1st Source Bank Donates $24,000 to Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana Michiana

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 8:21am
1st Source Bank has donated $24,000 to Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana Michiana. Larry Mayers, 1st Source Fort Wayne Region President, presented the donation to Girl Scouts CEO Sharon Pohly and Jill LaFountain, Director of Development. The funds will assist the Girl Scouts with several initiatives including a STEM Conference in Kosciusko County to promote science, technology, engineering and math fields for girls, and a new Afterschool Community Troop program in which girls will explore the three keys to leadership (Discover, Connect, Take Action).

Welcome Our New Little Free Library

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 3:25pm

Guess What’s Coming to the Fort Wayne LLC?  Our Fort Wayne office will be the proud owner of a Little Free Library this Saturday, November 3, 2014. We are thrilled and honored to have been selected by the Fort Wayne Rotary Club to host one of these structures on our property. If you’re available, stop out this Saturday morning at 10am and join us as we celebrate this new edition to our facility.

What is a Little Free Library, you ask?

It’s a “take a book, return a book” gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories. In its most basic form, a Little Free Library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share.

Little Free Library Story from Beargrass Media on Vimeo.


Catholic Involvement Helps Girl Scouts Feed Their Hunger For The Holy

Tue, 11/04/2014 - 3:20pm

Catholic involvement helps Girl Scouts feed their ‘hunger for the holy’

By Marie Mischel
Catholic News Service

SALT LAKE CITY (CNS) — One hundred years ago, Cardinal James Gibbons of Baltimore endorsed the work of the Girl Scouts and their relationship with the Catholic Church.

That relationship remains vibrant today as evidenced by the participation of the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry in the 2014 national convention of the Girls Scouts of the USA, held Oct. 14-18 in Salt Lake City.

A Girl Scout from Utah recites the Girl Scout promise prior to Mass at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City Oct. 18. Girl Scouts from across the country celebrated the organization’s 100-year relationship with the Catholic Church while visiting the cathedral during the Scouts’ 53rd national convention.

There are an estimated 400,000 Catholic girls among the nation’s 3 million Girl Scouts.

Robert McCarty, the federation’s executive director, noted that the Girl Scouts as an organization was one of the foundation’s earliest members.

“Girl Scouting is such an integral part of what we do in Catholic youth ministry across the country,” McCarty said during an Oct. 17 breakfast hosted by the Washington-based federation.

The Catholic organization provides resources, networking and training for the development of youth ministry, and “we think of Girl Scout leaders as essentially youth leaders in a different setting,” he said.

Young people hunger for recognition that they have gifts to share, they hunger for meaning and purpose, they hunger for connection to family and friends, they hunger for justice, and “the fifth hunger is the hunger for the holy,” McCarty said.

“Young people will go where their hungers are fed. We need to be the church that feeds those hungers; Girl Scouting needs to be one of those organizations that feeds those hungers or they will go somewhere else for those hungers to be fed.”

McCarty noted that misinformation about Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood caused difficulties for some Catholics. He met with Girl Scout leaders on several occasions about Catholic concerns brought to the federation’s attention.

Responding to concerns about Catholic involvement with Girl Scouts, a U.S. bishops’ committee released key points from its dialogue with Girl Scout leaders outlining major concerns of church leaders and the national organization’s responses.

The aim of the resource, issued last April by the bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, was not to support or oppose Catholic involvement with Girl Scouts of the USA, known as GSUSA, but to provide local bishops, pastors, youth leaders and parents with necessary information to determine their level of involvement.

GSUSA’s position is that “no monies collected by Girl Scouts for any purpose, including our girls’ cookie sales, will be given to Planned Parenthood or any other organization” that advocates on issues such as abortion and contraception.

There are four Catholic religious recognition programs the organization offers to Girl Scouts and they are geared specifically to grade levels. In addition, there are two Girl Scout medals that recognize adults who “model the highest ideals for young people.”

Girl Scouting “provides a framework and a structure where a girl can integrate her faith while she’s growing and developing, so in terms of character development, through the recognition programs, you can increase their faith,” said Kathleen Carver, associate director of the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry.

The “Family of God” and “I Live My Faith” programs, which are for the younger girls, “are done more in the homes with the parents, and so it’s also a way of reaching parents and helping them take on their role as educators of their children in the faith,” Carver pointed out.

Diane Flanagan, Region 10 representative for the Catholic Committee for Girl Scouts USA and Camp Fire USA, said the two organizations form “a perfect partnership.”

In Scouting, girls learn to discover, connect and then take action, which is the most important piece because “you’re engaging with your community to do something to make the world a better place,” Flanagan said. “I think that those three keys to leadership marry perfectly with the church and it enhances both; it enhances the Girl Scout experience and it enhances the faith.”

Among those who attended the breakfast were two of GSUSA’s National Young Women of Distinction, the highest honor in the organization: Catherine Riordan, from Ohio, and Laura Robert Rivera, from Puerto Rico. Both young women said the networking opportunities at the national convention were helping them further the reach of their Gold Award projects, which are meant to make the world a better place.

Riordan designed picnic tables that are wheelchair accessible, and Rivera created a child abuse prevention awareness program that ran in 36 schools in Puerto Rico.

“I’ve met so many inspiring women … who have really motivated me to keep on moving with my project and taking it elsewhere,” Rivera said.

- – -

Mischel is the editor of the Intermountain Catholic, newspaper of the Diocese of Salt Lake City.

Free Healthy Habits Booklets Download Available

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 10:28am

Back-to-school is a time of year when Girl Scout volunteers may be looking for simple ways to introduce new activities into troop meetings. Our Healthy Habits Journey companion booklets, available to volunteers at no cost, are a great way to incorporate healthy-living activities into the Girl Scout Leadership Experience for Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors.

Simply download the booklet for easy-to-use tips and activities that correspond to the It’s Your Planet—Love it! Journeys. And for more inspiration and ideas, check out how troops across the country have encouraged nutritious eating and physical activity using Healthy Habits.

You’re Invited To A Birthday Party!

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 9:42am

Can you believe it’s been 2,191 days since merger?!  GSNI-M would like you to join us on Wednesday, October 1, from 9-5 for cupcakes and refreshments to celebrate!


2015 Prudential “Spirit of Community” Awards

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 8:21am

Are you a middle school or high school student who’s making a difference through volunteering?  Apply for a 2015 Prudential Spririt of Community Award and you could win $1,000 and a trip to Washington, DC next may!

Girl Scouts in grades 5 through 12 who are making an exceptional difference through volunteer service are eligible for a prestigious Spirit of Community Award from Prudential, which includes up to $11,000 in prize, scholarship, and DC-travel money combined. Last year among the ten national honorees selected were two Girl Scouts, high-schooler Jessica Bird from California and middle-schooler Morgan Guess from Kentucky.

Click here to apply

Introducing ‘Trios’, the new Gluten-free cookie!

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 10:45am

Chocolate chips nestled in a gluten free peanut butter oatmeal cookie.

Millions of Americans have problems eating food with gluten – so Girl Scouts and ABC Bakers has created a delicious cookie just for them! Made with real chocolate chips, real peanut butter and certified gluten free whole grain oats, Trios are available for a limited time and must be specially ordered by next Friday! Click here for the order form or talk to your troop leader for more information!


Mon, 09/15/2014 - 8:56am

Are you a middle school or high school student who’s making a difference through volunteering?  Apply for a 2015 Prudential Spririt of Community Award and you could win $1,000 and a trip to Washington, DC next may!

Girl Scouts in grades 5 through 12 who are making an exceptional difference through volunteer service are eligible for a prestigious Spirit of Community Award from Prudential, which includes up to $11,000 in prize, scholarship, and DC-travel money combined. Last year among the ten national honorees selected were two Girl Scouts, high-schooler Jessica Bird from California and middle-schooler Morgan Guess from Kentucky.

Click here to apply

Scouts need more local girls

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 1:04pm

Posted on Tue. Sep. 09, 2014 – 12:01 am EDT

Scouts need more local girls Looking to build troop membership, increase volunteers Steve Warden The Journal Gazette

Steve Warden
The Journal Gazette


Chole Herschberger, 7, a Daisy Girl Scout, cuts out a lion for a collage at Cedar Canyon Elemenatry School. — Photos by Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette

The Girl Scouts of America is pushing more than cookies.

Across the country, including regionally, where there are an estimated 800 troops in the local council that spans northern Indiana and southern Michigan, the organization is selling its brand and getting its message out: The scouts want more members and volunteers.

Teena Weathersby-Hampton, director of mission delivery operations for the Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana, says there is a concentrated effort to have more girls join the national organization that was founded in 1912. Nearly 13,000 girls between the ages of 6 and 18 are members in the local council, with 2.3 million girls and nearly 900,000 volunteers nationally.

But Weathersby-Hampton and the local council hope to attract new members to replace the girls who have left the scouts for various reasons or simply reached the age limit.

“The good thing about it is when we go to schools and do recruitments and go to churches, there are a lot of girls who want to be Girl Scouts,” Weathersby-Hampton says. “But the unfortunate thing is if we don’t have volunteers, they’re not able to gain that experience. At the same time we’re trying to recruit girls, we’re trying to recruit volunteers because we need those volunteers in order to form those girls into troops. Some of them are troop leaders and some of them are administrative-level volunteers. We just don’t have enough troop leaders.”

The trick is finding both volunteers and the girls to join. And that hasn’t been easy through the years.

“Our research has shown, depending on the socioeconomic class of some of the girls, that a lot of our girls are over-scheduled and just have an abundance of things going on,” Weathersby-Hampton says. “The parents are having to decide what they will do or what they don’t do. But then there are some girls in some of our urban areas who are under-scheduled, and that don’t have a lot of things to do.

“Girls are dancing more. They’re cheerleading, which is also a sport. They’re playing a lot of basketball and swimming and volleyball. Girls sports have really picked up, and it does put a challenge on us as far as Girl Scouts and being able to offer this program.”

Nationally, the Girl Scouts of America started an “I can’t wait to” membership campaign which says, “When you just can’t wait for what you’ll do next, you can do anything!”

“It’s to get girls excited about all the opportunities there are with Girl Scouts,” says Tony Belton, the local member communications manager.

Belton said the national organization, as well as the Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana, are marketing to all ages on websites, direct mailing and social media.

“Our mission is to build girls with courage, confidence and character,” Belton says. Many girls, he said, attend camps that are available year-round. And much like their Boy Scouts counterparts, Girl Scouts teach outdoor and camping skills.

While Belton acknowledges the Girl Scouts are seen by the public during the cookie-selling campaign in January, February and early March, he hopes they will become more visible the rest of the year.

“That’s up to us in making sure we let people know about the other things we have going on out there,” he says. “A lot of times people just associate Girl Scouts with camping and cookies, and that’s true. That’s what we are, but we’re so much more than that, as well.”

Girl Scout Daisy leader Angie Finefrock helps her scouts with a collage during a Troop 273 meeting Wednesday