Friday, February 15, 2019

Celebrate Girl Scout Week: 7 Days of Awesome





Whether you’re a Girl Scout alum, a current member, a dedicated volunteer, or you simply have an extraordinary Girl Scout in your life, you’re an important part of the Girl Scout family. And you know what families do together? Celebrate!

Girl Scout Week is definitely something to celebrate—seven straight days to show off your Girl Scout pride and lift up all that this worldwide sisterhood has given you, your community, and the world. Join us in treating each day from Sunday, March 10, through Saturday, March 16, as a day of action focused on a powerful yet simple way to get involved.


Sunday, March 10
Girl Scout Sunday is a special day dedicated to thinking about your beliefs and how they’re reflected in the Girl Scout Law. Think of the things the two have in common and share your thoughts with others.

Monday, March 11
Give a big shout-out to your Girl Scout sisters! Whether you tag other Girl Scouts on social media or get creative and make a card or gift for a Girl Scout in your life, don’t be bashful about sharing the love.

Tuesday, March 12

It’s Girl Scouts’ 107th birthday! Honor the Girl Scout Movement by sharing on social media an issue you’re passionate about and what you’re doing to make a difference. You’ve got this, Girl Scout!

Wednesday, March 13
Get out your green gear—it’s Girl Scout Spirit Day! Whether you sport a Girl Scout tee under a blazer at the office or rock a trefoil sweatshirt at the gym, let everyone know you’re a G.I.R.L. at heart.

Thursday, March 14
Perform an act of kindness. Whether you pay for a stranger’s cup of coffee or visit an elderly neighbor, every bit of positivity Girl Scouts put out there helps make the world a better place.

Friday, March 15

Kick off the weekend by giving back to your community. Could the local park use a cleanup? Does the food bank need volunteers? As always, the best person for the job is a Girl Scout!

Saturday, March 16
Besides reflecting on your beliefs and how they’re echoed in the Girl Scout Law, we urge you to take some time this Girl Scout Sabbath to learn something new about someone else’s faith.

So, are you with us? Ready to go green and shout your Girl Scout love from the rooftops? Follow along on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for more fun all week long.






Girls in Shelters Find a Home in Girl Scouts




Since 1912, Girl Scouts has committed to serving as a safe space for girls. All girls, regardless of race, religion, or socioeconomic background, are a part of a sisterhood that not only builds the most powerful of friendships, but also teaches valuable life skills that they'll carry with them forever.

For girls living in homeless shelters, the feeling of friendship, sisterhood, and family haven't always been a reality. Many miss out on opportunities to build memories, share laughs, and set--and reach--goals for their future. Thankfully, the mission of Girl Scouts doesn't discriminate, and Juliette Gordon Low's vision for girls reaches far and wide.

In 1924, Josephine Holloway dreamed of exposing girls at Nashville's Bethlehem Center, a shelter for at-risk women and children, to the powerful program founded in 1912. She believed in the impact Girl Scouts had on the community, and through her hard work and determination, had more than 300 girls in the shelter engaged in Girl Scout-inspired activities by the end of the year. Since then, her legacy has lived on, and girls in shelters across the nation are making the Girl Scout Movement stronger than ever.

Here are just a few who are making our communities better and worlds brighter for girls.


 Girl Scouts of Western Washington 



In Seattle, Washington, a Girl Scout troop formed at Mary’s Place, a Seattle homeless shelter that helps families get back on their feet. From Daisy to Ambassador, girls from all walks of life gather together to dance, sing, enjoy crafts, and participate in robust Girl Scout programming that allows them to retreat from their sometimes heavy lives. With the support and guidance from their troop leader, Girl Scout alum Tanita Horton, girls are able to set goals, try new things, and have life-changing experiences.

“We call each other family, sisters," said a nine-year-old Girl Scout of her troop. "Miss Tanita is like my stepmom because she’s the one that always gets me to go to Girl Scouts because sometimes I don’t want to go to Girl Scouts. I say thank you to her for making me go to Girl Scouts because it’s really fun.”

Despite life's hardships and uncertainties, one thing's for sure: these girls have found refuge in the friendships they've built and the memories they're continuing to make today. In fact, last September, the troop went on their very first camping trip, a goal nearly a year in the making. From leadership building to lessons on bullying, Girl Scouts at Mary's Place enjoy the safe space where they can learn, grow, and build friendships that'll last a lifetime.

Girl Scouts of Orange County  


For more than a decade, multilevel Girl Scout Troop 1082 has been run by dedicated volunteer troop leaders, mother-daughter duo Karen and Elaine, and Laksmi Reddy out of the Orange County Rescue Mission. Growing from a troop of five girls to nearly 25 Girl Scouts, Troop 1082 is the only of its kind to serve exclusively homeless girls in Orange County and one of the first of its kind in the country! Girls ranging from kindergarten through 11th grade gather together for troop meetings, participate in Girl Scout programming, and set exciting goals both individually and as a unit. Their oldest troop member is pursuing her Girl Scout Gold Award, while the troop as a whole has their sights set on exceeding last year's cookie goal. 

The troop is aiming to reach a personal best for number of cookies sold this year, with the goal of 1,500 packages, up from last year's 1,200. With their proceeds, they plan to pay for amazing Girl Scout adventures that they wouldn’t have exposure to otherwise. For some younger girls, they're planning an ice skating field trip, while others are excited to enjoy unforgettable experiences at Girl Scouts of Orange County's Camp Scherman. 


Girl Scouts of Greater New York 


Troop 6000, launched in 2016 at a single family shelter, is a Girl Scout troop specially designed to serve the thousands of girls living in the New York City Shelter System.

Homelessness can impede the sense of security children need, but for girls who live in a shelter in New York's five boroughs, membership in Girl Scouts offers solace and support. Not only are these girls learning important leadership skills to last a lifetime—their troop provides them with stability and fellowship among peers who understand their circumstances.

The attention Troop 6000 is receiving is further spreading the message that Girl Scouts truly is for every girl. From the New York Times to The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, the message is coming through loud and clear.

The importance—and the potential implications—of Troop 6000 are evident to the girls, too. In the words of 14-year-old Karina, “We’re starting a chain reaction. Hopefully in the next couple years, there will be more Girl Scout troops in shelters.” 

Today,  Troop 6000 has expanded to over 15 shelters across all boroughs, resulting in nearly 600 active Girl Scouts across NYC. Together, they're working diligently to set and reach cookie goals for exciting experiences, including attending Girl Scout Camp and enjoying robotics training. 

26 Badges Girls Can Earn This Cookie Season




As a Girl Scout taking part in the Girl Scout Cookie Program, you’re helping lead the largest entrepreneurial program for girls in the world. You’re learning essential life skills, setting (and crushing!) impressive goals, and using your cookie earnings to go on epic adventures and make the world a better place!

Many of these incredible skills and accomplishments start with a Girl Scout badge—and we’re about to explore ALL of the badges a Girl Scout can earn during cookie season. Ready?

Daisy



Many of these incredible skills start with a Girl Scout badge (some Daisy badges are called petals or leaves), and we’re exploring all of them! Meet the Daisy leaves Girl Scouts can earn during cookie season.

By earning the Daisy Money Counts leaf, girls will not only learn about money but also its value! Daisies will first dive into the different types of currency they’ll encounter, from coins to paper money to credit cards. Then they’ll practice planning for something they’d like to buy one day. That’s right—even the youngest Girl Scouts are learning the importance of setting a budget, because when your troop girls set their cookie goal, they need to know how much it costs! Earn the Money Counts leaf.

The Daisy Making Choices leaf goes even further into managing a budget. In one of the first lessons, and maybe the most important, girls learn the difference between needs and wants. Daisies will also practice setting financial goals, break down the costs of an item or activity, and determine how long it will take for them to save enough money to buy it. Last, Daisies take these new skills and discover ways to use them to give back—it’s the Girl Scout way, after all! Earn the Making Choices leaf.

The Daisy Count It Up leaf is one of two leaves that focuses even more on the skills Daisies earn through the Girl Scout Cookie Program. After earning this leaf, girls will understand how their cookie money equals unforgettable experiences for their troop. Daisies will also take the lead to get to know their product by understanding the cost of the cookies, learning about the different flavors, and practicing answering customer questions. Then the troop will work together to decide how many boxes to sell during the upcoming season. Earn the Count It Up leaf.

Through the Daisy Talk It Up leaf, the second Daisy leaf that focuses on the Girl Scout Cookie Program, girls decide how they want to use their cookie earnings. The best part about this leaf is that it’s all about teamwork, because cookie goals have to be decided as a troop—talk about girl-led! If these cookie bosses want to go to camp next summer (and maybe earn the new Daisy Buddy Camper badge), they have to work together to figure out how many boxes will get them there and build a plan to make it happen. Troops may also decide to leave budget aside to give back to their community, which our Girl Scout hearts love! And last, the troop will come up with unique ways to share its cookie goals with customers and how it’s running its own business to achieve them! Earn the Talk It Up leaf. 

Has your Daisy earned one of these awesome leaves, and you don’t know where to place it on her vest or sash? Our new Daisy uniform visual guide can help!

Brownie

When earning the Money Manager badge, Brownies learn how to manage money wisely. Girls will try their hands at budgeting, saving, and learning the difference between spending wants and needs, like groceries for the family and school supplies. After a few practice rounds, Brownies will put their new skills to the test by creating a real-life budget. They’ll work with their troop to figure out how much money they need to earn through their cookie sales to reach their goal (or Take Action project) and then build a budget to make it a reality! Earn the Money Manager badge.

Girl Scouts make the world a better place, which is why the Brownie Philanthropist badge is so important. Through this badge, girls explore basic human needs, such as clothes, food, and clean water, and then discover ways they can help provide those necessities for others who don’t always have access or are facing devastation after a natural disaster. One way Girl Scouts can give back? Through their cookie earnings, of course! So, by earning this badge, your girl is already building the foundation needed to plan a Take Action project with her troop. Earn the Philanthropist badge.

By earning the Meet My Customers badge, Brownies will not only learn how to get to know their customers but also how to gain the confidence needed to sell Girl Scout Cookies to them. Girls will first figure out who their customers are—neighbors? Family members? Friends in the community? Whoever they think will be excited to help them reach their cookie goal! Then the troop will share its cookie pitch with each other; practice handling money and making change; and, most importantly, come up with fun ways to thank customers! Earn the Meet My Customers badge.

The Brownie Give Back badge takes the lessons learned through the Philanthropist badge to the next level by helping girls figure out how to use their cookie earnings to give back. Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, girls are running their very own businesses, so they’ll first research how other businesses in their community are already supporting causes they care about. Then the troop will get together and brainstorm ways to give back—does the local park need a fresh paint job, or does a school need more water fountains? Ideas can spark anywhere! These go-getters will start building a plan and putting it into action. Earn the Give Back badge. 

Has your Brownie earned one of these awesome badges, but you don’t know where to place it on her vest or sash? Our new visual guide to Girl Scout Brownie uniforms can help!




Junior


After earning the Business Owner badge, Juniors will know the basic steps to plan and create a new business and how to turn their passions into a successful business venture. Once girls decide which type of business they’d like to run, they’ll explore the ins and outs by talking with local business owners to spark ideas and get answers to questions. A new business needs support to get off the ground! So, girls will learn all the ways a new business is financially supported, whether through bank loans or government assistance. Last, to get to know their customers, girls will dive into customer research to see how their new business will reach their community and provide it with a service it needs. Earn the Business Owner badge.

When Juniors earn the Savvy Shopper badge, they’ll know the difference between what they need and want to buy—and how to save for both. In a world of advertisers, social media influencers, and fast-moving trends, it can be hard to determine if that item on display is what you really want to spend your money on or if there is something better to invest in. Through this badge, Juniors will evaluate these important decisions and learn how to make smart spending choices that will benefit them for years to come. Earn the Savvy Shopper badge. 

Through the Cookie CEO badge, Juniors will know how to run all aspects of their cookie business—because they’re cookie bosses, of course! Through this badge, girls are challenged to break their cookie goal into smaller ones (like weekly sales goals) to make sure their troop is on the right track to reach the ultimate goal (like a summer at Girl Scout camp, perhaps?). The troop will work together by dividing up tasks among girls based on their individual skills. They will then put those skills into action when communicating with their customers, making a good impression and building community relationships at the same time. Earn the Cookie CEO badge. 

It’s key to get to know your customers, and through the Customer Insights badge, Juniors will have a better understanding what their cookie customers want, making business even stronger! First, girls will seek out the experts—maybe a local businesswoman who just happens to be a Girl Scout alum? Girls can ask her questions and get some pro tips. Then they’ll dig into research to figure out how to market their Girl Scout Cookies. Girls will create their own surveys and ask customers questions. And if customers still say, “no thanks” to Girl Scout Cookies? No worries! This badge will help girls turn a “no” into a useful business lesson so they improve and gain more confidence. Earn the Customer Insights badge. 

Has your Junior earned one of these awesome badges, but you don’t know where to place it on her vest or sash? Our new visual guide to Girl Scout Junior uniforms can help!

Cadette


When you earn the Cadette Budgeting badge, you’ll learn how to keep track of your money, save for things you need and want, and help others by giving back. Building a budget is more than a way to track your money—how you choose to spend your money shows what’s important to you. So you’ll group your decisions into three categories—spend, save, and give—and then track each. Keep an eye on your spending habits, learn how you can save, and explore all the wonderful ways you can give. Your newfound skills will help you create a budget that’s right for you. Earn this badge.

By earning the Comparison Shopping badge, you’ll discover how to find the best online deals on the best products in the safest way possible. Shopping online can be overwhelming, with unlimited options at your fingertips, but learning how to compare sites and research online deals can help you narrow your decisions. Learn how to access online reviews that can guide smart spending decisions and how to steer clear of online fraud by identifying questionable sites and keeping your personal information safe and secure. Earn this badge. 

Through the Financing My Dreams badge, you’ll explore smart financial habits that will benefit you throughout your life, including as you pay for college, prepare for your dream job, and more! To earn this badge, you’ll design your personal dream budget, coming up with innovative ways to plan for big investments for your future. You’ll explore careers that align with your passions, get a lesson in real estate trends and mortgages, and research ways your dreams can help others. Earn this badge
You already know how to build a budget for yourself (thanks to the Budgeting badge), but have you ever thought about building one for a business? You are a cookie boss, after all. With the Business Plan badge, you can! You’ll first write your mission statement—one that shows why your troop participates in the Girl Scout Cookie Program and the goal of your cookie business. Then you’ll start growing your customer base, learning how to turn that “no thank you” into a “yes please!” And since Girl Scouts are always prepared, you’ll want to create a risk management plan, brainstorming solutions to problems your business may face during cookie season. Earn this badge.

You have your business plan set—now it’s time to market your business! Through the Marketing badge, you’ll learn to create a marketing plan that will help your cookie business grow, grow, GROW! You’ll learn all about brand identity (how a company looks to the outside world), scope out the competition and learn from it, and get inspired by companies that also give back to the community using part of their profits. Ultimately, you’ll build a marketing campaign that will entice customers to come to YOUR cookie booth to buy their favorite sweet treats. Earn this badge.

The last of the Cadette badges we’re highlighting is the Think Big badge, a fun one that will help you take your cookie business plan to the next level and inspire you to set higher goals for your cookie earnings. You’ll start thinking “big cookie goal ideas”—those that will challenge your troop to do great and exciting things. Will you go after your Girl Scout Silver Award? Save up for an epic troop trip? Don’t hold back—now’s the time to “think big”! Once you’ve set your big goal, you’ll strategize ways to take your cookie sale to the next level to make it happen. You might share your plans with your cookie customers, ask for help from local experts, and/or come up with your own ideas that work for your troop. Earn this badge. 

Has your Cadette earned one of these awesome badges, but you don’t know where to place it on her vest or sash? Our new visual guide to Girl Scout Cadette uniforms can help!



Senior


Have you thought about where you’re headed after high school? Going to a state university? Community college? Trade school? Wherever your dreams take you, your future education will cost money—luckily, through the Financing My Future badge, you can learn how to plan for those expenses! First you’ll figure out your goals, then you’ll research the types of schools that will help you reach them. Once you have a few options in front of you, you’ll compare and determine which fits your wants and needs the best. Next, the fun part—making your dreams a reality. You’ll explore different financial aid options, including loans and scholarships (such as these!), and starting a savings account. Earn this badge. 

By earning the Buying Power badge, you’ll understand the long-term impact of making a big purchase and how to prepare for it. To get started with this badge, you’ll select an item like a car or new cell phone plan, then compare your options and look up consumer reviews. Next it’s time to dive deep into the numbers! You’ll be challenged to determine the long-term costs of your purchase. Does it require a down payment or payment plan? Should you wait and save more before jumping in? You’ll have to figure it out and build a plan to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. Earn this badge. 

When you earn the My Portfolio badge, you’ll learn to show how your cookie-selling skills benefit you every single day—and eventually help with college admissions and future job interviews! You’ll start with your cookie resume and portfolio, describing and showcasing all your amazing abilities and accomplishments during cookie season. Then you’ll practice sharing your hard work by role-playing an interview, get advice from experts on marketing yourself, and more! Earn this badge.

Through the Customer Loyalty badge, you’ll take what you already know as a consumer to help you engage customers and ensure customer loyalty during and after cookie season. And think about this: you already know that when you sell Girl Scout Cookies, the money you earn lets your troop participate in epic adventures—but do your customers know? One the best ways to build customer loyalty is by making them feel like a part of your business—and after all, thanks to their purchase, you get closer to your cookie goal. In earning this badge, you’ll also learn how to make your new customers repeat-customers by building your customer database, coming up with unique ways to say “thank you,” and maintaining connections beyond cookie season. Earn this badge. 

Have you earned one of these awesome badges but don’t know where to place it on your vest or sash? Our new visual guide to Girl Scout Senior uniforms can help!



Ambassador


By earning the On My Own badge, you’ll learn how to avoid financial pitfalls while exercising independence as you achieve your dreams. This badge takes budget planning to the next level—from setting yourself up for your future dream home (and learning the importance of location, location, location) to your retirement years (seriously!). You’ll budget for daily needs and fun adventures like traveling or hobbies, and even prepare for unexpected expenses—because you never know when you’ll need to fix something in a flash. And because Girl Scouts know how to give back, you’ll learn about ways to set funds aside for those in need. Earn this badge.

There will be a time, or times, in your life when you’ll have to borrow money, whether through a credit card or a loan. With the Good Credit badge, you’ll learn how to keep good credit (a report card of your financial history), borrow money successfully, and pay back what you owe on time. There are many ways you can borrow money, and this badge will help you tell the difference between each and determine what works best for you! Earn this badge. 

Through the Research & Development badge, you’ll learn how businesses invest in researching and refining new ideas and bringing them to market—then you’ll apply your newfound knowledge to your own cookie business! First, you’ll take a step back to see how well your cookie business is doing and if you notice any sales trends you can tap into. For example, are you getting more sales going door-to-door or through your Digital Cookie platform? If one outweighs the other, you can decide if you want to redirect your time and efforts. You’ll get inspired by companies you like and explore how they change things up for their customers. Earn this badge. 

The P&L badge is all about practicing good business ethics by looking at both the business P&L (profit and loss) and the Girl Scout P&L (Promise and Law). Business ethics are very important for business owners, because they reflect everything your company is about, including how it treats its employees and even the environment. Not to mention good business ethics = the Girl Scout way! With this badge, you’ll create your own Cookie Promise to ensure you provide your customers (and fellow troop members) with high-quality service and products. Then you’ll share your cookie legacy with others, especially younger Girl Scouts. (You are sisters, after all!) You can teach them about being a great cookie boss as you share your skills—and, most importantly, you can help them build the courage, confidence, and character to be just like  you! Earn this badge.

Have you earned one of these awesome badges but don’t know where to place it on your vest or sash? Our new visual guide to Girl Scout Ambassador uniforms can help!