An International Trip of a Lifetime: Anna Vogts

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– All Because She is a Girl Scout!

Anna Vogts will tell you that she was born into Girl Scouts and that her passion for the organization has only grown as she has.

This summer, Anna, who is from Overland Park, Kansas took her very first international trip as part of the Girl Scout destinations’ program. She explored Central America and studied sea turtles.

On June 20, Anna and eight other high school Girl Scouts from around the country left home to explore Panama and Costa Rica and observe and study the habitats of sea turtles. Two weeks later, she returned home with an incredible story and 7 new friends. Enjoy a few excerpts from Anna’s travel journal.

Day 1

On the first day of my trip I traveled from Kansas City to San Jose, Costa Rica. I was nervous because it was the first time I flew internationally and by myself. I got into San Jose in the mid-afternoon and then met up with Outward Bound Costa Rica. Once we got to base camp, I started to get to know the girls who were going on the course with me.

Day 2

This morning we drove to the Panama/Costa Rica border. The six hour car ride included a trip through immigration and concluded with a boat ride to the beach and our arrival in San San Pons Sack where the sea turtle conservation area is.

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Once we got to the beach we started to learn about the type of conservation work we would be doing there. After touring the property, we began our conservation work by making covers for the sea turtle nest in the compound. My group was a little slow because none of us knew how to sew, but it all worked out! While working on the covers, the other girls and I got to know each other a lot more.

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Later that night, we got to work on a nightly patrol to try to find Leatherback Sea Turtles. The goal was to bring eggs that had just been laid to the compound where they would be safe from predators and increase their survival rate. Amazingly, within the first few minutes of patrol we found a turtle that was just beginning the laying process. We took measurements and checked for any injuries to guess age of the turtle and estimate number of eggs that will be laid. After taking the measurements for the turtle, I was picked to hold the bag that the turtle eggs dropped into. I was literally only inches away from the turtle, which I thought was amazing. Little did I know that the next day I would get to have an even more up close and personal experience with the Leatherback Sea Turtles.

 

Day 3

Today was our first full day in San San Ponsak. We started off with exhumation of sea turtle eggs that hadn’t developed and were left over in the nest in the hatchery. After digging them up from the ground, we had to and sort the undeveloped eggs to help the conservation workers know what the problem was. Although I really didn’t like smell of the eggs, I thought it was really interesting to see the amount of eggs that didn’t develop. When added to the number of turtles that hatched from the nest, it was 50-80 eggs total. The mothers know that not all the eggs will survive so they lay a lot, which just shows you how amazing the Leatherback Sea Turtles are.

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Next, we got exciting news that there was a batch of baby turtles that were ready to be released. I was super excited to get to hold the baby turtles. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and it really made me feel like I was making a difference in the world.

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Our sea turtle adventure continued that night when four other girls and I went on a night patrol. We spent most of the time walking the beach with no sight of a turtle; but, as we were on the way back to the nursery we spotted one. As done the night before, we worked together to gather the data needed to track the turtle and we successfully got the eggs to put in the nursery.

Day 4

Today we visited the pineapple plantation that is in San San Pond Sack. I found it really interesting to see how pineapples grow because we don’t have anything like that where I’m from.

 

After the eventful morning at the pineapple plantation, we packed up everything and took a boat back to the mainland to our journey to Bocas del Toro. Bocas del Toro was breathtaking; there is ocean for miles and giant looking mountains that tower over the vibrant city that would become my home for the next nine days.

Upon arrival to our hut we all got into our swimsuits and grabbed our scuba mask and started to explore the new underwater surroundings. The underwater life near our hut was amazing to interact with. The creatures were harmless and we could touch most of the wildlife we encountered! My personal favorite was the moon jellies and the starfish because I wasn’t expecting to get the opportunity to see these animals, let alone hold them.

 

Day 5

Today we went into the city of Bocas del Toro and took a biking tour of the city. The city had lots of vibrant colors and amazing architecture. My favorite part was biking on the beach and taking in the amazing scenery.

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After the biking tour, we stopped at a local beach where I got to boogie board for the first time.

 

When we got back to the hut, we went wakeboarding. At first, I had a difficult time because I couldn’t standup and ended up face planting more than I would have liked to, but I got the concept after about bazillion times! To my devastation, I face planted right after that.

Day 6

The first thing we did today was zip line at a local resort in the canopy of the rainforest. It was amazing how far away you could see; I could see the ocean, the mountains, and the rainforest. This helped me truly see the beauty of Panama.

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After our zip lining adventure, we went to the resort’s beach and hung out there for the afternoon. I boogie boarded again and I actually caught some real waves! While at the beach we also saw a sloth, this was one of the animals that I really wanted to see while on my destination!

 

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Day 7

On the seventh day of the destination we went into the city to shop and take a tour of the artisan area of Bocas del Toro. Bocas is very vibrant and colorful, which really reflected the chill vibes there. When we got back to our hut we geared-up and went snorkeling in the open water. It was so awesome because I got a closer look at what we would be seeing while scuba diving.

 

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Day 8

Today our instructors surprised us with a kayaking trip around the island on which we were staying. I was excited because I kayak all the time at home. We had seen a lot of Bocas del Toro, but little of the island we were staying on. My partner and I started out strong, but it began to feel like lunch was never going to come. I definitely learned that sea kayaking is for pros and lake kayaking is for me! Despite the hard work, I enjoyed myself and felt very accomplished for the day!  Once our instructors finally told us that we were stopping for lunch, we were overjoyed. For lunch we had PB&Js, but with guava and pineapple jelly, which was surprisingly really good! On our trip we saw everything, from the harbors of Bocas to the vibrant colors on the island. It was beautiful and amazing and definitely an image I will remember forever.  Right before we made it back home, the waves started to get rough and even white capping. We made it back to the hut and rested for the long days ahead of diving into the underwater world.

Day 9

Today was one of the most exciting days on our trip; it was the first day of scuba diving! Personally, I was a little nervous because I had a hard time snorkeling, but then again it was a challenge I knew I could concur. After getting all strapped into our gear, we got into the ocean and went over basic diving procedures. Once we had mastered the skills needed to be successful divers, we ventured under the water and practiced our skills again and again so we could past the skills test at the end of the week. While practicing, we toured some of the nearby coral. The underwater world was amazing to see for the first time and made me super excited for the rest of the week.

 

Day 10

No rest for the weary! We started of the morning with scuba diving skills practice  and took another coral tour  – but this time we went to about 40ft allowing us to get much closer to the coral. We even got to hold a moon jelly, a shrimp and a starfish, touch an amenamy, and see a lion fish and a sting ray!

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After scuba diving, we went wakeboarding again. Surprisingly, I actually got up on the wakeboard every time and had some pretty long rides. To me this was a major accomplishment because this is something I’ve never done before and I got to learn how to do it in Panama.

 

Day 11

Today was probably my favorite day of the whole trip because I made huge progress in my scuba diving. I passed the skills portion of the test and then got to do a shipwreck dive. The wreck dive is one of my best memories of the trip because it was something I was not expecting to do and was a lot different than the coral we had been exploring.

 

Later that night, we went on a night dive in a coral area of the ocean. The luminescence of the coral was really neat to see and we found a coral shark, which was a little terrifying at the time. However, now I can say I swam with a shark! For dinner that night we made empanadas, which is basically fried dough with cheese and beans in the middle. This ended up being my favorite meal and I’m pretty sure I had four or five. It was bittersweet because it was our last night, so we all slept outside our tents and fell asleep to the sounds of the ocean.

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Day 12

Today was our final day in Panama and was the day of the big scuba diving test. I was again nervous about the test because I really wanted to come home with my certification. After doing some last minute cramming, the beginner scuba divers took the NAUI scuba diving exam and the advanced divers went for a 90 ft. dive. I passed the test and am now a certified scuba diver!!!!!  After testing was over, we took in our surroundings one last time, in the hope of remembering the beauty of Bocas del Toro forever.

 

Right before we left, we sadly said goodbye to the family who owns the hut we stayed in.

 

After all the goodbyes, we left by boat. I was so sad to leave because my time in Bocas had taught me a lot about myself and about the world around me. I truly left a changed person. We journeyed back to base camp and continued to try to soak up as much Latin American culture before the end of the trip.

 

 Day 13

This was the final full day of our time together and our instructor surprised us with a trip into San Jose.

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We took a local city bus into the downtown area of San Jose and got to experience the city life.

 

We headed to a local market to do some shopping. The best thing I got was a wooden mug that has a sea turtle painted on it.  After that, we went to a local café and had lunch, including a traditional Costa Rican drink that is similar to a milkshake. Next, we went on a tour of downtown San Jose.

We ended the tour at an ice cream shop that had homemade ice cream that was amazing.

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The San Jose tour was a wonderful way to end the trip because it really showed how close our group had become and how hard the next day would be.

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Day 14

This day was the hardest day of our trip, the day I had to leave the place I was starting to consider a second home. It was hard for me to leave, I had really learned a lot about myself and the impact I can make on the world. The best part of the trip was the amazing friendships I had created with girls all throughout the country.

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Is your Girl Scout ready for an adventure of a lifetime just like Anna? There are many kinds of Girl Scout destination trips, both local and international. Learn more about the travel opportunities that you can give your Girl Scout today!

Happy GS New Year

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – Happy Girl Scout New Year! The new GS year officially kicked off on Saturday with more than 200 service team and troop leaders attending a training & networking event at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas.

It was a fantastic day connecting with our awesome volunteers and watching the innovative planning for the new year. Here are a few of our favorite highlights:

  1. The Girl Scout Resolution Board – Attendees were able to add what they wanted to work toward in the year ahead. Such inspiring comments like, “I want to help girls go outside their comfort zone.” or “My troop will go camping for the very first time.”
  1. More than 20 community partners in attendance – Volunteers had an opportunity to interact and have one on one conversation with some of our community partners, which will open the door to more skill-building for girls.
  1. The GS Shop Pops Up – We loved bringing the GS Shop to our volunteers at this event. Look for more opportunities for the GS start to “pop up” in North and West regions coming this membership year.
  1. Training you can put into action right now – Volunteers have shared they want practical training with tips they can use in their troops, so we brought grade level, money earning, trips & travel, outdoor, STEM and many more sessions to support our amazing troop leaders!
  1. Daisy’s Circle – Woo Hoo!! 14 awesome volunteers joined the Circle on Saturday! Thank you for giving your treasure to support girls. Check out our new Daisy’s Circle commercial that we debuted on Saturday. We invite you to learn more and join Daisy’s Circle along with the almost 300 members.
  1. Our Inspiring Girl Panel – We loved hearing from girls during the service team appreciation portion. Wow, did these girls have some amazing things to say about why they are Girl Scouts! Thank you to Elizabeth Gilson, Catherine Pestinger, Amanda Munsell, Tehya Frederick, Abby Clement and Laura Legg for their fantastic insight!
  1. Networking, Sharing and Excitement – No matter where you turned there were leaders connecting with each other. Volunteers came from all regions, and they were networking and sharing their plans for the new year. How cool it was to see the ideas being traded and the big and bold thinking taking place!

Thank you to everyone who attended on Saturday! For those of you who were unable to join, don’t worry this event will be back BIGGER and BOLDER next year. Make plans to join us!!

Day Camp Round Up

It is so fun to see the creativity, energy and planning that goes into Day Camps across our council! The work that the volunteers and teens put in is absolutely INCREDIBLE! There were so many excellent service unit day camps this season that we had to bring you a Day Camp round up of some of the creative and unique things we’ve seen this summer!

STEM-tastic Camp:

Service Unit 644, 645 and 646

BANG, FIZZ, BOOM! Don’t you love that Day Camp theme? We sure do because girls discovered the awesomeness of STEM! What a fantastic Twilight Camp for Service Units 644, 645 & 646 from the Blue Springs / Grain Valley, Missouri areas. Girls spent the week taking on interactive STEM activities like DNA extractions from strawberries and growing bacteria from different areas at camp. They even roasted marshmallows in solar ovens and had an egg drop from atop the Tower at Camp Prairie Schooner. They were treated to guest STEM presenters, traded SWAPS and enjoyed challenge activities!

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Service Unit 631 – Girl Scouts Invade Space!

Girl Scouts from Service Unit 631 in the Shawnee / Lenexa / Overland Park, Kansas areas had a BLAST at their Twilight Camp in July. They took over Camp Tongawood with traditional camp activities like archery, ziplining and fishing but then added a whole lot more with space-inspired activities. The girls learned what it might feel like to walk on the moon, did a little stargazing, experimented with how to pick up things with space gloves, made rockets, enjoyed a little space food and so much more. What an awesome way to try out STEM in a fun and interactive way!!

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Special Guests:

Service Unit 674

Aloha! Girl Scouts from Service Unit 674 in Leawood, Kansas hulaed their way through an awesome week of day camp!! They participated in all the traditional camp activities but had a special luau cooking class presented by Girl Scout parents who know a thing or two about cuisine – they just happen to be Chef / Owners Megan and Colby Garrelts of Rye & Blue Stem! Thank you for sharing your time and talent with those in your daughter’s service unit!

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Service Unit 605Back to the Renaissance…..Huzzah!

Besides making great new friends, this Day Camp from Service Unit 605 in Kansas City, Missouri also welcomed a few other special guests, Birds of Prey. What an awesome demonstration! Girl Scouts enjoyed activities from the Renaissance era and of course explored traditional camp fun at Camp Tongawood like ziplining, fishing and of course cooking over that campfire.

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Always Be Prepared:  

Service Unit 638 & 639

These service units braved one of our many little storms this summer with Girl Scout confidence! When the thunder rolled, this day camp took cover at in the Lodge at Camp Prairie Schooner and kept the GS songs going all the way through the storm! Several service units have put the “be prepared” motto into action! Great job to our Girl Scouts, volunteers and staff in making sure we are staying nice and safe!

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Teen Leadership:

Service Unit 637

Service Unit 637 from Lenexa, Kansas had more than 80 teen Girl Scouts participate in their Day Camp. That is one of the largest groups we have seen! Check out that photo!!

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 Service Unit 671

Service Unit 671 from Shawnee / DeSoto, Kansas area had an amazing group of Teens leading their Day Camp at Camp Tongawood! This experience is something that keeps older girls engaged as they get older – they look forward to mentoring their younger Girl Scout peers and being the role model that they had when they were just wee little Daisies. It’s not all work for them though, they get to experience their own overnight and bond as a group!

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Fun Photo

Service Unit 634

From Overland Park, Kansas, Service Unit 634’s day camp explored all things Camp Prairie Schooner! Then went climbing, swimming, explored nature, played games, and had a COOL visit from the KCMO Fire Department! What an awesome way to beat the heat!! They also sent us a really great picture of their service unit assembled as a Girl Scout Daisy around the flagpole! (It’s possible they had assistance from their KCMO Fire Department friends for this one!)

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Flag Retirement Ceremony

Service Unit 701

Service Unit 701 from Topeka, Kansas did a phenomenal respectfully retiring our flag and they were spotlighted on TV doing it! Check out their ceremony. Great job, ladies!

701 flag retirement

Camporee

Service Unit 805

There are so many opportunities for outdoor summer fun! We love camporees and Girl Scouts from Service Unit 805 enjoyed a great one. Is that the best looking caterpillar ever? This game is certainly a camp favorite.

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We know there are many awesome day camps that have taken place all summer! Please continue sharing your pictures with us as the summer winds down! We would love to share them across our social media sites!!

A Summer of Challenge

When you’re a kid, there are a lot of “firsts”. You lose your first tooth, you catch your first foul ball.

There are a lot of firsts in Girl Scouts too. The first badge, overnight, s’more, and the list goes on.

One of the many great things about being a Girl Scout is that you get to look forward to all sorts of new firsts as you get older.

It’s no secret that girls are yearning for outdoor adventure and learning opportunities – they want to do the same things they see boys doing. That’s why we have summer challenge programs. These activities are age specific and progress in challenge and skill level as the girls get older.


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There are a variety of programs that include zipline, archery and/or equestrian programs. What a great time we had checking out the fun at Camp Winding River.

Brownie Troop 3179 from Independence, Missouri decided to get in on the summer challenge fun – after all, this year was all Girl Scout firsts for them!

Having been a Brownie Girl Scout herself, Patricia Smith decided last fall that it was time to get her daughter involved in Girl Scouts. There was one small problem. There wasn’t a troop in the school her daughter attended and where she coincidentally worked. So, Patricia answered the call and rallied some friends– recruiting fellow staff members who also had daughters to join her on this awesome experience.

Fast forward nearly a year later. This Brownie troop sailed through their first cookie season and is now reaping the benefits. As a troop they decided to spend their cookie proceeds horseback riding, for the first time, as a troop.

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The troop participated in the Brownie Horseback Riding program where they got so much more than just a riding experience. The girls learned about breeds and colors of horses as well as how to command and ride.

The girls had such a great time and left camp with a new skills, knowledge and great memories.

They are excited to use the rest of their cookie proceeds camping for the first time this fall!

Don’t let the summer slip away without getting your Girl Scout out to a challenge day – there are still a few dates available!

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You’re never too old for a ‘first’ yourself. Our adult challenge day is coming up on September 18, 2015 at Camp Prairie Schooner. Do you have the courage, confidence, and character to climb the wall or rappel?!

Beat the Heat!

We all know Midwest summers can be sweltering, and Summer 2015 has certainly arrived with the extra hot temps. this week. Don’t let the heat put a damper on your summer fun! Check out our list of 13 ways for you to ‘Go,’ ‘Do,’ and ‘Eat’ your way to a fun and successful summer, and beat the heat!

GO!

Did you see our Top 10 Outdoor Adventures in Kansas & Missouri blog post or our Top 10 Activities and places to go in Kansas & Missouri?! We have a few additional places and things to do to those lists!

  1. Kansas City Fringe Festival

kcfringesitelogo1The arts are so accessible in Kansas City, and for ten days Kansas City artists are taking to the street to bring their work to you. Including theatre, music, dance and more, the Fringe festival offers something for every taste. Kids under 12 receive a free Fringe button and can participate in Youth Fringe activities this weekend!

  1. National World War I Museum

At the National WWI Museum, they are working hard to make history accessible for all ages. In addition to incredible artifacts and interactive displays  the WWI museum has gone the extra mile to make history hands on this summer! Wednesdays and Fridays at 1 p.m. in July, the museum is offering ‘Hands-On History’ where kids get to handle artifacts from the war!

  1. Daytime Movies

When the heat really kicks in, take refuge in your local movie theater! Most movie theaters offer discounted kids movies during the late morning and early afternoon, complete with discounted snacks!

DO!

As it gets hotter outside, we know the challenge of safely playing outside. Here are some tips and ideas to follow to keep the kids safe and entertained without leaving the neighborhood.

  1. Freeze Plastic Water Bottles for the Pool

With a heat wave in full effect your neighborhood pool might feel more like a hot tub than a refreshing dip in the pool. Create your own pool ‘chiller’ by freezing plastic water bottles to play with in the pool. They cool down the area around you and melt during while they melt- providing a cold drink as well! It’s the perfect way to have fun, stay cool, and stay hydrated!

  1. Make Your Own Sponge Bombs

waterspongeThis is a craft and activity all in one! Start with sponges from the dollar store, two for each sponge bomb you want to make. Cut the sponges vertically into three strips. Then, take six sponge strips and arrange them into two layers with three strips in each layer (it should be the size and shape of two sponges stacked on top of each other). Next, take dental floss and wrap it around the bundle of sponge strips horizontally. Pull the floss tight and see your sponge bomb pop to life! Tie the floss in a knot, and your sponge bombs are ready to go! Fill up buckets with ice water for a sponge bomb war in the backyard, or just take them to the pool!

  1. Minute to Win It

Create your family’s own version of Minute to Win It at home! Challenge each kid to create their own challenge for the whole group to play. Compete against each other using points, or try and beat the clock! Some ideas include stacking golf balls, bouncing pencils into a bowl, or transporting water from one bucket to another by carrying water on your heads or in sponges!

EAT!

Summer food is the best food (besides Girl Scout cookies), but here are some ways to make it even better!

  1. No sugar Popsicles

Summer foods are delicious, but most of the time they also come full of sugar. Use this recipe to make delicious popsicles without the sugar! First, brew a strong pot of your favorite fruit tea. We recommend Celestial brand raspberry flavor, and double the amount of tea bags. Next, chop up your favorite fruits! Blue berries, strawberries, and kiwi are all great! Pour tea into your popsicles molds to fill them half way. Add as much fruit as you like, and then top it off with more tea. Freeze and Enjoy! If you don’t have a popsicle mold, most dollar stores carry them, as well as IKEA and Walmart.

  1. Homemade Ice Cream

ice cream in a bagThis classic science experiment also makes for a tasty summer treat! The recipe is super simple and you can easily double it to cut down on the work! Our tip – put the cream in a coffee can or large plastic bowl  to keep your hands from freezing!

  1. Freeze Fruit

Fruit is good, but it’s more fun frozen! Frozen blueberries and grapes are a staple for the pool, but the possibilities are endless. I like to cut watermelon into wedges and put them on skewers to freeze them to create popsicles!

Man Enough to be a Girl Scout – Josh Howard

“I am a proud Girl Scout dad! Being a part of my daughters’ Girl Scout experience has strengthened our bond.”

Meet Josh Howard, awesome dad to a Brownie and Cadette Girl Scout and volunteer from Service Unit 670 in Kansas City, Kansas. Josh’s story truly demonstrates that Girl Scouting is a family affair.

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Like many others, Josh’s family jumped into Girl Scouts beginning with a recruitment night. When his oldest daughter was ready to begin her experience, Josh knew he would need to be all in. This is exactly what we want all parents and caregivers to say. However, in Josh’s case it wasn’t just an incredible commitment but a necessity in order for his daughter to have the experience every other girl has. Josh’s oldest daughter is visually impaired and must have someone with her at all times.

There was never a doubt that his daughter would experience anything less than the full Girl Scout experience, so Josh began attending troop meetings. As he was supporting his daughter, he would jump in to help other girls in the troop. As they earned badges, went on their first nature hike, completed community service projects or experienced other firsts, Josh was there. In the beginning, he received a few strange looks from parents at pick-up time but soon he would engage in conversations, especially with other dads.

It was a natural progression that Josh would become a co-leader. He was there, and he was so invested in the success of these girls. On the rare occurrence that Josh missed a meeting or troop activity, he was greatly missed and others would ask, “Where is Josh?”

Troop 1564 has grown into a multi-age troop with more than 50 Girl Scouts. Each grade level has a leader, like Josh’s younger daughter’s Brownie troop led by his wife Rebecca. The troop begins their meetings together then works toward their grade level accomplishments. This has been a great way to show younger Girl Scouts their next steps and for this GS dad to stay involved with both of his daughters throughout their skill-building.

Josh loves watching his daughters grow into strong leaders.

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“It is awesome to watch girls overcome a challenge. When they discover that with hard work and some encouragement that they can do anything, it is magic,” Josh says.

Josh wants other dads to know that getting involved with their daughters is a must. It is special to watch your daughter build new skills, make new friends and just have fun.

“If it weren’t for Girl Scouts, my oldest daughter may not have the strong friendships she has now or the confidence to make new friendships,” Josh says.

So what is next for Josh and the Girl Scouts in his troop and beyond? Well, don’t think for one minute that there isn’t something big and bold coming. Josh is working to bring a Pinewood Derby event to the service unit within the next year. Josh wants an opportunity for girls to build their own cars, maybe with their dads, moms or the whole family and see what their hard work brings on the racetrack. Of course, FUN is a must. We can’t wait to see the smiles and bonding that will take place for this event.

Thank you, Josh Howard for all you do to help girls build their courage, confidence, and character! You are certainly “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout”!

Do you know a GS dad or volunteer that we should spotlight in an upcoming “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout” feature. Let us know.

Enchanted Outdoors – Guest Post

This week, service unit 638 from Overland Park, Kansas and service unit 639 from Leawood, Kansas are at Camp Prairie Schooner for their annual day camp! They are loving camp so much that two teens worked together to create a camp newsletter each day, complete with photos and camper quotes!

So without further ado, we bring you selections from the first two editions of “Enchanted Outdoors” by Laura Legg, 15 and Alyssa Pavlu, 17!

DAY 1

Pine Cone Flower Craft

Pine coneToday we stopped to chat with the girls of Whimsical Wisteria and asked them a few questions about the flower craft.  Sydney enjoyed using the colors lavender and violet to decorate her pine cone. When asked what her favorite color was, she answered with “rainbow.”

 

 

Seed Ball Butterfly Project

seed ballStopping down by the Conestoga unit homes, we found the Poison Apples unit making seed balls to add to the Butterfly Home service project. We asked the girls if they thought the balls would work and they all nodded their heads in agreement. We also asked the girls if they liked butterflies, and after one camper replied “yes, because they are awesome,” we discovered that the Monarch was a crowd favorite.

 

 

Bird Watching

d1 birdAt the bird watching station near the outdoor classroom, we found Taylor and her unit, the UniPigs. The only bird she had seen so far today was their teen leader, Angry Bird. She enjoyed her time at the bird station and said that her favorite bird is a Blue Jay.

 

 

 

Water Games

water gamesToday we found the Fluffy Cute Squirrels unit enjoying water games. Ava and her friends enjoyed soaking each other and she said it was her favorite game. When we asked if she liked getting wet she said, “sort of, you just got to get used to it.”

 

 

Songs Station

This afternoon Kayla of the Poison Apples unit enjoyed the song station down at the chapel. One of the songs they sang in their time there was “Boom Chica Boom.” Kayla’s favorite song to sing at camp was “If You’re Cheering For the Girl Scouts” because it was fun.

Games

Down at the Prairie Fairy House we found the Whimsical Wisteria unit who had just finished playing games. We asked Jordan what her favorite game was and she answered charades. She had the chance to act out “bumblebee” and “Spiderman” for her troop. Jordan said that the Prairie Fairy House was “cool, except for the random dead crickets.”

Slingshot Safari

slingshot safariOn the slingshot safari trail we found the Playful Pixies unit. Most of the campers could not keep track of how many targets they had shot, but they did agree that it was an easy trail. Molly’s favorite target in particular was the koala bear.

 

 

 

 

DAY 2: 

Water Games

JengaDue to the weather, today water games turned into a challenge of Jenga and Apples to Apples. We asked Jessica of the Dazzling Fireflies if she was sad about missing water games, and she responded “no” with a smile because she was playing Jenga with her friends instead.

 

 

 

Bird Watching

bird watchingEven in the rain, the show must go on. Bird watching was moved into Neal Lodge where we found the Bad Pixies coloring pictures of birds. Livia colored an owl because it’s her favorite bird, and Signe told us she enjoyed the station because she listened to birds sounds.

 

 

Photo Frame

photo frameWe found the Northern Lights unit decorating their photo frames for the unit pictures they took on Tuesday. We asked Abrina why she chose the color purple and she said it’s her favorite color. She decorated her frame with owls and told us she liked the lei’s because they looked like flowers.

 

 

Songs

songsThis afternoon we stopped by the songs station and found the Northern Lights girls again. Claire told us she was having fun because she “just likes to sing” and said her favorite camp song is Bazooka Bubblegum because it rhymes.

 

 

 

Gaga Pit

gaga pitWe stopped by the Gaga pit to find the Enchanted Snow Bunnies having a blast. They all agreed that it was really fun and their favorite part was playing in the mud.

 

 

 

Pine Cone Craft

pine cone craftAt the pine cone flower craft, we found the Fluffy Cute Squirrels decorating their flowers. We asked Caroline how she made hers, and she responded “I took a pine cone and painted it two colors, then chopped it up.”

 

 

 

Cook Night

cook nightEach unit had their chance at cook night this week. We asked Teagan of the Bad Pixies her favorite part and she told us it was the burritos. The only hard part she said was “waiting in the line.”

 

 

 

Climbing Wall

wallThis afternoon we found the Poison Apples unit enjoying the climbing wall. Jessie told us that she thought it was “really fun because I made it to the top two times.” When we asked the girls how they felt we found that, believe it or not, they loved it.

 

 

Weather

When we asked the girls of Dazzling Fireflies how they felt about the weather, we found that half prefer the rain while half prefer the sunshine. Overall, more campers seem to prefer the rainy weather as opposed to the sunshine.

 

These girls did a great job of capturing and telling the story of their awesome day camp – we are impressed (and a little jealous we missed out on the fun)!

 

CIT Program

It’s no secret that awesome things happen at Camp Daisy Hindman in the summer. There are families that experience the great outdoors together for the first time at family camp; it’s where young girls spend their first summer nights away from home. Camp is where girls become leaders.

Those awesome experiences can’t happen without amazing staff. When you come to camp, there are nearly 30 counselors that have been through extensive training and who have the Girl Scout mission close to their hearts. These are young women who have each been impacted by former camp staff that have come before them, who are committed to ensuring that young girls have the same great experiences that they did.

For some campers, they leave camp dreaming of the day when they can return as a counselor to provide the same experiences for their younger Girl Scout sisters.

The CIT (Counselor in Training) program is great for those who are ready to take on a leadership role at camp, but aren’t quite old enough to be official counselors.

This year, we had 13 Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts who were up for the challenge! These eager ladies spent the first week of training learning the ins and outs of what it takes to work at summer camp like how to build a fire, ways to engage campers in activities, how to work with peers and most importantly, words to almost every Girl Scout song there is!

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For the second week of the program, CITs were placed in units and got to put their skills into action working in partnership with the counselors.

“I signed up for the CIT program because someday I want to be an awesome counselor,” Laurie Gilson. said.

Laurie has been a Girl Scout for 11 years, (since Kindergarten!) and has experienced all things outdoors through Girl Scouts including day camps and resident camps!

“My favorite memory [as a camper] is of a counselor named Stretch. She inspired me to continue in Girl Scouts so I could someday be like her.”

We know that Laurie is already taking after her former counselor, inspiring younger Girl Scouts not only through the CIT program, but also through the achievement of her highest awards. She has earned her Bronze, Silver and just this past year, her Gold Award.

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CIT’s lead songs at closing campfire.

We know that these women have learned skills and had experiences that will impact them far beyond Girl Scout camp.

Miranda Crosby is an Ambassador Girl Scout is completing her CIT II pin this summer. As a lifelong Girl Scout, she loves the outdoors and her leadership has grown through the program.

“I signed up to be a CIT because I love camp and I want to help others to love camp too,” she said. “I hope to experience different things [as a CIT II] to help me as a counselor and hope to step out of my bubble.”

This year, she is Drum Major at Grandview High School and is eager to put her skills that she has learned at camp to use in her new role!

We’re excited to see all the great things that these CIT’s do in and out of Girl Scouts with the skills they learned in the program!

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It’s not too late to sign your Girl Scout up for summer camp. These CIT’s will tell you that it’s an experience that will shape her life in ways you never imagined!

 

FORE!

For the past month, more than 40 Junior Girl Scouts have been learning the great game of golf through our community partnership with LPGA/USGA Girls Golf.

Coach Liz Smart has been working with Girl Scouts for the past 10 summers at Overland Park Golf Course and loves seeing young girls out the time into learning this sport.

“The best thing is getting the girls out in a group, where they feel comfortable and they’re with friends and they can learn golf. It’s not an intimidating environment and it’s more fun for them.”

This was Suzanne Sade’s second year in our program and she has acquired some impressive skills!

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She has always been intrigued by the game of golf – her Dad, Doc is an avid golfer. “She was asking where I was going all the time with those bags, and then she asked if she could come,” Doc said.

It only progressed from there.

Doc took Suzanne and her sister out and they started off learning how to putt. Next thing you know, Suzanne was asking to hit with drivers! Her first clubs were a little Tiger Wood set and she used those and proved that she could play the game. Since then Suzanne has played in several tournaments including US kid’s golf tournaments and has been upgrading her clubs along the way. In fact, she received a “real driver” on Tuesday!

Like Suzanne, many of the girls in the program were turned onto the game of Golf by a male role model in their lives.

Ella Oldham has been listening to her grandpa talk about golf and decided to see what the sport was all about. Now that she’s had 2 years of lessons, she hopes to get her grandfather out on the course and have a little friendly competition with him! She says that her putting skills have dramatically improved and that’s what she’s best at; however, her favorite part of golf is driving!  “I don’t like hitting it really soft, I like hitting it hard,” Ella said!

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For Mikayla Bernanti, it was her mom who inspired her and her sister to take up golf. Their parents are both golfers but her dad will willingly admit that Mikayla’s mom was more into golf than he was when they first met; in fact she bought him his first set of clubs!

Golf is a sport that Mr. and Mrs. Bernanti want their daughters to learn because it teaches life skills.

“Mikayla is very, very, competitive. We’re trying to teach her that she’s competing against herself. It’s a life sport,” Mike said.

The girls’ skills have progressed over the past three years and they golfed for the first time as a family on Father’s Day weekend, taking advantage of the free green fee that day!

“When I get old and my wife gets old we want to have something to do and hopefully they’ll come out and golf with us!”

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We had a great time watching these Girl Scouts put all the skills they learned this past month to use at their Par 3 Scramble game! The best part might have been seeing the parents and caregivers caddy for them then watching their expressions when they saw it all come together for their Girl Scouts!

“I hope that they’ll be future golfers! We want to teach our young girls now to be future golfers so this game of skill grows to include even more women,” Coach Liz said.

Watch what you wish for, Liz! These girls just might give you a run for your money in the future!!

DSC_0319We have 100+ Community Partners that provide all sorts of programming to our Girl Scouts from sports, to STEM, the arts and everything in between. Find a new experience for your Girl Scout today and see where it takes her!