Thursday, July 24, 2014

Photoblog: Girl Scout summer of fun!

Girl Scouts are anything but bored during the summer time! There might not be any cookie businesses to run or regular troop meetings to attend, but GSSJC Girl Scouts stay busy by attending day, twilight or resident camp, taking trips with their troop (like we've shared here and here this summer), doing service projects and so much more!

We asked for you to show us what Girl Scouting looks like this summer. Here's what you sent us:

Girl Scouts Lily and Emme attended Family Camping week at Camp Agnes Arnold in late June where they stayed in Goody's Treehouses and enjoyed archery, making crafts, learning how to play Gaga ball and riding four-wheel bikes. (And they're already talking about what they want to do next summer at camp, says their mom Michelle!)

Makenzie was so excited to be at Camp Casa Mare, get to her dorm unit and pick her bed out that she barely wanted to slow down so her mom, Mandy, could capture the moment! (Love that enthusiasm!) Mandy says Makenzie had a great time enjoying the bay breeze during week 5 of resident camp at Casa Mare.

Sisters (and Texans fans!) Riley and Chloe also attended Family Camping week at Camp Agnes Arnold. No better spot to pose for a photo than on Hipper!

Girl Scouts in Troop #23256 passed their Red Cross Swim Level IV and Safe Boating tests, and with those certifications they were able to enjoy a day of sailing on GSSJC's Snow White on Galveston Bay. How cool is it that just by being a Girl Scout you can earn this and sail on the Gulf Coast?

Troop #10829 is on a mission to help end world hunger! The girls kicked off their efforts in May by helping Stop Hunger Now pack more than 22,000 meals for locals in need. Then the girls donated $315 to a local food pantry to help feed kids in their community during the summer months and packed the more than 200 bags of food purchased with their donation. Way to go!

Girl Scouts Alyssa and Megan headed off to Camp Agnes Arnold for the Curtain Call session this summer. Alyssa, a five-time resident camp attendee, was excited to show Megan everything there is to know about summer camp since it was Megan's first visit.

All ready for the All American Girl session at Camp Misty Meadows! (We're betting this Girl Scout stayed nice and cool in her Frozen bedding during the week at camp too!)

Amanda and her camp buddy Katherine were excited for their 10-day Extreme Adventure session at Camp Agnes Arnold and the Paddle Princess session Camp Casa Mare! Love these "then and now" photos. Amanda has been to resident camp 13 times in just five summers and hopes to one day become a CIT.

Want to share your Girl Scout summer activity photo?
Post it to our Facebook wall, tweet it to us or post it to Instagram using the #gssjc hashtag! We'd love to see what you and your Girl Scouts are doing this summer.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Troop #28005 plans getaway to Destin, FL

For the last three years, Troop #28005 has anxiously awaited the end of 8th grade. Not because they were counting down the days to the start of high school or becoming a Girl Scout Senior. No, they were excited because the end of middle school finally meant they would take their carefully-planned troop trip!

Planning begins
At the beginning of 6th grade, these Girl Scouts decided they wanted to do something fun with the money they earned in the Cookie Program, and they would do so at the end of their 8th grade year. During that three year period, the Cadettes worked hard to boost their cookie sales. They also hosted a Juliette Gordon Low Day event for Daisy Girl Scouts.

"The girls budgeted the whole trip with the money they earned through cookie sales and their event," says Shelia G., one of the troop's leaders. "The funds they earned provided us with enough money for a week stay in Florida with several great activities."

Destin, here we come
The girls decided to go to Destin collectively. One of the main attractions? Earning Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida's "Girl Scouts Love Sea Turtles" patch. While in Destin, Troop #28005 also enjoyed visiting the white, sandy beaches and went snorkeling and dolphin watching. The girls even got the chance to ride a zip line over Coldwater Creek and visited Gulfarium and the Gulf Breeze Zoo.

And all the logistics? The Cadettes planned those too! From how they got to and from Destin to finding hotels and where to eat their meals, the Girl Scouts planned and budgeted for each travel expense while still making sure they could enjoy all Destin had to offer.

"Having them plan and budget helped them to realize how much everything costs and by having to earn the money themselves and wait for three years it made them appreciate it even more," says Shelia.

Best (Girl Scout) Friends Forever
Through that week long trip, Shelia says the girls - a few members who have been Girl Scouts together since first grade - bonded and became better friends.

"It was really great traveling together, the girls really bonded and became closer," says Shelia. "Since they will be attending the same high school, they decided they are going to make sure they support each other with their other activities by attending football games to support the band/guard members, attend sports games for our athletic girls and any other competitions and performances they have."

Up next on Troop #28005's travel itinerary? They're not sure just yet, but there's four years until the end of high school to plan for their next big adventure!

Has your troop gone on a trip using cookie funds?
Share your story with us! Email for more information. Learn more about the Girl Scout Cookie Program and what a single box of cookies can do!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Troop #28173 travels to San Antonio for summer fun

Girl Scouts are going places! Ask any one of the members in Troop #28173, and they'll tell you just that. These Girl Scouts got the travel bug early, says Troop Leader Leah C., and have been excited to take a trip for awhile. A multi-level troop, girls going into grades 5-7 opted to take a trip to San Antonio this summer - and began planning for their summer adventure in early 2013.

Last year, Leah says the girls began discussing taking a troop trip and how they would pay for it. The girls wanted to go somewhere in Texas, and seeing that several would have completed 4th grade Texas history and two would be going into 7th grade Texas history is coming school year, San Antonio seemed like the perfect spot. But before they could pick out all the fun things to see and do, the girls had some work ahead of them.

"Initial planning started last cookie season," says Leah. "When they were planning what to do we printed out all the [cookie] safety sheets, and it was fun for them to learn about all the activities they can do. Starting in September [2013], the girls researched where they wanted to go and once that was finalized they started working on their budget."

Earning funds through the Cookie Program
With a budget created and their goal set, Troop #28173 tackled the 2014 Cookie Program with one goal: sell enough cookies to pay for most of their trip. From individual sales to signing up for more cookie booths than in previous years, the troop managed to sell more than 9,500 boxes and earned $1,200 in Cookie Program funds. Combined with $1,000 from other two other fundraising efforts, each girl only had to pay $75 for the trip. It's amazing what a box of Thin Mints can do!

"Having a goal helped the girls plan how to run their cookie businesses," says Leah. "We always go over our troop budget with them, so they knew that our cookie funds pay for re-registration for all the girls, camping, etc. They would have to increase their sales to make enough money to pay for their trip. It was amazing - they worked SO hard and had fun doing it."

Managing their budget
Even with a majority of their funds raised, Troop #28173 still worked hard to manage their trip budget and find ways to save money.

"Not only did the girls have a blast, they learned SO much!" says Leah. "From the planning and budgeting to learning how to use GPS, read maps, understand mileage, how to be street safe and so much more. We had the parents give the Junior girls Visa gift cards rather than cash for spending money/souvenirs, and the girls were so cute. Each evening the Juniors would talk about their "money management", and they would keep track of their receipts and how much money they had. They learned about sales tax and how to figure out their totals ahead of time. One darling girl who is actually new to Girl Scouts this year told me, 'I learned all of this stuff when we earned our Savvy Shopper badges!'

"The Cadettes brought cash instead of cards, and they learned how to keep their money safe and had to learn about spending wisely so they didn't blow all their money on the first day. I had our Senior girl help me with the hotel reservations, and she was my navigator on the road. She is pretty much an expert now - and a WAY better map reader than my husband - I'll travel with her ANY time!"

San Antonio, here we come!
So what did the girls do in San Antonio? They visited SeaWorld where the girls planned their schedule each day. They also got a special behind-the-scenes tour where they got one-on-one time with staff and could ask tons of questions - perfect for a troop that loves science. They also arranged Girl Scout tours at the Tower of the Americas, the Institute for Texan Cultures and Natural Bridge Caverns as well as a tour of the Alamo (only one girl had visited it before) and even earned Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas' Walking Tour of San Antonio patch!

As for their next trip...

"We will probably do the Georgia trip, and they would like to go to Disney World," says Leah. "Our Seniors are going to be saving to do an EF Tour before their 12th grade year - they want to go to Costa Rica together. Our Daisies and Brownies can't wait to be Juniors to go on trips."

Has your troop gone on a trip using cookie funds? 
Share your story with us! Email for more information.

Learn more about the Girl Scout Cookie Program and what a single box of cookies can do!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

GSSJC Astronomy interest group travels to Colorado

When you're a Girl Scout, summers mean it's time to camp! Who doesn't want to spend their days on a lake canoeing, on Galveston Bay sailing or riding horses? But for Girl Scouts in San Jacinto Council, summer is also the perfect time for traveling.

The Council's Astronomy group recently traveled to Colorado to visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the University of Denver and more. The girls had a great time learning more about astronomy, STEM careers and exploring the Rocky Mountains during a hike. Here are a few of their favorite things from the trip:

“I enjoyed hiking on one of the mountains in Colorado Chautauqua national Historical Landmark." – Aileen

“We went to NOAA, and our tour guide showed us an SOS (Science on Spheres) which depicted various weather patterns.” – Shelby

“I enjoyed hiking and the fresh air.” –Kristin

“I enjoyed touring the University of Denver and seeing what programs the campus has to offer.” – Veronica

"I enjoyed discussing about the subject of global warming with our tour guide at NOAA. I also liked going to the Hard Rock Cafe and having a private tour of famous rock legends, as well as the store.” - Alex

“I enjoyed meeting the university professors and hearing what they do in their careers. I especially liked the ecologist.” – Laura

“I enjoyed touring the (University of Denver) campus, hearing about all the programs it has to offer and meeting the professors and all the diverse research projects are involved in their specific fields.” – Joyanna

Is your troop or group going on a trip this summer? Share your photos with us for the blog! Email submissions to for consideration.