Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama: May 2014 Archives

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I've had the opportunity to attend some graduation activities of our graduating Girl Scouts.   What a treat!   Every graduate is an accomplished individual beyond their activities in Girl Scouts, and we wish them the best in the next part of their Journey through life.

For many of you, this is the time of year when you are trying to adjust to a somewhat different schedule.   Hopefully, lots more outdoor activities, trying new things, and some leisure time that you just don't have the opportunity for during the school year.

I know many of you suspend troop meetings during the summer so you don't have to hassle with coordinating vacation schedules, people moving in different directions, and summer fun.    I want to thank you for all you do for girls.    This has been a good year in many ways and one that has held its challenges.   I'm sure you can resonate with that.    We cannot do this work without you.   I know there are days when it is frustrating, but I hope the moments with the girls when they gain an insight makes all that worthwhile.

We have had service units give scholarships to their graduates recently.   We had another troop that is graduating give their remaining troop funds to fund a camp scholarship in honor one of their deceased troop members.   I hear about great summer events that troops are doing some exciting events with their troop proceeds.  

I reached an age milestone recently with my birthday, and it is closer to retirement than it is my youth at this point.   I still look back on my Girl Scout experiences with fondness and pleasure.   I remember the women who were part of that experience -- the leaders who taught life skills I still use today.   They were role models.   I hope you know you serve that role to the girls you work with.   Every day I hear examples of great leadership on your part.   Those might seem insignificant, but never underestimate what small thing will change a girl's life and be that one moment that makes a difference in her life.

Thank you for your hours of work, patience, planning, and contribution to make the world a better place.    You are special! I'm hoping it is a great summer.

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This week and next week as I drive to and from work I'll play Edward Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance Marches.   It is a time of exhilaration and tears.   Commencement's definition, according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, is "a time when something begins."   I realize we sometimes see this as an ending, when, in fact, it is the beginning.

On behalf of all of GSSA's staff, I would like to congratulate the class of 2014.   What an accomplished group of girls, soon to be young women that we have had amongst us.   I have had the privilege of attending ceremonies where these girls have been honored.   They will change the world, and they have learned how to do this through Girl Scouts.   They are headed in many different directions, but all are aimed at making a difference in the lives of others.

Hopefully, this transition to the next phase of life, the new beginning, will continue to include involvement in Girl Scouts.   We work with many collegiate women through programs facilitated partnership with us, especially those involved in the Kappa Delta Sorority, but we are not limited to that partnership.  If your Girl Scout experience has been a good one, consider remaining involved, even if it is the occasional assistance to a troop where you are living.   Many of you might remember how great you thought college girls were; remember that now you are, too, for younger girls.

Also a reminder, there is a large discount when you become a lifetime member of Girl Scouts upon graduation from high school.   I urge you to consider taking advantage of that.

On behalf of the more than 10,000 girls and volunteers involved in GSSA, we wish you every success in your future endeavors.   You will have times of frustration and times of great joy in your journey ahead, but we know you will do well because of the life skills you have developed through your many experiences and the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.

Our collection of vintage Girl Scout items in the Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama's heritage room is really growing!  I'm always looking for old Girl Scout collectibles to make displays to show girls and adults what Girl Scouts was like and how it has evolved over the years.  I want to make many portable displays that can be moved around the council jurisdiction for folks to view.  Some are already in circulation.  Anytime you're ready to say "goodbye" to your Girl Scout items, I hope you'll pass these treasures on to our collection so others can enjoy them.

Our need for funds to purchase display frames, archival storage boxes, clear archival sleeves, and other materials to protect the collection is also great.
If you wish to support our heritage collection with vintage items or a donation, please send them to the Mobile Girl Scout office: 3483 Springhill Avenue, Mobile, AL 36608.  Mark them for the "Heritage Collection" with your name and return address.

Stop by and see the collection whenever you're near the council office and take a trip down your Girl Scout memory lane.

-- Gigi Baroco, volunteer GSSA historian
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Each year troops and service units kindly donate funds to the council for camp equipment, other items for broader Girl Scout use, and current initiatives.   We are grateful for these donations and appreciate the thought that goes into them.

This year Troop 8442 of Fairhope has taken the spirit of giving one step further, and created a lasting memorial to a one of their own. The remaining members of the troop are graduating, so they are  disbanding.   They had funds left in their troop account, so they decided to honor one of their troop members, Emily Dunnam, who was killed in an accident a number of years ago.   They have established a camp scholarship fund in her name to fund girls who cannot afford to attend Girl Scout camp.

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Emily was always proud to be a Girl Scout.   Even when the troop was in middle school, she wasn't ashamed to be a Girl Scout.   Cori Yonge, one of her troop leaders, describes Emily as one of the girls at every troop activity.   She was a great soccer player, so she would come to Girl Scouts from soccer practice, and Emily enjoyed all camping outings.    Judy Hale, her other Girl Scout leader, said at the troop's ending luncheon that she would have stayed a Girl Scout until she graduated.

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama has approved the establishment of the Emily Dunnam Camp Scholarship fund to provide financial assistance to girls who otherwise could not afford to attend camp.   The first camp scholarships will be awarded for the 2014 camp scholarship season.

Emily was an inspiration to her troop.

 


Troop 8442 has has continuously illustrated the power of what girls can do through Girl Scouts.   Thank you to them for remembering one of their own by establishing a camp scholarship fund.   Thank you to all the other troops of the council who have also made the world a better place in sharing their resources with their fellow Girl Scouts.

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