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Leave No Trace in Your Outdoor Adventures

July 8, 2014

By Meridith Orr, Program Executive

Outdoor Education in Girl Scouts - NC Coastal PinesOne of my favorite Girl Scout – NC Coastal Pines experiences is the weekend I spent camping to earn my Outdoor Skills certification in the Fall of 2012.  During that October weekend, I experienced both fair weather and foul, bonded with my patrol mates and an amazing band of volunteer facilitators, and learned new skills I would never have attempted otherwise!  I still enjoy tossing out tidbits of my training when meeting new people.  For instance, you’d be surprised at the reaction you’ll get when telling people a Dorito chip makes an excellent firestarter!

The most important lessons I learned were those of observing, admiring and respecting nature. My training included not just setting up and breaking down my campsite, but minimizing the impact of my adventures on the environment.  As we work together to provide fun, unique and memorable outdoor experiences for our girls, let’s remember to share with them as well as model these important practices of “leave no trace.”  These principles uphold many parts of our Girl Scout Law, from using resources wisely, to being responsible for what we say and do and making the world a better place.

The Leave No Trace Seven Principles have been a part of Girl Scout outdoor education for many years. Summarized here, they ask us to:

  1. Plan ahead and prepare
  2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimize campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors

Our Founder, Juliette Gordon Low, was an avid outdoors adventurer and her stories are legendary, including one hilarious fishing expedition with poet Rudyard Kipling in formal wear during a party.  Our outdoor programs in Girl Scouts not only connect girls’ experience to her, they enrich us as parents, staff and mentors as we teach them how to be good stewards of our environment; to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.

How do you and your Girl Scouts support the Leave No Trace Behind? 

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Top Seller supports our Military

July 1, 2014

Amy Vitale – Product Sales Manager

Taylor - Girl Scouts - NC Coastal PinesAt the end of every Cookie Sale, our department calculates all kinds of statistics – how many boxes were sold? How many girls participated? What was the most popular variety? And of course, which Girl Scouts lead area and council sales?

This year, a new number jumped out during our calculations – $2,565.50 to be exact.  That is the amount of donations that Taylor W., a member of Girl Scout Cadette Troop #877, collected for Operation Cookie Drop.  That’s enough to purchase 733 boxes of cookies! This is almost an 100% increase over the amount she collected last year, and a 50% increase above last year’s top seller for this donation program.

Congratulations, Taylor!  We are so impressed by her leadership.  As her grandmother said to me,“I am so very proud of her.” And so are we! Taylor received a beautiful plaque honoring her achievement.

Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines is in our tenth year of Operation Cookie Drop. In our first year, donations helped purchase 45,000 boxes, and over the last ten years we have shipped almost 700,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to our military! Following the 2014 sale, cookies were delivered to Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, Cherry Point in Havelock, Fort Bragg near Fayetteville, NCPacks4Patriots in Ayden, Seymour Johnson AFB in Goldsboro, and both the USO of NC at RDU airport and in Jacksonville.

Operation Cookie Drop - Girl Scouts NC Coastal Pines“Nothing says home more than the taste of Girl Scout cookies. We all grew up waiting for cookie sales time, and everyone has our favorite cookies. To have that taste of home, that walk down memory lane to a happy time, means the world to our troops. But most of all, our troops know that they are not forgotten, and their country still appreciates their service, and thinks of them,” said Barbara Whitehead, director of NCPacks4Patriots.

Maj. Gen. Robert Hedelund, commanding general of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing based at Cherry Point, added, “They’ve joined the Marine Corps. They get moved all over the country, and if they come to a place like Cherry Point and the greater Havelock area, they really feel that community reach out and touch them, even through cookies. It’s something that they’ll never forget, so we appreciate it.”

These sentiments are exactly why Girl Scouts works so hard for the Operation Cookie Drop program.  It provides girls and the community the opportunity to support our military, many of whom are part of our Girl Scout family.

Congratulations to Taylor for your top selling sales and all of the Girl Scouts in our council who helped make this year’s program such a success!

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