Girl Scouts Knock it Out of the Park – again!

2017 Girl Scout Day at the K

The 2017 Girl Scout Day at the K was our largest yet! Over 12,700 Girl Scouts, friends and family enjoyed a gorgeous day at the ballpark! We turned the K into a sea of Girl Scout green. From those shirts, uniforms and homemade apparel to the friendly and courteous actions of all of you, there was no question who was in the house that day – Girl Scouts!

Girl Scouts who sold 300+ boxes of Girl Scout Cookies not only earned 2 free tickets, but the chance to walk around the field prior to the game!

Before the game, Girl Scout Cadettes Patricia Smith from Ft. Leavenworth, KS and Elise Thomas from Kansas City, MO made a special delivery to Rex Hudler and Steve Physioc. We’re pretty sure that gave them just the energy they needed to broadcast the game!

Our Account Executive, Brad Thomas presented our top cookie seller, Girl Scout Daisy Paige Thomas from Lee’s Summit, MO with an autographed baseball prior to the game.

( Photo by Jason Hanna )

Girl Scout Cadette Mackenzie Clevenger from Mission, KS threw out the first pitch to Rebecca McCreight from Olathe, KS.

( Photo by Jason Hanna )

The colors were presented by Girl Scout Seniors and Ambasadors, Kelly Combes (Topeka, KS), Alison Gatzemeyer (Liberty, MO), Grace Ordonio (Liberty, MO), Elizabeth Kratochvil (Louisburg, KS) and Arianna Hilger (Overland Park, KS) during the National Anthem.

( Photo by Jason Hanna )

Girl Scouts Emauri Snider (Eudora, KS), Jaycee Ziolkowski (St. Joseph, MO) and Miranda Metzinger (Raytown, MO) got the game started as the ceremonial “Play Ball” kids!

( Photo by Jason Hanna )

In the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat was Gold Award Recipient, Hayley Nitz from Olathe, KS. For her Gold Award project, Hayley wanted to do something to break the poverty cycle in Uganda through education so she organized a community-wide workshop for people to make stimulating, educational toys out of upcycled material. Hayley then hand-delivered these toys to children living at Amani Baby Cottage in Jinja, Uganda! You can learn more about her project here!

Girl Scout Volunteer, Major Arjean Smith was recognized in the Salute to Heroes seat! Major Smith began her military 24 year career in the Army Reserves. She began her active duty service in 1996 with three deployments. In 2000, she was commissioned for officer school. Her military career continues today as she serves as the Secretary of General Staff for the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth.

During the game, Abigail Self from Windsor, MO showed Kauffman Stadium her speed by winning the Steal a Base challenge – running from the visitor bullpen to our dugout where Sluggerrr was holding a base and back again in under 17 seconds! Congrats Abigail!

( Photo by Jason Hanna )

The only thing that could have made Girl Scout Day at the K any better, would have been a win from our Boys in Blue. Oh well, next year!

Thank you to everyone who came out and participated in 2017 Girl Scout Day at the K! We want to hear about the memories you made with your girl, family or troop, so be sure to leave those in the comments below!

Be sure to check out all our photos from 2017 Girl Scout Day at the K and feel free to download, print and share and watch our video below!

We are Girl Scouts, We are Innovators – Cookie Construction Build Day 2017

For the past six months, nearly 100 Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors have been working alongside 30 female design mentors to plan and build a structure made out of 1,000 Girl Scout Cookie boxes! On Saturday, March 4, our seven Cookie Construction teams came together to execute their plans and finally assemble their structure at Build Day at Crown Center!

With a theme of “We are Girl Scouts, We are Innovators,” the teams had an 8×8 space and four and a half hours to bring their plans to life! At the conclusion of the build each structure was evaluated by a panel of jurors who assessed the builds based on Creativity in Design, Structural Design, Use of Colors/Labels, Craftsmanship and Adherence to Rules & Regulations.

Alpha Builders – Project: Construct the World

Our creation mimics an iconic symbol of the Girl Scouts—a trefoil—and documents innovation and its connection to the organization. This design explores women in STEAM (Science, Technology,

Engineering, Arts, and Math) fields who are trailblazing, like a Girl Scout, through the industry. We are understanding history and what’s innovative for its time and why. We are propelling girls forward and deconstructing the walls that limit them!

 

Butterfly Dream Squad – The Dream Factory

Welcome to the dream factory, where ideas are born, nurtured, signed, sealed, and delivered!

The seedlings of innovation begin from sources of imagination within each of us. Whether it be a

philosophy, a technology, an invention, an organization, or just a great idea, they all traveled out

of a noggin or two and into the world. Wishing we could see this place, the dream squad presents “The Dream Factory,” an incubator for innovations to foster and grow before global distribution.

Gear Girls – One Tree at a Time

Innovation means many different things, but usually it refers to new technologies. Our team chose to focus on finding ways to improve our environment. We have designed robots with the ability to plant and care for trees. The trees around us are essential to all creatures and are the environmental frontline for improving every person’s lives. Using only the 5 different colors of cookie boxes we have created a 3D representation of what the future could be. These robots are not limited to a specific area and they can have a lasting impact on the entire world. We have designed one robot specifically to plant trees. The next robot takes care of the nutritional needs of the trees, including all species. Finally we have a robot doctor that visits regularly to check up on insect or storm damage and ensure the trees overall health. These robots are helping the world one tree at a time.

 

 

STEAM Team – A Girl Scout’s Dream of a Career in STEAM

We designed a Girl Scout that is dreaming about her future in a STEAM related career. She doesn’t know if she wants to be a Scientist, work in IT, be an Engineer, become an Artist or a Mathematician. No matter what career she decides to pursue, she knows that Girl Scouts has given her a foundation to be an innovator in any field she chooses. We chose this subject because our team is inspired by what STEAM stands for and all the women innovators of the past and present.

  

Time Keepers – A Bridge Through Time

A Bridge Through Time represents the way life has changed because of innovators. As you journey through the past, you realize the difference one small change can make. Past innovators created huge changes in the way we live today. The bridge takes us from one point in time to another. Walking up the steps, you realize all the accomplishments that have come this far. Reaching the top, you realize there is more to come. Sliding down, you see tall skyscrapers and flying cars; the sky is the limit! We can change the world. We are Girl Scouts! We are Innovators!

 

Time Travelers – Takin’ it to the (Downtown) Streets

 Our group wanted to focus on the transformation, but iconic transportation in downtown Kansas City through the years. We chose the trolley (from the past) and the new KC Streetcar. Union Station is our centerpiece because it is a hub for all sorts of transportation in and out of Kansas City from both the past and the present. Union Station, the trolley and the streetcar are all innovative pieces to their era thus what we chose as our overlying design to match the theme, “We are Girl Scouts, We are Innovators.” The two eras of transportation, the trolley on one side, and the streetcar on the other are joined by Union Station because of its importance to transportation as well as the transformation of Kansas City through the years.

 

TL² – Innovation Manor

Our project represents a house where Girl Scouts can design and invent freely. We decided to build a house because a lot of space and millions of innovations are found in homes. We decided to include some notable inventions, such as the lightbulb, the spectacles and the microscope. We poured all of our creativity into our thinking caps and developed some inventions that could be made in the future – for instance, a cookie spitter and badge designer. Our building structure consists of three floors with a loft on the third floor. We wanted to section off part of the house and commit it to just making innovations, so that is where we came up with the idea for an innovation lab as the loft. We are using ladders to get from level to level in our house, which are supported by the exterior walls and structural columns. The roof will be a rooftop garden which will have solar panels to provide power for Innovation Manor. This build means a lot to us as Girl Scouts so we have created a mural in the back of the house representing Girl Scout History and Juliette Gordon Low, the founder.

Ultimately, STEAM Team was given the Jurors’ Choice Award! The jurors loved their bold use of color, found their craftsmanship impeccable and were impressed by their innovative use of materials creating the head of a young girl who dreams of a career in STEAM!

Thank you to our Jurors, Ellen Foster, Angie Gaebler, Mike Gekas, Al Harris, Molly Simmons and our event Emcee Amy Slattery!

The awards aren’t done yet; you can still cast your ballot for People’s Choice Award! Visit Crown Center and see these impressive builds yourself and vote for your favorite structure through March 24!

The 2017 Cookie Construction Program is a partnership with AIA Kansas City and made possible with the support of McCownGordon Construction, HOK, Centric Projects, Mark One Electric Co. and SFS Architecture.

Want to see more? We have photos from Build Day on our Facebook Page. Want to participate?! Registration for 2017-2018 will open this summer!

One Girl Makes a Difference. Girl Scouts Together Change the World

Opportunities for 2017 Service to Others Month

We know that Girl Scouts make a difference all year round! But to celebrate the month Girl Scouting was born and to prepare for Inspire a Girl on April 1, we want to keep track of our combined hours of service and the stories of giving back throughout the month of March! Any Girl Scout who logs project hour(s) in March will receive a special patch to showcase her service to others! This patch just happens to pair with the patch Girl Scouts will receive at Inspire a Girl on April 1, make one complete patch design!

So, how do you participate?!

Girls can do projects with their troops or on their own! The following Community Partners are inviting Girl Scouts to lend a helping hand with them in March, but you are welcome to work with your favorite community organization or charity – just log those hours on our website to receive your patch!

 

Helping Hands Humane Society 

Located in Topeka, KS, the Helping Hands Humane Society has a variety of programs available specifically for Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies and Cadettes! For Brownie and Cadettes, the program will help them complete steps in earning either the Animal Helper or Pets badge! The Daisy program will teach girls how to read animals and also ties into the 5 Flowers, 4 Stories, and 3 Cheers for Animals journey!

 What girls will get out of working with Helping Hands: We hope they’ll realize how many homeless pets there are in our community and why we need everyone’s help, including theirs, to take care of them and make sure they get back home or find great new homes. We also hope they will learn more about the human-animal bond and why it’s so special.

St. Joseph Animal Control & Rescue 

St. Joseph Animal Control & Rescue finds partnering with the Girl Scouts to be greatly rewarding for both the troop member and the shelter animals! The Safe and Sound Program discusses both animal care and safety while also introducing girls to the workings of an animal shelter. This program is just for Girl Scout Daisies and ties into the 5 Flowers, 4 Stories, and 3 Cheers for Animals journey! Girls will investigate a mock animal control complaint and identify the animals whose needs are not being met, tour the shelter and interact with few of the animals!

What girls will get out of working with St. Joseph Animal Shelter: We hope that the Girl Scouts will leave the Safe and Sound Program with a better idea of how an animal shelter operates and help them gain an understanding of how to properly care for animals. While our program does include serious discussions we allow the students to put their knowledge to use in fun activities including an Animal Control Officer investigation.

Spay and Neuter KC

Spay and Neuter KC invites Girl Scouts of all ages to their Kansas City, MO clinic to tour and participate in a one-hour community service project! They also have age level specific workshop for Brownie where they will learn care and compassion for both people and pets and put together “Compassion Kits” to be given out to homeless peter owners in the community.

What girls will get out of working with Spay & Neuter KC: We hope they’ll see a little of that compassion in action. More than anything, we try to emphasize how organizations like us really need the help and support of kind-hearted, compassionate people to make the kind of impact the community needs, and how everyone coming together for a common goal really makes a difference. We also hope that our stories of the people we’ve helped will make the girls reflect on their own lives, their own families, and the things they care about the most.

Harvesters

Harvesters has long been a community partner with Girl Scouts! This March both the Kansas City and Topeka facilities are asking Girl Scouts, 4th grade and older, to assist in sorting and repackaging donated items their Volunteer Engagement Centers. Topeka needs volunteers on March 25 and Kansas City needs volunteers March 14, 17 & 25. Following your volunteer time, Girl Scouts are invited to connect with other Girl Scouts in a half-hour learning activity and candle lighting ceremony that engages girls on the issue of hunger and how to be a spark for change.

What girls will get out of working with Harvesters: Girl Scouts will learn how a community food netword operates, while working alongside their sister Girl Scouts from other troops. Following their service time they will be able to connect with those sister Girl Scouts and really reflect on what it takes to end hunger tomorrow.

The Call KC

During the month of March, Girl Scouts are invited to collect brand new pairs and packs of women’s underwear for The Call KC, to be donated to area shelters! Troops can register through the website and The Call KC will assign a shelter for the items to go to and schedule a delivery date!

What girls will get out of working with The Call KC: We hope that the girls will gain a deeper perspective of what charities and causes are out there. Too many times we stay in our comfort zones when it comes to volunteerism, and so the more we can help people go outside their usual spheres of influence, the larger impact we can have on all involved.

Whether you work with one of the community partners above, or do a project on your own, make sure you log those hours on our website to receive your patch! Then, make plans to join us as we celebrate the highest award in Girl Scouting, the Gold Award, and honor our 42 recipients at Inspire a Girl on April 1. Prior to the ceremony will be the G.I.R.L. Expo where our community partners and program staff will lead hands-on activities, Girl Scouts can meet and learn about each Gold Award project and where she will receive a second patch that complements the one received for participating in Month of Service!

4th Annual Kappa Delta Cookie Challenge

One Sweet Partnership

Talk about role model G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)™! The women at Kappa Delta always come through for our Girl Scouts, whether it’s a badge workshop, campus tour, self-confidence class or our annual Kappa Delta Girl Scout Cookie Challenge! This was the fourth year for this awesome event where we pair a Girl Scout troop with the women of Kappa Delta at the University of Kansas and Kansas State University for an all-in-good-fun challenge!

Each year the Kappa Delta’s go above and beyond to provide an awesome environment for the largest girl-led business in the world! They help promote on their respective campuses prior to the booth sale, open the doors of their sorority houses and work the girls to make sales happen – at a record pace!

In the four years that this challenge has been taking place, the impact it has on the troops who are selected via a booth lottery has grown! In 2013, the inaugural year the sale was just two hours long and the chapters sold about 700 boxes of cookies combined, but K-State sold the most and won the coveted Golden Thin Mint to proudly display in their house!

The second year we increased the booth time to three hours and KU channeled their disappointment and they won the Golden Thin Mint! They also retained the trophy in 2016!

School: 2015: 2016:
KU 1,187 1,462
K-State 624 768

But 2017 was different. The K-State Kappa Delta Chapter wouldn’t be defeated three years in a row! Both schools were go-getters, innovators, risk-takers and leaders in their strategies to promote for their troop! In the end, KU Kappa Delta sold 1,364 boxes sold and K-State won, selling 1,579!

However, we know that the real winners in the Kappa Delta Girl Scout Cookie Challenge are our Girl Scouts. In just three hours each Girl Scout in Troop 7189 and Troop 7112 earned multiple recognition levels and troop proceeds to spend on service projects, trips, outdoor activities and travel and this is just the beginning of their Cookie Program!

Vice-President of Community Service (VP-CS) is the position in Kappa Delta that coordinates this event every year. “I love the Challenge because I was a Girl Scout. All the proceeds that these girls earn in their time here go right back to the troop – I know how important that is for them!” Kalyn Kunschke, VP-CS at KU said.

Among the hundreds of customers at both schools were a couple of celebrities! Girl Scouts were star struck when Devonte Graham, KU basketball player and DJ Johnston, K-State basketball player bought Girl Scout Cookies!

“To me, the Kappa Delta/Girl Scout partnership is an opportunity to mold the future of our community. So often we, as Kappa Delta’s stress the importance of instilling confidence in others, but few know the confidence the Girl Scouts instill in us,” Macy Burke, VP-CS at K-State said.

Thank you so much to the members of Kappa Delta for helping our Girl Scouts be go-getters, asking school celebrities to buy cookies, innovators with new sale tactics, risk-takers by expanding their customer base and leaders in their very own business!

We are Girl Scouts, We are Innovators – Part 1

Spotlight on 2017 Cookie Construction Teams

The 3rd Annual Cookie Construction program is in full swing! The seven teams are having their final meetings and preparing for Build Day on March 4 at Crown Center when all their planning comes to fruition, each team transforming 1,000 Girl Scout Cookie boxes into intricate, elaborate and structurally sound constructions!

This year’s theme is We are Girl Scouts. We are Innovators. Each team spent their first meeting in September talking about what innovation means to them as young women and as Girl Scouts.  Over the past month, we’ve been visiting with each of the teams to see how their initial concepts have transformed to visions and building plans leading into Build Day!

Team Time Travelers

Team Time Travelers are being led by mentors Marcia Trein, Erin McFarland and Mary Rogers from Rosemann & Associates and Emily Gale and Amy Kinderknecht from GastingerWalker&. When we caught up with them at the beginning of January, they were beginning to lay out their design and were finalizing their construction documents that the judges will use to assess their creations on Build Day! They took the theme and really thought about how innovation has evolved over time and are incorporating aspects of Kansas City into their build! “We wanted to make it something about Kansas City because we’re all from Kansas City and it will be displayed at Crown Cener,” Girl Scout Cadette Emily Stokes said!

Team Time Keepers

Similar in name, but different in design concept is Team Time Keepers led by female design professionals Ivy Hurst, Sara Lichti, Brittany Winnike, Kelly Neiling and Meredith Stoll from BRR Architecture! Team Time Keepers has a few Cookie Construction professionals, Girl Scouts who have been participating since the program’s inception in 2014. For these girls, they really thought about how innovation bridges the past to the future and what that means to each of them. They separated into sub-teams working on different elements (and there are many!) of their overall teams design concept. “It’s fun to be a part of team. At the end we’re going to have this awesome project and it’s been way cooler than I ever imagined,” Girl Scout Cadette Briana Brewood said.

Team Alpha Builders

Team Alpha Builders also has an experienced Cookie Construction Girl Scout on their team along with some veteran mentors! Girl Scout Senior Alyssa Harmon loved her experience so much last year, she just had to do it again – working with mentors she grew close to last year. Alison Lampier, Macrina Abdouch and Natalie Berg are once again bringing their knowledge and expertise from HOK Architecture and Populous and recruiting a new mentor, Renee Petty to join them in the fun! “I was a mentor last year as well and from that it was really great to see young girls wanting to get involved in programs that had to do with architecture. There wasn’t an opportunity like this for me when I was a Girl Scout so I wanted to get involved in order to share information with young girls about this field,” Macrina said.

“These mentors are amazing, they’re so smart,” Alyssa said! Alyssa sees herself as a “moderator” on the team, helping direct dialogue, leading brainstorming sessions and bringing the team’s design to life using a computer program called Sketchup. Their design really shows the Girl Scout spirit and will showcase various influential women in innovation!

Team Gear Girls

When Gear Girls first heard the theme, they all had one thought – robots. Since that initial meeting in September they been working to understand and expand on that design element. Kate Moeder, Shelli Ulmer, Ashley Meadows and Damaris Russell from Hollis and Miller Architects have been leading their team to expand that idea robots and their relationship to innovation. On their team are an aspiring structural engineer and interior designer who both feel like they’ve gotten so much out of their Cookie Construction experience already. For Girl Scout Cadette Sophia Fisher Cookie Construction is a way for her to gain real-life experience in the field that she aspires to be in when she gets older. “It’s a start for me to learn how to actually build things,” she explained. Working as a team, with Girl Scouts of all ages, levels and Cookie Construction expertise on their team, Gear Girls they have been able to take their robotics design idea and are well on their way to a multi-element design and structure on Build Day.

Look for the second part of this story on Feb. 23 when we bring you highlights from the final three teams! The seven structures will be on display at Crown Center from March 4 – 24 and we need YOU to visit and cast your ballot for People’s Choice Award!

The 2017 Cookie Construction Program is a partnership with AIA Kansas City and made possible with the support of McCownGordon Construction, Centric Projects, Mark One Electric Co. and SFS Architecture.

If She Can See It, She Can Be It

Did you know girls are statistically more likely to aspire to be and do things if they see women currently in those roles? Think about that for a second…

You may have heard the phrase “If She Can See It, She Can Be It” when Geena Davis came to Kansas City as part of the CHAT Series last year. This phrase and campaign is part of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. While with the original research focusing on the inequity of women in entertainment, we know that this issue extends far beyond the media industry thanks to Girl Scout Research Institute and the research of many others.

At Girl Scouts we’re working to break those gender stereotypes and show girls EXACTLY what they can be when they grow up. Like a football player or a race car driver.

Girl Scout Brownies and Juniors descended upon Arrowhead Stadium for the first-ever Girl Scout takeover on October 7. Nearly 150 girls went behind the scenes at Arrowhead, scoping out the press and locker rooms, designing team logos, learning the history behind the Chiefs and NFL and doing Play60 activities. However, the most inspiring part of the evening for many of them was actually participating in football drills with the Liberty North High School Quarterback, Brooke Liebsch and the women of the KC Titans football team.

Yes, a real-life female football player and the all-woman tackle football team in Kansas City.

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Brooke has been playing football since 2010 in a Pop Warner league where she was a Wide Receiver and Cornerback. After a little game of catch with her coach in 2013, she was moved to Quarterback and has been playing that position for the past four years. Brooke has only played on all-boys teams, but that doesn’t bother her.

“My whole football career I have had doubters, but that has never stopped me from playing the game I love.”

The KC Titans set up a series of drills for Girl Scouts to go through. Girl Scouts suited up with pads and helmet and ran drills. They worked on their passing game with Brooke, tried some defensive moves on an artificial field and tested their agility with some ladder runs!

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Brooke shared a quote from her mentor, Atlanta Falcons staff member, Katie Sowers, “stay humble, stay true and always believe. Go out there and follow your dreams, and NEVER GIVE UP!”

Girls left that evening with hugs galore from the women of the KC Titans, an autographed card from Brooke and the knowledge and experience to know that they can be anything they want to be – even a football player.

Now, fast forward a week to Girl Scout Day at Kansas Speedway on October 15.

Girl Scouts, troop leaders, moms and dads came from all around our region to see XFINITY race that and attend a Girl Scout-only Q&A with Danica Patrick.

The Girl Scout alumna fielded all sorts of questions from Girl Scouts about what it’s like to be one of the only females competing in a male-dominated sport, like:

“What’s your fastest time or speed?”

“When you get older do you still want to do race car driving?”

“When did you know that you wanted to be a racecar driver?”

And

“Do people make fun of you because you’re the only woman who is racing?”

Girls are asking these questions because they’re genuinely curious. They want to know what they’ll encounter if they choose to do something that is stereotypically considered a “boys activity.” They want to know that there are people out there that will support them and offer them encouragement and guidance to pursue their dreams and that maybe the idea isn’t as scary as it might seem.

Danica answered our girls’ questions honestly and with warmth and kindness.

“I’m sure they do [make fun of me for racing]. But some people to make fun of things because it’s something different and they’re scared of it, or jealous of it or don’t know what to think of it; But I like to be different. You just have to have confidence, believe in yourself and go after your goals.”

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Both Brooke and Danica are breaking the glass ceilings in their professions and showing girls that they can be anything they desire as long as they first believe in themselves and second put the hard work in to meet their goals.

See all the photos from Arrowhead Takeover and Girl Scout Day at Kansas Speedway!

 

Giving Back Through Girl Scout Community Program Partners

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Service is a big part of being a Girl Scout. Whether you’re working on a Take Action project to complete a journey or to earn your Bronze, Silver or Gold Award project, working on a badge or just wanting to give back to your community, we have Community Partners who have programs for YOU this fall!

Check out the programs below and click on the partner for more information!

Henry’s Haul – Children

Henry’s Haul began while two-year old Henry was staying at Children’s Mercy Hospital. While kids are being treated, they are sometimes confined to their rooms and beds and unable to get up and play. Henry’s Haul is an item drive that specifically collects Hot Wheels cars for these kids so they are still able to be playful during trying times. Thanks to Girl Scouts, Henry’s Haul has surpassed their goal every year; let’s help them do it again!

What girls will get out of working with Henry’s Haul:  It’s so important to teach youth about giving back. And we love it when young groups get involved with Henry’s Haul. Collecting such a simple item (new, single pack toy cars) for patients at Children’s Mercy Hospital is easy to do. We’ve heard first hand from the girls that they relate to our charity because they are helping kids their own age. Kids still want to be kids even when they’re sick. Henry’s Haul helps to put a smile on their face with a small toy thanks to the help of groups like the Girl Scouts.

“Working with the Girl Scouts allows us to continue our mission and help the ‘kindness matters’ theme of Girl Scouts. Sharing, caring, helping others, building friendships, all of it runs right back into Henry’s Haul and why we do what we do – to help put a smile on a child’s face when they are patients at CMH,” Kristi Lewczenko said.

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Synergy Services – Homelessness

There are nearly 2,000 youth in our community who are homeless each night. On Oct. 15 Synergy Services is asking girls to participate in a “sleep-out” to help bring awareness to youth homelessness. Synergy has a step by step guide for leaders to facilitate the conversation and experience for their girls for everyone to get the most out of this experience. If Oct. 15 doesn’t work for your group, you’re encouraged to find a time that works for your troop throughout this season!

What girls will get out of working with Synergy Services: We hope that this partnership will help build awareness for the services Synergy Services offers and provide an experience for the participants that will help them gain skills to assist us in our mission. At Synergy we envision a world without family violence, abuse or neglect.

“The partnership between the Girl Scouts and Synergy is new with our 2016 One Homeless Night event. This opportunity seemed to coordinate well with both organizations missions in helping our surrounding community,” Megan Hanna said.

 

The Call KC – Homelessness

During the month of October Girl Scouts are invited to collect packs of new socks for The Call KC, to be donated to area homeless shelters! Troops can register through the website and The Call KC will assign a shelter for the items to go to and schedule a delivery date!

What girls will get out of working with The Call KC: We hope that the girls will gain a deeper perspective of what charities and causes are out there. Too many times we stay in our comfort zones when it comes to volunteerism, and so the more we can help people go outside their usual spheres of influence, the larger impact we can have on all involved.

“The Call KC partners with the Girl Scouts because we strive to connect those who want to help improve our community with those who need help doing so. The Girl Scouts have a wonderful dedication to community service and so it was a no-brainer to partner up,” Brent Lager said.

 

Giving the Basics   Human Dignity Item Drive

Giving the Basics is asking Girl Scouts to host product drives for human dignity items such as deodorant, soaps, toothpaste, feminine products, etc. Item collection can begin now with a final drop-off day on Nov. 5. At that time girls can spend time at the warehouse to count, sort and package items to go to 65 schools, shelters and pantries Giving the Basics serves!

What girls will get out of working with Giving the Basics: We hope that girls will learn compassion for those in need and understand personal hygiene items are not covered by food stamps. 

“Giving the Basics partners with Girl Scouts because of the leadership, dedication, and follow through on commitments when asked to help volunteer with us.  The Girl Scouts work diligently when given a project and give it their up most effort.  They are happy and willing to take on any challenge,” Michele Orpin said.

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John Knox Village – Aging Adults

John Knox Village is looking for Girl Scouts of all ages to spend time in their Memory Care Neighborhood with their aging adults! Girls can host game nights, lead a craft, call bingo, sing/dance or just simply spend time with the residents – the opportunities are endless!

What girls will get out of working with John Knox Village: We hope that Girl Scouts will get the feeling that John Knox Memory Care Assisted Living is not a scary place. We want them to know that John Knox is a safe and fun place for the older adult community to belong and that older adults with memory loss are still capable of doing activities.

John Knox Village partners with Girl Scouts as our motto is Enriching Lives, Building Community—as we build community with Girl Scouts we are not only enriching lives of our residents but also the girls’,” Cassie Loewenberg said.

 

Helping Hands Humane Society – Animals

Located in Topeka, KS, the Helping Hands Humane Society has a variety of programs available specifically for Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies and Cadettes! For Brownie and Cadettes, the program will help them complete steps in earning either the Animal Helper or Pets badge! The Daisy program will teach girls how to read animals and also ties into the 5 Flowers, 4 Stories, and 3 Cheers for Animals journey!

What girls will get out of working with Helping Hands: We hope they’ll realize how many homeless pets there are in our community and why we need everyone’s help, including theirs, to take care of them and make sure they get back home or find great new homes. We also hope they will learn more about the human-animal bond and why it’s so special.

“We partner with Girl Scouts because they first approached us about the possibility, and we thought it was a great opportunity to educate girls about animal welfare, responsible pet ownership, and what they can do to help animals,” Emi Griess said.

 

St. Joseph Animal Control & Rescue – Animals

The St. Joseph Animal Control and Rescue has a program just for Girl Scout Daisies that ties into the 5 Flowers, 4 Stories, and 3 Cheers for Animals journey! Girls will investigate a mock animal control complain and identify the animals whose needs are not being met, tour the shelter and interact with few of the animals!

What girls will get out of working with St. Joseph Animal Shelter: We hope that the Girl Scouts will leave the Safe and Sound Program with a better idea of how an animal shelter operates and help them gain an understanding of how to properly care for animals. While our program does include serious discussions we allow the students to put their knowledge to use in fun activities including an Animal Control Officer investigation.

“St Joseph Animal Control and Rescue partner with Girl Scouts to provide an educational resource for troops to learn about animal care, welfare and safety to work towards earning a badge. We love interacting with the Girl Scouts during our Safe and Sound Program and provide several fun activities for the students to get involved,” Jenna Anthony said.

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Wayside Waifs – Animals

As the largest pet adoption campus in Kansas City, Wayside Waifs invites Girl Scouts of all levels to the shelter to lend a hand and learn about the work they do in the community! Don’t be surprised if you come out of the experience with a new family member – it tends to happen, a lot!

What girls will get out of working with Wayside Waifs: We hope the girls will see that volunteering can be a lot of fun and that there is a lot to be said for helping those who cannot help themselves.  We also hope that they will want to come back in the future to volunteer, donate or become a staff member!

“Wayside Waifs partners with Girl Scouts because it is important to inspire and educate our next generation of animal welfare leaders.  We also love working with Girl Scouts because the girls have so much fun giving back to the community, it’s truly a gift,” Amanda Smasal said.

Tell us about some of the Take Action and service projects that your troop has done in the comments below!

Setting Sights on the Sky

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Girls in Aviation Day

Inspired to dream big and be bold! More than 200 Girl Scouts joined the Fly Kansas Air Tour at the Museum of the Kansas National Guard and the Combat Air Museum to learn about the opportunities for women in flight. Girls in Aviation Day was an exciting event held on October 1st in Topeka, KS that connected girls to women in aviation who were able to share their experiences as pilots, mechanics and women in the Air Force. It was a day of questions, curiosity and exploration.

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The day started in the Museum of the Kansas National Guard with talks and Q & A sessions with female pilots and mechanics who gave girls a quick glance into what life is like in a career in aviation. Mechanic Summer Walters talked about careers in aviation that don’t focus on flying – like repair and making sure the planes are safe. The girls also learned about a cadette program that helps girls with interest in aviation learn about flying while still in high school. Girls had tons of questions – including asking why it’s important to be able to run a mile, what jobs were like and why there are types of uniforms.

After chatting, the girls got to spend time asking pilots about the types of plane they fly on outside under a KC-135! How exciting! They also got to spend time doing a STEM activity about the forces of flight and event explored helicopters, army jeeps and other aircraft and military equipment.

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The experience was incredible and Madeline from Troop 1494 in Lenexa summed it up by saying “I’ve had an amazing time. All of the planes are so cool and the women who work for the Air Force are so inspiring.”

At lunchtime the girls moved to the Combat Air Museum and enjoyed their food inside the museum or sitting under the shade of planes! Then it was on to exploring planes and a hot air balloon brought in by the Fly Kansas Air Tour. Pilots stayed by their planes to answer questions and girls got to sit in a brand new Blackhawk helicopter. “[The Combat Air Museum] is right at the end of the runway, so girls get to see planes land, talk to the pilots, learn about the planes, ask all the questions they like and tour the museum,” Kevin Drewelow, the Director of the Combat Air Museum said.

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The event was so important that Kansas Governor, Sam Brownback attended and spoke to the importance of women in aviation.  The Director of Aviation for the Kansas Department of Transportation, Merrill Atwater said: “People think aviation is a guy’s profession, but women are often better aviators than men. The person who put this tour together is a woman named Lindsay and she’s a flight instructor and pilot. We want girls to know there are wonderful careers in aviation and that you can see the world from 5,000 feet above.”

The event is important to the museums because they know they can make a lasting impact by inspiring the women of tomorrow to get involved in flight. “Women have been involved in aviation from day 1. Think about Katherine Wright. You always hear about the Wright brothers, but you don’t hear about the Wright sister and what she did to help her brothers. Women have been under represented and under publicized and we’re trying to help correct that,” Kevin Drewelow said.

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What an amazing experience for girls. Thank you to the Museum of the Kansas National Guard, the Combat Air Museum and the Fly Kansas Tour for inspiring girls to fly! If your troop experienced Girls in Aviation Day, share your experience in the comments below!

An Out-of-This-World Girl Scout Experience

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Girl Scout Katie Blankenship communicates with the International Space Station

Did you know that we have more than 100 Community Partners who have programs available to Girl Scouts of all ages?! Some Community Partner programs tie into Journeys while others help you complete steps in various badge work. Then, there are programs that are just unique, fun and give girls an experience of a lifetime, like Katie Blankenship.

While Becky Blankenship was perusing the Community Partner Program webpage for activities for her troop, she came across the Lawrence Public Library page and saw an opportunity that she couldn’t ignore – the chance to talk directly with an astronaut living on the International Space Station!

While it didn’t work out for other members of her troop to participate, it did for her daughter Katie.

Katie is a fourth generation Girl Scout and is willing to try anything out, as long as Becky talks with her about it before signing her up – you know, like any other teenager! Even though Katie isn’t particularly fascinated with space, she agreed that this was a unique opportunity!

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On Sept. 7, the International Space Station was mapped and scheduled to be flying over the Lawrence Public Library, putting it within communication range for approximately 10 minutes. The Library partnered with the Douglas County Amateur Radio Club to make this event possible – using hand radios to talk with the International Space Station – how cool is that?!

Katie was just one of the teens, and only Girl Scout, who actually got to talk to astronaut Takuya Onishi and asked over the hand radio, “how do you deal with mental health issues in space?”

Onishi’s response, “astronauts are very good at coping with stress and we can talk with psychiatrists every other week, so I think we are OK!”

The whole experience was pretty quick. About 7 minutes later the space station had traveled over the horizon and was no longer within communication range.

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Click the image above and start at 58:47 to see Katie’s communication with Onishi!

Even though Katie wasn’t particularly interested in space coming into this, she left with a desire to find out more. “I’m interested in learning what it takes to be an astronaut and what kind of schooling they have to do,” she said.

We are so lucky and proud to partner with organizations all around our council that provide experiences to Girl Scouts that peak their interest and get them interested in things they wouldn’t be exposed to otherwise!

So what Community Partner Programs will you register your Girl Scout or troop for? Will she take the stage at one of our Arts & Culture partners, learn the science behind sports at the Arrowhead Take-Over, give back to her community volunteering with nonprofit or just have fun attending the Tour of Gymnastic Champions or the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus?! Let us know in the comments below!

Education for ALL Starts with ONE

A CHAT with Nobel Prize Recipient, Malala Yousafzai

When Malala Yousafzai came to Kansas City in July, she delivered a CHAT of a lifetime to our Girl Scouts in the audience. As the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate and activist for human rights and female education, Malala inspired us all that night at the Chat Series 2.0.

If you’re not familiar with Malala’s story, take the time to learn more about her, she’ll inspire you too.

From the age of 10, Malala was advocating for girls’ right to education in Pakistan when the Taliban was banning them from attending school. At the age 12, while traveling home from school, Malala was shot by the Taliban. She was transported to Birmingham, United Kingdom where she received treatment and made a remarkable recovery. Just a year later she was able to return to school in the UK and has been speaking out on behalf of girls and children everywhere for worldwide access to education.

To say her resume is impressive is an understatement. It includes multiple Nobel Prizes, Anne Frank Award for Courage, Mother Teresa Award for Social Justice, 2012 Person of the Year shortlist, Clinton Global Citizen Award, 2013 Glamour Magazine Woman of the Year, Honorary Doctor of Civil Law at King’s College and the list goes on – about 43 awards and accolades in the past four years, roughly.

Malala was also the subject of the documentary He Named Me Malala and the author of “I Am Malala.” Both of which also had their fair share of recognitions and awards.

During her address at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts on July 19, Malala spoke eloquently and candidly. The beauty of the series in which she spokes is that the audience has the opportunity to ask questions on the spot.

One Girl Scout got up and very bravely and simply asked “does anything still scare you?” Malala’s response – “balloons… and dogs.”

Malala’s casual demeanor impressed Girl Scout Ambassador Ann Marie Hrdy. “She doesn’t get very nervous to talk to world leaders, but at the same time she is afraid of smaller things!”

For a young woman who has experienced so much in her relatively short life, she is courageous. She isn’t afraid of encountering these things again; she’s a person who has simple fears, just like the rest of us!

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Thanks to a generous offer from our friends at Hallmark, Girl Scout Cadette Natalie Martinez got to participate in a youth-only roundtable prior to the Chat and actually meet Malala!

“Having the opportunity to meet Malala was a once of a life time experience. Meting her was exciting and fun, and I learned that no gender is superior.” Natalie explained. “What inspired me about Malala was that she stood up for what she believed in – no girls left behind. We all have the right to go to school.”

Malala had so many inspirational quotes that really resonated with girls and adults alike that evening.

“I raise up my voice not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”

“I did not wait for anyone, I said my voice matters.”

“Education is a right, not a privilege.”

“Even death supported my campaign and told me to go back to living.”

“If I am young, that doesn’t mean my voice should be ignored; If I am a woman, that doesn’t mean my voice should be ignored.”

“Politicians ask me if I get nervous. I think they should be nervous.”

“We are all going to work together to make this world the best we can.”

“We share feelings as humans– this is something that connects us. We need to appreciate all we can give each other.”

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We were so honored to be a sponsor for this event and bring more than 30 Girl Scouts to this once-in-a-lifetime evening! Let us know which of the above quotes stands out to you in the comments below. Have you seen her documentary or read her book? What inspires YOU about Malala Yousafzai?