Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cookies for Troops Program Exceeds Expectations

The Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama reports that 12,804 boxes of Girl Scout cookies were sent to servicemen and women overseas as part of the council’s annual Cookies for Troops campaign. Cookies for Troops is the council’s Gift of Caring program, a national program which encourages all Girl Scouts to encourage cookie lovers to buy a box to donate for a particular cause. 

GSNCA thanks all those who purchased cookies and donated to the Cookies for Troops campaign, and to Soldier’s Angels and WAAY 88.1 FM for sponsoring the program.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Girl Scout Volunteers are Dependable, Difference-Makers

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'" -Fred Rogers. A smiling picture of Mr. Rogers and this quote popped up everywhere after the attack on Boston.

A beloved children’s television host, his influence still touches the hearts and lives of those lucky enough to have listened to his life lessons. Even if you don’t remember the train, the puppets or even him feeding his fish, surely you recall him changing from his jacket to his sweater, and from his street shoes to his tennis shoes, at the beginning of every episode and reversing it as he said goodbye at the end. Routine. Consistency. These are what give people comfort and these are what are long remembered.

Volunteers are often highlighted for extreme acts of courage and bravery. But it is the acts of kindness, the creative way you raise girls to be leaders, and the dependability found in the day-to-day, year-to-year, volunteer service we highlight this week. The routine of sharing your time and skills matters to the children you serve. It matters to Girl Scouts. And even though you might not always get immediate satisfaction every time you put on that proverbial sweater, just know that you are making a difference in your community, and ultimately to society.

Thankfully, there will always be helpers, in good times and in bad. But we are most grateful during National Volunteer Week for those of you who are the everyday volunteer who may not realize in this moment, the number of moments in a child’s future you may change just by being present, by being consistent and by being their everyday hero. GSNCA thanks you and wants you to know you are appreciated!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Paine Primary Students Earn Bronze Award for Trussville Trails Project

Anna and Alex, fourth graders at Paine Primary School, and Gracen, Joriann, Haley and Tinley, fifth graders at Paine Primary School, and members of Girl Scout Troop 872, recently earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award for their project Trussville Trails. The girls wanted to bring people to Trussville and help them learn about the community, so they produced a booklet on trails in the city. As they walked along the trails, they wrote poems and took pictures of different landmarks for the booklet. By scanning QR codes in the booklet, the girls can be heard reciting their poems. The girls also made a video of themselves reading the poems for Daisy troops, hoping that the video will help the younger troops earn more patches and learn about their city.

The Girl Scout Bronze Award is the highest award a Girl Scout Junior (fourth and fifth grades) can earn. This award recognizes that a Girl Scout Junior has gained the leadership and planning skills required to follow through with a project that makes a positive difference in her community.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Girl Scouts Sponsor Madison County Day Camp

Service unit 30 of the Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama is sponsoring the Madison County Day Camp, an opportunity for girls to experience camp without having to stay overnight. Day camp will take place July 8–12 from 8 a.m.–3:30 p.m. at St. Mary of the Visitation Parish Center in Huntsville.

The cost is $55 for registered Girl Scouts, $67 for non-Girl Scouts, $20 for Tagalongs and $10 for adults. Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors will serve as day camp aides for $30, and Cadettes have the option of participating as day camp aides for $30, or with younger Girl Scouts at the regular registration prices. All prices include a T-shirt, snack, activities, supplies, patch, camp on Friday and dinner. Older girls will have a special activity.

At the end of camp, parents can attend an award ceremony where girls will receive a fun patch.

The deadline for registration is May 29, 2013, or when the capacity of 90 campers is reached.

For more information, contact Brantley Kirk, community development manager, at bkirk@girlscoutsnca.org or 800-410-8338 x1233.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Fifth Graders Hold Low Down How Down to Earn Bronze Award

Ali, Alicia, Bailey Drew, Bella, Mallie, Savannah, Anna Claire and Shelby, fifth graders at Chelsea Intermediate School and members of Girl Scout Troop 33590, recently earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award for their project Low Down Hoe Down Campfire Sing-along to benefit King’s Home. They invited other troops to join them as they sang camp songs and ate snacks. The girls gathered toiletries and cleaning supplies for King’s Home.

The Girl Scout Bronze Award is the highest award a Girl Scout Junior (fourth and fifth grades) can earn. This award recognizes that a Girl Scout Junior has gained the leadership and planning skills required to follow through with a project that makes a positive difference in her community.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Girl Scout Advocacy Day Honored by Alabama Legislators

On Thursday, April 11, Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama and Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama were honored with a resolution from the Alabama House of Representatives acknowledging Girl Scout Advocacy Day.

Girl Scouts led the prayer and Pledge of Allegiance in the House and Senate that day, and councils and Honorary Troop 1912, whose members are elected officials, hosted a Girl Scout Cookie reception that allowed Girl Scouts to interact with the public and elected officials to share updates on Girl Scout programs. Co-chairs of Troop 1912, Rep. Jamie Ison (R-Mobile) and Terri Collins (R-Decatur), along with the legislative staff, offered the Girl Scouts an opportunity to shadow all female legislators for the day.

Girl Scouts has been building girls of courage, confidence and character since 1912. What started with 18 girls led by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Ga, has grown to more than 3.2 million Girl Scout members in the USA and an alumnae base of more than 59 million American women. Girl Scouts is open to all girls ages 5 to 17 and values diversity and inclusiveness.

The Girl Scouts of Southern and North-Central Alabama councils were excited to announce their legislative agenda as the following: promoting leadership and educational opportunities such as financial literacy and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for girls, healthy living, and supporting a thriving non-profit community. 

Both councils are eager to work with policymakers to create opportunities and environments that foster girls’ leadership development and help consider solutions to a wide range of related and overlooked issues that disproportionately affect girls’ healthy living involving bullying, healthy media images, and eating disorders. Girl Scouts also seeks to partner with policymakers to ensure that all girls have financial literacy skills and support the role of youth-serving organizations in providing real-world financial literacy experiences for girls, in addition to encouraging policymakers and community leaders to work with human services organizations to ensure a healthy, effective and strong non-profit community. 

Members of Troop 1912 include Alabama Senate members Linda Coleman (D), Priscilla Dunn (D), Vivian Figures (D), Mark Keahey (D), Hank Sanders (D), Bobby Singleton (D), Harri Anne Smith (I) and Cam Ward (R). House of Representatives members include Mike Hubbard, Speaker of the House (R), Alan Baker (R), Elaine Beech (D), Barbara Boyd (D), Merika Coleman (D), Paul DeMarco (R), Juandalyn Givan (D), Laura Hall (D), Terri Collins (R), Mary Sue McClurkin (R), Joseph Mitchell (D), Mary Moore (D), Becky Nordgren (R), Patricia Todd (D), Mark Tuggle (R), Pebblin Warren (D), Kurt Wallace (R), Jamie Ison (R) and April Weaver (R).

Pictured: Faith & Kelly of Jemison with Senator Rodger Smitherman (D-Birmingham)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Research Uncovers Girls' Lack of Confidence in Financial Decision Making, Illustrates Desire to Learn

The American dream is alive and well among girls, according to a new report by the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI), which reveals that girls feel optimistic about their financial futures, yet are less than fully knowledgeable about essential financial principles and instruments, from using credit cards to establishing good credit. And just 12 percent of the girls surveyed say they feel confident in making financial decisions.

The study, Having It All:Girls and Financial Literacy, comes out at a time of continued economic uncertainty. The country’s recovery from the 2009 recession has been marked by slow economic growth and high unemployment, as well as increasing concern over the costs of a college education and the unprecedented levels of student loan indebtedness.

The study, which surveyed 1,040 girls ages 8 to 17, found that girls are averse to debt. However, in order to avoid debt, these girls say they need more education about how credit works. In fact, nearly 4 in 10 girls say they don’t know how to use a credit card, only 38 percent know what a credit score is, and just 37 percent know how credit card interest and fees work. Perhaps not surprisingly, a vast majority (90 percent) say that it is important for them to learn how to manage their money.

“Despite the recession and economic uncertainty, girls are bullish about their financial futures,” said Trish Coghlan, CEO of the Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama.“Some 88 percent say they are likely to make more money than their parents, and nearly all girls say it is likely that they will have jobs or careers they enjoy (98 percent), be able to provide for their families (96%), and own their own homes (95 percent) one day.”

This generation of girls is financially empowered and independent. A great majority feel gender is no barrier to what they can accomplish financially, and they envision a future family structure where they are fully engaged in financial decision making and planning. When it comes to financial capability, 7 in 10 girls say both men and women are equally likely to be financially responsible (73 percent) or in a lot of debt (72 percent).

Girl Scouts offers a financial empowerment program that ensures girls have the opportunities to build their business sense and hone their financial literacy skills. Girls build on these skills as they progress through the K−12 curriculum to become knowledgeable, confident, and self-reliant participants in a global economy. Whether a girl is working to earn the Financing My Future badge or the Money Manager badge, she is developing financial savvy, business skills, and innovative thinking.

The Girl Scout Research Institute (www.girlscouts.org/research), formed in 2000, is a vital extension of Girl Scouts of the USA's commitment to addressing the complex and ever-changing needs of girls. Comprised of a dedicated staff and advisors who are experts in child develop­ment, academia, government, business, and the not-for-profit sector, the institute conducts original research, evaluation, and outcomes-measurement studies; releases critical facts and findings; and provides resources essential for the advancement of the well-being and safety of girls living in today's world. The GSRI also informs program, public policy, and advocacy for Girl Scouting.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Lovelady Center Project Earns Silver Award

Troop 577 members Stella from Hewitt-Trussville Middle School and Emily, homeschooled through Cahaba Academy, recently earned the Girl Scout Silver Award for their project Operation Lovelady Kids. They gathered donations to update the children’s area of the Lovelady Center. Through a donation drive within their troop, they were able to obtain paint, furniture, toys and books for the organization. They also updated the center’s library and preschool lunch room. 

The Girl Scout Silver Award is the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette (grades 6-8) can earn. This award symbolizes a Girl Scout Cadette's accomplishments in Girl Scouting and community activities as she matures and works to better her life and the lives of others.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Troop 597 Earns Bronze Award with Go Green Project

Shelby, Emily, Lindsey, Callie and Abigayle, fifth graders at Chelsea Intermediate School and members of Girl Scout Troop 597, recently earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award for their project Go Green with Girl Power. The girls helped other troops earn their Forever Green patch as they led their service unit weekend by teaching other Girl Scout troops how to recycle. All of the activities took place outside without electricity. They played a recycling game and water bottle tag, and they made crafts using recycled materials.

The Girl Scout Bronze Award is the highest award a Girl Scout Junior (fourth and fifth grades) can earn. This award recognizes that a Girl Scout Junior has gained the leadership and planning skills required to follow through with a project that makes a positive difference in her community.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Alumna Spotlight: Judge Debra Goldstein

Judge Debra Goldstein is a remarkable example of the success that Girl Scouts breeds. Not only has she succeeded in career, family and other endeavors, but she has been dedicated in service to Girl Scouts for many years. As this year’s Mildred Bell Johnson Award recipient, Judge Goldstein, continues to be a woman of distinction and leadership, having served as a Girl Scout board member, chair of several committees and for 10 years as a troop leader, guiding 10 girls to their Gold Awards.

Judge Goldstein believes Girl Scouts helped to instill many of the characteristics that lead to many of own her life’s accomplishments. From a tender Girl Scout Brownie to a Girl Scout Junior, Judge Goldstein learned about responsibility, teamwork and leadership from Girl Scouts. “The most rewarding experience for me was interaction with other women and being exposed to ideas,” Judge Goldstein shared. “I learned one can strive for many things: careers, education and different opportunities, [and] I was shown by example.” 

With that, having placed her daughter in various sports and extracurricular activities, Judge Goldstein deemed it necessary to expose her daughter to Girl Scouts, where she served as troop leader, just as her mother was leader of her childhood troop. Likewise, she utilized troop leadership as a platform to serve as a positive role model for her daughter and the other Girl Scouts of Troop 734, instilling in them a drive to simply “leave things better than you [found] them,” she says.

Everything Judge Goldstein has gained from Girl Scouts has translated into real world experiences, contributing to her success in corporate and government law, a judge seat for more than 23 years and accomplishments as a novelist. Always excelling, Judge Goldstein believes that Girl Scouts taught her the important art of skill development. 

Looking back, she realizes how through the many activities and badges earned throughout her Girl Scout days, she gained confidence and useful lifetime skills, often times without even realizing it. She also learned “it’s okay to not be great at everything,” and to “lean into the skills that you are good at."  A great leader, she used this same approach when her troop was formed, taking on responsibilities in the areas of her strengths and delegating other responsibilities, allowing everyone to function in their specialties.

Another approach to life Judge Goldstein has taken away from Girl Scouts is that “if everybody does a little bit, it all gets done,” she shares. This is a tactic that has not only brought her personal success, but has enabled those around her to attain success through her leading. Judge Goldstein credits Girl Scouts with giving her the tools that have helped her live a remarkable life, and she’s worked tirelessly in a variety of capacities to make sure that other girls have the same opportunity to realize their dreams.