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Media

We always invite our local media to ask us about Girl Scouting- whether it has to do with a troop project, recognizing a dedicated volunteer or our Girl Scout history, we are delighted to assist media outlets with a story, sharing the impact our program has on the local community.

If you represent a media outlet, please contact Meghan Cochrane, Director of Marketing & Communications or call 800-239-6636 to set up an interview.

Starkey Sisters Develop Programs To Help Create Positive Impact On Girls In The Community
Starkey Sisters

Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the pinnacle of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, and it's available exclusively to Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors (9-12 grade). Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) would like to recognize West Mobile Christian School graduates Cailey and Hailey Starkey for receiving their Gold Awards.

Through the Gold Award, girls engage in a rigorous leadership process, as they tackle issues they're passionate about to create long-term, sustainable change. To earn the Gold Award, girls typically spend one to two years exploring the root cause of a local or global issue and partner with the community to create lasting solutions.

For Cailey’s project, she planned a girls weekend retreat called In-Depth and mentor groups called My Big Sister. The retreat focused on building self-confidence in girls as well as developing their faith through their self-image. The My Big Sister mentor groups were a chance for girls to mentor each other through their faith journey. Cailey wanted to help the girls in her student ministry group develop a positive self-image and inner strength through her programs.

For Hailey’s program, she created a retreat for girls and moms to help learn how to cope with the mental health effects of COVID-19. Hailey led activities and taught skills that helped teach the attendants different coping methods when dealing with mental health. After seeing the need for mental health awareness, Hailey wanted to give the girls and moms in her community the opportunity to decompress and learn new ways to help handle mental health during the pandemic.

Cailey will continue her passion for Girl Scouting as a camp counselor this summer and Hailey plans to become an elementary school teacher. Cailey and Hailey have been Girl Scouts for the past 12 years and look forward to continuing their lifetime memberships.

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. Earning the Gold Award is just one of the amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts.

Emma Claire Johnson Cultivates Strong Minds Through Reading Mentoring Program
Emma Claire J

Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the pinnacle of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, and it's available exclusively to Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors (9-12 grade). Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) would like to recognize Baldwin County High School student Emma Claire Johnson for receiving the Gold Award.

Through the Gold Award, girls engage in a rigorous leadership process, as they tackle issues they're passionate about to create long-term, sustainable change. To earn the Gold Award, girls typically spend one to two years exploring the root cause of a local or global issue and partner with the community to create lasting solutions.

For Emma Claire’s project, she created a reading mentor program for students. In her program, she paired advanced students with the students in the Reading Studies programs or with students who are identified in other classes as needing assistance. The goal of her project was to help students improve their reading skills as well as their study habits. Emma Claire met with advisors and other adults at her school for guidance on her project. She also created a timeline for herself to ensure a successful and organized program. 

Emma Claire tells us, “When thinking about my Gold project, I figured my best and most natural choice would be to get others to read more. Reading has helped me in so many ways, especially at school. My reading comprehension has increased as well as my vocabulary. Reading has also given me things to talk to others about and has helped me find things I have in common with people that I may not have been connected with.” 

Because of her Gold Award Project, Emma Claire believes she has been able to step-up and become a leader for others. She says, “I have been able to step out of my comfort zone and became involved in other community organizations.” Emma Claire has learned courage and strength through this project and will continue to carry these values with her as she goes to college to pursue a degree in nursing to later apply to become a Physician’s Assistant. 

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. Earning the Gold Award is just one of the amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts.

Camp: Where Memories Are Made And Traditions Are Upheld

Your time in Girl Scouts goes far beyond cookies and badges. Not only is this something that we work to instill in every girl that joins our troops, but it has been proven time and time again by those that come back to visit us after they have grown up.

We had the pleasure of welcoming back one of our Girl Scout alums to Scoutshire Woods in Citronelle as she took us down memory lane, sharing with us everything that she loved about her time here. 88-year-old Dell Stone spent many summers at Scoutshire both as a camper and a counselor since she was only 10-years-old.

Dell describes her time at Scoutshire Woods as “the joy of (her) life.” From setting the table in the dining hall to cleaning up after meals to crying around the campfire because no one is ready to leave, each of these traditions brings back memories of fun and excitement spent on the same campgrounds that her great-granddaughter is now attending.

Some traditions remain the same despite a few name changes. She remembers watching tea light candles float across the lake, each girl making a wish as they set their own adrift and soaking up the joy of being surrounded by friends. This candlelight ceremony holds a special place in her heart, and now her great-granddaughter will get to feel the same emotional connection as she floats a candle across the same lake that Dell did.

After growing up and starting a family of her own, Dell can remember how excited she was for her daughter Laurie to follow in her footsteps. “I could not wait to pack that trunk.” Now she is sending off her great-granddaughter Olivia, even taking her shopping for everything she needs before embarking on this adventure.

“I can just close my eyes and remember,” she said, “all of us came every summer together.” She can remember her Honor Troop and all of the fun they had together, some of them still in contact after 40 years of friendship, strengthened by their time together at Scoutshire.

Once her time at camp was over, the Girl Scouts never truly left Dell’s heart. She was able to make connections with other Girl Scouts overseas and brought the values of Girl Scouting into her teaching career. Honesty, respect, and all of the other Girl Scout laws found a place in her lessons, and Dell said, “I was able to impart the values of the Girl Scouts onto my students wherever I was.” 

Generation by generation, time spent at camp brings love, joy, friendship, integrity, and priceless memories that last a lifetime, and we are so excited to watch Olivia flourish as Dell did so many years ago.

“I have a thousand memories, and that’s what made me the person I am today.”

Local Girl Scouts Learn, Explore, and Discover New Interests at Dauphin Island Sea Lab

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) partnered with the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) this past weekend for DISL Adventure Day. During the event, Girl Scouts spent the morning in the lab where they learned facts and anecdotes as they examined and touched a large variety of preserved specimens from the Gulf waters. The girls also had the opportunity to visit the Estuarium, participate in a squid dissection, and go on a two-hour vessel ride on the 65-ft research vessel Discovery. While on the Discovery, they trawled Mobile Bay to collect and identify creatures that inhibit our coastal waters.

According to GSSA, girls are natural-born scientists. They look at the world around them with inquisitive eyes, experiment and push boundaries, and learn as they go. By participating in programs like DISL Adventure Day, Girl Scouts are given an avenue to pursue a potential passion or even career.

Since not many girls are exposed to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at an early age, girls are unaware of their potential interest in those fields. That’s why at GSSA focuses on doing programs that expose girls to STEM.

“At Girl Scouts, our mission is to help bring up the next generation of fearless leaders,” said Karlyn Edmonds, GSSA CEO. “That’s why we offer as many opportunities as possible for our girls to learn and grow confident in the STEM field.”

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. Earning patches is just one of the amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts. To join Girl Scouts or learn more about volunteering, please visit www.girlscoutssa.org.

2020-21 Top Cookie Sellers
Lydia P

 

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama Names Top Cookie Sellers

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the nation’s largest girl-led business and leading financial literacy program for girls. Designed for girls in grades K-12, it is a key element of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.

Lydia Plant, a fourth grader from Enterprise, was named Top Cookie Seller in southern Alabama for selling 10,300 boxes. Breaking the state record for the number of boxes sold during one cookie season.

At the beginning of the Cookie Program, Lydia set a goal of 5,001 boxes, which she reached early on through her innovative cookie booth display. To keep a safe distance and protect her and her customers, Lydia came up with the idea to create a cookie vending machine, giving customers a fun and interactive way to purchase cookies. The display even featured a card reader, making it easy for customers to use contactless payment options.

Upon meeting her goal Lydia kept going, so she could finish out the cookie season and help her troop raise money.

“You can reach an impossible goal if you work hard," said Lydia of Troop 9114.

When asked what she learned from this year’s Cookie Program she said, "I learned about online payments, how to process credit cards, and that good customer service is very important! Also, I learned that money does not grow on trees. It takes a lot of hard work to earn it!”

With her go-getter attitude, Plant proved the Girl Scout Cookie Program teaches girls to strive for excellence and become entrepreneurs.

Other top sellers include:

2.     Lauren V. (Pike Road) – Troop 9074 | 6,189 Boxes

3.     Bailee C. (Montgomery) – Troop 9418 | 5,859 Boxes

4.     Jordan K. (Eufaula) – Troop 7011 | 5,626 Boxes

5.     Ja’mya N. (Montgomery) – Troop 9418 | 4,754 Boxes

6.     Madison E. (Saraland) – Troop 8873 | 4,304 Boxes

7.     Rebekha R. (Saraland) – Troop 8873 | 4,027 Boxes

8.     Emma E. (Prattville) – Troop 9029 | 4,016 Boxes

9.     Makenzi K. (Saraland) – Troop 8309 | 3,976 Boxes

10.  Makenna O. (Repton) – Troop 8733 | 3,622 Boxes

“This is my favorite time of year. There is nothing I enjoy more than honoring girls like Lydia for all their hard work throughout the Cookie Program,” Karlyn Edmonds, CEO of Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama, said. “This program is more than cookies; it’s teaching our young leaders the importance of goal setting, decision making, people skills, business ethics, and money management.”

The Girl Scout Cookie Program also supports girls in achieving the goals they set for program activities and community service projects.

For more than 100 years, the Girl Scout Cookie Program has provided life-changing leadership opportunities for every Girl Scout. For more information, visit girlscoutssa.org.

Booker T. Washington Student Earns Girl Scouts’ Highest Award
Allyson Merriweather Earns Gold Award

Allyson Merriweather Receives Girl Scouts’ Highest Honor For Addressing Teen Stress

Gold Award Girl Scouts are challenged to change the world—or at least their corner of it, and Montgomery Girl Scout Allyson Merriweather did just that. The Gold Award represents the highest achievement Girl Scouts can achieve. It recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action projects.

For Allyson's project, she addressed stress in teenagers at her school. Allyson is a student at Booker T. Washington Magnet High School, which caught fire in 2018. Not only did the school lose many classrooms but they also lost their outdoor eating area. After the school moved to a smaller location, Allyson realized her peers were stressed in the new environment and missed being able to eat outside. To help her peers, Allyson decided to address both issues by recreating the school's outdoor eating area and providing stress relief tips. She built an outside seating area and four picnic tables for students to relax. Each table features a centerpiece with motivational quotes and is painted in the school’s colors.

For her stress relief tips, Allyson did extensive research and presented information that defined stress and ways to relieve it. During her research, she found that being outside is a natural stress reliever, and teens are more willing to talk to peers than adults when discussing issues related to stress. To distribute this information, she was able to give a presentation at Booker T. Washington, place brochures in the guidance office, and post the information on the school's social media. Allyson also provided brochures for Baldwin Middle Magnet School and LAMP High School. With the distribution of this information, Allyson has been able to reach 1,442 students.

"My project made me more aware of the issues that teens are dealing with today. I now see stress in teens is an issue that many people sadly overlook, but shouldn't because it can lead to serious mental health issues, said Allyson. "From this experience, I will take away all of the important conversations that I had with people and will continue to provide stress relief tips to those in need."

Having started as a Daisy, Allyson is now going on her 12th year as a Girl Scout. Throughout her time as a Girl Scout, she has completed her Bronze, Silver, and now Gold Award. After graduating, she plans on earning a degree in Biomedical Sciences and attend medical school to become an anesthesiologist.

“Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama’s (GSSA) mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place,” said GSSA CEO Karlyn Edmonds. “Allyson’s accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.”

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. Earning the Gold Award is just one of the amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts. To join Girl Scouts or learn more about volunteering, please visit www.girlscoutssa.org.

Daleya Scaife Finds A Way To Empower Young Girls And Go Gold
Daleya Scaife Earns Gold Award

Girl Scout Daleya Scaife Uses Her Gold Award Platform to Help Spread Positive Self-Esteem!

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) is honored to present Daleya Scaife with the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest recognition for achievement in Girl Scouting for girls in grades 9 through 12.

Daleya designed a program that promotes positive changes to hygiene. To do this, she partnered with the Auburn High School Junior Civitan Club for a toiletry drive. Her motivation behind this was to help teens have positive self-esteem. After distributing the products, she taught lessons on how to improve your view of yourself and feel empowered.

"It's scientifically proven that taking care of your hygiene impacts your mental, physical, and emotional health," said Daleya. "We’re all created with a purpose, and are beautiful in our own way. I want these young girls to love themselves, and to realize your situation doesn't define you."

By earning the Girl Scout Gold Award, Daleya has become a community leader. Her accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart.

“Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama’s mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place,” GSSA CEO Karlyn Edmonds said. “Daleya has made her corner of the world a better place, and I am beyond proud to say she is a Girl Scout from southern Alabama. We can’t wait to see the amazing things she accomplishes in the future.”

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues, all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. To join or volunteer, visit www.girlscoutssa.org.

Mobile Girl Scout Earns Gold Award
Mikayla Cain Earns Gold Award

Girl Scout Mikayla Cain Earns The Highest Award for Making Hand Sewn Dresses for Girls in Honduras

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) would like to recognize Mikayla Cain for receiving the highest honor a Girl Scout can achieve, the Gold Award – putting her into an elite group of Girl Scouts.

Last year, there were only five girls to earn this prestigious honor from southern Alabama. Less than 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts nationwide earn the Gold Award. It recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action projects.

For Mikayla’s project, Sew for Honduras, she sewed dresses by hand out of pillowcases to send to girls in impoverished Honduran villages. Every dress has been blessed and prayed over. Each dress represents so much more than just a dress. It provides a basic need for a family, allowing them to spend their money on other things like food and hygiene.

 “The main thing that I love about my project is that the dresses don’t just affect the girls that receive them,” said Mikayla. “Every person that encounters these dresses all have a special touch in this project, from the first cut to packing them in the boxes to delivering them.”

“Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award is truly a remarkable achievement, and this exemplifies leadership in all its forms,” said GSSA CEO Karlyn Edmonds. “Mikayla saw a need and took action. Her extraordinary dedication, perseverance, and leadership are making the world a better place.”

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. Earning the Gold Award is just one of the amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts. To join Girl Scouts or learn more about volunteering, please visit www.girlscoutssa.org.

Girl Scout Taylor Harwell Earns Highest Award
Taylor H.

Taylor Harwell Helps Shape Young Minds By Making STEM Experiments Fun For All!

Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the pinnacle of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, and it's available exclusively to Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors (9-12 grade). Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) would like to recognize Auburn High School student Taylor Harwell for receiving the Gold Award.

Through the Gold Award, girls engage in a rigorous leadership process, as they tackle issues they're passionate about to create long-term, sustainable change. To earn the Gold Award, girls typically spend one to two years exploring the root cause of a local or global issue and partner with the community to create lasting solutions.

For Taylor's project, she set up a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) after school program for second graders in Auburn City Schools. Every month, a group of volunteers visit Cary Woods, Dean Road, Auburn Early Education Center and Creekside Elementary. Taylor began by meeting with the after school directors at each school and tested fun labs for the students. She also recruited fellow high school students to help run the labs by giving them community service hours for assisting her project.

“Although I find STEM interesting, I discovered most students find themselves discouraged by it at an early age. My mission is to help inspire young students to follow the path of STEM so they can have bright futures,” says Gold Award Girl Scout Taylor Harwell.

Taylor quickly realized the impact her project was making when she saw the kids excitement for the labs. The STEM field is continuously expanding and offers many opportunities for future generations. Upon finishing her Gold Award project, Taylor plans on attending college to pursue a career in biology.

“At GSSA we strive for every young woman to represent a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader),” says GSSA CEO Karlyn Edmonds. “Taylor is a prime example of this acronym, and I can’t wait to watch her achieve great things."

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. Earning the Gold Award is just one of the amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts. To join Girl Scouts or learn more about volunteering, please visit www.girlscoutssa.org.

Dothan Senior Earns Girl Scouts' Highest Award
Jasmine Ard Goes Gold

Jasmine Ard Earns Her Gold Award for Helping Raise Awareness for Childhood Cancer and Donating Care Packages to Camp Smile-A-Mile.

Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the pinnacle of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, and it's available exclusively to Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors (9-12 grade). Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) would like to recognize Dothan High School student Jasmine Ard for receiving the Gold Award.

Through the Gold Award, girls engage in a rigorous leadership process, as they tackle issues they're passionate about to create long-term, sustainable change. To earn the Gold Award, girls typically spend one to two years exploring the root cause of a local or global issue and partner with the community to create lasting solutions.

For Jasmine's project, she raised awareness about childhood cancer and collected items for care packages for Camp Smile-A-Mile campers. She did this by speaking at community engagements and holding forums to discuss the statistics about childhood cancer. She also crocheted hats to put in the care packages, as well as delivered the packages to Camp Smile-A-Mile personally.

“I saw that most people think childhood cancer is rare, and I wanted to change that. I am a survivor of childhood cancer, so this project was very personal to me,” says Gold Award Girl Scout Jasmine Ard.

Upon finishing her Gold Award project, Jasmine plans to take steps toward becoming a child life specialist.

“At GSSA we strive for every young woman to represent a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader),” says GSSA CEO Karlyn Edmonds. “Jasmine is a prime example of this acronym, and I can’t wait to watch her achieve great things."

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. Earning the Gold Award is just one of the amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts. To join Girl Scouts or learn more about volunteering, please visit www.girlscoutssa.org.

Claire Harden Goes Gold
Claire H.

Claire Harden Works With Aid to Inmate Mothers (AIM) to Help Bridge The Separation Between Mother and Child Through The Use of Storybooks.

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) would like to recognize Booker T. Washington student Claire Harden for receiving the highest honor a Girl Scout can achieve, the Gold Award – putting her into an elite group of Girl Scouts.

Last year, there were only five girls to earn this prestigious honor from southern Alabama. Less than 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts nationwide earn the Gold Award. It recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action projects. GSSA is excited to announce Claire as the first Gold Award Girl Scout from their council for the new membership year.

For Claire's project, she worked with the Aid to Inmate Mothers (AIM) Storybook program, which allows incarcerated moms to read a story to their children on a recording. The program works to give children storybooks and recordings of their mother reading to them. AIM volunteers also bring children from all over the state of Alabama to see their mother every couple of weekends. Claire's project assisted with both of these programs. Claire organized a storybook collection, built shelves at AIM to store books, and developed a craft curriculum to provide a fun activity for the moms and children to do together.

"Seeing pictures of the kids with big smiles on their faces while they made crafts with their moms, that I had designed made me very happy," said Claire H. "I hope that my project will help the kids of moms who are incarcerated to feel closer, and help them get through the separation until their moms are able to join the family again."

“Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award is truly a remarkable achievement, and this exemplifies leadership in all its forms, “said GSSA CEO Karlyn Edmonds. “Claire saw a need in the community and took action. Her extraordinary dedication, perseverance, and leadership are making the world a better place.”

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. Earning the Gold Award is just one of the amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts. To join Girl Scouts or learn more about volunteering, please visit www.girlscoutssa.org.

What GSSA Stands For

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