Inspired by Daisy

 Troops Follow Founder’s Footsteps as Philanthropists

Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of Girl Scouts, was not only an advocate for girls, she was also a philanthropist. She sold her valuable strand of pearls to provide funding for Girl Scouts in its early days. Today, troops are stepping up and becoming the philanthropists of tomorrow by joining Daisy’s Circle, the monthly giving program for our council.

Daisy’s Circle is named for Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low. By becoming members of Daisy’s Circle, troops are giving back to other girls so they can have a full Girl Scouting experience. Troops began joining Daisy’s Cirlce in 2016 (Troop 879) and we now have 6 amazing troops who are giving back to girls. Check out these awesome troops making a difference for sister Girl Scouts!


GS Cadette Troop 956 – Lenexa, KS

“I really wanted to help girls that couldn’t do Girl Scouts because it’s really fun and I like it.” – Alyssa E. (age 12)

Troop 956 selected Daisy’s Circle as their organization to donate to because the girls wanted to give to other girls in the program. Since they love Girl Scouts, they wanted to give to help other girls have the same opportunities. To help them understand what being a donor meant, Melissa Ford from the GSKSMO Philanthropy team, came to teach the girls about giving back at a troop meeting. After learning about Daisy’s Circle, the girls decided to join! The program is special to them and something they want to invest in because of the experiences they get working together as a troop. “Girl Scouts gives my girls, who wouldn’t necessary spend time together without Girl Scouts, the chance to be around other perspectives and learn to work together,” Wendee Egbert, troop leader said.

GS Junior Troop 1323 –

“I wanted people who couldn’t afford to be in Girl Scouts to be able to have a way to join and do all the fun stuff other Girl Scouts get to do all over the world.” -Allie R. (age 10)

For Troop 1323, the decision to join Daisy’s Circle showed a real commitment to having the voice of the entire group represented. When Kara Lineweber (from the Philanthropy team at GSKSMO) came to talk to the girls about philanthropy, only half the troop was present and they wanted to make sure everyone got to vote before deciding to join. At the next meeting, the girls who had been at the presentation explained the power of giving back to the other troop members and they voted to join. As troop leader Erin said, “by simply saying YES, the girls are proud member of Daisy Circle and wearing their pins!” This troop gives back all year through donations funded with their cookie proceeds, service projects and any other opportunity they see!

 

GS Multilevel Troop 0009 & Troop 1795 –

“Joining the Daisy Circle is important because it is a big way to give back to what the Council does for us. Without these donations, we wouldn’t be able to do the events and camps.  Together, if we all step in and donate, our Girl Scout experience will be even better.” – Brynna N. (age 13)

 “It was important to join Daisy’s Circle because it’s a way for our troop to give back to Girl Scouts and for other girls to participate in GS activities!” – Regan J. (age 15)

Troop 0009 and Troop 1795 joined Daisy’s Circle together since the two troops work together on a lot of projects. Led by amazing leaders, these troops are certainly Go-Getters – doing everything they can to give back. For Troop 1795, the decision was easy once the girl heard about the challenges some Girl Scouts, right next door, face just to go to troop meetings. “We talked about how in KCMO school district, some parents work two jobs to make ends meet and that not everyone can afford the things my girls take for granted – uniforms, activities, etc.  Our girls decided unanimously that they wanted to give back to other Girl Scouts,” Amy Rothery-Colin, Troop 1795 leader said.

Troop 0009 joined because they are a troop built on a love of giving back. This troop is all about service – kicking off their annual meetings in August with a service project at a soup kitchen to bond. Their leader, Mary Ellen Hughes, has developed a culture of giving back because she took on the troop when it was in need of a leader and told the girls that sometimes you have to be the one to do something when you see a problem. That made an impact on the girls and they’re now proud Daisy’s Circle members!

GS Multilevel Troop 4222 –

“We wanted to do good things for other girls who want to do good things and make the world a better place!” – Eden (age 11)

In the fall of 2017, Troop 4222 started learning all about money and budgeting. After a trip to the Federal Reserve Bank at Kansas City, the girls worked on their own budgets based on their cookie money earnings. Troop leaders Amy and Erin encouraged them to dream about what they wanted to do with their money as part of their budget. Nearly every girl had dreams of giving back. Remembering Daisy’s Circle from Inspire a Girl 2017, the leaders asked Kara to come teach the girls about philanthropy. After that, the girls voted 5 to 0 to join and now sport their awesome pins on their vests with pride! “The entire process was such a learning experience, but the real excitement was the very cool Daisy Circle pins and patches!  The girls are SUPER happy to sport those on their uniforms,” Troop Leader Amy Jones said.

Thank you to all our amazing G.I.R.L.s who are giving back to help other girls THRIVE in Girl Scouts! Together, we truly are building up one another in the world of Girl Scouting. You can read more about our first Daisy’s Circle troop, Troop 879 here! THANK YOU to all our incredible donors who make Girl Scouting possible.

Giving Back to the Community that Raised Her

Gold Award Girl Scouts are an extra special group of high-achieving women who are driven to make the world a better place as girl members and throughout their life. When you add “Lifetime member” and “Daisy’s Circle member” to that category, you get an awesome, unstoppable G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)TM! Meet Elizabeth Shyanne Adcock (although she goes by Shyanne)! This amazing Girl Scout not only has invested in her community with a powerful Gold Award project, but is investing in the future of the program she loves so dearly as a member of Daisy’s Circle.

Shyanne started her Girl Scout journey as a Daisy, as young as she could. “I really don’t ever remember NOT being in Girl Scouts,” Shyanne said. She has fond memories of cookie sales, events and giving back through service projects. Most importantly, she remembers the sisterhood she had. “I’m dyslexic, so learning the Promise and Law took me twice as long as the other girls, but when I finally got it down, everyone was so happy. I’ve always had support behind me in Girl Scouts,” Shyanne said.

One of the highlights was her Highest Award projects – all of which included flowers! Her Bronze Award project involved creating flower pots they donated to a local school that are still in use today! For Silver, she helped grow plants from seeds to donate. It’s only natural that she’d find a way to incorporate flowers into her Gold Award! Like many Girl Scouts, Shyanne had several amazing ideas, but hit some roadblocks within the community on what she could pursue. Finally, her prayer garden project was approved and she was able to make a beautiful addition to her town. “I wanted to find a way to give back to the community that raised me, which is why I worked so hard to find a project I could do,” Shyanne said.

Shyanne planted two prayer gardens – one in her town of Missouri City, MO and the second about a mile away one in a very small town nearby. She reached out to community members who donated artwork, garden decorations, lights, a bench and other items to make the gardens full of interesting elements. She even got a statue donated! Now, her gardens serve as a peaceful place for prayer and contemplation for those in her community.

After completing her Gold, Shyanne attended a meeting with her former troop leader, MaryEllen Hughes where the troop was being inducted into Daisy’s Circle for joining. Moved by what Girl Scouts had given her, Shyanne stepped up and decided to become a member that night as well. “Girl Scouts has done a lot for me and knowing that there are girls who can’t do Girl Scouts because of money just really hit me. I feel like Daisy’s Circle is a good place for my money,” Shyanne said.

Now Shyanne is attending University of Central Missouri as a graphic design major and discovering what she wants to do as a career. In April 2018, Shyanne will receive her Gold Award pin at Inspire a Girl and we can’t wait to watch her proudly walk across that stage. This amazing G.I.R.L. is a great example of not only a Girl Scout, but a philanthropist, looking to the future of the program that gave her a supportive, loving sisterhood of girls.  Thank you, Shayanne!

If you’re interested in joining Daisy’s Circle like Shayanne, visit http://www.daisyscircle.org!

Giving to Help Girls Tell Their Story

In November, GSKSMO asked supporters to help a girl tell her own, unique story by helping her fill her Girl Scout vest. Thanks to the generosity of donors, we raised $12,223.25, which has provided funding to cover the membership dues of 488 local girls who are now able to start telling their Girl Scout story – all thanks to you. A major part of the success of this campaign was a matching gift provided by Sylvia Wagner and E.R. Pullman. As a former board member, Sylvia discovered the power of Girl Scouts is something to invest in because girls are our most powerful resource.

Sylvia Wagner is a former GSKSMO Board Member and philanthropist who advocates for girls and serves as a volunteer and board member for a variety of incredible organizations across multiple states. As the VP of HR for Assurant in New York, Sylvia became a GSKSMO Board Member in the mid-1990s when she moved to Kansas City from Minneapolis. During her time as a Board Member, she learned about the amazing programming and stories of Girl Scouts inspiring her to be a champion for girls.

She first felt the power of a match herself while at a meeting where a match was offered for any gifts given that night. “I was at an evening meeting with Joy Wheeler and other Girl Scouts supporters, where they asked us to make a gift and said ‘if you give tonight, it will be matched.’ I thought ‘oh, that’s really great’ and I gave. This year, when I was asked me to give a match, I did because I think it really matters when there’s a match opportunity,” Sylvia said.

Sylvia is certainly right! Thanks to the gift, #GivingTuesday 2017 was a larger success than GSKSMO has ever seen with this campaign. Girls are celebrating with new vests, new patches and memberships already. With hundreds of girls waiting for funding through the Opportunity Fund at GSKSMO, the money raised helps these girls fulfill their Girl Scouting dreams.

The motivating force for Sylvia to give is the power of the Girl Scouts program and what it offers to girls today. When she joined the Board, she knew very little about the program. She had a son who was a Boy Scout, but she was not a Girl Scout alumna. During her many years of service on the Board, she learned just how life changing the program is. “I’m proud to say I became a Girl Scout in my 40s…which is a little older than most, but it was really fun!,” Sylvia said.

Sylvia and E. Robert Pullman with their son, Nick, in California and celebrating his JD/MBA graduation.  DNF18

“Girl Scouts reinforces all the right things for girls and the programs are just wonderful [… and] when you hear the experiences these girls have, it’s the most compelling reason to give,” said Sylvia. In addition to empowering girls through giving, she loves the sense of gratitude she receives from the Council. “They have a wonderful sense of gratitude, and that makes a world of difference,” Sylvia said.

Gratitude overflows at Girl Scouts because, as an organization, it is built on volunteers and donors who change lives. From troop leaders who are on the ground, working directly with girls, to the donors who build rappel walls and support girls in need, Girl Scouts is a community of people who believe in girls. Because of that, we’re all thankful for everyone who works together to make Girl Scouting a reality.

“[In today’s climate], it’s really important for girls to have a positive place to be, to have positive role models and know that they have not only have a voice, but to use it. That’s what the Girl Scouts enables in these young, impressionable girls,” Sylvia said. That’s why now is an especially important time to give, to invest in girls and give them the tools they need to be the leaders of tomorrow.

Ensuring Girl Entrepreneurs SHINE!

When it comes to cookie sales, a personalized sales pitch, customer follow-up and a successful delivery are all key to Girl Scout success. In fact, those same skills lead to a powerful sales person in any industry. Girl Scout cookie dad, Shawn Muller should know! He’s a real estate agent and has served as cookie dad for Troop 545 for the past 5 years. What makes Shawn such an awesome volunteer is his application of skills he uses in his job, combined with a passion for helping his daughter (and her Girl Scout sisters) succeed. Because of volunteers like Shawn, girls are becoming the CEOs and sales leaders of the future!

Shawn became his troop’s cookie dad about 5 years ago when they needed someone with financial experience. His daughter, Maya, was in kindergarten and this was his first experience with Girl Scouting. Though his first year was intimidating, he jumped in and found resources to make it a great experience.  “The cookie manager training [at GSKSMO] was definitely helpful in terms of getting my comfort up, but I learned a lot of lessons that first year,” Shawn said.

Despite having some of those hard lessons to learn, Shawn got 100% troop participation in the program that first year and continues to have amazing success. As a cookie dad, he finds being organized helps everyone. At the first cookie meeting, Shawn gives out a wall calendar with the cookie dates already marked and a quick reference guide to make it easier to understand and manage for busy parents.

“One of my big things was just making sure parents understood the information. The wall calendars came from my day job as a real estate agent, I always send out wall calendars in December, so it was an easy thing to do,” Shawn said.

Shawn loves being cookie dad because it allows him to spend time with his daughter in an activity she’s passionate about. “On the most basic level, [Girl Scouts] makes her happy. She’ll come home from a troop meeting or an extra activity and she’s always excited and feeling like she accomplished something,” Shawn said.

For Shawn and Maya, the cookie season especially has become a chance for them to work together and for him to teach her sales skills. “This year, someone made an online order, so I took the opportunity to teach her about follow-up. She recorded a short video message and sent it to them on Facebook Messenger and that got a really good response. Now she’s learning that showing appreciation is important,” Shawn said. What an awesome way for dad and daughter to bond while teaching Maya to be an awesome G.I.R.L.?!

After 5 years on the job, Shawn has learned a few things. One of his best tips for increasing sales and helping the community is Cookie Share. “When the girls are asking for someone’s business, it’s such an easy thing to also say ‘I’m raising money in support of the Veterans’ Hospital and Harvesters, would you like to donate some boxes?,’ most of the time, people will say ‘yes.’ That charity aspect is important and I try to help my troop remember that as they sell,” Shawn said.

This amazing cookie dad loves his role as a volunteer and to other Girl Scout dads, “I’d say, 100%, dads should get involved in Girl Scouts and not be afraid of it. It’s so important for the girls to see that dads are interested and involved,” Shawn said. Without our amazing volunteers – moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends – Girl Scouts would not exist. So thank you to Shawn and all the other amazing cookie parents who make this program a success!

Do you have some awesome cookie season tips to share? Comment below!

The Power of Finding Yourself

Spotlighting Girl Scout Alumna Mackenzie Williams

Outdoor experiences are at the heart of Girl Scouting and help girls discover themselves. From leadership to physical fitness, Girl Scouts learn to be independent, strong women, in part thanks to outdoor activities and camping adventures. Most importantly, girls learn to rely on themselves in the outdoors. For Girl Scout alumna, Mackenzie Williams, living a life of adventure in the outdoors has turned into an exciting career of travel and independence.

Mackenzie started Girl Scouts as a girl in the Olathe/Desoto, KS area, but found her particular troop wasn’t a right fit for her. “I wish my parents had enrolled me in Girl Scouts sooner and treated it like you would soccer, something you just do. I didn’t join Girl Scouts until I asked and looking back, I wish that it had been part of my life earlier,” Mackenzie said.

At the age of 19, Mackenzie started travelling the US by herself, filling a personal need to travel and be outdoors. While it made her parents nervous, the experience changed her life. “When you get way out of your comfort zone and put yourself in different situations you learn about yourself in unique and different ways that you wouldn’t experience any other way,” Mackenzie said. During these travels she found a passion for the outdoors and getting people to experience nature.

At 21, she was able to work as a wilderness ranger in California’s Sequoia National Forest. “I’m very passionate about women doing jobs that are considered ‘male jobs,’ like being a park ranger. I had a hiker say to me ‘wow, women can do this job?’ and I remember saying ‘yes, we sure can!’” Mackenzie said. She was one of the strongest hikers on her team, averaging a mile ahead of the group, all despite being only 5’ and one of only two women on the team. Talk about an awesome G.I.R.L!

Today, Mackenzie is back in Kansas finishing her degree in Psychology at the University of Kansas. She plans to return to nature in the summer and become a ranger again. Recently, Mackenzie reconnected with her troop leader Leslie who opened the door to the outdoors when she was a younger Girl Scout. The two decided to have Mackenzie come speak to the girls about solo travel, independence and being a woman in a male-centric career.

 

Mackenzie talking to Leslie’s troop about her experiences with solo travel and being a wilderness ranger in 2017.

“[In Girl Scouts] you are learning these skills, which at the time you have no idea how important those lessons will be when you are older. It’s those little things, those skills, that knowledge, that builds a foundation for girls,” Mackenzie said. That’s why she loves coming back and reconnecting with Girl Scouts to share her knowledge and inspire girls to learn about themselves through solo travel and trying new things.

We thank Mackenzie and all the amazing G.I.R.L.s who are out there showing the world that there’s not job a girl can’t do AND coming back to share that knowledge with Girl Scouts today. It takes a village to raise a Girl Scout and Mackenzie is being part of that support system, encouraging independence and adventure. Thank you, Mackenzie! And AWESOME troop leaders like Leslie change girls lives. We are so incredibly honored to support volunteers like Leslie! Thank you, Girl Scout volunteers for growing these  G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers and Leaders)!!