Friday, April 16, 2021

Gold Award Spotlight: “Pollinator Power”

Girl Scout Ambassador Christine of Troop 1324 earned her Gold Award through her project titled, “Pollinator Power!” Christine wanted to focus on environmental education and sustainability, so she worked with master gardeners of the Colonial Beekeeper’s Association to address the drastic decline of bees in her community.

“Recent years have seen an extreme decline in pollinator populations, primarily as a result of human activities,” Christine said. “If no action is taken now, future generations will have to deal with a complete upheaval of the food chain and significant environmental impacts.”


Christine learned that a major variable in our community is designer backyard landscaping with non-native species of plants, which greatly reduces the natural habitat for pollinators. She led a project to create a pollinator garden at Yorkminster Presbyterian Church, her church and where her troop meets. Christine created a video presentation for volunteers from the congregation and girls from her troop to explain the necessity of pollinators and shared plans how they could help her create the garden.


She and her volunteers spent hours constructing garden beds and planting native species.


She hopes the education of her congregation will encourage them to adopt these practices, make changes in their own home gardens and to continue to share her message of how small changes can make a big impact on our tiny heroes- the pollinators!





Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Gold Award Spotlight: Unstoppable

Girl Scout Ambassador Elyse earned the Gold Award, by completing a project she titled, “Unstoppable.” Elyse felt there was not enough representation of women in STEM in her school curriculum and on the TV so she decided to write a book that shared information about women in STEM who were historically overlooked!

“Young girls are often not given the exposure to STEM careers that boys typically are through movies, books, toys, along with school,” Elyse said. “In biology, we do lots of water tension labs, but I had never heard of the name Agnes Pockles."


To write her  book, she recruited peer volunteers from The Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in Virginia Beach and assigned each classmate a female figure in STEM to research and illustrate. Each write-up and illustration was edited into a final draft by Elyse and she worked with Amazon as the publisher of her book to get assigned an ISBN number and have copies made. The copies of her book, “Unstoppable: Women in STEM,” were distributed to local school libraries and mailed to girls across the country!


Elyse also designed a Girl Scout patch program that goes along with her book and held a special presentation of her book at the Zeiders American Dream Theater in Virginia Beach on March 13, 2021.


Congratulations, Elyse!



Elyse on open night at Zieder's Theater alongside Zeider’s Community Liason, Sibel Galindez.





Monday, April 12, 2021

2021 Cookie Season Wrap Up and Top Ten Sellers

A BIG thank you to all of our Cookie CEOs who worked so hard, and to the parents and volunteers who’ve made it possible for them to pursue their dreams. Together, we accomplished so much during the 2021 cookie season, including breaking our own Council’s goal! More than 1 million boxes sold.

One of the hallmarks of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience is our cookie program. Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, the largest financial literacy and business entrepreneurship program for girls in the country, our girls learn important skills and gain confidence and initiative. The cookie program lays the foundation for a lifetime of success for our girls and motivates them to never give up and to keep trying. It helps them see the possibilities in all things.

Every Girl Scout Cookie season is challenging, but this year has had to be the most challenging our Council – our girls – have ever experienced. During a pandemic, our girls came up with innovative ways to connect with customers. We recognize this and applaud all the girls who participated. The Girl Scout Cookie Program is life-changing and uplifting!

A special congratulations to our Top Ten cookie sellers! These ten girls sold over 42,000 boxes of cookies combined!


2021 Cookie Program Top 10 Sellers
1) GS Ambassador Makiyah M. (Troop 1320) sold 7,250 boxes
2) GS Senior Maureen K. (Troop 359) sold 5,635 boxes
3) GS Cadette Lorelei T. (Troop 1026) sold 5,415
4) GS Senior Makenzie T. (Troop 4151) sold 3,850 boxes
5) GS Daisy Sophia H. (Troop 1658) sold 3,711 boxes
6) GS Ambassador Rachael M. (Troop 4151) sold 3,670 boxes
7) GS Senior Abigael S. (Troop 235) sold 3,582 boxes
8) GS Junior Madison B. (Troop 778) sold 3,082 boxes
9) GS Junior Alexa R. (Troop 287) sold 3,058 boxes
10) GS Senior Kailie B. (Troop 805) sold 3,058 boxes



We are also pleased to report an outstanding turnout for our Virtual Gift of Caring program. Girls were able to donate – 50,756  boxes of Girl Scout Cookies- 14,066 boxes more than last year- and double what we did in 2014 (just 4 years ago) through a pandemic!

Each and every girl who participated in the Girl Scout Cookie Program deserves to feel proud of their cookie entrepreneurship and willingness to help the community!

 Thank you to all - girls, parents, volunteers and, of course, our customers who made this season a SWEET success!

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Gold Award Spotlight: Musical Therapy Stress Relief

Girl Scout Ambassador Abby earned the Gold Award, by completing her project she titled, “Musical Therapy Stress Relief.” After her grandmother had to have a stay in the hospital, Abby learned about the stress and anxieties that patients sometimes experience during their visit due to being away from home. Abby knew she could help and used her passion for music to make a difference!

“Being in the hospital, facing injury, and recovering from surgery is a stressful time in a person's life,” Abby said. “There are a lot of different uncertainties and outcomes that can occur and this causes stress among patients. The stress can slow the healing process, make their stay longer, only adding onto the stress that is already occurring.” 



Abby worked with Warwick Forest Rehabilitation Center in Newport News, VA to understand the needs of patients and to figure out how she could help. She developed a self-paced learning program to learn to play the kalimba, a small handheld musical instrument known for making relaxing tones.


A kalimba

Her program also provides a way for patients to connect with one another while they practice together and learn how to play the instrument. Forest Rehabilitation continues to use music therapy as an element of their healing process and Abby’s self-paced curriculum gives patients control over their instrument and how fast they learn. 


“Because I provided the resources, the Warwick Forest continues to utilize music therapy in their rehabilitative care activities,” Abby said.


Abby used proceeds earned from participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program to fund her project.


Congratulations, Abby!





Thursday, April 1, 2021

April is Month of the Military Child- Contest Details!

 April is Month of the Military Child

No matter where a family’s military service takes girls, Girl Scouts is at the ready with tried-and-true programming and a supportive network that allows girls to continue their unique leadership journeys; build new friendships; and enjoy a reliable, safe space of their own. 

 Share your story!

Post a picture or video on social media using #MonthoftheMilitaryChild and #BecauseOfGirlScouts, and tag @girlscouts and @gsccc. Don’t forget to enter the GSCCC Month of the Military Child Contest!

 

Have a great story you’d like GSCCC to share to the media or place in our communications? Email marcomm@gsccc.org

 

 Show Your Pride

There’s a special patch and T-shirt you can purchase in our GSCCC shops.  Show you’re part of a global community of military-connected Girl Scouts.

 

GSCCC Month of Military Child Contest

 

To celebrate locally, 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 during a scheduled visit or pick up experience. There will be two winners - one for the art submission and one for the essay submission. Winners will 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. 
Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors & Ambassadors - 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. 

Artwork and essays should be sent to marcomm@gsccc.org.

Deadline to submit is April 30, 2021 at 11:59 PM.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Gold Award Spotlight: “One Unity, One Love”

Girl Scout Ambassador Catriona earned her Gold Award, by completing a project she titled, “One Unity, One Love.” Catriona had a goal to address tensions and promote community and conversation between people of the three Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Islam and Judaism by creating opportunities for interaction and diffusion of culture. To do this, Catriona planned an educational “Unity Walk” followed by an Iftar dinner. 

Guests at the Unity Walk were provided a guided worksheet with directional cues and links to videos for participants to follow along with on 15 stops around Fort Monroe in Hampton, VA. Each stop’s message corresponded with a discussion topic and video of one of the three faiths represented, and aimed to promote a conversation between participants of different faiths.


For example, cue 13, “Hospitality,” of the Unity Walk asks participants to stop in front of the historic Chamberlin Hotel on Fort Monroe and discuss how hospitality is a part of their faith.


“Bringing together members of different religions and giving them an opportunity to learn about each other through a diversity walk showcased certain points of similarity shared by all of the Abrahamic religions,” Catriona said.


Catriona’s event also included an Iftar dinner where guests were invited to have fellowship and share experiences over a traditional meal of many dishes.


“The events went very well,” Catriona said. “It provided a respectful atmosphere of learning and sharing, not only of knowledge and food, but also of culture.”


Catriona’s 36 videos and Unity Walk worksheet are available online for religious centers to continue to use. 


Congratulations, Catriona!





Saturday, March 27, 2021

Gold Award Spotlight: Cats and Bats

Girl Scout Ambassador Reanne earned her Gold Award by completing her project titled, “Cats and Bats!” Reanne used her passion for animals and the outdoors to make a sustainable impact on her community.

Reanne became aware of two separate issues affecting animals in her area and developed solutions to make a difference. Firstly, to address the increasing issue of an influx of feral kittens in the spring months, she constructed ten feral cat homes for a local rescue shelter’s use. When there is an influx, the shelter may take in more kittens, versus turning them away ultimately contributing to an increase of feral cats. Reanne created a brochure for local businesses to display so individuals know what to do when they see feral kittens.


Reanne also became aware of an issue affecting the local bat population, White Nose Syndrome (WNS). WNS is a fungal infection that harms the nose, eyes, and ears of bats and is more prevalent in damp locations. When bat populations are reduced, insect populations subsequently rise. To address this issue, Reanne built 16 bat boxes for York River State Park so the bat population has a number of dry habitats in order to reduce the cases of WNS in the area.


Reanne learned construction and leadership skills while completing her project and says she was pleased to seek a challenge and help the community in not one way, but two.


Congratulations, Reanne!




Friday, March 26, 2021

Mark Your Calendar- Renewal Incentives are Here!

Make sure you are ready for a fantastic 2021-22 Girl Scout membership year and renew your membership on April 1 - that's when the great incentive program starts! PLUS, for those who did not register THIS year, there is an option to register this year AND for next year through an extended membership. It all starts on April 1! We're here to help you think ahead and give you the scoop on our incentive program! Mark your calendar and remember to visit our renew page on April 1 and RENEW! 

Read more about our exciting incentives below-

 

Troops who...

  • Renew 90% of girls and 2 leaders on April 1

    Enter to win an Outdoor Experience at one of our GSCCC properties (2 Troops)

  • Renew 80% of girls and 2 leaders by April 8

    Enter to win a Leader’s Night Off virtual meeting for your troop led by GSCCC Staff and all girls will receive a badge in the box kit with program supplies for the meeting. (3 troops)

  • Renew 75% of girls and 2 leaders by April 15

    Enter to win a CEO Zoom Chat for your girls with our very own GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller (3 Troops)

  • Renew 75% of girls and 2 leaders by April 23

    Enter to win a $100 Google Play gift card that can be used for books, videos and games (1 troop)

  • Renew 75% of girls and 2 leaders by April 30

    Enter to win $100 in Troop Funds to help plan for the fun for your upcoming year (5 Troops) **All troops must be in good standing and have submitted their financials to qualify.

Service Units who...


• Renew 75% by April 15

Enter to win an Outdoor Event at one of our GSCCC properties for the entire SU (1 SU)

• Renew 75% by April 30

Enter to win $100 in SU Funds (3 SU’s)


All Members who renew by April 30...


All members who renew by April 30 will receive EXCLUSIVE MEMBER’S ONLY access to Becoming Me, a virtual event featuring Former First Lady, Michelle Obama. The event kicks off a new partnership with Mrs. Obama and is based on her new book, Becoming Young Readers Edition. Get inspired to embark on the journey to becoming your best selves while exploring the truth in your own stories and the power of your voice.


Girls who...


Renew on April 1

All Girls (in troops or Individually registered) who renew on April 1st will receive the 1st Day patch designed by design contest winner, Girl Scout Junior Bella Bray!

Renew on April 1

All Girls (in troops or Individually registered) who renew on April 1 will be entered into a drawing to win a pair of the new K-Swiss Thin Mint Girl Scout Tennis Shoes.

Renew by May 31

Every girl (in troops or individually registered) who renew by May 31 will receive a free Early Bird patch.


Leaders who...


Renew by April 8

Enter to win the GSCCC Sweatpants (8 Leaders)

Renew by April 30

Enter to win the new GSCCC Sweatshirt (8 Leaders)


Lifetime Membership

Current Lifetime Members, you still need to renew your volunteer role each year to remain active!

  1. • If you are not a current Lifetime Member, there is no better time to make that change! GSUSA is now offering a discounted Lifetime Membership Renewal Discount of $200 for current members who have served as a volunteer for at least 10 years.

    • A Lifetime Membership also makes a wonderful graduation gift for your girls leaving high school!

    • GSUSA is providing a special offer to all graduating senior Girl Scouts from 4/1-5/31/21. The gift tassels will arrive within 6-8 weeks with your lifetime membership welcome kit.

Visit our renewal page for more information and to read the full Early Bird Renewal guide!





Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Gold Award Spotlight: "BBB" Native Garden

Girl Scout Ambassador Lois earned the Gold Award by completing her project titled, “BBB Native Garden.” Lois took action when she learned that pollinators like birds, bees and butterflies (BBB) are in danger of population decline in our area.  

Lois’ project included two parts. First, she set out to plant a garden that attracted native birds, bees, and butterflies to the area with a goal of having it act as a sustainable source of food. The second part was creating a detailed video lesson plan for 1st, 3rd, and 5th graders in her church’s youth group that taught them about native pollinators and conservation. 


Lois shared her curriculum with volunteers from Trinity Lutheran Church in Newport News, VA and explained how planting Virginia native species attracts pollinators and why it was important. After seeing the video and getting an orientation, volunteers then donated their time to help Lois plant a BBB garden at Trinity Lutheran Church. Lois purchased supplies she and the volunteers needed from the proceeds earned from her participation in the Girl Scout Cookie Program. 


Her project proved to be successful! Lois reported lots of pollinator activity on site and positive feedback from her students. 


 “My church not only gained the successful butterfly garden as an asset, but they also gained useful knowledge about the life of butterflies and other insects, and the importance of conservation.” 


Congratulations, Lois!


Girl Scout Ambassador Lois







Friday, March 12, 2021

Two BIG Ways Companies can Support Girl Scouts

Did you know there are two BIG ways companies in our Council’s area can support Girl Scouts? With our corporate purchase options, companies can elect to host a virtual cookie booth for their employees on behalf of a troop, or companies can make a bulk purchase for gifting or donation! Here’s the scoop-


Virtual Cookie Booth-

To host a virtual cookie booth. You’ll receive a web link to share with your employees so they can buy cookies from a local troop. Cookies can be shipped directly to employees’ homes- the perfect treat for any team that is working remotely.


Bulk Cookie Purchase

Purchase Girl Scout Cookies in bulk to donate to the GSCCC Gift of Caring recipient, the USO of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia. Alternatively, Girl Scout Cookies also make a great employee recognition gift. GSCCC can organize all logistics for a bulk order.





Corporate Purchases Support Local Girl Scouts


Dr. Barry LeJeune with LeJeune Family Dentistry in Hampton, VA purchased 100 boxes of cookies from Girl Scout Cadette Haley G. in Troop 5098!





For more information about how the Girl Scout Cookie Program visit our Cookie page here.


To support, please email Chris Ramos-Smith at ChrisR@gsccc.org.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Your Chance to Support Girls Outdoors this Month- More from GSCCC's Outdoor Adventures Manager

Outdoor experiences are an integral part of Girl Scouting. Through adventures in the outdoors, girls start to feel comfortable trying new things and testing their limits. They gain confidence and acquire new skills in a safe and supportive all-girl environment. From a relaxed nature hike through the forests to teaming up on a wildlife conservation project to high-adventure rock-climbing, Girl Scouts offers girls a variety of opportunities to learn and grow inside and out!  

That’s why Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast has invested in creating quality camp properties, so we can offer quality programs to our adventure-seeking girls. In just a few weeks, we’ll be hosting an auction, Camp is Calling, to help support our camps.  

“Every girl should have the opportunity to explore the outdoors, including at camp,” Leigh Whaley, GSCCC’s Outdoor Adventures Manager said. “As a Gold Award Girl Scout whose passion is and has always been environmental stewardship, I’m proof that outdoor opportunities help girls become successful people. Because of my time as a Girl Scout, I went on to get my master’s degree in environmental education, and now have the pleasure of leading our girls in all outdoor activities!” 

Leigh Whaley shows Girl Scout Daisy Olivia how to make a nature journal at Camp Skimino in Williamsburg

Girls can earn a bucket of outdoor badges while at camp - Outdoor Adventurer, Horseback Riding, Archery, Paddling and Ultimate Recreation Challenge are but a few. A study conducted by Girl Scout Research Institute, More Than S’mores, found that there are immense benefits from spending time outdoors. With experience in the outdoor, they are more apt to seek challenges in other areas of their lives and are better problem-solvers, for a start, and outdoor experiences through Girl Scouting, such as camp, are beneficial to girl leadership.  

And, now more than ever, research shows us that getting outdoors is so important to the physical, social and psychological development of our girls and the health of our planet. We want to get more girls outdoors, more often and in varied ways.  

Please plan to register for our Camp is Calling Auction to support GSCCC camps and the opportunities they give girls. Plus, there are so amazing items you can bid on that include get-aways, a signed baseball by Ken Nolan and many, many more goodies to take home. The auction is virtual, so you don’t need to leave your house!  

Check out some of our favorite items below, then click here and register to support our Council March 18- 20, 2021 when we go LIVE!














Thursday, March 4, 2021

Meet Some of the Volunteers Behind the Camp is Calling Campaign!

Meet some of the volunteers behind the Camp is Calling Campaign! Amanda Howie is a lifelong Girl Scout who serves as a troop leader and service team member in the Virginia Beach Lynnhaven Shores Service Unit. She is also an active alum and serves on the GSCCC Philanthropy Committee. This year, she and others from the committee did some thinking out of the box to develop a campaign to support our camps – Camp is Calling!  

 

Amanda joined Girl Scouts in the 1985 when she was in second grade at King's Grant Elementary School, and she stayed involved through the end of ninth grade. She earned the Girl Scout Silver Award and has a letter from the Council dated June 22, 1993, congratulating her. Her leader, Kathy Hunt, who led Troop 393, was great and keeping records for the girls and Amanda says she has saved them and the photos from those girl years. 


“My best friend was a girl from my troop” she said. “We continue to laugh when remembering our Girl Scout days. I recall a time camping with my troop during a time when there was a huge influx of caterpillars,” Caterpillars were everywhere. We pulled caterpillars off our clothes and bodies - even from our hair - all day long!”  

 

Amanda as a Brownie with her best friend Catherine. 


When a colleague at work heard Amanda telling Girl Scout stories and learned that she had been a Girl Scout, she was recruited to lead a troop of Girl Scout Daisies. That was in 2009. The girls in Troop 142 are now seniors in high school – out of seven in the troop, three of them have been members since 2009. 

 

When asked what she likes about volunteering and leading a troop, she said, “Hands down, service and outreach are what I like most. Watching the girls learn and embrace the importance of showing up for each other, their friends and families, and especially people in our communities who are hurting in some way are my most meaningful Girl Scout leader moments. Cancer took the life of the mom of one of "my" girls when they were in fifth grade. Seeing the girls - each wearing her uniform - show up for their fellow Girl Scout and her family at the funeral service was inspiring.” 

 

Amanda also loves her role as an alum volunteer who gets to take action on committees such as the Philanthropy Committee, where she has opportunities to raise funds for our mission. When it was clear that many of the in-person events would not be happening due to COVID 19, it was suggested to host some virtual events and a winning idea was to hold an auction. This campaign is led by Philanthropy Committee Chair and Board Member Amy Coyne, who has helped everyone on the committee to see opportunities, not barriers, when it comes to facing challenges.  

  

“The world's problems are daunting. Don't get lost in that crowded space,” Amanda said. “ I strongly believe it's important to make a positive difference right where you are and with what you have available. Doing this does indeed change the world for the better. Being an active participant in Girl Scouts is one way I'm helping the world.” 

  


Still best friends, Amanda and Catherine



Three tips from Amanda to keep girls involved in Girl Scouts:  

 1. Have your troop's activities be something you as a leader want to do, what you find fun, where you want to visit, etc... The girls always enjoy Girl Scout activities more when you're right there alongside them engaged in the action. 

 2. Listen to the girls when they talk about their friends who aren't involved in Girl Scouts and then encourage those friends (and their parents) to join. Girl Scouts becomes another time and place for friends to be together. Several of the girls in our troop now joined us along the way simply because they were friends with the girls already in the troop and they wanted to join in on the fun. 

 3. Really get to know each girl's interests outside of Girl Scouts. Attending their sporting events, dance recitals, singing competitions, etc... will mean a great deal to them, their families, and you. When you show up for them, they show up for you and Girl Scouts.  


We don't need to tell you that just about everything is different these days. We've all had to make adjustments as we face new challenges. To help bridge our funding gap, we are holding this virtual live auction event, Camp is Calling! Proceeds will help with maintenance and improvements at all five GSCCC camp properties. These camps have and will continue to provide unforgettable experiences for girls today and generations to come. 


Preview items here and come back March 18- 20, 2021 when we go LIVE to support GSCCC!