Thursday, September 30, 2021

Gold Award Spotlight: Battling Period Poverty

Girl Scout Ambassador Victoria of Troop 534 recently earned her Gold Award in a project she titled, “Battling Period Poverty.” This Gold Award project focused on the accessibility of feminine hygiene products and the sustainability of those products on the environment. Period poverty and sustainability is an issue that affects girls and women of all ages around the world.

“All around my community, my country, and my planet, there are women who suffer from period poverty,” Victoria said. “Many women and young girls can not attend school or work because they cannot afford menstrual products.”

In her project, Victoria addressed the luxury tax on feminine hygiene care and the tough decisions that some families have to make to afford the necessities, like choosing between food and hygiene products.

To address these issues, Victoria enlisted a team of volunteers from her church that created and distributed sustainable and reusable sanitary pads in various sizes and care instructions to women in her community. Victoria’s design is machine or hand washable and can be used for years and years with proper care. To make a larger impact, Victoria created a website with a PDF template of her sanitary pad design with how-to video instructions for others to use.

Her project was a success and the volunteer team sewed over 150 cloth pads that were used in 20 kits for women and girls that will last them indefinitely. 

Victoria’s website can be found here with more information about her mission and how-to instructions for those interested in recreating her design.

Gold Award Girl Scout Victoria

From Victorias website, she shares designs for girls and women of all shapes and sizes.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Bronze Award Spotlight: Covid-19 Memorial at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center

Girl Scout Junior Cora of Troop 762 recently earned her Bronze Award by creating a Covid-19 Memorial at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center. Cora corresponded with Chesapeake Regional Health Foundation staff and leadership, based inside the Medical Center, to discuss her project idea and find the perfect location for the memorial project.

Cora contacted Carters Country Corner garden center in Chesapeake, VA and they graciously donated a purple Rose of Sharon for her project. 

"I engraved a sign to commemorate all those that were lost, all that suffered and those that helped the victims of COVID-19," Cora said. She went on to give a speech to the hospital administration and staff in a small outdoor ceremony before placing the rose.

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

Monday, September 27, 2021

Alum Spotlight: Sarah Linden

Sail Nauticus Manager Sarah Linden, a former GSCCC Girl Scout who earned her Gold Award now manages Sail Nauticus- a community sailing center that provides after-school programming to Norfolk Public School students as well as a membership program to teach people how to sail and increase access to the area’s maritime resources. In her role, Sarah manages a fleet of boats including a 120-foot tall ship! She joined Girl Scouts in elementary school as a Brownie and continued through her senior year of high school! She grew up outside of Washington, D.C. as part of the Nation’s Capital Council and later moved to the Colonial Coast area.

Sarah went on to earn her Gold Award as a Girl Scout Ambassador by taking action to tackle an issue dear to her community.

“My Gold Award project focused on increasing awareness of the dangers of drunk driving,” Sarah said.  “During my sophomore year of high school, a dear friend’s brother was killed in an accident so, driver’s safety was close to my heart.” 

Sarah's project, completed in 2006, consisted of organizing a school assembly with firefighters, EMTs, and nurses to discuss responses and solutions to the issue. She also partnered with MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and created an anti-drunk driving PSA which was broadcast throughout her high school the week prior to prom.

 She is a Girl Scout for life and has continued to stay involved as an adult.

“Over the years, I have remained engaged with many of the women who were in my troop—even though we graduated in 2006,” she said. “A few years ago, several of us got to attend the GSCCC “Women’s Wellness Weekend” and had an incredible time. I advocate for Girl Scouts in the community. And, of course, I still enjoy purchasing, and nibbling on, Girl Scout cookies.”

 Sarah said sailing has been a passion of hers as long as Girl Scouts and she is excited to share her experience and the thrills of sailing with girls of all ages. 

“Both are profound platforms for building leadership skills, understanding the importance of teamwork, and creating life-long friendships. We'd love to work with your troop to build their confidence and expand their horizons.”

You can find out more about Sail Nauticus and how to get involved at

Thursday, September 23, 2021

2020/2021 Famous Formers Luncheon

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast held their annual Famous Formers Luncheon on September 23 at Cavalier Golf and Yacht Club in Virginia Beach. Seven change-making, women leaders, along with a Corporate G.I.R.L (Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, and Leader) Champion, were honored. Although there was rain throughout most of the day, the luncheon went on as planned and was held in the outdoors under an event tent and attended by 200 guests.

Before the start of the luncheon, honorees were invited to a celebration reception hosted by Strategic Solutions by Tricia. There, past honorees welcomed and congratulated the new class of Famous Formers. The luncheon followed and officially began with a presentation of colors and the reciting of the Girl Scout Promise and Law by Girl Scout Seniors Anna, Elizabeth, Erika, and Rachel. The luncheon was sponsored by Towne Bank, the presenting sponsor, and Newport News Shipbuilding. 

Council Board Chair Barbara Tierney, a past Vice President with Towne Bank, welcomed guests and addressed the honorees stating, “Each one of our awardees has a unique and inspirational story. The seeds of those successes were planted by their experiences as Girl Scouts and the promises our Famous Formers made and the laws they abided by made them the strong women they are now.”

Bonita Billingsley Harris, regional policy director for Dominion Energy and 2019 Famous Former awardee, emceed the event. She introduced each honoree, sharing how Girl Scouting impacted each and spoke about their accomplishments as leaders. Amazingly, the honorees had something in common, they continue to use the life skills they learned in Girl Scouts today! 

“The women leaders recognized, along with the almost eighty women honored before them, have distinguished themselves as leaders in business, marketing, academia, media relations and entrepreneurship,” Billingsley-Harris said. “Leading from the front and empowering others are these incredible Famous Former Girl Scouts. 

The keynote speaker for the event, Dr. Barbara Blake Gonzalez, Chief Administrative Officer of The Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy who was the contributing author of the annual State of the Region and State of the Commonwealth in 2019, gave an inspirational message. She applauded all guests who made a commitment to support girls and women by being at the luncheon. She encouraged all to take action in their workplace or in other ways to extend leadership and opportunities to girls and women.  

Blake reported that gaps continue to exist when it comes to pay parity among the genders. Women on the average make less than men in the same job or position.  She also reported that challenges for women have increased during the pandemic as they have assumed more responsibility as caregivers without compensation and some have left the workforce. Pre-pandemic, nearly 70 percent of women participated in the workforce, with a decline to 50 percent at this time. "We need to champions to promote economic empowerment for girls and women," she said. 

Following they keynote address, each Famous Former honoree was awarded a special plaque by GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller and GSCCC Chair of the Board, Barbara Tierney.

During closing remarks, GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller said," Dr. Blake, it is a powerful moment when women leaders, like you, remind us what the world could be and should be for our girls. To the guests in the room, please join Girl Scouts and our vision of the world where gender parity will exist. Join me in imagining a world where girls will never have to think twice about stepping up to leadership. Imagine a world where girls are confident to use their voices. Girls learning to value themselves and knowing they are valued by others." 

Pictured above, left to right: GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller; Michele Anderson, President and CEO, United Way of South Hampton Roads; Cathy Fox, Business Operations Manager, The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium; Dawn Peters, Associate Planner, Lincoln Financial Advisors; Michelle Woodhouse, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer, Tidewater Community College; Janet Roach, Anchor/Reporter 13NewsNow; Suzanne Garcia, President/CEO, SeaHill Spa at the Cavalier; and Barbara Tierney, Chair of the Board. (Not pictured: Sarah Noffsinger and Holly Deal.)

Visit our Famous Formers page to view a video interview with each honoree.

Please join all of us in congratulating our incredible class of Famous Formers.

2020 Famous Former Honorees:

Holly Deal, Lieutenant Commander of Coast Guard Finance Center, U.S. Coast Guard

Cathy Fox, Business Operations Manager, The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium

Suzanne Garcia, President/CEO, SeaHill Spa at the Cavalier

Dawn Peters, Associate Planner, Lincoln Financial Advisors

Janet Roach, Anchor/ Reporter, 13NewsNow

Dr. Michelle W. Woodhouse, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer, Tidewater Community College

Future Famous Former: 

Sarah Noffsinger, Chesapeake City Schools Teacher

2020 Corporate G.I.R.L. Champion of the Year:

United Way of South Hampton Roads

A special thank you to our media sponsors:

WHRO Public Media

  • Virginia Media
  • Coastal Virginia Magazine
  • 13News Now Logo_2017_Master
  • logo_inside-business-150

Friday, September 17, 2021

Silver Award Spotlight: Operation Halter Boxes

Untamed Spirit is a very valuable program that takes place at Forward Motion Farm in Virginia Beach. Untamed Spirit serves special needs children and adults through a partnership with horses and also offers educational workshops to educate the public about equine-assisted programs and activities. Girl Scout Cadettes Allison, Charlotte, Norah, and Riley of Troop 716 recently earned their Silver Award in a project titled, "Operation Halter Boxes," which benefitted the Untamed Spirit program at Forward Motion Farm.

The girls learned from Barb Ford, executive director of Forward Motion Farm, that due to the pandemic, more people than usual were in need of counseling and the services that she offered at her farm. However, because of the difficulties of a nationwide lockdown, the farm was not receiving income or donations which was making it difficult to keep up with the farm and provide the services that her clients needed. 

After hearing from Barb Ford, the girls decided this would be a perfect place to complete a project for them because they could combine their desire to help someone in need with their love for horses. Troop 250 visited the farm and during their tour, they discovered that the halter boxes, located outside of each training ring and pasture, were in disrepair. The Girl Scouts agreed to build new halter boxes, eight in total, to replace the old boxes and add new ones where needed on the farm. 

To get started, the girls met via Zoom to come up with a halter box design and to make a shopping list. Each girl chose a local building supply store to visit with their parent and priced out the materials. The troop met again to decide which store would be the best value for purchasing their supplies. Following that, they had two meetings where they worked together to build the halter boxes. The girls noted that their project was a good choice because it was completed outdoors and allowed the troop to follow Girl Scout protocols for safely working together. 

In the end, the girls chose to put an inspirational message on each halter box to give encouragement to Barb Ford’s clients during their therapy at the farm.

Congratulations, Allison, Charlotte, Norah, and Riley!


Friday, September 10, 2021

GSCCC Gold Award Girl Scout Earns National Scholarship

The 2021 class of Gold Award Girl Scouts was full of teen change-makers who spent hours creating lasting impact on issues important to them in our community. Gold Award Girl Scouts address the root cause of a problem, plan and implement innovative solutions to drive change, and lead a team of people to success. 

As they take action to transform their world, Gold Award Girl Scouts gain tangible skills and prove they are the leaders our community and world need. This year, Gold Award Girl Scout Francesca from GSCCC was awarded a national scholarship from Girl Scouts of the USA thanks to sponsorship from Arconic Foundation and Kappa Delta Foundation.  

Francesca was inspired to spread distracted driving awareness education after her community experienced a tragic car accident that resulted in the loss of young life. She earned her Gold Award by completing her project titled, Distracted Driving Awareness, to address the issue in her community and beyond. Francesca worked with the York County Sheriff’s Department to create a Girl Scout patch program that brings awareness to the importance of safety on the road. 

“Teenagers often do not realize how dangerous being on the roads can be,” Francesca said. “There are many variables that affect new drivers, not only cell phones.”

Her Girl Scout patch program is aimed at teenagers and educated new drivers about types of distractions on the road and the dangers and legal and moral consequences of breaking the law.

Check out a video made by Francesca on her YouTube channel here then sign the safety pledge today if you want to help Francesa’s mission to keep the roads safe.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Gold Award Spotlight: ViBe District Mural

Girl Scout Ambassador Gabriella of Troop 142 earned her Gold Award by completing her project she titled, ViBe District Mural. The ViBe Creative District in Virginia Beach, VA has a goal to enhance discovery for citizens and visitors while uplifting community artists and Gabriella wanted to be part of that mission!  Gabriella has a passion for art and knew that she could contribute and bring beauty to the ViBe Creative District by creating public art for the community to enjoy at no cost.

 She worked with Kate Pittman, executive director of the ViBe District, to create and install a mural of the famous King Neptune statue which is located at the Virginia Beach oceanfront. She also interviewed three other ViBe District muralists to understand their mission through art. Gabriella shared the importance of public art and the mission of herself and other artists with a local art class and encouraged other students to get involved by showing progress pictures of her project and how to get started on their own.

“Seeing my project and my passion for art being spread throughout the community made me feel so honored, Gabriella said.” I was able to see myself grow as an artist.”

Gabriella’s project is a permanent fixture in the Virginia Beach ViBe District and can be viewed by the community, along with other local art, at no cost.

Gold Award Girl Scout Gabriella