Thursday, December 27, 2018

Gold Award Spotlight: Virginia Home for Adults: Inspiring Adults with Disabilities and Special Needs

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

For her project, “Virginia Home for Adults: Inspiring Adults with Disabilities and Special Needs,” Briana wanted to inspire the residents of the home and let them know that they matter to the community. Briana’s project consisted of her updating three resident public spaces to make them comfortable and show the residents that someone cares about them.

“The root cause of my project was that many of the residents are financially unable to afford amenities and or personal services. I addressed this issue by making over three resident social rooms, creating a garden with seating outside and preparing a lunch celebration for the residents,” she said.

Her project showed her that people appreciate the kindness of strangers and that giving back to the community is extremely rewarding. She also gained leadership skills by learning how to delegate responsibility, planning ahead, and budgeting her money.

Because of her project, Briana said she will be able to take charge of certain tasks in the future to get the job done.

“My leadership skills will grow in the future because of all the planning and execution I had to do in order to manage Girl Scout Gold Award. This project has allowed me to gain endurance and to not give up when things get hard,” she said.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Meet the Night Shift

A guest blog written by Girl Scout Cadette Maureen.

Meet the Night Shift, a recent event hosted by GSCCC, was a great event for anyone who wanted to learn about what it is like to work at night. Most of the people I met said that they sleep during the day while many kids are in school. Meeting all of the employees at certain places proved to be a challenge because some of the workers were on lunch breaks at 9 p.m.! The jobs I learned about during the event and the people I got to meet were fascinating. One of my favorite places to go was the fire station because firefighters work very hard. While I was there, I discovered that they work for 24 hours straight and then have 24 hours off. Some even have to work on Christmas depending on their shift schedule. They have to go through an academy and they have to know how to be firefighters, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and medics because they have to do whatever is needed in the event of an emergency. Finally, I learned that because they all sleep at the fire station, they learn to be a big family and help each other out with whatever is needed. After the trip to the fire station, I didn’t think a job could be more interesting, but the police dispatch center was pretty cool. The center has employees who pick up 9-1-1 calls and get their information to send to first responders. They all have to go through training to make sure they can do the job and they can do it fast. We also got to meet two police officers, one was a volunteer officer. They told us all of the interesting things they get to do. Before they can do all of those cool things, they have to go through a 6-9 month training depending on what position they are looking to fill. To keep their license to shoot a gun, they have to practice at least twice a month. Something that I really loved is that you can go through the same training and have the same responsibilities as a paid officer even if you volunteer. But as a volunteer, you can say, at any time, that you’re tired and want to go home. We made a quick stop at the Chesapeake Regional Hospital. They sure did have a lot of cool job options there, too! The last place we went to was the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) traffic center. It is a very secure place and they try to keep everything locked up. They are connected to police and fire departments to stay up-to-date on accidents. They send traffic officers to accidents to make sure traffic doesn’t get backed up. They also have to go through a three-week training program. I hope that we can do this event again because I really enjoyed it. Thank you to everyone I got to meet and thank you to Chef Dedra at Now You’re Cooking Culinary Studio for making sure we didn’t go hungry during the event!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Gold Award Spotlight: The Learning Garden

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

For her project, “The Learning Garden,” her goal was to educate her community about healthy and affordable food choices. By breaking her project down into three different areas of focus, she was able to reach all different ages of her community. 

She started by partnering with First Baptist Church South Hill to start a Garden Ministry. She also reached out to the clients of First Baptist Church South Hill Food Pantry to educate them on healthy and affordable food options.

Desmone’ was able to overcome obstacles when learning how to perfect her garden and by adding some fresh soil she was able to yield an abundance of crops that were donated. 

She advocated in the community to encourage people to contact their congressional representatives and senators to improve food security for all Americans.

Finally, she taught her fellow Girl Scouts how to do container gardening with the goal of teaching the local youth how to create their own mini gardens to help sustain her project.

The work that Desmone’ did helped teach healthy eating habits to people in the community and gave them different avenues to find healthy food options.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Pajama Jam

Community service has long been a valued part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. On November 30, more than 50 Girl Scouts of all levels joined together to package new pajamas that will be donated to women and children staying at the Help and Emergency Response Inc. (H.E.R. Shelter) during the holiday season.  At the event, Erin Potts with the H.E.R. Shelter talked about the purpose of the organization and how Girl Scouts could make a difference.

The mission at the H.E.R. Shelter is to empower everyone to break the cycle of violence and to become and remain healthy, productive, caring individuals whose strong sense of self-worth is directly transmitted to their children.

“It’s important to do things like this to help people in need,” Girl Scout Cadette Makenzye said.

After packing up their donations, the girls took the opportunity to expand their friendship circle by playing human bingo. The girls also created a bunny slipper swap and ended their fun by playing a round of regular bingo.

Events like the pajama jam are essential to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Today, we encourage girls to make a difference in their neighborhoods, schools and places of worship through community service projects. As Girl Scouts, girls may also conduct Take Action projects that provide community service at a more in-depth level. Click here to learn more about how you can take action as a Girl Scout and give back to your community.

Monday, December 10, 2018

2018 Cookie Kickoff

More than 1,200 Girl Scouts and their families packed the Virginia Living Museum on Saturday, December 8 to kick off the 2019 Girl Scout Cookie Season. The event was a sweet success!

Attendees were treated to a special, high-energy, after-hours night of activities that featured several different learning stations. The kickoff is an annual event designed to equip Girl Scouts with the latest knowledge of the cookie program in order to achieve both individual and troop goals.  

Girl Scouts from all over the Council came to rehearse their sales pitches, learn how to manage their money and set achievable goals to ensure success this upcoming season. The event wouldn’t have been complete without a tasting booth and our Girl Scouts sure did love trying this year’s cookie varieties: Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Trefoils, Do-si-dos, Savannah Smiles, Girl Scout S’mores and Toffee-tastic (gluten free).

Cookie captains—teen Girl Scouts who are experienced cookie sellers—were on hand to guide their younger cookie entrepreneurs through the ins and outs of the cookie program at the different stations set up throughout the museum. By the end of the evening, the girls learned just what it takes to become a CEO—Cookie Entrepreneur Officer.

Our troops are staying ahead of the game and preparing now! Troop 1404 will be hosting a Cookie Booth University so that the new CEOs can get comfortable being behind the booth and selling the delicious cookies! Last year, the troop worked a total of 25 hours at the booth. We know their hard work and dedication will result in a victory as sweet as the Thin Mint!

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the nation’s largest girl-led business and the leading financial literacy program for girls. Proceeds from the Girl Scout Cookie Program allow girls to do amazing things!

Troop 1087 used last year’s cookie proceeds to complete the challenge course at Go Ape.

“It turned out to be a great team and confidence building activity for the girls,” Troop 1087 Leader Melissa Reeves said.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina starts on January 5, 2019, when girls will begin taking cookie orders. Cookie booth sales begin February 17.

Thank you to TowneBank for sponsoring this year’s kickoff event.

We cannot wait to hear about all of the things the upcoming cookie season has in store for our Girl Scouts! Click here to share your story with us.

To view more photos, click here.