Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cake Queens

Several girls Spent their Veteran's Day holiday off learning how to make cakes from scratch, and decorate cakes and cupcakes like the pros. They learned how to make icing, how to troubleshoot common challenges that come up when baking, and how to use icing bags and tips.

The girls also got a little unexpected engineering experience while they built their castle cake. Girls designed plans to build their castle which included assessing the foundation, crafting towers and building a bridge with cake and other sweet-toothed treats.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Festival of Trees - Holiday Ornaments

At the Festival of Trees - Holiday Ornaments program in Florence earlier in November, girls helped create decorations for the 12’ tall, live fir tree that the council will enter in the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art’s Trees of Christmas display. The ornaments had a 100th anniversary theme.

Pictured (L-R): Girl Scout Brownies and Daisies from Troop 195 in Cherokee: Isabella, Maliya, Abby, Carli and Mallery.

Top L-R: Girl Scout Brownies and Daisies from Troop 195 in Cherokee: Lily, Isabella, Averilla, Mandy Borden (Leader), Kesley, Maliya
Bottom L-R: Kaeliegh, Desiree, Abby, Hailey, Mallery, Carli

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Alumnae Spotlight: Dr. Nancy Thornton

By: Kaleena Watts

Dr. Nancy Freebairn-Thornton has loved Girl Scouts since the day she joined as a bright-eyed second grader.  Now, over 50 years later, her love and commitment to the beloved sisterhood is evident in both word and deed, serving diligently and speak fondly of Girl Scouts at every opportunity.

It’s no wonder then, that both Dr. Thornton, a second-generation Girl Scout, and her mother were both recipients of Girl Scouting’s highest awards, the Curved Bar Award and Golden Eaglet. Now, Dr. Thornton proudly anticipates her daughter Wren earning the Gold Award, and joining what has now become a family tradition.

It can be said that Dr. Thornton has accomplished some pretty hefty feats throughout her life.  She attributes much of the values, principles, and skills that have helped her along the way to Girl Scouts.  In her opinion, Girl Scouts has helped her acquire the essential characteristics for becoming a success.  One experience in particular marks Dr. Thornton’s realization of this.  “I remember I was in the 4th grade, my troop leader pulled me to the side after our meeting and told me that I sold the most cookies in our troop,” she recalls.  Not only was she the top seller, but her contribution allowed her entire troop to take a much-anticipated trip.

Being fearless is another quality both Dr. Thornton and her mother share, and one she greatly believes Girl Scouts instilled in both of them.  Dr. Thornton still remembers one incident when her mother volunteered them both to teach macramé to a large group of Girl Scouts after an instructor became ill.  Mortified, Dr. Thornton recalls whispering “Mom, do you know how to do macramé?”  Her mom confidently replied, “No, but we’ll know by morning.”  Sure enough Dr. Thornton and her mother got a macramé book, stayed up late that night, learned macramé, and taught a class to over 200 Girl Scouts the next morning.

Those qualities, and a variety of others gained through her childhood experiences as a Girl Scout, were the catalyst to Dr. Thornton’s success in many future endeavors.  One such achievement that gives her a great sense of accomplishment is her service to the army, where after graduating from college, she became the only woman, among 125 men, to enter the Corps of Engineers.

Dr. Thornton also attributes her family’s belief in pursuing educational excellence to Girl Scouts.  Interestingly, It was a troop leader that aided Nancy’s mom, a first-generation college graduate, to apply and prepare for college.  As for her personal educational pursuits, Nancy has earned a bachelors degree from Arizona State University, entered into the Army Corps of Engineers, received her masters from the University of Oklahoma, and finally a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.
Dr. Thornton has instilled that commitment to education into her children, 7 her own, and over 36 of them foster children. Not surprisingly, education is a fundamental part of Nancy’s advice to young Girl Scouts today.  Dr. Thornton, in her own words encourages, “You want to get a good education, also pick someone that you’re comfortable with being your mentor, and then just hang in there, finish the program.”

Nancy stresses the importance of sticking with the program and gaining top Girl Scout honors as it pertains to future life endeavors.  Her Girl Scout Gold award was actually the deciding factor in a tie for a college scholarship that she received. “If you can finish your Gold Award it’s there forever, no one can take that away from you,” Dr. Thornton assets, “If you say to anybody, of any age, that ‘I’m a Gold Award,’ right there it establishes a credential that you’re trustworthy, reliable, and that you follow through.”

With all of the accomplishments, accolades, and valuable experiences Girl Scouts has provided Dr. Thornton with, she still recognizes simply the great fun Girl Scouts offers.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

GSNCA Celebrates Additional Milestones

The Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama (GSNCA) celebrates is five-year anniversary today, November 1, 2012. GSNCA is a result of a merger from four councils covering the top half of the state into one council in a move led by the Girl Scouts of the USA in 2007.

“While our council is young, Girl Scouting began in our area as early as 1917 – just five years shy of the founding of the national organization,” said Trish Coghlan, GSNCA’s CEO. “Whether we celebrate our five-year anniversary, 95th anniversary or 100th anniversary, we are still providing quality leadership programs to girls that are fun and relevant in a safe environment.”

GSNCA also boasts a 9 percent membership increase during the 2012 fiscal year as the organization crosses the five-year mark.

“Serving 15,081 girl members is a major accomplishment. We serve these girls in many ways – through camps, events, series, traditional troops, travel opportunities and we can even serve girls virtually,” said Coghlan.

In 2011, GSNCA had 13,700 girl members, and served another 1600 through outreach programs. Thanks to scholarships, GSNCA has been able to make more girls served in outreach programs members of the organization.