Camp Corner—Winter 2020, Part 1

By Madeline Jackson, GSGCF Property Manager, and Lori Tomlinson, Grants and Communications chipmunk-429699_1920Manager 

Chippy has been watching all the new developments at camp since October, and she is so excited to share what has been happening for the last few months!  She also has a few camp reminders. Today, we’ll focus on Camp  Caloosa. Read on to learn more! 

Highlights at Camp Caloosa 

Your Girl Scout Sisters from the Lee 11 service unit painted the bridge leading to Donut Island, along with the floor of the cabin bathhouse. Members of Troop 352 painted the floor of the Chalet bathhouse. Thanks for your hard work, ladies! It all looks wonderful. 

Thanks to a little paint and a lot of hard work, the Chalet Bathhouse floor looks great!

Adult volunteers from the southern region have completed a variety of projects. You’ll notice that the archery shed has been reorganized with color-coded bow and arrows, and measured rope markers for range set-up. The path leading to the cabin bathhouse has been enhanced with additional shell and stone base materials to cover the tree roots. Not only does it look better, but it’s safer, too! 

Have you met our new camp caretaker, Joshua Quaintance? He recently repaired the golf cart so it can be reserved by the service unit managers for use at any service unit event. Please say hello and give him a big “thank you” next time you’re there! 

Council staff has been hard at work, too! A replacement refrigerator was  installed at the Quail Run tent unit house. There are additional tables, chairs, and a microwave at the lodge, all of which were relocated from the Sebring House. And thanks to a grant from the Claiborne and Ned Foulds Foundation, you’ll soon enjoy a beautiful shade canopy on the archery range. 

The archery shed has never been so organized! Please do your part and return all items to their proper place. Your sister troops will thank you!

Don’t forget, there is a Caloosa Champion patch that girls can earn for doing a service project at camp. We have painting projects, signage projects, trimming trails, and more. There are many ways to improve camp and leave it better than we found it. 

Camp Reminders 

Please remember, the rules we have set up for camp are for everyone’s safety, protection, and consideration.  We expect all our adult leaders to set the example for their troops by observing all the Safety Activity Checkpoints and being a sister to every Girl Scout. 

  • GOLF CART USAGE–The golf cart may be used by service unit managers for service unit events only. Individual troops may not use the golf cart. 
  • VERIFICATION OF OUTDOOR SKILLS TRAINING–To ensure your troop or service unit will meet all the requirements of your desired program, we are now verifying certifications when a camp reservation is made through the Double Knot system. 
  • NO DRIVING AT CAMP–You may drive only ONE vehicle to your campsite to drop off your supplies. Vehicles may not be used to transport girls and their belongings to your campsite and/or to activity areas. There are wheelbarrows available for this use. Of course, there are exceptions for emergencies and those with physical limitations.  
  • NO SMOKING AT CAMP–Aside from the obvious fire hazard, our council does not permit smoking at our campsite locations. Smoking may only occur outside the gate of each camp and NEVER in the presence of any girls. 
  • MEN ARE ALLOWED TO BE AT CAMP–However, there are strict rules about their presence at a campout.  Please review our Camp Rules
  • TRASH REMOVAL IS ESSENTIAL–In addition to removing your own campsite trash, please have the girls walk the grounds around your campsite and pick up any stray items.  Make sure you are throwing only garbage in the dumpsters and recyclables in their respective bins. 
CALOOSA CHAMP 2
If your troop is interested in earning the Caloosa Champion patch, contact property manager Madeline Jackson at madelinej@gsgcf.org.

SAVE THE DATE:  We will be hosting Girl Scout Open Houses at all of our council facilities,  including Camp Caloosa, on Sunday, April 26 from 2-4pm.  Please plan to visit camp and see all our improvements yourself.  It will be a family-friendly event where volunteers and staff host activities on-site for everyone to enjoy. 

Check back next week for updates from Camp Honi Hanta! 

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
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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.

Revive Your Résumé with Volunteer Experience

VTK15_DG_0917Volunteering with Girls Scouts (or any other nonprofit) is good for the community, and for the soul.  It helps us learn new skills, broaden our social circle, and become more well-rounded individuals.  It can also make up an important part of work experience in a professional résumé.

Just because you didn’t earn a paycheck, doesn’t mean you didn’t acquire and develop skills that are valuable in the workplace. Here are a few tips for incorporating what you’ve learned from volunteering into your existing résumé.

  • Focus on experience that is directly relevant to the position for which you are applying.

Stuffing hundreds of envelopes takes a lot of stamina, but that won’t necessarily impress your potential new employer if you’re applying for a position in middle management.

  • Be descriptive (and a little creative) when listing the skills you’ve developed, but don’t go overboard.

For example, if you’ve assisted with successfully planning  pick-up schedules and supervising inventory distribution within your Service Unit during “Cookie Season,” you could legitimately include your experience with logistics.  If you simply drove to the warehouse to pick up your own troop’s order, that claim would be a bit of a stretch.

  • Brag about specific volunteer accomplishments as they relate to the job position.

If you’re applying for a sales position, and your passion for Girl Scouting led you to recruit a significant number of new volunteers for your Service Unit, present this as a sales achievement.  Be specific and share measurable results, i.e. “through targeted recruitment events, increased the number of new volunteer troop leaders within geographic region by 9%.”  After all, selling a volunteer opportunity requires the same people skills as marketing a product or service:  finding the right audience, identifying an individual’s needs, and presenting an opportunity that meets those needs.

  • If you are a new college graduate, or if you’ve been out of the job market for a while, volunteer experience is not just résumé fluff.  It’s a godsend.

You have to start somewhere, and volunteering can help young adults acquire and hone basic skills that are valuable in any number of workplace settings.  Those more experienced candidates who’ve been out of work due to layoffs, downsizing, or personal life events can show an employer that they are truly self-starters who value the importance of staying active in the community, making new contacts, and continuing to build upon their skill sets.

  • Speaking of making new contacts…

The connections you’ve made while volunteering in the community can be a valuable asset to a potential employer. While no one likes a “name dropper,” it may still be appropriate to talk briefly about high-profile groups and people you’ve worked with directly during your job interview.

  • Don’t forget about your LinkedIn profile.

If you’re using LinkedIn as a tool in your job search (and you should be), be sure to include the same volunteer information in your profile as you do in your résumé. Ask paid non-profit staff you’ve worked with to endorse the related skills on your profile.

  • In general:
    • With all the different résumé formats in use today, you’ll want to tweak these tips to accommodate your preferred layout. You may find that using a functional (skills-based) format instead of a chronological listing will allow you to incorporate volunteer experience more seamlessly.
    • For example: You may choose to incorporate the relevant skills you’ve acquired through both paid work and long-term volunteer service together under a single heading such as “Related Experience.”  Unrelated volunteer experience and shorter assignments can be included under “Other Volunteer Service” or “Other Experience.”
    • Be sure to clearly distinguish between paid employment and volunteer service, however, so a potential employer won’t think you’re trying to misrepresent your employment history.

Have you had success in incorporating your volunteer experience into your résumé?  What additional tips would you share?

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

I Can’t Wait to… Invite-a-Friend to Volunteer!

What could make volunteering with Girl Scouts even more fun? Volunteering with a friend and getting rewarded for inviting them! We are so excited to announce that during the month of November, our Council is participating in the GSUSA promotion, “I Can’t Wait To… Invite-a-Friend”.

All current volunteers who Invite-a-Friend to start a new K-5th grade troop will receive a $50 gift code for the GSUSA online store, AND the new Troop Leader will receive free program materials! But besides the $50 discount code and free program materials, the GREATEST BENEFIT  is the additional girls who will become part of Girl Scouting! In order for us to continue to reach every girl we need to reach more volunteers, like you, who can help!

ICWT-Vol-SM-1Picture your favorite Girl Scout memory…maybe when one of your Girl Scout Daisies realized that swimming wasn’t so scary…or the moment that your Girl Scout Cadette found her voice and stood up to bullying…or maybe when you realized that without YOU, those moments may not have happened. Don’t you want to invite a friend so that more girls can have wonderful memories?

So take some time to think of someone who would be an EXCELLENT Girl Scout Leader/role model and invite them to join you and be a part of the Girl Scout Community – church members, school volunteers, family, and friends. Tell them about the huge impact they could have on girls in the community and the wonderful experiences they’ll enjoy as Girl Scout Troop Leaders.

So, share your experience, recruit a friend, and get rewards!

Promotion runs November 1 – December 1, 2014. After you have referred a friend, fill out this form girlscouts.org/inviteafriend. Questions? Contact Yvonne Bras (800) 232-4475 or yvonneb@gsgcf.org.

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RULES AND GUIDELINES

PROMOTION PERIOD – The Invite-A-Friend promotion is valid between November 1, 2014 and December 1, 2014. Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Inc. will confirm that a new troop has been started by the recruited volunteer.

ONLINE SHOP COUPON CODES – Each unique coupon code has a value of $50.00 and is a onetime use only code. Once the purchase is in your shopping cart, you can apply the code at checkout to deduct $50.00 from the product purchase prior to shipping and applicable taxes. Coupon codes expire February 28, 2015. Only one coupon code can be used per order and cannot be combined with any other coupon offers that may be running on the Girl Scouts’ Official Online Store at that time.

VOLUNTEER RESOURCE PACKS- Your recruited friend will receive 1 coupon code to purchase a Volunteer Resource Pack of their choice.