Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Conversation between a Girl Scout and her troop leader

National Volunteer Week is from April 23-29! On Sunday, we had a chance to say "thank you" to some of our amazing GSOFCT volunteers at our Annual Meeting

I wanted to share this heartwarming Q&A session between a Girl Scouts of Connecticut Troop Leader, Maria, and her daughter, Girl Scout Cadette Angelina, who is a true innovator and leader. This conversation is just one of thousands of examples as to why volunteers are truly the lifeblood of our organization, and without them, Girl Scouting, and our future women leaders, wouldn’t exist. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Angelina, Girl Scout Cadette

How has your troop leader helped you in Girl Scouts?
My mom is a great troop leader. It is very inspiring for the girls in my troop to have such an amazing leader to look up to and relate to. I have a troop leader who is loving, caring, generous, creative, and a role-model for every girl. My mom's advice will help me become the best person I can be in the future. As a troop leader, she also rubs off on the other girls as well. My mom shows girls that they are capable off almost anything. When I feel insecure about myself, I always turn to my troop leader for advice.

What is your favorite program/activity in Girl Scouts?
My favorite Girl Scout programs are the camping programs and the STEM program. I love science so much. However, sometimes girls in the STEM field don't get taken seriously. I like the STEM programs because I get to see girls who like science like me. It is so inspiring because you see young women that do what they love, even if it may get difficult sometimes. I also enjoy Girl Scout resident camp at Camp Laurel! Resident Camp is a great opportunity for girls. I made so many memories and had a great time. I love camp so much that I want to train to be a counselor. The best part of camp is survival and boating. The counselors are also very nice. This is an experience many girls miss out on, so I am glad Girl Scouts offers this to me.

What would you tell a younger girl who is interested in joining Girl Scouts?
I would tell her to go for it. Girl Scouts is a great opportunity for all girls, no matter your race or your background. Girl Scouts has changed me a lot. I have more friends and much more confidence. Girl Scouts taught me what true feminism means and that girls can do anything. I know now how to help my community. I also know great skills that will help me later on in life. I now have confidence and courage, knowledge and advice, and a lot of memories from Girl Scouts. With Girl Scouts, I can help all girls around the world.

Maria, Girl Scout Volunteer

Why do you like volunteering for Girl Scouts?

I love to be a volunteer for Girl Scouts because I see the impact of the program on my troop girls every year. We accomplished so much together. The girls learn to set goals, and to work as a team. They support each other, and we truly feel like a big family. I love that Girl Scouts allows girls to be girls; there is no judgment and no pressure to be anyone but yourself. It is a safe and supportive environment for girls to grow. As a volunteer, I feel supported by a network of leaders and Girl Scouts staff who always teach me how to be a better volunteer. I made so many amazing friends in this program. I also learn so much about myself from being involved with the organization. I can honestly say I am a better person because of volunteering with Girl Scouts.

Why should adults volunteer for Girl Scouts?
Adults should volunteer for Girl Scouts because this organization has been improving the lives of girls for over 105 years. As a volunteer, you are fully supported to do the best work you can in order to help girls. You feel the impact of working with your troop girls with every stage of the program, from the earliest years when the girls are soaking all the information you can give them, to the later years when you actually see your girls deciding on projects and helping the community by taking leadership roles, and making a difference. It is a humbling and amazing experience to have such a positive impact on the future generation of girls. You also become part of the big Girl Scouts family!

What is your favorite Girl Scout memory as a troop leader?
My favorite Girl Scouts memory is from a Science Camporee I attended with my troop of nine girls. It happened to be a really hot weekend for a Camporee, and I was concerned about dealing with the elements with a group of young girls. My troop was so amazing! We came up with a plan to try to beat the heat by taking lots of water breaks throughout the day, and checking on each other to make sure we were all enjoying the activities. Not only did we survive the hottest Camporee ever, but my girls were always getting feedback from the volunteers working there that they were polite and respectful. I felt the impact of our teamwork that day.

What an incredible conversation!

What are your special moments as a Girl Scout or a Girl Scout volunteer?  I know, like Angelina and Maria, you will cherish them forever.  As a volunteer, you are a gift to all girls! A very Happy National Volunteer Week to our wonderful volunteers.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Friday, April 21, 2017

Saturday is Leader’s Day! Thank you, Girl Scout Volunteers!

Thank you, Girl Scouts of Connecticut Volunteers!

Did you know that April is National Volunteer Month, and that this Saturday, April 22, is Leader’s Day? On behalf of Girl Scouts of Connecticut, I want to send a very large message of love and gratitude to the thousands of adults in every zip code of the state who make
Girl Scouting possible for nearly 32,000 Girl Scouts throughout Connecticut! 

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

In Connecticut, many of our 15,000 plus adult members serve as co-leaders, cookie managers, registrars, trainers, service unit managers, and put on many other hats to ensure that every girl in Connecticut can be go-getters and thrive in every aspect of their lives. Our volunteers are true role models and help girls empower themselves to be leaders and succeed in new experiences like outdoor adventure, community engagement, STEM exploration, and countless other areas.

At Girl Scouts of Connecticut, we continue to work towards providing volunteers the tools and services they need to feel supported and help girls build courage, confidence, and character, and make our world a better place. Our volunteers are true models of leadership and civic responsibility; it is not unusual for a Girl Scout volunteer to dedicate in excess of 200 hours a year to contribute to the Girl Scout Mission. We can’t thank you enough!
We are also excited to say “thank you” to a number of our volunteers this Sunday, April 23, at our Annual Meeting. At our recognitions ceremony, we will acknowledge our members who have served in Girl Scouting for a number of years and who have provided exemplary service to girls across the state. 

So, the next time you see a group of Girl Scouts, make a point to introduce yourself to their leader and all the other volunteers who are guiding and supporting them.  And be sure to say “thanks” for their dedication and commitment to their work.

Thank you, Girl Scout volunteers, for recognizing that girls matter.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Monday, April 10, 2017

Happy spring!

With all of the rain we have received in the last few weeks, I hope it is safe to say that the cold, snowy weather is behind us and spring is finally here! As we say goodbye to winter, we also say farewell to our Girl Scout cookie season—despite the snowstorms and bitter cold, our intrepid Girl Scouts bundled up and were out at their booth sales selling cookies to fund all of the incredible projects and activities that they will do this year!

Because of our dedicated volunteers and, of course, our cookie bosses—the girls, this was a very strong year for cookie sale results. Your hard work enabled us to surpass our goal! Even more importantly, the girls built their confidence and learned five important skills: goal setting, business ethics, money management, decision making, and people skills, and for those girls who sold online- the power of e-commerce. 

Our girls will use their cookie sale proceeds for service projects in their communities, to fund fun, learning activities, and more. With support from their customers, our girls were also able to donate nearly 100,000 boxes of cookies to our service women and men at home and overseas through our Cookies for Heroes Program! A big thank you to our volunteers and staff that helped make this year’s cookie program such a success.

Last week, we hosted “A Conversation with Amy Bloom”, where we were joined by WNPR’s Faith Middleton who interviewed our honored guest, critically- acclaimed Branford author Amy Bloom. We also had a chance to hear from Girl Scout Rhea from Milford, who shared her successes in Girl Scouting. 

During the conversation, Amy and Faith talked about the importance of sisterhood and Girl Scouting. At Girl Scouts, we work together to help build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Amy said it best: “You don’t rise up without also putting a hand behind you to bring somebody else up, and that’s what Girl Scouts is all about.” Take a look at our Facebook for pictures of the wonderful event.

And of course, everything that we do at Girl Scouts of Connecticut would not be possible without our own incredible force of volunteers! April is very special because it is Volunteer Appreciation Month!  I cannot thank our volunteers enough for all of their hard work and commitment; because of you, our girls can experience the magic of Girl Scouting every day. Thank you, volunteers, from the bottom of our hearts!

Let’s hope for warm weather on the horizon and the beauty of the blooming trees and flowers!

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Friday, March 10, 2017

Celebrate 105 years of Girl Scouting!

Next week is Girl Scout Week! 

From March 12-18, Girl Scouts young and old will be celebrating 105 years of Girl Scouting!  On March 12, 1912, Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low brought her vision of an opportunity for girls to develop physically, mentally, and spiritually by connecting with one another and their communities to life. In order to see her dream fulfilled, she sold her precious pearls so she could start the first troop of 18 culturally and ethnically diverse girls in Savannah, Georgia. That’s why we wear pearls today!

Here are some fun ways you can celebrate Girl Scout Week!

Sunday, March 12:

·       Host a Girl Scout birthday party! At the party, take time with your Sister Girl Scouts to reflect on the Girl Scout Promise and Law. Learn more about our founder, Juliette Gordon Low, and some fun Girl Scout history. Don’t forget to wear your pearls!

Monday, March 13:
·       Be a go-getter and do a Good Turn Daily! This could be helping someone carry their groceries, helping a neighbor walk their pet, or helping your parent or guardian with a household chore!

Tuesday, March 14:
·       Be an innovator and try baking this 1922 recipe for Girl Scout Cookies!

Wednesday, March 15:
·       Take a healthy risk and try something new! This can be learning how to play the piano, trying a new trick on your skateboard, sitting with new friends at the lunch table—whatever it is, have fun!

Thursday, March 16:
·       Be a leader and do a good deed in your school or community.

Friday, March 17:
·       Wear your uniform out in public—share with everyone why you love being a Girl Scout!

Saturday, March 18:
·      During Girl Scout Sabbath, reflect on the week and write down a list of reasons why you love being a Girl Scout.

No matter how you celebrate, for the past 105 years, Girl Scouting has inspired millions of girls and women to grow in their courage, confidence, and character. Today, more than 32,000 girls from all walks of life and ethnicity in Connecticut are discovering their path to leadership through Girl Scouting. I am honored to be a part of such an incredible organization.

Please don’t forget to share how you are celebrating Girl Scout Week with us! Send your photos to general@gsofct.org, and make sure to mention us on social media @GSOFCT!

Happy birthday, Girl Scouts!

Yours in Girl Scouting, 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Girl Scout Cookies are here!

They’re back!

Over the weekend, Girl Scout volunteers and staff across the state braved the freezing cold and unloaded almost 2 million boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to be transported to hungry awaiting customers and sold at booth sales for the rest of this month.

It was such an incredible and rewarding weekend. All of it wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for our wonderful, hard-working volunteers and staff that made it all happen. Thank you!

My husband, Kirk, and I helping distribute Girl Scout Samoas®
in New Britain on Saturday!

This year, Girl Scouts is celebrating 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies! For the last century, Girl Scouts have been true go-getters—learning the essential skills they need to become effective leaders, manage finances, and gain self-sufficiency and confidence in handling money.

So, if you see a Girl Scout cookie booth at your local grocery store, ask a Girl Scout about her cookie goals and what she loves about Girl Scouting. You’ll be impressed with what our incredible girls have to say! And, don’t forget to buy some Girl Scout Cookies. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, you can also donate Girl Scout Cookies to local service women and men at home and overseas through Cookies for Heroes!

To find a cookie booth near you, go to girlscoutcookies.org or gsofct.org.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Girls Need Our Support—Now More Than Ever

If you know about Girl Scouts, you know that when girls succeed, so does our world. Research from the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) tells us that girls who participate in Girl Scouting are more likely to see themselves as go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders, as compared to girls who were not involved in Girl Scouting.

For nearly 105 years, Girl Scouting has worked to build girls who will become responsible, civic-minded adults who follow their own beliefs. The Girl Scout Leadership Experience focuses on the very skills and abilities which research shows contribute to long-term success in life: sense of self; healthy relationships; positive values; willingness to seek challenges; and community problem solving.

As part of the largest girl-serving organization in the world, Girl Scouts of Connecticut is committed to ensuring that each girl in every zip code across the state develops to her full potential. We do this by providing girls with life-transforming leadership experiences across diverse activities and opportunities, delivered under the guidance of caring adult volunteers and mentors.

At this time in our country, girls need Girl Scouting more than ever, and we, as adults, have to stay more engaged than ever. Our volunteers, parents, and supporters are so needed to continue to be role models for our girls so they will never back down from living up to their personal beliefs as they grow and take action for a better world. 

We are currently living in challenging times, but together, we can continue to make the world a better place for girls and everyone to live—which is the mission of Girl Scouting. We need to work together to teach our girls to find their voice and not to be afraid to pursue their personal dreams and make the choices that are right for them. When our girls thrive, so does society—they are our future.

Girl Scouts of the USA, our national organization, will be hosting a webinar targeted to members and supporters from across the country concerning their latest research through GSRI on The State of Girls. You are invited to join the webinar on February 23 at 1 p.m. EST. and learn about the state of girls in our country and state, and how Girl Scouts’ programming can help girls to take advantage of opportunities to succeed and overcome the obstacles that may be holding them back. This will be a great chance for parents, volunteers, educators, and public officials to learn about the issues impacting girls today, so that we all may join together to stand for and support our girls in their journey to womanhood. The registration link will be announced soon, which I will share in an upcoming blog post with some of the highlights from the latest research.

Please consider supporting Girl Scouting either financially or through the gift of volunteering , so we may continue to inspire girls in our state to put their best foot forward and find their voice. Girls need our support more than ever and your gift of time, talent, or treasure can make a real difference in helping to make every girl the person she is meant to be. Thank you.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Monday, January 9, 2017

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time!

Happy New Year! I hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday. Everyone at Girl Scouts is entering the New Year with excitement because it is that time of year again…that’s right —you’ve guessed it—it’s Girl Scout Cookie time! 

This year is especially exciting as 2017 marks 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies. A century ago, girls started participating in what would eventually become the largest girl entrepreneurial program in the world—the Girl Scout Cookie Program. The first known sale happened in Muskogee, Oklahoma in 1917, when a Girl Scout troop baked cookies and sold them at their high school to raise money for a service project in their community. Since then, Girl Scouts continue to sell cookies and use those funds to do incredible things.

Girl Scout Cookies help girls earn money for fun, educational activities or community projects — in fact, last year, Girl Scouts in Connecticut raised close to $2 million through their cookie program efforts, which they brought right back to their communities making our world a better place to live. The cookie program also plays an enormous role in transforming girls into the core of what defines Girl Scouting —G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, and Leaders) —as they learn skills that will remain with them their entire lives.

To ring in the centennial, Girl Scouts is introducing a new cookie—Girl Scout S’mores™. These cookies really represent Girl Scouting’s longstanding commitment to the outdoors. Did you know that Girl Scouts helped popularize s’mores? The tradition of making and enjoying s’mores was popularized by Girl Scouts as early as the 1920s. Make sure to try our new cookie this season!

Girls are now taking orders for Girl Scout Cookies! Head to gsofct.org and click on the “Looking for Cookies” button to find a Girl Scout selling cookies in your town!

Yours in Girl Scouting,