Friday, October 29, 2021

Volunteer Spotlight: Eileen Livick

Eileen Livick is a go-getter volunteer who wears many hats. She says her favorite role has always been as troop leader. While she has led girls of all grade levels in the past, today she leads a Girl Scout Ambassador troop and is loving it. She also serves as a GSCCC National Delegate, is a member of GSCCC’s Board of Directors’ Sustainability Task Group, is active as an outdoor facilitator, and is the Council’s Girl Scout Destination Coordinator. Known as the “travel queen” by many, Eileen has gone on more than a dozen international trips and has advised many other councils regarding travel for Girl Scouts. She was spotlighted in a EF Tours for Girl Scouts publication!

Eileen began her career as a Girl Scout in San Diego Imperial Council, now known as Girl Scouts San Diego, and as an adult uses her skills and talents to help girls have awesome experiences, like traveling the world, as a destinations coordinator.

Eileen said, "I believe the travel bug came very early in my life. Growing up in a military family I was fortunate to be able to see much of the United States during our many moves. My parents taught us to read a map, find landmarks, suggest a route to drive, and pinpoint our location which answered our own question of 'are we there yet?'"

She continued, "Traveling with Girl Scouts gives girls a safe place to be risk takers. A place to be a problem solver, a navigator, and a time manager, a chance to get out of their comfort zone, to practice a new language and try new foods while interacting in a new and different culture. I want girls to look beyond being a tourist and become a traveler, to never minimize the value of a detour as it is part of the journey."


 Eileen has five tips for leaders interested in taking a troop trip- 

1. Remember, this trip is for the girls. Get and keep them involved in every step of the planning process. 

2. After making plan A... make plans B, C & D. 

3. Do your research: Learn as much in advance of your travel destination. Know the customs, language, currency, dress code, transportation and food options, to list a few. 

4. Learn to pack light. Know it's okay to re-wear your clothing & practice packing before you go 

5. Be flexible and most of all have fun!


Resources such as Guide to U.S. Travel, Road to Global Travel, and Global Travel Tool Kit all provide insightful information and are available on the GSUSA website.  On a more local level, consult with your service unit volunteer support team, look through the GSCCC magazine for travel opportunities, and network with other adult volunteers and troops who have previously traveled.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Remembering Girl Scout Abby Furco

Join us in remembering Girl Scout Abby Furco from Troop 308 in Virginia Beach who passed on October 19. She was a proud student at Kellam High School but struggled with cancer and complications from cancer treatments for many years. Abby first became ill when diagnosed with leukemia at the age of four and immediately started treatment at that time. Throughout her life, she experienced many treatments and hospital stays, including a bone marrow transplant. While keeping up with doctors’ visits and medical tests took time and energy, Abby was determined to have a normal life. She joined Girl Scouts at the age of five and became a Girl Scout Daisy. The positive attitude ingrained in her spirit, along with the love of her parents, helped many of Abby’s dreams come true.

Girl Scouts was an important part of her life. It was a place where she made friends and had a chance to make a difference in her community. With her troop, she did a number of community service projects that included making pet toys for the SPCA and doing a food and clothing drive for those in need. Her desire to make a difference and help people led her to earn the Girl Scout Bronze Award, the highest award earned by a Girl Scout Junior. The troop’s Bronze Award project included creating a menu and then cooking three meals for Virginia homeless through a partnership with PiN ministry. The troop also sewed stuffed toys for the children served by PiN. Girl Scout Troop Leader Carolyn Castano said Abby loved planning and leading badge work and camping.

Abby Furco at the 2016 Cookie Kickoff

Abby also enjoyed earning badges, particularly the cooking badge, as cooking was one of her favorite hobbies with dreams of becoming a chef. Abby’s warm and approachable personality made her popular among troop mates and at school. She was quick to laugh and to try new things. In 2017, she became a Cookie Captain and was proud of the cape she wore to the Cookie Kickoff held at the Children’s Museum in Portsmouth. She was recognized as a cookie champion at the 2017 Girl Fest event held at the Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach.

Abby lived the Girl Scout Promise and Law each and every day, helping others and finding ways, no matter how small or great, to make a difference in the world. She will be greatly missed.

Service details:

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Gold Award Spotlight: Peace for Pets

Girl Scout Ambassador Delaney recently earned her Gold Award by completing a project she titled, “Peace for Pets.”

Before the implementation of her project, Eastern Shore Chapel Cemetery in Virginia Beach had no policies or procedures in place that allowed the placement of patrons' deceased pets. Delaney worked with Mike Brown, cemetery manager, to design a plan and pick a plot for a pet memorial garden. Delaney created brochures for church members explaining different types of pet memorial processes, including cremations and the scattering of ashes, a sustainable solution.

With the help of Sandy Ricks, Norfolk Master Gardener, Delaney planned out the species of plants she would like to use in the garden and got to work with the help of volunteers. The memorial project included gardening and planting the plot, placing a bench for visitors and creating a birdhouse to encourage wildlife to visit all with the aim to bring solace to visitors.

For a finishing touch, Delaney added a statue of Saint Francis, the Patron Saint of animals.

“The creation of a pet cremation section of the cemetery would allow the cremains of a person’s deceased pet to be memorialized,” Delaney said. “The purpose of my project is to make the cemetery more open and inclusive as well as visually appealing.”

At the end of her project, brochures were distributed to parishioners and Delaney gained interest in her garden as an option for people during a difficult time.

“I hope this will become a sacred and peaceful place where members of Eastern Shore Chapel and other patrons of the cemetery may have their beloved pet cremains placed.”

Congratulations, Delaney!

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Cookie Classic Run Mother-Daughter Duo

Girl Scouts is often a family affair and support from caregivers along the way is a big part of the experience. Girls know that doing activities together always multiplies the fun and working together makes goals more achievable. For the mother-daughter duo, Girl Scout Senior Alex and volunteer Mara Bates, the Cookie Classic Run is an annual event where they both love to get hands on in support of Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast! Read a bit about Alex's personal experience with the Cookie Classic as a Girl Scout, then read about Mara Bates, Alex's mom, one of the lead volunteers of the Cookie Classic event!  

by: Girl Scout Senior Alex

"The Cookie Classic Run has been an annual Girl Scout event for as long as I can remember. I think I was seven years old when I went to my first Cookie Classic Run with my troop. And although I complained all throughout the mile and I ended up having to be carried, it was a lot of fun. I had never run a full mile on hilly terrain before and that first year it was a true cross-country mile.

Each year I go, I am amazed by the effort that so many people put into our community. There have been more walkers and runners as well as sponsors at the run each year. Seeing my community flourish and grow from this one race is really inspiring.  It has become a tradition that I look forward to each January. I get to see others who are as crazy as I am out there running in the cold but I also get to eat cookies on the course (if I want).

The Cookie Classic Run is really is strong in spirit, too. This run happens every year, no matter the weather and it even survived Covid! Experiencing this beautiful race is one thing, but being in it is another. I have met many amazing people over the years by racing beside them, and it truly is liberating to see people that I know outside of Girl Scouts attend as well. I really love the Cookie Classic Run; I can't wait to participate this year (again) and I hope to see it continue for many years to come."

Alex's experience highlights what the Cookie Classic is about, supporting Girl Scouts through community togetherness (with a LOT of fun along the way.) Since 2015, Mara Bates has been one of the lead volunteers supporting the Cookie Classic Run- even participating in the run herself! This event requires months of preparation from Mara but the result is an inclusive event where runners of all abilities can join us in supporting the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast.

Join us this year at the annual Cookie Classic Run on January 22, 2022 the ONLY race in Hampton Roads where you get Girl Scout cookies ON the course during the race!  Register today. 

Mara and Alex at the 2020 Cookie Classic Run Costume Contest Celebrating the
Launch of Lemon-Ups

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Bronze Award Spotlight: SPCA Brochure

Girl Scout Juniors Riley, Madeline, Ida, Sarah, Riann, and Samantha of Troop 2573 recently earned their Bronze Award in a project they titled, "SPCA Brochure." The Girl Scouts created an informational brochure that patrons of the Dare County SPCA could take home with them to learn how to care for their newly adopted furry friends.

As part of earning their Bronze Award, the girls researched things of most importance when adopting a dog from an animal shelter or other organization. The girls were required to get information from three sources so they consulted with vets, SPCA employees, and other animal care professionals and compiled that information together. Girls presented the information to their whole troop to get feedback, then collaboratively discussed which were the most important facts. Once decided, the Girl Scouts created a flyer the SPCA could hand out to new pet parents when they adopt a dog. As part of their project, girls also took proceeds from Girl Scout Cookie sales to provide cat and dog toys, food, and treats to Dare County SPCA. Girls took items from home and created homemade dog toys to be donated to the SPCA, as well.

Congratulations to Troop 2573 and thank you for making the world a better place!

Pictured with their brochures: Riley G., Ida B., Madeline H., Sarah S.


Saturday, October 2, 2021

Girl Scouts Girl Fest at Chesapeake City Park on October 23!

Join Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast for Girl Fest Games on October 23, 2021 at Chesapeake City Park! Come enjoy outdoor games, crafts, exhibitor tables, food trucks and MORE from 10 am until 1 pm!

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast is excited to kick off another awesome year of Girl Scouts with YOU! To celebrate, we’ve invited some of our favorite community partners to help us host a day full of fun! Love sports or getting outdoors? You’ll get to try your hand at several different activities like archery, yoga and volleyball- just to name a few! Watch a boxing presentation by a UFC gym and learn about sailing with Sail Nauticus.

There will also be exciting exhibitor tables like The Mariners Museum, MiniMe Events, Grand Slam 2 pitching center and MORE!

Activities & Demonstrations

  • Golf
  • Badminton
  • Archery
  • Javelin Throw
  • Discus Throw
  • Softball/Baseball
  • Soccer
  • Sailing
  • Equestrian
  • Gymnastics
  • Boxing
  • Weightlifting
  • ...and MORE!


  • Mini Me
  • Rhythmic Gymnastics
  • Balance Beams
  • Portsmouth Library
  • Grand Slam
  • Child ID Program
  • Old Dominion University Simulation Center
  • Nauticus
  • The Mariners' Museum
  • New York Life
  • UFC Gym
  • Let Me Be Great Children's Yoga

Our staff will be on site to participate in the fun and help your Girl Scout create make-and-take crafts and answer any questions you may have!

This event is open to Girl Scouts K-12 and their families, tag alongs welcome. Register here to participate. Cost is $10 per Girl Scout and $5 per adult. Register by October 10, 2021 to be entered in a drawing for a FREE Kindle! 

Friday, October 1, 2021

GSCCC Welcomes New Board Chair Marisa Porto

The Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast’s (GSCCC) Board of Directors held their annual meeting on Thursday, September 30. Council CEO Tracy Keller and Board Chair Barbara Tierney presented end-of-year reports that included many high notes, reporting goals being exceeded in membership, program services and revenue. During Keller’s report, she said the interest and determination of the nearly 7,000 girls served kept staff and volunteers looking for more ways to deliver program.  More than 4,000 girls were served through programs that included badge-in-a-box program kits that were delivered to girls, helping girls earn badges in STEM and other badge areas while at home. Keller also said getting outdoors doing activities such as archery and boating were popular among girls, keeping them engaged and allowing them to meet in person during the pandemic.  

 “While we knew it was going to be a challenging year, we aimed at goals that were within the realm of reason during these challenging times,” Keller said. “Yet we set goals that required us to reach and maintain our sustainability. We were very fortunate to have a strong board to lead us and a dedicated staff.”


At the closing of the meeting, the newly elected board members were introduced and officially welcomed. Outgoing Board Chair Barbara Tierney ceremoniously handed the gavel to incoming Board Chair Marisa Porto. Porto, who serves as the Assistant Dean of Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications at Hampton University, is a lifelong Girl Scout who has served on the GSCCC’s Board of Directors as a member at large for many years. The other officers elected and placed in position for two-year terms are Vice Chair Carolyn Pittman and Treasurer Luis Estrada.  Members-at-large include Katina Barnes, Dawn Brotherton, Amanda Howie, Christy Murphy, Michelle Penn-Marshall, Kyle Price, Heather Robinson, Jeff Thomas, and Carletta Waddler.


Following the official meeting, a ceremony was held where outgoing Board Chair Barbara Tierney was presented the sign that will be used for a new bicycle adventure unit at Camp Skimino, a council camp property near Williamsburg. Tierney, a lifetime Girl Scout whose first job was as a camp counselor overseeing a bike unit, was emotional as Porto added that the council was adding 20 new bicycles, safety equipment, and storage space to support the unit in Barbara Tierney’s name. The sign’s graphic was designed similarly to Barbara’s Board Chair patch – Bee Fierce text and an image of a bee. The unit will be ready for sprig adventures and summer camp!  


“ Girl Scouting has been an important part of my family’s history for generations and I have been so grateful to have had an opportunity to serve in this leadership role during such a crucial time,” Tierney said.  

See a new Bike Unit at Camp Skimino presentation from Marisa Porto to Barbara Tierney video here-

Barbara Tierney with her sister Vickie Kearn at the flagpole area at A Place for Girls where several Bricks of Honor were unveiled to honor members of Barbara’s family - a family with a strong Girl Scout history.

Part of the festivities included board members networking and having fun after the official meeting. Each created a boat that the floated in a rain-gutter regatta!

Outgoing Board Member Claire Winiarek with new Board Chair Marisa Porto.

Marisa at the ropes station trying her hand at a clove hitch.

New board member Kyle Price.

Barbara presented a gift to Tracy Keller thanking her for all the support she had given her during her term as board chair.