Monday, November 30, 2020

Silver Award Spotlight: Breathe

Girl Scout Cadette Daijah earned her Silver Award through her project titled “Breathe.”

Daijah organized and sourced donations to make hygiene kits for women at Union Mission Ministries Women’s Shelter. Daijah prepared dozens of kits neatly and discreetly packaged them with hygiene items guests at the shelter may not be able to afford. 

“These items can be used to help the women feel confident and better about themselves,” Daijah said. “As a Girl Scout we live by the Girl Scout Promise of helping others in need. Our Motto is to be friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, while making the world a better place. I pray that the impact I made will make the women feel that others care about them and they in turn can help others in the same situation as they are in one day. I also hope that the community sees Girl Scouts as caring young girls.”

Congratulations, Daijah. Thank you for making the world a better place!

Daijah assembles her care kits

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Bronze Award Spotlight: Caring for Animals

Girl Scout Junior Nora gave her time to volunteer with Portsmouth SPCA and earned her Bronze Award in the process. She learned about what goes into routine animal care and how to enrich the animals’ lives. 

Nora said, “I washed food and water dishes, cleaned out cages, changed litter boxes, did lots of laundry, groomed cats and more!”

Nora spent time caring for the animals and especially enjoyed playing with the cats. She also hosted a donation drive on Amazon and was able to give a trunkful of supplies to the shelter with the support of her friends, family and community!

Congratulations, Nora!

Friday, November 27, 2020

Bronze Award Spotlight: Fort Story Visitor's Center Beautification

 Girl Scout Junior Lillian earned her Bronze Award by volunteering her time in her project, “Fort Story Visitor's Center Beautification!” 

Lillian contacted the housing office at the Fort Story Base to see if there were any areas that she could make improvements to. She coordinated with the housing manager who responded that they would love for the flower beds in front of the visitor's center to be updated for all to enjoy as they come and go. 

Lillian got help from a handful of residents of Fort Story along with fellow GSCCC Girl Scouts to clean out debris and weed the beds. A local landscaping company donated mulch and plants to make her project a success.

Congratulations, Lillian!

Friday, November 20, 2020

Gold Award Spotlight: K.I.S.S. Keep it Sun Safe

Girl Scout Ambassador Lydia earned her Gold Award through her project titled “K.I.S.S: Keep it Sun Safe.” Lydia was inspired by her mother’s brave journey with skin cancer to create an educational program aimed at early prevention for kids in her community.

Lydia learned that overexposure to the sun as a child can lead to serious issues down the road like skin cancer, as in her mother’s case, and she wanted to do her part to make a difference! 

Her K.I.S.S. curriculum is all about the power of the sun’s damaging rays and how to stay protected using protective gear like sunscreen and hats. She designed the course for preschool-aged children, their caregivers and teachers and shared her course through guided Zoom meetings.

Lydia during one of her video lessons

“My mother has suffered from skin cancer which resulted in several surgeries and follow-up treatments as a result of sun overexposure as a child,” Lydia said. “She does not recall using any sort of sunscreen. Damage is cumulative and providing educational materials about sun safety can lead young children to advocate for themselves. Education is the foundation.”

Lydia’s project was advised by Dr. Judith V. Williams of the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters and her course materials will continue to be available on her website.

Check out an intro video from Lydia's course here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Remembering Girl Scout Alum Maylea Beasley

We are saddened to share news of the passing of Gold Award Girl Scout Maylea Beasley who was a member of Girl Scout Troop 475 in Virginia Beach. Maylea was a freshman at James Madison University and was struck by a motorcyclist as she was crossing an intersection on November 14. 

Jennifer Lynch, her Girl Scout leader, along with the five alum who were members in the troop with Maylea, have been sharing memories of Maylea and want all to know how committed Maylea was to Girl Scouting. Maylea's sister, Katrina who is a year older, was also part of Troop 475. 

Maylea earned the highest award as a Girl Scout, the Gold Award in 2018. Her project, Education on Aviation, helped connect children to aviation history through a tour of books she organized for the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach. The museum continues to use the special tour of books that are based on grade level for specific exhibits. 

Maylea joined Girl Scouts in second grade as a Brownie. Her good nature made it easy for her to make friends. 

" She was so good hearted," Jennifer Lynch her former Girl Scout leader said. "When I think of Maylea, I think of her laughter - it filled the room. She always found something to smile about and always helped us find the humor in a situation." 

Jennifer recalled the many activities the girls did together, including traveling to London and Paris in 2016 and to Savannah, Georgia to visit the birthplace of Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low in 2017. 

Along with travel, she loved doing community service and volunteered over the years serving meals at JCOC, participating in an annual holiday program at Baylake Retirement Home, participating in the annual Veterans Day Parade, collecting DVD’s for Veteran’s, and participating in programs with at risk youth at Club Sandwich. 

"She loved helping the environment and doing outdoor things like camping," Jennifer said. "When all the girls in the troop graduated in 2019, Maylea stayed registered and looked for Girl Scout things to do. We went on a white-water tubing trip with the Wild Things last year. The last Girl Scout function she was part of was outdoors. The moms and the girls of Troop 475 got together this past summer to have a beach day - that's the last photo I have of our troop together.”

Our condolences go out to Maylea's parents, Brock and Shari, and to her sister Katrina as well as to the Girl Scouts of Troop 475. No funeral service is scheduled at this time. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. 

To honor Maylea, many of her school friends will be wearing purple on Friday, November 20th as a remembrance - purple was Maylea's favorite color. 

A Touch of Purple 

A touch of purple tells me 

A blessing is in the making

A touch of purple gives me 

A smile when I am hurting

A touch of purple on my way

Is more than color to me

It takes me to the beginning

To shine a light ahead of me

A touch of purple brings me

Confidence to give my best

The belief that I can rise up

To face any manner of test

A touch of purple is always

A gentle reminder from afar

Of many friends who care

No matter where they are

                          State of Faith

It Happened! Our First Virtual National Council Session!

We want to give a big thank our GSCCC National Council Delegates who were among national voting members at the 55th National Council Session. They were the voice of GSCCC! In addition to attending and voting at the NCS, they engaged and gathered feedback from our GSCCC members ahead of the NCS and learned all about the six proposals up for vote. 

GSCCC National Delegates: Jasmine Barbour-Bassett (Girl Member);JoAn Berry; Tracy Keller; Maureen Keller (G); Eileen Livick; Jennifer Lynch; Morgan Lynch (G) Brittany Orosco, and Barbara Tierney

Four of the proposals were around membership dues, including a new Lifetime Membership discount for volunteers of 10+ years, and a cap on the percentage increase for membership dues the National Board can put through in a triennium without National Council approval. There was also a proposal on the establishment of a task force around Girl Scout Gold Award Scholarships. The final proposal was on the timeline that National Delegates are selected. All six of the proposals passed during National Council Session. 


A revised copy of the Blue Book of Basic Documents is now posted on GSCCC’s website.

In addition to the actions listed above, the National Council elected the National Board for 2020 – 2023.


President: Karen P. Layng
First Vice President: Jeanne Kwong Bickford
Second Vice President: Noorain Khan
Treasurer: Valarie Gelb
Secretary: Ráchel Roché Walton

Monday, November 16, 2020

Gold Award Spotlight: “The Saint Awareness Project”

Girl Scout Ambassador Sorenna earned the Gold Award, through her project titled “The Saint Awareness Project.” Sorenna was inspired to write and illustrate a book for students at St. Bede Catholic Church in James City County, Virginia to help them better understand their faith.

“I wanted to help middle school youth in my church become aware of the saints in the Catholic Church to help them on their faith journey and help them choose their confirmation saint, one of the most important things to do in the Church,” Sorenna Said.

She brought awareness to the ten newly canonised saints in a self-illustrated and self-written book in hopes that students will look beyond traditional options and consider another saint for their faith development. Each of the ten saints has a biography and descriptions of their journeys to sainthood she hopes students will find exciting and inspiring.

Copies of her book were given to local churches and Catholic libraries for students to enjoy for years to come!

Congratulations, Sorenna!

Friday, November 13, 2020

How to Get Ready for the MyGS System Update Coming November 18, 2020

Earlier this month, we shared information about Girl Scouts upcoming system refresh and plans to debut an enhanced member account system. Girl Scouts will be releasing a refreshed member account management system, currently known as MyGS. The fresh new environment will provide increased visibility to your Girl Scout member account, make it simpler to manage and maintain household memberships (and for troop leaders, troop memberships too!) and find more fun for your girl!

To transition to the enhanced platform, it is necessary to have a system downtime period. While much of the downtime is set to occur the week of Thanksgiving, we want to make sure that you are aware of the downtime, it’s potential to impact your Girl Scout plans, and steps you can take before November 18 – the date the downtime starts -  to prevent any surprises.


Please take a moment to review our Readiness List (located on our website) regarding the system downtime period that will take place in November and what you can do now to prepare. As always, we’ll be here to support you every step of the way!


All members can help make the transition a bit easier by making sure their current MyGS account is current. 


1. Log in to your MyGS account. As we upgrade from MyGS to MyAccount, there will be a period of time where MyGS will be down and cannot process membership renewals or new memberships. To avoid disruption to your account, make sure to renew your membership by November 15, 2020!   


2. Review the email addresses for your household. Are the parents/caregivers in your household using the same email address? If yes, complete the next step.


3. Provide a new email address for the secondary caregiver.


You’re all set! Thank you for your help in ensuring a smooth transition for your family to Girl Scouts’ refreshed member account platform.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Meet Marsha Riibner-Cady, lifetime Girl Scout and owner of Cady CPR Solutions

 Marsha Riibner-Cady is a lifetime Girl Scout who has always been prepared. She says the Girl Scout motto is what has kept her so involved in Girl Scouts over the years.  

 She began her Girl Scout journey as a girl growing up in Nixa, Missouri. During her 7 years as a Girl Scout, she had the opportunity to meet troop leader, Ilga Vise, or Ivy as the girls called her. Marsha remains in touch with her and says it is always fun to connect with her each year and walk down memory lane, recalling the many camping trips they took and the trip the troop took to St. Louis.  


"Everyone who knows me, knows I bleed green," Marsha said. " My mom, Rona, was actually introduced to my dad because of Girl Scouts. His cousin, Marlene, was in my mom's troop. They were close friends in and out of Girl Scouts, as many girls today are. Well, the rest is history."  


Marsha is proud that Girl Scouting has been a family tradition. Her grandmother was a Girl Scout troop leader and her mom, who became head of a single-parent household, volunteered when she could.  


For Marsha, there were quite a few years between her Girl Scout years and her adult involvement. After volunteering with Boy Scouts during her boys' youth years, she turned to friends she had met along the way who were Girl Scouts. A position opened with Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast, and Marsha's friends encouraged her to apply. She did and was appointed as a membership executive, helping increase and serve membership in sections of North Carolina.  


Marsha became known as "the Girl Scout lady" who could help girls get into troops and who could connect a cookie lover with a box of Thin Mints. She also was a local trainer who could train on many subjects but was well-trained in first aid and sought after by Girl Scouts and others in the community.  


It was also one of the skills she took with her when she said goodbye to being a paid staff and took a position running the after-school programs for Dare County. While no longer a staff member with GSCCC, she became an active volunteer and served on the board of directors and helped start community troops for girls living in less resourced areas. She also assists with GSCCC archive projects. In addition to Girl Scouts, Marsha volunteers with other organizations that includes board membership, both locally and nationally, with the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs. 


This year, she has made another career move and has started her own business, Cady CPR Solutions. She is offering a service in the region that meets a real need, especially during these challenging times. Marsha offers certified training programs, including virtual trainings, and works with individuals and groups to meet their needs and stay within their budget.  


"There's many professionals who need to be First Aid and/or CPR certified and are at a loss when it comes to finding a safe place to get the training," she said. " I work with people in small groups and offer a lot of the training virtually. There are some aspects that require in-person training, but I insist on everyone wearing masks and social distancing. Safety always comes first. If you come without a mask to my training, I'll make sure you have one before entering the room. Like the Girl Scout motto encourages, I'm prepared!"   


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