Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Should Your Daughter Bring Valentines to School?

February 14th might be on a Sunday this year, but that doesn’t mean that kids across the country won’t be swapping heart-laden cards in classrooms all over the country the Friday before Valentine’s Day. But should your girl bring Valentines in the first place? Girl Scouts Developmental Psychologist Andrea Bastiani Archibald says yes!

“Valentine’s Day, at its core is about friendship and love, and that’s a good thing,” she says. But of course, if your girl is bringing them to school, to a soccer match, or to her Girl Scout troop meeting, she should bring them for all the children—not just those she’s close friends with. “Singling a few friends out gets awkward and can hurt feelings, which is why most schools and teachers actually have rules about this type of thing,” she adds.

The best thing about this holiday, Dr. Bastiani Archibald says, is that it’s not about big gifts or huge displays—it really is simply about little tokens of kindness and friendliness. And while of course store-bought cards will do the trick, Valentine’s Day is also a wonderful opportunity for your daughter to get creative, making her own cute cards and notes to distribute.

What to do if someone brings Valentines for most of the class, but she didn’t get one and feels left out? Assume the best of intentions. There may have been a mistake (especially if Mom or Dad was up into the wee hours the previous night making sure all those little cards were ready to go). That said, if you have reason to believe another child purposefully didn’t give your girl a Valentine to be mean or spiteful, and your daughter is feeling very hurt, talk it over with her and then think about asking the teacher to set up a conversation between the two girls. Who knows, a real friendship could come out of this little glitch and prove once again that Valentine’s Day really can bring people together.

Monday, February 8, 2016

How will you CONNECT this World Thinking Day?

One of our favorite days of the year, World Thinking Day, is coming up fast on February 22, and we’re soooo excited! Every year (since 1926!) we use this day to rally our global sisterhood and support girls as they travel internationally, connect with sister Girl Guides, and take action on global issues to make the world a better place like only Girl Scouts can.

This is a day to give thanks for the inspiring international friendships that we as Girl Scouts are a part of, and to celebrate the many ways these friendships enrich our lives, expand our worldviews, and drive us to create meaningful change for everyone.

This year, we encourage you to use this day (and every day!) to connect with your Girl Scout “forever friends” by donating to the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund, supporting girls as they build incredible global skills through eye-opening, awe-inspiring travel experiences.
But why stop there? There are tons of other fun and creative ways to connect this World Thinking Day, and to share friendship and adventure on a global scale with so many amazing girls and women!

For example, you can:
1. Make new friends! Hold a “bring a friend” event with the girls in your troop or group. You might plan a trip to a local park or museum and have each girl bring someone to join in on the fun. Make sure to think of some cool games everyone can play to get to know one another better!

2. Spread good vibes! Send positive messages to Girl Scouts and Girl Guides all over the world by posting to social media with the hashtag #WTD2016. Let them know how much they’re appreciated, and encourage all your followers to donate to the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund!

3. Honor through service! Get together with a group of family members or friends and plan a service project to honor all the amazing things Girl Scouts and Girl Guides do for their communities every day. Share a fun pic on Facebook and Instagram, along with a summary of what you did. Don’t forget the hashtag #WTD2016!

Have a cool idea for connecting this World Thinking Day? Share it with us on Facebook and Twitter today!

And if you’d like to earn your very own World Thinking Day Award, check out more awesome activities you can do.
Friday, February 5, 2016

Have you Observed Daisy?

Guest Post from Lisa Junkin Lopez, Executive Director, Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace

Have you ever looked closely at an image of someone? I mean really, really studied it? The staff and I at the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace in Savannah have spent the last month doing just that—examining portraits of Juliette Gordon Low, or “Daisy” as her family nicknamed her, as keys to unlock the story of her life.

In a nutshell, here’s what we learned: our founder was a complex woman. The three paintings of Daisy in our collection use visual cues to describe her in varying, sometimes contradictory ways. In one portrait, a newly married Daisy appears to lead a charmed upper-class life, despite what we know about the significant challenges she faced around this time in her life. In another, she is immersed in the task of carving a bust, looking like quite the brooding artist. A third portrait depicts her as the confident Girl Scout leader she is remembered as. These images made us wonder how Daisy might have depicted herself. So often, the lives of girls and women are reduced to a single snapshot, though, like Daisy, each one of us is a complex and evolving character.

Though no self-portraits of Daisy exist, Girl Scouts is fortunate to have an enormous trove of original documents and artifacts that we can use to paint a more complete picture of the first Girl Scout. As the new executive director of the birthplace, my job is to research and care for the materials of Daisy’s life and work. It’s a dream job for me—a former Girl Scout Brownie who loves museums, women’s history, and working with girls. I’m also grateful to the many women and men before me, including Fran Powell Harold and Katherine Knapp Keena, whose years of service to our Movement and the birthplace have helped Daisy’s legacy thrive. By the way, the best part: the birthplace is perhaps the only museum in the entire country designed with girls in mind! Truly, this is your museum.

What will you discover when you visit the birthplace? Come find out. Our new 2016 Troop Experience, “Be True to Your Selfie,” uses portraits of Daisy and many other materials from her life to consider how women have been represented over time. Come see firsthand what it meant for Daisy to boldly step out of the life prescribed to her and become a courageous leader. Girl Scout Juniors through Girl Scout Ambassadors can learn more about and register for the Troop Experience at the birthplace. (Please note, you may book up to six months in advance, but you must book no less than one month in advance). In addition to the Troop Experience, there’s so much for everyone to see and do here. My team and I look forward to welcoming you!

Can’t visit us this year? Follow us on Facebook and our website to learn about future programs.
Thursday, February 4, 2016

We Tallied the Votes and the Results Are in!

We’re excited to announce the winners of the Girls’ Choice Art in the Outdoors badge design poll! Girls were given the choice of two badge designs for their Girl Scout level, and asked to pick their favorite. More than 12,500 girl votes were cast—and the winning badge designs are here. Did your favorite come out on top?

Now’s the time to start taking notice of that crisp blue sky or the abstract sculptures in your local park, and get ready to create some amazing art in the outdoors. Badge requirements will be available for download May 30, 2016, and in council shops by the summer!

Thank you so much to everyone who voted. We are thrilled to be working with girls on more girl-led programming—they’re our favorite partners!
Wednesday, February 3, 2016

5 Athlete Badges That Change Girls’ Lives

Did you know there are five Legacy Athletic badges?  As girls move through Girl Scouting, they can progress up the ladder and build their skills. Girls learn how to be valuable member of a team by becoming familiar with the rules of the game and how to play so that everyone feels included. The take away is that girls learn what it takes to be apart of a team and support others on and off the field.

GirlSports utilizes the Athlete Badge program to connect girls to health, leadership, learning, and teamwork through sports. While having fun, staying active and leading a healthy lifestyle, girls earn five age-apropriate athlete badges that teach them about fair play, practicing with a purpose, good sportsmanship, cross-training, and coaching.

Fair Play - Brownie
Playing fair means that everyone has the same chance to play, because everyone follows the same rules. That’s what this badge is about. You’ll learn to work together to have the most fun possible. That’s fair play!
Practice with Purpose - Junior
Even the best athletes weren’t born great at sports: They had to practice with purpose. Have fun with these activities as you learn to improve a skill—no matter what track, court, rink, pool, slope, or field you like to play on. Game on!

Good Sportsmanship - Cadette
It’s good to be an athlete, but the greatest athletes agree it’s just as important to be a good sport. When you make good sportsmanship a habit in games and in life, others want to play with you, hang out with you, and generally live up to your example. So whether you’re a dedicated athlete with a chosen sport or you just like to enjoy an occasional game among friends, this badge will help you have more fun on the field—and off.

Cross-Training - Senior
Whether you’re a competitive athlete, new to exercise, or want to improve your skills in surfing, hiking, or even throwing a Frisbee, this badge will help you customize a cross-training fitness program that’s effective and, most important, fun! The idea of cross-training is to incorporate a variety of cardio, strength, and conditioning exercises into a routine that trains your whole body. Grab your sweatband, and create a plan that’s perfect for your body, mind, and goals.

Coaching - Ambassador
What does it take to motivate a team to accomplish its goals? The best coaches put their answers into action at every practice. In this badge, find your answers and share them! Coaching is an opportunity to share your love of a sport, demonstrate your athletic skills, and to inspire and empower athletes to realize their potential.

Learn more about GirlSports and more by joining Girl Scouts today!