Courage, Confidence, and Character – Our New Year’s Resolutions for Girls

As you celebrate the holiday season and say hello to another new year, you are probably looking back on the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. The New Year brings a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes.

Top resolutions include saving more money and spending wisely (yep, more Girl Scout activities means more affordable adventure, learning and FUN!); losing weight and more exercise (yes, I resolve to only eat two Thin Mints and not the entire sleeve at one time – after all they freeze! And, I promise to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors with a hike at least 3 times a week); and enjoy life more and make a difference (take time to follow the lead of our Girl Scouts by giving back to my community and become a an adult volunteer like the more than 9,000 adults supporting leadership skill building for girls throughout our council).

So in this season of new beginning, these seven resolutions are what we would like to see for girls in 2015.

#7             More Girl Scout Entrepreneurs building their five skills (goal setting, money management, decision making, people skills and business ethics) through the Cookie Program. The Cookie Program begins with order taking on January 1, 2015.

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#6             More Outdoor-Loving Girl Scouts who have the opportunity to smell the grass, hug a tree, stare at a bug, play in a puddle, watch the clouds… Plant a seed, follow a trail, build a fire, cook a s’more, explore a creek, climb a mountain… Camp outside under the stars and dream about their next big adventure. Summer Camp registration opens on January 5 or what about taking on a new challenge through troop camping, Adventure Program or Equestrian Program?

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#5             More Girl Scouts Taking on STEM activities and being inspired to pursue more education and a future career in one of these fast growing fields. Encourage a girl to try out one or more of our FUN STEM programs or help create an opportunity with your troop or service unit in 2015!

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#4             More Fun and Skill Building activities for girls through community partner activities and travel opportunities. We want girls to have the best possible opportunities that they can only have through Girl Scouts. We are so grateful for our awesome partners and look forward to an amazing 2015 filled with FUN!

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#3             Even more Girl Scouts Taking Action and Earning their Highest Awards. Girl Scouts are making a difference every day in their communities and beyond. Each year, Girl Scouts give thousands of hours throughout our 47 counties. We are so proud of their efforts and example-setting leadership. Encourage girls to make a difference and go for their Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards.

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#2             Open the Door for More Girl Scouts. Girl Scouting is only possible because of the amazing adult volunteers who so generously give their time, talents and treasure. We are so thankful for our 9,000 volunteers and hope to add more in 2015. Do you know a great individual who would make a tremendous troop leader? Do you want to provide financial assistance to girls who may not be able to afford Girl Scouting? Consider making a volunteer recommendation, a one-time gift or a monthly gift through Daisy’s Circle.

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#1             We Want Everyone to Know Just How Awesome Girl Scouts Is!! We no longer want to be the best kept secret out there. Share the wonderful things your Girl Scouts are doing in 2015 – building skills through the Cookie Program, Outdoor Adventure, STEM, Field Trips & Travel, making a difference and CHANGING the WORLD! Send us your story to prdept@gsksmo.org and share on the GSKSMO Facebook page.

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We wish you a joyous holiday season! Our next GSKSMO Blog post will be on Tuesday, January 6.

Once a Girl Scout, Always a Girl Scout

A Profile of a Brand New Troop Leader

Dani Lucas was only three-days-old when she became a Girl Scout – well, sort of! Her grandma put her in a “Future Girl Scout” onesie and the rest, as they say, was history!

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She is no stranger to the Girl Scout Promise, as both her grandmother and mother were Gold Award recipients. So when Dani joined as a young girl it made sense that she should reach for the same goal.

After she worked her way up through the Girl Scout ranks, which included their troop participating in the Product Sales Program and doing other money earning activities, which the troop used for travel to places like London and Australia, Dani earned her Gold Award too.

She always said if she had a daughter she would put her in Girl Scouts and become a troop leader. Little did Dani know the chance to lead a troop would come sooner than she thought!

Dani works at Cross-Lines Community Outreach as an Education Coordinator and Case Manager. Cross-Lines provides people affected by poverty with basic services and opportunities that encourage self-confidence and self-sufficiency.

“I got a call from a friend who used to work with me at Cross Lines,” Dani said. “She asked if I would be interested in starting a troop. I have always been passionate about working with women and girls in the community so it seemed like a perfect fit.”

We’d have to agree! Along with the help of a co-leader and other adult volunteers, Dani recruited 22 girls ages 5-12 to join the new multi-level troop. They meet at the Argentine Community Center in Wyandotte County.

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When asked what her favorite thing has been as a new troop leader Dani says it’s the opportunity to share her positive experiences with the girls.

“As I look back on my experiences as a Girl Scout I always remember being so excited about the activities we were doing,” Dani said. “It makes me feel good to provide a safe place for these girls to go. It’s really cool for them to be a part of something that not everyone gets to do.”

Although there have been challenges along the way, such as the girls not having money for uniforms like many other Girl Scouts, Dani said they try to focus on the positive.

“Right now we are planning for cookie season and setting goals for that. They are getting really excited about the possibility of a camping trip and horseback riding with their cookie money.”

Dani said it makes sense that the girls would want to go camping because they come from an urban area and are fascinated with the great outdoors.

All in all, she says that she may not have a daughter yet but she has been enjoying her first experience as a troop leader! We bet your family is super proud of you, Dani! Awesome job helping girls see the possibilities in the world around them!

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like…Camp Season!

Does this silly Kansas/Missouri weather we’re having leave your Girl Scout longing for camp? Have her dreaming about horseback riding? Inspiring her to make s’mores?

Us too!!

To help curb these visions of camp fairies dancing in her head, we have released the 2015 Summer Camp schedule! We are opening registration early this year beginning January 5, 2015 and if you register your girl before Valentine’s Day she gets the camp t-shirt for FREE (given to her during the camp session she attends).

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In addition to our traditional mini, horse, waterfront and primitive camping programs we have added a few new ones. There are excursions for kayaking, backpacking, programs for archery focused camps, and more spots for You & Me (formerly called Mother/Daughter). We are looking forward to a fantastic summer!

Check out our video and see all the great things that Camp Daisy Hindman has to offer!

If you’re still looking for the perfect gift for your outdoor-loving Girl Scout, give her the gift of Girl Scout camp this holiday! It’s easy! Just contact the GSKSMO Shop at (816) 759-3004 or shopdept@gsksmo.org to purchase one in any increment you wish.

Camp is a special place for girls! It’s a place where she can meet new friends, overcome challenges and have lots of FUN!! Thank you for choosing Camp Daisy! Making sure girls continue to have great adventure and learning in the outdoors is important to us, and we know you as well. Learn more about Daisy’s Circle and how you can join this special club to sustain outdoor experiences for girls for years to come!

Can’t wait to see you and your Girl Scout this summer!

Man Enough to Be a Girl Scout

It’s no secret that at Girl Scouts we’re all about girls! But there’s something many people may not know. Men can be Girl Scouts too through volunteering!

When Scott Brandt moved his family to Fort Leavenworth so he could go to officer school, he and his wife planned to put their 11-year-old twins in Girl Scouts. Their daughters had been in Girl Scouts since they were Brownies and wanted to continue. Little did Scott know that he would end up joining Girl Scouts too!

Man Enough to Be a Girl Scout

“When we got there it looked like there wouldn’t be a troop because there was no leader,” Scott said. “So after thinking it over and talking about it I decided to do it.”

Scott is the leader of Cadette Troop 5439 at Fort Leavenworth. There are ten girls in the sixth and seventh grade including his daughters. Despite the fact that Scott’s family will only be on base for one year he wanted his daughters to enjoy an activity that is familiar to them.

“When I first started it was a bit rocky. You’re trying to get that initial trust going and they’re not used to a male leader. But now they know me and it’s been going great.”

Scott looks to his co-leader, Jennifer, for support since she knew the girls prior to the troop getting started for the year. One of the first projects they started working on is their Silver Award.

“We let the girls decide what they want to do,” he said of the girl-led program. “We let them figure it out and then I help guide them through it.”

Since most of the girls come from a military family they felt strongly about doing something with the VA Hospital in their area. They had a meeting with the outreach manager and decided to collect specific items that are needed by veterans including personal hygiene items and clothing.

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Girl Scouts meeting with the VA Hospital to discuss their Silver Award project.

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Troop 5439 presents their Silver Award at the Service Unit Meeting last month.

Scott wants other dads to know, “Don’t be afraid that it’s all girls,” he laughed. “It’s a great way to bond with your daughters and actually helps you understand them.”

He encourages all men to do what they can to volunteer and help in a troop.

“Now that I’ve seen the amount of dedication behind the scenes I have a better appreciation for this organization.”

Way to go, Scott! Thanks for being “Man Enough” to help build girls of Courage, Confidence, and Character!

 

Do you know a guy who should be featured in our new series, “Man Enough to Be a Girl Scout?” If so, please email us his story at prdept@gsksmo.org

Penguins, Polar Bears and Snakes…Oh My!

When Girl Scouts start talking about upcoming outdoor adventures and camping experiences, there may be some conversation about how to avoid the crawling, frolicking and slithering creatures of the great outdoors. But, what if your next adventure purposely engaged Girl Scouts with those creatures? Got them thinking about animals differently? Had girls discussing their role on our planet?

The Kansas City Zoo has been a Community Partner with Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri for nearly 10 years, giving Girl Scouts up close and personal experiences with their critters. Their unique programming exposes Daisy, Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts to the great outdoors while completing requirements for Journeys and badges.

At the zoo, troops can choose between two types of programming – workshops and overnights. Overnights at the zoo are a special experience for the Girl Scout as well as the troop leaders and volunteers! During the overnights, zoo staff will conduct level appropriate workshops while giving attendees a behind the scenes experience of the Kansas City Zoo including personal interactions with select animals, a night hike and tour of the infirmary where they prep the food for the animals. Girl Scouts then roll out their sleeping bags and spend the night in an enclosed facility at the zoo.

Troop leaders particularly like overnights because the zoo takes care of everything! Activities are pre-planned, snacks and breakfast are provided and the girls have a blast! This allows the troop leaders attend with Girl Scouts, sit back and get in on the learning as well! The Kansas City Zoo offers programming for the following levels, Journeys/badges:

Daisies – 5 Flowers, 4 Stories, 3 Cheers for Animals
Brownies – Wonders of Water
Juniors – Animal Habitats Badge

Each nearly 800 Girl Scouts participate in workshops and overnights at the Kansas City Zoo. Additionally, the Zoomobile visits 1,200 Girl Scouts in 26 troops in the Girl Scout Outreach Program. Many of the girls have been to the zoo, but the fun part of the Zoomobile is that it brings the zoo to them, at their own school and includes educational artifacts, activities and live animals at their troop meetings!

Thank you to the Kansas City Zoo for your commitment to building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place!

For more information on overnights and workshops, visit the Kansas City Zoo Community Partner Page! Spring dates will be announced soon!

Top 7 Gifts to Buy a Girl Scout

‘Tis the season to buy gifts for the ones you love. What items are on your favorite Girl Scout’s list this year? Does your Girl Scout have her list ready? Well, before you shop, you might want to check it twice after reading our gift guide!

Top 7 Gifts to Buy a Girl Scout

1. Girl Scout Shop – If you’re still having trouble coming up with ideas for what to buy a Girl Scout – we’ll make it easy for you – come visit us at the Girl Scout Shop! Today is “Green Thursday” and nearly everything in the shop is 25% off. You’re sure to find something special as there is something for every Girl Scout at the shop. We’re open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. today so come on by!

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2. Summer Camp – Yes, we know it’s cold now so it’s hard to think about camping but camp registration will open again in the New Year! I bet you know a Girl Scout who would love to go on a camping adventure! Give the gift of summer camp and we guarantee you won’t be able to wipe the smile off her face! Stumped on how to fill the stockings? These gift certificates would make a fantastic and unexpected stocking stuffer! You can choose any increment and they are good toward You & Me, Mini and Resident Camp sessions at Camp Daisy Hindman. Available by calling (816) 759-3004.

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3. Elements of Science Kit – At Girl Scouts we love to focus on STEM programs. We know girls are interested in science, technology and math and need to explore these as viable career options in the future. Start their wheels spinning while they’re young with this well-rounded science kit. With over 100 experiments in biology, chemistry and more this is sure to be a hit with your science-loving Girl Scout!

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4. Put Me in The Story – Surprise a Girl Scout with her very own personalized book. Put Me in The Story allows you to personalize a book with any name you choose. There are many different choices for story lines but all of them encourage girls to dream without limits. And with their own name as the character it’s sure to be a page-turner!

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5. Annual Zoo Membership – Instead of a toy, why not give the gift of a new experience? We love our community partnerships with the Kansas City Zoo, Sunset Zoo and Topeka Zoo. All of them offer annual zoo memberships that promise savings and memories with friends and family! You can also sign your troops up for special workshops at each of these zoos in partnership with Girl Scouts.

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6. Little Librarian Set – Does the girl you’re buying for love books but already have too many in her collection? The Little Librarian Set is the perfect gift for avid readers! Reading helps inspire girls’ imaginations so they can dream big! You can nurture this skill by encouraging a Girl Scout to learn more about libraries and how to take care of her books.

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7. Goldie Blox Zipline Action Figure – Girl Scouts absolutely love the thrill of ziplining at camp! Goldie Blox is now offering a new Zipline Action Figure that is sure to get your girl wishing for the real thing come summer!

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Happy shopping, everyone!

 

Give the Gift of Girl Scouts on #GivingTuesday

You’ve heard of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Shop Small Saturday. But #GivingTuesday may be new to you. If so, get excited because today is #GivingTuesday and our council is thrilled to take part in this global initiative where we focus the spotlight on giving back. Today marks the third annual #GivingTuesday campaign and it is taking place across the globe.

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It’s simple, really. All you have to do is find a cause you care about, give back (by donating or volunteering) and spread the word to family and friends!

Starting today and the rest of the season we want to encourage you to “Give the Gift of Girl Scouts.” What do we mean when we say gift?

Think about how Girl Scouts has impacted you. Did you or someone you know love their Girl Scout experience? Maybe you went on a camping adventure, found out who you wanted to be when you grew up, traveled somewhere super cool outside your town or made some new friends. Sure, these things may not have been wrapped up with a bow but we all know they are the most special gifts of all!

Think about what it would mean if more girls received lasting gifts like these? By giving the gift of Girl Scouts you’ll ensure that more girls can join in the fun and more adults can receive support to help girls build their courage, confidence, and character.

We all know that warm and fuzzy feeling when we give a gift. Making a gift to Girl Scouts is a surefire way to feel good and make a difference for girls right here in your community.

It’s easy – give the Gift of Girl Scouts today! Make sure to tell your friends and family you participated in #GivingTuesday by using the following hashtags on social media:

#GivingTuesday

#Unselfie

#GiftofGS