Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Everything You Need to Know to Unlock the Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors Patch


Embarking on outdoor adventures has always been a part of Girl Scouts’ DNA. Many of the badges the first Girl Scouts earned were tied to learning and refining outdoor skills and becoming environmental stewards (Foot Traveler badge, Animal Kingdom badge), and that hasn't changed in our more than 100-year history.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has kept so many of us homebound, as Girl Scouts we’ve found new ways to connect with the great outdoors and one another. We’ve spent time in our backyards, earned outdoor art badges, and even taken virtual national park tours!

Now, with warmer weather and longer days, we’re ready to take our love of the outdoors to the next level. So pack some snacks, lace up your shoes, and head outside to unlock the Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors patch! You’ll enjoy nature, channel your creativity, and learn fun new things. If you are unable to complete an activity due to social distancing guidelines you can find an alternative. Take a virtual tour of a park online, gaze out of a window or look through family photos of outdoor adventures. Drawing a picture works too!

Here’s how to get started:
  1. Download the worksheet. Visit Girl Scouts at Home and download the official Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors Challenge worksheet. Review the list of activities and mark the ones you’re interested in.
  2. Don’t rush. The Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors Challenge kicks off May 20 and ends with Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend, September 12–13, 2020. This means you have plenty of time to select the activities you’re most interested in and complete them at your own pace.
  3. Share! Use #gsoutdoors to share your story and to see how other girls are completing this fun outdoor challenge. Don’t forget to tag @girlscouts for a chance to be featured on GSUSA’s social media channels.
  4. Nominate someone. We may be distanced, but we’re certainly not distant! This challenge is a great way to connect with your fellow Girl Scout sisters and invite your non-Girl Scout besties to join in the fun! Nominate someone to take the challenge with you.
  5. Be prepared. As Girl Scouts, we know the importance of being prepared! If you’re venturing to a local park or hiking trail, first make sure they’re open. Pack sunscreen, bug repellant, snacks, protective gear (sunglasses, hat), and water!
  6. Get your patch. Remember, you don’t have to do all 51 suggested activities to earn your snazzy new patch! Complete the required number of activities based on your grade level.
Getting outdoors isn’t just fun—it’s good for your overall well-being. Did you know that girls who participate in outdoor activities on a monthly basis are stronger challenge-seekers and problem-solvers than those who don’t? And research also shows there are psychological and physiological benefits to spending time in nature—even if it’s just your backyard! So don’t wait: get out and unlock your Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors patch. Tag @girlscouts on Twitter and Instagram and include #gsOutdoors to share your adventures with us.

The Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors Challenge is possible thanks to Johnson & Johnson.
Johnson & Johnson has been championing women and giving them the tools, resources, and opportunities to succeed at work and at home since its founding more than 130 years ago. Johnson & Johnson’s generous support of the Think Like a Citizen Scientist Journey for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors prepares girls to experiment, explore their environment, and push boundaries in healthy ways, all while learning how they can improve the world through STEM.
Thursday, April 23, 2020

Updates About G.I.R.L. 2020 and the 55th National Council Session







For 108 years, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has enabled girls to realize their biggest dreams and tap into their spirit of innovation, collaboration, and service to their communities to make the world a better place. Most recently, Girl Scouts, their families, volunteers, and supporters have mobilized to give back to those in need due to our current health crisis in safe and creative new ways.

Safety has always been at the heart of all Girl Scout activities. As we’ve continued to monitor public health experts’ recommendations and forecasts, it became clear that, because there are no widely accepted models that predict when it may be safe to hold large-scale, in-person events and when all restrictions on travel will be lifted, Girl Scouts could not hold our G.I.R.L. 2020/55th National Council Session in October as planned—we simply can’t guarantee the health and safety of participants. As we sought feedback from all key stakeholders, including delegates, we assessed and prepared for different scenarios, given the extraordinary circumstances we have been operating under due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. This included asking those expected to participate in NCS if they had any concerns about the event—74% responded they were concerned about the health and safety of participants (this was the top concern).

Given all of this, the National Board held a special meeting on Tuesday, April 21, and voted to hold a one-time virtual session for our 55th National Council Session in October 2020. The board also voted to cancel G.I.R.L. 2020, including the Global Roundtable.

We are reimagining NCS in the innovative spirit of our quick Movement pivot due to current challenges toward a 100 percent virtual experience to continue delivering for girls.

The board discussed various options and decided this was the best way to enable the business of Girl Scouting to continue in a timely manner and honor the significant business that was brought to the National Council, including four proposals initiated by councils and two that were co-created by councils and recommended to the board, as well as the business of electing the new board. We will be leveraging our councils’ learnings, as more than half have already held/decided to hold their annual meetings virtually this year.

We know this news is disappointing for the girls, troops, volunteers, alums, and supporters who were looking forward to meeting in Orlando for a truly impactful, girl-led event. Although we can’t meet in person, we encourage you to continue to connect with our unbreakable sisterhood via the many virtual events and activities we’ve recently launched for girls and their families, as well as our volunteers and alums, via Girl Scouts at Home™ and the Girl Scout Network's Campfire Chats.

GSUSA is enormously grateful for the many volunteers and council leaders and staff who have been working to create amazing experiences for G.I.R.L. 2020/55th NCS. We want to send a special shout-out to the G-TEAM—26 brilliant young women from across Girl Scouts and Girl Guides who have played a central role in planning all aspects of our convention—and the six Florida host councils:

  • Girl Scouts of Citrus
  • Girl Scouts of Gateway Council
  • Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida
  • Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida
  • Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida
  • Girl Scouts of West Central Florida

GSUSA will be refunding in full (100%) all convention registrations that were booked directly through GSUSA (please give us a few weeks to process them all). We also will be seeking additional feedback and support as we plan a virtual NCS. We ask for your patience as we work through the impact these decisions have on the many events and activities that were originally planned as part of G.I.R.L. 2020/55th NCS.

As always, Girl Scouts are trailblazers—with our pivot to a virtual National Council Session, we are making history and preserving Girl Scout’s democratic process while propelling our Movement into the future together through an engaging virtual experience.

If you have any questions, please refer to the FAQ
Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Girl Scout Cookie Care Challenge Is On!


Over the past few weeks, Girl Scouts have stepped up in amazing ways to stay connected, help one another, and make a difference in their communities.

As you probably know, when traditional door-to-door sales and in-person cookie booths were suspended because of COVID-19, we launched the Girl Scouts Cookie Care campaign to encourage cookie fans to buy or donate their favorite cookies online and have them shipped to their doors.

To date, Girl Scouts have sold more than 1 million boxes-SWEET! We’re in awe of the outpouring of support and hope to maintain the momentum until every last box is sold. Will you help us reach the finish line? It's easy. Simply participate in the Cookie Care Challenge! Here's how:



I'm a Girl Scout currently selling cookies. Can I participate in the challenge and sell cookies?
Absolutely! You can join the fun by sharing the green square image on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter; nominating friends, family, and fellow Girl Scouts; and using your own Digital Cookie® link so others can purchase cookies directly from you. Be sure to use #VirtualCookieBooth in your posts!

I'm a Girl Scout Cookie lover or a Girl Scout who ended her cookie sale. How do I get involved?

You can still help other Girl Scouts! Participate in the challenge by sharing the green square image on your social media accounts, nominating others, and including the Cookie Care link to purchase cookies or donate them to frontline workers and local causes in need.

Whether you're a Girl Scout, a troop leader, or just someone who believes in the Girl Scout mission and wants to show support and solidarity, the impact of your participation in Cookie Care is huge. By buying or donating cookies and encouraging others to do the same, you’re sustaining the Girl Scout Movement and bringing joy and comfort to those on the frontlines of the crisis. We’re so grateful!


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Monday, April 20, 2020

Financial Literacy During Uncertain Times


From our sense of security and wellbeing to canceled troop activities, graduations, and birthdays, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected all aspects of our lives. For so many of us, the ongoing uncertainty means having to navigate difficult situations. So this April—for Financial Literacy Month—we’ve partnered with Morgan Stanley’s Financial Advisors to answer a few of the questions you submitted on Facebook and Instagram. Check them out!


Thien Le
, Financial Advisor:

The first financial lesson is to learn how to set goals. Setting goals is a great way to determine what to save for and to stay focused on your financial objectives and your reasons for saving. Bucket each goal into short term, medium term, and long term. Short term could be buying a new car, while long term could be retirement; which it’s never too early to think about. Start saving now as soon as you have earned income from your part time job or when you begin to work full time. When my 16-year-old daughter got her first job as a math tutor, I opened a retirement account for her to encourage her to save a little each month. Lastly, don’t be afraid of investing, and learn how to do it. Staying focused and keeping money invested in the market can be rewarding over time, but it may require patience and a long investment horizon. With market volatility, people often panic and make irrational decisions, so it is important to review your goals and remain focused on your investment objectives.



Lisa Benton, Financial Advisor:

An emergency savings fund is money that you have set aside for unexpected life events, such as losing a job or paying for a broken-down car. It’s a good idea for everyone to create one. When you are first starting, aim to save a few hundred dollars in a separate savings account. A convenient way to do this is by establishing a direct deposit for your emergency savings account. This allows the funds to be transferred into your account automatically. The ultimate goal will be to save three to six months of your take-home pay as a cushion for life’s uncertainties. Remember that this can be done gradually as your cash flow allows. One of the best ways to be financially savvy is to plan and that includes planning for the unexpected.


Kate Waters, Financial Advisor:

The goal should always be to have as little debt as possible, but there are certain instances where debt can be “good debt.” For instance, if you think you can get a better paying job by going to college or going for your master’s, medical, or law degree, then it might be smart to take on a student loan if you can’t afford it all on your own. This also holds true for buying a home. In both instances, you need to understand how long it will take to pay off and to make sure there is potential for a positive longer-term return on your investment. You also need to make sure the additional expense of the loan fits within your budget and be prudent about paying it down. By being diligent about your personal finances and responsible about paying down debt, you can be well on your way to being debt-free!

To help build girls’ confidence, Girl Scouts has developed Financial Literacy badges that your girl can start earning today! The badge activities are based on real-life situations, such as budgeting and philanthropy, to give girls a deeper understanding of financial literacy power their future life success! You can also check out Girl Scouts at Home—our brand-new hub of online activities, including some for financial literacy!
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