Friday, April 25, 2014

Girl Scout Katelynne Marsan Wins Big at ExxonMobile Texas State Science and Engineering Fair

Katelynne Marsan is a Girl Scout that is changing the world right here in the Central Texas Council. Her great curiosity and enthusiasm for STEM led her to a second place victory at the ExxonMobile Texas State Science and Engineering Fair. Her project, “Effects of Biased Verbal Instructions on Student Performance and Motivation”, used statistical methods Analysis of Covariance and the Pearson Test of Bivariate Correlations to investigate the change in results when different instructions were given before a test. Katelynne enlisted the help of three eighth grade science teachers, two-thirds of the eighth grade class, a professor, and three doctoral students at the University of Texas to complete and fully analyze her project.
            To participate in the ExxonMobile Texas State Science and Engineering Fair Katelynne had to compete in several regional fairs before that. From these regional fairs only three projects advance from each category. This means that Katelynne’s second place statewide victory is an enormous accomplishment that many don’t achieve. She knows that the STEM field holds a lot of promise and is excited for her early start.
            Katelynne is a freshman at Dripping Springs High School where she belongs to troop 2009. She plans to become a neuropsychologist, a career that is very closely related to her project. She is plans on earning her Gold Award and is also an amazing candidate for Young Women of Distinction. To top it all off, she also participates in band and drill team at school. 
Congratulations from GSCTX on this amazing accomplishment, Katelynne! We can’t wait to see all the ways in which you’ll change the world!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

To Get Her There: Getting Girls and Young Women Excited About STEM

Girl Scouts of Central Texas firmly believes and encourages the advancement of young women and one of the ways we are accomplishing this is by introducing girls to the wondrous world of STEM. In today’s job market 20% of jobs require STEM related knowledge and that number will only grow with the innovation of technology. However, women and minorities are severely underrepresented in this field. That leads us to question why women are not as integrated as men in the STEM world. Dr. Laurie H. Glimercher, Dean of the Weill Cornell Medical College, believes that this is happening because women are lacking the proper mentoring from professionals in the STEM field. This lack of exposure is a guaranteed factor in the lack of interest in this field.  Not many could be curious about something they know nothing about.  She calls on scientists to show what science truly is rather than what society presents it to be. Not all scientists are Albert Einstein look-a-likes.
               Some of what deters women and minorities from the STEM field is that they are not fully aware what it is. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. So, everyone from your dental hygienist to the person drilling for oil has been trained in the STEM field. That is including a ton of people and only 25% of those people are women.  That number is one that GSCTX is dedicated to growing.  In the coming years, Latinos will be a big part of the workforce; being in Texas we are poised to be part of that boom. First we need to get minorities excited about STEM related subjects.

                At GSCTX we are determined to get our girls excited and interested in STEM, so much that we offer all kinds of programs that give girls full exposure to a wide variety of STEM subjects. We will continue to work tirelessly to get these girls and minorities into those jobs. However, we cannot do any of this without your support.  If you work in a STEM related field, volunteer! Introduce a girl to the world of STEM, motivate her to not be intimidated by it and what it can do for them. Any way we can mentor and inspire our girls is a step in the right direction.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Equestrian Program Specialist, Robert Pohl Gears Up of Camp

Robert Pohl, Equestrian Program Specialist, GSCTX
Hey (is for horses)! My name is Robert Pohl and I am the Equestrian Program Specialist with GSCTX at Camp Texlake since February 2012. I could not ask for a better job. I make sure the horses are well taken care while promoting a quality and safe program for Girl Scouts, horses, and staff. Horses have been in my life since day one, so to have a job with horses and teaching has been a dream come true.  Although I was not a Girl Scout growing up, I was a Boy Scout for 5 years. I have enjoyed learning about the Girl Scout mission while meeting incredible young people whose courage, confidence, and character  the world.
I have had the great fortune of experiencing camp for the past 20 years. 

I moved to Camp Waldemar at the age of 4 with my mother and younger brother. My mother joined the Camp Waldemar staff full time as Equestrian Director to manage a herd of over 100 horses. I started going to Camp La Junta at the age of 6 for one month during the summer. I was involved with La Junta till I was 18 (camper for 8 years and staff for 4 years). I also worked at Camp Waldemar, an all-girls camp like Camp Texlake as a polocrosse instructor for two summers.

At camp you meet amazing people that can change your life forever. One of those people who changed my life is Connie Reeves, one of the most inspirational individual I have ever met. Connie started as the Equestrian Director at Waldemar in 1936 and stayed, teaching and riding her entire life until 2003. She taught over 36,000 children how to ride; some of those are third generations.  Every time I teach a new rider, I hope I can inspire them the way Connie inspires me.

Horses can be intimidating, so when a camper overcomes that fear and connects with the horse, the reward is beyond measure. Seeing the connections that horses create with people to help them grow in courage, confidence, and character  is the best part of the job.

Camp is one. Hope to see you at the barn this summer!  Register today!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Be the Voice For Girls

The Girl Scouts Advocacy Network provides a tool for you to become a voice for girls and to make a difference in your community and across the nation. Together, we can educate policymakers and community leaders on issues that directly affect girls and the Girl Scouts. By being an advocate, you will have an impact on girl policy issues moving through Congress and state legislatures.
As Congress considers federal research and STEM programs, Troop Capitol Hill Co-chairs Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Kay Granger (R-TX) introduced a bipartisan bill to inspire and support girls and underrepresented minorities to enter the STEM workforce.

H.R. 4161, the 21st Century STEM for Underrepresented Students Act, would allow the National Science Foundation to provide funding to evaluate programs aimed for out-of-school or summer activities that engage underrepresented students in grades kindergarten through 8th in STEM.

We are pleased to announce that the House Science Committee included the exact language in its comprehensive effort to reauthorize important research and science programs at several federal agencies – an important step towards enactment.

Please join the Girl Scouts Advocacy Network and Take Action to send a message of thanks to House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) for his support of our efforts to see girls succeed and become interested in science, technology, engineering or math fields.
Join the Girl Scouts Advocacy Network  This will only take a moment of your time.  PLEASE DO IT NOW.
When you join the Girl Scout Advocacy Network, you will ensure your voice is heard in Congress, the state legislatures and your local governments.  The Girls Advocacy Network is a collective voice of over 13,000 (and growing!) that responds to policy issues in our Girl Scout 2014 Legislative Agenda. As a member you are able to:

  • Receive updates on issues moving through Congress and the state legislatures;

  • Send customized messages to your elected officials;

  • Have access to contact information for your elected officials; and

  • Be part of a growing grassroots network that addresses issues impacting girls.

 We encourage you to share this grassroots advocacy tool with your Boards, Staff and Volunteers!

The link to the site is

Thanks for all of your support toward advocacy!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mariners at Kachina by Sarah Young

A Sunfish sail
All full and big
And boats on the water
That we, Girl Scouts, rigged

We all learn
To sail
On Lake Belton
So Blue

And a Sunfish
Would sail better
If it sailed off
With YOU!

I have gone to many sailing camps and programs. But the Spring Break Sailing Camp at Camp Kachina is, by far, my favorite.

The afternoon you arrive, you are welcomed with a smile and the day is dedicated to getting you familiar with the parts of the boat, safety and knots. As well as getting to know the other Girl Scouts who would be sailing with you. The next day is smooth sailing all day. If you’re experienced you can solo sail or you can go out on the water with a buddy. 

The camp I attended, we sailed for a fun six hours! None of us had trouble sleeping that night and the next day was points of sail and cleaning up.

Its camps like these that help get girls feet wet in the world of sailing. It opens up an opportunity to stay fit and learn to harness the wind and the water as well as meet other girls you share your same interest.

I was fortunate enough to go to camp two and a half years ago and learn to sail, because I have had a love and passion ever since. And now, as an Ambassador, I still go to these camps and events to get a recap. Because it’s not only the sunfish and the wind that always draw me back to Camp Kachina, but it’s the coordinators and adult volunteers that make all of these events and programs fun and safe.

These adults at Kachina have encouraged me to keep boating and they will forever fill my sail with wind to keep sailing forward. And now this summer I am going on the Virgin Islands Tall Ship Sailing Destinations trip. 

Come to Camp Kachina for Summer Sailing camp, because we would love to see you paired with a sunfish and on the water. Sailing like a Mariner Girl Scout!!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Girl Scout Day with the Lady Longhorns

Yesterday, April 6th at noon, the UT Softball Team welcomed Girl Scouts for a day of sports for Girl Scout Day.  Our very own Cadette Girl Scout, Lizzie Wolf, kicked off the day when she beautifully sang the National Anthem! GSCTX Program and Award Specialist, Miranda Sterling-Rains--who played softball from 6th grade to high school--got to throw the ceremonial first pitch. The day got more exciting from there as Girl Scouts screamed and cheered for their favorite Longhorns, hit after hit and play after play!  After a horns victory, the girls were able to celebrate on the field with Head Coach Connie Clark and all of their favorite players. Girls listened to Ms. Clark talk about her experience as a Girl Scout and even got to do a Longhorn cheer with her. Afterward, the girls were able to meet, get autographs, and take pictures with the star players. Thank You UT softball--our girls had an awesome time!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Girl Scouts Taking To The Skies!

Last month we had a successful first session with our FlyGirls program, which was taught by Mary Schott, lifetime Girl Scout. Read a little more about who she is and her experience flying:

Mary Schott started taking flying lessons after school when she was 17. As a Girl Scout, she loved learning and experiencing new things, so when she started to think about what she wanted to do in life, flying seemed like the perfect adventure.  

The first flight was a blur- there was so much going on and so much to see, but after several lessons, it became easier and easier until flying became like second nature. In college, Mary studied aviation science-making straight A's-and started flight instructing. Teaching people how to fly was something she never dreamed of doing, but it was surprisingly fun to mentor someone through the world of aviation.  

Now, at 24, Mary flies all over the United States and sometimes to Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas too! She manages a flight school with full motion flight simulators and brand new airplanes, but she really loves getting to work with amazing people. Girl Scouts taught Mary that no matter what - friends and family are the most important thing in life and a fun job is just the icing on the cake!      

Thursday, April 3, 2014

"Shayna Bright" Light on Camp

"Howdy! My name is Shayna, but I am better known to most people as my camp name, Pepper. I am the Camps Reservation Specialist for Camp Texlake and Camp Kachina (year-round camping) and the registrar for summer camps. While I have only been a part of the year round team for two years, this will be my sixth summer working at GSCTX camp and my ninth summer in camps overall! 

Shayna on the high ropes course.
I was lucky enough to be a scout growing up in New Mexico and in Texas, from Brownie to Cadette. Part of that experience was going to Camp Texlake with my troop and for four summers of overnight camp learning how to sail. My time in Girl Scouts certainly shaped me into who I am today, but it was camp in particular that helped me grow the most and figure out who I am. My favorite part of the job is watching my campers grow into amazing confident young women, and especially seeing them eventually become summer counselors! 

The transformative power of camp isn't just limited to the campers, but also to the staff and anyone who spends time in the camp environment. Each activity from archery to high ropes is set up to build character.  My favorite memory as a camper is going on my first solo sail during my second summer sailing. It was a huge accomplishment and one that--just the previous summer--I thought was out of reach. My counselor Luna helped me improve my skills and build the confidence to attempt (and complete!) such a task.

Camp is a place filled with successes and challenges. When failure happens at camp, it's within a safe place to learn from it and move forward to an even greater success. The perfect example is the High Ropes Course. Practicing “Challenge by Choice” can be hard for a camper; to see those who climb ahead of you fully complete the challenge and then be unable to complete it yourself. 

The best moments that I have ever witnessed are at Ropes. When a camper is able to push into their challenge threshold it is a win every time, whether or not the challenge is completed in the traditional sense. Seeing them take just one more step than they thought possible is a gift that I feel lucky to witness every single time. 

Camp is magical. It is adventure and fun. Camp makes lifelong friends. Whether it is a few weeks in the summer or a weekend trip, the experience of camp can have a positive impact on everyone involved. Hope to see you there!

In the Spirit of Camp,