G.I.R.L. 2017 – That’s a Wrap!

A GSKSMO Point of View

Earlier this month, Girl Scouts of the USA held their National Council Session and Convention – G.I.R.L. 2017. Thousands of Girl Scouts, and those who support them, came together for the largest girl-led event in the world! But, you didn’t have to look far to spot a member of our council! Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri was well represented with four girl delegates, six adult volunteer delegates, a staff member on the planning team and a girl member on the G-Team (the nickname for the girl-led planning team). To top it off, our own Gold Award Alumna and Miss Teen USA, Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff was a G.I.R.L. speaker among other women including Gabby Douglas, Chelsea Clinton, Mae Jemison and Barbara Pierce Bush!

Over the course of four days, Columbus, OH was turned Girl Scout green. This national event kicked off with the 54th National Council Session where delegates were responsible for influencing the strategic direction of the Movement  by providing guidance to the Girl Scouts of the USA Board of Directors, in the form of electing new board members, amending the Constitution and proposing positive change. After the official business was done, G.I.R.L. 2017 truly kicked off with inspiring speakers, entertaining performances and a celebration of all G.I.R.L.s (go-getters, innovators, risk-takers & leaders).

For our girl delegates Akela C., Aidin M., Lauren M., and Amanda M. and G-Team Member, Caroline S., this was a Girl Scout experience of a lifetime!

Left: Delegates and Staff of GSKSMO. Right: Delegates Lauren , Aidin & Amanda with G-Team Member Caroline (2nd from Left).

What was it like to be a Convention delegate?

Being a delegate was pretty scary at first. But once I really understood what I was doing, it felt like a proud commitment that I could remember.
   -Akela C., Delegate

Being a delegate at convention was a wonderful experience. I learned about parliamentary procedure and how the voting process works.
   -Aidin M., Delegate

To be a convention delegate was a once in a life time opportunity to meet new people and get a say in the decisions of tomorrow. Some of the discussions were long during the voting process but every new speaker brought up a new and unique point that added to the conversation of pros and cons and even long term implications.
   -Lauren M., Delegate

It was amazing and such an empowering experience!  Being in the presence of some of the most amazing and accomplished women in the world was awing.
   -Amanda M., Delegate

What was it like to be on the G-Team, Caroline?

Being a part of the G-Team was being a part of a sisterhood. Through countless hours of work during the year and a half we had to plan G.I.R.L, we worked as a pack, even when we got no sleep. Helping each other up and cheering each other on with every step we took.  Each girl on G-TEAM was on a different sub-team. I was on the Marketing and Design team, and I worked with four other girls to reach people on social media, design the look of convention, and also run girl spaces at G.I.R.L. As an entire G-Team we went to Columbus the summer before Convention in 2016, and went to Edith Macy conference center in New York and GSUSA in NYC in August of 2017. Through these two trips we had conference calls, meetings, and more than anything we bonded as a team. The special thing about the women on my sub-committee was their drive towards something bigger than themselves. Each time we met, they inspired me to go further, to reach as high as possible, and be a woman of confidence and kindness.
   -Caroline S., G-Team

Describe G.I.R.L. 2017 in 280 characters or less.

G.I.R.L. 2017 was an inspiring experience that showed me how to be a G.I.R.L. and opened up new experiences for me.
   -Akela C., Delegate

 very girl at Convention had the opportunity to meet other girls from around the world through breakout sessions, SWAPS, or simply talking to many different people. G.I.R.L was a hub of girl power. Everywhere you turned the event fostered creativity and excitement, and every girl came out of the event feeling proud to be a G.I.R.L.
-Caroline S., G-Team Member

G.I.R.L. 2017 was a wonderful, life-changing experience that I will never forget; bringing girls from all over the nation together to make decisions for the future of Girl Scouts. I made lifelong friendships at convention and have irreplaceable memories. I’m so honored that I was a part of this experience.
   -Aidin M., Delegate

G.I.R.L. 2017 was an event to include and inspire girls and women from all walks of life to be Go-Getters, Risk Takers, Innovators, and Leaders.  Speakers from all over the world flew into Columbus, Ohio to launch the next generation of leaders.  In less than a week Girl Scouts of the USA changed thousands of lives, forever.
   -Amanda M., Delegate

GSKSMO Delegates with GSUSA CEO, Sylvia Acevedo.

What inspired you or surprised you about G.I.R.L. 2017?

Convention had several surprises and inspiring moments. The biggest surprise to me was that I went into this event thinking the role I played in planning G.I.R.L would be the most inspiring and exciting aspect of the trip. While it was exciting to see our hard work put into action, it was more so all the other women I met that inspired me the most. I met women from all over the world who were determined to make a positive impact on the Girl Scouting Movement.
   -Caroline S., G-Team Member

I loved the feeling of being included and knowing that I had friends everywhere I went in both the city and the event hall, we really did turn Columbus Girl Scout green!
-Amanda M., Delegate

I was inspired by all the speakers that shared their stories and careers. The speakers taught me that it is okay that I am not set on my future (none of them were). Sally Jewell, the 51st Secretary of Interior, originally was going to be a dentist. She went on to work on an outdoor clothing line and was appointed by President Obama which is pretty cool.
   -Aidin M., Delegate

At convention, one of the things that inspired me were how brave some of the girls were to get up and challenge ideas, even when they weren’t popular. It showed me that while many people adhere to the status quo, we don’t have to. We can challenge ideas when we see fit.
   -Akela C., Delegate

 What speaker resonated the most with you? Why?

The speaker that resonated with me the most was Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff, Miss Teen USA. She is from my hometown, and she’s not only Miss Teen USA, but a Gold Award recipient as well. She said that she was Sophia first, and everything else second. This was inspiring not only because it shows anyone can make an impact, but that your achievements don’t have to become your identity.
   -Akela C., Delegate

NASA Astronaut, Mae Jemison resonated with me because she asked us, “What do you INTEND to be?” instead of “What are you going to be?” Which I answered with I intend to be a good student, to go to college, and become a lifetime Girl Scout. Also Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff was awesome to hear speak because she had earned her Gold Award, is Miss Teen USA, graduated high school and going to college a year early… all at 17. Just one year older than me. That’s crazy!!! Also she was just super nice in general; being from her council made us feel more connected.
   -Aidin M., Delegate

Gold Award recipient Vilmarie Ocasio resonated the most with me because while presenting her Gold Award she spoke with contagious passion and inspired me to take a step forward in my community and make a change for the better.
   -Amanda M., Delegate

As an emcee at the opening ceremony, I got the chance to introduce Mae Jemison on stage and ask her a couple of questions. I was absolutely astounded by her story. I am inspired because as a woman who would like to go into a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) field, she inspires me to never give in to the setbacks that may come in my way. Mae had a passion for something bigger than herself, and she never took no for an answer on her path to success.
   -Caroline S., G-Team

GSKSMO Girl Scouts with Gold Award Alumna & Miss Teen USA, Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff.

What did you learn at Convention that you want to bring back to your troop, service unit or council?

At G.I.R.L I learned that women can achieve the impossible if we are working as one. From my role on the G-Team and listening to other speakers talk, I saw firsthand the work that we can accomplish if we bind together. I also realized how important it is for all Girl Scouts to encourage other girls to join the Girl Scouting Movement. In my life and in the lives of many other girls I have met, we would not have had the same learning experiences if we had not been in Girl Scouts, and this is something we need to share with the world! Girl Scouting is so powerful and positive, it should be spread to all!
   -Caroline S., G-Team

It’s vital that we keep girls and women in Girl Scouts, and doing so will change the world for the better.  By encouraging girls to go outside, learn about the world, and explore new places and ideas we can foster a new generation of Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, and Leaders!
   –Amanda M., Delegate

One thing I learned at convention that I wanted to bring back was how many amazing opportunities there are for Girl Scouts. Many people tend to think of Girl Scouts as sitting quietly at a table sewing and making baskets, but we have the opportunities to go rock climbing, hiking, camping, diving, swimming, and so, so much more.
   -Akela C., Delegate

I learned about how big the Girl Scouts is; that we have so many sisters around the United States and world. I will take back my excitement and passion for the future of Girl Scouts back to my service unit and troop.
   -Aidin M., Delegate

Is there anything else you want to share about your Convention experience?

For any girls who have the opportunity to go as a Delegate or just attend convention, you should. You might have to travel far but you will meet people from all over the world and as a Delegate you will get to leave your imprint on Girl Scouts. You might meet people with opposing views or people that have a different life path than you but being able to share this Girl Scout experience with so many other people is extremely inspiring. At convention, you are not only told how the world is your oyster but how you can make the work as your oyster and they encourage you to do so.
   -Lauren M., Delegate

I would encourage anyone if they have the opportunity to go to the 2020 National Girl Scout Convention in Orlando, FL. This event was truly life changing for everyone who attended, and the next convention will be too.
   -Caroline S., G-Team

Thank you, Girl Scouts, for representing GKSMO so incredibly well!

STEMing Ahead with Community Partners

Full STEM Ahead!! When it comes to STEM experiences, no organization offers girls the wide range of opportunities that Girl Scouts does. Just ask Girl Scout Troop 5571 from KCMO! This Brownie troop has taken full advantage of the many programs available through the Girl Scout Community Partner Program! In fact, the troop was so active and showcased so many cool things that at recruitment night, they grew from a troop of 6…to a troop of 22! WOW!

“The Community Partner [program] is great. Because we did so many last year, my troop grew from 6 to 22,” Renita Hudson, leader for Troop 5571 said.

Troop 5571 delivering cookies to Fire Station 37 in South KCMO, as a service project.

Showing photos from all their service projects and Community Partner programs really made a difference for parents who weren’t sure what exactly a Girl Scout troop experience was like. Renita was able to show that Girl Scouting is girl-led and that being in a troop gives girls access to experiences they would never be able to have outside the program. Where else can girls get on field experiences with the KC Chiefs, like Troop 5571 did just last month?! Only in Girl Scouts!

This was Renita’s first year leading the troop on her own and the Community Partner opportunities help her create a full troop experience without having to plan every detail. Last year, they participated in  events at Google Fiber, Avila University and the Belger Art Center, just to name a few. It certainly was a busy year of learning for these Brownies.

Renita Hudson and her daughter, Veronica at Inspire a Girl 2017 and participating in STEM activities.

In addition to Community Partner STEM programming, Renita received STEM training from GSKSMO trainer, Kate Hood. “Trainings with Kate were great. She said she was there for us beyond class. Since this is the first time leading on my own, it’s good to know I have someone who can help,” Renita said. The troop even received books to help the girls along their STEM journey. Once the training was over, Renita took the books to her girls and watched their faces light up.

“Just getting the Journey books and seeing all the choices they had made my girls so excited,” Renita said. “[Girl Scouts] is about building our girls up […] and STEM experiences led by women give them confidence.”

As a troop leader, Renita gets to see firsthand the interest in STEM spark in her young girls. For some, incorporating STEM programming can be intimidating, but as Renita has shown, by taking advantage of the programs already available through Girl Scouting, there’s no better place for a girl to grow as a leader in STEM and in life.

Thank you, Renita, for leading girls through STEM adventures. When parents see unrivaled opportunities and want their daughters to be G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)TM, the future looks BRIGHT for Girl Scouts! If you’d like to know more about the Community Partner Program or have an organization that would like to create opportunities for girls, check out our Community Partners page here!

Rock Chalk, STEM Hawks!

It’s fall and that means it’s a perfect time to get outdoors and get your hands dirty! For Girl Scouts, this included an exciting STEM day at Camp Tongawood, hosted by KU’s Biology department (the Ecology & Entomology graduate program students), who wanted to do their part in inspiring the next generation. As Andrew Mongue, a grad student lead on the project, said “One of our big motivators with these STEM activities is to provide encouragement and re-spark interest in girls at the critical ages.” Thanks to their work and innovative activities, girls were laughing their way to a love of science.

The University of Kansas (the Jayhawks), worked with Girl Scouts to create a program that not only inspires girls, but provides their grad students an opportunity to interact with kids. With grad programs taking 5-6 years, this community engagement helps keep the students motivated and gives Girl Scouts unique STEM experiences in the most critical time in their lives.

“…it really is a two-way street; I get encouragement from the girls’ excitement. A PhD is a long-term goal (5-6yrs) and at times I can lose sight of the passion that set me down this path. Working with kids who have nothing but pure wonder for the sciences and natural world helps remind me of my own passion for Biology,” Andrew said.

This year KU hosted a bug event where girls were able to capture bugs, look at them up-close and get guidance from Andrew (AKA “Ant-Man”) and Kaila Colyott (AKA “Wasp”). They ran around with nets, got into the creek and captured bugs on the ground. One of the most exciting parts for girls was watching normally sweet dragonflies eat prey in the enclosure!

In October, a larger project with more students from KU joined together for this rotation style STEM expo. Girls got to experience wide range of activities from looking at worms, fish and fungi under microscopes to changing colors with acids and learning about genetics! It was quite the experience for girls.

“…it’s important to develop and promote STEM learning outdoors, like Camp Tongawood. There is a lot of great ecology (read: really cool bugs among other things) in the countryside of Kansas that most people won’t interact with going about their daily routine. These places are great to explore nature are crucial nurturing that curiosity in kids,” Andrew said.

One of the favorite projects was an art project using fish specimens! That’s right! Girls picked a dead fish that had patterns/textures they found interesting and used paint to transfer the patterns on to pieces of white cloth, creating their own art pieces! What a cool way to explore animals and learn about what makes fish so interesting.

The acids and bases activity was a bubbly experience with some real chemistry magic! Adding either a base or an acid to a solution let girls watch it bubble, change colors and even smoke when dry ice was added. Girl Scouts learned about ocean acidification that is a concern for scientists and ways we can go about preventing it. What a colorful way to learn about chemistry.

Thanks to the KU Biology department for their hard work on this expo. Girls were raving about it and were clearly inspired! Together, we can keep inspiring young women to love science and create a bright future in science.

Supporting G.I.R.L.s Lasts a Lifetime and Beyond

Spotlighting our Newest Juliette Gordon Low Society Member: Ally Spencer

Early October brought Girl Scouts, volunteers and advocates together from all over the country for the ultimate gathering of G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)TM – the 2017 Girl Scout Convention (G.I.R.L. 2017). Among these delegates voting on the future of Girl Scouting was Ally Spencer and her daughter, Alex, a Girl Scout Senior from Kansas City , Missouri. Serving as delegates allowed these two to spend time together and help shape the future of an organization they’re passionate about. How passionate? Ally serves as Northland Encampment Director, service unit volunteer, troop leader and new member of the Juliette Gordon Low Society! Talk about a family that LOVES Girl Scouting!

Ally Spencer is a proud Girl Scout alumna, but feels her true Girl Scout journey began when Alex was in kindergarten. As often happens, a Daisy troop was forming, but had no leader. Ally hesitantly raised her hand after seeing no other volunteers and it was a life changing moment that has shaped the last decade of her life with her daughter.

“I sent a long email to my membership manager about my first year because it was so magnificent. I talked a lot about my challenges (the membership manager thought I was quitting most of the email she told me later), and ended it saying ‘thank you for one of the best years of my life,’” Ally said. That first year has turned into a decade of service, with her little GS Daisies now strong, independent GS Seniors.

Ally and Troop 2089 at the Kansas City Lyric Opera community partner event (left), at a troop meeting (center) and Alex, her daughter, receiving her Silver Award (right).

One thing Ally particularly loves is the support a service unit can give to new leaders, which ledto her volunteering on a larger scale. “Walking into a service unit meeting is wonderful. Your first year, you don’t know what to say, you don’t know what you don’t know…but at a service unit meeting, you have 30-40 troop leaders there representing probably 100 years+ worth of experience…all there ready to help you,” Ally said.

She took on becoming director of the Northland Encampment, a big event for the Northland Girl Scouts that’s very successful. The 2016 Encampment was a rainy, muddy weekend, but she loved how the Girl Scouts splashed in the mud and found a way to turn the rain into joy.

Northland Encampment over the years.

As a mother, Ally has loved watching her daughter grow into a strong young woman through Girl Scouting. At Convention, Alex had some hard decisions to make when she voted on national issues. After one particularly divided issue, Ally witnessed Alex not only continue to support her vote,  but spoke up to opposition who questioned her decision.

“My daughter said ‘you tell me I’m smart enough to be a delegate [and evaluate decisions] and that I can control our destiny, so I voted the way I thought was appropriate.’ It was a beautiful moment, I thought ‘she’s not a teenage girl right now, she’s an articulate, young lady.’ It’s moments like that you see [in Girl Scouts],” Ally said.

Experiences like this led Ally to join the Juliette Gordon Low Society while at National Convention. This society (previously known as the Trefoil Society at GSKSMO) is for anyone leaving a financial legacy to Girl Scouts in their estate plans.

Ally receiving her Juliette Gordon Low Society pin from Founding Chair, Dianne Belk (left & right). Ally posing with Dianne and Lawrence Calder (center).

“As someone in the corporate world, my time is money. Right now, I can give my time, but when I’m no longer able to give time, leaving a legacy means my giving can continue on past me,” Ally said. In a very special moment, Ally was pinned by JGL Society Founding Chair, Dianne Belk, at Convention.

 

We thank Ally for her service and continued dedication to Girl Scouts. Her volunteer work and leadership is helping girls become all they can be. By joining the Juliette Gordon Low Society, she is creating a positive future for the girls of tomorrow. Thank you for creating lasting change!

 

Do you know a special volunteer we should highlight? Tell us about her or him in the comments below.

Girl Scout Lingo, Decoded – Part 2

Everything a new Girl Scout Family Needs to Know

Did you catch the first part of this two-part blog story?! Read Part 1 here!

So now you’re familiar with the organization structure and the traditions; but what are all the Girl Scout awards, Girl Scout dates, acronyms about?!

Girl Scout Awards

Bronze. Silver. Gold. These represent the highest honors a Girl Scout can earn.

All three awards give your Girl Scout the chance to do big things while working on an issue that’s captured her interest. She might plant a community garden at her school or inspire others to eat healthy foods for her Bronze Award, advocate for animal rights for her Silver, or build a career network that encourages girls to become scientists and engineers for her Gold. Whatever she chooses, she’ll inspire others (and herself).

Bronze Award– achieved as a Girl Scout Junior (4th & 5th grade) as a troop or with a group of other Girl Scout Juniors.

Silver Award – completed as a Girl Scout Cadette (6th – 8th grade) individually or with 1 or 2 other Girl Scout Cadettes.

Gold Award – the highest and most prestigious award in Girl Scouting and earned individually as a Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador (9th – 12th grade). 80 hours is the suggested minimum hours for the steps: identifying an issue, investigating it thoroughly, getting help and building a team, creating a plan, presenting your plan, gathering feedback, taking action, and educating and inspiring others. A Girl Scouts’ Gold Award projects are not “one shot”—they create lasting change and have a sustainable impact in her community.

Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri celebrates and recognizes all Gold Award recipients annually at Inspire a Girl. Save the date! This year’s celebration is April 14, 2018 at the Overland Park Convention Center.

 

Girl Scout Calendar

Throughout the year, girls and adults celebrate some very special days in Girl Scouting!

  • Juliette Gordon Low’s birthday or Founder’s Day, October 31, marks the birth in 1860 of Girl Scouts of the USA founder Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Georgia.
  • World Thinking Day, February 22, celebrates the worldwide sisterhood of Girl Scouts / Girl Guides.
  • Girl Scouts’ birthday, March 12, commemorates the day in 1912 when Juliette Gordon Low officially registered the organization’s first 18 girl members in Savannah, Georgia.
  • Girl Scout Week is celebrated each March, starting with Girl Scout Sunday and ending with Girl Scout Sabbath on a Saturday, and it always includes Girl Scouts’ birthday, March 12.
  • Girl Scout Leader’s Day, April 22, honors all the volunteers who work as troop leaders and mentors in partnership with girls. On this day, girls, their families, and communities find special ways to thank their adult Girl Scout volunteers.
  • Girl Scouts’ national convention is celebrated every three years, and was just held earlier this month in Columbus, Ohio. Open to all, it was called G.I.R.L. 2017.

 

Girl Scout Terms & Acronyms

  • ABC Bakers– one of two Girl Scout Cookie bakers in the nation and the supplier for GSKSMO
  • Brand Center – online resource for using the Girl Scout brand.
  • Candy, Nuts & Magazines – The fall Product Sales program and a way for parents and leaders to coach their girls on the 5 Skills and a way for troops to earn funds for the first part of the year.
  • Community Partners – Organizations & Companies that partner with GSKSMO to provide Girl Scout related programming at free or reduced costs to Girl Scouts!
  • Council-Sponsored Trip – a trip organized by GSKSMO and open to troops and individual girls
  • Cookie Dough – awarded to Girl Scouts at various levels in the Cookie Program
  • Daisy’s Circle – a monthly giving program at GSKSMO
  • Destinations – for Girl Scouts 11 years old and older to travel with other Girl Scouts from all over the country.
  • Fall FUNds – awarded to Girl Scouts at various levels in the Candy, Nuts & Magazine Program
  • I.R.L. – Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader
  • GSUSA – Girl Scouts of the USA
  • GSKSMO – Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri
  • Indy Girl/Juliette – A Girl Scout who is taking the lead individually and not in a troop setting
  • Journey – a curriculum for Girl Scouts at every level to make a difference in the world and have fun doing it.
  • SACs- Safety Activity Checkpoints. When preparing for any activity with girls, always begin with the SACs written specifically for that particular activity.
  • Shop – The Girl Scout Shop is located at 8383 Blue Parkway Dr., Kansas City, MO 64133.
  • STEM – Science, Technology Engineering & Math
  • SU – Service Unit
  • SUM – Service Unit Manager
  • PSM – Product Sales Manager
  • VTK – Volunteer Toolkit, a digital resource that supports troop leaders and co-leaders, making the process of running a troop easier and more efficient.

 

Girl Scout Levels

All levels are Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts precedes the level on the first mention then the level on all mentions thereafter.

  • Girl Scout Daisy – girls in grades K – 1
  • Girl Scout Brownie – girls in grades 2 – 3
  • Girl Scout Junior – girls in grades 4 – 5
  • Girl Scout Cadette – girls in grades 6 – 8
  • Girl Scout Senior – girls in grades 9 – 10
  • Girl Scout Ambassador – girls in grades 11 – 12
  • Girl Scout Alumna – a female who was a member at ANY level of Girl Scouting, even if she was only a member one year.
  • Girl Scout Alumnae (pronounced: alum-knee) – a group of females who were a member of ANY level of Girl Scouting, even if they were only a member one year

 

World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts & World Centers

The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) is a 146-member organization that includes Girl Scouts of the USA. Its mission is to inspire girls and young women to reach their fullest potential as responsible citizens of the world.

World Centers offer Girl Scouts and Girl Guides a comfortable and safe place for short stays or long-term accommodations, seminars, training sessions, and international events. Members and their families are encouraged to visit the centers, meet girls from other countries, and build lasting friendships.

WAGGGS has World Centers located in Pax Lodge in the United Kingdom, Our Chalet in Switzerland, Our Cabana in Mexico, Sangam in India, and Kusafiri in Africa.

Girl Scouts for GSKSMO visited Pax Lodge and Our Chalet this past summer – watch our video!

Do you have a question about something that we didn’t address in either post? Let us know in the comments below!

Happy Girl Scouting!

Girl Scouting for Girls

Boy Scouts of America officially announced its plan to bring girls into its organization.  Girls can enter as Cub Scouts in 2018, and then by 2019 at other grade levels including high school girls who will be allowed to earn the Eagle Scout Award.  Girls and boys are not the same. Therefore, we do not agree that the Boy Scout Program meets the unique and specific needs of a girl’s leadership journey.

Girl Scouts has 105 years of experience in supporting girls to develop leadership skills in a girl-only supportive environment.  A girl’s life is primarily experienced in a coed environment.  Significant data and research suggests that girls thrive in an environment where they can experiment, take risks, succeed, fail and learn in the company of other girls.  Girl Scouts offers that in an outside the classroom experience. This extensive research guides our programs delivered in the unique way girls learn. Our focus on leadership skills development and preparing girls to meet future workplace demands offers progressive girl led opportunities throughout her Girl Scout experience.

We are incredibly proud to offer our more than 23,000 Girl Scouts opportunities for adventure, inspiration, and valuable mentoring. We offer hands-on, girl-centered learning in STEM, the outdoors, and entrepreneurship, and abundant opportunities to develop invaluable life skills. Girl Scouts helps all girls take the lead early and often.  Our highly valued volunteers and community leaders serve as role models and mentors for guiding girls in these experiences.

Our girls need even more opportunities to take the lead. Our girls need a girl-only safe space where they can grow their courage, confidence and character. Our girls need adult role models; women and men who will support them every step of the way.

A Girl Scout Dad Perspective

Jared Bixby, Education Professional from Manhattan, KS

Jared with his Girl Scout daughter fishing.

“As a father of a girl and a boy, I stand with Girl Scouts!

As a parent, my daughter does not come second.

As a parent, my son does not come second.

As a parent, I make sacrifices for the development of my kids because I want them to grow up to be strong, caring, successful individuals.

It’s not about convenience, Boy Scouts of America.

Let me repeat, it’s not about convenience, parents.

Our family is involved in soccer, 4-H, gymnastics, etc. These are things that our kids want to do and we make them happen for them. We take the interest of our kids and we find activities that match their interest and make them work. That’s what parents do.

It’s what’s best for your girl. I will not provide even the glimmer of thought that my daughter is second to my son because of convenience, Boy Scouts of America. My daughter deserves the best I can provide, and I trust in Girl Scouts and the 100+ years of research that guides their girl leadership development approach to do just that. That’s what I want for my daughter.

I challenge all dads of girls: Are you #ManEnoughToBeAGirlScout?

I AM!

My family strongly believes in the importance of the all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment that Girl Scouts provides, which creates a space for girls to learn and thrive. Girl Scouts works and we’re committed to preparing our daughter as a next generation woman leader with Girl Scouts.”

Want more information? Check out:

Girl Scouts is the Girl Leadership Expert

The Girl Scout Difference

The Case for Girl Scouts: Research & Data

How to be a G.I.R.L. this Halloween!

Halloween is just a few weeks away and we have some awesome G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)TM inspired suggestions for all our Girl Scouts! These costumes range in complexity, but you can always think outside the box to celebrate these outstanding women. Check out our suggestions and post your own below!

We’ve designated how difficult we think each costume would be (if you were to DIY it) with these symbols – ❧ = easy, ❧❧❧❧❧ = difficult. If you are already a soccer player or a ballerina, some of these may be easier for you!

 

Go-Getters

Alicia Alonso – Cuban ballerina highly regarded for her convincing portrayals of leading roles in the great works of classical and Romantic ballet.

Difficulty Level: ❧❧❧

 

Mia Hamm – is a retired professional soccer player, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion. She is hailed as a soccer icon.

Difficulty Level:

  • What you need:
    • Athletic shorts (soccer shorts – women’s)
    • Team USA Women’s soccer shirt (with a #9!)
    • Soccer cleats or tennis shoes
    • Hair: pulled back in a ponytail

Innovators

Jane Goodall  – British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace. Considered to be the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees, she is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute.

Difficulty Level: ❧❧

  • What you need:
    • Khaki shirt & shorts, tennis shoes
    • Notebook and pen – you’re taking notes on your observations!
    • A stuffed Chimpanzee is always a plus
    • Hair: pulled back in a ponytail

 

Katherine Johnson  – is an African-American mathematician who made contributions to the United States’ aeronautics and space programs with the early application of digital electronic computers at NASA. She is one of the main subjects of the movie Hidden Figures.

Difficulty Level: ❧❧❧

  • What you need:
    • 1950s inspired dress (you can usually find something in a thrift store. Some 1980s cotton dresses, sans the shoulder pads, can work! Just look for inspiration images). You can also use a white button-up shirt and patterned skirt.
    • Black cat-eye glasses
    • Notepad, calculator and pen/chalk – you have calculations to do!
    • Hair: 1950s styled (depending on your hair type, there are lots of tutorials online!)

 

Risk-takers

Cleopatra – One of Egypt’s last pharaohs, Cleopatra was a fierce queen who was one of the most powerful women in history.  She commanded armies at 21, spoke several languages and was highly educated.

Difficulty Level: ❧❧❧ (since Egyptian costume pieces are popular, we gave this an easier rating since you can find a lot of items in a thrift store)

  • What you need:
    • Dress & Accessories (DIY tutorial for gold jewelry & dress)
      • White, loose dress (or an Egyptian queen costume), tan sandals
      • Lots of gold accessories (bangles, rings and a neck collar)
      • Crown with snake or Egyptian crown – whatever you can find!
    • Hair: Black wig with gold headdress or braided black hair
    • Makeup: LOTS of black eyeliner, blue eyeshadow and mascara for a very bold eye

 

Malala Yousafzai – This education activist is the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. After being shot by the Taliban, Malala survived and has become a global advocate for education for girls.

Difficulty Level: ❧❧

  • What you need:
    • A colorful headscarf – aka: Hijab (to put your hair under)
    • A long shift dress and leggings. If you have access to traditional dresses like Malala wears, there are lots of options!
    • Bonus: a copy of I am Malala and a fake a Nobel Peace Prize to wear around your neck.

 

Leaders

Maya Angelou – was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences, the most famous of which is I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Difficulty Level: ❧❧

  • What you need:
    • A very bright headscarf for your hair (in a head wrap style). Get inspired here!
    • Black dress or blazer and shirt/skirt
    • Large pearl necklace & earrings.
    • Bonus: a copy of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings & a fake Presidential Medal of Freedom!

 

Sonya Sotomayor – is a Supreme Court Justice of the United States, serving since August 2009. She is the first Justice of Hispanic heritage, the first Latina and its third female justice.

Difficulty Level:

  • What you need:
    • Black graduation robe
    • Gavel
    • Hair: curled and down (if you have a shorter haircut).

 

BONUS: The Ultimate G.I.R.L.

Juliette Gordon Low – The founder of Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low left a legacy that has changed the lives of millions of women. This ultimate G.I.R.L was pretty spectacular – check out our past blog on her!

Difficulty Level: ❧❧❧

  • What you need:
    • A beige or dark dress with buttons and a collar with a brown belt around the waist.
    • Hair: Style under a Fedora style, brown hat. Decorate it with the Girl Scout trefoil in the center using black felt!
    • Bonus: Get an old book you can mark up and write “Girl Scouts” across the front to look like you’re on official Girl Scout business.

Are you dressing up as another awesome G.I.R.L.? Tell us all about your creative idea below in the comments.

Girl Scout Lingo, Decoded – Part 1

Everything a new Girl Scout Family Needs to Know

So you’ve signed your girl up to Lead like a Girl Scout! Maybe you’re a brand new Girl Scout family, or perhaps you’re rejoining the Movement as an adult to empower your girl the opportunity to stand up, speak up and take action! Whichever situation you’re in, you may be feeling a bit lost with all the Girl Scout lingo that’s being thrown around! Well, we’re here to help and get you fully into the Girl Scout loop!

Across the United States, Girl Scouts are 2.6 million strong—1.8 million girls and 800,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world.

Our extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, we’ve honored her vision and legacy, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.

Organizational Structure
Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) is our overarching organization
Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri (GSKSMO) is one of 112 Girl Scout councils in the country
Service Unit is a community of volunteers and girls in Troops within a geographic area within our council
Troop is a group of girls who get together to earn badges, go on field trips and explore the outdoors regularly and who belong to a service unit.

Uniform
Girl Scouts at each level now wear one required element (tunic, sash, or vest) to display official pins and awards. Girls can mix and match pieces from the official Girl Scout collection to complete the uniform, or add items from their own wardrobes! Learn where the different insignias go on her uniform here!

Fun patches (items received to commemorate an event, occasion, or product sales recognitions) always go on the back of the tunic, sash or vest.

Girl Scout Sign
Girl Scouts make the Girl Scout sign—raising three fingers of the right hand with the thumb holding down the pinky—when they say the Girl Scout Promise. The three fingers represent the three parts of the Promise.

Motto
The Girl Scout motto is “Be prepared.” In the 1947 Girl Scout Handbook, the motto was explained this way: “A Girl Scout is ready to help out wherever she is needed. Willingness to serve is not enough; you must know how to do the job well, even in an emergency.” The same holds true today.

Slogan
The Girl Scout slogan, which has been used since 1912, is “Do a good turn daily.” The slogan is a reminder of the many ways girls can contribute positively to the lives of others.

Greeting
Girl Scouts can greet one another with the Girl Scout handshake, used by Girl Scouts and Girl Guides all over the world. The handshake is made by shaking hands with the left hand and making the Girl Scout sign with the right. The left hand is nearest to the heart and signifies friendship.

Friendship Circle
Representing the unbroken chain of friendship among Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world, the Friendship Circle involves Girl Scouts standing in a circle, crossing their right arms over their left, and clasping hands with their friends on both sides. Everyone then makes a silent wish as a friendship squeeze is passed from hand to hand around the circle.

 SWAPS
Girl Scouts often make small tokens of friendship to exchange with the Girl Scouts they meet while traveling. These little gifts are called “SWAPS,” which stands for “Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere.”

We hope this brings a little more understanding to the awesome world that is Girl Scouting! Stay tuned for part 2 of Girl Scout Lingo, Decoded next week where we’ll break down the Girl Scout calendar and dive into acronyms commonly used in Girl Scouting! Have a specific question? Leave them in the comments below!