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!

#GivingTuesday – Her Vest. Her Story.

Over the past few days we’ve introduced you to four amazing Girl Scouts – Ibtihaj, Ghada, Marissa and Annaleigh! These amazing, vibrant young women have started building their very first resumes by filling their vests. Each badge represents an experience, each pin represents challenges and successes that help build these women into G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)!

Today is #GivingTuesday, a global movement on the Tuesday following Black Friday and Cyber Monday focusing on giving back. Uniting in good, the world comes together to give back through service and financial gifts to make a difference. At Girl Scouts, thanks to an incredible donor, gifts made on #GivingTuesday have double the impact up to $5,000! With the help of those giving on this incredible day, we have been able to help girls tell their own stories by filling their vests.

Meet four Girl Scouts that are telling their own stories through the Girl Scouting program.

Meet Girl Scout Daisy, Ibtihaj!

 

Meet Girl Scout Junior, Ghada!

 

Meet Girl Scout Cadette, Marissa!

 

Meet Girl Scout Ambassador, Annaleigh!

 

These Girl Scouts love the experiences they’re having and the life skills they’re learning. Thank you for lifting up G.I.R.L.s! Together, we can continue to build a better future for girls – one badge at a time.

 

www.gsksmo.org/givingtuesday

 

Thankful for YOU

Our Girl Scout family is something extra special. Girl Scouts stand up for each other, they are leaders and they’re making the world a better place. We’re certainly thankful for that! As Thanksgiving approaches, we want to take a moment to think about the people that make Girl Scouts something to be thankful for all year long!

Our Troop Leaders

Featured story: STEMing Ahead with Community Partners

Troop leaders build girls up, provide them with solid role models and make Girl Scouting personal. Without our troop leaders, Girl Scouts couldn’t happen. These women AND men spend their personal time to help build up G.I.R.L.s! Whether these leaders ended up taking the lead on a troop by accident (“My mom will do it!”) or have been leading troops for decades, it’s always a life changing experience that impacts both the girls AND the leaders. Thank you for all you do!

Our Parent/Guardian/Family Volunteers

Featured story: A Troop of Innovators

When a team of dedicated parents get together to help a troop achieve their goal, it can have a profound impact on their Girl Scouts. Every parent, guardian and family member has a unique set of skills that they can share with girls to help them become better women. Thank you to our awesome volunteers who come out to teach special workshops, help with badges, cookies or highest awards! You rock!

Our Service Unit Volunteers

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

When you fall in love with service, you often find yourself wearing many hats. We are very thankful for our service unit volunteers who take on a variety of roles within their SU’s to help girls have the best experience possible. Whether it’s leading new troop leaders as a volunteer or serving as Product Sales Manager, volunteers are the lifeblood of Girl Scouting. We are thankful for volunteers who take risks themselves and make a difference by challenging themselves in new roles!

Our Donors & Daisy’s Circle Members

Featured story: Troop 879 is Standing with Sister Girl Scouts

Our donors go the extra mile for girls, giving not only of their financial support, but of their time and talent. Sometimes, they’re even girls giving to girls (see our featured story above). We are so fortunate to have donors who get their hands dirty at camp, who lend their voice to advocate for girls and who host Community Programs to help girls earn patches. That type of dedication and support is what makes our donors so special. Our dedicated, enthusiastic and wonderful supporters are always creating new ways to bring others into Girl Scouts and for that, we are THANKFUL! Thank you, donors, for all you do to make Girl Scouting possible.

Our Community Partners

Featured story: Girl Scout Day at the K, Girl Scout Arrowhead TakeoverGirl Scout Day at the Speedway

If it takes a village to raise a child…and it takes an entire community to raise a Girl Scout. We are so thankful for the support of businesses that stand with girls and help them become the leaders of tomorrow. We have more than 100 incredible Community Partners who support girls through badge workshops, special events and opportunities. Thank you to our Community Partners who bring incredible experiences in the outdoors, arts, sports, STEM, service and fun forward for our G.I.R.L.s!

Our Girl Scouts (and Alumnae)

Featured stories:  Going Gold with STEM, From Gold Award to the Silver Screen & Girl Scouting Goes Full Circle

What are we MOST thankful for this year? Our Girl Scouts, of course! From Daisies to Ambassadors to Alumnae, Girl Scouts are giving hope to the world for a brighter, GIRL SCOUT POWERED, future! As community members, we are thankful for the hundreds of thousands of hours of service that Girl Scouts give back each year. We are thankful for the mentoring that older Girl Scouts give to their younger Girl Scouts, ensuring a world where women build up other women. Finally, we are thankful for the alumnae who are leading by example as CEOs, politicians, artists and advocates. Girl Scouts, you are simply amazing. THANK YOU for all you’ve done!

 

Thank you to everyone who works together to make Girl Scouting the best experience a young girl can have! We are wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving with their friends and families! Grab a slice of pie and enjoy the company of those who make our lives bright.

 

Happy Thanksgiving, Girl Scouts!

Girl Scout Myths, Debunked – Part 2

Get to Know the Safety Activity Checkpoints, Trip & Activity Request Form and Supplemental Insurance Purchase

On Friday, we brought you Girl Scout Myths, Debunked – Part 1. It was full of information for caregivers and volunteers, setting the record straight on some old and false information that has been floating around! In part 2 of this blog series, we’re debunking myths that are more relevant to troop leaders around policies and procedures!

This post references the Safety Activity Checkpoints. When preparing for any activity with girls, always begin with the Safety Activity Checkpoints (SACs) written specifically for that particular activity. If SACs do not exist for an activity you and your Girl Scouts are interested in, don’t worry. We are here to help you navigate. You can connect with your Troop Support Manager or email us at customercare@gsksmo.org.

Myth: Troops can only camp at Girl Scout properties.
Truth: Camping is a great Girl Scout tradition and one of the very first activities that Girl Scouts’ founder Juliette Gordon Low encouraged for girls! Girl Scouts can camp at any public* area following Camping SACs! Just make sure you complete a Trip & Activity Request 6 weeks prior to your overnight camping experience at a non-council property. There are so many amazing places for camping in and around our council. Reserve America is a great resource for planning camping locations!

*GSKSMO recommends that GS meetings and troop activities take place in public areas. Overnights are never approved on private property like individual’s basements, backyards or open fields.

 Myth: Daisies can’t go camping.
Truth: A Daisy troop may participate in an occasional overnight camping experience. Daisies who have completed kindergarten may independently participate at day camp and in resident camp experiences lasting up to three nights. Daisies who have completed first grade may independently participate in resident camp experiences lasting four or more nights. Just make sure you’re following all Camping SACs and complete the necessary paperwork letting GSKSMO know and you’re good to go!

Myth: We need insurance for everyone attending an event and it can be purchased the day of the event.
Truth: Every registered girl and adult is covered under a Girl Scout insurance plan. Additional insurance must be purchased for all non-registered person(s) attending GS events. To purchase additional insurance, complete and submit this form with the appropriate fee at least 2 weeks before the event date. Forms can be submitted by mail, fax or email to ProgramApprovals@gsksmo.org.

Myth: You need council approval for any activity you do with your Troop or Service Unit.
Truth: You only need council approval for high risk activities, discussions of sensitive topics, day trips outside the council boundaries and overnights at non-council properties. To obtain approval submit an Activity & Trip Application according to the following schedule:

  • High-Risk/Sensitive Topics/Day Trips outside council boundaries OR overnights of 1-2 nights not at a council-property– 6 weeks in advance or prior to any fundraising.
  • Extended Travel (3 or more nights) – 6 months or prior to any fundraising.
  • International Trips – 1 year in advance or prior to any fundraising.

Remember that Girl Scouting is girl-led, but as the troop leader or volunteer you’re there to help make sure that girls (and adults) are following safety procedures. Communicate with council and parents. Inform your Girl Scout council and girls’ parents/guardians about the activity, including details about safety precautions and any appropriate clothing or supplies that may be necessary. Follow GSKSMO procedures for activity approval, certificates of insurance, and guidelines about girls’ general health examinations. Make arrangements in advance for all transportation and confirm plans before departure and arrange for transportation and adult supervision.

If you ever have questions about following Safety Activity Checkpoints or proper procedures, please email programs@gsksmo.org.

Girl Scout Myths Debunked – Part 1

Girl Scouts is a 105 year old organization and over the course of those 105 years, Girl Scouts has evolved to suit the needs of girls where they’re at, at that point in time. Badge programs have come and gone, STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) activities have increased, outdoor experiences have expanded, and Journeys have been streamlined just to name a few.

Those changes and our evolution to always meet the needs of today’s girls is why Girl Scouts is the girl leadership expert! However, with such a rich history and a large alumnae network, it’s not surprising that there are (more than) a few myths around how Girl Scouting works today! So, we’re here to set the record straight in this two-part blog series! Part 1 (what you’re reading now!) are general Girl Scout myths, debunked. On Monday Nov. 20, we’ll bring you part 2 – Girl Scout myths around policies and procedures with information geared more toward troop leaders.

Myth: There isn’t anything in Girl Scouts like the Eagle Scout Award.
Truth: Girl Scouts have the opportunity to earn the highest award in Girl Scouting called the Gold Award. This prestigious award recognizes girls who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through remarkable Take Action projects that have sustainable impact in their communities-and beyond. Gold Award Girl Scouts spend 1-2 years on their projects as a Girl Scout Senior and/or Ambassador. Those who choose to join the armed forces enter at one rank higher than other recruits and university research indicates that adding Gold Award to a college application is a critical element in the admissions decision process. Over the course of 100 years, more than a million girls have earned their Gold Award or its equivalent.

Myth: Girl Scouts can only attend Girl Scout activities as a troop.
Truth: Many Community Partner Programs, Outdoor Experiences and Spark Events are open to all Girl Scouts. Troops may choose to go as a group, or caregivers can register their Girl Scout individually to participate on their own (supervised, of course). This is a great way to take advantage of the thousands (yep) of activities that are available to Girl Scouts all year long. Attend Kansas City Ballet’s The Nutcraker as a family, participate in adventure activities that appeal to your Girl Scout’s interest that the troop as a whole may not be interested in, or learn more about careers in STEM on a more personal level at Spark Events.

*Spring dates for Adventure Programs and Spark Events will be announced after the first of the year!

Myth: Girls must belong to a troop to be a Girl Scout.
Truth: Girls K-12 can be a registered member without being affiliated with a troop or troop leader. They still complete Girl Scout activities – badge earning, cookie sales and more with the guidance of an adult mentor. These girls are called Indy Girl Scouts. This is a great option for especially Junior or older Girl Scouts who live in a rural area, are having trouble finding a troop or want to continue in Girl Scouting on their own.

Myth: I’m not a Girl Scout Alumna because I was only a Daisy/Brownie/Junior
Truth: Once a Girl Scout, Always a Girl Scout! No matter the level or how long you were a Girl Scout, you are a Girl Scout Alumna – one of 59 million women around the world! That’s one in every two adult women. Whoah. As an alumna, make sure you’re staying up-to-date on alumna-specific activities at Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri by joining the GSKSMO Alumnae Facebook group!

Myth: Girls have to join Girl Scouts at the beginning of the school year/Girls can’t join until First Grader/it’s too late to join Girl Scouts.
Truth: Girls can join Girl Scouts year-round and as a Kindergartener through High School Senior! Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri works year-round to form troops and place girl and adult members! And, it’s never too late to join Girl Scouts in your life.

Myth: Dads can’t go camping or be troop leaders.
Truth: #ManEnoughToBeAGirlScout! We LOVE Girl Scout Dads and they are invited and encouraged to be troop leaders, co-leaders or serve in any other volunteer capacity with Girl Scouts. As any volunteer, they must follow our Safety Activity Checkpoints and when it involves camping or an overnight activity, they just sleep in separate sleeping quarters nearby!

Myth: The only way to volunteer with Girl Scouts is to be a troop leader.
Truth: There are a plethora of ways you can volunteer with Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri. Yes, we’re always looking for troop leaders but you can also volunteer with a troop as more of a supporting adult –  helping drive, plan activities and snacks, money management or other tasks that keep the troop running smoothly! Or, serve as a service unit volunteer mentoring adult volunteers as they work with girls, a Cookie volunteer coordinating the logistics for the largest girl-led business in the world or in a seasonal or episodic opportunity with the council! See them all and learn more!

Do you have a Girl Scout myth you want to make sure we debunk? Let us know in the comments below! Be sure to come back on Monday for Part 2 in Girl Scout Myths, Debunked where we look at some misinformation around policies and procedures for troop leaders.

Taking the World by Storm

Meet Girl Scout Junior & Inventor Julia Luetje

From class project to world class design, our very own Girl Scout Junior Julia Luetje’s Storm Sleeper is taking the world by, well, storm! Julia is one of just five finalists in Frito-Lays national Dreamvention Competition!

You see, Julia has always been afraid of storms and living in the Midwest, the storms can be pretty loud and crazy. So when her 4th grade science competition came around, she was inspired to officially create something that might help others who were also afraid of storms. Using a lot of hot glue, a couple of bulky pillows, a blanket and a blue tooth speaker, the Storm Sleeper was born. Think of it as a specialized, high-tech pillow fort that not only blocks out the sights and sounds of storms, but obnoxious siblings and snoring parents, too!

A couple months later she was watching EllenTube and saw a call for Innovation submissions for the Dreamvention Competition and she was compelled to enter.

The Dreamvention competition has been an exciting whirlwind for the entire Luetje family! Mom and Dad found out early on that Julia was selected as a finalist, but they had to keep it a secret from Julia until she flew down to Austin, TX for what she thought was a semi-finalist meeting in early September. Upon her arrival with just four other young inventors, she was presented with a professionally made prototype and the news that she was among the top 5!

As a finalist she received $10,000, a professional prototype of her invention as well as support to patent and trademark the Storm Sleeper.

Throughout the process, Julia has sought support from her fellow Girl Scout sisters. She used troop meetings to test early prototypes and drew from projects she had done in Girl Scouts to help her actually construct the Storm Sleeper.

But now, she really needs her Girl Scout sisters’ support!

“I need votes,” Julia says!

The Dreamvention with the most votes by November 27 will win big – they’ll win a one-hour mentoring session with a celebrity mentor and $250,000.

Simply visit www.mydreamvention.com every day through November 27 on all your devices and vote for her Storm Sleeper!

Ultimately, Julia just hopes that her invention helps others – people and pets alike! Whether they’re scared of storms, or have sensory sensitivity the storm sleeper is going to make a difference in the lives of others and she’s plans to take it to market, no matter the outcome of the competition!

Julia with her parents Chucker Luetje and Susan Bernstein Luetje and her prototype and the finalists meeting.

“Winning would be crazy because I never would have thought that I would be doing this especially since I’m 10 and helping out other people is just something everyone should do and that’s really kind. It’s exciting to know that it can help other people and that my ideas are coming to life,” Julia said in a story with Fox4 Kansas City.

Gymnast. Student Council President. Inventor. Girl Scout. Let’s help Julia add Dreamvention Champion to that already impressive resume!

Don’t forget to vote every day, on all your devices for the Storm Sleeper and share with your network!

Stepping up for Girls

blogHeader-ManEnough

*This story originally published on June 30, 2016.

In loving memory of Jason Coppedge, 1979 – 2017. 

Jason Coppedge is Man Enough to be a Girl Scout!

When it came time to choose extra-curricular activities for their daughter and son, there was not much discussion between Jason and Shana Coppedge – Scouting was #1 on their list. Shana is a Girl Scout Alumna and Jason is a Boy Scout Alum with a lot on that resume. He is a former staff member of Camp Nash, attended National and World Boy Scout Jamborees, hiked Philmont and earned his Eagle Scout Award!

Jason and Shana registered their daughter Piper for Girl Scouts when she was in first grade and she joined an established Daisy Troop. At the end of that amazing year, Piper’s leader stepped down. However, Jason was there to step up. He eagerly took on the troop of seven year old Girl Scout Brownies and officially declared himself Man Enough to be a Girl Scout!

“Some of my fondest memories involved Scouting and I wanted her to be able to have that same experience and keep the girls together,” Jason said.

JCoppedge

And he’s done just that. Over the past five years Jason and his co-leaders have led Troop 3145 on some amazing experiences and adventures. They are a troop that absolutely loves camping, building fires, learning survival skills and generally experiencing the outdoors.

One of Jason’s favorite memories is from one of the first troop campouts. After the girls helped cook dinner and cleaned everything up, they found themselves with some extra time on their hands.  Jason challenged them to find something to do. Before he knew it the girls were playing Zombie Tag, a game they came up with all on their own.

“Scouting teaches a lot of values that are sometimes missed with today’s technology. It gets you back to the basics in life like camping, how to start a fire and fix things.”

The only difference the girls of Troop 3145 see in having Jason as a troop leader is that his craft skills aren’t quite up those of some of his co-leaders…

“It’s definitely entertaining to see him try to do the crafts,” Piper said!

“I know when to ask for help!” Jason said!

To close out their final year as Girl Scout Juniors, the girls headed down to Jason’s “office,” South Metro Fire Department in Raymore, MO to work on their Take Action Project – a video on gender stereotypes in male-dominated professions. On Jason’s shift is a female firefighter and paramedic who graciously answered all their questions on camera and led them through some training drills!

collage

As Troop 3145 bridges up, Jason sees himself and his co-leaders stepping back more. “Next year the girls are leading –it’ll be a different boat. They’ll work together and we will help them organize.”

In fact, Piper already has her eyes set on earning her Gold Award in the future. It’s easy to tell that she looks up to Jason as her dad AND as her troop leader.

“I can definitely confide in him if I have problems. I don’t get my word heard first; he makes it fair so everyone gets their word heard,” Piper explained.

In addition to leading Troop 3145, Jason is also involved in Boy Scouts as Advancement Chair, Trainer and Assistant Den Leader for his son’s Boy Scout troop.

Jason describes being Piper’s troop leader as “total enjoyment,” and something that he encourages every dad to think about.

Jason overseeing Troop 3145 build garden beds at Camp Daisy Hindman for their Bronze Award Take Action Project!

Jason overseeing Troop 3145 build garden beds at Camp Daisy Hindman for their Bronze Award Take Action Project!

“I don’t think [being her troop leader] should be that big of a deal. Dads shouldn’t be afraid to step up for their daughters and help them out.”

Thanks for all you do for girls, Jason! Do you know a man that has declared himself Man Enough to be a Girl Scout?! Let us know in the comments below!

The Ultimate Go-Getter

A Gold Award Alumna Spotlight

Gold Award Girl Scouts are go-getters to the ultimate degree. Through the Gold Award, they spend over 100 hours solving a problem in a sustainable way that positively impacts their community. It’s no wonder that these Girl Scouts go on to achieve some pretty remarkable things! Meet Amanda Stanley, a Gold Award alumna who turned tremendous personal obstacles into a profession and life of positivity.

Amanda started Girl Scouts as a Junior in Wichita. As the first Girl Scout troop at the school, she got to help younger girls learn the ropes…Sometimes, quite literally! One of her favorite annual service projects was teaching Girl Scout Daisies and Brownies  to camp – how to tie knots, pitch a tent and cook over a campfire. It’s no wonder that this love of service translated into an awesome Gold Award project.

During high school, Amanda saw a need for a better way to organize volunteers at a living history museum she volunteered at. This was before digital databases were common (early 2000s), but looking forward, Amanda knew this would be a good solution to the problem. “My biggest challenge was all the places they had volunteer data. You’ve got paper data and data in excel sheets and word documents and jotted on pieces of paper and trying to put that into a usable system was difficult,” Amanda said.

Amanda and her troop at a camping event – one of her early service projects; Amanda as a Cowtown volunteer; Receiving her award for her Gold Award project.

Her project produced a usable database for the Old Cowtown Museum, allowing the organization to find volunteers with those unique “living history” skills, when they needed them. It’s not always easy to know who can play a blacksmith or teach kids to churn butter! But the database let them find those volunteers – all thanks to the work of a Girl Scout!

“What I love about the Gold Award, and why I think it’s important for girls now, is that it makes you look at a problem and see if you can come up with a solution. You then plan it out, work on time management and figure out how your project will create good,” Amanda said.

During high school she also got to participate in Girl Scout Destinations, including one to Washington D.C. focusing on art. “We went to art galleries, stayed with a Girl Scout family for a night, did art projects that I still have hanging on my wall. It was a great way to see the monuments and city,” said Amanda.

Amanda and her mother who served as troop leader; Amanda’s troop at a horse riding event.

Completing her Gold Award earned Amanda two scholarships and she attended Newman University in Wichita where she got a degree in Biology. From there she went to the KU Med, on her way to becoming an MD. After her first year of medical school she was diagnosed with cancer and, always the fighter, she had surgery, it went into remission and she returned to school. After her second year, the cancer came back, she had another surgery and decided to take a year off to focus on her recovery. During that year, she decided life was too short to not be in a career she completely loved…so she took the LSAT and enrolled in law school! Talk about a driven G.I.R.L.!

“I knew I wanted to leave all through my second year, but was too scared because I didn’t have a backup plan. Plus…no one drops out of medical school. But during my year off and almost dying…I realized life was far too short to go to work and hate your job every day,” Amanda said.

In 2014 Amanda graduated from KU Law and is now working for the League of Kansas Municipalities. She travels around Kansas, teaches classes to city officials and loves her job. She is also a lobbyist for local governments to the KS legislature, meaning she testifies in front of committees and really makes an impact on the Kansas government.

As a Girl Scout alumna, she sees the benefits of the program for today’s girls, just like it positively impacted her. Girl Scouting gave her the courage and more importantly, gave her people “in her corner” who were there to support her. “We are in a unique time in history where girls have come a long way, but there are still implicit biases, discrimination and stereotypes – like girls aren’t good at science – that Girl Scouts gives you the tools to combat. It teaches that a stereotype is just a stereotype and if you’re motivated, you can do whatever you want,” Amanda said.

We couldn’t be more proud of this incredible G.I.R.L.! She’s recently decided to become a volunteer at Girl Scout Day at the Capitol, helping girls learn more about the KS government she loves so much. Thank you, Amanda, for continuing to support girls and for being such a great example of a Girl Scout alumna!

6 Ways to Give Back to Girl Scouts This Holiday Season!

It’s that time of year! The weather is getting chilly and soon we’ll be celebrating friends, family and the holidays. As you gear up for holiday shopping and giving, we wanted to give you a few tips on ways to give to Girl Scouts WHILE you go about your holiday routine! Seriously, some of these ARE FREE WAYS TO GIVE BACK! Check out our 6 ways to give back this holiday season and help us create women of courage, confidence and character all year!

#1 #GivingTuesday – Her Vest. Her Story. Join us Nov. 28!

Double your gift!  November 28, 2017 is #GivingTuesday, a holiday celebrating giving back following Black Friday and Cyber Monday. What’s so special about our 2017 #GivingTuesday campaign? Your gift is DOUBLED, thanks to a generous match from Sylvia Wagner and E. R. Pullman. So help us spread the word on November 28th and give!

You can also post an #UnSelfie of yourself giving and tag #gsksmo! www.gsksmo.org/givingtuesday

#2 Amazon Smile – FREE FOR YOU, $$ for GSKSMO!

Give while shopping – it’s FREE FOR YOU! Do your holiday shopping today and give at the same time. All you have to do is use the link here: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/43-0892926 or go to smile.amazon.com and type “Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri” into the Charity search. Once you designate your charity, .5% of all your purchases goes back to Girl Scouts. Same Amazon, just giving back! Make sure to use smile.amazon.com whenever you shop to active the giving.

#3 United Way/CFC – Give to the Community!

Live United and/or give as a federal employee. These two awesome programs use funds from generous donors who give to United Way or CFC and in turn, the funds are distributed to critical organizations in their communities. When you give to either United Way or the Combined Federal Campaign, you are part of a mission of giving that generates thousands of dollars for important organizations each year. Click here to find your local United Way.

If you’re a CFC donor – please consider directing your CFC contribution to GSKSMO (#35109)

#4 Corporate/Workplace Giving – Get YOUR Business Involved!

Does your employer have a VIP (Volunteer Incentive Program)? Many organizations provide incentives for employees to give of time or money to a charitable organization. By selecting Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri as your organization, you’ll make a real difference in the lives of girls! Plus, you may get rewarded in return. Your company can also sponsor Girl Scout events like Inspire a Girl or the Volunteer Recognition Events. Sponsorships are a great way to show how much a company cares about the community and supports girls. Each company is different and we’re here to help. Contact the VirginiaPennington@gsksmo.org if you have questions!

 

#5 Charity Fundraisers – Fundraise for GSKSMO!

Are you part of an organization, club or group that does an annual fundraiser for charity? If so, we need YOU! Advocating for GSKSMO to be the recipient of your group’s fundraiser can make a real difference in our community. In 2016, thanks to Board Member Sherry Gibbs advocating for girls, GEHA selected GSKSMO as the recipient of funds raised from their annual golf tournament. This was a $100,000 investment in girls – how incredible! You can read the full story here and if you’d like to make incredible change like this, contact the VP of Philanthropy, Vanessa Van Goethem-Piela (Vanessa@gsksmo.org).

#6 Join Daisy’s Circle – Give ALL Year!

Ready to make a monthly commitment to girls? Joining Daisy’s Circle is one of the best ways you can support Girl Scouts and our mission! Investments of any size are appreciated and now small businesses AND TROOPS can become members of Daisy’s Circle! This special group of supporters helps Girl Scouts plan for the future by providing predictable, monthly income that supports programming, the outreach program and so much more. Learn more at www.daisyscircle.org or contact Kara Lineweber (klineweber@gsksmo.org) for more information.

Every Girl Scout vest is a story, and you can help a girl tell her story by investing today. Together, we can help girls build their first resumes (their vests) and learn skills that will last them a lifetime. It only takes a few minutes to use any of these tips to give back and your gift of any size can make a huge difference for girls right here in your community. Thank you and we hope you share this post to inspire friends and family to give to Girl Scouts!

Did you use our Amazon Smiles link? Maybe encouraged a friend to join Daisy’s Circle? Share how you used these tips in the comments below!

#givingtuesday #givingtuesdaykc #gsksmo #girlscouts