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!

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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.

Annual Meeting 2017 Recap

By Marketing Specialist – Asia Hebert

Staff, volunteers & girls enjoy a photo opportunity

We are so thankful to all of the volunteers, girls, board members and staff that were able to attend our Annual Meeting this year! It was so exciting to finally get to share G.I.R.L. with you and we hope that you take away as much inspiration as we did. To those of you who were unable to attend, we hope this recap blog will give you a taste of the event and entice you to attend next year!

 

Girls from Troop 184 from Pineville got our annual meeting started off with our traditional flag ceremony. The girls were poised and respectful during this Girl Scout tradition… but we also caught them having some fun hanging out before!

 

Next up on the agenda was the business of the credentials report, report of the board, financials, operations and board development committee. These reports are serious business but our staff and board members made sure to lighten the mood while still talking business.

 

Before lunch we had one last Girl Scout tradition, the Investiture and Rededication Ceremony! This ceremony allowed new Girl Scout members, staff and board to come up and receive their Girl Scout pin. With the staff reorganization of CEI, we had many new staff members to officially initiate into the Girl Scout family.

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After lunch, we officially kicked off G.I.R.L. with our girl led presentation. We had four girls from various troops and regions of the council represent what it means to be a go-getter, innovator, risk-taker and leader. Beaux Fisher (IRM) was our go-getter, Lilly Yarbrough of Troop 225 was our innovator, Danika Kleven of Troop 85 was our risk-taker and Cynthia Romero of Troop 398 was our leader. Each of these girls created a speech and a corresponding video or PowerPoint to explain what it means to be a G.I.R.L. champion.

Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, Leader!

Next, on our inspirational journey were our Gold Award recipients. These dedicated girls each had a chance to speak about their Gold Award projects. This year three of the four award recipients were able to attend, Destiny Kennerson, Brandy Solice, and Rebekah Gauthier. Destiny assisted with the elderly in her community, Brandy helped underprivileged children celebrate their birthday, and Rebekah saved a historic landmark in her town.

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The final section of our annual meeting was all about honoring our volunteers! Our COO, Keesha Buteau, honored out Volunteer Partners for their participation and dedication for the 2016-2017 year. Manager of Adult Development, Megan Ponder, presented our council level recognitions. Lastly our council’s Savannah 2017 Quest Fest Team talked about their upcoming adventure!

We hope all who attended had as much fun as we did! For those that were unable to attend, we hope to see you next year. As always, we thank our volunteers and girls for the dedication they give to Girl Scouts. We hope to make this next year even better!

Wanna see all the photos from the Annual Meeting? Check out our Flickr album!

Sweet Success: 3 Troops Take the Cookie Season by Storm!

By Troop Support Specialist – Marsha Miller

Everyone has seen an adorable smiling Girl Scout outside at a local business during cookie season. It’s hard to resist their cuteness but then you realize they are also selling your favorite Girl Scout cookies! You give in to the adorable Girl Scouts and buy a few boxes of cookies, but did you know that you’re buying more than a box of cookies? You are giving these girls the opportunities to learn valuable skills, make memories and plan exciting activities with their troop.

Read about 3 troops in the Shreveport area and how they took cookie season by storm:

Troop 147 – This new Daisy troop started out as shy young Girl Scouts but learned how to overcome their shyness in order to have a more successful cookie season. The girls learned to emphasize their strengths and used their adorableness to sell more cookies. These young entrepreneurs learned about money management and business skills during booth sales. If you encountered their booth sale you would hear them say “5 boxes for only $20!”

Troop 249 – The girls of Troop 249 know what it means to have fun and get the job done. With only 9 girls in their troop, they sold over $14,000 in cookie sales! Their leader, Wendy says, “don’t underestimate her girls. These girls learn important skills, life lessons and have a ton of fun doing it”. This troop demonstrates to everyone that it doesn’t matter the size of your troop, you can still achieve high success in your cookie season.

Troop 444 – Selling cookies with troop of 35 girls with varying ages levels can be difficult. Troop 444 found a way to make cookie sales a success for all girls no matter the age. Older girls do not look as sweet as the young Daisies or Brownies, but they have the business skills, drive and determination to get the mission accomplished. Despite the size and age levels of the troop they sold almost $95,000, which is unbelievable! With their money from cookie sales, they have chosen to help two charities that benefit the homeless and have also trip planned to Walt Disney World in 2018.

These girls have demonstrated that cookie season is more than just selling cookies. All three of these troops not only are cookie bosses but have learned skills that will benefit them for a lifetime. What kind of success has your Girl Scout or troop accomplished this year? We want to hear about it!

Generations of Girl Scouts

by Troop Support Specialist – Kim Lee Harris & Troop 593 Leader – Jamie Frost

Thank you to Jamie Frost, volunteer & troop leader of Troop 593 of West Monroe for writing and sharing her story of generations of Girls Scouts in her family!

As long as I can remember, my family has been involved with Girl Scouts. The tradition started with my great grandmother, Helen Houghton, who was a troop leader in the 1930 and 1940s. My mother was both a Girl Scout and leader for about 15 years. My father is an honorary life time Girl Scout and made many contributions to our troop growing up. My two sisters and I grew up as Girl Scouts in my mother’s troop. Now the tradition continues with me leading my daughter in Troop 593.

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Growing Up as a Girl Scout 

Growing up in a house full of Girl Scouts and Girl Scout activities was very fulfilling. I have many fond memories of visiting the Silver Waters council with my mom. We were a very active troop and my parents took an initiative to help in numerous ways. It seems like just yesterday that I was sitting at Pinewood singing Girl Scout songs or participating in flag ceremonies. My father helped build many things at Pinewood and I can remember seeing my grandfather’s name on a plaque at Pinewood for his contributions. My father helped build the educational nature center as well as making all the nature learning tools at Pinewood. While I don’t remember a whole lot about our regular troop meetings I do recall going through great lengths to plan and prepare for meetings, investiture ceremonies, and bridging. I remember the incredible friendships, adventures, and leadership skills that we took away from Girl Scouts. As I got older I was able to participate in two great programs – Pathfinders and a Wider-Op to Michigan. I believe these opportunities helped shape me into the strong woman I am today.

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Leading the Next Generation

In 2007 I had my little girl Kaylee and hoped that she would participate in Girl Scouts. When Kaylee started Kindergarten, she brought home the girl scout flyer and I was over the moon. I was still in school but wanted her to be involved with a troop. I wanted my daughter to have the same experiences that I had as a child. I knew that if I wanted her to have the true Girl Scout experience I needed to start my own troop. I finished school, found an incredible co-leader, and decided this year to start my own troop. I can’t say it’s always been easy but it has given me so many rewards that I never imagined. I learn new things every week from these incredible, strong, sweet girls.

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I hope that I am instilling a long tradition of Girl Scout leaders not only with my daughter but others as well. I want them to know they can do anything if they put their mind to it!

Girl Scout Week 2017!

by Marketing Specialist – Asia Hebert

Girl Scout Week is almost here and this year we are celebrating 105 years of the Girl Scout organization! The celebration starts on Sunday, March 12 and ends Saturday, March 18. Girl Scout Week is an honored tradition that we celebrate every year. This year the week actually begins on the Girl Scout Birthday, March 12. Our organization’s birthday commemorates the day in 1912 when Juliette Gordon Low officially registered the organization’s first 18 girl members in Savannah, Georgia. Among celebrating Girl Scout’s birthday, Girl Scout Week also includes Girl Scout Sunday and Girl Scout Sabbath which give girls an opportunity to attend their place of worship and be recognized as a Girl Scout.

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This year we want to incorporate G.I.R.L. into Girl Scout week! Take this week to really get out there and show off your go-getter, innovator, risk-taker and leadership skills. Here are some ideas on what you and your troop can do to celebrate:

Sunday, March 12 – Girl Scout Sunday: Attend a religious service and wear your Girl Scout uniform proudly.  After you’ve attended service, get together with your troop and have a Girl Scout Birthday party!

Monday, March 13: Channel your inner go-getter. Take the initiate to start a project, express interest in a club or student government, or move forward with task you’ve been holding back on doing.

Tuesday, March 14: Be an innovator and think of a new way of doing things. Come up with a more efficient way doing your school work, use your creative side and design something, or create a plan of action to get a project done.

Wednesday, March 15: Do something you’ve never done before and be a risk-taker. Audition for the school play, learn a new outdoor skill, or introduce yourself to a new friend.

Thursday, March 16: Step up as a leader. Lead the way in a group project, speak out against bullying, or show the ropes to a new person at school.

Friday, March 17: Plan a Take Action project that focuses on something that would improve your community. Research and observe what the needs are of your community and design a project that will solve that issue.

Saturday, March 18 – Girl Scout Sabbath: Work on the My Promise, My Faith pin with your troop! My Promise, My Faith allows girls to experience a faith journey through exploration of the Girl Scout Law and teachings from their faith.

What does your troop have planned for Girl Scout Week? Let us know by emailing info@gslpg.org with your photos and stories!

Girl Scout Volunteers – Desire to Inspire!

By Katherine Stagg – Troop Support Specialist

A young girl once asked me, “Why do you have boy toys in your car?” The question caught me by surprise. The robots in my car were for girls and had only been used by girls, yet in her mind they were for boys. When I explained this to the young inquisitive girl, she was pleased with the answer, however she did not express interest in them. Her specialty was gardening and selling her plants to make money. She explained to me her business plan: location, employees, business hours, schedule, etc. Although she was only six years old and unable to fully create business plan, the ideas were there.

According to the Girl Scout Leadership Institute, Louisiana is ranked 48th in girls who struggle with life issues.  Girl Scouting can make a difference in a girl’s life and change the trajectory of where our state is headed for young female leaders. I share this to inspire volunteers to be on the watch for our future nursery owners, future robot programmers, future dance stars and know that you are making a difference in their lives. You and your volunteer team are offering opportunities for girls to stretch their imagination, thoughts, and ideas. Listen and be there to support them. The way you listen to a girl today will have an impact on your future as well as hers. She will make a difference. I know this because my former Girl Scouts from when I was a leader are making that difference. Today these girls are teachers, cake decorators, nurses, mothers, journalists, advocates, doctors, security guards, etc.

What is the young girl mentioned above doing today? She is now eight years old, still in school and a Girl Scout. She still has some years left to build upon her dream and see it realized. We will have to wait and see what comes of her plans but I believe with the help and guidance of volunteers like you, she will see her dreams come true.

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Keep up the tradition of becoming a Girl Scout volunteer and inspire others to make a difference too. Inspire your girls, let them think, let them experience, and let them dream. You are building memories; memories for them…….and for you too.

State of the Girls: Legislative Day 2017

by Communications & Marketing Director – Morgan Hudson

Legislative Day comes around every year offering girls an invaluable experience. Girls in grades 6-12 have an opportunity to experience the government process first hand by touring the Louisiana State Capitol, tour the old State Capitol, Governor’s Mansion and enjoy night camping on the USS Kidd.

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This opportunity allows Girl Scouts to seek answers about issues that will impact their own communities and future, and exposes girls to the rich history of Louisiana and the government with an unforgettable experience! This day allows girls to get a taste of how policy-making works and the ins-and-outs of running a government.

Each year, Girl Scouts creates a list of items of ways the government can support Girl Scouts and girls. Girl Scouts is constantly considering the future and the national policy goals for 2017, that we can also promote locally are:

  1. Promote economic opportunities for girls through STEM education and financial literacy
  2. Encourage healthy living opportunities for girls through outdoor education and bully prevention
  3. Foster global citizenship and a global voice for girls
  4. Support a strong nonprofit community that encourages the Girl Scout experience

As we already know, Girl Scouts are more likely than non-Girl Scouts to be civically and politically engaged locally and globally, and it’s experiences like Legislative Day that foster that desire. A poll from the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) in 2014 stated that 67% of American girls between the ages of 11 and 17 are interested in politics, but only 32% believes society encourages women to be politicians, and 74% believe that if they were to go into politics, they would have to work harder than a man to be taken seriously.

Women’s roles in government increased in almost area after the 2016 election, and many Girl Scouts can be found:

  • Women make up 20 percent of the 115th Congress- out of the 109 women members, 62 are Girl Scout alumnae.
  • Out of 100 senators, 21 are women, and 16 of those are former Girl Scouts.
  • In the House of Representatives and Delegates, 88 out of 441 are female, and 52 percent are alumnae.
  • There are 5 female governors, 4 of them are Girl Scout alums.

What can we do to continue to promote girls taking the lead in places they might not always be found? The girls from GSRI’s poll had some ideas: more support from teachers, mentors and the media – meaning, mentoring by female politicians, after school programs focused on civic engagement and positive media coverage of women in politics would encourage them to pursue a career in politics.

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If your Girl Scout wants a civically-enriching opportunity, make plans for her to attend Legislative Day! Be on the lookout for more information about the day soon!

National Cookie Weekend 2017

By Kim Heckard – Troop Support Specialist 

The cookie business is a serious business which is largely run by all girls. The 2017 Cookie Weekend will mark 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies. Girl Scouts councils across the country will be celebrating this cookie event on the weekend of February 24-26, 2017. This weekend is a special one as all councils join together to celebrate and share our cookie program with everyone!

During National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend, girls will be able to sell cookies at booths, door to door, and through Digital Cookie. First, secure your cookie booth location(s) by deciding which of the locations will maximize your cookie sales. Next, check out the Cookie Program Safety Tips for best practices when selling cookies door to door. Lastly, tell your family, friends and cookie buyers to download the Girl Scout Cookie Finder app so they can keep up with where and when you are selling!

Did you know? One hundred percent of the net revenue raised through the Girl Scout Cookie sales stays within your local Girl Scout council to fund program activities and Take Action projects. Girls in troops as well as IRM’s (Individually Registered Members) will decide, using their decision making skills, how their troop cookie money is spent.

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We want to help make this year’s sales the most successful one yet! Here are some great resources to take your booth sales up a notch:

…And don’t forget to purchase your National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend Patch!

 

How will  your troop be celebrating this National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend? Share your excitement by entering our National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend Challenge. First film a video of your troop getting ready for the cookie sale, submit your video to Morgan Hudson at mhudson@gslpg.org, and then watch for your video to make an appearance on our Facebook page!