Girl Scouts Partner with Suncoast Remake Learning Days to Host Community Event

On April 22 and April 30, Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida hosted a free event for the community at Sarasota Jungle Gardens.

As part of their ongoing community outreach efforts to provide all girls the opportunity to become Girl Scouts and reach their full potential, the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida recently partnered with Suncoast Remake Learning Days to host two Jungle Adventures days at Sarasota Jungle Gardens on April 22 and April 30.

The day, which was free and open to the public, included a self-led scavenger hunt throughout the gardens, flamingo feeding and encounters, goodies and swag provided by Girl Scouts, and an exclusive animal show tailored just for the Girl Scout group.

The community event was enabled by a grant funded by Suncoast Remake Learning Days, a 10-day festival of free events for children and families in the Suncoast, Florida region. Suncoast Remake Learning Days is the largest Remake Learning Days celebration in the nation, featuring over 200 free events and community organizations.

Thanks to the generosity of The Patterson Foundation, these multi-generational hands-on learning experiences will be robust, free, accessible, and open to the public.

“We take great pride in joining forces with the Girl Scouts of the Gulf Coast and the Remake Learning Days program,” said Nancy Lavick, Marketing Director at Sarasota Jungle Gardens. “At Sarasota Jungle Gardens, we are passionate about connecting individuals with nature, fostering quality family time, and providing our community with valuable, hands-on learning experiences with animals and the natural world.  These shared objectives make our partnership with these two organizations a natural fit.”

She went on to say, “At the heart of Sarasota Jungle Gardens’ mission is to engage and enlighten our wider community through interactive, hands-on experiences.  Partnering with two great organizations, the Girl Scouts of the Gulf Coast and Remake Learning Days, is a natural step in promoting conservation and cultivating a deep appreciation for the natural world.”

For the second year in a row, GSGCF was proud to partner with Suncoast Remake Learning Days to facilitate experiential learning encounters in the arts, outdoor learning, science, technology, and youth voice.

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!

Girl Scouts Ensure a Happy Birthday for Local Foster Children

Birthday parties can be easily taken for granted. Most of us can count on family and friends to come together with gifts, balloons, decorations, and of course, a birthday cake complete with candles! But for children in the foster care system, a traditional birthday party isn’t always a given.

Thanks to the generosity of Girl Scouts in the Manatee 4 Service Unit, a number of local children will have everything they need to celebrate their next birthday. The girls collected and donated supplies to create “birthday kits” to be distributed to children in Manatee, DeSoto, and Sarasota Counties via the Safe Children Coalition.


The birthday kits include such items as cake mix, frosting, and candles; baking pans; party hats, decorations, and favors; plates, cups, and plastic utensils; goody bags; party invitations; gift wrap; and gifts.

Girl Scout troop leader Karey Papin, who works as a Registered Nurse Case Manager for the Safe Children Coalition, said that there are currently about 1,450 children in foster care or living with a relative caregiver or in facility care. “We unfortunately had a severe spike in [the number of] children this year,” she explained.


With so many children and families in need, the birthday kits couldn’t have come at a better time. When the project was completed, approximately 45 kits were ready to go. That’s a lot of celebrating!

“Every single person can impact the joy of children going through this experience,” Papin added. “We need and welcome more outreach projects on every level to support these families and children.” If your troop would like to learn more about the many ways they can help, contact the Safe Children Coalition at 866-661-5656.

~Lori Tomlinson is the Manager of Communications and Marketing for Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Inc.