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The cookies have arrived - just in time for a nice warm up of our weather!  We hope that you will have a chance to get outside and enjoy this weekend's warm temps and sunshine and take part in our Cookie Walkabout Weekend.  I'll be out on Saturday, myself, with my daughter, and we are looking forward to it!

Speaking of cookies, we need a great sale so that we can continue to present excellent programming for our girls, and we know that your hard work is critical to this effort. If there is something we can help with or a question we can answer, please let us know.  Our product sales team is here to help!

Time for resident camp will be with us before we know it, and we are delighted that so many girls (more than 50!) have already registered for camp.  We are looking forward to a great year, with lots of fun planned and a great new camp director (who's no stranger to most of you), Cheryl Miller. Start making plans to attend now.  We can't wait to see you at Scoutshire Woods or Kamp Kiwanis in June.

As many of you know, our Thin Mint Sprint was cancelled due to the potential for ice and the low wind chill last Saturday morning.  Our team was up and ready to greet racers when the news came that the Mobile police were asking folks to stay inside and off the roads.  We have rescheduled to April 8, with details to come!  However, girls and volunteers who registered should pick up their T-shirt and gift bag at the Mobile office as soon as possible.  The T-shirt is too cute, and you won't want to miss having one. 

Have a great Walkabout Weekend!

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Happy New Year!  I hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday break.  We had a great time with our kids and extended family.  Although I admit getting both kids back into their routine this week has been hard.  Our two-year-old begged me on Tuesday morning to "pwease, pwease put my jammies back on, Mommy!" I bet many folks felt the same way that day!

Back at GSSA we are excited to start a new year, and we have so many great things going on this month.  On Saturday, our Thin Mint Sprint 5K will be presented in Mobile at the University of South Alabama.  It's going to be chilly, but so much fun. Please come and join us if you can!  Here's a link to more information: 2017 Thin Mint Sprint.

In case you haven't noticed (ha, ha), the cookie sale has begun!  Cookies should be in troop hands by this time next week, and we are hoping to have a great sale.  We've had a lot of excellent media buzz about the new cookie, which is a good start. Don't forget that girls who sell 25 boxes of cookies are eligible for the entrepreneur discount for programs and resident camp.  Also, girls who sell 800 boxes will receive $175 in program credits toward resident camp, council programs. At 1,600 boxes, girls receive another $175 in credits.

Don't forget that our Walkabout Weekend is Jan. 14-16.  This is a great time for girls to get out in their neighborhoods with their fellow troop members.  Decorate your red wagon, your scooter, or even your golf cart and have some fun selling cookies the "old fashioned" way (i.e. like we used to do it when we were kids!).

Be sure to take a Walkabout photo during Walkabout Weekend featuring your Girl Scout or Troop/Group as she/they go door-to door selling cookies, and email your photo(s)to communications@girlscoutssa.org by the end of the contest (February 24). We will place your photo in a Facebook photo album and the photo that has the most likes will win the contest. We will post photos beginning January 23, so the sooner you send them, the more time for everyone to like them!  The winner receives a $50 GSSA shop gift card!

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It's almost that time!  The holidays?  Well, yes - and I, for one, can't wait for some family fun and special times with our daughter and son.  It's also almost time for ... you guessed it, cookies!

I want to remind everyone that preorders start on Dec 26 (and not before then - we want to be fair to all of our Girl Scout sisters!). We have some great cookie merchandise in our shop, both online and at the service centers.  Be sure to check the cookie pages on our website for troop marketing resources and other important information. Everything you need should be there, and if not, please feel free to call us.  We will be happy to assist you and your girls throughout the sale.

GSSA closes for the holidays on Friday, Dec. 23, and we will re-open on Tuesday, Jan. 3. We hope that you enjoy some well-deserved time off, as well, during the holiday season.  On behalf of our staff, I want to thank each of you for your work to lead our girls into the future.  We are grateful for your love of Girl Scouting and can't wait to begin 2017.  It's going to be a great year!

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Did you know that the Girl Scout Cookie Sale turns 100 this year? What an amazing accomplishment that our cookie sale started with a great idea from one troop and grew to become world's largest girl-led entrepreneurship program.

I love the story of how the cookie sale started back in 1917, when girls from the Mistletoe Troop in Oklahoma, began selling homemade cookies to support their troop.   By 1922, Girl Scouts of the USA was encouraging troops to sell cookies as a fundraiser, and by 1936, our national organization began licensing bakers to make Girl Scout Cookies.  The rest is history!

To celebrate the 100th year of Girl Scouts selling cookies, we will promote this special occasion throughout the sale. Most notable, we have a new cookie, the S'more, which has all the flavors of the classic snack and is creating a great buzz.  I always gauge the potential success of a new cookie by how quickly it disappears from my house, and when I brought a few S'mores home for my husband and children to try, they vanished in record time to rave reviews.  I've also heard good feedback from volunteers and folks in our community who have tried them, so we hope they will fly out of our pantries and be a great success. Keep your fingers crossed!

Try Digital Cookie this year.  It's a great tool for you and your girls. Your Girl Scout can earn an online patch by selling 15+ packages by using COCO and/or COCOdirect. Volunteers can use Digital Cookie to share links on Facebook, manage reports, and use many more great tools.

Cookie drive-thru's are back this year! These were so much fun last year and got some great publicity for us.  We hope we've worked out all the kinks and will offer more strategic locations this year.  Please help us locate drive-thru locations in your area that you think will help drive the sale. Drive-thru location signup will be through SNAP, just like a regular Cookie Booth Sale, and you can get the drive-thru equipment through your service unit manager.

We are excited about the 2017 Cookie Sale, and I hope you are, too!

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I want to thank each of you for the support you have given GSSA during the past year.  We have seen many successes in 2016 and watched our girls do incredible things. They are AMAZING!

This special time of year, in particular, we know that our Girl Scouts are doing wonderful things in their communities.  It does my heart good to see the "attitude of gratitude" our girls have in serving others.  Girl Scouts know the value of making their community a better place, and we see examples of that all year long. 

Please share photos and stories of the special things your troop is doing to help others during this season on giving. We would love to share them with others through social media and other outlets. Simply send these items to communications@girlscoutssa.org.

My family and I would like to wish you a wonderful holiday season, filled with great joy and excitement.  We have two children at our house who are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santa, so we, like many of you, definitely plan for lots of fun!  I hope that this holiday season brings you time enjoy these special moments with those you love most. Best wishes for a wonderful 2017! 

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Leaves are falling and the temperature is dropping, but what are we thinking about here?  Resident Camp!  Camp starts in just six months, and we can't wait for your daughter to be there.  It's going to be a fabulous year! 

The Resident Camp Program Packet will be available Dec. 15 so you can begin making plans to attend camp even before the new year.  We have so many exciting things to tell you about, and here are just a few:

  • Our new camp director is longtime staff member and volunteer, Cheryl Miller. Cheryl knows how to make sure our girls have a great camp experience in a safe and secure environment.  She also is a mother, herself, and understands the importance of taking care of children.  I have every faith in Cheryl, and know that she will take great care of our daughters (mine included!) while they are at camp. 

  • Weeks 1 and 2 of resident camp will be at Kamp Kiwanis, while the 3rd and 4th weeks will be at Camp Scoutshire WoodsSail Away camp will be presented at Kamp Kiwanis in July.  

  • We have a fun-filled Dr. Seuss theme for camp. All sessions will be led by skilled camp counselors, who are well-trained and have undergone background checks.    

  • Registration will be easier than ever this year and will be handled through Campdoc.com, where you can fill in all forms and make payments.  We also have the gift of camp available on the online shoptoo, so that family and friends may make the gift of camp for their special girl. We will take the girl's gift of camp total and apply it to her balance automatically. 

  • We have some great promotions for camp, including a $20 in Trading Post dollars for the first five girls to sign up for camp by Jan 30, and if you bring a friend (new to camp) to camp, you get a free camper care package. 

Please mark your calendars for Dec. 9 and check out our full listing of what's in store for your Girl Scouts at resident camp this summer. We are already counting the days till summer will be here! 

 

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As Thanksgiving nears, our thoughts inevitably turn to the many things for which we are thankful.  On my list, of course, are the obvious ones, like family and special times with them. I'm also perennially grateful for good books, delicious food, and wonderful places to visit.   This year, though, I feel especially fortunate to be able to have the opportunity to serve you.

Our staff is thankful every day that we are able to make the world a better place through service to girls.  We also know that this would not be possible without the dedication and support of our volunteers.  You are the glue that holds Girl Scouts together, and I want thank each of you for the work that you do.

I hope you take some time this holiday season to think about the many blessings in your life.  Please know that our staff and I count you as one of ours.

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A native of Sacramento, California, Martha Hesselein knows a thing or two about accomplishments, building girls of courage, confidence and character. Martha beat cancer twice! This is an amazing accomplishment that encourages anyone not to give up. 

If she had a superpower ability, it would be to ease suffering, both mental and physical. She believes that girls suffer a massive drop of confidence in themselves and their abilities during middle school years. She says that an early start in Girl Scouts helps them to gain life skills to help them understand their intrinsic value; both to themselves and to their community. 

#THRIVE - The hashtag chosen by Martha because she says it's not just enough to live, we must "Strive to Thrive" and to help others thrive.  Martha has been part of the Girl Scouts family for 15 years. The most influential person in her life is her daughter. The day her daughter was born was the day she realized that her life was about being of service. 

Martha lives with her husband and daughter in a big, drafty house along with four cats, two parrots, and three chickens. She enjoys processing fleece, spinning wool and knitting/weaving clothing from local sheep. She hopes to hike part of the Pacific Crest Trail, visit an Eastern European Capital city, and to foster pets for a local humane society.

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What can you do to make the world a better place?  Can you give your time?  Your money?  Your help in spreading the word about a worthy cause?

It's the season of thankfulness and giving, and while we are pondering our many blessings, it's also a great time to think about how you can make a difference.  As Girl Scout parents and volunteers, we are focused on how to help our girls learn the importance of giving back to their communities, so it just makes send that we should do the same.

During the holiday season there are many ways that you can make a difference for the girls of southern Alabama. Here are some ideas to get you started!

  • Participate in Giving Tuesday, which takes place on Nov. 29 and is a new kind of holiday tradition. This special day provides us with the opportunity to help others, with the gift of time, donations, gifts in kind, or your own voice.
  • Make a donation, either monetary or in kind to our end-of-the-year campaign or give a gift. monthly. You can also give a memorial or tribute gift in honor of someone special.
  • Share your time with us!  We need volunteers to help with programs and with in-office work.
  • Purchase a brick paver to honor a favorite troop or loved one at Kamp Kiwanis.
  • Use Amazon Smile to purchase items on Amazon.com.
  • Make a gift to our Campership Fund to help a girl in need attend camp.

There are so many ways to help our girls succeed.  Together, we will make the world a better place!

 

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Almost one hundred years ago, an international phenomenon began - and it was started by Girl Scouts. In 1917, just five years after Girl Scouts was founded an ambitious group of girls in Muskogee, Okla., baked cookies and sold them as a service project for their troop.  By 1922, girls across the county were selling cookies -- and the rest is history!

This cookie season, we will celebrate the 100th birthday of Girl Scouts selling cookies.  We have a brand-new cookie, the S'more, to commemorate this special occasion, and we have lots of fun contests and activities planned for our girls. 

Let's get this cookie season started off right!  Make plans to attend your service unit's cookie training, which should be coming up soon.  This training will provide you with an overview of all you need to know for the sale. Also, bring your girls to our Cookie University events in Mobile and Montgomery, which will have a fun, festival atmosphere and offer girls the chance to earn the 2017 cookie pin.

Since we don't have cookies available quite yet, here's a recipe for the "Original" Girl Scout cookie for you to try. I'm not sure how authentic it is, but it does sound tasty!

Original Girl Scout Cookies

????         1 cup butter, or substitute

????         1 cup sugar

????         2 tablespoons of milk

????         2 eggs

????         1 teaspoon of vanilla

????         2 cups of flour

????         2 teaspoons of baking powder

Cream butter and sugar together, add well beaten eggs, then milk, flavoring, flour and baking powder. Roll thin and bake in quick oven. Sprinkle sugar on top.

 

 

January 2017: Monthly Archives

Monthly Archives