Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Out & About - December

stemRobotics Win: Both the GSCTX Belton/Temple and Kyle/Buda robotics teams competed in the Central Texas FLL Qualifying Rounds this past month and walked away winners! ‘G3’ (Kyle/Buda) won an award for their research presentation and ‘The Globotics’ (Belton/Temple) won 1st place for robot design. Both teams received a ‘Golden Ticket’ invitation to the championship rounds in January. Awesome job, ladies!

San Marcos paradeVeteran Day Parade: Girl Scouts of San Marcos participated in the local Veteran’s Day Parade this past month. The girls’ float was sponsored by ‘Green Guy Recycling’ and was made entirely of recycled materials. The purpose of the float was to remind friends and family they can improve the environment and protect natural resources by ‘Reducing, Reusing and Recycling.’ To learn more about go green initiatives, visit the Girl Scout Forever Green website. 

Girl Scouts of Central Texas Attend National Convention

Etta with Katie Couric
Nearly 50 Central Texas Girl Scout staff, delegates and supporters attended the Girl Scouts National Council Session 52nd Convention in Houston, TX from Nov. 10-13. The three-day convention offered several activities including the organization’s centennial celebration on Saturday, hundreds of seminars and the organization’s business meeting where GSUSA welcomed its new Chief Executive Officer, Anna Maria Chavez.

The event also featured appearances by such role models as award-winning journalist Katie Couric, newscaster Robin Roberts of Good Morning America, gospel singer Yolanda Adams and first African-American female combat pilot Vernice Armour.

“Our council was inspired by all the amazing women, girls and speakers that attended the National Convention,” says Etta Moore, Girl Scouts of Central Texas Chief Executive Officer. “As we prepare to celebrate our 100th anniversary in 2012, Girl Scouts of Central Texas will continue develop girl leaders for this country and for this world.”

For the past century, Girl Scouts have been an iconic American organization, committed to service and leadership.

To learn more about the past, present and future of Girl Scouts and for a complete list of local 100th anniversary events, please visit www.gsctx.org. Connect with Girl Scouts of Central Texas on Facebook and Twitter

-Kandace Fierro

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Last Chance to Vote Etta for Mother Ginger!

Ballet Austin Mother Ginger

We've said it before and we'll say it again - vote GSCTX CEO Etta Moore for the role of Mother Ginger in Ballet Austin's production of The Nutcracker! Voting ends tomorrow so spread the word to all of your friends via word of mouth and online. Having Etta star as Mother Ginger for the December 22 performance would be a great way to kick off the 100th year of Girl Scouts! Be sure to vote today and tomorrow.

Vote for Your Favorite Austinite

Vote ONCE A DAY, EVERY DAY through Nov 30 for your favorite community leader - the person with the most votes wins! The winner will be announced by email Dec 1.

The Community Leader Mother Ginger Contest

Ballet Austin's Mother Ginger Contest recognizes and celebrates an unsung hero of the community who is generous, respected, influential and adored in the community: a way to help honor a dedicated, giving Austinite for community service that goes above and beyond. Through an online nomination and selection process, we've narrowed the list to several finalists. Now it's YOUR turn to decide who is crowned Mother Ginger for the Dec 22 performance.

•Starring role as Mother Ginger for the Dec 22, 7:30pm performance of The Nutcracker

•VIP treatment with their own 'celebrity' dressing room

•Box seats for friends and family to witness their debut

•Discounts for other guests to see the Dec 22 performance

•Ballet Austin Gift Basket filled with surprises

•Photo and video of the winner's performance

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

#GirlScouts100 - Let the Celebration Begin!

Central Texas Girl Scouts discuss the 52nd National Convention with Kandace Fierro, Public Relations Specialist for GSCTX. For more photos and full coverage of the convention, search #GirlScouts100 on Twitter!

Honor Local Women with Nomination


Give thanks this holiday season to extraordinary women in your community! GSCTX is now accepting nominations for Women of Distinction events in Austin, San Angelo, Brownwood and Killeen.

The coveted award honors women who have distinguished themselves as outstanding members of their community and who can serve as role models to all Girl Scouts, girls and adults alike.

"Women of Distinction events allow Girl Scouts to formally recognize women who illustrate the values of Girl Scouting: courage, confidence and character," says Etta Moore, CEO for the Girl Scouts of Central Texas. "Their accomplishments motivate volunteers to remain committed to our girls' futures and inspire girls to set and achieve ambitious goals. Together this is how we build strong communities."

Central Texans are strongly encouraged to nominate women leaders from their community as Women of Distinction. Past honorees have excelled in the areas of business, education, government, communications, health care, sports, volunteer services, multicultural activities and Girl Scouting.


Nomination forms can be completed online at www.gsctx.org. Forms are also available for download online and at our Girl Scouts of Central Texas offices. The nomination deadline for San Angelo and Brownwood is December 31, 2011. The nominate deadline for Austin and Killeen is January 11, 2012.

-Kandace Fierro

View photos from last year's events on our Flickr account!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Out and About - November

Take A Seat: Troop 4808 from Forest Trails Service Unit placed second in their division for their entry at the Round Rock Chalk Walk and Arts Festival last month. The contest encouraged eager participants to use their creative vision and decorate a chair. The uniquely decorated chairs were judged and then auctioned off with proceeds going to the Round Rock Area Art Council’s community programs. Great job, girls!

SanJacintoTroopSister Girl Scouts: Our friends from the San Jacinto Girl Scout council didn’t hesitate when they heard of the devastation the wildfires left on many in the Bastrop area. Troop 18998 collected and donated items including camping gear to the local troops. The girls also made t-shirts for girls affected by the fires to wear with slogans like ‘A Sister to Every Girl Scout’ and ‘I Love Girl Scouts’ on them. Thank you ladies! Your help means a lot. 

Interview with Oldest Living Central Texas Girl Scout


With the 100th Anniversary approaching, GSCTX set out to find Girl Scouts with more than 50 years of service to the organization. During our search, we found the oldest living Girl Scout in Temple, Texas. Mary Alice Marshall will turn 103 this December and while her interests have turned to other things like serving on the Texas Symphony Board, Mary Alice will always consider herself a Girl Scout.

Mary Alice was born and raised in East Texas. She started piano lessons at age five and from there, “music became [her] life.” After graduating with a degree in music, she joined Temple College as a music teacher. Her passion for music stayed with her throughout her career and when she decided to retire from teaching, she knew still wanted to incorporate it into her new endeavors.

When her daughter joined Girl Scouts in the 1970’s, so did Mary Alice. She served as a Song Leader at camps and volunteered with her daughter’s troop. Shortly after joining the girl leadership organization, Mary Alice was elected president of the Hillsboro Council. Along with a friend, Mary Alice heard of open land in the area and decided to go through the application process with the government to secure use of the land. Upon approval, the council named it Camp Kachina and it still serves local Girl Scouts to this day. Mary Alice “is very pleased to know [she] played a part in getting the camp” and it was one of the things she is more proud of doing during her time as president.

Mary Alice sees the strong leader her daughter has become and her success is due in part to what she learned as a Girl Scout. Of Girl Scouting, Mary Alice says that it “is a strong program to this day and programs for youth are now more important that ever.” It was an honor to meet with Mary Alice and hear all her stories – both Girl Scout and beyond. Take note from Mary Alice and join us in the year 100! We can’t wait to celebrate with you.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Grown-up Girl Scout Camp!

Girl Scouts has always held a special place in my heart. I was a Girl Scout from kindergarten through my senior year of high school. My older sister currently helps run a troop which my niece belongs to and I couldn’t be more proud. For all these reasons and more, I listened up when my sister told me to enter one of the GSCTX Twitter contests. I entered the contest and with random luck, I won two tickets toS’more Soiree! I, of course, planned to take my sister and together we planned our weekend as we impatiently waited for the days to go by.

I hadn’t been to the location of the event, Camp Texlake, since my last year of high school. Driving there, I remembered the countless visits with my troop, the old Starcke Lodge, my favorite view and all of the fun I experienced when I went there.

Once my sister and I checked in, we went out to do some walking. It was so cool to be there with my sister! We were never in Girl Scouts at the same time, but I love that she and my niece can experience the same fun and great things about Girl Scouts that I did growing up. We walked by the ‘singing trees’ and I visited the old Starcke Lodge. Lots of great memories there!

As the day’s activities began, I ran into my old troop leader Sue. She was one of the two women who led my troop for all those years. We have many memories together and seeing her there really made my weekend. Aside from all the fun I had in Girl Scouts, I learned a lot and I credit my time there in helping me become the woman I am today. I feel this is an organization all girls should experience.

Smores 2011 (263)

S’more Soiree was everything I could have imagined and more! My sister and I did horseback riding together and afterwards, I had a spa treatment. At the end of the day, I went on a hayride. I particularly like being able to go by places around the camp I’d been to as a kid, being able to see some new things and also see how Camp Texlake has changed over the years. If you ever go, make sure camp staff, Princess, does your tour! She truly embodies the great spirit of Girl Scouts and has great stories!

As the day came to an end, my sister and I headed back to the lodge for dinner and a concert with Sarah Hickman. The food was great, the S’more martinis were better, and Sarah Hickman was so much fun! It was so cool to see women of all ages gather to enjoy the evening and come together in the spirit of Girl Scouts. I would definitely go back to S’more Soiree. I will always consider Girl Scouts as some of the best times of my life. 

-Kristy Hilbig

For more photos of S'more Soiree, check out our Flickr account!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Project Recruitment

Girl Scout Cadette Raedell P. recently completed her Silver Award for her project, 'Recruitment.' The purpose of the project was to ensure that Girl Scouting was available to every girl in her area who was interested in joining the organization. Raedell organized and held recruitment events that consisted of introducing the foundations of Girl Scouting, earning badges, connecting with other Girl Scouts and more. Raedell served as a resource at these events and helped the girls and their parents with the process. More than 40 girls attended and they are all currently being placed in troops. Great job, Raedell! For more on her story, read the Cedar Park Citizen.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mission Accomplished!

Troops around Central Texas expressed interest in participating in the Girl Scout Firehouse Challenge this past month after hearing about Oak Hill Service Unit's desire to revive the challenge. Several of you were inspired by their story and decided to show appreciation to your local firefighters by providing delicious meals. Girls also collected donations for those affected by the wildfires. Here are a few submissions we recieved from troops. GSCTX could not be more proud of these awesome ladies. If you did anything in September to support this cause, we would love to hear about it! Submit your stories to us.

Troop 234 paid a visit to their local fire station to personally thank them for their service and pay tribute to the first responders of 9/11.

Troop 311, 396, 1332, 1456, 1504 from Westlake raised more than $4,000 for those affected by the wildfires. All donations were sent to the American Red Cross to aid in the relief efforts.

Troop 788, 833 and 1546 honored Austin firefighters by providing a special meal to them. The girls were even invited to share the great food with them.
Troop 1021 went to the Georgetown fire station on 9/11 to show support and thanks to the firefighters.
Troop 2253 collected hundreds of stuffed animals and books for Bastrop wildfire victims.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Girl's Guide Launch!

girlguideeventMore than 400 people joined us on October 1 for the official Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting launch party in Austin and over 2,000 guides were distributed bringing the overall total of guides sold to 3,000. This event was the first time many of you had the opportunity to take a look inside the guides and see what they were all about. We thank you for your participation and the positive feedback we have received on the guides. Several of you voiced that you were excited to incorporate the guide into the new program year and we are just as excited to hear your stories and help you through the process.

Due to the positive response, most guides are currently sold out nationwide at this time. The point in time that you ordered your guide will determine when your order is filled. Guides are arriving in multiple shipments to our local shops and staff will contact you when your order is available for pick up. The shop is still accepting order forms for guides, which can be found here. All orders are expected to arrive by mid-December.

Thank you again for your excitement in the new Girl Scout year. We can't wait to see and hear about all the exciting trips, events and activities that you are planning for your troops.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Horseback Riding Lessons Now Offered at Camp Texlake!

Beginning in October, GSCTX Camp Texlake will offer horseback riding lessons on the camp grounds to children 5 and up as well as adults. Lessons range from beginner to intermediate and will be conducted by a certified instructor with several years experience. Interested parties can schedule private, semi-private (3-5) or small group riding lessons.

For those who love horses and seek more than just riding lessons, you can now also adopt a horse. For a small fee, horse lovers can select a horse to adopt and in turn receive visitation days where they can groom, bathe, learn basic ground work and more about how to care for horses in general. If you choose to participate in the program, you can receive riding lessons for a reduced price. Up to two adopters can adopt a horse together. Children 5 and up must be accompanied by an adult at all times when with the horses.

For more information on scheduling riding lessons or adopting a horse of your own, contact Equestrian Program Specalist, Tyler Peterson by phone (512-264-1044) or email.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Texas Girl Scouts Share Experience and Skills with Senior Citizens

San Angelo Girl Scouts were recently featured on the national Girl Scout Blog for their work with senior citizens. Check out their story below.

In Texas, the San Angelo Standard-Times reports on the mutually beneficial relationship senior citizens can share with youth through storytelling and skill sharing. Area Girl Scouts recognized this decades ago, and created programming around girls visiting senior living facilities.

"They make a connection in their community across generations, which makes a difference in the person's life," said Stacy McGuire, member services-regional lead of San Angelo Girl Scouts' El Camino Service Center.

Different programs have been in place throughout the past few decades. McGuire said that currently, Girl Scouts can earn a "Community Caring" patch, which centers on a positive nursing home experience for the girls. Girls are encouraged to visit nursing homes, retirement homes, and senior centers, and participate in activities such as singing, games or crafts.

"I like to see their faces," said Charlotta Robinson, 15, a Cadette Girl Scout in Troop 5115. "They tell us they're having fun when people come to visit."

Robinson said that she's visited retirement homes four or five times over the past three years, both with Girl Scouts and her church youth group. She said the visits have taught her how important it is for seniors to have family nearby.
"Some of the people there don't have family, and they miss seeing them," she said.

Do Girl Scouts in your area interact with the Senior community?


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Firehouse Challenge

firehousechallengeStarting next week, Oak Hill Service Unit will show thanks to a few hundred hardworking firefighters by providing dinners to their local firehouses. Their goal is to eventually feed every firefighter in the Austin, Round Rock and Georgetown area and it sounds to us like they are the right Girl Scouts for the job!

The challenge was born back in 2002 when a few Oak Hill Girl Scouts and leaders decided to honor the memory and service of the 9/11 first responders by cooking some meals for two firehouses near them. Next Monday, they plan to do it all again but this time, on a much larger scale.

“Connecting in service and tradition – these are the things that Girl Scouts have sought since the earliest days,” said Oak Hill Troop Leader Kimbol Soques. “Firehouse Challenge is a terrific way to honor the people who put themselves in harm’s way on our behalf and to weave our girls into our nation’s history.”

Oak Hill encourages and invites other service units to join in on the challenge. They are welcome to help with the efforts already in place or start a firehouse challenge of their own. If you are getting involved in any way, please share your story with us. We would love to feature these stories for the month of September!

To all of our fellow Girl Scouts,

We continue to reach out to volunteers and Girl Scout families affected by the recent fires in our council area. Because the needs are immediate, we are asking that donations listed on be dropped off at the Kodosky Program Center in Austin. These needs include but aren’t limited to bottled water, Gatorade, protein bars, diapers, baby wipes, and pet food. Please consult the KVUE website for a complete list. We ask that our volunteers continue to consult our website, Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. We intend to ask Service Unit Directors for information on Girl Scout families affected by the fires and will respond appropriately based on their individual needs.

Please continue to keep displaced families in your thoughts and prayers.

Etta Moore

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Annual canoe race event to promote water education

gs 025Girl Scouts of Central Texas will partner with local organizations to teach the basics of water conservation at the 21st annual Race on the River, a Concho River canoe race, on September 17.

Several hands-on activities provided by Upper Colorado River Authority, City of San Angelo and Girl Scouts of Central Texas will guide attendees toward a greater awareness of water and ways that they can help conserve. Event sponsors, H-E-B, San Angelo Standard-Times, KIXY and Atmos, will host a special program that explains how attendees can be proactive in their home, school or business. All events will be held at or near the Girl Scout El Camino Program Center, 304 W. Avenue A.

“We are trying to be proactive this year given our current water situation here in the Concho Valley. In partnership with these local companies, we can make a significant impact while doing something fun,” says James Pidgeon, Girl Scouts of Central Texas Development Executive. “This is what being a Girl Scout is about. Everybody wins when you do something very simple and easy to save water.”

gs 200The event is free to the general public. Girls and boys in grades 6 – 12th can participate in a canoe race. A balsa wood boat race is available for those in K-12th grades; the school with the most spirited balsa wood boat will be rewarded with a Girl Scout cookie party. Race on the River participants are also encouraged to take an Online Pledge stating their commitment to conserve water.

Fun leadership experiences, like the Race on the River, are the essence of Girl Scouting. Through girl-driven programs, individual learning opportunities and community connections, Girl Scouts develop leadership skills that will help them throughout life.

For more information about the race or to support Girl Scouts of Central Texas, contact James Pidgeon at JamesP@gsctx.org or (325) 655-8961.

-Kandace Fierro

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Meet Your PC Series: Fabi & Robin

Fabi Payton runs the show in Bryan/College Station! She happily and enthusiastically serves Brazos, Grimes, Leon, Madison, Robertson, Milam, Burleson counties. Contact Fabi for all your membership needs in Area 3. 

Q: What are you interests?
A: I love to try new things, listen to my music really loudly (so I can’t hear myself being off tune) while driving down country roads, and laugh a lot.

Q: What is your favorite part about the job?
A: My favorite part about my job is all of it! BUT the girls are the icing on my Girl Scout cupcake…the quirkier the better. They make me laugh and I love to laugh.

Q: Why did you decide to join the Girl Scout staff?
A: I joined the Girl Scout staff to join a group of people that believed that ALL girls are exceptional and that together they can make this world and exceptional place. I LOVE Area 3!!!! Whoop!


Meet Brownwood membership specialist, Robin Wheeler! Robin is in charge of Brown, Coleman, McColloch, Comanche, Erath, Hamilton, Mills, Mason and San Saba counties. Live in these areas and have Girl Scout questions or comments? Robin can help!

DSC_0029Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: I really enjoy the time I have to read and relax.

Q: What is your favorite part about the job?
A: My favorite parts about my job are interacting with the girls and seeing how the program changes their lives. I love knowing I have something to do with that.

Q: Why did you decide to join the Girl Scout staff?
A: I am a Lifetime Member, and I know how Girl Scouts affected my life and I wanted to have the opportunity to make that change in other girls’ lives.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Meet Your PC Series: Darlene & Michelle

darleneDarlene Rodriguez is the membership specialist for the Killeen/Temple area and serves Bell, Lampasas, Burnet, Llano, Coryell, Hill, Fort Hood, Blanco and Gatesville counties. Contact her if you are from this area!

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: I enjoy art, travel and gardening. Quality time with my family is a must.

Q: What is your favorite part about the job?
A: I love meeting new people in my community. It gives me the opportunity to share and learn new things.

Q: Why did you decide to join the Girl Scout staff?
A: Soon after I started working for Girl Scouts, I discovered the friendships and unity that Girl Scouts creates in women and girls. That’s why I work for Girl Scouts.


Michelle Rhodes works in our Waco office and is responsible for Bosque, Limestone, McLennan and Falls counties. If you live in this area, feel free to reach her for all membership-related comments.

MichelleQ: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: I like to spend time with my kids and husband, shop, travel and get on Facebook.

Q: What is your favorite part about the job?
A: I love to place girls that seem to need Girl Scouting the most.

Q: Why did you decide to join the Girl Scout staff?
A: I loved spending quality time with both of my daughters as they grew up in Girl Scouts. I loved it so much I wanted to be a part of the recruiting experience.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Meet Your PC Series: Karen

Three cheers for Pathway Coordinator Karen Stewart! Karen is a true Girl Scout at heart. For three years now, Karen has worked at the GSCTX office in Austin and was a volunteer for many years before her time as an employee. She serves Williamson and Travis counties.

Q: What are your interests?
karenA: Camping, water-sports, spending time with my daughter, and making jewelry.

Q: What is your favorite part about the job?
A: Working with the girls in water-sports and water safety. I have been teaching water safety for more than 30 years.

Q: Why did you decide to join the Girl Scout staff?
A: I was an active volunteer and Service Unit Director. After retiring as a city employee, I decided to follow my passion and work for Girl Scouts. It just seemed it be the right fit for me!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Troop 891 Travels to St. Louis!

SegwayTroop 891 recently hit the road to St. Louis, MO to take in the sights and sounds as well as to educate themselves on the world around them. The girls recently took an interest in wind and weather while working on the It’s Your Planet – Love it! Breathe Journey and decided to visit Joplin, MO along the way to witness the devastation the tornados left on the community. Moved by what they saw, the girls have decided to make a video on tornado awareness for their Take Action project. On the way back home, they also visited a Texas rest stop equipped with a storm shelter and educational displays on Texas tornados.

During the trip, the troop visited a variety of places. They started with the Louis and Clark History Museum and took a segway tour along the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers to view the spot Lois and Clark began their famous expedition. The girls also encountered some scary weather but it cleared up in time for them to enjoy the Gateway Arch and take a few photos as well.

SegwayIn their last few days in St. Louis, the Girl Scouts headed over to the Third Degree Glass Factory to watch demonstrations of glass blowing and even took a class on working with hot glass! After the lesson on glass art and a safety lesson too, everyone had a chance to work with molten glass in and out of the furnace. They spent their last day at the City Museum. The museum was made entirely of recycled materials and had a tunnel system the girls could climb in and around. They finished off their day by making custom troop shoelaces and rode a Ferris wheel on the roof top!

Sounds like a fun and educational trip, girls! We can’t wait to view your video.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Meet Your PC Series: Leti & Kim

Say hello to Leti Alvarez and Kim Peña! They both work as Pathway Coordinators in the Austin office and serve Travis, Hays, Gillespie, Caldwell and Bastrop counties. Contact them for more information on service units in these areas. Leti habla español.

letiQ: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: I love yoga! I teach it to young girls and adults. It keeps me balanced and fit. I’m also an avid traveler. I speak four languages, and I lived in Madagascar for three years. I will return there this summer to hike the rainforest and take toothbrushes to the children.

Q: What is your favorite part about the job?
A: I love to spend time with the girls, facilitate new troops, and create new and exciting programs such as the Water Series camp.

kimQ: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: I’m all about Girl Scouting, but during my time off, I enjoy hosting craft parties, baking, and spending time with my husband and two dogs, Nibbler and Acho.

Q: What is your favorite part about the job?
A: Working with volunteers. I love seeing adults interact with the girls. It truly is an amazing and gratifying experience.

Q: Why did you decide to join the Girl Scout staff?
A: I wanted a job where I could give back and make a difference. Empowering young girls is rewarding.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Meet Your PC Series: Avery & Emily

averyManaging and overseeing all Girl Scout programs is a big responsibility and Avery Orendorf is just the person for the job. For questions concerning any and all events, Avery is your go-to GSCTX staff member.

Q: What are your interests?
A: I like to read, travel, and participate in outdoor activities (camping, kayaking, backpacking, rockclimbing, and sailing).

Q: Why did you decide to join the Girl Scout staff?
A: It has always been a priority of mine to be a part of a big and wonderful cause.

Q: What is your favorite part about the job?
A: I enjoy working directly with older Girl Scouts on leadership activities.


emilyYou probably know your friendly neighborhood Pathway Coordinator but do you know the fabulous lady in charge of all things membership? Meet Emily Hoppe - she works overtime to make sure you and your daughter have a great Girl Scout journey. For all membership-related questions, Emily is the one to help you out.

Q: What are your interests?
A: I enjoy quilting, crafts and everything in between.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: You can find me enjoying the sights and sounds of Austin with my husband and friends.

Q: What is your favorite part about the job?
A: Serving girls and volunteers and helping them discover their greatest potential.

Q: Why did you decide to join the Girl Scout staff?
A: I joined the Girl Scout team because Girl Scouts has always been a part of my life, and I see how it builds girls to be the leaders of tomorrow.

Next up, Pathway Coordinators Kim Pena and Leti Alvarez. Stay tuned!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fresh Food = Fresh Outlook

022Have you ever considered the impact food has on your life? That food you consume on a daily basis can have a direct influence on the way you perceive yourself and your surroundings? Today’s Girl Scouts took a closer look at the advantages of healthy living through visits to local farmer markets (like Boggy Creek Farm and Springdale Farm), micro-biotic cooking lessons and fitness classes.

The girls participated in the activities through the Sow What? Day Camp this past week. We had the pleasure of speaking with two attendees, Girl Scout Ambassador Jackie M. and Girl Scout Senior Kate N. Both girls shared with us their past experiences with food and what they took away from the camp.

IMG_4034Kate grew up on healthy, well-balanced meals and discovered the importance of adapting this particular lifestyle early on in life. She likes to stick to fresh, simple foods and stay away from processed items due to its low nutritional value. Kate realizes that eating healthy is more than just about the physical benefits; it helps you gain emotional and mental wellness in everyday activities.

Jackie was raised on fast food because it was a quick, low-cost option. She never knew the benefits of healthy living because she knew no other way. This camp opened to her eyes to a new way of living. Her outlook on life transformed into a positive one and she is eager to share her new knowledge with her family and friends. Jackie also credits this camp to allowing her to open up more and make new friends.

Jackie and Kate did not know each other before this camp but the topic of food brought them together. Their friendship evolved from their shared interest of healthy living. They hope their story inspires other girls to develop a healthy outlook on life.

For more information on this camp and other programs, please contact Girl Scouts of Central Texas.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Girl Scouts Take on Tough Terrain

This June, I traveled with ten other Girl Scouts and four wonderful adult volunteers to Virginia and North Carolina for an amazing outdoor adventure! We drove for two long days, finally reaching Grayson Highlands in Virginia, where we began backpacking on the Appalachian Trail. We hiked more than 35 miles over the course of four days, across difficult but beautiful terrain. Each day, we were witness to the amazing natural beauty of the Appalachian Trail – one day we hiked alongside fields of wild ponies! I can’t count the times we hauled our packs to the top of a treacherous mountain peak to be greeted by an exquisite view of the miles surrounding us, including the long trek we’d just completed! These views justified all of the hard, sometimes painful, hiking we did over those four days.

We finished our backpacking in Damascus, Virginia and headed into North Carolina for a couple of days of canoeing in the New River. We packed all of our camping gear into dry bags and hit the river, canoeing more than ten miles a day, and camping at the end of each day. The river was serene, and it was so relaxing to float lazily down the river to our next campsite… except when it was raining! The first day we were canoeing, we paddled into a huge thunderstorm.

Every day after that, it rained a little bit but we were lucky to have a few hours of beautiful sunshine to go rock climbing on the famous Looking Glass rock wall in North Carolina. When we were driven off the wall by a crazy hail storm, all of our gear was soaked, but thankfully our sister Girl Scouts in Ashville, North Carolina invited us to stay in their Girl Scout house for two days while we packed up – and dried out! – our gear.

The two week adventure definitely had its difficulties, but with a great group of girls and helpful adults, everything was worthwhile. The girls ranged in age from 12 to 18. I was one of the few older girls, but this gave me an opportunity to be a leader and role model when the younger girls were having difficulties on the trail. That’s not to say it was an easy trip for me, though! Backpacking for several days is physically taxing, and it took determination to keep going every day. I am so grateful to have had a motivating team alongside me!

Again, Girl Scouts has provided me an amazing opportunity to experience something new, with a group of smart, fun girls and volunteers! I encourage all of my readers to get involved in trips like this one, either as a participant or an adult volunteer. It was truly an amazing trip I’ll never forget!

For comments or questions regarding travel opportunities, please visit Girl Scouts of Central Texas Travel Pathway.

- Annie L.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

New Girl Scouts Cool Off with Water Lessons

caving whirlpoolWith the summer heat turned on high, what better way to spend time outside than through a water specialty camp as part of the Its Your Plant-Love it! series. Girls who are new to Girl Scouts of Central Texas are currently taking part in an opportunity to learn about water issues on a local and global level. Some of the topics covered are water scarcity in developing nations and how it impacts the community. Other topics include the impact of water sanitation on the world’s life expectancy, the water cycle and how water is treated.

Not only are the girls learning about basic water information but they are finding ways to protect and save water and tracking their own conservation program. The camp still has room for activities of course. The girls are enjoying fun water activities such as canoeing on Lady Bird Lake and caving at Whirlpool cave in South Austin.

The girls are taking away a lot from the lessons and activities at the camp. The most important aspect is the girls are becoming more environmentally aware by learning how vital water is to our lives. Its camps like these that shape our Girl Scouts to become more well-rounded citizens of society. We hope the girls will continue to learn and have fun at camp!

For comments or questions regarding camps and becoming a Girl Scout, please contact Girl Scouts of Central Texas.

-Tabitha Fierro

Friday, July 1, 2011

Beating the Odds - Troop 3949

tdsTerri Coahran, a Girl Scout troop leader for more than 35 years, and daughter Kristen started Troop #3949 in August 2010. The troop consisted of 14 girls, Kinder to 10th grade, from the Texas School for the Deaf. Certainly a very simple and sometimes difficult start, the troop looked to founder Juliette Gordon Lowe for inspiration as she herself was deaf. By not letting deafness hold them back, these girls have been exposed to many experiences.

The troop encountered several obstacles in their Girl Scout journey, but with the help of Terri, volunteers and the community of Austin, they changed the definition of handicap to 'YES WE CAN' by selling more than 1,400 boxes of Girl Scout cookies this past year.

Terri’s goal was to provide her troop the opportunity to get together with friends and learn the idea of helping each other. From selling cookies to participating in their very first campout, the girls have met and exceeded Terri’s goals and expectations. Their ambition and success has sparked the interest of other deaf schools to start their own Girl Scout Troops. Way to go Troop #3949 for overcoming obstacles and being a great example for the Girl Scout community!

For comments or questions regarding starting your own troop, please contact Girl Scouts of Central Texas.

-Tabitha Fierro

Tabitha is a marketing intern with the Girl Scouts of Central Texas and currently a senior at the University of Texas at Austin.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Discover the Fun of IBM STEM Camp!

A few weeks ago, Central Texas girls from near and far came together at the Girl Scout program center to participate in a variety of STEM activities. The event was hosted by IBM, and their engineers were very helpful in guiding each girl to success that day. Thanks IBM! If you missed out, check out this video of the 2011 STEM Camp.

For more photos of the event, visit our Flickr page!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dads are Girl Scouts too!

2011-02-19 11.01.22_Cedar Park_Texas_USWhen most people think of Girl Scout volunteers, fabulous and hard working females come to mind. And while Girl Scouting is an activity often shared between mothers and daughters, we must not forget about the fearless males who volunteer their time to the organization as well.

Sean Dunham is one of these male volunteers who spend his free time serving as a co-leader to his daughter’s troop in Round Rock. Mr. Dunham joined Troop 2361 in March 2010 and never looked back. He enjoys outdoor activities and plans many hiking and camping adventures with the girls. Learning about the environment is another activity he likes doing with his troop. Mr. Dunham’s wife tells us that while her husband isn’t into arts and crafts, he is willing to go outside of his comfort zone to make sure the girls enjoy all kinds of activities.

One of the girls who definitely enjoys having Mr. Dunham as her troop leader is his daughter, Phoebe. She says she likes the perk of knowing what he is planning for the troop before anyone else and loves having her dad around to enjoy Girl Scouts with her. Mr. Dunham is also known to always give the girls a say in everything they plan and they hold weekly voting sessions to decide what they will do in the coming weeks.

If you still think Girl Scouts is just for girls, then think again. Mr. Dunham hopes his role in Girl Scouts teaches his girls that they should never limit themselves to what they want to do in life because of their gender. He also wants to send a message to other dads that this is a great way to bond and spend time with their daughters and families.

Great work, Mr. Dunham! We’re sure Troop 2361 appreciates you. If you are a dad who wants to volunteer with Girl Scouts, please contact us here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Famous Local Faces in Girl Scouting!

targetcampaign1As a girl, Austinite Jennifer Healy participated in Girl Scouts by earning badges and attending troop meetings and at 26, she found herself working with the organization as a mentor. Through Target and their partnership with United Way, Target employee Jennifer was encouraged to find volunteer work that she was passionate about and that’s how she found Jasmine. Jennifer came across the GSCTX Girl Scout Beyond Bars program online and applied to become a mentor to a local Girl Scout. She was paired with Jasmine, who like other girls in the program has a parent who was incarcerated at one point in their life. The Beyond Bars program aims to foster personal and social development of these girls and mentors like Jennifer are there for their mentoree through every step of the development process. After spending some time together, Jennifer discovered that not only was she having an effect on Jasmine, Jasmine was benefiting her in many wonderful ways as well. This pairing eventually caught the attention of Target and United Way and the ladies are now a part of their national volunteer campaign! You might even see their faces around a Target store or two.

If you would like to serve as a Beyond Bars mentor to a young girl, contact GSCTX here.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

FUN Volunteer Opportunities w/ Girl Scouts!

IMG_1240Travel with the Girl Scouts to exciting places this summer! If you are a Girl Scout supporter and would like to join us as a volunteer on one or all of these opportunities, we would love to have you! Please see below for more information.

*High Adventure Team Trip: North Carolina, June 11-24
The High Adventure Team will take off for North Carolina this summer to experience a backpacker’s dream trip. Travelers will spend four days backpacking the Appalachian Trail, two days paddling down New River and a day climbing to new heights at Table Rock.

GSCTX needs a couple of experienced backpacking gurus over the age of 25 who are also willing to drive a fifteen passenger van. You must provide your own food but gear and travel expenses will be covered by the council.

*Sow What Day Camp: Travis County, July 18-22
Join fellow foodies, aspiring gardeners and Girl Scout friends for a fun-filled weekend of exploring the roots of what we eat and getting the dirt on hunger and agricultural issues around the world. Digging into the Sow What? Journey, we will get a taste of local and global food networks including visitis to urban farms, grocery stores and farmer markets.

GSCTX needs a couple of adult volunteers over the age of 18 to join the group as camp counselors and a few adults who are willing to drive the vans on our field trips.

*Nature Park Trip: McKinney Roughs, July 31-August 4
Girl Scouts in grades 6th through 12th will participate in a week-long summer camp at one of the greatest nature parks around! Girls will do high and low ropes course, paddling trip, and enjoy camping and hiking around the park while learning outdoor conservation skills.

GSCTX needs a couple of adult volunteers over the age of 18 to join the group as camp counselors for the week. All food and lodging will be covered.

If you are interested or know someone who might be interested, please contact ShannonT@gsctx.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Reconnect with Girl Scouts!

S'more Soiree 095Alumnae are an important part of Girl Scouting, and they truly make the Girl Scout organization a wonderful institute for young women. Girl Scout Alumnae have years of Scouting experiences that have taught them valuable life skills, and built them into women of great character. Alumnae continue to base their lives on the values of Girl Scouts every day, and live by the Girl Scout Law. As any Girl Scout alumna can tell you, Girl Scouts isn’t a phase, it’s a lifestyle! The Alumnae Association allows alumnae from across the country to connect with other Girl Scouts from their council. As we celebrate 100 years of Girl Scouting, alumnae have a chance to claim their place in Girl Scout history by joining the Girl Scout Alumnae Association today!

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If you are an alumna – that includes any women who were ever Girl Scouts, as well as men and women who have ever been Girl Scout volunteers, board members, or staff – please join the association by completing an Alumnae Interest Form. You’ll become a member of the GSCTX local Alumnae Association as well as the national GSUSA Alumnae Association, connecting you with adult Girl Scouts locally and nationally. You can also connect with fellow alumnae online through the GSUSA Online Alumnae Community. Girl Scouting has built an invaluable community of strong leaders. Join the Alumnae Association, and reconnect with the organization that has turned you into the powerful person you are today!

If you are a Girl Scout alumna and would like to serve as a guest blogger on the GSCTX Blog, please contact us! We would love to hear your Girl Scout story and share it with our community as well.

- Annie L.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Girl Scouts Pledge to Help their Communities Stay 'Forever Green'

Want to know more about the Girl Scout Forever Green Initiative? What about green projects happening in your own backyard by local Girl Scouts? Troop 250 and Girl Scout Rachel of Austin shared their experiences with the initiative and what they did to make the world a better place. With the help of the experts at Forefront Austin, we are able to share some great videos with you on their stories. Take a look, get inspired and then tell us what you did! For more information, visit the Forever Green website.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Celebrate Lemonade Day with Girl Scouts this Sunday!

lemonadeThis Sunday, May 1, Girl Scouts of all ages across Central Texas will come together with one goal in mind: to sell lemonade! Sunday is National Lemonade Day, and in celebration, Girl Scouts will set up stands to dish out the thirst-quencher for various causes.
Alena Bartek, a junior Girl Scout from troop 7081 in Hewitt, Texas, was presented with a special Lemonade Day Proclamation from the mayor of Hewitt when he learned of Alena and her troop’s charitable plans for the fun holiday. Troop 7081, along with other local troops, will hold several lemonade sales, with all proceeds going to help pay for over 100 central Texas Girl Scouts to attend the 2012 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. This group of girls will help decorate the Girl Scout’s 100th Anniversary float for the Rose Parade in January.

In Austin, local troops will also be participating in National Lemonade Day with another cause in mind. This Sunday, from 11am to 5pm, at Vespaio Ristorante parking lot on South Congress Girl Scouts will sell lemonade to raise money for two Girl Scouts who are also leukemia patients. They intend to use the proceeds to send these girls to Disney World. Another wonderful cause!

Be on the lookout this Sunday for our sister Girl Scouts across our area selling your favorite summertime beverage, and join in the celebration by buying an icy glass of lemonade for a good cause!

- Annie L.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day!

Daisy hike 896-1Happy Earth Day!! Today happens to be one of my favorite holidays, because it shines the spotlight on something that is an issue everyday of the year, nature conservation and keeping the earth clean and beautiful. To inspire you and your troop to get out there and celebrate Earth Day, I thought I’d share a story of one troop’s recent fun activity that helped beautify nature.

A few weeks ago, Girl Scout Troop Leader Ann Blasdel took her Daisy and Junior troops on a nature hike with a twist: it was all about the five senses. To start off the hike, the Daisies were each given a little film canister with a scent in it. Then, the Juniors were given canisters with matching scents. The Daisies and Juniors had to find their partners by using only their noses, and matching scents. This activity kicked off their five senses hike with exploration of the sense of smell.

Then they set off into nature, and during their hike, they noticed many colors – especially in the variety of blooming wildflowers. Here, the girls used their sense of sight. They spent the next five minutes of their hike in total silence. This activity let the girls focus on the sounds of nature around them, as they used their sense of hearing. They also experimented with touching interesting looking plants. They touched a weed that look and felt both pointy and soft, and another plant that resembled a lamb’s ear. This part of the hike focused on the sense of touch.

At a resting point, the girls finally got to use their favorite sense as they ate a snack– the sense of taste! They also talked about how, although there are some things you can taste in the wild, it isn’t okay to eat anything straight out of nature unless there is an expert present who says it’s alright. Good thinking, girls!
As they hiked back, the Girl Scouts sang some favorite camp-fire songs as they picked up trash along the trail. Even though the trail seemed very clean, the diligent Girl Scouts managed to fill up a whole bag of trash before ending their hike (check out the photo!).

These girls certainly earned their “Make the world a better place” petal, and did their part to clean up nature while enjoying a beautiful and different hike!! What a wonderful way to celebrate Earth Day! What do you and your troop do to help the environment every day? Do you have any special Earth Day plans? Please let us know by commenting below!!

-Annie L.