Daisy’s Circle Appreciation Event

There were blue skies, warm breezes and a first look at the leaves changing colors this past Saturday. We welcomed more than fifty Daisy’s Circle members and their families to Camp Prairie Schooner on a surprisingly warm fall afternoon for our first Daisy’s Circle Appreciation Event!

The day included lots of fun and fellowship but most of all aimed to give a special, behind-the-scenes look at what Girl Scout camp is all about and how their monthly donations are making a big impact for girls. Guests were encouraged to engage in all the activities planned for them.

Our guests were greeted by CEO Joy Wheeler.

CEO-Joy-Wheeler
They were able to interact with (and even feed) some of our four-legged friends.

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They saw a great example of that Girl Scout courage we’re always talking about with the zipline.

Girl-Scout-Zipline
The STEM connectors are always popular as evidenced by this fantastic building job from some of our attendees.

STEM-Connectors
After enjoying a chili dinner that familiar campfire aroma led members outside where they made yummy s’mores and sang songs together.

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It was truly a wonderful day spent with some of the very first members of Daisy’s Circle. This exciting new giving program was created to make it easy to donate to Girl Scouts on a monthly basis. You can choose the amount you’d like to give. So far more than 160 people have joined Daisy’s Circle. These funds are vital in supporting the very same activities you see here. Your donations will create a lifetime of skills, memories and friendship for girls.

Thank you to all our Daisy’s Circle members. Together we are bringing her promise to life. You can too.

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

The observation of National Hispanic Heritage Month started in 1968 and was expanded into an entire month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. This time was set aside to recognize the contributions made and the important presence of Latinos to the United States and to celebrate their heritage and culture. The words “Latino” and “Hispanic” refer to a person of Latin-American origin living in the United States. The words Latino and Hispanic describe a person’s ethnicity rather than his/her race.

There are multiple generations of Latino families in the United States. Every family is different, but even those who have lived in the United States for numerous decades still enjoy celebrating their heritage.

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 – October 15 because it bookends the independence days of the five Central American nations: Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Costa Rica, Mexico on Sept. 16 and Chile, Sept. 18 as well as Columbus Day which is also referred to “Día de la Raza” in Latin America.

Interesting Facts from the US Census

In 2013, Latinos constituted 17 percent of the nation’s total population. 1.1 million Hispanics have been added to the nation’s population between July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2013. This number is close to half of the approximately 2.3 million people added to the nation’s population during this period. According to the US Census, Latinos are the largest minority group in 22 states, Kansas being one of them. It is projected that by 2030, 1 in 3 girls will be Hispanic (State of Girls).

Girl Scouts and the Hispanic Community

Out of the 23,095 girls that Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri served in 2014, 1,614 were Latina. Additionally, 225 Hispanic adults volunteered in our council in 2014. Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri is working hard to engage and support more Latino adults who will empower Latina girls to invent their dreams through Girl Scouting.

We are recruiting bilingual volunteers to be troop leaders or assist at events and recruitment fairs. Additionally, we are developing collaborations with schools and organizations that predominantly serve our Latino community in order to start Girl Scout troops. If you are interested or know someone who is, please contact Lisa Peña lpena@gsksmo.org or 913-759-3113.

Check out these fun ideas to integrate Hispanic Heritage Month into your troop activities!

 

 

STEM Ignited!

Hundreds of Girl Scouts enjoy a night of fun at Inaugural Time Warner Cable Girls STEM Expo

Two incredible STEM role models, 50+ hands-on activities and an 800 pound ballet studio display complete with KC ballet dancers = a night of STEM Awesomeness!

What a fantastic night, hundreds of Girl Scouts 4th grade and up had at the Inaugural Time Warner Cable Girls STEM Expo last Saturday at Science City. The evening kicked off for the first 400 Girl Scouts to sign up for the Expo with a special Q&A with STEM Advocate and Actress Emma Dumont and KMBC Meteorologist Erin Little. It was cool to learn how Emma and Erin got their passion for STEM, and wow did Girl Scouts ask great questions!

Time Warner STEM event

Following the Q&A, Girl Scouts descended on Science City where they encountered hands-on activities, some a part of permanent activities.

Science City

And others made possible by community STEM partners. You could hear the sound of laughter and see busy girls trying out everything from the sky bike, which put the laws of physics to the test. To our display, clouds in a bottle with special guest Meteorologist Erin Little.

Erin Little - Girl Scout STEM

Certainly the highlight of the evening was the Time Warner Cable display where girls learned about the science behind ballet. Emma Dumont took the lead in this activity and was joined by dancers from the KC Ballet. Emma shared her love for dance combined with her STEM expertise and then girls got a chance to put their ballet skills to the test.

Emma Dumont - Science of Ballet

Giving girls an opportunity to try out STEM will help open the door to possibility. 81% of girls are interested in pursuing a STEM career, but only 13% say it is their first choice. To ignite their passion for STEM, we must give girls more opportunities like this Girls STEM Expo and connection to female role models working in the field. We are committed to building the pipeline of future STEM leaders with our amazing Girl Scouts! We can’t wait to see you at a future STEM activity!

 

The Perks of Being a Brownie

It’s the middle of September and Girl Scout meetings are in full swing. There is excitement around the start of the New Year and all the adventures ahead for our 23,000 Girl Scouts!

We caught up with two Girl Scouts who have recently bridged from Daisies to Brownies to find out what they enjoy most about being Girl Scouts, and boy is that list long! Lilly Foster and Chloe Franklin are second grade Brownies in Troop 78 in Liberty, Missouri and have been in Girl Scouts together for the past year. Their troop leader is Kimberly Foster, Lilly’s mom.

ChloeLilly Collage

Selling Girl Scout Cookies

Last year, Troop 78 hosted two cookie booths in the community, complete with their very own “Cookie Booth” stand constructed by a Girl Scout dad. Lilly really enjoyed connecting with her customers and said “you sometimes get to see some of your family when you sell your cookies.”

The girls used their cookie money creatively and had sleepover at the Kansas City Zoo, adopted a family during the holidays and went camping!

Overnight at the Kansas City Zoo

Thanks to our Community Partner, Kansas City Zoo, Troop 78 got to spend a unique night with Nakita, the Polar Bear. Additionally, the girls got to take a special night tour of the zoo to see the nocturnal animals in their natural habitats and interact with some unique creatures!

Camping

Preparing for their campout is a troop effort. Prior to the excursion, the girls get together and set the menu for their time at camp. Troop leaders then put a grocery list together and the girl work together to budget and shop for the items!

While camping, the girls like to make GORP, “Good Ole Raisins and Peanuts.” Read the full poem the girls read!

A special adventure they like to go on at camp is a night hike. Just before bed, they take their flashlights and go exploring around camp. “We got to see grasshoppers, crickets and bugs…a lot of cool bugs,” according to Lilly!

This year, Chloe is looking forward to her first camping trip this October without Mom. “I’m a grown up now, I don’t need mama. I’ll be all alone with my friends, no mommy!” It’s not that Chloe doesn’t like having mom involved in Girl Scouts, but Troop 78 has doubled in size. Becky, Chloe’s mom will be staying back this next campout to give other caregivers the chance to go camping with their girl!

Beyond Girl Scouts

What’s great about Girl Scouts for Lilly and Chloe is that their friendship extends beyond troop meetings and outings. “I wouldn’t know Chloe because she’s never been in my class. Sometimes at recess we play together and we play we play tag. Now that it’s cooling down we like to play tag because we can cool ourselves down,” Lilly said.

For Kimberly, Lilly’s mother and Troop 78’s leader, Girl Scouts is about providing Lilly with interactions and opportunities she wouldn’t get anywhere else as an only child. “I wasn’t going to be a troop leader, I just wanted her to be in Girl Scouts. But then I discovered I can schedule more things and schedule around my time and I get to be there for everything, that’s what drew me into it.”

Becky Franklin, Chloe’s mother, credits Girl Scouts for helping Chloe overcome her shyness. “I love for Chloe how it’s helped her to come out of her shell. She can sometimes be shy when she’s meeting new people. She didn’t know Kimberly or any of the girls in the troop, so it’s been a really neat way for her to come out of her shell.”

Thank you Kimberly, Becky, Lilly and Chloe for sharing what you love about Girl Scouts!

It’s not too late to get your girl involved in Girl Scouts, the on-time registration deadline is September 22 and all those who are registered will have the opportunity to order a one-of-a-kind t-shirt! To sign your girl up, or to volunteer with a troop, visit our website!

 

Candy, Nuts & Magazine Program Builds the 5 Skills

Troops Earn Funds to Begin Their New Year

Is your troop or Indy (individually registered) Girl Scout participating in the Candy, Nuts & Magazine Program? This “Friends and Family” Program offers flexibility for new and returning troops.

Girls build their 5 skills; goal-setting, money management, decision making, people skills and business ethics while troops earn proceeds to help kick off the new Girl Scout year. It’s a sure win with different options and products available. We love the new photo album, the classic, Salsa Mix and hundreds of magazine options that will pique anyone’s interest. These products combined with an online purchase opportunity make it easy for grandma, dad, aunt or neighbor say “Yes” to your Girl Scout!

So our friends and family love the products, but what do girls think? Meet Carly Hibner, a 12th grade Ambassador Girl Scout from Chillicothe, Missouri. Does her face look familiar? It most definitely should!

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We are so proud of Carly who was one of a few Girl Scouts from around the country chosen to be a part of this year’s Candy, Nuts & Magazine Program materials. Carly has been a Girl Scout since she was in Kindergarten and remembers this program as a great way to kick off the new year.

She loved the teamwork of setting a troop goal and then celebrating when they succeeded. Each year, the girls would choose a fun activity or fieldtrip to work toward as well as using some of their proceeds for a community service project. Now as she begins the last year of her Girl Scout experience, Carly is still setting goals to finish her Gold Award project. Carly’s project is focused on bringing fine arts education like theater, art, vocal and dance to an at-risk youth center, North Missouri Center for Youth & Families.

The Candy, Nuts & Magazine Program helps Carly and all Girl Scouts set goals, celebrate their success and do incredible things for their community! See more details and watch a great video that showcases the ease and the benefits of this program. Say “Yes” to participating in this program. There is still plenty of time with orders not due until October 5.

 

A Lifesaving Gift

Today, on the anniversary of September 11th, we stand united in remembrance of those who lost their lives and we recognize all those who helped in the aftermath.

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May 4th started out like any other spring day for Dr. Glenn Hodges. He spent the morning tending to his garden. But when he walked back into the house the unthinkable happened. He went into cardiac arrest.

Without hesitation, his wife Carolyn called 911 and began CPR. Her quick thinking and ability to use a skill she had learned long ago while serving as a Girl Scout troop leader helped to save her husband’s life.

Thankfully, Dr. Hodges recovered and after a few months the couple began thinking about how they could give back and help the community benefit from all they had been through. They both credit Girl Scouts for helping Carolyn learn an invaluable tool that saves lives every day.

Carolyn’s love for Girl Scouts can be traced back to 1948 when she remembers asking her mom if she could join her friends to become a Brownie. She most fondly recalls having a blast at day camp.

When Carolyn was a young mom moving to the Kansas City area she knew she wanted her daughters to be Girl Scouts. When she found there was no troop leader she stepped up as a volunteer and continued in that role for 15 years.

Girl Scouts has been a huge part of both their lives, Carolyn as a troop leader for all four of her daughters and Dr. Hodges as an active Girl Scout dad. The tradition has definitely continued with three of her granddaughters joining Girl Scouts as well.

“It’s a three-generation tradition so far and it will keep going,” Carolyn said.

Hodges Family

The couple stands with their four grown daughters and three grandaughters.

The couple has given back to Girl Scouts for years but it was her husband’s idea to create a special fund in honor of his wife.

In August, the Hodges announced an annual gift of $5,000 to the council for the Carolyn Hodges “Great Save” Fund. Thanks to their generous ongoing donation troops can apply for a mini-grant that will pay 50% of the cost of certification (up to $55 per person). Costs will be reimbursed after the participant completes the class and questionnaire.

Each year, funds will be distributed in each of the four regions of the council, so that Girl Scouts across the 47-county area may have access to grant funds throughout the year. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. If you would like to apply please visit the First Aid and CPR page of our website.

The Hodges are happy to make it possible for more girls and volunteers to learn this lifesaving skill. After all, part of the Girl Scout Promise is to help people at all times.

Are You Ready for Some Football?

There is something special about fall… the crisp air, pumpkin flavored everything, and FOOTBALL!

Our beloved Kansas City Chiefs took to the field on Sunday for the home opener. While the outcome wasn’t in our favor, many people gathered to celebrate the start of the season. The Jayhawks and Wildcats both brought victories home this weekend and the Missouri Western Griffins faced the University of Central Missouri Mules on Thursday in St. Joe. The Griffins came out on top with a 10-9 victory.

Whether you’re a football aficionado, fair-weather fan, or just cheering for the team with the best mascot, there’s something about football that ignites passion and brings us together. Maybe it’s the atmosphere? Maybe it’s the watch party food? Or maybe it’s the fact that sporting events are the original reality TV?! We, as a society, love football!

Do you remember being taught about first downs and why one field goal scored a team 3 points when another only scored them 1? Well, we hope that you will join us and the KU Athletic Department on October 11 to watch the Jayhawks take on the Oklahoma State University Cowboys to ignite passion for the sport in your girl and teach her basics of the game. We know this will be an experience that she will treasure for years to come!

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On October 11, families will be able to participate in pre-game activities hosted by Kappa Delta Sorority at Memorial Stadium and Girl Scouts will be able to take a pregame photograph with the team on the field. Based on Girl Scout ticket sales, girls will be selected, at random, to welcome the players onto the field and participate in pre-game activities.

Visit our website for more information and purchase your tickets by October 7! Use the promo code to secure your seats with Girl Scouts from all over our region. For each ticket purchased, KU Athletics will donate $5 back to Girl Scouts. The more tickets purchased through PROMO Code: GIRLSCOUTS, the more opportunities Girl Scouts are provided to participate in on-field activities.

So make this a friends and family affair and share the love of the game with your girl!

8 Tips to Get Ready for a New Girl Scout Year

It’s that time of year again! The time when kids don new backpacks and wait for the bus to take them to the first day of school. Parents are checking off school supplies on a long list. But if you’re a troop leader you are also getting excited for a new Girl Scout year! Amazing volunteers in all 47 counties of our council are gearing up to welcome Girl Scouts back.

Troop Leader Dayna Carney of Olathe, Kansas knows all about what it takes to lead a troop. Dayna has been a troop leader for many years and loves the way Girl Scouts allows her three daughters and their friends to give back to their communities. She believes Girl Scouts empowers girls to take a place in the world in which they live. She started when there was no training but is excited to go through the streamlined New Leader Express Training to get updated and learn more. Dayna was happy to share eight useful tips that help her get ready for a new Girl Scout year.

Getting Ready for a New Girl Scouts Year

1. Plan a Kick-Off Party – Dayna hosts her first meeting shortly after school begins. Both caregivers and girls come to the party and while the girls are doing a fun activity the parents can get paperwork and other necessary business out of the way. After that everyone can enjoy the party! Here are some helpful tips for a kick-off parent / caregiver meeting.

2. Involve the Girls in Planning – No matter how young, let Girl Scouts help plan their year! Dayna always surveys girls on what they love about Girl Scouts. What was their favorite event from last year? What was their favorite badge they earned? This is a great way to give the girls ownership in their troop and get excited for what is to come.

3. Use Online Girl Scout Resources – There is so much information available to new and returning troop leaders. Feeling out of the loop? Visit our council website where you will find information on just about every program available. The website is updated often and includes details about the fun programs available to girls at each stage of Girl Scouting.

4. Check the Community Programs Page – Did you know we have more than 100 community programs in which girls can participate? Dayna checks the Community Programs page for information on specific events and registration information. Looking at some of the amazing upcoming events is sure to give you plenty of fun events to take part in this year. There is something for everyone!

5. Read Local Publications – The Kansas City area and beyond have many wonderful publications that can help you think of fun things to do with your troop. Sometimes you can even pick up local parent or city magazines for free at stores! Dayna also checks her city’s website for information on upcoming events that are close to home and might complement a Journey.

6. (Try to) Be Organized – We all have full schedules. Jobs, school, sports, music, dance – the lists are endless! Sometimes planning just one more thing can be a daunting task. But Dayna says with a little forethought and organization you can maximize your valuable time. Dayna creates packets of information for herself and caregivers so that everyone has what they need at their fingertips. She also utilizes spreadsheets to keep names, addresses and phone numbers organized. One insider tip she recommended was to use a free scheduling tool such as SignUpGenius. She says it really takes the guesswork out of it when you’re trying to get volunteers for an activity (p.s. we’ve checked it out and it is indeed genius!).

7. Plan Ahead for Cookie Program – Girl Scout Cookie Program is a big deal. We all know this because at least one person asks if they can order a box (or three) yet! This is a big part of the Girl Scout year so Dayna gets the dates on the calendar and prepares for the selling season beforehand!

8. Be Flexible – Go with the flow! This is Dayna’s biggest advice especially for troop leaders of Daisy or Brownie Girl Scouts. She learned to be flexible and believes that you should too. Sometimes plans will have to change and that’s okay. Above all else Dayna wants to remind you this is a Girl-Led Experience and that’s the brilliance of it!

Welcome back to Girl Scouts, everyone. Let’s have a sweet year!

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I Can’t Wait for Another Exciting Girl Scout Year!

A special message from Joy Wheeler, CEO, GSKSMO

How does a girl accomplish her goal of making new friends, experiencing exciting adventures or making a difference in her community? Or defy gender stereotypes and do something she sees more males than females do like becoming a scientist or engineer. Or set in motion her dream of becoming a leader when opportunity seems like only a buzzword to her?

How? It’s simple: Girl Scouts.

CEO Joy with Girl Scout

See the research on how today’s girls feel about leadership.

Whether you sign your girl up for a troop or sign yourself up as a volunteer, Girl Scouts offers a wide range of opportunities to brighten a girl’s future. Across our 47 counties, we are so proud to serve more than 23,000 girls Kindergarten – 12th grade because of the most amazing, hardworking and supportive volunteers. We want to reach even more girls than ever before, but in order to do that we need more volunteers. Please consider lending your talents and enthusiasm by saying YES to building a future leader!

Girl Scouts is making the world a better place while making a lasting impression in the lives of both its volunteers and girl members. Demonstrating this, recent Girl Scout research shows that 94 percent of volunteers and 97 percent of girl members believe Girl Scouts provide them with new, fun and exciting experiences.

I am honored and amazed every day by the incredible accomplishments our Girl Scouts are making in their communities and beyond. From our 1st year Daisy Girl Scouts earning their petals to our Gold Award Girl Scouts making an impact with their sustainable projects, our mission and the vital role we as adults play in their leadership development is more critical than ever. Want to be even more amazed? Read this summer’s KC Star article about some of our Gold Award Girl Scouts.

There is a pretty awesome challenge going on right now supporting a very worthy cause, and people are stepping up to make a difference. I want to challenge you to Encourage a girl to go for her dreams, Advocate for a girl so future possibilities are endless and Invest in a girl by giving your time, talent and treasure.

Let’s get more amazing girls exploring and imagining across our council. Join and volunteer today at gsksmo.org.