April 2010 Archives

A beach after an oil spill.

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Thank you Girl Scout Volunteer Sandra Grice for sending us this information.  This is a horrible situation, but it could be used to teach our girls about this type of environmental disaster, while learning the importance of community service.

As we all know there is a high probability now that we will be effected by the oil spill off the coast of Louisiana.  As a local environmental organization, Southeastern Wildlife Conservation Group is in contact with US Fish and Wildlife, Alabama Division of Natural Resources and Mobile Bay NEP on a daily basis offering any and all assistance that can be provided. 

At this time we are on standby as these organizations await expert help with this type of environmental disaster and it has been decided what actions will have to be taken.  In an effort to be proactive we would like to go ahead and ask any who would be willing to volunteer their time in the event that a cleanup does occur to go ahead and sign up.  We will make a master list of volunteers and have this available not only for Southeastern Wildlife Conservation Group but also to any of the organizations seeking volunteers.  
Please forward this to any you think would be interested in volunteering their time.  Let's hope and pray these measures will not be needed but at the same time let's be prepared if we do have to act!
To volunteer, contact:
Shannon Ready, volunteer with Southeastern Wildlife Conservation Group

Also, thank you to volunteer Desiree Bishop for letting us know about this volunteer opportunity:

The Environmental Studies Center needs volunteers (minimum age 18) to help with Wildlife Rescue (some activities may include cleaning birds). Call 251-221-5000 and leave your name and phone number if you would like to help.

If your troop is planning on volunteering to clean up, please contact Molly Smart at 800-239-6636, extension 1402.

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The following forms are due in May to your Service Unit Manager:

·         End of the Year Review

·         Troop Intent Form

·         Troop Financial Statement

·         Information on how to complete your Financial Statement: Troop Financial Statement Instructions


If you have any questions about the forms or need any assistance, please contact the Volunteer Services Team Cheryl Miller (extension 2302) and Teri Eversole (extension 1302).

Lorena Ochoa

Image by clippedpixel via Flickr

We have a really exciting opportunity to share!


Share the Girl Scout Promise and Law with LPGA players while being introduced to the game of golf. Each girl will receive a small gift from the LPGA and a patch.


We'd like to send a special thank you to volunteer Becky Tate for coordinating this special program!


When: Monday, May 10

Ages: Cadette, Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts

Where: Driving Range, Magnolia Grove

Check In: 4:15 p.m.

Minimum: 8

Maximum: 50

Fee: Free

Register: Mail, e-mail or fax the Event Registration Form to the Mobile Service Center by May 7.

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Keeping girls safe is a priority in Girl Scouting.  In the past, the way we have done so is by consulting the Safety-Wise book when planning outings and activities.  We are pleased to introduce the new "Safety Activity Checkpoints".  These 45 checkpoints replace the ones that have existed in Safety-Wise for the last several decades. 


You will no longer have to read introductory material, Universal Checkpoints, checkpoints for the category of the activity (land sports, water sports, and so on), and activity-specific checkpoints -- eight or nine pages of material spread out over several sections. Instead, you can read, search, and print completely self-contained checkpoints, each four pages or less.


Just click on the name of the activity you want information on, and off you go!

Our staff has been out at council programs, service unit programs, camporees and girl events lately.   As we attend these events, we are always stunned and amazed at what our volunteers can do.    In more than one case, we saw the same volunteers with a different troop one weekend after the next.    They were sharing their insights, gifts and patience.

In a different situation, a staff member was working with a leader to plan a camporee for her service unit.   It is unbelievable the amount of time and work that goes into such an endeavor, but what fun the girls will have.   It was such a pleasure to hear the girls discussing what the events of the camporee will be and how to make it a special weekend for their friends.   Girls learning to share their gifts with other girls, as they are shaping the leaders to come, is truly a special thing.

As Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama looks toward the upcoming 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting, we ask that all Girl Scouts, past and present, join in the celebration. If you were once involved with Girl Scouts or would like to learn more about this extraordinary organization, now is a great time to reconnect!  Just send us a note at communications@girlscoutssa.org.  

On this National Girl Scout Leader Day, and everyday, the staff would like to thank you for all you do to shape the future leaders you work with.   We appreciate all the frustration, heartache, effort, time and resources you give to make our world a better place. Our work would not be possible without you!



GSSA Staff

Digital photo taken by Marc Averette. The fall...

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Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama is planning a mini-Destination to Chattanooga, Tennessee July 16-18 and it is not for the faint of heart! This action packed trip offers something for everyone!


Friday, July 16: Destination Chattanooga begins Friday evening at the Chattanooga Riverboat. We will enjoy a movie and dinner before our moonlight cruise on the Southern Belle Riverboat. Then we will sleepover on their new dockside boat.


Saturday, July 17: Breakfast at the Riverboat and then on to a full day of touring Ruby Falls, Rock City Gardens, the Incline Railway and the Tennessee Aquarium. Saturday evening will be a sleepover and dinner at the Creative Discovery Museum. 


Sunday, July 18: Breakfast at the Creative Discovery Museum and then on to caving at Raccoon Mountain Caverns. You will have a choice of the Wild Caving Eco Tour or the Crystal Palace Walking Tour.


Our destination ends mid-day on Sunday and troops are free to do more exploring or head home!


This all-girl trip is open to rising Juniors - Ambassadors, leaders and moms.  You do not have to currently be a member of a troop to attend. The $150 fee covers all attractions, meals (Friday night -Sunday morning), a patch, a t-shirt, and the services of two experienced leaders. Transportation and parking is not included, but troops are encouraged to carpool together.


To reserve your place, send an Event Registration Form and $25 non-refundable deposit to the Mobile Service Center by May 10. The remainder of the monies will be due in two installments: $75 by May 14 and $50 by June 10. All monies are non-refundable. This is based on 50 minimum participants and 100 maximum participants. All deposits will be refunded if the minimum isn't met. Questions? Contact Mary Anne Brutkiewicz at extension 1202.


The initial deposit deadline is extended until May 10 to meet the minimum number of registrations.


UPDATE 5/13/10

We met our minimum for the Chattanooga Mini-Destination - Yea! We still have a few spaces remaining, so if you're interested in going, send Event Registration Forms with $100 non-refundable deposit to the Mobile Service Center by June 3. The balance and all forms are due June 10.

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There's a really entertaining article in The New York Times on Girl Scouts in NYC's elite private schools.  Initially, it made me think of the movie Troop Beverly Hills when I saw the article.


The girls are doing things like Project Runway, and learning about skin care from a dermatologist.  It's funny that Girl Scouts isn't appealing to some of the more "sophisticated" parents as one principal pointed out.


On the surface, it's probably pretty different than the Girl Scout experience we're used to in southern Alabama, but as you read the article and look at the pictures, you see the girls are just like our girls...  I'd recommend checking this out to not only parents, but girls, too.

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Girl Scouts of the USA launched a national campaign with the girl-centered journey, It's Your Planet--Love It!, that includes eye-catching, interactive activities and games and information that we know your girls will explore and love. 


This is a great resource to use particularly if your troop is working on this journey.


Have your girls join in on the fun and check it out: www.girlscouts.org.  You may want to play around on it as well, we certainly did!

patch_global_action_2010.jpgThe Girl Scouts Global Action patch, developed in partnership with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), is an exciting and enriching way for Girl Scout Daisies to Ambassadors to participate in realizing the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which aim to reduce extreme poverty and impact major world concerns by 2015.


The alliance between WAGGGS and the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals embraces WAGGGS's mission of empowering girls and young women to develop to their fullest potential as engaged and responsible global citizens. Around the world there are 145 WAGGGS member organizations, of which GSUSA is one, serving girls and young women in wide-ranging "Scouting" endeavors.


By earning the Global Action patch, girls can learn, in a fun and educational way, about serious global issues affecting girls, young women, and their communities.  Participation activities for Daisies to Ambassadors are online, and the patch will be available at Girl Scouts shops in the next few weeks.

Looking to learn something new for the summer? Want to earn some badges while practicing a useful skill? Well, these programs are for you! It's Sew Diana is offering sewing classes in Mobile and Daphne for troops and individual girls starting in May. These programs use the "Kids Can Sew" materials.  All of the details are on our Events and Programs Calendar.


Brownie classes

Girls will earn the Brownie Sewing Try-It in a morning or afternoon session.   

May 15, June 7 or June 23 at the Mobile Service Center

June 15 at Hancock Fabrics in Daphne


Junior Classes

Girls will earn the GSUSA Junior Sewing Badge over 5 one-hour sessions.   

Daphne: Tuesdays, June 1-June 30 from 10-11 a.m. at Hancock Fabrics

Mobile: Wednesdays, June 2-June 30 from 10-11 a.m. Location TBA


Cadette, Senior and Ambassador Classes

Girls will earn the GSUSA Sew Glam IP in 5 one-hour sessions.

Daphne: Tuesdays, June 1-June 30 11:30-12:30 at Hancock Fabrics

Mobile: Wednesdays, June 2-June 30 11:30-12:30 Location TBA 


Any leader who would like to set up a class for her individual troop should contact Diana Canady: diana@its-sew-diana.com.

According to recent statistics, we are losing World War II veterans at the rate of approximately 1,000 per day, and there are many more who are in declining health.  We know that Girl Scouts believe in honoring our nation's heroes and invite you to consider assisting the Honor Flight network in its efforts to show veterans the special place they hold in our hearts.


The Honor Flight Network provides a special kind of honor for the sacrifices of America's veterans. Our heroes are flown to Washington D.C. to visit their memorials. Top priority is given to senior veterans - World War II survivors. The veterans do not pay for this activity - it is absolutely free.


There are four locations in southern Alabama that will have honor flights, and each location would like to have Girl Scouts at the homecoming ceremonies.  This would be a fantastic community service event for your troop.



·         8 p.m. April 17 and April 24, Dothan Airport

·         To attend, contact Bob Bunting at 334-774-0961

Covington County

·         7 p.m. May 15, Southeast Regional Airport in Sanford (between Opp and Andalusia). 

·         There is also a reception that is tentatively scheduled for May 1 at the Andalusia City Hall. 

·         To attend either event, contact Gary Petty at 334-428-2687

River Region

·         6:30 p.m. April 17, Montgomery Airport

·         To attend, you simply need to show up (no advance contact is requested)

Gulf Region

·         7:30 p.m. May 12, Mobile Airport

·         To attend, contact Margaret Coley at 251-463-4576 or margaretcoley@bellsouth.net 

04082010_AJM.jpgYou may be participating in the Sponsor a Junior Miss program for the first time, or you may be an old pro, but here's a new way to get involved! 


America's Junior Miss is busy preparing for the arrival of the Junior Miss participants on June 13 and are still seeking four host families.  If you live in the Mobile area and are interested in hosting girls from Sunday, June 13 until Sunday, June 27, please contact Creath Edens at

creath.edens@gmail.com as soon as possible. 


This would be a great opportunity for your girls to really get to know a great role model.


You asked, we listened!  We heard you say you wanted to reinstate the VIVA cards, so here they are.  You can go back through the past year (since Oct. 1, 2009), and receive points for all the wonderful things you've done for Girl Scouts.


The 2009-10 VIVA (Very Important Volunteer Appreciation) cards will be available at the service centers during office hours, or you can download them here: Viva2009-10.pdf.


Your Service Unit Manager can sign off on the points you've earned this Girl Scout year. These points may be redeemed in the GSSA shop, anytime prior to Sept. 30, 2010.


Questions or to request a card?  Contact your Volunteer Services Team:

Teri Eversole, extension 1302 


Cheryl Miller, extension 2302

Cookie Bites is a series of articles from your Program Team.

Earned Cookie Bucks, a Campership, Store/Program Certificate, or destination?  Here's how to use them!


Girls who earned cookie camperships must use them during the summer 2010 camp season.  However, if a girl originally chose a campership and realizes she cannot use it during this time period, she may change her choice to a store gift certificate instead by contacting Chris Shavers, extension 2202.


Cookie bucks, Store/Program certificates and destination money may be used throughout the 2010-2011 membership year and will not expire until Sept. 30, 2011.  The funds can be carried over if the girl registers for a council sponsored trip or event that occurs after the Sept. 30, 2011 deadline.


We also will allow troops planning Girl Scout-related trips to use their Cookie Bucks, Store/Program Certificate or destination money to offset the cost associated with them.  They may carryover these funds until the time at which they participate in the trip (i.e. they will be valid beyond the Sept. 30, 2011 date). However, we must be notified of the troop's intent to defer these funds prior to Sept. 15, 2010.


We ask each troop that wishes to do this to complete a special form (available on our website soon) that provides us with the dates of the trip, it's purpose, etc.  We also ask that the girls who are allowing their cookie money to be used to sign (along with their parent or guardian) a waiver stating that they approve of the use of the money they have earned to be used by the troop. We will either pay vendors directly, or provide reimbursement to the troop after we are provided with copies of applicable receipts.


Update 5/18/10

The forms have been uploaded to the Cookie Forms page:

Cookie Money Troop Trip Form

Girl-Earned Cookie Money Form

04082010_AJM.jpgWe are still in need of troops to "Adopt a Junior Miss" June 13-26. This is a special program just for Girl Scouts. As soon as your troop is assigned a state, your girls can start corresponding with your state contestant. When the AJM's arrive June 13, your girls will already have a relationship with your AJM and will be anxiously awaiting her arrival. 


The tentative schedule for Girl Scouts and AJM's:

·         Arrival ceremony Sunday, June 13

·         Special Girl Scout and AJM party Wednesday, June 17 (nominal fee to cover the meal)

·         Girls can visit their misses at the "Meet and Greet" at Bel Air Mall Saturday, June 19

·         Community Night Show Wednesday, June 23


The Junior Misses look forward to spending time with their Girl Scouts, therefore it is important that your troop be able to have some representation at all of the listed events in order to adopt.


The registration deadline is extended to April 19. To register, fill out an Event Registration Form, write the girls' top three state choices and send to Mary Anne Brutkiewicz in the Mobile Service Center.  (Because we are past the original deadline, registrations can be dropped off, e-mailed, faxed or mailed.)

200910 was a fantastic year for the girls. We had fun and educational programs throughout southern Alabama and are planning many more this year.


We encourage you to register your troop early for the coming year (download the Spring Registration Packet for all the details). This helps take some of the chaos out of the fall when many other things are happening. It also entitles you and your girls to special treats, including:

·         A tote bag with brand new Girl Scout logo is available to the first 75 leaders who register 75% of their troop.

·         Day o' camp is at the end of resident camp this year, so many of the resident camp staff will be at the program.

·         Discounted water park tickets


If you're going to register for the 2010-2011 membership year, you may as well get all the perks by registering early!  


Below are the new tote bags - they'll be available in July once we can put on the brand new logo.


Girl Scouts are always trying to make the world a better place. Especially when it comes to saving our planet. Earth Day is right around the corner. It's time to "Go Green" with Girl Scouts. You can visit the council shop and check out some of the cool Earth Day stuff for sale right now. A variety of patches and shirts are available; everyone can find their favorite green gear! The "Think Green" shirt is perfect for you to wear to any Earth Day festivities you or your troop have planned.  We'd love to hear what your troop has planned for Earth Day!


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You might be one of our moms wondering if your daughter is ready for camp... United Way of Baldwin County recently featured an article about Girl Scout camp written by Girl Scout volunteer, Cori Yonge. The article, aimed at helping parents decide if their daughter was ready for camp, gave parents tips on making the camp decision. The informative article offered advice and answered questions even returning campers parents might have.  Thank you Cori for writing this article and increasing awareness of Girl Scouts!

Thanks to everyone who submitted an entry in the Cookie Caravan contest. All of the entries were great and we hope you had fun while increasing awareness and selling cookies.


We invited all troops to decorate their car, truck, or van for booth sales and submit a picture. It was a tough decision, but it is time to reveal the winners. First place winner is Troop 8492 who will receive a $60 gift certificate to the Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama Shops. Second place goes to Troop 8318, who will receive a $40 gift certificate and third place to Troop 8308, who will receive a $20 gift certificate.


We heard some of you got some funny looks while driving around town in these cookie mobiles. Please share your experience and any interesting stories!


8492_2.JPGFirst Place winners! Troop 8492's Cookie Caravan


Troop 8492 taking a break for a yummy snack!


2nd Place winners Troop 83188308.JPG

Third Place winners, Troop 8308

We'd like to clarify a couple of things about summer resident camp.  The date for the camp open houses is incorrect in the brochure - the open houses are Sunday, May 2 from 2 - 4 p.m.  You still have time to register to attend for the early bird price, $3.  What a steal!


Please use the Camp Scholarship Form, not the generic Financial Aid form, to request a scholarship to attend summer resident camp.


The summer resident camp registration is open, so send your registrations in!  We'll update you on GSSA Weekly as sessions fill up. 


There was also some confusion about June 1.  On June 1, we'll begin taking registrations for 2010-2011 camporees (completely separate from resident camp).  If you want to start planning your camporee, the Camporee Book is a great resource!


Now, back to the open houses... Hope to see you there!


Kamp Kiwanis and Camp Scoutshire Woods Open House

May 2, 2010 (Sun) 2 - 4 p.m.

Are your girls excited about attending summer camp? Maybe they are feeling a little anxious? Then this is your day to visit Kamp Kiwanis or Camp Scoutshire Woods and find out all the details of resident camp. Help ease their nerves (and their parents' nerves) by letting them get a taste for what goes on while they are at summer camp. This is their chance to visit camp and get registered before sessions start filling up. Guests can stop for a snack in the dining hall, visit the craft hut, check out the cabins! All girls who are going to be in first grade or above are welcome to bring their parents and explore camp for the day. 

Early Bird Cost: $3 per person

Cost: $4 per person

Early Bird Registration/Cancellation Deadline: April 9, 2010

Registration/Cancellation Deadline: April 23, 2010

Here are the facts: 90% of girls say the media places a lot of pressure on girls to be thin. 46% of girls think that the fashion industry does a good job of representing people of all races and ethnicities. 55% of teenage girls admit they diet to lose weight, and 37% know a girl with an eating disorder.


A bill that supports media literacy programs, promotes research on the effect of media images and encourages the adoption of voluntary guidelines to promote healthier media images for young people was recently introduced to congress. The bill, the Healthy Media For Youth Act (H.R. 4925), was written by Girl Scouts and introduced to Congress by Representatives Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). Contact your U.S. representative and encourage him or her to become a Voice for Girls and support H.R. 4925. GSUSA has created a draft email for your use. You can edit this to reflect your reasons on why this issue is important to you.  



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