The Citizen Badges Every Girl Scout Should Earn

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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

Girl Scouts Step up for Hunger’s End

It takes more than a global pandemic to keep Girl Scouts from making their community a better place!

Troop 21 had been planning for several months to prepare and serve two Monday meals at Hunger’s End, a nonprofit that provides a food pantry and Blessings Closet in Bradenton. The girls were already familiar with the organization, having previously donated food and toured the facility.

Troop 21 during their pre-Covid visit to Hunger's End

But they wanted to do more. So they decided as a group to use some of their Cookie Program proceeds to buy all the supplies needed to serve two Monday meals in March and April. All the plans were in place—until the COVID-19 outbreak brought their project to a standstill.

Not to be deterred, the girls and their adult leaders came up with a solution. Troop leader Michelle Cramer purchased all the meal components and delivered a portion to each of the troop member’s houses. There, the girls worked independently to prepare individual parts of the meal, chopping vegetables, cooking sloppy joe filling, assembling pasta salad, and packaging cookies for dessert. Girl Scout cookies, of course. Cramer then retrieved the foods and delivered them to Hunger’s End for their Monday Evening Community Meal on May 4.

Monday Meal

“Michelle and her team were amazing and it was so helpful to our organization to have this meal prepared to serve 200 in our community,” said Vicki Snyder, co-founder and treasurer/secretary for Hunger’s End. “We are so proud of them for wanting to help those in need in the community and honored that they chose us to be a part of it.”

The group of determined second and third graders isn’t done yet! They are planning to do it all over again in June. “The girls are so excited that we are still carrying through with our commitment and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” said Cramer.

“One of the fundamental goals of our program is to instill in the girls the leadership skills needed to make the world a better place,” said Mary Anne Servian, Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida CEO. “Girl Scout Troop 21 is a shining example of giving back to their community.”

 

Lori Tomlinson is the Grants and Communications Manager for Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida.

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