Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Gold Girl Scout Spotlight: Isabel Prado

My name is Isabel Prado, I am a 17-year-old high school junior, getting ready to start applying for college. For my Gold Award, I created and taught 10 different lessons about the environment to children ages 5-12. I taught at the Turner-Gibbons Recreation Center as part of the Austin Parks and Recreation Center Summer Program. All of my lessons have been put into their database for use in the future.
When I first started the project a year ago, I thought I would never actually get it done, but with support from my family and friends, I managed it. It was a long and often challenging process. I switched what I wanted to teach at least twice. When I finally nailed down a subject, I had to create lessons plans for 10 classes. It took a lot of hard work but the end result was worth it.

Many times along the way I wanted to quit and I was told that it was okay if I did not want to do it. I am so glad I decided to finish it. My experiences teaching the children were so remarkable that when it ended I was sad because I had so much fun doing this project. It was tough and took a good deal of time, but it made me a better person. I learned so many valuable skills that I cannot imagine learning anywhere else. Doing the Gold Award was a journey that I will never forget and it is one of the best ones a Girl Scout can experience.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Transformation Tuesday: Made With Code

Guest post from Sarah Y., Gold Girl Scout and intern at GSCTX. Her intern challenge? To get GSCTX girls interested, involved and inspired with computer coding. You can follow her internship at her blog, Journeys to the Summit 


Its Transformation Tuesday!

It was actually a couple days ago that my mom and I were talking about how you can tell just how old a piece of technology is just by its thickness.A computer, a phone, TV's,  movies (VHS vs. DVD), music (cassettes vs. CD's).
                                                                      



And along with these advances in... size, came the advancement in how they work. I see this advancement every second and fourth Friday of every month when I work with my Made w/Code girls. Coding and programming have come a long way and I am so glad that I get to help the next generation get ready to make the next big advancement!

I would love to talk to your troop, youth group, club, and/or school about the Made w/Code project. If you're at all interested, please contact me at sarah@discovergreenyel.org

Ready to code? Start now!

Until then, Happy coding!

Yours in coding,
Sarah Y.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Let's Celebrate National Women's History Month with Candid Convos!

Guest Post from GSUSA Blog: blog.girlscouts.org 
                                                                             
At Girl Scouts, we’re all about girl power. That’s why, every day, all over the world, we work hard to advocate for girls and women and to elevate dialogue not only about their amazing accomplishments and unique journeys, but also about the challenges they face.

This year, the theme of the National Women’s History Project, part of National Women’s History Month, is “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives.” To mark the occasion, we encourage you to find opportunities to weave women’s stories—both as individuals and as part of a larger group—into the fabric of our nation’s history. This is the perfect time to have critical conversations in your own circles—with your family, friends, and neighbors—and to create a space for expression and ideas to really flourish.


Don’t stress! It doesn’t have to be anything formal. Invite a couple of friends over, set out some snacks, and get to talkin.’ Remember: big change often begins with something as simple as a conversation, in an environment that fosters authentic, open dialogue about important issues. So it’s okay to start small.


And it doesn’t all have to be so serious, either. Take this opportunity to also celebrate one another and to rejoice in the richness of women’s history and the strength that lives within all of those present at your gathering. Maybe each person can speak about a woman in history who has inspired her, changed her, or otherwise made a difference in her life.
There are so many simple, meaningful ways to celebrate National Women’s History Month—so let’s do it! Go out and start that conversation today. This month and every day, let’s continue to reflect on the amazing strides women have made in the world and the work yet to be done to ensure true equality for future generations of girls.

Happy National Women’s History Month!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Girl Scouts are Outdoor Explorers

Guest Post: Girl Scouts are Outdoor Explorers

Guest Post from Vicki Wright, GSUSA Outdoor Initiative Lead, Lifetime Girl Scout, Former CEO of multiple Girl Scout Councils

Girl Scouts Launches Inaugural Badge Series Chosen by Girls

This year, on its 103rd Anniversary, Girl Scouts is celebrating our commitment to providing fun and beneficial outdoor experiences for girls with the launch of a new series of outdoor badges, chosen by Girl Scouts themselves.

Outdoor experiences are an integral part of Girl Scouts and are woven into Girl Scout program in such a way that girls feel comfortable trying new things and testing their limits, and gain confidence and acquire new skills in a safe and supportive all-girl environment. From a relaxed nature hike through the forests to teaming up on a wildlife conservation project to high-adventure rock-climbing, Girl Scouts offers girls a variety of opportunities to learn and grow inside and out.

My first experience with Girl Scouts was in an outdoor setting where I learned to become comfortable in the outdoors and with myself.  I did not understand at the time all that I was learning while having so much fun.  I can honestly say that my love for the outdoors came from those experiences and truly molded the person I became.
In the month of November, GSUSA began the polling process for the Girls’ Choice Outdoor Badges by inviting girls to vote on a diverse option of outdoor badge themes. Outdoor Explorer emerged as the overall theme, with five age specific Badge offerings: Outdoor Adventurer, Horseback Riding, Archery, Paddling and Ultimate Recreation Challenge.

But why is this so important to us?

According to our research (Girl Scout Research Institute’s study, More Than S’mores), girls benefit immensely from time outdoors. Girls who spend time outdoors eclipse their peers in environmental stewardship, more readily seek challenges, and are better problem solvers, all of which are traits needed for 21st century leadership.
Outdoor experiences through Girl Scouting, such as camp, are beneficial to girl leadership development across ethnicities. Latina (38 percent) and African American (40 percent) girls are more likely than their peers (28 percent) to say they overcame a fear of the outdoors through Girl Scouting; seventy-nine percent of Latina girls say they first tried an outdoor activity in Girl Scouts, and an overwhelming 59 percent of Latina girls say Girl Scouts has offered them outdoor activities they would not have otherwise had access to.

Simply put, this is important to us because it is important to girls. Once exposed to the outdoors, girls love it.  And, now more than ever, research shows us that getting outdoors is so important to the physical, social and psychological development of our girls and the health of our planet.

We want to get more girls outdoors, more often and in varied ways. Please join us in this effort.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Guest Post: Girl Scouts of the USA
















Girl Scouts is excited to announce the new leaders of Troop Capitol Hill, Girl Scouts’ honorary bi-partisan delegation of all women members of the U.S House and Senate, for the 114th Congress. For this new Congress, the number of co-chairs of Troop Capitol Hill has been expanded to eight and includes four Democratic and four Republican members of both the House and Senate. The announcement comes as Girl Scouts across the country are in the midst of celebrating Girl Scout Day—an annual commemoration of March 12, 1912, the day that founder Juliette Gordon Low officially registered the first 18 Girl Scouts in Savannah, Georgia.


The Congresswomen of Troop Capitol Hill, which was established to educate Congress about issues affecting girls and young women, embody the Girl Scout spirit and mission, working to determine the course of our nation and make the world a better place. Co-chairs for the new session of Congress include: Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Susan Collins (R-ME), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Patty Murray (D-WA); and their House colleagues, Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Susan Brooks (R-IN), Donna Edwards (D-MD), and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). 


“Troop Capitol Hill is made up of women leaders from across the nation who are committed to exploring and promoting policies that improve the lives of girls everywhere,” said Anna Maria Ch├ívez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. “For over a century, Girl Scouts has been committed to connecting today’s girls with today’s female leaders who can serve as mentors, guides, and trailblazers for future generations. In the coming term, I look forward to working with our new co-chairs, and all members of Congress, to develop policies that will help girls develop the skills they need to be the leaders of tomorrow.”



In collaboration with Troop Capitol Hill, Girl Scouts works to promote policies, champion ideas, and shape the legislative dialogue around girls and young women in America and beyond. Among the major national initiatives for GSUSA in the new legislative session will be working to promote healthy living opportunities for girls, especially through increased access to outdoor activities, as well as promoting economic education programs around STEM and financial literacy and working to foster global citizenship and a global voice for girls. Additionally, Girl Scouts will work with Congress to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts’ highest honor, the Girl Scout Gold Award (equivalent to the Eagle Scout), which will take place in 2016.

“As a former Girl Scout, I am honored to serve as a co-chair of the Girl Scouts’ honorary bipartisan Troop Capitol Hill. At Girl Scouts girls and young women learn the values of community involvement, civic engagement, environmental stewardship, and active leadership. When women are empowered, so is our nation. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress as well as the Girl Scouts of the USA to tackle issues important to young women and girls.” – Representative Donna Edwards


“Every single girl has something amazing to offer the world, and no one understands that better than the Girl Scouts. When young women have the opportunity to reach their full potential, the impact they can have on their communities is tremendous. I’m honored to serve as a leader of Troop Capitol Hill—and as a former Girl Scout and a mother of two young daughters, I will continue to work to create new possibilities for girls—be it through supporting STEM in the classroom, or advancing policies to empower students to succeed.” – Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Girl Scouts has a long history of working with female leaders of both parties to advance the dialogue around girls and the issues they face. Recently, Girl Scouts released a video series entitled Portraits in Leadership featuring local girls from communities throughout the United States interviewing their female members of Congress about what it takes to be a leader. Troop Capitol Hill Co-Chairs Shelly Moore Capito and Barbara Mikulski were among the women who took part in the series.

The 114th Congress will have unprecedented opportunities to promote girls and their limitless potential for leadership, and Girl Scouts of the USA is proud to be welcoming new and returning members of Troop Capitol Hill for an exciting and productive legislative session. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thin Mint Cookies—Separated at Birth?!


Kelly M. Parisi, Chief Communications Executive by day and Thin Mint lover by night. She coined the phrase #ThinMintsAreMyJam and keeps her ear to the internet for the latest cookie gossip. Follow her on Twitter for updates: @KellyMParisi

Thin Mints have always walked through life sure that they were the only ones satisfying the chocolate mint cravings of Girl Scout Cookie customers around the world. Today, though, that dream has been shattered as media outlets report that the two Girl Scout Cookie bakers have been cranking out two different versions of the minty chocolatey treats we all love.

That’s right. Two different Thin Mints! Delivering a slightly different but still awesome mint chocolate taste!

Needless to say, feelings were hurt. The initial meetings between the two cookie dynamos were rocky. And yes—cookies were crumbling.

As of now, both Thin Mint and Thin Mint are in talks to embrace their differences. They were last spotted at Girl Scouts’ central office in deep conversation over a tall glass of milk. Though there has been no official word from the rep of either Thin Mint, cookie customers can rest assured that the chocolate and mint treats will always be committed to satisfying the public's craving for delicious cookies.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Guest Post: Colette South, Fall 2014 Glamtrepreneur Winner

Hello. My name is Colette South. I've been making jewelry for friends, family, and craft fairs for a little over four years. I thoroughly enjoy thinking of fun and new designs.

My business name and logo is a stylized BBFF, which are the initials for “Big Bold Fly Free” and represents the big, bold attitude, and free spirited thinking of today’s youth.

This bracelet is called “Perseverance”, and is a fashion forward design that holds a lot of significance for Girl Scouts. The two black beads stand for leadership and strength, the six silver beads represent the three Journeys and three Take Action Projects required on a Girl Scout’s way to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award. The many clear beads scatter sparkles, and represent the shining light of Girl Scouting being cast into the world. My target sales audience will be Girl Scouts ages 10-14. My bracelets use only glass and metal beads and metal wire to enhance their appearance and appeal, and are similar in quality to fashion jewelry found in department stores.

The cost of materials is twenty three cents for each bracelet. The bracelets take approximately 15 minutes to complete, so the labor cost per bracelet is $3.00 for a total cost of goods sold of $3.23.

I am willing to distribute the bracelets to the Girl Scout Store for $4.23 and I suggest a retail price of $8.99, allowing the Girl Scout Store to maintain a good retail margin.



I am able to produce about 50-75 bracelets with a two to three week lead time. I would like a 30% advance for the initial order.

I plan to use the money earned from this venture to save up for the Girl Scout Experience trip to London and Switzerland in 2016, after setting aside portions for charity and future college expenses.

My advice to young entrepreneurs is to stay strong and to never give up. If someone gives you negative comments heed them, see what you could do better, then fix it! If they still find faults them they don’t have to buy your products.

If I had unlimited resources I would wrap some of the beads in wire so that they were more unique and provided another texture on my bracelet. With my business marketing plan I would have other people make the bracelets for me then sell them to a retail store.