

Are you a Girl Scout who loves the outdoors? Do you enjoy challenging yourself and stepping out of your comfort zone? Have you heard about The Wild Things?

Founded by Bonnie Taylor, a dedicated 13-year GSCCC volunteer, The Wild Things was organized after Bonnie and two former volunteers kept getting several requests from other girls to go camping with troops.

“I ‘almost’ always said yes. Then we realized that so many girls were missing out on so much simply because their troop leaders didn’t want to, or didn’t know how to do all these types of camping,” Bonnie explained.

Several girls came up with the name “The Wild Things” and the rest is history!

The group hosts a lot of different events, including hammock camping, hiking and even repelling. A group of girls recently camped in hammocks and Bonnie also took 13 girls repelling in Shenandoah National Park. Talk about fun!

As Girl Scouts, programs are girl-led which allows girls to have a say in what they do.

“I ask the girls what they want to do,” Bonnie said. I use my own daughters as sounding boards and ask ‘would this be fun?’ and I also get lots of emails from people asking if I could do this or that.”

Girls gain confidence, make memories and challenge themselves in so many ways when they join the fun! The best part is that because of Bonnie’s skill set, all kinds of adventures are available for girls. It’s no wonder why the events almost always have a waitlist!

A hard-working volunteer, outdoor facilitator, mother and wife, Bonnie now has two troops and still runs The Wild Things.

Thank you, Bonnie for helping us build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place!

 Click here to register for upcoming events. Remember, spots fill up fast!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Suffolk Troop 273 donates over 2,500 pounds of food to local foodbank

Girl Scouts from Troop 273 in Suffolk have helped end the fight against hunger by collecting over 2,500 pounds of non-perishable items for donation!

The Helping Hands Food Drive was organized by Troop Leader Ciara and her daughter Aliya Summers because of their participation in a food drive that was hosted by Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast in the past.

Aliya was able to get her entire troop excited and on board with collecting as many goods as possible to give back to the community and present them to the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank.

The girls were able to collect items by doing walkabouts, contacting family and friends, as well as placing donation boxes in schools and churches. Their hard work allowed the girls to individually raise 1,133.5 pounds of non-perishable items. Four girls stood out among the troop taking the first, second, third, and fourth place for the most pounds collected. Below is the list of winners with how many pounds of food they collected:

1st place- Junior Aliya collected 343.5lbs of food

2nd place- Daisy Aryanna gathered 282.5lbs of food
3rd place- Brownie Shelby collected 173lbs of food
4th place- Daisy Morgan gathered 97.5lbd of food

The winners were given gift certificates to the Girl Scout Shop at A Place for Girls.

At the end of April, the girls made a final push to collect extra donations. The troop participated in an eight-hour food donation event at a local Kroger. In comparison to the past, the troop put in more volunteer hours with the help of more girls. At the conclusion of the
event, they were able to beat last year's record by over 1,100 pounds of items which brought them to their total of more than 2,500 pounds. This is a record year for Troop 273!

For their participation in the food drive, the girls earned a Food Drive Patch. And, the girls who volunteered and toured at the Foodbank received an additional patch for their hard work!

They have not set a goal for next year, but are looking forward to making this an annual project and raising the bar to bring more items to the community. The girls will be meeting all summer long to make new goals and become better leaders!

Troop 273 has spots available for Juniors and Cadettes. Contact GSCCC at 757-547-4405 or email us at for help getting in Troop 273. The troop meets every other Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Happy Father's Day!

This Sunday, we will take the time to honor and celebrate the fathers and father figures who help us build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.

Darrell Fann is one of those dads.

He has been a proud Girl Scout volunteer for six years. What first started as getting a troop together to ensure his daughters had the Girl Scout Experience has turned into years of troop leading and outdoor adventures.

“A big part of Girl Scouts is that it is girl-led. While having a strong female role model is very important, I also believe it is as important to have male role models,” Darrell explained.

Being the go-getter Girl Scout dad that he is, Darrell started his time as a volunteer by becoming the co-leader of his daughters’ Girl Scout troop to help get the troop up and running since there wasn’t one available at the time. He has since become the troop leader with help from his co-leader and troop parents.

Shortly after the troop’s first  Service Unit Encampment, Darrell learned that a lot of work went into participating in outdoor activities. He then took all of the outdoor training classes that he could so the girls in the troop could experience outdoor adventures. After two years of training and leading weekend events, he started to add different activities to the troop’s agenda such as canoeing.

Since his first two years as a Girl Scout, he has continued to look for ways to help his troop progress. So, when Darrell was able to volunteer with The Wild Things to get insight into some more weekend adventures for the older Girl Scouts, he didn’t hesitate to be a part of the group!

Aside from outdoor activities, Darrell has also trained adults for over four years and led his service unit camp activities for the past three years. Darrell has even dedicated his time to serve as a volunteer for different council programs such as STEM at Nauticus and Core Camp. He now helps plan, organize and execute adventures for Girl Scouts to explore the excitement of the outdoors in activities like bike camping and backpacking.

For him, the most rewarding part of his Girl Scout Volunteer experience has been the transformation that he has seen in his daughters. He has seen them grow as leaders and become more active and comfortable with leading and planning group activities.

As an adult volunteer, Darrell believes that there are very valuable lessons that can be learned by being a Girl Scout.

“The experiences and lessons learned from Girl Scouts help teach both personal responsibility and leadership, as well as support for your troop members, the broader Girl Scout impact and supporting your local community.”

Darrell’s hard work earned him the Honor Pin in 2015 for his time training adults for outdoor activities and the Thanks Badge in 2017 for his continuing efforts in outdoor training and co-leading The Wild Things events.

Thank you, Darrell, for your continued dedication to the Girl Scout Mission, and thank you to all of our dads man enough to be a Girl Scout! We appreciate you.

Happy Father’s Day!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

2018 Gold Award Celebration

On Saturday, June 9, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast honored 30 girls who earned their Gold Award during our 2018 membership year.

From creating and selling works of art to help out a local church food pantry, to raising awareness about the dangers of driving under the influence, Girl Scouts used their Gold Award projects to draw attention to issues important to them which allowed them to use their voice and enact change in their communities. Click here to see a full list of the girls who were honored along with the title and description of their project in the Gold Award Keepsake Booklet.

The evening’s celebration was emceed by Host of Another View, Barbara Hamm Lee who is also a Girl Scout alum and Famous Former.

Several special guests also attended, including Norfolk City Councilwoman Andria McClellan and Dr. Patricia King, newly elected Chesapeake School Board Member and psychiatrist.    

While guests enjoyed refreshments and the girls’ projects, Angie Hoen, vice president of Townebank delivered opening remarks to the girls.

“These young ladies have envisioned this mountainous achievement, looked at that mountain-high goal, climbed it as their own and said to their leaders, their families, their mentors and this Council, ‘come on, we’re going over that mountain,” Angie said as she congratulated the girls on their accomplishments.

During the celebration, Chesapeake Girl Scout Kaitlyn Duffy was honored posthumously for her project, “Protecting the Skin You’re In,” which worked to raise awareness of Melanoma and the importance of protecting your skin to prevent the disease. Kaitlyn lost her life in a tragic car accident last year. Both of her parents accepted the Gold Award pin in her honor.

Helen Kattwinkel, Gold Award Committee Member, read the Girl Scout Gold Award Charge which was followed by a toast led by the Board of Directors Chair, Carolene Goodwyn-Harris.

“For those of you that know me, you know I speak to leaving our footprint so that others may benefit from our time and treasure. Today, I say to you, our G.I.R.L.s, your footprint already goes beyond what most will be able to achieve in a lifetime. We commend you as you serve as an example to so many others,” Carolene toasted.

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast also recognized our three 2018 National Young Women of Distinction Nominees: Ava Gonzalez, Krysta Rutherford and Tara Grady. Read more about the honor here.

“I am inspired by the leaders I see today in this room-my Gold Award Girl Scout Sisters,” GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller explained to the girls and their families.

Congratulations to all of the girls who worked hard and went for the Gold! We are so proud of you.

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast would also like to thank Townebank for sponsoring the night’s celebration.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Chesapeake Girl Scout Katie has earned her Silver Award

Katie La Londe has earned her Girl Scout Silver Award. Katie is an eighth grader at St. Matthews Catholic School in Troop 4161, a troop that has done several community service projects!

For her project, Katie built a food donation box for her church, St. Matthews Catholic Church. Her goal was to not only be able to collect more food for the pantry, but to also make it easier to transport. The church had an old shopping cart they used to collect donations and then take to the church office. It did not hold a lot of food and since the cart was old, the wheels did not move very well.

Katie purchased a flat cart and attached two large rubbermaid bins to it. She then had a cabinet built around the cart for donations. The front of the cart has two holes carved out and below the holes, she put boxes and cans. On the left side of the cabinet is a place to donate paper bags and on the right side is a door so people can remove the cart and push it to the main church office to be unloaded. A corkboard was attached to the top of the cabinet for flyers and announcements on food pantry needs. The new cart separates the boxes and cans so items are not damaged. It also helps save time for the people in the pantry so they don’t have to sort. It’s also much easier to maneuver. The cart not only helps the St. Vincent DePaul Society volunteers, but it also helps those in the community who come in for food.

Katie joined Troop 4161 in first grade. Since then, she has earned the Bronze Award, Junior Summit Award, Cadette Safety Award, Cadette My Promise, My Faith Year 1 & 2 Award, Cadette Community Service Bar and now, the Silver Award.

Her troop of nine girls is very active. They have done many community service projects, including helping the SPCA with a food drive and cleaning the church's library.

The girls are also very smart with their Girl Scout Cookie money! They have saved for the last three years in order to take a trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania. Good job, girls!

The adventures for the troop don’t stop there. Most of the girls are also planning to go to camp- something Katie loves!

Katie continues to help with the food collection at her church which is also where her troop has meetings. She dedicates her time to taking food out of the container and getting it to the pantry.  

Monday, June 4, 2018

Newport News Girl Scout Paula-Ann Robertson has earned her Gold Award

Paula-Ann Robertson has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

For her project, “Clothes for a Cause,” Paula-Ann created a clothes closet aimed at helping less fortunate people in the area find suitable garments to wear to a job interview. She ran her closet out of First Christian Church in Hampton, Virginia. Paula-Ann was able to reach a large audience with the help of a free meal program the church runs every Tuesday night. After the guests enjoyed a hot meal, they were given the option to get clothes from the closet with the help of volunteers.

Before the closet was available to the public, Paula-Ann put in a lot of hard work to make sure everything would run smoothly and efficiently. She made the racks and shelves the clothes would be stored on, recruited volunteers and made sure they were informed and gathered plenty of clothes, all before the grand opening of the closet.

Paula-Ann’s project drew attention to groups in the community who did not have access to the resources they needed to live a better life. “Clothes for a Cause” also allowed her to enhance her leadership, communication and critical thinking skills.

“Having completed the journey of this project, I have learned more about myself and the world around me,” Paula-Ann explained. “This project taught me how to lead a group of adults and not let age hold me back.”

With the help of her project, she was able to help several people in the community and work to bring attention to the issue of homelessness in Hampton Roads and the lack of resources available to those people. Paula-Ann got to see, fairly quickly, just how rewarding it was to have done the project.

“One of the happiest moments during my project was when she (a guest of the clothes closet), got a new job using the resources and skills that we provided her. I learned that little things like this during the long project process make the hard work worth it,” she said.

To help keep the closet up and running, Paula-Ann created and delivered operating procedures for members of the church and other volunteers. She also made a website with tips on how to start a clothes closet in other areas of need. Click here to visit the page.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Summer Camp Theme Contest

Girls are the heart of Girl Scouts — and their voices are vital to who we are and what we do. That’s why Girl Scouts is girl-focused, girl-led and only for girls.

This year, girls have one more way to use their voices in Girl Scouts. It’s their chance to speak up! Girls and/or troops can submit their ideas in GSCCC’s first-ever Summer Camp Theme Contest. The winner will receive that week - the winning session name - of camp for free! Entries will be accepted online or on paper applications available at summer camp or Council offices in Summer 2018. 

Click here to view the flyer and print a hard copy applicationOr, click here to enter online.

Have fun and be creative! 

Contest Rules:
  • Contest runs June 1 – September 15, 2018
  • Winner will be announced November 1, 2018
  • Eligibility: current, second-year Daisy who will bridge to Brownies by Summer 2019 through Ambassador
  • Multiple entries per girl/troop will be accepted
  • One winner (girl or troop) will be selected
  • Prize:
    • Individual girl – That week of camp free in 2019
    • Troop – The cost of one week of camp for one girl to be shared by all age eligible troop members towards their registrations
    • Prize applies to the winning theme week only (non-transferrable)
  • Questions? Contact or call 757-547-4405