Sunday, February 28, 2021

Alum Spotlight: Meet Jen McGowan!

Meet Girl Scout Alum and Gold Award Jen McGowan. She's celebrating 30 years in Girl Scouts this year, 12 as a girl and 18 as an adult! As a girl, she started as a Brownie in Norfolk (later moved to Virginia Beach) and was a member of Greater Tidewater Girl Scout Council, a council that merged in 1981 with Heritage Girl Scouts to form GSCCC. 

Many of our blog readers may know her, since she served as the Council's program director for many years, and then as membership director. She helped plan hundreds of programs, with the 100th anniversary ones hosted in 2012 being the most memorable. 

She is now the Virginia Beach School's Coordinator of School and Community Partnerships, connecting businesses and organizations to Virginia Beach schools to support students, staff and families.  

"Due to the pandemic, my skills have been put to use to secure items our students need," Jen said. " These are items that support student learning - everything from food, shelter and clothing to school supplies, headphones and other necessities to enhance the learning experience." 

She earned her Gold Award in 1987. For her project, she created an illustrated child-care guide for illiterate mothers.  During the course of the project, she learned that babies were unnecessarily being admitted to CHKD because these new moms didn’t know how to read the packaging for child-care items like formula and medication.  She then presented the books via illustrated talks locally and at the state level.  The books were being used at CHKD right up until she started working there in the early 1990’s!


Jen has always loved working with people and using her excellent communication skills. While still in high school, she started a business called Leisure Promotions, where she delivered brochures to the oceanfront. She kept the business going through college. She says she definitely put skills she learned from the Cookie Program into practice!  


After graduating college and earning a BS degree with a concentration in Human Resources, she worked at CHKD for a decade, first in the ER and later as a Senior Budget Analyst.  


"I used ALL of my Girl Scout skills in my last position as a Director with GSCCC, first as Program Director, overseeing camp, partnerships, a childcare program, weekend activities, higher awards and of course cookies!  Just prior to leaving I was again in sales as the Membership Director." 

Jen is the proud mother of a Gold Award Girl Scout, Baillie McGowan and her mom, too, earned the highest award as a girl in the movement, First Class! 

"Girl Scouts is a family tradition and it has added so much to the relationship I have had with both my mom and my daughter," Jen said. "We have so many memories to go back to that continue to create warmth in all our hearts."  

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Silver Award Spotlight: Obstacle Course for the Armed Services YMCA

Girl Scout Cadettes Adriana, Lydia, and Kayleigh of Troop 1579 earned their Silver Award by completing their project titled, “Obstacle Course for the Armed Services YMCA.” The three Cadettes knew they wanted to improve the play area of the Armed Services YMCA in Virginia Beach and had several ideas for different games that children could do and when the pandemic hit, they used their innovation to create a socially-distanced game for the kids at the YMCA to play!

“As we were formulating ideas for different games, we started emailing with the administration from the YMCA. In July, we began Zoom meeting communications with the YMCA. In October, we went and measured the area we would be using. We communicated once more through Zoom and scheduled a time to do the obstacle course.”

Once their final plan for an obstacle course for ages 4-12 was approved, they got to work! The girls used spray paint and careful planning to create the obstacle course. The course includes different jumping, spinning and running elements to entertain the players. The girls also created a video to show the children at the YMCA how to properly execute the course.

“We learned perseverance through the struggles we experienced during the delay of our project due to COVID-19,” the girls said. “We also learned how to change ideas quickly and adapt to unexpected situations.” Though there were changes to their original plan, the three were able to accomplish their goal! 

Congratulations, Adriana, Lydia, and Kayleigh!

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Volunteering Around the Globe: Meet Volunteer Specialist Angie Bright!

Meet Volunteer Specialist Angie Bright! A lifetime Girl Scout who joined as a Girl Scout Brownie and continued throughout her school years, earning the Girl Scout Silver Award along the way for implementing a year-long program at a nursing home. Angie says her interest began when she saw how much fun her sister was having as a Girl Scout. She couldn’t wait to be old enough to join and wear the Girl Scout Brownie uniform. Once a Girl Scout, she dedicated hours to earning badges and awards that included the Girl Scout Silver Award for a year-long program she did for an area nursing home.

 Her adult years began when her daughter, Madelynn, joined a Girl Scout Daisy troop in Virginia Beach in 2005. Angie was thrilled! She had long anticipated being involved again but this time the journey would be hand-in-hand with her daughter.  


Madelynn and Angie

After her role as troop helper in her daughter's two Daisy troops, her husband was transferred from Dam Neck Naval Base to the USS Fitzgerald at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan.  From 2007 to 2011, she volunteered as a leader for Girl Scout Brownie and Junior troops. Overlapping her leader role, she was also the OCMT (Overseas Committee Management Team) Secretary for the Yokosuka Girl Scouts from 2009 to 2011.  In addition, she was the Host Nation Liaison from 2010 until 2013.  In that role, she planned projects and events with our local Japanese Girl Scouts, assisting each USAGSO troop to partner with a sister, host nation troop for intercultural exchange throughout the year. 


The OCMT role included relationship building with the base legal department, Hospital Health Services, various commands as well as providing updates to the base CO's office, ensuring that all local military regulations and SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) statutes were observed.


Her husband's naval career then brought the family to Jacksonville, Florida for two years where she volunteered as a troop helper. Then, another move, this time to Spain and another opportunity to volunteer. This time as a leader in a multi-level troop of Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors. The ffamily’s final and permanent change brought them back to Hampton Roads. Angie volunteered for a year before joining the GSCCC staff.


“I have spent most of my life as a military dependent,” Angie said. “My father was a naval medical officer stationed in Cherry Point, NC when I first stepped into the Girl Scout Friendship Circle. The beautiful thing about being a Girl Scout is that you have a built-in community or circle of friends waiting to greet you with each new duty station.  Between my Brownie and Junior years my father was transferred from Cherry Point to Pensacola, Fl.  Joining a troop shortly after our arrival certainly helped me with the transition.”


Angie also emphasized that the benefit doesn’t end with the girl. As a stay at home mom, being a Girl Scout volunteer provided her a sense of security and stability as her family moved from one duty station to the next.  She was able to meet new people and forge friendships amongst the troop parents and other volunteers, far faster than she would have otherwise.  She also found that volunteering with USAGSO (Girl Scouts overseas) helped fill the empty hours (months) that her husband was deployed with a sense of purpose. 

Madelynn Bridges to and Adult Girl Scout


 “Being an Adult Girl Scout volunteer has been one of the most rewarding and adventurous experiences of my life,” Angie said. “Over the course of my volunteer service and as a member of a military family, I have had the opportunity to be a catalyst for change in the world.  I strongly believe that as a Girl Scout volunteer and now as a professional, I am making a difference and encouraging girls to be the leaders of tomorrow. My volunteer role has just been a drop in the bucket, so to speak, but the ripples have global implications.”

On February 22, Girl Scouts and Girl Guides across 150 countries celebrated World Thinking Day—that’s one big celebration! The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), along with Girl Scouts of the USA and the other WAGGGS member organizations, have celebrated World Thinking Day since 1926. That’s when delegates from around the globe met at Camp Edith Macy—now called Edith Macy Conference Center—in New York and agreed that February 22 would now be known as a special day for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts worldwide.

Observed by 10 million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts worldwide, World Thinking Day 2021 celebrated what it means to be a peacebuilder, an important component of our global Movement. 

Amazing advocated like Angie put what it means to be a Girl Scout into a global perspective, truly making a difference!

Monday, February 15, 2021

Silver Award Spotlight: Beautify Moyock Schools

Girl Scout Cadettes Kasia, Madalyn, Madisyn and Savanna of Troop 563 earned their Silver Award by completing their project titled, “Beautify Moyock Schools.” The four Cadettes raised money for their Silver Award by asking family and friends for donations and by hosting a garage sale. Their project consisted of two main parts, one project at Moyock Middle School and another at Moyock Elementary School. 

First, they made contact with the elementary school principal to see how they could make the school better for the students. They learned that near their playground, there was a hopscotch area where all the paint had nearly faded away. The girls did research and worked together to decide what games to create and what colors to use. They painted a new hopscotch frame, a four-square game, a throwing game, and a jumping game. For an extra touch, they wrote kind messages to be read while playing the games. 

“While we were painting the games we were remembering what it was like when we were in elementary school,” the girls said. “We thought painting these games would give the kids more of a variety of things to do. We were excited to do that because we were able to give back to the kids so they could enjoy it how we would have when we were their age!”

Next, the four met with the middle school principal to talk about what needs the school might have. They decided to clean up the garden beds in front of the school and add new plants. The girls made a budget, cleaned up the beds, and made a sign with the school letters, MMS, inside of a wooden frame. The Cadettes sketched out a template, and with the supervision of parents and the guidance of a family friend, learned how to use a jigsaw. After everything was assembled, they installed the shadow box into the ground, as well as planted new plants in the garden. 

“It has a deep meaning to us since most of us went to both of these schools and now that we are older we are helping by keeping the schools up to date and looking pretty,” the girls said. “Hopefully, our Girl Scout Silver Project will inspire other Girl Scouts to do something similar or keep ours maintained. By doing all of this work, we succeeded in our project of Beautifying Moyock Schools!”

Congratulations on earning your Silver Award, Girl Scouts and thank you for making the world a better place!

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Think Outside the Box- MISSION UNBOXABLE


Attention All Girl Scout Agents:

Your presence is requested for a top-secret mission- if you choose to accept the mission!

The Challenge:

Help spread the excitement of cookie season and Girl Scouts by sharing information on how to join or volunteer with Girl Scouts.

Required Mission

· Invite a non-Girl Scout to your next meeting or outing.

· Post the Text to Join sign at your booth, (included in this envelope) in the community or on social media.

· Select at least one of the following actions:

- Take a picture of your troop at your cookie booth

- Sell 50 Gift of Caring boxes. (Troop sells)

- Inform a customer on how the troop will use the profits

This Mission is of the Utmost Urgency!

· The mission runs from February 20 – March 28

· Once you have completed your mission, submit your results to claim your Top Secret patch at

Thursday, February 4, 2021

2021 Camp is Calling Video Contest!

 Hey, Girl Scouts! Have you heard? Camp is calling and we want to hear from you in our upcoming “Camp is Calling” video contest! When you enter our video contest you’ll have the chance to have your video shown on our social media and website as well as be in line for some great prizes! More information here-

My name
 is Shanise, a Girl Scout alum, and I started as a Brownie in our Council. Today, I am a staff member for GSCCC and that was many years ago but I know those valuable Girl Scout memories will never fade! Here, I am going to recount some of my favorite camp adventures, and maybe you’ll get some inspiration for your submission to our video contest! 

I have so many fond memories of Camp Skimino in Williamsburg, my favorite Girl Scout camp in our Council. I had many firsts there as a young Girl Scout including my first fire safety lessons, my first s’mores and my first “walking taco”. As I got older and came back year after year, I collected so many valuable outdoor experiences with fearlessness. One year, I even received my very first first aid lesson for the scrapes that on an occasion followed my newly found fearlessness. 

I have always loved being near the water and my favorite camp activity quickly became canoeing. I liked the rush of the water against the oars, as if my hands themselves were propelling my friends and I across the gleaming lake. To this day, I still love to canoe and kayak and I do so with strength and confidence. 

One year as a Girl Scout Cadette, I helped host an encampment at Camp Skimino centered around recycling to earn my Silver Award with my friends in my Hampton, Virginia troop. We spent many weekends over the years selling cookies to earn money for camping trips and service projects, looking forward all year to our return to Camp Skimino. Camp was truly calling us back time and time again! Summer camp is easily the most fond memory I have of Girl Scouts because of all the awesome experiences I had and the lifelong friends I made along the way!

That was my Camp is Calling story and now I want to hear your story! We know every Girl Scout has a camp experience worth sharing, and here is your chance to tell your story and get rewarded for doing so. We can’t wait to hear from you. Contest details here-

As a photo "shy" Cadette, I was hiding in the background of this photo. Here, my friends and I from Troop 1268 posed with groceries donated to us by the community to support our monthly meeting where we prepared and distributed food to people experiencing homelessness in Hampton, VA with the help of Fox Hill Central United Methodist Church.

It's Here! MY20-21 First Day Patch Design Contest

Hey, Girl Scouts! We want to see your creative side shine! You could be the winner of our next First Day Patch Design Contest- and your design will be produced as the official patch given to everyone who renews their membership of the first day of early renewal, April 1, 2021.

What do you picture when you think of Girl Scouts making a difference? Put those thoughts into an illustration! Keep in mind that sometimes simple is better and small details may not convey well on a real-life patch!

Using the theme, Girl Scouts Make a Differencesubmit designs from February 1-28. GSCCC staff will select the top 10 designs by Friday, March 1.

Your patch design must meet the following criteria:

• Fit entirely into the 3.5 inch circle

• Use no more than 9 colors

• All designs must include “GSCCC” or “Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast” AND “2022 First Day Patch” somewhere on the patch.

• Designs must be original and may not contain existing or copyrighted photos, illustrations or renderings.

Contest Rules:

• Contest is open to all GSCCC Girl Scout girls K-12.

• Girls must be registered in the Colonial Coast council.

• Only one entry per girl. Parent permission is required to enter, and parent contact information must be provided on entry form.

How to enter:

Fill out the entry form, scan and email to with First Day Patch Contest in the subject line or mail to Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast Council, Attn: Terri Washington, 912 Cedar Road, Chesapeake, Virginia 23322.

How the winner will be selected:

• GSCCC staff will select the finalist designs. Finalists will be displayed on our GSCCC Facebook page and Instagram. All entries will be posted without girls’ names/troop numbers. You can search for GSCCC’s original posts using hashtag #gsccc1stday

• Voting will take place on both our GSCCC Facebook page and Instagram. The winning design will be determined by which original GSCCC post receives the most likes and shares, combined across platforms, during the voting period.

• Winner will be contacted via parent email listed on entry form and announced on social media on March 12th.

The Perks:

• Winner will receive a complimentary MY21 membership.

• Winner will be featured on the GSCCC Blog and Social Media Accounts.

Here's last year's FIRST DAY PATCH winning design by Girl Scout Daisy Oryn!

More details and the submission form can be found on our RENEW page here.