Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category


Girls Take the Lead at National Convention

February 23, 2015

National Convention 2015 Girl Scouts

By Cindy Sortisio, Service Unit Manager and Troop Leader

Air miles from Raleigh NC to Salt Lake City Utah: 1827

Number of girls from all over the country who participated in the Girl Scout Leadership Institute: 700

Decibel level on streetcar packed with Girl Scouts all singing camp songs at the tops of their lungs: 75

Number of SWAPS traded at the 2014 GSUSA National Convention: 1 bazillion

Connections made, friendships forged, memories cherished: Infinite

What is this all about? The Girl Scout Leadership Institute!

GSLI is part of the GSUSA National Convention. Each council is invited to send a delegation of girls and adults to participate in leadership seminars and activities organized by the host council. This year, girls were challenged to build on their experiences at the GSLI to carry out “take action” projects in their home communities to spread the impact of GSLI across the country. I was honored and thrilled to be asked to accompany staff member Terrica Hay, Program Director, to chaperone the patrol of girls from Coastal Pines, six girls plus two girl national delegates, from across our council. We were treated to inspirational speakers such as Dr. Tererai Trent (president and founder of her own foundation to address poverty in her native Zimbabwe), Debbie Sterling (CEO and founder of GoldieBlox), Elizabeth Smart (founder of her own foundation and brilliant survivor of childhood abduction), marvelous meals, great entertainment such as a night at the planetarium and a closing dance party, and thought-provoking seminars in which we explored topics such as gender inequality, basic needs, teen violence, healthy relationships, education, body image, and inclusion/diversity.

This was my second national convention. The best part is the phenomenal energy of thousands of girls and women, plus a few good men, coming together, who all feel so passionate about the power and value of Girl Scouting. I get goose-bumps just thinking about it! There is really nothing that can prepare our girls for the powerful experience of entering a convention-sized gathering of like-minded people.

The new GSLI format, with its focus on the girls developing a “take action” project to carry out in their home communities, is a challenging one. To pull together a reasonable project plan in three days, and then go back to one’s every day life to implement it, is a tall order. Terrica and I are staying in contact with the girls to support them in putting their ideas into reality. Their projects will support students challenged by mental illness, sea turtle conservation, and friendships between abled and differently-abled students, among other topics. While the girls were at work on their project proposals, Terrica and I spent some time talking with staff members and volunteers from other councils. We both came away with some good ideas, as well as the sense that Coastal Pines is a strong, well-organized, cohesive council that is doing lots of things very, very well.

My daughter, Mikayla, was one of our council’s national delegates, along with Abigail C.R., so they were able to participate in GSLI when they were not in the convention business sessions. It was so special to share the experience with my daughter, not that I saw much of her as we were always on the go! I like to tell new leaders that everything starts at the Daisy or Brownie level: every tiny field trip, to a fire station or a garden, every little step of girl planning, putting ideas in a wish box, voting with a show of hands, sets the stage for what our girls can strive for and accomplish when they are Seniors and Ambassadors. I have to say that it seems like such a short time ago that we were sewing petals on that blue tunic, and now my girl is working toward her Gold Award and exploring amazing opportunities available to her through Girl Scouting. It is a complete blast being a Girl Scout volunteer! If everyone knew how much fun we have with the girls, we would have a waiting list of adults rather than girls. Who wouldn’t want to do this job?!


Let’s Think About Girl Programs!

February 16, 2015

By Kim Henry, Program Director

World Thinking Day - Girl Scouts NC Coastal Pines

As Spring is approaching, so are some exciting new programs! Happening this month is one of our beloved Girl Scout traditions, World Thinking Day (WTD). Here’s the lowdown on this annual event plus some additional tips for new leaders.

World Thinking Day 2015

What is World Thinking Day? Each year on February 22, girls around the world participate in activities to encourage girls to think about their sister Girl Scouts and Girl Guides in other countries. By participating in select activities girls can earn the World Thinking Day Award, which is an official award and can be worn on the front of her vest or sash. Some girls earn the award by attending WTD events while others may work on activities or service projects with their troop.   This year’s theme for WTD is girls worldwide say “we can create peace through partnerships.” Read more about this year’s theme and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.

Jump Into Journeys

Want to explore a new Journey but don’t know where to start? Pile in your troop and join us at one of four locations for our Jump Into Journeys program for Daisies and Brownies.We will help you find your way!

This Spring, we will be jumping into the Brownie Quest and the Daisy 5 Flowers, 4 Stories , 3 Cheers for Animals! Journeys. These events get girls excited about the Journeys and give leaders an opportunity to see how to customize the Journey to fit their troop’s needs. Girls will earn the first Journey award and badge sets are included with the registration fee. If you can’t make it to a program and still are looking for assistance, please contact


Helpful Tips for New Leaders

  1. Attend leader meetings and talk with other leaders. Our volunteers are the most valuable resource for you. They have new ideas and know what works and what doesn’t. They even may have materials to share with you. You can also join our Girl Scout Leader Facebook Group!
  2. Use your Program Support Staff. We are here to make your life easier! Call us, email us, send up flares –we are happy to help!
  3. Use the Volunteer Tool Kit! It is great as is, or you can customize it to fit your troop plans!
  4. Attend local area and council-sponsored events. Not only are they exciting for the girls but they are also a great way to meet other leaders and gather ideas for future activities with your troop.
  5. Don’t sweat it! You got this!! Know that we appreciate you, and most of all, the girls appreciate you and all you do!

Still have questions? We are here to support you and will be happy to answer any questions about Journeys or other Girl Scout programs. Call 800-284-4475 and ask for the Program Team.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 75 other followers

%d bloggers like this: