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Anna Maria Chávez, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of the USA, sent out the following message:

I stand with all Girl Scouts across the country and around the world in offering my thoughts and prayers to all of those who have been affected by the massive and devastating tornado that tore through the Oklahoma City area on Monday. As Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said, it was a tragic day for the people of her state and, indeed, for all of us, as the death toll now stands at 24 and includes a Girl Scout, who was a member of the Girl Scouts-Western Oklahoma Council.
All staff members of the Girl Scouts-Western Oklahoma Council, which is based in Oklahoma City, are accounted for and safe. The council appreciates all of the good wishes, but is unable to handle all of the calls and emails at this time. We ask that you not call or email the council, but instead check its website or Facebook and Twitter feeds for the latest information. The council also cannot accommodate material donations, such as blankets and other goods. Instead, the council has created the Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma Tornado Relief Fund that will help get troops back up and running, provide scholarships for program and camp participation, and offer other support to Girl Scouts in the affected areas. You can text the word GIRLS to 20222 to make a $10 donation. In addition, the council is encouraging girls to send messages or art in the shape of the Girl Scout trefoil that it will present this summer to Girl Scouts affected by the storm. Send your trefoil artwork to:
Girl Scouts-Western Oklahoma
Mary Nichols' Family Leadership Center
6100 N. Robinson Ave.
Oklahoma City, Okla. 73118
I want to thank everyone for their thoughtful messages of caring and concern for our sisters at the Girl Scouts-Western Oklahoma Council. Even as we grieve for our sister Girl Scout and all those who lost their lives, we are sustained by the resilience of the human spirit and the knowledge that the people of Oklahoma will, in time, recover and rebuild. We have endured in the past year a number of terrible and tragic events, and throughout it all, Girl Scouts have shown remarkable courage, commitment, and leadership. I know that our girls and adult volunteers will do so again in the wake of this tragedy.
Sincerely,
Anna Maria Chávez
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of the USA
gloria_caddell.jpgFor over 50 years Gloria Caddell was an instrumental part of scouting in Mobile. She taught countless girls to swim, canoe, cook over a campfire, and live by the Girl Scout Law. In 2005 she was honored as a "Southern Hero" for her work in the community. Gloria's 90th birthday is May 8th and her family will celebrate this milestone Saturday, May 12th at 5:30 in the cafeteria at Little Flower Catholic school. Mass will be at 4:30. If your life was touched by Gloria please join us. If you are unable to attend, but would like to reach out to her, please contact her daughter, Mary Caddell: mtcaddell@comcast.net for Gloria's address.

Her family is putting together a book of memories - if you have a picture or special memory of Gloria, please contact her daughter Mary Caddell: mtcaddell@comcast.net.  We hope you can join in Gloria's celebration!
Girl Scouts go Green! As part of our 100th Anniversary celebration, "Girl Scouts Rock Mobile!" the moms will learn how to make homemade cleaning products that are environmentally friendly and economical. Here are the recipes:

DIY Countertop Spray

You will need: one clean unlabeled spray bottle (ones with measurements marked on the side are great!)
                     sharpie
                     measuring tools
                     2 C water
                     1/4 tsp your favorite liquid or dish soap (Dawn, Dr. Bronners, etc.)
                     2 tsp borax
                     4 T vinegar
                     optional: a few drops of an antiseptic essential oil such as tea tree, lemon, thyme, peppermint, lavender, cinnamon, clove

Directions: mix ingredients in indicated amounts in your spray bottle, adding the soap last to avoid excessive foaming. Gently shake to mix. Use sharpie to label your bottle clearly. Write recipe on bottle for easy refilling.

Use like regular countertop spray, 


DIY Laundry Powder

note:  A full recipe fits neatly into a 32oz yogurt or take-out container.

You will need: one clean container of your choice that holds at least 16 oz and can easily be scooped out of and relabeled ex: old yogurt or take-out containers, old wide-mouth jar such as mayonnaise, tupperware)
                     measuring tools
                     grater, mixing bowl, mixing spoon
                     4oz (1/2bar) of a clean-rinsing bar soap (ivory, Fels-Naptha)
                     1/2 cup washing soda- sodium carbonate
                     1/2 cup borax
                     optional: a few drops of essential oil
                     
Directions: finely grate soap and combine with other ingredients in a large bowl. stir until soap is well incorporated and you have an even-textured powder. Use sharpie to label container and write recipe on container for easy refilling. Use 1 tablespoon for regular loads or 2 tablespoons for large or heavily soiled loads. 


Bug-repellant Drawer Sachets

You will need: fabric bag of your choice, homemade or store-bought
                     string, sewing thread and needle, or sewing machine
                     any combination of bug repellant herbs, the fresher the better, including:
                      red cedar chips
                      bay leaves
                      rosemary
                      cloves
                      lavender
                      catnip
                      tansy

Directions: place herbs inside bag, close bag with method of your choice. place sachets in clothing drawers, sweater chests, or hang on hangers in the closet.


Links for further reading
The internet is chock full of information, some of which is actually true! The very best internet sources include university, government, and research institute websites. 

www.thedailygreen.com   additional green cleaning tips from Good Housekeeping
www.greenliving.nationalgeographic.com  concise articles from a well-trusted source
http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/  Government database of household products listing ingredients and safety information.
http://eartheasy.com/live_nontoxic_solutions.htm very comprehensive list of natural cleaning tips and recipes
http://www.teachsoap.com/  Now that you have a new appreciation for back-to-the-basics cleaning, why not learn to make soap? This is Girl Scouts after all!

The Refugee Resettlement Program is the branch of Catholic Social Services created to meet the special needs of refugees. The Mobile Catholic Social Services Refugee Resettlement Program is the only refugee resettlement program in all of Alabama. Their goal  is to make the refugee families feel welcome and to ease their transition into this country. They need the help of generous key people and organizations to assist in welcoming our new neighbors. 

Opportunities exist for older Girl Scouts to help with ESL classes. Girl Scout troops of all ages are encouraged to collect needed items for this program. For a complete listing and to volunteer, click here.   
We appreciate that our volunteers are willing to share their great programs with other girls.   We list these as a service so our girls have other learning opportunities. Please contact the volunteer listed in the program for more information.  

Cookie Cook-Off: Watch, Judge & Taste!

Contact:  Becky K Tate 251.366.1143 

Date: Saturday, March 17, 2012

Time: 1:00 PM - 4:00PM 

Event Type:  Events and Series 

 Join us for a day of Cookie competition! 

Troops are invited to attend to watch the chefs prepare their dishes, and complete requirements that could count towards badges.  They will also be given the opportunity to vote for Daisy's Choice by voting for their favorite with Dimes for Daisy (so bring those dimes to vote).   

Who:  Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors

Date:  Saturday, March 17, 2012

Location: Virginia College, Culinard School of Culinary  

                  Mobile Festival Center  

                  3725 Airport Blvd, Suite 165

Cost:   $7.50  per girl  2 leaders free   $5.00 for additional adults

Due to space limitations No tagalongs please

Registration Deadline: Wednesday, February 29                                  

Send Registration on council event registration form to:

                           4256 Vega Drive, Mobile 36693

                           (Checks payable to SU 804)


Minimum to hold event: 25

Maximum capacity:  75

Contact:  Becky K Tate 251.366.1143 
We appreciate that our volunteers are willing to share their great programs with other girls.   We list these as a service so our girls have other learning opportunities.   Questions about this program should be directed to the contact listed below.


Contact: Laura Morin, Daisy Troop 8003, Lmorin001@gmail.com or 205-239-4967

Our troop has planned a wonderful World Thinking Day full of activities. We will have several professional speakers who are great with kids plus some recylced craft stations. The information is below. 

Naturally Thinking! (D, B,J, C)
Date: Saturday, February 25, 2012
Time: 9:00 am

Become one with nature for World Thinking Day! Visit the Gulf State Park Nature Center, which is a living museum of plants and animals that are native to the Gulf Coast region. Learn about endangered sea turtles and how we can help them survive. Be entertained while studying about the importance of recycling. Construct several recycled craft projects. Discover important elements of gardening the natural way. Enjoy the beautiful surroundings without the use of electricity. The theme for World Thinking Day 2012 is girls worldwide say "we can save our planet." This program will help Girl Scouts to understand their connection to the natural world and their responsibility to protect it.

Who:  Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette, Adults and Tagalongs

Date: Saturday, February 25, 2012

Time: 9:00 am - 11:00 am (The Gulf State Park is open for attendees to hike after the program, if they choose.)

Location : Gulf State Park Nature Center, State Hwy. 135, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Cost: Girl Scouts $10, Adults and Tagalongs $6 Cost includes World Thinking Day badge, crafts, snack, parking, goody bag, and more.

Minimum:30 participants

Maximum: 120 participants

Registration Deadline: February 20

Send registration to: Girl Scout Troop #8003, 126 Meadow Run Loop, Foley, AL 36535

Contact: Laura Morin, Lmorin001@gmail.com or 205-239-4967

We appreciate that our volunteers are willing to share their great programs with other girls.   We list these as a service so our girls have other learning opportunities.   Questions about this program should be directed to the contact listed below.

Cookie Cook-Off - Competition

Date: Saturday, March 17, 2012

Time: 10:00AM - 4:00PM 

Event Type: 

  Events and Series 

 Join us for a day of Cookie competition! 

Teams will compete for the best cookie recipe made using Girl Scout cookies as a major ingredient.  Competition on the scout level is open to 16 older girl scout troops.  Award for Best in Class and  a Daisy's Choice Award as voted on by scouts attending the event.  Official rules will be provided with registration.   

Who:  Older Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors

Time:  10:00 - 4:00 Competing teams   

Location: Virginia College, Culinard School of Culinary  

                  Mobile Festival Center  

                  3725 Airport Blvd, Suite 165

Cost:   $20.00 entry fee for scout troop Cooking Team (Max 5 GS Chefs per cooking team)  

            Troops may have multiple teams

(must be Juniors or older and bring their own cookies)  

$5.00 per additional scout. 

2 leaders free. 

Additional Adults $5.00  

No tagalongs please

Registration Deadline: Wednesday, February 29, 2012.

Send Registration using council event registration form to (mark as competing):

                            GSSA SU 804

                            4256 Vega Drive, Mobile 36693

                           (Checks payable to SU 804)

Minimum to hold event: 4 teams

Maximum capacity:  8 teams

Contact:  Becky K Tate 251.366.1143

Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales on Thursday, April 12 at the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre.   Join Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy as they bring the timeless fairytale adventures of Cinderella, Beauty and The Beast, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to life right in your hometown. Featuring dynamic storytelling, award winning music, stunning costumes and glittering special effects, audiences will be captivated by the humor, fun and adventure of these spellbinding stories. Dream with the princesses, cheer for the heroes as they conquer evil villains, and marvel as these classic tales are brought to life in a theatrical experience that's pure magic. Call 800-745-3000 to purchase tickets and use Customer Code DLIVE12.


The Murray House on Government Street has a volunteer need from local Scout troops. They are collecting hygiene items to give to their male and female residents for prizes. Examples of hygiene items they need are: toothpaste and toothbrushes, Kleenex, soap, shampoo, hairbrushes, and combs. They also have a need for new blankets, towels, and pillows, if anyone wants to donate those. If your troop can help out, please bring items to the council office by March 15. Leaders may also contact Rebecca Thomas (beckyt137@bellsouth.net 251-432-2272 for more information.

Golf is a wonderful lifelong sport for girls and Alabama has some of the best courses in the world! Mobile Girls Golf Club gives girls an affordable opportunity to learn and practice golf. Contact Michael@michaelbrisbanegolf.com for more information. 

GWF2012.jpgThe Girls World Forum 2012 will take place July 11-17 in Chicago. The focus of the GWF will be three of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals: Ending hunger and poverty; Empowering girls;  and saving the planet.  Delegates will develop skills and networks to bring about change in their community and country. Each council is allowed to send two delegates. Delegates must be between the ages of 14-18, actively involved in the Girl Scout council, interested in the United Nations MDGs, and willing to implement a plan for change in their community. 
We are also seeking applications for a young (18-30) volunteer active in Girl Scouting willing to  chaperone girls and work with them upon returning home to implement plans in their community. Cost of the program is $650 per participant, which includes lodging, meals, programs, and transportation in Chicago. Interested girls and volunteers should contact Mary Anne Brutkiewicz to apply by February 15.