Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama: October 2008 Archives

I have a Brownie and a Junior Troop looking to trade a postcard with your state.  If possible could you forward this email to your troops and see if anyone is interested.  We are working on a project to trade a postcard with each state for Thinking Day.  When it's over we will be displaying our postcards at an event at our local mall to raise awareness of Girl Scouts in the community.  If you can help in any way it would be greatly appreciated.  If you are interested, e-mail



  wicked.jpgJoin Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama on a trip to see "Wicked" in Birmingham on Saturday, April 18, 2009.  "Wicked" is recommended for girls 8 and up.  Ticket price includes a patch and leaders will have access to a "Wicked" study guide. Non-refundable ticket deposit ($25 for rear balcony and $35 for front balcony) and an Event Registration form are due in the Mobile Service Center by November 14 to secure tickets. The balance for tickets are due November 24. To learn more about Wicked, visit
Ticket prices: $37 rear balcony, $60 front balcony
Reservation Deadline: November 14 
Contact: Mary Anne Brutkiewicz at 251.344.3330 

America's Junior Miss 2008, Lindsey Brinton, will speak to Girl Scouts about the "Be Your Best Self" program on Nov. 8 at 12 p.m. at the Exploreum in Mobile. This is in conjunction with the Brownie Exploreum Adventure.  The Exploreum Adventure registration deadline is extended until Wednesday, November 5.


If your troop would like to come and hear Lindsey, it's FREE!  If they wish to stay for the IMAX or to visit the Exploreum, the following rates will apply:

  • IMAX -$6 girls and $7.75 adults (1:00 Hurricane on the Bayou, 2:00 Fly Me to the Moon)
  • IMAX and Exhibits-$10.75 girls and $13 adults.

Lindsey will also be at the Fountain at the Eastern Shore Center on November 8 from 2-4 p.m. for a meet and greet session.


To learn more about Lindsey, visit   


On Wednesday, October 15, I had the opportunity to participate in the Partners in Education, Principal for a Day.   I was assigned to Whitley Elementary School in Prichard.  I arrived before 8 a.m. so I could watch the children arrive for school.  

I met Ms. JaaDaa Holcombe, who is the real principal for Whitley Elementary.   She, with a number of other teachers and a parent, were getting ready to start breakfast.   The children were seated in the floor of the gym by grade, waiting for the kitchen staff to serve them breakfast.   My own recollection of meal times in elementary school were more of a noisy scramble.  But this was quiet, well organized, and orderly.   We assisted children get to their tables and eat their breakfast so they could scurry on to their classrooms.

Ms. Holcombe finds it a privilege to be the Principal of Whitley Elementary.   Her mother worked at Whitley and was a well known educator in the Prichard community.   Ms. Holcombe grew up in the Prichard community.   Prichard is a neighborhood school, drawing students from the surrounding area.  It was one of the schools in the Mobile School District that could have been closed.  But with a great deal of community support it remains open.

During the morning, between students who were sent to the office, Ms. Holcombe and I toured the various classrooms.   The students were all engaged in learning.  There were calculators, long division, reading and recess.   I was amazed at how quiet and calm that many children could be.   The school was a testament to the hard work and caring of those who work there.

If you have the opportunity to be involved in your local school district I would encourage you to do so.

mobileintlfestival-ps.jpgOne of our many Council patches centers around the Mobile International Festival, being held on Nov. 22.  Girl Scouts attending the festival can earn many of the requirements for the International Friendship Patch available on our council's website. Girls advance diversity in a multicultural world by learning to appreciate the international cultures represented at the festival.  They also have a GREAT time watching dances, eating food and seeing craft demonstrations from around the world!

You can order tickets using this form:

Is there an activity or historical site near you that is "patch-worthy"?  We welcome leaders to develop patches that focus on the rich history and diversity of our area.  Contact Mary Anne Brutkiewicz ( at 251-344-3330 more information on creating patches.


cookie_thinmints.jpgIt's that time again! This year's cookie theme is Imagine If..We Could Change The World! We have a great selection of cookies for this year's sale--come to the Cookie Kick Off to find out about them!  Service Unit Managers and Service Unit Cookie Chairs will be trained so they can train the Troop Cookie Chairs before the sale begins in early January.

Here are the SUM and SU Cookie Chair Training Dates:

Mobile: Saturday, November 8, 11 a.m. -- 2 p.m.
Earline Locke Volunteer Center
3483 Springhill Avenue, Mobile, 36608
R.S.V.P. by Wednesday, Nov. 5 to Teri Eversole:
251.344.3330 or

Opelika: Monday, November 10, 6 -- 8 p.m.
Opelika Chamber of Commerce
601 Ave. A, Opelika, 36801

Montgomery: Tuesday, November 11, 6 -- 8 p.m.
Faulkner University, Harris-Parker Bldg, Room 112
5345 Atlanta Hwy, Montgomery, 36109

Enterprise: Thursday, November 13, 6 -- 8 p.m.
First United Methodist Church of Enterprise
217 S. Main, Enterprise, 36330

For Opelika, Montgomery and Enterprise, please R.S.V.P. by Wednesday, Nov. 5 to Cheryl Miller: 334.272.9164 or


Cadette Girl Scout Troop 8286 is collecting aluminum for the SPCA, and here's your opportunity to help.  Saturday, November 22, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., the troop will be collecting aluminum at the Keep Mobile Beautiful Recycling Center at 1451 Government Street.  All your troop has to do is drop it off, and Troop 8286 will take care of the rest.

For more information, contact Liz Carnahan at

destinations.gifA destination is your chance to go somewhere new, do something different, and meet people from everywhere you can imagine.  The deadline to apply is fast approaching!  At the Studio2B website, you'll find:

·         Things to Know: Getting started

·         Find out if you're ready to go on a destination

·         Click, Pick, and Go: Choosing top destination choices

·         Between the Pick and Go: Completing the application process

·         A destination Match: There are 6 categories of destinations.  Find out which one is right for you.

Contact:  Applications should be sent to Mary Anne Brutkiewicz in the Mobile Service Center (3483 Springhill Avenue, Mobile, 36608)

Deadline:  Applications must be postmarked by Nov. 21.  Application Form:

Leader Magazine is a great resource for Girl Scout Volunteers!  You can read the current issue (and back issues) online.  Read about
  • Adrienne Bailon of The Cheetah Girls: Disney star and Girl Scout alum
  • Anti-bullying programs and strategies
  • Pulling off the perfect 4-hour event
  • Family stories about "My Aunt Daisy"
  • R2-D2 rules! How Star Wars sparked iRobot founder Helen Greiner

Visit for videos and articles.  Adrienne gives a big THANK YOU to leaders in a short video -- how nice is that?

leafpress.jpgThe Home Depot holds Saturday workshops for kids, where they learn to build simple projects under supervision.  The Saturday, November 1, workshop will be to build a leaf press.  This could be used to meet requirements for the Plant-Plant Rubbing Try It for your Brownie troop.

Here is more information from The Home Depot web site.

Be sure to contact your local Home Depot to confirm times and availability!

If you know a Girl Scout who has graduated from high school in 2008: please remind her that the deadline for the lifetime membership discount is extended until November 15.


votepatch.gifThe national, state and local election process will be at the top of the news until Election Day.  The election process provides a vivid backdrop to learn, get involved and become active in the political process.  Girl Scouts of Central Texas and the Texas State Department invite Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama to participate in the Project V.O.T.E. patch program!  There are activities appropriate for each age level. 


Some of the activities include:

  1. Name five objects that are necessary in a polling place in order to conduct an election.
  2. Make a poster or other visual display that depicts why people should vote and exhibit it at your school or local library. Example: an event, historical depiction, historical figure connected with why voting makes a difference.
  3. Design a ballot box.
  4. Design a logo which might encourage people to vote.
  5. Pretend that you are an elected official and prepare a speech to convince people why they should vote. Present the speech in a public place.

For more information on the patch, visit   To order patches, download the Girl Scouts of Central Texas Shop Order Form.  (    

As this election season gains momentum, we need to be reminded of the policy on political activity and endorsements. This policy is designed to protect our non-profit and tax-exempt status.  The Girl Scout role in any election is to provide an accurate, age appropriate, non-partisan interpretation of the election process and to instill a commitment to participatory citizenship.
The laws governing non-profit organizations draw a distinction between lobbying activities and electioneering activities. Electioneering is defined as participating in the electoral process by promoting particular candidates for office. Such activity is a direct violation of the tax law that governs non-profit organizations. You may, however, campaign on behalf of a political candidate as an individual without reference to your role as a Girl Scout leader.



If your troop or Service Area is putting on an event that is open to the larger Girl Scout community, the Virtual Volunteer Blog is here to help publicize it!

Just send an email to with the following information: event name, date, place, time and cost.  Also include the sponsoring troop or Service Area, contact email and contact phone number.  Include a description of the event and any photo or graphic you want to include.  The information may be edited for length, if needed.  You can also send a follow-up report after the event so we can all share in the fun!

Easy Peasy!  Our blog is a great way to reach Girl Scout Volunteers throughout our council!

Rhonda Fields at Auburn tells us "We had lots of last minute sign-ups and there are now over 1,000 registrants!  We are looking forward to seeing all those scout uniforms in the stadium  representing Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts!" She adds, "War Eagle!"

Come join the fun as we celebrate our Founder's Birthday!  There will be a Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament, Bingo, sack race and pie-throwing contest,  All are invited!

Where: CCC Camp in Chewacla State Park

When: October 25-26

Check in starts 4 pm Saturday for the Campout (troops bring own meals/tents), or just come for the Birthday Celebration on Sunday from 1-3.

Cost: $5/person

Deadline: October 21

Call Sandra Killian at 334-329-8307 for more details.

The communities in our council thrive because of committed and talented individuals whose efforts make a difference.  Every year, we honor up to nine women in South Alabama who have distinguished themselves through service and leadership.

These women will exemplify extraordinary civic, professional and/or philanthropic commitment and achievement.  They will be be a role model for girls, demonstrating a commitment to the advocacy for improving the lives of women and/or girls and have demonstrated initiative, integrity and leadership characteristics.  Nominees are not required to have been or currently be a Girl Scout.

We invite you to nominate distinguished women from our communities.  One award will be presented in each of the nine categories at our Women of Distinction Gala in Montgomery on March 10, 2009. 

Please visit our Special Events page to learn more.  Deadline for nominations is November 28, 2008.

Every year, our council is privileged to select a a young woman (ages 14-18) as a Young Woman of Distinction.  Do you know this girl?  She may be in your troop, a friend's troop, or your own daughter! 

This Senior or Ambassador Girl Scout will, through her community involvement and service activities, demonstrate the 3 "Cs" of the Girl Scouting Movement: Courage, Confidence and Character.  She will be honored at our Women of Distinction Gala in Montgomery on March 10, 2009.  Here are the official rules:

·         Nominee must live or work within the geographic boundaries of Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama.

·         Exhibit courage, confidence, and character and make the world a better place.

·         Be between the ages of 14-18.

·         Nominees are required to be a current Girl Scout.

Visit our Special Events page for more information.  Deadline for nominating your Young Woman of Distinction is November 28, 2008. 

Our Rights, Our Responsibilities Patch
For Junior Girl Scouts






Join with Girl Scouts and Girl Guides internationally to gain a greater awareness of human rights and why they are essential for children worldwide. The activities in this patch encourage you to take constructive responsibility for claiming basic rights for yourselves and for others. In the process, you will be empowered to become effective citizens in your local and global communities.

The name of this initiative, "Our Rights, Our Responsibilities," comes from the current triennial theme of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). The initiative is based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, a human rights treaty adopted in September 1990. The treaty was designed to encourage countries around the world to safeguard the rights of children. The convention highlights the need to protect children from abuse, violence, and exploitation, as well as to provide access to adequate nutrition, healthcare, and primary education.

This participation patch, which will be in effect through 2008, can be earned by completing at least one activity from each of the six theme areas:

  1. The right to be me
  2. The right to learn
  3. The right to be heard
  4. The right to live in peace
  5. The right to be happy
  6. The right to work together
Get all the details on activities to fulfill the the patch requirements at GS Central.

Q.  I am the Service Area Manager and I can't get any of the other leaders to help!


A.   To keep from burning out, a Service Area Manager needs to build a good Service Team.  Here are a few tips that come from some of our most successful Service Teams:


·         Be willing to delegate.  When someone offers to do a job, explain what you want them to do, give them a little guidance, and then step back and let that person do the job the way they want to do it. 


·         Don't ask for help, offer opportunities! Look beyond the Troop Leaders: talk to assistant leaders, parent volunteers, former troop leaders, new teachers, and people you meet other places every day (bank tellers, librarians, nurses, etc.)  Many people, who don't even have children, love the opportunity to get involved in small ways.


·         Be specific about what you want someone to do, and, if possible, indicate the time commitment.  Break big jobs into several smaller jobs.  We have five people who work together to handle the cookie sale.  One coordinates the team and handles paperwork that troops turn in, one does cookie training for the Troop Cookie Chairs, one schedules booth sales, one is in charge of the cookie drop, one handles all requests for additional cookies.  


·         Be willing to let certain things go undone if no one volunteers to do them.  A year without a fall camporee or a day camp will help people realize that without their involvement, things may not happen.


-- Cheryl Miller, Learning & Volunteer Services Manager 

We'd like to thank Troop 9349 from Enterprise, Alabama, who spent months making quilts to present to Ft. Ruckers soldiers who have served overseas as part of their Bronze/Silver Award Projects.  Working with a local quilt shop, they learned sewing and quilting skills, had lots of fun, and took pride in creating a project from planning to completion.  They were part of a special ceremony to present quilts to the soldiers -- one of whom was the father of one of the quilting Girl Scouts!

They were even featured on local television.  Here is the link to the broadcast.  Check it out!

Once a month on "Thankful Thursday" we invite you to join us in highlighting the work of special individuals who make a difference in Girl Scouting.

fitsinn_brownie.jpgGSUSA is thrilled to announce the launch of Fit's Inn, a multimedia program funded by PepsiCo Foundation that encourages Girl Scout Brownies and Juniors to make smart choices about nutrition and fitness!  Through video episodes and girl-driven experiences, Brownies and Juniors are encouraged to get healthy, team up and take action, by moving away from the couch and onto the soccer field, yoga mat or even into the kitchen.


What will girls discover at Fit's Inn? Imagine the perfect destination where girls "check in" for a healthy getaway full of daily activities that inspire and challenge them to take action. Girls try sports and dance, and even learn yoga - all from girls their own age who act as "personal coaches" in five video episodes. To stay fueled for fun, girls also learn to make healthy meals and snacks. The positive experiences at Fit's Inn will build healthy habits that can last a lifetime. Girls can receive a participation patch for their involvement in Fit's Inn.

  fitsinn_junior.jpg Program components include 5 short videos (7-10 minutes each) and 2 facilitator guides, one for each level, including over 50 activities all on one CD.  Volunteers can download materials from the GSUSA website to learn more about the program. As part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, volunteers will be able to use Fit's Inn right alongside Girl Scout Leadership Journeys for Brownies and Juniors!

 So, check in to Fit's Inn at: and help girls build healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

 If you'd like to check out the Fit's Inn DVD, contact Mary Ann Brutkiewicz at 251.344.3330 or mbrutkiewicz@girlscoutssa.orgIf you would have any questions about Fit's Inn, please contact

 Fit's Inn is funded by the PepsiCo Foundation Grant



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