Thursday, April 17, 2014

Camp 101: have s'more fun at camp this summer!


Did you know our Council offers girls of every level resident camp (summer/sleep away camp) AND day/twilight camp options? Now is the time to sign up for these opportunities. Whether your daughter wants to sleep under the stars in Goody's Treehouses at resident camp or sleep in her own bed after a day of fun at day camp, we have the perfect camp option for her!

Camp 101
Do you know the difference between resident camp and day or twilight camp? What are the benefits of attending camp? What, most importantly, what activities can your daughter participate in at camp? Whether you're the parent of a potential first-time camper or a seasoned pro, read on to learn more about all of our Council's camp options.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Check out the April 2014 Troop Program Ideas!


Each month between issues of The Golden Link, GSSJC offers younger troops some fun program ideas for their troop meetings, camping weekends and more! Visit thegoldenlink.org for a new Troop Program Ideas six times a year in February, April, June, August, October and December.

The April 2014 Troop Program Ideas is now available. Click here to access it or read below for a sneak peek at five ideas to make your troop's bridging ceremony special this year!

5 ideas to make your ceremony special

  1. Keep track of all the patches, badges and awards each girl has earned, then tape each one to a popsicle stick and place them in a flower pot to represent how each girl has grown.
  2. Provide each girl with supplies to make a friendship bracelet and a note that your troop would “knot” be the same without her.
  3. Make your own bridge by mounting yard sticks in small flower pots. Then string crepe paper between the yard sticks to create a bridge rail.
  4. Give girls a fun item to symbolize the level they’re bridging from - Daisy seeds, brownie mix, Junior Mints, etc.
  5. Before she walks across the bridge, have each girl share her favorite memory from that level of Girl Scouting.
What do you do to make a bridging ceremony special? Share it with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Celebrate National Volunteer Week!


Did you know April 6-12, 2014 is National Volunteer Week? And every year, Girl Scouts across the country celebrate Leader's Day on April 22.

Both of those are a perfect opportunity to say thanks, whether you're a Girl Scout with amazing leaders or a leader who wants to recognize the hard work of your fellow volunteers.

Here are seven ways to tell a volunteer or leader thanks for all they do! Use one every day of National Volunteer Week or pick your favorite for Leader's Day. How you say "thanks" is completely up to you!

  1. Send a card telling your volunteer or leader thank you for hard work on a project.
  2. Create a sign for the volunteer's yard that proclaims, "An awesome volunteer lives here!" (Make sure you follow HOA rules.)
  3. Make up a song, skit or video to show your leader or volunteer that you appreciate their commitment to Girl Scouting.
  4. Host a party! Even something as simple as bringing a treat like cupcakes to a meeting to thank an outstanding leader or volunteer counts.
  5. Make a memory book. Use photos, stories or momentos to personalize it.
  6. Create a mess kit, sit-upon or other camp item just for that volunteer. Every time they use it, they'll be reminded of your thank you.
  7. Just say it! A simple "thank you" can go a long way to thank someone.
What is your favorite way to tell a leader or volunteer thank you? Share it with us on Facebook or Twitter!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

February & March 2014 Media Wrap-ups


The start of 2014 was a busy one for GSSJC! From introducing the new Cranberry Citrus Crisp and piloting ABC Bakers gluten free chocolate chip shortbread to raising the profile of the COCO mobile app (the fastest, easiest way to buy cookies!), our 2014 Cookie Program kept us going and going and going! Throw in celebrating our 102nd birthday as a movement, participating in the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo parade yet again and some cool Gold Award projects, and using the word "busy" just might seem like an understatement. Here's all our favorite news stories featuring GSSJC from February & March:

  • Fort Bend Lifestyles & Homes Magazine shared Girl Scout volunteers who hosted a shower for Camp Myra S. Pryor to help stock the new kitchen units! (Fifth photo on the page)
  • The Houston Chronicle reported on how one family is keeping a GSSJC Girl Scout's Silver Award project alive after her passing.
  • The Cypress Creek Mirror spotlighted one of our Just Desserts chefs for her support of the Girl Scout Cookie Program to make her tasty treats.
  • The Houston Chronicle reported Girl Scout Amanda H. earned her Gold Award by renovating a room at Houston's Child Protective Services office.
  • The Fort Bend Herald highlighted Troop #29170's fun activities and service projects this winter. They also mentioned Troop #3503's donation to Child Advocate's of Fort Bend.
  • InstantWestUNews.com shared the original Girl Scout cookie recipe while encouraging readers to buy a few more boxes at booth sales.
  • The Fort Bend Star educated readers on how every Girl Scout cookie has a mission.
  • The Lufkin Daily News shared this highlight of the Girl Scout Cookie Program.
  • The Bay Area Citizen highlighted Girl Scout Savannah R's Gold Award project to raise awareness of sea turtle conversation at one of Galveston's most-visited spots.
  • YourFortBendNews.com reported girls in Brazos Valley Community enjoyed their annual camp out at Camp Agnes Arnold.
  • The Pearland Journal shared how local Girl Scouts celebrated World Thinking Day.

Whew! We're tired just reading all those.

There's no slowing us down, though! As we enter April, we're getting excited about resident camp and day & twilight camps kicking off in a little more than two months. We can't wait to have s'more fun at camp this summer, and we hope you'll join us! (More on camp soon!)

As a reminder, you can always submit your troop, community or region news to us for consideration on the blog, social media, The Golden Link and more! Just email your news item and a high-res photo to communications@sjgs.org.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Guest Post: Why I Love Girl Scouting

In this ongoing series, we ask Girl Scouts, volunteers, staff and more to share what makes Girl Scouting important in their lives. Today to celebrate the 102nd birthday of Girl Scouting, GSSJC Volunteer Michelle R. shares how her own journey in Girl Scouting led to her daughters becoming her family's third generation of Girl Scouts (we love that!) and how she hopes to help build girls of courage, confidence and character as a Girl Scout leader.



By Michelle R.
GSSJC Volunteer

After a 25 year hiatus from Girl Scouts, I find myself back in the land of badges, handshakes and opportunities. As a girl, I was a Brownie and Junior Girl Scout. My mom, a former Girl Scout herself, started the Brownie troop at my elementary school so I could be involved. But when I began junior high, there wasn't a Cadette troop for me. I had outgrown my local troop options, so my involvement fizzled out to make way for sports, high school and then college. Now, with my own girls at the age to enjoy Girl Scouts, I find myself planning Daisy meetings, ironing badges and remembering the words to the Brownie Smile Song and "Make New Friends".

My husband and I moved our family from Atlanta to Houston last summer when we transferred jobs. Moving our 5 and 8 year old girls to a new community and school was a challenge. For my shy, older daughter, joining an existing Brownie troop helped her establish new friendships at school. She has learned how to make healthy snacks, decorate homemade clay pottery, pet a hissing cockroach and hike around Houston. She had so much fun this fall as a Girl Scout that my youngest daughter started to ask when she could join.

It wasn't until I was reviewing performance goals for my employees in October that I made the Girl Scout connection. The same qualities that Girl Scouts embrace and promote – honesty, kindness, courage and responsibility – are the same ones that I value in my high performing employees – integrity, determination, innovation, ingenuity and equality. If I were to develop a pathway to future success for my daughters, would it not mirror the Girl Scout Law?

So I found myself at a recruitment event in November looking for a Daisy troop for my kindergartner. Unfortunately, there were no openings in the existing troops in my area. They were all at capacity. Even with my busy schedule, I agreed to lead a new Daisy troop. I thought it was important that my youngest daughter have Girl Scout experiences too.

I see my involvement in Girl Scouts as an investment in my own girls and the other girls in my troop. Years ago, I was fortunate to have others invest in my future success. Now, it’s my turn to return the favor...and I get to have a lot of fun while I’m doing it.

Learn how to join Girl Scouts

Want to share your story? Email menzor@sjgs.org for details.