Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Girl Scout Troop Promises Not to Smoke

The Chicago Tribune recently ran a story on local Girl Scouts who were involved in an anti-tobacco campaign which enabled them to help the smokers in their lives quit smoking. Several girls from the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana Troop No. 60017 stood around a table, coloring poster boards with messages about the dangers of smoking and tobacco use.

Phrases such as "Smoking will cause you to lose your life" and "Don't smoke" lined the walls as parents, troop leaders, friends and onlookers admired the posters after the girls completed the Live Tobacco Free program. As part of the annual Great American Smokeout event, which goes back to 1972 and encourages smokers to quit for one day, the Girl Scouts partnered with the American Cancer Society.

Do you know anyone that you would like to see quit smoking? I know I do...
Monday, November 29, 2010

Weekend Run-Down

Let's look at a variety of Girl Scout stories from the weekend:
  • In Nebraska ABC TV 9 reports that a Nebraska Girl Scout has been recognized for her campaign to help others by collecting blankets, books and bears for kids living at Cedars Home for Children in Lincoln. The Nebraska Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals recently gave Brianna Brass of its Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy award.
  • Michigan's Argus-Press reports that the Shiawassee County Humane Society recently received an updated storage room, thanks to Junior Girl Scout Troop 73344. After emptying and cleaning the room, the troop gave it a fresh coat of paint and built a pallet and new shelves for storage of cat litter, cat food and small pet food.
  • Connecticut's Thomaston-Express reports that four students received awards for leadership, service and academics - one being a Girl Scout.
  • Iowa's Newton Daily News reports that when Newton Girl Scout Troop 641 made dresses for the non-profit group “Little Dresses for Africa,” they thought it would earn them a badge and help people. They never thought they would have the opportunity to see how their efforts affected these orphans from Africa first-hand. Following directions from the Little Dresses for Africa website, the girls used pillowcases to sew dresses and sent them off to the non-profit group. Later in 2010, Tarrita Spicer, Girl Services Manager for Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa, joined the non-profit group on a mission trip to Malawi and brought back pictures of the smiling faces of these grateful little girls.
  • The Examiner takes a look at the best selling Girl Scout Cookies - Check it out!
  • If you live in Southeast Florida, Make a date for beauty at the Saks Fifth Avenue Palm Beach Gardens Brushes with Greatness event on Saturday, Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to benefit Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida. Five percent of all purchases made with the special savings pass will be donated back to Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida. Read more in the TC Palm.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cookies: A Great Success in Southern Illinois

In Illinois, The Randolph County Herald Tribune reports that the 2010 Girl Scout Cookie Sale was a huge success as 10,427 girls sold 1,094,052 boxes of the tasty treats. And, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois had five “Super Sellers” who each sold at least 1,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies!

For the fourth year in a row, Rita Nasello from Alton earned the top spot on the Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois cookie seller list. Rita sold 1,142 boxes of cookies during the 2010 Cookie Sale. Hannah Groeteke from Granite City, Abigale Merriman from Mt. Vernon, Catrina Spangler from McLeansboro and Hanna Jude from West Frankfort each sold at least 1,000 boxes as well. For their efforts, each girl will receive an iPod Touch - (I'm jealous)...

Girl Scout Cookie Sale proceeds help Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois recruit and train adult volunteers, provide financial assistance so Girl Scouting is available to all girls, improve and maintain camp properties and Develop and deliver extensive program activities for girls.

Congrats Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois! Do you have any top sellers you would like to give kudos to?
Monday, November 22, 2010

Weekend Run-Down

Let's take a look at Girl Scout stories from the weekend news round:
  • The Asheville Citizen Times, NC, reports that Weaverville Girl Scout Troop 30026 collected and donated 200 pounds of food to Manna Food Bank. They learned that 200 pounds of food will provide 167 meals for the hungry.
  • Oregon's KCBY TV 11 reports that for more than a quarter of a century now, local Girl Scout Troops have been maintaining a Holiday Tree of Joy, a staple for people to come to, and help others in need this time of year. Branch by branch, young Girl Scouts brought some holiday cheer, as they worked together inside Pony Village Mall early Sunday morning.
  • NorthJersey.com reports that local Girl Scout Krysta Scimeca's project to bring the first dog park to the borough to achieve Girl Scouting's highest honor could come to fruition in the near future. Scimeca, a 16-year-old Morris County School of Technology student, found out from the Girl Scouts on Nov. 11 that she can proceed to build a dog park in the borough and have it count toward her Gold Award project.
  • Virginia's Franklin News-Post reports that local Girl Scouts recently got the opportunity to go dog scootering - Scootering helps train dogs of the Siberian Husky Assist Rescue Organization for dog sledding.
  • California's Lompoc Redord reports that Girl Scout Troop 50054 is sending smiles overseas. The troop has “adopted” a military troop stationed in Afghanistan. Each Girl Scout writes to her own soldier and sends ‘comfort and care’ packages. The soldiers write back and share their war experiences, home life, dreams and hopes, and mostly their sincere appreciation.
  • Pennsylvania's Daily Courrier reports that he Crawford Community Girl Scouts' Little House in Connellsville will turn 70 in May. The Little House Society is a nonprofit organization that houses Girl Scouts as well as a Cub Scout troop.


Brain Freeze, Robots and Girl Scouts!

In Monterey County, CA, The Herald reports that instead of selling cookies, Pacific Grove Girl Scout Troop 30606 spent its weekend programming a robot to solve biomedical challenges. Led by Lisa Reed, the team took the Judges Award in the LEGO League competition hosted by the Girl Scouts of the United States of America and NASA on Nov. 13.

Middle school students India Maaske, Ashley Reed, Lexi Rohrer, Shannon Sands, Rachel Sands and Ella Winter were tasked with programming a robot made out of LEGOs to perform biomedical-centered tasks. The challenges included affixing a pacemaker made out of LEGOs to a mock-up of a heart and using a robotic arm to grasp objects. Very impressive!

In addition to their programming tasks, the girls were required to research a medical topic and present a solution to competition judges. The girls picked the topic of brain freeze. Their solution consisted of a retainer lined with biomedical foam to insulate the mouth.
Friday, November 19, 2010

Girl Scouts Mean Business

The Washington Business Journal reports that during a recent Women Who Mean Business alumnae gathering to welcome the 2010 class, the discussion turned to ways that girls could be introduced earlier to business events and conversations. The result is Girls Who Mean Business. This program brings a group of girls, including the honorees’ proteges and girls from the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital, to the awards presentation to get an early lesson in networking and professional relationships. The article states that perhaps someday these girls will return to the pages of the Washington Business Journal one day as Women Who Mean Business. I'd certainly like to think so.

Since we're on business, in 2008, Bill Taylor's Game Changer Blog at HarvardBusiness.org posted a video about management lessons learned from Girl Scouts. Take a look!

Do you know any Girl Scouts who mean business?

Poverty Matters Blog Covers the Young Women's World Forum in England

In partnership with The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Guardian, UK, runs the Poverty Matters Blog.

Today's post is written by Daniella Wilson, 22, from Freetown, Sierra Leone, who recently attended the first Young Women's World Forum, hosted by Girlguiding UK in association with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, held in Oxfordshire last month. Delegates from 90 countries met to discuss the millennium development goals, including gender equality. Daniella writes:
"Girls and young women have been silent for a long time and it is time for us to
speak up. No one can do it for us. We must speak for ourselves."
The rest of the piece is well worth reading, especially if you are looking to see a common issue through a different perspective. Read the entire post
here. What are your thoughts on the article?

"Who's That Girl" Continues to be a Hit!

The Girl Scout Research Institute’s new study titled "Who's That Girl? Image and Social Media", continues to gain significant media traction. This week’s round–up includes articles in Live Science, WebMD, Technorati, Ms. Magazine, Lemondrop, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Mom Logic, Medicinenet and many more.

The nationwide survey, which included more than 1,000 girls ages 14 through 17, finds that girls downplay several positive characteristics of themselves online, most prominently their intelligence, kindness and efforts to be a positive influence. In person, girls say they come across as smart (82 percent), kind (76 percent) and a good influence (59 percent), whereas online, girls consider themselves fun (54 percent), funny (52 percent) and social (48 percent). Girls with low self-esteem are more likely to admit their social networking image does not match their in-person image (33 percent vs. 18 percent of girls with high self-esteem) and are also more likely to claim that the image they portray online is sexy (22 percent vs. 14 percent) and crazy (35 percent vs. 28 percent).

In contrast, the vast majority of girls prefer face-to-face communication. Ninety-two percent would give up all of their social networking friends if it meant keeping their best friend. The study also finds that social networking provides an avenue for girls to maintain better relationships and feel more connected to causes they care about. Fifty-six percent of girls agree that social networking helps them feel closer to their friends, and 36 percent think that social networks have increased the quality of their relationships. Fifty-two percent of girls have gotten involved in a cause they care about through a social network. Read all of the findings here.

Have you read the findings yet? If so, do you find them interesting?
Thursday, November 18, 2010

Shout Out to Leaders and Volunteers - Past, Present and Future!

A quick word of gratitude to all of our Girl Scout Leaders and Volunteers - you all rock! As a Girl Scout volunteer, you add meaningful days to girls' lives and to your own. If you are interested in becoming a Girl Scout Volunteer volunteer today, enter your Zip code to connect with your local Girl Scout council.

In Minnesota, The Austin Post-Bulletin has a story about the many incredible differences volunteers can make in a girl's life. Definitely read the article here. Now for fun! Here's an on topic video from 1976 - Enjoy! For more Girl Scout Videos, go here!

California Girl Scouts Meet "Computer Engineer Barbie"

There's no disputing the pull that Barbie has on girls. The latest Barbie was born after an online contest for girls and women to choose Barbie's 126th career. Girls voted for "news anchor" as their No. 1 choice, while women voted for "computer engineer." Silicon Valley's Mercury News reports on the launch of "Computer Engineer Barbie" at the Microsoft Mountain View campus with 30 excited Girl Scouts. "Computer Engineer Barbie" wears a T-shirt with a binary code pattern, a hot pink laptop, matching reading glasses and a Bluetooth smartphone in her ear.

Regardless, some mothers felt conflicted about taking their daughters to the event, even if it was for Girl Scouts. And a female engineer at the corporation who showed up to help the 7-year-olds work on computers to earn merit badges considers herself "kind of an anti-Barbie person" - Makes sense. However, it seems that all the dots were connected - Mattel was working with the Society of Women Engineers and the National Academy of Engineers to make sure that, a time when fewer than 10 percent of American engineers are women, the Barbie's goal is to encourage little girls to consider careers in engineering and science.

Other Barbie milestones include Barbie going to the moon four years before Neil Armstrong went to the moon as "Miss Astronaut Barbie" in 1965 and CEO Barbie in 1984. Barbie also ran for president 15 years before Hillary Clinton ran. Read the entire story here.

Do you think "Computer Engineer Barbie" will be a positive influence in the lives of girls?
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Girl Scouts Reach for the Stars

Pacific Coast News reports that the Guam Girl Scouts are launching an Astronomy Club. The new Girl Scout program is designed to encourage girls’ interest in science, technology, engineering & math. It is open to all girls and adults and there is no fee. The Guam Girl Scout “Space Team” members all trained at the Goddard Space Center in Maryland in July. The new program is supported through funding from Girl Scouts of the USA and NASA.

The Peninsula News Leader reports that The Girl Scouts of North East Ohio are expanding their astronomy program with the opening of a new observatory at Camp Ledgewood in Peninsula. The facility, which was inaugurated, Nov. 5, features a Celestron 11-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain deep field reflecting telescope with a computerized mount that can locate any object visible in the night sky. The telescope was purchased and the observatory was constructed with the help of a $15,000 grant from the Hershey Foundation. The observatory in Ohio has been in use since 2008 and nearly 2,000 girls and adults have viewed the night sky through the telescope there. Permanently mounted to a cement pad inside an observatory, the telescope is used nearly every week.
Loosely related, one of my all time favorite songs and videos - Air's "Kelly Watch the Stars". Enjoy! Do you know any girls that enjoy astronomy?
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

President Barack Obama Greets a Girl Scout Brownie on Veterans Day

President Barack Obama greets guests after placing a wreath at the Yongsan War Memorial, located in the U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan in Seoul, Korea, Nov. 11, 2010. The pictured guest is a Girl Scout Brownie!

For the entire gallery, go here.

Kentuckiana Girl Scouts Celebrate Art

In Louisville, KY, The Courrier Journal reports that 4,500 girls and adults recently participated in the 38th Annual Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana “Festival of the Arts.” Touted as the “largest Girl Scouts Arts Festival in the World,” 50 area locations presented belly dancing, cake decorating, glass blowing, line dancing and dozens of other activities across the region. Girls began the day by tapping their initials into limestone during a stone-cutting demonstration. Sounds fun!

Are there similar events in your community?

Neighboorhood Builders Award Goes to Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council

In Texas, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council CEO Mary Vitek accepts a $200,000 check from Kim Ruth, Houston market and Texas state president of Bank of America. Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council was one of two non-profit organizations in the Houston market to receive the prestigious Neighborhood Builders Award. The money will go to support and expand Girl Scouts’ efforts to provide services to Hispanic girls within its jurisdiction.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekend Run-Down

With the Holiday Season quickly approaching, there are numerous examples of Girl Scouts doing great things around the country:
  • In Peoria, IL, The Journal Star reports that Girl Scouts donated 25,000 boxes of Girl Scouts cookies courtesy of the State Farm Adopt-a-Soldier program, which worked with the Girl Scouts earlier this year in Operation Cookie Share. It was all a part of the sixth annual Operation Santa that will send thousands of Christmas stockings to troops overseas.
  • In Wisconsin, Northwestern.com reports that Oshkosh Girl Scout Troop No. 2018 has organized an event that will help bring food to stock the shelves of area food pantries – an event called Canstruction. Canstruction is a national event promoted by the Society of Design Administration and the American Institute of Architects.
  • In Pennsylvania, The Times Leader reports that Girl Scout Troop 33605 is installing and monitoring a bluebird trail along the Back Mountain Trail in Trucksville to earn their Silver Award, the second highest award a Girl Scout can achieve.
  • Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of Douglas County recently held 'Scouting for Food' drive. The scouts placed bags and boxes at people's homes and later collected the containers. KPIC TV 4 in Oregon reports.
  • In Florida, The Foster Folley News reports that The Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle is seeking nominations to recognize women in the Panhandle communities who have distinguished themselves through service and leadership. A program inspired by Girl Scouts nationally, the Women of Distinction Awards Gala honors women who have a strong commitment to their community and serve as role models to young girls.
  • In Butte Falls, OR, The Upper Rogue Independent reports that Ellen Radcliffe is one of just three percent nationwide to earn a Gold Award as a Girl Scout. She earned this distinguishing as a Juliette (named for the founder of Girl Scouts), meaning she has not been affiliated with a troop during her climb to the Gold and her ranking as an Ambassador Girl Scout.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Girl Scout Research is a Hit!

Last week, The Girl Scout Research Institute celebrated its 10th Anniversary while releasing a new study titled "Who's That Girl? Image and Social Media." The study has gained significant media traction with articles in The Chicago Tribune, Girl Up, The Journal Gazette, Jezebel, Strollerderby, AnnArbor.com, Feministing, MTV.com, Crushable, Parent Dish and many more.

Dawn Turner Trice at the Chicago Tribune spoke to Girl Scout Ashley Gonzalez, 16. Gonzalez reveals that she won't reveal her politics or social values on her Facebook page. She doesn't want to be judged by "friends" who don't know her very well. But she said she would never downplay her intellect, kindness or efforts to be a positive influence. And she's troubled that a new national survey by the Girl Scouts Research Institute found that girls 14 to 17 years old often portray themselves in social media as "fun," "funny" or "social," rather than smart and ambitious.

Char Luttrell, communications specialist for Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan and columnist for AnnArbor.com reports the findings and relates that the emotional safety of girls is at-risk on social networks. Of the survey respondents, 68 percent said they had had negative experience on a social networking site, such as being the object of gossip or bullying. Forty percent said they lost respect for a friend because of something she or he had posted online. In Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, girls in fourth and fifth grade, and older, can take an Internet Safety Pledge as part of the New Girl Scout Leadership Experience curriculum. The girls learn how to stay safe online and how to stop cyberbulying.

Do you find this research enlightening?

Kara Homolak is a Cool Kid

In Los Angeles, CA, KABC TV 7 reports that Kara Homolak is a "Cool Kid" who started the Heart Pillow Project. It's one way she's able to offer comfort to women going through treatment for breast cancer. Her handmade pillows help patients deal with the pain after surgery. Definitely check out the video:

Do you have similar stories to share?

Girl Scouts Gamma Sigma Pilots in San Antonio

In Texas, The Express-News reports that San Antonio Girl Scouts have set about changing their image, while retaining their values, with a national pilot program just launched in the San Antonio Independent School District. The new program is designed to have more appeal to teenage girls.

On Thursday, 261 San Antonio Independent School District students were inducted into Gamma Sigma Girls. The new club is a sorority-style organization with a focus on advocacy, college-readiness and community service. In Gamma Sigma Girls, matching T-shirts replace uniforms, and earning badges is strictly optional. But the girls are full-fledged Girl Scouts. Gamma Sigma Girls is a school club with a faculty sponsor instead of a parent troop leader and is free for students. Kudos and best of luck!

Unsuccessful Thief Does Not Get Away With Girl Scout Loot!

California's Marin Independent Journal reports that a Novato Girl Scout Troop would be $230 poorer today were it not for an off-duty security guard. The awesome guard, Alan Burkholder, is being credited for chasing down a thief who stole a cash box belonging to Girl Scout Troop 30125. Thanks Alan!

Do you have any foiled burglary stories?
Thursday, November 11, 2010

Girl Scouts Across the Country Honor Veterans

Veterans Day is an annual United States holiday honoring military veterans. A federal holiday, it is observed on November 11. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world. It is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.

Around the country, Girl Scouts recognise Veterans Day in local parades and other community events. Below is a story on Girl Scout Juliana Frederick, who recently presented the efforts of her Gold Award project to residents of the Coatsville Veterans Home. Juliana created "Banners Of Love" to be distributed to each resident there - she will also be traveling to Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Friday to present some banners. Her banners are a means of bringing cheer to Veterans by giving them a place to display cards, family photos and artwork sent to them. The inspiration for the project came from a need she was able to fill for her cousin who was wounded in Iraq 13 months ago. While visiting Walter Reed, she saw there was no place for his well wishes and family photos. Pennsylvania's
ABC 6 News reports:

Some more great examples:
  • In Tennessee, WBIR TV 10 reports that volunteers flooded the East Tennessee State Veterans' Cemetery in order to place flags at more than 5,000 grave sites. This year Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and the Young Marines were joined by a large number of volunteers. Everyone will gather again to remove the flags at 3pm on Friday afternoon.
  • In Rutherford County, TX, The Daily News Journal reports that St. Rose School will rededicate its flagpole at this morning as part of its Veterans Day salute. All veterans are invited to attend the flag ceremony, which will include Girl Scout and Boy Scout Color Guards, music, a blessing and finally the raising of the American flag for the first time at this new location.

  • Florida's Orlando Sentinel reports on a celebration at Veterans Park. Cadets from South Lake High School ROTC and its drill team will conduct opening ceremonies. Girl Scout troops will also be participating.

  • In Cape Cod, Chatham Girl Scouts will participate in the town’s Veterans Day ceremony held at Veterans Circle. Also involved, a bagpiper, color guard, Boy Scouts and the Chatham High School band! Fun.

  • In Greenport and Southold , NY, The North Fork Patch reports that Greenport Girl Scouts will host the service in the village at the flag post in Mitchell Park, and the Southold Chapter National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution will hold the service in Southold at the American Legion Post 803 in Southold.

How do you honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Oklahoma: This is a Call for Volunteers!

KSBI TV 52 in Oklahoma City, OK, reports this morning that The Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma says many girls who want to join the organization have been left out, because of the lack of enough volunteers. Girl Scouts spokesperson Deborah Gooding says about 250 girls are on a wait list, and at least 50 volunteers are needed. Beka Davis, Girl Scouts volunteer, says you can help in a variety of ways, and it only takes about an hour a week. Please, if you have an hour a week - volunteer! You won't regret it.

Current Volunteers - What do you get out of volunteering?

Soldiers Give Battle Flag to Girl Scouts for Gift of Caring

New Jersey's Asbury Park Press reports that Girl Scout Brownie Troop 1841 received an American Flag from soldiers serving in Afghanistan. The flag flew on a June 23 A-10C Warthog combat mission across Afghanistan. Captain Douglas Gilliam sent the Brick girls the flag as a thank you for the Girl Scout cookies they donated to his unit last spring as part of the Girl Scouts' Gift of Caring program. The Gift of Caring program allows members of the community to buy Girl Scout cookies or nuts and donate them to a variety of different organizations.

The Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore is currently accepting
Gift of Caring donations for its fall product sale featuring nuts and candy. For a list of where you can buy fall Girl Scout items for yourself or the Gift of Caring, go here!

Do Girl Scouts in your community have similar programs to benefit those stationed overseas?
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Former Brownie Stuns on Wheel of Fortune!

Today's NY Post has an article on what "Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak dubbed the "the most amazing solve we've ever had," - when New York fashion editor Caitlin Burke correctly cracked a puzzle with only a single letter L showing.

Raised in New Jersey and now living in Manhattan, Burke, 26, was well prepared for her game-show triumph. As a Brownie, she beat all the other girls at Hangman, her mother, Robin, told The Post. And by age 9, she wiped the floor with her whole family when they watched her favorite game show. Awesome!

Celebrate International Girls Day With Girl Scouts and Kappa Delta!

Did you know that Kappa Delta collegiate chapters and alumnae associations across the country volunteer with Girl Scouts? In 1998, Girl Scouts of the USA launched a distinguished partnership with Kappa Delta Sorority to link Girl Scouts alumnae ages 18-29 with pre-teen and teen Girl Scouts. The partnership's longstanding objective is founded on female college students' and young professionals' desire to serve pre-teen and teen girls in a mentorship capacity.

This Sunday, November 14, 2010, Girl Scout councils will collaborate on the first ever International Girls Day, an event Kappa Delta created to celebrate the spirit of girls. Girl Scouts of the USA is also a partner in Kappa Delta’s Confidence Coalition and, in partnership with each of the 140 active collegiate chapters across the country, Girl Scout councils will celebrate International Girls Day this Sunday.

Today's girls are tomorrow’s leaders. They are presidents of their senior classes and future presidents of the USA. They are the up-and-coming CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and the brains behind the next breakthroughs in medical science. Girls are constantly impacting their communities and will continue to do so well into the future.

Media messages, cultural stereotypes and peers often tell girls that they have to look, act and be a certain way. With the slogan, “She Can Do Anything,” International Girls Day is a day to celebrate girls – all kinds of girls with all kinds of interests and abilities. It’s an opportunity to build confidence in girls and help them realize their potential.

Will you be celebrating International Girl's Day this Sunday?

Who's That Girl? New Findings About Girls Online From The Girl Scout Research Institute

The increased exposure to social media puts teenage girls in a confusing situation where a girl’s image is not always what it seems, as nearly 74 percent of girls believe other girls their age use social networking sites to make themselves “cooler than they really are,” according to a national survey, Who's That Girl: Self Image in the 21st Century, released by Girl Scouts of the USA.

nationwide survey, which included more than 1,000 girls ages 14 through 17, finds that girls downplay several positive characteristics of themselves online, most prominently their intelligence, kindness and efforts to be a positive influence. In person, girls say they come across as smart (82 percent), kind (76 percent) and a good influence (59 percent), whereas online, girls consider themselves fun (54 percent), funny (52 percent) and social (48 percent). Girls with low self-esteem are more likely to admit their social networking image does not match their in-person image (33 percent vs. 18 percent of girls with high self-esteem) and are also more likely to claim that the image they portray online is sexy (22 percent vs. 14 percent) and crazy (35 percent vs. 28 percent). According to Kimberlee Salmond, senior researcher at the Girl Scout Research Institute:
“Adults and teens alike need greater understanding about the ways girls
represent themselves and communicate on social networking sites... If girls are
portraying themselves differently online than they are in person, this can
impact their identity, sense of self and relationships.”
The Girl Scout survey also sheds light on the fact that a majority of girls understand their emotional safety and reputations are at risk online, yet 50 percent admit to not always being as careful as they should be online. Sixty-eight percent of girls have had a negative experience on a social networking site, such as having someone gossip about them or being bullied. Furthermore, many girls are concerned that they won’t get into their college of choice (42 percent), will miss a job opportunity (40 percent) and will get into trouble with parents and teachers (40 percent).

In contrast, the vast majority of girls prefer face-to-face communication. Ninety-two percent would give up all of their social networking friends if it meant keeping their best friend. The study also finds that social networking provides an avenue for girls to maintain better relationships and feel more connected to causes they care about. Fifty-six percent of girls agree that social networking helps them feel closer to their friends, and 36 percent think that social networks have increased the quality of their relationships. Fifty-two percent of girls have gotten involved in a cause they care about through a social network.

Do you have thoughts about the online lives of teenage girls?
Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekend Run-Down

There is no shortage of Girl Scout stories in the news from over the weekend:
  • Maine's Bangor Daily News reports that Girl Scouts explored engineering choices at the University of Maine.
  • In Vermont, the Burlington Free Press reports that local Girl Scouts marched in the 'Salute to Veterans Parade', honoring those who served in the military. The parade is a precursor to Veterans Day, which is Thursday.
  • Colorado's Times-Call runs the headline "Uniform flap a good lesson for Girl Scouts" - in response to last week's Girl Scout Uniform controversy.
  • Girl Scout Troop 8131 in Iowa received a $250 mini-grant in October as part of Kids Care Week from generationOn. The award will help the troop make animal toys, beds and other structures at the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center to replace those lost during the 2008 flood. Read more in the Press-Citizen.
  • In St. George, UT, The Spectrum reports that Scouts from across the county competed for culinary honors in a Dutch oven cook-off Saturday at Sportsman's Warehouse that pitted the boys against the girls. The girls were the ones to walk away with the top prizes!
  • Tennessee's Blue Ridge Times reports that on Saturday, Girl Scout Troops learned about forensic science, examining a crime scene, interviewing victims, suspects and witnesses as well as other crime investigation skills at a mock crime scene. Hendersonville Police Department Detective Bobbie Trotter had the girls fingerprinted, showing them her tools of the trade and working with them to examine the scene.
  • In Florida, an "Invent It. Build It." event helped Girls Scouts calculate the benefits of pursuing engineering careers. ExxonMobil Foundation partnered with the Society of Women Engineers, Girl Scouts and PBS' "Design Squad" to encourage math and science education among high school girls.


Friday, November 5, 2010

MTV Twitter Jockey Gabi Gregg Applauds Girl Scout Research!

Gabi Gregg, MTV'S first ever Twitter Jockey, was a panelist at last night's tenth anniversary party for The Girl Scout Research Institute. Over at MTV.com, she states:
"The research found that girls are actually more likely to downplay a lot of
positive characteristics on social media sites like Facebook, and would rather
present themselves as "crazy" or "sexy."
Further into the article, she very eloquently says:
"One thing I pointed out last night was that adults should not be completely
against social media for teens. Though it can be dangerous, it can also be an
extremely positive tool if used correctly. I encouraged the adults in the
audience to monitor their children's use of the Internet, but I also explained
how it played such an integral role in the development of my own
self-confidence. Having fun online and being safe are not mutually exclusive!"
Very well said... Thanks for being a part of the Girl Scout Research Institute's Tenth Anniversary last night Gabi - You Rock! Read the entire article here.

New Jersey States the Case for Cookie Business

Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey's Nancy Zimmerman makes a great case for the entrepreneurial skills developed by girls while participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program. She relates that thousands of New Jersey Girl Scouts are are putting their entrepreneurial and leadership skills into practice by taking orders for Girl Scout Cookies.

As most people involved in Girl Scouting know, the cookie sale program allows girls to gain important financial literacy skills and hone their personal leadership style. The girls develop business acumen by setting goals, managing resources and marketing product. Historically, the cookie sale has been an entrepreneurial enterprise for many of the Girl Scouts. The top individual seller within the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey Council have in the past sold close to 2,000 boxes on an individual level. Both individuals and troops earn rewards based on the level of cookie sales reached.

Philanthropy and community service are also integral aspects of the program as girls can ask customers, through The Gift of Caring Community Service Project, to purchase and donate additional boxes of cookies for a charity chosen by the troop. The "Gift of Caring" is a program developed for Girl Scouts as a Community Service Project which encourages customers to purchase cookies from girls that their Troops will then donate to worthwhile causes.

Selling cookies is a major fundraiser for Girl Scout councils. Nearly 80 percent of the money stays within the local council and the remaining 20 percent goes to the bakery. The girls learn goal-setting, money management and teamwork skills by participating in this program.

Read the entire piece here! Has the Girl Scout Cookie Program contributed to the financial literacy of a girl you know?
Thursday, November 4, 2010

Observatory Opens in Ohio

In Akron, OH, West Side Leader reports that Girl Scouts of North East Ohio Program Specialist Suzie Dills has been involved in facilitating Girl Scout astronomy programs and expanding them. Recently, her contributions helped secure a grant from the Hershey Foundation for $15,000 to build a new observatory at Camp Ledgewood, according to Girl Scouts of North East Ohio officials. About 40,000 Girl Scouts from across 18 counties in Northeast Ohio will have access to the new observatory.

The Girl Scouts of North East Ohio will celebrate the grand-opening of the new observatory tomorrow, November 5 - Congrats! Do you know any Girl Scouts that are interested in astronomy?
Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Join the Party! Girl Scout Research is Turning Ten!

Excellent news! The Girl Scout Research Institute is celebrating its 10th Anniversary tomorrow, November, 4, with an exciting event "Who's that Girl? Self-Image in the 21st Century". This event will take place in New York City but we hope that you will join us via Ustream at 6:30pm eastern when the panel begins. At the event, we will be releasing new findings from a new study on girls and social media, including this refreshing statistic:
"92 percent of girls would give up all of their social networking friends if it meant
keeping their best friend." -
Girl Scout Research Institute, 2010
On the Ustream, guests will be hearing from a panel of adult and girl culture experts including Emme, supermodel and founder, Body Image Council, Maya Enista, CEO, mobilize.org, Gabi Gregg, MTV Twitter Jockey, Peggy Orenstein, Contributing Writer, New York Times Magazine; and Janie Victoria Ward, professor of education, Simmons College. We will also hear from a panel of girls from the New York City area. We hope you will join us and find out what girls really think about online life!

Share this Ustream link with friends: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/whosthatgirl

Racer Girls in the Pit Crew

NASCAR driver Johanna Long, 18, fresh off a 22nd place finish in the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway - where she had Girl Scouts in her Pit Crew - is setting her sights on competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ next race – the Winstar World Casino 300 at Texas Motor Speedway “under the lights” on Friday, November 5th. Driving the #20 Panhandle Motorsports Toyota Tundra on the track, Johanna is also taking time to make history off the track – hosting the largest gathering of Girl Scouts ever recorded at Texas Motor Speedway on qualifying night. Long will be hosting upwards of 150 Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains in Victory Theater at the Samsung Mobile Infield Media Center on Thursday evening to talk about achieving dreams.

Long will again take select local Girl Scouts as “honorary pit crew” members for the team at the Winstar World Casino 350. Johanna will speak to the girls on Thursday about her journey in motorsports, hard work and determination in whatever they choose to do in life. She will also have her “honorary pit crew” members cross the stage with her at driver introductions. Kudos and Good Luck to Johanna Long - an inspiration to many! Do you know any Girl Scouts interested in race car driving?

Girl Scouts Solve a Murder at Mystery Lunch

The Daily Athenaeum reports that Girl Scouts in West Virginia helped solve a mock-murder investigation while learning about careers in science and math. At the Murder Mystery Lunch organized by the West Virginia University Society of Women Engineers, Girl Scouts from around Morgantown worked to solve the mystery while learning about career exploration, water testing, noise pollution, environmental awareness and other cultures. The Girl Scouts tried to solve the murder mystery by talking to each other and sharing their clues. Brittany Goff, a junior industrial engineering major and member of the West Virginia University chapter of Society of Women Engineers states:
"SWE does this event every year... We try to promote math, science and engineering to girls. We want to expose them to the fields because, a lot of times, it is geared toward boys, instead."
This event sounds like a ton of fun! Would any Girl Scouts in your area be interested in solving a similar mystery?
Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Theatrical Gold

Ohio's Columbus Local News ran a story about two Westerville Girl Scouts who are are putting their talents to use and sharing their passion for theater with young girls in need. Leah Schultheis, of Scout Troop 1011, and Kate Noel, of Scout Troop 188, are working toward their Girls Scouts Gold Award by holding interactive theater workshops for about 30 young, at-risk girls at the Homeless Families Foundation's Dowd Center. The Dowd Center provides tutoring, homework assistance and after-school activities for needy kids in grades K-5. To earn the prestigious honor, the two girls - seniors at Westerville North High School - are hosting a series of five workshops for the Homeless Families Foundation's girls, each with a distinct theme or lesson. They have already learned about the history of theater, theater makeup and costumes, with two more lessons still to come. The program will culminate in a miniature theater performance for the Homeless Families Foundation families next month.

The two Gold Award candidates will also be directing North High School's production of 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'. Tickets for the play are free. In lieu of ticket sales guests are encouraged to bring canned goods and non-perishable food items, to be distributed to the Westerville Area Resource Ministry, an organization that provides assistance to low-income families. Read the entire article here.

Do you have any outstanding Girl Scout Gold Award stories you would like to share?
Monday, November 1, 2010

Statement on Girl Scout Uniform Contracts

For the first time in nearly a decade, Girl Scouts of the USA is putting the manufacture of its uniforms out to competitive bid. News of this led to reports that the uniforms might soon be manufactured overseas, and over the last few days, Girl Scouts of the USA has been contacted by parents, members and volunteers urging us to make sure that the iconic Girl Scout uniform continues to be made in the USA. We have taken their concerns into consideration, and have altered our request for proposal to require that Girl Scout uniforms be manufactured in the United States.

No decision has been made regarding which supplier we’ll use when our current contract expires. Our vendor review process continues, with the new requirement, in order to provide our customers with the best quality, value and service. As always, we also require that vendors agree to adhere to strict guidelines as to worker age, treatment and safety.

We thank the many Girl Scout parents and volunteers who stood up for their beliefs and showed our 2.4 million girls that every voice makes a difference. They are the role models who help build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.

Weekend Run-Down

Many Girl Scout stories popping up in the news from the weekend:
  • The Newark Advocate reports that four Ohio Girl Scouts, all in the eighth grade, recently earned the Girl Scout Silver Award. Titling their project "Troop to Troop," the teenage girls elected to collect items to send to troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • In Pennsylvania, Public Opinion Online reports that Troops Daisy 80927 and Brownie 80972 hosted the 150th birthday celebration of Juliette "Daisy" Gordon Low on Sunday at Memorial Lutheran Church in Shippensburg.
  • In Savannah, GA, WSAV TV3 reports that in celebration of founder, Juliette Low's 150th birthday, Girl Scouts were busy with the Re-Lighting of the Friendship Flame.
  • Colorado's Denver Post reports that Girl Scouts of Colorado recently began an environmental initiative, Forever Green. Fifty scouts also recently at the Women of Distinction event to staff interactive exhibits that included making purses and bracelets from recycled materials, testing pH levels of water taken from nearby lakes and assembling seed packets.
  • In Missouri, The Constitution-Tribune reports that Girl Scouts of NE Kansas and NW Missouri will officially begin selling Girl Scout cookies on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010. The sale will go all throughout November, ending Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010. Alongside classic Girl Scout Cookies, buyers may choose a new cookie called the Shout-Out, a sweet, simple cookie that sports an inspirational message imprinted on its front. It is also good for you, with 0 grams trans fat per serving, and containing no hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup.