Friday, January 31, 2020

Local Girl Scout Lifetime Member will Compete in 2020 Samoa Soiree

Meet Kianna Bair the assistant manager at Quintin's Tea Emporium in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Kianna began with Girl Scouts in 2002 as a Girl Scout Brownie and is now a lifetime member. She will bring the flavors and health benefits of high-quality teas to the 12th annual Samoa Soiree on February 20 at the Westin- Virginia Beach Town Center.

What is a favorite or fond memory you have of Girl Scouting?

My favorite memories as a Girl Scout include selling over 1,000 boxes of cookies and getting a commemorative brick with my name on it at Camp Pamunkey Ridge north of Richmond. I also had a week of equestrian fun at summer camp. There, I was a Program Aide and I loved leading other Girl Scouts along the way. Another time, I went to Savannah, Georgia, and visited Juliette Gordon Low's birthplace.

My number one favorite memory is of working a special needs camp. I was later chosen to give a speech about leadership and working with special needs individuals. I then gave an overview at church on Scout Sunday about what I learned. That experience was the gift that kept on giving.

Why do you feel it is important for today’s generations of girls to receive Girl Scouting?
Girl Scouts instills in young women compassion, leadership, skill acquiring, and patience. Still to this day, I leave a place better and cleaner than when I got there. I continue to uphold the Girl Scout Promise and Law in my daily life.

What are you looking forward to as a chef participating in Samoa Soiree?
At the heart of tea it really promotes stillness, companionship, and being present in the moment. I am looking forward to sharing this passion with all in attendance and letting them try our delicious samples and custom tea blends we are working on specially for this event.

Cookie lovers 21 and up should attend the 12th Annual Samoa Soiree for a one-of-a-kind tasting experience. Guests can expect chef-prepared savory dishes, delicious drinks, and tantalizing desserts all using a very special ingredient: Girl Scout Cookies.

Get your tickets today:

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Gold Award Spotlight: Chesapeake Bay Oyster Gardening

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Oyster Gardening

Laney, a Girl Scout from Troop 411 in Chesapeake, Virginia, has earned the highest honor and achievement a Girl Scout can earn, her Gold Award. She devoted her Gold Award project to restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.

Growing up, Laney spent her summers in the Outer Banks and developed a love for our waters and sea life. She learned the Chesapeake Bay’s ecosystem is dangerously out of balance due to pollution and a changing climate, and she wanted to take action in a way that would help the ecosystem. Laney focused her service project on oyster gardening. She supported the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Virginia Oyster Restoration Center (VAORC) programs by gathering oyster shells from local Chesapeake seafood restaurants and placing them in a collection bin for processing and cleaning by VAORC in Gloucester, Virginia, at her high school previously installed by other Girl Scouts.

Along with collecting shells, Laney went on to provide training and education to the community on oyster gardening and recruited volunteers to build oyster cages. The cages are used by oyster gardeners to grow baby oysters, using the cleaned shells she collected as a foundation. Laney also asked people in the community to sign a letter that she sent to Governor Northam, asking him to enhance funding for local agricultural management and state agencies that are responsible for land management. In so doing, Laney hoped the letter would prompt action to sustain oyster restoration program in the region.

Thank you, Laney! Congratulations from Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Run with the Cookies: 6th Annual Cookie Classic

5k participants at the starting line
More than 500 people ran with the cookies at this year’s Cookie Classic Run hosted by Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast. The sixth annual run took place on January 18 at the Great Dismal Swamp Canal Trail in Chesapeake. 

Three race levels were offered: 1-mile, 5k, and 10k, and had over 560 participants total. In addition to the races, fun family games and exhibits were available that included samples from Panda Express in Chesapeake.  

The Cookie Classic is not only inclusive for runners of all abilities but it is also the only race in Hampton Roads where you get to enjoy Girl Scout Cookies along the way. New this year was the Finisher Festival with music, dancing, games, an awards ceremony and refreshments. Also at the Finisher Festival was the costume contest judged by a returning Cookie Classic sponsor Sweet Briar College. 

Girl Scout Junior Makayda from Chesapeake won the costume contest and was dressed as a Lemon-Ups stand (resembling a lemonade stand) paying homage to the Girl Scout’s brand new zesty and inspirational cookie Lemon-Ups.
Makayda, winner of 2020 Cookie Classic costume contest with
volunteer Mara Bates also participating

Prizes were awarded to the top three winners in each age group male and female for the 5k. First place of each age group for males and females were awarded a prize for the 10k. 

All 1-Mile finishers received an official 2020 Girl Scout Cookie Classic keepsake patch. Overall first place winners were Lindsey Bruns of Virginia Beach and Erik Velazquez of Chesapeake for the 5k. Christin Hoffstadt of Norfolk and Eric Fonville of Chesapeake won first place for the 10k race.

Overall through Girl Scout Cookie Classic participants and gifts from sponsors and donors, the event raised $25,685 to support the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Many thanks to those sponsors who included:  Sweet Briar College, Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, Practical Dental Assisting of Virginia Beach, Panda Express, and Club Pilates. A special shout out to volunteers Mara Bates and Lisa Mcivor who once again helped lead the Cookie Classic planning team! 

Monday, January 13, 2020

2021 First Day Patch Design Contest

Have you met last year’s First Day Patch Contest winner? Ella, a Daisy from troop 1422 in service unit 140 was voted the number one design in last year’s competition. Ella, along with lots of other submissions were received and narrowed down by council staff. Once the top 10 designs were selected the polls were open for fan-favorite voting. Her patch is now worn by around 2,000 Girl Scouts in our council!

Ella’s design received the most votes and was then turned into a real Girl Scout patch! Her submission featured a Girl Scout climbing a snow-capped mountain.

Every girl who renewed registration on the first day for membership year 2020 received Ella’s beautiful patch as an early-bird keepsake. This year the tradition continues with the 2021 First Day Patch Design Contest. 

Girl Scouts are highly encouraged to participate in this year’s contest. To enter click here to find the submission document. Print the document, fill out the entry form, and have a Girl Scout use her artistic talents to create an awesome design. We can’t wait to see what Girl Scouts in our council dream up. 

Submissions must be received by Friday, February 14. Final selections by staff will be completed Friday, February 21. Voting will take place between noon February 24 and will end at noon on Monday, march 2. Winner will be contacted March 3. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Cookie Season Kicks off a Wave of Girl- Powered Leadership

This year, the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) released a new lemon-flavored cookie in addition to their lineup of classic flavors to celebrate young female leaders and entrepreneurs. The new Lemon-Ups are sweet glazed lemon cookies that are described as crispy and feature baked-in messages inspired by the Girl Scout core mission. Yummmm! It’s exciting to have a new cookie to help promote all the G.I.R.L. wow things that girls do in Girl Scouts! It was super cool to have the new cookie – and our program – highlighted in the media that included all the national news.

Locally, GSCCC Product Program Manager Erica Chavez along with Girl Scout Cadette Hannah promoted the new cookie today with a Facebook live stream at 7 a.m. and that was followed by Erica and more of our awesome girls doing a shout out about the new cookie on the Hampton Roads Show with hosts Kerri Furey and Chris Reckling. You can read their post here. Then it was off to 13News Now for an interview with WVEC Anchor Ashley Smith and Meteorologist Tim Pandajis – Tim will be our emcee for this year’s Samoa Soiree! Check out a link to the 13News Now Segment here. To add to the buzz, GSCCC Program Director Gretchen Edwards-Bodmer was interviewed on 97.3 The Eagle and 92.9 The WAVE. Coming up, we’ll have guests on WTKR’s Coast Live and WVEC ‘s Coastal Connections.

If you ask a Girl Scout what they plan to do with their cookie earnings you will hear some inspiring ways that the Girl Scout Cookie Program is encouraging leadership and community service within our region. 

Here is an example: Girl Scout Junior Makayda from Chesapeake shared with us some of the ways cookie money has fueled her ability to grow as a leader and give back to her community. In her interview she explained that proceeds from her troop’s earnings allowed them to fund their Bronze Award in which they updated garden landscaping, provided grooming, and made pet treats for the Suffolk Humane Society. Makayda said the most impactful part of her experience was   that “It was hard to prepare for something I have never done before but it was great to help each other and to be able to lead in a new environment.”

Makayda has some advice for other Girl Scouts working in a team this cookie season, "It's great to learn how to lead while also being nice to other kids."

Cookie season is just kicking off! Stay tuned as the cookie program progresses to hear more inspiring, girl-powered stories from our awesome Girl Scouts.