International Day of the Girl: Four (or more) Ways to Get Involved đź™‹

The best tool any girl has for changing the world—and creating an equal future—is her voice. As a society, we can help girls use their voices for change by ensuring they have the tools and confidence to speak up and speak out, actively listening to what they say, and amplifying their messages.

At Girl Scouts, we are proud to celebrate the International Day of the Girl by introducing ten of the most amazing world changers in our Movement—the 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scouts. Keep it locked on our social media platforms for this big announcement and more! Here’s everything you, your troop, and your girls need to know to get in on all things International Day of the Girl 2020!

1. Learn about International Day of the Girl: Learn about the issues girls face around the world and learn why we celebrate International Day of the Girl.

2. Spread the word and lend your voice on October 8: Invite your troops to spread the word and lend their voices by sharing stories with pictures of how they’re changing the world! Be sure to use hashtags: #worldchanger #IDG2020

3. Attend the United Nations Girls’ Rights Town Hall: On October 9, 2020, 10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m. EDT, secure a front-row view to the Girls’ Rights Town Hall as a National Gold Award Scout and girl activists take the UN floor. This virtual event gives young leaders access to global decision-makers and a space to discuss justice, human rights, and equity for girls. Learn how to participate.

4. Celebrate with girls all around the world: On October 11, 2020, 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m. EDT., celebrate International Day of the Girl by hosting a Girls Speak Out watch party. The hour-long program showcases girls’ poems, creative performances, and art about what girls’ equity means in their communities. After the event, use the debrief questions in the debrief guide to reflect on and discuss what you’ve just seen. The prerecorded event featuring a live chat will be hosted on YouTube Prime across five different time zones and in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Visit the website to learn how to join.

(Please note: due to the potential for sensitive topics that could arise during these events, we strongly suggest you have troop members complete sensitive issues forms.)

Source: International Day of the Girl: Four (or more) Ways to Get Involved

How to work your Online Mags & Munchies Business

Start with the basics

While many may think that the first step is creating your online storefront, it’s actually setting clear goals for what you want to achieve during your Mags & Munchies program.

How do you set goals?

In a product program there are usually two pieces to goals: Individual Goals and Troop Goals.

Troops should work together to decide what they want to do with the money they raise during Mags & Munchies. Do you want to go to the zoo to see the program’s mascot? Do you want to buy matching Girl Scout masks for everyone in the troop? Do you want to fund a community service project?

Whatever the goal is, the troop should work to calculate the cost and figure out what that looks like.

For example: Your troop decides you want to go to the zoo. It’s going to cost $150 for the 10 girls in your troop to visit the zoo, so you’re going to collectively sell $1,000 worth of items to get there. That means to meet your troop goal, you’ll each need to sell $150 worth of product.

Now that you know what you need to do to meet your troop goal, review your order card and circle all of the rewards you want to earn. Are you going to earn them by selling $150? Or do you need to sell more to earn those rewards?

Even when your troop does not have a joint goal, you should still set your own.

Whatever your goal is, be sure to write it down so you can track it.

Make a plan for meeting your goals

Now that you have a goal, you need to make a plan for reaching it. For instance, you might see that if you sell 10 of any of the $10 collectible tins and 5 of the $5 donation items, you will have met your goal of $150 and earned two patches!

Setting up your storefront

With your goal set, it’s now time to establish your online storefront and create a marketing plan.

You’ll visit http://www.gsnutsandmags.com/gsgcf and answer some questions to create your account. The website will prompt you to answer some questions about your goals and will generate a nice paragraph for your storefront based on your answers.

The system is going to ask you enter email addresses. You should send at least 15 emails – and not just to random email addresses. Our statistics shows that on average, a single email generates $7.21 in sales. So while sending 15 emails will earn you a patch, sending  to 15 people who will buy from you can average over $100 in products sold.

Make it personal

While the easiest path may be to simply send emails and share your link on social media, girls who take the time to make it personal are more likely to increase their sales.

Your online storefront has an easy way for you to upload a picture and record a message to your customers. A picture is worth a thousand words, but adding a voice message or even a video is worth a lot more!

Channel your inner director

A quick video can go a long way. Wear a Girl Scout uniform or shirt, introduce yourself, and share what your goals are. Include a call to action to give customers a clear path to supporting you. If you set a goal in your previous step, you already know what you need to ask customers to buy so that you can meet it. Use that to create your call to action.

“Hi, my name is Sally with Girl Scout Troop 999. I am selling nuts, candy, and magazines to raise money for my troop so that we can visit the zoo to learn more about our mascot–the pygmy toed sloth–and how to save it. I’m also trying to earn a custom avatar patch that looks just like me.You can help me earn it by visiting my website and purchasing an item or magazine subscription today! If 10 people buy a collectible Girl Scout tin from me, I’ll meet my goal!”

Friends and family will love seeing a more personal ask and providing a call to action will let them know exactly what they need to do to help you reach your goals.

That isn’t to say that you can’t put your creative muscles to the test. Girl Scout Cookie season always brings some really creative videos for girls selling (think about the viral Cardi B Cookie Remix!) but that’s not the only time it can be done. With so many free video editing apps available, it can be easy to put together a fun video encouraging customers to support you in this program as well.

Create an ongoing marketing plan

Your initial launch should not be the end of your tasks. Create a schedule that lasts through the end of the program. The system will send out reminder emails to customers who haven’t purchased yet, but what about those who you didn’t email?

When building your plan, consider how you want to reach out to customers. Will you use social media, texts, phone calls, in-person asks, or a combination?

How often do you want to share reminders? Every other day? Weekly? As you keep track of your sales and goals, think about leaving room to announce benchmarks.

“I am half way to my goal! Can you spend $5 to support our Hometown Heroes program and help me reach my goal?”

An appreciated customer is a repeat customer

Once you’ve made the sale your work isn’t over. Take the time to thank anyone who has supported you in some way. Think about what you can do to show your customers that you appreciate them and want their continued business in your future product programs! This could be a hand-written note when you’re delivering product, an email, or even a video thanking everyone for their support. They will remember it the next time you ask. As you wrap up your fall business, take some time to think ahead to your cookie business. What can you do now that will make you successful then? What lessons have you learned that you can take with you to the cookie program?

Say hello to Girl Scouts of the USA’s new interim CEO Judith Batty!

A lifelong Girl Scout, former troop leader, and top cookie seller, Judith made history last month when she was announced as the first Black woman to assume the chief executive role. Judith is a true trailblazer—she spent three decades as senior counsel and executive to a Fortune 100 company, the first woman and first Black person to serve as general counsel to one of the corporation’s overseas affiliates.

Judith is the daughter of a Girl Scout and troop leader, and she credits Girl Scouts with sparking her curiosity about the world around her and giving her the opportunity to explore her adventurous side and discover her leadership potential.

Growing up, Judith and her mom were active with her local Girl Scout council, and the family regularly hosted Girl Guides from all over the world at their home when they came to the US. It was meeting and interacting with these girls over the years that sparked her lifelong interest in travel. In fact, she has visited over 40 countries! Over the past year, before the arrival of COVID-19, she journeyed to Puerto Rico, Morocco, Cuba, Italy, and Japan.

“I like to travel to places that are a little bit off the beaten path, and I think I got that from Girl Scouts,” Judith says. Girl Scouts also helped her build her confidence. “You get to try new things, you learn to speak up and use your voice, and you are encouraged to make your own decisions. Through Girl Scouts I was able to turn my natural curiosity into confidence.”

Judith’s Girl Scout journey has been ongoing. As a Girl Scout Senior, she was a part of the first girl delegation to Girl Scouts’ National Council Session in 1975, one of 100 girls from across the country chosen to represent their councils at the triennial national gathering where Girl Scouts assemble to chart the Girl Scout Movement’s path forward for the next three years. She worked at a Girl Scout camp as a cook and bookkeeper during college, and after graduating from law school, she was the co-leader of a Junior troop in Washington, DC for two years. She has also served on GSUSA’s National Board for the past six years.

In a time when girls across the country are facing unprecedented challenges, Judith believes strongly that Girl Scouts’ mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place is more important than ever.

“Girl Scouts is a safe haven in all the chaos,” Judith continues. “It’s a place where girls can still be girls—they can have fun, be with their friends, explore, be active, discover new passions, and learn. Girl Scouts creates leaders—and clearly, we need more women leaders! We help girls learn, thrive, and be the best that they can be.”

In light of the unrest that has erupted in reaction to the ever-present violence being committed against Black people, including the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many others—as well as the increased awareness among Americans more broadly of the systemic racism that exists in our country—Judith is also committed to ensuring that Girl Scouts is an actively anti-racist organization.

“We have a systemic racism problem in the US, and Girl Scouts needs to make sure we are countering it—that we are welcoming and inclusive. It’s one thing to say a girl is welcome, but it’s another thing for that girl to feel she’s welcome.”

Judith is also a strong believer in the need for diversity in American leadership, across all sectors. “If you are only listening to those who are similar to you, you’re not necessarily making the best decisions, whether it’s a corporate setting or a social setting, or even selling a product or service,” she says. “Women think differently than men, and we approach problems differently. We might come to the same conclusion, but just going through that thought process is important, both sides listening to each other. A lot of times you come to a better decision because you’ve considered more possibilities.”

And she has some great advice for girls on how to stay resilient through such uncertain times. “There’s no doubt that things are incredibly difficult right now, but it’s important to remember that nothing is ever static. Circumstances change and evolve, and if you have confidence in yourself and your abilities, you can seize opportunities that arise. You don’t necessarily have to know where you’re going, and if you fail, that’s good! Figure out why you failed, pick yourself up, and learn from the failure. Failures bring lessons just like successes do—they are just part of the journey.”

We’re excited to welcome Judith and congratulate her on her new role! We can’t wait to see what the future holds for our great Girl Scout Movement under your leadership.

Since 1912, we’ve built girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.

Source: Say hello to Girl Scouts of the USA’s new interim CEO Judith Batty!

The Girl Scout Uniform Through the Decades

For over a century, Girl Scouts have proudly worn distinctive uniforms that symbolize the high ideals for which the organization stands.

Over the past century, the iconic Girl Scout style has evolved, bringing new materials, features, and designs that align with modern girls’ interests and passions.

Reflecting on our history, we’ve opened our archives and found some rare photos you likely won’t see anywhere else that showcase how the girl uniform evolved.

Don’t forget to show us your take on #GSStyle by tagging @girlscouts on social media.

1924: Planting a commemorative tree in style! We’re loving this action shot of Juliette Gordon Low and the stylish hats featuring the iconic Girl Scout Trefoil.

FUN FACT: In 1914, Girl Scout uniforms began to be manufactured. Juliette Gordon Low ordered a stock of blue uniforms, the khaki to be sent only by special request. But the girls preferred khaki—they were developing an interest in outdoor activities and thought khaki was more practical for hiking, picnicking, and camping. The khaki uniforms were used until 1928.

1925: Juliette Gordon Low and two Girl Scouts posing for a photo. Notice the patches on the girls’ sleeves. Also, can you spot the difference between the two girl uniforms? One is a shirt dress and the other one is a two-piece (skirt and blouse).

1927: A Girl Scout Brownie spending time outdoors watering plants. How do you like her shiny black shoes?

FUN FACT: In 1926, Brown Book for Brown Owls, the first official leader’s program guide for Brownies, was published and Girl Scout Brownies received their own insignia. New “Girl Scout green” uniforms were adopted in 1928 for girls and adults to replace the khaki uniforms worn earlier in the decade.

1928: Girl Scouts having the best time camping and modeling those NEW “Girl Scout green” uniforms.

1930s: Looking flawless, troop! Just some final touches on that sleeve. Have you noticed how the hat changed? This hat style reflects the fashion of the late 1920s and early 1930s.

FUN FACT: The first uniform specifically designed for Girl Scout Seniors was introduced in 1938.

1938: The first Girl Scout Senior uniform—lookin’ sharp!

1938: May the forest be with you! This cool basket backpack is the ultimate Girl Scout accessory!

FUN FACT: During the era of the Great Depression, Girl Scouts aided in relief efforts by collecting food and clothing, making quilts, carving wooden toys, and assisting in hospitals. Uniform silhouettes were updated, and troops began wearing berets, a very trendy accessory in the early 1930s.

1935: Girl Scout Mariners climbing aboard! We’re in for smooth sailing!

1940: The Girl Scout Mariner uniform close-up—so stylish!
FUN FACT: In 1944, Girl Scouts sold calendars instead of cookies due to ingredient rations during World War II. Over the next few years, the look of Girl Scout uniforms went largely unchanged due to the low availability of materials in wartime. Girl Scout Intermediates and Seniors continued to wear green dresses paired with yellow neckerchiefs. Brownies wore brown shirt dresses with short sleeves. Wartime restrictions on the use of metals led to the zippers in uniforms being replaced with button-fronts.

FUN FACT: Designer Mainbocher, a popular haute couture American label at the time, created a Girl Scout uniform for Seniors that included a short-sleeved dress with a dark green cowhide belt, and overseas-style hat.

1948: Girl Scout Senior in her button-front dress with short sleeves designed by Mainboucher. Looks cute and practical!

1953: Girl Scout Intermediate and her poster twin!

1957: The best memories are made at Girl Scout camp!

1960s: Two Girl Scout Cadettes looking busy making the world a better place.

FUN FACT: The 1960s brought about major social change, from the Vietnam War to the struggle for racial equality to the birth of the counterculture. The Girl Scout national organization invited suggestions from Girl Scouts across the country, asking for their preferences in uniforms. Girls wanted pants, a uniform with no waistline, big pockets, and a neat, sporty “un-uniform” made of easy-to-care for fabrics. More change was on the horizon!

1970: Girl Scout Brownie with her furry friend—too cute!

1978: Girl Scout Cadettes—sisterhood forever.

FUN FACT: Political and social changes continued into the 1970s. The Girl Scout uniform adapted as well. In 1973, Girl Scout Juniors could choose from five separates to create 12 different uniform looks. Among the options were a green A-line jumper, with step-in styling, four-button placket, inverted front pleat, and large patch pockets.

1978: Picture perfect smiles. Let the good times roll!

1981: Girl Scout Senior: On my honor!

FUN FACT: In 1984, Girl Scouts launched the Girl Scout Daisy program for five-year-old girls or girls in kindergarten.

1984: Girl Scout Daisies

1992: Girl Scout Seniors proudly showcasing their decorated sashes.

1993: Throw on your shades! It’s party time 1990s’ style!

FUN FACT: In 1995 the official Girl Scout Cadette and Senior uniforms included a royal blue skirt or walking shorts, a white blouse with royal blue, yellow, and green stripes, long sleeves, a bandana, and an insignia vest or sash.

1995: Cadettes and Seniors lined up for a group shot! How do you like the striped shirts?

2000s:

FUN FACT: In 2001, the Girl Scout Cadette and Senior uniforms were changed from royal blue to khaki, with a light blue blouse for Cadettes and a navy blue blouse for Seniors.

2006: Smiles for miles! Comfortable and casual in their Girl Scout vests.

2019: “YES” to vest trains embellished with badges and patches that SPARK JOY! Who has one of those?

TODAY: Redesigned for the first time in nearly 20 years, the NEW Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador uniform and official apparel collection are all about giving girls opportunities to express their individuality! The new sash and vest incorporate modern details, including pockets, button-up closure, and a cinched waist for an easy fit. It is a modern, wearable collection that can be worn to school, for hiking or in the outdoors, while selling cookies, or at a troop meeting—exciting! Although the NEW sash and vest are officially here, you can still wear your existing Cadette, Senior, Ambassador sash, and vest. Who doesn’t love MORE OPTIONS?

Shop the look and preorder by September 8, 2020, to unlock a 10% discount with promotion code GSSTYLE10.

Juliette Gordon Low’s original vision of an organization for girls that emphasizes inclusiveness, the outdoors, self-reliance, and service remains today. As Girl Scouts, we will always be guided by our core values, no matter how the iconic uniform changes.

References:

  • The Cut of the Cloth, A Brief History of the Girl Scout Uniform, GSUSA, 1999
  • GSUSA Archives
  • “A Century of Girl Scout Uniforms,” GSCCCblog, 2019, Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast

Since 1912, we’ve built girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.

Source: The Girl Scout Uniform Through the Decades

Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend is Back!

Last year, thousands of Girl Scouts connected with nature in meaningful ways through adventure and exploration during the 2019 Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend. Your excitement and participation made it clear: Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend had to come back in 2020!

We’re proud to partner with the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD), so Girl Scouts can attend exciting activities at their local state park or enjoy virtual tours and resources from the safety of their homes!

Here are four things you need to know to participate and unlock your special patch for the 2020 Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend:

Choose your own state park adventure!

Choose how you want to participate—you heard us right! Celebrate Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend on September 12–13 by signing up for in-person events with your council. Check with your council to make sure they are participating and hosting in-person events. You can choose to opt-out of in-person events and explore state parks online from the comfort of your couch. But wait! There’s more: To help you discover the magic of state parks from home, we’ve created a special video interactive map—EPIC!

The Patch and the Passport

Whether you choose to participate in an in-person event or explore state parks virtually, you can earn your limited-edition 2020 Girl Scouts Love State Parks patch. Head to the Girl Scout Shop or a participating council store and claim your patch. Don’t forget, you can also print and work on your Girl Scout State Parks Passport.

Enjoy the Outdoors Responsibly

You may live in a state where it’s OK to enjoy the outdoors during the pandemic. Of course, as Girl Scouts, we always want to practice safety and be prepared. Here are a few tips for you to consider before going outdoors:

  1. Check with your council for guidance regarding event preregistration and requirements. These may vary from council to council.
  2. Pack snacks, water, and any essentials, such as hand sanitizer or sunscreen.
  3. If advised by your council or your state government, bring a face mask.
  4. Leave no trace! Respect your state parks and be sure to take your garbage back with you.
  5. Check the state park you’re visiting about which of their usual amenities might be closed. Call in advance to find out, for instance, if their restrooms are open for use—if not, make sure you go before you go!

Share! Share! Share!

Take to social media and share your state park adventures with your friends, family, and sister Girl Scouts. Tag your posts with @girlscouts and use #gsoutdoors

Girl Scouts is about having life-changing experiences, building friendships, and making the world a better place by caring for our beautiful planet and those around us. And the outdoors is the perfect place to do it all! So, don’t wait! Get started on your Girl Scouts Love State Parks adventure.

The Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend is possible thanks to Johnson & Johnson.

Johnson & Johnson has been championing women and giving them the tools, resources, and opportunities to succeed at work and at home since its founding more than 130 years ago. Johnson & Johnson’s has generously supported the Think Like a Citizen Scientist Journey for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors, which prepares girls to experiment, explore their environment, and push boundaries in healthy ways, all while learning how they can improve the world through STEM.

Since 1912, we’ve built girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.

Source: Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend is Back!

Judith Batty Named Interim CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA

Sylvia Acevedo Leaves Lasting Legacy After a Lifetime of Service to the Girl Scouts

After four years leading the Girl Scouts of the United States (GSUSA), Sylvia Acevedo is stepping down as CEO, the organization announced today. Following Ms. Acevedo’s last day on August 15, Judith Batty, lifelong Girl Scout, Board Member, and corporate trailblazer – will be stepping up as interim CEO, the first Black CEO in the organization’s history.Ms. Acevedo, a former rocket scientist, and a lifetime Girl Scout helped propel the organization forward to be more relevant in the 21st century. During her four years as CEO, Sylvia Acevedo transformed the organization, which is ultimately about helping the girls of today become tomorrow’s leaders.

Under Ms. Acevedo, GSUSA:

  • Provided girls in urban, rural and suburban areas with the 21st century STEM skills that they’ll need for life – and America needs for a globally competitive workforce;
  • Overhauled the iconic Girl Scout Cookie Program by transforming key elements to maximize efficiency and enhance performance for the movement;
  • Introduced 144 new badges and journeys by modernizing programs around robotics, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, outdoors, leadership and civics; and in 2019, more than 1 Million STEM badges were earned; and
  • Has steered through the challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“On behalf of Girl Scouts of the USA, the board, and our entire volunteer community, I would like to extend a warm and heartfelt thank you to Sylvia for her contributions these past four years,” said Kathy Hannan, Board Chair of GSUSA.

Ms. Batty began her Girl Scout career as a Brownie and as a member of the Nassau County Council in New York and served two terms on the National Board, this term serving as a member of the Executive Committee and International Commissioner.  Prior to joining the Girl Scouts as interim CEO, for nearly thirty years, Ms. Batty served as senior legal counsel and an executive for a Fortune 100 corporation, where she became the first woman and first Black general counsel to one of the company’s overseas affiliates.

“As we look forward, we are confident that Judith’s experience makes her uniquely qualified to help the Girl Scouts transition into our next chapter and continue to serve our enduring mission as an inclusive, supportive organization that stands ready to help every girl learn and thrive,” said Hannan.

In the coming months, Ms. Batty will embark on a listening tour with staff and council leadership, where she will hear directly from the field about how to advance the mission of the organization to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

Since 1912, we’ve built girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.

Source: Judith Batty Named Interim CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA

24 New Badges Designed to Help Girls Lead in a Time of Unprecedented Global Change

Drumroll, please! Today Girl Scouts of the USA announced 24 new badges designed to help girls practice some serious leadership skills in civics, entrepreneurship, STEM career exploration, and automotive engineering.

In a year of unprecedented global change, our country’s need for strong, broad-minded, and decisive leadership has never been greater. Girl Scouts equips the next generation of female change-makers with the breadth of knowledge, skills, and experiences they need to take action on issues they believe in.

Here’s everything you need to know about the NEW Girl Scout badges:

Civics (grades K–12). Be prepared to lead the change in your town, state, and country! Start with the Civics badges and gain an in-depth understanding of how local, state, and federal government works. Get ready to be a voter, an activist, or a political leader. Research laws and understand how they’re created. Explore how the electoral college works. Learn about the representation of women in government, and so much more. You will also research your own government officials and make plans to meet them. (Funded by the Citi Foundation). Start with your FREE new badge activity samplers.

“There is a huge need for leaders who will advocate for the voiceless and the disadvantaged. As young women in America, we have the ability and the responsibility to create the world we want our own daughters to grow up in.” —Gold Award Girl Scout Julia

Entrepreneurship (grades K–12). Dreaming about creating a business that can make a difference? With the Entrepreneurship badges, you will create and pitch a product or service that solves a real-life problem. Then you’ll build a business plan and think about topics like production, cost, profit, marketing, and competition. (Funded by Susan Bulkeley Butler and designed in collaboration with VentureLab). Start with your FREE new badge activity samplers.

“Girl Scouts should give this badge a chance because developing your hobby to an income or creating your own business is a way to control your future. You get to be the boss!” —Girl Scout Marie

STEM Career Exploration (grades 2–8). Thinking about a career path that’s right for you? Discover the STEM Career badges and make a difference about a pressing issue in your community. Explore computer science, nature/environmental science, engineering, design, health, and agriculture. You will also make a career plan that will help you fuel your passion into action. (Funded by IF/THEN, an initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies). Start with your FREE new badge activity samplers.

“The STEM Career badges are really fun and show you a range of jobs I didn’t even know existed!” —Girl Scout Bridget

Automotive Engineering (grades K–5). Buckle up and earn about designing, engineering, and manufacturing vehicles, as well as the future of mobility. Design your own vehicle, test prototypes, and see what it’s like to think like an engineer! You’ll even learn how to manage your own assembly line manufacturing process! (funded by General Motors). Start with your FREE new badge activity samplers.

“My favorite part about this badge was being able to design and create my own car. It made me feel like an engineer. I learned that engineering is something I love and want to explore it further.” —Girl Scout Julia

“The world has changed drastically this year, and now more than ever, it’s imperative to have strong leaders who can make informed decisions,” said GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo. Our new badges will continue to build the world-changing female leaders of today and the future, particularly in key industries that propel our country forward: automotive engineering, entrepreneurship, civics, and STEM.

In addition, beginning this summer, all councils will also have the opportunity to host their own Girl Scout Cyber Challenge sponsored by Raytheon Technologies, enabling middle and high school girls to learn crucial cybersecurity skills as they compete in challenges such as running traceroutes and identifying phishing schemes. The Cyber Challenge prepares girls to pursue careers in computer science and cybersecurity.

Since 1912, we’ve built girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.

Source: 24 New Badges Designed to Help Girls Lead in a Time of Unprecedented Global Change

Is Virtual Bridging for Our Troop? Yes, It Is!

Top 3 Reasons to Celebrate Bridging Virtually

Girl Scout climbing on a tree

Bridging—that is, when a girl celebrates “crossing the bridge” from one Girl Scout level to the next—is one of the most important moments in a Girl Scout’s life. And although the COVID-19 pandemic may have us continuing to pause our in-person meetings and ceremonies, you can still find ways to honor all the good things your troop has done this year and get excited for everything you’ll experience next year!

If you can’t organize an in-person ceremony this summer, consider holding a virtual bridging celebration or taking part in one of GSUSA’s National Virtual Bridging Ceremonies, which will be held August 1 and 8.

Here are three reasons your troop will want to get in on the virtual bridging fun:

Keep the groove going. Everyone’s daily routine has been upended in recent months, and marking this incredible point in your troop’s Girl Scout experience is so important in helping everyone feel some forward momentum. Putting a virtual bridging ceremony on your calendar and counting down the days is going to feel so good!

ALL 👏 YOUR 👏 SISTERS👏 Being a Girl Scout means having sisters across the country and around the world ready to cheer you on! Taking part in one of the national virtual bridging events is a powerful reminder that everyone in the troop is part of a big sisterhood made up of resilient girls and adults who are staying strong and doing good in their communities. Whatever comes our way, we’re never alone!

Celebrate your achievements. The last few months have been challenging no matter where you live, but that’s all the more reason to lift up everything the troop has achieved this year! You earned badges and Journey awards, made our communities better, and continued to shine your brightest. Most importantly, we all stayed Girl Scout strong in the face of hardship—and that’s worth celebrating here and now.

The best part? You can bridge virtually and amp up the experience with an in-person event when it’s safe. Like everything in Girl Scouting, it’s all about what the girls want! And you can make the occasion even more special with an official bridging kit from the Girl Scout Shop.

We can’t wait to see you on August 1 and 8 and create more special memories together!

Source: Is Virtual Bridging for Our Troop? Yes, It Is!

A Juneteenth Celebration of Black Girl Magic

To honor Juneteenth, we’re showcasing Black Girl Magic in action across the country. From fighting injustice, to helping endangered species, to honing the culinary skills that will make them top chefs someday, Black Girl Scouts are out there creating the world they want to see.

For those who aren’t familiar, Juneteenth combines “June” and “nineteenth.” It’s also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Emancipation Day. Even though President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation officially ending slavery in 1863, in practice slavery remained in some parts of the country. When word that the Civil War was over and slavery was abolished finally made it to Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, celebrations among the newly free Black community followed, which became an annual tradition.

For more on the history of Juneteenth, see these resources:

Today, Juneteenth remains an opportunity to gather and celebrate Black culture. And while we’re proud of a long list of Black Girl Scout alums who have changed the world for the better, here we’re honoring the current generation of Girl Scouts—and we hope you’ll share your own examples of Black Girl Magic in action.
Girl Scout A’myla

Girl Scout Senior A’mylah’s Take Action project promotes body positivity. Her project included magazine cut-outs of women of all shades and shapes, along with positive affirmations and words about what body image means and how it affects girls and women in our country.

Girl Scout Saela

For Centuries Girl Scouts have led positive change through civic engagement. Girl Scout Cadette Saela used her voice to speak out against racial injustices in her community and marched to protest racism and violence.

Girl Scout Rachel
Shout-out to Rachel for graduating high school and checking off the ultimate #goals list without missing a Girl Scout meeting: Associate of Arts, 4 Honor Societies, Honors Rotary Interact, Gear Up, Debate Team, Mock Trial, Yearbook Committee, Dance Company & Sacred Ensemble, Flag Runners, NAACP Youth Council, and Top Teens of America.
Girl Scout Kamryn

Gold Award Girl Scout Kamryn took action in her community by teaching black hair care to adoptive and foster parents. Here’s why: “Some black children, especially those who are adopted or in foster care, don’t have parents who understand the unique way to care for and maintain a black child’s natural curls.”

Girl Scout Mikala

Gold Award Girl Scout Mikala educated her community about endangered animals by creating a website that describes the risks of extinction and why it is essential to keep threatened species alive.

Girl Scout Victoria
Girl Scout Ambassador Victoria collected over 1,200 diapers for a New Orleans women’s shelter. She’s off to college this year and plans to attend culinary school in the fall. Her dream? Owning a bakery one day so she can share her pastries with the world!

Let’s keep the celebration going all year—share an example of Black Girl Magic in your troop by tagging our social media handles at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or by sending us a private message.

Camp Corner, Spring 2020 (Part 2)

By Madeline Jackson

chipmunk-429699_1920Chippy is back with Part 2 of Camp Corner for Spring 2020! Here are projects that council staff has been overseeing at Camp Caloosa.

A complete property tree trim was completed to lift canopies, widen the back trails, eliminate dead landscape, and, most importantly, clear additional area for parking at the camp entrance. You won’t believe the big difference!

Parking lot clearing

Crushed shell has since been installed on the newly cleared additional parking area. We are hopeful that this will provide a drier parking area if the property floods in the summer, where cars can safely park without getting stuck. If you’ve visited Caloosa during the rainy season, you know how important this is!

Because it was in disrepair and presented a potential safety hazard, the old fishing dock was demolished and removed. Handrails were installed so the space can now serve as an observation area. Caloosa’s Volunteer Caretaker, Jason, repaired the ramp bridge that leads to the back trails.

Bridge stabalized

All touchpoint areas at camp, including bunk beds and camp mattresses, have been disinfected. And, the Chalet house has been equipped with a new water heater.

If you missed it, be sure to read Part 1 of the spring camp blog to catch up on happenings at Camp Honi Hanta.

CALOOSA CHAMP 2

Don’t forget, there is a Honi Hanta Hero and a Caloosa Champion patch that the girls can earn for doing a service project at each respective camp. We have painting projects, cleaning projects, signage projects, trail trimming, etc. There is always something to do to improve camp and leave it better than we found it. Contact Madeline Jackson (madelinej@gsgcf.org) to learn more!

Camp Reminders

  • VERIFICATION OF OUTDOOR SKILLS TRAINING— To ensure your troop/service unit will be meeting all the requirements of your desired camp experience, we are verifying certifications for all reservations made in the Double Knot system.
  • If you borrow a piece of equipment from another campsite, please return it to its original location so all of our equipment can be accounted for.
  • If for any reason, you are planning to visit one of our camps without a reservation, you must first get prior authorization. Please contact Kimberly at kimberlya@gsgcf.org, or 800-232-4475, so we can inform our volunteer caretakers that you will be visiting the property.

Madeline Jackson is the Property Manager for Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida