Thursday, April 30, 2020

It's Time- Here's How to Score the MY21 First Day Patch!

Friendly reminder... tomorrow, May 1 2020, is the first day of renewal for Membership Year 2021! 

There are so many reasons to be a Girl Scout. The lifelong friendships made and skills earned are so priceless! To thank Girl Scouts and their families for spending another exciting year of fun and learning with us we are offering several incentive opportunities.

Incentive Qualifications: Renew 75% of girls and 2 adults by the dates specified to be entered into drawing. Troops must have the recommended minimum of 12 girls (or be open to accepting more girls). Once eligibility has been reached, you qualify for all additional incentive drawings.  

Renew on May 1

First Day Patch 
ALL Girls who renew on May 1st will receive the patch designed by design contest winner, Girl Scout Oryn Howell!

$100 Troop Funds (5 Troops)
Is your troop planning for the fun they’ll have when they get back together? Troop funds can help make that planning easier! 

CEO Zoom Chat (3 Troops) 
How would your girls like their very own Zoom Chat with GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller? Chats will be scheduled during May. 

Climb Time (All girls who renew on May 1st) 
Come climb the indoor wall at Camp Skimino. We’ve checked school calendars and picked November 3rd and November 11th as open climb days! The GSCCC Program team will be on site to host additional activities as well. Time slot sign ups for open climb will be released September 2020.

Renew by May 15

Confetti Cards (Up to 3 Troops) 
Each girl in the winning troop(s) will be mailed a Confetti Card (including leader choice of patch). Number of winning troops will be determined by the number of girls in winning troop. 

Program In A Box (3 Troops) 
Box will include program supplies for 12 girls and will be available after October 1, 2020. Theme will be announced at a later date. 

Renew by May 31

GSCCC Adventure Voucher (3 Troops) 
MY21 Day use adventure voucher for your choice of GSCCC property. *Troops will be responsible for coordinating reservation date and securing necessary Outdoor Adventure Instructor(s). 

Troop Spotlight (1 Troop) Winning troop will be spotlighted (either virtually or in print) by the GSCCC Marketing and Communications Department during the new membership year. 

GSCCC Early Renewal Patch (All Girls) 

Service Unit Incentive

Service Units will receive Activity Funds based off of the number of girls who renew during the month of May. 

(#Girls Renewing May 1-May 31) X ($0.50) = Service Unit Activity Funds to be received in June. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Celebrating the 50th Earth Day

We all love spring and love that we have a special day to celebrate being good stewards of the Earth on April 22. April is also when we observe Keep America Beautiful month. But did you know Girl Scouts care about the Earth every day!

Girl Scouts have always had a meaningful relationship with nature and the environment. It’s in our DNA! From the very beginning, Girl Scouts have not only enjoyed nature and the outdoors—they’ve cherished and protected our environment. As individuals, in troops, and as a nationwide movement, Girl Scouts put their hearts and minds to work for our planet every day.

Over the last six months, our Council's families and staff have teamed up to make something amazing happen. We took on the Trex Recycling Challenge and doubled our goal by collecting and recycling over 1,000 pounds of plastic wrap, film, and bags. We were given a bench made out of recycled plastic in recognition. We were also recognized by the City of Chesapeake Environmental Improvement Council for our recycling efforts.

Thank you to all of all the families and volunteers who helped make this happen by recycling their bags! 

Whether it’s enjoying a walk in the woods, going on an overnight camping
adventure, or planting a vegetable garden, when Girl Scouts get outside, something special happens. Developing a connection to the outdoors can literally transform lives, and Girl Scouts have been ardent proponents of environmental stewardship throughout our organization’s 100-plus year history.

Click here for a few ways you can do your part to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and help make the world a better place. Remember to follow Center for Disease Control and state guidelines when participating in any of these activities. Share a picture or post of what you’re doing or have committed to do to celebrate using the hashtag #GSCCCEarthDay on social media. 

You can also visit the Keep America Beautiful website and get some ideas you and your family can do at home. 

Take explorations of the great outdoors to the next level — from the comfort and safety of your own home. Click to learn how you can visit national parks, virtually.

Outdoor Activity Idea - Next Time You Visit a Park-

Monday, April 20, 2020

2020 National Gold Award Nominees

It's time to take a moment and celebrate the accomplishments of three GSCCC Gold Award Girl Scouts who have been selected by the Council as National Gold Award Nominees. Nominees and their projects are: Kiara Baxter, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Community Garden;  Morgan Harvey, Fort Story Summer Reading Program & Literacy Mentors: and Grace Payne, Art History for the Modern Student.

These girls demonstrated leadership by creating positive, sustainable change in their communities that ultimately impact our world. These problem solvers who used their Girl Scout spirit to carry out outstanding projects have a chance to be among the ten girls selected by Girl Scouts of the USA for this recognition.

The ten chosen will receive a total of $100,000 in college scholarships from Susan Bulkeley Butler, founder of the Institute for the Women Leaders and former member of the Girl Scouts of the USA Board of Directors, a combined $50,000 in college scholarships from the Kappa Delta Foundation; and a combined $50,000 in college scholarships from Arconic Foundation. Applications for the distinction were reviewed by a panel of previous National Gold Award Girl Scouts, leaders from a diverse array of fields, GSUSA executives, and a representative from the Kappa Delta Foundation.

Did you know that research verifies that participating in Girl Scouts and earning the Gold Award are linked to developing crucial leadership skills and advanced achievements?

We congratulate ALL Girl Scouts who have earned their Gold Award!  

Grace Payne produced engaging and informational videos to bring her love of art history to other students at her school. More from Grace here: 

Morgan Harvey created a fun reading program for children of military families. Morgan explains more about her project here:

Kiara Baxter designed and built a community garden that provided hundreds of pounds of food to serve local families experiencing food insecurity. You can see Kiara's video here:

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Creative Adjustments and Staying Engaged the Girl Scout Way

All of us are changing our lives and adjusting to the new "norm" as we pull together to fight this pandemic. Many organizations have been affected by the COVID-19, including Girl Scouts. We've found a few ways to keep the spirit of Girl Scouts going strong. 

GSCCC is helping members stay connected through our at home program where families can find resources on the Just For Me page on our website. Girls are taking virtual adventures to Discover, Connect and Take Action. And volunteers are receiving training and resources to help them engage with girls in new ways. GSCCC is also inviting girls - rising kindergartners and those currently in kindergarten - to join and be part of a virtual troop series! 

Along with finding ways to serve girls and their families, a few staff who work with the Community Troop team have taken action to create activity packets and have delivered them to agencies that continue to serve children, such as day cares ran by the YMCA and For Kids. Hundreds of activity kits have been placed in the hands of children who may not have the luxury of having computers at home. 

We know we will be finding more innovative ways to engage with each other and to carry out the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to girls. Be on the lookout next week for a challenge to get ready for the 2021 Cookie Classic, From Couch to 5K.  

If you have a story to share, please email - or if you have suggestions. We'd love hear from you! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Alum Spotlight: Sarah Hustead

The saying goes, "Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout." We know this to be true in our Council. Industry leading Famous Formers, our very own CEO, and even members of our staff once began as Girl Scouts and still continue to use skills gained as a Girl Scout to lead productive and successful lives.

Today, we want to highlight Sarah Hustead. Sarah began Girl Scouts as a Brownie in the Council of our Nation's Capital and is now a dedicated team member of our staff here at GSCCC. She is the friendly and helpful voice families hear when they need help getting placed into a troop in our area.  Sarah recently took took action in our community when she became aware that people needed help getting through the crisis.

Sarah as a young Girl Scout

Photo courtesy of Sarah Hustead

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Sarah, along with other volunteers founded an organization, Corona Aid 757, that works to alleviate stress and slow the negative effects of COVID-19 on our community. Sarah's group provides many services for those in need. Care packages that include food, toiletries, and paper products can be delivered to those who can not go out of their homes or have limited income. Other services include checking in on the elderly, picking up items from the store, running errands, and providing emotional support/ educational resources.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Hustead

"Girl Scouts impacted my life as an adult and as a girl by giving me the courage to identify and solve problems within my community. By building healthy relationships with like-minded people, we have been able to tackle large scale community problems such as food insecurity brought on by COVID-19," Sarah said.

Sarah is certain that her time as a Girl Scout helped her understand not only how to recognize issues in the community but also how to solve them. 

"The skills that Girl Scouts taught me and refined through years of badgework, programs, and community service projects with my troop, I have taken and applied to my college education, careers, and volunteer work," she said.

Sarah is one of many Girl Scouts in our area who continue to lead a life of courage, character, and confidence well past the sashes and vests. The Girl Scout spirit runs deep within our network and will always be there when the community needs it most.

Interested in reconnecting with Girl Scouts as an alum? Visit our Alum and Friends page.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Alum Spotlight: Olivia Hooe

Meet Girl Scout alum and lifetime member Olivia Hooe from Christopher Newport University!

She became involved in Girl Scouts as a Daisy and continued throughout grade school. Olivia now serves as the Girl Scout liason on CNU's campus and helps fellow students reconnect with Girl Scouts.

Girl Scout alum Olivia Hooe (center), a student at Christopher Newport University (CNU), assisted with a class marketing competition hosted by CNU’s distinguished marketing professor Dr. Lisa Spiller, one of GSCCC’s Famous Former Girl Scouts. The project was also supported by Dr. Shannon Sixby, a CNU professor who also serves as a Girl Scout leader in Newport News and is a champion for Girl Scouting on the CNU campus!  

Olivia made many memories along her Girl Scout journey near and far.

"My favorite memory was my international travels and my service there. I was introduced to the GSUSA Destinations program in middle school," Olivia said.

Olivia traveled to Cuernavaca, Mexico, where Our Cabaña is located and got to learn about the history of Girl Scouts, the culture of Mexico, and served at a local home for abused mothers and their children. She also traveled to the California Channel Islands and, for a senior trip, her troop traveled to Puerto Rico. They spent their stay in Rincón, Puerto Rico, and did service in the cities Rincón and Aguada. Olivia's Girl Scout troop made meals for people experiencing homelessness, did a beach cleanup, and helped renovate a horse arena for a program that gives horseback riding lessons to children with disabilities. 

Along with traveling, Olivia found other ways to serve as a Girl Scout. She earned her Silver Award by collecting used instruments and had them refurbished and repaired to later donate to neighborhood school music programs. In high school, she served as the local representative for her service unit. In this role, she compiled pictures and stories for submission to local papers about service projects, events and award projects happening in the community. In college, Olivia led a Daisy troop during her freshman year. 

Olivia highly recommends volunteering with Girl Scouts to other college students looking to make a difference.

She said, "Helping girls grow and being a positive influence in their lives is so rewarding!"

Olivia found many ways to be involved with Girl Scouts over the years. Her community service and go-getter attitude is the perfect example of using Girl Scout spirit to keep doing good no matter where you go.

Interested in getting a Campus Girl Scout program started at your college or university? Contact!

Friday, April 10, 2020

Cookies Care- Giving Thanks to Community Heroes

We want to give a shout out to all our innovative Girl Scouts who continue to get Girl Scout Cookies to customers digitally, including cookies to be donated to first responders, health care workers and others. These cookies are becoming sweet thank yous. We've received heartwarming stories and photos from some of the recipients and want to share with you in this blog. Keep up the great work Girl Scouts! 

Girl Scout Sarah  and her troop donated 21 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters’ (CHKD) COVID-19 Incident Command Center with the assistance of her mother, Dr. Laura Sass, Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist at CHKD, who by the way is also a Girl Scout volunteer!

"I wanted to help out the troop while bringing in some sunshine into the hospital for my co-workers," Dr. Sass said.

Troop 5003, donated 106 boxes of cookies to Riverside Doctor’s Hospital in Williamsburg. The frontline employees were overwhelmed with joy! 

Girl Scouts from Troop 186 donated two cases of cookies to Virginia Beach Psychiatric Center staff! 

Girl Scout Daisy Jasmine of Troop 1013  asked her family and friends to purchase cookies for donation to the Riverside Regional Medical Center. In just 5 days of beginning, she was able to donate 85 boxes of cookies to the hospital. 

Girl Scout Juniors Audrey Hofman and Claire Helmick made silk flowers and Easter cards for residents at a local rehabilitation center. 

We love hearing about all of the ways Girl Scouts are giving their gratitude to those who serve! Visit GSCCC's Cookies Care page if you are interested in donating a box  of cookies to our community heroes.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Local Girl Scout Delegates are Headed to the National Council Session in Florida

It's off to Orlando, Florida in October from the 21-25 for these GSCCC members who have been selected by the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast Board of Directors to represent the Council at the 2020 National Council Session. The National Delegates were approved at the March 26th GSCCC Board Meeting.
These delegates will represent the membership of our Council when it comes to determining the general direction of the Girl Scout  Movement.  They will vote on proposals submitted by the National Board and participate in discussions about topics listed on the National Council Session agenda.  They also hear GSUSA’s stewardship report and informational speeches by the GSUSA CEO, the GSUSA Board Chair and will bring back to our Council constituents.  There are also inspirational programs such as the opening and closing ceremonies, keynote speeches, and panel discussions - all to be reported on once they return home.   
Congratulations to our 2020 National Council Delegates! 
Barbara Tierney, Board Chair, Virginia Beach, VA 
Tracy Keller, CEO , Chesapeake, VA
Jasmine Barbour-Bassett, Girl Delegate, Williamsburg, VA

JoAn Berry, Adult Delegate, Virginia Beach, VA 

Tasha Clemons, Adult Delegate, Boykins, VA 

Maureen Keller, Girl Delegate, Chesapeake, VA

Jennifer Lynch, Adult Delegate, Virginia Beach, VA

Morgan Lynch, Girl Delegate, Virginia Beach, VA

Brittany Orosco, Adult Delegate, Moyock, NC

2020 National Council Delegate Alternates:
Eileen Livick, Adult Delegate, Virginia Beach, VA
Brianna Orosco, Girl Delegate, Moyock, NC
Sarah Sass, Girl Delegate, Norfolk, VA

Get to know Board Chair Barbara Tierney who will be helping lead the delegates more. View a video interview done by Media Girl/Girl Scout Ambassador Isabella! 

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Alum Spotlight: Marisa Beck

Meet Marisa Beck, Owner of Latitude Climbing & Fitness-

Marisa grew up in Boston and has loving memories of going through her neighborhood selling cookies door-to-door and setting up booths at local shops. Her favorite treats are still Thin Mints today. Marisa says Girl Scouts has set the pace for a successful life and taught her to never quit and to have confidence.

She has always loved wellness and exercise and is the owner Latitude Climbing and Fitness, a recreation center chain with rock climbing, yoga, youth programs and other services.

Some of her best childhood memories were made at Girl Scout camp having fun and orienting in the woods. Marisa remembers earning her patch in car maintenance knowledge was says it has helped her years later as an adult. 

"I sat in the passenger side of our car parked in the driveway and read the manual, as instructed by the patch. I learned so much about cars! Without Girl Scouts I wouldn’t have ever done that and I still have confidence about car maintenance to this day because of it."

As a Girl Scout Ambassador, Marisa went on to earn her Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a Girl Scout can earn.

"I created a website for alumni from my cross country team so everyone could review current stats like fastest runner and best hill times. I planned a dinner to bring prominent alumnae together. We had a really special coach who told stories of girls who had run cross country in years past and helped us connect even though we had never met. It developed a legacy and helped us become a strong team that won the State championship that year."

Marisa has always reached for the stars and used her confidence and leadership skills to meet her goals. That's why she is partnering with us to develop the Explore Latitude Climbing patch. Girls will learn about female Olympic climbers, types of rock climbing, body positioning and more. 

From earning her Gold Award as a Girl Scout to owning her own rock climbing gym, she is truly a go-getter. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

April is Military Child Month- Special Contest

Spring is here and so is April, a time for many celebrations, including Month of the Military Child. It is a time to honor the sacrifices made by military families worldwide, with an emphasis on the experience of the dependent children of military members serving at home and overseas. 

 Did you know...

 - Approximately 2 million military children have experienced a parental deployment since 9/11.

- There are currently 1.2 million military children of active duty members worldwide.

- Nearly 80% of military children attend public schools throughout the United States.

- The average military family moves three times more often than their civilian counterpart.

- There are nearly two million “total-force dependent children” including more than 900 thousand Army dependents, 400,000 Air Force dependents, nearly 300,000 Navy and approximately 118,000 Marine dependents.

Here in the Greater Hampton Roads area we have many military families ( nearly 1/3 of our population). 

That's one reason GSCCC developed Explore Military patches for each of the branches, to help all our Girl Scout community learn about the different branches and connect with them locally. 

Click here to learn more about the Explore Military patches. 

 This month, we would like to introduce you to one of our military Girl Scouts and spotlight her as a new Gold Award Girl Scout.

 Girl Scout Morgan Harvey loves to read. She knows from personal experience that when children develop strong reading skills early, they perform better in school, have healthy self- images and become lifelong learners. That’s why she chose to support a reading program for her Gold Award project, “Fort Story Summer Reading Program.” 

 Morgan addressed military children falling behind in reading level by providing reading time and material at Fort Story Youth Center.  She assisted John B. Dey Elementary School in sorting and providing books to military and socioeconomically challenged students for the summer.  Students received two books each month during the summer and received six books overall during the program, along with providing assisted reading time to the students at the Fort Story Youth Center twice a week.  During this time, parents would drop off their children at the center and could have Morgan and her Literacy Mentors Club members read to the students or assist with tutoring. Her project is being sustained by the Literacy Mentors Club at Frank W. Cox High School. Well done, Morgan, thanks for taking action! 

This month you can take action, too. We're asking all GSCCC Girl Scouts who are military family dependents to submit an entry to win a Girl Scout gift certificate worth $20 that can be used in one of our GSCCC shops when they reopen to the public. We'll choose one winner from each age group for two winners total! Winners will also be spotlighted on our social media. 

Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies & Juniors  - Create a drawing or other piece of art that portrays parent (s) at work, as you know it. Juniors, do the same but add a paragraph detailing what is taking place in the drawing/art. 

Cadettes and up - Write at least a 600 word essay about an experience you had as a military child - perhaps overseas, participating in a special program or why you are proud to be a military child. 

 If you are submitting a drawing or piece of art, take a photo and send to Essays can also be sent to

Deadline to submit is April 30, 2020.

National Volunteer Month: Ways to Celebrate Leaders and Volunteers

Girl Scout Leader’s Day, also known as Girl Scout Leader Appreciation Day, is an annual celebration held on April 22. It honors all Girl Scout volunteers who work as leaders and mentors – awesome women and men who are making a difference in girls’ lives! With their help, girls are developing courage, confidence and character, and are being introduced to new experiences that show girls what they are capable of. We are a volunteer generated organization, and it is because of volunteers that our Girl Scout movement has developed into the BEST one for girls today. Girl Scout volunteers are the role models who are by girls’ sides as they reach mighty goals – becoming leaders who make our world a better place.

We appreciate our volunteers EVERY day, but it is super nice to have a national day to say thank you to them. Girl Scout Leader’s Day is a perfect opportunity for girls, their families and communities to recognize their adult volunteers and thank them for everything they’ve done.

 We know Girl Scout volunteers don’t seek any special rewards or recognition, but it doesn’t mean they don’t want to be thanked. Take time to send a note, an email, or a gift to that special volunteer you know and say thank you. The results will be smiles all around!

Here are some ways to give that special volunteer a much-deserved “Thank you!”

Send them a card! Spend time creating a hand-made card or personalize an e-card to send online with a special message. You’ll melt their heart when you share just how they have made a difference.

Share the love! During National Volunteer Week (April 19-25) and on Girl Scout Leader’s Day (April 22), share just how amazing your favorite volunteer is. Use the hashtag #NVW2020 so we can see all of the shout-outs!

Give them a surprise! Now is the perfect opportunity to bring a smile to your volunteer’s face with some Girl Scout gear as a token of your appreciation. During April you can use promo code VOLUNTEER20 to get 10% off and free shipping all month long. 

Buy a Brick! Now is a great time to make a lasting impression. Click here for more.

We realize this year we’ll need to make some changes to thank our volunteers due to COVID-19. Our April 25 Awards Day will be rescheduled. Be on the lookout for a new date from our Volunteer Support Services department.

You can read more about National Volunteer Month from GSUSA here.