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!

Cape Coral Girl Scout Featured on Tagalongs Cookie Box

Olivia Trader

This year, Girl Scout Cookie fans around the country will see the smiling face of a Southwest Florida girl on their box of Tagalongs® cookies.

Olivia Trader of Cape Coral was one of six national winners in Girl Scouts of the USA’s 2018 Girl Scout Cookie Pro™ Contest. Girl Scouts from across the country submitted their “Cookie Pro Résumés,” highlighting the skills they have learned, their memorable customer experiences and their tips and tricks for reaching their program sales goals. Each of the winners participated in a photoshoot to be featured on the new Girl Scout Cookie packaging for the 2020 cookie season.

Olivia can be seen playing guitar alongside other national cookie pros on the front of the popular Tagalongs cookie box. The refreshed packaging for all Girl Scout Cookie varieties features Girl Scouts taking part in a diverse range of experiences, such as camping and canoeing, exploring space science and taking action to improve their communities.

Tagalong box

Olivia knows that being a great entrepreneur is all about connection. Through the cookie program, she’s learned how to use her conversation skills to turn interest into sales and take on leadership positions to make a difference in her community.

“Young cookie entrepreneurs like Oliva learn important business and financial literacy skills that are proven to build their leadership skills and position them for success in the future,” says Mary Anne Servian, CEO of Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida. “And, every dollar from the Girl Scout Cookie Program stays within the local council to support troop activities, community service projects, council programs and more.”

Olivia Trader 1

In addition, the local Girl Scout council will be offering a new cookie variety, Lemon-Ups(replacing Savannah Smiles®). The crispy lemon cookie joins the rest of the 2020 lineup, which includes favorites such as Thin Mints®, Samoas® and Trefoils®. Lemon-Ups will also be available in other select council markets.

Local Girl Scouts are currently taking cookie pre-orders and cookie booths will be open throughout the area from February 15–March 15. To find out when booths are scheduled near you, or to learn more about Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, visit www.gsgcf.org.

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!

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!