The Citizen Badges Every Girl Scout Should Earn

Citizen-Badges_17_02
Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) launched the G.I.R.L. Agenda Powered by Girl Scouts, a nonpartisan initiative to inspire, prepare, and mobilize girls and those who care about them to lead positive change through civic action. The multiyear effort celebrates the Girl Scout legacy of civic engagement, and for the first time ever, we’re sharing these free, expert-curated resources beyond our 2.6 million members so we can reach as many girls as possible. The materials are derived from renowned Girl Scout programming that has driven generations of girls over the past century to become leaders.

Encouraging girls to speak up and advocate for the issues and ideas important to them is not new. In fact, even before women could vote in the United States, Girl Scouts could earn the Citizen badge by displaying their knowledge of government and how to get involved!

These Citizen badges—Good Neighbor, Celebrating Community, Inside Government, Finding Common Ground, Behind the Ballot, and Public Policy—engage girls in age-appropriate activities involving community service, public policy, government, voting, and more. Over time, the badges build girls’ knowledge of local and global communities and show them how their actions as citizens make the world better for everyone.

Check out a breakdown of all the Citizen badges below.

Daisies

Good Neighbor: With this badge, Daisies will explore the communities they belong to—from their roles as Daisies in Girl Scouts to their place as residents of their town. They’ll also learn how people work together to be good neighbors to one another.

Brownies

Celebrating Community: Brownies who earn this badge will discover how communities celebrate their unique qualities and how supporting the people within communities can mean everything from looking for landmarks to marching in a parade. Girls will learn how their communities honor and observe their special traits as they celebrate their traditions.

Juniors

Inside Government: Citizens are responsible for knowing the basics of government. To earn this badge, Juniors will go beyond the voting booth and inside government by examining laws, reporting on issues, and deciding what it means to be an active citizen.


Cadettes

Finding Common Ground: Cadettes will explore the challenges of finding common ground with those who have different opinions. Elected leaders often need to make compromises, so girls will investigate how negotiations happen by learning about civil debate, accommodations, mediation, and group decision making.

 

Seniors

Behind the Ballot: Making your voice heard through voting is both a right and a responsibility, whether you’re voting for class president or our nation’s leaders. Seniors will learn about elections, investigate the ins and outs of voting, and help get out the vote.

Ambassadors

Public Policy: Ambassadors have already learned about the need to speak up about issues important to them, but by taking the next step and exploring public policy, they’ll dive deeper into the laws and government actions surrounding specific issues. Through advocacy, learning about public policy on a local or state level, and action, Ambassadors will learn firsthand how citizens can change the world.

By earning these badges in an all-girl, girl-led environment, girls build the confidence they need to become the civic-minded leaders of tomorrow.

Find out more about the badges using the Badge Explorer.

To learn how your Girl Scout troop can get civically engaged, visit www.GIRLagenda.org.

 

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

Source: The Citizen Badges Every Girl Scout Should Earn

Seniors enjoy virtual sing-along with Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida

By Mary Anne Servian, Chief Executive Officer

I was so proud of our Gulfcoast Girl Scouts this week when they treated local senior citizens to a virtual sing-along on April 28 as part of our “Across the Generations” council-wide service project.

We partnered with Harbor Chase in Sarasota for an old-fashioned campfire sing-along, with a virtual twist. Using an online platform, more than 100 girls, family members, and volunteers sang familiar favorites such as “The Brownie Smile Song,” “Do Your Ears Hang Low,” and “Make New Friends” to the enjoyment of assisted and independent living facility residents across the area.

Girl Scouts virtual sing-along

One of our beloved long-time volunteers, Betty Webb, shared her appreciation for the girls. “I am currently living in an independent living center and have not been able to leave the building for several weeks. Listening to the camp songs brought back some very nice memories. I thought the idea for the project was very timely and kind.”

Our council began the Across the Generations service project in March by encouraging Girl Scouts and their families to send cards, letters, and drawings to local nursing homes and other senior facilities, whose residents are feeling isolated during the COVID-19 lockdown. The virtual sing-along was also held in conjunction with the 2020 Giving Challenge.

Held April 28-29, 2020, the Giving Challenge was sponsored by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and further supported by The Patterson Foundation. Our council participated with hundreds of other nonprofits in Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto, and Charlotte Counties, to raise funds to help support our programs.

The Giving Challenge is all about giving back to the community, whether it’s a monetary donation to your favorite local nonprofit organizations or a simple act of kindness during these especially challenging times. Girl Scouts are well known for giving back to their communities, and on April 28, we celebrated that tradition of service in a big way, bridging “across the generations.” 

If you missed the virtual sing-along, you can still join in the fun by viewing the recording on our Youtube channel. My sincere thanks to everyone who participated in the sing-along and the Giving Challenge, and to the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and The Patterson Foundation for making it all possible!

Updates About G.I.R.L. 2020 and the 55th National Council Session

Note: Mary Anne Servian, CEO of Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, would like to share the following message from Girl Scouts of the USA.

For 108 years, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has enabled girls to realize their biggest dreams and tap into their spirit of innovation, collaboration, and service to their communities to make the world a better place. Most recently, Girl Scouts, their families, volunteers, and supporters have mobilized to give back to those in need due to our current health crisis in safe and creative new ways.

Safety has always been at the heart of all Girl Scout activities. As we’ve continued to monitor public health experts’ recommendations and forecasts, it became clear that, because there are no widely accepted models that predict when it may be safe to hold large-scale, in-person events and when all restrictions on travel will be lifted, Girl Scouts could not hold our G.I.R.L. 2020/55th National Council Session in October as planned—we simply can’t guarantee the health and safety of participants. As we sought feedback from all key stakeholders, including delegates, we assessed and prepared for different scenarios, given the extraordinary circumstances we have been operating under due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. This included asking those expected to participate in NCS if they had any concerns about the event—74% responded they were concerned about the health and safety of participants (this was the top concern).

Given all of this, the National Board held a special meeting on Tuesday, April 21, and voted to hold a one-time virtual session for our 55th National Council Session in October 2020. The board also voted to cancel G.I.R.L. 2020, including the Global Roundtable.

We are reimagining NCS in the innovative spirit of our quick Movement pivot due to current challenges toward a 100 percent virtual experience to continue delivering for girls.

The board discussed various options and decided this was the best way to enable the business of Girl Scouting to continue in a timely manner and honor the significant business that was brought to the National Council, including four proposals initiated by councils and two that were co-created by councils and recommended to the board, as well as the business of electing the new board. We will be leveraging our councils’ learnings, as more than half have already held/decided to hold their annual meetings virtually this year.

We know this news is disappointing for the girls, troops, volunteers, alums, and supporters who were looking forward to meeting in Orlando for a truly impactful, girl-led event. Although we can’t meet in person, we encourage you to continue to connect with our unbreakable sisterhood via the many virtual events and activities we’ve recently launched for girls and their families, as well as our volunteers and alums, via Girl Scouts at Home™ and the Girl Scout Network’s Campfire Chats.

GSUSA is enormously grateful for the many volunteers and council leaders and staff who have been working to create amazing experiences for G.I.R.L. 2020/55th NCS. We want to send a special shout-out to the G-TEAM—26 brilliant young women from across Girl Scouts and Girl Guides who have played a central role in planning all aspects of our convention—and the six Florida host councils:

  • Girl Scouts of Citrus
  • Girl Scouts of Gateway Council
  • Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida
  • Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida
  • Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida
  • Girl Scouts of West Central Florida

GSUSA will be refunding in full (100%) all convention registrations that were booked directly through GSUSA (please give us a few weeks to process them all). We also will be seeking additional feedback and support as we plan a virtual NCS. We ask for your patience as we work through the impact these decisions have on the many events and activities that were originally planned as part of G.I.R.L. 2020/55th NCS.

As always, Girl Scouts are trailblazers—with our pivot to a virtual National Council Session, we are making history and preserving Girl Scout’s democratic process while propelling our Movement into the future together through an engaging virtual experience.

If you have any questions, please refer to the FAQ.

Source: Updates About G.I.R.L. 2020 and the 55th National Council Session

Financial Literacy During Uncertain Times

From our sense of security and wellbeing to canceled troop activities, graduations, and birthdays, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected all aspects of our lives. For so many of us, the ongoing uncertainty means having to navigate difficult situations. So this April—for Financial Literacy Month—we’ve partnered with Morgan Stanley’s Financial Advisors to answer a few of the questions you submitted on Facebook and Instagram. Check them out!


Thien Le
, Financial Advisor:

The first financial lesson is to learn how to set goals. Setting goals is a great way to determine what to save for and to stay focused on your financial objectives and your reasons for saving. Bucket each goal into short term, medium term, and long term. Short term could be buying a new car, while long term could be retirement; which it’s never too early to think about. Start saving now as soon as you have earned income from your part time job or when you begin to work full time. When my 16-year-old daughter got her first job as a math tutor, I opened a retirement account for her to encourage her to save a little each month. Lastly, don’t be afraid of investing, and learn how to do it. Staying focused and keeping money invested in the market can be rewarding over time, but it may require patience and a long investment horizon. With market volatility, people often panic and make irrational decisions, so it is important to review your goals and remain focused on your investment objectives.

Lisa Benton, Financial Advisor:

An emergency savings fund is money that you have set aside for unexpected life events, such as losing a job or paying for a broken-down car. It’s a good idea for everyone to create one. When you are first starting, aim to save a few hundred dollars in a separate savings account. A convenient way to do this is by establishing a direct deposit for your emergency savings account. This allows the funds to be transferred into your account automatically. The ultimate goal will be to save three to six months of your take-home pay as a cushion for life’s uncertainties. Remember that this can be done gradually as your cash flow allows. One of the best ways to be financially savvy is to plan and that includes planning for the unexpected.

Kate Waters, Financial Advisor:

The goal should always be to have as little debt as possible, but there are certain instances where debt can be “good debt.” For instance, if you think you can get a better paying job by going to college or going for your master’s, medical, or law degree, then it might be smart to take on a student loan if you can’t afford it all on your own. This also holds true for buying a home. In both instances, you need to understand how long it will take to pay off and to make sure there is potential for a positive longer-term return on your investment. You also need to make sure the additional expense of the loan fits within your budget and be prudent about paying it down. By being diligent about your personal finances and responsible about paying down debt, you can be well on your way to being debt-free!

To help build girls’ confidence, Girl Scouts has developed Financial Literacy badges that your girl can start earning today! The badge activities are based on real-life situations, such as budgeting and philanthropy, to give girls a deeper understanding of financial literacy power their future life success! You can also check out Girl Scouts at Home—our brand-new hub of online activities, including some for financial literacy!

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

Source: Financial Literacy During Uncertain Times

An Update on G.I.R.L. 2020

Source: An Update on G.I.R.L. 2020

Greetings from the G.I.R.L. 2020 Team! We hope this update finds you and your family safe, well and adjusting to our new work and play “normal” in the best possible ways. Many of you have asked questions regarding G.I.R.L. 2020 and we wanted to provide some updates.


Q. Will G.I.R.L. 2020 be canceled or postponed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic?

At this time, we are continuing to move forward with Global Roundtable and G.I.R.L. 2020. Decisions will be made regarding Global Roundtable and G.I.R.L. 2020 closer to the event date. An assessment of the next steps will be conducted in late Spring/early Summer.

If we must cancel the event, registration fees will be refunded in total or in part, depending upon the date and circumstances of the cancellation decision. We encourage everyone to please be mindful of domestic and international travel restrictions and vendor cancellation policies as they prepare for this event.

Q. Have there been any adjustments to the Trendsetter package deadline?

In response to your inquiries about the timing of registration impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, we are extending key benefits associated with Trendsetter registration into the Early Bird registration period (April 1 – July 31). Therefore, you and your council will be able to take advantage of the same price and benefits until July 31st!

Key benefits to be extended include:

  • Payment Plan Option
  • Link to register for Signature and Breakout sessions early
  • Special discounts/offers from G.I.R.L. EXPO exhibitors
  1. When will hotel reservations be available?
    We also want to provide an update on hotel requests. Many hotels in the Orlando area have closed for the months of April and May and are not taking any reservations, present or future until they reopen.

    Therefore, the individual housing selection portal will also not open until June 1 or thereafter. We will continue to provide updates as they are made available.


    Thank you so much for your patience, understanding and continued support!

Labels: ConventionG.I.R.L. 2020Girl Scout ConventionNational Council Session

 

World Thinking Day 2020: Working Together for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Girl Scouts World Thinking Day

Every year, one special day brings girls around the world together to celebrate sisterhood and make a global impact: World Thinking Day!

What Is World Thinking Day?

Since 1926, World Thinking Day has promoted international friendship among Girl Scouts and Girl Guides as they work together to make the world a better place. It all went down when girls met at Girl Scouts’ very own Camp Edith Macy (now Edith Macy Center) for the fourth World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts World Conference. The delegates agreed that there should be a special day every year when Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world think of one another and celebrate global sisterhood. They decided to call it Thinking Day and chose February 22 to honor the birthdays of Girl Guide founders Lord and Lady Baden-Powell.
Fast forward to 1999: at the 30th World Conference in Dublin, Ireland, delegates wanted to make sure the day reflected the Girl Scout Movement’s international nature, so they changed the name to World Thinking Day.
Every year since, World Thinking Day has called on Girl Scouts and Girl Guides to unite and take part in activities that change the world for the better.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Girl Scouts is a place for every girl, and this year’s World Thinking Day theme of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) emphasizes that by calling on girls to promote these values in their communities, the Girl Scout Movement, and beyond.
By using the World Thinking Day Award 2020 Activity Pack, girls learn what DEI means and what they can do to put these ideas into practice. After completing the activities, girls earn the World Thinking Day Award!

How You (and Your Troop) Can Participate

Download the World Thinking Day 2020 Activity Pack and complete the activities to earn this year’s World Thinking Day Award. Although you only have to complete one activity in each step to earn the award, don’t let that stop you—try as many as you like! (And don’t forget to purchase your World Thinking Day 2020 Award from the Girl Scout shop!)
Share what you’re doing to encourage your community to embrace difference and provide everyone with not only a seat at the table but also the chance to speak their minds. Then tell us all about it on social using the hashtag #WorldThinkingDay. We’ll be posting on our own accounts with stories of Girl Scouts who are making the world a better place every day.

Donate to the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund to honor and contribute to the diversity of our global sisterhood. The fund makes it possible for Girl Scouts and Girl Guides to take part in international travel and projects.

Join us, and let’s break barriers!

What’s New at Camp? (Fall 2019, Part 2)

By Madeline Jackson, GSGCF Property Manager

Image by Jorge Guillen from Pixabay

Chippy, our new GSGCF camp mascot, is back with more camp updates! Last week, we shared a list of improvements made to Camp Caloosa. This week, we’re highlighting what’s new at Camp Honi Hanta. Chippy also has a few general tips and reminders for all campers. Let’s get started!

A number of Girl Scout troops and individual girl members worked with adult volunteers on a wide variety of service and highest award projects, including:

  • Painting picnic tables in the screen houses 
  • Painting G.I.R.L.-themed benches
  • Painting the Equipment Depot exterior (Troop 267)
  • Painting the Eagles Nest Bathhouse exterior (Troop 408)
  • Painting the Weavers Nest Bathhouse exterior, deep cleaning and organizing the Manatee House kitchen cabinets, deep cleaning the carpeting, and trimming the front entrance (Troop 149)
  • Painting the Weavers Nest Bathhouse flooring (Troop 489)
  • Weeding fire circles and adding crushed shell to raise them
  • Designing and constructing an elevated fire pit with benches for large-group campfires (Mia Haynes)
  • Decorating the Manatee House leader bedroom and bathroom (Troop 361)
  • Installing a pollinator garden and eliminating some of the invasive Brazilian pepper trees (Troop 140)
  • Assembling and installing bat houses with informational flyers in the screen rooms (Troop 86)
  • Designing, assembling, and installing campfire wood sheds for three of the fire circles (Troop 607)
honi-hanta-troop-lanscape-project-at-manatee-house

Have you noticed how amazing the Manatee House exterior looks?

Adult volunteers also did a wonderful job with projects including:

  • Clearing paths for additional camp exploration and back roadways for emergency egress and first responder access
  • Scraping camp roadways and installing new shell for greater stability
  • Building a climbing wall mulch containment area to prepare for belay bench installation
  • Repairing nozzles in the Rain Forest and repainting the wood frame
  • Chopping wood left from Hurricane Irma for use in fire circles (stored at ranger garage)
  • Replacing stairs and ramps at Armadillo Alley Cabin #2 and painting the interior walls of all campsite bathhouses (thank you, Publix/United Way Suncoast volunteers!)
  • Installing two standard beds in Armadillo Alley Cabin #2 for campers with disabilities
  • Building and installing new archery stands
honi-hanta-united-way-armadillo-cabin-ramp-rebuild.jpg

Publix volunteers rebuilt the ramp at Armadillo Alley cabin #2 as part of the 2018 United Way Day of Caring.

In addition, our council staff has been hard at work to provide the following:

  • A coffee maker, new dishwashing bin, and new Coleman stove for each screen house, and a broom for each cabin
  • Organized storage with added shelving in the lodge kitchen
  • A “Rainy Day” room in the Lodge with board games
  • New keypad front-gate entry access for a higher degree of safety
  • Deadbolt locks in the majority of the bathhouses, to serve as true “lock-down” areas
  • New PFD vests at the boathouse (some in larger sizes) for kayaking and canoeing (thanks to a grant from the Norman and Phyllis Siskel Donor Advised Fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County)
  • Additional kayaks and paddles so larger groups can kayak together
  • New lifeguard board, portable pool umbrellas, and chairs
  • Refurbished “Spider Web” low ropes course element
  • Lightweight plastic tables and chairs in the Roundhouse
  • New, low-maintenance, reinforced benches and tables, thanks to a generous grant from the Bradenton Kiwanis Foundation
  • New stairs and decks for the Weaver’s Nest cabins
honi-hanta-new-firewood-boxes.jpg

The new firewood stations are so handy!

A few camp reminders:

  • Please turn over all your ash buckets once you’ve cleaned your fire circle. We don’t want them to collect water, which helps breed mosquitos and rust out the buckets.
  • Check for all your belongings. There is a lost and found bin in each camp’s Lodge.
  • Don’t forget to leave a fresh 35 gallon+ trash bag in all the garbage cans in your campsite.
  • Each lodge has the following supplies available: wasp spray, D batteries for smoke detectors, and extra light bulbs.
  • Nobody should wear sandals or flip flops. ONLY closed-toe shoes are proper footwear for camp.

If you worked on a project not listed here, please let us know so we can give you a shout out next time! Don’t forget, there is a Honi Hanta Hero patch that the girls can earn for doing a service project at camp. There is always something to do to improve camp and leave it better than we found it.

Subscribe to the GSGCF blog and watch for quarterly camp updates. There will also be tips for troops to make their camp stays fun and safe, along with some potential service project ideas.

You Vote, Girls Win! Help the JGL Birthplace Win Preservation Funding Through October 29

Heard the big news?!

The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace is a finalist in Partners in Preservation, a program of American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

You—yes, you!—can help the birthplace continue its important work to preserve the site while ensuring it meets the needs of 21st century girls. Your votes will help the Girl Scout organization address preservation and accessibility needs at the birthplace and raise awareness about the transformative work taking place there.

Vote daily for the birthplace through October 29, 2019!

Known as the “front door” of the Girl Scout Movement, for more than 60 years the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace has helped visitors from all over the U.S. and world learn about the life of an incredible woman who in 1912 founded the largest, most powerful, and most successful girl leadership development program in the world: Juliette Gordon Low.

This year, Partners in Preservation is marking the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment by providing funding for historic buildings and sites dedicated to women. As the founder of Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low was paving the way for women in leadership before the 19th amendment was passed.

Visiting Juliette Gordon Low’s birthplace is an essential part of the Girl Scout experience—right up there with selling cookies, camping, and exploring STEM. Together we can ensure that Juliette Gordon Low’s legacy remains vibrant for future generations of girls and visitors from around the world!

Don’t forget to vote every day through October 29 for the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace—and help us spread the word!

Source: You Vote, Girls Win! Help the JGL Birthplace Win Preservation Funding Through October 29

What’s New at Camp? (Fall 2019, part 1)

By Madeline Jackson, GSGCF Property Manager

Image by Jorge Guillen from Pixabay
Chippy has some exciting updates to share!

Chippy, our new GSGCF camp mascot, has been all a chatter wanting to inform everyone about what’s been happening at our camps over the last few years, so she is going to give you quarterly updates to make sure you are in the know. These updates will include projects completed by council staff and volunteers, Girl Scout troops performing service projects, and Girl Scout members working on highest award projects. There will also be tips for troops to make their camp stays fun and safe, along with some potential service project ideas. Let’s start with a review of highlights from Camp Caloosa.

A number of Girl Scout troops and individual girl members worked with adult volunteers on a wide variety of needed projects, including:

  • Painting screen house picnic tables and fire circle stones
  • Building stable benches for fire circles at Pelican Perch and Flamingo Flats (Troops 133 & 153)
  • Assembling and placing new outdoor picnic tables and benches throughout the camp, thanks to a generous grant from the Claiborne and Ned Foulds Foundation (Troop 664)
  • Installing a solar light for the flag pole (Troop 495)
  • Deep cleaning and disinfecting the refrigerators
  • Cleaning and organizing the Equipment Depot (Troops 657, 658, & 659)
The Equipment Depot is looking awesome!
The Equipment Depot is looking awesome!
  • Painting the upstairs sleeping quarters in the Chalet (Troop 405)
  • Researching, creating, and installing informational posters about local plant and animal life in the unit screen houses (Troop 374)
  • Installing a sign at the Equipment Depot and creating a portable outdoor activity kit (Troop 427)
  • Installing owl boxes with informative literature (Troop 756)
  • Installing back trail signage with educational boards (Troop 354)
  • Clearing back paths for additional camp exploration
Our new outdoor furniture is low-maintence and will save on repair time and expenses for years to come.
Our new outdoor furniture is low-maintence and will save on repair time and expenses for years to come.

Volunteer Jason Hodson did an amazing job with projects including:

  • Scraping camp roadways and installing new shell for more stability
  • Widening the camp entrance to provide better traffic flow for large events
  • Elevating fire circles with shell to prevent flooding after minor rains
  • Installing a keypad gate entry to replace the combination lock and chain to provide greater security
  • Assembling a pergola outside the lodge for outdoor movies, skits, and other performances

In addition, our council staff has been hard at work to provide the following:

  • Dishwashing bins for the screen houses
  • New PFD vests at the boathouse (including larger sizes) for kayaking and canoeing
  • Additional kayaks and kayak paddles
  • Additional archery supplies to update aged equipment (supported by a grant from The Daniel R. and Anne M. Harper Foundation)
  • A new refrigerator at the Timberford House and new carpet for the sleeping quarters in the Chalet (with grant funding from Claiborne and Ned Foulds Foundation)
The new solar lighting provides proper illumination for Old Glory.
The new solar lighting provides proper illumination for Old Glory.

If you worked on a project not listed here, please let us know so we can give you a shout out next time! And don’t forget, there is a Caloosa Champion patch that girls can earn for doing a service project at camp. We need help with painting and signage projects, trimming trails, etc. There is always something to do to improve camp and leave it better than we found it!