March 2011 Archives

Shop Online at GSSAWould you like to come and peruse our shops, but can't do it during the week?  We'll be open just for you two Saturdays in April!
  • The Mobile shop will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 2.
  • The Montgomery shop will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 9.
We have all kinds of fun Girl Scout merchandise like these brand earrings (shown right).

If you'd rather save the gas and shop 24/7, shop online at



liz_brent.jpgThis weekend our annual meeting will be in the Wiregrass.   We have been moving the annual meeting around the council, so every area has an opportunity to host it.   It is hard to find the right time for the annual meeting.   We have been trying to do it the first weekend of April.   Unfortunately, we have two large council events on top of the annual meeting, something we will work not to repeat next year.   Since many of you can't make the annual meeting, here are a few nuggets I will be sharing:  

The cookie sale was FANTASTIC!   Thanks for your patience in working with the girls to have such a successful program.   The girls sold 9.45% more this year than last year.   And last year we were up 9%; that is AMAZING in this economy.  

We completed the 2009-2010 fiscal year, which ended September 30, 2010, with 15% of income over expense.   This is the third year we have closed out the year in a positive financial position.   We still need to plant 117 acres of trees at Camp Humming Hills, which will consume some of the extra cash.   In the meantime, I have been working to improve all our camp properties as we have had the funds available.   Hopefully you will notice some of those changes.  

I'm working on a draft facilities master plan for comment.   We will take those comments, integrate them into the facilities master plan, then work to start a capital campaign to fund some of the improvements at all our properties.   I visited all of the council properties with a property consultant from GSUSA a few weeks ago.   He was positively impressed with our properties and indicated he didn't feel that we had too many.   Hopefully this business news, coupled with some quality council programs are creating a great leadership development experience for the girls you work with.   Thanks for all you do!

Girl Scouts of the United States of America

Image via Wikipedia

Laurel J. Richie, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Girl Scouts of the USA has been honored as one of The Network Journal's 25 Influential Black Women in Business for 2011. Many of us met Laurel at GSSA's 2010 annual meeting in Daphne.

Richie, recognized for her key role in rolling out the Girl Scouts' brand-repositioning initiatives in 2010, credits her Girl Scout experience of selling cookies for instructing her on the fundamentals of marketing. Under Richie's leadership, the multi-cultural and Hispanic campaign roll-out continues. Print executions recently appeared in Oprah and Time magazines, and the campaigns have expanded into airport, mall, highway and transit out-of-home locations across the country. Media impressions to date have topped 1 billion, with donated media valued at $23 million.

On Thursday, March 24, Richie was celebrated and presented with The Network Journal's 25 Influential Black Women in Business award during the awards luncheon at the Marriott New York Marquis in New York, New York. The Network Journal is a monthly print and online business publication for black professionals and small business owners. In March 1999, The Network Journal launched the 25 Influential Black Women in Business Awards honoring women whose professional achievements have significantly impacted an industry, a profession or community.

Please join us in congratulating Laurel!
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If you or your troop would like to help with any of these opportunities, please let Erica Bass, know by Monday, April 4.
Older Girls needed for Face Painting/Hiding Easter Eggs
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will be having their 3rd Annual "The Bunny Chase" 5K and Family Fun Festival Saturday, April 23, from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. at the Medal of Honor Park in Mobile.  They are looking for some older Girl Scouts (Cadette, Senior or Ambassador Girl Scouts) to help with face painting and hiding Easter eggs.
Earth Day Celebration Volunteers
A Girl Scout troop is invited to show how we are eco-friendly at Spring Hill Medical Center's Earth Day celebration in Mobile.  The event will be held April 22 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Ideas would be doing a craft or show how to earn a badge on conservation or environment.  Set up begins at 8:00.  Bagged lunch and beverage provided. Open to any age group.
Earth Day at The Hangout
Show the Gulf Coast how you protect the earth.  Girl Scout troops are invited to The Hangout in Gulf Shores for an Earth Day Celebration April 22. Troops can set up a booth and demonstrate something your troop has learned or studied about relating to conservation and protecting the earth.  Show how Girl Scouts are Green!  This could be a craft to do, songs, pictures, etc.  Set up begins at 10:30 a.m., and the event is from 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Volunteer and Meet the World's Best Pro Golfers
The 2011 Avnet LPGA Classic is coming to the Robert Trent Jones Course, Magnolia Grove, Mobile from April 28 to May 1.  Join the World's Best Women's Professional golfers along with the best fans around and volunteer for The 2011 Avnet LPGA Classic!  Volunteers are needed to be Standard Bearers.  The Standard Bearer walks 18 holes with a twosome or threesome of players and carries the sign (the standard) with the players' names and scores.  Volunteers are needed Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, April 28 - May 1.  As a volunteer, you will be admitted free.  You will also receive 2 tickets for your family to enjoy the tournament each day that you work.  In addition, you will receive a T-shirt along with a meal voucher on the days that you volunteer.  You will need to provide your own khaki shorts or pants.  Girls m
ust be at least 13 years old.
100annivpatch.jpgGirl Scouts of the U.S.A. are celebrating 100 years!  Volunteer Gigi B. developed this excellent patch program to help girls celebrate and to develop an appreciation of how their council became what it is today. This patch may be earned from March 2011 through December 2012. To encourage all girls to participate, websites and other resources are provided in the patch program document.

The patch requirements fall under three categories: Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. history; Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama history; and Girl Scout history-related service project. 

A patch that will go with the council's souvenir celebration patch will be available only to girls and adults completing this patch program, so plan for your girls to earn this special patch!
Following the recent devastation in Japan, the policy that prohibits Girl Scouts from raising money for other organizations has been temporarily suspended. To contribute to earthquake and tsunami relief efforts, you can make an online donation to the newly established Girl Scouts of Japan Relief Efforts.

Thumbnail image for 2011-3-28_elisabeth.jpgA second grade Girl Scout started a blog called 1,000,000 Pennies for Girl Scouts of Japan. Elisabeth (shown right) has decided to start on a journey to try to collect one million pennies, by her birthday in April, to be donated to the Girl Scouts of Japan to aid in their relief efforts. While a million pennies may seem an unreachable goal, half the fun is the journey! Currently, Elisabeth has collected 21,778 pennies! Help her on her way here:

In Oregon,
50 Girl Scouts in Medford helped fold and link 1,000 paper cranes Saturday night to be sent to Girl Scouts in Japan as a token of friendship. After September 11th, Girl Scouts from Japan sent over strings of 1,000 cranes. In Asian countries the crane is a symbol of happiness, and the act of stringing together exactly 1,000 is a gesture of healing. Fifteen-year-old Girl Scout Cassie P. said it takes about 25 folding steps to make the cranes, but it was well worth it.

We want to know what our Girl Scouts in southern Alabama are doing to help our sister Girl Scouts.  Let us know by commenting here, or e-mail
thankyoudaysign.jpgGirl Scout Troop Leader Kelly Clark was rescued by first responders after a bad car accident.  In her gratitude she created National Thank You Day.  Here is the information she shared with us:

May 19 has been set aside as "National Thank You Day" for our First  Responders -  Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Technicians and Hospital Emergency Room personnel.  We need to thank them for protecting us and saving lives.

Let's make it a memorable day again!  One of the ways that troops can help with this fantastic service project, is to have the whole troop create personal thank you cards and then personally deliver those cards to local Police Departments, Fire Departments and hospital Emergency Rooms on May 19.  There are many more ideas at

Girl Scout leaders can help their girls create personal thank you cards!  They just need to say "Thank You for ALL You Do!" or any other phrase that seems appropriate to your troop.  Some might say "Thank You for saving my puppy" or "Thank You for catching bad guys" or something personal like that.  Let's just create stacks of personal thank you cards from kids!  

Make the cards and then your troop/group can deliver them to whichever department they choose.  It is an easy project for any group of kids and would mean so, so much to those that receive the cards!    

Please see the links below for more information and ideas.  Also see the Youtube link to see many Girl Scouts delivering Thank You's!  You and your troop could be in the next video!

Kelly Avery Clark
SU 411/412
Troop 42272 & 42647
May 19th - National Thank You Day
      Look for National Thank You Day Group on facebook

Earth Hour is a global initiative that invites individuals, businesses, governments and communities to turn off their lights for one hour - 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 26 - to show support for environmentally sustainable action.  In the United States, Earth Hour is partnering with the Girl Scouts to bring the movement to life.

This is a unique opportunity for girls to see how small, deliberate efforts by many people working together add up to big results. Last year, over 128 countries participated! Girls could email, call or text one another and family members to remind them to turn off their lights at the appropriate time.  Or troops can get together for a night hike or campfire to contemplate the one thing we all have in common -- our planet.

The Earth Hour collaboration is one part of the Girl Scouts' broader commitment to environmental sustainability.  Girl Scouts across the country are taking activities beyond the hour by installing ENERGY STAR®-qualified or other energy-efficient light bulbs in homes, schools and businesses during the month of March.

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2010-AllStarLogo-75px-114px.pngGirl Scouts of Southern Alabama received the 2010 All Star Award from Constant Contact®, the trusted marketing advisor to more than 400,000 small organizations worldwide.  Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama is one of Constant Contact's 2010 top performers and most prolific user of its tools, whether within Constant Contact's e-mail marketing, social media marketing, or survey products - or a combination of all three.

Constant Contact looked at criteria including the following when selecting this year's All Stars:

·    Frequency of campaigns and surveys
·    Open, bounce and click through rates
·    Usage of social features
·    Mailing list sign up tools
·    Use of reporting tools

"We work hard to listen to our customers, and we use that feedback to create products and services designed to help them better engage with their customers and prospects," said Gail Goodman, chairman, president and CEO of Constant Contact. "The Constant Contact All Star Awards are our way of recognizing our customers that have successfully used Constant Contact to market their companies. We have some of the most committed, passionate customers out there and we're proud we can be a part of their continued success."

liz_brent.jpgWe recently had a Boy Scout who was working on his Eagle project for the girls of this council. Like a Girl Scout Gold Award, the Eagle project is one that consumes a great deal of time, but results in making a difference in the lives of others.   If you know of a boy interested in an Eagle project with the council please let us know.   We will try to find a project that will interest him and benefit the girls.
We are devastated by the catastrophe in Japan and, on a personal level, are deeply concerned about our sisters there, the Girl Scouts of Japan.  USA Girl Scouts Overseas has served American military and civilian families in Japan for many years, and has extremely close ties with Girl Scouts of Japan. In fact, many of our overseas troops and Girl Scouts of Japan are sister troops. 

GSUSA has received many calls from Girl Scouts around the country asking how to help and are happy to report that the policy that prohibits Girl Scouts from raising money for other organizations has been temporarily suspended. To contribute to earthquake and tsunami relief efforts, you can make an onli
ne donation to the newly established Girl Scouts of Japan Relief Efforts

At times like these, Girl Scouts throughout the world come together in sisterhood to help those in need. We have seen our Movement rally in support of the victims of Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters over the years, and will continue to do everything we can to help our sister Girls Scouts of Japan in the weeks and months ahead.
Make checks payable to Girl Scouts of the USA:
Girl Scouts of the USA-Fund Development
P.O. Box 5046
New York, NY  10087-5046
Memo: Girl Scouts of Japan relief efforts  
Origami Crane (Design by Eric Joisel)

Image by Origamiancy via Flickr

Girls are also encouraged to send expressions of friendship to their sister Girl Scouts in Japan by making origami cranes (Sadako). For instructions, see YouTube videos. The Girl Scouts of Japan made and mailed thousands of these cranes to the United States as an expression of peace and friendship after
the September 11th tragedy.
Mail cranes to:
USAGSO - West Pacific
Unit 45005
APO, AP 96343-5005
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Our Annual Cookie Sale gets the attention of cookie lovers AND the media!  Here are some recent articles:

"This year, for the first time, the Girl Scouts are...testing the new, greener package for Thanks-A-Lot cookies. By eliminating the carton, the switch will reduce the use of paperboard by 150 tons, enough to fill 14 garbage trucks.

"The reason ABC is trying this out is because girls were asking for it," says Molly Smart, director of public relations and marketing with the Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama, Mobile, Ala. "And they've certainly been excited about it."

From the Wall Street Journal online
This article relates different company policies regarding sales and charitable donations -- some don't allow it, some think Girl Scout cookie booths encourage sales at their own businesses.  There's a photo of girls from our council, and one of our local businesses is highlighted.  Have you ever had a booth sale at My Kids Attic?

"Some small-business owners say they welcome the opportunity to support members of their local community through cookie sales, and even encourage the Girl Scouts to do the selling themselves."

It's only right that Girl Scout cookies are newsworthy: Thin Mints are the best-selling cookies in the USA!

Certainly we have all been shaken by the waves of terrible news from Japan over these past few days. 


This is the news - and the advice - that we can give at this time:


  • USA Girl Scouts Overseas:  There is an office and staff in Japan to support the families of military personnel stationed there. Reports are that our office has suffered minor damage and that all the staff and their families are "shaken" but fine.  
  • Money Earning Policy:  It is fine for troops to raise money to aid victims of this horrible disaster. Please follow the GSSA money earning policy. See Page 74 of Volunteer Essentials. Remember that in the early stages of disasters like this, money can be more helpful than "care packages". Please click here for Money Earning Application Form.
  • Helping Girl Scouts of Japan:  We are very concerned about our Girl Scout sisters who are members of Girl Scouts of Japan and we would like to provide some movement-wide sport to them. Details are not available yet, but GSUSA will be setting up an account to collect donations to go to Girl Scouts of Japan so that we can send one large donation on behalf of all Girl Scout sisters in the USA.


As more news becomes available, we will share it with you.

Update 3/16: From Girl Scouts of Japan

2011-3shannon.JPGShannon S. is one of our employees you may not have met personally, but you probably have seen her at council events and assumed she was another volunteer troop leader.  While Shannon is a troop leader, she fills that role as a facilitator in our Mobile Housing Board Community grant program.  Shannon works with girls in the Thomas James complex to ensure that they receive the same Girl Scouting experience as the rest of the girls in our council. 

Tuesday night, there was a fire at Thomas James, and Shannon and her family's apartment was destroyed.  We would like to help Shannon and her girls by hosting a clothing drive.  Any clothing you collect can be delivered to either service center, and we will deliver your donations to her.

Shannon wears an Adult 24W or 3X.  Her shoe size is 10.5 to 11.  Her girls wear a Junior 13/14 and 10, and their shoe sizes are 8.5-9 and 4.
We know the Girl Scout community will rally to help a truly amazing woman!
The IP's, Junior Badges, and Brownie Try-Its listed in this document have been retired to make way for updated badge activities and other awards that girls will earn when they begin using The Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting (available September 2011). If you plan to work on the badges and patches listed below, please call ahead (800-239-6636) to be sure we either have them in stock or can order them for you. We still have many of these badges and patches in stock, and can likely order them from other councils as well.

Badges are here to stay.
GSUSA is currently working to produce new badges for Girl Scout Brownies through Ambassadors.  Girl Scout Daisies will continue to earn the Promise Center and Petals.  New badges will be released in the forthcoming The Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting, which will include badge offerings, handbook sections covering traditions and history, an awards log, and much more!  The new badges are designed to be complementary to the Girl Scout Leadership Program.  They have been planned to help all Girl Scouts develop the three Keys to Leadership:  Discover, Connect, and Take Action.  They will also help girls build skills on specific topics.   
Among the badge offerings will be seven "Legacy Badges" for Girl Scout Brownies through Ambassadors, based on traditions and activities that have been in existence since Girl Scouts beginning:  Artist, Athlete, Citizen, Cook, First Aid, Naturalist, and Girl Scout Way.  Badge activities will be progressive, so girls can build on skills they've learned at each level.  For instance, when they earn the Cook Badge as Girl Scout Brownies, they'll add to their experience when they earn the Cook Badge as Girl Scout Juniors, and all the way up to Ambassadors.  We are very excited about all the new program resources that GSUSA has developed.  We will let you know as soon as they become available to us.  In the meantime, please plan your spring awards carefully.  Supplies of current Try-Its, Badges, and Interest Project Awards in our shops will begin to sell down.  Remember that we will help you find any of these items if our supplies run low. Please call the shops if you have questions or concerns.
In an effort to plan for the future of Girl Scouts in southern Alabama, we are conducting four surveys to gain information from girls, former members, volunteers and parents. Your input can help us plan for a future that meets interests and needs of the girls we serve. 

We estimate that it will take you approximately five to 10 minutes to complete the survey. Please choose the appropriate survey (you may complete more than one survey if you are both a parent and a volunteer), then simply click on the link below, or cut and paste the entire URL into your browser to access the survey. 

We would appreciate your response by Friday, March 18.  Your input is very important to us and will be kept strictly confidential. If you have any questions, or would prefer to complete a paper survey, please call the receptionist at 800-239-6636, ext. 1902.

Leprechaun with rainbow

Image via Wikipedia

Older Girl volunteers (grades 6-12) are needed for the 10th annual Luck of the Irish event, Saturday, March 12, from 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. at Bienville Square in Mobile.  Girls will be face painting, and 17-year-olds will supervise children in the bouncy house and super slides.  Girls that volunteer will be allowed to sample all of the stews and corned beef and cabbage! 

If you can volunteer, please contact Lydia Pettijohn at 251-479-5700.
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Did you know?  There are 3 Girl Scout FIRST Lego League teams in a field of over 120 teams in the FIRST Lego League Global Innovation Award competition!   The winner of the Global Innovation Award will receive a grant for up to $20,000 to fund a full utility patent for their device and start getting it out to others who need it.  The top 3 are invited to the Awards Ceremony in Washington D.C and will present their project to the US Patent and Trade Office!

Voting closes on Friday, March 18 and Girl Scouts need votes..  Please vote for them daily from every IP address available.  This would do a huge favor to the girls and show people all the wonderful things girls can do when they are empowered.   
The Flying Monkeys Girl Scout Team created a prosthetic hand device (the BOB-1) to help a little girl who was born without fingers. This team is now in 4th place!!!
To vote for the Flying Monkeys:

The LOL Comets Girl Scout Team thought of the KAT Map- an indoor GPS for the blind they would like to build. To vote for the LOL Comets:
The Dbots,  are working on a "Shirt of Awesomeness" to build a shirt that would be a back brace to help middle schoolers with heavy backpack loads and those with scoliosis who need a  brace to correct their medical condition. To vote for the Dbots:


LPGA Athlete, Seon Hwa Lee

Image via Wikipedia

The 2011 Avnet LPGA Classic is coming to the Robert Trent Jones Course, Magnolia Grove from April 28 to May 1.  Join the World's Best Women's Professional golfers along with the best fans around and volunteer for The 2011 Avnet LPGA Classic! 

Volunteers, ages 14 and up, are needed to be Standard Bearers.  The Standard Bearer walks 18 holes with a twosome or threesome of players and carries the sign (the standard) with the players names and score.  Volunteers are needed Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, April 28th - May 1st. 

As a volunteer, you will be admitted free.  You will also receive 2 tickets for your family to enjoy the tournament each day that you work.  In addition, you will receive a T-shirt along with a meal voucher on the days that you volunteer.  You will need to provide your own khaki shorts or pants. Here's the volunteer application for you and your older girls. 
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orange flowers

Image via Wikipedia

The Mobile Museum of Art is looking for volunteers, 14 and older, to help with fun art activities at the Festival of Flowers.  Volunteers will assist art instructors, interact with children to make hats, kaleidoscopes, painting "en plein air," leading a story time about art and artists, helping with a Readers Theatre.  Volunteers will also recruit participants, help set up and put away art materials.

Festival of Flowers is the premier flower and garden event of the greater Gulf Coast.  The festival theme this year is "All Things Bright and Beautiful."  The Museum needs volunteers on Saturday, March 26 from 9:00-5:00 (in 2.5 hour shifts) and Sunday, March 27 11:00 - 6:00 in 2 hour shifts.  Every volunteer will gain free admission to the Festival. 

An event orientation will be held at the museum on Monday, March 21 4:00-5:00.  Volunteers should be 14 and older. For more information about the event contact Howard McPhail, Curator of Education, Outreach at 251-208-5205  or To sign up for one or more shifts, please contact Gail McCain, Volunteer Coordinator at 251-208-5211  or    

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liz_brent.jpgI've been watching with interest the progression of the Silver Award project Troop 8442 is working on in Fairhope.   They have partnered with Smart Coast to make their community more pedestrian friendly.   The troop has done some research, doing their homework on how to improve the community they reside in, and on Monday evening, February 28, they made a presentation to the city council that passed.   The plan is the city will install signage and enforce laws that protect pedestrians in crosswalks.   Cori Yonge, the troop leader, reports that everyone in the troop has done something to make this change in their community happen.   Isn't it amazing what a group of determined girls can do?   And isn't is inspirational to see these girls exhibit their leadership to make their community a better, safer place for all?!



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