Friday, June 22, 2018

Eleven Easy Campfire Recipes for Getting Fired Up Outdoors

The time has finally come—it’s Great Outdoors Month! And what better way to celebrate than with some good eats? Cooking in the outdoors is a Girl Scout tradition, and there’s nothing more satisfying than whipping up a tasty meal to recharge before or after exploring nature all day. That’s why we had to share these troop leaders’ favorite recipes— trust us, they don’t disappoint.

Check out eleven mouthwatering (but easy!) campfire recipes that will turn any camping ground into a glamping ground!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Girl Scouts Embrace Refugee Neighbors and Celebrate Difference

Girl Scouts have a long tradition of giving back to their communities and raising their voices to advocate for issues and ideas important to them. From dispelling myths and misconceptions about immigrants and refugees to mobilizing support to make sure refugee children have warm clothing, Girl Scouts are making a real difference far and wide.

In honor of World Refugee Day today, check out how these go-getters across the country are leading with empathy and befriending others.

Multiple Troops, Girl Scouts of Orange County

Recently, nine Girl Scouts hosted a Ramadan celebration for 100 refugees from various countries, including Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The girls provided dinner and gave families gently used clothing and household goods to help them settle in. 

Nidhi, Girl Scouts North Carolina Coastal Pines 

Using her family’s experience as inspiration, Nidhi wrote a novella about the lives of young immigrants in the United States, Journeys of Hope and Fear, to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award. In particular, she focused on overturning stereotypes about immigrants.

Learn more about Nidhi’s project. 

Julianna, Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts

Syrian refugees who were driven from their homes by civil war received sweaters, socks, blankets,  hats, and scarves as a result of Julianna’s Gold Award project. She worked with the Karam Foundation to distribute hundreds of knit, crochet, and sewn clothing and blankets to refugees, primarily children at the Al Salam School in Reyhanli, Turkey.

Learn more about Julianna’s project.

Natalie, Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan 

After learning that refugees living in Michigan were having difficulties adapting to U.S. society, Gold Award Girl Scout Natalie started educating her community about the obstacles they face and how people can help. 

Lily, Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle 

Lily worked to give Leon County students more of a say in the community by encouraging conversations about how to prevent bullying and strengthen relationships that promote peace, equality, truth, and unity—both among students and within the community at large.

Learn more about Lily’s project. 

Jenna, Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania 

After witnessing the Syrian refugee crisis as an exchange student in Italy, Jenna was determined to raise awareness about the struggles that people from developing countries face. Her Girl Scout Gold Award project connected U.S. and Ethiopian students through letters and included a summer reading program focused on the global impact of refugee crises.

Troops 3119 and 3357, Girl Scouts of Orange County 

To combat hate and promote conversation about the similarities between Muslims and Americans of different faiths, Muslim Girl Scouts from Troops 3119 and 3357 hosted an Open Mosque Day to educate others on what Islam is all about. The event was so successful, the troops held a second Open Mosque Day a few months later!

Learn more about Troops 3119 and 3357. 
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

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!

Amaris, individually registered Girl Scout from Chicago

Amaris noticed that small winter accessories and seasonal items aren’t easy to come by through coat drives and similar projects designed to help those in need. So she did what Girl Scouts do—she took action to give back. For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, Amaris created flyers and presented PowerPoint slides to inform people in her community about the items needed. She then collected donations of hats, gloves, scarves, sunblock, water, and wipes, which she distributed to areas with significant homeless populations in Chicago. When asked about highlights of her project, Amaris mentioned feeling good about being able to make even a slight difference in people’s lives.

Carrie, Hornets' Nest Council

“Bee Aware”: the future looks bright with innovators like Carrie taking the lead. To address the decline of native bee populations in South Carolina and attract more pollinators to the area, Carrie created a certified wildlife garden on Winthrop University campus, providing food, shelter, and other living accommodations so that bees can mate and lay eggs. She selected and planted foliage without using pesticides, and to meet the sustainability requirement of her Girl Scout Gold Award project Carrie teamed up with the university to come up with a plan to maintain the garden’s habitat. The most rewarding part of her project? “Visiting the garden after its completion to find baby bees hatching in the shelter.”

Learn more about Carrie’s project.

Maria, Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania

For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, Maria worked with the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and her local government to make a park in Allegheny County more accommodating of children with autism and sensory needs. She installed three sensory-friendly play panels equipped with bongos, chimes, and clicking gears; she also replaced a trash can and four deteriorated benches and removed dead trees for safety. Lastly, Maria added a little pizazz with ornamental grass and flowers. Talk about leaving a place better than you found it, Gold Award style! Also, it’s no wonder Maria’s council named her 2018’s Girl Scout Humanitarian.

Learn more about Maria’s project.                  

Olivia, Girl Scouts of Connecticut

Representation matters—that’s why Olivia’s Girl Scout Gold Award project, We Are All Works of Art, is making a big impact in her community. To raise awareness about the values of diversity and inclusivity, this Girl Scout partnered with Booth Hill Elementary School to design and paint an interactive mural depicting the world. The diverse kids holding hands around the globe reflect unity and are intended to open up dialogue about students’ families’ heritage and highlight the fact that all people bring unique contributions to the community. In addition, Olivia met with a fourth-grade teacher to come up with a lesson plan that teaches the meaning of multicultural versus monoculture environments. In true Girl Scout fashion, this G.I.R.L. is determined to promote an understanding of world citizenship, because she believes “diversity is a beautiful thing”—and we couldn’t agree with her more. 

Learn more about Olivia’s project.

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 for a chance to have it featured.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

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 2018, 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 2018 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.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

#BecauseofGirlScouts—She Did. Top 10 Tweets of the Week

Girl Scouts offers the best leadership development experience in the world for girls—period. And because of Girl Scouts, millions of women and girls are able to tackle problems life throws their way, have unique experiences they wouldn’t have anywhere else, and can go out of their comfort zone to do what needs to be done.

Don’t just take our word for it.

These G.I.R.L.s (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) are ground-breakers and change makers. They are successful, and they are making the world a better place—because of Girl Scouts. And they are a testament to why every girl should be a Girl Scout.

#BecauseOfGirlScouts I have my career. A Photograhy merit badge when I was 12 years old literally changed my life and showed me my future. Now I’m shooting films and television and I love my work. I can’t imagine my life any other way.

We want to know what Girl Scouts has done for you! Share your story on social using #becauseofGirlScouts—and be sure to tag @girlscouts on Instagram and Twitter! You may get featured here on our site or in an upcoming blog!