|I stand with all Girl Scouts across the country and around the world in offering my thoughts and prayers to all of those who have been affected by the massive and devastating tornado that tore through the Oklahoma City area on Monday. As Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said, it was a tragic day for the people of her state and, indeed, for all of us, as the death toll now stands at 24 and includes a Girl Scout, who was a member of the Girl Scouts-Western Oklahoma Council.All staff members of the Girl Scouts-Western Oklahoma Council, which is based in Oklahoma City, are accounted for and safe. The council appreciates all of the good wishes, but is unable to handle all of the calls and emails at this time. We ask that you not call or email the council, but instead check its website or Facebook and Twitter feeds for the latest information. The council also cannot accommodate material donations, such as blankets and other goods. Instead, the council has created the Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma Tornado Relief Fund that will help get troops back up and running, provide scholarships for program and camp participation, and offer other support to Girl Scouts in the affected areas. You can text the word GIRLS to 20222 to make a $10 donation. In addition, the council is encouraging girls to send messages or art in the shape of the Girl Scout trefoil that it will present this summer to Girl Scouts affected by the storm. Send your trefoil artwork to:
Girl Scouts-Western Oklahoma
I want to thank everyone for their thoughtful messages of caring and concern for our sisters at the Girl Scouts-Western Oklahoma Council. Even as we grieve for our sister Girl Scout and all those who lost their lives, we are sustained by the resilience of the human spirit and the knowledge that the people of Oklahoma will, in time, recover and rebuild. We have endured in the past year a number of terrible and tragic events, and throughout it all, Girl Scouts have shown remarkable courage, commitment, and leadership. I know that our girls and adult volunteers will do so again in the wake of this tragedy.
Archive for the ‘Take Action’ Category
Celebrating the Highest Achievement in Girl Scouting
The first Girl Scout Gold Award Alliance Directory is coming soon! Look for your invitation by mail to participate mid-June 2013. This is an opportunity to share your community success and inspire others.
The Girl Scout Gold Award Alliance Directory will represent an elite group of women who have achieved the Highest Award in Girl Scouts since 1916.This publication will include those who earned the Golden Eagle of Merit, Golden Eaglet, Curved Bar, First Class and the Girl Scout Gold Award. These women embody community leadership leaving behind a sustainable legacy.
In addition to the directory, a brand new Girl Scout Gold Award Alliance pin is being created. You will have an opportunity to purchase the pin individually or in combination with either the printed or CD-ROM editions of the directory.
Here is the price list*:
- Girl Scout Gold Award Alliance Pin $20
- Soft bound (glued spine) directory $79.99
- Hard bound (stitched spine) directory $99.00
- CD Rom $99.00
- Soft bound directory plus CD = $99.99
- Hard bound directory plus CD = $109.99
* applicable to sales tax + shipping and handling.
Thank you in advance for making the first Girl Scout Gold Award Alliance Directory exceptional!
Girl Scouts often do both community service and Take Action and higher awards projects. Both kinds of projects help communities in different ways. What’s the difference?
Direct and immediate service changes something right now. Longer-lasting action gets at the root cause of issues.
Community service makes the world better for some people “right now.” For example, collecting cans of food for the local food pantry feeds people “right now.” Gathering toys for a homeless family shelter makes kids happy “right now.” Providing clothing and toiletries to people who have suffered a disaster helps them get through a traumatic event
“right now.” These acts of kindness are important ways to help some people—right now.
Take Action projects, along with the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Awards, address the root cause of an issue, and come up with sustainable, longer-lasting solutions. These projects strive to make the world a better place for more people for a much longer time. Sometimes, service and action just naturally blend together into one sustainable effort. As a Girl Scout, you use both service and action to live out the Girl Scout Law and “make the world a better place!”
Girl Scout Troop 1518 helped the City of Yuma create this public service announcement for the new recycling program coming to city residents. The first recycling bins are being delivered today.
Girl Scout Camp always offers fabulous activities and awesome adventures, but we can’t always say that camp will help you change the world. This year, we can. Thanks to a special grant from the Kappa Delta Foundation and Girl Scouts of the USA, we are able to offer two camps, packed with leadership development, service opportunities, and fabulous new friends. (more…)
When most women think back on theirGirl Scout experiences, they remember roasting hotdogs and s’mores over a campfire
(which might have earned them a Simple Meals Badge), selling Thin Mints (Cookie Business Badge), or singing carols at a retirement home (Legacy Badge). Now members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) can earn a whole new kind of badge developed in conjunction with UN Women. Stop the Violence: Speak Out for Girls’ Rights is a new curriculum that teaches girls about self-protection, makes them aware of violence against girls and women, and educates them about how to seek help for themselves or for other females who are threatened by violence.
“Violence against women and girls—it’s a global phenomena,” says Nanette Braun, chief of communications and advocacy at UN Women. “It’s not just a widespread occurrence in one particular region or country. Up to 70 percent of women and girls may be abused in their lives.”
One way to stem this pandemic of violence, Braun says, “is to prevent it from
happening in the first place. We want to teach zero-tolerance of violence against women. This program is about teaching girls about their rights and the issues surrounding violence so they can recognize when it’s happening and prevent it. We want to teach girls and boys what their rights are, what they are entitled to, and what should not happen in any circumstances.”
The Girl Scouts and the U.N. introduced an international pilot program, teaching the curriculum to some 1,500 Girl Scouts and Girl Guides in countries such as Madagascar, Kenya, the Philippines, and Ireland. Participants can earn a badge by completing six sessions from the activity pack, which encourages them to think about and understand the issues and develop the skills to speak out and take action on them. The activities are age-appropriate, so youngest groups might start out with leaders storytelling and playing games that prompt girls to recognize gender bias and get them thinking about inequality. Older girls might make posters for the cause, visit shelters for abused women, and develop speaking skills to communicate with groups outside WAGGGS about such violence.
The curriculum will be available to the ten million Girl Scouts and Girl Guides in 145 countries, in print and online, by summer 2013. WAGGGS expects that by 2020 at least five million children and young people will have taken part.
Already, those in the pilot program have been deeply touched by the experience. A Girl Guide leader in the U.K. says she noticed a difference in the way girls viewed gender and what they perceived as acceptable behavior. Many units ran community events to raise local awareness of violence, and there were positive responses from parents who went along. The message is moving outward, into family discussion and through communities. One leader said, “The parents I spoke to were really grateful to us for tackling these subjects, and one parent told me that her daughter had initiated some really interesting conversations at home about these issues.”
Braun says UN Women intends to extend its curriculum to an even wider audience. “We are going to talk to governments through the United Nations,” she says. “We’re hoping to engage the Boy Scouts too.”
Join us in celebrating World Thinking Day, as we host a Hunger Banquet at the Hacienda, February 22, from 11-1pm. Register Online here.
What is a Hunger Banquet?
Few experiences bring to life the inequalities in our world more powerfully than a Hunger Banquet event. Unique and memorable, the event allows participants to experience firsthand how our decisions affect others in the world. Here’s how it works: Girls draw tickets at random that assign them to either a high-,
middle-, or low-income tier- based on the latest statistics about the number of people living in poverty. Each income level receives a corresponding meal. The 15% in the high-income tier are served a sumptuous meal; the 35% in the middle-income section eat a simple meal of rice and beans; and the 50% in the low-income tier help themselves to small portions of rice and water. All girls are invited to share their thoughts after the meal and to take action to fight poverty. Though not everyone who participates will leave with a full stomach, all will come away with a greater understanding of how these issues affect all of us – and will feel motivated to do something to help.
Register Online here.
Each year on February 22, World Thinking Day, girls participate in activities and projects with global themes to honor their sister Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in other countries. World Thinking Day is part of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts Global Action Theme (GAT), based on the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which aim to improve the lives of the world’s poorest people.
Girl Scouts of the USA is addressing the following theme for World Thinking Day 2013: girls worldwide say “together we can save children’s lives.” This theme is based on Millennium Development Goal 4, which is focused on reducing child mortality rates around the globe.
World Thinking Day not only gives girls a chance to celebrate international friendships, but is also a reminder that Girl Scouts of the USA is part of a global community—one of nearly 150 countries that are members of WAGGGS.
The World Thinking Day Award for:
- Girl Scout Daisies
- Girl Scout Brownies
- Girl Scout Juniors
- Girl Scout Cadettes
- Girl Scout Seniors
- Girl Scout Ambassadors
the 2013 World Thinking Day award, visit the Girl Scout Shop.
Read about the history of World Thinking Day.
Learn more about the Millennium Development Goals by participating in the Girls Scouts Global Action Award.
Do you know any Girl Scouts who use apps on their smartphones, tablet computers, or other mobile devices? If you do, the White House has a fun and educational challenge for them! The Equal Futures App Challenge asks girls to create an app that promotes civic education and/or inspires other girls to serve as leaders in our democracy.
Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, will serve as a judge in the White House’s Equal Futures App Challenge, alongside some great people like Jack Dorsey, creator and co-founder of Twitter, Representative Barbara Ballard, Andrew Shue, co-founder of dosomething.org, Senator Lisa Murkowski, and many more. Notable apps will be highlighted on the White House website and in the White House blog. For more on the challenge, go to http://equalfutures.challenge.gov/
Building on President Obama’s challenge at the UN General Assembly in September 2011,
the United States will be working with countries around the world as part of a new international effort – the Equal Futures Partnership – to politically and economically empower women.
Individuals can submit their app on http://equalfutures.challenge.gov/ until January 12th, 2013 at 12:00am EDT. Individuals whose app will be
hosted in an app store must submit the app to the store by January 12th, 2013 at 12:00am EDT. Individuals should submit screenshots or video of their working app as well as a link to the app itself. Please provide continuous access to the app, a detailed description, and system requirements.
Just before Thanksgiving, we shipped out 894 blankets to the Girl Scouts of Connecticut to help not just our sister Girl Scouts stay warm, but to help them keep their communities warm. This past week, we received an update on how your blankets are being put to such great use!
I wanted to reach out and say thank you on behalf of GSOFCT for the wonderful gift of warmth that your Girls and volunteers provided to those affected by Hurricane Sandy here in CT. We have been busy working with our affected community organizations to distribute the blankets. As you will see below, we have encountered a huge need and responses of gratitude for not just the blankets, but also for the caring and the love expressed in the letters and notes from the Girls.
Our COO, Margaret Hansen Kaplan, has provided an update of our blanket outreach efforts below. Please send our love and sincerest thanks to all the Girl Scouts and volunteers at GSOFSOAZ who made this gift of caring a possibility in the CT communities that are very much in need right now as we recover from the storm. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts and our best wishes to all for a wonderful Holiday Season.
Yours in Girl Scouting,
Mary (CEO of Girl Scouts of Connecticut)
Margaret writes: “We have had a great response to the blankets. Every group wanted more but we decided we wanted to spread the wealth instead of just a few large groups. The ones that went to the Lebanon Service center are for the southeast area. Letesha is working on giving them out by the Holiday. Volunteers have helped us deliver the blankets since some of the agencies have had trouble in picking up the blankets. The agencies’ blanket supplies were totally depleted by Hurricane Sandy. These
blankets were a wonderful gift to help people get through the cold weather.” Here is the accounting:
- Golden Hill United Methodist Church |50 Blankets
- Operation Hope | 50 Blankets
- Project Homeless Connect | 200 Blankets
- Center for Women and Families | 20 Blankets
- Homes for the Brave Veteran Center | 70 Blankets
- Prospect House | 100 Blankets
- Bridgeport Housing Authority | 50 blankets
- Cesar Batalla Family Resource Center | 50 Blankets
- Parent Center | 50 blankets
- Neon Norwalk | 50 blankets
- Lebanon Office | 100 blankets
Think of how many people you all have helped get through the winter! What a wonderful thing you girls did. Hopefully we will have pictures to show of your Girl Scout sisters distributing the blankets at a later date.
By SHELLEY RIDENOUR, Assignment Editor
The concept of sisterhood far exceeds blood lines, as nearly any female will tell you.
And, the recent efforts by a troop of Casa Grande Girl Scouts helps solidify that notion.
After Brownie and Daisy Scouts in Troop 306 talked about the devastation wreaked by Superstorm Sandy and learned that Girl Scouts from throughout the United States were finding ways to pitch in and help people who lost their homes and possessions in the major storm, they too decided to help.
Daisies are the youngest scouts — kindergartners and first-graders — and Brownies are the next level — first- and second-graders. The girls in Troop 306 range in age from 6 to 8 — fairly young by most standards. But their young age is no deterrent for this group of girls when it comes to tackling big projects, their leader Lisa Clegg says.
When the chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of the USA sent out a request that scouts from across the county gather blankets to be distributed to Sandy victims, Clegg told her scouts about the Give a Sister a Blanket project.
The girls immediately liked the idea. They started talking about how to get blankets. First they talked about each girl bringing in a blanket. They talked about the troop buying one blanket. Then one girl pointed out that every meeting, the scouts pay their 25-cent dues and use that money for various projects. They all agreed to dedicate their dues for several meetings to buy a blanket from Troop 306, plus to each buy a blanket to donate to victims.
After the new blankets were brought to Clegg’s house, she gathered the pile of 14 blankets and hauled them to the Girl Scouts’ council office in Tucson.
When she toted in her good-sized donation and was directed to the drop-off bins, Clegg said she could hardly believe what she saw.
“Their foyer was filled with boxes — giant boxes like you see watermelons in at the grocery store — and the boxes were filled with blankets,” Clegg said. All the blankets had been donated by southern Arizona Girl Scouts — 894 total.
Troops had also donated toiletries and hats, she said. Troop 306 scouts made cards to send along with their blankets, as did other troops.
The blankets have been distributed to Girl Scouts and their families in the eastern United States, Clegg said.
Troop 306 scouts haven’t heard back from any recipients of their blankets,
but the girls are optimistic they will get a note.
Nonetheless, Brownie Jenna Clegg confidently said, “they’re going to like them a lot. I hope they enjoy the blankets and write to us.”
After all, Jenna and Brownie Savannah Myers said, “every Girl Scout is a sister.”
The blankets demonstrate that sisterly love, Brownie Kylie Maretech said.
Lisa Clegg tries to have as many of Troop 306’s projects be “girl-led” as possible. That’s a new nationwide effort within Girl Scouts, she said.
“These girls are 6-to-9-year-olds,” Clegg said. “They don’t always know everything that’s going on in the world.” So, Girl Scout leaders talk about national issues with their scouts and let the girls decide how, or if, to get involved with projects.
Clegg is understandably proud of her scouts.
“I’ve been really impressed with these girls,” she said. “They have great ideas and they’re good about helping others. They like to get into community service and they’re always willing to do good work.”
The blanket drive was just one of the community service projects Troop 306 has tackled recently.
The girls have spent their last
several meetings building and decorating cardboard Christmas trees to be used as tabletop centerpieces at the Knights of Columbus Christmas dinner on Saturday at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church.
And, they recently finished making “poppers,” gift-wrapped cardboard rolls filled with candy that are donated to the Salvation Army and attached to Christmas gifts the Salvation Army distributes through its Angel Tree program.
Visit the Casa Grande Dispatch website.