Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Girl Scouts has made a difference in my life

Alice Piri is a volunteer from Concho Pearls Service Unit and has been a part of Girl Scouts for many years. Being part of Girl Scouts not only has enriched the lives of many, many girls, but has also changed her life for the better. Read about her experience below:


I was about seven or eight years old when I first heard about Girl Scouts in second grade. I wanted to join, but at that time only “city girls” were allowed to join. I was a farm girl and absolutely devastated by that news! Elementary school years passed but by then I had focused on 4-H instead. 

In 1972, while living in Great Falls, MT, a few 4th, 5th and 6th grade neighborhood Girl Scouts asked me to be their sewing advisor. I thought sure, “I can do that!” So each girl came over and sewed a poncho for their Junior Girl Scout Sewing badge. What lovely ponchos! At that time I had a daughter who was 1 ½ years old and I was expecting to have another child in August, 1973.

These girls made such an impact in my life with each one having such a personality that was different and special from the next one. On the night I was about to go to the hospital, they called me over to one of their homes and had a surprise baby shower for me. To this day, I still remember the banner they made for me that said, “We are all bananas about Alice!” I have kept in touch with their parents all of these years and actually visited their families three years ago.

I may have mentored hundreds of girls throughout the thirty five plus years in Girl Scouts, each one bringing their special uniqueness and various skills to the troops I worked with. Each girl touched me in a special way and the impact has followed me all of my days in such a positive manner. I remember one girl struggled with dyslexia, and she wanted to earn the highest award in Girl Scouts- the Gold Award. She was concerned she couldn’t write what she was doing properly on her forms. I decided we could get an audio recording of everything she said and she was one happy girl! This boosted her self-image to a higher level!

This summer, one of the San Angelo Girl Scouts—whom I mentored on her Gold Award Project—went to Africa on a mission trip. She took 100 pillow case dresses with her that were made by her and the sewing team.  Helping these girls could make anyone feel good and it continues to keep me focused on what is important in life. Imagine how the African girls are feeling with new dresses from America, made by Girl Scouts!!

We all need to remember the power of doing well by doing good. Each of us, in our own lives, will be faced with challenges, road blocks, problems that we didn’t anticipate or expect. The way in which we deal with adversity will be influenced, to no small extent, by how we deal with others along the way. What we get will depend a lot on what we give.

When you get to be my age (which, for some of you, is really old, though it doesn’t seem so old to me anymore), you will find yourself beginning to ask, “Did my life make a difference?” That’s the day of personal reckoning. I think the only way to face it is consider, every day of your life: How can I do something for somebody else? How can I give back to others? It may be teaching or becoming a doctor. You may be successful in business (no matter what your career path) and always have the opportunity to give back. The chance to give time, money, your heart and soul will always present itself. Paying it forward is the best policy and comes back to you in more ways than one. When you’re presented with new beginnings, you should keep your eyes open for those opportunities to give and embrace them as a sure way of doing well.

It has been a privilege to serve in the Girl Scout program.  25 of the years were spent traveling with my military husband and family from various duty stations and even serving abroad. Each move meant finding friends and without a doubt we found them through Girl Scouts (as well as Boy Scouts)! Our three children needed it as much as I did. There was no way we were going to be lonely and Scouting provided the extended family we needed while away from our families.  I am more thankful how each girl, adult and volunteer has enhanced and enriched my life in a special way.  The Girl Scout song “Make New Friends, but keep the old, one is Silver and the other is Gold, A circle is round and has no end, that‘s how long I want to be your friend” is so true! ‘Forever’ is wonderful with all the friendships we have made throughout the years!

Alice Piri
Adult Volunteer Girl Scout
Concho Pearls Service Unit

We appreciate every single one of our volunteers and everything they give our girls to life them up! Change a girl's life and change your own. Invest in girls. Change the world. Volunteer today!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Troop Talk - Troop 350, Girl Scout sisters and BFFs

When you meet Troop 350 you can’t help but notice their enthusiasm and joy. The excitement that surrounds them is electric and the happiness is evident in their faces. You can see it in their troop leaders’ faces, too. 

Every single girl in this troop is happy and excited to be together and every single girl here is a friend to the other.

Troop 350 has 9 Juniors, of which we met five and their two troop leaders, plus a troop mom. Linda Luehrmann is one of the leaders and the one in charge of re-registering the girls for this upcoming Girl Scout year. Thanks to her decision to use online Early Bird re-registration, the troop was drawn and won a chance to come to the Kodosky Center and have a quick chat with us.

It’s easy to see how much fun these girls have together—they were actually on their way to tour Whole Foods after their quick talk with us.

Lto R. back to to front, clockwise: Lauren S, McKenzie W.,
Anika L., Kennedy Y., and Aleezah S. 
Their troop leaders are just as enthusiastic—they have been friends for years and have similar Girl Scouting trajectories. They were both Girl Scouts and then as alumnae, both volunteered before they became moms and are now volunteering again. What a wealth of experience they bring to the GSCTX family!

The girls in this troop quickly showed us what a giving nature they all have. One Bronze Award project they are bouncing around revolves around Dell Children’s Hospital:

“We were thinking about having a toy and book drive for the kids staying there,” said Lauren S. “We also want to babysit when we’re twelve,” is another  one of the things Kennedy Y. is looking forward to with her troop sisters. “It’s just fun!!” said Anika L. “I can’t wait to go to water parks and visit camps."

When asked what else they couldn’t wait to do this year, there was a resounding agreement about camp. These girls enjoy all aspects of camping, but above all being out in nature, experiencing different facilities and meeting new friends makes them bubble up.

L to R, back row: Lauren S., Kennedy Y.
Middle row: Linda Luehrmann, Gina Saeed, and Becky Carter.
Bottom row: Anika L., Aleezah S., and McKenzie W.
One other thing they are very excited about is being able to talk to younger Girl Scouts about earning badges. They have a strong mentoring focus and want to be there for smaller girls who might need some encouragement or guidance. Talk about fulfilling the Girl Scout promise!

These girls know a thing or two about fundraising, too. Their re-registration was covered with troop funds. Speaking of re-registration, their troop co-leader, Linda Luehrmann was pleasantly surprised with how easy and straightforward it was to get the girls back in the system. “It took me about 30 minutes to re-register 9 girls,” she said. “I would recommend it to other troop leaders. I’d ask ‘why are you using paper?”

It makes sense that these girls are so goal driven—their troop leaders are accomplished and have a strong focus on achievement and helping the community. Becky Carter, their other co-leader loves the leadership potential Girl Scouts offers “…it opens doors, builds self-confidence, opportunities […] taking charge of trips, supply lists and food, taking on a leadership role. These are things the girls do because they learn how to do it in Girl Scouts.”

As for Gina Saeed, Troop 350’s troop mom, she has had a great time watching her daughter, along with other girls, grow more confident and get to partake in all the great things they do.
None of the amazing adventures they like or want to do would be possible without their troop leaders and moms who selflessly volunteer their time and energy to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.

Thank you, Troop 350--Lauren S, Kennedy Y., Anika, L., Aleezah S., and McKenzie W. for coming by and chatting with us. It was a pleasure to meet you all and we hope you meet all your goals and that you get to go camping as much as possible.

And thank you Gina, Linda and Becky—we are all lucky to have you in our council, leading our girls.

Are you up for the challenge? Be the role model she’ll remember forever—join Girl Scouts of Central Texas and volunteer today. Make a difference in her life AND yours.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

10 Reasons NOT to Volunteer with Girl Scouts

At Girl Scouts of Central Texas, one of the big reasons girls get to do such awesome things and learn so many amazing skills is because we have great volunteers who are willing to give their time and energy to building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. So, naturally, we’re always encouraging people to volunteer with us.

But not today.

This time, we’re giving you 10 reasons you might want to reconsider volunteering with Girl Scouts of Central Texas:

10. You don’t want your community to improve.

Girl Scouts are encouraged to observe their environment and the people in it to identify problems and to take action to solve them! Bronze, Silver and Gold Award projects serve the communities girls live in and improve the lives of others. You want none of this.

9. You don’t think children are the future.

Extensive studies have shown that Girl Scouting influences academic success as much as, and sometimes more than, non-Girl Scout factors known to impact academics. These are the girls who will be in charge one day! But you're not interested in this at all.

8.  S’mores make you gag.  
Your life must be sad. :( 

7. And you HATE cookies.


6. And don’t even start with going on adventures.

Girls' outdoor experiences in Girl Scouts are linked to challenge seeking, problem solving, and environmental leadership. When girls spend time outside regularly, they are much more likely recognize their strengths, be more courageous, and to gain skills that will help them do better in school. How dare we, right?

5. The idea of traveling abroad with some of the coolest girls makes you cringe.

You'd rather stay home and watch reruns of The Love Boat. 

4. You are against girl leadership.

Girls seek challenges in the world. They develop positive attitudes toward learning, seek opportunities for expanding their knowledge and skills, set challenging goals for themselves, and take appropriate risks. Who run the world? That's right--GIRLS.

3. You don’t want to be a better person.

One study found that in fulfilling the need to serve, volunteers feel gratified by the experience and empowered by their ability to effect change-often resulting in an enhanced self-image. You're probably shaking your head now.

2. You don’t think there is still work to be done to level the playing field for girls.

In 2012, female full-time workers made only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 23 percent even though they receive more college and graduate degrees than men. Do you really not see the problem with that?!

1. You hate fun.

Yeah, really--what IS wrong with you?

So there you have it. If any of those reasons resonate with you, then you should join Frowny Pants Scouts.

But if you know girl leadership is the key to a better future for our communities (and the world), and you know that there is no better way to achieve it than by helping girls live out adventures and learn crucial confidence-building skills, the we encourage you to sign up to volunteer with Girl Scouts of Central Texas. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Heads-Up: Outdoor Discussion Survey

Dear Girl Scout Leaders,

The GSCTX National Delegates need your input regarding the outdoors and and GSUSA. Due to a short turnaround time, we need your feedback by September 2nd. We know this is a busy time of year both personally and in Girl Scouting as well, so we further appreciate your timely response in this matter.

The National Convention is quickly approaching (October 16-19, 2014).  As part of the convention there is a discussion on the role of the outdoors for GSUSA and the Girl Experience.

Your input is crucial. 

The information we collect from you is what we will report to GSUSA that the adults in our council want.

Please follow this link to fill out the survey. If you cannot make the link work- please feel free to download the form for printing. You will find a fax number on the sheet. We need results back by September 2nd.

If you have information to add to the form, please contact National Delegate, Kate Young, at

Thank you for your valuable time and input!

2014 GSCTX National Delegates