Discovering the Magic of Camp

Written by Troop Support Specialist – Kelli Lafont

As a new member to the Girl Scouts and the Girl Scouts of Louisiana- Pines to the Gulf council, I’ve experienced many firsts over the last month. Perhaps the most exciting of these experiences was my visit to Camp Wawbansee for the Camp Hakuna Matata.

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A warm welcome to camp!

Camp Hakuna Matata was a wonderful introduction into the camps offered over the summer. As demonstrated through its name, the theme of the camp revolved around the magical world of Disney. From the decorations adorning every activity area to the themed activities, the imaginative world of princesses and other characters were brought to life. Girls studied archery with Merida, swam with Mermaids, played checkers and cricket in Wonderland, and crafts were created at Cinderella’s castle. The theme was even incorporated into meal time as Crush from Finding Nemo cruised the current highway above the girls while they ate! No matter what the activity, the girls were surrounded by Disney.

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Girls express their inner risk-taker in learning how to canoe.

This magical backdrop really helped me to see the magic that is Girl Scout camp. The magic of camp wasn’t just found in the decorations, but the spirit of camp. No matter what type of girl you were, there was an activity for you. If you were adventurous, you could try archery, hiking, or canoeing. If you wanted to have fun but play it a little safer, you could play games, go swimming, and make crafts. There was truly something for everyone! While all of these activities were fun, the girls were also challenged to learn new things, like how to paddle a canoe, how to play Cricket or explore the outdoors for the first time.

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Friendships & bonds are created while camp activities take place.

Similar to most Disney stories, the most magical thing that I witnessed at camp was the friendships being built. Camp is open to members across the council, so girls got to meet others outside their own troop and build new relationships. Older Girl Scouts led younger girls through their activities, which led to some beautiful moments of leadership and camaraderie. I suspect these relationships will stick with the girls, helping them to grow and develop into strong young leaders.

As a newcomer to Girl Scouts I never attended Girl Scout camp growing up, so Camp Hakuna Matata was one of my first looks into what the camp experience is truly like. After spending a day with the girls at camp, experiencing the activities and seeing the friendships being made, I could see the true beauty of camp. It was great experience for me and from what I saw, a great experience for the girls.

Had a great camp experience? Share your story with us!

Are You Man Enough To Be A Girl Scout?

Father’s day is approaching and we want to show our appreciation for all our hardworking and dedicated Girl Scout dads!

Girl Scouts USA research shows that a girl’s relationship with her father establishes the foundation for confidence building, for healthy future relationships and for her expectations of men. Here at a GSLPG, we know that fathers and other male figures are a huge part of the Girl Scout experience! Our male members are troop leaders, summer camp volunteers, troop support volunteers, and so much more.  Whether fathers are stepping up as single dads or just being supportive of their daughters, we applaud their dedication to seeing their daughter’s excel.

In honor of all of our awesome male members, we wanted to provide another way of getting involved in Girl Scouts. As a result, this spring we launched our Are You Man Enough? campaign!

There are several ways to become an Are You Man Enough? member. Check out our five donation levels:

trefoil_icon Your $40 donation includes: 2017-18 membership into the Man Enough club, 2017-18 Girl Scout membership, Awesome Dad badge and Man Enough t-shirt.
trefoil_icon Your $75 donation includes: 2017-18 membership into the Man Enough club, 2017-18 Girl Scout membership, Awesome Dad badge, Man Enough t-shirt, and Man Enough coffee mug.
trefoil_icon Your $150 donation includes: 2017-18 membership into the Man Enough club, 2017-18 Girl Scout membership, Awesome Dad badge, Man Enough t-shirt, Man Enough coffee mug, and a $15 gift card to Field & Stream.
trefoil_icon Your $250 donation includes: 2017-18 membership into the Man Enough club, 2017-18 Girl Scout membership, Awesome Dad badge, Man Enough t-shirt, Man Enough coffee mug, and $25 gift card to Academy.
trefoil_iconYour $500 donation includes: 2017-18 membership into the Man Enough club, 2017-18 Girl Scout membership, Awesome Dad badge, Man Enough t-shirt, Man Enough coffee mug, $50 gift card to Lowes, and a discounted rate to our Thin Mint Sprint for you and your Girl Scout.
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So if you are looking for a last minute Father’s Day gift for your dad, grandfather, uncle, brother, son or any other male figure…consider purchasing them an Man Enough To Be A Girl Scout membership.

 

GSLPG Intern: Leaving Your Mark!

by GSLPG Intern – Ednisha Lee & Marketing Specialist – Asia Hebert

Every semester we try to find an intern for our GSLPG Lafayette office. We acquire these interns from the Department of Child & Family Studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The intern works hand in hand with multiple departments across the council. This semester we have had the pleasure of having Ednisha Lee as our Spring 2017 intern. Ednisha has been a BIG help in working with the Girl Experience, Recruitment, Troop Support, Fund Development, Customer Care and Communications departments.

Now let’s hear from Ednisha to find out what her experience was like and what she has learned about Girl Scouts!

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Girl Scout Leadership Experience

My whole life I really thought Girl Scouts were only about selling cookies and camping trips, but after doing the research I learned that they are much more than that. They are an organization that embodies the true potential each and every girl has. They take pride in leadership and allowing the girls to learn to make decisions that will benefit them and help them grow. The Volunteer Essentials handbook I did read emphasized how these girls participate in the planning of their activities, which then lead to how important the leadership role is among the girls in the organization.

Girls Scout Higher Awards 

The Gold Award recognizes Girl Scouts who are registered seniors or ambassadors and have completed a journey, which is a big yearlong service project the girl puts together and completes herself. I was asked to look up our state representatives so they can write letters to the girls showing their appreciation for the services that they have done in the community. In our district there are three girls who will be receiving the award. After I was given this task I was curious of the benefits of this award so I did a little research. This award is the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. Once a girl has received this award it can open so many opportunities such as college scholarships, higher rank in the military, and being able to stand out on your college or employment application. This blew my mind! I never knew being a Girl Scout had benefits like this.

Cookies

On Friday, March 3rd I got to do a radio interview with KSMB 94.5 about the Girl Scout cookie sales. I hesitated when they asked me if I wanted to go with Brittany (Troop Support Specialist) to the radio station. I was very nervous about speaking on the radio but Brittany gave me a mock interview on the way there. At the station we were being interviewed about the cookie sales and the new technology that will be used for the selling of the cookies. When people think of Girl Scouts they automatically think of the cookies but it is so much more than just cookie selling. These cookie sales help girls learn the 5 skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. The money that the girls earn goes to the troops and the girls get to decide what they want to do with it. This money can be used for a trip, donations to a local organization, or even helping out in the community. All of the hard work that goes into cookie sales demonstrates all of the 5 skills!

Family Fest 

I was asked to help prepare for our Family Fest event. Family Fest is a day where families come and enjoy some of the activities that the Girl Scouts love to do. I called around to businesses asking for donations. It has been cool getting to know how they receive donations and how they get events together. A lot goes into the planning these events and it is awesome getting to be on the planning side of it. I have been helping with Family Fest since the beginning of my internship and excited to see the event come together.

Leaving Her Mark

Before cookie booth sales started Mrs. Keesha had me work on a project where I would call around to universities in Louisiana to see if they would allow the girls to conduct booth sales at the residence halls. Girls Scouts already has a similar program at Northwestern University. In this program, the girls have the opportunity to utilize their leadership skills by running their own booths and partner with residents in programs that focus on empowerment and life skills. I called ULL, ULM, and LA Tech but did not get very far because most of the universities rejected my proposal due to restrictions about solicitations. Two weeks later I received an email back from Ms. Laura Jennings, Director of Student life at ULM. She was more than excited to start this program on ULM’s campus and insisted we have a meeting over the phone. After the phone call I notified Ms. Keesha about the success and she was very excited. This made me proud because I have set up something that will be of great use to this organization, the girls and the booth sales longer after I am no longer an intern here. I left my mark and I am very proud!

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Congratulations Ednisha on your college graduation and thank you for leaving your mark at GSLPG!

Are You Ready For Summer Camp?

By Troop Support Specialist – Katherine Stagg

Summer time is nearly here! Our GSLPG summer camps are a great way to spend your summer. At camp you will be able to have a great time, make new friends, and learn new skills. If you are thinking about Girl Scout camp, there are a few things to consider.

Camp Readiness Checklist:

  1. Are you ready to spend a few days being away from home? Check out this Camp Readiness Quiz for some things that you and your family might want to think about.
  2. Look through the Summer Camp Guide to find a camp that sounds like something you will like. Each camp is different so read each carefully. Some of the summer camps are day camps, where you go during the day and return home at night. Some camps are overnight, where you will sleep over at camp for several nights. Speak with your family and figure out which fits you best.
  3. Once you’ve decided which camp you would like to attend, sign up! Register as soon as you decide, some camps fill up very fast.
  4. Tell your friends, they may want to attend camp too! They can join Girl Scouts now and go to camp with you.
  5. Start packing and getting ready early. Preparing early will give you a chance to see your items and become familiar with what you will have with you. So what should you pack? Take a look at this helpful video!

Going to summer camp is meant to be fun and a challenge, you will experience new and exciting things. Remember that other girls are having some of the same feelings as you. This is your chance to step up with confidence and make friends!

Here is what one Girl Scout has to say about her summer camp experience “Girl Scout camp was an experience that forever changed my life. At camp, I found a supportive environment filled with role models, friends, and opportunities to try new and exciting activities. I loved learning how to build a fire, singing silly camp songs, and spending time with equally adventurous youth. Most importantly, I loved having a group of young adult counselors teaching me new skills, making sure I ate healthy meals, and reassuring me.”

I can still remember the first time I went to summer camp. The memories are a part of my life that will never be erased and I made many friends during my camping years. Make this your summer to remember at Girl Scout summer camp!

Emma J. Price Scholarship: Providing Opportunities for Girl Scout graduates

By Marketing Specialist – Asia Hebert

Did you know that GSLPG offers a scholarship for Girl Scout high school graduates? Each year the council awards one senior Girl Scout Gold Award recipient a $1,000 college scholarship in honor of Emma J. Price. Any Girl Scout who has completed their Gold Award, is a senior in high school with 2.5 grade point average minimum, and is planning to attend a 2 or 4 year degree program at a high education institution is eligible to apply for the Emma J. Price scholarship.

Over the past few years, GSLPG has awarded this scholarship to several Gold Award Recipients. Most recently, Sarah Wright was award the 2016 scholarship award. Let’s learn a little about Sarah and the opportunities both Girl Scouts and the Emma J. Price scholarship have provided for her!

Sarah Wright has been an active member of Troop 2016 (of Crowley) since she was a Daisy! Sarah graduated from Notre Dame High School and is now attending Baton Rouge Community College, majoring in elementary education with plans to transfer to LSU in the fall of 2017. For her Gold Award project, Sarah teamed up with the local VFW Auxiliary and created a bibliographical directory for them. Sarah’s father is the Post Commander of the VFW, so the project had a great deal of meaning to her. Now that Sarah has graduated from high school and has moved on to college, she is still an active GSLPG Member. Sarah is a registered adult member and volunteers along side her mother, Teresa Wright, when she is home from college.

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Here’s a Q&A we had with Sarah:

  1. How has Girl Scouts affected your life for the better?

As a child, I was very shy and was never willing to participate in activities with other kids, but through Girl Scouts, I was able to come overcome my fears and learn how to be a leader. I have also made many lifelong friends through scouting and I have been able to watch the younger girls in my troop use the skills that I have taught them.

  1. What skills has Girls Scouts taught you that have helped you prepare for college and your future career?

I have always been active in more than one extracurricular activity, Girl Scouts being one of them. Having to learn time management has helped me a great deal this past year at college.

  1. How did you feel about receiving the Emma J. Price scholarship?

Receiving this scholarship has truly been a blessing. I’m very grateful for the help that it has provided with paying for college and it was very rewarding after the hard work that I had put into my project.

  1. How has this scholarship helped you with your college career?

This scholarship has helped to pay my college tuition, along with several other scholarships.

  1. What advice would you like to give to other potential gold award/scholarship recipients?

I would like for them to remember that this project is not about getting your picture in the newspaper or winning a scholarship. This project is about giving back to the community that gave so much to you. It is about using your unique talents and leadership skills to help those around you and to become a contributing member of society.

Interested in applying for this scholarship or just learning more about how it can help your daughter’s future college career? Check out the information on our website!

Happy National Girl Scout Leader’s Day!

By Marketing Specialist – Asia Hebert

Did you know that April 22 is National Girl Scout Leader’s Day? This special holiday is a Girl Scout tradition that has been around for years. While we appreciate everything our volunteers do every day of the year, we want to take this particular day to give you an extra pat on the back for all that you do.

We know that your involvement with Girl Scouts takes time, dedication, and commitment. We hope that with all the hard work it takes to be an outstanding Girl Scout leader that you see the results in the girls you lead. Without you, Girl Scouts would not be able to grow into the go-getters, innovators, risk-takers and leaders that the world needs. So when times get tough and you’re bogged down with paperwork, keep your head up and know that you are making a difference in the lives of girls!

Need some inspiration on how to show your appreciation for the Girl Scout leaders in your life? Check out these tips:

  • Have your Girl Scouts plan a special day or event to thank their Girl Scout leaders for all their hard work.
  • Make a craft or handmade gift that your Girl Scout leader will appreciate and remember this day by.
  • Write a thank you note. Whether it’s an e-mail or handwritten letter, let the Girl Scout leaders in your life know how they have changed your life for the better.
  • Share your appreciation on social media. Post a graphic, share a story or just say thank you! Tag your Girl Scout leader and hashtag #NVW2017 (National Volunteer Week 2017).
  • Buy her a gift she’ll remember you by. You can shop online on GSUSA’s shop  with free shipping until April 24 or visit one of our shops in Lafayette or Shreveport to use our 20% off coupon!

Have a story you would like to share about a Girl Scout volunteer? Be sure to send it our way!

Early Bird Renewal: Something BIG to Chirp about!

By Troop Support Specialist – Brittany Bowie

Spring is here! It’s the perfect time to clear the clutter and organize your troop for the upcoming year. Take advantage of the Early Bird Spring Renewal and receive awesome incentives for the troop and each Girl Scout. Not sure where to start? Follow this checklist:

 

Early Bird Checklist:

Start today – Have parents/caregivers register their Girl Scout today and start collecting rewards. Girl Scouts who renew during the first three weeks will receive an Exclusive Early Bird “Lead like a Girl Scout” t-shirt. Visit gslpg.org/renew for the Step-by-Step Guide.

Renew online – Eliminate the chaos of paperwork and have families register online. Each family has access to a member profile on the “My GS” tab.

Pay $25, receive $10 When you renew your membership during the spring, you’re automatically eligible for great early bird rewards. A $10 membership Voucher Credit will be given for each girl member registered by June. This means GSLPG wants to give you credit to buy cool stuff in our retail shop or help pay for your next council event.

Communicate – Start having conversations about your troop and looking forward to next year. Will all girls continue? Who will be the troop leaders? What kind of activities you and your troop will participate in? Asking these questions will ensure your troop’s status. Login into “My GS” and check your troop roster before April 15, 2017.

Make new friends – Know a friend interested in becoming a Girl Scout? She can register, too! And there’s a patch for that. New members can sign-up and be ready for the next year.

Celebrate! – The fun does not end with just your troop’s bridging/summer activities, but will continue throughout summer. Each girl registered by June 6 will be sent an invitation to a FREE private skating party in June.

Make Early Bird a tradition in your troop – Both troop leaders and families benefit by registering during early bird. It helps families by ensuring that their daughters get back in their preferred troop and maintain their amazing friendships. It helps troop leaders to plan their year with a confirmed and committed count of girls for the following year. Together, the Girl Scout Leadership Experience continues!

2017 Early Bird patch

 

Early Renewal season gives any of our members—girls, troop leaders, and parents—the chance to register early for the 2017-2018 membership year and receive rewards. Check out the complete list of Early Bird Incentives.