An ANGEL for Girl Scouts

For every Girl Scout, there are volunteers that make a difference in her life. Whether it’s a troop leader, parent volunteer or community member, these volunteers influence a girl’s future by showing her a big, bright world ahead of her. For Girl Scouts in Holden, KS, Angel Mallen certainly lives up to her name as an angel for girls. Coming from a low income background, Angel is able to connect to Girl Scouts with economic issues in a unique way…through a shared experience.

Growing up, Angel wanted to be a Girl Scout, but her single, working mother wasn’t able to provide the financial support to continue in the program. The cookie program became her biggest hurdle because they didn’t have a physical address or place to store cookies. When your address is more often your family truck rather than a home, it becomes difficult to sign-up for things like cookie sales.

It’s sad to imagine what an amazing Girl Scout Angel would have been had financial obstacles not prevented her from continuing. “I was one of those ‘Go-getter’ kids, so I loved badges,” said Angel. Fortunately, today’s Girl Scouts have more options than Angel did. At GSKSMO, we are constantly workings to ensure that no girl is turned away because of a family’s financial situation and we are innovating ways to build the Opportunity Fund for girls just like Angel.

Despite the setback, Angel became a business owner who sold her business and was able to retire at age 46! Talk about a SERIOUS go-getter! She now leads a multi-age troop for girls in her community, many of whom are low income girls, just like she was.

“I bring fresh vegetables and herbs to meetings because some of my girls have never seen these types of fresh foods.” said Angel. This innovative thinking comes from personal experience with the problems these girls face. She recently did a project to teach strength by having her troop use their voice and get a glow stick (representing their strength lighting the way in a dark room) until they lit up the room where all the lights were out except for a lamp that Angel had. She then turned down her own lamp, showing them that now they have the strength to light up a dark room and didn’t need her guidance when they learned to be strong. What an inspiring way to teach girls about working together to face their fears!

One of the other things Angel loves is helping girls sell cookies so they can have experiences like Girl Scout Day at the K. “When we got to do Day at the K last year, that was the first time most of my girls had seen a Royals game that wasn’t on a TV,” said Angel.

Thanks to Angel, more than 40 girls have a place to call home in Girl Scouts. Her troop has expanded from 15 Daisies to over 40 girls from Daisy through Junior Girl Scouts. Even with her early setback with Girl Scouts, she believes in the program because of its ability to empower. “Rather than being told you can’t do things because you’re a girl…you’re told you CAN do things BECAUSE you’re a girl,” said Angel.

In addition to the live skills and empowerment, Girl Scouts just provides a level playing field. “When you give to Girl Scouts, you’re giving girls the chance to fit in. Girl Scouts may be the only place where they have a vest like everyone else and get to do activities like everyone else…rather than being left out,” said Angel.

All year, volunteers like Angel are changing lives as troop leaders, service unit volunteers and parent helpers. Without your gifts of your time, your talent and your treasure, Girl Scouts couldn’t exist. As the year comes to a close we thank leaders, like Angel, who recognize their girls’ unique needs and work to provide them a solid support system.

If you’d like to provide a Girl Scout in need a uniform or invest in programming that directly impacts local girls, please consider an end of the year gift today. www.gsksmo.org/donate.

#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!

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

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

Spotlighting our Newest Juliette Gordon Low Society Member: Ally Spencer

Early October brought Girl Scouts, volunteers and advocates together from all over the country for the ultimate gathering of G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)TM – the 2017 Girl Scout Convention (G.I.R.L. 2017). Among these delegates voting on the future of Girl Scouting was Ally Spencer and her daughter, Alex, a Girl Scout Senior from Kansas City , Missouri. Serving as delegates allowed these two to spend time together and help shape the future of an organization they’re passionate about. How passionate? Ally serves as Northland Encampment Director, service unit volunteer, troop leader and new member of the Juliette Gordon Low Society! Talk about a family that LOVES Girl Scouting!

Ally Spencer is a proud Girl Scout alumna, but feels her true Girl Scout journey began when Alex was in kindergarten. As often happens, a Daisy troop was forming, but had no leader. Ally hesitantly raised her hand after seeing no other volunteers and it was a life changing moment that has shaped the last decade of her life with her daughter.

“I sent a long email to my membership manager about my first year because it was so magnificent. I talked a lot about my challenges (the membership manager thought I was quitting most of the email she told me later), and ended it saying ‘thank you for one of the best years of my life,’” Ally said. That first year has turned into a decade of service, with her little GS Daisies now strong, independent GS Seniors.

Ally and Troop 2089 at the Kansas City Lyric Opera community partner event (left), at a troop meeting (center) and Alex, her daughter, receiving her Silver Award (right).

One thing Ally particularly loves is the support a service unit can give to new leaders, which ledto her volunteering on a larger scale. “Walking into a service unit meeting is wonderful. Your first year, you don’t know what to say, you don’t know what you don’t know…but at a service unit meeting, you have 30-40 troop leaders there representing probably 100 years+ worth of experience…all there ready to help you,” Ally said.

She took on becoming director of the Northland Encampment, a big event for the Northland Girl Scouts that’s very successful. The 2016 Encampment was a rainy, muddy weekend, but she loved how the Girl Scouts splashed in the mud and found a way to turn the rain into joy.

Northland Encampment over the years.

As a mother, Ally has loved watching her daughter grow into a strong young woman through Girl Scouting. At Convention, Alex had some hard decisions to make when she voted on national issues. After one particularly divided issue, Ally witnessed Alex not only continue to support her vote,  but spoke up to opposition who questioned her decision.

“My daughter said ‘you tell me I’m smart enough to be a delegate [and evaluate decisions] and that I can control our destiny, so I voted the way I thought was appropriate.’ It was a beautiful moment, I thought ‘she’s not a teenage girl right now, she’s an articulate, young lady.’ It’s moments like that you see [in Girl Scouts],” Ally said.

Experiences like this led Ally to join the Juliette Gordon Low Society while at National Convention. This society (previously known as the Trefoil Society at GSKSMO) is for anyone leaving a financial legacy to Girl Scouts in their estate plans.

Ally receiving her Juliette Gordon Low Society pin from Founding Chair, Dianne Belk (left & right). Ally posing with Dianne and Lawrence Calder (center).

“As someone in the corporate world, my time is money. Right now, I can give my time, but when I’m no longer able to give time, leaving a legacy means my giving can continue on past me,” Ally said. In a very special moment, Ally was pinned by JGL Society Founding Chair, Dianne Belk, at Convention.

 

We thank Ally for her service and continued dedication to Girl Scouts. Her volunteer work and leadership is helping girls become all they can be. By joining the Juliette Gordon Low Society, she is creating a positive future for the girls of tomorrow. Thank you for creating lasting change!

 

Do you know a special volunteer we should highlight? Tell us about her or him in the comments below.

Built by G.I.R.L.s for G.I.R.L.s: A Look Inside the “Magical” Camp Prairie Schooner

Frolicking with the Prairie Fairy and adventures out in Farmer’s Field – those are experiences that Girl Scouts who call Camp Prairie Schooner home are very familiar with. For more than 70 years, Girl Scouts have taken pride and ownership in this beautiful camp located near the Little Blue River in Kansas City, MO. It’s also the location of our upcoming Alumnae Reunion Weekend, Lifetime Member Picnic and Trefoil Society Pinning Ceremony on Sept 23 – 24! Today we’ll take a look how this camp came to be and the women whose tenacity made it a reality.

Camp Prairie Schooner patch (left); Flag ceremony and patches (center) and early sign (right).

In the early 1940s, the Independence Council of Girl Scouts decided they wanted a camp for Kansas City Girl Scouts. A leader in that initiative was Mrs. Dewitt, who was active in the community and knew about a war time fund that had unallocated money. During World War II, the War Chest fund had been active in raising funds and by 1945, the remaining money was in limbo, ready to be reorganized.

Mrs. Dewitt, advocating for girls, approached the War Chest Board about the funds before they reorganized and the leadership wasn’t sure if they could trust ladies to establish and run a camp. As we know, G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)TM can do anything, and the Girl Scout Council knew they could achieve their goal, even if the Board doubted them.

The Council found the land where Camp Prairie Schooner currently sits and decided it was an ideal location. With a train stop just a short hike away, wooded areas and space for camp, they advocated for the funds. Despite pushback from the War Chest Board, Mrs. Dewitt was a hard woman to say “no” to and the Board sent the Jackson County Planning Commission to look at the land and make a recommendation. They had planned to use this as a stalling technique, hoping the women would give up before getting the funds.

Jerry Manning was sent to inspect the site and as he visited, he met the team behind the camp plan. It included community leaders and strong women who knew this would be a success. He realized this was a project backed by serious people wanting to create a better world for girls, not a whim that ladies had. He made the recommendation that the War Chest

Camp Prairie Schooner staff from 1988 (left) and approx. late 1970s (right).

funds should be given to Girl Scouts, and they were. After they acquired the land, the Council asked Mr. Manning to become the Camp Chairman, which started many years of service he gave to Girl Scouts, including serving as President of the Pioneer Trails Council!

Cookie money and funds from the War Chest paid the $4,000 for 127 acres of land that is now Camp Prairie Schooner. Still having reservations about the project, the War Chest Board held the title to Camp Prairie Schooner until the Council proved the camp was successful. After the installation of a pool and successful management of the property, they realized that these G.I.R.L.s meant business and the title was officially given to Girl Scouts.

Camp Prairie Schooner philanthropy! Girl Scouts from SU 638 & 639 built a Gaga Pit in 2015 (left) and Burns & McDonnell host annual work days at camp (right).

Today, Camp Prairie Schooner stands as a living testament to the power of G.I.R.L.s who wanted to make the world better for young women. We thank those early pioneers for their vision and tenacity that brought that camp to life as well as the current day donors who add to camp each year! Businesses, donors, and girls have added new facilities and games to camp, creating more opportunities and adventures (read our blog post about girl donated projects). Thank you!

We invite you to join us at Camp Prairie Schooner for our Alumnae Reunion! Registration closes SOON, so register today at www.gsksmo.org/reunion! See you at camp!

Becoming a Woman of Confidence

Spotlight on Alumna & Donor Chris McClain

 Girl Scout Lifetime member and Camp Prairie Schooner alumna, Chris McClain found her voice in the great outdoors at camp as a Girl Scout. Through Girl Scouting, Chris was able to discover who she was, learn acceptance and become the strong woman she is today. Growing up in the 1950s, Chris was given unparalleled opportunities because of Girl Scouts.

Now a resident of Vermont, Chris found herself back among the Prairie Fairy and familiar trails of Camp Prairie Schooner last winter when she was visiting Kansas City. While on a walk through memories and trails of camp, Chris happened upon the GSKSMO Philanthropy team as they were having a meeting. After some introductions, she was able to reconnect with the council and camp of her childhood.

Chris McClain (third from the left), with GSKSMO Philanthropy team in December 2016.

Camping was a huge part of Girl Scouting for Chris. She remembers working at Camp Prairie Schooner and getting to know new girls every time she went. It was a place of discovery where she was able to push her limits and explore possibilities.

During the 1960s, camp was a place where she learned acceptance and social inclusion as race riots in Kansas City changed the dynamics of camp. During the riots, there was a particular push to get Girl Scouts of color to camp, not only for their protection, but to give them a chance to just be girls and focus on their own development. For Chris, this gave her new opportunities to meet girls she’d never met before and see that everyone was accepted. At camp, everyone was a Girl Scout, no matter the social climate in the city.

“[Girl Scouts gives you] the confidence to try stuff outside your comfort zone and to stand up for what you believe is right,” Chris said.

A highlight of her experience was attending a Girl Scout Roundup in Vermont during high school. After applying with thousands of other girls from around the country, she and her troop were accepted and jumped on a train for Vermont. She and 10,000 other Girl Scouts camped together and made new friends. One of the best parts? A closing campfire with the real life Maria Von Trapp!

This Roundup group continues to hold reunions every other year, reuniting Girl Scout friends from around the country. Chris is an active member of planning these reunions and loves the chance to reconnect with one of the most life changing opportunities she had in her childhood.

 

Chris McClain in her home in Vermont and enjoying bagpiping – a hobby and profession for this alumna!

Today, Chris is a proud Girl Scout Lifetime member, an active community member and periodic volunteer for Girl Scouts in Vermont. She loves having opportunities to inspire young girls and give back to the organization that helped her grow into the woman she is today. She’s also become a member of the Trefoil Society, giving back to Girl Scouts through her estate. “After all Girl Scouts did for me, I can finally give back,” Chris said.

Thank you to Chris and the other Trefoil Society members who are leaving a legacy and making a better tomorrow for girls. If you’d like to share a powerful Girl Scouts story from Camp Prairie Schooner, leave a comment below!

Celebrating the Awe-Inspiring Volunteers of the East Region

It takes a village to raise G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)TM, and thanks to Girl Scout volunteers, girls haven an amazing circle of support! On Thursday, May 4, we were able to honor and thank the incredible volunteers across our East Region.

2017 East Region Volunteer Award Recipients

The East Region Volunteer Celebration was a Mad Hatter event! Everyone arrived in their wackiest hats or made them there at the hat creation station. Girl Scouts enjoyed our G.I.R.L photo booth, and there were plenty of goodies for everyone to eat in the reception following the awards ceremony. It was a night of fun, celebration and appreciation! We love our East Region volunteers!

At the awards ceremony, we presented the President’s Award to 10 incredible service units who are providing girls with amazing experiences in the East region (SU 604, SU 605, SU 607, SU 618, SU 620, SU 646, SU 648, SU 649, SU 654 and SU 655 – way to go!).  These service unit awards show the power of working together for girls.

We honored 29 outstanding individuals with the Appreciation Pin, an award that recognizes outstanding service given to at least one service unit. Every one of these volunteers has shown incredible dedication, passion and service to the girls in our community and they’re changing lives every day. Thank you to these amazing volunteers!

In addition to these awesome Appreciation Pin and President’s Award recipients, we were able to honor volunteers who have contributed to the success of Girl Scouts in the areas of STEM, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Service. To name just a few, we presented the Recruitment Award to the Recruitment Team of Service Unit 604 (Heather Cooper, Chessie Hernandez, Lindsay Peterson, Paige Rahman and Katherine Stitt). The Rising Star Award was given to Barbara Schlesinger for her work with her troop!  Erica Johnson was honored not only as an Appreciation Pin recipient, but also with the G.I.R.L Brand Ambassador Award for her mission-focused storytelling and volunteer work. You all ROCK – THANK YOU!

Philanthropy is a huge part of Girl Scouts, and we wanted to thank a couple of incredible philanthropists that contribute to Girl Scouts! Tara Scherer was honored as the Daisy’s Circle Philanthropist, Ron Grode was honored with the Philanthropist Award and Hallmark received the Corporate Philanthropist Award. Way to go, philanthropists! Thank you for investing in girls!

What an incredible night honoring our East Region team. We can’t thank our incredible volunteers enough; you all are making an incredible impact on girls. Because of you, we are growing G.I.R.L.s who will lead tomorrow! THANK YOU!!

To see a full list of awardees and photos from the night, click here to view our program and gallery.

Leading by Example Through Giving

Spotlighting Girl Scout Cadette & Philanthropist Maddie Gaines

Each year, tens of thousands of hours of service are done by Girl Scouts for nonprofits serving every sector of life. It takes a special Girl Scout to see that sometimes the most important service is done behind the spotlight. Meet Maddie Gaines, a 12 year old Girl Scout Cadette from Independence who knows that leading by example and giving back changes the world.

Maddie has a natural desire to help wherever she can.  At events, she’s always ready to step up and takes the jobs that don’t always get a lot of praise, but have to be done. As Maddie said, “I don’t have a specific motivation to help. I just know that helping others can make them happy and I like making people happy.” It’s this sort of selfless drive to give that made take a new approach to giving by becoming a member of Daisy’s Circle while at a Girl Scout event!

If there’s one thing Maddie really loves, it’s STEM! She eagerly signed up for Cookie Construction and became a member of team Alpha Builders with HOK. For months, she worked with a team of Girl Scouts and mentors to design their creation that would come to life on Build Day (March 4, 2017). During that Build Day, Maddie learned about Daisy’s Circle and knew she wanted to give back.

 

Maddie and Team Alpha Builders work on their creation for Cookie Construction.

By talking with her mom, she agreed to exchange extra chores at home to cover the monthly commitment she wanted to make to girls just like her. Now, Maddie is a proud member of Daisy’s Circle and a philanthropist at the age of 12. “I wanted to join Daisy Circle because I know that it will help other girls in Kansas City have experiences they might not have if we didn’t have Girl Scouts. I think everyone should be giving back no matter how old they are,” Maddie said.

Maddie selected Girl Scouts as her philanthropy because of all the friendships and opportunities it has afforded her personally. “I wouldn’t have learned about STEM if it wasn’t for Girl Scouts [and in the program] you’re given a way to learn things you wouldn’t otherwise. You make friends for life and you will ALWAYS have a sister girl scout no matter where you go.  You learn to be a better person by following the Girl Scout promise and law,” Maddie said.

This awesome Girl Scout is already working on her second Highest Award, her Silver Award, after earning her Bronze Award with Girl Scout sister, Alexis. For their Bronze Award project, the girls collected toys and stuffed animals and delivered them to police and fire stations. The toys will be given to kids during emergencies to help ease fear while the first responders address a crisis. She attended Inspire a Girl in 2016 to learn more about the Highest Award and even met former GSUSA CEO, Anna Maria Chavez, which her mother said was one of the highlights of her Girl Scouting experience.

 

Maddie at camp; Maddie with her family and Maddie meeting GSUSA Former CEO, Anna Maria Chavez at Inspire a Girl 2016.

“Girl Scouts gives me a balance with all the other activities I do and keeps me focused and grounded. [My troop leader and Girl Scouts] encourages us to learn new things and to remember to be ourselves. I try my best to live every day by the promise and law,” Maddie said.

By becoming a member of Daisy’s Circle, she’s allowing other girls the opportunity to do the same and sees the benefit of investing in girls while they are young. “If you learn early it is likely to carry on into adulthood, which can help make the world a better place,” Maddie said.

Thank you to Maddie, her mother and troop leader, Heather, and all the Girl Scouts who give back in such a big way. Maddie is an example of how to be an amazing Girl Scout and citizen. By investing as a girl as well as finding ways to serve throughout her life, Maddie is creating a better tomorrow for everyone.

Know a Girl Scout making a BIG difference in her community? Share her story with us using the comments below.

A Girl Scout Life of Adventure  

 

Adventure is something Girl Scouts are definitely familiar with. Whether it’s camping away from home for the first time or speaking in front of a group, Girl Scouts have the courage to face it all. Girl Scout alumna, donor and Curved Bar recipient, Barbara Weary, has lived a Girl Scout life of adventure and held the Girl Scout Promise close to her heart. This amazing alumna has spent a lifetime supporting Girl Scouting both locally and abroad.

“Girl Scouts changed my life. It gave me the courage to be a real person and follow my dreams,” Barbara said.

Barbara became a Girl Scout in grade school, asking her mother to be the leader. She remembers one year where troops in her community hosted their own Day Camp at a farm at what was the end of Mission Road at the time (105th & Mission). For that Day Camp, they invited local African American Girl Scout troops to attend, knowing the communities they reached out to didn’t have the resources to host their own.

Her mother, Trudy, even started working at the Girl Scout council after becoming a troop leader and had an inspiring 17 year career serving girls!

In 1949, at the age of 19, Girl Scouts took Barbara to Europe where she traveled to five countries in three months. She arrived in London, England and met with Girl Guides. She then travelled to the Netherlands, France, Germany and Austria. The summer after the trip, Barbara gave speeches about the experience, inspiring other girls to travel.

“That summer was a mammoth dose of scouting. I got to go camping in the Netherlands, go to occupied Germany and Austria, meet up with another Girl Scout in Paris, where I spent all my money…it was incredible,” Barbara said.

Barbara’s Girl Scout pins from across the world; Barbara (leader) watches her daughter, Alison, pin her mother, Trudy in a three generation Girl Scout ceremony; Trudy’s appreciation certificate for her service.

After the trip, Barbara attended Vassar College where she remained active in Girl Scouts. She organized an all-city Girl Scout choir and helped troops with badge work. Upon returning to Kansas City, she began teaching and co-led a troop with 60 girls.

When Barbara became a mother, Girl Scouts was a top priority for her girls. She was a leader and watched her own daughters become courageous women.

Through all these years, Barbara has stayed committed because of the mission and what she sees girls gain from being Girl Scouts. “Girl Scouts empowers you. It teaches you the things you really need to know to be effective. Things like how to work in a committee, how to set goals for yourself and evaluating events to see how you can improve,” said Barbara.

Barbara Weary truly embodies the idea that you’re a Girl Scout “at any age, at any stage.” No matter where she was in life, she found a way to be engaged in Girl Scouting – even meeting up with international troops when she did personal travel, such as a trip to Japan in 1966.

Barbara looks over Girl Scout memorabilia; Barbara with staff at the Girl Scout shop; Barbara with fellow alumna, Barbara Lee, at Camp Daisy Hindman.

Today, Barbara still continues to be involved as a donor, member of the Trefoil Society and as a volunteer. She’s a strong believer in investing in girls when they’re young because it has greater impact than when they’re adults.

“You’ll never have the opportunity to impact them the rest of their lives any other way. If you miss the opportunity when they’re young, you’ll see impact, but not at the same level,” Barbara said.

We thank her for decades of service to girls and the incredible impact she’s had on the Girl Scouting community.