Giving Back for Tomorrow’s Leaders

Spotlighting Daisy’s Circle Founding Member Beth Kealey

Sharing some serious Girl Scout love through giving back! Meet Beth Kealey, a Girl Scout mom, alum, Daisy’s Circle member, Philanthropy award winner, troop leader and Gold Award advisor! Not only has Beth supported Girl Scouts as a donor, she’s been there for her daughters as a troop leader and is an advocate for ensuring these incredible programs her daughters experienced are available for the Girl Scouts of tomorrow. After following Girl Scouts through different states, 3 daughters, 3 troops and the Gold Award in 2016 with her youngest daughter, Stephanie, it’s no wonder this awesome Girl Scout mom is also a Daisy’s Circle Philanthropist award winner!

Beth, Stephanie and her Gold Award Advisor, Linda Weerts at the 2016 Inspire a Girl Ceremony

All three of Beth’s daughters have loved Girl Scouting! Christina, the oldest, was lucky enough to have Beth as her leader when she started as a Daisy, and Jennifer, the middle child, had Beth as her troop’s co-leader. Stephanie started in Girl Scouts and even though she became inactive after earning her Silver Award, she and a friend decided they wanted to go for Gold and she re-registered to get that ultimate Girl Scouting honor.

Beth watched Stephanie SHINE through her experience with the Gold Award where she created a slam poetry program to give teens a place to feel loved and accepted. The company that hosted the slam poetry nights told her she had to get 15 to show up for the event….in true Girl Scout fashion, Stephanie got 95 to attend. They all knew they had something really important happening in this space and because of it, Stephanie earned her Gold Award and walked across the stage in 2016 with pride.

Images from Stephanie’s Gold Award project – Slam Poetry; Stephanie hugging her mom, Beth, after receiving her Gold Award pin in 2016.

“Stephanie was so proud of earning her Gold Award. It was all about her being able to say ‘I did this!’ and be really proud of that accomplishment,” said Beth. More than just pride, there was a maturity and growth that Stephanie now had. That’s especially evident when you watch her “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout” vide with Bob Regnier! Of course, Beth couldn’t be more proud of what her daughter became. “After earning the Gold, you could see a difference in the way she presented herself. There was a maturity there,” Beth said.

As the parent of a Gold Award Girl Scout, Beth saw growth in her daughter and a sense of pride she hadn’t seen before. “What you see as the parent of a Gold Award recipient is that they have much more poise, grace and just the way they present themselves after going through the experience of earning the Gold,” Beth said. That’s one of the reasons she’s continued to give as a member of Daisy’s Circle, even though all three of her daughters are no proud alumna.


Stephanie and Beth at the 2016 Gold Award ceremony; Right: Beth with GSKSMO CEO, Joy Wheeler upon receiving the 2016 Daisy’s Circle Philanthropy Award for the Central Region.


“Giving is just a cultural thing for me. If we want the experiences my daughters received for future Girl Scouts, we have to keep giving. You need that grassroots foundation of support to keep these programs,” Beth said. It’s important to her that she supports the same opportunities for the Girl Scouts of tomorrow that her daughters received. Because of her giving, advocacy and volunteerism, it’s no wonder Beth received the “Daisy’s Circle Appreciation” award for the Central Region in 2016 too!

Beth Kealey is a beautiful example of a strong Girl Scout supporter who continues to create a future for the Girl Scouts of tomorrow! This amazing volunteer is definitely what we would call Girl Scout Strong!! Thank you, Beth, for your leadership and continued support of Girl Scouting!

Soaring Together – Sisters in Business, Susan & Karen Lordi

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius

The Lordi sisters behind the inspirational brand of figurative sculptures, Willow Tree, are Girl Scout Alums who found the best co-workers are family. Susan (“Sue”) and Karen Lordi have been working on projects as a team since childhood, and that sisterly teamwork has transformed into a powerful duo that’s flying high in the world of consumer art. Together, they’ve created a brand that defied artistic styles of the time, combining Sue’s art with Karen’s words.

For the Lordi family, it’s no surprise that Karen and Sue work together today because their childhood was filled with partnerships that complemented the skills of each girl. A joyful Karen found herself the willing assistant for big sister Sue’s big ideas. “Sue was always coming up with creative projects, and she wanted someone to do them with. As her younger sister, I’d do anything she said!” said Karen. From the mini summer camp they organized in their neighborhood, charging $.10/child for the day, to building Sue’s high school float (where Karen did more work than the high schoolers), the two made a great team.

During their childhood adventures, they hatched a plan to create a puppet show that mirrored their working lives today. Sue painted beautiful backdrops, sewed costumes and sculpted the papier-mâché puppets while Karen wrote the script. They both performed the show in a little puppet theater their father built and soon got requests to come perform for birthday parties in the neighborhood. This  artist/writer partnership still exists today, with their creation of the international brand, Willow Tree.

“We’ve always had this artist and writer relationship,” Karen said. “A few years ago, we realized, ‘gosh, we’re doing the same things now!’ I’m sculpting the figures, and she’s doing the writing!” Sue said.

During their childhood, both girls experienced the power of Girl Scouting. Their mother was a troop co-leader and the girls fondly reflect on memories of the play she put on with each of their troops. The play was a great way to incorporate visual art and performance art. Engaging in the costume design and scenery painting fulfilled some of Sue and Karen’s artistic desires.

As adults, Sue and Karen found themselves in the roles of co-leader and troop leader for many years. Sue encouraged her Girl Scouts, which included her daughter Sara, with innovative outdoor art projects. Karen led two troops for her daughters, Diana and Julia, for 10 years, focusing on a lot of challenging outdoor experiences. With such a love of the outdoors, it’s no wonder that the Willow Tree team does hiking retreats each year as a team builder!

Today, Sue and Karen continue their strong sisterly bond, sculpting Willow Tree figures and writing the titles and sentiments that accompany each piece. Creating Willow Tree pieces that inspire the consumer has become a passionate life’s work for both women. By standing together, believing in the original creative rationale they presented when forming the brand, they’ve been able to maintain an incredible standard of quality in Willow Tree for nearly two decades. Talk about some serious G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)TM working together!

“[Our job] is just fun. It’s not just about making money, there are a lot of places you can make money, but there aren’t many places you can have this much fun at work,” Sue said.

As Sue and Karen worked on the piece “Butterfly” that is flying into our Inspire a Girl celebration, they reflected on their own “butterfly stories” and the times they’ve overcome personal challenges. For Sue, she feels transformation happens “any time you have inner healing.” For Karen, one of her butterfly stories was learning to manage business and family. “Over the years, we’ve had to learn when to be sisters and when to work together on business. Sometimes it’s nice to just be sisters and go shopping together,” Karen said.

Every day, these sisters work together, and what they produce is a testament to their connection and creativity. You can see and feel their passion for what they do every time you give the gift of Willow Tree, and it starts from the dynamic duo of Susan and Karen Lordi—plus an amazing and dedicated team at DEMDACO!

We invite YOU to share your Butterfly Story TODAY and enter to win some AMAZING prizes – including your very own piece of Willow Tree! Girl Scouts are invited to submit their “Butterfly” story by March 12th and our friends at Willow Tree and DEMDACO will select the winning entries – including Sue and Karen! Each Girl Scout in the troop and her leader(s) will receive her/his own “Butterfly” sculpture AND complimentary entry to April 14th’s Inspire a Girl! We will also feature the winning stories at Inspire a Girl and get a special photo opportunity.

A special thanks to DEMDACO for their incredibly generous donation of the “Butterfly” sculptures, and to Susan and Karen Lordi for their involvement in this contest.

Travel Like a Girl Scout – Cookie Construction Build Day 2018

7 teams, 30 female design professionals, 105 Girl Scouts, 7,000 Girl Scout Cookie boxes and 5 hours to build 7 seven structures out of said Cookie boxes was Cookie Construction Build Day, 2018!

After six months of planning, practicing and prepping, the Cookie Construction Teams descended upon Crown Center on March 3 for Build Day. The theme this year was “Travel Like a Girl Scout” and each team was given an 8×8 space to build their structures. After five hours of build time, a panel of jurors evaluated each structure on creativity in design, structural design, use of colors/labels, craftsmanship and adherence to rules & regulations. After deliberation, one structure was presented the with the Juror’s Choice Award. Our Juror’s said that this was the closest completion in the four years of Cookie Construction!

Pop-Up Adventures – Cookie Monsters

This build is a story of a Girl Scout’s journey through the vast world. Through the pages of this pop-up book she travels the globe. She scales the Great Wall of China, climbs the Eiffel Tower, and explores the Pyramids of Giza. Traveling all over the world, she discovers her own adventurous spirit and a love for learning and exploration. All starting with a book and her moral compass. What will she discover next by traveling the world?


Around the World with the Cookie Queens – Cookie Queens

Traveling around the world! What might a Girl Scout see? We have builds from lonely islands to big cities. Our display shows many old and modern technologies from, you guessed it, around the world! The Coliseum, which was built between 70-80 ACE, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which was built between 1173-1372 ACE, the Pyramids of Giza, which were built between 2580-2560 BCE, and the Easter Isle Statues, which were constructed between 700-1100 ACE. Our modes of transportation include two types of boats, taxis, and an airplane. We chose these because they are from three different eras and mediums. We practiced teamwork, perseverance, and gained experience as young architects through this design/build process. Overall, this design was challenging, but the Cookie Queens powered through and came up with something truly amazing!


Girls Connect the World – North Packers

Our design includes four destinations, Savannah, Georgia, Mexico, England, and South Africa. We picked these locations because we wanted to show amazing girls from around the world. We travel throughout these destinations enjoying the different landscapes and buildings as we go. We start in the United States, traveling by ferry to the home of Juliette Low, founder of Girl Scouts. Our next stop is Mexico. Traveling by car now, we meet the Girl Scouts of Mexico at the Cabaña. We move on to South Africa. Traveling by train, we find The Slab, which is a frequently used meeting spot for Girl Scouts. Last on our trip, we stop in England at the Pax Lodge, a world center for Girl Scouts. We made it here by double-decker bus. The flags of the Pax Lodge inspired the use of flags in the project to represent the countries and the Girl Scouts. The globe represents the connection of the girls across these countries.


Time Travel: Girl Scouts Past, Present and Future – The Rainbow Time Keepers

The build will center around a large rainbow. The girls imagine the rainbow as a bridge that spans across time. There will be three to five nodes along the rainbow that represent Girl Scouts growing from Daisies to Cadets. Each node will have an emblem that symbolizes their path. The ground plane will be a field of grass with a meandering river.


Traveling to Landmarks Through Time – The Scouts

Our group, The Scouts, came up with natural and manmade landmarks spanning over several centuries in time based on our theme “Traveling to Landmarks Through Time.” We are building methods of transportation to show how you would have traveled to each monument in the era the monuments were built. The landmarks we are planning on building are The Eiffel Tower, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Big Ben, The Great Pyramids, Kansas City’s own Shuttlecocks, The Boundary Waters, Mount Fuji, Mount Everest, The Redwood Forest, and The Niagara Falls.


Around the Universe in 80 Days – Space Nerds

Celebrating the advancements in history and those to come, “Around the Universe in 80 Days” takes you on an inspiring journey. Travel through ancient times at the pyramids, gaze and the gateway that inspired travel to the west, explore a new colony on Mars, and discover the fantastic world of Oz with our new Girl Scouts revelation rocket. You’ll see the faces of inspired girls traveling the universe in the window of the rocket, following the path paved for them by pioneers throughout history.


Seven Wonders of the World – Team Tired

We may be called ‘Team Tired’, but our excitement for learning is anything but! For the theme “Girl Scouts Travel”, we quickly developed the idea of showcasing Seven Wonders of the World—with a twist! We were drawn to places that inspire us: The Great Wall of China, The Eiffel Tower, The Colosseum, Big Ben, Machu Picchu, The Great Pyramids and Stonehenge. Throughout this process we learned the importance of teamwork, relying on the history of each of these places to demonstrate the need to work together to achieve a goal. Using the same kind of collaboration that created these structures, we worked together to create a vision for our design. The Seven Wonders of OUR World represent different cultures, overcoming challenges, and the commitment to do something wonderful—the same elements that create a strong community of Girl Scouts! By working towards a shared goal and supporting each other, we can create something we’re all proud of.


Ultimately, Cookie Monsters was presented with the Juror’s Choice Award.  The jurors loved the composition and the theme of the book and how they built the world to come out of it. They also gave them high marks on their use of detail, using words found on the boxes themselves to tell a story on the pages of the book.

Thank you to our Jurors, Laura Beth Cochran, Sonya Jury, Galen Lif, Andrew Pitts, Jean Stoverink and our event Emcee Amy Slattery!

This program wouldn’t be possible without the support and dedication of our 30+ female design professionals throughout the Kansas City, Topeka and St. Joseph areas. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, expertise and time with our Girl Scouts!

The awards aren’t done yet; you can still cast your ballot for People’s Choice Award! Visit Crown Center and see these impressive builds yourself and vote for your favorite structure through March 23!

The 2018 Cookie Construction Program is a partnership with AIA Kansas City and made possible with the support of Crown Center, Mark One Electric Co. and Summit Homes.

Want to see more? Check out photos from Build Day on our Facebook Page. Want to participate?! Cookie Construction is open to Cadettes, Seniors & Ambassadors and registration will open this summer!

Gearing up for Cookie Construction 2018

For the past six months, Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors have been working alongside female design professionals to design and create a structure to be made solely out of Girl Scout Cookie Boxes! Cookie Construction will culminate at Build Day on March 3 at Crown Center!

This annual program is a partnership between Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri and AIA Kansas City. The 4th annual program is made possible thanks to our sponsors Crown Center, Summit Homes and Mark One Electric.

The 2018 Cookie Construction theme is “Travel like a Girl Scout” and each of the seven teams have had conversations planning sessions to identify what that phrase means to them and how they want it represented in their build using 1,000 Girl Scout Cookie boxes. Once they had a vision, they began drawing, planning and building scale models of their ideas, learning and tweaking their plans along the way.

Cookie Construction isn’t just about designing and building. The teams are made up of Girl Scouts of all different troops, with different ways of working and doing things. Throughout the program they’re learning the soft skills that you need no matter the career you choose.

“I’m very independent [but in cookie construction] I have to work with others. I think ‘if I do this build by myself, it’s going to look exactly how I want it to and it’s going to look great in my opinion.’ So when I have another person, I have two different points of view and that’s an extra challenge to me, Girl Scout Cadette Emily Stubbings said.

This program wouldn’t be possible without the nearly 30 female design professionals who are taking time out of their personal lives to mentor our Girl Scouts. For some, they’re involved because Girl Scouting played a role in their lives growing up and they want to give back. For others, it’s because they want to empower young girls to pursue a career in the design industry. For others, they’re looking to develop their own leadership skills!

Mentor Erin Hylton has been involved in the Cookie Construction program for the past three years. “Helping girls learn more about an industry where there aren’t a lot of women is unique and hard to find,” she said.

When the teams arrive at Crown Center on March 3 they will have four hours to officially build their structure that will then be evaluated by a panel of jurors and one team build will receive the “Jurors Choice Award.” After the presentation, we need YOUR help in deciding the People’s Choice Award that will be awarded when the structures come down on March 24! So, make plans to visit Cookie Construction at Crown Center March 4 – 23 and cast your vote for your favorite structure!

Riding into Adventure and Sisterhood!

Adventuring for friendship and education! A Girl Scout Destination lets a girl explore the world, find herself and meet new friends like no other experience. For Girl Scout Seniors Alyssa Carney (Olathe, KS), Abby Riebel (Iola, KS) and Lilli Smith (Prairie Village, KS) who attended an awesome Destination to Nebraska for two weeks of horseback riding became the learning adventure of a lifetime. These girls went on the “Manes, Cranes and Preserving the Plains” Destination in Nebraska in July 2017 and came back with a deep appreciation for nature conservation and A LOT of new Girl Scout sisters.


The 14 day adventure included horseback riding across the Nebraska landscape, visiting a zoo and learning about ecology from experts. On riding days, the girls would wake-up, ride horses, have a lunch and free time, enjoy dinner together, then ride back and race for the showers! While on the trail, they saw some beautiful expanses and breath-taking sights. “You’d ride up an ascent…and see the most amazing views. Most people think Kansas and Nebraska are just flat, but they’re not all flat…and at the top of some of those hills, you experience incredible views,” Abby Riebel said.

For the most part, embarking on a Girl Scout Destination is a completely solo experience. For Lilli, it was, she knew no one leaving for the trip. Abby and Alyssa, however, were best friends and took the adventure together. “When Alyssa asked me to go with her, I said ‘best friends, horses and more girls to hang out with?  WHY NOT?!” Abby said.

Left: Abby and Alyssa in Nebraska; Right: Alyssa gearing up for a day of riding.

All three girls left with friendships that span the entire country once they met the 14 other girls on the trip. “I met my friend Rachel, who lives in New Jersey, on the Destination. It’s cool to say ‘oh, I’m texting my friend in New Jersey’ when my friends here ask who I’m talking to!”  Lilli Smith said.

Alyssa remembers bonding with several girls on the trip when they stopped along a river to share and learn about each other. “We sat there on our horses and talked about what we learned and what we liked about each other. I wrote a speech about our adventures and the friendships we made in a short amount of time…it was emotional,” Alyssa Carney said.  Just the thought of strong G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)TM getting to share an amazing moment out in nature makes US emotional! Wow, what an experience.

Left & Right: Riding along the trail with the girls; Center: Lilli with new Girl Scout sisters!

For each girl, the Destination provided a learning experience that extended beyond traditional learning about the environment or horses…girls learned about trust, friendship and self-confidence.

Alyssa: “I learned how to ask for help on this trip. I was recovering from surgery, so my stamina wasn’t where I wanted it to be and I needed help lifting my saddle. I’m someone who gives it her all, but sometimes you have to have others help you…and I learned that it’s okay.”

Abby: “When you push yourself out of your comfort zone and spend time away from family for two weeks, it makes you realize how much you love your family and that you shouldn’t take them for granted. You also experience some amazing stuff when you push yourself and trust yourself.”

Lilli: “Living in such close quarters with 16 girls you don’t know really teaches you to learn to share and learn to handle different personalities. Plus I learned a lot about the Nebraska landscape and water systems.”


The Girl Scouts of “Manes, Cranes and Preserving the Plains” 2017!

A Girl Scout Destination is one of the best ways for a girl to push her limits, learn about something she’s passionate and meet new friends. We’re thrilled that THREE Girl Scouts from our council got to take this awesome adventure and make friendships that are still thriving today. If you’re interested in learning about taking your own Destination, visit Girl Scout Travel today!

Tips for Being a Bling Your Booth Champion!

Bling Your Booth is officially HERE for 2018 and we’re ready to see your booths based on the theme “Cookie Pros SHINE!” We’ve pulled together some awesome tips from TWO TIME Grand Champion Bling Your Booth experts, Troop 484 from Chillicothe, MO! They’ve shared some awesome tips to help YOUR troop have the brightest, blingiest booth around!

When it comes to Bling Your Booth, Troop 484 has it down. Amanda Hall, troop leader for 484 said the biggest focus for their winning booths have always been 1. Girl-led design and 2. Market to friends and family. Combine that with troop creativity and you have a serious recipe for success. Here’s our list of top tips to make your booth stand out!

  1. Be Girl-led

“Focus on being girl-led in choosing a theme and building the booth with adult guidance when needed. It’s ok to fail and learn from it!” Amanda says. By letting girls pick the theme you’re helping them grow AND they’ll have a greater passion for what they’re creating.

  1. Marketing

“Market your booth via social media and at your booth for future booth locations,” Amanda says. By spreading awareness, people know when and where to go to support your girls. You never know what co-worker may want to stop by! Giving out a schedule of booths and locations can help people plan to grab some cookies and support your little CEO’s on a drive home from work.

  1. Keep it Simple and about the cookies.

“Try using $4 a box or 5 for $20. It works. The wording sounds like you’re getting a deal, when in reality the girls are up-selling the product!” This little tactic is used by a lot of troops, and really makes a difference for the sales. People are used to hearing similar offers in stores, so they think it’s a deal, when really, it’s just bundling.


  1. Etiquette

This is sales training 101 and one of the best parts of the Cookie Program. By teaching girls sales strategies that include kindness and respect early on, you’re preparing them for future interviews, school presentations and careers. It’s not just about selling. This etiquette training includes “always being kind to customer, but also to the business you are partnering with. Always say thank you,” Amanda says. Teaching girls to build relationships and show appreciation will help them sell themselves in the future.

  1. Let Girls Sell

“Train your Girl Scouts on selling etiquette and remember it’s about the girls selling, not the leaders.” Customers LOVE to see girls using those skills and they’re always patient as a girl builds her confidence. The girls that thrive the most in the Cookie Program are the ones who learn to sell to strangers. Let the girls take the lead!

  1. Be Thankful!

“Be thankful for your co-leaders and volunteers! Their time is valuable!” By showing your appreciation to the adults who are helping, everyone involved is happier and customers can feel that. Have a mom who helped with power tools to build the booth? Show her some appreciation! What about the dad who helped organize your cookie orders? Give him a round of applause! Working together, volunteers and leaders can make this the BEST Cookie Program possible for their girls!

Now that you’ve gotten the inside scoop on awesome booths, go out and let your girls design! We can’t wait to see our 2018 Bling Your Booth entries! Week 2 entries can begin to be submitted on Feb. 23rd (booth sales from Feb 19-25) through 11:59p on Feb. 26, 2018, so get those photos in!! You can go vote for the Week 1 entries now by visiting our Facebook Page and clicking the “Bling Your Booth” tab on the left side bar. See you there!

Cookie 5K Run/Walk

When Girl Scouts have big goals, innovation happens! Thanks to a super, supportive dad with special expertise, Girl Scout Junior Troop 1052 from Blue Springs, Missouri is working hard toward their troop goal of taking a trip together to St. Louis. And, Kansas City is getting its very first Girl Scout Cookie 5K Run/Walk. On March 3, 2018, you can run for cookies and celebrate G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)TM.

Scott Chilcutt manages runs for a living, working with KC Running Company. He’d seen Girl Scout cookie runs in other cities and when his daughter’s troop had ambitious goals for their trip, he saw it as a perfect fit to bring a Girl Scout cookie run to KC! It was a unique way he could contribute his own skill set to improve the troop experience for his daughter, Addy, and her Girl Scout sisters.

Troop 1052 has been together since 1st grade and they’re now awesome 5th grade Girl Scout Juniors. Scott loves having Addy in Girl Scouts because of the skills she learns and the things they get to do together.  “Girl Scouting gives Addy a lot of rewards. She has a community with her Girl Scout sisters, they have a lot of community involvement and I like the direction the troop has gone,” Scott said.


Left: Scott and daughter, Addy; Right: Troop 1052 at their 2017 St. Louis trip!

While his wife, Cassy, volunteers a lot with the troop, he still gets to be involved and help Addy with some of her new skills. “Girl Scouts is about getting back to the basics of what it is to be a dad and daughter. It’s an opportunity to work on skills that are starting to fall by the wayside,” Scott said.

Scott is hoping this run will become an annual event and hopes to involve more troops as it grows in size. He especially loves that it’s combining physical fitness with Girl Scout cookies – which are so very yummy and tempting to eat! “The Cookie Run will let people come support girls in a way they haven’t before. It’s a healthy initiative, which is new to combine with cookies. It’s teaching girls that it’s okay to eat the cookies when you’re pairing it with something healthy,” Scott said.

The run will take place in Independence, MO, near the Bass Pro Shop and with Girl Scout volunteers on hand, we know this is going to be an exciting celebration of girls! With Girl Scout Cookies as the prize and samples of each flavor available for runners, what better way to spend a Saturday? This run will feature food/celebrations at the end, runners getting to pick their favorite GS Cookie to celebrate finishing the race, a t-shirt for the day and much more.


Here’s a special sneak peek at the T-shirt design for the run!

If you’re inspired to support girls in a healthy, fun way, join us on March 3 as we cheer on everyone who stands with girls! You can register here – $34 for adults, $12 for kids (until March 1, when prices increase). You can also help the troop by sharing their facebook event for this run!


We LOVE Kappa Deltas!

5th Annual Kappa Delta Girl Scout Cookie Challenge Yields Record-Breaking Results

The hustle of boxes, the speed of sale, and the awesome energy of Kappa Delta women paired with Girl Scouts – it’s the annual Kappa Delta Girl Scout Cookie Challenge!

For the past five years Girl Scout troops have partnered with the Kappa Delta chapter at Kansas State University and the Kappa Delta chapter at University of Kansas for a friendly competition to see which school can sell the most Girl Scout cookies in a few hours!

It’s more than just a (coveted) Golden Thin Mint trophy, it’s a whole different kind of bragging rights between these schools. One that puts sister against sister!

What started out as a little game in 2014 has grown into the #KDGSCookieChallenge, with the Golden Thin Mint residing in both chapter houses twice. The fifth year, however, would mean that one school would be able to declare more wins over the other… and this year was another for the record books – with both schools selling more than they ever have in the history of the competition!

“I think what our chapter loves about this challenge is being able to see the impact we make directly with the Girl Scouts. It’s unique to be able to impact people at a local level and not just donate to an organization. We love being with the Girl Scouts and being able to spend time with them to hopefully build their confidence! It’s also really cool to see so many Kappa Deltas supporting them and seeing friendships made at the event,” K-State Kappa Delta VP-Community Service said!

This year, the KU Kappa Delta Chapter and Senior & Ambassador Troop 7579 sold 150 cases while the the K-State Kappa Delta Chapter and Cadette Troop 467 sold 158! Not only is this the most cookies ever sold, it’s also the narrowest margin in #KDGSChallenge history!

If you’re keeping total, that’s 3,696 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies sold at both schools in just three hours!!

School 2015 2016 2017 2018
KU 1,187 1,462 1,364 1,800
K-State 624 768 1,579 1,896

“For the house it’s a great opportunity to hang out with Girl Scouts more. We can develop more of a friendship with these girls and give them a glimpse into sorority life since they’re older girls we’re working with,” KU Kappa Delta VP-Community Service Cassidy Hild said. “I feel like with increased numbers by both schools it just shows the passion and effort we give this challenge each year!”

Both troops have big plans for the proceeds they earned while working with the Kappa Deltas. Troop 467 believes that their dream of a trip to a National Park will be made a reality this year and Troop 7579 is planning an international trip before they graduate next year!

Every year we’re blown away with the hospitality, enthusiasm, energy and effort that the women of Kappa Delta put into making the #KDGSCookieChallenge a huge success with the troops who are selected to sell at their houses. This is one sweet partnership and we are forever grateful!

Tell Your Butterfly Story!

“Resilient, determined, courageous and beautiful… You have the qualities to transform your world…” –Susan Lordi (artist).

These words – resilient, determined, courageous, beautiful – all describe not only the life journey of the monarch butterfly, but also our own G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)TM Girl Scouts. When you think about the journey a butterfly goes through – from caterpillar to cocoon to breaking out of its shell to becoming one of the most beautiful creatures on the planet – its resilient strength only gets amplified. It’s no wonder this creature was the inspiration for the Kansas City based, internationally known artist behind Willow Tree®, Susan Lordi.

Strongly influenced by nature, art history, architecture, ballet and her family, Susan conceives and creates each Willow Tree piece at her studio in Kansas City, MO, surrounded by the robust art scene of the Crossroads district. After Susan sculpts and carves the original, it is then cast in resin that perfectly captures each of her knife marks. Each piece is then hand-painted, based on coloration and techniques unique to Willow Tree.

Many of us have strong memories with one of Susan’s creations. Her gesture-focused figures, with their elegant simplicity, invoke memories for anyone who has received one as a gift. Maybe it was a graduation gift, maybe a brother gave it to a sister, maybe a mother gave it to her daughter at her wedding. No matter the occasion, if you have a Willow Tree sculpture, it has meaning for you.  In Susan’s words, Willow Tree isn’t so much about the tangible piece. It represents an emotion, or it marks a memory”.

For 2018, Susan Lordi created a very special sculpture that combines the power of a girl with the resilience of the monarch butterfly…all accented with gold. Inspired by her love of the prairie, butterflies and the strength of women, “Butterfly” the sculpture was born. Girls. Strength. Gold.

“Butterfly” beautifully captures the essence of being a Girl Scout. The journey a monarch goes through sounds very similar to the growth of a Girl Scout from Daisy to Ambassador – finding strength and becoming more beautiful as she learns to spread her wings and fly. Because Willow Tree sculptures are all about the personal stories behind them…Willow Tree, DEMDACO and Girl Scouts invite YOU to tell YOUR butterfly story!

Beginning TODAY, February 12, Girl Scout Junior, Cadette, Senior & Ambassador troops and individual (Indy) Girl Scouts are invited to submit their “Butterfly” story for an awesome contest. Your story will want to embody what it means to you to be resilient, determined and courageous. How do you take action to change the world? How have you grown or will continue to grow into the beautiful monarch butterfly? We want this to be a girl-led activity, include plenty of creativity (submit artwork, a powerpoint, a video, etc.) and show others the power of being a Girl Scout!

Our story submission process will end on Girl Scouts’ 106th birthday – March 12th, with winners announced on Tuesday, March 20th, the first day of Spring. Our friends at Willow Tree and DEMDACO will select the winning entries – including Susan herself!

What do the winning “Butterfly” storytellers receive? Each Girl Scout in the troop and her leader(s) will receive her/his own “Butterfly” sculpture AND complimentary entry to April 14th’s Inspire a Girl! We will also feature the winning stories at Inspire a Girl and get a special photo opportunity.  A minimum of two troops or Indy Girl Scouts will be selected from each region (Central, East, West & North).

Learn more and submit your entry here between Feb. 12 – Mar. 12, 2018. We can’t wait to see these awesome “butterfly stories” from our amazing Girl Scouts!

Watch this special message from Susan! 

A special thanks to DEMDACO for their incredibly generous donation of the “Butterfly” sculptures, and to Susan and Karen Lordi (artist and writer sisters behind Willow Tree) for making this contest possible. Stay tuned for more exciting “Butterfly” announcements coming soon!

Going Gold in the North & West Regions

The projects are done, the paperwork is in and excitement is brewing for Inspire a Girl! On April 14 we will honor sixty, (6-0!!!) Girl Scouts who completed their Gold Award Project and earned the highest award in Girl Scouting this year! This is the largest Gold Award Girl Scout class in recent history and it includes nine Girl Scouts from our council’s West & North regions!  This group of young women have spent more than 800 hours giving back to their communities. From creating literacy programs to community improvement projects and educational programs, these Girl Scouts have achieved the highest honor she can earn, the Gold Award!


Skylar Clark, Atchison, KS
Troop 8184, Service Unit 801

Train Depot  – For her Gold Award project, Skylar Clark wanted to encourage local children to learn about their town’s history and have fun while doing it! She worked with the Atchison Chamber of Commerce and the Northeast Kansas Railroad Association to breathe new life into Atchison’s Train Depot. With the help of some friends and family members she did some painting at the depot and planted a brand new garden. After that, she hosted an educational workshop for children to learn about trains.

“I feel more connected to my community through the service that I’ve done for it.”

Werthen Gass, 
Trenton, MO
Troop 8081, Service Unit 820

NomNom ReadRead – Werthen Gass saw a need for additional literacy programs for young children, specifically those living in poverty. In her experience, those children were not prepared to become readers because they lacked resources in their life to provide the necessary equipment. To address the issue, she created the NomNom ReadRead YouTube channel in conjunction with the Trenton High School Key Club and Jewett Norris Library. She shared this resource with teachers and got their support to use the program within their own classrooms. To-date, she has 1,144 subscribers to the channel and nearly 1 million views!

“Through this project I realized that some kids never see any print in their homes. As a result, I developed a deeper sense of the world around me and I resolved to give the gift of reading to others.”


Latorrie Johnson, Trenton, MO
Troop 8081, Service Unit 820

Recycling on a Rural Community Level – Over the past few years, Latorrie Johnson noticed that the recycling had decreased in her rural town of Trenton, MO. To promote recycling on a local level she collected old bins and repurposed them into recycling bins and encouraged attendees to use them at community events. Latorrie also created a flier and passed it out at the local health fair and ran an article in the local newspaper to raise awareness about the importance of recycling!

“I have developed values such as persistency, determination, to work hard and never give up.”


Katelyn Kesinger, 
Atchison, KS
Troop 8184, Service Unit 801

American Flag Etiquette – Katelyn Kessinger wanted to educate her community on how to properly dispose of an American Flag. She worked with the Daughter of the American Revolution to create an education program that taught others how to hold an American Flag Retirement Ceremony and created a brochure that people could take away and refer to in the future.

“I learned that I just need to be more confident in myself and everything will go just fine!”

E’Lizabeth (Elle) Neal, 
Trenton, MO
Troop 8081, Service Unit 820

Preserving Trenton High School – Elle Neal saw a need for the digitization of her high school’s past yearbooks. The district didn’t have the capacity to do the work, so Elle stepped up. She collected yearbooks and scanned the thousands of pages to create a digital version of each one. She then created a website where the yearbooks would be accessible to alumni who are now living all around the world!

“I felt accomplished with the simple difference I made and I will try to continue to make a difference, no matter how little or big.”


Miranda Wagner, Atchison, KS
Troop 8184, Service Unit 801

Forest of Friendship; Make It KnownIn Atchison, KS is an International Forest of Friendship that was a gift from the City of Atchison and the international organization of women pilots, the Ninety-Nines that had been neglected by the community for quite some time. Miranda took it upon herself to  not only revitalize it, but create programming around the history of the forest and educate her community. She planted perennial flowers, created fact sheets and an educational scavenger hunt and installed a weather-proof box to make her resources available to all visitors. She promoted her project on the local radio station and held an event during the forest’s annual flag ceremony!

“Through my project I have shown how much one person can impact the world.”



Samantha Hall , Manhattan, KS
Troop 7189, Service Unit 704

Conversation about Conservation – Samantha Hall’s Gold Award project focused on the conservation of animals by focusing on the ways humans unknowingly harm the environment around them. She created a program centered around the palm oil crisis. Palm oil is a common item in household cleaning products that displaces and harms animals every day.  She worked with the Manhattan Sunset Zoo, creating backpack kits that visitors can check out and learn about ways they can easily help with animal conservation!

“I developed a stronger sense of self throughout this project. It made me take charge in ways that I haven’t before, prompting me to figure out how I work with people and the best way to get things done.”


Samantha Edwards, 
Sabetha, KS
Troop 7200, Service Unit 714

Birds of Prey Awareness – Samantha Edwards wanted to change the negative perception birds of prey have by educating people on the positive ways they impact the environment and ecosystem. Samantha created a presentation and website with interesting facts, benefits of their existence and how humans can help them thrive. She also created bird swag bags containing bird seed and trading cards. Her presentation and information will continue through efforts of her school and community library.

“I feel that my confidence will grow tremendously because this project showed me that I can speak my mind and that anything is possible of you put your mind to it. I set a goal and I accomplished it.”

Kelly Wichmann
, Manhattan, KS
Troop 7189, Service Unit 704

Bike to School Day
– Kelly Wichmann’s Gold award project started when she realized that her school parking lot was overflowing. She thought about the impact that all those cars had on the environment and decided to create a Bike to School day to help the environment while encouraging her peers to be active. Included in her project was work to update and better the bike racks at her school to encourage her classmates to consider bicycling as a form of transportation every day, not just on one day!

“I know the assertiveness in which I built upon during the project will definitely be of great importance as I move on to my college years.”


Make plans to join us at Inspire a Girl on April 14 at the Overland Park Convention Center as we celebrate our entire 2018 Gold Award Girl Scout Class with a hands-on Expo and Honors Ceremony where they will officially receive their Gold Award Pin!

Did you receive the highest award in Girl Scouting?! We want to know! Drop us a comment below or send an email to!