4 Questions with Joy Broils on the What’s and Why’s of Mentorship Today

Joy Broils, Slcket Director of Community Relations

Have you heard about our latest partnership with Slcket?! We’re teaming up with this rising tech company in Kansas City to connect High School Girl Scouts with exceptional professionals from our community. But why is this important? What will girls gain out of this? We caught up with Slcket’s Joy Broils, Director of Community Relations, to help you get a better idea of what mentorship is, and why it’s so important as you anticipate and prepare for your next steps in life!

1.   What does it mean to have a mentor and what can our mentees expect from this experience?  Having a mentor gives each girl a point of contact within a field of expertise in which they have interest; someone available for questions, guidance, advice, or hands-on experience to help the girls make more informed decisions regarding their future. 

2.   What advice do you have for girls and their parents / caregivers today to best prepare for their future? 

My number one piece of advice for every girl growing up in today’s world is to find your voice and use your voice.  When I was a teenager, I was really shy outside of the classroom.  I liked raising my hand in class and answering questions, but that changed when kids started to bully me about always having the answer.  So I let those kids and their mean comments affect my behavior in class and my shyness completely took over every part of my life.  I lost the little bit of confidence that I had and lost my desire to share my thoughts and ideas – I lost my voice.  It took me a long time to find it again and realize that my thoughts and ideas were just as important as everyone else’s.  Fast forward to today, I make sure that if I’m in a meeting or at a networking event that I’m sharing my thoughts and ideas.  Sometimes that takes persistence, especially if I am in a big group, but I have found that confidence and persistence are keys to being heard.  I don’t have to be the loudest person in the room, but through confidence and persistence, my thoughts and ideas (my voice) will be heard.    

3.  What does networking with professionals mean and why is it important? 

Networking is a large part of what I do in my role at Slcket.  Networking is meeting new people, building relationships, having a one-on-one conversation to get to know each other better.  It is very important to make connections in whatever industry you are in.  The friendships I have developed through networking are vital and those friends are among the first people I go to for advice, referrals, and opportunities.  Those friends are champions for me and I am in turn champions for them.  So many times, a person will walk into a networking group for the first time and be discouraged that they didn’t come out of that event with multiple sales and/or referrals.  That person didn’t take time to build relationships with other people at the event.  They were just looking for the quick sale.  In the business world, most people feel more comfortable doing business with someone that they have built a relationship with rather than someone who is a complete stranger.  People feel good about making a referral to a friend if the person they are referring has done work for them before or is a friend.  Imagine if you referred a complete stranger to your friend who needed help with painting their house.  That referral could work out great or be a complete disaster.  If you had referred someone who had painted your house or you had built a relationship with through networking, you know that your friend will have a much better experience.     

4.    What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? 

I have a bracelet with the inscription “Admire someone else’s beauty without questioning your own.”  I think this actually goes beyond beauty.  Admire someone else’s sports skills…  Admire someone else’s character traits….  The list could go on and on.  We spend so much time looking at what other people around us are doing and comparing ourselves to other people.  Instead I think we should admire someone else’s ________ (you can fill in the blank) and at the same time admire our own.  Having that confidence is hard, really at any age, but especially when you are a teenager.  Remember you have your individual, unique qualities and embrace those qualities as uniquely YOU!  

Are you ready to embrace your own qualities and start building connections with those in fields you aspire to join one day?  Register for this mentorship program that kicks off with a casual pre-meeting on Sept. 11 where we’ll get you prepped and ready for the kick-off event at Slcket on Sept. 18 where you’ll meet perspective mentors!

Firsts with FIRST LEGO League and KC STEM Alliance

Last year, Girl Scout Brownie Troop 4070 participated in the FIRST LEGO League Jr. (FLL) program thanks to support from KC STEM Alliance and IBM! These go-getters split their bi-weekly meetings up, alternating between traditional Girl Scout meetings and working on the FLL Jr. curriculum which is designed to introduce kids to STEM concepts. From September through March Troop 4070 worked in three sub teams to build and program their WEDO 2.0 robots and design an outer space city. The program culminated with the FLL Jr. EXPO where they showcased all they learned and what their robot could do with a little friendly competition!

Troop leader Alanna Beare was instrumental in facilitating the program in collaboration with KC STEM Alliance and additional material funds provided through IBM, where she works. Through FLL Jr., Girl Scouts earned badges in both Think Like a Programmer and Think Like an Engineer journeys.

“The FLL program is directly aligned to the new STEM programs developed by Girl Scouts of the USA. Overall the skills they learn by working in small teams lends itself to Girl Scout Mission,” Alanna said. 

Troop 4070 enjoyed their experience so much, they are going to do a second year with the program with new challenges and more LEGO robot programming next year!

“The KC STEM Alliance is pleased to partner with GSKSMO by embarking on a new strategy to engage girls in creative problem solving through the development of STEM skills. The core values of FIRST LEGO League are directly aligned with the mission of Girl Scouts. The KC STEM Alliance partnership with GSKSMO provides an opportunity to reach more girls helping them create their own future and building a talent pipeline for Kansas City,” Martha McCabe, Executive Director of KC STEM Alliance said.

Is your troop interested in participating in the FLL program? The KC STEM Alliance will be sponsoring additional teams this year and your troop could be one of them! For more information, contact our STEM Community Program Manager, Kate Pankey at kpankey@gsksmo.org. There will be an informational meeting on Aug. 24 for those interested in learning more!

Oh What a Match for G.I.R.L.s

The Van Blaricum Family’s #GivingTuesday Gift

Investing in a bright future for their daughters and Girl Scouts all over the GSKSMO region! Meet the Van Blaricum family – Mark, Jackie, Julia (5th grade Girl Scout Junior) and Sylvie (3rd grade Girl Scout Brownie). This generous Girl Scout family not only made a $5,000 gift for #GivingTuesday, they support the Girl Scout program through volunteerism and as a Community Partner! Thanks to their support, along with Sylvia Wagner & E.R. Pullman’s $5,000 matching gift and gifts from donors all over the country, a total of $21,341 was raised for girls on #GivingTuesday! That made it our biggest #GivingTuesday yet and will provide hundreds of girls with the support they need!

The Van Blaricum family is a great example of a Girl Scout family giving of time, talent and treasure! Not only do the girls share their skills with their community, but Mark & Jackie support the mission as well as active parents in their daughters’ Girl Scouting experiences. Mark is on his 3rd year as a Cookie Dad for the Troop 414 (Julia’s troop) and their food truck, Pita For Good, is a community partner.  “Being a Cookie Dad is a great way to me to be involved,” Mark said.

For the Van Blaricums’, it’s important to have their daughters involved in Girl Scouting today because they feel the world is opening for girls, and the program prepares them for anything. “The world is being set-up for girls, our future women, to thrive. I would love nothing more. The parents we know see it as something more meaningful than just an activity and we all want to support that,” Mark said.

One of the things the Van Blaricum family values most in Girl Scouting is the consistency and sense of community between the families. Both daughters have had the same girls and leaders stay with the troop for multiple years, letting them build meaningful friendships. It’s also a place where Mark sees amazing parent involvement. “There are always parents willing to help with things like cookie booths and there’s always someone willing to step in and help,” said Mark. He notices that not all organizations have that connection and that’s one thing that makes Girl Scouting extra special for them.

The best part about Girl Scouting for the Van Blaricums’ is the variety in experiences their daughters get to have. From selling cookies (and getting to go to Girl Scout Day at the K) to adventures with their troops and badge earning, it’s an activity where the girls never get bored. “You never know when your kids will just be done with an activity, but I’ve never gotten that sense about Girl Scouts. I don’t think they’ll ever be ‘done.’ Every time they come home from camp or a function with their troop, they’re just pumped and talk about the great experiences they had. As a parent, that does it for me,” Mark said.

This amazing Girl Scout family gives more than time and talents to Girl Scouts, they also made a financial investment in the future for their daughters. For #GivingTuesday (a global giving movement), the Van Blaricum’s provided one of two generous matching gifts that had a major impact on giving. Joining Sylvia Wagner & E.R. Pullman, the Van Blaricum’s offered a $5,000 matching gift, which helped Girl Scouts blow past a $20,000 goal – absolutely incredible!

“In Girl Scouts, parents invest with more than just financial gifts, they give of their time too. It all is an investment in the program and we’re thrilled to see the response of parents willing to help with our troops. So many parents find ways to invest and we’re thrilled to invest for Giving Tuesday,” Mark said.

We send a huge thank you to the Van Blaricum family for their volunteerism, for sharing their skills through the Community Partner program, for their financial gifts and for their dedication as an active family. With Girl Scouts like this, it’s no wonder the Girl Scout Family is a strong one!

If you’re interested in making a matching gift to help us make #GivingTuesday 2019 even bigger, please contact Vanessa Van Goethem-Piela at vvangoethempiela@gsksmo.org.

Back to Troop Season

Fall activities for Girl Scouts and Troops

It’s a great time to be a Girl Scout! The leaves are changing, the weather is getting cooler, so it’s time to enjoy all that fall has to offer -and it has SO MUCH for our Girl Scouts, their families and troops!

Hispanic Heritage Month, Cops & Bobbers – Oct. 13
Kids will enjoy outdoor fishing fun with law enforcement while building strong bongs of respect for each other and the environments.  Fishing poles and supplies will be provided on a first come first serve basis.

Girls in Aviation Day – Oct. 13
Get up close and personal with aircrafts and meet female aviation professionals at this annual event with the Museum of the Kansas National Guard and Combat Air Museum.

Girl Scout Night at the Rangers – Oct. 14
Swope Park Rangers invite the Girl Scouts to Children’s Mercy Park this fall for the annual Girl Scouts Night at the Rangers! Come out and see the Sporting of tomorrow take on the LA Galaxy II then participate in a post-match clinic with the pros!

Kansas City Ballet, The Wizard of Oz – Oct. 17 & 20
Girl Scouts, get your discounted tickets to the Kansas City Ballet’s production of the Wizard of Oz on October 17 or 20!

Honeywell Spark Event – Oct 18
Honeywell Manufacturing & Technologies invites Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors to their Spark Event on Oct. 18 to hear from female professionals in the industry, get creative and use their minds to create and their hands to build! Deadline to register is Oct. 16.

Ernie Miller Nature Center, Haunted Kansas – Oct. 20
As darkness falls, walk through the trails of Ernie Miller Park and listen to the stories of long ago! Characters from the past will share legends around the campfire. Expect a shiver down your spine and a mild case of goose bumps for those who dare enter the forest on this autumn evening.

LabConco Spark Event – Oct. 26
Make great use of the day off school on Oct. 26 (Park Hill, Blue Springs, Liberty, Center – just to name a few!) at LabConco’s first-ever Spark Event! Girls will tour their plant, talk with female STEM professionals and do several hands-on science projects! Deadline to register is Oct. 24.

STEM Expo Day at Camp Tongawood – Nov. 3
Girl Scout Juniors & Cadettes! Are you interested in the diversity of life and learning about organisms, mysteries of the universe, or going back in time sifting through the remains of prehistoric organisms? Investigate our world — from tiny micro-organisms to the vast Kansas blue skies at our STEM Expo on with experts from the University of Kansas & Kansas Dept. of Wildlife & Parks.

HappyBottoms + Henderson Engineers – Nov. 10
Henderson Engineers need YOUR HELP to collect diapers for HappyBottoms and bring them to their wrapping event on Nov. 10! During the event at Henderson, girls will hear from guest speakers, enjoy snow cones and fill the bust with diapers donated for the community!

Arrowhead Takeover – Nov. 16
The Kansas City Chiefs are hosting Girl Scout Brownies and Juniors for an Arrowhead Takeover event on Nov. 14! Girls will do Play60 activities with the Kansas City Titans (Kansas City’ female football team!), learn about sports training, Chiefs History, chat with a Chiefs reporter and hang out with the Chiefs Cheerleaders and leave with a fun patch!

Harvesters, Juliette Gordon Low Birthday Celebration – various dates
Give back and honor our founder, Juliette Gordon Low’s birthday by helping sort and pack food at the Kansas City or Topeka Harvesters locations!

See all our 150+ Community Partner Programs at gsksmo.org/community!

Girl Scout Green was the Color of the Day at the K 

Another Awesome GS Day at the K is a Wrap

The 2018 Girl Scout Day at the K is a wrap! Over 10,000 Girl Scouts, friends and family packed Kauffman Stadium to cheer on our Kansas City Royals as they took on the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, July 8! You didn’t have to look hard to spot Girl Scout green, vests and sashes as well as homemade signs and apparel at the K!

The Kansas City Royals made sure that everyone else in the stadium knew that it was Girl Scout Day as well!

Girl Scouts who sold 300+ boxes of Girl Scout Cookies earned 2 free tickets and the opportunity to walk around the field prior to the game! These girls were led by high achieving cookie sellers Rebecca McCreight from Spring Hill, KS, Alma Solano from Independence, MO, Joslin Ungles from Skidmore, MO and Patricia Smith from Leavenworth, KS.

Our top cookie seller (3,551 packages and the top seller for the second year in a row), Girl Scout Brownie Paige Thomas from Lee’s Summit, MO delivered the game ball to the pitcher’s mound.

(Photo by Jason Hanna/Kansas City Royals)

Our second-place seller (2,701 packages), Girl Scout Brownie Emauri Snider from Eudura, KS served as our Captain’s Club representative and accepting a game ball for our incredible ticket sales.

Photo by Jason Hanna/Kansas City Royals)

The first pitch and first catch were completed by 2018 Gold Award Girl Scouts AND top cookie sellers, Tehya Frederick from Kansas City, MO and Kresynda Robinson from Olathe, KS!

(Photo by Jason Hanna/Kansas City Royals)

The colors were presented by the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club from Fort Leavenworth, KS with three of the four members being Girl Scout Alums!

In the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat was Gold Award Girl Scout and National Yong Woman of Distinction nominee, Taylor Edwards from Lansing, KS. For her Gold Award project Taylor created the Young Voters Committee at Lansing High School. Taylor worked with her State Representative and History Teacher to create workshops educating her peers on political issues that are affecting their community. It’s now a recognized school club that meets monthly reviewing issues on upcoming ballots with elected officials attending as guest speakers.

Girl Scout Dad and troop leader Tech. Sgt. Robert Jennings from Whiteman Airforce Base was recognized in the Salute to Heroes seat!

Prior to the game,  Caitlin Stratmann from Topeka, KS, Zia Montigny from Raymore, MO, Lily Wollum Lenexa, KS and Amara Wray from Lee’s Summit, MO, delivered a sweet snack break to Rex Hudler and Ryan Lefebvre in the Fox Sports Broadcast booth and received an autographed baseball in return!

Haley Guyer from Olathe, KS, Alana Mallen from Lone Jack, MO and Layla Bradley from Junction City, KS officially declared the start of the game by announcing “Play Ball!”

Thank you to everyone who came out and participated in 2018 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!

Want more photos? See all our 2018 Girl Scout Day at the K photos here! Feel free to view, download, share and/or print!

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.

Day Trips and Community Partners: The Perfect Combo – Part 2

Enjoy Some Fantastic Places in Our North Region & Beyond

Today we’re highlighting summer trips in our North Region and beyond! Join us as we take you on a virtual tour through the Region’s best State Parks, museums, and day trips! These trips are sure to excite all of the travel bug G.I.R.L.s (Go-Getters, Innovators, Risk Takers, and Leaders) out there!

Wallace State Park

First up, we’re taking your family on a nature trip in Cameron, Missouri. Wallace State Park is a large private campground with shaded hiking trails and a few large ponds. Other activities include fishing, boating, and bird watching. Girl Scouts from ages 5-12 can enjoy Kid’s Fishing Day on June 16th.

Robidoux Resident Theatre

Next, we’re taking you on an afternoon out with one of our CommunityPartners, Robidoux! Located in St. Joseph, Missouri, this theatre has a lot of productions coming this summer from: Mamma Mia!, The Wizard of Oz and Newsies. Teens can also enjoy their summer theatre camp program!

Shatto Milk Company Tour

Then, there’s Shatto Farms is located in Osborn, Missouri. This Midwest classic, local, farm-fresh milk has an amazing tour opportunity to bring the whole family to. Tuesday through Saturday at 10:30 families, groups or individuals can reserve a tour of their farm for only six dollars per person.  When you’re there, remember to try more than just the milk; Shatto also offers yummy treats for summer like ice cream!

Walt Disney Hometown Museum

For our last stop, we’re landing in Marceline, Missouri- the original Main Street USA! Walt Disney called Marceline home while he attended grade school there. Take a stroll through Main Street and find the charming Walt Disney Hometown Museum where you’ll find the most knowledgeable tour guides who remembered Walt as a child. After the tour, you can take a trip to Mr. Disney’s family barn to enjoy a little piece of special Missouri history.

We hope you enjoyed our tour around some highlights of our North Region! Share your experiences this summer with us in the comments below. Visited a place you want us to feature? Comment below! Stay tuned for our special feature on the West Region and Beyond next week!

The Power of Being a Girl Scout Lasts a Lifetime

Meet GSKSMO Alum Katherine Anderson

Leadership, teamwork and confidence to try, all things a Girl Scout learns along her leadership journey. Meet Katherine Anderson, a Girl Scout alum and proud member of a cool group of women who work in a STEM field. Katherine is a Subcontractor Manager for Black & Veatch and has developed a real passion for inspiring girls to get hands-on with STEM. Thanks to her Girl Scouting experience, Katherine developed the confidence in herself to try new things and thrive as team manager to accomplish tasks from personal home improvement to $100 million power plant projects.

Being a Girl Scout was a family affair for Katherine. Her grandmother was troop leader for her mother and aunt, and Katherine’s mom because her troop leader. Growing up in Lawrence, KS, there was no shortage of volunteer opportunities for Katherine’s troop, Troop 691. They made improvements to local parks, volunteered for a variety of organizations and had their own adventures. “I did everything to camping, to learning to roast a turkey in the snow, to how to reroute pipes under our kitchen sink. Most of us knew how to reroute plumbing before we could spell ‘hot’ and ‘cold!’” Katherine said.

 

Katherine and her troop in Lawrence as a Brownie Girl Scout.

Most importantly, Katherine learned teamwork from Girl Scouts. “My troop leader – who happened to be my mom – taught us that the success of a manager is measured by the success of their team. That has become a driving force behind how I now manage my team at Black & Veatch,” Katherine said. She feels that her early troop experiences, working in a team to complete tasks, gave her the opportunity to use her voice in a group of strong, independent personalities. “Girl Scouts was a safe space where you learn to speak up and you have this team of people working with you to tackle projects. We learned that we have a voice,” Katherine said.

Today, Katherine leads subcontract teams that have to work together to create massive power plants, working with any type of energy you can imagine! She credits many of her day to day skills to Girl Scouts because of those early experiences working in a troop to complete a project. They worked on a wide variety of tasks, which has given her the confidence to try new things, even if they fail.

As an alum, she continues to represent Girl Scouts through speaking opportunities with Black & Veatch at their “Thinking Outside the Box” event with GSKSMO. Proudly displaying her troop flag, she presents the power of the lessons she learned in Girl Scouting to today’s generation of amazing G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)TM. “There’s a lot I learned that I didn’t even realize at the time. As a kid, I was just hanging out and doing projects, I didn’t realize I was learning to be a manager and other life skills I still use every day,” Katherine said.

Girl Scouts at “Christmas in October” 2017.

Katherine even integrated Girl Scouts into Black & Veatch’s “Christmas in October” service event where they make needed additions or renovations to homes from those in need. Reaching out to local Girl Scout troops, she let the girls act as project managers for the day and try all types of jobs they could do in a career in construction. It was an amazing experience for the girls and let the engineers and contractors work faster!

Thank you, Katherine, for your continued dedication to Girl Scouting and for inspiring the next generation of STEM leaders! If you have an alum story you’d like to share, post in the comments below!

We LOVE Kappa Deltas!

5th Annual Kappa Delta Girl Scout Cookie Challenge Yields Record-Breaking Results

The hustle of boxes, the speed of sale, and the awesome energy of Kappa Delta women paired with Girl Scouts – it’s the annual Kappa Delta Girl Scout Cookie Challenge!

For the past five years Girl Scout troops have partnered with the Kappa Delta chapter at Kansas State University and the Kappa Delta chapter at University of Kansas for a friendly competition to see which school can sell the most Girl Scout cookies in a few hours!

It’s more than just a (coveted) Golden Thin Mint trophy, it’s a whole different kind of bragging rights between these schools. One that puts sister against sister!

What started out as a little game in 2014 has grown into the #KDGSCookieChallenge, with the Golden Thin Mint residing in both chapter houses twice. The fifth year, however, would mean that one school would be able to declare more wins over the other… and this year was another for the record books – with both schools selling more than they ever have in the history of the competition!

“I think what our chapter loves about this challenge is being able to see the impact we make directly with the Girl Scouts. It’s unique to be able to impact people at a local level and not just donate to an organization. We love being with the Girl Scouts and being able to spend time with them to hopefully build their confidence! It’s also really cool to see so many Kappa Deltas supporting them and seeing friendships made at the event,” K-State Kappa Delta VP-Community Service said!

This year, the KU Kappa Delta Chapter and Senior & Ambassador Troop 7579 sold 150 cases while the the K-State Kappa Delta Chapter and Cadette Troop 467 sold 158! Not only is this the most cookies ever sold, it’s also the narrowest margin in #KDGSChallenge history!

If you’re keeping total, that’s 3,696 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies sold at both schools in just three hours!!

School 2015 2016 2017 2018
KU 1,187 1,462 1,364 1,800
K-State 624 768 1,579 1,896

“For the house it’s a great opportunity to hang out with Girl Scouts more. We can develop more of a friendship with these girls and give them a glimpse into sorority life since they’re older girls we’re working with,” KU Kappa Delta VP-Community Service Cassidy Hild said. “I feel like with increased numbers by both schools it just shows the passion and effort we give this challenge each year!”

Both troops have big plans for the proceeds they earned while working with the Kappa Deltas. Troop 467 believes that their dream of a trip to a National Park will be made a reality this year and Troop 7579 is planning an international trip before they graduate next year!

Every year we’re blown away with the hospitality, enthusiasm, energy and effort that the women of Kappa Delta put into making the #KDGSCookieChallenge a huge success with the troops who are selected to sell at their houses. This is one sweet partnership and we are forever grateful!

STEMing Ahead with Community Partners

Full STEM Ahead!! When it comes to STEM experiences, no organization offers girls the wide range of opportunities that Girl Scouts does. Just ask Girl Scout Troop 5571 from KCMO! This Brownie troop has taken full advantage of the many programs available through the Girl Scout Community Partner Program! In fact, the troop was so active and showcased so many cool things that at recruitment night, they grew from a troop of 6…to a troop of 22! WOW!

“The Community Partner [program] is great. Because we did so many last year, my troop grew from 6 to 22,” Renita Hudson, leader for Troop 5571 said.

Troop 5571 delivering cookies to Fire Station 37 in South KCMO, as a service project.

Showing photos from all their service projects and Community Partner programs really made a difference for parents who weren’t sure what exactly a Girl Scout troop experience was like. Renita was able to show that Girl Scouting is girl-led and that being in a troop gives girls access to experiences they would never be able to have outside the program. Where else can girls get on field experiences with the KC Chiefs, like Troop 5571 did just last month?! Only in Girl Scouts!

This was Renita’s first year leading the troop on her own and the Community Partner opportunities help her create a full troop experience without having to plan every detail. Last year, they participated in  events at Google Fiber, Avila University and the Belger Art Center, just to name a few. It certainly was a busy year of learning for these Brownies.

Renita Hudson and her daughter, Veronica at Inspire a Girl 2017 and participating in STEM activities.

In addition to Community Partner STEM programming, Renita received STEM training from GSKSMO trainer, Kate Hood. “Trainings with Kate were great. She said she was there for us beyond class. Since this is the first time leading on my own, it’s good to know I have someone who can help,” Renita said. The troop even received books to help the girls along their STEM journey. Once the training was over, Renita took the books to her girls and watched their faces light up.

“Just getting the Journey books and seeing all the choices they had made my girls so excited,” Renita said. “[Girl Scouts] is about building our girls up […] and STEM experiences led by women give them confidence.”

As a troop leader, Renita gets to see firsthand the interest in STEM spark in her young girls. For some, incorporating STEM programming can be intimidating, but as Renita has shown, by taking advantage of the programs already available through Girl Scouting, there’s no better place for a girl to grow as a leader in STEM and in life.

Thank you, Renita, for leading girls through STEM adventures. When parents see unrivaled opportunities and want their daughters to be G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)TM, the future looks BRIGHT for Girl Scouts! If you’d like to know more about the Community Partner Program or have an organization that would like to create opportunities for girls, check out our Community Partners page here!