Friday, March 27, 2020

Gold Award Spotlight: Wildlife Education Materials for the Community

Imagine you are walking a nature trail with your troop and you come across a small bunny all alone. We might begin to wonder if it was sick or abandoned. It can be hard to know what to do or who to call when you believe an animal is in trouble.

It may feel like a good idea to just take the animal home or to a wildlife center, but taking animals from their habitat can often cause unintentional harm. Removing animals from their environment, especially babies when there is not an emergency, can be detrimental.

Girl Scout Ambassador Maren learned that this issue was affecting her community in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Maren knew she had to help. She was able to bring understanding about local wildlife traits by developing informational pamphlets and hand-outs for local wildlife refuges to give to the community. Her materials also explain how to tell if an animal is behaving normally or if it may be injured. In addition to developing informational materials, she also created an informational website.

Maren used her cookie earnings to sponsor a Virginia Beach SPCA representative’s visit to Rosemont Forest Elementary in Virginia Beach, Virginia, for a day of fun and wildlife education for younger kids. Maren had a great time sharing her knowledge of wildlife and their habitats with the students and taught them what to do if they think an animal is in danger.

Through all of Maren’s hard work and dedication to wildlife, she was able to earn her Gold Award. The Gold Award is the highest honor and achievement a Girl Scout can earn.

Thank you, Maren, for preserving wildlife and helping the make the world a better place!

Monday, March 23, 2020

Girl Story: Making Protective Masks for Healthcare Providers

Author: Girl Scout Ambassador Caroline

Hi, I’m Caroline. I’m 16 years old and in 11th grade at Kellam High School. I have been in Girl Scouts for almost nine years. In these nine years I’ve made trips to New York City; Savannah, Georgia; Costa Rica; Ireland; Scotland and this year I’m going to London. Next year I'll be in the Gal├ípagos Islands. 

I’ve been working towards my Gold Award. With this sickness, Covid-19, going around I realized I can do something to change the community and maybe even the world. I’ve heard about the hospitals and how they are crazy low on supplies. They’re having to reuse gowns and masks in order to have enough for everyone who is working.

Saturday, I woke up and said to my mom, “Mom, how hard would it be to make our own surgical masks to donate to hospitals?”

She grabbed her keys and we ran to Michael’s craft store. We picked up the supplies we needed and got straight to work sewing cloths and elastics for hours, with hours turning into days. I have made over 50 surgical masks that are going to be donated to hospitals, and still working on more.

I have been talking to my friends in Girl Scouts and even got them in on this movement. Girl Scouts all over can do it and we can help the people who are working day and night to keep them safe and healthy. This experience has taught me so much and I’m so excited to share it with everyone I can reach.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Dr. Gloria Randle Scott: Making History

Dr. Gloria Randle Scott was born April 14th, 1938 and is a native of Houston, Texas. She was a Girl Scout in Troop 155 at Jack Yates Secondary School in her youth. In 1975, she became the first African-American to be elected president of Girl Scouts of America. She served as president for three years. 

In 1978, Dr. Gloria’s last year in office as president, the trefoil was updated and redesigned to an image with the silhouette of three girls. The trefoil symbol with three girls- one black, one brown, and one white was used to honor diversity and to celebrate sisterhood and unity with every girl. Today, the symbol still has a message of strength behind it.

After her service for Girl Scouts she went on to work in research and ultimately became the president of Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina before her retirement. Over the years she has received many awards, including six honorary degrees, League of Women Voters prizes in 2008 and 2010, the Star of Texas Award in 2009 and the Urban League Star Award.

In 2009, Gloria spoke at our annual council meeting held at Norfolk State University.  From a young go-getter to president of Girl Scouts of America and beyond, this Girl Scout has led a remarkable life. 

Gloria Randle Scott is one of many remarkable female figures in history. To learn more about history-making women in Virginia you can check out our Explore Virginia Women’s History Patch.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Gold Award Spotlight: Putting the 'A' in STEAM

When Girl Scout Ambassador Julia learned that fine arts programs in her area were financially out of reach for many kids and their families in Norfolk, she decided to take action and make a real difference. 

“There are several performing arts camps offered in our area, but the prices range from several hundred to several thousand dollars,” Julia said. “I targeted kids from families who couldn’t afford these camps.”

She partnered with an organization, From One Hand to Another (FOTHA), which provides low-cost science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programming for children in the area. Knowing the importance of fine arts, she decided to add an ‘A’ for arts to FOTHA’s program- making it STEAM!

Julia used the money she earned from cookie sales to fund her project. She bought all the supplies her summer campers would need. Julia had a great experience teaching dance, music, and sculpting. By doing so, she was able to bring her love of art alive in her community. By creating a full curriculum of lesson plans, exciting videos, and activities, Julia has ensured the program can continue to run through her partnership with FOTHA for years to come.

Congratulations, Julia, for creating a “golden” project that helped you earn the highest award a Girl Scout may earn, the Gold Award!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Staying Healthy: Tips to Avoid Spreading Viruses

We know that Girl Scout families and volunteers are concerned about the spread of COVID-19, and like area schools and community groups serving children, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast is monitoring the situation.

As always, we will notify members of any programming changes or cancellations of events. Please check our website for updates.   

We’ve taken some tips from the Center for Disease Control to remind everyone to follow good hygiene practices and take preventative measures.

What You Can Do

·         Do not attend Girl Scout meetings, programs, or events if you are sick.
·         Follow specific increased hygiene measures at large gatherings hosted by troops or service units.
·         Replace handshakes/handholding with non-contact methods of greeting.
·         Clean your meeting place, such as wiping down door handles or shared resources.  
·         Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used in a pinch.
·         Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
·         Do not cough into your hands and always wash your hands after coughing or sneezing if you use a tissue

For those who would like help in talking to girls, Girl Scouts of the USA has developed a helpful resource for How to Talk to Your Girl About Coronavirus to help minimize stress and worry in your Girl Scout’s life.

Thank you for your help in keeping Girl Scouts a safe, fun space for everyone!

Gold Award Spotlight: Fort Story Summer Reading Program

Girl Scout Ambassador Morgan from Virginia Beach loves reading and used that passion as the focus to earn her Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a Girl Scout can earn.

Morgan learned that reading with an adult is a foundation for lifelong literacy in young children, however, for busy parents it can be difficult to find time to read with their children. Morgan learned that a lack of reading time at home can lead to falling behind in school so she decided to take action to help children in her community!

To tackle this issue, Morgan formed the Literacy Mentors Club at her school. She recruited a team of students from her high school to do weekly readings at Fort Story with John B. Dey Elementary School kindergarten and first-grade students during the school year. Younger kids loved having opportunities to spend time reading with older students from the area.

Morgan then planned and executed a summer reading program that distributed two books a month to over 160 military students from Fort Story. In addition, she did readings twice a week during the summer program on the base so parents had a convenient location to bring their children. Overall Morgan helped deliver 1,000 books and spent over 30 hours reading to children during her summer program.

The Literacy Mentors Club will continue to bring the fun of reading to children of military families and will be sustained by sponsoring faculty from Morgan’s high school.
Along with learning networking skills, how to organize volunteers and schedule time for a team, Morgan says, “The most successful part was having the children at Fort Story gain interest and build confidence in reading.”

Way to go, Morgan!