Volunteers! This Red Carpets For You!

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 10:17am

Let’s face it. We’re all super busy people! Who has time to put one more event on their calendar? I promise you though, if you make time to come to our Adult Recognition & Appreciation Event on May 15, you won’t regret it! So, without further ado, here are the…

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Attend the Adult Recognition Red Carpet Event:
  1. Have you ever walked a red carpet before? Now’s your chance! You’ll feel like the glamourous Girl Scout star you already are.
  2. Our council is made up of 22 counties in Indiana and Michigan. I’m willing to bet you’ll rub elbows with volunteers you haven’t met before.
  3. It’s time for you to treat yo’ self—when was the last time you got dressed up and had a blast at a party celebrating YOU?
  4. You’ll hear about some pretty cool things that volunteers have been up to—be prepared to be inspired!
  5. And finally, THERE WILL BE CAKE! Need I say more?

 

Alright now that I’ve convinced you, register online (I imbedded link to ebiz) by May 9. See you there!

Date: May 15, 2-4pm (EST)

Location: Camp Logan Dining Hall (203 Ems D14 Ln, Syracuse, IN 46567)

Cost: Free

Formal wear optional, but encouraged!

For questions, contact Stephanie.McCue@gsnim.org

A Message From Our CEO: Innovating on Behalf of Girls

Fri, 04/01/2016 - 10:55am

At Girl Scouts we are always thinking about the future and how we can best prepare the next generation of girls to take the lead every day. Our Movement has such a rich history of forward thinking and innovation—and now in our second century, as we advance the Girl Scout mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place, it continues to be important that we keep pace with an ever-changing world.

As the first and largest girl-led organization in the world, we continue to evolve our unique leadership program and implement new technologies and ways of work to enhance the Girl Scout experience for girls, volunteers, and parents. To ensure we have the resources to support this work, the National Board of Girl Scouts of the USA has made a decision to increase the annual membership fee to $25, starting October 1, 2017, for both girl and adult members.

While this fee increase will impact many families, we know that a Girl Scout membership is one of the most valuable investments anyone can make in a girl’s life. With unique programs for girls from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to explore new interests and face challenges, form new friendships, and make lasting community contributions. Every dollar of membership dues is sent to Girl Scouts of the USA to cover the cost of fundamental services supporting the Girl Scout Movement including: accident insurance for members participating in approved Girl Scout activities, research, resources, training, and services to councils.

With the extra funding, we will be able to sustain and develop exceptional leadership programs, implement digital innovations to enhance the girl and volunteer experience nationwide, maintain fundamental services for our 2.7 million members, and better engage our 59 million alumnae. It will enable Girl Scouts of the USA to continue delivering best-in-class service and support to our Movement’s 112 councils, and to provide thousands of volunteers with the relevant resources, tools, and training they need to best serve today’s girls.

Nationally, we are building some amazing programs for girls in the areas of STEM, entrepreneurship, outdoor, and life skills. Locally, girls are empowered with the skills and entrepreneurial know-how to lead and succeed in the industries of tomorrow, as they tackle local and global issues of interest to them, such as poverty, illiteracy, and pollution. The additional funding provided by the upcoming membership fee increase will ensure this important programming endures and thrives.

At Girl Scouts, we remain grounded in the core principles of our founder Juliette Gordon Low—of being an organization that is inclusive, accessible, and innovative—and we are committed to providing a positive and meaningful experience to every girl who wants to be a Girl Scout throughout her life journey. For more information about how this adjustment to our membership dues may affect you, please refer to our FAQ.

Thank you for your continued support of girls and your investment in our mission.

Yours in Girl Scouting,
Anna Maria Chávez  CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA

Ever Wonder How You Can Keep Older Girls Engaged in Girl Scouts?

Tue, 03/15/2016 - 11:09am

Wondering how you can keep your older girls engaged in Girl Scouts? Send them on the adventure of their lives through global summer camps sponsored by USA Girl Scouts Overseas (USAGSO)! Girls in grades 6–12 can visit a World Center in India, Mexico, Switzerland, or the United Kingdom for a week of fun and a world of culture!

Check out these great trips and register by the deadline, March 31.

How Will You CONNECT This World Thinking Day?

Fri, 02/19/2016 - 10:49am

One of our favorite days of the year, World Thinking Day, is coming up fast on February 22, and we’re soooo excited! Every year (since 1926!) we use this day to rally our global sisterhood and support girls as they travel internationally, connect with sister Girl Guides, and take action on global issues to make the world a better place like only Girl Scouts can.

This is a day to give thanks for the inspiring international friendships that we as Girl Scouts are a part of, and to celebrate the many ways these friendships enrich our lives, expand our worldviews, and drive us to create meaningful change for everyone.

This year, we encourage you to use this day (and every day!) to connect with your Girl Scout “forever friends” by donating to the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund, supporting girls as they build incredible global skills through eye-opening, awe-inspiring travel experiences.
But why stop there? There are tons of other fun and creative ways to connect this World Thinking Day, and to share friendship and adventure on a global scale with so many amazing girls and women!

For example, you can:
1. Make new friends! Hold a “bring a friend” event with the girls in your troop or group. You might plan a trip to a local park or museum and have each girl bring someone to join in on the fun. Make sure to think of some cool games everyone can play to get to know one another better!

2. Spread good vibes! Send positive messages to Girl Scouts and Girl Guides all over the world by posting to social media with the hashtag #WTD2016. Let them know how much they’re appreciated, and encourage all your followers to donate to the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund!

3. Honor through service! Get together with a group of family members or friends and plan a service project to honor all the amazing things Girl Scouts and Girl Guides do for their communities every day. Share a fun pic on Facebook and Instagram, along with a summary of what you did. Don’t forget the hashtag #WTD2016!

Have a cool idea for connecting this World Thinking Day? Share it with us onFacebook and Twitter today!

And if you’d like to earn your very own World Thinking Day Award, check out more awesome activities you can do.

How to Talk to Your Girl About Scary News

Wed, 02/10/2016 - 10:10am

Despite all our best efforts at spreading compassion and understanding, violence and hatred continue to affect our world, our country, and our communities. And in a world with a 24/7 news cycle, it’s hard for anyone—even children—to avoid hearing about frightening things when they do occur.

Since news programs are produced with adult viewers in mind, and because images of violence and destruction can be hard even for us as grownups to wrap our heads around, the likelihood that these stories will cause anxiety and fear in children is pretty high. Still, even if you try to keep the news off when your kids are around, it’s unrealistic to think you can shield them completely. Knowing what to say to your daughter who is confused or upset by recent acts of violence can be difficult, especially when you’re still trying to process them yourself.
Let Girl Scouts’ resident developmental psychologist, Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald, make this conversation a little easier with these five tips:

  • Let Her Lead

If your daughter asks questions about a terror attack or other act of violence she’s heard about or seen on the news, you might be tempted to change the subject to something—anything!—else. But avoiding the topics on your daughter’s mind won’t help anyone. In fact, it could lead to her imagining an even scarier situation, wondering if she has upset you by bringing up this topic, and ultimately feeling more alone and frightened. Instead, listen seriously to what she’s asking you and do your best to give her limited but fact-based answers while staying as calm as possible yourself. Remember, your daughter is learning a lot about how to react to the world from you—so if you stay cool and collected, she’s more likely to as well.

  • Keep It Simple

Political unrest, mental illness, and the inner-workings of a terror organization will probably be over her head, so keep it simple. Answer her questions in basic terms, and emphasize that for every one or two people looking to do something to hurt others, there are so many more who are working to put a stop to it—and that that’s the side your family and community are on. Avoid sharing your judgments or speculations about situations, as she may understand them to be true, and that could actually make her anxiety worse. Just remember: you don’t have to have all of the answers. It’s fully okay to admit that you don’t understand why something like this could have happened.

  • Reassure Her

She might be scared that something similar could happen to either herself or to your family members, so make sure to tell her that you love her and will always do your best to keep her out of harm’s way. Remind her of the many other caring adults in her life—in her family, school, and community—who are also there to keep her safe. If she’s already had practice safety drills at school, or will soon, reinforce the idea that those are done just in case something bad happens, not because it will happen (and, in fact, it probably never will). And it may sound crazy, but simply keeping her to her regular, consistent schedule and spending a little more time with her if possible can make a big difference in her sense of security. Finally, while you may be relieved when the conversation is “over,” do check in a few days later to ask how she’s feeling and ask if they’ve been talking about the topic at school. There’s no need to bring it up every day, but you don’t want her worrying all on her own or struggling with potential misinformation, either.

  • Face Stereotypes Head On

After a person or a small group of people does something terrible, sometimes people irrationally distrust or make unfair judgments about other people who look a certain way, hold certain beliefs, or come from a certain place. If your girl has heard people express these kinds of negative stereotypes, explain to her that not only are broad statements about any one group untrue, they can also be incredibly hurtful and damaging. Discuss ways she can help fight stereotypes, like sticking up for kids who might be unfairly judged and refusing to join in on any hurtful jokes or rumors based on a person’s appearance or belief system.

  • Lift Her Up

Remind her that enjoying our lives and being kind to others actually helps balance out the bad stuff in the world—and that turning to violence or fueling stereotypes about certain groups of people just adds to the problem. Team up to think of something you can do together to spread kindness and understanding. Maybe you can get some books from the library that can help you better understand other people’s cultures or donate some of her old books and toys to children in need. Taking action in your community won’t just make her feel more in control, it just might give you a little peace of mind in this chaotic world, too.

For more about how Girl Scout troops can help when natural disasters strike, click here. Looking for a way to get involved with Girl Scouts? Join, volunteer, or donate today.

Celebrate Black History Month with Girl Scouts!

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 8:34am

When you think about history, it’s likely that you think about things that happened a long time ago, perhaps even in a land far, far away. But the truth is, history is happening right now—it’s all around us, and it vibrates through the very fabric of the Girl Scout movement. Think about it: Girl Scouts all over the country are in the process of making history in their schools and communities, instituting meaningful change, standing up for what’s right, breaking records, and setting new precedents.

All of this is why when we celebrate Black History Month, as we’re so excited to do starting today, we not only honor and remember the phenomenal black women we learned about in our history books in school—we also celebrate the ongoing strength and vision of the black girls and women who are creating change as we speak.

Just take a minute to think about the black women, both young and more experienced at life, who’ve made headlines in the past few years:
  • In 2014, Mo’ne Davis, then 13, wasn’t just the first African American girl to play in the Little League World Series, she was also the first girl to pitch a shutout in the competition’s history.
  • That same year, Mia Love got attention as the first black Republican woman in Congress.
  • And in the legal world, 2015 brought us Paulette Brown, who was named the first woman of color to become president of the American Bar Association.
  • Last year, Misty Copeland was the first African American woman to be named principal dancer in the American Ballet Theater’s 75-year history.
  • Also in 2015, Viola Davis became the first African American actress to take home an Emmy award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series, and quoted civil rights activist Harriet Tubman in her acceptance speech.
  • The U.S. Senate made Loretta Lynch the first Black female attorney general in 2015.
  • Last year, actress and recording star Zendaya not only spoke out against stereotypes about African American hair, she also teamed up with Mattel to create the first Black Barbie doll with a natural hair style. “When I was little, I couldn’t find a Barbie who looked like me. My…how times have changed,” she said.
We have so much to learn from the leaders who have shaped our world, and we’re excited to fill our social media feeds this Black History Month with a showcase of Black women who changed our world in decades past as well as some who continue to do so today. For inspiration from some of the greatest, ranging from Coretta Scott King to Serena Williams, join us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

Celebrate the Gold Award Centennial With Us!

Wed, 01/27/2016 - 12:58pm

Over the last century, young women have honed their leadership skills to earn the highest award in Girl Scouts.

While this award has gone by many names—starting as the Golden Eaglet of Merit in 1916 and becoming the Gold Award in 1980—it’s always recognized girls who take action to make our world a better place. Gold Award earners do good work in our backyardthroughout our country and on the other side of the planet!

Now it’s time to celebrate the Gold Award Centennial—but we need your help!

Throughout the 2015-16 Girl Scout membership year, we’ll recognize past and current Gold Award recipients at formal events with small tokens of merit.  Just make sure we have your updated info in our database, by sharing your name, address, phone number, and your Gold Award story to mktggsnim@gsnim.org.  Help inspire future generations of girls to carry on the Girl Scout tradition of thinking big and creating amazing change in the community and the world.

We look forward to painting this centennial year gold with the opportunity to celebrate the thousands of inspiring Girl Scout alumnae who, over the last 100 years, have used their extraordinary courage, vision, and kindness to rally communities and take action to make the world a better place.

Know A Girl Scout Volunteer Deserving Of An Award

Tue, 01/26/2016 - 3:01pm

March 4th may seem far away, but February will go by fast! March 4th is the deadline for all Adult Recognition nomination paperwork.

What better way to show your appreciation towards a volunteer or organization, than by nominating them for an award? If you’re not sure where to begin, start with the Volunteer of Excellence award. This award is for any Girl Scout volunteer who has gone above and beyond in their service of directly partnering with girls. This could be a troop leader, cookie mom, camp volunteer, you name it! If you know of a volunteer that has provided exceptional service to a particular region, or even the whole Council, there are awards for that too.

Now, what about you? Have you completed all suggested learning? If so, you can apply for a Trained Leader ID Pin. You can also submit your name if you have completed membership or volunteer years of service in 5 year intervals. For more information, and for a complete listing of awards, please visit our Awards & Recognition page.

Some awards require nomination letters. If you need help with writing a nomination letter, you can check out our Short & Snappy training on that topic.

For additional questions, you can contact Stephanie McCue at stephanie.mccue@gsnim.org or 800-283-4812 x502.

Also, be on the lookout for upcoming information on our Adult Recognition event on May 15, at Camp Logan.

Girl Scout Cookie Fun Facts!

Tue, 01/26/2016 - 11:27am

Check out these tasty tidbits! 

• Juliette Gordon Low initiated the cookie sale as a way for Girl Scouts to be self-reliant and to fund their own activities.

• In the 1920s and 1930s, Girl Scouts in different parts of the country baked their own simple sugar cookies and sold them to raise money for their activities.

• The first documented councilwide sale of commercially baked cookies took place in Philadelphia in 1934.

• The first national Girl Scout Cookie sale was held in 1936.

• Over the years, cookie varieties have come and gone in response to changing consumer tastes. However, Shortbread has been around from the early days. The only modification to this traditional favorite has been been two “facelifts”—one in 1979 and one in 2010, both to mirror updates to the Girl Scouts service mark.

• Thin Mints® is the top-selling Girl Scout Cookie in America!

• In 1948, a total of 29 companies were licensed to bake Girl Scout Cookies. Today there are two official Girl Scout Cookie bakers. ABC Bakers has been an officially licensed Girl Scout Cookie baker for more than 75 years.

• Each season, Girl Scouts sell almost 200 million packages of Girl Scout Cookies!

• Caramel, cooked to a rich creamy consistency, and a special toasted flaked coconut make ABC’s Caramel deLites® the second-best-selling Girl Scout Cookie and place it in the top five of cookies sold in the United States, annually.

• All of ABC’s Girl Scout Cookie varieties are cholesterol free.

• For every box of Girl Scout Cookies you buy, more than two-thirds of your purchase price is put to use by Girl Scout councils in your community.

• By eliminating the box for Thanks-A-Lot®Cranberry Citrus Crisps, and Lemonades™ Girls Scout Cookies, Girl Scouts of the USA and ABC Bakers are taking hundreds of tons of paperboard out of the waste stream annually. That’s at least enough paperboard to fill 14 garbage trucks* and yields energy savings equivalent to 30,000 gallons of gasoline**!

• People who may be following diabetic diets can find dietary exchange rates on our Nutrition Facts page and listed on our order card.

• Our Thin MintsThanks-A-LotLemonades and Peanut Butter Patties Girl Scout Cookies are vegan.

• All of ABC’s Girl Scout Cookie varieties have a trans fat value of zero grams per serving.

• Our Thanks-A-Lot Girl Scout Cookies speak five different languages—English, Spanish, French, Chinese, and Swahili!

• Our cookies are made with pure vegetable shortening and all eight varieties are kosher. Kosher certification is provided by the Orthodox Union Rabbinical supervision. Each package is marked with the circle UD emblem.

• When eaten in moderation as part of a healthy balanced diet, ABC Girl Scout Cookies are satisfying treats for consumers, and most importantly, they provide a meaningful leadership experience for Girl Scouts!

• ABC does not use any artificial preservatives or artificial colors in our Girl Scout Cookies.

• Imitated but never duplicated, Peanut Butter Patties®­ have been in our Girl Scout Cookie line for more than 30 years. They are the third-best-selling Girl Scout Cookie and are among the top 10 best-selling cookies in America.