Trash to Treasure

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Abby Mitchell’s Story of Making a Difference for the Hungry in Kansas City

For most of us, having enough food every day isn’t a concern. Often we find that eating is an activity to enjoy with friends and family rather than a stress point. Sadly, this is not the case for thousands across our region who face hunger daily. Girl Scout Ambassador Abby Mitchell from Troop 493 in Overland Park, Kan. has discovered a passion for fighting to end hunger. This 2016 Gold Award recipient has turned what was once trash into treasure for those who face daily hunger issues in Kansas City.

Abby Mitchell’s Girl Scout journey with best friend, Kristy Gordon

Abby Mitchell’s Girl Scout journey with best friend, Kristy Gordon

 

Abby began her Girl Scout adventure in El Dorado, Kan. as a Daisy and quickly fell in love with programs like camping and field trips because they opened her eyes to new things. “Girl Scouts has been a really great experience for me. The badges and Journeys helped me broaden my horizons to everything that’s possible,” Abby said. In particular, the practical badges were some of her favorites. “The car badge was one of the most useful things I’ve ever done. Before I earned it, I didn’t know how to change a tire! Now that I do, I have that life lesson I needed to learn,” Abby said.

When she moved to Overland Park, Kan. Abby found a new troop and met her best friend, fellow 2016 Gold Award recipient, Kristy Gordon. Through badges and programs like the “Sow What?” Journey, Abby found a passion for the complex subject of food. “[The Journey] opened my eyes to the Farm to Fork Initiative, farming, helping the planet and getting involved with where your food comes from,” Abby said.

Abby Mitchell studying food system in Global Food Industries class in the Blue Valley CAPS program

Abby Mitchell studying food system in Global Food Industries class in the Blue Valley CAPS program

 

Once inspired, she decided to enroll in the CAPS program (a career intensive option at her high school) and took a class called Global Food Industries. This class focused on food production, distribution and analysis in a real-world setting. Her passion turned into action when she was sitting in the lunchroom at her high school and noticed produce going to waste. That’s where her Gold Award project was born.

After looking into the lunch program at her school, Blue Valley West, Abby realized that the waste was coming from a health initiative that offered a lunch discount if students added a fruit or vegetable. While a great program in theory to encourage healthy eating, it wasn’t being used as designed. Sadly, most of the produce became trash rather than being consumed – purchased only to get the discount.

That’s when Abby dove into action. The Fruit Basket Initiative, her Gold Award project, has the simple mission of saving quality food destined to become trash and instead putting it in the hands of people who are hungry. Working with Blue Valley West and Harvesters, a local community food network, she implemented a donation system for students to put unwanted fruits and vegetables in a basket to be repackaged. Twice a week Harvesters picks up the food and delivers it to those in need.

The official collection began in early January 2016 and each day she notices the baskets filling a little more. The planning for a program that involved food within a school system took over a year, with Abby having to present her proposal both to the school and district level boards to get approval. These types of experiences are exactly what the Gold Award aims at helping girls achieve!

Through doing this Gold Award project and finding her passion early on with the “Sow What?” Journey, Abby feels a strong connection between her Girl Scout experience and her future career. “I would definitely attribute my possible future career in food system to Girl Scouts and the things it opened my eyes to,” Abby said.

For this young leader, it’s all about finding ways to give in unexpected places. “If we could all, as a world, learn to give to others in need and not be so wasteful, eventually, I don’t think we would have an issue with food insecurity anymore,” Abby said. Way to live a great life of service, Abby!

We hope everyone is as inspired by Abby’s Gold Award journey as we are! Learn more about the amazing work Abby is doing on her Fox 4 Young Achiever segment by clicking here. Girl Scouts really do make the world a better place. If you know of someone who has an inspiring Gold Award project, comment below!

5 Tips for Successful Cookie Booth Sales

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Did you know that there are great resources to help girls make awesome Cookie Booths? Check out these sites for templates, name tags, thank you cards and other goodies. These can serve as a great spring-board for some girl-led booth creations…and lots of sales!

  1. Spread the Word!

Help your Girl Scouts learn valuable marketing skills by brainstorming ways they can get the message out to their friends, family and the community! Here are a few quick ideas to get started:

  • FLYERS – Flyers can be posted in many places around the community, just make sure to ask a business first. Don’t forget to include the dates, times, and location of the cookie sales!
  • SOCIAL MEDIA (be sure to have the girls take the Internet Safety Pledge)
    • Encourage girls to write the “status” or “tweets” themselves, rather than just asking parents to post times and location.
    • Create Facebook events (here’s how!)
    • Create a troop hashtag (#Troop1234Cookies) and bring it into your design. How about a selfie station with the hashtag for customers to show off their purchase?
  • INVITATIONS – Girls can make personalized invites for special friends and family from simple craft supplies. Ask girls to hand deliver these for a special touch!

 

  1. Bling Your Booth!

An interesting booth can really draw shoppers! Be creative with our overall theme, Dream, Design, Do and have girls figure out the message behind the booth design (it’s a great conversation starter). Aside from drawing customers to your booth, you’ll also be able to enter the Council and National “Bling Your Booth” competition (more on that in #4)! Here are some places to start for design ideas:

  • THEME – As part of broad Dream, Design, Do theme, select something that is meaningful to your troop and goals. Is your troop planning to do a service project for animals with cookie sales? How about doing a zoo theme for your booth? This opens the door for customer conversation about troop goals.
  • BREAK INTO TEAMS – Girls can divide into teams to better manage creation of the booth. Dividing up the work helps the girls learn to work in smaller groups and come together to achieve larger goals – just like committees in an office setting!
  • CONNECT WITH ARTISTS – Once you have a theme and teams, ask around the community to see if a local artist would teach a craft that can be incorporated into the design. Doing a wildlife theme? See if a local origami artist will come teach girls how to make paper butterflies they can display on their booth! Not only will the girls learn a new craft they can show off, but the artist will probably love promoting their participation and boost traffic!

 

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  1. Bling Your Booth Competition!

Your troop’s booth looks amazing, so why not compete for some great Girl Scout prizes! Check out the special blog post about GSKSMO’s 2015 Bling Your Booth Grand Champions – Troop 484 from Chillicothe, Mo. These winners got a special party and visit from Council CEO, Joy Wheeler! Don’t forget to also enter the National Bling Your Booth competition!

  • GSKSMO – Theme: “Dream, Design, Do”(see gsksmo.org for more details starting Feb. 5!) Competition Weeks:
    • Week 1: Week of Feb. 15 – 21, submit photos by Feb. 22, vote: 24-26, announce winner Feb. 27
    • Week 2: Week of Feb. 22 – 29, submit photos by Feb. 29, vote: Mar. 2-4, announce winner March 5
    • Week 3: Week of Feb. 29 – March 6, submit photos by March 7, vote 9-11, announce winner on March 12
    • Week 4: Week of March 7-13, submit photos by March 14, vote 16-18, announce winner on March 19.
    • Final Round: all weekly winners are submitted for a Final 4 competition, which includes 40% voting and 60% vote by an impartial judging panel – Voting Opens Mar. 21 – closes on Mar. 24 and announced on Friday, March 25.
  • Prizes:
  • Weekly Prizes:
    • 1st Place – each Girl Scout receives a patch and the troop receives $200 in Cookie Dough; 2nd Place – each Girl Scout receives a patch and the troop receives $100 in Cookie Dough; 3rd Place – each Girl Scout receives a patch and the troop receives $75 in Cookie Dough
  • Grand Champion Round
    • 1st Place – a Bling Your Booth Party to be planned in partnership with the winning troop (includes food, games, surprises and lots of FUN!) Valued up to $350 (based on troop size); 2nd Place – $150 more in Cookie Dough; 3rd Place – $100 more in Cookie Dough; 4th Place – $50 more in Cookie Dough
  • GSUSA – Facebook Event (Entry deadline: April 23, 2016)
    • Prizes: 25 troops with the most votes win $250!

 

  1. Customer Service

Help Girl Scouts develop innovative customer service ideas to engage customers! Here are a couple of ideas to get them rolling:

  • RECIPES – Create recipe cards for each type of cookie to encourage people to buy a variety and thus more cookies! You could also give recipes that correlate to holidays (encouraging buyers to stock up). You can find some great recipes online (Girl Scout Recipes & Pinterest)
  • THANK YOU’S – Help younger Girl Scouts design small cards that can be printed and cut out to give with each sale. These little Thank You cards can talk about troop goals, thank them for their business and list additional dates the booth will be open.
  • INTERACT – Encourage girls to talk with customers and let them know where proceeds go, troop goals and what the girls learn from the Cookie Program. Not only does this help develop one of The 5 Skills (People Skills), but informs a customer about the great work the troop is doing. Engage with an activity – have jars and beads where people can vote for the best overall cookie flavor – 1 bead per box purchased!

 

Above all – have a lot of fun with your booth. If girls are smiling, engaged, excited and dedicated, buyers are more likely to make a purchase. As with all cookie sales, make sure girls are following cookie etiquette and guidelines to make this a great cookie season for everyone! SELL ON!

Use the comment section below and tell us how your troop is getting creative!

Making a Difference for Military Dependents

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Making a Difference for Military Dependents

Managing a Girl Scout troop and providing girls with life changing experiences is a job that deserves the highest of praise. Now imagine the impact a Girl Scout experience has for military children who live a life in service to our country, often sacrificing friends and activities in the process. Nikki Medlock, a Girl Scout alumna and troop leader in Leavenworth, Kansas has taken the job of troop leader and multiplied it by four. Leading four troops of military dependents, troops 5400 (Daisy), 5401 (Brownie), 5413 (Junior) and 5454 (Cadette), Nikki and her co-leaders are improving the lives of military children in our council.

As a leader, Nikki Medlock has Girl Scouts down to a science. “If you’re organized, it’s easy. This is my fifth year with Girl Scouts and I’ve done it in Hawaii, Texas and now Kansas,” said Nikki, commenting on how she’s improved her system over five years as a leader. Armed with calendars, girl plans and notes, she and her co-leaders get to work in July to plan out the logistics for the whole year for all four troops. Once everything is planned, Nikki and the co-leaders can delegate tasks to parents who want to help, without relying on chaperoning as the only source of involvement. She believes this gives the girls a better sense of independence and parents a vested interest in the troop.

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This diligent planning allows for exciting, well planned Girl Scout experiences like Harry Potter themed badge events and field trips with Community Partners (check out their trip to Chip’s Chocolate Factory!). The troops also do unique service projects because of their military connection, like laying wreaths on graves at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery. Even though sixty Girl Scouts may be a lot to coordinate, Nikki strongly believes that all girls should have the opportunity to be Girl Scouts. “I will take any little girl that wants to be a Girl Scout into my troop. If that means I end up with sixty girls and four troops, then that’s what I end up with,” Nikki said.

While organization makes the job easier, Nikki still devotes a great deal of time to her troops. “I’m a stay at home mom, but I spend about eight hours a day doing something related to my troops,” Nikki said. As the mom of two Girl Scouts, Nikki knows that the time she devotes is having a direct impact on her family. The Girl Scout troop families have become a close community that supports each other, especially the Medlock family, in times of need.

Starting in December 2014 Nikki underwent three major surgeries to battle breast cancer. The families of her Girl Scouts were at her side the entire way – helping with troop meetings, visiting her at the hospital and helping her family with childcare. It was a source of courage during Nikki’s brave fight. It’s another great reason why Girl Scouts is such an important part of the Medlock family’s life.

As a military family, the Medlock’s know firsthand how difficult it can be for military kids to maintain friendships when they move so frequently, making Girl Scouts incredibly important to life on base. Nikki believes that by being in Girl Scouts, girls have an easier time finding friends when they move. “Many of these girls move around every two to three years, so Girl Scouts is the one thing they will always have, no matter where they go. With Girl Scouts being overseas as well, they always have that one thing in common with new girls in a new place,” Nikki said.

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On top of the great friendships and life skills they learn, the Leavenworth troops especially love camping. “We all camp – even my Daisies do overnight camping trips,” Nikki said. While they mostly stay at local Girl Scout camps, the Cadette troop is taking a trip to Tennessee and staying at a Girl Scout camp in the Rocky Mountains! Since encouraging independence is important to Nikki, the girls are raising the funds for the trip themselves. One of their recent fund raisers was selling hot chocolate, apple cider and water at the Fort Leavenworth tree lighting ceremony.

This organization is a passion for Nikki because of how much opportunity it opens up for the girls. “I love that Girl Scouts opens their eyes up to so much! I have girls who wouldn’t talk at the beginning of last year and this year they’re running for Student Council President. It’s really neat to see girls blossom – all because of Girl Scouts,” Nikki said.

We thank Nikki Medlock and her family for their service to not only Girl Scouts, but to our country. Because of leaders like Nikki, every girl can be a Girl Scout and find a sisterhood anywhere in the world. If you know of an inspiring troop leader or volunteer like Nikki, share his or her story with us in the comments below!

A Look Inside Cookie Construction: Team High Flyers

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Have you been keeping up with the progress of our Cookie Construction Teams?! We’re over halfway through our team coverage with today’s update!

Team High Flyers is being led by female design professionals, Alison Lampier, Harsha Royyuru, Natalie Berg and Macrina Abdouch of HOK Architecture. These fabulous women have been teaching their team of Girl Scout Cadettes all about engineering, design and architecture in order to create a three-dimensional structure made out of (up to) 1,000 Girl Scout Cookie boxes!

The Mentors demonstrate how their structure will appear!

The Mentors demonstrate how their structure will appear!

This year’s Cookie Construction theme is Dream. Design. Do. Outdoor Adventure. and  team High Flyers left their first meeting in September knowing exactly what they wanted to build. (While we don’t want to ruin the surprise, you can make some guesses on their structure by their team name…). They have spent the past four months using their new knowledge of architecture to design the perfect structure.   Well just like in the real architecture and design world, plans sometimes have to change. They recently learned that the materials they had planned to use as support were not approved materials in the competition.

This news didn’t even seem to faze the girls. The mentors presented the information, and gave them two options: continue with the original structural plan and be disqualified from winning any awards or explore a new support system. They unanimously decided to explore new ideas – they want to win!

“The girls have been very understanding about the pressures to change our design because of box numbers, structural capabilities, material strength, etc. They’ve even come up with some great ideas for solutions when problems arise, so they’re dealing with it very productively and gracefully!” Team Mentor Harsha Royyuru said.

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Mentor Natalie Berg was a Girl Scout and remembers how all the neat experiences she had through Girl Scouts made a big difference in her life and it’s coming full circle for her now as she leads Girl Scouts in this program.

“I feel like I’ve already gained so much! Having to run meetings and manage all the girls at once has helped me with my client interaction – when I’ve been meeting with clients, I now think about how I would explain something to one of the girls,” Natalie explained.

Many of the girls on the team have never had an experience designing and building like they’re getting in Cookie Construction. “This is something I’ve never done before and something that I probably won’t for a while again. Well, I hope I get to do more of this soon!” Girl Scout Cadette Sadie C. said.

“No one ever told me as a kid that I could be an architect. I played with Legos and Lincoln Logs, but I never knew it was a profession. We need more women in these professions,” mentor Al Lampier explained.

The team was working on building a scaled-down version of their design.

The team was working on building a scaled-down version of their design.

Even if the girls don’t grow up to be engineers, architects or designers, they’re learning soft skills such as teamwork and strategy that will benefit them in whatever career they choose!

The High Flyers’ structure will come together with the other six teams’ on March 5 for Build Day. They will have approximately 5 hours to bring their design to life before a panel of jurors evaluate each one and award one lucky team the Juror’s Choice Award!

See the other team’s progress:

Team Top City

Team Cookie Constructors

Team Silver Moons

Coming soon: Team Galaxy Girls, Treehouse Masters and the Elemental Dragonettes!

Follow the progress right here on the GSKSMO Blog and through our social media #gscookiebuild

Man Enough to be a Girl Scout – How Men are Changing the Leadership Landscape for Girls

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Are you MAN ENOUGH to be a Girl Scout?  That’s what we’ve asked regional leaders who know what it takes to be an amazing leader. Fourteen men from our region have stepped up to join our 2016 “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout” campaign and pledged their support to changing the leadership landscape for girls.

The Man Enough to be a Girl Scout campaign paired Girl Scouts with civic leaders who share their interests for a social media and billboard campaign that explores the great things being done by Girl Scouts. The goal of the campaign is to educate the public about the organization’s focus on STEM exploration, outdoor experiences and community service through Girl Scouts’ highest awards, the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards. In each video, these influential leaders discuss how Girl Scouts are learning vital skills needed to become the decision-makers of tomorrow. These men have achieved amazing success and are dedicated to helping girls make their dreams a reality.

“I have a very favorable impression of the way the Girl Scout organization is operated in the Kansas City metropolitan area,” said Bob Regnier, president and CEO of Bank of Blue Valley, and one of the faces of the campaign. “It really does a lot to build character, confidence and build ability in these young people, and allow them to be the best that they can be in whatever they do.”

At the campaign launch event on Tuesday, January 12, Girl Scouts and an audience of supporters gathered at the Shield Club at the Children’s Mercy Park (Home of Sporting KC) to reveal the fourteen men who have joined the campaign. At the event, Girl Scouts introduced the first five videos in the Man Enough to be a Girl Scout campaign, featuring Mayor Sly James (Mayor, KCMO), Cliff Illig (Co-Founder, Cerner), Dave Hall (President, Hallmark), Bob Regnier (CEO, Bank of Blue Valley) and Greg Graves (CEO, Burns & McDonnell).

“We are honored and humbled that these high profile and very busy civic leaders enthusiastically agreed to be a part of this campaign. We appreciate their generosity of time in meeting and offering advice to some of our Girl Scouts who also participated in the campaign. Each of them were positively impressed by those interactions, and that will come through loud and clear in the campaign,” said Joy Wheeler, CEO of Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri.

These videos will be shared each week through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and at GSKSMO.org). We believe that when girls succeed, so does society. To change the leadership landscape it will take all of us to get her there; men and women working together to open the door to opportunities for girls.

Thank you to our 2016 Man Enough to be a Girl Scout leaders:

  • Mike Brown, CEO, Euronet Worldwide
  • Peter deSilva, Civic Leader
  • John Dicus, President & CEO, Capitol Federal Savings
  • Terry Dunn, Founder, DD Ranch Leawood
  • Greg Graves, Chairman and CEO, Burns & McDonnell
  • Dave Hall, President, Hallmark
  • Cliff Illig, Co-Founder, Cerner
  • Mayor Sly James, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Mark Jorgenson, Market President, US Bank
  • Albrecht Kissel, CEO, Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Leo Morton, Chancellor, UMKC
  • Danny O’Neill, President, The Roasterie
  • Bob Regnier, President & CEO, Bank of Blue Valley
  • Mark Ruelle, President & CEO, Westar Energy

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Watch the videos (a new one rolls out every Tuesday) on our Youtube Man Enough Channel and be sure to connect with GSKSMO on social media to catch all the latest news about this campaign!  Join us in making the world a better place for girls! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and at GSKSMO.org.

A Partnership in Leadership Skill-Building

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Girl Scouting at Operation Breakthrough

Did you know that Operation Breakthrough in Kansas City, Missouri is the largest single-site early education child care and social services facility in the state of Missouri?! Operation Breakthrough serves nearly 400 children daily from the urban core!

The Girl Scout Outreach Program is proud to bring the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to 55 girls being cared for at Operation Breakthrough. Girl Scouts gives these girls opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise to participate in a troop and experience the same things as other Girl Scouts across our community – to learn leadership skills, try their hand at science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities, hone their financial literacy skills, practice entrepreneurism, and have an opportunity to hike, sing campfire songs, and explore the great outdoors at Girl Scout camp!

Girl Scout Daisies conquer a challenge course as a team!

Girl Scout Daisies conquer a challenge course as a team!

Tyler Baker is the School-Age Program Coordinator for Operation Breakthrough and was eager to see Girl Scouts return to the after school program. “Girls from the urban core have expressed that they want to be sharing their dreams and aspirations and have a feeling of community, Girl Scouts is that vehicle,” Mr. Baker said.

There are three troops at Operation Breakthrough and Nikki Schraper leads the oldest group, the Juniors. Each week Nikki has her girls make nametags, without using their names. The six Girl Scouts write what they want to be when they grow up on the tags and take a few minutes each troop meeting discussing their chose occupations. This semester they have been working through the Agent of Change Journey – exploring their own talents and learning about women who have made the world a better place and for the past few weeks, Alesia has been writing ‘First African American Supreme Court Justice’ on her nametag.

Girl Scout Juniors think about their future professions.

Girl Scout Juniors think about their future professions.

“Girl Scouts gives girls a voice,” Mr. Baker said.

The Daisy, Brownie and Junior troops recently had their ceremony and received vests with the patches they had earned this past semester while working on the It’s Your Story – Tell It! Journey series’. The Daisies presented posters on how to properly care for animals, Brownies talked about preventing bullying and the Juniors presented a skit about not conforming to stereotypes and being the best woman you can be!

The impact of Girl Scouts goes beyond the troop meetings at Operation Breakthrough. Girls and troops are selecting Operation Breakthrough as the site for their Take Action Projects.

Last year, Gold Award recipient Eleanor Nash worked with fourth graders at Operation Breakthrough for her Take Action Project. She developed a skills program where they completed various craft projects such as woodworking, sewing, soap carving and knitting, just to name a few. She even got to see the sustainability of her project first-hand. Kids were telling her how they continued their crafts at home, teaching family members and having them join in on the fun. They came back each week eager to learn more.

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We’re seeing Girl Scouting thrive in the urban core as it provides positive, stable mentors for young girls, helping them use free time in a productive manner, supplies missing support systems and encouragement, and opens a whole world of possibilities to girls who often cannot see outside their neighborhood!

If you’re interested in learning more about the volunteer opportunities with our Outreach Program, comment below!

Creating a Legacy of Girl Scout Achievements

How does a Girl Scout Alumna memorialize a long list of amazing achievements for a family of Girl Scouts and way too many badges to possibly showcase on a wall?  Velma “Fae” Dinkle has displayed her incredible contributions to Girl Scouts in a unique way – by quilting. The three Girl Scout quilts she created are beautiful works of art that recount the Girl Scout experiences her family has had. They are a testament to the contributions Fae Dinkle has made for girls. Literally wrapped warm in her Girl Scout memories, Fae Dinkle is from Topeka, Kansas and is a Council Scout of the Year, First Class and Curved Bar Awards Recipient and former troop leader. This inspiring woman changed the lives of girls with her dedication to their education and putting them on the path to success.

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“Fae” Dinkle was born in 1939 and joined Girl Scouts in second grade. Early in her Girl Scout life troop activities focused on crafts and education. She was fond of service projects like making tray favors for nursing homes because they were crafts. While she enjoyed crafting, many of the badges she earned were challenging, and completed independently. Learning to complete difficult badges on her own helped her develop self-motivation, a skill that served her later in life when she became a troop leader.

 

During junior high school, she started camping at Camp Daisy Hindman and doing outdoor activities with a local Boy Scout troop under the leadership of her mother and the co-leader. In the 1950s Girl Scouts and troop leaders at Camp Daisy would chop firewood in DRESSES! Even though camping wasn’t a focus of her experience as a Girl Scout, when Fae became a leader, it became at the heart of troop activities.

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In high school Fae showed just how determined she was to remain a Girl Scout. She joined a new troop and had to go across town to attend meetings. By late high school, Fae was the only girl left in her new troop, but thanks to a dedicated leader, she was able to continue and earn her highest awards. “The lady running it was wonderful, she let me keep coming! I was the only girl in the troop, but she kept it going for me,” Fae said of her high school troop leader.

As an Alumna, Fae had two daughters who became Girl Scouts. When her oldest daughter, Diana, became a Brownie, she came full circle and became a leader, just like the one she had admired from her experience as a girl.

Fae wasn’t just a leader for one Girl Scout troop – she ended up leading three troops all at the same time! Imagine trying to coordinate all those girls without the internet or cellphones – that’s real leadership. When asked how she ended up with three troops she affectionately said “I’m just gullible I guess!” Because her husband worked nights, Girl Scouts was a way for her to be involved with her daughters, entertain her family and learn new things.

As a leader, Fae was dedicated to a “girl-led” troop experience. At the beginning of each year, she would ask troops to make a list of what they wanted to do, then help the girls achieve their top goals. Badge work was something she took very seriously as it became an opportunity for her to learn new things.  “I wanted to be a teacher, so being a troop leader was close. For any badge we wanted to work on, I would go to the library and read all I could, educate myself first. Then I applied it to the girls,” said Fae.

Since the girls really liked camping, she organized camping trips that were a minimum of two nights to teach survival skills. By limiting camping to longer stays, she was also able to combine their outdoor event with a business educational experience by helping the girls raise funds to go camping. “The oldest girls really could raise money. They could sell anything and would work together to sell,” said Fae.

For Fae’s troops, camping was important because of the life skills it taught the girls. “[Because of camping,] girls become independent. They know they can build a fire, cook outside, they know they can survive. It makes them become willing to explore and learn,” Fae said.

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The confidence her daughters gained from their troop experience gave them the courage to do Girl Scout activities that took their learning beyond their hometown. From ice fishing to hands-on STEM opportunities, Diana and Denise had adventures all over the country. Denise, the youngest who participated in the “Wider Opportunities” initiative, travelled to Omaha, Nebraska for a medical field focused trip that gave her an inside look at STEM fields. Now a nurse, Fae believes her daughter’s Girl Scout experience contributed to helping her find her career path.

Her favorite thing about being a troop leader was “watching [the girls] grow, and trying to help them get on the right path,” said Fae. This passion has been passed along and now the next generation is continuing the strong Girl Scout legacy in the Dinkle family. Fae’s granddaughter, Alyssa, is a Girl Scout in Shawnee, Kansas and has also spent time volunteering at Camp Tongawood.

After years of being a Girl Scout, a leader and the mother/grandmother of Girl Scouts, Fae sees the power of this program and what girls learn from being involved. She believes Girl Scouts provides essential life skills that every girl needs. “First, you need friends and what’s closer than a group of girls? You also need to learn a variety of things, not just one subject and in Girl Scouts you do that with all your badge work, service and camping. Then you need to learn to get along, and you do that by being with different girls,” Fae said,

What an inspiring woman, alumna and all around Girl Scout! Thank you to Fae Dinkle for years of incredible service and dedication to making the world a better place for girls. If you’d like to share a powerful Alumna story, comment below!

A Look Inside Cookie Construction: Team Silver Moons

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We are only three months away from Cookie Construction Build Day 2016!

Before the holiday break we caught up with Team Silver Moons who are ahead of schedule, already working with their 1,000 cookie boxes!

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Team Silver Moons is being led by mentors Tori Jarquio, Jamie Picow, Jessica Symons and Lauren Harness – all female design professionals. These women are helping their team of Girl Scouts design and build a structure out of Girl Scout Cookie boxes with the 2016 theme, Dream. Design. Do. Outdoor Adventure. This group elected to split into sub-teams to construct four elements that will contribute to their overall concept. We don’t want to ruin the surprise of their design that you will see on March 5, but know that their structure will be out of this world!

“It’s pretty special to bring creative-minded young ladies together and see what they can create!” Mentor Jamie Picow said.

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While girls are working in small groups in their subcommittees, they all must work together as a team. This team structure helps them develop their ideas to make sure the final structure is cohesive, flows well and is structurally sound.

Mentor Lauren Harness moved to Kansas City this summer and was looking for ways to get involved in the community when she heard about Cookie Construction through AIA Kansas City. No surprise that she jumped at the opportunity to get involved. “I know I would have really enjoyed this as a kid,” she explained. For her, it’s also a way to remember why she chose this career path and reflect on what she enjoys in her profession!

For Girl Scout Cadette Aubrie S., Cookie Construction is the perfect way for her to get a glimpse into Lauren’s profession since Aubrie wants to be an architect!

This is Aubrie’s second year in the program. She was on a team last year that had a similar structure to Team Silver Moons in that they worked in small groups and individually to create their pieces then assembled them together at Crown Center to create the final structure. When it came time for their structure to be disassembled from Crown Center, Aubrie took the mini Starlight Theatre she had built to her school where it is still on display today.

Aubrie’s Cookie Construction experience combined with her mentors’ expertise will undoubtedly lead to a great design to be unveiled at Crown Center on March 5! Mark your calendars and join us for Build Day where you will see Team Silver Moons final design, as well as the other six teams’ creations come to life!

Follow and join the action on all our social media channels using #GSCookieBuild!