Fun patches are a great way to celebrate the adventures and activities girls participate in, outside of badge work. While badges help girls explore their interests and learn new skills by completing specific steps to earn the badge, fun patches are just that, for fun! Patches are always displayed on the back of girls’ uniforms, and a great way for girls to remember the fun things they did with their troop. There are fun patches out there for anything you could imagine, from outdoor experiences, to STEAM activities and events, and even virtual activities. There is something for everyone!
With so much of this past year being spent more virtually than before, it has allowed us to learn and do things that we may never have experienced otherwise. For example, touring museums across the world from the comfort of our own couch, how cool is that? Fun patches are similar. Troops now have access to the world at their fingertips, and girls can display their adventures on their uniforms as a reminder of the exciting experiences they’ve had in Girl Scouts.
I connected with Senior Girl Scout Leah Hilton from troop 70569 to hear more about her favorite fun patch. “My favorite fun patch that I have earned is the Girl Scouts Love State Parks patch. I love exploring the outdoors with my Girl Scout friends, so this patch was perfect for me. To earn this patch, I went to Ricketts Glen State Park. We met a State Park Ranger who told us about the park history, the local geography, and how they test the water quality in the park. She then led the group on a really cool hike where we got to see a lot of amazing waterfalls. She also gave us a book that showed ways to identify the different trees in the park, and then we practiced identifying trees. I can now identify white pines by the number of pine needles in a cluster, birch by its peeling bark, and black oak trees by the leaf growth pattern.
This fun patch helped grow my love for the outdoors, and I have since visited other state parks. Each time I visit a state park I look to see if they sell any patches that I can add to my collection!
Here are a few ideas for fun patches you can do with your girls this spring:
March is a busy month filled with all sorts of activities, but as we say goodbye to March it is time to say hello to spring weather, the end of Cookie Season and APRIL FOOLS DAY.
Yes, today we will be talking all about April 1st and sharing some of our favorite pranks with you!
Green Milk & Cookies!
Bring your friends and family a sweet surprise – delicious Girl Scout Cookies. So where’s the prank in that? We have used food coloring to dye the milk an unusual color to shock them!
Girl Scout Cookie Swap!
Since everyone is stocking up on those delicious Girl Scout Cookies it is the perfect time to swap out those cookies with veggies for some April Fools fun!
Who doesn’t love Jello? Well your friends and family might not after this prank! Start by making your favorite jello (we recommend green jello for an extra Girl Scout twist!) and pour it into a small cup then add their toothbrush. Once it is set, simply place it where they brush their teeth and wait!
Take on April Fool’s Day with a BANG! Just take a few balloons, blow them up really full and attach them to the back of a closed door! When your friends open the door it will hit the wall and pop the balloons!
Juliette Gordon Low Prank!
As you may know Juliette Gordon Low was the founder of Girl Scouts what better way to remind your friends and family members than by showing them? We printed out a bunch of tiny cartoon Juliette Gordon Lows to stick around the house – you should try the same!
Unreachable Girl Scout Cookies!
Instead of opening the package and swapping out the cookies inside, this prank will be on the outside of the box! Just take a box of their favorite Girl Scout Cookies and wrap it in tape, bubble wrap, etc. to ensure it is nearly impossible to reach the delicious cookies inside!
Welcome back to our monthly series bringing you STEAM activities to do at home or with your troops.
March can be a tricky month, is it Winter? No, Spring, wait, it’s Winter again! We have an activity for you to bring some order to the randomness of March through math and art.
A tessellation is a pattern of flat shapes that fit together so that there are no gaps. I’m sure you’ve seen them before but maybe didn’t realize it. Here are a couple examples from nature.
Take a look at the snake’s skin and you will see a collection of scales that fit together like puzzle pieces.
The veins on a dragonfly’s wings also outline an irregular puzzle-like collection clear cells.
The honeycomb cells built by bees also fit together very regularly. They are all the same size and shape.
All these natural patterns can be modeled with a mathematic technique known as a Voroni Tessellation. Feel free to research that more. Here we are just going to talk about the math behind the basic definition of tessellation.
Math gets a bad reputation sometimes, but I love it and even if you don’t love it you can have fun with it. Here are three reasons why…
A girl who tries to solve a math problem quickly learns that she needs to follow a specific series of steps without making a mistake. If there is an error, she will learn to trouble shoot, and try it again until she gets it correct. This is an important lesson for our daily lives, where we do a lot of stuff that can be improved and corrected for efficiency and productivity.
Math helps produce problem solving skills that will assist in real life situations and arriving at logical solutions. Think of the dreaded “word problems”, I know we all groaned when our teachers gave us one, but they are the problems that apply most to real live situations.
Math teaches us important skills that we use every single day, even if we don’t realize it. An example: fractions are used while reading road signs that tell us the distance we still have to go to our destination. Being good with numbers makes telling time much easier. Percentages help us when reading nutrition labels or shopping discounts.
What if I’m not an expert?
We have all heard “I’m not a math person.” We are all math people, it is around us everywhere, you don’t have to be an expert/genius to be able to get girls interested, or at least accepting of math.
First, we don’t want anyone to feel forced into math, we want to show the girls how math is connected to our daily lives. This is not school, they are not being graded!
Second, focus on the other things we learn through math. Share with your girls that it will create opportunities for cooperation, it will be a change to struggle and succeed, and that it is ok to not get it right the first time, very rarely do we get things correct the first time.
Also, remind the girls that math is like a language and easier to use once you learn the words.
How do I get started?
So the first step in starting is to make sure to do this activity yourself before doing it with the girls. There are some detailed parts that you will want to have tried before teaching the girls, lining up the sides to tape and such, you will recognize them. If you google “Tesselations for Kids” images you will see many more examples and inspiration.
Along these lines, if you are working with younger girls it will be handy to have extra adult hands around to help.
Once you have the girls in front of you, do not tell them they are going to be doing Math, or you will get eye rolls and groans. Instead, lead with “we are doing Art!!!!” And then mention the math in the art. Patterns, angles, spacing are all art and math terms.
Daisy: Outdoor Art Maker – Step 1, See the colors of nature
Brownie: Outdoor Art Creator – Step 1: Find art ideas outdoors and Step 2: Make something
Junior: Outdoor Art Explorer – Step 1: Explore outdoor art and Step 2: Make something
Cadette: Outdoor Art Apprentice – Step 1: Explore outdoor art and Step 2: Make something
Senior: Outdoor Art Expert – Step 1: Explore outdoor art and Step 2: Make something
Ambassador: Outdoor Art Master – Step 1: Explore outdoor art and Step 2: Make something
What to say when you start the activity: Tessellation is a big word for fitting shapes together so there are no gaps between the shapes and none of the shapes overlap. Think of a jigsaw puzzle, tiles in your bathroom or a brick wall. There is a bit of math involved even if not obvious at first, it is all about the angles.
Tetris is a good example of tessellation, fitting shapes together with no gaps. Other places you will see tessellation is in the work of Dutch artist M.C. Escher and in Islamic art, the Alhambra Palace in Spain.
Tessellation has one important rule: whenever lines meet, the angles have to add up to 360 degrees. Back to the Tetris example, it works because the corners on all the shapes are 90 degrees so when the four corners meet you end up with no spaces, 360 degrees. This also works with other shapes, equilateral triangles (60-degree corners) and hexagons (120-degree corners.)
We will be designing a translation tessellation, this can be thought of as sliding the shape along a plane, creating the repeating pattern. Follow the steps and see what you can imagine.
Now you have a template, you can use it as is or trace it onto a heavier piece of paper like card stock or cereal box.
How can changing the colors change your pattern? How did you work through your challenges working with the template?
Congratulations you did it! You deserve a snack, an edible tessellation!
It goes without saying that the way we receive product has exponentially altered over the course of these last 12 months. Whether it’s selecting curbside delivery for restaurant orders or having your groceries delivered to your door, we’ve all had to adjust our expectations about how we receive the products we are accustomed to having. The same holds true for how customers will receive their cookie orders during the 2021 Girl Scout Cookie Program.
What is a Cookie Drive-thru?
A Cookie Drive-thru is somewhat self-explanatory. Girl Scouts will arrive on–site with Girl Scout Cookies in hand. Customers will be able to drive up to the Girl Scout’s station, pay for their order and receive their cookies without having to leave the comfort of their vehicle. Today’sGirl Scouts recognize the importance of creating an effortless experience for the customer, which is why you’ll see many girls utilizing contactless payment features through mobile devices.
Why is a Cookie Drive-thru Important?
The Cookie Drive-thru presents a way to keep Girl Scout Troops safe as they participate in the Cookie Program and engage with the customers. The Cookie Drive-thru is not a new concept to the Girl Scout Cookie Program and we anticipate they will become much more prevalent during this year’s program.
For over a century, the Girl Scout Cookie Program has adapted and persevered in the face of certainty and uncertainty. It is without a doubt that the repercussions of this global pandemic will have a permanent impact on how Girl Scouts sell cookies but if we know anything about these aspiring entrepreneurs, it is that they are up to the challenge and will continue to use courage, confidence and character to make the world a better place for years to come.
While Girl Scouts associate March with Girl Scout Cookie Season there is another holiday to consider: Saint Patrick’s Day, which is celebrated on March 17th annually! As we approach this special holiday it has us wondering, what is the best way to celebrate? Outside of wearing green, searching for leprechauns and chasing rainbows to find a pot of gold, there is so much more to this famous Irish holiday. We want to take this opportunity to dive into Saint Patrick’s Day and share all the amazing things to come from Irish Culture today!
Ireland is a small island located just west of the United Kingdom with a very rich heritage. Many of our traditions and celebrations have come from Ireland, including Saint Patrick’s Day. Traditionally Ireland celebrates this national Irish holiday with parades, festivals and much more! So, who was Saint Patrick exactly? Saint Patrick was actually born in England, but arrived in Ireland around 430 A.D. and quickly made his way across the country. Saint Patrick explained Catholic religious beliefs using the three-leaf clover, making many of these teachings much more accessible to the public. He is also credited with banishing snakes from Ireland before his death on March 17th.
While Ireland wholeheartedly celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day there is much more to Irish Culture than this famous holiday. Today, Ireland is a bustling country filled with kindhearted people, delicious food and traditional folklore tales.
Believe it or not, the culture of Ireland has had a large impact on the world today and our traditions. Did you know that Halloween actually started in Ireland? Halloween was first celebrated over 2,000 years ago in Ireland to honor and celebrate the souls lost throughout the year. The day was celebrated with bonfires, carving pumpkins and even trick-or-treating!
Ireland has also had a huge impact on our sense of humor throughout the years! As you may be able to guess Ireland was the birthplace of having a good time and showing your love by teasing your friends and family! If you ever visit Ireland don’t be surprised if they welcome you by teasing you. Additionally, when in Ireland they use the term “craic” (pronounced crack) constantly. Craic simply means to have fun!
Irish Culture is heavily rooted in having fun, but the food is just as important to the people! So many Irish dishes are rooted in tradition and simplicity. I think two of the most common (and delicious) dishes would be Irish Stew and Irish Soda Bread. However, they have many more delicious dishes to try including; Corned Beef & Cabbage, Fish Pie and Irish Apple Cake. And we definitely recommend you try out some of the recipes found here (https://www.tasteofhome.com/collection/classic-irish-recipes/)
Now last, but certainly not least we have Irish Folklore. Ireland has celebrated the tradition of folklore and storytelling for over 2,000 years. Long before history and events were recorded in writing they were passed down through story telling. While Ireland has its very own set of folklore tales, believe it or not, many of our fairy tales today have been heavily influenced by these Irish traditional tales!
An example is actually fairies! While stories of fairies can be found across the globe the fairies we know today and the term “fairy tale” originated in Ireland! Irish Folklore states that the first fairies were believed to be a part of the “Tuatha de Danann” one of the first tribes in Ireland. The story goes that they were magic people that loved Ireland so much they decided to shrink themselves and move underground. Yes, the stories have evolved over the years, but many Irish people, especially those living in the countryside believe in fairies. The fairies are considered Ireland’s tiny protectors, so the Irish people still honor fairy trees, fairy rings and much more – “just in case”.
Speaking of fairies, there are more than just folklore fairies in Ireland. A “fairy” is actually a common nickname for Irish Girl Guides at the Brownie level. As you may know, Girl Scouts are part of the W.A.G.G.G.S organization which stands for the “World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.” Well Ireland is also a part of this organization, but they are called Girl Guides instead of Girl Scouts!
Girl Guides across Ireland celebrate their very own ceremonies and traditions, including having their very own promise and law. And did you know that Irish Girl Guides even sell their own cookies? Yes, but they only sell one flavor for a short time every year: a chocolate cookie with milk chocolate chunks inside. You can learn more about Irish Girl Guides by visiting their website here (https://www.irishgirlguides.ie/)
We hope you learned something new, just in time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! And don’t forget to share your Irish knowledge, traditions and celebrations in the comments below!
On March 12th we will be celebrating the 109th anniversary of when Juliette Gordon Low registered the first 18 Girl Scouts in Savannah, Georgia. I’m sure Juliette could have never imagined the impact she would have on Girl Scouts, over a century later. With the organization turning 109 years old this year, has anything changed from Juliette’s original vision?
During a time when women still could not vote in 1912, Juliette wanted to defy standards of the time, and give girls the chance to gain skills, and become more independent. Skills including knot tying, harvesting food, and canning goods. The first Girl Scouts were encouraged to get outdoors, to camp, to hike and to play basketball. Community service projects and Take Action projects became a huge part of Girl Scouts especially when the Great Depression and World War II started. The cookie program was also started by Juliette, as a way to raise funds for her Girl Scout troops.
Looking at the Girl Scout values of today, not much has changed. Girl Scouts continue to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Girl Scouts can explore interests and learn new skills while working on badges that center around STEM, outdoors, life skills and entrepreneurship. The organization empowers girls to make connections so that they can make a difference in their community. All these years later, you cannot mention Girl Scouts without someone asking about buying Girl Scout cookies. We want girls to continue to chase their curiosity and dream big, in a girl only safe space.
The only changes we have seen in the last 109 years is the number of Girl Scout members, going from the original 18 in 1912 to over 2 million today. We need to celebrate not only because Girl Scouts is turning 109 years old next week, but also because our values and goals have changed very little since Juliette Gordon Low first registered the original 18 members. During the next week, take the time to celebrate this achievement. Leading up to March 12th, your troop could celebrate by having a small party at their troop meeting. What would a party be without eating some cake or cupcakes (maybe try incorporating your favorite Girl Scout cookies like this S’more campfire cupcake recipe from Little Brownie Bakers)? During your party your troop could sing their favorite Girl Scouts songs like “Make New Friends” and “Princess Pat”. To end this celebration, play a game of pin the petal on a daisy. No matter how you decide to celebrate this year, take the time to reflect on the Girl Scout first meeting, all those years ago.
Happy Birthday Girl Scouts! We hope you had the BEST Girl Scout week. We want to see how you celebrated. Tag us on Facebook or on Instagram. You could be featured in an upcoming blog post!
Throughout the years Girl Scouts have strived to be “Go-Getters, Risk Takers, Innovators and Leaders” and today we are highlighting a GSHPA Girl Scout who went above and beyond for her family. On August 18 2020 a local Cadette Girl Scout from GSHPA’s Troop 14000, Nya Rosa, jumped into a lifesaving situation. Nya showed extraordinary courage in the face of challenging circumstances.
In Nya’s own words, here is what she remembers from the morning of August 18, 2020.
“It was a beautiful Tuesday morning and my dad had gotten home from the hospital after two weeks of intensive care. My mom asked me to make pancakes for the four of us; my brother was still sleeping when I started the pancakes. I was on my third round of pancakes when I heard the bang. Boom. Boom. The loud fall was clearly heard over the sound of the T.V. My mom quickly paused the show she was watching and went straight to my dad’s bathroom door. I did not even realize he was awake yet until I heard the bang. My mom sounded very worried, which sparked some fears within me. “Mike, are you okay?” she sounded a bit panicked. No response. “Is he okay?” I asked, flipping the last pancake on the pan. “Nya get me a folding chair.” She told me. I turned off the stove and went to the dining room where the chair was. I brought her the chair through my side of the bathroom. Our bathrooms connect with the shower, not knowing if he was on the door or not, I brought it through. I asked again “Is he okay?” I don’t remember if I got a response, but I went back to the kitchen. I started making another pancake in case his sugar was low and he needed carbs. “Nya call 911!” I heard my mom call mid flip. I turned off the stove again and I asked her where her phone was. I quickly found it and I was able to call. I gave the operator what he needed, trying not to freak out. My heart was going a mile a minute not knowing if my dad was doing all right. I asked my mom for the information that I did not know, like the township and stuff that she would know being in the same room as him. She was able to step out of the room, but by the time she got the phone, I had already answered all the questions that he needed. The ambulance was coming for him and all I needed now was to tell my grandma to come stay with me and my brother. By this stage,my brother was awake and he was packing the stuff my dad needed to stay just in case he was staying overnight. The ambulance came and he was able to get to the hospital.”
Here is what Nya’s mom and Troop Leader, Isabel, had to say about Nya’s actions.
“Nya called 911 and got an ambulance to come for my husband. She gave them the necessary information to get help for her father. To call 911 is very scary. As adults, we become nervous in these situations and Nya was no exception. She did not let her nerves get the best of her and she gave clear information that was needed. Only a week earlier my husband was in ICU, so this fall was a huge deal and very scary for everyone. After the dispatcher hung up, Nya and my son helped gather my husband’s things to be taken to the emergency room. Nya called my mother to inform her what had happened to her father. During this ordeal Nya was cooking. She showed maturity and clear headedness to turn off the stove before walking away. She was courageous in making that call without hesitation.”
Once GSUSA learned of this situation Nya received a letter of recognition from Judith Batty, GSUSA’s Interim Chief Executive Officer. An excerpt from this letter states: “Your incredible confidence, sound judgement, and willingness to take decisive action in the midst of an emergency deserves recognition and serves as a shining example for Girl Scouts everywhere.”
In addition to this recognition from GSUSA, GSHPA will be presenting Nya with a Certificate of Merit for her quick thinking and calm actions during her father’s medical emergency.
Did you know that March is Women’s History Month? What an amazing chance to celebrate the amazing things women have done! Not only is March a great month to learn about incredible women, but we also have a chance to celebrate as Girl Scouts during Girl Scout Week (March 7-13), including celebrating Girl Scouts’ Birthday on March 12. Perhaps the icing on the cake of Girl Scout Week is that International Women’s Day also falls during that time, on March 8.
International Women’s Day is a global celebration of the achievements of women. The very first celebration of International Women’s Day was held in 1911, over 100 years ago! In the early 1900’s there was a lot of movement by women to overcome the gender oppression and inequality they were experiencing. In 1908, women really started to become more vocal in coming together to champion change on issues such as better pay and voting rights. The rise of women challenging inequalities was seen across the globe, and spurred the idea of celebrating an International Women’s Day.
As a young girl I loved watching the Disney movie Mary Poppins, and in that movie there is a scene where Mrs. Banks comes home in a whirlwind singing about fighting for women’s rights. I used to feel so empowered by her excitement and passion for the cause, even before I truly understood what the suffragettes stood for. Now as an adult, I understand the inequalities that women faced, and still do face. I felt similar energy and passion when taking women studies courses in college, when reading about incredible women in history and in the news today, and I feel that energy every day as a Girl Scout celebrating the achievements of girls.
The theme of International Women’s Day for 2021 is “Choose to Challenge”. The International Women’s Day website says “A challenged world is an alert world. From challenge comes change. So let’s all #ChooseToChallenge.” What a great reminder of where this day started and where we are now. Without our ancestors choosing to challenge voting rights and pay gaps and so many other inequalities, we as women would not have nearly as many opportunities as we do now. Their challenge to society has given us so much, but there is so much more we as women can do for the generations to come. I have a few favorite women that I would recommend learning about, who are continuing the work that generations before us started, and are creating new history every day.
Greta is an 18 year old who has been making big waves. She has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize three times…three times! She has caught the attention of many leaders worldwide by speaking up about climate and environmental concerns. Gaining the attention of important world leaders may seem daunting, and I’d have to agree. But what is incredible about Greta is that her platform started with convincing friends and family to make changes to lessen their carbon footprint. From there she organized strikes at school and gave speeches to rally more people. Greta also has Asperger’s Syndrome, and I think she is the perfect example to show girls that they are capable of achieving great things, no matter what type of hurdles they may think they have to overcome.
Emma survived the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018. It would have been so easy for her to never go back to public school, to let the fear of her experience run her life. Instead, she managed to funnel the anger, sadness, fear and confusion that she and her classmates felt into not just a single speech, but into creating an entire movement advocating for gun control. She, along with a few classmates, co-founded the group Never Again to continue the fight for gun control. Regardless of political views, I think it is incredible that Emma took such a horrifying experience and channeled the energy she felt from that experience into doing something to help other students and schools.
Sonita is currently 24 years old, but her incredible work to help girls started when she was only 16. Living in Afghanistan, she very narrowly avoided being sold into marriage, by her own family. Unfortunately, her situation is not unusual in many countries. In protest of this practice, Sonita wrote a rap song called “Brides For Sale” and shared it on YouTube. Her video went viral, and has since created international buzz, and prompted girls to speak out about their own similar experiences. Sonita continues to spread awareness about forced child marriage, and while it is an upsetting topic to learn about, her work empowering other girls to fight for an end to this practice is so inspiring!
In 2012, Malala was very seriously injured in an assassination attempt. The Taliban had taken control of her small home town in Pakistan, and banned many things, such as owning a TV, playing music, and girls attending school. There were extremely harsh punishments if anyone defied them. Malala loved going to school, and started to speak up against the ban keeping girls from going to school, and even found ways to continue going to school. On her way home from school one day, a gunman boarded her school bus and shot her in the head. Instead of this experience silencing Malala, she worked closely with her dad to create the Malala Fund, and has worked to fight for every girl’s right to go to school ever since. More than 130 million girls worldwide are not in school today, and I love this quote from Malala, stating that she tells her story “not because it is unique, but because it is the story of many girls”.
19 year old Danielle found her passion in designing circuits and animatronics. When she realized that STEAM education isn’t available to everyone, she founded STEAM Connection, an organization to provide affordable and accessible STEAM materials to underserved students. Her robot, EKGAR (Every Kid Gets a Robot) has since been given to 4,000 kids at no cost! Danielle says of her passion, “I want girls to know they can find their superpowers, pursue what they love and help others.”
Anna Lumsargis- York County GSHPA Girl Scout
Anna worked with the York History Center to update their archives on past women’s history in York County as well as address the role of women in York County play in the present in all aspects of leadership, cultural awareness, and service. The York History Center identified that they needed help providing updated information and accessibility to the information, so she created a website focused on highlighting the women of York County in history, and created a documentary-style video highlighting current influential women in York County.
These girls are incredibly inspiring, and I encourage you to read more about the work that each of them are doing to help girls and women across the world. I think it is so important to celebrate their achievements on International Women’s Day, but also to celebrate that we as girls and women are capable of so much. Even the smallest action starting at home can turn into worldwide change, as many of the girl’s above demonstrate! Happy International Women’s Day, don’t ever lose sight of the incredible things women can do!
Happy almost Girl Scout Week GSHPA Blog Fam! We are so excited to be gearing up for the 2021 Girl Scout Week which kicks off on Girl Scout Sunday, March 7th. Make sure you keep an eye on the Blog next week, because there will be so many exciting posts celebrating Girl Scout Week as we lead up to our 109th Birthday!
I would be remiss if I did not also wish you a Happy International Women’s month! We are excited to celebrate International Women’s Day on Monday, March 8th, the second day of Girl Scout Week. There are so many exciting things happen in March I can barely stand it!
Now, let’s talk about the first day of Girl Scout Week, the kick off for a full week of celebration that girls across the country celebrate, Girl Scout Sunday! (Stay with me, there is a little bit of a history lesson before we get into the good stuff!)
As we all know, Juliette Gordon Low (JGL), met and worked with Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts while in London. She worked with him on creating the female equivalent while in London. Together, they then came to America to build the Girl Guides of America movement. Juliette learned so much from Lord Baden-Powell; how to run a youth organization, activities that were important for girls to learn including confidence, courage, and character, and the importance of creating a space for girls of any religion to participate together, as a unit. Lord Baden-Powell made it a point to never tether the Boy Scouts to a specific Religion, and JGL followed suit.
On March 12, 1912, Juliette Gordon Low hosted the first Girl Guides of America meeting (later the Girl Scouts of America) in her carriage house (it was the early 1900’s version of a garage). There were 18 girls in attendance, that Juliette invited herself. Some were from families of prominence in Savannah, and some from the local synagogue! The mixing of religions was something that was seldom done in the early 1900’s.
When the time came to recruit Troop Leaders for the newly established Girl Guides of America, JGL asked four women to lead the first troop. Three of those four women were Jewish. Two of the three of those original leaders went on to hold high ranking positions within the Girl Scouts of America in the first established councils. Again, the mixing of religions was not something that was commonplace in the early 1900’s, but JGL did not care about the social norm, she cared the girls who joined her organization had the best possible experience, and she knew that would come from powerful female leaders.
Random Fun Fact! Did you know that the first commercially baked Girl Scout Cookies were made in a Jewish Bakery? Bonus points if you know what year the first cookies were made commercially! (If you need a helping hand for your guess, take a look at this article!)
Juliette Gordon Low was a woman of faith. She was progressive in her thinking about religion and the relationship it should have in your social engagements, which made her an outcast. However, her church, the Christ Church of Savannah, was no stranger to being ahead of the times. The Christ Church was the first Georgian church to have a female ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons. (To learn more about Susan W. Harrison take a look at the Christ Church of Savannah’s historical timeline!)
While the Girl Scouts are still a non-denominational organization, and we welcome girls of any and all faiths. Girls are encouraged to recognize that faith can be a driving force for many. What you put your faith in is where we all differ, and that’s what makes this such a great organization.
Now, let’s talk about some of the awards girls can earn based on their faith!
Girls are able to earn multiple different faith based awards. The official Girl Scout awards include the My Promise, My Faith Pins. These pins are able to be earned annually from first year Daisys through Graduating Ambassadors. These pins are earned by choosing a line from the Girl Scout Law and studying how that line corresponds to their faith. The girls are tasked with researching poems, songs, or stories in their faith that also show the line they’ve chosen from the Law. They are also tasked with researching inspirational quotes from women and in talking to women within their faith or outside of their faith to discover how they live the line from the law.
What makes this award unique is that it is not denominational. Girls of any faith could earn these awards. In our thirty county foot print we have had girls earn this award in almost every religion. We currently have a troop finalizing their award in the Hindu Religion!
Girls can also earn awards specifically focused on their individual religion. To Serve God awards are created by members of Faith Based organizations who are also Girl scouts. Girls work with advisors, whether spiritual or Girl Scout, to earn their religious award. There are more than 29 different denominations with advanced awards offered through the Pray Pub organization in partnership with the Girl Scouts.
These awards, like all of our awards, are unique to the girls who earn them. No two projects ever look the same and no two girls ever bring the same experiences to their Girl Scout Experience.
To learn more about the My Promise, My Faith Pins or the awards offered through the Pray Pub Partnership, check out here, or here, your place of worship, or your Girl Scout Handbook!
The past year has brought about MANY changes, of course… you know that. It’s changed the way we work, socialize, even grocery shop, (again, not breaking news). What it has not changed is the need to encourage and recognize employees. If anything, it’s even more important to show our employees that they are appreciated. So, how do we do that?
Recognizing employees can come in many different forms. For example, I am a gifter. I love to give gifts as well as receive them. My first draft of this posting was done with a pen I received as a valentine from GSHPA’s Staff Appreciation Committee. While I’m a gifter, not everyone is. Some people thrive on one to one interaction, some people prefer to receive hand written letters, and some people prefer activities. How we all feels our best is different between each person. So how do we show appreciation to each employee when there are so many with so many different needs?
Well that is the real question and is something that the Staff Appreciation Committee struggles with at each meeting. We know the importance of engaging our staff in different ways to ensure each and every one of our 56 employees feel appreciated. While we are a smaller organization, some of our efforts can be duplicated amongst bigger, or even smaller, workplaces as well.
Check out some examples of what we at GSHPA have done to appreciate our staff;
We sent Valentine’s to everyone. A stress taco and a heart pen!
We held a virtual holiday party with 6 different activities for everyone to participate in.
We spent an afternoon choosing our words of intention for the year and the SAC is creating printable reminders for each staff person.
Each staff member receives cards for their birthdays and work anniversaries in conjunction with the leadership team.
We have two very active social groups that meet monthly after work.
Currently, we are hosting a step challenge for any staff members who wanted a little extra support in hitting their daily and weekly step goals.
One of the items mentioned above is the social groups that meet monthly after work. We’re really excited about this newly formed aspect of the Staff Appreciation Committee! In December we started a Craft Club. Each month, a club member “hosts” a Zoom event and teaches the rest of the club how to do a craft, typically one that matches the season. Our other social club, the Book Club, began at the end of January. Each month we choose a book and read throughout the month. When we are able to meet, we spend some time discussing the book and also then choosing a book for the next month. The best part of each of the clubs though, the socialization and bonding that happen while were crafting or discussing the book.
While these ideas can all be implemented into the workplace, they can also be used engage your troop members. Planning a troop meeting, whether in person or virtually, you can create some activities for your girls to participate with. A platform that has been a huge hit with our staff, and free to use, is Kahoot. It can be used in person or virtually and it makes creates a fun, competitive activity for your girls. Another way to show your girls how much you appreciate them and how much they are going through, reaching out individually. Give them a call or a text to chat with them about their day or their current goals.
Another way to show them your appreciation is to recognize them individually during a virtual (or in person) troop meeting. Create awards for each of your girls that are leader judged. For example, Best Zoom Background, Funniest Pet Story, Best Quarantine Skill, or anything you can imagine!
What are some ways your employers have shown you their appreciation? Have you done anything to show your girls your appreciation of them?