‘Twas The Night Before a G.I.R.L. Christmas

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays, Girl Scouts! We are wishing you a warm, safe holiday with your friends and families. As the holiday season is upon us, we will be taking a short break from the blog. But don’t forget to subscribe to the right – we’ll be back in 2018 with some amazing stories you won’t want to miss!

Happy Holidays to all!!

 

‘Twas the night before a G.I.R.L. sleepover Christmas, and all through the Girl Scout House

All the girls were stirring, creating smiles for all, even the mouse,

Their patches had been sewn (or Badge-Magiced) on their sashes with care,

And hopes that a new skill-building badge soon would be there,

 

The Girl Scouts were nestled all snug in their beds

With plans for service projects dancing their heads

And in the corner there sat many camp SWAPS filled caps

And Journey books sat open on those little Girl Scouts’ laps

 

When all at once one G.I.R.L. jumped, the book falling with a clatter

“I know of a Take Action project we can do that really will matter,

It won’t be easy, it won’t be quick, but it’ll be real smash!

And  we can put a pin upon our sash.”

 

So the Girl Scouts ran out to the new-fallen snow

And danced with great joy of their plans, their eyes all a-glow,

For they would tell their leader of their idea to give back,

And knew that they could help fix something their community did lack.

 

Then they ran back inside, all wet and cold

And telling their leader of their plans, she/he was sold.

They started making lists for when the morning came,

And finally gave their Bronze Award project a beautiful name.

 

“Now it’s time for you all to get some good rest,

For this project to work, we need your minds at their best,”

Said their leader with glee

And the girls went to sleep, ready to help you and me.

 

This is the story of so many Girl Scout nights

For in troop meetings you see minds become very bright lights,

Together we help raise strong G.I.R.L.s for tomorrow

And their excitement and joy we all would do well to borrow.

 

So thank you to all for what you give all year,

You’re making a difference, and we hold it so dear.

Merry Christmas to all and your families near and far

Your Girl Scout family is with you, wherever you are!

 

Hard Work, Supportive Parents & Being Polite Leads to SWEET Success

Spotlight on 2017 Top Cookie Seller, Brownie Paige T.

Happy Girl Scout Cookie Season! The 2018 Cookie Program officially kicked off today, December 21st! The year’s program is starting two weeks earlier thanks to your feedback. We hope that this earlier start date allows Girl Scouts to practice the 5 Skills in a setting where they’re surrounded by close friends and family before expanding to your communities after the first of the year!

One Girl Scout who is ready and eager to kick her business off is Brownie, Paige T.! For the past two years Paige has used the 5 Skills and has kept her business plan simple – set goals and be polite.

It’s proven to be a pretty good business plan, if you ask us! In 2017, at just seven years old and in her second year of the Cookie Program, Paige was our council’s top cookie seller – selling 3,202 packages of Girl Scout Cookies. (In case you’re wondering, she sold 2,137 in her first year.)

“[Selling Cookies] takes politeness. If they say ‘no,’ thank them anyway. They might come back,” Paige explained.

Maggie Thomas, Paige’s mom, is a troop leader and helps with the cookie cupboard. She loves seeing her daughter blossom through the program and apply the skills in other aspects of her life.

“[The Cookie Program] is important to me because it lets her set the goal, meet the goal and have the sense of accomplishment. It’s enhanced her math skills and taught her how to interact with adults in a respectful manner and guide her own path,” Maggie said.

In the Cookie Program, we like to help sweeten that sense of accomplishment and incentivize girls to reach their goals with our cumulative recognition levels. Those recognition levels have helped Paige set her goals each year.

Since starting her business in 2016, Paige has earned herself a new luggage set, a chrome book, suite tickets to Girl Scout Day at the K and a swimming pool, just to name a few of the items.

On top of the recognitions Paige understands that selling cookies earns money for her troop to give back to their community and do awesome things like go camping; her favorite thing to do in Girl Scouts.

“I like being able to sleep in the bunk and spend time with my Girl Scout friends and earn badges!”

“We support her goals, and her participation in door to door and booth sales is dependent on her being current on her school work,” Maggie explains; “When she gets tired we ask if she’s ready to be done and that sets her aflame again and she is determined that she’ll finish!”

As you might imagine, Paige has her goal set for 2018 and it’s pretty simple too – sell more than last year and earn those Girl Scout Day at the K suite tickets again!

We wish Paige and all Girl Scouts an awesome 2018 Cookie Season and can’t wait to see all you accomplish (and earn)!

We would love to know what goals you’re working towards this year and how you’re innovative with your Cookie Business, so let us know in the comments below!

An ANGEL for Girl Scouts

For every Girl Scout, there are volunteers that make a difference in her life. Whether it’s a troop leader, parent volunteer or community member, these volunteers influence a girl’s future by showing her a big, bright world ahead of her. For Girl Scouts in Holden, KS, Angel Mallen certainly lives up to her name as an angel for girls. Coming from a low income background, Angel is able to connect to Girl Scouts with economic issues in a unique way…through a shared experience.

Growing up, Angel wanted to be a Girl Scout, but her single, working mother wasn’t able to provide the financial support to continue in the program. The cookie program became her biggest hurdle because they didn’t have a physical address or place to store cookies. When your address is more often your family truck rather than a home, it becomes difficult to sign-up for things like cookie sales.

It’s sad to imagine what an amazing Girl Scout Angel would have been had financial obstacles not prevented her from continuing. “I was one of those ‘Go-getter’ kids, so I loved badges,” said Angel. Fortunately, today’s Girl Scouts have more options than Angel did. At GSKSMO, we are constantly workings to ensure that no girl is turned away because of a family’s financial situation and we are innovating ways to build the Opportunity Fund for girls just like Angel.

Despite the setback, Angel became a business owner who sold her business and was able to retire at age 46! Talk about a SERIOUS go-getter! She now leads a multi-age troop for girls in her community, many of whom are low income girls, just like she was.

“I bring fresh vegetables and herbs to meetings because some of my girls have never seen these types of fresh foods.” said Angel. This innovative thinking comes from personal experience with the problems these girls face. She recently did a project to teach strength by having her troop use their voice and get a glow stick (representing their strength lighting the way in a dark room) until they lit up the room where all the lights were out except for a lamp that Angel had. She then turned down her own lamp, showing them that now they have the strength to light up a dark room and didn’t need her guidance when they learned to be strong. What an inspiring way to teach girls about working together to face their fears!

One of the other things Angel loves is helping girls sell cookies so they can have experiences like Girl Scout Day at the K. “When we got to do Day at the K last year, that was the first time most of my girls had seen a Royals game that wasn’t on a TV,” said Angel.

Thanks to Angel, more than 40 girls have a place to call home in Girl Scouts. Her troop has expanded from 15 Daisies to over 40 girls from Daisy through Junior Girl Scouts. Even with her early setback with Girl Scouts, she believes in the program because of its ability to empower. “Rather than being told you can’t do things because you’re a girl…you’re told you CAN do things BECAUSE you’re a girl,” said Angel.

In addition to the live skills and empowerment, Girl Scouts just provides a level playing field. “When you give to Girl Scouts, you’re giving girls the chance to fit in. Girl Scouts may be the only place where they have a vest like everyone else and get to do activities like everyone else…rather than being left out,” said Angel.

All year, volunteers like Angel are changing lives as troop leaders, service unit volunteers and parent helpers. Without your gifts of your time, your talent and your treasure, Girl Scouts couldn’t exist. As the year comes to a close we thank leaders, like Angel, who recognize their girls’ unique needs and work to provide them a solid support system.

If you’d like to provide a Girl Scout in need a uniform or invest in programming that directly impacts local girls, please consider an end of the year gift today. www.gsksmo.org/donate.

A Horse Trip of a Lifetime

Spotlight on Girl Scout Cadette Kylee F.

For Girl Scouts who are go-getters, love adventure, want to explore the world around them and make new friends – Girl Scout Destinations is where it’s at!

This summer Girl Scout Cadette Kylee F. spent a week in the Rocky Mountains with Girl Scouts of Colorado on the Colorado Horseback Adventure – considered the horse trip of a lifetime! She flew into Denver International Airport and spent the day at a Girl Scout Camp in Woodland Park, CO where she got to zipline, shoot archery and participate in some low ropes activities getting to know others on her Destination!

The group then traveled to Bear Basin Ranch in Westcliffe, CO where their days were full of trail rides, white water rafting and rustic cowgirl camp outs! The Destination culminated with an overnight horse pack trip in the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range 12,000 feet above sea level!

“I really like horses and I wanted to travel somewhere else. I looked into it during the school year and [Colorado Horseback Adventure] looked the most fun so I chose that one! I really wanted to go on [a Destination] to explore new places.”

Studies have shown that Girl Scouts are more likely than non–Girl Scouts to practice goal setting, problem solving, risk taking, and leadership—key skills for the 21st century. Through Girl Scouting, girls realize their leadership potential through a variety of experiences, skill-building opportunities, and connections.

This Destination experience was something that Kylee worked really hard for. It took financial goal setting and preparation to make this trip a reality. Kylee used her Destination to help market her babysitting business, applied for (and received!) a scholarship through Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri and more money earning activities. By the time Kylee returned from Colorado, she had met her goal of funding her trip!

In fact, while waiting to board her plane home, an older woman engaged in conversation with Kylee about her experience in Colorado. Through conversation, the woman shared that she had owned horses in the past. And this wonderfully kind woman made a gift toward Kylee’s trip as well.

Being a Girl Scout not only helped Kylee prepare for the trip financially, but mentally and physically as well. Going to Colorado she already knew first aid, how to pack, put up a tent and build a fire. But most notably Kylee credits Girl Scouts with giving her the skills to make new friends and carry conversations with people she’s never met before.

“Destinations help you get out of your house and off your technology to see what’s actually out there. I would recommend this adventure to all Girl Scouts so they can experience adventures that they may not be able to normally,” Kylee said!

The second round of Girl Scout Destination applications are due Feb. 15. Where will you #TravelLikeaGirlScout?!

 

Holiday Gift Ideas for G.I.R.L.s!

Looking for some creative gift ideas for an awesome G.I.R.L (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)? We have scoured the internet for some of the coolest gifts for girls that will inspire them to innovate and lead! If you see an item from Amazon, don’t forget to use Amazon Smiles to give back to Girl Scouts FREE (https://smile.amazon.com/ch/43-0892926).

Go-Getter

  • Cost Effective ($8.99 eBook or $14.75 paperback)
    • Teens Cook: How to Cook What You Want to Eat – this fun book will empower the Go-Getter in your life to learn her way around the kitchen. She can take charge and after learning these recipes and techniques, explore her own creations. You might even start getting dinners out of it!
  • Splurge ($98.97)
    • Slackers NinjaLine 36’ Intro Kit – get ready to be a strong leader! Let your GIRL imagine she’s a ninja with this amazing ninja training kit that can be fun for the whole family. This does take some installation in your yard, so be sure to measure and check details before getting this kit.

Innovator

  • Cost Effective ($11.99 and up)
    • Roominate Kits – ready to BUILD and imagine? Roominate was created by two female engineers who wanted girls to have an option to play with dolls…but in a more STEM focused way. These kits let girls build with circuits, motors, walls and other pieces put together endless new creations.
  • Splurge ($75.00)

Risk-taker

  • Cost Effective ($14.99)
    • Star Wars Rey Action Figure – talk about a GIRL! Rey from Star Wars is an inspiring alternative to a typical doll. She’s searching for her place in the world while being brave and a leader.
  • Splurge ($44.95)
    • Spooner Boards Freestyle – get ACTIVE! His cool board lets girls try out different types of board activities all in a safe design. Geared more for younger girls, this is a great way to get them excited about physical fitness.

Leader

  • Cost Effective ($18.95)
    • “I Never Forget a Face!” Memory Game – any leader knows that learning people’s names and leading by example is really important. Help your girl work on her memory with this fun match game for girls 3 – 9 years of age! What a great way to start talking to your girl about the importance of learning about people and their unique cultures.
  • Splurge ($65.00)
    • RoKC Climbing Lock-in – girls learn amazing things through cooperation and physical activity. Help your girl learn the teamwork and leadership needed in rock climbing by getting her a RoKC Climbing Lock-in Experience with Girl Scouts! It’s another exciting item that doesn’t clutter her already full room.

A special thanks to A Mighty Girl for some of these awesome gift ideas! We have TONS of cost effective Girl Scout activities that make great gifts as well, so if you’re looking for more ideas, visit our Activities page. Many of these are special Girl Scout activities that give your girl amazing opportunities for a low cost.

What awesome GIRL-inspired gifts are you getting for your Girl Scouts? Share in the comments below!