Happy Founder’s Day

Whether you’ve been a Girl Scouts for 10 years, or 10 days, today is special – it’s Girl Scout Founder, Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low’s birthday!

Juliette Gordon Low

“Daisy,” as she was affectionately called, developed an organization that was girl-centered, where young women could develop physically, mentally and spiritually. Through Girl Scouts, Daisy exposed girls to the outdoors which included camping, hiking, basketball games and astronomy. Not only was Daisy passionate about Girl Scouts, but she also had a love for the arts and was very athletic. She was a poet, actor, playwright, painter and sculptor as well as a swimmer, tennis player and canoer.

Daisy is the ideal role model for our Girl Scouts, showing that girls can do anything and everything that they put their mind to! The Movement that Daisy started is still going strong, 102 years later with 3.2 million active girl and adult members and 52 million Girl Scout alumnae.

So today, dream a little bigger, aim a little higher and do a little more in honor of our Founder’s Day and Daisy’s birthday!

Do you think you know your Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low history?! Take our quiz and find out!

Enter Name

How was Juliette's last name spelled?
What was Juliette's childhood nickname?
Who was the first registered member of Girl Scouts?
In what city did Juliette found Girl Scouts (Girl Guides)?
How many biological children did Juliette have?
From which affliction did Juliette suffer?
What caused this affliction?
Where did she meet Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Boy Scouts?
How many times was Juliette married?
What is Juliette's Birthday?
Which honor has NOT been given to Juliette?
When she died, she was buried in her Girl Scout uniform. What was placed in the pocket?

 

Results for Juliette Gordon Low

1. ava-100%
2. maria wood-91%
3. mary pay-91%
4. -83%
5. -83%

 

When you’re done with the quiz, learn more about Daisy and what animal she was really fond of!

Celebrate Halloween Girl Scout Style

Not only is October 31st Halloween, but it’s also Juliette Gordon Low’s Birthday (Girl Scout Founder’s Day), and we want to see how you’re combining these two very exciting holidays!

We’ve perused the internet and have seen some unique integration of Girl Scouts into Halloween activities to celebrate our founder’s birthday. But we think that you probably have even more creative ideas than what we’ve come across. So, we are challenging you – we want to see what you all have come up with!

Is your Girl Scout dressing up as Juliette Gordon Low? Or maybe going as a box of Thin Mints?

Does your Jack-O-Lantern serve as a friendly reminder to your neighborhood that cookie season is quickly approaching?

Do you hand out recruitment materials to your trick-or-treaters?

To participate, follow us on Instagram and share a picture of your creations and plans with us by Thursday at 8:00 pm using the hashtag #gsksmoHalloween! We’ll use your pictures on our special Friday blog post honoring Juliette Gordon Low’s birthday as well as on our various social media sites!

If you need some inspiration, GSUSA shared this picture of Girl Scout inspired Jack-O-Lanterns on their Pinterest page:

Jack-O-Lantern

Not the creative type but still want to get in on fall Girl Scout fun? At your next bon fire, swap the graham cracker for your favorite Girl Scout cookie or check out this Baked Apple recipe from the GSUSA page!

Spark Events Inspire Girls to Dream Big

Burns & McDonnell employees show girls what is possible through a career in engineering.

 

When they’re shown what engineers do, 76% of girls get interested in engineering. By partnering with STEM-leading companies like Burns & McDonnell, we are encouraging girls to look toward a career in the world’s fastest growing fields; science, technology, engineering and math.

We were honored to host our 2nd Spark Event of the year with a focus on engineering. Spark Events provide girls an opportunity to try out activities that STEM professionals do every day and connect with inspiring role models.

Our Burns & McDonnell event gave Cadette through Ambassador Girl Scouts an inside look at how engineering plays a role in our daily lives and favorite products. Girls learned about how potato chips are created and packaged on a production line. Every detail from the potatoes being sliced, cooked in swim lanes of oil and packaged takes a team of engineers to make possible. The girls listened intently to the presentation and then asked some fantastic questions like how does the flavored powder get on the chips or if everything is pre-programmed why do chips come out in different shapes and sizes.

Following the potato chip presentation and Q&A, girls had an opportunity to try out their engineering skills with a couple of hands-on activities. The first activity tested their communication, observation and listening skills – skills the best engineers hone and utilize every day. The girls each selected a position: builder, observer, relayer and supervisor. The builder sat at one table with all the supplies and waited for instructions from the relayer. The relayer received her instructions from the observer who was the only one to see the original design. The relayer then passed information to the builder while the supervisor supported and could answer the builder’s question with a yes or no. It was so interesting to see the teamwork and communication skills the girls exhibited as they put their designs together!

The second activity of the night enabled girls to use their imagination and critical thinking skills to develop a structure using supplies like cardboard tubes, tinfoil, tape, a toy car and dominoes that ultimately when put into motion would pop a balloon at the end. Another great activity to observe: girls were really excited and worked together to try different things to reach their objective of popping the balloon.

Burns & McDonnell employees were incredible and interacted so well with girls. All of the facilitators were female engineers leading projects and such fantastic role models for our next generation of leaders. We are so appreciative of their generous partnership!

If you haven’t tried out a Spark Event, check out the upcoming events in 2014-2015 . We can’t wait to see you at the next event!

 

Discover, Connect, Take Action: Girl Scout National Convention 2014

Day 1: Wednesday, October 15 – “Traveling to Salt Lake City”

With extra-large bags ready for all the stuff we would be bringing back and our favorite Girl Scout t-shirts on, our delegates met at KCI with much anticipation for what was ahead in Salt Lake City! We were off to the Girl Scout National Convention and for many of us our very first convention. It was a smooth flight to Las Vegas and then a quick change of planes to Salt Lake City. So flying into Salt Lake City, the approach into the airport was a little scary and bumpy with mountains on either side but with an expert Southwest pilot and plenty of GS sisters for support all was good. As we arrived to the baggage claim area, wow… it was a sea of green, a welcome team with signs, friendship circles and sounds of “Make New Friends”. Convention was on! We took the TRAX to the Little America Hotel where we would be staying the next several days. There was some time to explore the city and pick up our credentials. The beautiful mountains, Park City where the 2002 Olympics was held and shopping in this amazing mall with a roof that opens and closes for the weather conditions were all great things we took advantage of. We were greeted with an amazing city and spectacular hospitality! After a little fun and food, we waited for the arrival of our Girl Scout Leadership Institute (GSLI) girls to arrive. They made it in around 11:00 pm, tired but very excited!

Day 2: Thursday, October 16 – “Convention & GSLI Officially Begin”

Our day started for some a little extra sleep, the most we would have for the whole week, and for others an early departure to see more of the city. This included a trip for two delegates, Holly and Jeni to see Girl Scouts of Utah beautiful camp, Trefoil Ranch. By 1:00 pm, we met up with the GSLI girls for their opening with GSUSA CEO Anna Maria Chavez and Former National Board Chair Connie Lindsey. They surprised us by leading a parade of the more than 1,000 girls to the ribbon cutting of the Hall of Experiences. Wow!! The Hall of Experiences was so cool. This would be the place we would spend a lot of time throughout our visit. From a big treehouse in the middle of the expo center to a basketball court on one side to hundreds of Girl Scout vendors and partners, it finally became clear on why we needed those extra-large bags. We didn’t spend much time in the Hall of Experiences as the girls went back to their GSLI activities and we went onto our first Conversation of Consequence – Faith in Action. A great discussion with a panel of experts about girls and faith ensued. Following the discussion, the delegates were off to their reception and then it was onto the Opening Ceremony. So cool that Convention veterans Charlene and Cheryl, long-time GSKSMO volunteers joined us for the event. What a spectacular way to open convention with the parade of flags from around the world where Girl Scouting takes place. Because it is the 30th anniversary of the Daisy Girl Scout, they with a little older GS help carried in each flag. After the international flags, every state flag also processed in. Amazing! The Opening Ceremony ended with an inspirational presentation by Allison Levine, who ascended the highest peaks on every continent.

Day 3: Friday, October 17 – “National Council Session Begins”

Rise and shine! Delegates had to be in their seats by 8:30 am, so we met in the hotel lobby at 7:45 am. Our eight adults dressed in their official uniform and two girls in their official khaki slacks, sash and/or vest settled in their seats. After a little parliamentary procedure lesson and voting unit test, Anna Maria Chavez and Connie Lindsey provided a state of the organization address. This was followed by a finance report delivered by our own council’s member and GSUSA Board of Directors’ Treasurer Joan Wagnon. The delegates voted and passed the first proposal to enlist a national committee to research the flexibility of national dues. The first session concluded with a 1 ½ hour discussion on the outdoors. Great perspective on how our organization can move forward with what today’s girls want to do outdoors. The afternoon was filled with a great walk around the Hall of Experiences including a hands-on look as to what is ahead with the K-5 initiative. We took a little break to enjoy another Conversation of Consequence- Diversity in Action: how it drives innovation and problem solving. Incredible panel of women including Dr. Tererai Trent, who you might know from the Oprah Winfrey Show. When the Q&A opened, the first one to the microphone, our GSLI Girl Scout Amanda who asked Dr. Trent an awesome question. She had been waiting since the night before when Dr. Trent talked to the GSLI girls. Following this fantastic panel, we quickly headed back into the Hall of Experiences for a great Q&A with Elizabeth Smart. She described her harrowing experience and how her faith resilient spirit helped her survive and flourish into the young woman she is today. We were off to dinner when we ran into GSKSMO volunteers Liz and Terri. We heard about their great sessions at Girl Scout University and shared ours with them. Lucky thing, we got to meet and take a photo with Elizabeth Smart. So cool!

Day 4: Saturday, October 18 – “Outdoor Discussion, the State of Women’s Leadership and STEM”

Coffee, please! Another early morning and off to Day 2 of the National Council Session. So we thought we were in for a pretty uneventful morning with a couple of votes until the voting devices didn’t work. What happens? Well, all the girl delegates take the stage with Anna Maria Chavez for a sing-a-long! Voting devices fixed, discussion and a vote on two proposals end the session. Before the new national officers and board members were introduced, Connie Lindsey made the most poignant speech to end her Board President tenure. Another great outdoor discussion which ended by a great pledge (we are working on getting that to share) and we adjourned to the last day of the Hall Experiences and the third Conversation of Consequences. The conversation was about the state of female leadership led by moderator Robin McGraw and panelists Ann Romney and Bonnie St. John. So empowering! We learned that Bonnie St. John spent a great evening with the National Young Women of Distinction – we heard cheers behind us, and there was our own National Young Woman of Distinction Paige Young. Following a busy day of convention happenings, we were off to the Imagine Your STEM Future dinner with guest speaker Kristen Gil, VP of Operations for Google. We also met up with our friends from Lee’s Summit, Liz and Terri. The GSLI girls had their own dinner fun at Clark Planetarium and then off to their dance. It was at the STEM dinner that some of us had the opportunity to meet and take a quick photo with Anna Maria Chavez. While the GSLI girls danced the night away so did our adults at their dance, including our own CEO Joy Wheeler. Somehow, no one got a photo of that! Hmmm….

Day 5: Sunday, October 19 – “This Girl is On Fire”

Last day and it is time to sit on those suitcases to close them! We headed to the convention center with great anticipation to see our National Young Woman of Distinction present. Prior to that, we heard from new National Board President Kathy Hopinkah Hannan and the last Conversation of Consequence – Real Girls Change the World. So inspiring for all of us, but especially are GSLI girls as they aspire to great things. It was then time for the ten National Young Women of Distinction to each take the podium to share about their incredible projects. Paige was simply amazing! She shared how her mom encouraged her GS experience and how she went from a shy Daisy to an alumna poised to take the next step on her leadership journey. This was truly a highlight of the entire week! After the girls presented, received their beautiful pins and $5,000 scholarship from Kappa Delta, an announcement came that a special guest would be coming on stage. It was Girl Scout Vivienna Wolfgramm, this petite girl who many of us guessed would lead us in a round of “Make New Friends”. Think again, Vivienna belted out “This Girl is on Fire”, followed by dancing and fireworks. What a way to end the National Convention!

Start planning now, the 2017 National Convention will be in Columbus, Ohio. Take your troop, gather your volunteer friends and take part in this incredible experience with thousands of Girl Scouts from around the world! It will reignite your passion to help girls change the world, we promise!!

 

Outreach Program Provides the Girl Scout Experience

When Juliette Gordon Low founded the first Girl Scout troop in 1912, she envisioned that all girls regardless of race, class, or situation, would have the opportunity to better themselves, their circumstances, and their communities.

Over 100 years later that vision continues.

Through our Outreach Program, Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri employs 20 Outreach Program Leaders to provide the Girl Scout experience to girls in 24 schools located in Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS school districts.

Did you know:

  • Over 100,000 girls have benefitted from the Girl Scout Outreach Program in its 20+ year history.
  • In the 2013-2014 program year, we served 1,116 girls at 24 elementary schools in the greater Kansas City area.
  • The 24 participating elementary schools had an average 90% of children receiving free/reduced lunch.
  • In 2013 50% of Girl Scouts in the Outreach Program were African-American and 29% were Hispanic.
  • 1,700 markers, 250 tubes of glue and 2,250 sheets of construction paper are used in the Outreach Program in one year.
  • Girl Scouts in the Outreach Program earned 25 different patches in the Daisy, Brownie and Junior Journey curriculum.
  • Outreach Program Leaders are known for having trunks full of Girl Scout supplies.
  • The Program Leader uniform is a Girl Scout shirt, jeans and tennis shoes.
  • 5 of our Program Leaders are bilingual.

Learn more about our Outreach Program and watch the video below!

We’re looking for volunteers to assist in all areas of our Outreach Program. Contact Julia Loyd at JuliaLoyd@gsksmo.org to get involved today!

 

“I have been a Girl Scout since I was 5 (a Daisy), and I would like to say that I think without Girl Scouts I would not be where I am today. I think I would not get good grades, I don’t think I would do as well in school, and I don’t think I would get along with others as well as I do.”                                 

– Destiny, age 12

Camp Trainings Help Take the Fun Outdoors

Ask any girl what their favorite thing about Girl Scouts is and you may very likely hear her enthusiastically say, “camping!”

We hear you, Girl Scouts! Venturing into the great outdoors is important for girls in every aspect. It’s amazing what a little fresh air can do for your physical and mental well-being. It’s only a matter of time before girls and parents will be asking, “When are we going camping?”

But what if you don’t know much about camping? What’s it all about anyway?

You’re in luck – there’s a class for that!

If you want to take your troop camping in an outdoor camping unit (i.e. permatent, tent, etc.) then Camping 102 is the class for you. Girl Scout volunteer Joy Alderson has coordinated the training for two years and encourages all leaders to take the training.

“People come to the training not knowing all the new things they will learn,” Joy said. “But by the time we’re done they are always glad they came.”

As the mother of two daughters Joy became a troop leader and stayed in that role for 21 years. When she was finally ready for a new challenge she knew training adults about camping was the perfect fit for her. She is an avid camper and has always loved nature.

“I grew up in Girl Scouts. My mother was my leader. Then I was a leader for my daughters. My love of nature definitely came from Girl Scouts,” Joy said. It was the natural next move for Joy who helped our council revise the Camping 102 training.

The eight hour course teaches safety information, knots, outdoor cooking methods, dishwashing, tent care, camp clean up and more. Another training option is to stay overnight. Joy encourages all attendees to do this because more in depth camping information is covered.

Recent training class learning to build a campfire

Recent training class learning to build a campfire

Recent training class learning to cook on the campfire

Recent training class learning to cook on the campfire

It won’t be long before registrations open for 2015 camping adventures. Why not attend a training now so you’ll be ready to take your troop camping next spring or summer. Camping 101 is an online course you can take any time and will qualify you to take your troop camping in a building. You can also register for Camping 102 courses if you plan to take your troop camping in an outdoor unit.

Let’s give Girl Scouts what they’re asking for – let’s take the fun outdoors!

Successful Product Sales Lead to Fun Camping Trip

Girl Scout Troop 7178 from Topeka, Kansas had had an exceptional year when it came to product sales. When you have an exceptional year in product sales you get to do exceptional things with the money you earn!

While the girls earned several incentives individually, including gift cards to Build-A-Bear and Claires and a digital camera, they came together to decide what activities they would do as a troop. One of their ideas was a troop camp out at Camp Daisy Hindman. On September 26 and 27, the girls and troop leaders headed out to Camp Daisy for two days full of activities and one night of fun!

We caught up with the girls while they were at archery, taking aim and trying to pop balloons pinned to the target. They were a little sluggish moving around because they stayed up fairly late having a camp “slumber party” they said! Some of their favorite activities were geocaching, hiking, archery and playing at the spray ground.

This past year the girls worked out a cookie sale system that helped increase their sales at various cookie booths. The Girl Scouts would break into groups of two to three girls and man all of the entrances to the building they were working at. According to the troop leaders, sales were more successful when smaller groups were working together. Another thing that the girls did was “up sell,” asking if customers wanted to buy 5 boxes for an even $20. They said it worked about 90% of the time!

When we asked what their super secret strategy for selling items through Girl Scouts was, they said “just ask!”

It was so exciting to see Troop 7178’s hard work pay off and for them to be able to experience all the great things that Camp Daisy has to offer! We know this won’t be their last camping experience!

Congratulations, girls!

 

Oh, the Places She’ll Go with Girl Scout Destinations

blogHeader-GirlScoutSpotlight

Did you know that you can travel with Girl Scouts?! If you want to swim with dolphins, explore the desert, scuba dive with sea turtles, rock climb in Ireland or see Juliette Gordon Low’s birthplace, we’ve got a trip for you! Traveling with Girl Scouts isn’t your typical vacation, on these trips you’ll make friends from all over the country while experiencing the Girl Scout leadership keys to Discover, Connect, and Take Action.

Girl Scouts of the USA released their list of 38 destination opportunities for the coming year including both domestic and abroad trips for Cadette Girl Scouts and older.

In addition to GSUSA destinations, Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri is sponsoring trips to St. Louis and Savannah, as well as a European excursion for troops and individual Girl Scouts over the next three years.

Courtney Cooper, Girl Scout Alumna, just wrapped up her eighth and final Girl Scout destination trip this summer to Morocco before heading off to the University of Arkansas. She credits her multiple travel experiences with Girl Scouts for her chosen career path.

One of Courtney’s eight destination experiences included a trip to Peru when she was in high school. During that trip, she visited a local health clinic where a majority of the patients were being treated for malnutrition. “I always thought of nutrition being connected to the United States with obesity and junk food, not in a lack of food to eat.”

Courtney Cooper

Courtney Cooper has been on eight Girl Scout destination trips!

That one experience sparked Courtney’s fascination with health and nutrition so for her Gold Award project, she developed a health curriculum for Kindergarteners in Lawrence and created cookbooks for their families.

As a freshman at the University of Arkansas, Courtney is majoring in horticulture and public health. When she graduates, her dream is to work for a nonprofit that develops and manages community gardens.

Rachel Zimmerli from Overland Park, Kansas is 12 years old and want to be an astrophysicist when she grows up. When her mom, Jennifer, saw the opportunity for her to attend Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, they jumped on it.

“My experience with Girl Scouts helped me feel comfortable with the program to be well monitored and be safe. It’s easier as a parent to make me let go. The opportunities that were available were established trips and I liked the fact that she would be with other Girl Scouts.”

While at Space Camp, Rachel got to bunk with other girls and make friends with the other nine members of her “Boeing” team. She served as Base Commander for a lunar base mission, rebuilt a satellite which had been hit by an asteroid, built and tested heat shields, flew in 1/6 gravity chairs, designed a modular lunar base, and visited Mission Control for the ISS at Redstone Arsenal…just to name a few things.

Rachel Zimmerli

Rachel Zimmerli enjoying her time at Space Camp

“[Destinations] really helps you open your eyes to the world. I‘ve never been to the east or west coast, I had never been to Alabama before and I finally got to go there. It gets you going places that you wouldn’t get to experience,” Rachel said.

According to Jennifer, “this experience has made an impact on Rachel’s life because it motivated her to sign up for pre-engineering and computers at school this year.  This is a pivotal year for her to start making her own class choices, and she had the confidence to take her first step toward a STEM track because of Space Camp.”

Applications are now being accepted for Girl Scout destinations and the deadline for applications is November 15 and there are rolling deadlines for council-sponsored trips.

 

“I would not be who I am without destinations, so I try to pay it back as much as possible because Girl Scouts has got me where I am and is who I am. I can’t imagine my life without traveling.”

-Courtney Cooper, Girl Scout Alumna

Girl Scout Alumna Accepts STEMMY Scholarship Award

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, America will need three million more scientists and engineers by 2018. Girl Scouts of NW Kansas & NW Missouri is working hard to cultivate girls to populate those STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields, and we are proud to send one out into the professional field, come 2018.

This past week Anastasia Weston, Girl Scout Alumna from Olathe, Kansas was awarded a STEMMY Student Scholarship Award from the Central Exchange in Kansas City for her accomplishments and aspirations in the area scientific research.

Anastasia at the STEMMY awards ceremony with CEO Joy Wheeler

Anastasia at the STEMMY awards ceremony with CEO Joy Wheeler

STEMMY-award

We know that Anastasia, has a bright future ahead of her in STEM, because she has already been blazing her path since the first time her Girl Scout troop leader introduced her to this exciting field.

As a first year student at Kansas State University, Anastasia is majoring in Biology and minoring in leadership and she credits Girl Scouts, and her mother, for fostering her love of science and empowering her to pursue a career in a traditionally male dominated field.

Nine years ago, when she was in 6th grade, Anastasia’s Girl Scout troop attended an Aerospace and Engineering day camp at the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport. There were more than 400 Scouts in attendance, Boy Scouts that is. Anastasia’s troop accounted for the whopping 13 females that participated in the camp that day. “It was really empowering to be there and to say this isn’t just a boy thing, it’s a girl thing too,” Anastasia said.

That experience just might have been what she needed to show her that’s its ok to be interested in things that are stereotypically geared towards boys.

Fast forward six years to her junior year of High School. Anastasia knew that she wanted more hands-on science experiences, so she took charge and went out looking for them. Her AP Biology teacher, Mr. Ralph, put her in contact with the research lab at the University of Kansas and Dr. John Kelly. After meeting with Dr. Kelly, Anastasia began working on an independent research project that she would share with her Biotech Club at Olathe East High School (of which she was the only female member and the leader of the group).

The project was tedious, studying gene variance of stomata density on the Mimulus Guttatus plant, or the Yellow Monkey Flower, in layman’s terms. She spent hours a day counting the hairs on the plant while carefully documenting her findings. After a year and a half on the project, Anastasia has passed the project on to one of her male teammates in the Biotech Club.

“I was getting an experience that a lot of graduate students haven’t even had. There are all these little details I was learning that they don’t teach you in school. It was neat to experience the stuff without the pressure of doing it right or wrong, just being able to see it and understand it and really figure out the whole process of ‘real science’ compared to ‘school science.’”

Anastasia’s unconventional experience as a high school student learning in a university research lab was so successful that there is potential for the National Science Foundation to pilot similar programs around the nation.

“Do what you want to do, and don’t let a gender barrier stop you or fear of being the only girl, or the word bossy. Being the Biotech leader, I felt that I was being bossy. I really pushed a lot of the boys to get things done. I think if society didn’t stereotype powerful, responsible, leading women as being bossy I wouldn’t have been so self-conscious and I could have pushed them even further.”

Did we mention that Anastasia has also earned her Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards as well as two scholarships, K-State Outstanding Student in Mathematics and Science award and the Faculty Science Department Award?

We can’t wait to see Anastasia realize her dreams.