Sunday, August 24, 2014

Troop Talk - Troop 350, Girl Scout sister and BFFs

When you meet Troop 350 you can’t help but notice their enthusiasm and joy. The excitement that surrounds them is electric and the happiness is evident in their faces. You can see it in their troop leaders’ faces, too. 

Every single girl in this troop is happy and excited to be together and every single girl here is a friend to the other.

Troop 350 has 9 Juniors, of which we met five and their two troop leaders, plus a troop mom. Linda Luehrmann is one of the leaders and the one in charge of re-registering the girls for this upcoming Girl Scout year. Thanks to her decision to use online Early Bird re-registration, the troop was drawn and won a chance to come to the Kodosky Center and have a quick chat with us.

It’s easy to see how much fun these girls have together—they were actually on their way to tour Whole Foods after their quick talk with us.

Lto R. back to to front, clockwise: Lauren S, McKenzie W.,
Anika L., Kennedy Y., and Aleezah S. 
Their troop leaders are just as enthusiastic—they have been friends for years and have similar Girl Scouting trajectories. They were both Girl Scouts and then as alumnae, both volunteered before they became moms and are now volunteering again. What a wealth of experience they bring to the GSCTX family!
The girls in this troop quickly showed us what a giving nature they all have. One Bronze Award project they are bouncing around revolves around Dell Children’s Hospital:

“We were thinking about having a toy and book drive for the kids staying there,” said Lauren S. “We also want to babysit when we’re twelve,” is another things Kennedy Y. is looking forward to with her troop sisters. “It’s just fun!!” said Anika L. “I can’t wait to go to water parks and visit camps

When asked what they couldn’t wait to do this year, there was a resounding agreement about camp. These girls enjoy all aspects of camping, but above all being out in nature, experiencing different facilities and meeting new friends makes them bubble up.

L to R, back row: Lauren S., Kennedy Y.
Middle row: Linda Luehrmann, Gina Saeed, and Becky Carter.
Bottom row: Anika L., Aleezah S., and McKenzie W.
One other thing they are very excited about is being able to talk to younger Girl Scouts about earning badges. They have a strong mentoring focus and want to be there for smaller girls who might need some encouragement or guidance. Talk about fulfilling the Girl Scout promise!

These girls know a thing or two about fundraising, too. Their re-registration was covered with troop funds. Speaking of re-registration, their troop co-leader, Linda Luehrmann was pleasantly surprised with how easy and straightforward it was to get the girls back in the system. “It took me about 30 minutes to re-register 9 girls,” she said. “I would recommend it to other troop leaders. I’d ask ‘why are you using paper?”

It makes sense that these girls are so goal driven—their troop leaders are accomplished and have a strong focus on achievement and helping the community. Becky Carter, their other co-leader loves the leadership potential Girl Scouts offers “…it opens doors, builds self-confidence, opportunities […] taking charge of trips, supply lists and food, taking on a leadership role. These are things the girls do because they learn how to do it in Girl Scouts.”

As for Gina Saeed, Troop 350’s troop mom, she has had a great time watching her daughter, along with other girls, grow more confident and get to partake in all the great things they do.
None of the amazing adventures they like or want to do would be possible without their troop leaders and moms who selflessly volunteer their time and energy to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.

Thank you, Troop 350--Lauren S, Kennedy Y., Anika, L., Aleezah S., and McKenzie W. for coming by and chatting with us. It was a pleasure to meet you all and we hope you meet all your goals and that you get to go camping as much as possible.

And thank you Gina, Linda and Becky—we are all lucky to have you in our council, leading our girls.


Are you up for the challenge? Be the role model she’ll remember forever—join Girl Scouts of Central Texas and volunteer today. Make a difference in her life AND yours.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

10 Reasons NOT to Volunteer with Girl Scouts

At Girl Scouts of Central Texas, one of the big reasons girls get to do such awesome things and learn so many amazing skills is because we have great volunteers who are willing to give their time and energy to building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. So, naturally, we’re always encouraging people to volunteer with us.

But not today.

This time, we’re giving you 10 reasons you might want to reconsider volunteering with Girl Scouts of Central Texas:

10. You don’t want your community to improve.


Girl Scouts are encouraged to observe their environment and the people in it to identify problems and to take action to solve them! Bronze, Silver and Gold Award projects serve the communities girls live in and improve the lives of others. You want none of this.


9. You don’t think children are the future.


Extensive studies have shown that Girl Scouting influences academic success as much as, and sometimes more than, non-Girl Scout factors known to impact academics. These are the girls who will be in charge one day! But you're not interested in this at all.


8.  S’mores make you gag.  
Your life must be sad. :( 


7. And you HATE cookies.

REALLY sad.


6. And don’t even start with going on adventures.


Girls' outdoor experiences in Girl Scouts are linked to challenge seeking, problem solving, and environmental leadership. When girls spend time outside regularly, they are much more likely recognize their strengths, be more courageous, and to gain skills that will help them do better in school. How dare we, right?


5. The idea of traveling abroad with some of the coolest girls makes you cringe.

You'd rather stay home and watch reruns of The Love Boat. 



4. You are against girl leadership.


Girls seek challenges in the world. They develop positive attitudes toward learning, seek opportunities for expanding their knowledge and skills, set challenging goals for themselves, and take appropriate risks. Who run the world? That's right--GIRLS.


3. You don’t want to be a better person.


One study found that in fulfilling the need to serve, volunteers feel gratified by the experience and empowered by their ability to effect change-often resulting in an enhanced self-image. You're probably shaking your head now.


2. You don’t think there is still work to be done to level the playing field for girls.


In 2012, female full-time workers made only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 23 percent even though they receive more college and graduate degrees than men. Do you really not see the problem with that?!


1. You hate fun.

Yeah, really--what IS wrong with you?

So there you have it. If any of those reasons resonate with you, then you should join Frowny Pants Scouts.

But if you know girl leadership is the key to a better future for our communities (and the world), and you know that there is no better way to achieve it than by helping girls live out adventures and learn crucial confidence-building skills, the we encourage you to sign up to volunteer with Girl Scouts of Central Texas. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Heads-Up: Outdoor Discussion Survey

Dear Girl Scout Leaders,

The GSCTX National Delegates need your input regarding the outdoors and and GSUSA. Due to a short turnaround time, we need your feedback by September 2nd. We know this is a busy time of year both personally and in Girl Scouting as well, so we further appreciate your timely response in this matter.

The National Convention is quickly approaching (October 16-19, 2014).  As part of the convention there is a discussion on the role of the outdoors for GSUSA and the Girl Experience.


Your input is crucial. 


The information we collect from you is what we will report to GSUSA that the adults in our council want.

Please follow this link to fill out the survey. If you cannot make the link work- please feel free to download the form for printing. You will find a fax number on the sheet. We need results back by September 2nd.

If you have information to add to the form, please contact National Delegate, Kate Young, at kate@texasdirector.org.


Thank you for your valuable time and input!

2014 GSCTX National Delegates


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

#TroopTuesday - Pirates Day and Corpus Christi

Wildflower Trail Service Unit participated in Pirate Day. According to the girls, it "was AWESOME!!"  The girls all had a blast. They were featured in the paper.


There's a very good chance the girls will do this event again in the future. ARRRRGGHH, Matey!

Thirteen fifth grade Juniors in Troop 211 went to a carefully planned weekend at and near Corpus.  What did they do?  They learned how to make sand castles from a professional sand sculptor, rode horses on the beach, watched 81 baby sea turtles be released into the wild, took a dolphin boat and learned a ton about the animals native to the Gulf Coast, we learned to surf (all 13 girls were riding the waves!), and visited the Texas State Aquarium.

All 13 girls tried something they had never done and conquered some fears in the process!  What a weekend, the Girl Scout Way!

Glad you had such a great time, girls!!
------------------------

Friday, July 25, 2014

Lady Cans "Leave Their Legacy" at State-Wide Dell Challenge


The F.I.R.S.T. robotics team, Lady Cans, comprised of Claire B., Ariana F., Sarah H., Lynda P., Carly S., and Stephanie W., won Dell’s state-wide “Leave Your Legacy” Challenge this past July 14th!
               
GSCTX Dell Challenge Winners
From L to R: Carly S., Lynda P., Claire B., Ariana F.,
Michael Dell, Sarah H., and Stephanie W.

The challenge offered teams the opportunity to work with Dell senior leadership to develop presentation skills, improve and refine their business plans as well as the sustainability of their teams project. They also had a chance to
promote their vision for STEM in Texas.

Out of three finalists in the entire state, Dell executives chose the Lady Cans as the team with the best business plan to support both STEM Education, as well as the long-term sustainability of their team!!

The girls were awarded a $3000 “investment” from Dell to be used in support of their proposal.


We’re SO proud of these girls and their amazing accomplishment. Go Girl Scouts!!

Lifelong Girl Scout Publishes Novel

Alysha Kaye is certainly an example of courage, confidence and character. She reached out to let us know she published a novel and we couldn't be more excited for her and to read it, too! 

"I was a Girl Scout from 1993-2000 and loved every second of it. The badges, the camps, the friends, and even my mom being a troupe leader—it was all right up my alley.

I was an only child and honestly, no matter what anyone says, there are more cons than there are pros. However, one of the pros (in my opinion, anyway) is an over-active imagination. I was full of emotions that I’d scribble furiously in my diary, full of ridiculous poems and stories that I’d jot into notebook after notebook, and let’s face it—full of new ideas to help persuade cookie-buyers.


Girl Scouts was an amazing creative outletespecially for a kid like mewho could use every outlet in existence. You really realize later in life how lucky you were to get exposed to all the various experiences and opportunities that Girl Scouting presented. I think about that so much now that I teach kids—about how things they see and do now will truly shape them. I was so lucky to have my amazing superhero-single mom-troop leader-extraordinaire, not to mention all my friends in the troop, who were literally like sisters to me.

I've still got that whole over-active imagination thing going—but now I wrangle middle school students by day and write novels by night!

I’m so excited for my novel to release July 1 on Amazon. This is a dream come true for me—something I've wanted since I was a Brownie!"

For more information about Alysha Kaye and The Waiting Room:

@alyshakaye7


Summary of The Waiting Room:
Jude and Nina are the epitome of that whole raw, unflinching love thing that most people are jealous of. That is, until Jude dies and wakes up in The Waiting Room, surrounded by other souls who are all waiting to pass over into their next life. But unlike those souls, Jude’s name is never called by the mysterious “receptionist”. He waits, watching Nina out of giant windows. He’s waiting for her. What is this place? How long will he wait? And what will happen when and if Nina does join him? The Waiting Room is a story of not just love, but of faith, predestination, and philosophy, friendship and self-actualization, of waiting.


Alysha Kaye was born in San Marcos, TX, where she also received her BA in Creative Writing from Texas State University. She worked in marketing for a brief and terrible cubicle-soul-sucking time until she was accepted into Teach for America and promptly moved to Oahu. 

She taught 7th grade English in Aiea for two years and also received her Masters in Education from University of Hawaii. She now teaches in Austin, TX and tries to squeeze in as much writing as possible between lesson planning. 

She dreamt about The Waiting Room once, and offhandedly wrote her boyfriend a love poem about waiting for him after death. Somehow, that became a novel.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pinning at Pax Lodge!

Helen P. just returned from the Texas Council's London/Paris Trip 2014. Below is a photo of her after her pinning ceremony at Pax Lodge. 


At Pax Lodge, the girls participated in a pinning ceremony, followed by cream tea and scones. They also completed the Dove Body Image patch requirements.  The girls spent 3 and a half exciting days exploring in London, followed by 2 and a half awe-inspiring days in Paris.  She had a wonderful time learning culture, visiting major attractions, experiencing different foods, customs, and travel modes in each city! 


Does this pique your interest? Our next European World Centers trip will visit England and Switzerland in 2016. Contact Emily Magnotta for more details at EmilyM@gsctx.org.