Tag Archives: Girl Scouts of the USA

Robot-savvy Girl Scout depicted in new GE ad

More exciting news from Girl Scouts of the USA! The most recent addition to General Electric’s (GE’s) “imagination” campaign features a storyline with a Girl Scout. The 90-second clip, which can be found on YouTube and may soon be featured in movie theaters across the country, introduces viewers to “Molly,” a young girl who loves science and technology and invents clever ways to complete her chores. One of her best inventions comes at the 37-second mark, when we learn that Molly is a Girl Scout who has rigged up an ingenious way to sell Girl Scout Cookies from her bedroom.

GSUSA worked with GE’s creative agency to ensure the story aligned with the new G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ brand platform. Given the recent rollout of the new science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) badges, what better way to celebrate the relevancy and spirit of Girl Scouts than to highlight innovative young women in STEM?

Additionally, GSUSA is working with GE to incorporate a call to action in future iterations of the ad. Once the details are available, we will let you know. In the meantime, let’s applaud this opportunity to reach and inspire broad, diverse audiences!

Talking with your girls about natural disasters

From Girl Scouts of the USA

In times of natural disaster, it’s everyone’s responsibility to come together to support and provide aid and comfort to those directly affected. And although it’s simply human to get caught up in the harrowing news coverage, it’s also important to note that the youngest members of our families and communities—your children—are watching and taking all of this in, too.

“Of course we all want to stay abreast of current events,” says Girl Scouts’ developmental psychologist Andrea Bastiani Archibald, “but when kids see footage of boys and girls their own age or even people who look like their grandparents in dire situations, it can be confusing and frightening.” But rather than brushing off catastrophic events as “nothing to worry about” or something that didn’t really happen, Dr. Bastiani Archibald suggests discussing the disaster in an age-appropriate way with your daughter. “Limit her access to the news, but if she’s already seen or heard about it, let her lead the conversation,” she suggests. “Stay calm—kids, especially younger ones, take their emotional cues from parents—and ask her what she thinks happened. But most of all, ask how she’s feeling. If she says she feels sad or frightened for the people affected, it’s absolutely fine to tell her that you feel sad and frightened for them, too. These feelings are nothing to be ashamed of, and knowing that you feel similarly will help her feel less alone.”

Respond to her questions as best you can with age-appropriate, short answers and limited information. Very young children might not have many or any questions, but older girls might ask about the particular type of weather or natural disaster. Do your best to use words your daughter might already know, like storm, rain, and wind—but explain that these are much stronger and heavier than usual and quite rare.

Let her know that you’ll always do everything you can to keep her safe. And although you don’t want to give her false assurances that a natural disaster like the one she’s witnessing could never happen in your region, it’s also not helpful at this moment to dwell on the fact that it could. If she’s old enough to understand, let her know about the emergency preparations and procedures already in place for your family, your community, and even her school that could keep her out of harm’s way in case of an emergency. These plans are a “just in case” and will likely never be necessary, but her safety is your top priority, and so you make sure you’re prepared for any situation.

If your girl asks about family or friends who were directly affected, answer honestly but in short, direct answers. “If you’ve been in touch with loved ones in the area of the disaster, let your child know that and reinforce the positive—that they’re safe—if there’s positive information to report,” says Dr. Bastiani Archibald. “In the case that you’re still trying to reach family and friends, let her know that you’re doing your best to connect with them and that there are good people on the ground in the affected area who are helping those in need. In fact, your loved ones might be busy helping take care of others right now.”

Beyond that, it’s helpful to explain to your girl what you and your community have already done or plan to do to help the people hardest hit in the disaster. Perhaps you’ve sent money to an aid organization to help families in need, or maybe a family member has traveled to the scene to offer medical assistance. “If your daughter is old enough, you might even want to have her help you research ways to lend a hand and give back,” says Dr. Bastiani Archibald. “We know donating money is often best, so she could play an active role in fundraising or researching organizations accepting donations. Additionally, she could look into alternative ways of helping—like fostering pets who may have been displaced in the disaster.”

Talk to her about the kinds of things people might need in the months and even years after a disaster. Perhaps a school that was heavily affected could use new books to stock its library. Or a Girl Scout troop in the disaster zone might appreciate replacement outdoor gear, art supplies, or even just notes of friendship and support in the months to come.

Getting involved, giving back, and making a difference are actions we all can and need to take when disaster strikes. Involving your daughter will not only potentially expand the impact you can make but also teach her about empathy and give her a sense of her power to do good in the world.

JOANN and Girl Scouts: Supporting female leadership together

From Girl Scouts of the USA

Starting today, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and JOANN Stores will be teaming up to inspire girls, troops, and volunteers to explore their individual creativity and use it to make a positive influence on the world. Through a new reward program, JOANN will offer a discount to members of Girl Scouts and donate a portion of sales to GSUSA. Additionally, JOANN will offer space at its stores throughout the country to Girl Scout troops and councils for recruitment events, craft education, and cookie sales during cookie season. 

“As a Girl Scout alumna, I can personally attest to the impact this organization has on young women everywhere,” said Jill Soltau, president and CEO of JOANN. “We aim to inspire the creativity in all of us and to bring new ideas to life through people’s hands, hearts, and minds. Girl Scouts shares our passion for bringing imagination to action and has been empowering its members to create positive change for more than 100 years. Through JOANN’s Girls Scout Rewards program, we’ll be able to help members of the Girl Scout Movement take their creative activities even further and help make a lasting impact on the world. Our partnership is a terrific match, and we look forward to supporting this mission together.”

In addition to giving girls the chance to explore their creativity, JOANN guarantees that a minimum of $1.5 million from the Girl Scout Rewards program will go back to GSUSA over the next three years, demonstrating its deep commitment to girls’ leadership development. These funds will support GSUSA’s mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. 

“We are truly excited to partner with JOANN, with the goal of our collaboration to inspire members of our Movement to channel their creativity as a force for positive change within their communities,” said GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo. “Data show that our girls are innate makers, and Girl Scouts designs experiences that allow them to embrace their sense of ingenuity―a passion JOANN shares as well. Girl Scouts offers a creative atmosphere where girls can develop important leadership skills within a supportive, all-girl environment. I encourage everyone to join in the festivities on September 23 at JOANN’s Girl Scout Day to learn more about our organization and all the fantastic new programming we have added in the fundamental areas of STEM and the outdoors.”

“Few organizations have such breadth and lasting impact,” Soltau added. “We couldn’t be more proud to enter into this partnership with GSUSA and to continue fostering innovation and growth among future generations of female leaders.

Everything you need to know about the seven new outdoor badges

From Girl Scouts of the USA

Last month we introduced a whopping 23 new badges, and we’re proud to say that seven are focused on building girls’ outdoor skills and know-how. For each Girl Scout level, the Outdoor Journey is anchored by the newest Girls’ Choice badge: Troop Camping. Since 2015, we’ve invited girls to voice their opinion and vote for a new badge—and every year when the votes have been tallied, they’ve selected an outdoor theme! This year’s Troop Camping badge follows Art in the Outdoors (2016) and Outdoor Explorer (2015), proving that today’s girls want to challenge themselves, learn more about the natural world, and continue the Girl Scout tradition of having exciting outdoor experiences.

The outdoor badges and experiences are progressive, which will allow girls and troops to learn new skills, put the skills to use, and build on their knowledge year after year. From their first steps on a woodland path as Daisies to going survival camping as Ambassadors, girls will take the lead by planning their trips, practicing survival skills, and pushing themselves as they have unforgettable adventures.

For Daisies


Outdoor Art Maker: This first-ever badge for Daisies expands the Art in the Outdoors badge category to every grade level. Girls explore color and sound, challenging them to observe nature like an artist and preparing them to create their own outdoor art!

Troop Camping—Buddy Camper: Daisies start their camping journey by researching and writing a camping plan. By the time they’re heading home, they’ve learned how to prepare a simple meal, tie a square knot, stay safe outside, and protect nature—all while becoming comfortable hiking and camping!

For Brownies


Troop Camping—Cabin Camper: Brownies work together to research and write a plan in preparation for their troop camping trip. Once they head out, they learn all about camping gear and cook a simple meal outside. Girls walk away with foundational camping skills like following the Leave No Trace philosophy, building a fire safely, and tying a clove hitch knot.

For Juniors

Troop Camping—Eco Camper: Juniors choose their trip and write a camping plan that includes what gear to bring, a budget, and how to prepare for campsite weather and terrain. Before setting out, they learn the seven Leave No Trace principles that they will practice throughout their outdoor adventure. Girls have the chance to make a meal using a solar box cooker, select the perfect campsite, and take a conservation hike—all while learning to protect nature. 

For Cadettes

 



Troop Camping—Primitive Camping: Tackling activities such as backpacking, canoeing, or kayaking without the comforts of home is the goal for Cadettes while they earn this badge. Their trip will incorporate the basic skills they’ve already learned, like selecting gear, budgeting, and planning for weather and terrain (all while incorporating the Leave No Trace principles in everything they do). While camping, girls have the chance to prepare a dish from a faraway land, learn primitive camping skills like using a hatchet and building a shelter, become acquainted with water-purification basics, and tie a monkey fist knot.

For Seniors


Troop Camping—Adventure Camping: Mountain biking and kayaking are options for Seniors who are ready to go adventure camping. They’ll get ready by packing the appropriate gear, creating a budget, and monitoring the site’s weather and terrain. Every girl will learn wilderness first aid and physically prepare for an adventure trip. At the campsite, they’ll practice using a topographical map and compass and study meteorology to predict weather patterns and potential hazards. To preserve their memories and document the adventure, girls are encouraged to journal and take pictures. 

For Ambassadors

Troop Camping—Survival Camper: The survival camping trip is the perfect way for Ambassadors to prove their grit and learn to safely survive any emergency situation. Girls use their experience and knowledge to prepare a fully developed trip plan. At the campsite, they will start a fire with basic tools and find their way using landmarks and the sun. Girls will also be able to use their creativity to document their time as survival campers, whether through journaling, drawing, or photography. During every part of their experience, they’ll draw on the skills they have developed over the years to have a rich, rewarding outdoor adventure.

Having trouble accessing this new content in VTK? Contact your volunteer support specialist for help. Don’t know who your VSS is? Email inquiry@gscolorado.org.

Have s’more fun with the return of Girl Scout S’mores

From Girl Scouts of the USA

We’re excited to announce that our popular Girl Scout S’mores™ will return as part of the 2018 Girl Scout Cookie season lineup. With their debut last season, Girl Scout S’mores became the most popular flavor to launch in the 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies—whoa!

Starting next cookie season (we’re already counting down the days!), Girl Scout Cookie bosses across the United States will offer one of the two varieties of Girl Scout S’mores: one is a crispy graham cookie double dipped in a crème icing and enrobed in a chocolatey coating. The other is a crunchy graham sandwich cookie with creamy chocolate and marshmallowy filling, which is embossed with designs that honor Girl Scouts’ Outdoor badges.

Did you know the tradition of making and enjoying s’mores in the outdoors was popularized by Girl Scouts as early as the 1920s? What a sweet symbol of our commitment to all the outdoors has to offer girls! Speaking of which, our newest Outdoor badges and programming provide girls with even more opportunities to have outdoor adventures like going on eco-friendly camping trips, collecting environmental data, and navigating the wilderness.

In fact, according to a recent report, Girl Scouts are almost twice as likely as their non–Girl Scout peers to participate in outdoor activities (76 percent versus 43 percent). Which is one of many reasons why Girl Scouts have “s’more” fun and develop stronger leadership skills compared to non–Girl Scouts.

And thanks to the Girl Scout Cookie Program, your purchase helps fund these new adventures and life-changing opportunities for girls—from trips and community projects to summer camp and charitable donations. The more cookies you buy, the more you help today’s girls develop into tomorrow’s leaders!

For s’more info about Girl Scouts and how to join or volunteer, visit www.girlscouts.org/join.

Girl Scouts “Made in the USA” Commitment

Girl Scout merchandise continues to honor its commitment to U.S.-made products and strives to keep its carbon footprint as small as possible.  Girl Scout vests, sashes, tunics, and insignia are all currently produced in the USA. As of July 2017, we are pleased to announce that Daisy, Brownie, Junior, and Cadette badge production started in the United States.  In order to offer the USA made products, there was an increase to the pricing structure. The new retail price on Daisy, Brownie, Junior, and Cadette badges began July 1.

All badges from the previous vendor have been discontinued and can no longer be returned. The GSCO retail staff encourages troop leaders to do swaps at their service unit meetings, or utilize the “Classifieds” section on the GSCO blog.

On to the more exciting news!  “Back to Troop” is not too far away, and it will soon be time for the GSCO Shop to extend our hours to accommodate our volunteers and troop leaders.  Our fall store hours will begin September 5, 2017.   September 9 will be our first Saturday of the season to be open. The store will be open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesday – Thursday and 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday.   The store will be stocked starting in August for all your back to troop needs, along with some fun Girl Scout swag. Remember, Cookie Credits and GSCO gift cards are welcome in the store. If you are unable to stop by, give us a call or send an email (retail@gscolorado.org) with your questions or order.  We are more than happy to assist you.

More STEM and Outdoor Journeys and badges are here

From Girl Scouts of the USA

We’re always evaluating—and enhancing—what girls do, how girls connect, and how girls grow as Girl Scouts. We listen to what girls, parents, and volunteers tell us about what they like most, and we take action to keep our program relevant and engaging. This year, we added new Journeys and badges in STEM and the outdoors!

Combined with existing STEM and outdoor programs, as well as programming that addresses life skills and entrepreneurship, these new Journeys and badges help girls empower themselves to take the lead like a Girl Scout as they accomplish amazing things.

Outdoor Journey

Anchored by the Troop Camping badge, our new Outdoor Journey will strengthen girls’ outdoor skills and ignite their interest in environmental stewardship. Girls will also complete a Take Action project.

STEM Journeys

Engineering: Think Like an Engineer. Girls discover how to think like an engineer by participating in hands-on design challenges and completing a Take Action project.

Computer Science: Think Like a Programmer. Girls learn how programmers solve problems as they (girls) participate in interactive computational-thinking activities and complete a Take Action project.

Outdoor STEM: Think Like a Citizen Scientist. Girls practice the scientific method by undertaking a citizen science project. They make observations, collect data, and work with scientists who provide feedback on research and findings. Girls also complete a Take Action project.

Badges

Engineering | Robotics: Girls design their own robots after learning how they’re built and programmed. “Unplugged” activities allow girls to earn badges without buying kits.

Engineering | Mechanical Engineering: Girls complete hands-on engineering activities, such as building and testing rollercoasters, race cars, and gliders.

Girls’ Choice | Troop Camping: Get ready for fun, adventure, and challenge in the great outdoors with the winning Girls’ Choice badge for 2017.

Daisy Badges: Two new Daisy badges, Outdoor Art Maker and Good Neighbor, give Daisies a chance to get in on the creativity and discover all about their school, city or town, and state!

Check out the all-new Badge Explorer for details on every badge a Girl Scout can earn.

Having trouble accessing this new content in VTK? Contact your volunteer support specialist for help. Don’t know who your VSS is? Email inquiry@gscolorado.org.

23 New STEM and Outdoor badges enrich Girl Scout Programming: Join the fun today!

Colorado Girl Scouts can now earn 23 new badges, focusing on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and the outdoors! With the introduction of these new badges, which marks the largest programming rollout in almost a decade, girls can design robots and racecars, go on environmentally conscious camping trips, write code, collect data in the great outdoors, try their hand at engineering, and so much more. Through hands-on and age-appropriate experiences for girls as young as 5, Girl Scouts is both enhancing the important outdoor opportunities we are known for and addressing the lack of exposure many girls have to STEM. In fact, Girl Scouts are almost twice as likely as non–Girl Scouts to participate in STEM (60 percent versus 35 percent) and outdoor activities (76 percent versus 43 percent).

This new Girl Scout programming builds girls’ skills and encourages their interest in STEM and environmental conservation from an early age, increasing their confidence in these areas—in an all-girl environment where they feel comfortable trying new things, taking appropriate risks, and learning from failure. Importantly, what girls gain through Girl Scouting positively affects all areas of their lives. For example, Girl Scouts do better than their non–Girl Scout peers in the classroom, earning better grades and aspiring to higher educational attainment, and are more likely to seek careers in STEM, law, and business—industries in which women are underrepresented. And the benefits of Girl Scouting are not exclusive to any particular demographic, which means that no matter where girls live or what their age or background, Girl Scouts can help them develop to their full potential and excel in all aspects of life.

At a time when 81 percent of American voters think preparing girls for leadership roles should be a national priority, Girl Scouts of the USA—the preeminent leadership development organization for girls—offers girls even more opportunities to learn skills and empower themselves with the experiences they need to succeed in life. And as the Girl Scout Research Institute releases new findings that confirm the outstanding leadership outcomes that Girl Scouts exhibit compared to their non–Girl Scout peers, there has never been a better time to join.

We’re 32,000 strong—more than 22,000 girls and 10,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. Our extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Ga., she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, we’ve honored her vision and legacy, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We’re the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org.

Having trouble accessing this new content in VTK? Contact your volunteer support specialist for help. Don’t know who your VSS is? Email inquiry@gscolorado.org.

Why Girl Scouts, Why Now

From Girl Scouts of the USA

Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), the BEST leadership development organization for girls—is offering Girl Scouts even more opportunities to learn skills and prepare them to empower themselves with the experiences they need to succeed in life. 

GSUSA introduced 23 new badges in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and the outdoors—our largest programming rollout in almost a decade!Girl Scouts will be able to design robots and racecars, go on environmentally conscious camping trips, create algorithms, collect data in the great outdoors, try their hand at engineering, and so much more. And the best part? These new badges are girl-tested and girl-approved!

The new Girl Scout programming builds girls’ skills and encourages their interest in STEM and environmental conservation from an early age—areas girls are not typically encouraged to explore outside Girl Scouting—increasing their confidence in an all-girl, girl-led environment where they feel comfortable to try new things, take appropriate risks, and learn from failure.

GSUSA created select badges with contributions from notable organizations in the STEM and outdoor industries, such as GoldieBlox, WGBH/Design Squad, the Society of Women Engineers, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, Code.org, and SciStarter. 

These awesome badges have debuted on Girl Scouts’ first digital platform for volunteers, the Volunteer Toolkit, making it more accessible than ever to unleash the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™. The Volunteer Toolkit helps parents and volunteers easily plan meetings and activities; keep track of important information; and, ultimately, make it easier to support amazing experiences for girls! 

In the toolkit, most programming for girls in grades K–5 is autopopulated so troop leaders can view activity plans and necessary materials, customize meetings, and track troop finances all in one place. Plus, the instructions included throughout make subjects that might otherwise intimidate some volunteers—like STEM—accessible and understandable, so they can confidently carry out troop activities. Which means helping girls take the lead in their adventures just got a whole lot easier! 

Need even more reasons to join the Girl Scout Movement? The Girl Scout Research Institute recently released new findings that show how participation in Girl Scouts helps girls develop key leadership skills proven to help them achieve bright, successful futures. Compared to their non–Girl Scout peers, Girl Scouts are more likely to be leaders because they:

  • Have confidence in themselves and their abilities (80 percent vs. 68 percent)
  • Act ethically and responsibly, and show concern for others (75 percent vs. 59 percent)
  • Seek challenges and learn from setbacks (62 percent vs. 42 percent)
  • Develop and maintain healthy relationships (60 percent vs. 43 percent)
  • Identify and solve problems in their communities (57 percent vs. 28 percent)
  • Take an active role in decision making (80 percent vs. 51 percent)

The most powerful part is that no matter where girls live or what their age or background is, Girl Scouts can help them develop to their full potential and excel in all aspects of life.

So, at a time when 81 percent of U.S. voters think preparing girls for leadership roles should be a national priority*, there has never been a better time to stand with girls. And Girl Scouts is the best place to do it. If you believe there is power in every G.I.R.L., join Girl Scouts today and unleash it! 

Girls’ Choice badge requirements now available

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From Girl Scouts of the USA

Girls have spoken! The winning Girls’ Choice badge topic for 2017 is Troop Camping.  And, without further ado, we’re pleased to announce . . .

The 2017 Girls’ Choice badge requirements are now available for digital download. What a great way to kick off the summer and build go-get-‘em problem-solvers, encourage challenge-seeking, and expose girls to new experiences as they grow their skills, confidence, and character.

Daisies will get a first taste of the camping fun and excitement in their first-ever Girls’ Choice badge, and then the Brownie Ambassador badges will build on that foundation.

So head on over to the Girl Scout Shop today for your digital downloads; badges and printed requirements will be in council shops by August.  They’re chock full of opportunities for her to take the lead like a Girl Scout and unleash her inner G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™. And we can’t forget all the adventure, fun, and excitement great Girl Scout memories are made of! 

And girls, always remember, camp life is the best life!