Getting Her Adrenaline Rush

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Emily Pine’s Girl Scout Destination Experience

There is something so incredibly special that happens when a girl goes on a Girl Scout Destination trip. She comes back a go-getter, innovator, risk-taker and leader. She returns as a G.I.R.L.!

Girl Scout Senior Emily Pine did…twice.

This summer Emily embarked on her second Destination trip – Adrenaline Rush. For eight days she traveled with 15 other Girl Scouts from around the country and three adult guides through Georgia and North Carolina doing all kinds of activities that most definitely got her adrenaline going!

She soared on a 30-foot long zipline.

Canoed, kayaked, did archery and riflery activities.

Tried her hand at woodworking.

Let loose on a giant swing.

Toured a cave and went spelunking.

White water rafted.

Climbed a 20-foot tree.

And more.

While Emily was looking forward to all these experiences, she was most intrigued about the spelunking adventure – something she had never done before. She embraced the close quarters, followed the guides lead and got her exploration on – proclaiming herself the dirtiest in the group from climbing, crawling and slithering her way throughout the cave!

“It was fan-tab-umazing! Yes, I know that’s not a word….”

(We think she is saying that it was fantastic, fabulous and amazing all at once!)

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Emily knows that she has grown as a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker and leader) from her first Destination experience to this one. “Last year I didn’t really want to talk to anybody. This year I put my stuff away immediately and went out and started talking to girls.”

Her mother, Janet also sees that growth in Emily.

“I think Destinations are really good for her and gets her out of her comfort zone. She’s more timid when I’m around, but when I’m not there she blossoms. The more experiences like that she can have the better for her,” Janet explained.

Emily still has three summers to fill with Destination experiences, if she chooses! Along with thinking about her Gold Award and other activities where she will lead like a Girl Scout – like working at a camp and teaching younger girls about adventure activities!

“I enjoy Girl Scouts more because of Girl Scout Destinations. These trips show me there are adventures in the world to be had,” Emily said!

There is still time to apply for a Girl Scout Destination for summer 2017 – the next deadline is Feb. 15!

5 Unique Ways to Invest in Girls (that you may not know about!)

Today is #GivingTuesday – a holiday that celebrates giving on the Tuesday after Black Friday & Cyber Monday. As they say on GivingTuesday.org “after you get, you give.” We hope you are watching our social media channels and sharing our inspiring stories of girls who are changing the world – right here in our council. By investing in girls, you can help change the world.

While giving directly to Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri is the very best way to invest in girls, we have some creative ways you can give that you may not know about. Some are literally FREE TO YOU, but supports girls! How cool! Check out these 5 ways and share with friends. Together, we can show girls they matter and invest in our best natural resource – GIRLS!

 

#1 Giving Tuesday

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Giving today makes a real difference. We have a bold $5,000 goal to kick-off our season of giving and that means every dollar we raise today helps us reach that goal for girls. Give today and you’re not only investing in girls, you’re contributing to a global movement of giving. Post an #UnSelfie of yourself giving and tag #gsksmo, share our Facebook stories, invite friends to our digital event and check out our video featuring Girl Scout Alumna and Program Leader, Amilee Turner.

All day we’re highlighting G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters. Innovators. Risk-takers. Leaders)TM from our Council who’ve made a difference. Learn more about these girls here! Go-getter – Blayre Messner, Innovator – Jolly Patro, Risk-taker – Amanda Johnson, Leaders – Troop 2300 from John Fiske Elementary

 

#2 Amazon Smile

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Giving back costs you NOTHING by using Amazon Smile. Do your holiday shopping today and give back in return. All you have to do is use the link here: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/43-0892926 or go to smile.amazon.com and type “Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri” into the Charity search. Once you designate your charity, .5% of all your purchases goes back to Girl Scouts. Same Amazon, just giving back! Make sure to use smile.amazon.com whenever your shopping to active the giving.

 

#3 United Way/CFC

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Live United and/or give as a federal employee. These two awesome programs use funds from generous donors who give to United Way or CFC and in turn, the funds are distributed to critical organizations in their communities. When you give to either United Way or the Combined Federal Campaign, you are part of a mission of giving that generates thousands of dollars for important organizations each year. Here’s a handy list of the United Ways that service our Council or click here to find your local United Way. Check out some GSKSMO supporters from the blog – Terry Knopke and Mary McMichael!

If you’re a CFC donor – please consider directing your CFC contribution to GSKSMO (#35109)

 

#4 Corporate/Workplace Giving

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Does your employer have a VIP (Volunteer Incentive Program)? Many organizations provide incentives for employees to give of time or money to a charitable organization. By selecting Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri as your organization, you’ll make a real difference in the lives of girls! Plus, you may get rewarded in return. Your company can also sponsor Girl Scout events like Inspire a Girl or the Volunteer Recognition Events. Sponsorships are a great way to show how much a company cares about the community and supports girls. Each company is different and we’re here to help. Contact the TanyaDunn@gsksmo.org if you have questions!

 

#5 Charity Fundraisers

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Are you part of an organization, club or group that does an annual fundraiser for charity? If so, we need YOU! Advocating for GSKSMO to be the recipient of your group’s fundraiser can make a real difference in our community. In 2016, thanks to Board Member Sherry Gibbs advocating for girls, GEHA selected GSKSMO as the recipient of funds raised from their annual golf tournament. This was a $100,000 investment in girls – how incredible! You can read the full story here and if you’d like to make incredible change like this, contact the VP of Philanthropy, Vanessa Van Goethem-Piela (Vanessa@gsksmo.org).

Invest in Girls. Change the World. That’s what we believe and we hope you’ll invest today. It only takes a few minutes and your gift of any size can make a huge difference for girls right here in your community. Want to make an even bigger impact? Join Daisy’s Circle, GSKSMO’s monthly giving program. With your help, we can show girls they matter!

www.gsksmo.org/GivingTuesday

#givingtuesday #givingtuesdaykc #gsksmo #girlscouts

We Are Thankful

It’s the week of Thanksgiving and we are all about showing how thankful we are for all of the awesome experiences girls are able to have in Girl Scouts. We’re also thankful for YOU – our Girl Scout families, volunteers, donors and advocates. Together, we are helping girls become the leaders of tomorrow. Here are a few things we’re extra thankful for this holiday season!

Outdoor Program

Our Outdoor Program offers girls the opportunity to have amazing adventures and become confident. For many, camp is a “home away from home” and the highlight of their year. We’ve been honored to receive some amazing gifts this year to our camp properties including sound dampening panels to lodges, the start of a new low ropes course, a facelift for the rappel tower and the addition of a slingshot course! We are so thankful for the girls who bring the properties to life with their giggles, the site managers / rangers who keep them safe and beautiful and the donors and volunteers who help add new adventures every year. THANK YOU!

 

STEM

As STEM donor Denise Mills said, “Society conditions girls with messages that STEM isn’t a good fit for them, even today. Even though there’s an emphasis on STEM right now, when women get to college they’re advisors question them about it. ‘Why are you taking computer science? Usually guys take that.’” That’s why Girl Scouts is taking the lead in offering a variety of engaging, exciting STEM opportunities for girls of all ages. Our STEM program is strong because of our supporters who believe that investing in girls is investing in the future. We are so thankful for the incredible SPARK event sponsors who welcome Girl Scouts to their locations to learn, to the donors who know STEM is the way of the future, and to the Girl Scout leaders who bring STEM into troop meetings! STEM ROCKS!

 

Entrepreneurship

Girl Scouts are the business owners of tomorrow – and that begins with learning business skills as a girl! By participating in the Girl Scout Cookie and Fall Candy, Nuts & Magazine Programs, girls develop their own business plan, learn to budget with the profits, learn sales and money management. “The 5 Skills” that girls learn are critical to their future skills involving financial literacy and business. We’re so thankful for the leaders, cookie moms and dads (like Craig Lybarger) and families that help girls reach their entrepreneurial goals through the Cookie Program. Plus, who isn’t thankful for the yummy cookies they get when Girl Scouts come around selling cookies?!

 

Advocacy

We are thankful to have a strong group of women who advocate for themselves, their communities and the world. Through the leadership programs in Girl Scouts, girls are excited and encouraged to use their voices. We are thankful for the troop leaders who encourage girl-led experiences, for the Community Partners who create activities that inspire leadership and the Girl Scouts who are brave and take the lead. What an amazing group of leaders we have! We love sharing their awesome stories every day!

Most of all – we’re thankful for YOU! Without you, our Girl Scouts and advocates, we wouldn’t be able to help the girls of today become leaders of tomorrow. Thank you for all you do!

Don’t forget to join us on Tues., Nov. 29th for #GivingTuesday! We’ll have inspiring stories, a video and lots of things to share that day as we kick-off our season of giving with a bold $5,000 Giving Tuesday goal! You can RSVP for the event and even add a profile photo frame NOW to get started.

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Go to www.facebook.com/profilepicframes, click “Day of the Girl” from the dropdown, select the GS logo and SAVE!

 

We’d love to hear what YOU’RE thankful for this year! Leave a comment below to share!

Troop 879 is Standing with Sister Girl Scouts

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Introducing our inaugural troop to join Daisy’s Circle

Being a sister to every Girl Scout is so important, it’s in our law. Not only does it stress the importance of kindness, but also supporting sister Girl Scouts. Troop 879 from Grain Valley, MO is taking the law to heart by becoming the first Daisy’s Circle troop! In a girl-led decision on budgeting, the girls decided to use half of their cookie money to help other Girl Scouts succeed. You might think a troop with this much heart must be in high school – but they’re actually 2nd grade Brownies. Troop 879 is setting the bar for giving as a troop.

In November 2016, Troop 879 welcomed Melissa Bondon, Donor Relations Manager for GSKSMO, to do a special pinning ceremony where each girl received a Daisy’s Circle pin. Just like adults who join, the pin is a way to show they make a monthly gift to Girl Scouts. The girls also received a special patch to mark their achievement. Shiloh P described her pin by saying, “we earned [the Daisy’s Circle pin] by doing the Girl Scout law, being a sister to other Girl Scouts and giving to the community.”

Troop 879 with Melissa Bondon from GSKSMO at their Daisy’s Circle pinning ceremony

Troop 879  at their Daisy’s Circle pinning ceremony

Philanthropy has been an important part of troop life from the beginning. Leader Michelle Twyman has a passion for giving and noticed the girls were naturally inclined to help the community. “We are living in an entitled world where kids believe things are owed to them. We want our girls to have a different mindset. Last year’s girls all had that giving mentality and as first graders, they were driving philanthropy, not the leaders,” Michelle said.

Troop 879 has a constantly changing membership from year to year. It’s a school district with particularly high turnover, so 7 out of the 9 girls from last year have since moved and left the troop. Now, the troop has 12 Brownies and the job of educating 10 new Girl Scouts about philanthropy has largely been left to the two from the previous year. Aubrey and Shiloh, the two girls who have been with the troop from day 1, are up for the challenge because they believe in giving.

“It’s important to give to other Girl Scouts because some girls don’t get to do the things we do, so we give money so they can do it too,” Shiloh P. said. She proudly wears her Daisy’s Circle pin to meetings as a reminder of her giving.

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Aubrey T, the other original member of the troop, thinks it’s the right thing to do as a Girl Scout: “[My troop] gave to other Girl Scouts because that’s what good Girl Scouts would do.” She found courage in herself to advocate for philanthropy and already the rest of the troop is on board.

At a mid-November meeting, the girls voted to give some money they raise in fall sales and cookie sales to philanthropic efforts. This year they voted between giving to people in need or animals in need. People in need won. Some girls really still wanted to help animals, so the troop decided to go read to animals at a shelter as an activity while their funds would go to helping others in their community.

November 2016 – Troop 879 being silly & discussing their philanthropic efforts for the year.

November 2016 – Troop 879 being silly & discussing their philanthropic efforts for the year.

By giving to others, Troop 879 is also learning the value of their own experience in Girl Scouts. Alia is new to the troop, but already wanting to share the lessons of courage she’s getting with other girls. “Some people don’t have the courage to do stuff like we do, so it would be nice to give money so that other girls can have courage too,” Alia B. said.

Troop 879 is looking forward to using some of their fundraising money to help others in their community, even as they continue to give to Daisy’s Circle this year. Every dollar makes a difference and this troop is a great example of the power of giving that lives in Girl Scouts. In addition to giving, the troop uses funds to do activities, crafts (sometimes led by Girl Scout dad, Tony Twyman!) and leadership experiences.

At the end of the day, Michelle and the other parents and leaders want the girls to grow up to be good people. “We don’t want our girls to be so focused on things. We want them to learn that people are important. Everyone can give in some way. Some can give with money, some with time, and we talk about that with the girls. We are trying to show our girls how they can support others, not just entitled to help themselves,” Michelle said.

If you or your troop is inspired by Troop 879’s dedication to the Girl Scout promise of being a sister to every Girl Scout, contact MelissaBondon@gsksmo.org or click here to become a member of Daisy’s Circle! If your troop has a great philanthropy story, share in the comments below.

Don’t forget – Giving Tuesday is on Tuesday, November 29th and will kick off our season of giving at Girl Scouts. We invite you to follow, share and like our Giving Tuesday stories and help us continue to empower girls by investing in girls.

Lifting up G.I.R.Ls through Giving

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Spotlighting Girl Scout Alumna Mary McMichael

Creating G.I.R.Ls – what’s more important in the world today? It takes a village to support Go-Getters, Innovators, Risk-Takers and Leaders, and there’s a super team that make a huge difference in the lives of girls – alumnae who know firsthand the power of Girl Scouts. Meet Mary McMichael, a United Way donor and Girl Scout alumna who gives to make the next generation of Girl Scouts strong and brave. Today, Mary invests in girls by designating her United Way giving to Girl Scouts.

Growing up in Des Moines, IA, in a family of seven, Mary didn’t participate in many activities, but she found a home in Girl Scouts as a Brownie. “When I was growing up, everyone was a Girl Scout. My mom didn’t normally volunteer, but she signed up to be my leader and met her best friend because they were co-leaders together,” Mary said. She enjoyed the challenges of earning badges and adventures in the outdoors.

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“Back then, if you sold so many boxes of cookies, camp didn’t cost you a cent; it was motivation for me. It was something I could do that my family didn’t have to pay for if I worked hard,” Mary said. From grades 4th to 8th, Mary looked forward to summers at Camp Sacagawea in Boone, IA, where she learned to work hard, make friends and be brave. “When I went to camp….it was wonderful. Stomping through the woods, singing, meeting people from outside of Iowa…it made me brave,” Mary said.

After high school, Mary attended college at NWMSU in Maryville (which happens to be an awesome Girl Scout community partner!). Once she graduated, she used her bravery to follow friends to Kansas City where she’s been ever since. Today, Mary works for P&G in Kansas City, KS and proudly gives to Girl Scouts through United Way each year.

Memories from Camp Sacagawea, mid-1970s, including a letter from her grandmother.

Memories from Camp Sacagawea, mid-1970s, including a letter from her grandmother.

“I support Girl Scouts because it’s something I did, that I experienced, that probably doesn’t get a ton of money. Hopefully what I give can help get a girl get there that might not otherwise get there,” Mary said. That’s not where service stops for this alumna! Mary and her friends get together for birthdays and instead of gifts, they pick a service activity. Recently, the group packed 50 sandwich lunches and distributed them to homeless individuals for a 50th birthday in the group. How inspiring!

Mary has been giving for years to United Way, but feels the giving to girl-focused organization is critical right now. “I think now is more important than ever to keep girls courageous, brave and hopeful. We have to keep them up there and moving forward. If I can give to help that and go back to my friends and ask them to give, as women, to move girls along, I think it’s important,” Mary said. She knows that giving NOW will keep girls moving forward, motivated and showing them that they can be amazing leaders.

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It’s incredible to see philanthropy coming full circle. By giving to Girl Scouts through United Way, Mary is helping girls develop leadership skills, get to camp and learn to be brave – just like her. We can’t thank Mary enough for her continued service and for living life as a G.I.R.L. by being a Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker and Leader herself! The DNA of a Girl Scout lives in every alumna.

If you’d like to learn more about United Way giving, find your local United Way by clicking here. You can also join our circle of giving that directly impacts girls in our Council by joining Daisy’s Circle, GSKSMO’s monthly giving program. Together, every dollar we raise is helping us create the brave leaders of tomorrow.

Do you have a donor story you’d like to share or want to give a shout out to Mary? Comment below!

Taking a Risk and Finding Your Passion

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Evelyn Peat’s Girl Scout Destination to Rock-N-Wilderness

With dozens upon dozens of Girl Scout Destinations to choose from, there is trip for every Girl Scout.

If she wants to be a go-getter, honing her photography skills while hiking through a national park, she can.

If she wants to discover more about herself as a leader while backpacking through Peru with a pack of llamas, she can.

If she wants to be a risk-taker, canoeing through the boundary waters, she can.

Evelyn Peat did.

Evelyn is a Girl Scout Senior and one of five girls in troop 3394 out of Topeka, KS. Just like any other troop, #3394 is girl-led. They choose what activities they will do each year, together. But, one of the great things about being a Girl Scout is that you can also do things outside of your troop that have particular interest to you – like a Girl Scout Destination!

You see, Evelyn loves the outdoors – camping, exploring and taking risks as a Girl Scout. So when her mom told her about a trip called Rock-N-Wilderness that would take her up to Minnesota to canoe through the various lakes that make up the Boundary Waters and through Canada, she was sold.

Through her experiences on Lake Odonata at Camp Daisy Hindman, Evelyn knew that she liked canoeing and that she wanted to do more of it!

Her Destination started out at a Girl Scout Camp in Duluth, MN where she was put into a group with six other Girl Scouts from around the country and two guides. The first two days they did team building exercises and learned the ins and outs of canoeing. They also did a small kayaking expedition, something Evelyn had never done before!

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For the next seven days, Evelyn and her group canoed over 50 miles through Minnesota into Canada and back, camping and cooking their meals along the way. During those seven days Evelyn learned more about herself as a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk taker and leader.)™

“I really liked the since of accomplishment I felt each day. I learned that I can always push myself to go farther; even if I think I can’t,” Evelyn said.

 

Throughout the trip their guides were constantly monitoring the weather, determining the best time for the group to be out on the water, completing their trek. This meant that some days they canoed in the early mornings, some in the afternoons and once, during the night! They were prepared for whatever they might encounter and had supplies and food packed for those seven days in the wilderness.

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There are three roles in a canoe – the bow (front), the stern (back) and princess (middle). The guides quickly realized that Evelyn was an excellent bow and often looked to her to navigate the choppy waters, not only for her own canoe, but for the entire group.

While out on the Boundary Waters, something really special happened to Evelyn. She crossed paths with her brother who happened to be on a Boy Scout expedition himself!

At the conclusion of her destination, Evelyn met back up with her family for a mini-vacation in Minnesota while they waited for her brother’s expedition to conclude. During that time she convinced her family to go kayaking out on Lake Superior!

Since she has returned, her passion for canoeing and kayaking has remained steady. The Peat family has been out to Eisenhower State Park where they can rent canoes and kayaks by the hour. Other families have joined in on these outings and Evelyn has been teaching others how to properly and safely be out on the water!

She’s even taught her 10-year old brother how to canoe!

Melissa Peat, Evelyn’s mom, sees a difference in Evelyn since she’s returned. “I’ve realized how much more confidence she has and she is communicating better,” Melissa explained. “When we have gone out kayaking and canoeing with friends, she is a leader and teaches people what to do!”

Thanks to Girl Scouts, Evelyn took risks and discovered a new passion that she is now sharing with those all around her!

November 15 is the first application deadline for 2017 Girl Scout Destinations! Where will you travel as a G.I.R.L (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

Leading by Example and Growing the Circle

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A Daisy’s Circle Spotlight: Diana Fabac

Leading by example – that’s what Daisy’s Circle member, troop leader and Girl Scout mom, Diana Fabac does every day for girls. Not only did Diana become a leader more than 10 years ago, but she recently became a member of Daisy’s Circle. By showing her girls, parents and community what an impact being a monthly donor to girls does for the community, she’s helping to change the culture of philanthropy.

 

Troop 1807’s Halloween party with family and leaders!

Troop 1807’s Halloween party with family and leaders!

Diana Fabac was a Blue Bird as a young girl and her mother was her leader. As a mom, it was important for Diana to make sure her daughter had some of those same experiences, so they got involved in Girl Scouts. When Megan (Diana’s daughter) asked her to lead the troop, Diana remembered the impact of her mother’s leadership and it gave her the courage to take on the job. At the first meeting another woman, Dawn, offered to be the co-leader. Together, more than a decade later, Diana and Dawn lead the seven girls of Troop 1807 from Kansas City, KS.

“As a troop leader, I’ve learned I can be as strong and courageous as we are teaching our girls to be,” Diana said.  “I wouldn’t be successful without my troop.” This boost of confidence shows that many times, the power of Girl Scouts goes far beyond just the girls – it touches the families as well.

Troop 1807’s “Gratitude Tree” project in fall of 2014.

Troop 1807’s “Gratitude Tree” project in fall of 2014.

Caption: Troop 1807’s “Gratitude Tree” project in fall of 2014.

In April 2016 Diana attended the Inspire a Girl Expo where she learned about Daisy’s Circle. When she realized the power of monthly gifts and how it could support girls in all walks of life, she decided to become a member. It set an example of giving for her girls that she’s proud of.

  “Girl Scouts has given me so much; I want to continue to give back and give more girls opportunities. I can’t give much, but Daisy’s Circle is my way to make a bigger difference,” Diana said. It’s all the power of the circle and gifts working together to make change.

During Inspire a Girl, new Daisy’s Circle members were entered in a drawing for a prize that included a free week of camp for a Girl Scout. Diana was the lucky winner! It was a touching moment because sending Megan to camp was proving to be financially challenging, so the prize was a wonderful surprise. Megan ended up having a conflict, but the Fabac family was happy to pay it forward to another Girl Scout. What an amazing moment of generosity.

Troop 1807 enjoying Halloween (2016) and a visit to the Sea Life Aquarium (2015)

Troop 1807 enjoying Halloween (2016) and a visit to the Sea Life Aquarium (2015)

Diana continues to be an advocate for girls and lead Troop 1807 with Dawn at her side. Four of the girls have been on this amazing Girl Scout journey together since Daisies and the troop of seven Girl Scout seniors is stronger than ever! They enjoy service projects, Halloween costume parties and adventures as a troop. You can feel the power of sisterhood in Troop 1807 and the connections with the parents who get to experience Girl Scouts with their daughters.

As Diana says, “I’m proud I gave of myself; I wouldn’t change a thing. Life as a Girl Scout Troop Leader has brought me so much joy, as much or more than I could ever give.”

We thank the Fabac family for their advocacy and continued support of Girl Scouts. When volunteers become donors, they truly bring giving full circle. If you’d like to be like Diana and join the circle of giving that provides countless opportunities for girls, right here in our council, please visit www.daisyscircle.org to get involved!

Know of another amazing Daisy’s Circle donor? Comment below and share their story!

Finding Her Passion

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Anna Vogts final Girl Scout Destinations’ experience

When you love to travel, are an avid outdoorswoman and have a passion for photography, a Girl Scout Destination trip called “Wilderness Photography Adventure” is going to pique your interest. At least it did for Girl Scout Ambassador Anna Vogts!

Anna is no stranger to the Girl Scout Destinations program. Last summer she went on a trip around Central America and studied the habitats and life cycle of sea turtles. (Read all about that trip!) She returned home already dreaming of her next Girl Scout adventure.

On July 3rd,  Anna packed her bags and left the Girl Scout Camp she was working at in Iowa for a week of traveling, camping and photographing around Yosemite National Park in California with nine other Girl Scouts from around the world (one was from Dubai!) and two guides who were professional photographers.

“I had taken photography classes throughout high school and I knew I liked it, but I didn’t realize how much I liked it until this trip,” Anna said.

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Before venturing out, their guides went over photography basics – how the camera works and good composition but the idea of the trip was for the girls to learn-by-doing. “Some of the most valuable things I learned were spur of the moment, like how to balance light.”

She was trying to get a picture of a tunnel that had some complicated lighting. In that moment the guides showed Anna how to work the camera and adjust her settings so she could get her desired image!

For six days, Anna hiked around Yosemite National Park, staying at various campgrounds in the park and snapping as many photos as she could. “I feel like I was much more willing to take risks while on this destination,” Anna said.

We think those risks paid off!

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Her favorite image she captured is the one above. She entered it in a 4-H competition and it won an award and impressed her photography teacher!

Anna is a senior and will graduate from high school in the spring. “I think I’m most sad realizing that this is my last destination!”

Because of this Girl Scouts Destinations trip, Anna now knows that she wants to minor in photography when she goes to college next fall and eventually teach photography abroad.

“Doing a Destinations trip is one of the most life defining experiences you will have. Without going on my two Destinations I wouldn’t have a clue about what I want to do [in the future].”

November 15 is the first application deadline for 2017 Girl Scout Destinations! Where do you want to travel?

 

Raising girls to be G.I.R.Ls (Go-Getters, Innovators, Risk-Takers and Leaders)

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Nazario Wilcock is Man Enough to be a Girl Scout

There’s nothing quite like dedicated Girl Scout parents. Meet Nazario Wilcock, a Girl Scout dad from Sabetha, KS dedicated to raising his daughters in a world of courage, confidence and character! The Wilcock’s family knows what it means to be gold standard Girl Scouts! The family has helped lead two daughters and 5 other Girl Scouts to be Gold Award recipients. It’s amazing to see what great mentors can do for girls!

Nazario (“Naz”) is definitely “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout.” When his daughters Hanna and Elisha became Girl Scouts, he knew he wanted to be involved in the Girl Scout world. Troop life became an important part of the life because of the lessons on basic respect and self-worth that Naz and his wife, Joy, wanted the girls to learn. “Girl Scouts teaches girls about respect, The Golden Rule – ‘do unto others and you would do unto yourself,’ – and promotes self-worth,” Naz said.

Hanna started in Girl Scouts as a Daisy and from the beginning, Naz and Joy saw how impactful achieving success was to their daughters. “The day [Hanna] got her first petal, she was jumping up and down, just so excited. It got me excited as well,” Naz said. When she was old enough, Elisha joined and the troop split into two. Joy led a troop and Naz continued to help as “Troop Dad” with another dad named Jeff.

Left: Troop 7200 having fun; Troop 7200’s annual Murder Mystery Party with alumnae

Left: Troop 7200 having fun; Troop 7200’s annual Murder Mystery Party with alumnae

Throughout their girl years the “Troop Dads” would help with transportation, show the girls how to set-up camp, and support the troop. During elementary school, some girls almost had to drop because they couldn’t get to troop meetings. The Wilcock family sprang into action. Naz arranged a van and they provided free transportation to any girls who couldn’t make it to the meetings. What an inspiration!

Naz sees his involvement in Girl Scouts as a way to be part of his daughters’ lives. “If dads don’t get involved, all they will have is regret.  There’s so much I would have missed. I would have listened to them talk about ‘oh, we did this and that,’ but instead I get to say ‘I saw them do this, I saw them do that’ because I was there and I got to be part of it,” Naz said.

 Once the girls reached high school they were back in the same troop, Troop 7200 and continued to do amazing things. Recently they were awarded “Troop of Distinction” at the 2016 West Region Volunteer Appreciation Event!

Troop 7200 at the 2016 West Region Volunteer Celebration

Troop 7200 at the 2016 West Region Volunteer Celebration

The Wilcock daughters received their Gold Awards in 2015 and 2016. Hanna used her talents as an artist to create the “Santa Comes To Town” project, painting a winter backdrop and building a sleigh for Santa. Elisha developed the “Offline Project,” a PSA about Cyber/Internet addiction. Naz and Joy were by their sides the entire way – inspiring them to achieve their goals and feel the same pride they felt as Daisies earning their first petals. “Once my girls got [their Gold Awards], the pride they held and sense of accomplishment they had…we realized how powerful those projects really were,” Naz said.

Troop 7200 has 5 Gold Awardees, including Madison Williams who received her Gold Award for raising awareness about the bee population and Dayna Williams for her project, “The Butterfly Effect.” Two more girls are working their Gold Award projects now.

The real power of Girl Scouts is the lasting impact it has on the confidence of the girls – and that’s why the Wilcock family believes it was so important to make a priority. “[Girl Scouts] shows my girls, in so many different ways, just how important they are. By working with them in Girl Scouts, I’m telling them ‘you are important and there’s a full organization showing you that,’” Naz said.

The most important thing is to just be part of the lives of girls. “I want to say one thing to any dad who ever thought about [getting involved]: quit thinking about it and get involved. It’s worth it,” said Naz. This is why Naz really is “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout” – he had the courage to be involved.

We thank Naz and the entire Wilcock family for their dedication to service and empowering girls to make a difference. If you know of an awesome “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout” – leave a comment below!

A Gold Standard of Girl Scouting

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Spotlighting GS Alumna Vickie Trott

Warm campfires, s’mores and service – those words often revive fond memories for Girl Scouts. Meet Vickie Trott, a proud Girl Scout lifetime member, former troop leader, donor, Gold Award advisor and Trefoil Society member who continues to help girls go for Gold. Recently she won the “Philanthropist Award” at the Central Region’s Volunteer Appreciation event for her awesome work supporting girls – including getting her troop of six to all earn their Gold Awards. Thanks to donors like Vickie, Girl Scouts are continuing to create lasting change in their communities and reach for the stars.

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Vickie Trott started Girl Scouts in 2nd grade as a Brownie and volunteered her mother to be the troop leader. She fondly remembers adventures to Camp Oakledge and Timberlake and doing day camp with her troop. Her mother strongly encouraged camping and loved being outside with her girls.

After college, Vickie went on to become a successful business woman who holds a Bachelors in Accounting and her MBA, cofounding a family business along the way. Once kids entered the picture, her life turned back to Girl Scouts and Vickie became a leader of Troop 196 for her daughter, Anne and later her stepdaughter, Kelly. Her daughter’s school started with two troops for the grade and as time went on the other troop merged with Troop 196, eventually becoming a troop of 6 girls from three different high schools.  The troop loved camping, service and travel. Following in the footsteps of Vickie’s own Girl Scout experience, Troop 196 went camping often, sometimes Vickie’s mother, Gerry, would even join the adventures – three generations creating Girl Scouting memories.

Left: Troop 196 Investiture ceremony (1985) & at the International Fair (1987)

Left: Troop 196 Investiture ceremony (1985) & at the International Fair (1987)

“I learned camping skills as a Girl Scout, so we took our girls camping a lot. We had rules like ‘no makeup’ and joked that we could guarantee rain in whatever area we decided to camp in,” said Vickie. Four of the girls in the troop went on to become wranglers at Camp Winding River, wanting to inspire the younger girls. The troop adventured beyond the campsites with trips to Chicago and St. Louis as well as a float trip. On one of the float trips they encountered a Boy Scout troop who offered to help them set-up camp. As camping veterans, the girls assured the boys they were confident in their abilities to make their own campsite.

During the years of leading Troop 196, Vickie was an active volunteer, working as a troop organizer, Service Unit manager, Day Camp manager, Product Sales Manager for her Service Unit and taught a leadership institute for Senior Girl Scouts! Talk about keeping busy!

Left: Vickie, Gerry (mother) and Anne (daughter) at Camp Timberlake ( 1987); Center: Troop 196’s overnight (1986); Right: GSKSMO CEO, Joy Wheeler with Vickie at Camp Prairie Schooner honoring Trefoil Society members.

Left: Vickie, Gerry (mother) and Anne (daughter) at Camp Timberlake ( 1987); Center: Troop 196’s overnight (1986); Right: GSKSMO CEO, Joy Wheeler with Vickie at Camp Prairie Schooner honoring Trefoil Society members.

One thing Vickie knew was that she wanted to help her girls get their Gold Awards…and she succeeded! All six in the troop earned their Gold Award as a troop, as that was part of the program in the mid-1990s. For their project, the girls built tables, benches and racks out at Camp Winding River. “This was a time before the internet, so the girls went to the library, researched how to do it, how much wood they would need and raised money. We had to have adults actually cut the wood with the power tools, but we told the dads ‘only cut on the lines the girls drew’ and the girls did everything else,” Vickie said.

Today, Vickie continues her service to Girl Scouts as a Gold Award advisor and donor. She’s dedicated to the work of Girl Scouts because of the role models it provides. “Girl Scouts is the only all-female organization that I belong to because I think it’s really important that girls have a place where they’re in charge, where women are leaders,” Vickie said. Because of her passion for the mission of inspiring girls, Vickie decided to generously include Girl Scouts in her estate plans, ensuring her legacy lives on.

Camp Prairie Schooner – with Troop 196 in 1989 & as a Trefoil Society Member in 2015

Camp Prairie Schooner – with Troop 196 in 1989 & as a Trefoil Society Member in 2015

Caption: Camp Prairie Schooner – with Troop 196 in 1989 & as a Trefoil Society Member in 2015

“[My husband and I] each picked an organization that we believe in and an organization we jointly decided to give to in our estate plans. I think it’s important, if you have the means, to support organizations you believe in in that way,” Vickie said. With a continued inequality in funding for girls organizations compared to boys organizations, it was especially important to Vickie to support Girl Scouts in both a volunteer and financial capacity to allow girls to thrive.

We thank Vickie Trott and her family for their continued advocacy of girls and for making a difference every day. By supporting Girl Scouts, Vickie is paving the way for generations of leaders, just like her own family. Watch for new Gold Award Girl Scouts that Vickie will be leading as an advisor in the future! We’re excited to see new girls going for gold. To learn more about the Trefoil Society, contact Vanessa@gsksmo.org.