Blasting Off on a Girl Scout Destination

Three innovators from our council set out on a Girl Scout destination to Space Academy this summer!  Molly, Jenna, and Katie might’ve gone to the same camp with an extreme love for space exploration, but all three came back with different takeaways and experiences on their space missions.

“I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I hoped to go more in depth with what I learned in school in a new environment,” Katie said.

For most of the girls, this was their first long trip away from home, and Girl Scouts was able to push them out of their typical troop traveling comfort zone.  Each girl prepared in different ways for their trip!

“I thought it would be really helpful to look over my past school notes and brush up on current relevant events in the news to make sure I was ready for a tough week at the Space Academy,” Molly said.

Once the girls arrived, they all noticed how cool it was to be surrounded by Girl Scouts from all over the country, some from around the world.  “Everyone brought swaps from near and far, I thought that was a cool Girl Scout tradition that we kept going,” Jenna said.

“It was neat learning how everyone had a different perception and experience with space exploration based on where they were from,” Molly explained. “The Girl Scouts from New Zealand were near iconic landmarks that I had never seen.  Even though we all see the same sky at night, Girl Scouts from all over were surrounded by different Space Museums than I was.”

Katie with the Troop from New Zealand

On the second day of Space Academy, the girls went through lesson and mission training.  Each girl got a specific role to play that they trained for.  Molly was a Module Commander, Jenna was a Mission Specialist and Katie was in Mission Control. “Mission prep was a very big deal.  It was how we got to figure out how our simulations would actually go and the lingo we needed to learn. Understanding screen operations and commands while following a script was very difficult,” explained Katie.  One of Jenna’s favorite parts of her first day was making rockets.  “We had to use general supplies found in our kit to learn more about the physics behind space, it was so neat!” Jenna remarked.

Jenna and Molly in Mission Control!

The third day was completely filled with simulating their mission!  “They really set us up to succeed.  It would have been hard for us to completely fail, with how much prep we did. We learned so much,” Katie said excitedly!  Molly read through her journal and remembered how cool it was to work with Girl Scouts for this mission.  “The difference in working with Girl Scouts during our space mission was that we all really wanted to learn.  In class, people get frustrated too early, but when I worked with Girl Scouts, we were open communicators, learned how to adapt and tried harder to get along.  I liked that,” Molly laughed.

Days four and five mimicked the same activities on the previous days, and the girls got new roles for their new mission!  “The second mission went MUCH smoother,” Jenna remembered, “we had adjusted and knew how to better handle space anomalies.”  Jenna was in Mission Control this time, Katie was the Commander, and Molly was a trained GNC (a weather specialist).

Each girl had their own unique experience as well that was slightly different than the rest.  Jenna got to meet a female astronaut, Wendy, who had previously held records for trips to space and LOVED that it was a woman who held these records.  Alternatively, Katie got to meet the founder of Space Academy during their graduation.  She received a book and was able to have it autographed! Molly’s favorite part was realizing that a career in STEAM, specifically space exploration, was very possible for her someday.

Jenna at graduation from the program receiving her Flight Wings

All the girls expressed their desire to go on another destination in the future!

“We just love Girl Scouts because no other organization for girls has grander travel opportunities like this organization does,” Becky Blankenship, Katie’s Mother, said.

Molly in anti-gravity gear!

What an empowering experience!  These innovators are certainly well on their way to a world of more travel possibilities, learning about new careers along the way!

2019-2020 Girl Scout destination programs are being added through September. Check them out and submit your application to our council by Nov. 15 to be included in the first round of consideration!

Breaking Boundaries and Busting Barriers

The Boundary Waters account for over 1 million acres and 1,000 lakes of the Superior National Forest in the northeastern most part of Minnesota. With those statistics, it’s no wonder why Girl Scouts from all over the country head to Ely, MN every summer to experience the great outdoors camping, hiking, canoeing, porting and even making their way into Canada! This summer, seven Girl Scout Cadettes and two volunteers made the 10-hour road trip to the State Park with our Outdoor Experiences Excursion program!

Upon their arrival at Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin Lakes & Pines camp, they started learning what to expect over the next five days and four nights! In true Girl Scout fashion, girls packed light using their resources wisely. Each canoe had one Duluth pack that contained clothing, sleeping bags and hygiene items for two girls! Girls took two changes of clothes – one dry set for at night and a wet set for during the day. FYI, getting into wet clothes in the morning can be a little cold!

The groups also had a food pack, weighing about 75lbs that carried all their nutrition and supplies for the 5 days. In the State Park, all food must be packed out or eaten. They would build a fire every morning and evening to cook – making pizza, pancakes, macaroni, brownies, burritos and cheesecake! After each meal, they had to wash dishes and dispose of the water 150 feet from the lake to avoid contamination. For drinking, they gathered water directly from the lake and purified it with iodine through a gravity filter.

One of the volunteers who traveled with our Girl scouts was Girl Scout Alum, Katelyn Clark, who actually went on this very trip herself when she was a young Girl Scout!

“It was amazing to see the girls grow. Most were nervous when going through training and spending the first night at base camp in the woods.  The last day as we were paddling in they were discussing that they can do anything and that they felt that they accomplished a lot,” Katelyn said.

Their trip wasn’t without its challenges. During their R&R day they took a short paddle and hiking trip to get a better view of the lake. On their way back they were met with a thunderstorm and had to pull over and spend time with another group out of the water who felt the need to instructions and guidance. As they disembarked, Girl Scout Cadette Autumn got out and moved the metal canoe all on her own. The other group was impressed and acknowledged that these girls were Girl Scout STRONG!

On their final day, they had to take some long portages (carrying the canoe above their head) to get to the some of the final lakes, going up and downhill for a mile and quarter with all their gear in tow too.  “The girls were so empowered after we finished. It was personally the highlight of my trip to see each one of them so self-confident after we completed them,” Katelyn said.

In total they went about 26 miles, crossing into Canada and have the arm muscles, mosquito bites and wet boots to prove it!

 

At the end of the trip, the girls reflected and had some of the following takeaways:

-You can do anything you mentally put your mind to, your body has few limitations.

-Everyone has their own strengths and you need to accept them and use your team to make everything work.

-It’s good to disconnect from technology and your to do list and just listen to your body every once in a while.

-Everyone has different bodies and different ways of being fit – it is important you listen to yours and find your own ways.

-Camping is fun

-Get to go to school saying they carried a canoe for 1.25 miles, lived in the woods for a week, canoed 26 miles and went to Canada!

-Girl Scouts teaches you how to be a leader through experiences like these. You don’t feel like you are learning but you learn things like teamwork, communication, perseverance and acceptance through trips like these.

“It was such an amazing experience to see the girls go through the same process as I did 20 years ago – nervous, self-doubt, confident and empowered. Paddling back in on the last day and listening to them talk about their takeaways made me tear up because I knew I was sending home 7 ladies that felt like they could conquer the world,” Katelyn said. “At its core this is truly why I volunteer, to help girls have experiences that empower them and inspire them to carry on the values they have learned.”

This is just one Outdoor Experience, of many, that girls can have when they’re a Girl Scout! As she grows, so do her skills. Each experience will prepare her to thrive physically, emotionally and intellectually.

See all the Outdoor Experiences available to Girl Scouts this fall at outdoor.gsksmo.org.

 

Wildlife, Geysers & Mountains: An Unforgettable Adventure between Sisters

Jump aboard for an unforgettable adventure trip shared between two sisters! Miranda and Emily Nitz from Olathe, Kansas recently partook in a life-changing Destination trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park with other Girl Scout sisters from all over the United States.

“Girl Scouts really prepared me for camping; all of my interest for the outdoors started with my troop,” Miranda said.  Emily agreed that the large undertaking of Yellowstone was mostly possible because she felt confident in the outdoors. These Girl Scouts were more than ready to put their risk-taker skills into action!

From resident camps and planning day camps to past family excursions, these Miranda and Emily were looking for something completely out of the ordinary.  Having already been to Yellowstone before, this time around the girls were really able to be one with nature and got to enjoy the challenge of camping for a whole week.

“At the very beginning, we were ready to get rid of our cell phones for a week, being disconnected felt natural, actually, it really helped us enjoy trip,” Miranda said.

Although both sisters admit to being a little nervous at the start because they did not know anyone, after the first night they were ready to start new adventures with new friends.  “I realized that all the girls there were accepting and had the same Girl Scout values.  Even though the other girls came with friends, I felt very welcome,” Emily said.

The Girl Scout Destination trip was guided by the field instructors of Teton Science Schools.  The counselors taught the girls how to practice naturalist skills and give back through service with other Girl Scouts from across the nation.

“The counselors were SO cool!  They were each graduate students that brought forward their knowledge to our camp before they graduated,” the Nitz sisters said.

The nightly programs would help prepare the 25 Girl Scouts about everything they would need to do during their day excursions: packing a hiking bag, setting up camp, and even how to use bear spray!

“I was really nervous I was going to wake up at night and hear a bear next to me, so I was really glad to have bear spray, even though I didn’t have to use it,” Miranda said.

Emily and Miranda were all smiles when reflecting back on their day excursions.  “Every single day was packed with something unique and different, but the counselors made all the activities easy and fun- our hike, for example, was only a mile long, but we felt fully prepared and packed for anything, like, you get dehydrated a lot easier so we had to pack more water that I was used to and we were so glad we brought rain coats!” Miranda noted.

They had half a day of hiking and half a day of canoeing in String Lake.  Then Emily joined in, “it was so cool to see a different landscape than Kansas; there weren’t small hills but large mountains that were much harder to hike and when you canoed, the water was completely clear from the mountain springs, it was cold but worth it!”

The next day the girls set out early for a wildlife day.  Seeing native Yellowstone animals like bison, buffalo, bald eagles, elk and bears were definitely a major highlight for both of them.  Miranda laughed, “It was crazy seeing elk so close to our cabin we’d never been so close before!”

Miranda and Emily had quite a bit of driving to do on their trip to make sure they saw all of the landmarks: Old Faithful, Dragon’s Mouth and mud spots.  Emily remembered that “[The muds spots] smelled like rotten eggs, kind of.  So every day when we smelled eggs for breakfast I remembered that!”

The last day in Yellowstone was dedicated to service.  The girls had the unique experience to give back by making much needed repairs on The Murie Ranch that needed some love!  “what made service project so cool,” Miranda said, “is that the Murie Family founded the Teton Science School, which is who supported a large part of our trip.  We definitely got lucky being able to make such a large impact like fixing a trail!”

The Destinations program most definitely gave these girls the travel bug!  Emily has future plans to visit Savannah, Georgia with her troop.  She is also excited for the 2019 Belize trip.  Miranda is already excited for another trip and loves planning day camp for her service unit.  She is ready to start planning her troop’s trip to Europe soon.

When reflecting, Emily noted that, “the coolest thing about this trip is that all of us girls talk still every day and we really want to plan another Destination trip together!”  Being split up during the trip ended up being one of the biggest learning lessons for them both; making new friends is a corner stone of what Girl Scouts is all about.  This trip allowed these girls to step out of their comfort zone to come together to learn about STEM, and further their outdoor knowledge.  Way to go, girls!

Learn more about Girl Scout Destination travel today to find new ways to enhance your Girl Scout summer!

 

Cool STEAM Skill-Building to Try Before School Starts

It’s almost time for school to begin! Of course, your girls have probably already said they are bored about 150 times. We’re hoping to change that this final week of summer, here’s a few ideas in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) that are engaging and full of FUN! And don’t worry if they’re busy, keep these for the next rainy day!!

  1. Pool Noodle Periscope

Fitting a neat summer-theme, this pool noodle periscope helps kids learn about reflections, math, measurements and angles. The periscopes can also be decorated for an arts cross-over!

  1. Safe Drinking Water Lab

All around the world, people experience difficulty finding clean water to drink. Water safety is also important to understand when going on long hiking or camping excursions. This Water Lab will allow girls to collect their own water samples and test them using water test strips to determine each sample’s unique chemistry- pH, hardness, and alkalinity. This cool experiment will open up girl’s minds to the importance of water sources and safety!

  1. Metal Art STEAM Project

For all of our older girls, this project is a unique way to introduce science into the arts. Using various household chemicals like vinegar or hydrogen peroxide, and simple tools like steel wool, girls can see metal change colors and textures to create a unique art piece!

  1. Fizz Pop Bang

There’s a lot of science experiments that can begin with general supplies from your pantry and crafting boxes! Whether it’s a baking soda balloon experiment, mentos geysers, or citrus reactions, girls will learn that chemical reactions are happening everywhere!

  1. Edible Science

What’s more fun than science you can eat?! These exciting edible science hacks are an easy way to incorporate summer learning into your simple lunch time snacks!

We hope this helps make learning fun this summer! Learn more about G.I.R.L.s (Go-Getters, Innovators, Risk-Takers, and Leaders) and the importance our STEM/STEAM program is Girl Scouts. Girls are the largest un-tapped resource in STEM careers, and here at Girl Scouts we are excited to be a part of a girl movement in introducing career possibilities to future female leaders!

Making a SPLASH at Camp Prairie Schooner        

Day Camp is a special place where Girl Scouts get to know others in their Service Unit and teen Girl Scouts grow as leaders. Every summer Service Unit 637 holds a Day Camp where girls explore and learn new skills at Camp Prairie Schooner. Troop 3389 from Lenexa, KS, led by Crystal Hoopes and Susanne Neely is one of the troops in Service Unit 637 with girls who have grown up to be awesome teen leaders.

Troop 3389 has been together since kindergarten and they’re now high school sophomores, so they’re experts on camp. These Girl Scout Seniors have wonderful memories of camp and though their memories of the pool area have been fond, in recent years, the declining state of the pool has left them wanting more. Finally, their dreams are being answered with the brand new Aquatics Center and All Season Shower House.

As an advocate for girls and longtime Camp Prairie Schooner visitor, Crystal Hoopes knows firsthand the state of the pool area and how desperately it needed to be improved for the Girl Scouts who call Camp Prairie Schooner home each summer. “Even public pools are better quality…and our Girl Scouts deserve better,” Crystal said. Each year her Girl Scout teens help younger girls learn to swim and beat the heat in the cool water, but the girls couldn’t be more excited for a facility that’s updated and focused on programming.

Troop 3389 with young Girl Scout sisters at Day Camp at Camp Prairie Schooner.

“Our girls are excited about being able to learn to kayak and canoe off-season!” Crystal said. The opportunity to teach these skills is just one of the awesome new things that will come with the new Aquatics Center. The opportunities are limitless with this new design and we couldn’t be more excited.

One of the best new features, for Crystal, is the fully ADA-compliant, zero-entry pool. “If you can’t go down a ladder, you can’t enjoy the pool. The new zero-entry will let every Girl Scout and leader enjoy it,” Crystal said. She knows younger girls at Day Camp will also love the feature because it will help them ease into swimming more easily than the current pool drop-off.  As a troop who’s grown up at Camp Prairie Schooner and with this pool, Troop 3389 has wide eyes set on their 2019 adventure.

Troop 3389 growing up at Camp Prairie Schooner.

Having access to top quality facilities like this empower girls to reach their potential. “Being a Girl Scout means I’m gaining skills to help for my future,” Girl Scout Mary Hoopes said. The Girl Scout Leadership Experience and outdoor adventure opportunities empower girls like Mary and all the members of Troop 3389 to take on challenges and leadership roles like never before. For families, Girl Scouting offers fantastic memories. “Girl Scouting helps build leader, but it’s also great memories, both for adult women and the girls,” Crystal said.

As the new Aquatics Center inches closer to being funded and opening a new world of opportunities for girls, we want to extend a special opportunity to have YOU as well! You can have your name memorialized at camp for years to come! With a gift of $250, $500 or $1,000, you can have your name placed on a paver or locker/cubby. See www.gsksmo.org/MakeASplash for more details!

We can’t wait to make a BIG SPLASH for G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)™ in 2019! Thank you to troop leaders, like Crystal and Susanne, for their on-going support, advocacy for girls and time as leaders. See you by the pool!

Entrepreneurs for Sister Girl Scouts

The Girl Scout Cookie Program not only inspires future entrepreneurs, it creates the philanthropists of tomorrow. After voting to commit to philanthropic efforts, the Girl Scout Cadettes and Seniors of Troop 5003 have pledged to support other girls while learning critical business skills. As new members of Daisy’s Circle, the Girl Scouts of Troop 5003 each committed to sell enough packages of cookies to support at least one month of Daisy’s Circle giving. Talk about some inspiring G.I.R.L.s!

Troop 5003 came together after a few troops either disbanded or found themselves without leaders two years ago. Leader Jennifer Gust has two daughters in the troop, Clara, a Girl Scout Senior and Anna, a Girl Scout Cadette, and became the leader in 2017. When she took up the role of troop leader, she wanted to make sure the troop was focused on the girls. “Our troop is focused on being girl-led,” Jennifer said.

Their troop has experienced a lot of cool things since forming. They’ve taken trips with other troops, like to the Truman Library and have gone camping. “Being girl-led, their experiences are about what they want to do. I am there to help them find a way to do it,” Jennifer said. It was during one of their brainstorming sessions that they decided to divide their cookie proceeds into three categories important to the girls: trips, philanthropy and Silver.

Troop 5003 presented the Colors for the Opening Ceremony for the Women in Railway Business Conference; Camping Wallace State Park

For their philanthropy portion, the Girl Scouts decided that giving back to other girls in their community who might not otherwise be able to join the program was the way they wanted to give back. Each girl committed to selling cookies to help achieve the goal of giving to Daisy’s Circle each month and their annual gift really adds up! Thanks to the support of Daisy’s Circle members, $86,787 was raised in 2017 by this powerful network of donors – and now Troop 5003 is helping grow that number!

“I think it’s important to help other girls who would not have had the opportunity to become Girl Scouts so they can have the experiences that I have been able to have. Girl Scouts gives me confidence and I want other girls to gain it too,” Girl Scout Cadette, Anna Gust said.

When asked why Daisy’s Circle was something the troop wanted to join, Girl Scout Evie said: “Being a part of Daisy Circle is important because EVERY girl should be able to be a Girl Scout! I like that I’m following in Juliette’s example of selling her pearls to help girls be Girl Scouts when the program first began and I’m trying to carry on that legacy.” These girls certainly are giving just like Juliette Gordon Low!

Troop 5003 at their end of year meeting when the girls received their awards and badges.

In addition to their amazing financial support, Troop 5003 is planning a Silver Award that examines crisis plans in local schools. The girls recognized a lack of communication between parents, students and school administrators regarding what to do during a crisis, and they’re in the early stages of planning a Silver Award project that will address this issue. How inspiring!

When girls give back to other girls, it creates a circle of women supporting women that will lead to a brighter future for all women. By standing together and for each other, Girl Scouts are showing just what it means to be Girl Scout STRONG!

Thank you, Troop 5003, for giving back not only through service to your community, but to sister Girl Scouts as members of Daisy’s Circle. Currently, Daisy’s Circle is 468 members strong and we’re hoping to push past the 500 member mark! Join Troop 5003 by supporting girls today at http://www.daisyscircle.org!

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 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!

Girl Scouts Inspire Girl Scouts

Spotlight on Girl Scout Cadette, Channing Saint Onge

Do you remember the story we told you last year about FIRST LEGO League Participants, Troop 1987?! Girl Scout (newly bridged) Cadette, Channing Saint Onge sure does. Troop 1987 inspired her to take lead like a Girl Scout and establish a FIRST LEGO League team within her own troop…but that’s just the beginning!

From Troop 5177 out of Lawrence, KS, “Sleep Squad” was formed. A team of five Girl Scouts and their troop leader and coach, Kristi Kamm got to work learning all they could about FIRST LEGO League (FLL) and preparing for their first season of competition! In their first year of local competition, they finished in the top 30 teams, and even got to meet their inspiration (turned now competition!) the J. Gordon Low Resistance!

Teams J. Gordon Low Resistance and Sleep Squad at the local FIRST LEGO League Competition

Channing fell in love with robotics through this program and wanted to continue working with Ollie (their robot) after competition wrapped up last December.

“I like that I get to work with a team and I really like programming. It’s not super hard for me and it’s not super easy, either.” Channing said.

She founded Egno Robotics – a passion project and nonprofit-in-the-making to introduce robotics to other Girl Scouts and it’s become a family affair (Egno is part of Channing’s last name, backwards)!

Having watched his big sister have all the fun, Thurston wanted to join in too so Channing, Thurston and Kristi developed a three station workshop for elementary girls to learn the basics of robotics. Kristi leads a station teaching girls (and adults) about FIRST LEGO League, Thurston teaches circuits and Channing brings it all together showcasing Ollie and leading girls through building a robot!

“We figured we could help troops trying to earn these robotics badges. They don’t have the robots, but we do! It’s been fun to learn how to teach girls and be patient,” Channing said!

Left: Channing with robot, Ollie. Right: Channing teaching Girl Scouts about Robotics.

Egno Robotics piloted the program in their own troop, helping all girls earn their Junior Robotics badge and it has expanded from there! Channing presented Egno Robotics at a Service Unit meeting and has since conducted the workshops to five more troops in just the last six months with the hopes of visiting more troops this fall.

Channing has big dreams for Egno Robotics, hoping to turn it into a nonprofit exposing as many girls as possible to the world of robotics. She has already designed her own mat (like what FIRST LEGO league uses) based on Hidden Valley Camp and envisions using it with Girl Scout troops for their own mini robotics competitions!

The Robotics mat Channing has designed for future Girl Scout competitions.

Channing loves talking robotics and teaching others. Since founding Egno Robotics, she has been tweaking the workshop to be relevant to the ages she’s working with and has helped girls’ complete steps in all the levels of the Robotics badges!

“It was kind of hard to teach juniors, because I would be teaching them at the same age [I am]. Brownies are the easiest! I might be able to teach juniors better now [that I’m a Cadette],” she said.

Kristi, an engineer herself, has loved watching Channing take to the robotics world and seeing her passion for sharing it with others. “You gain a lot of confidence and the skills to each other people and feel a sense of mastery. They [Channing and Thurston] show others that they can do this!”

Is your troop interested in earning their Robotics badges with Egno Robotics? Leave a comment below with your name and troop number and we’ll put you in contact!

Our Top Campfire Recipes

(includes all the ingredients and instructions)

Thursday was the first official day of summer and camp season is well underway! As you prepare to get outdoors with your troop or family, you can impress them with your outdoor culinary skills using these recipes below!

 

Breakfast:

Omelet in a Bag
From Leah at Beyer Beware
Serves: 6

Ingredients:
BPA Free freezer bags
2 eggs/person
Omelet ingredients of your choice (pre-cooked sausage, bacon, ham, mushrooms, black olives, peppers, onions, tomatoes, etc.)
1 bag shredded cheese for every 6 people

Instructions:

  1. Start a pot of boiling water large enough to hold at least 6 bags
  2. Write names on freezer bags
  3. Break two eggs into each freezer bag
  4. Add ingredients of your choice
  5. Seal and place in boiling water for 14-15 minutes
  6. Carefully remove from water and let cool for a minute or two before emptying omelet onto a plate

 

DIY Instant Oatmeal
From The First Mess

Ingredients:
½ c. Oats per person
Toppings of your choice! (dried fruits, nuts, brown sugar, etc.)
Salt

Instructions:

  1. Use a campfire tea kettle to boil water
  2. Using a bowl, create your own oatmeal mix, using 1/2 oats per person, a pinch of salt and toppings of your choice.
  3. Add 2 tbsp. – ¼ c. of boiling water to the oatmeal mix depending on how watery/sticky you want it and stir.
  4. Enjoy!

 

Main Dishes:

Pizza Fondue + French Bread
Submitted by Lysette Deboard, SU716 Day Camp Director
Serves: 12ish

Ingredients:
2-3 lbs ground beef
2 c. mozzarella cheese
2 c. cheddar cheese
3-4 cans pizza sauce
4-5 loaves French bread

Instructions:

  1. Make a hot fire an place a grate over it. Cover the outside bottom of a cooking pot with dish soap
  2. Place the pot on the fire and brown the ground beef
  3. While the beef is being prepared, have girls slice bread and prepare any other sides you may have (salad/veggies are great with this!)
  4. Line a large bowl with several layers of paper towels. Pour the beef in the bowl and let the towels absorb the grease. Put the beef back into the pot and over the fire. Alternatively, you can drain the grease into a can.
  5. Pour all pizza sauce in with the beef an let it simmer until heated. Cook 15 minutes or until hot.
  6. Add cheeses to the pot and stir well until melted.
  7. Remove from fire and serve a large scoop of “fondue” and two slices of bread to each person.

 

Walking Tacos
Serves: 5+
Ingredients:
Single-serving bag of Fritos for each person
1 lb. ground beef for every 5 girls/4 adults
Taco seasoning of your choice
Taco toppings of your choice (shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, pico, salsa, sour cream, avocado, black olives, onions, black/refried beans, etc.)

 Instructions:

  1. Using a campfire pan, cook meat with desired taco seasoning until brown
  2. Remove pan from fire and set in a safe area
  3. Have each girl open a bag of fritos and serve one spoonful of meat directly into the bag
  4. Let each girl add her desired toppings & enjoy straight out of the bag!

Desserts

Campfire Cobbler
Submitted by Kelly Rogge, SU 618, Troop 1302
Serves: 12ish

Ingredients:
2 cans pie filling – your choice!
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter or margarine

Instructions:

First you will want to put at least 25 charcoal briquettes in the campfire. While those are getting nice and hot, line your dutch oven with heavy-duty foil. Do not use the cheap, Dollar Store foil. Go for the Reynolds Heavy-duty brand. Double-line the dutch oven completely. Open two cans of pie filling and pour into the dutch oven. Pour one box of yellow cake mix on top of the filling, and spread evenly. Cut stick of butter or margarine into slices and place on top of the dry cake mix. Put the lid on the dutch oven.

Remove the briquettes carefully from the fire using tongs. Place five to six on the ground near the campfire. Place the dutch oven on top of the briquettes. Then place 10 to 12 briquettes on the lid. This will ensure even cooking. Cook cobbler for 25 to 45 minutes, depending on how hot the briquettes are.

 

Not-so-messy S’mores
Submitted by Allie Steele, Troop 1006

Ingredients:
Waffle Cones
Marshmallows
Chocolate chips
Additional toppings of your choosing
Foil

Instructions:

  1. Grab a cone and put in marshmallows, chocolate chips and whatever else you like (bananas, strawberries, caramel chips, peanut butter cups, etc)!
  2. Wrap the stuffed cone in tin foil and place it on the fire for 5-10 minutes (depending on how melty you like it!)
  3. Take off the fire and allow to cool
  4. Unwrap the tinfoil and enjoy your not-so messy s’mores!

 

What are your go-to campfire meals?! Let us know in the comments below or share them on social media and tag us with #gsksmo!