Tuesday, November 20, 2018

High-Adventure Girl Scout Troop Celebrates Thanksgiving

No Girl Scout camping trip is complete without a little outdoor cooking, but what about a full-blown Thanksgiving meal? The Wild Things of GSCCC, a high-adventure troop from Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast, set out to cook its largest outdoor meal yet—Thanksgiving dinner with not one but four turkeys.

After an evening of hammock camping, the girls planned the entire meal and set a goal to finish cooking all the dishes by 4:30 p.m. Each turkey was prepped and cooked in a different way: in a smoker, a deep fryer, a Dutch oven, and a (new!) trashcan. That’s right—a trashcan! Talk about innovators! Although a Girl Scout dad ran the deep fryer for safety reasons, the girls put together the entire meal themselves, adding coals to their Dutch ovens and Applewood chips to the smoker with adult supervision. All of the food even finished cooking at the same time!

Check out the rest of their epic menu.

From the Dutch Oven 
Broccoli casserole
Sweet potatoes
Apple Pumpkin Delight
Pumpkin cake

From the Box Oven
Apple pie
Pumpkin pie
Mixed-berry pie
Dinner rolls

From the Camp Stove
Cranberry sauce
Mashed potatoes
Monday, November 19, 2018

Weekly Girl Scout Gold Award Spotlight

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

Lea, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois

Lea published and illustrated a book called A,B,C of Things Kids Would Want to Know About Dogsto help kids learn about the responsibilities that come with being a dog owner. The idea for her Gold Award project was inspired by her work at an animal shelter, for which she earned her Silver Award. Shocked by the number of abandoned pets, to earn Girl Scouts’ highest award Lea struck out to educate kids in her community on the importance of a healthy, long-term pet/owner relationship. To raise awareness about her project, she presented her book and held discussions at local libraries in her community. Lea says that because of her Gold Award project she grew more interested in public speaking “to address social issues, promote positive ideas, and bring the community together on a greater cause, such as animal rights and education.” Now that’s what being a Girl Scout is all about!

Learn more about Lea’s project.

Emily Anne, Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama

While attending band practice, Emily Anne saw a need for a new band tower. (Every time a director walked up the 20-year-old tower, members of the band would cringe with fear.) So what did this Girl Scout do? She channeled her innovator skills to sketch and design a new 16-foot-tall tower for her Girl Scout Gold Award project! Emily Anne’s uncle, an architect, helped her develop a blueprint that met the city’s requirements. The tower features a chalkboard for band directors, shelves for storage, and benches for students taking breaks; it also provides a multilevel bird’s-eye view to help band directors see performances the way spectators do. To raise $3,000 to support her project, Emily Anne stepped out of her comfort zone to ask complete strangers for donations. (Those cookie boss skills came in handy!) To begin assembly, she gathered community volunteers and school staff members to help dismantle the old tower as well as help with the new construction. Due to the size of the structure, a construction crew and the school district’s maintenance department supervised to ensure the tower was built to code.

Learn more about Emily Anne’s project.

Paige, Girl Scouts of California's Central Coast

For her Gold Award project, Paige raised her voice against bullying. After noticing that some of her closest friends had experienced bullying firsthand, she saw the importance of sharing their experiences to help others identify and combat it as soon as it happens. In true Girl Scout fashion, she produced and presented a series of informative anti-bullying videos at local middle schools and the library. Additionally, she created a website and used various social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, to further raise awareness about this important issue. Paige’s videos promote optimism and rally people to make friends rather than cut others down, which is consistent with the mission of the Young Social Activists Club she organized at her school—to encourage students to practice empathy and help others.

Learn more about Paige’s project.
Shannon, Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey

With her Gold Award project, Shannon challenged the gender stereotypes girls face in STEM. After hearing that a local camp was short a few lunch tables, she took out her power tools and got to work. To accommodate lunch breaks and other camp-related activities for the 300 kids that attend Lifecamp in Pottersville, New Jersey, she designed and built five picnic tables with benches attached. And to make it sustainable, this aspiring engineer created a “How to Build a Picnic Table” YouTube tutorial that demonstrates the building process for anyone looking to follow her steps. With 188.5 hours under her (tool) belt, she also managed to join the Lifecamp team as a volunteer.

Learn more about Shannon’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 socialmedia@girlscouts.org for a chance to have it featured.

Girl Scout Adriana Gets a Look Behind the Scenes of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®

This lucky girl from Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey’s Troop 20277 gives us the insider scoop about all things parade day.🤩

What event did you attend recently with your Girl Scout troop?

The event I attended was the ever-exciting Macy’s Parade Studio Day Tour! It took place on November 13, 2018, from 2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Moonachie, New Jersey, at Macy’s Studio! Something that was unique about it was being able to see the floats that will be in the Thanksgiving Day parade before other people!🦃 My troop leader and other Girl Scouts from my council and the Northern New Jersey council all went there with me. Some fun facts about the event are that this year, Tom Turkey will be on a new, bigger float. Also, the maintenance of the balloons is serious work. There is a huge room where Macy’s staff does maintenance and repairs on the balloons. Some of the balloons are so big they take up the whole room! Another fun fact is that in order to make these incredible balloons, the technical engineers have to first create a mold model! Who knew it took so many skilled designers, engineers, and maintenance staff to create and keep the balloons looking pristine?

What did you learn during the event, and why is it important?

I learned how they build the models for the floats. Sometimes they make 3D ones to show what the floats should look like before they start building them. I also learned the floats are built out of wood, steel, and other materials. Some floats need to be finished as early as July 4 in order to be in the parade. The Girl Scout float is really incredible!💚 I can’t wait to see it again this year. And now I know how much work goes into building it!

Right there with you, Adriana! We’re also very excited for see the Girl Scout float again! This year’s theme is Building a Better World Through STEM. What science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) aspects are there when building a parade float?

The aspects of STEM used when building a parade float are engineering, math, and technology. Examples are, when designing floats, builders and designers have to measure (math), building the floats uses engineering skills, and when they make some of the things on the floats move on their own, they use technology and design to make sure everything looks great and is safe. Additionally, designers use different computer programs to develop the actual float concepts and models. 

What was the most exciting thing you saw during the event, and why?
The most exciting thing I saw was the huge Macy’s float with the Elf on the Shelf and its pets! 💯
It was exciting because our tour guide, Kate, sculpted those animals. I also loved this HUGE Nutcracker balloon that they were doing maintenance on. I can’t name just one! There was one more: the super cool Kalahari float with a bunch of moving safari animals.

What are you most looking forward to seeing during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? Will you be watching the parade?

I am most excited to see the new Tom the Turkey float, because it’s much larger (than in previous years) and there is going to be a big surprise! I will be watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, though not in person but in the comfort of my warm house.

Anything else you want to let your fellow Girl Scouts know about your experience?

Yes! Some of the things on top of the parade floats can be moved by actual people or can be moved by a machine. To get to New York City🌇, the floats have to go through the Lincoln Tunnel. To get through the tunnel, the floats have to fold up or else they won’t fit!

Girl Scout Cookie Bosses Celebrate Women's Entrepreneurship Day

It's Women's Entrepreneurship Day (WED)! If you've never heard of it, WED is a global event that celebrates female entrepreneurs across 144 countries. The mission is to educate, empower, celebrate, and support women in business, and inspire girls to lead in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts & math) so they can positively impact their communities.

At Girl Scouts, we want to showcase and celebrate our cookie entrepreneurs and the impact the cookie program has had on their lives. We asked seven Cookie Bosses about their experience running the largest girl-led business in the world:

What skills have you learned to run a successful cookie business?

What have you learned from being a cookie entrepreneur?

What goal have you achieved from running your cookies business?

What three skills have you mastered from running your cookie business?

What lessons have you learned that apply to everyday life?

What advice would give new cookies entrepreneurs?

What advice would give girls about the Girl Scout Cookie Program?

As cookies bosses, Girl Scouts develop into confident leaders and contribute to their communities in impactful ways. From goal-setting, decision-making, money management, business ethics and people skills, cookie entrepreneurs learn essential life skills that set them up for a lifetime of success.

Whether it be collecting essential items for the homeless, creating education programs for senior citizens or transforming empty spaces at hospitals into vibrant game rooms, Girl Scouts across the country use their cookie earnings to make a difference—every day. Behind these amazing contributions is the G.I.R.L. spirit driving them to take action. This is exactly why investing in a girl is investing in the world—and all the more reason to celebrate women entrepreneurs!

Learn more about the Girl Scout Cookie Program.
Friday, November 16, 2018

Guest Post: My Epic Experience Visiting General Motors and Learning About Designing Dream Cars

Written by Girl Scout Margie from Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan (Troop 70682).

On October 27, 2018, General Motors’ (GM’s) Women in Design held a Girl Scout event about careers in designing. It may have been a rainy day outside, but inside was a whole new world. There were many exciting things to do and hands-on activities for the 200 (yes, 200!) girls inside the GM campus. 🚙

GM employees from different departments talked about their schooling and careers. Many of my peers may not realize that not everyone does the same thing at GM. One could be a photographer, engineer, designer, artist, sculptor, IT technician, or mechanic—and that’s just some of many other careers you can have at GM! It was an eye-opening experience, especially because I want to work at GM, and now I have a better idea of where a career in art, innovation, and technology can take me. In the past, I was interested in many potential career paths, including an astronaut, teacher, and firefighter. After going to the GM event, I realized that I love art👩‍🎨. As a sophomore in high school, I want to explore art more to see if it's a fit.

The GM event gave me an opportunity to be a part of different, exciting activities. 👉We rotated through eight stations. One was about color and trim; for every new car, people determine the materials, interior and exterior colors. They look at fashion trends, incorporating those colors and patterns into the vehicle.

👉Another station was about life-size car sculptures. Designers make wooden frames with hard foam on top, put a bunch of clay on, and sculpt the car. We got to add clay to a sculpture and blend it. It was actually pretty difficult to smooth clay out like the professionals at GM did.

👉At other stations, we were immersed in lots of cool technology, including sketches, 3D hand scans, and 3D printouts of car parts. I also learned that problems often arise when designing cars. For example, engineers and designers often problem solve to figure out how things will actually work in an artist’s desired sketch. Being able to identify the issues and come up with creative solutions as a team is key!

One of my favorite stations was the photo opp 📸station. The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro Krypton Concept was on display, which was pretty awesome! There are certain things you can just easily connect to: that car was one of them for me. 

I recommend an event like this to anyone at any age. It was definitely worth getting up on a Saturday morning to go to, even with all the rain. It’s things like this incredible adventure at GM that will stay in your memory for the rest of your life. There were so many cool things to learn about and see, stories to listen to, and fun things to do. As long as the GM employees made one person happy, they’ve done their job. I think they did that times 200. I enjoyed myself and saw many other Girl Scouts enjoying themselves as well. I hope GM considers doing more events like this in the future.

If you would like further information about GM Design Center, creative careers, or our community outreach programs, contact Maggie Eko marguerite.eko@gm.com.