We are Girl Scouts, We are Innovators – Part 2

Spotlight on 2017 Cookie Construction Teams

The 3rd Annual Cookie Construction program is in full swing! The seven teams are having their final meetings and preparing for Build Day on March 4 at Crown Center when all their planning comes to fruition, each team transforming 1,000 Girl Scout Cookie boxes into intricate, elaborate and structurally sound constructions!

This year’s theme is We are Girl Scouts. We are Innovators. Each team spent their first meeting in September talking about what innovation means to them as young women and as Girl Scouts.  Over the past month, we’ve been visiting with each of the teams to see how their initial concepts have transformed to visions and building plans leading into Build Day!

Today we bring you the second half of the story, spotlighting the work of our final three teams! Check out the first part of the story that published on Feb. 7!

STEAM Team

Throughout the last six months, the STEAM team (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) has really embraced what team work is. While they’ve been working in sub-groups to design and build their structure, they all step up when a group needs a helping hand. A life skill that will benefit them long after build and participation in Cookie Construction is complete. Their mentors, Jaimie Swanepoel and Shelby Eagleburger with Actavo Engineering Services, Melissa Petrie with J Price Architecture and Jamie Picow with Hockenbergs Equipment & Supply are also being positively challenged by the Cookie Construction program. “The girls have reminded me to not let the constraints of the ‘building blocks’, or cookie boxes in this case, limit your design concept. The creative and fun aspect of design is figuring out how to make your design concept come to life,” mentor Melissa said.

Butterfly Dream Squad

The Butterfly Dream Squad is all about innovation and distribution! While we can’t tell you exactly what they’re building, they have really analyzed the theme and have a great build planned! When we caught up with them, they were working on putting their Build Day game plan together, making sure they are prepared for March 4 and strategic with the five hours they’ll have to assemble their structure! Led by mentors Erin Mumm of The Clark Enersen Partners, Ellen Hailey and McKenzie Liebl with International Architects Atelier and Grace Phillip with El Dorado Inc., they are ready to see their creation come to life! Mentor Ellen Hailey has enjoyed seeing her team evolve over the course of the program.  “I think it’s a great experience for the girls about collaborating with others. A lot of our girls didn’t know each other before this and it’s a lot of personalities working toward one idea. They do a great job respecting each other’s opinions – and the Butterfly Dream Squad is very opinionated! I love that they’re never afraid to speak their minds and I’m always impressed with their consideration to each other.”

TL²

While the theme revolves around innovation, TL² has some team members that have truly been innovative with their construction methods (and their team name)! TL² is our team working out of the West Region and has members from Topeka, Lawrence and Lansing – hence the L². This year mentors Jacquelyn Rakoski-Diediker with Architec One, Inc, Resa Kemper with Tevis Architects and Shira Kohn have developed a team strategy that has not only fostered the innovation, but fostered an amazing environment for these Girl Scouts to work and play.  Team Member Elizabeth decided she wanted the boxes to be more malleable and thought that a little bit of water might just do the trick. “I knew that water molds paper, but rips it, so I thought it might have the same effect on cardboard, but would stay intact.” And boy does it! She is working on constructing the pieces for their structure that need to have more of a spherical shape, rather than the traditional box shape!

The seven structures will be on display at Crown Center from March 4 – 24 and we need YOU to visit and cast your ballot for People’s Choice Award!

The 2017 Cookie Construction Program is a partnership with AIA Kansas City and made possible with the support of McCownGordon Construction, HOK, Centric Projects, Mark One Electric Co. and SFS Architecture.

One Girl Makes a Difference. Girl Scouts Together Change the World

Opportunities for 2017 Service to Others Month

We know that Girl Scouts make a difference all year round! But to celebrate the month Girl Scouting was born and to prepare for Inspire a Girl on April 1, we want to keep track of our combined hours of service and the stories of giving back throughout the month of March! Any Girl Scout who logs project hour(s) in March will receive a special patch to showcase her service to others! This patch just happens to pair with the patch Girl Scouts will receive at Inspire a Girl on April 1, make one complete patch design!

So, how do you participate?!

Girls can do projects with their troops or on their own! The following Community Partners are inviting Girl Scouts to lend a helping hand with them in March, but you are welcome to work with your favorite community organization or charity – just log those hours on our website to receive your patch!

 

Helping Hands Humane Society 

Located in Topeka, KS, the Helping Hands Humane Society has a variety of programs available specifically for Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies and Cadettes! For Brownie and Cadettes, the program will help them complete steps in earning either the Animal Helper or Pets badge! The Daisy program will teach girls how to read animals and also ties into the 5 Flowers, 4 Stories, and 3 Cheers for Animals journey!

 What girls will get out of working with Helping Hands: We hope they’ll realize how many homeless pets there are in our community and why we need everyone’s help, including theirs, to take care of them and make sure they get back home or find great new homes. We also hope they will learn more about the human-animal bond and why it’s so special.

St. Joseph Animal Control & Rescue 

St. Joseph Animal Control & Rescue finds partnering with the Girl Scouts to be greatly rewarding for both the troop member and the shelter animals! The Safe and Sound Program discusses both animal care and safety while also introducing girls to the workings of an animal shelter. This program is just for Girl Scout Daisies and ties into the 5 Flowers, 4 Stories, and 3 Cheers for Animals journey! Girls will investigate a mock animal control complaint and identify the animals whose needs are not being met, tour the shelter and interact with few of the animals!

What girls will get out of working with St. Joseph Animal Shelter: We hope that the Girl Scouts will leave the Safe and Sound Program with a better idea of how an animal shelter operates and help them gain an understanding of how to properly care for animals. While our program does include serious discussions we allow the students to put their knowledge to use in fun activities including an Animal Control Officer investigation.

Spay and Neuter KC

Spay and Neuter KC invites Girl Scouts of all ages to their Kansas City, MO clinic to tour and participate in a one-hour community service project! They also have age level specific workshop for Brownie where they will learn care and compassion for both people and pets and put together “Compassion Kits” to be given out to homeless peter owners in the community.

What girls will get out of working with Spay & Neuter KC: We hope they’ll see a little of that compassion in action. More than anything, we try to emphasize how organizations like us really need the help and support of kind-hearted, compassionate people to make the kind of impact the community needs, and how everyone coming together for a common goal really makes a difference. We also hope that our stories of the people we’ve helped will make the girls reflect on their own lives, their own families, and the things they care about the most.

Harvesters

Harvesters has long been a community partner with Girl Scouts! This March both the Kansas City and Topeka facilities are asking Girl Scouts, 4th grade and older, to assist in sorting and repackaging donated items their Volunteer Engagement Centers. Topeka needs volunteers on March 25 and Kansas City needs volunteers March 14, 17 & 25. Following your volunteer time, Girl Scouts are invited to connect with other Girl Scouts in a half-hour learning activity and candle lighting ceremony that engages girls on the issue of hunger and how to be a spark for change.

What girls will get out of working with Harvesters: Girl Scouts will learn how a community food netword operates, while working alongside their sister Girl Scouts from other troops. Following their service time they will be able to connect with those sister Girl Scouts and really reflect on what it takes to end hunger tomorrow.

The Call KC

During the month of March, Girl Scouts are invited to collect brand new pairs and packs of women’s underwear for The Call KC, to be donated to area shelters! Troops can register through the website and The Call KC will assign a shelter for the items to go to and schedule a delivery date!

What girls will get out of working with The Call KC: We hope that the girls will gain a deeper perspective of what charities and causes are out there. Too many times we stay in our comfort zones when it comes to volunteerism, and so the more we can help people go outside their usual spheres of influence, the larger impact we can have on all involved.

Whether you work with one of the community partners above, or do a project on your own, make sure you log those hours on our website to receive your patch! Then, make plans to join us as we celebrate the highest award in Girl Scouting, the Gold Award, and honor our 42 recipients at Inspire a Girl on April 1. Prior to the ceremony will be the G.I.R.L. Expo where our community partners and program staff will lead hands-on activities, Girl Scouts can meet and learn about each Gold Award project and where she will receive a second patch that complements the one received for participating in Month of Service!

4th Annual Kappa Delta Cookie Challenge

One Sweet Partnership

Talk about role model G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)™! The women at Kappa Delta always come through for our Girl Scouts, whether it’s a badge workshop, campus tour, self-confidence class or our annual Kappa Delta Girl Scout Cookie Challenge! This was the fourth year for this awesome event where we pair a Girl Scout troop with the women of Kappa Delta at the University of Kansas and Kansas State University for an all-in-good-fun challenge!

Each year the Kappa Delta’s go above and beyond to provide an awesome environment for the largest girl-led business in the world! They help promote on their respective campuses prior to the booth sale, open the doors of their sorority houses and work the girls to make sales happen – at a record pace!

In the four years that this challenge has been taking place, the impact it has on the troops who are selected via a booth lottery has grown! In 2013, the inaugural year the sale was just two hours long and the chapters sold about 700 boxes of cookies combined, but K-State sold the most and won the coveted Golden Thin Mint to proudly display in their house!

The second year we increased the booth time to three hours and KU channeled their disappointment and they won the Golden Thin Mint! They also retained the trophy in 2016!

School: 2015: 2016:
KU 1,187 1,462
K-State 624 768

But 2017 was different. The K-State Kappa Delta Chapter wouldn’t be defeated three years in a row! Both schools were go-getters, innovators, risk-takers and leaders in their strategies to promote for their troop! In the end, KU Kappa Delta sold 1,364 boxes sold and K-State won, selling 1,579!

However, we know that the real winners in the Kappa Delta Girl Scout Cookie Challenge are our Girl Scouts. In just three hours each Girl Scout in Troop 7189 and Troop 7112 earned multiple recognition levels and troop proceeds to spend on service projects, trips, outdoor activities and travel and this is just the beginning of their Cookie Program!

Vice-President of Community Service (VP-CS) is the position in Kappa Delta that coordinates this event every year. “I love the Challenge because I was a Girl Scout. All the proceeds that these girls earn in their time here go right back to the troop – I know how important that is for them!” Kalyn Kunschke, VP-CS at KU said.

Among the hundreds of customers at both schools were a couple of celebrities! Girl Scouts were star struck when Devonte Graham, KU basketball player and DJ Johnston, K-State basketball player bought Girl Scout Cookies!

“To me, the Kappa Delta/Girl Scout partnership is an opportunity to mold the future of our community. So often we, as Kappa Delta’s stress the importance of instilling confidence in others, but few know the confidence the Girl Scouts instill in us,” Macy Burke, VP-CS at K-State said.

Thank you so much to the members of Kappa Delta for helping our Girl Scouts be go-getters, asking school celebrities to buy cookies, innovators with new sale tactics, risk-takers by expanding their customer base and leaders in their very own business!

For the Love of the Girl Scout Cookie

There is one love that we can all celebrate this Valentine’s Day – the love for those scrumptious Girl Scout Cookies! And this year celebrates 100 years of loving those cookies – 2017 is the 100th anniversary of the first known sale of Girl Scout Cookies.

As of today, all troops in our area will have received their initial order and should be starting to deliver cookies to customers who pre-ordered! If you didn’t pre-order, don’t worry – Girl Scouts have plenty of cookies to go around!

So, how exactly does that box of Girl Scout Cookies get to you? What all is involved?! Well, it’s a labor of love that all starts and ends with a Girl Scout!

  1. Girl Scouts in our council begin taking orders on January 1.
  2. The Troop Cookie Manager (TCM) collects the orders and enters them into an online system.
    {Fun Fact: There are 2,700 TCMs with 1,867 troops in our council!}
  3. The Service Unit Product Sales Manager (SU PSM) reviews every troop’s order and submits to GSKSMO.
    {Fun Fact: We have 63 SU PSMs working with those 2,700 TCMs!}
  4. GSKSMO submits the final order to ABC Bakers.
    {Fun Fact: There are 2 bakers of Girl Scout Cookies in the United States! This is why some Girl Scout Cookies have a different name in other parts of the country!}
  5. ABC Bakers packs all the orders at their facility in South Dakota and ships them to a warehouse in Lenexa, KS!
    {Fun Fact: 173,000 cases were shipped in our initial order this year – that’s 2,076,000 BOXES!}
  6. Our Delivery Agent, Fry Wagner, spends 9 days delivering cookies to the 61 service units in our council!
  7. The SUPSM, along with many volunteers, accepts the delivery at a location where trucks and semis can comfortably navigate – these locations vary and include Fire Stations, Schools, Churches, Community Building and even SU PSM’s homes!
    {Fun Fact: Service Unit 701 placed the largest initial order, receiving 10,700 cases or 120,084 boxes!}
  8. TCMs pick up their troop’s order at the delivery location, then sorts by Girl Scout
  9. Girl Scout receives her order then begins delivery and cash & carry sales!

The first Girl Scout Cookie Sale was done in 1917 to raise money for Girl Scouts to purchase items for care packages to send to soldiers during World War I. Today, 100 years later, Girl Scouts are still using their cookie proceeds to give back – making toys and treats for animals at Wayside Waifs and building gardens at their schools. So while the cookie itself has changed over the past 100 years, its impact has not.

Thank you to the SU PSMs, TCMs and Community Volunteers who support the largest girl-led business in the world!

So when you buy that next box (and the one after that, and the one after that) this season, know that you’re supporting the largest girl-led business in the world, run with the most love to give in the world!

5 Yummy Ways to Enjoy Girl Scout Cookies (other than eating them right out of the box)

THEY’RE BAAAACK! Girl Scout Cookies are back to make everyone smile and teach girls to be entrepreneurs. With so many great reasons to buy cookies, we know everyone will want to stock up and try some new things. We’ve put together a list of ways to use Girl Scout cookies in yummy new ways. Did you try one?? Post in the comments below!

  1. Thin Mint Brownies – Recipe Here!

The most popular Girl Scout cookie deserves the first spot. These Thin Mint brownies are made from scratch and give a new level of chocolately deliciousness to your Thin Mint eating experience.

Photo & recipe from Country Cleaver

  1. Peanut Butter Banana Pudding (using Shortbreads!) – Recipe Here!

This yummy treat combines peanut butter and bananas with Girl Scout Shortbread cookies. Whip up a few of these and it’d be a great way to show off the Girl Scout logo with your treats. Maybe a good treat for a Girl Scout parents’ night celebration?

Photo & recipe from The Chic Site

 

  1. Caramel DeLite Cupcakes (or substitute your favorite cookie) – Recipe Here!

Talk about delicious. If you want a portable, super yummy way to eat some Caramel DeLites – check out these cupcakes. The great thing about these cupcakes is that you really could use any cookies you’d like…but we think the Caramel DeLites sound the best.

Photo & recipe from The Rainy Day Gal

 

  1. Shortbread Toffee & Chocolate Bark (with toasted almonds) – Recipe Here!

This was such a unique way to use cookies, we just had to share. Turning the Shortbread cookie into chocolate bark?! YES! These treats would surely wow anyone you’re cooking them for.

Photo & recipe from Hungry Enough to Eat Six

 

  1. Thin Mint Ice Cream Cups (the easiest treat) – Recipe Here!

Need something quick, delicious and different? These Thin Mint Ice Cream Cups are the easiest to make on this list – you just need Thin Mints, mint ice cream and cupcake liners (that won’t get soggy – try the foil type). Cookie on the bottom, spoon soft ice cream, top with crushed Thin Mints, refreeze – DONE! But you’ll probably want a second box close by to snack while everything freezes.

Photo & recipe from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

 

Did you create your own unique way to enjoy Girl Scout cookies? Share in the comments below! If you need to grab some cookies to make these yummy treats, check out our booth finder here! Thank you for supporting the world’s largest girl-led business!

We are Girl Scouts, We are Innovators – Part 1

Spotlight on 2017 Cookie Construction Teams

The 3rd Annual Cookie Construction program is in full swing! The seven teams are having their final meetings and preparing for Build Day on March 4 at Crown Center when all their planning comes to fruition, each team transforming 1,000 Girl Scout Cookie boxes into intricate, elaborate and structurally sound constructions!

This year’s theme is We are Girl Scouts. We are Innovators. Each team spent their first meeting in September talking about what innovation means to them as young women and as Girl Scouts.  Over the past month, we’ve been visiting with each of the teams to see how their initial concepts have transformed to visions and building plans leading into Build Day!

Team Time Travelers

Team Time Travelers are being led by mentors Marcia Trein, Erin McFarland and Mary Rogers from Rosemann & Associates and Emily Gale and Amy Kinderknecht from GastingerWalker&. When we caught up with them at the beginning of January, they were beginning to lay out their design and were finalizing their construction documents that the judges will use to assess their creations on Build Day! They took the theme and really thought about how innovation has evolved over time and are incorporating aspects of Kansas City into their build! “We wanted to make it something about Kansas City because we’re all from Kansas City and it will be displayed at Crown Cener,” Girl Scout Cadette Emily Stokes said!

Team Time Keepers

Similar in name, but different in design concept is Team Time Keepers led by female design professionals Ivy Hurst, Sara Lichti, Brittany Winnike, Kelly Neiling and Meredith Stoll from BRR Architecture! Team Time Keepers has a few Cookie Construction professionals, Girl Scouts who have been participating since the program’s inception in 2014. For these girls, they really thought about how innovation bridges the past to the future and what that means to each of them. They separated into sub-teams working on different elements (and there are many!) of their overall teams design concept. “It’s fun to be a part of team. At the end we’re going to have this awesome project and it’s been way cooler than I ever imagined,” Girl Scout Cadette Briana Brewood said.

Team Alpha Builders

Team Alpha Builders also has an experienced Cookie Construction Girl Scout on their team along with some veteran mentors! Girl Scout Senior Alyssa Harmon loved her experience so much last year, she just had to do it again – working with mentors she grew close to last year. Alison Lampier, Macrina Abdouch and Natalie Berg are once again bringing their knowledge and expertise from HOK Architecture and Populous and recruiting a new mentor, Renee Petty to join them in the fun! “I was a mentor last year as well and from that it was really great to see young girls wanting to get involved in programs that had to do with architecture. There wasn’t an opportunity like this for me when I was a Girl Scout so I wanted to get involved in order to share information with young girls about this field,” Macrina said.

“These mentors are amazing, they’re so smart,” Alyssa said! Alyssa sees herself as a “moderator” on the team, helping direct dialogue, leading brainstorming sessions and bringing the team’s design to life using a computer program called Sketchup. Their design really shows the Girl Scout spirit and will showcase various influential women in innovation!

Team Gear Girls

When Gear Girls first heard the theme, they all had one thought – robots. Since that initial meeting in September they been working to understand and expand on that design element. Kate Moeder, Shelli Ulmer, Ashley Meadows and Damaris Russell from Hollis and Miller Architects have been leading their team to expand that idea robots and their relationship to innovation. On their team are an aspiring structural engineer and interior designer who both feel like they’ve gotten so much out of their Cookie Construction experience already. For Girl Scout Cadette Sophia Fisher Cookie Construction is a way for her to gain real-life experience in the field that she aspires to be in when she gets older. “It’s a start for me to learn how to actually build things,” she explained. Working as a team, with Girl Scouts of all ages, levels and Cookie Construction expertise on their team, Gear Girls they have been able to take their robotics design idea and are well on their way to a multi-element design and structure on Build Day.

Look for the second part of this story on Feb. 23 when we bring you highlights from the final three teams! The seven structures will be on display at Crown Center from March 4 – 24 and we need YOU to visit and cast your ballot for People’s Choice Award!

The 2017 Cookie Construction Program is a partnership with AIA Kansas City and made possible with the support of McCownGordon Construction, Centric Projects, Mark One Electric Co. and SFS Architecture.

620 Hours of Making a Difference

A Spotlight on Special Initiative for Service Unit 620

620. That’s the service unit number for 77 troops in the Kansas City, MO area. That is also the number of community service hours Girl Scout members in Service Unit 620 have pledged to complete this Girl Scout year.

What came out of a small troop project for Girl Scout Leader Valerie Johnson has had a ripple effect far beyond just the girls in her Junior troop.

Last year Val noticed that her girls were participating in several great service activities on their own and wanted to create a way to recognize and encourage both individual and troop service projects. They started out with a troop goal of 100 hours between the 16 of them. At the end of the year, Troop 4519 had more than doubled their goal with over 245 hours completed!

Having chaired Service Unit 620’s World Thinking Day event for the past two years, Val was ready for a new challenge, so she brought this idea of service hour tracking to the service unit level. “From talking to other Girl Scout leaders, I KNEW our service unit was doing a lot of great service out there and I wanted to find a way to capture, celebrate and maybe inspire others to lend even just one hour of service to their community,” Val said.

From that, 620 Hours from Service Unit 620 was born.

Jada Sudduth from Troop 3335 knows that service is important, even at the young age of 11.

“Since this community is our community, we should help. It’s good to give back to people and to help them, so they can help other people,” Jada said.

Keeping track of the hours has been relatively easy for Val. Each troop leader logs their girls’ hours into their website and everyone in the service unit can see what girls are up to. Projects range from volunteering at council-wide Girl Scout events to spending time at retirement communities, making food baskets for those in need, putting on anti-bullying programs and so much more.

As of today, Service Unit 620 has SURPASSED their goal, logging 713 hours and they still have four months to go!

“This has been such a win! First, there have been some great discussions as to what activities constitute ‘service’ and the girls discuss and determine.  For example, they determined that selling cookies – while a good thing – isn’t giving service but volunteering for a community parade or march is,” Val explained.

We love how Service Unit 620 are G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)™ through this effort and can’t wait to share how many hours they completed at the end of May!

How is your troop or service unit helping make the world a better place? Share your great service projects in the comments section below.

And, don’t forget… March is Inspire a Girl Month of Service. Girl Scouts who complete and log a service project in March receive the special patch. Watch the February 17th S’MORE for all the details. Start planning your service project today!

An Everyday Hero Standing with Girls

Man Enough to be a Girl Scout: Mark Jeffrey

It takes a special person to be a hero. Police officers, firefighters and EMTs risk their lives to protect us. Meet Mark Jeffrey from Grain Valley, MO, a dad to two amazing Girl Scouts, a police officer, former firefighter and EMT. Talk about a hero among! Most importantly, Mark is a proud Girl Scout dad and volunteer, making the world better for girls. He’s certainly Man Enough to be a Girl Scout!

Mark Jeffrey loves his community.  And, his decades of public service prove it. He served as an EMT and firefighter for 13 years before becoming a community officer then a police officer for Lake Latawana, where he’s served for 16 years. This devoted protector loves being out in his community and getting to know people. When he became a dad, he knew he wanted to have his children involved in organizations that would expose them to their community. “It’s important to be involved with your kids in activities that help us bond and make them into great people,” Mark said.

Mark and his wife, Erin, have three children – all involved in Scouting. Son, Chase (12) and daughters Alexis (9) and Elizabeth (5) have been in Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts since kindergarten. Mark has recently become an assistant leader for Alexis and Elizabeth – helping with shirt designs, cookie sales and general troop support. “I was in Cub Scouts for one year and it really stuck with me, so when my kids were born, I saw it as an opportunity to get back involved with Scouting,” Mark said.

Scouting is important to the family because it lets the Jeffrey kids explore and do things outside the house. “Scouting provides life skills that help you become a good member of society. It teaches girls they can go as far as they want. Kids get the opportunity to explore, learn and discover their interests, so they grow up to be great men and women of society,” Mark said.

Alexis is part of Girl Scout Junior Troop 716 and volunteers with Girl Scout Daisy Troop 1854, Elizabeth’s troop (PS – Michelle Twyman, leader for Troop 879, has a daughter in this troop too!). Elizabeth was inspired to join Girl Scouts because of Alexis. The two have a very close relationship and as Mark says, they’re almost like twins. Having an older Girl Scout participate means the world to the new Daisies who are working hard on their first year selling cookies.

“Elizabeth’s troop is crazy about cookies. She’ll ask anyone she sees to buy them. She went to one of Chase’s Boy Scout meetings and started asking them to buy cookies,” Mark said. What a go-getter!

The Jeffrey family is active in PTA for Matthews Elementary, supported Service Unit 646’s Holly Jolly Jamboree and participates in Grain Valley’s Police Explorers. The Police Explorers is a program introduces kids to law enforcement careers through interactive activities like learning to use handcuffs and touring the police station. While his daughters are too young to officially join, they’ve participated in many activities.

Each year in the PTA, Mark is a driving force behind the annual carnival fundraiser for the school. He builds activities, helps organize and is very hands on with the event. For Mark, it’s all about getting to spend more time with his kids and make their life better. “As a dad, my kids are my world. To see my kids having fun and being part of that, I get to be a dad and having fun with them, be part of their life,” Mark said.

Girl Scouts in particular allows Mark to be a male role model and watch his daughters become G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)TM.  “It’s important for girls to have good, male role models in their lives and a girl’s father should be the first one she sees,” Mark said.

Thank you to Mark, Erin and all the amazing supporters of Girl Scout Troops 716 and 1854 in Grain Valley, MO! Your hard work helps girls shine every day! THANK YOU! If you know of another amazing Girl Scout volunteer, share their story in the comments below.

GSKSMO Goes to the Nation’s Capital

Guest Bloggers: Sara Babcock and Roxie Cody, Girl Scout Ambassadors

Long before any primary or convention, we planned a trip where Girl Scouts could experience history and democracy in action. And, they could have robust conversation, learn from one another and know their voice matters. Last Thursday – Sunday, these 14 Girl Scouts traveled to Washington DC together, united as Girl Scout sisters. Thank you to Sara and Roxie for documenting their incredible experience.

We had the opportunity to witness the Inauguration of the 45th president of the United States through Girl Scouts and EF Tours with 12 other sister Girl Scouts. The trip was not only about the inauguration but about getting to know Girl Scouts from other service units, visit the Smithsonian Museums, monuments and memorials in and around DC. Before the trip Regan gave a very funny speech about group dynamics that had us all laughing and two of the younger girls helped us prepare for safety on the trip as well as airport etiquette.

On Inauguration Day, it took us 4 hours to walk to the National Mall. We were surrounded by tons of people while standing in the security line to enter the National Mall. There were a lot of security and military personnel from all over the US, even some from Alaska!

The audience was a mix of supporters, protesters, and those just wanting to witness history in person as we watched the Inaugural speech of the 45th President of the United States of America on a JumboTron next to the Washington Monument. What we witnessed were many speeches that recognized importance of the peaceful transfer of power to President Trump. It was ironic to be standing next to the Washington Monument, remembering a class lecture where we learned how George Washington shocked the entire world when he peacefully transferred the power of the presidency, starting the tradition we have today.

The next day we visited the Capitol Building; the Mall was so overwhelmed with people that they had closed the Capitol Building and we had the opportunity to see the Women’s March first hand. Everywhere we looked there were people holding signs and supporting the Women’s March. Some were holding signs, but not all. Those that didn’t made us curious as to what they were there support specifically. Everything during this trip was very interesting to see and to experience.

During the trip girls prepared and gave small speeches about the places we were visiting when we arrived, including the Vietnam and Korean War memorials, well as the Lincoln Memorial.

An older girl in our group, Annaleigh, said that her favorite part of the trip was our first day when we visited with Congressman Kevin Yoder. “He was very kind and willing to answer our questions not just briefly, but he gave very descriptive answers”

Overall he was a very kind and accepting person. He took our questions seriously and didn’t talk down to us.

Fellow group members Naomi and Courtney both said that they “liked making new friends and that the trip as a whole was low drama!” We walked a lot every day (11 miles on Inauguration day, alone); so in addition to having a good pair of shoes, having a low drama group was very important. Especially when everyone, was tired, sleepy, and a bit cranky!

When asked why she wanted to come in this trip, one of our group members, Riley said “I wanted to try something new.” Which we personally think exactly describes everything we did on this trip. It was all new and exciting. Some of us had never ridden a plane, the metro (subway), or been to a food truck before.

We were complimented multiple times by our bus driver and the tour director for being attentive and so well behaved. Overall, it was a very engaging and interesting learning experience for all of us involved.

“This trip was important because I got to witness an inauguration, a crucial part of our nation’s politics. The most important thing I got to do on the trip was attend the Women’s March. Dissent is also a very important part of our country; attending the march made me feel like I was part of something bigger.” Lillie said.

Thanks to Girl Scouts and EF Tours we were able to try new things, met new people, and had experiences we will never forget.

Girl Scout Cookies Power BIG Adventures for Girls

2017 B.I.G. Cookie Kick-Off a Skill-Building Success

Click the image to watch the video!

We love Girl Scout Cookies, yes we do! We love Girl Scout Cookies, how about YOU?

It was a BIG day filled with cookie cheers, skill-building and fun at our B.I.G. Cookie Kick-off at UMKC on Saturday!

More than 400 Girl Scouts came to conquer all the steps to earn their Girl Scout Cookie pin. They rotated through the interactive booths led by our awesome teen Girl Scouts. These booths included playing a game of cookie safety bingo, exploring the history of the 100 years of Girl Scout Cookies, writing thank you notes to soldiers, practicing the cookie ask, counting back change, taking a great cookie photo or two, adding a cookie goal to the wall and so much more.

What a day! Our Girl Scouts kicked things off with an opening pep rally that was 100% girl-led; including a visit from Juliette Gordon Low, troop leaders stacking those cookies as high as possible and the fantastic Taiko drummers, including some super talented Girl Scouts. Following the pep rally, our Girl Scouts were super pumped ready to tackle those interactive booths and meet & greet with our fantastic community partners and program experts. And, in between they voted for their favorite Bling Your Booth entry. A tough vote, for sure!

Before you knew it and after a little lunch, it was time to cheer on the UMKC Women’s Basketball team. Prior to tip-off, our Girl Scouts joined the UMKC cheerleaders to get the crowd ready. Our Girl Scouts love to dance and cheer. And, speaking of cheering… 100 Girl Scouts took the floor during halftime for a special Girl Scout Cookie Cheer. They were AWESOME!

Following the game, our Girl Scouts enjoyed (you guessed it!) more dancing and a little time with the UMKC basketball team.

We couldn’t tell who enjoyed the day more – our Girl Scout attendees, our energetic Teen Girl Scouts, our adults or the role model UMKC athletes who joined us throughout the day. OK, maybe it was Roo who you could find at the GS Cookie photo booth most of the day!

The B.I.G. (Believe in Girls) Cookie Kick-Off was an incredible event! There are so many to thank you who made this day possible. First, our event chair who brought this vision forward and championed it to a successful reality. Thank you, Amber Cannady! A huge shout-out to our entire event team who generously gave their time, talent and creativity to make this event come to life!

Our Teen Girl Scouts were awesome and embodied what it means to be a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™!

All of our inspiring community partners and program staff showed girls how they can used their troop proceeds and Cookie Dough to have BIG adventures!

Thank you to all of our adult volunteers who helped our teens get ready  for their interactive booths and served throughout the event.

And last but certainly not least – thank you to our Super Skill-Building Girl Scouts and their parents / caregivers who joined us for the B.I.G. Cookie Kick-Off!

What was your favorite part of the day? Tell us in the comments below!

See all the photos from the B.I.G. Cookie Kickoff Here!