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!

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.

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 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.

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!

Oh What a Treat! Tasty Fun Facts

By Brittany Bowie – Troop Support Specialist

Maybe you have been fond of Do- si- dos or your heart belongs to Thin Mints! Each of these delicious treats along with the popular variety of Girl Scout Cookies has a unique origin in the cookie program. As you look to sell them or just eat them, here are some tasty facts you might not know about Girl Scout Cookies.

The first Girl Scout troop known to sell cookies baked sugar cookies to raise funds for their activities in 1917. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Girl Scouts and their moms in different parts of the country continued to bake these cookies right in their homes. Customers could probably smell sweetness right around the corner!

In 1948, a total of 29 companies were licensed to bake Girl Scout Cookies. Today there are two official Girl Scout Cookie bakers. Little Brownie Bakers has been baking up the delicious cookies provided here in Louisiana.

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Now that we know a little history, let’s get to a stimulation of taste buds:

  • Did you know that Thin Mints are the top-selling cookie in America?!
  • As you take a bite of the traditional shortbread cookie, known as “Trefoil” you would be interested to know that it represents the emblem of Girl Scouts of the United States.  With a special shape mimicking the trefoil plant there are three rounded lobes representing the three-fold promise: “to serve God and my country, to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout law.” A cookie baked for deliciousness and symbolism.
  • It’s great to taste the sweetness that each Girl Scout cookie has to offer, but it is more important to know that the purchase of every box of cookie adds to the value of a meaningful leadership experience for Girl Scouts! They are building a lifetime of skills and confidence.

For more fun facts about the Girl Scout cookie program and much more, click here!

Plan Less, Engage More: 4 Reasons Why You Should Start Using the Volunteer Toolkit

By Brittany Bowie – Troop Support Specialist

Whether you have just started as a new leader or are going into another year with your Girl Scouts, the one thing most would agree on is that a critical element of volunteering is time. The element most important to girls is engagement and fun interaction. Girl Scout volunteers could have more fun when they have easy access to resources that help them spend less time planning and coordinating and more time with their girls.

GSLPG now has a resource, the Volunteer Toolkit (VTK), which does just that. It is a resource that offers versatility and assists with troop management. GSUSA and GSLPG recently launched this resource on our site as part of our Customer Engagement Initiative.

Here are some of our favorite reasons for you to begin using this tool!

1)Convenience and Accessibility

If you are an on-the-go volunteer, this will be perfect for you. As a digital resource volunteers, can access the VTK from any electronic device- tablet, smart phone, or laptop- with internet capability.

2)Versatility

Now that you have access to the resource, logging in only becomes more exciting. You will find four active tabs to help make managing your troop simpler.  These tabs have the capabilities to manage troop contacts, renew membership, plan your troop year with pre-populated plans, customize activities, change meeting arrangements and eventually track finances once this tab becomes available.

3)Parents are kept in the loop

Primary caregivers have the ability to view their girls’ troop year. Features include: read only views of My Troop Tab (no contact info), Year Plan, Meeting Plan, and Financial Tab. What does this mean? The major questions many parents have for troop leaders, can now be answered with the click of a button (or by logging into their portal view).

4)It keeps getting better

The function for the finance tab is not active, but will be eventually. GSUSA will be adding content, functions and improving this tool based on the needs and assessments volunteers across our nation.

What more could you want? This tool is customizable, tracks important things, keeps parents informed and saves time. Most importantly, it allows leaders and girls the ability to explore program activities together, while having fun.

Need some help getting started? Watch the walk through video below!

 

To check out the Volunteer Toolkit, go to www.gslpg.org and click on the My GS tab. Enter your login information. If you need help logging in please contact our Customer Care team.