Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Spotlight on National Young Woman of Distinction Mandy Justiz

Justiz, Mandy-bwMandy Justiz, 16, is currently a sophomore at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, where she is active in musical productions, a member of Chapel Advisory Board, Select Choir and on the dance team at Shirley McPhail School of Dance.

Mandy is honored to be recognized as a 2013 Girl Scout National Young Woman of Distinction. The opportunities and experiences this award has given her are life-changing. In February, she was one of the NYWOD chosen to attend a Girl Scouts USA breakfast in Washington D.C., where they released the Girl Scout Centennial Coin and welcomed legislators into Troop Capitol Hill. The following month, she traveled to Phoenix to attend the National Girl Scout CEO Convention, where she received her NYWOD award.

The focus of Mandy’s Gold Award project is marine science and conservation. Passionate about the health of the ocean and how youth education impacts global problems, Mandy designed an aquarium and three-day curriculum to expose 5th grade students to ocean health and environmental threats to the ecosystem. Mandy is currently expanding the curriculum based on teacher request and continues to host lectures at the school. She hopes to soon bring the program to other schools and communities and after high school, will pursue her studies in the field of Bio-medicine and Environmental Science.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

LRPP Meeting #1 Notes - 06/1/2013

On June 1, the newly established Long Range Property Planning Task Force met for the first time at the Kodosky Service Center in Austin. The meeting was led by Glen Chin of GSUSA and he conveyed the responsibilities of the task force members and their goals for the upcoming six to eight month time period. It was discussed that membership participation is critical to this process. These groups will collect data and present their preliminary findings to the entire task force at the September meeting.

Future Task Force Meetings are as follows:

  • September 7, 2013
  • October 19, 2013
  • December 13, 2013
UPDATED 7/8/13

Task Force Members 
  • Trish Coy, Board and Task Force Chair - China Spring
  • David Boehner, Board - Waco
  • Lisa Sikora, Board - Austin
  • Janie Mehrens, Community at Large - Brenham
  • Bill Gurasich, Community at Large - Austin
  • Dan Robertson, Community at Large - Austin
  • Michele Anderson,Volunteer - Waco
  • Carrie Yager, Volunteer - Austin
  • Maricela Cantu, Volunteer - Brownwood

Advisory Members
  • Glen Chin, GSUSA Property Consultant
  • Lynelle McKay, CEO Staff
  • Sande Chaffin, Facilities Director Staff
  • Gayle Turner, Membership Lead, Staff
  • Sherry Wolfe, Programs Director Staff
  • Lolis Garcia-Baab, Marketing and Communications Director Staff
  • Angie McFarland, Fund Development Director Staff


Program Sub-Committee
  • Carrie Yager - Chair
  • Janie Mehrens
  • Lisa Sikora
  • Staff Liason: Gayle Turner and Sherry Wolfe

Tasks of Sub-Committee: 
• Review staff and volunteer training requirements
• Identify what facilities support the program and if they have the appropriate capacity and condition
• Identify duplicate programs within council sponsored programs and research program opportunities outside of the council
• Identify alternative program delivery sites – facilities owned by other organizations
• Review how we market our camps and identify opportunities to collaborate with other organizations
• Review camp usage – annual, monthly, weekly
• Review cost per girl/per day
• Review program outcomes
• Review staffing expertise, cost, supply
• Identify the current amenities at the camp and determine if they meet needs and expectations

Property Research Sub-Committee
  • Maricela Cantu - Chair
  • Bill Gurasich
  • Staff Liason: Sande Chaffin

Tasks of Sub-Committee:
• Identify facilities and determine how/if they meet the needs of the council
• Identify the maintenance and personnel needs for upkeep of camps and facilities
• Determine the total cost of deferred maintenance
• Identify solutions to reduce cost, increase safety, and support council programs
• Gather information from all subcommittees and create a five year capital improvement plan that identifies upgrades and/or new facilities that are needed
• Review operating costs
• Review ownership/insurance values and coverage
• Assess overall maintenance condition

Market Research Sub-Committee
  • Michele Anderson - Chair
  • David Boehner
  • Trish Coy
  • Staff Liason: Lolis Garcia-Baab

Tasks of Sub-Committee:

• Identify transportation and time/distance concerns
• Identify program needs, issues, interests and expectations
• Research the availability of programs for all age levels through council offered programs and collaboration with other organizations
• Review gathered market research data
• Identify hurdles to participation
• Gain information on outdoor program trends

September 7 will be the next meeting. At that time, each sub-committee will report their findings to the committee at large. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Upcoming Program & Property Visioning Meetings

GSCTX will host several area visioning meetings to discuss council owned and operated properties. All meetings are open and membership is encouraged to attend.

Long Range Property Planning - Visioning Meetings

Four meetings are scheduled for August 15-17, 2013 at the following locations:

  • August 15, 2013 at 6:30p.m. Brownwood Service Center
  • August 16, 2013 at 6:30p.m. Killeen Service Center
  • August 17, 2013 at 10a.m. Kodosky Service Center (Austin)
  • August 17, 2013 at 4p.m. Bryan Service Center

The intent for these meetings is to have a dialogue about council facilities including outdoor program sites and service centers and its future programming in order to assure that girls gain the absolute best leadership experience. The council is currently undertaking an extensive research and direction setting program for council owned and leased properties for the next five to ten years. Feedback from the Girl Scout membership at the Program and Facilities Visioning meetings is viewed as critically important and will be incorporated into the fact finding and recommendations delivered to the Council’s Board of Directors.

For questions or comments, please contact Let your voice and ideas be heard, and continue to check our webpage for updates.