Wednesday, October 31, 2018

GSCCC Welcomes Newest Members to JGL Society

Lorraine Lees, Bill Rodner, Mike Mendelsohn

On Wednesday, October 31, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast (GSCCC) welcomed three new members to the Juliette Gordon Low (JGL) Society: Bill Rodner, Lorraine Lees and Mike Mendelsohn. The society is a group comprised of Girl Scout supporters in the community who have decided to provide for Girl Scouts in their estate plan. Every year, GSCCC holds an annual luncheon to celebrate current and new members who have agreed to pave the way for girls to continue having the best Girl Scout Leadership Experience possible.

This year’s luncheon, held on JGL’s birthday at the newly renovated Cavalier hotel in Virginia Beach, featured an overview of the improvements made to the historic venue led by Gregory Rutledge. The afternoon continued with a celebration lunch held in a special room reserved just for the society overlooking a view of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. This is not the first time the Girl Scouts have celebrated at The Cavalier, which made it a great place to be on October 31. The hotel welcomed Girl Scouts from across the country for the 18th annual national Girl Scouts convention in 1932, which also included First Lady Lou Henry Hoover.

“Thank you all for saying ‘yes’ to your personal commitment to Girl Scouts,” GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller said.

Juliette's vision and commitment to create an organization that serves girls was perpetuated when she converted the carriage house of her home into the first Girl Scout national headquarters and gifted the property to Girl Scouts in her will. Juliette's bequest was the beginning of planned giving to Girl Scouts. In her memory, the Juliette Gordon Low Society was established to thank and honor friends of Girl Scouts who choose to make Girl Scouts part of their legacies and a beneficiary of their estate plans.

Learn more about planned giving and becoming a JGL Society member by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Buck Harris Award

Since the Buck Harris Award launched in the '80s, it has gone to more than 40 Girl Scouts. To qualify for the award, a girl must be nominated by the girls in her troop, group or service unit, or by an adult who is aware of her qualifications. Girl Scouts must meet the criteria of: being an active troop member who has helped make troop meetings and activities more enjoyable during the past two years by participating in, or helping, to make service unit events and/or Council events better during the past two years. Special consideration will be given to girls who have participated in or assisted with outdoor events; have been active in school, community and/or church, synagogue, temple activities during the past two years; and have participated in Council events.

The award is named after Georgie (Buck) Harris who served as the executive director of what was then the Virginia Tidewater Area Council of Girl Scouts, (now called the Girl Scout Council of the Colonial Coast), and was director of Camp Matoaka, a Girl Scout camp in Suffolk, until she retired in 1972. When the award was initiated, the following was written: A person strong in the spirit and the adventure of Girl Scouting, Buck Harris has left a legacy to our Council. Her gentleness, love and stewardship of our land and campsites, her infinite store of nature’s knowledge have been given freely for the Girl Scouting she loves.

Buck was a dedicated Girl Scout who did much for the movement in our region. When she graduated in the late 1920s from Randolph-Macon Women's College, she focused on a teaching career and had no thoughts about being a camp director; however, it was the early years of the Depression and jobs were scarce. She was a substitute teacher when a Camp Matoaka staff opening was posted. The job offered free room and board, $5 in travel money, but no salary. When interviewed in 2006, she said she never camped a day in her life up until then.

Lucky for us, Buck took the job and was a quick learner during the first four summers she worked at camp while keeping her job as a teacher at a Courtland Elementary School. In 1934, she left teaching to become a professional Girl Scout, a field director for Portsmouth, Norfolk and Princess Anne County. She recruited and trained Girl Scout volunteers, but continued to spend her summers working at the camp.

In 1937, she was named executive director of what would become the Greater Tidewater Council of Girl Scouts, a job she held for almost 30 years. After she retired, Buck continued to be active as a trainer and an adviser. Throughout her Girl Scout career, she made and kept Girl Scout friendships that impacted many.

After Camp Matoaka closed in the 1980s, a wildflower garden that includes flowers from Camp Matoaka was planted at A Place for Girls by some of her former campers.

Find information on the award and details on how to nominate by clicking here.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Girl Scout Election Guidelines

As the election season is upon us, we’d like to remind our members of our policies and guidelines.

Girl Scouts of the United States and any Girl Scout council may not, nor may they authorize anyone on their behalf to participate or intervene directly or indirectly in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office; or participate in any legislative activity or function which contravenes the laws governing a tax-exempt organization.

When acting as a Girl Scout representative a Girl Scout council staff, volunteer or young Girl Scout may not engage in the following:
· Endorse a candidate for public office. This includes liking or sharing or tweeting candidate materials or messages on Girl Scout social media.
· Distribute campaign materials, share website links that discuss a specific candidate— including on Girl Scout social media.
· Provide email lists of members to a candidate.
· Host activities or other functions to support a candidate running for office
· Host a flag ceremony to open a political campaign event.
· Wear your official Girl Scout uniform to a campaign event.

You may:
· Write or visit your elected official in support or opposition to legislation when Girl Scout issues arise.
· Keep your elected official informed of Girl Scout work.
· Invite elected officials to council events, as long as the official is clear they cannot take photos or other media to use in campaign materials, use their speaking time as an election platform.
· Bring your Girl Scout/ troop to the polls on Election Day.
· Earn badges about the election/government process.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Girl Scout Rachael has earned her Silver Award

Rachael and her friend Jasmine.
Rachael Morgan has earned the Girl Scout Silver Award, the second highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouts.

For her project, “Wigs for Kids,” Rachael drew on inspiration from her friend Jasmine who received a wig from the organization after losing her hair due to alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss. Rachael decided to make a difference in the lives of other children who had lost their hair due to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, alopecia, trichotillomania, burns and other serious diseases. She held a cut-a-thon at Great Clips in Newport News where she collected hair to donate to Wigs for Kids and even cut her own hair to give back to the cause.

"I have watched my friend Jasmine lose what little hair she did have over the years and it made me really sad. I have always had thick hair and it grows really fast and I thought that this would be an easy way for me to give something to someone who didn't have any hair. I knew that Jasmine wouldn't get my red hair, but some other boy or girl would," Rachael said.

Rachael demonstrated leadership skills during her project by organizing and promoting the cut-a-thon. Great Clips gave free haircuts to anybody who donated 12 inches or more of their hair.

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.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Meet 2018 Famous Former Honoree Stephanie Adams

As a Girl Scout, girls gain skills that last them a lifetime. For Stephanie Adams, Dean of the College of Engineering and Technology at Old Dominion University, the skills she acquired while being a part of the best leadership organization for girls have allowed her to excel in her career and personal life.

Adams learned the importance of life skills needed to survive in today’s society and workforce at a young age. While she was a Girl Scout Brownie in Virginia Beach, she learned how to be independent and confident in herself. With the help of Girl Scouts, she also gained critical problem solving, team building and public speaking skills. She said the organization taught her discipline and fueled her creativity because she learned how to design and build things.

“It is important for girls to be involved in Girl Scouts because the organization fosters independence, self-confidence, problem solving, team building, public speaking and marketing and sales. Girl Scouts offers a safe haven for young girls and women to explore and thrive,” she said.

As the first female engineering dean at ODU, Adams has helped grow a relationship between the ODU Batten College of Engineering and Technology and GSCCC. The partnership has allowed GSCCC to expose more girls to STEM- something Adams deemed important because she attributes her love of creating things to the foundation Girl Scouts laid for her.

On November 29, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast will be honoring Adams and seven other women at the annual Famous Formers luncheon. Tickets are on sale now. Reserve your spot today!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Girl Scout Ambassador Maylea has earned her Gold Award

Maylea Beasley has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouts.

Maylea let her imagination soar when she created her plan for her Gold Award project, “Education on Aviation.” She recognized that in her community there was not enough children who were educated on aviation and the role that it has played in history. With the help of her mentor, Stan Bialas, Maylea was able to create self-guided tour books for children of all ages. The goal of her tour books was to help educate children in the community on the history of aviation when they visited the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach.

When she first toured the Military Aviation Museum, Maylea noticed that a majority of the volunteer staff were older. She felt that caused a communication barrier between the staff and the children that visited the museum. The self-guided tour books made it easier for the volunteers to connect with the children because the books were categorized by grade level.

“Children will always have what they learned from my passports with them,” she said. “I hope that they will tell others to come to the museum to learn about it for themselves!”

The Military Aviation Museum will continue to keep Maylea’s self-guided tour books available for the community to use. The books will be updated as new exhibits are added to the museum. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Meet 2018 Famous Former Honoree Charity Volman

With a thirst for success and a competitive spirit, Charity Volman, SunTrust Bank Hampton Roads Market President and Commercial Team Leader, is a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ champion through and through. She credits her outstanding qualities to having been a Girl Scout for five years.

“I believe I am the person I am today because of the traits I learned as a Girl Scout,” she said.

Volman valued her time as a Girl Scout and really saw the importance of it when her nieces joined the girl-led organization. She recalled the strong friendships that they made as well as the confidence they had gained from being Girl Scouts. As a businesswoman, Volman appreciates the life and leadership skills that the Girl Scouts has to offer through activities like the Girl Scout Cookie Program.

“My nieces call me each year for my annual cookie purchase. They recite the flavor descriptions and once I place my order, they do the math to tell me what I owe. I love the business aspect of this,” she explained.

During her career, Volman has taken what her former troop leaders and other female mentors taught her and used those skills to create an inclusive, welcoming environment for her employees.

“My most meaningful achievement has been my ability to guide and help others. My position at SunTrust has afforded me the opportunity to help clients, coach teammates, and the ability to guide and assist nonprofits I work with,” she said.

Because of Girl Scouts, Volman continues to impact those around her through her community service and support of other Girl Scout events like the previous Famous Formers luncheons.

Help us celebrate Charity Volman along with our other honorees at this year’s Famous Formers luncheon on November 29 at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are on sale now and you can save on this event when you purchase your ticket by October 21.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Girl Scout Ambassador Megan has earned her Gold Award

Megan Gillespie has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouts.

Megan is a girl on a mission. She wanted to assist the homeless and less-fortunate members of her community in living a healthier lifestyle. With the help of the Williamsburg House of Mercy in Williamsburg, VA, and her local church, her mission was made possible. Gillespie created a garden which produced food that was later given out to feed the homeless at the Williamsburg House of Mercy.

“The root cause of the homeless population not having access to fresh vegetables is that they are looking for ways in which they are able to ‘get by,’ versus what is most beneficial for their health,” she said. “By providing fresh vegetables to the homeless in the greater Williamsburg area, we are assisting in reducing hunger within our community, and in a small way, the world.”

Her project will be sustained with the help of the ministry she led during her project. She was able to encourage more than 35 people to join the ministry as members. It was Megan’s goal to have a large group of people to get involved in the beginning stages of the ministry so the services could be continued even after her Gold Award was complete. She showed the members how to run meetings, select crops to be planted, care for the garden and how to harvest.

The garden was a success! Megan reported that the garden yielded enough crops to continuously make donations to the House of Mercy. The recipients of the vegetables were grateful for what Megan was able to provide for them.

“Not only was the tangible product very fruitful, but the garden construction is reflective of what the Girl Scout organization and Saint Bede embody: innovation, beauty, intelligence and care,” she said.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Meet 2018 Future Famous Former Honoree Sarah Buck

Every year, GSCCC recognizes local Girl Scout alum who are leaders in their field, as well as an up-and-coming Famous Former – Future Famous Former. They are celebrated at a luncheon program that is attended by Girl Scout alum, family members, colleagues and friends in the community. This year’s Future Famous Former honoree is Sarah Buck, Public Affairs Manager at Cox Communications.

Buck learned the value of being a Girl Scout early on in her journey. She gained so many life skills and experiences as a Girl Scout. Admittedly, picking her favorite memory or most valued skill acquired proved to be challenging.

“I’d have to say my favorite memories were made during my summer trips during my years with Nancy and Kathy,” Buck said.

As a Girl Scout, girls develop leadership and life skills that impact their futures. They also meet mentors and build lasting relationships with them. It was clear that her troop leaders, Nancy and Kathy, had inspired Buck to be the driven woman that she is today which also helped her achieve her Gold Award! Now, she uses the leadership skills that she learned from her troop leaders in Girl Scouts to influence other girls.

“I was blessed with great leaders who set an outstanding example for me; knowing what their support and encouragement meant to me fueled my passion to give back in similar ways,” she said.

As an influential woman in the Public Relations (PR) field, Buck believes that professional and personal development are the keys to success. By using her accomplishments in PR, she has organized a hands-on mentoring experience at her job to allow girls to experience the different functions of a corporation. Buck is also an active participant in GSCCC’s Media Girls program which allows her to be a mentor and communication coach for a group of about 25 girls who are interested in the communication field. She wants to teach girls that Girl Scouts gives them a place to develop lifelong skills and that being a Girl Scout is what you make of it!

“It’s a safe place to fail- but the cool thing is you have all these other girls behind you to pick you up, dust you off and keep moving,” she said.

Buck, like all of the Famous Formers being honored this year, is a great example of what it means to be a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™! Tickets for the luncheon are now on sale. The luncheon is scheduled for November 29 at Hilton Norfolk The Main. Click here to reserve your spot.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Chalk It Up to Girl Scouts Fall Contest

Let your inner artist shine and help get the message out about Girl Scouts with the Chalk It Up to Girl Scouts contest! 

Throughout October – Juliette Gordon Low's birth month – we’re asking Girl Scouts to get outside and use sidewalk chalk to create awesome art. To help spread the word that Girl Scouts is the best organization for girls, we want you to add our website and include "Be a Girl Scout" somewhere in your creation! 

What a fun way to lead more girls and volunteers to Girl Scouts! For a full list of contest entry guidelines, see below. The photo with the most likes and shares combined by 4:30 p.m. on October 31 wins!

Contest Rules:
  • Contest runs October 1-31
  • Photo must be posted to Facebook using the hashtag #chalkitup2girlscouts
  • Art must include and "Be a Girl Scout"
  • All girls in the photo must have a signed photo permission form (click here to download the form)
  • Two winners will be announced November 1, 2018 on our Facebook page
  • Eligibility: current registered member
  • One entry per person
    • Troop entries are encouraged; only one entry from each troop will be accepted
  • Prizes:
    • First place- $50 Walmart Gift Card
    • Second place- $25 Walmart Gift Card