Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Birthday, Juliette Gordon Low!

Happy Founder's Day to all Girl Scouts! 

 Today, Girl Scouts across the nation are not only putting on their best, scariest costumes to celebrate Halloween, they are also celebrating the 155th birthday of our founder, Juliette Gordon Low.

This day is so important to me. Throughout my life, Juliette has always been an inspiration of mine. Over 100 years ago, Juliette had a vision: to give every girl the same opportunities that boys had.

In March of 1912, Daisy, as she was commonly known, formed the first troop of Girl Guides in Savannah, Georgia. They played basketball, hiked, camped, learned how to tell time by the stars, learned outdoor survival skills, and studied foreign languages. Through developing these skills, Juliette helped girls believe that they could do anything, and encouraged others that they could too!

Because of her determination to help girls thrive, girls across the globe have seen a lasting impact in their lives. Juliette’s vision has grown into a global movement that includes nearly 3 million Girl Scouts in 92 countries and more than 59 million alumnae, all forming a lifelong sisterhood who works toward making the world a better place.  

Juliette believed in her dream of Girl Scouts for all girls so strongly that she sold a strand of pearls to fund Girl Scouting. Her purpose and passion was so strong that she sacrificed something dear to her heart for the benefit of others. To this day we continue to encourage our girls to spread kindness and philanthropy in everything that they do in Girl Scouting to honor her vision.

Today, make sure you say, “Happy Birthday” to an incredible woman who continues to make a lasting impact on millions of girls and women. Thank you, Juliette, for helping create a sisterhood of women proving that courage, confidence, and character can make the world a better place!

Yours in Girl Scouting, 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Get Outdoors!

Have you been outside yet?

Fall is officially here, and that means that the heat wave has gone and the weather is cool! What better way to celebrate the change of the season than to be outdoors with your troop?

Our national research has found that Girl Scouts who have monthly outdoor experiences really see a difference. They are stronger problem solvers, better challenge seekers, and are more likely to recommend Girl Scouts to their friends. So, Troop Leaders and volunteers: get outdoors!

A scenic view of the lake at Camp Laurel in Lebanon, CT

As a city girl, having the opportunity to explore the outdoors is essential to me. Each summer, I unplug from the busy world and make my way to Camp Laurel in Lebanon to participate in Camp CEO. This is where I and female executives from around the state experience the great outdoors and the ultimate camping experience with Girl Scouts across the state. 

In a world of smart phones and screens, it’s good to get away from it all. During that weekend both groups are able to hike, canoe, kayak, and sit around a campfire making s’mores and sharing stories and forming lifelong relationships. I know the women who attend enjoy the experience just as much as the girls and we all come away with fresh perspectives, new skills, and valued friendships.

So, put away those electronic devices and soak in all of the gorgeous fall foliage on a camping trip. Breathe in the fresh air!! Camping helps girls build outdoor skills, including building a campfire, pitching a tent, outdoor cooking, and basic outdoor survival skills.

Whether it is rock climbing, horseback riding, archery, or canoeing on a beautiful lake,  or just doing an outdoor activity, girls will find that they gained a stronger sense of self, self confidence and self esteem, and a stronger bond with their fellow Girl Scouts. So, get outdoors today, and discover what Mother Nature has to offer!  

Yours in Girl Scouting, 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Our Volunteers Love Being in Girl Scouts, Too!

We are always looking for volunteers!

Very often, when I ask adult volunteers why they volunteer for Girl Scouts, they did it initially to build their bond with their daughter or daughters. Then, they also elaborate on how they have benefited significantly from their own Girl Scouting experiences as an adult. 

There’s no question that Girl Scouting helps build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place – but it also helps adult volunteers grow as well. 

Not only do our volunteers find that they are making a difference in the lives of girls they serve (which in and of itself feels pretty good), they find that they harvest personal and professional benefits of the Girl Scouting experience. This includes making new friends, getting active and outdoors, leadership experience, learning new skills, and being part
of a supportive community.

When you take a look at the hard and soft skills that our volunteers exhibit--e.g., leadership, organization, communications, event planning, financial management, conflict resolution, marketing –to name only a few—it is clear that their Girl Scouting experience will rival any “for pay” job as a resume builder. We hear time and again that being a part of the Girl Scout organization in one’s community builds long standing friendships and has a discernible positive impact on the community. 

And let’s never forget how our volunteers touch the lives of tens of thousands of girls every year in every zip code across the state. With more dual income and single parent households and with the time demands placed on families, we especially value the time and effort that our volunteers put in to make sure girls thrive and succeed.

While our national organization states we have more than two million girl members nationwide, there are still more than 300,000 girls on waiting lists to join Girl Scouts, but can’t because there are not enough volunteers. In Connecticut, we have several hundred girls waiting to join a troop. That number is only growing. 

If you know of someone who would enjoy being a part of our wonderful organization, have them reach out to us at While we ask a lot of our volunteers, we know their rewards for volunteering are many. Join us and you can be the mentor she will always remember.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Monday, October 5, 2015

Welcome to the GSOFCT Blog!

Girl-led activities and learning by doing helps girls succeed

Wouldn’t you know that just when I decided it is time to do a monthly blog for Girl Scouts of Connecticut, Fast Company magazine proclaimed in their latest issue that blogging is dead? Oh well –I have always been a little behind the times, and I know that there is so much going on around your council that I am choosing to ignore Fast Company’s proclamation. Welcome to the very first Girl Scouts of Connecticut blog: we have a lot to blog about!!

Let’s talk about what makes Girl Scouting special.  As we reach out as we do this time of year to potential Girl Scouts and volunteers in our schools, churches, and communities throughout the state, it is important that they see the “value added” of Girl Scouting—i.e., what are the things that make Girl Scouting different and special vs. other activities that girls can engage in?  I like to stress that Girl Scouts is not only fun, but most importantly, a girl-led and “learning by doing” organization. In Girl Scouts, our girls are able to discover themselves in a broad variety of activities from among which they get to choose.  This very factor reaps amazing results.

According to recent findings from the Girl Scout Research Institute, when Girl Scout activities are girl-led, cooperative, and hands-on, girls are more likely to become better at conflict resolution, problem solving, team building and cooperation, and developing a more positive sense of self.
Feeling empowered can be difficult to some girls, especially when in a multi-gendered classroom.  Girls who participate in girl-led activities feel empowered to take on leadership roles and take action in their communities to make the world a better place. Girls who experience learning by doing, and who are part of a girl-led program, can learn to take their rightful seat at the table and see firsthand how their creative and innovative ideas can make a difference in the world.

Through our broad array of relevant programming, including STEM, healthy living, anti-bullying, and self-esteem building activities, we encourage girls to tap into their interests and talents, learn new things about the world around them, and we help lead them lead themselves to success.  And that’s only part of the reason why Girl Scouting is so magical!

Yours in Girl Scouting,