Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Girl Scouts: vote NOW for the Girls' Choice badge!

How cool would it be to help choose a badge girls all over the country can earn?
Girl Scouts in GSSJC can make that a reality right now by voting for an outdoor badge that will be added for girls in fall 2015!

At the National Council Session, GSUSA announced four outdoor badges will be added to program in fall 2015 at the Brownie, Junior, Cadette and Senior levels. To determine which badges get added, GSUSA is asking current Girl Scouts to help choose, meaning girls take the lead on deciding which badges will be created! Pretty cool, right?

Here's how it works:

  1. From now through Nov. 30, girls can vote on which content area they're interested in with the outdoor category, including outdoor recreation, outdoor environment and outdoor survival.
  2. Once GSUSA receives a majority vote on the content area, girls will vote again Dec. 1 - 31 on the actual badge topic, such as hiking, camping or trail blazing, based on their grade level in the coming year.
  3. The 2015 girls' choice badges will be announced on March 12, 2015.

Ready to take action? With parent supervision or permission, head over to GSUSA's poll to pick which type of badge you'd like to earn!

We can't wait to see what you choose!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

GSSJC celebrates Juliette Gordon Low's birthday

More than 100 years ago, before women were given the right to vote, Juliette Gordon Low started an organization that would provide more than 59 million women the opportunity to learn leadership skills that would not only impact their lives but the communities in which they live. Based on a pulse poll Girl Scouts conducted in summer 2014, parents and volunteers believe Girl Scouts is still the place for girls to have fun, make friends and learn new things. In fact, 97 percent of parents say that Girl Scouts has been a positive activity for their daughter and 95 percent say that Girl Scouts offers their daughter new experiences that are fun and exciting.

Low would be please to know that more than 100 years later, the organization she founded was still going against the grain to address issues that were not popular, including equal opportunities for women and girls, health, education and the environment. On October 31, Girl Scouts from around the world will celebrate the birthday and the legacy of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of Girl Scouts and maverick of women’s issues.

Low, affectionately nicknamed ‘Daisy’ by family and friends, was born in 1860 in Savannah, GA to an affluent family. Due to her socioeconomic status, she was able to grow up socially and academically in two countries – England and the United States. In the early 1900s, after the death of her husband and at a time when older women were expected to stay in the background of life, Juliette continued to be active in her community and traveled the world. On one of her many trips abroad, she met Boy Scouts founder Robert Baden-Powell who inspired her to start a similar organization for girls.

Despite adversities, including hearing impairment, Juliette always persevered and encouraged girls to do the same. She cultivated adult volunteers as active role models, troop leaders and program volunteers. When she was recruiting adult help, she would use her hearing impairment as an advantage by not acknowledging people who told her “no.” Today’s Girl Scout leaders share the same passion as the organization’s founder as they strive to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place by giving every girl despite their circumstances the opportunity to lead.

Low succumbed to breast cancer in 1927 during a time when the words breast and cancer were not used in conversation. Today, October is not only Low’s birth month, but the month devoted to raising awareness about Breast Cancer. Around the country, girls and volunteers complete service projects in Low’s honor, including serving as volunteers during breast cancer walks and making pillows and blankets for breast cancer patients. Low would be happy to know Girl Scouts has been in existence for more than 100 years and is still committed to addressing the issues facing girls.

For more information about Girl Scouts or to register, visit or call 713-292-0300.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Guest post: The future is bright for a Girl Scout

During the summer, GSSJC Girl Scout Samira T. shared her experience with us - and we were amazed at the impact Girl Scouting has had on her and her life in the last few years. Read on and enjoy her inspiring story!

By Samira T. 

Rewind. It is the year 2005, and I have just begun my schooling here in the United States. Younger than my other classmates and hidden behind our language barrier (my family and I had recently immigrated from the Ivory Coast), I am awkward, I am reserved, I am an outcast.

Fast forward a couple of years. It is now 2008, and I have no problems with my classmates, with my schoolwork, with my environment. I speak. I flourish, surrounded by peers with common goals and common interests.

What changed in those three years? What so significantly impacted who I would grow to be? As you ask yourselves what could have taken place, ponder this: the only thing that changed in the last three years, aside from my having grown into myself, is the fact that I joined my neighborhood Girl Scout troop.

As minor as it seems, joining that troop changed the course of my entire life. From then on, I was not afraid to be myself, to be outgoing and expressive, to make friends as easily outside of the troop as I did within. But again, how is this important?

Had it not been for that original troop, had I not been welcomed with open arms and warm smiles, with kindness, the odds of me sharing my story with you would be next to nothing.

Girl Scouting has taught me a number of things, from how to handle rescue animals to how to endure weeks in the woods, braving the wild. But the most important lesson I have learned in my time is a Girl Scout is that no matter who you are, where you are or what you face, courage, confidence and character go a long way.

Skip to today.

Now I backpack. I travel all around the country and get to admire beautiful landscapes – all the while surrounded by total strangers. I represent various clubs and organizations, like my local YMCA. I am one of the nation’s top speakers and debaters. I do things anyone who knew me in the past would have doubted were within my limits, all thanks to what I have learned as a Girl Scout.

In the end, whether I am backpacking with fellow Girl Scouts or volunteering, the simple fact of the matter is that Girl Scouts instills values in its members, small and large, that I have greatly benefited from.

Your support of Girl Scouting helps girls just like Samira every day. Through programs, activities and workshops funded by our generous donors, girls like her are learning to have confidence in what they do, the courage to step outside their comfort zone and are building character that will last a lifetime. This article first appeared in the Fall 2014 issue of Connections.

Ready to see how Girl Scouting can change your daughter's life? Join today!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

3 service project ideas for Breast Cancer Awareness month

October is a special month for Girl Scouts. In addition to kicking off a new year of Girl Scouting, it's also a time to remember our founder. October 31, Juliette Gordon Low's birthday, is celebrated as Founder's Day in honor of Juliette and her work to start a scouting organization for girls in the United States.

In 1927, just 15 years after founding Girl Scouts of the USA, Low passed away from breast cancer. It is even more fitting that October is the month we celebrate Juliette's life when there is ample opportunity to pair our celebrations with Breast Cancer Awareness Month activities.

A perfect way to celebrate Juliette's life while helping raise awareness of the disease that took her from Girl Scouting too soon is by completing service projects which do just that. Here are a few ideas of Girl Scouts interested in doing so:

1. Make heart pillows for a local hospital
These pillows are designed to help ease pain and reduce swelling following breast cancer surgery and are a popular idea for Girl Scout troops. They are simple to make and many patterns can be found online with a quick search. Before completing this, be sure to check with your local hospital (or cancer support group!) to find out if they can accept this type of donation!

2. Ask a local organization what they need
There are a wide variety of organizations and groups that offer support to breast cancer patients and survivors. Many also list service project ideas for kids on their website. Is there one of these organizations in your area? Search online and find out what their specific needs are to complete a service project that makes your community a better place.

3. Earn the GSSJC Council Patch "Girl Scouts for the Cure"
Girls in GSSJC can earn the Girl Scouts for the Cure patch, designed to recognize Girl Scouts who participate in any health awareness fun run events.

How Girl Scouts can participate:
1. Cheer along the race course! Your enthusiasm will add to the excitement and festive atmosphere. Wear your uniforms, troop T-shirts or dress in pink. Bring props, such as pom poms, signs or banners, to help encourage people to get to the finish line.
2. Run or walk as an individual! Even though Girl Scouts cannot raise money for other organizations, you and your troop members can register for fun run events as individuals. There is something for everyone! Choose from a competitive run, a run/walk or a kid's run/walk.
3. Volunteer! Many people have been touched by a disease, like breast cancer, through their friends and family. By volunteering, you can help make a different in the fight against the disease!

Complete one (or all three!) of these to earn the Girl Scouts for the Cure patch. Leaders: before earning this, contact your local shop to make sure the patch is in stock! For more information, email

What breast cancer awareness service projects has your troop completed for your community?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Celebrate International Day of the Girl!

Reblogged from

International Day of the Girl is all about improving girls’ lives by providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.

In honor of this movement, Girl Scouts urges you and your girl to challenge yourselves, push boundaries, and look at the world with new eyes by exploring the world of coding. We live in a digital age in which many of the problems our society faces can be addressed and even fixed with code. And you can be part of the solutions!

You don’t need to be a trained programmer or mathematician to make things with code. In fact, there are tons of fun and creative activities you can try right now to uncover your hidden talents.

At the Made With Code website, you can make a beat, accessorize a selfie, create a kaleidoscope, or design an avatar. But Made With Code is about so much more than just fun and games: the coding skills you learn today can be the beginning of YOUR journey to doing something big to make a difference in the world, or solve a problem you care deeply about.

Code can help you make:

  • Secure databases to record human rights abuses. 
  • Online petition software that can instantly collect signatures about urgent causes. 
  • Location devices to keep relief workers and separated families connected during disasters. 
  • Microfinance websites that help fight poverty by providing loans to low-income people in developing countries. 

You see? Coding for a better world all begins with YOU! Start the fun now. Don't forget to share your vision for a better world for girls on social media using #IDG2014.