Three (Major) Reasons for Alums to Get Excited About G.I.R.L. 2020!

The countdown is on for the biggest girl-led event in the world: G.I.R.L. 2020! The most epic celebration in Girl Scouting will be held from October 21–23, 2020, in Orlando, Florida, G.I.R.L. 2020 is where girls and women from around the globe will join forces to find inspiration and strength in one another and hone the tools they’ll use to empower themselves now and for the rest of their lives.

There are SO many reasons to get excited about G.I.R.L. 2020, especially if you’re a Girl Scout alum! Here are just a few reasons alums will want to start packing their bags.

1. Tap into a global network. 
Celebrating the power of girls to change the world translates no matter where you are! Just one of the (many!) things you won’t want to miss is the first-ever Global Roundtable, where girls and young women from around the world will convene and discuss the future of the global Girl Guide & Girl Scout Movement and how to strengthen connections among girl-only organizations. You’ll discover how you can help power girl-led movements at home and around the world.

2. Check out the lifetime membership lounge.
After hearing from our dynamic headliners, attending inspiring breakout sessions on leadership, or visiting the Girl Scout Network booth at the G.I.R.L. EXPO, take a breather at the dedicated lifetime membership lounge. You’ll have the opportunity to network with fellow go-getters and innovators who are making a positive impact. Because making new friends is just what Girl Scouts and alums do!

Not a lifetime member yet? Stay tuned for can’t-miss alum programming at G.I.R.L. 2020 and look for even more opportunities to connect with your Girl Scout sisters.

3. Discover the coolest experiences in Girl Scouting. 
There’s something for everyone in the G.I.R.L. EXPO: Hall of Experiences! The Hall of Experiences is 100,000 square feet of all the cool things Girl Scouts are doing now. From hands-on activities focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to interactive exhibits that build essential outdoor skills, you’ll get a glimpse of how today’s girls build the skills they’ll need to succeed throughout their lives.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Girl Scout event without giving back. At G.I.R.L. 2017, convention attendees packed more than 20,000 meals for people in need. You might make an impact just by attending G.I.R.L. 2020!

What can you expect at the G.I.R.L. EXPO? Here are just a few of our previous exhibitors and partners who are as excited about Girl Scouting as you:

• AAMES – Association of African Methodist Episcopal Scouts
• American Field Service (AFS) International/Intercultural Program
• American Camping Association
• American Red Cross
• American Volkssport Association
• Association of Girl Scout Executive Staff
• Badge Magic, LLC
• Cedar Fair Entertainment
• Colorado Yurt Company
• Contemporary Ceramic Studios Association
• Education First
• Kappa Delta Sorority
• Lion Brothers Company
• Makit Products
• Mutual of America
• Mutual of Omaha Companies
• National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
• National Park Service
• Noble Wear
• Palmer & Cay
• Snappy Logos
• Society of Women in Engineering
• U.S. Space and Rocket Center
• United States Orienteering Federation
• United States Tennis Association (USTA)
• Visit Savannah
• World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts–Western Hemisphere (WAGGGS)

Are you ready to be “all in” for G.I.R.L. 2020? Visit our website and watch the G.I.R.L. 2020 teaser video, or reach out to us at 2020convention@girlscouts.org. We look forward to seeing you there!

Source: Three (Major) Reasons for Alums to Get Excited About G.I.R.L. 2020!

New Girl Scout Space Science Badges Are Ready for Takeoff!

Girl Scouts are always aiming for the stars—literally! On July 24, 2019, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) held a congressional briefing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing and share our commitment to ensuring that every girl has the chance to explore and build her interest in space science.

Sydne Jenkins, an Ambassador Girl Scout and Girl Scout Space Academy alum; Cole Grissom, of GSUSA; and Pamela Harman of the SETI Institute took part in a panel discussion about the importance of fostering girls’ interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) at an early age.

According to recent studies, girls develop their “STEM identity” by third grade. By the time they reach middle school and high school, they’re at risk of opting out of STEM entirely—and that’s a major contributor to the STEM gender gap. But Girl Scouts has both the reach and proven programming to motivate a new generation of girls to explore STEM and become confident leaders. At every grade level, girls can engage in fun, hands-on activities that ignite their curiosity and strengthen their STEM identities.

The panelists also discussed Girl Scouts’ three new Space Science badges, which were announced this July. These stellar new badges allow girls to explore topics such as the universe and their place in it, properties of light, and inspirational space science careers. These badges, combined with Girl Scouts’ larger suite of STEM programming, provide a seamless pathway for girls to develop a lifetime love of the cosmos and its endless possibilities.

Among the congress members who gave remarks at the briefings was all-star Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Chair, Kendra Horn (D-OK). Horn, a Gold Award Girl Scout, shouted out GSUSA’s mission to close the STEM gender gap.

“As we work here…to make sure that we’re building the programs and continuing to work toward [space] exploration, we are also intentionally building pathways for STEM education, to bring more people of different backgrounds in—more women, more individuals from different communities—and that is why the work you’re doing is so important,” said Rep. Horn.

It’s no surprise that many female astronauts in the United States are Girl Scout alums. With the new Space Science badges, more Girl Scouts have the opportunity to shoot for the moon and blaze new trails in STEM!

Source: New Girl Scout Space Science Badges Are Ready for Takeoff!

Five Ways to Make Summer Memories Last

Your girl had an EPIC summer! From going on camping adventures to learning new skills with her besties, she came back refreshed with a backpack full of memories. It may seem like the summer months slipped by, but when you think back to the connections your girl made and all the fun activities she’s been a part of, it’s clear she had an abundance of incredible experiences worth remembering and cherishing for years to come.

Staying present in a moment and enjoying it is a sure recipe to make the most of the long sunny days, but thinking back to memories and reliving them with our girls is a great way to remember all the glittering sunsets, camp games, and friendship bracelets. Reflection is how we preserve memories. Here are some tips to bring back the sun and fun during this back-to-school and back-to-troop season.

 
Begin with gratitude. What are you most grateful for this summer? A simple question during your first troop meeting or at the dinner table can bring up a ton of happy memories and meaningful lessons for your girl. Even better, by sharing her positive memories with others, she’ll have a chance to think through and verbalize her positive experiences. Teach your girl to have an attitude of gratitude so she can happily experience life instead of comparing her experiences to others or being on the lookout for more. To remember and experience joy, simply show gratitude and appreciation.
Help her write a letter to a new friend she’s made over the summer. Summer is a time for meeting new friends and making new connections. She can choose to write a letter to her new best friend or a thank-you note to her camp leader—let her decide! Want to take things to the next level? Help her unleash her inner artist by decorating her letter with meaningful art, cutouts, or stickers.
 
Plan a creative project she can take the lead on. Taking on a creative project will help your girl solidify her summer memories. With these four JOANN craft ideas, she can channel her camp memories into wonderful creations. Better yet, have the whole troop pick and create a project. That way everyone can have a tangible summer memory to reflect back on and share with others. Learn more about the JOANN Girl Scout Rewards program.

Make scrapbook magic happen. In the age of smartphones and Pinterest, no one creates scrapbooks any more, right? NOT true! Creating a small scrapbook is simple and brings a ton of joy. And you don’t need a lot of supplies. Regardless of grade level, every girl can make her own unique scrapbook highlighting her pictures, thoughts, experiences, and SWAPS or little treasures found on the hiking trail! If you choose to do this activity with your troop, make sure you ask your Girl Scouts to show their scrapbook, and pick one memory they can talk about.

Play a game. For your next troop meeting, play a game called Story Stones; have the girls pick a flat stone and paint their favorite summer memory on it. They can also pick a word that connects with their best summer experience—the possibilities are endless!
Making summer memories last all troop year is easy as one, two, three! Now that you have the inspiration you need, don’t forget to share it with the world. Follow us on Instagram, and tag your beautiful creations with #BecauseOfGirlScouts. We can’t wait to see them!

Source: Five Ways to Make Summer Memories Last

S’mores Recipes Straight from the Experts

s'mores recipes, how to make smores
Did you know the first s’mores recipe was published in a Girl Scout guidebook from 1927? That’s right, making s’mores around a campfire is a time-honored Girl Scout tradition—and the inspiration behind the Girl Scout S’mores® cookie!

The best thing about s’mores? All the different ways to enjoy them. Like the richest traditions, everyone has their own special variation.

The basic s’mores recipe calls for a marshmallow toasted over a campfire, sandwiched between two graham crackers and a piece of chocolate—yum. We asked Girl Scouts, volunteers, troop leaders, and parents to share their favorite gourmet s’mores recipes on Facebook, and the results are mouthwatering!

Here are some delicious s’mores recipes to try.

Crème Brûlée S’mores
Courtesy of Jessica B. 

· One Peeps chick or bunny
· Two graham crackers
· One block of Chocolate

Roast the Peep in the fire instead of a regular marshmallow. The sugar caramelizes on the outside of the marshmallow like a crème brûlée. Give this one an extra few seconds to cool down before enjoying.

Apple Peanut Butter S’mores

Courtesy of Sabrina J. 

· One marshmallow
· Two pieces of thinly sliced apple
· A spoonful of peanut butter
· One block of chocolate

Use slices of apple instead of graham cracker, smeared with peanut butter for a creative gluten-free s’more! It works best to put peanut butter on both slices of apple so everything sticks together. For an added (but not gluten-free) crunch, use half an Oreo cookie instead of chocolate.

 
Pineapple S’mores
Courtesy of Meghan B. 

· One marshmallow
· Two graham crackers
· One block of dark chocolate
· One pineapple ring

Carefully roast the pineapple ring in the fire, and it set aside. Then roast the marshmallow to your desired doneness, and create your s’mores! You can also add (or replace the pineapple with) sliced strawberries!

Salty-n-Sweet S’mores
Courtesy of Marti H. 

· One marshmallow
· A spoonful of peanut butter
· Two soda crackers/saltines
· One block of chocolate

Spread the peanut butter across the crackers before roasting the perfect marshmallow and creating your s’mores!

S’mores Dip
Courtesy of Brenna D.

· One bag of marshmallows
· One bag of chocolate chips
· Several graham crackers (for dipping)

This recipe is perfect for when you’re craving s’mores but don’t have access to a campfire—like on a rainy night! Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Layer the chocolate chips on the bottom of an oven-safe skillet or glass dish. Coat kitchen shears with nonstick spray, and then cut each marshmallow in half. Arrange the marshmallows on top of the chocolate, and bake until they’re golden brown, about 5–10 minutes. Let the dip cool down for a few minutes before dipping the graham crackers in and enjoying. Try substituting chocolate chips for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to mix things up!

Want s’more s’mores recipes? Try these appetizing twists:

· Use Girl Scout Cookies instead of graham crackers. Samoas®/Caramel deLites®, Thin Mints®, Lemonades™, Thanks-A-Lots®, Trefoils®, and Do-si-dos®/Peanut Butter Sandwiches are all popular choices for making s’mores. Check out our Girl Scout Cookie s’mores recipesfor inspiration!

· Switch out the chocolate bar. Peanut butter cups, chocolate peppermint candy, caramel-filled chocolate, and raspberry-filled chocolate are popular choices to replace the standard chocolate bar.

· Make a raspberry-filled marshmallow. Place a raspberry on the end of the stick while you’re roasting the marshmallow. When you pull off the marshmallow onto your s’more, it wraps around the raspberry!

· Get fancy with the details. Roll the edges of your finished s’mores in chopped nuts, sprinkles, crushed chocolate cookies, coconut flakes, or whatever else you like!

In addition, for Girl Scout s’mores gear, check out the Girl Scout Shop!

Source: S’mores Recipes Straight from the Experts

BIG NEWS: 42 New Girl Scout Badges to Change the World

Say hello to 42 NEW Girl Scout badges and one NEW Journey exclusively for girls ages 5–18!

Excited?! The new badges and badge requirements are available in the Girl Scout Shop.

The new programming allows girls to make their own choices about how they want to experience and influence the world while preparing them to address some of society’s most pressing needs through hands-on learning and real-life problem-solving in cybersecurity, coding, space exploration, and citizen science. But wait, there’s more! For the first time ever, girls can choose between two ways of earning their Outdoor badges—it’s an adventure seeker’s dream come true!

Giving girls choices is important for developing their sense of self, their own voice, and gender equality: research from the World Bank Group shows that increasing women’s agency and decision-making abilities is key to improving their lives, communities, and the world. Additionally, Girl Scouts are more likely than other girls to take an active role in decision making (80% vs. 51%).

You’re invited to the blaze-your-own-trail adventure. We hope you love it as much as we do!

The new programming for girls in grades 6–12 includes:

  • Nine Cybersecurity badges,created in partnership with Palo Alto Networks, through which girls learn about the inner workings of computer technology and cybersecurity and apply concepts of safety and protection to the technology they use every day. Activities range from decrypting and encrypting messages, to learning proper protection methods for devices, to exploring real-world hacking scenarios (funded by Palo Alto Networks).
  • Think Like a Citizen Scientist, a Girl Scout Leadership Journey during which girls participate in interactive activities to practice observation techniques; collect data; and share their findings with real-world scientists through an online network. As with all of Girl Scouts’ Leadership Journeys, girls use their newly honed skills to take action on a community issue of their choosing (funded by Johnson & Johnson and The Coca-Cola Foundation).
  • To prepare girls in grades 6–12 to pursue computer science careers, Girl Scouts will launch the organization’s first Cyber Challenge events in select areas this fall. At these events, which will take place October 19, girls will learn crucial cybersecurity skills by completing challenges such as running traceroutes and identifying phishing schemes (funded by Raytheon).

With the new release, all Girl Scouts in grades K–12 will have the opportunity to earn their Cybersecurity and Space Science badges, as well as complete the Think Like Citizen Scientist Journey.

The new programming for girls in grades K–12 includes:

  • 12 Outdoor High Adventure badges, designed for girls to explore nature and experience exciting outdoor adventures like backpacking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, rock climbing, and tree climbing—giving them the confidence to support one another, take healthy risks, and spend dedicated time in nature. These are the first Girl Scout badges that members can earn by choosing one of two self-directed paths (funded by The North Face).
  • 18 Coding for Good badges, which not only teach girls the basics of coding but also detail how every stage of the coding process provides girls with opportunities to use their skills for good. Girls will learn about algorithms through age-appropriate, creative activities, such as coding positive memes to spread a message about a cause they care about, designing a digital game to educate people about an issue, and developing an app to promote healthy habits. Every Coding for Good badge includes a plugged-in and unplugged version, so that all girls can learn the foundations of coding, regardless of their access to technology (funded by AT&T and Dell).
“Girl Scouts has ignited the power and potential of girls for over a century, and we are committed to ensuring that today’s girls are the future of American leadership,” said GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo. “Girl Scouts is where girls can explore new subjects, discover their passions, learn to take smart risks, and become their best, most confident selves—whether they want to become a NASA astronaut, an entrepreneur, a rock climber, a coder, or a cybersecurity agent.”

GSUSA works with top organizations in fields that interest today’s girls. Combined with Girl Scouts’ expertise in girl leadership, these organizations and specialists advise and weigh in on content to provide the most cutting-edge programming available to girls. Content collaborators include codeSpark, the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC), SciStarter, and Vidcode. In true girl-led fashion, girls also tested the new offerings.

There’s just no doubt about it: Girl Scouts is the single BEST place for girls. Delivering a one-of-a-kind leadership development program (and the largest in the world for girls!), Girl Scouts provides girls with unlimited girl-led adventures found nowhere else.

Not a Girl Scout yet? No problem! Troops are forming now—join Girl Scouts today.

 

Source: BIG NEWS: 42 New Girl Scout Badges to Change the World

Fort Myers Girl Scout Turned her Passion into Purpose Through Film

samantha-romero2.jpg

Lee County resident and Bishop Verot High School graduate Samantha Romero earned Girl Scouting’s highest honor—the Gold Award—with her project titled The Video Students’ Journey.

Addressing the limited availability of video production education, Samantha created a video club at Bishop Verot High School. Through in-person workshops and online video classes she trained younger students in the art of film, editing, and techniques to create professional content. Samantha’s passion led her to Panama City in the fall of 2018 to document Hurricane Michael’s destruction of St. John Catholic School. Through the power of video, she was able to help the school share their story and spearhead their relief effort.

“In the future, I will continue this leadership fueled by Gold Award, by guiding my peers to continue to help others in need.”

The Girl Scout Gold Award, open to high school Girl Scouts, recognizes girls who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through take-action projects with sustainable impact in their communities. The Gold Award is so prestigious that some universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award Girl Scouts, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements.

Congratulations, Samantha!

Naples Girl Scout Saved the Bees

hayley-reid3.jpg

Collier County resident and Naples High School graduate Hayley Reid earned Girl Scouting’s highest honor—the Gold Award—with her project titled Save the Bees.

Determined to promote the preservation of bees and bee habitats, Hayley built bee houses and spread awareness of the issue throughout her community. Using fallen trees from Hurricane Irma she constructed and installed bee houses, along with educational posters, in her neighborhood and in other public spaces. Hayley immediately recorded bee activity in her artificial habitats and hopes her project will combat the declining bee population for years to come.

“I learned a lot about myself and my community through my Gold Award. My community is very encouraging and willing to help, especially for environmental issues.”

The Girl Scout Gold Award, open to high school Girl Scouts, recognizes girls who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through take-action projects with sustainable impact in their communities. The Gold Award is so prestigious that some universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award Girl Scouts, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements.

Congratulations, Hayley!