Recently in Badges, Patches & Awards Category


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We work at "girl speed," which in my world is often really fast.   As we work to attract girls to the pre-eminent girl leadership program in the world, we are asking for girls' input.   At the recent GSUSA National Convention, there was considerable work done around girls' outdoor experience and what they want in a changing world of outdoor opportunities.

GSUSA is rolling out four new outdoor badges next year.   As a part of that process, we are asking girls to vote for what they prefer to be involved in.     The first vote by girls will be around what content area the badges should be in.   The choices are Outdoor Recreation, Outdoor Environment, or Outdoor Survival.   Voting on that extends until November 30, and this can be done by going to Girls Choice - Outdoor Badge Voting. Please encourage their girls to voice their opinion!

Once the results are in from girls on the content area, then they will propose various possibilities within that area for girls to vote on, such as hiking, camping, trail blazing, etc.  The voting for that will run from December 1 - December 31, 2014.   We want to provide girls with the opportunities to learn and develop they outline.   We also want to continue to work at girl speed and make the Girl Scout Leadership Experience one they have a voice in.

Let your voice be heard, go to Girls Choice Outdoor Badge Voting to vote on the content areas before November 30.   Once the content area is identified, return to vote on the actual badge topic. The final results will be announced on March 15, 2015.

Thank you for your input.

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This year we will be celebrating the Girl Scout Leadership Experience at the annual meeting.    The scheduling of this meeting is always a challenge.  The annual meeting is set on the same weekend each year, but the date of Easter changes.  Between Easter and the different spring breaks on school calendars across our council, we can never find the perfect weekend for everyone.  With that said, we will still celebrate what we are about: GIRLS!

GIRLS are simply amazing.   And GSSA girls are REALLY amazing.   We have a robotics team that, despite being a new group, has done well at competitions.   We have girls who go out in the woods on a regular basis and learn skills they will use for a lifetime.   We have lots of girls who sold lots of cookies this year.   Some who didn't speak up before can now confidently approach strangers with a sales pitch -- a young budding entrepreneur.

Many of our girls drop out of Girl Scouts at age 11.   And what experiences they miss by doing so!   Those girls who do continue the Girl Scout Leadership Experience become exceptional individuals.   They are skilled in many life skills.   Of those who continue, we award 90 Bronze Awards each year.   This is usually earned by troops who do great projects.   We have about 40 girls earn the Silver Award each year.   And last, but certainly not least, this past year we have seven girls who have earned the Gold Award.

We thought we would highlight the young women who have earned the Gold Award and who will be presented their award at the annual meeting at Wehle Conservation Center on March 29.

Elizabeth Schloss is from Prattville. She is finishing her freshman year at Auburn, where she plays xylophone in the band.  For her Gold Award project, Elizabeth set up tutoring sessions for Hispanic kids. She involved her Beta club at school and held sessions at a local church after Spanish mass. Elizabeth said one of the most successful aspects for her was that the parents started coming with their kids, so she ended up with adults being tutored as well as kids. Also, a principal at a local elementary school heard about her project and asked her to come and do after school tutoring at the elementary school.

Adrienne Spivey is from Montgomery, where she is a senior at Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School.  Adrienne's Gold Award project involved educating children about Alzheimer's disease. She created and produced a video to help children understand changes they may see in their elderly relatives and feel more confident interacting with them. Adrienne has these words for girls who are thinking about going for the Gold Award: "Taking on a serious Girl Scout project could seem impossible. Think about the difference you will make by doing it, though. Think about the lives you'll change. Think about how you'll be campaigning for something you not only believe in, but that you created. This project may seem overwhelming, and even be a bit challenging at times, but the outcome and the rewards are worth it all."

 

Ann Claire Carnahan is a senior at UMS-Wright in Mobile.  Ann Claire worked with staff and volunteers at Keep Mobile Beautiful to create and promote a website for their organization. Keep Mobile Beautiful is a city of Mobile department that operates as a not-for-profit environmental organization and depends heavily on volunteers. Ann Claire designed and built a website, and used social media and presentations to bring awareness to the public about the services that Keep Mobile Beautiful offers. Ann Claire offers this advice to girls interested in going for the Gold: "I would advise girls to align themselves with a community organization that already has a need you can work towards fixing. Listening to the organization's needs gave me the framework I needed to construct an airtight, meaningful project."

These young women (and all the others who have earned awards this year) are outstanding examples of why we work hard, and why we celebrate girls.

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"Where will you be when the lights go out?"

Girl Scouts are invited by ARC Energy Consulting and Hampstead Institute Downtown Farm to join hundreds of millions of people across the globe in switching off the lights for one hour - Earth Hour!  Here's the event poster -- it looks great!


By taking part in this event, Girl Scouts will earn the GSUSA's 100th Anniversary Forever Green Patch.  The Celebration lasts from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  At 8:30 p.m. we will all turn out the lights!

We are looking for troops to facilitate and provide the activities.  If you would like your troop to lead a game, a craft, or hand out Forever Green stickers, please call (334)272-9164 ext 2205 or email Amy Farrar at afarrar@girlscoutssa.org   We are looking for energetic and enthusiastic girls who don't mind teaching and leading younger kids in activities.

This is a great opportunity to earn the100th Anniversary Forever Green Patch.  Girls will learn responsibility of their environment as well as all of the different ways they can help the planet!

Here's the link to the program details.

Earn the Make a Difference patch or Go Green patch before March 1st and have your troop's photo on display at the Girl Scouts Rock Mobile celebration! More information can be found in our 100th Anniversary Patch Book. Patches can be earned through the end of 2012, but paperwork and photos must received by March 1, 2012 to be included in the display at Girl Scouts Rock Mobile.

Here's a photo of girls from Brownie Troop 8100 in Gulf Shores earning the Make a Difference patch by making 100 cards to send to our troops overseas.

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I suspect most of our girls are smitten with the celebrities they see on "Entertainment Tonight," the cover of People magazine or in the theater.   This focus and attention on celebrities has grown over time.   We used to know some of what on in celebrities' lives, but now with technology and the internet, we have real-time feeds of what is going on with celebrities day and night.   But what if you did something to make your community a better place and became a ROCK STAR!  

Take our own Erin.   Erin is a quiet, bright, capable individual.   I emphasize the word QUIET.    She doesn't necessarily relish attention.   For her Gold Award, she built a helipad for her small community, Citronelle.   It is sustainable because the community embraced it and will continue to use it, long after she has graduated from college and made her way in the world.  

For this excellent project, she was nominated to be an OUTSTANDING YOUNG WOMAN OF DISTINCTION at the GSUSA National Convention in November.   One of 159 nominated, she was selected as one of 10 young women whose project made a difference.   This is a great honor, but it comes with responsibilities.   One of those is to get up and speak in front of the audience about her project.   Imagine how scary that would be, to speak to thousands of people with lights and cameras, when you are quiet and don't seek attention. 

 Another responsibility of that honor is to attend the Girl Leadership Institute of the national convention and participate in various sessions in front of lots of girls.   Erin had worked at camp, so she was more comfortable in front of girls.   But still, this is hard to have everyone listening to what you say. 

 Erin faced her demons.   She was nervous, but she got up in front of thousands and talked about her project.   Because she was a celebrity at the Girl Leadership Institute, she was mobbed by girls as she walked around; they wanted to pose for photos with her.   And last weekend, Erin served as the Grand Marshall of the Citronelle Holiday Parade.   Who knew that earning a Girl Scout Gold award came with such celebrity and trappings?!    I have watched how Erin has grown in confidence because of this.   Erin has had to muster up plenty of courage to talk in front of all these people.   She has left her community a better place because of what she has done. 

Would you like to see? Here's the video produced by GSUSA of Erin and her project:


61327p.jpgThe new My Promise, My Faith Pin invites girls in grades K-12 to experience a faith journey through exploration of the Girl Scout Law and teachings from their faith.  

Girls earn the pin by choosing one line from the Girl Scout Law and relating it to their faith through artistic interpretations, inspirational quotes, and discussions with other members of their faith community.  More information about pin requirements can be found in the Girl Guide to Girl Scouting for each age level.

Girls can earn this pin once a year at each grade level. The color of the pin corresponds to Girl Scout grade level color.

September 30, 2011 is the deadline for all Bronze and Silver Awards using the old Studio 2B requirements. Paperwork must be received in the council office no later than September 30, 2011. This is a GSUSA deadline, and we cannot extend it.

Also, the age levels for awards using the new requirements are different. Juniors working on the Bronze Award under the new requirements have until September 30 of their 6th grade year to finish. Cadettes working on the Silver Award under the new requirements have until September 30 of their 9th grade year to finish.

If you have any questions about the old or new awards requirements, please contact Mary Anne Brutkiewicz or Jeannie Napper.

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A new patch program called Change of Mind is now available at council offices. Change of Mind seeks to educate girls about mental illness, as well as heighten awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with mental illnesses. It also serves to reduce stigma against people with mental illnesses.

Having access to reliable information on mental illness is crucial for a number of reasons. Mental and emotional problems are common among those ages 11-17 and need to be addressed, just like physical health problems. Even if girls have not experienced or will never experience a mental illness, it is very likely they know someone who has or will. Consider the following:

·        Mental illness affects one in every five people at any given time

·        The first symptoms of severe, chronic forms of mental illness (such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression) generally appear between the ages of 15 and 24

·        An estimated two-thirds of all young people with mental health issues are not receiving the help they need

·        Fear of stigma and resulting discrimination discourages individuals and families from getting the help they need

You don't have to have prior knowledge or experience with mental illness to complete this patch program. All activities include easy-to-follow plans complete with material lists and discussion questions. Change of Mind provides clear, factual information about mental illness, the biological component that makes it not much different from other illnesses, its causes, treatment and recovery.

A cool patch is available for purchase by all girls who complete the Change of Mind patch program and as an extra incentive - all girls will also receive a Change of Mind silicone bracelet! Just be sure to turn in an evaluation. Change of Mind was developed by the Alabama Department of Mental Health's Office of Public Information and Community Relations. ADMH is the state agency responsible for serving Alabama citizens with mental illnesses, intellectual disabilities and substance use disorders. Annually, ADMH serves more than 200,000 people through a broad network of state facilities and community-based services.

 

Perhaps you have heard about the upcoming Girl's Guide 2 Girl Scouting (GG2GS), which will be available in September.  If you have, we know you have plenty of questions, so we have a document that answers most of them.  Every level will have their ownGG2GS which will encompass the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, including badges and journeys.  Read all about it in this document, and get ready for a great new year!
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Anti-Bullying Patch


For: Girl Scout Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors

Objective: To develop an understanding of the different types of bullying, how to prevent bullying and how to build a safe environment. To build self-respect and confidence to help girls overcome a bullying situation.

Guidelines: Brownies and Juniors will complete one activity from each session. Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors will complete two activities from each session, one of these must include the starred (*) activities.

Cost: $2.00 per patch

Read all of the requirements and activities in Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama patch book, and purchase the patches in our online shop!