November 2013 Archives

We give thanks...

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This is the time of year when we are transfixed by the beauty of the harvest moon.   The cotton is thick on the plants, ready for someone to harvest it to create warmth and cover for someone.   As I drive up and down I-65, the trees are burnt oranges, reds, and yellows, noting the change in the temperature and the onset of winter.   Harkening back to the pilgrims, this is the time of year we give thanks; thanks for the bounty we have been given.

Those of us who work at GSSA give thanks for those of you who volunteer your time, talents and share your gifts with girls to create a confident, courageous generation of girls who will change the world.   Through volunteering, you change the world, one girl at a time, and one event at a time.   We have the privilege of seeing that in action every time we attend a meeting, participate in an event, or experience a program.

We are grateful for the girls, who would rather spend their time honing their skills than sitting in front of the television or their electronic devices on Saturday morning.   These are girls of action who take risks, move out of their comfort zone, and try all sorts of new things.   These are also girls who learn to relate to one another.   They learn the art of talking and listening to their peers.   They learn to negotiate decisions with others participating.   They learn how to get along with others.   These girls will become exceptional adults.

We are grateful for the opportunities to explore nature and the outdoors with the camps and properties we have access to.   We have the opportunity to enjoy beautiful lakes, trails, tents, buildings, and kitchens in the woods all over our council jurisdiction.   We are grateful to have access to opportunities that arise from these properties that others do not enjoy.

We are grateful to have the opportunity to serve our community and improve it -- whether that is through picking up trash where we meet to providing a library for our school that didn't have one.   Girl Scouts serve their community and perpetuate respect for flag and country.   We are grateful to live in a country where we are free to do that.

Happy Thanksgiving! 

We've been working hard to make using your Girl Scout's Program Credits more convenient.  We are creating "Program Credits cards" for all Girl Scouts who have a current balance of Program Credits.  We will be mailing these cards to the individual girls.

 

Each girl's card will be loaded with her remaining Program Credits, to be used just like a gift card or a Starbucks card.  The Program Credit card can be used to pay for anything she would have used her program credits on it. Of course, this card can only be used for Girl Scout activities and purchases.

 

Because we will be switching out how we keep track of credits, there will be a short period when Program Credits aren't available for use. This will begin Friday, November 22, at 4 p.m.  We will mail out the new cards on Wednesday, November 27.  When you receive your Girl Scout's Program Credits card, you are welcome to start using it!  We will send a receipt with each card so you know how many Program Credits your Girl Scout has available.

 

Using the Program Credits Card for Registering for Events

Until we start using e-council, we will have space on the registration form so that each girl's Program Credits can be used as payment.  The number will need to be entered on the form. 

 

Using the Program Credits Card for Purchases

In the store, just bring in the card or the card number for each girl.  If you are using our online shop, you will be able to enter the card number and the girl's name in the ordering instructions. 

 

Similar to gift cards, the Program Credits Cards are like cash and should be carefully secured.  We will be keeping you up to date as we continue implementing this process.  Thank you for your patience as we work to become more efficient!

 

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Why be a Girl Scout?   There are many great answers to this question that we ask folks this time of year, but here are some of my top responses.

1.    Girl Scouts provides a learning opportunity that shapes values around loyalty, patriotism, and a reverence for those who have sacrificed to give us freedom.   While the kids around you are daydreaming through the Pledge of Allegiance or a flag ceremony, you know what it means.   You know these symbols signify something larger than you.

2.    Girl Scouts learn to develop friendships and frequently lifelong relationships with others, both peers and adults.   Every time I'm out I have someone talk to me about an adult that influenced them that might have been their Girl Scout leader or someone in their troop they are still friends with, years later.   Girl Scouts learn to interact with others in a setting other than school where you can make decisions about the fun things you want to do.   They also shape healthy relationships.

3.    Girl Scouts participate in activities, programs and events that you might not otherwise have access to.   Girls in Southern Alabama sleep on a battleship, dig in the mud at Dauphin Island Sea Lab, ride zip lines at Kamp Kiwanis and Camp Scoutshire Woods, and go behind the scenes at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, among many other things.   Girls have fun with their friends while learning and doing in a safe environment.

4.    Girl Scouts master DISCOVER, CONNECT, and TAKE ACTION as keys to learning and how they view the world.   They can take these easy to use keys and apply them to everything throughout their lives.   They learn to give voice to their concerns and take action to make their community better.

5.    Girl Scouts become members of the largest female alumnae association in the world.   They are a part of a sisterhood of women who care about their community and have become women of confidence, courage and character.

Why did you become a Girl Scout?   Share your stories of how Girl Scouts has contributed to your development.   Let us hear from you!

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It's time for the fun ... we are pleased and delighted to have so many new troop leaders, parents, and especially girls this fall.   That is always a positive for all of us.   In the past week or so, I have been in numerous conversations about what Girl Scouts does for girls.   The good part of my work is that I often get to see that up close.

I was at an event this weekend and talked to a troop leader about the work her troop is doing for abused children.   She has older girls, and each week they do programming for children who have been abused.   Teenagers are often a challenge, but she reports that when they see what happens to other children, they are so grateful for what they have and their own parents and family situation.   What a great learning experience!

I had another leader talk about her experience with Brownies.  At the first few meetings, it sounded like controlled chaos, but she said now you can see the troop taking shape with the girls relating to one another.   They are making friends with other girls in their troop they didn't know.   What a joy to watch, she reported, as they are learning to make new friends.

The third conversation I had was someone reporting the family had enrolled their daughter in Girl Scouts to "change her attitude."   So far, it has actually "changed her attitude."   What an interesting experience to use the fun of Girl Scouts to change girls and eventually change the world.

We had a board meeting last week during which the discussion focused around fund development and the belief that our strongest case to make to a potential funder is that we change the world through girls.   Given the rest of my weekend, all of that conversation was reinforced.   We do change the world by making girls aware of what goes on around them.   Girls learn to discover their world, once discovered they connect how they can change and improve their world, from there Girl Scouts take action.   The three keys to Girl Scouting are so simple, yet so profound.

We hope your Girl Scout is having fun while learning to change the world.

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