May 2009 Archives

Save the date for the Service Unit Kick-Off!  This year's kick-off will be July 18, and the times and locations will be announced via e-mail.  At the kick-off, there is training, updates, networking and all the info you need to start your next Girl Scout year. 

To send the invitations, we need a list of e-mail addresses of service unit team members.  Please send them to Teri Eversole or Cheryl Miller.  Then, watch for your invitations via e-mail. 

Girl Scout night at the Mobile County Junior Miss Contest for the 2009-2010 school year will be held at Alma Bryant High School in Bayou La Batre June 4.  Chelsea Fenton, Mobile County's Junior Miss for 2008 -2009 will speak on the Be Your Best Self patch and Girl Scout troops that have earned the patch will participate. Contestants will perform in the areas of Talent, Fitness and Self Esteem. Tickets are $5 per person and girls should wear uniforms or T-shirts as Girl Scouts will be recognized.  Contact Chelsea Fenton at 251-379-1035 for more information.

When: 7 p.m. June 4

Cost: $5

Grade Level: All Ages

Where: Alma Bryant High School

Auburn University Theatre presents Still Life with Iris by Steven Dietz, and they are inviting your Girl Scouts to attend for FREE!  This play is suitable for children aged 8 and up.

Your girls will join young Iris as she journeys from the joyous world of Nocturno to picture-perfect Great Island, where she discovers Mozart and Annabel Lee, but loses her family, only to embark on many adventures in her quest to return home.  Steven Dietz's play stars adventurous children, kind-hearted adults, unhappy discards, and people blinded by their obsession with perfection.  In a world in which self-interested adults are frequently encouraged to turn a blind eye to cruelty, Iris and her young cohorts show the value of compassion, adventure, family and friendship.

 

The free matinee is June 25 at 2:30 p.m
There are 360 seats available, first come, first served, but you can reserve admission by calling Marjorie at 334.844.6624.

Girl Scouts of Nation's Capital was featured Friday, May 15, on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.  Noted child psychologist and Girl Scout leader, Dr. Streeter was featured in the "Making a Difference" segment about the good work she does for girls in Washington, D.C.

 

 

June is a special time to celebrate America's Great Outdoors.  Presidential recognition of Great Outdoors Week began in 1997 with President Clinton and has continued ever since.  Since 2004, Presidential proclamation of Great Outdoors Month has come annually, celebrating a variety of important events and actions that occur during the month. Great Outdoors Month highlights the benefits of active fun outdoors and our magnificent shared resources of forests, parks, refuges, and other public lands and waters. 

 

Governor Bob Riley issued a proclamation declaring June as Great Outdoors Month in Alabama.  

 

Check out these outdoor websites for June:

June 1-30 Great Outdoors Month, www.greatoutdoorsmonth.org

June 7 National Trails Day, www.americanhiking.org/events/ntd

June 6 - 14 National Fishing and Boating Week, www.rbff.org/page.cfm?pageID=11

June 5 World Environment Day, www.unep.org/wed

June 13 National Get Outdoors Day, www.nationalgetoutdoorsday.org

June 27 Great American Backyard Campout, www.backyardcampout.org/girlscouts

 

These activities can be a great way to start working on Summer Fun patch with your troop!

Many of you are getting to ready to send your children off to camp. Camp is a wonderful and powerful place for your girls to grow.  Watch this video from the American Camping Association (ACA) with Bob Ditter on:

  • Strengthening the partnership between parents and camp professionals
  • Taking steps to make the adjustment to camp as smooth and successful as possible
  • Campers on medication at camp, and why it's important to share medication information
  • Children with ADHD at camp
  • Working with your physician and camp for the best outcome

 

Bob Ditter is a child, adolescent, and family therapist in Boston, Massachusetts.  He consults with youth agencies throughout the United States, including theACA, Girl Scouts of the USA, YMCA, Salvation Army, JCCA, and many others.  He has visited over 500 camps in the United States, writes for Camping Magazine, the official publication of ACA, and has authored many books and training videos for camp professionals.

 

 

As the end of the Girl Scout year approaches, many troops and service units are having awards banquets and receptions and girls are receiving Gold, Silver and Bronze Girl Scout Awards at special ceremonies.  We have had many thoughtful requests for council staff to attend these special events, and we are happy to do so.  However, we ask that, due to the volume of events, you send your invitation to us no later than two weeks in advance.  We want to attend as many of these special events as possible and this will allow us to do so.  We look forward to sharing in the celebration of your girls' many accomplishments with you and their families!

Dear Girl Scout Family,

 

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama has an annual fundraising campaign - the Family Partnership Campaign - that gives Girl Scout members (parents, families, volunteers, troops, service units, etc.) the opportunity to provide financial support for Girl Scouting.  Family Partnership Campaign gifts are an essential part of the success of Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama.

It costs $200-$250 to provide one year of programs for each of the more than 8,000 Girl Scouts in our council, but the proceeds from the cookie and fall product sale programs fall far short of that amount. That is why we turn to the Girl Scout family.

An investment in the Family Partnership funds:

  • camping/outdoor skills programs
  • financial assistance for girls to participate in program events
  • national dues for girls who otherwise might not be able to join
  • council-wide events for all age levels
  • creation and distribution of troop materials
  • leader and older girl training and support

When you compare the costs of other activities, like soccer, ice skating, and music lessons, Girl Scouting is a remarkable bargain at an annual membership fee of $12 per girl.

Being able to say that a large percentage of our Girl Scout families support us financially is crucial to our efforts to leverage additional support from corporations and foundations.  A gift to Family Partnership helps us to keep Girl Scouting for every girl, everywhere.

Please encourage your families to make a contribution today with their membership registration dues.    

P.S.  Every family that contributes $25 or more before Sept. 30, 2009, will receive a Family Partnership Patch.  Thanks for all you do for our girls!

 

Tonya Howard

Director of Advancement

334.272.9164, ext: 2802

Dear Friends,

 

Having spent 30 years in higher education, this time of year always comes with some melancholy.   Young women you have worked with for years will walk toward a different path on their journey through life.  It is a time of reflection and taking stock of how those young women have changed you.  I find myself thinking about how some of them made a difference in my perspective on life and the world.

 

I have been struck by, as I have attended many end of the year events, how many high-achieving young women we will have leaving our ranks this year and moving on to the next phase of their life.  Most will go on to college, and some on to the military or other opportunities to use those skills they have taken away from their Girl Scout experience.  It is a time to celebrate their achievements, but also a time to reflect on how they have changed and how we have changed.

 

Thanks to all of you who have invested in the lives of this year's graduates.  Their achievements are many and a tribute to your investment of time with them.

 

Congratulations to the Girl Scout graduates of the class of 2009!

 

Sincerely,

 

Elizabeth M. Brent, Ph.D.

CEO

Spring and the closing of the school year is a very busy time for everybody, including the Girl Scouts.  Many girls are in the process of finishing awards and want to be recognized for their hard work and dedication to making their community a better place.  Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama is very proud of all of these young ladies and want to see them complete their awards successfully within the required time frame.  Please keep the following deadlines in mind:

·         Bronze Awards must be completed and all paperwork submitted to the council before September 30 of the girl's 7th grade year

·         Silver awards must be completed and approved by the council before September 30 of the 10th grade year

·         Gold Awards must be completed and approved by the council before September 30 of the calendar year the girl graduates or turns 18.

 

Although we do not approve Bronze Awards, girls are required to submit them to the council.  Please make sure that the girls fill out their planners completely in their own words.

 

Please keep in mind that Silver awards must be approved by the council before awarding them.  Gold awards must be approved by a committee and the council before planning the awards ceremony.  The council asks that paperwork on these awards be submitted two months ahead of the awards ceremony. This is to leave ample time in case the girl has to revise or make additions to her project.  Should this present a problem, please contact Mary Anne Brutkiewicz for advice at 800-239-6636, ext: 1202.

Association II will hold their annual day camp June 15-19 from 9 a.m. -- 2 p.m. at the Botanical Gardens in Mobile. The theme is Friends Together. Girls will need to bring each day:

·         Plastic drinking cup with handle

·         Bag Lunch and drink

·         Hat

·         Shorts & T-shirt (no sleeveless tops)

·         Above the ankle socks & sneakers (no sandals)

 

Volunteers are also needed for the day camp.  Adult volunteers (high school graduates) are needed to serve as leaders, co-leaders and first aiders.  Cadettes and up are needed as helpers.   To volunteer, contact Laura Doran at 251.345.3328.

 

Fees for Brownies and Juniors: $30; older girls: $20; and non-Association II members: $35.

Registration deadline: June 1

To register: Send the Day Camp Registration Form, Girl Health History and fees to the Mobile Service Center (3483 Springhill Avenue, Mobile 36608). 

 

*Instead of using the Single Event Registration Form (as previously posted), please use the Day Camp Registration Form.   

summerscoops.jpgSummer is the time to plan fun outdoor activities with your troop!  Activities should be planned that will heighten your troop's appreciation of the outdoors.  It's easy to earn!  All you need to do is plan at least one outdoor activity per month for the months of June, July and August.  At least one of these activities should include your girls' families.

 

Suggestions:

  • Go on a picnic
  • Go swimming
  • Take part in an outdoor service project
  • Explore a Girl Scout camping facility
  • Attend a baseball game
  • Go star-gazing
  • Attend an outdoor festival

 

Patches will be delivered at the November Service Unit Meetings.

Deadline to order patches is Labor Day.

Girl Scouts of the USA has formed a new alumnae association.  The National Girl Scout Alumnae Association aims to reconnect with the estimated fifty million women who participated in Girl Scouting during childhood as well as those men and women who joined the Movement as volunteers. 

 

Locally, we are establishing an alumnae association which will reconnect with alumnae not only from Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama, but other councils as well.  Members of the new association would be able to network, socialize, and have opportunities to support girls who are developing their own leadership potential. 

 

We are looking for energetic individuals who are interested in serving on the alumnae planning committee.  This group will help shape the direction of the alumnae association.  The possibilities are endless as to what alumnae can do, but we need to recruit alumnae throughout our service area and gather ideas as to what alumnae want to do and receive from the council.  If you would like to be a part of this planning committee, please contact Tonya Howard at 1-800-239-6636, ext. 2802.  

Each year we look for creative ways to thank our Girl Scout families.  This year we want your girls to design a thank you patch for our 2009 Family Partnership Campaign. 

 

Any registered Girl Scout can submit artwork with the theme of giving or sharing on an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of white paper.  Include your name, address, phone number, age, troop number and town on a separate sheet of paper attached to your drawing.   

 

Entries will be judged on originality and creativity; the winning entry will be used as the official thank you patch for the 2009 Family Partnership Campaign.  Entries become the property of GSSA and may be used for promotional purposes. Questions? Call Tonya Howard at 800-239-6636, ext:2802.

 

The deadline for entries is Friday, June 5, 2009. Mail entries to GSSA, 145 Coliseum Blvd, Montgomery, AL 36109, Attn: Tonya Howard.  

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama is planning a Heritage Trip to the Juliette Gordon Low Home in historic Savannah, Ga. The trip will be February 13-16, 2010, and these dates were selected because President's Day coincides with the Mardi Gras holidays next year, so all of our girls will have a long weekend.  February is a perfect month to visit the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace because it is not as crowded as it is in the summer.

 

The highlight of our trip will be our visit on Monday, February 16, to the Wayne Gordon House, built in 1821.  In the 1950's, Girl Scouts from across the nation saved the home from demolition by collecting Dimes for Daisy. The Girl Scouts wanted to have a house of their own for future generations of Girl Scouts.  More than 2.5 million visitors have been inspired by Juliette Gordon Low's remarkable life.

 

The Heritage Visit consists of a tour of the home, a special interest session that focuses on aspects of 19th century life and early Girl Scouting, a visit to the museum store and an opportunity for each troop to have a "Girl Scout's Own" pinning ceremony in the courtyard.

 

Savannah is a fascinating city and there are many things to do, see and eat!  Just a few that come to mind are a scavenger hunt through the historic area, a dolphin cruise, a tour of some reportedly haunted places the city and a visit to Paula Dean's renowned Lady and Sons restaurant.

 

Since we are still in the planning stage, we want you and your girls to be involved in making this a "historic" trip! If you are interested in going, or have ideas for what we should include in our trip, please contact Mary Anne Brutkiewicz at 251.344.3330, ext. 1202. This trip is for Girl Scout Juniors through Ambassadors and will be limited to the first 100 to sign up.

Would you like to spend your summer in the great outdoors, helping to build girls of courage, confidence and character (and having loads of fun at the same time)?  We have just the job for you!  We are still looking for qualified counselors 18 years of age and up at Camp Scoutshire Woods Resident Camp.  Check out all of the camp sessions on our camps and properties page.

 

Download the Camp Staff Application.

A great story about the transformation of Girl Scouting was posted this weekend on MSNBC and was one of the top eight stories on AOL.  Laurel Richie, Chief Marketing Officer, Eileen Doyle, Vice president of Program, and Denise J. Pesich, Vice President of Communications, were interviewed along with a Girl Scout and her mother from Girl Scouts of Suffolk County, and two Girl Scout troops working on an environmental project from Girl Scouts of Jersey Shore to show how we are changing in important ways.

 

 

Almost 75 Boy and Girl Scouts from area troops will be given the chance to not only earn volunteer hours and badges toward rank advancements but also showcase their expertise in ecologically-friendly practices of benefit to the entire community.  Check out this article on Gulf Coast Newspapers' website!

The Girl Scouts of Nation's Capital's Girl Scout Step Show was featured in The Washington Post Online coverage.

 

 

GSSA is seeking applicants for the position of Program Facilitator for the Mobile Housing Board Youth Mentoring afterschool program.

 

Job Description: This individual acts as troop leader and mentor to girls participating in the program.  Applicant must be available Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the afternoon and occasionally on weekends.  Duties include supervising girls participating in the program and developing appropriate activities for the girls based on provided resource materials.  Program Facilitator assists in cultivating adult volunteers and girl members from within the community.  Timely completion and maintenance of required paperwork and reports is required.  Training will be provided.

 

Requirements: Good rapport with children and creativity in developing activities.  Excellent organizational skills, initiative and a flexible schedule. Applicant must have own transportation.

 

Salary: $10 per hour

 

Contact: Angela Fedor, Outreach Programs Manager at 251.344.3330, ext: 1803.

Did you know that you can have the Virtual Volunteer blog delivered right to your e-mail inbox?  You can!  Simply go to RSS (stands for Real Simple Syndication) feeds in your e-mail inbox and click to add a new RSS feed.  Type in the following address, http://www.girlscoutssa.org/volunteer/atom.xml, and you're all set.  With these simple steps, you will start receiving Virtual Volunteer updates as soon as they are posted.

 

Need more help on how to get started?  Microsoft Office Online explains how to add feeds to Outlook or Internet Explorer.

The results are in!  Take a look at a snapshot of results from our 2009 Cookie Sale evaluation.

Thanks so much to those of you who took the time to complete our recent cookie sale evaluation.  We had many valuable comments and some truly great ideas for next year.  Now that we've had a chance to review the results of the survey, it's our turn to share them with you.  Here's a sampling of what you had to say about our 2009 sale.

 

·         The cookie booth scheduler got an almost unanimous thumbs up.  Many of you also requested that it be available for use in all council areas next year, and we will certainly work on that.

·         Many respondents said they would like the council to offer a "cookie bucks" option for incentives, providing funds for girls to use for council programs, the shops, etc.  We are exploring this option and are hopeful to try a variation of this that can work for everyone.

·         Most of you think it's a good idea to extend the cookie sale if there is bad weather for several weekends during cookie booth sales.

·         Many of you requested more training on the e-budde system, and we plan to provide this for next year's sale.

·         We found that few troops use the program materials that accompany the sale and even fewer use the online materials provided by our baker.

·         Volunteers would like for the pantry hours on the weekends to be longer.

·         Most respondents were very pleased with the trucking companies who provided the initial cookie delivery.

 

We want you to know that we take your comments and suggestions seriously and will try to incorporate as many of them into next year's cookie sale as we can.  Thanks, again, for your input!

Congratulations to Jessica J. of Troop 8455 in Semmes! Jessica is the recipient of this year's Goodwill Easter Seals Campership.  Jessica collected the most (32) bags of used clothing and household items in the "Good Samaritan" program.   She plans to use her campership to attend the Kayak Expedition at Scoutshire Woods.

 

Thanks to Goodwill Easter Seals for making  this program possible and to all of the girls who participated in this year's drive. Participants will receive a patch and gift certificates to the Goodwill Easter Seals stores.

 

This program was only available in 8 counties this year (Mobile, Baldwin, Washington, Escambia, Conecuh, Clarke, Choctaw and Monroe).  If you have any contacts for the Goodwill Easter Seals in your county, please contact Mary Anne Brutkiewicz at 251.344.3330, ext: 1202.

Girl Scout Pathways offer a very cool new way of participating in Girl Scouts. Curious? Check out this video from the San Gregonio Council:

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