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Media

We always invite our local media to ask us about Girl Scouting- whether it has to do with a troop project, recognizing a dedicated volunteer or our Girl Scout history, we are delighted to assist media outlets with a story, sharing the impact our program has on the local community.

If you represent a media outlet, please contact Meghan Cochrane, Director of Marketing & Communications or call 800-239-6636 to set up an interview.

Ozark Girl Scout Elizabeth Schisler Goes Gold
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Elizabeth Schisler Receives Girl Scouts Highest Honor for Creating a Summer Reading Camp in Order to Fight Illiteracy in Her Community.

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) would like to recognize Northside Methodist Academy student Elizabeth Schisler for receiving the highest honor a Girl Scout can achieve, the Gold Award – putting her into an elite group of Girl Scouts.

Less than 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts nationwide earn the Gold Award. It recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action projects. Since 1916, girls have successfully answered the call to “Go Gold,” an act that indelibly marks them as accomplished members of their communities and the world. 

Schisler first came up with the idea for her Girl Scout Gold Award project after noticing a friend having a hard time spelling. After doing some research, she found that this wasn't uncommon for people who didn't get a firm foundation in reading and spelling. That's when Schisler decided she needed to take action and fight against illiteracy in her community.  

“At first, I was nervous to start my Gold Award Project, says Schisler." "Thankfully, my sister assured me that if I worked hard and believed in what I was doing, I would succeed. I took what she said to heart since she too completed her Gold Award. She helped me overcome my intimidation for my Gold Award and pursue it wholeheartedly.”

For Schisler’s Gold Award project she successfully created a summer reading camp at the Boys and Girls Club of Ozark. To prepare she spent time researching different techniques and learning methods that would work best for her project. She also underwent Gold Award training and did volunteer training at the Boys and Girls Club in preparation of her summer camp.

“Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama’s (GSSA) mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place,” said GSSA CEO Karlyn Edmonds. “Elizabeth saw a need in her community and took action. Her extraordinary dedication, perseverance, and leadership are making the world a better place.”

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. Earning the Gold Award is just one of the amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts. To join Girl Scouts or learn more about volunteering, please visit www.girlscoutssa.org.

Montgomery Troop Explores Underground Cavern
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Local Girl Scout Troop Goes Cave Crawling Through One of Chattanooga’s Oldest Caverns.

Girl Scout Troop 9327 showed what it means to be #Risk-takers while exploring the unknown and venturing deep into one of Chattanooga’s oldest Caverns- Raccoon Mountain, to gain their Eco Explorer badge.

During their trip, the troop took a cave tour through the cavern and learned about the formations and creatures that live within the cave. They also went on a Canyon Crawl Expedition, which was a 1-mile long.

“We crawled in all sorts of tight spaces, climbed with a rope, and got really muddy,” says Claire H. “The guide was great at explaining and we all helped each other with tips along the way. It was really fun!”

In pursuing their Eco Explorer badge, the girls had to face many obstacles and fears. It took great courage for the girls to step out of their comfort zone and climb down into the dark underground, with only their headlamps to brighten the way. While crawling the troop acted courageously and overcame their fears. Boosting their self-confidence; with each underground obstacle, the girls grew more confident in their personal abilities. And with each difficulty, the girls extended a helping hand to one another- building character. Girl Scouts mission is to build girls of courage, confidence and character, and this expedition did just that!

For more information on how your daughter can explore leadership, build skills, and develop a deep appreciation for nature, visit www.girlscoutssa.org.

ELMORE TROOP EARNS BRONZE AWARD
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Elmore County Troop #9078 Earned Their Bronze Award for Building a Little Library in Their Community

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) is honored to present the members of Troop 9078 with the Girl Scout Bronze Award, the highest recognition for achievement in Girl Scouting for girls in grades 4-5.

Girl Scouting’s highest awards-the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards are a girl’s chance to make a lasting difference in their community and the world.

Members of the troop to receive the award are Bailey, Bella, Cayden, Michelle, Sydney, Caitlyn, Avery and Abby.

These #INNOVATORS saw a need in their community and made it happen! Since there isn’t a library close by, the girls decided they wanted to help the members of their community have an easier way to enjoy books.

“We chose this project because we live in a rural community with no public library,” said Bella from Troop 9078. “So, we decided to make a free little library to encourage others to read.”

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. Earning the Bronze Award is just one of the amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts. To join Girl Scouts or learn more about volunteering, please visit www.girlscoutssa.org.

ENTERPRISE GIRL SCOUTS RECEIVE SILVER AWARD
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Enterprise Girl Scouts Earn Silver Award for Donating Nearly 600 Whisper Phones to the Enterprise Early Education Center

 

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) is honored to present Makayla Johnson, Kendall DeTora and Emma DeTora with the Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest recognition a Girl Scout Cadette can earn.

For their project, the girls built nearly 600 whisper phones and distributed them to the students at Enterprise Early Education Center. These phones are a small, lightweight auditory feedback device, which allows a child to speak softly into it while listening to the clarity and pronunciation of their words. These innovators also built a website and passed out business cards with the web address, to better inform the public about the benefits of whisper phones.

“It was certainly a learning experience for the girls. As the girls are getting older they are learning that they each have their own skill set, says Project Advisor Sandra DeTora. “For example one is good at dealing with adults, one is good at dealing with children, and one has an artistic/engineering mind that is great for planning. The girls now see their differences not as something that makes them different, but as talents that make them unique.”

The Girl Scout Silver Award is one of countless awards and programs in Girl Scouts where leadership takes center stage. Service is built into all aspects of Girl Scouts with the hope that girls like Kendall, Makayla and Emma will carry a commitment to serving others into their adult lives.

“We are beyond proud to honor these girls accomplishments with the Silver Award,” said GSSA CEO Karlyn Edmonds. “This award requires extreme efforts at a young age, and it represents these girls commitment and to their community, as they focus on leadership, personal challenges, and completing a lasting project that will help benefit their community.”

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. Earning the Silver Award is just one of the amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts. To join Girl Scouts or learn more about volunteering, please visit www.girlscoutssa.org.

SAMANTHA AMMETER GOES GOLD
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Samantha Ammeter Receives Girl Scouts Highest Honor for Holding a Summer Camp for Children.

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) would like to recognize Booker T. Washington student Samantha Ammeter for receiving the highest honor a Girl Scout can achieve, the Gold Award – putting her into an elite group of Girl Scouts.

Less than 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts nationwide earn the Gold Award. It recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action projects. Since 1916, girls have successfully answered the call to “Go Gold,” an act that indelibly marks them as accomplished members of their communities and the world. 

Ammeter was inspired for her Gold Award Project after talking with a friend about summer plans. It was at that moment that she realized the Garden Square Community could benefit from a summer camp for kids.

For her project, she created a camp for children who wanted to participate in fun summer activities but had no means of paying for it or transportation to and from. The camp included educational, religious, outdoor recreation, and arts and crafts exponents.

When asked if she had any advice for girls looking to pursue their Gold Award she said, “My advice is to find a project you are truly passionate about. Just doing a project to get it over with and put on a resume will not leave as much of an impact on you as something you are passionate about. My Gold Project has definitely changed me for the better.”

“Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award is truly a remarkable achievement, and this exemplifies leadership in all its forms, “said GSSA CEO Karlyn Edmonds. “Samantha Ammeter saw a need in the community and took action. Her extraordinary dedication, perseverance, and leadership are making the world a better place.”

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. Earning the Gold Award is just one of the amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts. To join Girl Scouts or learn more about volunteering, please visit www.girlscoutssa.org.

Olivia Stanwick Earns Highest Honor
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Olivia Stanwick Receives Girl Scouts Highest Honor for Creating Puppet Centers for Special Education Classrooms

Gold Award Girl Scouts are challenged to change the world—or at least their corner of it, and Auburn Girl Scout Olivia Stanwick did just that.

Olivia’s Gold Award project focused on one of her passions- helping people with special needs. After creating puppet centers for special education classrooms in the Auburn City School System, she held a puppet workshop at Auburn High School for the self-contained classroom, and for the Future Teachers of America student organization. Stanwick came up with the idea for her project when she was giving a presentation about self-contained classrooms at the National Conference Educators Rising in Phoenix, AZ.

“My goal was to make a difference in the lives of people with special needs,” says Stanwick. “I did not get discouraged from working on my project because I knew that what I was doing would be useful in special needs classrooms throughout the Auburn City School System.”

The Gold Award represents the highest achievement Girl Scouts can achieve. It recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action projects. Since 1916, girls have successfully answered the call to “Go Gold”, an act that indelibly marks them as accomplished members of their communities and the world.

Stanwick continues to pursue her passion for special needs at Auburn University, where she is a freshman majoring in Special Education.

“Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama’s (GSSA) mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place,” said GSSA CEO Karlyn Edmonds. “Olivia Stanwick's accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.”

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. Earning the Gold Award is just one of the amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts. To join Girl Scouts or learn more about volunteering, please visit www.girlscoutssa.org.

Girl Scouts Looking For Volunteers
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VOLUNTEER AT THE BEST LEADERSHIP PROGRAM FOR GIRLS IN THE WORLD

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) is now seeking volunteers to help build the go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders of tomorrow.

Girl Scouts is a one-of-a-kind, proven leadership development program that pairs girls with strong, caring female role models and mentors who prepare them to take the lead from age five to 18 and into adulthood.

“To create more female leaders, we need to start young and make sure today’s girls are acquiring the courage, confidence, character, and other skills they need to take the reins of leadership in the 21stcentury,” said Karlyn Edmonds, Chief Executive Officer of GSSA. “We cannot do this without the community stepping up to help us build the next generation of female leadership.”

At Girl Scouts, there are volunteer opportunities for everyone, from troop roles to role models. Whether you can give a day, a few weeks, or the whole year, it all starts with the volunteers.

“As a volunteer, you’ll have the opportunity to see girls take the lead in a range of activities−from kayaking, archery, and camping, to coding, robotics, and financial literacy,” said GSSA volunteer Sue Williams. “The impact, memories, and excitement you’ll gain from becoming a volunteer is unimaginable.”

Adult volunteers are vital for the survival of continuing the best leadership experience for girls in the world. For more information on how to volunteer or become a Girl Scout, visit girlscoutssa.org or call 800-239-6636.

Thirty New Girl Scout Badges Now Available to Power Girl Leadership in Key 21st Century Issues
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Thirty New Girl Scout Badges Now Available to Power Girl Leadership in Key 21st Century Issues

The all-girl organization proven to equip girls to create positive change has released new badges in environmental advocacy, space science, robotics, and more.

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) recently  revealed 30 new badges now available exclusively for girls ages 5–18 that not only enhance the one-of-a-kind Girl Scout experience, but also address some of society’s most pressing needs, such as cybersecurity, environmental advocacy, mechanical engineering, robotics, computer science, and space exploration. In a safe all-girl space, Girl Scouts develop important soft skills, including confidence and perseverance, as well as hard skills, setting them up for success and preparing them to take action for a better world. Today’s youth are more vocal than ever about the change they want to see, and Girl Scouts are the most equipped with the skills needed to make a real impact. The results are proven: girls who participate in Girl Scouts are more than twice as likely to exhibit community problem-solving skills than girls who don’t (57 percent versus 28 percent).

The unique Girl Scout environment provides fun, exciting, and essential experiences that carry into girls’ future careers and life success; the KPMG Women's Leadership Study of more than 3,000 professional and college women shows that early exposure to leadership has a significant impact on a woman’s perceptions of her ability to lead. Additionally, 76 percent of women today wish they had learned more about leadership and had more leadership opportunities while growing up, demonstrating how imperative it is for girls and volunteers to join Girl Scouts.

The new programming for girls in grades 6–12 includes:

·       Environmental Stewardship badges, GSUSA’s first-ever badge series focused on environmental advocacy. Girls in grades 6–12 prepare for outdoor experiences and take action on environmental issues. Although Girl Scouts have been advocating for the environment since the organization’s founding 106 years ago, these badges are the first to specifically prepare girls to be environmental advocates who address problems, find solutions, and protect the natural world (funded by the Elliott Wildlife Values Project).

·       Badges that teach girls how to program, design, and showcase robots, completing the suite of Robotics badges GSUSA first introduced for grades K–5 last year.

·       The College Knowledge badge for Girl Scouts in grades 11 and 12, the first badge completely dedicated to college exploration. By showing girls how to research the admissions process, financial aid, and other factors, the badge fills a specific need that girls asked for—and that many do not have support for outside Girl Scouts.

·       Two Girl Scout Leadership Journeys: Think Like a Programmer (funded by Raytheon) provides a strong foundation in computational thinking and the framework for Girl Scouts’ first ever national Cyber Challenge, coming in 2019. The Think Like an Engineer Journey exposes girls to design thinking to understand how engineers solve problems. As with all Leadership Journeys, girls complete hands-on activities and use their newly honed skills to take action on a problem in their community. The programming aims to prepare girls to pursue careers in fields such as cybersecurity, computer science, and robotics.

Girls in grades K–5 can now earn badges in:

·       Environmental Stewardship, through which girls learn how to respect the outdoors and take action to protect the natural world (funded by the Elliott Wildlife Values Project).

·       Cybersecurity, introducing girls to age-appropriate online safety and privacy principles, information on how the internet works, and how to spot and investigate cybercrime (funded by Palo Alto Networks).  

·       Space Science, enabling girls to channel their inner NASA scientist as they learn about objects in space and how astronomers conduct investigations. (funded by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and led by the SETI Institute).

·       Mechanical Engineering for Girl Scout Juniors, through which girls in grades 4 and 5 design paddle boats, cranes, and balloon-powered cars, learning about buoyancy, potential and kinetic energy, machines, and jet propulsion. Following last year’s introduction of Mechanical Engineering badges for girls in grades K–3, the addition of these badges for Girl Scout Juniors means that all Girl Scouts in elementary school can now have hands-on engineering experiences.

GSUSA works with top organizations in fields that interest today’s girls. Combined with Girl Scouts’ expertise in girl leadership, these organizations and specialists advise and inform on content to provide the most cutting-edge programming available to girls. Content collaborators include Code.org, the Cyber Innovation Center, robotics educator and author Kathy Ceceri, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, the Museum of Science, Boston, and WGBH’s Design Squad Global. Girl Scouts themselves also rigorously tested some of the new offerings, including the Think Like a Programmer activities and the Space Science and Cybersecurity badges, which were announced last year and are now available for girls around the country to earn.

GSSA RECOGNIZES LEADING LADIES OF MOBILE

More than one hundred people gathered at Moe's Original BBQ in downtown Mobile on June 28th to congratulate this year’s Leading Ladies. These ladies were selected from community nominations, representing a wide variety of backgrounds and careers.

The Leading Ladies Awards Reception serves as a forum for recognizing outstanding women in southern Alabama, but also as an important awareness event to promote Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA).

Karlyn Edmonds, Chief Executive Officer of GSSA, was the emcee for the evening and began the ceremony by informing guests on what the Girl Scout Experience Leadership offers.

“At Girl Scouts, we stand by our mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place,” said Edmonds. “We believe that is exactly what the Leading Ladies recognized at this event represent.”

The Leading Ladies recognition celebrates individuals who are making a positive impact in their professional lives and in their communities. The nominees were Chasity Byrd, Meteorologist, Fox 10; Casi Calloway, Executive Director, Mobile Baykeeper; Jill Chenoweth, President and CEO, United Way of Southwest Alabama; Hayley Hill, Editor in Chief, Access Magazine; Ruby McCullough, Co-Founder and Vice President, Thriveway Consulting; Dr. Monica Motley; Ashley Rich, District Attorney, Mobile County; Aimee Riser, Chief Executive Officer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Alabama; Elizabeth Stevens, President and CEO, Downtown Mobile Alliance; and Chandra Brown Stewart, Executive Director, Lifelines Counseling Services.

GSSA also recognized a special honoree, Gigi Baroco.  Baroco has served as a Girl Scout volunteer for more than 50 years in multiple states.  Alongside her husband, Henry Baroco, she accepted her recognition with a standing ovation.

The Leading Ladies each received a custom, handmade ceramic plate depicting the Girl Scout Trefoil commissioned by local artist Lisa Warren. 

Leading Lady, Chasity Byrd, spoke of her appreciation for Girl Scouts. “Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama celebrated ‘Leading Ladies’, but really the Girl Scouts are the ones who should be honored, Byrd said. They continue to teach young girls confidence and drive, and the give them tools needed to be productive members of their community.”

The evening concluded with Laura Searcy, a GSSA Board Member, asking the guests to support Girl Scouts. “When you invest in Girl Scouts, you help change the world,” Searcy said.  She also challenged the males to join the “Man Enough to Be a Girl Scout” network to show their support for future women leaders.

Sponsors for the Leading Ladies event included: BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama, Iberia Bank, Calagaz Printing, Merrill Lynch- the Richardson Wealth Management Group, SmithDukes, New York Life, Regions and the Downtown Mobile Alliance.

For more than 100 years, Girl Scouts has provided life-changing leadership opportunities for every G.I.R.L. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit www.girlscoutssa.org.

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama Honors Local Girl Scout
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Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) is honored to present Sarah Stone, a student at Montgomery Academy, with the Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest award girls ages 11-14 can earn in Girl Scouts.

Stone received the Silver Award by supporting the Montgomery Humane Society. She spent over 50 hours making blankets, volunteering at shelter adoption fairs, socializing with dogs at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and working hands-on at the animal shelter.

“Through this project, I learned how to advocate for something I’m passionate about, as well as communication skills from working with different people, and time management by having to finish in a year while keeping my grades up,“ said Stone.

Stone made 28 blankets for various dog and cat kennels at the Montgomery Humane Society. Neighbors and the community provided her with the materials for this portion of the project.

“The Girl Scout Silver Award gives girls the chance to do big things and make their community better in the process,” said Karlyn Edmonds, CEO of GSSA. “I am immensely proud of Sarah’s accomplishments, and in the future, I hope she decides to “Go Gold” and earn her Girl Scout Gold Award.”

The Girl Scout Silver Award is a prerequisite for the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest recognition a girl member can earn in Girl Scouts.

Earning the Silver Award is just one of the amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts. To join Girl Scouts or learn more about volunteering, please visit www.girlscoutssa.org.

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama Announces Winners for 2018 Leading Ladies Awards
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Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) announced Jannah Bailey, Executive Director of Child Protect as the 2018 Leading Lady, and Valley National Bank (formerly USAmeriBank) as the 2018 Leading Workplace for Women. 

Over one hundred and seventy people gathered to honor the twelve Leading Ladies and four Leading Workplaces who were nominated by the community at Wynlakes Country Club on April 17th.   

The Leading Lady Award celebrates individuals who are making a positive impact in their professional lives and in their communities.

“I am honored and humbled to have been named the 2018 Leading Lady,” said Bailey. “Being a Girl Scout mixed with being raised by such a strong, courageous, and independent mother molded me into the best woman I can be for my family, community, and faith in God.”

The Leading Workplace for Women Award recognizes an organization that supports girl and women’s leadership and success. 

Accepting the award for the Leading Workplace for Women, Caryn Hughes, Senior Vice President  and Commercial Lending Executive for Alabama commented, “I am so excited to accept this award on the behalf of Valley National Bank.” “Many of the women I have the privilege of working with are with me today, and I can’t thank them enough for being excellent examples of strong women.” 

This event gives GSSA a chance to showcase outstanding women leaders making an impact on the community and organizations who are advancing women in the workforce. In addition, this is an important fundraising event for GSSA to continue to offer programming for the next generation of female leaders.

Other Leading Ladies nominees were Tiffany Bell, Owner & Manager, Pure Barre Montgomery & East Montgomery; Amanda Curran, Meteorologist, WSFA; Joyce Loyd-Davis, Nurse Practioner, Alabama State University; Ali Hawthorne, Principal, Beasley Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.; Felicia A. Long, Shareholder, Hill, Hill, Carter, Franco, Cole & Black, P.C.; Katie Lowder, Owner, Pure Barre Montgomery; Jennifer Nichols, Founder & President, Hand Up Enterprise; Pamela Schisler, Volunteer, Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama; Charisse Stokes, President, Tidal IT Solutions; Ronda Walker, Vice-Chairman, Montgomery County Commission; and Christina Steiner-Wilcoxson, Head Softball Coach, Alabama State University. 

Other Leading Workplace nominees were Hill, Hill, Carter, Franco, Cole & Black, P.C.; Nona Marie, Inc. DBA Tomatinos; and Café Louisa. 

For more than 100 years, Girl Scouts has provided life-changing leadership opportunities for every G.I.R.L (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, and Leader.) To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit www.girlscoutssa.org.

Camp like a G.I.R.L.
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Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) is offering a girl-friendly summer camp where your go-getter will be given endless opportunities to take the lead and let her inner G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader) potential shine.

All girls in grades 2nd-12th, even non-Girl Scouts, can enjoy a week (or two!) at summer camp on beautiful Lake Martin at Kamp Kiwanis or on the sandy hills surrounding pines and magnolias at Camp Scoutshire Woods, in Citronelle.

This summer camp allows girls to grow in confidence as they face and overcome challenges, connect with nature, and discover passions through the power of the great outdoors.

“Activities ranging from swimming, sailing, kayaking, to archery, horseback riding, and making s’mores under the stars, our camp offers everything your girl needs to explore, learn, and have fun!,” said Cheryl Miller, GSSA Camp Director. “Most importantly, we offer different sessions depending on your family needs.”

Summer Camp options feature a two-night sampler camp for rising 2nd-5thgraders and a weeklong resident camp. Camp dates range from June 3-29 with the Sail Away portion being July 5-12.

GSSA is committed to letting girls take the lead in an all-girl safe space where they’re free without the pressures and social anxiety that can result from a co-ed environment. Registration is open now until May 15.

For more information on how your daughter can explore leadership, build skills, and develop a deep appreciation for nature, visit www.girlscoutssa.org.

Girl Scouts Take Over the State House
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Legislators and other state elected officials gathered at the Alabama State House on March 8 with more than 100 Girl Scouts, volunteers, and Girl Scout staff in order to educate and raise awareness about issues important to girls and young women.

The day began with Girl Scouts leading the Legislature in prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. Girl Scouts then greeted elected officials at their offices with Girl Scout Cookies and questions targeting what their specific duties were to Alabama.

“Throughout the day, Girl Scouts from across Alabama shared their leadership experience and were shining examples of G.I.R.L.s (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader),” said Karlyn Edmonds, CEO of Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA). “Our goal was to share Girl Scout Programs that GSSA has been implementing all year, and the upcoming vision for the number one girl-led program, Girl Scouts.”

In an effort to build the leaders of tomorrow, GSSA prioritized the following initiatives:

•    Promote Economic Opportunities for Girls –  Increase involvement in STEM and strengthen their financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills.

•    Healthy Living Opportunities for Girls – Increase access to outdoor activities and prevent bullying/relational aggression and build healthy relationships.

•    Fostering Global Citizenship and a Global Voice for Girls - Girl Scouts is dedicated to ensuring that girls develop an increased awareness of the larger world around them and understand their relationship to it—even if they don’t travel beyond their own community—so they can grow into responsible global citizens. 

•    Supporting a Strong Non-Profit Community That Encourages the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Girl Scouts support policies that help nonprofits screen, recruit, and retain staff and volunteers, as well as incentivize charitable giving. Charitable giving policies fuel the health of our nation and communities around the world.

Girl Scout Advocacy Day is just one of the ways Girl Scouts works across party lines to educate and raise awareness about issues important to girls and young women. Through their advocacy efforts, Girl Scouts demonstrates to policymakers the need to inspire, prepare, and mobilize girls and those who care about them to lead positive change through civic action. 

Girl Scout Troop Wins First Annual Multi-Rotor Competition
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Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) Troop 8393 won the 1st Annual Multi-Rotor Competition while being the only girl participants. The event was hosted by General Dynamic Mission Systems and Mobile Makerspace at St.Mark United Methodist Church.

Leading up to the competition these go-getters dedicated several hours to designing and building a custom frame for their multi-rotor drones.

“This was event was much more challenging than we anticipated,” said Troop Leader, Katie Hoseman. “But the girls were persistent, and I really think it taught them not to give up, as well as not to be afraid to try new things.” 

The competition consisted of 5 rounds; 2 minutes each. Five gates were set up in heat.

The Girl Scout Troop divided into two teams, The Drone Divas and the Powerful Pilots. Taking on ten other teams, the Drone Divas won overall first placed, while the Powerful Pilots placed 1st runner-up, plus an award for best frame design.

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. To join or volunteer, visit www.girlscoutssa.org.

Girl Scouts Help Give a Taste of Home to Soldiers
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Giving back is in the Girl Scout DNA, and this year Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) is giving back through Operation Cookie Care Package (OCCP).

OCCP is a program through which customers make donations to Girl Scout Troops to purchase Girl Scout Cookies for our brave military troops.

When the Girl Scout Cookie Program ends on March 4, GSSA will place a special order with the cookie baker, ABC Cookies. In May, GSSA will deliver cookies to the designated military organizations, such as the USO and also local military branches.

“Every day, in big and small ways, Girl Scouts are the G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders) who take action and build a better world for all of us,” Karlyn Edmonds, Chief Executive Officer for GSSA said. ”OCCP is just a small way of making the world a better place while showing appreciation to our military troops and veterans.”

The Girl Scout Cookie Program allows girls to develop five essential skills, such as goal setting, decision-making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. However, in addition to those skills, OCCP allows Girl Scouts to learn how to give back to those who give so much – our armed forces.

GSSA sent more than 7,000 cookies last year, and plans on exceeding that number with the community’s help. 

 

Girl Scout Cadette Earns Silver Award By Giving Back
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Girl Scout Ellie Stevens, is receiving her Silver Award, the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn.

Stevens achieved this prestigious status by planting vegetables in various gardens in her community. After the vegetables were ready-to-eat Stevens donated the goods to the Montgomery Area Food Bank and Salvation Army.

“I chose this Take Action Project so that I could give fresh food to those that were wanting a healthier lifestyle but couldn’t afford it,” said Stevens. “Through this project I learned the best way to plant seeds, grow vegetables, and most importantly how to help people in need.” 

Stevens also put her artistic skills to the test by creating coloring books to go along with the vegetables.

“We are beyond proud to honor Ellie’s accomplishments with the Silver Award,” said Karlyn Edmonds, CEO of Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama. “This award requires extreme efforts at a young age, and it represents a girl’s commitment and to her community, as she focuses on leadership, personal challenges, and completing a lasting project that will help benefit her community.”

In the end, Stevens spent more than 50 hours on this project. The result, however, will be long-lasting to the communitity.

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solution to social issues all while, building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. To join or volunteer, visit www.girlscoutssa.org.

Local Girl Scout Troop Receives Girl Scout Bronze Award
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Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) is honored to present the members of Troop 9016 with the Girl Scout Bronze Award, the highest recognition for achievement in Girl Scouting for girls in grades 4-5.

Girl Scouting’s highest awards-the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards-are a girl’s chance to make a lasting difference in the world.

Members of the troop to receive the award are: Reilyn B., Arielle C., Keeley G., MaryMargaret H., Sophia H., Kaylei M., and Zion W.

Troop 9016’s goal was to be an inspiration to the world around them. The troop collected crayons from their local community and melted them into butterfly and heart molds. The troop then proceeded to write inspirational quotes on each mold to take to local schools.

“We chose this project to inspire kids of all ages. I hope we encouraged them through our inspirational quotes to be themselves,” said Coley from Troop 9016. “Personally, I learned not all things are easy to accomplish. Even when you think it is going to be easy.”

The members of Troop 9016 used their strengths, talents, and skills and put their plan into action to earn the Bronze Award while each taking a leadership role.

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. To join or volunteer, visit www.girlscoutssa.org.

Girl Scouts Announce Details For The 2018 Cookie Season
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Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) Cookie Season is fastly approaching, and the chances of cheating on your New Years resolution with one or many of the delicious flavors is high.

S’mores, a popular flavor from last year, is back this season! The campfire cookie joins Thin Mints®, Caramel deLites®, Shortbread, Lemonades, Thanks-A-Lot®, Peanut Butter Patties®, Peanut Butter Sandwich, and gluten-free Trios. This means consumers will again be able to get their hands on the mouthwatering cookies that power unique and amazing experiences for girls with each and every purchase.

“During Girl Scout Cookie season, each young G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) is not only selling delicious cookies, but also building essential life skills, such as goal setting, people skills, and business ethics,” said Jana Reeves, Director of Product Programs. “These skills are essential for 21st century leadership.”

Girl Scouts will be showing off their cookie-selling skills by participating in booth (starting Jan 19), door-to-door, cookie drive-thrus, and digital sales from December 26 until March 4. The more cookies girls sell, the more earnings they have to power impactful community projects and personal enrichment experiences, such as STEM activities and traveling.

GSSA is also offering a Buy 5 Contest. Any consumer who buys five or more boxes of Girl Scout Cookies will be entered in a chance to win a year supply of Girl Scout Cookies. Girl Scout Cookies are $4, with the exception of Trios, which are $5.

Every purchase of Girl Scout Cookies is an investment in girls both now and in the future and their leadership capabilities, with 100 percent of the net revenue staying local. To learn more about the Girl Scout Cookie Program, and to find out when Girl Scouts will be selling near you, visit girlscoutssa.org/cookies.

Two Citronelle Girl Scouts Find Different Ways to Go Gold
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Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) congratulates two Citronelle High School Alumna, Erin Jones and Katelyn Nelson for earning their Girl Scout Gold Award. The Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador may earn.

Nelson’s goal was to create a spark within the community to fully preserve the history of Citronelle by creating the Citronelle Historic Society at Citronelle High School.

“History is something I have always been passionate about,” said Nelson. “At the Surrender Under the Oak festival, I noticed a lack of knowledge of the history of Citronelle. I knew my towns history would be lost within years unless I stepped up and took initiative to save it.”

Jones’ Gold Award focused on Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). SADD raises awareness about destructive decisions that have effect the community.

“We have lost a lot of students in my community, and it affected a lot of my friends lives.” said Jones. “With this project I got to educate my peers on the positive effects of making better decisions that advance their health and safety.”

Since earning their indivials Gold Awards, Jones and Katelyn both received schloarships from Girl Scout of Southern Alabama to higher their education at Troy Univerity.

“At GSSA we strive for every young woman to represent a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader),” GSSA CEO Karlyn Edmonds said. “Erin and Katelyn are prime examples of this acronym, and I am proud to call them Girl Scout Alumna.”

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. To join or volunteer, visit www.girlscoutssa.org.

Local Girl Scout Earns Bronze Award
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Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) is honored to present Mika Gaskill of Skipperville with the Girl Scout Bronze Award, the highest recognition for achievement in Girl Scouting for girls in grades 4 through 5. 

Gaskill built individual play boxes for cats at a local animal shelter. The boxes included a blanket, cat scratcher, and multiple hanging toys. 

“I felt accomplished when I finished my project. I loved seeing the cats, employees, and my troop leader happy,” Gaskill said. “It made me realize I made a small, but positive, difference in my community.” 

The Bronze Award recognizes Girl Scouts who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action projects that address important community needs. 

“Mika used great strength, talent, and skill to put her plan into action to earn her the Bronze Award.” GSSA CEO Karlyn Edmonds said. “Her passion for leadership shines through her project, and in the future I hope she decides to “Go Gold and earn her Girl Scout Gold Award. 

Girl Scouting’s highest awards—the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards—are a girl’s chance to make a lasting difference in the world. 

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. To join or volunteer, visit www.girlscoutssa.org

Auburn Girl Scout Earns Gold Award
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Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) is honored to present Elizabeth Turochy with the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest recognition for achievement in Girl Scouting for girls in grades 9 through 12. 

Turochy created a PSA to address the lack of seat belt usage in her community to earn her Gold Award. 

“Many people in my community either had misconceptions or were simply unaware of the benefits of wearing a seat beat,” Turochy said. “After the PSA was published, I got a lot of positive feedback. People were even telling me they couldn’t even put their car in drive without hearing the video in their head.” 

By earning the Girl Scout Gold Award, Turochy has become a community leader. Her accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart. 

“Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama’s mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place.” GSSA CEO Karlyn Edmonds said. “Elizabeth has made her corner of the world a better place, and I am beyond proud to say she is a Girl Scout from southern Alabama. We can’t wait to see the amazing things she accomplishes in the future.” 

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. To join or volunteer, visit www.girlscoutssa.org

Local Girl Scout Receives Girl Scouts Highest Award
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Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) congratulates Adrianna Gramelspacher for earning the Girl Scout Gold Award. Gramelspacher created the Thomasville Reusable Instrument Program (T.R.I.P.) to earn her Gold Award. T.R.I.P. focuses on the lack of instruments at Thomasville High School. 

“I realized that my school did not have a lot of instruments to borrow and students couldn’t afford new instruments,” Gramelspache said r. “The school and band boosters helped me make this PSA and get the community to donate old instruments.” 

By earning the Girl Scout Gold Award, Gramelspacher has become a community leader. Her accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart. 

The Gold Award represents the highest achievement a Girl Scout can achieve. It recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action Projects. Since 1916, girls have successfully answered the call to “Go Gold,” and act that indelibly marks them as accomplished members of their communities and the world. 

“Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award is truly a remarkable achievement, and this exemplifies leadership in all its forms,” GSSA CEO Karlyn Edmonds said. “Adrianna saw a need in her community and around the world and took action. Her extraordinary, dedication, perseverance, and leadership are making the world a better place.” 

Some universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award recipients, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements. 

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. To join or volunteer, visit www.girlscoutssa.org

23 New STEM and Outdoor Badges Enrich Girl Scout Programming, Helps Girls Excel in Life
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Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) recently released new badges in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and the outdoors, areas girls are not typically encouraged to explore outside of Girl Scouting. The badges will debut on the organization’s first digital platform for volunteers, making it more accessible than ever to unleash the power of every girl.

At a time when 81 percent of American voters think preparing girls for leadership roles should be a national priority, GSUSA—the preeminent leadership development organization for girls—offers girls even more opportunities to learn skills and empower themselves with the experiences they need to succeed in life. And as the Girl Scout Research Institute releases new findings that confirm the outstanding leadership outcomes that Girl Scouts exhibit compared to their non-Girl Scout peers, there has never been a better time to join.

New Programming in STEM and the Outdoors

Through hands-on and age-appropriate experiences for girls as young as five, Girl Scouts is both enhancing the important outdoor opportunities the organization is known for and addressing the lack of exposure many girls have to STEM. In fact, Girl Scouts are almost twice as likely as non–Girl Scouts to participate in STEM (60 percent versus 35 percent) and outdoor activities (76 percent versus 43 percent). With the introduction of 23 new badges, which marks the largest programming rollout in almost a decade, Girl Scouts can design robots and racecars, go on environmentally conscious camping trips, write code, collect data in the great outdoors, try their hand at engineering, and so much more. GSUSA created programming that included contributions from many notable organizations. Collaborators include the STEM-focused Code.orgGoldieBloxSciStarterSociety of Women Engineers, and WGBH/Design Squad Global, as well as the outdoor-focused Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

The new Girl Scout programming builds girls’ skills and encourages their interest in STEM and environmental conservation from an early age, increasing their confidence in these areas—in an all-girl environment where they feel comfortable trying new things, taking appropriate risks, and learning from failure. For more information about the new badges, visit www.girlscouts.org/ourprogram.

Girl Scouts Excel in Important Aspects of Life

A new report from the Girl Scout Research Institute, The Girl Scout Impact Study, shows that participating in Girl Scouts helps girls develop key leadership skills they need to be successful in life. Compared to their peers, Girl Scouts are more likely than non-Girl Scouts to be leaders because they:

·       Have confidence in themselves and their abilities (80% vs. 68%)

·       Act ethically and responsibly, and show concern for others (75% vs. 59%)

·       Seek challenges and learn from setbacks (62% vs. 42%)

·       Develop and maintain healthy relationships (60% vs. 43%)

·       Identify and solve problems in their communities (57% vs. 28%)

·       Take an active role in decision making (80% vs. 51%)

Importantly, what girls gain through Girl Scouting positively affects all areas of their lives. For example, Girl Scouts do better than their non–Girl Scout peers in the classroom, earning better grades and aspiring to higher educational attainment, and are more likely to seek careers in STEM, law, and business—industries in which women are underrepresented. And the benefits of Girl Scouting are not exclusive to any particular demographic, which means that no matter where girls live or what their age or background, Girl Scouts can help them develop to their full potential and excel in all aspects of life.

Digitizing the Volunteer Experience

The new Girl Scout program elements are now available to more members than ever before via the recently expanded Volunteer Toolkit, Girl Scouts’ first “digital assistant” for troop leaders and parents, allowing them to more easily plan meetings and activities, keep track of important information, and, ultimately, make it easier to support amazing experiences for girls. In the toolkit, most Girl Scout programming for girls in grades K-5 is auto-populated so that troop leaders can view activity plans and necessary materials, customize meeting plans, track troop finances, and more, all in one place. Further, the instructions that are included throughout make subjects that might otherwise intimidate some volunteers—like STEM—accessible and understandable, so that they can confidently lead troop activities.

 “When people think of Girl Scouts, cookies and camping often come to mind. However, we are much more than that; we are the number one girl-led leadership development program in the world, Karlyn Edmonds, CEO of Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama, said. Based on the research study Generation STEM done by the Girl Scout Research Institute, 57% of girls say they think STEM related careers are typically for males. Furthermore, 57% say they would have to work harder than a man to be taken seriously. We’re here to give girls the confidence they need to be the next engineer, scientists, or computer programmer. It’s time for girls to dream even bigger!”

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, create lasting relationships, and find dynamic solutions to social issues—all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day and empower themselves for life.  To join or volunteer, find a membership event going on in your area at  www.girlscoutssa.org

Trump Tree Inspires Local Girl Scouts
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TRUMP TREE INSPIRES LOCAL GIRL SCOUTS

An Alabama cedar tree was cut down during then president-elect Donald Trump’s final victory tour rally in Mobile. Immediately, questions started emerging about what would happen to the tree.

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) Troop 8274 thought this would be the perfect time to live out the Girl Scout Law by using our resources wisely.

“The Girl Scout law tells the troops to use their resources wisely,” Troop leader, Bernadette Toler, said. “We have studied the Girl Scout Law a lot this year, so I wasn’t surprise when the troop asked me immediately if we could repurpose the tree.”

Troop 8274 has now reconstructed the tree into eight scratching post for cats at local animal shelters, including Project Purr and Mobile Animal Shelter.  

“The reconstruction brought the community together. Parents helped cut and clean branches, local businesses donated carpet, and Lowe’s discounted the wood needed for bases,” Troop leader, Rashonda Brackett, said.

Troop 8274 learned basic construction concepts, how teamwork is necessary to put a component into place for a finished product and serious glue dries very quickly!    

Through experiences like this, Girl Scouts can learn and inspire others to unleash their inner G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader). For more information on how Girl Scouts can help your girl become an innovator, visit girlscoutss.org. 

GSSA Selects New Board Members
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Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama’s membership unanimously approved Carrie G. Shaw to serve as its new Board President. Shaw has been involved with the board since 2014, but decided she wanted a bigger role in transforming young girls lives.

“I am thrilled to be the new Board President of an organization that shapes our future G.I.R.L.s (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)” Shaw said. “I want to honor the women that have shaped my life and to be a part of shaping the future generations of women.”

Carrie has worked as a Deputy District Attorney for the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office for eight years, with the majority of her time there spent prosecuting violence against woman.

Angela James was also named the new Vice Board President of GSSA. James is a Senior Manager/Head of Department for Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama in Montgomery.

“I am honored to help lead GSSA and to work among the 13 other passionate board members,” said James. “We are all unique, but have the same overwhelming passion for our future G.I.R.L. leaders in Alabama to succeed.”

James had been a part of GSSA for the past two years serving as board member-at-large.

To learn more about how Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama gives girls opportunities to create positive change in their communities, or to join, volunteer, or donate, visit www.girlscoutssa.org

What GSSA Stands For
Local Girl Receives Silver Award
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ENTERPRISE- Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama is pleased to announce that Faith Stadler of Coppinville Jr. High School has earned the Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest award that a Girl Scout Cadette can earn.

To earn this award, a Cadette Girl Scout, ages 11-14, works to complete a series of leadership challenges and an extensive service project in her community. It takes a minimum of 50 hours of preparation, planning, and work to accomplish the Silver Award goals a girl sets for herself.

Faith’s Silver Award project involved creating travel bags for pediatric cancer patients that were filled with items that allowed kids to have a better experience inside and outside of the hospital. The bags consisted of fleece blankets, fuzzy socks, stuffed animals, crayons, hats, scarves, snacks, and hygiene items.

“My project educated the community about the needs of children and their families while they are receiving chemotherapy and radiation,” Faith said. “Not only did this project help others, it helped me, as well. It improved my public speaking and leadership abilities tremendously.”

The Girl Scout Silver Award is one of countless awards and programs in Girl Scouting where developing and displaying leadership takes center stage. Service is built into all aspects of Girl Scouting with the hope that girls like Faith will carry a commitment to serving others into their adult lives.

“We are very proud to honor Faith’s accomplishments with in earning the Silver Award,” said Karlyn Edmonds, CEO of Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama. “This award requires tremendous effort at a young age, and it represents a girl’s commitment to herself and to her community, as she focuses on leadership, personal challenges, and completing a lasting project that will help benefit her community.”

For information on Girl Scout leadership programs, please visit girlscoutssa.org.

Ozark Girl Goes Gold
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Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama has recognized Carroll High School student Maya Harlow with the organization’s highest recognition of achievement, the Gold Award – putting her into an elite group of Girl Scouts from around the country.

Harlow received the Gold Award for her community presentations and events demonstrating the public training of her future service dog, CCI Adobe V, which reached more than 35,000 people. Harlow says her passion for service dog awareness has grown tremendously through the training by knowing she is educating someone new each day on the importance of service dog etiquette. However, she says that she had some initial concerns about her Gold Award project.

“At first, I was a little intimidated,” Harlow said. “My project was going to require a lot of public speaking and before my Gold Award project, this was something I was not completely confident in. Thankfully, earning my Gold Award changed me, just as it changed my community.”

Harlow is now setting a new goal to attend Auburn University where she would plans to major in pre-veterinarian studies and eventually get her D.V. in Veterinary Science, and plans to continue raising future service dogs.

Since 1916, girls have successfully answered the call to “Go Gold,” an act that indelibly marks them as accomplished members of their communities and the world.  Nationwide, less than 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award.

Earning the Gold Award is just one of the amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama. To join or learn more about volunteering, please visit www.girlscoutssa.org

Media Outlets: press release (pdf file)

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