For the Love of Girl Scouts

A Girl Scout Gold Award Alumna Spotlight

Once a Girl Scout, Always a Girl Scout. Just ask Elizabeth Gilson.

Elizabeth is a Girl Scouts Alumna, a Gold Award Recipient as well as a lifetime member. Oh and she is a service unit volunteer. And no, she doesn’t have any children.

She just loves Girl Scouts THAT much.

Elizabeth’s Girl Scout resume is quite impressive. She has made memories and gained skills that will last her a lifetime and she’ll be the first person to tell you that.  Her mother, Susie, was her troop leader and still is for her younger sister Laurie who earned her Gold Award last year. You might say that Girl Scouts is a family affair for the Gilson’s.

“I owe a lot to my mom, especially as my Girl Scout leader,” Elizabeth said.

The Gilson family and Susie’s troops have been on all sorts of Girl Scout adventures together. Elizabeth recalls visiting Savannah, Georgia where Girl Scouts first began. Sitting in the room where the first Girl Scout meeting was ever held was a huge moment in her life. She explained it as “surreal and emotional.”

“If I’m this emotional now, I have to keep doing this,” she remembered thinking while sitting in that little room.

Susie, Laurie and Elizabeth in Savannah, GA.

Susie, Laurie and Elizabeth in Savannah, GA.

All through school, Elizabeth held onto Girl Scouts – it’s what she always had to look forward to. Every Oct. 31 and Mar. 12 she proudly wore her vest to school. She vividly remembers her peer’s perceptions of her Girl Scout involvement.

“In elementary school it was cool, in middle school it was nerdy and in high school it was the coolest thing. Girls would tell me they wished they had stayed involved.”

In high school, Elizabeth earned the highest award in Girl Scouts – her Gold Award. For her Take Action project she developed an applied geometry curriculum around kite flying for math classes at her high school, Olathe South. (Elizabeth loves kites almost as much as Girl Scouts.)


It was through earning her Gold Award that Elizabeth found her calling as a teacher.

After high school, Elizabeth attended Kansas State University where she started out studying civil engineering. While she likes math and science, she felt like something was missing. Then she remembered how much she loved teaching.

“Without Girl Scouts, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Elizabeth explained. “I’m sure I would have figured it out eventually, but my Gold Award project certainly helped.”

While at K-State, Elizabeth was a troop leader for two troops and assisted in the recruiting efforts for service unit 704 in Manhattan, KS!

“Girl Scouts has been huge part of my life since Kindergarten. I couldn’t imagine not doing it.”


Elizabeth being recognized for her volunteer work alongside her fiance who is also an Eagle Scout!

Elizabeth graduated from K-State in December, is currently a substitute teacher in several school districts in the Kansas City area and she is hoping to land a full time teaching job for this fall. She serves at the product sales manager for service unit 679 and she appreciates having a little extra time right now to focus on cookies!

As a teacher, Elizabeth sees herself incorporating all the things that Girl Scouts taught her into her classroom to ensure that girls and boys alike gain the soft skills that she knows are so important. And for those girls who are in Girl Scouts, she will do everything she can to encourage them to earn their highest award.

“Earning your Gold Award is worth what you put in. It shows that you’re willing to put time and effort into something and you come out such a better person because of that!”

Are you a Gold Award recipient?! We want to hear from you – leave us a message in the comments telling us what earning your Gold Award has meant to you!

A Look Inside Cookie Construction: Team Elemental Dragonettes



This is it, the final Cookie Construction team update! On March 5 the Elemental Dragonettes along with the six other teams will descend upon Crown Center to finally construct their designs using  a total of 7,000 (1,000 each team) Girl Scout Cookie boxes!

The Elemental Dragonnetes have been working as a team with their female design mentors Trudy Faulkner (Strata Architecture), Claire Ashbrook (Strat Architecture) and Jamie Swanpoel (Atlantic Engineering).

One of the unique things about Cookie Construction is that Girl Scouts are coming together from various troops, never having met, let alone worked together on a project before. Girl Scouts on these teams are making new friends and learning how to work as part of cohesive team, identifying each other’s skillsets and trusting one another to complete their individual work for the greater team. As in any team, it takes time to build that trust in one another and begin working together as a whole.

Team members are assembling boxes to begin construction!

Team members are assembling boxes to begin construction!

The mentors recall the first meeting of Elemental Dragonettes and how the girls approached this project as “very much individuals.” Since their first meeting back in September, she has seen them all come together as the team she knew they would be.

“Since that first meeting, they’ve taken ownership of the design and have come out of their shells and stepped into leadership positions directing discussions and finding ways to integrate their thoughts while supporting each other’s ideas,” Jamie explained.

Jamie wasn’t the only one to observe the team’s progression. Girl Scout, Paige Rhoads, also recalls how their team has grown to work together over the past five months.

“This isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. It took some time to become a team,” Paige Rhoads said.

Team members are doing a dry run of building their structure to make sure the plans are correct!

Team members are doing a dry run of building their structure to make sure the plans are correct!

Now with dedicated roles and responsibilities within the team, the Elemental Dragonettes have divided the elements (pun intended!) up within smaller teams and are working diligently to get many of the aspects completed before Build Day on March 5. While we can’t tell you exactly what they’re building, we can tell you that they’ve written a story to go along with their build! The story captures how these Girl Scouts feel about outdoor adventure, which also happens to be the theme of this year’s program –Dream. Design. Do. Outdoor Adventure.

We’ll leave you with a snippet of their story, but be sure to join them on March 5 to read the story in its entirety and see their amazing final structure come to life at Crown Center!

There once was a girl named Ama. She was taught not to believe in her fantastical dreams. One year, she was sent to the awesome camp Daisy Hindman. When she arrived, she felt a good aura as she entered the camp. That night, she fell fast asleep not knowing the adventure that awaited her.

In her dreams, she dreamed of all the awesome experiences she had at this camp, including canoeing, archery, zip-lining, and roasting marshmallows. She dreamed of a mountain with her cabin at the top, and all of her friends around the camp fire with her. She felt a whoosh of happiness. Then, her friends disappeared and she wandered outside her cabin. A wave of magical energy spread around her…   …To be continued!


See the other team’s progress:

Team Top City

Team Cookie Constructors

Team Silver Moons

Team High Flyers

Treehouse Masters

Team Galaxy Girls

Follow the progress right here on the GSKSMO Blog and through our social media #gscookiebuild


It’s World Thinking Day!

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Did you know that Girl Scouts have been celebrating World Thinking Day since 1926?! This fun and exciting day takes place on February 22 and is where Girl Scouts and Girl Guides across the world come together to celebrate our global sisterhood.

World Thinking Day 2016 theme is “Connect.” Girl Scouts and Girl Guides will explore and celebrate the connections that make life happier.

When you’re a Girl Scout, you’re part of something much bigger than just your troop or group. Your “network” stretches across your state, throughout the nation, and to more than 150 countries in the world where Girl Scouts or Girl Guides are found. Together, we’re a powerful force!

World Thinking Day is a way to give thanks for the inspiring international friendships that we as Girl Scouts are a part of, and to celebrate the many ways these friendships enrich our lives, expand our worldviews, and drive us to create meaningful change for everyone.

For many Girl Scouts across our council, they celebrate sisterhood with international fairs. Troops and individual Girl Scouts select a country to focus on. The girls spend weeks preparing their vivid displays, planning their clothing choice, making food and fun trinkets and learning all about their chosen country to share with others. On the day of the event, girls receive a passport and they travel from booth to booth learning all about the various countries, tasting food and purchasing the small trinkets. So in essence, they travel the world in just a couple of hours!

This past weekend we caught up with several service units who filled their passports by learning all about various cultures and filling their bellies with different cultural cuisines -see the slideshow below!

How is your troop or Girl Scout celebrating this year?! Share with us in the comment section below!


Alex & Kelsey Good: Love at First Campsite

When Alex Good left his home in Australia in 2006 to come be a Girl Scout camp counselor in the United States for a summer when he was 19, he didn’t realize that would be the first time he met his future wife, Kelsey. Just a camper at the time, Kelsey met Alex at Camp Oakledge when she was just 15 and he was her kayak instructor. “She complained to me saying ‘your kayaking program, we just stayed in the glade’ and I go ‘it was storming! I couldn’t take you past the glade in a storm!’ So she judged me on that one session,” said Alex.

Alex & Kelsey as campers and counselors at Camp Oakledge

Alex & Kelsey as campers and counselors at Camp Oakledge

Four years passed after their initial meeting and Alex took the familiar trip to the United States to become “Bacon” (Alex’s camp name) one last time at Camp Oakledge. That’s where the two reconnected as staff and by the end of the summer they started emailing when Alex left for Australia. “Squeaky” (Kelsey’s camp name) and “Bacon” hit it off over email and the two began dating long distance. Less than a year later, Kelsey packed up her life and headed to the land down under to be with Alex and see where the relationship would take them.

Around Kelsey’s birthday in 2013, Alex surprised her with an adventure – climbing up the Sydney Bridge. This daring, dangerous experience required that everyone wear harnesses and have no loose objects. That became a challenge for Alex, who was using the opportunity to take the biggest adventure of all – to propose to Kelsey. Armed with an engagement ring attached to a ribbon around his wrist, the two climbed the Sydney Bridge and with the help of the guide, Alex got a private moment at the top of the world to ask the love of his life to marry him.

Caption: Alex & Kelsey at Camp Oakledge, Engagement in Sydney and Alex with son, Jonah, at Camp Oakledge.

Caption: Alex & Kelsey at Camp Oakledge, Engagement in Sydney and Alex with son, Jonah, at Camp Oakledge.

Surrounded by friends and family, including a wedding party that mostly consisted of friends from camp, Alex and Kelsey got married in Missouri in 2013. Since then Alex and Kelsey have welcomed their first child, a son named Jonah, although sometimes Alex refers to him as “Bacon Bit,” recalling his camper name.

As a girl, Kelsey loved camp because it gave her opportunities to become confident and have stability she didn’t always have at home. She had a life full of love, but moved between a couple of relatives with her twin sister and other siblings. It was Girl Scouts that she could always depend on because every caregiver made it a priority to get her to troop activities.

Leaving for camp was the most exciting time of the year for her because she could get away and be her own person for a week or more. “I learned confidence from camping with Girl Scouts. Some things they do put you out of your comfort zone, but that’s good, because by the end, you usually liked it. As an adult I get pushed out of my comfort zone and going to camp gave me confidence to do that,” Kelsey said. As she transitioned into alumnae, she knew she wanted to return to camp as a counselor.

Alex also loved the opportunity to make an impact at camp. As a male counselor he knew he had a special role to play. Many of the girls he interacted with came from homes where they didn’t have a positive male role model, and he saw it as an opportunity to make a difference in their lives. “People say things to me about being involved with Girl Scouts and I go ‘I don’t care! I’m proud of it! I’m man enough to be a Girl Scout,’” Alex said.

More than just being a role model, Alex learned the true meaning of GIRL POWER being involved in a female outdoor experience. “Being around a Girl Scout camp really opened my eyes to what girl power is. Girls are tough. I’d rather play scatterball with a bunch of boys because the girls are vicious! But in today’s society, I think that girl power is really important and I’m glad I saw that,” Alex said.

The two love the life lessons girls learn at camp and how it prepares them for life. “I think it should be absolutely necessary for girls to go to camp. Just like out on the lake, life can be dangerous. Going out in town with a bunch of friends is dangerous and they need to use skills like the buddy system they learn at camp. From an early age it sets them up to know what to do when they’re older, how to be safe and how to have courage,” Alex said.

Kelsey said one of the biggest lessons she learned in Girl Scouts was from Robyn Ratcliff, former director of Camp Oakledge. “Robyn told me, ‘we are in the change business’ and I’ve never forgotten that. As I got older, I realized how right she was even though I may have not understood it as a young counselor. But that’s what we do at camp for girls,” Kelsey said.

As a couple, Alex and Kelsey have joined Daisy’s Circle, the monthly giving program for Girl Scouts that provides critically important, dependable income for the organization. Giving to the organization is more than just the slice of their income they put aside for charity – it’s paying it forward for another girl. As Kelsey put it: “in order for me to go to camp, I had to have a scholarship. Someone had to donate for me to be able to have this experience, so now I feel like I’m returning the favor.”

Alex and Kelsey’s story is an incredible one of love, finding girl power and outdoors. If you have a memory of kayaking with “Bacon” or camping with “Squeaky,” share in the comments below!

A Look Inside Cookie Construction: Team Galaxy Girls


Guest Blog Post by Sara Babcock

This look in on Cookie Construction 2016, Team Galaxy Girls is brought to you firsthand by Girl Scout Ambassador Sara Babcock!  

Hi, My name is Sara Babcock and I am a Girl Scout Ambassador. When I joined Team Galaxy Girls for the Cookie Construction program I had no idea how much hard work, knowledge and joy I would get from this amazing experience.

In our first meeting we decided to create smaller groups focused on what they add to the overall design. Myself, my friend and fellow troop member Roxie Cody and her sister Lily are the oldest in the group, but that doesn’t change anything about how we work.

I feel that this is said best by mentor Erin Mumm, “There is no hierarchy in the group, they all come to decisions based on a collective effort.”

It’s true, that everyone in the group has an equal voice, even though I am in 11th grade and others are in 7th. In fact, I would have never thought of some the ideas that the younger girls have. They are amazingly creative and insightful in ways that I sometimes think adults can forget.


“I like how this is so creative. We can build whatever we want.” relates Zoe Meyer.

The concepts that we are bringing to life using only cookie boxes (and glue) are something that I would have never thought of alone, but together it is possible. Our team doesn’t only have the benefit of input from older more experienced girls, but also girl scouts whose imaginations will blow you out of this world.

Of course, our ideas would not be possible without our mentors, Erin Mumm (International Architects), Erin Hylton (International Architects), Elizabeth Amirahmadi (International Architects) and Kate Moeder (Hollis & Miller). These mentors take time out of their day to volunteer to help with the Cookie Construction program.

Every meeting, one mentor sits down with each group to help flesh out and make our ideas possible. Our meetings always add something new to the design, even in the meetings later on in the program the design is fluid.

“I’ve learned that there are multiple ways to create and build something.” says Victoria Major.

An Girl Scout Ambassador is the last level a girl can reach. Being one, and still participating in meaningful Girl Scout projects, is sometimes difficult because you have so many other responsibilities in school.


Working with Team Galaxy Girls is not just teaching me about skills I need for the future, but doing so in a fun, interesting and exciting way.

Team Galaxy Girls will build their structures on March 5 at Crown Center where they will compete with six other teams for the Juror’s Choice Award. You can vote on the People’s Choice Award March 5 – 26!

See the other team’s progress:

Team Top City

Team Cookie Constructors

Team Silver Moons

Team High Flyers

Treehouse Masters

Coming soon: Elemental Dragonettes!

Follow the progress right here on the GSKSMO Blog and through our social media #gscookiebuild

Man Enough to be a Girl Scout: A Career of Creating Unforgettable Outdoor Adventures for Girls


For most Girl Scouts, camping carries fond memories and new chances to explore. Especially within Girl Scout camp properties, girls are surrounded by exciting challenges and the chance to join in a rich tradition of camp life. Behind these amazing properties are three incredible men that are “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout” – camp rangers Keith Broxterman, Dave Prihoda and Zac Sibert. These men lead a life dedicated to giving girls the best camping experience possible, and truly love their role in Girl Scouts.

Rangers Keith, Dave and Zac have been with Girl Scouts for many years. Keith is the ranger at Camp Daisy Hindman and has been with Girl Scouts almost 10 years. Dave celebrates 5 years with GSKSMO this March and facilitates multiple properties, especially Camp Tongawood. Zac is the ranger at Camp Prairie Schooner and has been with our council for 4 years. In their time at camp, they’ve seen thousands of excited girls, nervous parents and inspirational staff pass through the properties.

Girl Scout properties have been more than just worksites – they hold a special place in the lives of the rangers. Keith met his wife, Emily, at Camp Daisy when they were working as summer camp staff. As a girl, Emily camped at Camp Daisy and now they’re raising their daughter, Grace, on the property! Zac was raised on a Girl Scout camp and is now raising his son, Dallas, with his wife, Ashley, at Camp Prairie Schooner. Dave gets to work with his children’s grandfather, Ranger Larry Mills, who is a contractor at Camp Tongawood and loves the family bond that’s part of his work life. Being outdoors is a passion he loves sharing with his five, now adult, kids: Krystal, Matthew, David Neil, Jessica and Shyann.


LEFT: Ranger Zac’s son, Dallas at Camp Prairie Schooner; RIGHT: Ranger Zac and wife, Ashley.

Across the board, the camp rangers love getting to help girls connect with the outdoors. “Out at Prairie Schooner we run a lot of experiences for our Outreach Program, and many of these girls have not experienced an outdoor program. One girl asked me ‘there are no sidewalks, where do we walk?’ and that really hits you because some of them never have the privilege of camping before. It’s cool that we get to be part of that,” Zac said.

“I do [this job] because I love all the new experiences the girls get to have. A lot of them come from homes where they haven’t had the opportunity before, so getting them on the property and seeing them light up because they get a fire started…that’s pretty rewarding,” Keith said.


LEFT: Ranger Keith bringing home daughter from the hospital; RIGHT: Ranger Keith with wife and daughter in the great outdoors.

If you’re wondering what life as a ranger consists of, it’s just about anything and everything on camp property. From fixing leaks and checking waterlines to keeping up all the safety components of camp, these men truly put their blood, sweat and tears into making camp an amazing place for girls. “[At camp] you name it, we do it. As a ranger, we’re responsible for the day in and day out. We look at all the safety features at camp and make sure everything is safe for the girls,” Keith said.

LEFT: Ranger Larry and granddaughter, Jessica; CENTER: Ranger Dave working on camp; RIGHT: Dave and children on camping vacation

LEFT: Ranger Larry and granddaughter, Jessica; CENTER: Ranger Dave working on camp; RIGHT: Dave and children on camping vacation

Being a man in the world of Girl Scouts, the rangers see their role as an opportunity to make positive influences on the lives of the girls that come to camp. “There’s a good majority of girls that come who don’t have a positive male figure in their lives. So, I think seeing a man step up and say ‘I want to be part of this, I want to help you grow,’ I think helps. It may be the only way they hear that as a young person,” Keith said.

A special part of the camping experience compared to other Girl Scout programs is the setting, which tends to be more inviting for men and allows them to be involved in the lives of their daughters. “It gives a father the chance to connect with their daughter(s). I have two daughters of my own and liked to have more opportunities to connect with something I enjoy and can show them. For the girls, it gives them a chance to see their dad in a different way. Rather than just providing all the time they get to see him let loose and have a good time,” Dave said.

The three camp rangers are very excited about the new “You and Me: He” camping sessions this summer because of the opportunity it opens for dads, uncles, grandfathers and male caregivers to camp with girls. They had a few things to say about why camp is amazing for this type of adventure:

Keith: “It’s almost contagious, going to camp. If there’s a dad out there with a son, most of the time, the daughter stays home if they go camping or fishing. This is a chance to flip that role. To take the daughter camping and see if she loves it just as much as the sons do. Dad’s won’t know until they get out and experience that with their daughters and have that time together.”

Zac: “We offer everything from rappelling, horseback riding, tomahawk throwing, camping to STEM activities and more, so there’s something out at camp that men can relate to. It’s a place to get away, be unplugged from everything, not worry about what needs to be done around the house, and just spend time with their daughter.”

Dave: “Depending on the man’s background, it can be something good for him to show his daughter. Just get out there, spend time with your daughter. It’s a great time.”

We love these incredible men and all they do for Girl Scouts. You know there’s real passion in what they do when the rangers can say “It’s one of those things where it’s not even fair to get paid for it because it’s that rewarding,” Zac said. Next time you’re at Camp Daisy, Camp Prairie Schooner or Camp Tongawood, make sure to say “hi!” to these men who are great examples of what means to be “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout!”

Do you have an amazing man who’s Man Enough to be a Girl Scout? Do you have a great memory of one of our three great camp rangers? Share your stories in the comments below!

Inspire a Girl – Week of Service

2016 marks an incredible milestone for Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards!  We are celebrating 100 years of the award we today call the Gold Award. Though this award has had many names; Golden Eaglet, First Class or Curved Bar, the incredible achievement is all the same. For 100 years, Girl Scouts have researched, planned and implemented a project that has made a difference in their community and beyond. Over the course of Girl Scout history, the Bronze (for Junior Girl Scouts) and Silver (for Cadette Girl Scouts) were added as stepping stones to the Gold Award.

We are commemorating this Centennial Anniversary with the kick-off of a new initiative called Inspire a Girl. For this inaugural year, we are hosting a week-long celebration dedicated to giving back called Inspire a Girl – Week of Service. This event just so happens to also coincide with Girl Scouts’ 104th birthday and is being held March 6-12, 2016!  We encourage Girl Scout troops of all ages to come together and take action across our 47 counties and beyond!

We have organized service opportunities with our community partners and at our camp properties for you to celebrate the Girl Scout Birthday on March 12:

Camp Daisy Hindman – Topeka, KS

Camp Prairie Schooner – KCMO

Camp Tongawood – Tonganoxie, KS

Cross-Lines Commodity Program – KCK

Cross-Lines Thrift Stores – KCK

Giving the Basics – KCMO

Goodwill – North Oak, KCMO; Olathe, KS; Overland Park, KS; Shawnee, KS;

Habitat for Humanity – St. Joseph, MO

Harvesters – KCMO; Topeka, KS;

Heart to Heart – Lenexa, KS

Hidden Valley Camp – Lawrence, KS

Johnson County United Way – Warrensburg, MO

Platte Land Trust – Parkville, MO

Operation Breakthrough – KCMO

Sheffield Place – KCMO

*a few more projects to be added soon!


If any of the above places interest you, visit the Council Partner Projects listing to learn more and sign up for a spot!

However, don’t let us tell you what to do! If you don’t see a project that fits your Girl Scouts’ interest, please feel free to set up and schedule your own! Here are some ideas to get you thinking:

  • Visit a nursing home: deliver cards, sing songs, play board games, paint fingernails
    Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or food pantry
  • Volunteer at your local animal shelter
  • Perform random acts of kindness
  • Volunteer to do a project for your troop’s meeting place (church or school)

Whatever you do, make sure that you let us know your plans and log your Week of Service hours with us!

Girl Scouts who participate in Inspire a Girl – Week of Service will receive a special commemorative patch!



And don’t forget, we will celebrate the 100th year of the Highest Awards with our Inspire a Girl – Expo & Honors Ceremony on April 2, get your tickets today!

Swimming for Gold



When the VanHoesens’ decided to put a swimming pool in their backyard six years ago, they did what any parent would do; enroll their children in swimming lessons. But what started out as simple swimming lessons for their six children, turned into SO much more for their Girl Scout daughter Allison, who happens to have Down Syndrome.

During her first few lessons, Michelle Ruffin, aquatics director of the YMCA at the time, noticed Allison’s natural talent and recruited her to join a non-competitive swim team.

Allison has come a long way since her first swim meet where she was dropped in the pool with a safety belt made out of a pool noodle and was told to “chase” Michelle down the side of the pool! Allison has since joined a competitive swim team and has competed in the Special Olympics, winning more than 25 medals at the local and state levels.

Allison has earned over 25 medals competing in the Special Olympics!

Today, Allison swims competitively on Team Swim Academy at the Blue Springs YMCA. When she’s not in the pool she is keeping up with her five siblings and participating in Girl Scout activities!

This summer, Allison will be taking her swimming skills to the next level where she will compete in the Trisomy Games in Florence, Italy from July 15 – 22. The Trisomy Games are the Olympics for those with Down Syndrome!

Kindra VanHoesen discovered or actually stumbled upon the Trisomy Games two years ago when she was looking for additional swimming opportunities for Allison. Their website had times posted for the swimming champions that year and she realized that Allison’s times were really close, and she was only 12. This realization sparked a conversation with Allison’s swim coach Julie Wriley about what training might look like for Allison if she wanted to compete in the 13 – 18 age bracket at the next games. Julie told her that Allison could “totally beat those those times!”

“Swimming is one of my favorite passions and breaking records is my favorite thing,” Allison said!

Allison will be on Team USA with seven other swimmers in her age division. She will compete in in the 100 meter free, 100 meter backstroke, 50 meter free and is currently working on qualifying for the 50 meter backstroke; and she will also swim in at least one relay!


“Allison knows that going to Italy is a big deal and super special,” Kindra explained.

There are a lot of similarities between swimming and Girl Scouts according to Allison. Her younger sisters are in Girl Scouts, one is a swimmer too. She works hard in both. She has to practice swimming and practice being a Girl Scout by taking on new challenges.  And both activities give her a chance to show off those three important Cs – Courage, Confidence, and Character!

“Kids on her team don’t see her as disabled, she’s a teammate. She’s a just a Girl Scout, not a disabled kid. In both settings, there are people to help her through, support her,” Kindra explained.

Allison is working hard now to qualify for that last event at the Trisomy games and Kindra is finalizing everything for their first trip overseas!  If you’re interested in learning more about the Trisomy Games and Allison’s journey to the games this summer, visit her website:

Allison, you have countless Girl Scout sisters cheering you on! We can’t wait to see all the medals you bring home!!






A Look Inside Cookie Construction: Team Treehouse Masters


The boxes are in and Team Treehouse Masters has officially begun building elements of their structure for Cookie Construction 2016!

Team Treehouse Masters is being led by a team of five female design professionals: Laura Beth Cochran – Momenta,  Natalie Gillaspie – Momenta, Sarah Hunting – KH Engineering Group; Emily Tilgner, McCownGordon Construction and Emily Brown – McCownGordon Construction.

When we caught up with this team, they were hard at work firming up their plans and getting down to building pieces that would be a part of their larger design!


Girl Scout Ambassador, Laurie G. was hard at work putting her team’s design details into AutoCad, a computer-aided drafting software program used in the design field for creating blueprints for buildings. These blue prints that Laurie is creating will a part of the team’s construction documents (CDs) that they provide to the judges. The CDs are what give the judges information on how each design is built!

This is Laurie’s first year in the Cookie Construction program, but she is no stranger to the design and engineering fields! She has a huge love for the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and sees herself pursuing a STEM career when she graduates high school.

“I want to go into engineering and saw Cookie Construction as a way to do both Girl Scouts and engineering,” Laurie said!


We’re keeping all the design details a secret. We don’t want to ruin the surprise (and hard work) before Build Day happens on March 5, but if you’re really curious as to what this team has planned you can take a hint from their team name!

“The girls developed a strong vision early on and their final design will follow initial design concepts, building on them to create a sense of story! Laura Beth explained. “In each iteration of the design, the girls’ documents and models have improved, in their understanding of scale and proportion and in their overall efforts in space making!”


Mentors Laura Beth and Natalie have both been impressed with the maturity of the girls on their team. Although they have girls from 6th grade through 11th, they are seeing them all come together and work as a team.

“I am amazed at their creativity and understanding of how things are put together,” Natalie explained. “It is very obvious to me that these girls are going to be a force in the construction, engineering and architecture fields!”

The Treehouse Masters’ structure will come together with the other six teams’ on March 5 for Build Day. They will have approximately 5 hours to bring their design to life before a panel of jurors evaluate each one and award one lucky team the Juror’s Choice Award!

See the other team’s progress:

Team Top City

Team Cookie Constructors

Team Silver Moons

Team High Flyers

Coming soon: Team Galaxy Girls and the Elemental Dragonettes!

Follow the progress on our website, on the GSKSMO Blog and through our social media #gscookiebuild