Give the Gift of Girl Scouts!  

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We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, December 2, 2014, a global day dedicated to giving back. Join Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Inc. on #GivingTuesday!

Did you know that 20% of Girl Scouts need support with their annual membership and uniform essentials? On #GivingTuesday, we are asking that families, donors, and friends join in a council wide effort to Give the Gift of Girl Scouts to 10 new girls! This gift can be your contribution in the Family Partnership Campaign.

  • $15 will get her a year’s membership to Girl Scouts
  • $72 will get her the starter kit which includes essentials to get going
  • $87 will get her everything she needs to feel like a Girl Scout

Give the Gift of Girl Scouts and let’s help 10 new girls be a part of the movement that’s changing the world! Save the date and invite others to Give the Gift of Girl Scouts with our Facebook Event>> 

Invest in girls. Change the World.

Ellie of Sarasota goes Gold!

Gold Award Project: Dance, Dance Round the World 

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Ellie Tsuchiya, a Senior at Pine View, recently completed her Gold Award Project, “Dance, Dance Round the World” to address cultural apathy in younger generations. The program was created for the Dance-The Next Generation (DNG) students. DNG is a free Sarasota Ballet program for low income students at Title 1 schools. Ellie volunteered with the program and through interacting with the students realized, “they didn’t know about the diversity in our world and I thought it was something I could teach them.”

With her program, she expanded student’s knowledge of different dances and created a global link to cultures around the world. She believes, “cultural apathy causes many young people to partake in stereotyping or racism simply because they are not knowledgeable. My program helps these students become more culturally aware and more respectful.”

Lisa Townsend with the Sarasota Ballet and Ellie’s Gold Award advisor said, “Since our program utilizes dance to teach self-discipline, this tied in perfectly with what we do. It was a great way to help broaden their horizons, not just with dance, but with global cultures.”

This summer, Ellie visited the Girl Scout Headquarters in Japan, where she shared her project with members from across the world. Local GS visiting Girl Scouts of Japan Headquarters in Tokyo

“Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award designation is truly a remarkable achievement, and Ellie exemplifies leadership in all its forms,” said Sue Stewart, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Inc. “Her dedication, perseverance, and leadership, is making the world a better place.”

Ellie's Gold Award Pose

Ellie’s Gold Award Pose

Ellie learned presentation skills, confidence, audience adaptation, and time management through this project, but expressed the biggest thing she learned, “was that I could put my ideas into action for a cause I care about.”

The Girl Scout Gold Award is so prestigious that some universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award recipients, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements. Ellie will be recognized for this achievement in May 2015, at Girl Scouts Young Women of Distinction ceremony.

Fantastic job Ellie!

Ellie in the news: Herald Tribune * The Observer

Learn more about the Girl Scout Gold Award: http://www.gsgcf.org/girls/gold-award

~Guest Blogger is Emily Prettyman, Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Inc. alumna and volunteer. Emily C. of Troop 121 with the Media Team helped interview Ellie and is featured in the video.

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Top Seller!

Kaitlyn P. is the TOP Seller for the 2014 Fall Product Sale! 

Kaitlyn and GSGCF CEO, Sue Stewart

Kaitlyn and GSGCF CEO, Sue Stewart

Congratulations to Kaitlyn P. of Troop 600! She is the 2014 Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida’s, Fall Product Sale, TOP Seller. Kaitlyn sold over $1,200 in items by participated in both the online sales and direct sales. She said she wrote the emails and made the asks, stating “it was a really easy sale.”

Kaitlyn’s troop is planning a trip Savannah, Georgia.  She has never experienced the history of the birthplace of Girl Scouts and is excited that her sales will help her troop achieve that goal. When asked what to tell other Girl Scouts about her accomplishment she said, “If you put your mind to it you can do it.” Skills she learned during the sale include responsibility, pride, and courage. Way to go!

 

Fall Product Sale – Round 2

Did your troop miss out on this year’s Fall Product Sale? We are so excited about the new online options and products that are part of the Fall Product Sale that we wanted to be sure every girl had the opportunity to participate!

November 14 – December 1, 2014 - (online only)

During the Round 2 sale, girls can participate in all of the ONLINE ONLY pieces of the Fall Product Sale, including nuts, candy, magazine subscriptions and photo keepsakes!

  • Troops earn 10% of all online sales from 11/14/14 – 12/1/14.
  • Customers’ products are delivered right to their door just in time for the holidays!
  • No money to collect!  No products to deliver!  No forms to fill out.
  • Troop proceeds will be deposited in early January 2015.

Perfect for online holiday shopping during Black Friday and Cyber Monday!

Every girl who participates in the Round 2 sale and sells at least one item will earn a special patch!  (No other individual rewards can be earned during Round 2.)

How to Dive In to Round Two:

  1. Troop volunteers and families log in to the Online Fall Sale Program at http://girlscouts.qspgao.com/gulfcoast.
  2. Girls set goals, customize their online shops and enter email addresses to send friends and family a link to their own online shops.
  3. Customers shop online, pay with a credit card and items are shipped directly to the customer.
  4. Families and volunteers can track progress, send additional emails and celebrate success.
  5. Troop proceeds are distributed to troops in early January.  No paperwork to fill out, no money to collect.

Got Questions?  Need additional info? Contact Alicia Rance, Sales Coordinator, at aliciar@gsgcf.org or (941) 921-5358 ext. 315.

Dive in round 2

I Can’t Wait to… Invite-a-Friend to Volunteer!

What could make volunteering with Girl Scouts even more fun? Volunteering with a friend and getting rewarded for inviting them! We are so excited to announce that during the month of November, our Council is participating in the GSUSA promotion, “I Can’t Wait To… Invite-a-Friend”.

All current volunteers who Invite-a-Friend to start a new K-5th grade troop will receive a $50 gift code for the GSUSA online store, AND the new Troop Leader will receive free program materials! But besides the $50 discount code and free program materials, the GREATEST BENEFIT  is the additional girls who will become part of Girl Scouting! In order for us to continue to reach every girl we need to reach more volunteers, like you, who can help!

ICWT-Vol-SM-1Picture your favorite Girl Scout memory…maybe when one of your Girl Scout Daisies realized that swimming wasn’t so scary…or the moment that your Girl Scout Cadette found her voice and stood up to bullying…or maybe when you realized that without YOU, those moments may not have happened. Don’t you want to invite a friend so that more girls can have wonderful memories?

So take some time to think of someone who would be an EXCELLENT Girl Scout Leader/role model and invite them to join you and be a part of the Girl Scout Community - church members, school volunteers, family, and friends. Tell them about the huge impact they could have on girls in the community and the wonderful experiences they’ll enjoy as Girl Scout Troop Leaders.

So, share your experience, recruit a friend, and get rewards!

Promotion runs November 1 – December 1, 2014. After you have referred a friend, fill out this form girlscouts.org/inviteafriend. Questions? Contact Yvonne Bras (800) 232-4475 or yvonneb@gsgcf.org.

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RULES AND GUIDELINES

PROMOTION PERIOD - The Invite-A-Friend promotion is valid between November 1, 2014 and December 1, 2014. Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Inc. will confirm that a new troop has been started by the recruited volunteer.

ONLINE SHOP COUPON CODES - Each unique coupon code has a value of $50.00 and is a onetime use only code. Once the purchase is in your shopping cart, you can apply the code at checkout to deduct $50.00 from the product purchase prior to shipping and applicable taxes. Coupon codes expire February 28, 2015. Only one coupon code can be used per order and cannot be combined with any other coupon offers that may be running on the Girl Scouts’ Official Online Store at that time.

VOLUNTEER RESOURCE PACKS- Your recruited friend will receive 1 coupon code to purchase a Volunteer Resource Pack of their choice.

Happy Birthday Daisy!

Did you know Juliette Gordon Low’s birthday is October 31? Learn more about her life and legacy, and celebrate her birthday on Oct. 31 — also known as Founders Day to Girl Scouts everywhere.

Happy Birthday JLo10 Facts

  1. She was married but never had children of her own
  2. Her uncle took one look at her and said “She looks like a Daisy”. This nickname stuck with her for the rest of her life.
  3. Some of the rice thrown at their wedding become lodged in Juliette’s left ear, causing her to become deaf in this ear.
  4. Juliette loved animals, especially horses.
  5. Juliette also loved to draw and paint pictures – so much that she created children’s magazine with all of the articles and pictures done by children.
  6. Juliette called her cousin, Nina Pape, and told her “Come right over! I’ve got something for the girls of Savannah, and all of America, and all the world, and we’re going to start it tonight!”
  7. March 12, 1912 was the day Girl Scouts was founded with 18 girls
  8. Juliette Low died on January 17, 1927. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1923 but kept it a secret.
  9. Juliette was the eighth woman to have a stamp dedicated to her in 1948
  10. Juliette was added to the National Woman’s Hall of Fame on October 28, 1979

Check out this really cool interactive timeline of the Story of Juliette Gordon Low! (Scroll the trefoil to the right to activate)

Girl Scout WayFYI: Celebrating Juliette’s Birthday is a step in the earning the Legacy Badge, Girl Scouts Ways (for Brownies)! 

Quick History: In 1912, Juliette Gordon Low started an organization that would provide more than 59 million women the opportunity to learn leadership skills. She went against the grain to address issues that were not popular, including equal opportunities for women and girls.

Breast Cancer AwarnessJuliette, nicknamed ‘Daisy’ by family and friends, was born in 1860 in Savannah, GA. She grew up in England and the United States. On one of her many trips abroad, she met Boy Scouts founder Robert Baden-Powell who inspired her to start a similar organization for girls. She cultivated adult volunteers as active role models, troop leaders and program volunteers.

Low succumbed to breast cancer in 1927 during a time when the words breast and cancer were not used in conversation. Today, October is not only Low’s birth month, but the month devoted to raising awareness about Breast Cancer.

Check out the Story of Juliette Gordon Low here:

Bully Busters to the rescue, for National Bullying Prevention Month!

Contributing bloggers are Cadettes, Karna, Hannah and Maylene of Troop 643 in Venice. Girls were awarded their Silver Award in 2014 for their project “Bully Busters.” October is National Bullying Prevention Month.  

“If every Girl Scout in the world lived by the Girl Scout Law, kindness would spread, and bullying would not stand a chance!”

Bully BustersWe are Cadette Girl Scouts from Troop 643 in Venice. Last year, for our Bronze award project, we created a workshop called Bully Busters. We went to younger Girl Scout troops and taught them about the importance of being kind to others. We read a book called Have You Filled a Bucket Today?, by Cheryl McCloud. This book helped us teach the younger girls about being a kind, “bucket filler”, instead of a bully or “bucket dipper”. We also played games with the girls. The games demonstrated how we feel when someone says mean things to us and how we feel when someone is nice.

Many parts of the Girl Scout Law are values that help us to stop bullying. All Girl Scouts can take a stand against bullying if they try their hardest to be Friendly and Helpful, Considerate and Caring, and Responsible for What we Say Do! There are also many Journey books that teach the values needed to combat bullying. For example, as Cadettes, we are now working on our Amaze Journey. We are learning about stereotypes, cliques, and friendships.

Other Girl Scouts and their troops can help combat bullying by always remembering the Girl Scout Law. If every Girl Scout in the world lived by the Girl Scout Law, kindness would spread, and bullying would not stand a chance!

We hope that our Bully Busters workshop helped the younger Girl Scouts with the skills needed to understand bullying and to take a stand against it! If we all work together we CAN make the World a better place! Here are a few links that we used to prepare our Bully Busters workshop: www.bucketfillers101.com and www.stopbullying.gov

~The Bully Busters, Karina, Hannah and Maylene

Girl Scouts of United States of America also offers the BFF: Be A Friend First program.

Check out these amazing videos of Girl Scouts talking about bullying>>

Take the Be a Friend First pledge! By sharing this photo, you’re pledging to do your part to end bullying everywhere. #StopBullying #BFF#NationalBullyingPreventionMonth

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New Girl Scout Leaders and Co Leaders… This one is for you!

girl scouts edited -75New to being a troop leader or co leader? First and foremost, a GREAT BIG THANK YOU from all of Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Inc. staff, the GSGCF board, donors, supporters, alumni Girl Scouts, volunteers and parents, and most importantly, GIRLS who are in the Girl Scout program or are soon going to start! Your commitment will show girls they’re capable of more than they ever imagined.

Please note, website links and third party sites are recommendations to make information available but does not constitute and endorsement of these sites. Please research information appropriately.  

Here are some basics, tools, and technology to get you going!

FIRST FOUR steps: Leaders, co-leaders, cookie moms, and any other active helping parents volunteering with a troop need to complete these steps found here>>>

√ Make sure you have completed an orientation with your membership specialist and also a Troop Pathway Training… these will ensure you get off to the best start. Who is your membership specialist? Click on this map to show you>>

√ The Volunteer Resources page includes lots of tools. Best tools for new volunteers include :(1) volunteer essentials – anything and everything you need to know about Girl Scouts and getting started; (2) quick start for troop volunteers; (3) family guide – a great resource for your families; (4) troop weekly girl meeting plan – will help you plan your troop meetings accordingly

√ The most important thing to know is that this a GIRL program! Don’t underestimate girls… they can do it if you let them! Check out this video to learn about the 3 processes and how to incorporate them. Three Processes of Girl Scouts  include learning by doing, cooperative learning, and girl led!

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95% of Girl Scout volunteers agree that they make a difference in the lives of girls because they volunteer with Girl Scouts.

Stay Connected with Parents! Here are a few ways to keep connected (remember, first and foremost safety of the girls! Checkout the Girl Scout Internet Safety pledge). Assign a parent in your troop to manage the communication for your troop!

  • Troop e-newsletters
  • Facebook Groups (recommended to keep them private)
  • Potential websites for your group: Shutterfly, Qlubb, Rallyhood
  • Embrace Technology – it makes it easier on you to communicate!

√ Here are some websites that we heard are also useful:

  • For Girls – GSUSA site with relevant activities to your troops age
  • Making Friends – Great craft & activity ideas
  • Scouting Web – Indexed resources from all sorts of volunteers and parents in Girl Scouts
  • Scout Songs – MP3’s has many songs to make it easy to learn.

√ What about community service and field trips?

  • Talk to the girls about community service. What do they want to do? Believe us, they have ideas and it CAN be put into action! Talk to your parents, service unit, and community members. There are SO many opportunities from traditional food and clothing drives, to girls actually building an electric car to educate the community (yep, two middle school girls did it last year in Fort Myers!)
  • For trip ideas, take a look at triptionary of local program ideas, activity finder of council and service unit events, Pinterest Troop Travel board of local and distant opportunities, and GSUSA travel destinations. Talk to other leaders too! Don’t reinvent the wheel! Remember to refer to safety activity check points when traveling with girls.

20140609_193031Cat Depot Community Troop Project DSC01488 Food Drive Camp 5th Ave

 

√ Noticing Girl Scouts have a special lingo? Check out the GSUSA (that is Girl Scouts of United States of America) glossary!

√ What about Journey’s, badges, outdoors, awards, cookies and more? Don’t feel like you have to do everything out the gate! Map out your Girl Scout year with the GSUSA interactive map found here>>

Staying connected will give you ideas and help you engage with local Girl Scouts volunteers.

  • The GSGCF website offers so much! Look around for what you need.
  • Like us on Facebook (some service units have their own Facebook group – ask your Service Unit Manager or Membership Specialist if there is one to connect with other leaders and volunteers directly in your area)
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Pinterest has lots useful pins for new leaders
  • We also have Instagram, Google+, a YouTube Channel with great videos. Subscribe to this blog to keep you up to date on cool tools like this!

Remember, you have volunteers, Service Unit Members and Council Staff who want to help. We can’t help you if you don’t ask. Take a look at our staff contact lists for the appropriate staff member.

It might seem like a lot at first, but working with girls can be such a rewarding experience for both you and them.

Above all, remember to HAVE FUN! You are doing it RIGHT if girls CAN’T WAIT until the next meeting!

Top 10 Tips for leaders