Monday, June 24, 2019

Who Are the 24 Nationwide 2019 Cookie Pro Contest Winners?




As we gear up to send the twenty-four lucky, nationwide winners off to sunny California for incredible VIP adventures, we want to give a big, heartfelt shout-out to every cookie entrepreneur around the country who entered the contest: thank you for showing the world all of the amazing things you do, learn, and accomplish through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program for girls in the world! Your determination, excitement and passion are admirable—keep on mastering your cookie business, money management, and people skills. You’re changing the world one cookie package at a time!

We can’t contain the excitement about the grand-prize winners for this year’s contest! These twenty-four winners were selected from Girl Scouts of all grade levels across the country through a robust, four-round evaluation process involving online and offline components. Each contest entry was evaluated based on girls’ entrepreneurial spirit and cookie program experience. To learn more about how the winners were selected, check out the official contest rules.

The 2019 Cookie Pro contest winners will have a unique opportunity to:
  • Travel to sunny Southern California for an all-expenses-paid Cookie Entrepreneur Experience with their parent/guardian
  • Go on incredible VIP adventures at Warner Bros. Studios designed exclusively for Girl Scouts
  • Take part in super-cool activities and go behind the scenes at the studio where the DC Super Hero Girls™ is created
  • Get an in-depth look at the teamwork that went into making the biggest movies and TV shows in the world
  • Enjoy a night of your own West Coast adventures
  • Attend a special Cookie Pro recognition event with opportunities to meet successful entrepreneurs
  • And so much more!
Ready to learn a little something special about each one of these inspiring, go-getting, goal crushing winners? Here we go!

DAISIES

Aaliyah, Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline
Her cookie-selling superpower: “My voice. I use my voice to shout for people to get cookies.”

Courtney, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio
Her cookie-selling superpower: "Making the world a better place."

Norah, Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails
Her cookie-selling superpower: “A cheerful attitude and knowledge about the cookies.”

Phillipa, Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles
Her cookie-selling superpower: “Selling with a smile.”
BROWNIES

Alexandra, Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys
Her cookie-selling superpower: “I like to turn a customer ‘no’ into a ‘yes.’ I politely say, ‘Thanks anyway!’ if they say no or ‘Thank you for supporting Girl Scouts’ if they say they already bought from another girl. If they slow down when walking by our booth, I ask if they'd like to see a cookie menu—because at a restaurant people always order once they see a menu! It works great and a lot of times they say, ‘Well, maybe just one box.’ "

Anissa, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas
Her cookie-selling superpower: “I have a winning smile and great personality that is hard to say ‘no’ to. At least that's what my customers say!”

Dahlia, Girl Scouts of Nassau County
Her cookie-selling superpower: “I love to make up fun cookie songs to get customers’ attention.”

Olivia, Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts
Her cookie-selling superpower: “I am very good at socializing with the customers. I like to be funny and make people laugh.”

JUNIORS

Alyssa, Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama
Her cookie-selling superpower: “At the beginning of my story I think that my wheelchair was my superpower, but when I had to have an unexpected surgery and was put in a body cast for the cookie season, I learned that determination and my smile were my real superpowers!”

Cheran, Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains
Her cookie-selling superpower: “My ability to sing, dance, and chant routines for our customers to enjoy while they purchase cookies or come over to watch and then want to buy cookies.”


Josephina, Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New JerseyHer cookie-selling superpower: “My confident personality. I make eye contact with my customers, speak loudly and clearly, make awesome videos to share with friends and family, and keep track of my goal so that I continue to work hard to reach it!”

Kiana, Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho
Her cookie-selling superpower: “My ability to connect with my customers by being polite, sensing what cookies they like and talking to them about those cookies, and saying ‘thank you’ whether I get the sale or not. Many times, just being polite and friendly gets a sale from someone who had no intention of buying cookies!”

CADETTES

Isabella, Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey
Her cookie-selling superpower: “Dedication. I am usually the first one at our cookie booths and the last one to leave. I try to help as much as I can so that our troop reaches its goal. Even though it is hard work, I also try to make it fun and love spending time with the other girls.”



Lacey, Girl Scouts of Western Washington 
Her cookie-selling superpower: “My smile. When I speak, I try to smile. I want my customers to feel like I am being friendly and inviting and that they are not being attacked to buy cookies by me yelling to them across a parking lot.”

Mia, Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska
Her cookie-selling superpower: “I’m very good at approaching new and existing customers and telling them about cookie flavors and personal favorite cookies. I’m also very good at advertising sales on poster boards and for our troop, and I like to emphasize that customers can get five boxes for twenty dollars instead of just one box for four dollars. This helps me sell more.”

Victoria, Girl Scouts of Northern California
Her cookie-selling superpower: “Creativity! During my cookie sale, I use my superpower to create fun and unique videos for my Digital Cookie website and for my customers. I also use my superpower to help the rest of my troop think up ideas for our cookie booth themes! They are so much fun! I also use my superpower for costumes to fit in with our booths. COOKIE POWER!"

SENIORS

Elizabeth, Girl Scouts of Arizona Cactus-Pine

Her cookie-selling superpower: “Money management. We live in a small town and my troop has worked very hard to save our cookie money to have some big adventures. We have spent the night on the USS Midway, gone to surf camp, and visited Hawaii for a week. My experiences selling cookies have taught me how to set a goal and be able to save money to achieve that goal.”

Keirsten, Girl Scouts of Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas
Her cookie-selling superpower: “While selling cookies has given me many ‘super powers,’ such as communicating effectively with people, using social media as a business medium, and setting goals, the cookie-selling super power that has affected me most is the ability to stay motivated and persevere, even when I feel like giving up.”

Jordan, Southeast Florida
Her cookie-selling superpower: “My ability to use creative ways to promote and sell cookies. I e-mail, sell door-to-door, go to my parents' offices, sell to friends and family, and use social media. I also made a promotional video showing all the cookies."


Vivian, Girl Scouts of Nation's Capital
Her cookie-selling superpower: “My ability to utilize aesthetics and design in my advertising. Some of my most prominent hobbies include art, calligraphy, and graphic design. I put these skills to effective use during the cookie-selling process through a multitude of mediums, including sales pitch videos, social media posts, digital posters, and promotional posters to attract attention at cookie booths.”

AMBASSADORS

Alexandra, Girl Scouts of Orange County

Her cookie-selling superpower: “I have turned my cookie sales program into an opportunity to help the military community. My aim is to get as many Care to Share donations as possible to supply cookies to the military. And for many years, I have donated one dollar per box of cookies sold to a military charity.”

Faatimath, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas
Her cookie-selling superpower: “Creative advertising. I always try to come up with an eye-catching way to attract customers. I find that if you create something visual, customers tend to buy more.”

Kaitlyn, Girl Scouts of Southern AppalachiansHer cookie-selling superpower: “People skills. I have been in Girl Scouts for 12 years, which has enabled me to come out of my shell and become an amazing spokesperson. I love telling potential customers about what their funds go toward and how it helps me and my troop reach our goals.”

Kathryn, Girl Scouts of Northwestern Great Lakes
Her cookie-selling superpower: “I take my autism and turn it into an advantage, not a disadvantage.”

Last thing: don’t forget to follow us on social media to get the latest updates about the Cookie Pro California adventure (it’s going to be epic!) or to just pop in to say hi! We’re all over Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Come join us!
Saturday, June 22, 2019

All New Camp Hacks to Help Your Camper Rock Summer Camp




The sun is beaming a little brighter every day, temps are heating up, and it’s almost time for one of our absolute favorite times of the year—Girl Scout camp! Exploring the great outdoors, swimming, having a blast with friends, learning new things, sitting around cozy campfires, singing songs, and filling the day with fun and adventure? We’re so ready!

Plus, guess what? Camp is one more opportunity for her to discover who she can become—a place where she can raise her hand, speak up, and try something new, almost every single day. It’s a place with a dozen different ways to take the lead in small, powerful ways, a place where she will learn over and over again, that she CAN do anything, even if she fails at first.

So, yes, camp is awesome! But camp can also be overwhelming, especially for those first-time campers. For example, it can be daunting to get your camper all packed up and organized for their day or week at camp (when you won’t be there to help them). We also know campers sometimes struggle with things like staying at camp overnight for the first time, making new friends, or feeling homesick.

That’s exactly why we worked with amazing Girl Scout camp directors across the country to put together these super fun and useful camp hacks—yes, yes, yes! Check out our spirited playlist and get tips on everything from making the most out of that bandana and putting together a cool “clothing pill” for quick-and-easy morning dressing, to overcoming homesickness and dealing with those pesky afraid-of-the-dark jitters, plus so much more.


Cool, right? Make sure to share, share, share, and help every first-time camper you know have the best Girl Scout summer ever! And hey, even an experienced camper might learn a new trick or two, so don’t be shy about sharing with them too. 

Here’s to a great summer full of new experiences and cherish-them-forever memories. Happy camping friends

Friday, June 14, 2019

Raise it. Salute it. Love it. Let's celebrate Flag Day!


Old Glory. Stars and Stripes. The Star-Spangled Banner.

However you refer to it, the American flag—and respect for it—is an important part of the Girl Scout Movement and our nation’s history.

Our flag’s story begins in 1776 with “the Continental Colors,” often described as the first national flag. Its design was similar to our current flag, with 13 alternate red and white stripes, but with the British Union Jack in the upper left-hand corner.

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress resolved that our flag would include 13 alternating red and white stripes, with 13 white stars in a blue field. The colors have meaning: Red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence, and blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

No one knows for sure who actually designed the first stars and stripes, or even who made it. Many historians credit New Jersey Congressman Francis Hopkinson with the design—and the story of George Washington asking a Philadelphia upholsterer by the name of Betsy Ross to create a flag may be more legend than fact.

Nevertheless, that original, basic design endures to this day, with additional stars added to the field of blue through the years, representing each state’s admission to the Union.

In 1916, when patriotism after the Great War was high, President Woodrow Wilson introduced a national celebration honoring our flag. But it wasn’t until 1934 that President Harry Truman signed an act of Congress officially establishing June 14 as National Flag Day.

Fun fact: Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low, herself a famous patriot and advocate for displaying and honoring our nation’s flag, developed a stars-and-stripes design for Girl Scout uniforms, though it was never implemented.

Today, as we celebrate Flag Day 2019, Girl Scouts everywhere are honoring, in many ways, this powerful symbol of our nation.

Thinking about how you might participate? Here are a few ideas:

1. Display the flag. This one’s super easy! Whether you station a small flag on your desk; wear a patch on your sash, backpack, or jacket; or fly a full-size version on a flagpole at home or school, show our nation’s colors proudly.
2. Learn about flag ceremonies. “Color guard, advance!” Refresh your flag etiquette before holding a special Flag Day ceremony. Flag ceremonies can take many forms, depending on location, audience, and type of event—though they should always include saying the Pledge of Allegiance and even the Girl Scout Promise and Law.
3. Retire flags with honor. Many Girl Scout troops host events to help the public “retire” old and/or damaged flags. While the official guidelines call for flags to be retired “with dignity,” many customs such as burning, cutting, and otherwise disposing of the flag have their roots in local traditions. Check with veterans groups near you to learn what’s acceptable in your area.
4. Brush up on flag etiquette. Do you know how to fold the flag? How to properly display it? How to participate on a color guard? Here are a few tips to help make sure you get it right. Remember: showing proper respect is a great way to show your love for the flag and all it represents.
5. Say the Pledge of Allegiance. It’s a daily ritual in classrooms around the country, but adults and youngsters alike can reaffirm their commitment to the flag and “to the republic for which it stands” on Flag Day. Take pride in honoring a symbol that stands for “liberty and justice for all.”

Let’s make Flag Day 2019 a day when we remember, honor, and celebrate our flag. And let’s keep the spirit with us throughout the year—because Girl Scouts honor the flag every day, not just on Flag Day.

Old Glory, we salute you! Long may you wave over the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Monday, June 10, 2019

10 Essential Knots for Girl Scouts


Guest blog post by Girl Scouts of Northern California. This was originally posted on The Trailhead.


Rope, yarn, string, lacing cord, paracord, the things you can tie goes on and on. We’ve all tied our shoelaces, but knot tying is so much more than just looping some string and pulling really tight—it’s an essential skill for taking on the outdoors. In most outdoor activities, your safety relies on the accuracy of your knots. Some knots work better than others, and it’s important to know when and how to tie the necessary knots.

Whether your Girl Scouts want to climb a mountain or dock a boat, here are 10 notable knots to show you and your girls the ropes and help them take their knot tying skills beyond the basic loop-de-loop-and-pull.

Basic Knot Vocabulary


Jam: When a knot becomes permanent, or so tight to the point of being unable to untie it.
Loop: A full circle formed by passing a rope over itself.
Running End: The “moving” portion of the rope that is used to thread the knot itself.
Standing End: The “still” portion of the rope that remains fixed in place throughout the knot tying process.
Stopper Knot: A type of knot used to make a portion of the rope thicker and prevent it from unraveling.
Round Turn: A full encirclement of the rope.
Half Hitch: A knot that runs around the standing end and through the loop formed.
Hitch: Attaches a rope to another object (relies on the object to hold its own shape.)
Bight: A “u” shaped loop; the slack part of the rope.
Bend: A type of knot used to join two ropes together.

The Overhand Knot



The simplest of the bunch, but also one of the most essential knots: the overhand. When pulled tight, the overhand knot is a sturdy knot that holds its own (literally, that’s why it’s the go-to stopper knot for everything from climbing to shoelace-tying). Once you and your girls master this knot, you’ll be able to apply this technique to more complex knots.

The Round Turn and Two Half Hitches




This knot has multiple components, but is the easiest knot for securing rope to fixed objects like poles and trees. The round turn and two half hitches knot is a more dynamic knot that can self-tighten, but isn’t too hard to untie. For this knot, the running end is going to be shorter than the standing end, so make sure it’s not too short—if it’s too short and the ends get loose, your knot will come undone!

Pro Tip: If your knot is going to hold heavy loads, add multiple round turns to make it more secure.

The Clove Hitch




Like the round turn and two half hitches knot, the clove hitch is used for securing rope to fixed objects. Girl Scouts use this knot all the time on climbing rope, bandages, and even hammocks, because the knot holds tight under tension—and when your body weight is on the line, a sturdy knot is essential.

The Square or Reef




Some call it the square knot, others call it the reef knot, but this timeless knot has been around since the ancient Greeks used it for healing, protection, and weddings (ever heard of “tying the knot”?). Once you get the hang of it, the square knot is quick and easy, which is why it’s the primary knot in macramé textile projects.

Pro Tip: This one can get a little tricky, so use two different-colored ropes when practicing to really understand the relationship between the two half hitches.

The Sheet Bend




Building off the square/reef knot, the sheet bend can also be used to join two ropes of different sizes. Even though this knot is useful in tying together ropes of different diameters and textures, that doesn’t mean they have to be. For example, fishing nets are just a collection of similarly sized sheet bend knots.

By itself, the sheet bend isn’t very secure (the knot requires constant tension to prevent it from coming loose), but together they can weave something neat (or should I say net)!

The Bowline




The bowline knot is similar to the sheet bend, but only uses one piece of rope (and creates a bowl-like loop). The bowline is a strong, reliable knot with a loop that makes it easy for sailors and campers alike to secure their precious cargo.

The Bowline on a Bight




You thought the bowline knot was strong? Well, the u-shape bight adds another level of strength to the bowline knot, which is why they’re used in rescue missions—the double loops make the knot secure enough to support a person’s body weight!

The Taut Line Hitch




Like the round turn and two half hitches and the clove hitch, the taut line hitch is used for securing rope to fixed objects. The taut line hitch is a bit more challenging than the previous hitch knots due to its many turns and loops. If you have outdoorsy Girl Scouts, this knot is essential for tying down tarps and tents!


The Cleat Hitch




This nautical knot is a must for those mariner Girl Scouts. If you’re still growing your sea legs, a cleat is t-shaped piece (usually wood or metal) on the dock that deckhands tie the boat to. So if you don’t want your boat to float away, make sure you practice this one!


The Double Figure Eight




With a name like double figure eight, it’s no surprise this knot has more twists, turns, and direction changes. This knot is definitely the complex and heavy-duty on the list. When done right, this multiple loop knot will be able to help your girls belay down the side of a mountain or even tow a car out of the mud!


Like any new skill, all of these knots will take practice. Your fingers may get tangled and your girls may feel tied up, but once you get the hang of it, your girls will have a whole new world of adventures at their fingertips. Crafting, first aid, climbing, sailing—try naming a Girl Scout activity that doesn’t require some knot tying. Like the knots, keep it tight!

What to do next:

Bookmark the entire How to Tie Knots playlist on YouTube and keep practicing! Looking to take your knot tying skills to the next level? Check out Animated Knots for more knot-tying tutorials and knot activities.
Monday, June 3, 2019

Girl Scout Robotics Teams Tackle Radiation


Though it’s been nearly 85 years since Marie Curie’s death from prolonged exposure to radiation, radiation is still a significant issue today, and Girl Scouts are stepping up to tackle this challenge. Two of the many Girl Scout robotics teams that attended the 2019 FIRST® Championship (the world’s largest robotics competition and celebration for students) focused on how to protect astronauts from radiation exposure in space. Today’s girls are addressing this topic of great importance to humankind.

The theme for the FIRST competition is “Into Orbit,” in which teams identify and propose a solution for a physical or a social problem faced by humans during long duration space exploration. For NASA, space radiation is one of the biggest challenges for a human journey to Mars, the top option for expanding human presence in space. The Tech Hoppers (from Girl Scouts of Greater New York) and Team Smarties (from Girl Scouts Louisiana East) are ready and in position to be our current and future science pioneers. 

The Tech Hoppers came up with the idea of creating a robot within a meteor or asteroid to protect against radiation, due to hydrogen’s prevalence in asteroid and meteors, and its properties as a radiation shield material. Team Smarties developed an antioxidant powder called Smart Blast that can be sprinkled over food to offset the effects of radiation—and they are even submitting a provisional patent application for the powder! Team Smarties chose to solve the problem of radiation due to its current relevancy for people affected by radiation world-wide as well as and for astronauts in space exploration.
Girl Scouts Robotics Team TechHoppers.
Photo: Girl Scouts of Greater New York
Girl Scouts are almost twice as likely as non–Girl Scouts to participate in STEM activities (60 percent versus 35 percent) like science experiments and building robots. At GSUSA, we recognize that in our increasingly tech-driven world, future generations must possess the skills to navigate the complexities and inherent challenges of the STEM and cyber realms. Team Smarties and the Tech Hoppers are part of Girl Scouts’ effort to eliminate traditional barriers to industry access, such as gender and geography, helping to ensure that girls of all ages have a strong foundation to tackle our world’s pressing issues.
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