Investing Together in a Brighter Tomorrow for Girls

Spotlighting Donors Kathleen & Steven Hermes

 With the hot summer weather, the minds at GSKSMO are focused on our brand new Aquatics Center at Camp Prairie Schooner. Thanks to incredible supporters, Girl Scout families, troops and service units, the funds are coming together to replace one of the oldest pools in KC with a new, ADA-compliant pool, splash pad and all-season shower house.

To make a BIG, BOLD project like this possible for girls, Girl Scout supporters are coming together and saying “girls are important!” by investing in the new Aquatics Center. Two of these awesome donors are Kathleen and Steven Hermes. As an alum and former staff member, Kathleen Hermes and husband Steven, are proud to support girls in a time when the need is greater than ever. For Kathleen, supporting Girl Scouts means giving back to a place she was able to call home.  “Girl Scouts was a warm, supportive environment and gave me a place,” Kathleen said.

Steven & Kathleen Hermes at Camp Prairie Schooner with GSKSMO Board Members & Staff, February 2017

When Kathleen was a girl, Girl Scouts provided much needed emotional support when she moved from Chicago to Kansas City, a whole new world for her. It also provided her a place to explore her wide variety of interests. “I was a little bit of a lost kid, I didn’t have a place, until Girl Scouts became that place. In many ways, it’s part of who I became. I don’t know where I would have landed without it,” Kathleen said.

As a former leader, Kathleen found a chance to connect with her daughters and help them excel through activities like badge work and camping. “Girl Scout camp awakened a lifelong love of nature in me,” Kathleen said. She was the leader for both daughters, Kristin and Kim, and got to experience the programming both as a girl and as a leader. With a love of nature and great Girl Scout programming in her heart, it’s no wonder that she and Steven have become supporters of the new Aquatics Center at Camp Prairie Schooner.

Steven & Kathleen Hermes with GS Alum daughters, Kristin & Kim

Investing in the new Aquatics Center means they’re investing in the future of girl programming, making opportunities available to ALL girls (thanks to a new, fully ADA compliant pool) and showing girls they deserve the very best. “Now more than ever, this is the prime time to support girls,” Kathleen said.  We thank Kathleen and Steven Hermes for their on-going support of Girl Scouts – both as donors and as volunteers. Without supporters like these two incredible individuals, Girl Scouts could not be the premiere leadership development organization for girls.

Rendering of the Aquatics Center

If you’d like to make your mark on Camp Prairie Schooner and join the Hermes in supporting the new Aquatics Center, you can make a gift TODAY at https://www.gsksmo.org/makeasplash.

Girl Scouts Shine Bright

Spotlight on our 2018 Beth Winters Scholarship Recipients

Beth Winters was a passionate Girl Scout; she loved camping, traveling and was part of Girl Scouts of the USA’s “Leadership Today and Tomorrow” program as a girl member. Beth was the kind of person who wanted to know everything about everything and she attended the University of Missouri where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Journalism.

Just four years after graduating college, Beth was tragically killed in a car accident.

Upon her passing, Beth’s Mother Joyce Termini and brother Chip began thinking of ways to honor and remember her. With Beth’s passion for continuing education and her love of Girl Scouts, a scholarship for graduating Girl Scouts in seemed like the perfect fit. “This was exactly the right answer,” is how Joyce describes starting the scholarship in 1995.

Over the past 22 years, the Beth Winters Memorial Scholarship has provided 32 scholarships totaling more than $50,000 to Gold Award Girl Scouts from our council. This year, we were honored to recognize three Beth Winters Memorial Scholarship recipients at Inspire at Girl on April 14, 2018.

Emily Musembi, Joyce Termini, Isabella Barnes, Chloe Rothery and Chip Winters

Isabella Barnes

Isabella’s Gold Award project addressed lack of literacy and emphasis on fostering the love of learning in at-risk communities in Kansas City. Prior to the sessions, children would spend time on their phones during Harvesters-sponsored Kid’s Café, only to return to their computers after their meals. After observing a few sessions of Kid’s Café in the summer of 2016, Isabella realized that their time could be put to better use, and could be a catalyst for change.

Isabella worked with the Bluford Branch of the Kansas City Public Library and the Kid’s Café to plan and execute the interdisciplinary literacy outreach program using arts-based curriculum. These bi-monthly sessions will continue to happen and Isabella is currently training another youth facilitator!

 

Emily Musembi

Emily’s Gold Award project addressed the memory preservation and overall wellbeing for survivors of domestic abuse. In many situations, survivors have to leave quickly and cannot take personal items like scrapbooks, art and journals. This program provided them with art supplies to help them express themselves while recording memories and helping them start a new life. For children, the art supplies allowed them to create works of art that could help define their new spaces as “home.”

Emily worked with Synergy Services, local Girl Scouts and a teacher to gather supplies, share the program and plan the events. Her program will be made available to future coordinators who may want to recreate the project through instructions, a video and the supplies Emily donated. She learned to project manage, gather donations and lead a program through this process. She hopes that the project will be shared with other shelters and the video will inspire others to recreate the program. Through art, survivors can find healing and a way to begin a new life and record positive experiences that make wonderful memories and scrapbooks.

 

Chloe Rothery

Chloe’s Gold Award project addressed the lack of awareness about opportunities in science classes and career pathways at Liberty High School. Working with local 8th graders, Chloe set-up a fair for them to learn about the opportunities available in high school and spark excitement about science. She asked fellow high school students to set up booths and talk about their classes and future careers. Many included interactive displays and experiments.

Chloe worked with her high school and Liberty Middle School to coordinate the 8th grade attendees and the fair. Her fellow high school students loved sharing their love of science with the middle schoolers and she found that the excitement translated to the younger students as planned. While most answered “no” when asked if they’d considered a career in science when they arrived, a large number said “yes” by the time they left! She hopes that this excitement will encourage more students to go into sciences for their careers, leading to a more robust STEM pipeline in the future!

Thank you to Joyce, Chip and Beth’s friends and family for making this scholarship possible!

We are excited to announce that an additional scholarship will be available in 2019 for graduating Girl Scouts form our council! This new scholarship is being sponsored by Highest Award Alum and Lifetime Member, Connie Davis and more information will be available soon!

Read how the other 57 Gold Award Girl Scouts are making an impact on our community here!

Interested in learning more about how you can start a scholarship for Girl Scouts? Contact Vanessa Van Goethem-Piela at Vanessa@gsksmo.org or 816-759-3072.

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!