Tuesday, May 5, 2015

gsRewind April 2015

Miss something in April? Watch the recap of all Council events in April, here, on the gsRewind: 

Girl Scout Blog: 5 Steps to Earning Your Ranger Badge

This past weekend, Girl Scouts announced an exciting partnership with the National Park Service to launch the “Girl Scout Ranger Program,” a joint venture connecting girls with National Park Service sites throughout the United States, including monuments, seashores, and urban sites. 

Through this program, girls are invited to play outdoors, learn about national parks and why they're preserved, and develop essential leadership skills. Even better, girls have the opportunity to earn badges, complete journeys, and achieve Take Action and Gold Award projects! 
So, how exactly do you earn your Ranger badge? It's simple!

1.     Choose a National Park Service site.Visit http://www.nps.gov/findapark/index.htm. Choose a national park, a monument, or any of 407 sites protected by the National Park Service. Explore nature, learn the history and read the stories to discover why it is important to preserve your park.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

2015 Success to Significance Wrap-up

GSSJC hosted its annual Success to Significance (S2S) luncheon Thursday, April 23 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Houston. The 2015 event was the Council's most successful S2S to date. This year, we are pleased to announce that we've raised over $270,000, surpassing our goal by $54,000. One hundred percent of the funds raised from the event will go to support local Girl Scout programs.

Success can also be measured by the joy the event brought all our attendees who received a delicious lunch and were present for the honoring of Y. Ping Sun and a special presentation from our keynote speakers, Jessica Buchanan and Erik Landemalm.

More than 400 guests were greeted by girls who assisted in the distribution of raffle tickets. Guests were then shown to their seats to enjoy a delicious southwest chicken salad during the program.

Sharron Melton, ABC13's co-anchor for the morning newscast, kicked off the program by recognizing some very special guests, including former Texas Governor Mark White, Houston City Council Member Ellen Cohen, and Connie Lindsey, GSUSA's former national president and board chair. Event Chair Anne Murphy was honored for her contributions and guidance in planning this year's event, and Kimberly Rawson, business performance consultant with Insperity, received an award on behalf of Insperoty for the company's longtime support of S2S.

This year H-E-B, Comercia Bank, ConocoPhillips, M. Anne Murphy, Northern Trust, Texas Aromatics and Y. Ping Sun proudly honored Kim Prince, Vanessa Reed, Ellen DeSanctis, Joan Masel Murphy, Connie Lindsey, Iska Wire and Sofia Adrogue, respectively, as table honorees.

Y. Ping Sun, the first lady of Rice University, was distinguished as the 2015 Success to Significance Honoree.

In 2006 Y. Ping Sun, with Sara Jane Wilson, started a troop at St. John's School for 30 girls whom they've helped raise from Brownies to Seniors over the past nine years. Ping has accomplished a great deal since moving to Houston in 2003, and for all her accomplishments the City of Houston proclaimed that Thursday, April 23, 2015 to be Y. Ping Sun Day.

To top off the event Jessica Buchanan and her husband Erik Landemalm, our 2015 keynote speakers, spoke to guests about Jessica's kidnapping by Somali pirates and heroic rescue by SEAL Team Six (as told in their memoir Impossible Odds). Very few eyes were left dry as the couple took guests through their journey of separation and survival, and finally their impossible reunion.

For more photographs of the day's events, visit the GSSJC 2015 S2S Facebook Album.

GSSJC once again thanks our sponsors Insperity, H-E-B, The John P. McGovern Foundation, Texas Children's Hospital and Comercia Bank for making this event possible.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Super Women Who've Helped Save the World

What is Earth Day, Anyway? 

In the United States, the modern environmental movement grew during the chaotic 1960's and has experienced steady growth and recognition to this day.The idea to dedicate a day in celebration of our planet came to founder Gaylord Nelson, a then U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the terrible aftermath of the incredible 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. 

It was the largest oil spill in U.S waters at the time; nearly a 100,000 barrels of oil spilled into the waters and onto the beaches of Santa Barbara, killing thousands of sea birds, dolphins, elephant seals and sea lions.  In a time when the United States was experiencing nation-wide protests by students opposed to U.S. involvement in Vietnam War, Gaylord Nelson was inspired to create a similar movement to protect our planet. He realized he could take the same energy that inspired the anti-war protesters, and turn it into positive results to help save the environment. 

In virtue of this, on the 22nd of April he encouraged near 20 million Americans, including thousands of young people and college students, to take to their streets, parks, and other public centers to bring about awareness of our deteriorating planet. 

The Green Movement has only grown since then, and many times it has been led by women. The following women have shown today's girls that they can be a force for change--and there is still plenty of work left to do!

Super Women

Juliette Gordon Low was always an environmentalist. In her adult years she recalled bringing home stray animals at a young age, and wrote into the original "Girl Scout Leader's Guide""The Girl Scout approach to nature is not through collections of flora and fauna but through understanding of living things, appreciation of their beauty, and conservation of them as they live." Today's girl scouts continue to support this understanding, and across the country are active participants in environmental projects ranging from planting trees, to saving wildlife. 

Dr. Jane Goodall is one of the worlds foremost experts on chimpanzees. At the age of 26 she bravely ventured into the forest of Tanzania where she lived with and studied these apes. Today, Dr. Goodall's work revolves mostly around conservation and inspiring people to save endangered species, but through her work, and The Jane Goodall Institution, she has helped save thousands upon thousands of acres of wildlife habitat, increased public awareness of endangered species and has implemented lasting change that ensures the well-being of chimpanzees and other animals. (Photo: Planet Princeton; Neil Anthony)

Rachel Carson was a scientist who worked for the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries. Her interests in biology and wildlife conservation led her to write the then controversial book, Silent Spring, in 1962. Her book addressed the impact of pesticides on the environment and quickly became a best seller around the world. She was written off by many labeling her as an "alarmist", but stood strong to defend her research on our fragile ecosystem. 

She wrote many more books in her life, and is accredited as the founder of the contemporary environmental movement.

Wangari Maathai was an activist who worked to improve both women's rights and the environment. In 2007, she was recognized by Girl Scouts and our sisters in the World Association of Girl Guides with the Global Citizenship Award for her humanitarian efforts which helped improve the lives of Kenyans. 

Her efforts to improve employment and the environment in Kenya led her to create the Green Belt Movement in 1977. Since then the movement has planted over 40 million trees across Africa, helping to restore deforested areas and employ Kenyans. 

Before receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, she also set up an HIV/AIDS prevention program with Green Belt and the Kenyan Girl Guides Association.

Share with us your plans to celebrate Earth Day, and tell us what you're doing to protect our planet on the GSSJC Facebook page

Monday, April 13, 2015

Giving Back to Our Volunteers

It's National Volunteer Week!

Every year Girl Scout volunteers bring girls new experiences and joy they'll remember and benefit from for many years to come. Much of what girls are taught revolves around topics of friendship, courage, confidence, and character, and we are thankful to have so many different characters that emulate this in their service to girls. That's why we've joined with Point Light, the world's largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, to celebrate service together during National Volunteer Week, April 12-18.

This week, thank the Girl Scout volunteer in your life by downloading this cool shareable card. Email it, simply print it, or place it in an envelope wrapped with a bow. With this card, your special volunteer is sure to feel appreciated. Also, don't forget to send us your photos and shout-outs  on the GSSJC Facebook and Twitter during this very special week. Tag @girlscouts and use the hashtag #NVW15.

Not a Girl Scout Volunteer? Discover the joy you can bring to a girls life with this video produced by our National Council, GSUSA!

Want to volunteer? Get started by visiting out volunteer webpage and check out different ways to volunteer, see what girls do at Girl Scouts, or find out how to sign up the girl in your life.