Girl Scouts Inspire Girl Scouts

Spotlight on Girl Scout Cadette, Channing Saint Onge

Do you remember the story we told you last year about FIRST LEGO League Participants, Troop 1987?! Girl Scout (newly bridged) Cadette, Channing Saint Onge sure does. Troop 1987 inspired her to take lead like a Girl Scout and establish a FIRST LEGO League team within her own troop…but that’s just the beginning!

From Troop 5177 out of Lawrence, KS, “Sleep Squad” was formed. A team of five Girl Scouts and their troop leader and coach, Kristi Kamm got to work learning all they could about FIRST LEGO League (FLL) and preparing for their first season of competition! In their first year of local competition, they finished in the top 30 teams, and even got to meet their inspiration (turned now competition!) the J. Gordon Low Resistance!

Teams J. Gordon Low Resistance and Sleep Squad at the local FIRST LEGO League Competition

Channing fell in love with robotics through this program and wanted to continue working with Ollie (their robot) after competition wrapped up last December.

“I like that I get to work with a team and I really like programming. It’s not super hard for me and it’s not super easy, either.” Channing said.

She founded Egno Robotics – a passion project and nonprofit-in-the-making to introduce robotics to other Girl Scouts and it’s become a family affair (Egno is part of Channing’s last name, backwards)!

Having watched his big sister have all the fun, Thurston wanted to join in too so Channing, Thurston and Kristi developed a three station workshop for elementary girls to learn the basics of robotics. Kristi leads a station teaching girls (and adults) about FIRST LEGO League, Thurston teaches circuits and Channing brings it all together showcasing Ollie and leading girls through building a robot!

“We figured we could help troops trying to earn these robotics badges. They don’t have the robots, but we do! It’s been fun to learn how to teach girls and be patient,” Channing said!

Left: Channing with robot, Ollie. Right: Channing teaching Girl Scouts about Robotics.

Egno Robotics piloted the program in their own troop, helping all girls earn their Junior Robotics badge and it has expanded from there! Channing presented Egno Robotics at a Service Unit meeting and has since conducted the workshops to five more troops in just the last six months with the hopes of visiting more troops this fall.

Channing has big dreams for Egno Robotics, hoping to turn it into a nonprofit exposing as many girls as possible to the world of robotics. She has already designed her own mat (like what FIRST LEGO league uses) based on Hidden Valley Camp and envisions using it with Girl Scout troops for their own mini robotics competitions!

The Robotics mat Channing has designed for future Girl Scout competitions.

Channing loves talking robotics and teaching others. Since founding Egno Robotics, she has been tweaking the workshop to be relevant to the ages she’s working with and has helped girls’ complete steps in all the levels of the Robotics badges!

“It was kind of hard to teach juniors, because I would be teaching them at the same age [I am]. Brownies are the easiest! I might be able to teach juniors better now [that I’m a Cadette],” she said.

Kristi, an engineer herself, has loved watching Channing take to the robotics world and seeing her passion for sharing it with others. “You gain a lot of confidence and the skills to each other people and feel a sense of mastery. They [Channing and Thurston] show others that they can do this!”

Is your troop interested in earning their Robotics badges with Egno Robotics? Leave a comment below with your name and troop number and we’ll put you in contact!

Our Top Campfire Recipes

(includes all the ingredients and instructions)

Thursday was the first official day of summer and camp season is well underway! As you prepare to get outdoors with your troop or family, you can impress them with your outdoor culinary skills using these recipes below!

 

Breakfast:

Omelet in a Bag
From Leah at Beyer Beware
Serves: 6

Ingredients:
BPA Free freezer bags
2 eggs/person
Omelet ingredients of your choice (pre-cooked sausage, bacon, ham, mushrooms, black olives, peppers, onions, tomatoes, etc.)
1 bag shredded cheese for every 6 people

Instructions:

  1. Start a pot of boiling water large enough to hold at least 6 bags
  2. Write names on freezer bags
  3. Break two eggs into each freezer bag
  4. Add ingredients of your choice
  5. Seal and place in boiling water for 14-15 minutes
  6. Carefully remove from water and let cool for a minute or two before emptying omelet onto a plate

 

DIY Instant Oatmeal
From The First Mess

Ingredients:
½ c. Oats per person
Toppings of your choice! (dried fruits, nuts, brown sugar, etc.)
Salt

Instructions:

  1. Use a campfire tea kettle to boil water
  2. Using a bowl, create your own oatmeal mix, using 1/2 oats per person, a pinch of salt and toppings of your choice.
  3. Add 2 tbsp. – ¼ c. of boiling water to the oatmeal mix depending on how watery/sticky you want it and stir.
  4. Enjoy!

 

Main Dishes:

Pizza Fondue + French Bread
Submitted by Lysette Deboard, SU716 Day Camp Director
Serves: 12ish

Ingredients:
2-3 lbs ground beef
2 c. mozzarella cheese
2 c. cheddar cheese
3-4 cans pizza sauce
4-5 loaves French bread

Instructions:

  1. Make a hot fire an place a grate over it. Cover the outside bottom of a cooking pot with dish soap
  2. Place the pot on the fire and brown the ground beef
  3. While the beef is being prepared, have girls slice bread and prepare any other sides you may have (salad/veggies are great with this!)
  4. Line a large bowl with several layers of paper towels. Pour the beef in the bowl and let the towels absorb the grease. Put the beef back into the pot and over the fire. Alternatively, you can drain the grease into a can.
  5. Pour all pizza sauce in with the beef an let it simmer until heated. Cook 15 minutes or until hot.
  6. Add cheeses to the pot and stir well until melted.
  7. Remove from fire and serve a large scoop of “fondue” and two slices of bread to each person.

 

Walking Tacos
Serves: 5+
Ingredients:
Single-serving bag of Fritos for each person
1 lb. ground beef for every 5 girls/4 adults
Taco seasoning of your choice
Taco toppings of your choice (shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, pico, salsa, sour cream, avocado, black olives, onions, black/refried beans, etc.)

 Instructions:

  1. Using a campfire pan, cook meat with desired taco seasoning until brown
  2. Remove pan from fire and set in a safe area
  3. Have each girl open a bag of fritos and serve one spoonful of meat directly into the bag
  4. Let each girl add her desired toppings & enjoy straight out of the bag!

Desserts

Campfire Cobbler
Submitted by Kelly Rogge, SU 618, Troop 1302
Serves: 12ish

Ingredients:
2 cans pie filling – your choice!
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter or margarine

Instructions:

First you will want to put at least 25 charcoal briquettes in the campfire. While those are getting nice and hot, line your dutch oven with heavy-duty foil. Do not use the cheap, Dollar Store foil. Go for the Reynolds Heavy-duty brand. Double-line the dutch oven completely. Open two cans of pie filling and pour into the dutch oven. Pour one box of yellow cake mix on top of the filling, and spread evenly. Cut stick of butter or margarine into slices and place on top of the dry cake mix. Put the lid on the dutch oven.

Remove the briquettes carefully from the fire using tongs. Place five to six on the ground near the campfire. Place the dutch oven on top of the briquettes. Then place 10 to 12 briquettes on the lid. This will ensure even cooking. Cook cobbler for 25 to 45 minutes, depending on how hot the briquettes are.

 

Not-so-messy S’mores
Submitted by Allie Steele, Troop 1006

Ingredients:
Waffle Cones
Marshmallows
Chocolate chips
Additional toppings of your choosing
Foil

Instructions:

  1. Grab a cone and put in marshmallows, chocolate chips and whatever else you like (bananas, strawberries, caramel chips, peanut butter cups, etc)!
  2. Wrap the stuffed cone in tin foil and place it on the fire for 5-10 minutes (depending on how melty you like it!)
  3. Take off the fire and allow to cool
  4. Unwrap the tinfoil and enjoy your not-so messy s’mores!

 

What are your go-to campfire meals?! Let us know in the comments below or share them on social media and tag us with #gsksmo!

Girl Scouts is the Place for All Girls – Mermaids Included!

Meet Irena, a super-outgoing seven year old Girl Scout Brownie from Service Unit 625. Irena is just like any other Girl Scout her age: she enjoys reading, ziplining at camp, and pretending to be a mermaid gliding through the pool with her magnificent tail. To us, Irena is one of the coolest and most courageous soon-to-be third graders we’ve ever met.

At just a year old, Irena’s father, Chris Johnson, was told she had a medical condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).  SMA is a rare condition that affects parts of the nervous system as it relates to voluntary movement.  Most children with SMA are not able to walk, have trouble breathing, and often are more susceptible to fatal illness.  Our Irena has Type II, so unlike many other cases of SMA, Irena is able to walk on her knees allowing for some lower body movement. Irena is so strong!  She visits specialists all over the country for treatment and surgery to help improve her mobility and work toward a cure.

This summer has been extra special for Irena and her dad!  During Irena’s time at Camp Prairie Schooner for Service Unit 625’s weekend camp-out, Chris was able to come along to assist. This gave dad and daughter a unique experience together.

“Girl Scouts allowing me to stay at camp with Irena meant the world to me to be able to provide her with the care she needs while getting to see her have the ability to do the things other kids do,” Chris said. “Irena isn’t 100% fearless, close though! At Girl Scouts, she is getting the support to take on those new challenges.”

With the expertise and encouragement of her dad and our Outdoor Adventure staff team, Irena took on one of those Girl Scout “challenges of choice” – ziplining. Irena had an awesome cheer squad led by her super enthusiastic (and from Irena) extra LOUD Troop Leader Miss Tiffany and backed up by all her Girl Scout sisters. She flew across that zipline with a big smile on her face and mastered a brand new skill.

Of course for Irena after completing the zipline, she declared it was no big deal. It was just another challenge that she faced and conquered. It was like when she puts on her Mermaid tail and she can glide through the water with ease. For others who watched Irena conquer this challenge, watching her glide across that zipline brought tears of joy.

This is what Girl Scouts is all about. Girls of all abilities are welcome to learn new skills, grow their friendships, take on challenges, fail, try again and succeed in a girl-powered space. And of course, dads who are “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout” are always encouraged!

Irena says her favorite parts of camp were the fun science activities she did, sleeping in a bunk bed- top bunk, and getting to be with her friends.

Chris and Irena can’t wait for the new Aquatics Center at Camp Prairie Schooner to open.  Part of Irena’s physical therapy exercises in making her legs stronger include swimming- with that magnificent mermaid tail!  The motion helps her hips grow strong, and makes it easier for her to be able to walk in water.

So what’s the future hold for this super G.I.R.L.(Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™? Nothing but BIG goals, of course! Irena wants to become a chemist so she can find a cure for SMA and other diseases and be able to help kids just like her. We’re also pretty glad she has several more years to keep conquering those Girl Scout challenges!

Irena is most definitely a G.I.R.L.!  Way to go, Irena!  We love having your bright smile in Girl Scouts!

Day Trips and Community Partners: The Perfect Combo – Part 3

Fun Summer Excursions for Troops & Families

Today on the blog we’re helping your family plan excursions around our West Region area!  We hope to bring a perfect balance between fun-in-the-sun and sightseeing.  Here are our top must-dos to check off for the perfect summer!

  1. Perry State Park

Venturing first into one of our favorite West Region state parks, we believe our Girl Scouts will be able to create several different memories here: from boating, to hiking, camping in cabins, to fishing!  Perry State Park incorporates the perfect amount of summer learning to keep our girls sharp over the summer through a variety of enrichment opportunities; your girls can learn more about the wildlife that surrounds Perry!

  1. Flint Hills Discovery Center

One of our featured community partners, Flint Hills Discovery Center, aims to educate, celebrate and explore care for Flint Hills.  Daisy and Brownies can schedule trips here for $9 a girl.  In addition, the special exhibit for the summer is Be the Dinosaur- an exciting experience for any girl!  Be sure to plan your own trip there throughout the school year as well to work on various Daisy and Brownie Journeys!

  1. OZ Museum

Have your G.I.R.L (Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk Taker, Leader) explore her imagination for a day!  This museum features over 2,000 artifacts from OZ  from the classic The Wizard of OZ!  Children can tour the Oz Museum for 7 dollars!

  1. Kansas Museum of History

It’s important for all girls to know the history of where they live and where they’re from!  The Kansas Museum of History aims to accomplish just this- telling the history of the people of Kansas, girls can learn everything from historical events, geography and also enjoy interactive exhibits.  Join them “After hours” for special exhibits half price.

We hope you enjoyed our summer travels series for this summer, hopefully this inspires you to sightsee and explore near and far!  Don’t forget to use #gstravels as you and your G.I.R.L. enjoy your summer!  This just gives a small start to all the cool opportunities in the West. Do you have a favorite place? Share in the comments below.

Girl Scout Strong

Spotlight on GS Alum & Volunteer Becky Estep

Becky Estep, from Cameron, MO is lifetime Girl Scout Member, Highest Award Alum, Daisy’s Circle Founding Member, Troop Leader, Service Unit Manager and has over 45 years of experience with Girl Scouts. This summer Becky will retire from her role as Service Unit 814 Manager after serving in that role more years than she can count!

Becky’s Girl Scout story began when she was in 2nd grade. Her troop met weekly after school. “We wore our uniforms so proudly with sashes, beanies, ties, flashers on our socks, and dues pouches on our belts!” When she was 13, she was selected through written essay and interview to go on a trip to Europe, 7 countries in 13 days! This experience led to many new adventures for her including research, community-wide Fundraising, packing, traveling and presentations. She spent her Girl Scout summers as counselor and program director at Camp Woodland where she I learned life skills, fostered a love for the outdoors and made lifelong friends!

“There is so much joy in watching girls and adults learn and grow to become leaders and role models for others and to use those skills & their voices to help build girls with courage, confidence, & character to make our world a better place!”

Becky has been using her Girl Scouting background and education as an Environmental Scientist with the EPA to help make our world a better place! Throughout these past 45 years Becky’s Girl Scout roles have included camp counselor and program director at Camp Woodland, service unit product sales manager, day camp director, council trainer/facilitator, events manager and troop leader for her daughter Amanda’s troop through high school graduation and now her niece’s Cadette troop.

“I truly want to give back, to be there for our girls to help them achieve their goals and dreams and to enjoy Girl Scouts as much as I have over all these years! Our girls face so many wonderful choices and challenges on their journey through life and need our Girl Scout program and leaders like us more than ever to help them on their way!”

Becky, thank you so much for all your commitment, dedication and passion to Service Unit 814 and our entire council over the past umpteen years! We are thrilled to have you stay connected as a troop leader and as a mentor for the next service unit manager!