Juliette Gordon Low’s desire to make the world a better place was evident early in her life. When she was just 16, she convinced her cousins to start the Helping Hands Club with her, to make clothing for families who had recently immigrated to the U.S. This was Juliette’s first foray into civic action, organizing in the community, and inspiring girls to take the lead for the greater good.
Fast forward to 1912, when Juliette, affectionately known as “Daisy” by her family and close friends, gathered 18 girls in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia, to share what she’d learned abroad about a new outdoor and educational program for youth. With this, the first Girl Scout troop was formed—and the Girl Scout Movement was born to serve all girls nationwide.
Our earliest Girl Scouts, along with our pioneering founder, blazed trails and redefined what was possible for themselves and for girls everywhere. And ever since, Girl Scouts has provided girls with transformative experiences that set them up to lead in their own lives and the world. Because of Girl Scouts, millions of G.I.R.L.s (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ have been prepared for a lifetime of leadership—from hiking under the stars to accepting a mission to the International Space Station; from lobbying the city council with their troop to holding a seat in Congress; from running their own cookie business to tackling cybersecurity.
Here are three things you can do to honor Juliette Gordon Low and her remarkable legacy on Founder’s Day:
Proudly shout out what Girl Scouts has done for you! Share your story on social using #becauseofGirlScouts—and be sure to tag @girlscouts on Instagram and Twitter. You might even be included in our collection of #becauseofGirlScouts stories.
Elevate the legacy of Girl Scouts’ founder—sign our petition to support renaming the Talmadge Memorial Bridge in Savannah after Juliette Gordon Low. There are so many reasons this iconic bridge should honor our go-getting founder!
Share your #GIRLagenda by posting on the civic issues and causes you’re passionate about and taking action to impact—in the process, you’ll motivate others to act, as you honor our founder and shared mission to make the world a better place. Need a little inspiration? Tips for leading positive change through civic action? Check out our G.I.R.L. Agenda resources, which include materials for girls ages 5–17—and adults, too!
What’s even more fun than a new year of Girl Scouts? Welcoming new girls to your troop! After all, new members bring fresh ideas, different ways of looking at things, and excitement that can spark creativity and energize everyone. Plus, introducing new friends to Girl Scouting allows existing members to flex their leadership skills and build confidence. Basically, everybody wins!
Though you may already be a few months into the new school year, it’s still the perfect time to get more girls involved in your troop’s adventures. Get ready to recruit some fresh faces with these tried-and-true tips from Marissa Vessels, who writes for Girl Scouts of Northern California’s blog The Trailhead:
1. Host a Bring-a-Friend meeting.
It’s common that your girls might want to invite their friends to troop meetings to see what Girl Scouts is all about! So lean into your girls’ natural desire to be social and host a special “Bring-a-Friend” meeting for your troop (or just designate certain meetings throughout the year as being open for friends).
When hosting a Bring-a-Friend meeting, it’s important that the meeting is authentic to your troop’s Girl Scout experience. If your troop is full of outdoor adventurers, a meeting filled with crafts and games may not be the best way to attract the girls that are right for your group. And if your girls are a little more on the low-key side, your troop trip to a theme park might not be the right event for potential new Girl Scouts to experience. Instead, plan a meeting that will allow for lots of interaction between the girls, down time for you to talk to the potential new parents, and a fun activity that is true to your troop’s interests.
2. Add your troop to the Opportunity Catalog.
Did you know that there are thousands of girls all over the country waiting to find the perfect troop, and likely hundreds right in your area? We need to do our part to help these girls find their homes in Girl Scouts! Many councils have a troop Opportunity Catalog—an online listing that provides detailed information about the troops in your area that have open spots available. The troop catalog is the perfect opportunity to tell new members about what your troop likes to do and what makes you, you. You’ll fill in all of the details about the age levels of your girls, when you meet, and what kinds of activities you enjoy, which will help new Girl Scouts and volunteers find their perfect match. Check with your council on how to make sure you’re there.
3. Have your girls rock their Girl Scout swag on meeting days (and share their Girl Scout story).
No matter how old your girls are, wearing their uniforms or other Girl Scout logo merchandise out and about is a powerful way to recruit new members for your troop. Not only are these items symbols of pride, they tell a story of girls’ unique experiences—the skills they’ve learned, the adventures they’ve gone on—and it’s hard for friends not to ask about it. Encourage your girls to don their Girl Scout duds at school, back-to-school night, and out in the community on days that they have Girl Scout events to attend, and you’re sure to pique interest.
4. Invite your friends and their girls to attend Service Unit or Council events with you.
There’s something magical about the Girl Scout sisterhood, isn’t there? So what better way to recruit new members than to invite your friends and their girls to join along for a service unit or council event to get a taste of the wider Girl Scout community! From building robots to singing songs around the campfire, there are opportunities for every girl in Girl Scouts, no matter what her interests are.
Whether we’re environmental champions, budding entrepreneurs, or passionate about changing the world, the next opportunity to stand up, speak up, and take the lead is never far away. So round up your favorite friends and invite them to see why Girl Scouts is the best place for their girls to grow into the confident, courageous, and strong women of tomorrow, today. (Seriously, what parent can say no to that?)
5. Hand out physical invitations for girls to share with their friends.
Your girls are by far your best recruiters. Make it easy for their friends to join in on the fun by giving out a handful of physical invitations for your girls to pass out at school, in the community, clubs, church, sports practice, dance classes, back-to-school night, student government meetings, and, well, you get the idea!
Your invitation should include space for your girl to write her name, her friend’s name, meeting details (date, time, and location), and your troop leader’s contact information.
This summer, the fourth year of Women’s Week at Meadow Mountain Ranch brought together new and returning friends from nine different states to the Colorado high country. Women’s Week is open to any women/ladies/girls who are at least 18 years of age, who may or may not be Girl Scouts presently, or who may or may not ever have attended camp at any time anywhere. In other words, come one, come all – – – the more the merrier!
The best part about Women’s Week (WW for short) is that the sky is truly the limit! There is no preplanned program or schedule, except as determined by the menus and meals. More about food a little later! If you would like to do a particular thing, just make a request and we’ll try to see that it happens. If you would like to offer a special activity or program, just hang up a sign saying where and when it will happen, and bring with you the tools or materials to share with others.
There is plenty of time in our three-night/four-day event to rest and relax, explore, visit, sing, laugh, cook, sleep, read, hike, etc. Do you like to get up early in the morning? Coffee is always on its way before breakfast and a few of us enjoy the still morning solitude to listen to the birds, feel the breeze, and watch the sun come up over the hills. Like to stay up late? Campfires are always on the agenda, so we can give you “a place where people gather to make friends of all kinds,” and then we can help you “sing your way home at the close of the day.”
Women’s Week usually begins with a Big Circle Tour of MMR, which will take you to see most of what’s on the property for your further exploration. Up to the east past the C.I.T. house under restoration at this time, maybe up as far as Vista Spur to see the panorama of peaks that tower over us, back across by “The Shelf,” out to the Back Meadow, and around through the fire break along the back trail and over to Pinecrest where the Memorial Unit Shelter is under construction. The new steel buildings are going to be built by the agency from https://greatwesternbuildings.com/Steel_buildings/aviation, give them a visit if you need their services.
Cooking is a big part of Women’s Week, and the patrol assigned to be chefs will have guidance from Susan Baker and her growing-up girls to offer a delicious variety of cuisine, carefully planned to allow for dietary needs as well as experimentation. We’ve done bean-hole cooking, stick cooking, reflector oven baking, and dutch oven offerings. We’ve cooked on charcoal, open fires, or propane stoves, depending on the preference of the cooks or the (hopefully not!) fire restrictions. We once made rhubarb jam in the main camp kitchen to share with everyone. No, Women’s Week food is not always like regular camp food, as we’ve included a chili cook-off, stir fry to die for, fresh fruits and veggies prepared many different ways, and special surprises along the way. Ever made a “Fluffernutter?” or a “Darn Good/Dough Boy”? Do you have special culinary requests you’d like to see us try?
So, here are some highlights from summer 2017 at Women’s Week: A climb up Meadow Mountain. Crafts of bark painting, Morse-Code beading, monkey fists, tile mosaics. Yang or Taijiguan style of Tai-Chi in the mornings to relax the body and soul. “Tajer Tales” and “The Thirteen Clocks.” Sunrise hike to Vista Spur. Self-guided Nature Trail. A bog explore to see “the tufas” in the lower meadow. Service projects to help with fire mitigation and stripping logs for the new unit shelter at Pinecrest.
Summer of 2018 will feature a special dedication ceremony for the new Pinecrest Memorial Unit Shelter. Completion of this project will allow for more complete use of this larger more remote unit on the southern boundary of the camp. Contact Penny Roberts if you’d like to be involved in creating a memorial to special people who helped bring you personally through Girl Scouting to be the woman you are today.
So, dates are set for the fifth Women’s Week for the summer of 2018. MARK YOUR CALENDAR, SAVE THE DATES, OR REGISTER RIGHT NOW! Monday, July 23 (first meal is lunch) through Thursday, July 26 (last meal is champagne brunch).Cost is $180 for the entire event or $60 for any daily increments including three meals. Contact the very informal camp director, Penny “Pan” Roberts, PO Box 211, Estes Park, Co. 80517, firstname.lastname@example.org by phone at (970) 586 1775.
It’s great when moms and daughters and granddaughters come, or when MMR camp staff alums make connections with previous campers from decades ago, or when friends who never got to go to camp ever can join this wonderful experience. It’s great when we take time out, get away, unwind, unplug, or just generally recreate ourselves. We take good care of each other and come away with peace and satisfaction that comes from just being outdoors. At camp, where life is more real. Hope to see you then.
As Fall begins, it’s time to start prepping troop activities for the school year. If you’re searching for the materials to bring your ideas to life, fear not! RAFT Colorado is to the rescue.
RAFT has been working with Girl Scouts for more than 9 years, providing leaders with the inspiring supplies and educational ideas they need to engage their troops in fun, meaningful activities. At our Resource Center in Denver, you can find the affordable tools and learning experiences to fulfill your troop goals for the year.
If you’re looking for engaging activities and crafts for unit camps, RAFT has got you covered! RAFT also has the fun and funky materials to help you decorate for your Bling your Booth cookie booth contest this February.
RAFT is a membership organization, and troop leaders get $5 off their membership, which means you get access to all our resources for just $20 a year. For more information on all that RAFT has to offer, visit our website at www.raftcolorado.org.
We’ve got lots of exciting events coming up at our properties! Play games in your favorite costume, trick-or-treat, or light up the tree with GSCO at one of our fun parties. Sign up for our Halloween parties, and see the full list of upcoming events on the blog.
Girl Scouts of Colorado is seeking girls currently in grades 6-11 to join a planning board for the next Older Girl Journey Weekend. This weekend retreat will take place at Sky High Ranch on Sept. 21-23, 2018. This girl planning board will plan every aspect of the retreat, including choosing the Journey and planning the activities.
Any girl who is a senior in high school and thinking about her Gold Award needs to start now!
The Gold Award has a suggested minimum of 80 hours and last year, girls spent an average of 146 hours earning their Gold Award. With the March 1 deadline for Highest Awards celebrations less than six months away and final cutoff for seniors less than a year away, seniors in high school should not be waiting to start their Gold Award.
I joined Girl Scouts as a snaggle-toothed second grade Brownie (which was the age at which Girl Scouting began, back in the olden days of the early ‘60’s). I’m not aware of any burning desire to be a Girl Scout. At the time, there were few after-school activities and perhaps, my mother was glad to have me participate in one of them. But, oh what a difference it made in my life! Girl Scouting provided consistency and a safe place from a chaotic home life. We moved a fair amount and I could always count on Girl Scouts to provide me an opportunity for new friends and adventures. And soon after I relocated to Colorado with my husband and children, signing up as a Girl Scout allowed me to make friends quickly. After nearly 30 years in Colorado, my friends are mostly Girl Scouts, with whom I gather, meet and greet, and travel. Retiring from the staff of the former Mile Hi Legacy Council ten years ago, I continue to lunch with my former colleagues. Now, who else can claim such a long-lived, inspiring network of former co-workers as friends?
I was retired, however, not willing to be left out of the loop of Girl Scout doings, hence my interest in the Membership Connection Committee (MCC). What’s kept me involved with the MCC for the last 10 years? Kept in the loop, indeed, with an understanding of the current direction and efforts of Girl Scouts in Colorado. Able to make a small contribution on matters of governance and membership. Meeting other Girl Scouts, girls and adults, with a responsibility to inspire, educate, and support. My term will soon come to an end and I hope I’ll be welcomed back after the required hiatus.
I’ve served as a troop leader, trainer, service unit manager, event organizer, and now board member in my nearly 50 years of Girl Scouting. I’m a Lifetime Member of GSUSA. I currently support two troops and continue to train in leadership and outdoor skills. Serving as an MCC member gives me a great deal of satisfaction since it allows me to share my skills and opinions in ways that influence the future of our organization and our members. I have two sons [“huge, handsome and handy”, former Boy Scouts and “Girl Scout boys (until they became too distracting at Girl Scout events)”] and had, at one time, 26,000 ‘daughters’. A terrific experience that enriched my world, provided me with adventures (around the state, the USA and the world) and made me a better person, trying to live by the Promise and Law. Through my mentoring of young Girl Scouts, I know I’ve made a difference and that feels good.
Girl Scouts of Colorado is lucky to have a unique governance system with the Membership Connection Committee as the centerpiece of our democratic process and a way to give our members a strong voice in the issues they care most about. Would you like to be a voice for Girl Scouts of Colorado? Speak up and contribute our success together! To reach the MCC, e-mail GSCO.MCC@gscolorado.org
Troop leaders, will your troop qualify for an early Cookie Booth selection opportunity?
The S’mores Club booth selection reward is back for the 2017-18 Girl Scout year and you don’t want to miss it!
To qualify for the S’mores Club, your troop must sell at least $350 in online sales during the 2017 Fall Product Program. The in-person delivery portion of the program ends Oct. 15 and the online portion of the Fall Sale Program ends on Oct. 30.
If your troop sells $350 or more online during the 2017 Fall Product Program, you will be notified in December via the email provided through the Troop Fall Sale Manager agreement and permitted to select one Cookie Booth in eBudde ahead of the council booth selection process.
If you have questions regarding the requirements or details for the booth selection opportunity, please reach out to your SUFSM or PSS. For full details on the S’mores Club Reward, visit www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/smores
Your troop may already be up and running, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to welcome new members! Adding new girls to your troop—even midyear—can help energize your group, showcase the Girl Scout spirit of sisterhood and inclusion, and demonstrate by example how Girl Scouts is the best leadership development experience for girls in the world. Period.
After all, Girl Scouts is all about trying new things, building new skills, and getting to know new friends in a safe and supportive all-girl environment—with guidance from caring troop leaders like you, of course!
To smooth the transition for your newbies, incorporate these fun activities into your meetings, and new girls will feel at home in no time at all!
1. Set up a storytelling meet-and-greet! One of the absolute best ways to connect with others is by swapping stories. Introduce newcomers at their first meeting, then have everyone else introduce themselves, covering the basics, like their first name, age, and years in Girl Scouts. Encourage your seasoned Girl Scouts to go a little more in-depth by sharing something about their families, pets, or interests. Maybe each girl can pick three things about herself she’d like her new Girl Scout sisters to know. Once all troop members have introduced themselves, ask new girls to share some of their own stories.
Be sure to build in time for questions so the girls have even more opportunities to connect and share. Make it super interactive and fun by finishing up the meeting with a cool trivia game to see how much they remember about one another!
2. Showcase what your troop loves to do most! At a new girl’s first or second meeting, work with the other girls to plan an activity around things the troop loves to do most, whether that be community service, outdoor adventure, photography, or science experiments. What better way to get a new Girl Scout’s experience off to an exciting and memorable start than to head straight into the action?
At the beginning of the meeting, have a couple girls take the lead and explain the activity and why they love it so much. For subsequent meetings, give new girls the opportunity to choose activities they love most and help them plan something special to share with the troop!
3. Encourage her to take the lead!
Girl Scouting is all about taking the lead and making things happen, so let newcomers do so early and often. You can start small, having them lead a simple activity, or go big by encouraging them to teach their Girl Scout sisters about an issue that really matters to them. You might also go around the room and have everyone share what taking the lead like a Girl Scout means to them, complete with real-life examples to help new girls really get a grasp of leadership and everything they have the power to accomplish as Girl Scouts. Allow them time to ask questions, too. Learning and leading, that’s how we Girl Scouts do it!
“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold. A circle is round, it has no end. That’s how long I’ll be your friend.”
Every Girl Scout knows this song. It’s sung across the country at troop meetings, friendship circles, campfires, and more. Why does it mean so much to Girl Scouts? Because it solidifies our more than 100-year history of sisterhood, inclusion, and shared adventure. Not to mention, Girl Scouts is the perfect place to make new friends who help nurture one another on the path to leadership and success (and often last a lifetime)!
We know that bringing those silver and gold friends together might sound overwhelming at first, but did you know there are some surprising benefits to having your girl’s friend groups mix? Here are four of ‘em!
1. She’ll bridge her worlds. One of the best things about Girl Scouts is that girls can incorporate the skills they learn, the experiences they enjoy, and the lessons they reap into their everyday lives at home, in school, and in their community. So, why not bring all of that Girl Scout awesomeness into their friend groups, too? By bringing a close neighbor or schoolmate to a Girl Scout meeting, your girl can see two of her worlds collide in an amazing way as she realizes Girl Scouts isn’t just an activity, but a unique experience she can use and share every day and weave seamlessly into many parts of her life.
2. She’ll practice her leadership skills. By introducing a close friend to the world of Girl Scouting, your girl has a chance to take the lead and show her friend the ropes (and maybe even how to tie a few!). She’ll teach her friend the Girl Scout Promise; show off the latest badge troop members earned and explain how they did it; encourage her friend to try something new; and, most importantly, share what Girl Scouts means to her. Not only does this give your girl a confidence boost but it also gives her a chance to inspire others to unleash the leader in them! If Girl Scouts is something she loves and believes in, what better way to take the lead than to offer that same experience to someone she cares about?
3. She’ll gain a new perspective. Have you ever looked at a giant painting too close and missed the bigger picture? Sure, you’re having so much fun admiring the details—from each delicate brush stroke to the thoughtful coloring—but sometimes taking a step back to look at something from the outside in can help you appreciate what you’re really seeing. By watching her friend experience Girl Scouting for the first time, your girl will also see the experience from new eyes, reinvigorating her love for Girl Scouts as well as her appreciation for the magnitude of what she is learning and doing every day to empower herself and make the world a better place. Talk about seeing the bigger picture!
4. She’ll understand the importance of sisterhood. Being a sister to every Girl Scout may be intuitive to most, but seeing it in person as her troop accepts a potential new member can be eye-opening for a young girl. It helps her appreciate the benefits of having a band of sisters who will have her back no matter what and will inspire her to always do the same for others—it’s the Girl Scout way, after all!
So, next time you notice one of your girl’s friends asking about what she does in Girl Scouts, contact your troop leader to see if you can cohost an “Bring-a-Friend” meeting—one that let’s new girls and their parents participate in Girl Scout activities and possibly join in on the fun as they discover what Girl Scouts could bring to their own lives.
Being a Girl Scout volunteer is no easy task! That’s why Girl Scouts of the USA has created a few “quick tip” videos for troop leaders on a wide variety of topics, ranging from the best way to get girls’ attention to troop safety. Watch and share the videos with your fellow volunteers by visiting the GSCO YouTube page or see below.
Controlling the Room
Tips for troop leaders on the best way to get the attention of the girls in their troop.
Tips for how to manage when troop leaders have their daughter in their troop.
Positive Troop Environment
Tips for creating and maintaining a sage and positive troop environment.
Examples of successful activities for the girls to do at the beginning of the troop meeting.
Tips for troop leaders to ensure they are following safety guidelines with their troop.
Welcoming New Girls
Tips for troop leaders to ensure new girls feel welcome as a new troop member.