Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sleep Experts and Girl Scouts Share the Warmth


Join Sleep Experts and Girl Scouts in sharing the warmth this holiday season with families in need!

Fast facts on this year's giving back program:

• Sleep Experts' 1st Annual Share The Warmth Blanket Drive in Austin asks families to drop off new or gently used blankets at any of the retailer’s 7 Austin locations, starting October 29th through Thanksgiving. For store locations, visit

• This year’s Blanket Drive will benefit four area non-profit organizations across Austin, each sharing a mission to help homeless families become self-sufficient: SafePlace, Center for Child Protection, Saint Louise House, and Foundation Communities. 

• The Girl Scouts of Central Texas will be helping to Share the Warmth by collecting blankets in their area.

• Everyone has an extra blanket around the house, so clean out your closet and donate a blanket today. We also accept donations of comforters, sheets, towels and pillows. It’s a simple way to help a family in need by sharing the warmth during a difficult time.

• Girl Scouts are encouraged to participate in a variety of service projects so that they learn the importance of giving back to the community. Share the Warmth is a great way for them to do something good for families in need. For more information, visit

 About the beneficiaries: 

• SafePlace ( provides a 105-bed emergency shelter; extensive transitional services; counseling, prevention and education programs for domestic and sexual survivors.

• Center for Child Protection ( is a child-friendly, specially-equipped facility where children go for recorded forensic interviews, medical exams, counseling and intervention during the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases. It is the only nonprofit in Travis County involved in the investigation of crimes against children.

• Saint Louise House ( provides affordable housing and essential services to mothers and children experiencing homelessness in Central Texas. In their apartment-style housing environment, families are embraced and encouraged to be a part of our supportive community as they work or attend school.

• Foundation Communities ( provides first class, affordable homes and support services for thousands of low-income families and individuals, empowering them with the tools they need to succeed. They own and operate 16 properties in Austin and North Texas.

-Kate Lipinski, GSCTX Program Lead

Friday, July 13, 2012

Out & About - July

gs1FOGS Fundraiser: Troop 8121 of the Central Bell Service Unit recently hosted a FOGS fundraiser that boasted a Girl Scout fashion show, silent auction and dinner. Volunteers and troop leaders pitched in to help run the event that was attended by local troops, families and supporters. Girl Scouts from different service units strutted the runway in vintage Girl Scout uniforms. Donations totaled more than $500. Great job, ladies!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Girl Scout Turns Interest into Career Choice

Robotics - AlisonHello, my name is Allison and I am a recent graduate of Anderson High School. I was also a Girl Scout with the GSCTX Bluebonnet Valley Service Unit. My adventures in Girl Scouting began in kindergarten when my mom helped form a troop. Troop 1526 remained strong throughout elementary school. We went on several camping trips and completed badges. My troop also sold cookies and completed our Bronze Award together. In middle school, we found new ways to have fun with outings we liked to call, “Mystery Weekends.” The leaders and parents planned everything out but didn’t tell us where we going until we got to our destination. High school was more focused on community service. Several of us became involved in other extracurricular activities during this time like band or athletics. As a troop, we still treasured all the adventures we went on and time we spent together.

My personal adventures with Girl Scouts continued and extended beyond the traditional troop setting. Four years ago, I was introduced to a STEM program called FIRST. FIRST is an internal organization designed to get students involved and excited about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. A few months later, the GSCTX council announced its supports of the program and Girl Scout robotics teams. I found a few friends to join and with the gracious help of the UT Robotic Automation Society and the Anderson High School FRC team, my team learned how to use screwdrivers, wrenches, hand drills and other tools I didn’t know about before FIRST. We successfully built a robot in six weeks and earned the Rookie Inspiration Award at a regional competition in Houston that year. However, FIRST is more than just winning, it’s about learning from your mistakes and working with others, promoting your team and getting everyone involved in STEM.

Our team of seven turned into twenty over four years. Girls as young as sixth grade have joined our ranks of robot builders. We’ve taken the robot we built to more than 100 demonstrations in the community. It became our mission to encourage girls to participate in STEM activities. To say that the partnership between GSCTX and FIRST has changed my life is an understatement. Before FIRST, I was destined to be a dancer in the theater world, but I now seeing myself in engineering field. I will study Mechanical Engineering in the fall at UT Austin and I can’t imagine at this point doing anything else. I also plan to remain involved with FIRST as a mentor.

For more information on STEM and FIRST, visit the Girl Scout website.

-Alison R.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Girl Scout Great - Lucy Baines Johnson

In honor of the Girl Scout centennial year, Girl Scout alumna Lucy Baines Johnson has been selected by national as a Girl Scout Great. Join GSCTX in continued celebration of our anniversary by visiting our website and to find out more.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Out & About - June

Ashlyn2Girl Scout Ashlyn Hall of Troop 2129 is a current student in the Leander Independent School District and was recently selected to travel to the Houston & Galveston area as a participant in Education in Action’s Lone Star Leadership Academy. Ashlyn was chosen based off of her outstanding academic success, demonstrated leadership ability, successful completion of a previous Lone Star Leadership program, and her involvement in school and community activities. Awesome job, Ashlyn. We know that you will continue to make Girl Scouts proud!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Enjoy Football while Supporting Girl Scouts!


The perfect outdoor summer event for your family is taking place June 30-July 7 in Austin! Girl Scouts of Central Texas is partnering with USA Football to bring the fun game of football to all sports lovin' fans who also enjoy supporting local causes. Buy your Team USA and All-Tournament Passes here and Girl Scouts of Central Texas will receive a portion of the ticket sales, which will fund leadership opportunities for more than 20,000 girls. 

Don't waste your summer inside! Spend it at a USA Football game! For more information on the program, visit the USA Football website

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dell Awards Technology Grant to GSCTX


In September 2011, Dell announced a $3 million investment in its U.S. global giving efforts. Twenty-four U.S. based organizations were selected by the Dell partners and these organizations, who mainly serve youth, will now have access to state-of-the-art technology. Girl Scouts of Central Texas was fortunate enough to be selected for this particular grant and will be awarded $43,000 to further our science, technology, engineering and math efforts and information, communication technology initiatives.

Dell is set to present the grant to Girl Scout representatives at a Robotics Showcase this Friday, June 15. Friday concludes a week-long robotics camp for at-risk and underserved girls. The purpose of said camp is to introduce the girls to advanced math, engineering and technical skills. Starting at 2p.m. on Friday, Girl Scout CEO Etta Moore will discuss the history of the STEM program, Girl Scouts will have a robotics showcase, and there will be a Q&A panel with Etta Moore, Michele Glaze from the Dell Giving Team, and two Girl Scouts involved in the robotics program. Ms. Glaze will also award GSCTX with the technology grant.

Girl Scouts, volunteers, parents and staff are welcome to join us for this event. There will also be a recruitment table for all girls and parents interested in joining Girl Scouts.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Austin Women of Distinction Spotlight - Alex Winkelman

Alex Winkelman
In 2009, Alex Winkelman started CharityBash—an innovative non-profit whose mission is to influence and inspire young professionals to be involved in the community.  Three years later she was named executive director of Citizen Generation incorporating CharityBash with several similar efforts —all focused on making philanthropy fun, accessible and affordable.  Alex, who has not yet celebrated her 25th birthday, comes from a family strongly invested in the value and practice of philanthropy-- her parents, Suzanne and Marc, and her siblings, Eli and Jacob, have all made distinguished themselves as community leaders.

Alex’s first major project was “Dining for Darfur,” for which she organized a night-out and convinced 40 local restaurants to donate a portion of their sales to Darfur humanitarian aid. She then joined the national team of “Tents of Hope,” a year-long campaign utilizing creatively designed tents set up across the country to serve as fundraising and educational centers on the plight of African refugees.  Alex holds a degree in social entrepreneurship from St. Edwards’s University, and is active on behalf of many charities including Austin Pets Alive, Emancipet, Ballet Austin, and the Candlelight Ranch and looks forward to participating in Dancing With the Stars/Austin for the Center for Child Protection in December.  In March 2012 the Winkelman family was recognized for outstanding leadership by the Anti-Defamation League.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Austin Women of Distinction Spotlight - Catherine Morse

Catherine Morse
Catherine “Cat” Morse was born in New Orleans but moved with her family to Chicago and later settled in Houston.  A tomboy who excelled at sports, she entered LSU and graduated from the University of Houston Law School where she met her husband, Kevin.  She began her practice in labor and employment law at Vinson & Elkins, moving to Austin to accept a position with Fulbright and Jaworski and later transitioning to corporate counsel positions with Applied Materials and Freescale.  She has served as both Corporate Counsel and Director of Public Affairs at Samsung since 2009.

Kat’s deep religious faith and social activism have been tempered by   personal tragedy—her younger son, Robbie, sustained a debilitating brain injury when he was four months old. Vowing to handle this misfortune with grace and dignity, Kat dedicated her time to public service. She recently organized an event with her sister, Mary, for Catholic Charities and is active on the boards of United Way, the Chamber of Commerce and Just Faith Ministries which examines the Biblical roots of social justice.  The Morses fly cross-country to cheer for their son Mitch, a star football player in his sophomore year at the University of Missouri, and enjoy running and the outdoors.  Kat is especially grateful for the many women friends with whom she enjoys her book clubs, vacations and other activities.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Austin Women of Distinction Spotlight - Wilhelmina Delco

Wilhelmina Delco
As a PTA officer and Girl Scout leader, Wilhelmina Delco found it disturbing that AISD would not allow school facilities to be used for student activities.  She consequently ran for a position on AISD Board of Trustees, inaugurating a political career that would span nearly three decades and include six years as an AISD Trustee and ten terms in the Texas Legislature.  The first African-American elected to the Texas House of Representatives from Travis County in modern times, Delco focused on education and issues of special concern to women, children and minorities. As Chair of the House Committee on Higher Education, she spearheaded the effort to secure a share of the Permanent University Fund for Prairie View A&M, significantly enhancing its facilities.

Widely recognized as an expert on education legislation, the woman who says that the only thing she ever flunked is retirement continues to serve on state and national boards and is an adjunct professor at UT Austin. Additionally, she has head leadership positions with both the local and national Girl Scout Councils and continues to be active in the LINKS and her college sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha. An AISD facility in northeast Austin, a Pflugerville Elementary School and a building at Prairie View A & M have all been named in her honor. She and her husband, retired Huston- Tillotson professor Exalton Delco, will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in August. They have four grown children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Austin Women of Distinction Spotlight - Lisa Copeland

Lisa Copeland
Lisa Copeland is a visionary, entrepreneur and professional sales executive dedicated to breaking the glass ceiling for women and young people in business and politics.   Born in San Jose, California, Lisa was 22 when she went to work at Capital Chevrolet in Dallas, one of two women in a sales force with 98 men.  After moving to Round Rock with her husband, James, she joined the Nyle Maxwell Dealership, and later started Austin Mortgage Association.  But her passion was helping women, and in 2007 she co-founded Women Impacting the Nation, enabling her to take her message of equity to corporations nationwide.  She then teamed up with Robin Ford to develop Project 19, a non-partisan organization to empower women to become leaders in public and private sectors, and joined the White House Project, founded by Marie Wilson to inspire women of all political backgrounds to seek public office.

Lisa’s talents came full circle when Nyle Maxwell appointed her Manager of the Fiat dealership in the Domain, where she went on to break national records by selling 600+ cars in her first year. An annual sponsor of the Stiletto Heel Run for the Cure, she works tirelessly on behalf of military veterans and has served on the Board of the Williamson County YMCA.  Lisa and James live on a ranch in Georgetown with their beloved horses and are in close contact with their young adult children, daughter Alix and son JT.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Austin Women of Distinction Spotlight - Jo Anne Christian

Jo Anne Christian
Jo Anne Martin Christian will go down in Austin’s history as one of the three Js—the other two being her spirited compadres Jare Smith and Jane Sibley—who stood firm in the face of innumerable obstacles and led the charge to make the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Center for the Performing Arts a reality.  Born in Wichita Falls, Jo Anne moved with her family to Fort Worth, graduating as salutatorian from Our Lady of Victory High School and obtaining a degree in history from Texas Christian University.  Determined to practice law in an era when women attorneys were a rarity, she entered UT Law School in 1958, one of only four women in her graduating class.

She was a first year law student working for Price Daniels when she met her future husband, political strategist George Christian.  Forging a partnership that would span four decades, they raised a family including daughters Elizabeth (a 2009 Woman of Distinction) and Susan and sons George, Bruce, John and Brian.  In addition to balancing a career and family, Jo Anne volunteered for the Blanton Museum of Art and the Austin Symphony League, and serves on the Board of St. David’s Foundation.   A founder of the Austin Lyric Opera, she has served on the Board for over 25 years and will step down as ALO’s Chair next year.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Killeen Workplace for Women Spotlight - First Texas Bank

First Texas Bank
First Texas Bank takes great pride in providing complete, convenient financial coverage and service to our local community.  To ensure quality customer care, First Texas Bank has five locations in Killeen, Copperas Cove and Belton that provide uncompromising customer delight in our community that is delivered by a team of dedicated, friendly and caring professionals. Our company is committed to acknowledging and valuing employee differences and to creating an environment in which every individual’s unique strengths and abilities are developed and valued. Currently 90% of the bank’s workforce is women with 72% of the management positions being held by women.  First Texas Bank makes every effort to attempt to promote employees within the organization to fill vacant positions. Our company encourages employees to participate in various educational opportunities including bank seminars, workshops and classes offered at the company level or through outside training resources.  Bank officers are encouraged to be active within our local community through memberships in civic, professional and business organizations.  The philosophy of First Texas Bank requires the highest standards of honesty and integrity of our employees.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Cool Side of Girl Scouts

Marisa Webre Daisy Bridging Ceremony
Marisa's Daisy Bridging Ceremony
I joined Girl Scouts as a Daisy and consider it one of the best decisions of my life so far. Girl Scouts was a big part of my childhood and majority of my memories stem from experiences as a Girl Scout. I fondly remember all of the troop meetings with my fellow Girl Scouts, the exciting trips to new places and all of the fun camp outs. I also went on to earn my Silver and Gold Award, which are two of the highest honors in Girl Scouting. 

Never for a second did I doubt my decision to stay in Girl Scouts through my senior year of high school. I continued to enjoy activities like selling cookies and I got to travel to Europe with my troop and be a part of the National Convention one year in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a moment I will never forget and not one I could have experienced otherwise. Friends and classmates questioned my Girl Scout membership but that’s only because they were unaware of all the opportunities available to me.

Marisa Webre Gold Award
Marisa's Gold Award Ceremony
After I earned my Gold Award and graduated from high school, I decided to join Girl Scouts as a lifetime member. And I didn’t stop there. I am currently the Graphic Designer for the Central Texas council; the council I was once a part of as a girl. Being able to give back to the organization that helped shape who I am today and being able to do what I love is a dream come true.

I strongly encourage all girls to stick with Girl Scouts or whatever interests them. Sometimes it isn’t most popular choice but in the end, you will reap the benefits and be glad you stuck with it.

-Marisa Webre

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Killeen Women of Distinction Spotlight - Jennifer Wiginton

Jennifer Wiginton
Jennifer Wiginton
Jennifer Wiginton was born in Denver, CO, but grew up in Bryan where she attended Bryan High School. She continued her education at Stanford University and Texas A&M University where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Education, Master of Management and a Certificate in Homeland Security. Jennifer proudly serves as the Disaster Services Specialist at the American Red Cross in Bryan. Committed to helping those in need, she has served as a Red Cross volunteer for five years and is an active member of the Lions Club. She is also a trainer for children’s bilingual education. A clear example of overcoming a disability, Jennifer has utilized her leadership skills by supervising the American Red Cross disaster response for eight counties and lending her time to the Brazos Valley Emergency planning committee. Jennifer is the proud recipient of the American Red Cross 2010 Volunteer of the Year Award. Jennifer is a positive influence who inspires, motivates and helps all those around her.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Killeen Women of Distinction Spotlight - General Laura Richardson

Laura Richardson
General Laura Richardson
Brigadier General Laura Richardson grew up in a suburb of Denver, CO where she attended Northglenn High School. She earned her civilian pilot’s license at 16 and excelled in the ROTC program at Metropolitan State University in Denver. She now proudly serves as the Brigadier General of the U.S. Army Operational Test Command in Fort Hood. She previously served as the military aide to Vice President Al Gore and as garrison commander of Fort Meyer, Virginia and Fort McNair in Washington, DC. Before taking command of the OTC, she was the Army liaison officer to the United States Senate. BG Richardson’s service as an air assault battalion commander in the 101st Airborne Division landed her on the cover of Time magazine in 2003 that brought the reality of a dual-military couple to life for American readers. Her awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Lead Clusters, seven Air Medals and Joint Service Commendation Medal. For her advancement of the role of women in combat aviation, she was awarded the 2011 Women in Aerospace leadership award.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Killeen Women of Distinction Spotlight - Mary Kliewer

Mary Kliewer
Mary Kliewer
Mary Kliewer was born and raised in Killeen. She graduated from Killeen High School and attended the University of Texas earning her Bachelor of Business Administration. Mary continued her education at the University of Central Texas where she earned her Master of Business Administration. She is currently a partner of Bigham, Kliewer, Chapman and Watts Insurance Agency and owner of Patriot Pontiac-GMC-Buick in Killeen. Mary previously served as president of the Junior Review Club and as vice president of the Central Texas College Board of Trustee and Junior Service League. Today, she serves as a member of the Copperas Cove, Harker Heights, Killeen and Salado Chamber of Commerce. The current chairman of the Central Texas Workforce Board, she is also currently serving on the Metroplex Hospital Operating Board, the Texas A&M – Central Texas Foundation and Congressman John Carter’s Small Business Council. Mary’s record of accomplishments ranges from receiving the 2001-2002 Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce Roy J. Smith Award to being ranked in the top 5 percent of Pontiac-GMC dealers in the United States. Dedicated and passionate, kind and compassionate, Mary’s personifies the idea of giving back.

Out & About - May


Give Kids a Smile: Girl Scout Junior Katy H. from Buda, TX dreams of becoming a dentist when she grows up and knew she wanted to start getting experience with the field at an early age. She decided to use her passion in conjunction with earning her Bronze Award. Katy and fellow Girl Scout Sadie P. discovered ‘Give Kids a Smile,’ a national event that helps kids who can’t afford regular dental care. The girls convinced their local dentist, Ashley Strickland, to host the event and handled everything from promotion to hands-on lab demonstrations at the event. Strickland says of the girls, “They are amazing young women.”

For the full article in the Hays Free Press, click here. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Killeen Women of Distinction Spotlight - Dr. Rose Cameron

Rose Cameron
Rose Cameron
Dr. Rose Cameron grew up in Maryland and attended two high schools before she graduated and joined the United States Air Force. She received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth; a master’s degree from Tarleton State University in Stephenville; and her doctorate from a joint program between Texas A&M University in Commerce and Tarleton State University. Today, Dr. Rose Cameron serves as Superintendent of Schools in the Copperas Cove Independent School District. A former professor and principal, Dr. Rose Cameron is an avid advocate for school, community and military affairs. She proudly serves on several boards including ESC 12 Regional Advisory board, Copperas Cove Education Foundation, National Council of Impacted Schools, Crime Stoppers and Boys &Girls Clubs. She is the proud recipient of the 2009 ESC Region 12 Superintendent of the Year award and the 2011 Mount Hiram Lodge No. 595 Community Builder Award. Her strong faith in God, family and friends are evident in everything she does.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Killeen Women of Distinction Spotlight - Nancy Birdwell

Nancy Birdwell
Nancy Birdwell
Nancy Birdwell was born in Abilene, but grew up on a ranch in Albany, TX. After graduating Albany High School, Nancy attended Texas Tech University. Today, she is the Chief Executive Officer for the Scott & White Healthcare Foundation and the Chief Development Officer for Scott & White Healthcare. Nancy previously served as vice president for Development at Alliant International University in San Diego, California; assistant vice president for Institutional Advancement at Texas Tech University and Health Science Center in Lubbock, Texas; and director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for the University of Texas at Austin. Active in many professional fundraising organizations, Nancy served as chair for CASE and the Association of Fundraising Professional, and served as board and faculty member for the UT Thompson Center for Fundraising Management program. Nancy was honored by Who’s Who of Professional and Business Women. Nancy’s dedication to her faith, family and community are apparent in all her endeavors.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Killeen Women of Distinction Spotlight - Heather Beck

Heather 2012
Heather Beck
Heather Beck was born in Tucson, AZ, but grew up in Waco where she attended Midway High School. She continued her education at McLennan Community College, University of North Texas and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Baylor University. Today, Heather serves as a Development Officer for the Providence Health Network. Lending her fundraising expertise to the Providence Foundations and the Providence Forum Affinity Group, Heather has played a vital role in the increase of net revenue and event attendance for both organizations. Heather’s board appointments include Campfire Girls, Hewitt Chamber of Commerce, and The Arc. She currently serves on the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Waco, The Business Awards Planning and Young Professionals committees. Heather is the president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and The Central Texas Chapter Board of Directors. She is a 2010 Waco Leadership graduate. Heather believes selflessness, hard work, self-reliance and education are the most important factors in being a well-rounded person.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

San Angelo Workplace for Women Spotlight - West Texas Rehab Center

West Texas Rehab Center
West Texas Rehab Center
Established in 1977, West Texas Rehab Center – San Angelo opened their doors to serve 137 patients during the course of the year. Thirty-five years later, they proudly serve more than 500 patients daily. Their philosophy is to provide high quality services and programs to all patients regardless of financial status, which is similar to that of the Girl Scouts who aim to serve every girl, everywhere. Several of their staff including doctors, directors and members of the board of directors are female who have all contributed to the growing success of the business. The Rehab Center sees the value in the work they do in patient care and constantly remind each other that “great things happen here.”

Thursday, April 19, 2012

San Angelo Women of Distinction Spotlight - Peggy Rosser

Peggy Rosser
Peggy Hodges Rosser
Peggy Hodges Rosser was born and raised in Midland. She graduated from Robert E. Lee High School and attended West Texas A&M, earning her Bachelor of Science. Peggy continued her education at Angelo State University where she earned her Master of Arts in Communication Systems Management. She is currently the Business Development Specialist and Rural Business Advisor at Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center.

Peggy is a dedicated volunteer who thrives on helping her community. Her skills, activity, results and successes are a reflection of her role as a leader. Peggy served as president of the Concho Valley Citizens against Violence and Region 15 Association of Texas Professional Educators. She also served as a committee member for the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce. Currently, she serves as panel10 chair for the United Way of the Concho Valley.

Peggy is a 2006 Leadership San Angelo graduate and proud recipient of the 1999-2000 Austin Elementary Teacher of the Year award. In all her roles – teacher, business owner, community advocate and family woman - Peggy exemplifies all the ideals of a great citizen.

A Volunteer Helped Shape My Life

Who are they? That’s easy. Ed Coll. 

Volunteer Kimbol Soques
Kimbol at the redwoods near Santa Cruz.
Ed’s career was spent training SWAT teams and stunt actors. When he made the decision to retire to the Pittsburgh area, it was the 1980’s and he was in his early 60’s. He approached the local Girl Scout council, GSSWPA, and told them, “You need a high adventure program for girls. I’ll build you one.” Word was that the local Boy Scout asked him to run a similar program for boys, but he turned them down. “Boys have lots of these opportunities. Girls don’t have any. The girls need some.” That’s what I heard he said. It sounds like him.

I was 14 at the time and a stealth Girl Scout in junior high school. One of my close friends had signed up for a rappelling weekend, but got sick and couldn’t go. Her mom who was also my troop leader pushed me to take the open slot. “It’s paid for! You can use Kell’s hiking boots!” she said and so I went. It was January in the northeast. Did I mention I’ve always been afraid of heights? And falling?

This trip is where I met Ed. He showed us how to wrap the webbing to make our harnesses, how to check that we were safe and ready and all the technical sides to it. More importantly, he radiated care and confidence in us! “You don’t have to do it, but I would like you to try. You won’t fall. I’ll show you!” And he belayed each of us over the edge, showing us how he could stop us on a dime. He encouraged us to walk the face, then bounce a little, and maybe bounce some more. Safely down on the ground below, I couldn’t believe how much fun it was! And I did it. I was so hooked – I ran back to the top and rappelled down as many times as he would let me, swinging wider and farther each time.

The next day, as Ed was hugging as all goodbye, Ed’s maxim was 10 hugs a day kept off starvation – he pulled me to the side and said, “Any trip of mine you want go on, you’re welcome to come. You’ve been great.”

So, I went. As often as I could, all the way until I graduated high school and moved away.

When I was finding my grown up feet, scared about presenting to vice presidents or running projects where I was the youngest team member, I would remember that I climbed Mount Placid. I rafted the Youghigheny. I went up and down Seneca Rocks more times than I can count. This is easier than that and I did that.

-Kimbol Soques

Kimbol is a Gold Award recipient and recently celebrated her 25th year as a Girl Scout. She currently leads a Cadette troop and is planning a trip to Savannah with them for this summer.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Why do I Volunteer with Girl Scouts?

Volunteer Capitol
At first glance, I would say I do it for my daughter, plain and simple. I want her to have new experiences, make friends from all walks of life, and grow up to be an empowered woman. As a Girl Scout, I experienced all of those things and still carry fond memories of my time in Girl Scouts. I remember camping in our backyard, traveling to a greenhouse farm to learn about raising tomatoes, and learning to appreciate the beauty of bugs. As an adult involved in Girl Scouting, I am now able to help my daughter develop the same open views of the world she lives in, the people, creatures, plants and what makes it go around.

Don’t let me fool you though! I’m in it for me too. Bonding with other parents, traveling to different events, and running cookie sales for our troop helps me realize that I look forward to everything as much as my daughter does! From a huge sing-a-long at the Texas Capitol to tie-dying troop t-shirts to watching our dining room turn into cookie central for six weeks, I love it all! I truly enjoy volunteering with Girl Scouts because of what they represent – encouraging and enabling young women of spread their wings – to opportunities they provide to all Girl Scouts (and parents!).

-Julie Peters

To volunteer or find out more about volunteering with GSCTX, visit our website. 

San Angelo Women of Distinction Spotlight - Marilyn Mohler

Marilyn Mohler
Marilyn Mohler
Marilyn Mohler was born in San Angelo, and after a brief period in Baltimore, Maryland, her family returned to the Concho Valley when she was 12 years old. She graduated from Lakeview High School and promptly enrolled at Angelo State University.

After an intriguing public relations and advertising class, Marilyn decided to open her very own firm, Marilyn Mohler and Associates, Inc., Advertising and Public Relations. A successful businesswoman for nine years, Marilyn continued her professional career and worked as an advertising manager for M.L. Leddy & Sons; an account executive for KCTV and as a property manager for a local residential and commercial broker.

Amid her retirement, she continues to stay active in her community. Marilyn’s volunteer efforts are just one aspect of her outstanding achievements. She was an active member for the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce and received the notable award of Outstanding Ambassador an impressive three times during her 15-year tenure. Between 1972 and 1983, Marilyn served on many boards including the Better Business Bureau, Community Action Council, San Angelo Coliseum, Auditorium and Convention Center, and San Angelo Advertising Federation. Her most recent achievement was to chair the committee for the placement of Elmer Kelton’s statue at Stephen’s Public Library. Marilyn’s love for her family and her community are evident in everything she does.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Thank You Volunteers!

Heather and Carrie

Before I became an employee of the Girl Scouts of Central Texas council, I served as a Girl Scout volunteer for six consecutive years. I was a troop leader to a very active troop, an E.L.F (Experienced Leader Friend) on our Service Team, and served as a Co-Service Unit Director for a year. My time as a volunteer was a fulfilling and rewarding experience.

When the opportunity to join the GSCTX staff as a volunteer support liaison, I jumped at the chance. What better way to continue to serve the girls and volunteers than by supporting them at the council level. I am glad I made that choice five years ago because I have met some of the most amazing people over the years. 

Volunteers can be anyone and I have met people who fit into one or more of these areas:

  • Volunteers that work directly with their daughter’s troop. 
  • Volunteers who don’t have daughters of their own but believe in the mission of the organization so they serve as troop leaders. 
  • Volunteers that stick around after their daughters graduate high school because of the satisfaction they get from helping grow girls into leaders and from helping new volunteers. 
  • Volunteers that lead girl Robotics teams. 
  • Volunteers that enjoy supporting behind the scenes and handle paperwork, cookies and spreadsheets. Volunteers that love the good ol’ outdoors and some that prefer the inside.

I have met women and men, old and young, who are eager and enthusiastic about building the leaders of tomorrow and making a difference in the world. I am grateful for every volunteer and what they do to build each Girl Scout of courage, confidence and character.

Whether you give one hour a month or 20 hours a week, whether you enjoy camping or technology, whether you work with Daises or Ambassadors, my hat is off to you! I genuinely and sincerely appreciate all that you do to support our girls.

Thank you! -Heather Givens

Friday, April 13, 2012

San Angelo Women of Distinction Spotlight - Sandra Gray

Sandra Gray
Sandra Gray was born and raised in San Angelo. She graduated from Lakeview High School and attended college at Angelo State University, earning her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education degrees. Sandra is a former public school teacher and administrator for the San Angelo Independent School District and currently serves as co-owner of Gray´s Transmission Inc.

A well-known public speaker in her community, Sandra conducts Black History presentations during the month of February and engages in numerous public speaking opportunities throughout the course of the year. Her passion for public speaking gives her the opportunity to educate others of her rich African-American heritage and inspires her community to make a difference.

Sandra is a faithful member of Solid Rock Church where she leads the Greeter´s Ministry. She has served on many boards including United Way, MHMR, Boys and Girls Club, Chamber of Commerce, Concho Valley Home for Girls, ASU Alumni, National Prayer Breakfast of San Angelo and the Eating and Reading Book Club. Sandra is an inspiration to all those who meet her and a joy to those who love her.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

San Angelo Women of Distinction Spotlight - Maggie Farrington

Maggie Farrington
Maggie Farrington
Maggie Farrington was born and raised in Menard. During the draft, her family relocated to Oklahoma where she graduated from Miami High School and attended Northeastern Oklahoma A&M University. Maggie currently works as a full-time foster grandparent for The Foster Grandparent Program of the Concho Valley and as a part-time substitute teacher for Eden Elementary.

Maggie’s love of agriculture led to her extensive involvement with the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo. For 23 years, she has dedicated her time to volunteering with several areas of the organization such as serving on the Premium Sale Fund Committee and as superintendant of the Junior Brangus Heifer Show. Maggie also mentors students through the Concho County 4-H program, where she assists them with their projects.

In 2010, Maggie was awarded ‘Most Enthusiastic Volunteer’ by her stock show and rodeo peers. She also celebrated 20 years of service to the organization in 2009. Maggie is known to light up a room with her positive attitude and gives back not for the recognition, but for the pure act of helping others. Maggie is adored by those in her community and has received standing ovations for her work.

Out & About - April


The Pflugerville City Council held a council meeting last month and Troop 175 attended as special guests. Mayor Coleman invited the girls up as he read a proclamation honoring 100 years of Girl Scouting. Watch the proclamation and the rest of the meeting here. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

San Angelo Women of Distinction Spotlight - Dana Calhoun

Dana Calhoun
Dana Calhoun
Dana was born and raised in San Angelo. She graduated from Central High School and attended Angelo State University. Today, Dana is the proud owner of Grisby’s Boutique and Merle Norman.

In 2007, she started Catwalk for a Cure, which started as a small luncheon and now has grown to be known as San Angelo’s staple event for breast cancer awareness. With more than $96,800 funds raised to date, Catwalk for a Cure benefits local organizations including the American Cancer Society, The Rotary House of Hope and The Shannon Oncology Center. In 2009, Dana opened a 1,200-square-foot center where cancer patients can access educational resources, attend classes, support group meetings and get help with cosmetic needs such as wig fittings, hat samples and makeup consultations. She continues to exemplify herself as an advocate for cancer research and a trailblazer for all women alike.

Dana’s record of accomplishments ranges from being named one of San Angelo’s “Women to Watch” to receiving a distinguished honor from Texas Business Women. In addition to numerous honors, she also serves as president of the Better Business Bureau and board member for the Museum of Fine Arts. Dana’s untiring enthusiasm for her family, business and community personifies the idea of giving back.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pledge to Go Green

Are you committed to going green? Are you passionate about recycling? Are you ready to be a part of something bigger than yourself?

Girl Scouts of Central Texas has the project just for you!

Commit to the Forever Green Take Action initiative! It's your chance to take action with Girl Scouts around the country to honor strong traditions of Girl Scouting.

I want to learn more about Forever Green. What is it? 
In conjunction with the Year of the Girl, the Forever Green Take Action projects invites girls to take action on one or more projects including Reducing Waste, Earth Hour and Rain Gardens. These projects can lead to sustainable behavioral change and environmental impact within our communities. As we kick off this initiative, we ask that girls take an online pledge stating their year long commitment to the efforts and get their friends and family to join in as well!

These projects coincides with Girl Scouts of the USA's 100th Anniversary so what better gift to the movement than measurable results; real proof that girl can change the world.

I'm almost convinced. Why else should I get involved?
The goal of this initiative is to engage approximately 800,000 Girl Scouts (25% of our membership nationally). If this goal is achieved, it will made substantial contributions, not only to girls' leadership development, but also to their surrounding environment. Girl Scouts will be seen as leaders of the healthy and green movement and others are sure to follow their lead.

I'm ready to commit. What can I do?
Your local council is focusing our efforts on the Reducing Waste project and will do so across our 46-county jurisdiction.

You can start small! 
  • Encourage your friends and family to recycle.
  • Make an effort to use reusable water bottles and bags.
  • Volunteer to handle all recycling efforts at a school or church event. 
You can go big!
  • Start a recycling program at your school.
  • Work with your city to raise awareness on the importance of recycling.
  • Work with your local stores to offer only reusable bags. 
  • Tell your friends at lunch why they should use reusable water bottles.
Get creative! This is your project, your impact!

How do I sign up?
Visit the national Forever Green website to learn more and to take the national pledge. The head over to the GSCTX local pledge website to commit to the initiative.

Questions? Contact Kate Lipinski. 

-Kate Lipinski

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Out & About - March

Troop 900 Valentines
Last year, Troop 900 made a decision to do something special for the women and girls of the Salvation Army homeless shelter. They collected gently used stuffed animals and hand-made cards and ended up donating more than 20 bags. When February rolled around this year, the girls decided they wanted to do the same project but on a bigger scale. The same items were collected and the troop even had boxes of cookies donated to the cause. More than 115 bags were put together this year and the girls personally delivered them to the Salvation Army. Awesome job, girls! 

Troop 250 Holds Book Drive for Brownwood Girls


Girl Scout Troop 250 will earn their Bronze Award through a service project that benefits girls ages 12-19 at the Ron Jackson State Correctional Facility in Brownwood. The Girl Scouts aim to establish dorm-based libraries for these girls who face challenges such as mental health issues and parental abuse. Troop 250 would like to give them access to literature that is inspirational, motivational and fun. 

Half-Price Books has already generously donated 600 books and the following merchants will donate a percentage of your purchase to the cause. Interested parties purchasing from Book People should ask for the Troop 250 coupon during check out on March 25. For those shopping with Barnes and Noble, use ID number 10702678 when purchasing between March 19-25.

If you would like to donate new or gently used books, you can bring them to the Troop 250 table at the Centennial Capitol Celebration on March 12. The Brownwood girls have an average reading level of 8th grade. GSCTX and Troop 250 thank you in advance for your support! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

This Month in Girl Scout History

ComputerThe trefoil design for the membership badge (pin) is patented.
Jane Deeter Rippin becomes National Director.
The first Thinking Day is celebrated. In 1926, the mutual birthday of Sir Robert and Olave Baden-Powell was designated a day of celebration in which Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all over the world think of each other, circling the globe with a chain of thoughts of international friendship and world peace.
Our CabaƱa, in Mexico, the third WAGGGS world center and the first world center in the Western Hemisphere is dedicated by the World Chief Guide, Lady Baden-Powell.
The Brownie Girl Scout Handbook is published in Spanish. It is also translated into Japanese and produced by the U.S. Army Ryukyu Islands for the use of the Ryukyu Islands Girl Scouts.
In Praise of America, a Girl Scout exhibition of American decorative arts, opens at the National Gallery of Arts in Washington, D.C. A book with the same title is published in commemoration of the 1929 Girl Scout Loan Exhibition.
GSUSA's World Wide Web site debuts on the Internet.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Out & About - February

100 TreesGirl Scouts Go Green: The national Girl Scout Forever Green initiative encourages girls to go green and discover ways to improve their environment.  Local Pflugerville Girl Scouts answered that call earlier this month with GSCTX Etta Moore. 100 Girl Scouts came together to plant 100 trees in 100 seconds. For ideas and more information on the Forever Green initiative, click here.

It's Summer Camp Time!


It’s never too early to start planning your summer! GSCTX offers fun day and resident camp sessions perfect for every girl. Discover your crafty, sporty or techie side while gaining great friendships! The time is now to sign up for Girl Scout camp.

Before you sign up, here are some quick tips and info to help get you started. This year, resident camps will be held at Texlake, Kachina and Wood Lake! Camp will run from Sunday through Saturday. More programs = more fun! All water sports including sailing and water skiing will be offered exclusively at Kachina this summer due to low lake levels at Lake Travis. For the first time ever, Wood Lake will offer a rock climbing camp to Cadette through Ambassador level Girl Scouts!

In addition to day camp being offered at Zilker, we will also host day activities at Camp Wood Lake this summer. This program will offer transportation from the Brownwood Program Center to Wood Lake for your convenience.

Have some free time this summer? Join us and your daughter at camp! We need Program Aides and Counselors-in-Training. Zilker is also looking for adult volunteers. Volunteer one week and your daughter get a free week at camp. All three resident camps are looking for RN’s or higher to work in the Health Center. If you work one week with us, we will also give your daughter a free week at camp plus a stipend. Inquire today with Camps Coordinator Caroline Key.

-Caroline Key

P.S. In honor of our 100th year, Cabela’s is offering special camp discounts to all Girl Scouts. Check out their deals!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Year of the Girl Campaign Launches Today!


January 31st marks the launch of the Girl Scouts centennial celebration.  2012 begins the Year of the Girl campaign coupled with a larger cause campaign, focused on balanced leadership in one generation.

This morning, Katie Couric interviewed our National CEO, Anna Maria Chavez, and spoke with GMA host Robin Roberts about Girl Scouts. Check out the full interview here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Out & About - January

christmasCreative Christmas: Troop 482 paid a visit to their local assisted living home in Cedar Park this past holiday season. The Cadette troop made and decorated festive pins for the residents to wear. During their stay, the girls sang a variety of holiday music and spoke about the upcoming 100th Anniversary. A few of the girls had the honor of conversing with a 95-year-old resident who started with Girl Scouts in the beginning. Thank you Troop 482 for giving back this holiday season! Did you or your troop give back during the holidays? Share with us onFacebook!

toysfortotsToys for Tots: More than 100 San Marcos Girl Scouts showed up last month to participate in a local toy drive. The drive was hosted by Marine’s Toys for Tots and the foundation collected truckloads of toys. Since 1991, the foundation has collected 81.3 million toys and made lots of less fortunate kids have a happy holiday. Great job girls for helping collect toys!