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.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Leader's Day

annielAs Girl Scouts, tomorrow marks a big day of celebration for our community. We will not only celebrate Earth Day but also Leader’s Day, which acts as a day of recognizing great leaders in our lives. In my 13 years as a Girl Scout, my leader – my mother – has been the backbone of my scouting experience. It is because of my mom I was introduced to Girl Scouting in the first place. My mother was a Girl Scout through her entire school career (led by my grandmother!) and I am so grateful she decided to involve me and my kindergarten classmates in the Girl Scout organization when she started a Daisy troop.

Certainly every level of scouting comes with its own difficulties as a leader, but my mom has taken each year in stride, welcoming new projects and bigger dreams with a smile and a can-do attitude. As Daisies, my troop and I loved crazy, MESSY craft projects, and my mom was always enthusiastic, providing us with fun activities at every meeting. When we bridged to Brownies, we couldn’t wait to go on our first camping trip, and my mom jumped into action, organizing a fun campout, while still including us girls in the planning process.

With my mom, everything – from selling cookies to planning trips to setting up fun little meetings – involved troop input; my mom never simply took over a project just to get the job done! This allowed my troop to become truly invested in every Girl Scout project we completed, and made each activity a learning experience. As we got older, our projects got bigger, and my mom began giving my troop more responsibilities. We organized our own meetings, held fundraisers for international Destination trips, and planned and completed our Girl Scout Gold Award. But even with our newfound independence, my mother was always there to provide support and input in everything we did.

I recently mentored a Daisy troop at my old elementary school, and as I led their meeting, I heard my mother talking with their leaders. My mom insisted “The only advice I can give you is to have fun, because the minute you stop having fun, you’ll quit!” As I near the end of my senior year, I look back on my life as a Girl Scout thus far and I realize that the badges I earned, the trips I went on, the awards I received all pale in comparison to the fun I’ve had in Girl Scouting, and it thrills me to know my mom had just as much fun every step of the way! It is thanks to her and every Girl Scout leader and volunteer that is a part of this organization that we Girl Scouts get to have so much fun. It is also the reason we become the people we are today. So join us in celebrating National Leader’s Day tomorrow by remembering to say “thank you” to your troop leader or any other kind of leader your life. Remind them that they are making a difference in not only your life but the lives of so many others as well!

-Annie L.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What Girl Scouts Means to Me & What It Can Mean for You.

IMG_1065When I entered high school, I was suddenly introduced to tons of new and really exciting opportunities, and in the first few weeks of freshman year I’d already signed up for the rock climbing club, made the junior varsity volleyball team, and landed a big role in the school musical. I was also victim to a whole new level of homework – high school classes gave SO MUCH homework!! At a new school, I made lots of new friends, and so on top of all of my new responsibilities, I wanted free time to hang out with them.

It would have been easy for me to simply quit Girl Scouting, like a lot of people I know had done. However, I really enjoyed scouts, and I knew that Scouting could offer me lots of new and exciting opportunities in high school. In high school, Scouting opened doors for my personal growth through national and international study. I was chosen to represent Texas at the international Leadership Conference of Girl Scouts in Indianapolis in my sophomore year of high school, where I got to meet and work with Scouts from across the globe. The Girl Scouts also sponsored me on a service trip to Costa Rica, where I camped on the beach for 2 weeks and surfed for hours every day. And this summer I am taking a long backpacking trip along the Appalachian Trail with a group of Girl Scouts. These are the kinds of fun opportunities that are only available to high school aged Girl Scouts.

Being in Girl Scouts has also really helped me get into the college of my choice. I was recently accepted into Plan II at the University of Texas, UT’s prestigious honors program, and my acceptance was largely due to my continued participation in Scouting. Not only does my long career as a Girl Scout represent a lot of community service work, it also proves that I am dedicated and can stick with something I’m passionate about.

I am forever grateful for all that Girl Scouting has done for me, and I am SO glad I stayed in Scouting, even when I had a million other things on my plate! I encourage every Girl Scout to continue with the organization! It’s worth it!!!

-Annie L.