Archive for the ‘Troops’ Category

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There’s always room for more! Girl Scout Troops looking to expand

November 1, 2017

Did you know the average Girl Scout troop only has eight girls? Yet our research shows that the most successful and durable troops have 12 girls on average. Just imagine what could happen if troop – especially those with less than 12 girls – added at least one new girl to their troops! That’s one more girl who gets to experience leadership development, one more girl who will discover her passion for STEM, one more girl who will sleep under the stars while camping with friends. One more girl is all it takes to change a girl’s life and guide her on her path to leadership.

It’s this “one more girl” mentality that has guided longtime volunteer and lifetime member, Cindy Sortisio throughout her Girl Scout experience.

 When I was starting fifth grade, my new best friend, Kelly, told me about her Junior Girl Scout troop. Naturally, since we were inseparable as girls that age tend to be, I wanted to be a Girl Scout too. I remember nervous days while we waited to find out if Mrs. Simone would make room for me in the troop. Thank goodness Mrs. Simone’s motto was “Always room for one more” because I was number 40 in the troop! 

I’ve been an active Girl Scout ever since, through my Gold Award, leadership of several troops, international travel, and now mentoring my own Ambassadors through their own Gold Awards. I adopted many of Mrs. Simone’s best troop leadership practices, including “always room for one more.” Mrs. Simone used to tell us that the horseshoe is open-ended, so there is always room for one more person. 

 I am proud that my troop has added new members every year since Daisies. Troops that do not add girls are much more likely to wither away from attrition over the years. New members are absolutely essential for the health of a troop. New girls add excitement, challenge, ideas, and enthusiasm. They shake things up. They keep us from falling into ruts and cliques. If and when other troop members drop out over the years, they add the necessary numbers to allow us to keep doing big things. Girls are more likely to stay in Girl Scouts with friends, so invite your girls to invite their friends.  We have so much fun and excitement to offer girls. I cannot imagine not keeping the door open to girls who want to join us!

Are you ready to adopt the “always room for one more” mentality? This November, Girl Scouts across the nation will be opening their arms, hearts, and troops to one more girl. From November 1 – 15, troop leaders and encourages to take the “one more girl” pledge on the Girl Scouts of the USA website where, alongside their girls, they establish their commitment to our Movement’s values of diversity, inclusivity, and leadership. Once the pledge closes, 600 prize winners will be randomly selected to receive a FREE limited-edition G.I.R.L. agenda patch for the troop. In addition, four grand prize winners will be randomly selected to have GSUSA share their story on Facebook, as well as receive the patch for their troop.

To learn more about this campaign, visit www.nccoastalpines.org.

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Girl Scout Seniors Taking Root

October 23, 2017

For over a century, Girl Scouts have been taking action within their communities to make the world a better place. When Girl Scouts take action, they are identifying a problem and creating a sustainable solution, while working together as a team as they put their plan into action. When girls expand their network and work together as a team, they are able to build off each other’s strengths while making an impactful difference.

And that’s exactly what local Girl Scout troop #1555 and #1114 did.

When Deda Band and Mary Hunt stepped on as co-leaders of Troop #1555 they looked to long time co-leader and mentor, Donna Hayes for guidance and advice. Donna was the co-leader of Troop #1114 when the troop leader met and decided to collaborate working on Journeys and badges together to help better serve their Girl Scout Seniors.

In Spring 2017, the Girl Scout Seniors decided to come together to complete the It’s Your Planet – Change It! Sow What Journey. After discussing the topics of the It’s Your Plant Journey and It’s World Journey – the troops decided that they had a strong interest in exploring food sustainability through the Sow What Journey.

To kick-off their Journey, the girls held a lock-in where they worked through the activities in the Sow What Journey handbook while focusing on the topic of sustainability. After establishing the needs of their community, the troop headed out to do hands-on activities to help them work towards the Journey.

Troop #1555 and Troop #1114 visited the Ninja Cow Farm in Raleigh where the family raises and sells humane, grass-fed livestock. At the farm, the troops learned about the benefits of purchasing local products and raising and selling livestock in a humane way.

Another highlight of the Journey was going to Pompoeri Pizza in Durham. The girls spoke with the staff about how they created a restaurant focused on eating local and being sustainable. The girls got a first-hand lesson in aquaponics, which Pompoeri uses to grow herbs.

The leaders saw a strong tie between the Sow What Journey and Locavore badge, so the girls worked on the badge in conjunction with the Journey activities. The troops put on their chef hats and made fresh strawberry jam, salsa, and guacamole as part of the badge.

Both troops love the community service they get to do as Girl Scouts. To close out the Sow What Journey, the troops went to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to help prepare meals as part of the Food Bank’s effort to fight hunger. They got their hands dirty as cleaned and prepped potatoes. The girls have loved their experiences at the Food Bank and cherish them as some of their favorite Girl Scout memories.

Through the Journey handbook activities, the many outings, and service at the Food Bank, Troops #1555 and #1114 learned the benefits of sustainability and purchasing local foods. Many members of the troop are more intentional about the food they purchase and being educated about what they are eating after completing the Sow What Journey.

When asked what advice, she would give to co-leaders working on a Journey, Deda Band said, “I would encourage troops to work together and collaborate. Brainstorming and planning is easier when there are multiple co-leaders working together. “

Troop #1555 and #1114 valuable their sister troop and the experiences they’ve had together.

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