Tuesday, January 15, 2019

World Thinking Day: It’s Our Time to Lead

Girl Scouts work every day to make the world a better place. It’s just what we do!

But there’s one day a year that’s extra special, a day when girls from more than 150 countries around the planet come together to explore the global dimensions of Girl Scouting and take action to change the world for the better.

Of course, we’re talking about World Thinking Day! It’s coming up on February 22, so let’s get ready to make it one of the best ever.

The theme for World Thinking Day 2019 is leadership—now, that’s an idea we can all support.

This World Thinking Day, let’s take the opportunity to:

Honor the leadership of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides worldwide, and celebrate what it means to be part of this global sisterhood. 

Advocate for positive change on global issues that girls and their supporters care about.

Support international opportunities for girls and young women by contributing to the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund.

A project of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), World Thinking Day is the perfect opportunity for girls to think globally and take action. But first, let’s take a moment to understand why and how World Thinking Day came to be.

The Origins of World Thinking Day

It all dates back to 1926, at the fourth World Conference of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts held at Girl Scouts’ very own Camp Edith Macy (now Edith Macy Conference Center) in New York. The conference delegates agreed that there should be a special day every year when Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world think of one another and celebrate global sisterhood. They decided to call it Thinking Day and chose February 22 to celebrate it. (Fun fact: the date was picked to honor the birthdays of Girl Guide founders Lord and Lady Baden-Powell.)

Then, in 1999, at the 30th World Conference in Dublin, Ireland, delegates from around the world wanted to emphasize the international aspect of the day and the global nature of the Girl Scout Movement, so they changed the name to World Thinking Day. 

Every year since, World Thinking Day has called for Girl Scouts and Girl Guides to unite and take part in activities that promote changing the world for the better. 

How You (and Your Troop) Can Participate

World Thinking Day is for everyone—from the youngest, mightiest Daisy to the Ambassador working toward her Gold Award. And it’s super easy to find your inspiration for how to take action in your community and the world at large.

Check out these World Thinking Day resources to get started:

Activity Guide for Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors (PDF) 

Activity Guide for Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors (PDF)

In these convenient, downloadable resources, you’ll find age-appropriate activities for younger girls as well as older girls. The activities fall into three categories: discovering your leadership style, celebrating a sisterhood of leaders, and taking on leadership roles. When girls complete one activity from each category, they’ll earn the World Thinking Day 2019 Award. Although only one activity in each category is required to earn the award, don’t let that stop you—you can do as many as you like!

Now It’s Your Turn to Take the Lead!

Looking for some extra inspiration to make World Thinking Day even more awesome? Check out this amazing story about a group of Brownies who reimagined World Thinking Day to build community. Or this story of a group of Muslim Girl Scouts extending friendship across cultures. That’s what we’re talking about!

To earn your World Thinking Day 2019 Award, try some of our suggested activities. Then tell us how you’re taking the lead through Girl Scouts and Girl Guides—and how you’re celebrating. You can share your story directly with us or post it on social media with #WorldThinkingDay and #TimeToLead!

On World Thinking Day 2019, let’s lead together for a better world.
Wednesday, January 9, 2019

What's Your Advice for First-Time Cookie Sellers?

Girl Scout Cookie season is in full swing! Not only are Girl Scouts selling the iconic cookies millions know and love, but they’re building five essential business skills that’ll prepare them for a lifetime of leadership. Whether a Girl Scout is a cookie-selling veteran or a first-time entrepreneur, there’s so much to be learned about how to run the world’s largest girl-led entrepreneurial program like a pro and keep supporters coming back year after year.

So, we asked the question: What advice do you have for first-time cookie sellers? Troop leaders, alum, and cookie moms and dads weighed in with their best tips and tricks. Here are a few rather helpful answers. Enjoy!

So Girl Scouts, are you ready to run your cookie biz like a pro?

Use Your Imagination, Creativity, and Strategy Superpowers to Win the Cookie Pro Contest!

Hey cookie bosses! This year you can unleash your ultimate G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ potential for a chance to win the Cookie Entrepreneur Experience of a lifetime featuring the bold and brave DC Super Hero Girls™! The experience includes a trip to sunny California for an epic behind-the-scenes VIP adventure at Warner Bros. Studios—SWEET! Are you as excited about this as we are? If the answer is yes, let’s jump right in. Here’s how it works:

To be considered for the grand prize, highlight your unique cookie story of heroic skill and strength by:

Answering a set of questions and completing a Cookie Pro™ contest entry form, which involves—
  • Creating your own mini graphic novel (it’s easy with our handy template!). Please use one page if you’re a Daisy, Brownie, or Junior, or two pages if you’re a Cadette, Senior, or Ambassador.
  • Submitting a clearly focused photo of yourself.
You might want to channel your inner DC Super Hero Girl by tapping into these three superpowers:
  1. Imagination helps us change our way of thinking and realize new, game-changing ideas. It also makes solving problems easier. How would you tell your story if you were making a super hero movie? Imagine someone reading your cookie story—what would you like them to take away from it? How would you want them to feel inspired?
  2. Creativity helps you tell your story in a more compelling and interesting way. Set aside some time to imagine, sketch, experiment, and explore. Think of how you could get creative with your drawings and characters. What fun, interesting, and unique things happened to you/your troop while running your cookie sale? Where were you? Who was with you? What were they wearing? What was the weather like? What was special about those experiences? How did it make you and those around you feel? How did you unleash your G.I.R.L potential when faced with a challenge or trying something new? You may want to have two creativity sessions and explore your unique cookie story some more or even brainstorm with others—have fun with it!
  3. Strategy helps you plan ahead and think through your story before you even begin sketching it. Consider starting with a written outline of your cookie story, and then think of illustrations that best capture the events that took place. It's OK to mess up too! You can always print another template, dust yourself off, and try again. 
Every Girl Scout has a worthwhile tale to tell for this year’s Cookie Pro contest, no matter how big or seemingly small—it’s all about getting creative and putting that I-can-do-anything cape in motion! So are you ready to enter for your chance to be one of 24 grand-prize winners nationwide? Complete your entry today!
Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Top Reasons You Should Support the Girl Scout Cookie Program (And where your money really goes!)

Girl Scout Cookies are about so much more than the sweet treats we anticipate each season; your purchase powers life-changing adventures for girls while helping them build real-life skills. Here’s how it’s done. 

As the biggest annual financial investment in girls in the United States, the Girl Scout Cookie Program sets the stage for girls to discover their inner leadership potential. All year long, they map out their plans to influence the world around them, be it through nurturing their love of the outdoors or using science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to create sustainable solutions. Their vision for a better tomorrow is realized when you support the largest girl-led entrepreneurship program in the world. For some girls, it means putting their cookie money toward impactful community projects right in their own backyards. For others, it means saving up to fund travel so they can see firsthand the world that they’ll one day transform. 

Whatever their plans are, one thing’s for certain: the proceeds from Girl Scout Cookies stay in your local area to benefit girls and Girl Scout councils. Councils depend on these earnings to run their programming, which prepares Girl Scouts for a lifetime of leadership, success, and adventure in a safe, no-limits place designed for and by girls!

Offering hands-on, girl-centered learning in STEM, the outdoors, and entrepreneurship, as well as abundant opportunities to develop invaluable life skills, Girl Scouts helps all girls take the lead early and often. The Girl Scout Leadership Experience pairs girls with strong, caring female role models and mentors who encourage them to step up and make their voices heard. And we’re backed by more than 100 years of experience.

The sweetest part of all? 

Your purchase and support of a Girl Scout's cookie business means that you, too, are making sure data is not destiny; research shows that female-founded start-ups generate more revenue over time than male-founded start-ups, but unfortunately, only 17 percent are female-founded. Thanks to the Girl Scout Cookie Program, however, we’re changing that—girls as young as five are building business savvy that proves to be crucial to shattering glass ceilings through skills like goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. It’s no wonder over half of female entrepreneurs are Girl Scout alums.  So, at a time when the world needs more women in the boardroom, support a more equitable future and treat yourself—it’s a win-win!

Because the iconic cookie program is not only developing the next generation of female business leaders but also inciting real change in communities across the globe. 

A cookie has never tasted so sweet.

Are you ready to help girls succeed? Use our Cookie Finder to find Girl Scout Cookies near you!

Weekly Girl Scout Gold Award Spotlight

Check out this week’s sampling of go-getting, innovating, risk-taking Gold Award Girl Scouts—young women who know what it means to lead with true G.I.R.L. spirit! 

Megan, Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast

When Megan heard her pastor preach about the lack of fresh and canned food options available to homeless people in her community, she put her (Girl Scout) green thumb to the test! (Megan, who has psoriasis, understands firsthand the importance of healthy food options, because she requires a balanced diet to prevent her condition from flaring up.) To build the garden she’d planned for her Girl Scout Gold Award project, she gathered 40 volunteers, who donated funds and dedicated their time to help the garden grow. The garden consists of cabbage, collard greens, carrots, and beets. Because of Megan’s Gold Award project, low-income and homeless families now have greater access to healthy, fresh food choices.

Learn more about Megan’s project.

Ashley, Girl Scouts of Nassau County

Responding to a need in one’s community can take real perseverance! In 2016, Gold Award Girl Scout Ashley presented her town board with the idea to renovate a rundown park in her neighborhood. With a growing sinkhole and too-hot-to-handle metal playground, the park was unfit for community members to use. Fast-forward two years, when a newly remodeled park was unveiled to community residents. Ashley’s Gold Award park renovations include a new playground, hopscotch court, picnic benches, plantings, and four-square court, along with a revamped basketball court. She raised $800 toward her Gold Award project, and the town funded the remaining balance. And even though she’s already earned her Gold Award, Ashley is working to add another playground set, improve surrounding sidewalks, and make the park wheelchair accessible—now that’s the power of G.I.R.L.!

Learn more about Ashley’s project.

Mina, Girl Scouts of Northern California 

As Sonia Sotomayor once said, “Until we get equality in education, we won’t have an equal society.” Indeed, education is a solution to many societal challenges, including homelessness and poverty. That's why Gold Award Girl Scout Mina is helping educate homeless people in her community, with quality curricula she designed herself. She researched many different outreach programs, including a nonprofit that helps recruit and train volunteers to tutor homeless and highly mobile children. Mina created binders—her “tool boxes”—with educational materials. The tool boxes are available for children in pre-K through third grade and include resources organized according to Common Core structure. Thanks to Amina’s Gold Award, East Bay kids now have another source of academic support!

Learn more about Amina’s project.

Megan, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council

Communication is a big part of everyday life—whether we talk, write, signal, or simply make eye contact. In addition to allowing us to express ourselves, it can also save lives. Gold Award Girl Scout Megan had this in mind when, for her Gold Award project, she organized a team of young people to help fire departments in her community learn American Sign Language—because in times of emergency, knowing how to sign can be crucial. The team led a two-day workshop and provided members of the Richmond Fire Department with study materials and videos that will educate local firefighters for years to come about the importance of being familiar with ASL.

Gold Award Girl Scouts are recipients of one of the most prestigious awards in the world for girls. By the time they put the final touches on their seven-step projects, they’ll have addressed a significant problem in their community—not only in the short term, but with a plan to sustain the work for years into the future. They’re also eligible for college scholarships and to enter the military one rank higher than non–Gold Award Girl Scouts.

Got a Girl Scout Gold Award story to share? Send the details and relevant photos to socialmedia@girlscouts.org for a chance to have it featured.