April 2011 Archives

liz_brent.jpgThere's a fine line between encouragement and criticism.  I had a boss who once said, "if you are doing an evaluation, you need to say four positive things for every negative comment so the person can actually hear the negative comments."   But those comments are made to improve performance. As an adult, I can still recall criticism that I felt was unjust or given in error even today. 

It is important to recognize how important our words and deeds are to the children we work with.  Melinda Wilson, our fund development staff person, gave a very poignant thanks to the volunteers attending a spaghetti fundraiser this week. Part of that was a poem written by Ley Cash from the San Gorgonio Girl Scout Council.

A Careful Soul

A careful soul I have to be,

A little Girl Scout follows me.

To a narrow path I must stay,

For if I don't she too will stray.

I must choose my deeds with care.

For all I do, she too, will dare.

My worlds I guard and softly speak

And I must love the strong and the weak.

Oh, I must be fair, from the start.

And boldly lead with a steady heart.

In all I say and all I do.

I promise to strive to be true.

Because you know

Where're I go

A careful soul I have to be.

A little Girl Scout follows me!

These words remind us of how important our words and actions are to the girls we serve, and that in everything we do, we must remember that a little girl always is watching.

Girl Scouts of the United States of America

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We are thrilled to be approaching the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouts of the USA on March 12, 2012, and we're gearing up to celebrate this occasion in style! We have so many exciting plans and so many different ways to celebrate the 100th. 

We've created a page on our website just for 100th Anniversary plans and announcements.

We hope you'll visit this site often to see what cool new things are happening in honor of Girl Scouting's biggest anniversary ever.

If you want to get involved, volunteer, or make a donation, please contact 100th@girlscoutssa.org. Be a part of history; celebrate the 100th Anniversary of GSUSA!
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A Troop Trip folder should include completed:
  1. health forms
  2. permission slips
  3. copies of reservations, pre-payments, business contacts, etc.
  4. a troop roster with emergency contact numbers
  5. maps, destination addresses & phone numbers
  6. trip itinerary
Each driver and the at-home contact should have this info, as well.
Don't forget:
  • caravans (following a lead driver) are not permitted
  • verify every girls is a registered member
  • verify every adult is a registered member, an approved volunteer, & his/her required training is current
  • check Safety-Activity Checkpoint for each activity (theme parks, camping, outdoor cooking, etc.)
  • for day trips, notify SUM of travel plans and verify that you have copies of Driver's license and auto ins cards
  • for overnight trips, complete the overnight trip/camping application form (must attach copies of driver's licenses, auto insurance cards, certifications, etc.)
  • check to make sure you have the proper adult:girl ratios for the activity
  • do not sign any rental contracts until you complete a rental application and have it reviewed by a council staff member

Review the Venturing Out module on our website.
For questions about trip applications, insurance, rental applications, safety-guidelines, etc.
Contact: Cheryl Miller
Learning & Volunteer Services Liaison
Cell # 334.312.0433
We are offering four additional fun Resident Camps at Kamp Kiwanis this summer -- click on the session title to check them out!

Mom and Me Camp: July 3 - 8 (Daisy, Brownie, Junior)
Ever wanted to go to camp when you were a girl and didn't get a chance?  Maybe your daughter really wants to try summer camp but doesn't want to try it without you.  Here's your chance.  Come spend your Fourth of July holiday at Kamp Kiwanis on beautiful Lake Martin.  Moms and girls will get a chance to experience all the fun of  kamp including arts and crafts, swimming, canoeing, riding in the banana boats, experience the magic of the last campfire and have many other adventures.  Best of all...you can do it together.

Mom and Me Camp Short Term: June 26 - 29 (Daisy, Brownie, Junior)
This session is the same as our regular mom and me camp session just on a smaller scale.  If you want to have the camp experience, but you don't want to stay the week try this camp session. You'll still get to try all the fun things at camp such as swimming, canoeing, arts and crafts and banana boating; and you'll get to share the experience together.  Come and see how much fun summer camp can be.

You Can't Do That At Camp: June 26 - July 1 (Cadettes)
If you want to come to Kamp but not leave the fun stuff home this is the Kamp session for you.  Not your traditional Kamp session, but with all the traditional camp fun.  In this session you'll do all the traditional kamp activities including swimming, canoeing, campfires and much more but....bring your stuff to camp with you.  In this session you can have your iPods and mp3 players and other electronic stuff (no cell phones please).  We'll raid the kitchen for a late night snack and watch a late night movie or two. Come enjoy camp with a twist!

Alumnae Weekend - July 1 - 3
This is your chance to come back to camp and have the enjoy some of the experiences from "the good ole days".  Come in late Friday and stay up late visiting with old friends and make some new ones.  On Saturday, we will do a project to improve camp and then spend the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying some of your old favorites.  Have a campfire on Saturday night and head out Sunday morning.  Some of the camp fee will go toward making improvements at camp.  There are a minimum number of campers, so bring your friends.
Who: Girl Scout Alumnae over the age of 18

The Civilian Marksmanship Program* is hosting two main Camp Riflery Instructors Training courses.  There will be one course at each of our locations.  Cost is $35.00 per student.  This is a one day course and a quick lunch will be provided.  These courses are designed to help out the smaller camps that do not have the minimum amount of students.
CMP South Anniston, AL 05/16/2011
CMP North Camp Perry Training 06/09/2011
To register please click here:  http://clubs.odcmp.com/cgi-bin/matchInfo.cgi?matchID=7131  Please double check that you are signing up for the correct location.
If you have any further questions please email Kathy Williams at kwilliams@odcmp.com .

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) is a national organization dedicated to training and educating U. S. citizens in responsible uses of firearms and airguns through gun safety training, marksmanship training and competitions.

liz_brent.jpgWhat is GSLE?   So, what is the Girl Scout Leadership Experience?   That is the new acronym for what you do with your girls.   As you may be aware, GSUSA has a new branding effort, working to make the brand more relevant to today's girls.   You might have seen some of the ads, one with a young girl explaining to her father on the beach why the sky is blue; she learned it in Girl Scouts.   There are new program materials, with new colors and badges coming out in the fall.   We are all engaged in a concerted effort to sharpen the perception of what you do to build girls into leaders for our future.  

I was telling a friend the other day, many of the adults I have the opportunity to interact with are incredible individuals.   They are able to juggle their work life, home life, and still have time to invest in a group of girls as a role model and leader.   Most can do things I could never imagine doing.   The Girl Scout Leadership Experience is you; each time you interact with the girls, providing them with the best that you have to offer so they will be happy, contributing adults.   It is an amazing thing to watch.   Thank you for being a leader.

04082010_AJM.jpgGirl Scouts of Southern Alabama troops "adopt" Distinguished Young Women each summer and show them hospitality while getting involved in this exciting program! This is a great summer activity for your girls!

Troops are still needed as we are far from our goal of 50 troops. If you are interested, please send an Event Registration Form to Mary Anne Brutkiewicz by May 1. Be sure and include your state preferences, if any.
Mom & Daughter

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A limited number of spaces have opened up for the Mom and Me Weekend at Camp Sid, April 30 through May 1. Come and enjoy a fun time with your little girl! This event is for Daisy, Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts.

Contact Mary Anne Brutkiewicz, 800-239-6636, ext. 1202, as soon as possible if you would like to attend!
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LPGA invites Girl Scouts to meet and greet some of the country's best women's golfers. Girls will participate in a putting clinic and spend time with the lady golfers, learning about the sport of golf and fulfilling dreams. The LPGA is providing pizza (yum!) and a special guest speaker, Stacy Lewis.
If you don't know who Stacy Lewis is, you'll want to get to know her.
Not just because Stacy has been the best amateur player in the country over the past 2 years, or because she was the 2007 NCAA champion, or even because she has won 12 tournaments at the collegiate level while putting the University of Arkansas' women's golf program on the map.
It isn't because in her last event as an amateur, at the prestigious Curtis Cup held at the Old Course at St. Andrews, Stacy became the first person in the 76 year history of the Curtis Cup to post a 5 - 0 record while leading her US team to an historic victory. And it isn't because in her first tournament as a professional at the US Open 2008, the most prestigious of majors, she lead the star-studded field after the 3rd round and played in the final group with Paula Creamer, where she managed to finish third.
You'll want to meet Stacy Lewis because she is the best story in women's golf due to the things she's overcome in order to just play golf again.   7.5 years in a back brace and back surgery, after which she wasn't sure she would even be able to walk, let alone swing a golf club again.
You won't be able to help but like Stacy because she's earned everything she's ever won, and then some. She embodies those values that we most cherish: fiercely competitive yet considerate, tremendously talented yet seeks betterment through hard work, intelligent without being condescending, confident without being self absorbed and incredibly irrepressible no matter what obstacles are before her. In many respects, Stacy Lewis is who we would like to be as Girl Scouts.

And, if you aren't convinced yet, you can always come for the pizza... (PS - we're just kidding about that!)

When: Monday, April 25
           4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Where: Magnolia Grove Golf Course, Mobile
Program Level: Cadette, Senior, Ambassador Girl Scouts
Minimum: 15, Maximum: 30
Fee: $3 (includes snack and a patch)
Registration deadline: In office by April 22
Questions? Contact Mary Anne Brutkiewicz, ext. 1202
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Image by alwright1 via Flickr

It's that time again -- Girl Scout Day Camp at the beautiful Mobile Botanical Gardens. The day camp is run completely by volunteers, so if you are an approved adult leader or Cadette, Senior or Ambassador Girl Scout, please consider volunteering with the girls in a wonderful outdoor experience!  To volunteer, call 251-345-3328.  You don't have to volunteer all day or even every day. We'll use all volunteers and work around their schedule.
Space for campers is available based on the number of volunteers, so the more volunteers we have, the more girls can enjoy this week of fun.

: June 13 to June 17
Time: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday
Place: Mobile Botanical Gardens on Museum Drive
  • Daisy, Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts $30 (T-shirt included)
  • Cadette, Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts $20 (T-shirt included)
  • Non-Association II Girl Scouts $35                                                                                                                                        
Refund Policy: 75% by June 6, 2011. No refund after this date.
Registration Deadline: June 6, 2011
Mail or Deliver Registration Form to:
Association II Day Camp
Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama
3483 Springhill Avenue
Mobile, Alabama 36608

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liz_brent.jpgThis is national volunteer week, when we acknowledge the fantastic things each of you do to make our world a better place.   I was at a large council event last week where there were hundreds of girls and the volunteers who make Girl Scouts possible for them.   From a distance, it looked a lot like herding cats.   But up close, I could see many formative conversations going on, where adults were talking to girls about how to be better people and citizens.    It is amazing to watch.   Those of us who have the privilege of working with you frequently hear stories about how you changed lives.    It is hard to select those stories, because there are so many.   The work you do changes the lives of the girls you touch and is an investment in our collective future.   Thank you for all that you do. VOLUNTEERS ROCK!  

uws-top-logo.pngGirl Scouts of the USA was the first organization to respond to a national initiative connecting potential volunteers with opportunities to serve military families.

The initiative, announced April 12 by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, allows interested adults to volunteer with community-based groups whose services are inclusive of military families at www.serve.gov. From that site, potential volunteers are redirected to opportunities and contact information at a council close to them. Girl Scouts' involvement in the initiative is significant; given the significant deployment of military reserves and the National Guard, every council across the United States and overseas serves military families in some way.

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sportsmuseum.jpgLooking for a great FREE field trip for your troop?  The American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) is located on the campus of the United States Sports Academy in Daphne.  ASAMA has one of the largest collections of sports art in the world.  Museum tours last 45-90 minutes and can be scheduled Monday through Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.  If your tour is near lunch, a box lunch can be purchased. 

Troop leaders just need to contact Leigha Bolton at 251-626-3303 or lbolton@ussa.edu to schedule the event.  She requests at least a week notice.

We are still in need of troops to Adopt a Distinguished Young Woman (formerly known as AJM) June 12-25. This is a special program just for Girl Scouts. We would love to have 50 troops participate in the program this year.  As soon as your troop is assigned a state, your girls can start corresponding with your state contestant. When the Distinguished Young Women arrive, your girls will already have a relationship with your DYW and will be anxiously awaiting her arrival.  
The tentative schedule for Girl Scouts and Distinguished Young Women:
·Arrival ceremony at Airport Sunday, June 12
·Special Girl Scout and Distinguished Young Women party (nominal fee to cover the meal), date TBA
·Girls can visit their young women at the "Meet and Greet" at Bel Air Mall, date TBA
·Community Night Show Wednesday, June 22
The Distinguished Young Women 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.  Please consider the commitment before registering your troop.
The registration deadline has been extended to  to April 15. To register, fill out an Event Registration Form <http://www.girlscoutssa.org/forms/Program/Event_Registration.pdf> , write the girls' top three state choices and send to Mary Anne Brutkiewicz <mailto:mbrutkiewicz@girlscoutssa.org> .
We will again have the Be Your Best Self Patch program in connection with Distinguished Young Women.  This is a program to develop an understanding of the Distinguished Young Women program while gaining a desire for excellence. It builds self esteem to help one prepare to successfully deal with daily challenges in a way that exemplifies courage, confidence, and character. Please note on your Event Registration Form if your troop will be participating in the program.  We will need to get an accurate count to order patches by May 1.

Horse Trail Ride

Image by megansquire via Flickr

The 2011 Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference (SETC) is quickly approaching and they want Girl Scouts to be part of this exciting event held in  Auburn, Alabama on July 21-23, 2011. (Participants can choose to attend only on Saturday, July 23, if they wish.)

The focus of SETC is to discuss ways to create and maintain sustainable trails.  This cannot be accomplished without the youth of today.
The youth and adult conference sessions will run concurrently.
The goal of the SETC 2011 youth component is to harness and cultivate their passion for the equestrian way of living so that the things done today will last for tomorrow.  The SETC will include youth into regular sessions where they will learn valuable information from the leaders of today.  Plus some events will be exclusively for youth teambuilding.  There will also be an open forum during the final afternoon, for the youth to speak about what they want from the equestrian life and trails.  Conference organizers anticipate this session will be an encouragement to ALL attendees.
More information is available at their website: http://www.southeasternequestriantrails.com 
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