Monday, August 8, 2022

Cat-Inspired Service Projects to Check Out Right Meow

Put your paws up, cat people! The big day for your favorite house pet is here!

International Cat Day is recognized on August 8, but, like many other pet-inspired holidays, Girl Scouts know how to celebrate all year! From Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award projects to Take Action projects, Girl Scouts are sharing their love for cats around the country by pawsitively giving back in creative ways.

Cat enthusiast Josie knew she wanted to make her Silver Award project all about fostering her favorite felines. She created and hosted educational “Becoming A Fabulous Foster” programs in her community, including making cat toys out of recycled materials and collecting care supplies for a local shelter.

Girl Scouts Corina and Kelley had the purr-fect idea for their Bronze Award project. After fundraising for supplies, the Girl Scout Juniors created and donated 25 blankets to cats and kittens at a local shelter.

When a local shelter expanded to treat cats fighting leukemia, Troop 80080 built special spaces for the feline patients to relax. In addition to the custom cat condos they crafted, the troop also donated a bookshelf full of books to be read to the cats while in recovery for their Bronze Award project.

Growing up fostering all kinds of animals, Girl Scout Dilyn wanted to help the feral cat population in her community. She built six winter shelters to house up to 22 cats at a time for her Gold Award project.

Crafting for cats! Troop 1549 handmade cat pillows, blankets, and toys to donate to a local shelter along with collected food and supplies.

What a sweet idea! After crushing their 2022 Girl Scout Cookie season goals, Troop 20091 decided to donate some of their cookie earnings to purchase cat care supplies for a local shelter.

Looking to start your own pet project? Even Brownies can join in the fur-filled fun with NEW activities added to the updated Brownie Pets Badge—available now.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

The 411 on Girl Scout Outdoor Adventures This Summer

Is connecting with nature in meaningful ways possible even if we live in areas surrounded by city streets, sidewalks, civic buildings, and plazas? The answer is YES! Whether your Girl Scouts live in an urban, suburban, or rural area, they can experience the benefits and joy of being outside.

Did You Know?
Time spent outdoors has been suggested to have restorative benefits and can help with stress reduction and prevention of depression. Source

When youth spend time outside, they explore nature, science, and the environment, which provide opportunities to get inspired, have fun, and be present with their thoughts and surroundings. Additionally, outdoor experiences contribute to better mental wellness, foster leadership skills, and increase levels of physical activity. Girl Scouts who participate in outdoor activities on a monthly basis are stronger challenge-seekers and problem-solvers than those who don’t.

The best part? Your Girl Scout can join the Girl Scout summer outdoor fun no matter where they live. That’s right! Watching the sunset from a city rooftop; taking action on climate change in your suburban backyard, or spending time outside chasing butterflies in the backcountry—a Girl Scout can do it all!

Lace up those sneakers, restock your daypack, and get ready to spend some time outside. Step one is deciding on your summer adventure:

Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors Challenge 

Celebrate your love of the great outdoors with this year’s challenge! From their window to a campsite, the sidewalk, or an even open trail, Girl Scouts of each grade level can complete this challenge with several activities and score an awesome patch.

Climate Challenge 

Earth is calling. Will you answer? Through the Girl Scout Climate Challenge, Girl Scouts of all ages can learn more about the current state of climate change, connect with their communities, spread awareness, and earn a special patch.

Girl Scouts Love State Parks 

Explore the natural wonders found across our country during the Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend, which is happening on September 10 and 11 this year. Head out to your local state parks for self-guided tours, family hikes, watersports, stargazing, special events, and more! For information about events near you, contact your local Girl Scout council.

Newly Updated Brownies Pets Badge, made possible by the Elliott Wildlife Values Project. 

Whether they’re cute and cuddly or slimy and scaly, pets are so much fun. With the modernized Brownie Pets badge, Girl Scouts have access to more tools that focus on pet safety and fun in the outdoors, as well as learning the difference between pets and wild animals. Get started with this FREE sample activity.

Newly Updated Daisy Petal Badges 

Daisy petals have been expanded to become badges. And now the Daisy petal badges, handbook, and volunteer guide are combined in a single book for easy use—AMAZING! You'll find many fun outdoor activities woven throughout these badges that your Daisy is sure to love! Get started with this FREE sample activity

So, which badge or patch is your Girl Scout planning to score first? 

Check out the official Girl Scouts Outdoor portal for details. Better yet, invite your non-Girl Scout besties to join in on the fun! We can’t wait to hear from you! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, and join the conversation using #gsOutdoors.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Everything You Need to Know to Unlock the Girl Scouts Love State Parks Patch

The love for the great outdoors has always been a part of Girl Scouts’ DNA. This year the biggest Girl Scout outdoor event—the Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend—is coming back on September 10th and 11th and we’re so here for it!

Start your adventure and join thousands of nature-lovers from across the country, as we commit to getting outdoors, getting active, and giving back by cleaning up some of our favorite outdoor spaces. 

The Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend is made possible by THOR Industries and their sustainability program, Pick Up America. Since the program’s launch in 2019, Pick Up America volunteers have pledged to remove over 240 tons of trash from public lands. And Girl Scouts play a big part in this monumental clean-up effort.

Did you know that all together, the amount of waste generated by humans affects the environment in multiple ways:
  • It contributes to the worsening climate crisis
  • It has a negative impact on wildlife and the natural environment
  • It is a detriment to our very own public health
The simple act of picking up trash counteracts these negative effects and helps keep our parks beautiful, clean, and safe. It’s a win-win!

So, whether you choose to head out to your favorite state park or hit a new trail, you’ll have fun and make a difference wherever the weekend takes you. Best of all, Girl Scouts who participate will get the opportunity to use their free Girl Scouts Love State Parks passport to guide their adventures throughout the weekend and earn an amazing, limited-edition patch! Don’t forget to follow all local social distancing, and safety guidelines, in addition to wearing gloves to safely pick up trash. Check with your local council for sign up details!

Can’t make it to the trail or just prefer to lend a hand virtually? No problem! You can choose to opt-out of any in-person offerings and explore state parks online. To help you discover the magic from home, we’ve created a special interactive map.

Share! We Want to Hear from You.

Share your state park adventures with us! Tag your posts on Instagram with @girlscouts and @thorindustries and use #GSLoveStateParks and #PickUpAmerica.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

LGBTQ+ Girl Scout Alums Inspire with Courage & Authenticity

Say hello to the five incredible LGBTQ+ Girl Scout alums who are making the world a better place by shining their courage, confidence, and character everywhere they go.

Natasha, Amanda, Sally, Brit, and Lauren are sharing their stories and wisdom in hopes of inspiring others. From selling Girl Scout Cookies to starting their own businesses and leading in boardrooms, these alums encourage those around them to be their true authentic selves—we’re here for it!

Natasha Case

“I was a Brownie, and I remember selling cookies and making gingerbread houses out of Girl Scout Cookies,” says Girl Scout alum Natasha Case. “That was the first time I brought architecture and food together.”

Years later as a 25-year-old architect with Disney Imagineering, Natasha thought the corporate world might not be for her. She and her now-wife, Freya, decided to blend Natasha’s love of building with her love of ice cream. The upshot? Coolhaus, an architecturally inspired ice-cream sandwich business.

Today Natasha runs a national brand that continues to innovate in terms of flavor and building a brand with purpose.

“Women [often strive for] perfection, but in business ‘done’ is better than ‘perfect,’” Natasha says. “Ultimately, the pursuit of perfection is paralyzing.”
Amanda Deibert

For screenwriter and comic book author Amanda Deibert, success came quickly after she self-published her work on social media platforms.

“I put up a comic about my life. DC [Comics] approached me and asked if I wanted to write a Wonder Woman comic,” she explained. “Then, they started asking me to write other stories. Eventually, I was able to get a DC Super Hero Girls graphic novel.”

What Amanda learned from the experience was the importance of “just doing the thing instead of waiting for the opportunity.”

Today, Amanda has a successful career as a comic book writer and television screenwriter.

It’s necessary, she says, “to be vulnerable enough to try things and be okay to fail … whenever I have done that, that’s when I got to do tremendous things.”

Read on to see how Amanda dealt with loss early in life & why trying new things is so important.

Sally Susman

It can take a lot of bravery for people to step into the world every day as their true selves. Sally Susman—executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer for the biopharmaceutical company, Pfizer—has proven that being a champion for yourself can, in turn, inspire others.

“There are a lot of gay employees around me—on my team, in my company,” she says. “I don’t necessarily know who they are, but they know who I am. They come to me and say they appreciate my courage, which is humbling.”

For Sally, bringing her whole self to work has made a big difference in her career. She offers advice for others who want to be equally as authentic in their own workplaces. Read on.

Brit Barron