4 Traditionally Girl Scout Recipes

Blog written by Rebekah Stefl

Traditions are a huge part of Girl Scouts! They can be found in the uniforms we wear, the songs we sing and even the food we eat! Now every Girl Scout will have their own personal twist on all these classic dishes and they might even have other food traditions of their own, but check out some of our favorites!

Jungle Breakfast – one of my personal favorite Girl Scout traditions!

You will need:

  • Small Boxes of Cereal
  • Granola Bars
  • Packs of Muffins or Donuts
  • Fruit
  • Small Bottles of Juice
  • Milk
  • Twine/Yarn

While the girls are sleeping the adults will gather the supplies and begin tying them into the trees! We recommend setting up early in the morning to avoid attracting critters, but you can do all the prep work the night before. When the girls wake up they will have to “hunt” for their own breakfast in the trees! They have a blast! Just be sure to collect any leftovers, string, etc. before moving on to your next activity.

Ants on a Log – quick and fun snack for all ages!

You will need:

  • Celery
  • Peanut Butter (alternate nut butter or nut free butter can be used)
  • Raisins, Berries or Chocolate Chips

Simply start by washing and cutting your celery into logs about 6 inches long! Once ready fill your celery will your preferred nut or nut free better then top with your “ants” and enjoy! 

Foil Packs – sweet or savory and easy to make over a fire, on the grill or in the oven!

Savory: Chicken & Vegetables

You will need:

  • Heavy Duty Foil
  • Chicken
  • Your Favorite Vegetables (recommended: onions, zucchini, potatoes and bell peppers) 
  • Olive Oil
  • Seasoning Salt and/or Spices
  • Salt and Pepper

Start by cutting your chicken and vegetables into bite sized pieces. Once ready lay out your foil (shiny side down) then add your chicken and vegetables. Add enough oil to coat and sprinkle with your preferred spices then toss gently to coat. Simply fold your foil to create a package – be sure to tightly seal all those edges to nothing leaks out. Then add to your fire, grill or oven and heat until chicken is cooked through! Tip: if you need to put names on your foil packs use yellow mustard, it won’t burn off!

Sweet: Cinnamon Apples

You will need:

  • Sliced Apples
  • ½ tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Butter
  • Toppings: Raisins, Chopped Nuts, etc. (Optional)
  • Heavy Duty Foil

These apples are an easy fall treat for all ages! Start by rolling out your foil then top with sliced apples. Once ready add the cinnamon and brown sugar then toss to coat the apples. We recommend chopping up the butter into little cubs to sprinkle throughout the apples. Add toppings if desires and seal up the foil pack tightly! Heat until apples are warm and soft.

Be sure to share your favorite Girl Scout foods with us in the comments!

Rebekah Stefl is one of GSHPA’s Volunteer Support Coordinators.

Fun Fall Patches For You

Post by Colleen Sypien

Fall is fast approaching, and with it comes the opportunity to get back together with your Girl Scout friends and earn some new badges! Below we have some of our favorite badges that you can earn this fall with your troop or on your own!

Financial Literacy Badges

With Fall Fundraiser starting soon, we will be learning all about how to be entrepreneurs. These badges are a great way to supplement what we learn through product sales by expanding what it means to have an entrepreneurial spirit.

Brownie Philanthropist Badge – When it comes to running a business, it is important to know how to be financially savvy and good with people. Part of being a business owner though is giving back to your community as well, and this badge starts to build the foundation of giving back.

Junior Business Owner Badge – What type of business would you want to own? With this badge you can explore business ideas and develop a basic business plan!

Cadette Marketing Badge – Our Fall Fundraiser and Cookie programs teach us about advertising and marketing to our customers through emails, door to door sales, virtual sales and more. Take what you have learned from these programs and learn how to expand your marketing strategies with this badge.

Senior Customer Loyalty Badge – Explore how to best invest in your customers and provide quality experiences for your loyal customer base with this badge.

Outdoor Badges

As the weather moves from summer to fall temperatures, we have the perfect opportunity to get outdoors! The Trail Adventure badges for each level are a great way to get outdoors and learn about planning an outdoor adventure. These badges can be done at every level, and provide girls the opportunity to have a girl led experience.

Daisy Trail Adventure Badge

Brownie Trail Adventure Badge

Junior Trail Adventure Badge

Cadette Trail Adventure Badge

Senior Trail Adventure Badge

Ambassador Trail Adventure Badge

Higher Awards

As we begin the 2022 Girl Scout year on October 1, there are new girls bridging up to levels that can earn the Higher Awards. Girls who are Junior level can earn their Bronze Award, Cadettes can earn their Silver Award, and Seniors and Ambassadors can be working towards earning their Gold Award. These are the highest awards that a Girl Scout can earn, and are amazing opportunities for girls to learn more about their community, what they need, and develop a sustainable way to help their community.

Bronze Award

Silver Award

Gold Award

As leaders start to plan the year with their girls, don’t forget that there are planning resources available to help! Our Award and Badge Explorer shows all of the badges available to girls to earn, and gives an overview of the steps required to earn each badge, as well as a link to purchase the badge. Another fantastic resource is the Volunteer Toolkit. Our Volunteer Toolkit User Guide helps leaders to navigate and learn all that the toolkit has to offer. From meeting resources and material lists to lesson plan outlines and meeting timelines, the Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) has it all!

Let us know in the comments what badges you are excited to work on this year!

S’more for Everyone

In honor of National S’more Day we here at GSHPA wanted to share some of our top s’more recipes! We have included twists on your classic s’mores and some brand new creations! We are especially excited about our fall-themed s’mores! We hope these recipes help you celebrate National S’more Day in style! Maybe you will even find your new favorite from our recipes below!

Chocolate Covered Pretzel

You Will Need:

  • Two Pretzels (medium to large in size)
  • One Marshmallow (freshly toasted)
  • Chocolate

Once you have cracked your graham cracker add your chocolate and your freshly toasted marshmallow!

Autumn Apple

You Will Need:

  • Two Ginger Snap Cookies
  • One Marshmallow (freshly toasted)
  • Sliced Apples (we recommend Honey Crisp)
  • Apple Pie Spice

Top your ginger snap cookie with apple slices and a toasted marshmallow. Sprinkle with Apple Pie Spice and enjoy!

Peach Cobbler

You Will Need:

  • One Graham Cracker
  • One Marshmallow (freshly toasted)
  • Sliced Peaches or Peach Pie Filling
  • Ground Cinnamon

Start by cracking your graham cracker in half then top it with your freshly toasted marshmallow and peaches. Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry

You Will Need:

  • One Graham Cracker
  • One Marshmallow (freshly toasted)
  • Chocolate
  • Sliced Strawberries

Once you have cracked your graham cracker start piling it high with chocolate and sliced strawberries. Then finish it up with your freshly toasted marshmallow!

Caramel Apple

You Will Need:

  • One Cinnamon Graham Cracker
  • One Marshmallow (freshly toasted)
  • Caramel Sauce

Simply crake your graham cracker in half, top with your freshly toasted marshmallow and drizzle with as much caramel sauce as your heart desires!

Pumpkin Spice

You Will Need:

  • One Cinnamon Graham Cracker
  • One Marshmallow (freshly toasted)
  • Pumpkin Puree or Pumpkin Pie Filling
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice

Start by spreading your pumpkin puree or pie filing on a graham cracker cracked in half. Then top it with a toasted marshmallow and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice. Try adding chocolate if you’re feeling bold! 

Mexican Hot Chocolate

You Will Need:

  • One Graham Cracker
  • One Marshmallow (freshly toasted)
  • Chocolate
  • Chili Powder

Add your chocolate and toasted marshmallow to a cracked graham cracker then sprinkle with chili powder and enjoy!

Salted Caramel

You Will Need:

  • One Graham Cracker
  • One Marshmallow (freshly toasted)
  • Caramel Sauce
  • Flaky Salt

Crack your graham cracker in half then add your toasted marshmallow. Once assembled drizzle with caramel sauce and finish with a sprinkle of flaky salt!

Chocolate Covered Cherry

You Will Need:

  • One Graham Cracker
  • One Marshmallow (freshly toasted)
  • Chocolate
  • Slice Cherries or Cherry Pie Filling

Simply crake your graham cracker in half, top with chocolate, cherries and your freshly toasted marshmallow!

Peanut Butter and Banana

You Will Need:

  • One Graham Cracker
  • One Marshmallow (freshly toasted)
  • Chocolate
  • Peanut Butter
  • Sliced Bananas

Once you have cracked your graham cracker start piling it high with chocolate and sliced bananas. Spread peanut butter on your other graham cracker then put it all together!

We hope you enjoy our s’more recipes! Be sure to share your favorite s’more recipes in the comments below!

Backyard Camping

One of the easiest and inexpensive ways to get outdoors this summer is by traveling to your own backyard! You’ll save time and money, but can have just as much fun planning your backyard camping adventure as you would planning a trip away. Keep reading for some fun ideas for a summer backyard campout!

Shelter

First you’ll want to decide what kind of sleeping arrangements you’d like to have. Some of my favorite options include:

  • Setting up a tent: if you choose this option, you could sleep on the ground in your sleeping bags just like you might on a camping trip in the woods. Or, if you’re like me and enjoy a more comfortable arrangement, you could set up an air mattress with blankets and pillows for more of a “glamping” experience!
  • Create a tarp tent: all you need is a tarp and rope! This option would be more open-air than a tent, and allows you to sleep under the stars while still being protected from the elements. 
  • No shelter: if the weather is going to be nice overnight, you could choose no shelter at all! Remember to make sure this is a safe option – think about what kind of animals might come through your yard in the middle of the night

Remember that whatever shelter you choose to set up, you can make it as fun as you’d like! Adding extra blankets or stuffed animals will make the space nice and cozy. Some fairy lights strung up will provide you with light once it’s dark. Or if you want to imagine you are hiking through the mountains with only the items you can carry on your back, maybe your setup looks a little more rustic with just your shelter, sleeping bag, pillow, and a lantern. This camping adventure is completely up to you!

Activities

After your shelter is set up for the night, don’t forget to plan some camping activities! Some of our favorite Girl Scout activities include:

  • Singing songs around a campfire (don’t forget to have some fire starters on hand, as well as an adult!)
  • Going for a hike – this could be a walk through your neighborhood, where you listen for the sounds of nature, or if you have a hiking trail near your house you could explore that too!
  • Have an outdoor Soundscape Scavenger Hunt and listen to all of the different sounds nature has. 
  • Learn about the Leave No Trace principles, and make a plan to follow those principles both on your backyard camping adventure, as well as on future trips into the outdoors. 
  • Learn about the stars in the sky through GSHPA’s Constellation series. Remember to wait for the sun to set completely. You can use the app SkyView Lite (with parent permission), and watch the first video of the series here.
  • After the sun has set and you’re getting ready to sleep, another camping favorite you can do is storytelling!  Each person can take turns telling a story they’ve heard or have made up. Or you could make it a game by having each person say only one sentence of a story. Popcorn stories can be super silly since everyone only gets to say one sentence at a time!

Now that you have your shelter set up, and activities planned, we can’t forget one of the most important parts of a camping adventure…the food!

Backyard Cooking

Yes, it’s time for everyone’s favorite part: the food! We are going to be talking about all the fun and interesting ways to cook outside! Did you know that you can actually bake brownies in your backyard? How about a full chicken or a whole pie? Well you definitely can and we’re going to show you how!

Box Oven:

Kicking off our outdoor cooking adventure is a box oven! As the name suggests it is made with a cardboard box!

To create your Box Oven you will need:

  • A Cardboard Box (extra thick/sturdy if possible)
  • Aluminum Foil
  • 4-6 Empty Soda Cans
  • A Grill Rack (must fit inside box)
  • Charcoal
  • Small Aluminum Pan

You will want your box to have a flap to cover the opening like a door. The remaining flaps can be removed. Then start by covering your cardboard box in aluminum foil – shiny side out! Be sure to cover every inch of cardboard in foil to ensure it doesn’t burn!

Once covered place your empty soda cans on the sides to hold up your grill rack. After your box oven is all set up begin putting hot charcoal in your aluminum pan! Keep in mind each brick of charcoal will be around 50 degrees, so add enough to reach your desired temperature with that in mind!

Just let your box oven preheat – then start cooking! We recommend making brownies or pizza! And don’t forget a potholder or other heat protection!

Flower Pot:

Did you know you can grill using a flower point? You can – let’s talk about how!

To create this unique grill, you will need:

  • 10 Inch Ceramic Flower Pot (please use a plain undecorated flower pot)
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Perlite
  • Charcoal

Start by putting a layer of aluminum foil on the inside of your flower pot – shiny side out! Once the inside is fully coated add your pearlite. Perlite is a mineral that reduces moisture and insulates heat which can be commonly found in any garden center or store. You will want to pour perlite to fill your lined flower pot about halfway. After this has been added place a layer of aluminum foil on top of the perlite. Top the aluminum foil with hot charcoal and you are ready to roll!

Once hot you can use your flower pot just like a grill! We recommend roasting hot dogs and marshmallows to start! It is a great option for Daisy and Brownie Girl Scouts to try! You can even add a grilling rack to the top for more cooking options!

Tin Can Cooking:

Cooking on top of a tin can is great for camping, especially for breakfast! It is a great option for french toast and pancakes!

To create your own you will need:

  • #10 Tin Can (make sure the inside is not lined with plastic)
  • A Buddy Burner

Yes, that’s all you need! Before we talk about how to set up your tin can, let’s talk about how to make a Buddy Burner!

To create a Buddy Burner, you will need:

  • A Tuna Can (or similar – freshly washed)
  • Strips of Cardboard, Paper or Wood Shavings
  • Melted Wax

When making your Buddy Burner start by emptying, washing and drying your tuna can. After that fill the can with strips of cardboard, paper or wood shavings – this will be your fuel. When filling the can try not to pack your too tight to ensure air can circulate. We recommend making sure a few edges are sticking out for easy lighting.

Once you have filled your can simply pour melted wax inside about 2/3 of the way and allow to set! Once dry you are ready to get started!

So now that you have a Buddy Burner, let’s talk about your larger tin can! Start by washing and drying it. After that you should take a can open and create small holes along the top edge of the can, like the image above, to help with ventilation. And that’s it – you’re ready to get cooking!

Simply light the Buddy Burner and place your Tin Can Stove on top. Once hot you can use it to cookie pancakes, French toast and much more! After you’re done cooking we recommend flipping the top of your stove onto the Buddy Burner to extinguish it – just be careful, it will be hot!

We hope you enjoyed learning all about our favorite backyard cooking and camping methods! Be sure to share your favorites in the comments below!

Tips and Tricks For Girls Scout Camp

Meet Buzz and Dazzle, two of GSHPA’s summer camp staff and learn how to make this summer at camp your best yet!

Buzz, left, and Dazzle are two of amazing staff you will see at GSHPA camps all summer.

Buzz: Hey, my name is Buzz!

Dazzle: And I’m Dazzle!

Buzz: We’re two counselors for the 2021 summer camp season for GSHPA!

Dazzle: Recently we have been getting a lot of questions from incoming campers about what they need to pack, how to make friends, and so much more.

Buzz: As people who have been going to camp for many years, we have the answers to all of your questions! Dazzle, do you want to take the first one?

Dazzle: Sure! The first question we have is about packing. When packing, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Pack your items in a tote or bin, rather than three or four backpacks.
  • Label the inside of your items in case they get lost.
  • Find a way to keep everything organized. Some campers will separate their outfits so they can just grab and go each morning!
  • Bring a draw-string bag or backpack for daily activities.
  • Remember to pack only the items you need! Camp is a big place where items can be lost easily.

Below is the link to our premade packing lists. Make sure to check it out! The lists can be found in the link below under the About Summer Camp heading, and under the Get Ready for Camp tab!

https://www.gshpa.org/en/camp/summer-camp.html

Buzz: Those are some great tips! And don’t worry if you forget to pack something! We have extra sunscreen, bug spray, hand sanitizer, and books for rest hour!

Dazzle: What if someone doesn’t want to read a book during rest hour?

Buzz: Well that’s where we come in! Rest hour doesn’t have to be full of books and naps. Counselors are there all day to play games, have conversations, or supervise. At camp, you’ll always have someone to talk to! Remember, staff members are not only your counselors, but also your friends.

Dazzle: Didn’t we have a question about friends?

Buzz: We sure did! Our next question is from someone who is a little worried about coming to camp alone. “What can I do to make friends at camp?”

Dazzle: Making friends at camp can be easier than you think. Most of the time you are spending quality time with the same counselors and campers.

Try things like:

  • Being yourself. This will allow you to have the most fun!
  • Finding other campers with similar hobbies!
  • Stepping out of your comfort zone. Trying new things can be scary, but they can also lead to the best camp memories.
  • Take a deep breath. Making friends on camp can be overwhelming, but keep in mind there are counselors and staff members here to support you.

Buzz: Exactly! All of the staff members make sure every camper gets included! Being a part of the group and having fun is something that automatically comes with camp! If there ever is an issue, remember that you’re always welcome to have a chat with a counselor. Did I miss anything?

Dazzle: Sounds like you covered it all. We are so excited to have all of you at camp this year. Don’t forget to bring your loud singing voices and camp spirit!

4th of July: Girl Scout Style!

July 4th is Independence Day, a day we celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and in a sense the United States’ birthday! Today celebrations are marked with fireworks, cook outs, and most notably decorations of red, white and blue. While we all have our favorite ways to showcase our red, white and blue, I’m here to share with you some fun ways to celebrate the fourth of July…Girl Scout style!  

  • Dress up in your Girl Scout best, and celebrate the men and women who have fought to keep our country independent and free. Place flags at a cemetery, march in a parade with your troop, or even hold a flag ceremony in their honor. 
  • Add in some Girl Scout green to your July 4th celebrations! With adult help set off green fireworks, use green chocolates in your s’mores, add green streamers into your decorations. Girl Scouts care deeply for our country and our fellow citizens…maybe we should change the colors officially to red, white, blue and green? We certainly can in our own celebrations! 
  • Celebrate by earning a Citizen badge. Offered at every age level this badge offers a great chance for girls to learn to celebrate their communities.  
  • Blast to the past and learn about how girls used to celebrate our nation. During World War II, Girl Scouts knit socks for soldiers, planted victory gardens, and even sold war bonds. They also sponsored defense institutes that taught women survival skills and techniques for comforting children during air raids. Kickoff this Fourth of July by planting a victory garden of your own, or learning how to knit socks! 
  • As Girl Scouts we have strong roots in our traditions. One of my favorite traditions is exchanging SWAPS! Get together with your troop or make some on your own to share with your troop later. Check out some of my favorite 4th of July SWAPS ideas below: 

Girl Scouts has a long history of supporting our country, which we date back to Juliette Gordon Lowe. Juliette was a strong patriot, and we as Girl Scouts continue to show our patriotism through sending cards and care packages to those serving our country, marching in parades for Memorial Day, 4th of July and more, placing flags at cemeteries, and so much more. We wish you and your families a wonderful holiday.

Show us in the comments or on social media how you plan to celebrate in Girl Scout style! 

Post by Colleen Sypien, GSHPA

Making Memories: Dad Style

Four GSHPA Dads Share their Stories

As Girl Scouts we learn all about how awesome Girl Power can be, and we learn from our amazing leaders and other women in our lives. But sometimes it can be easy to forget that our Girl Scout dads play a huge role in helping us to grow into our Girl Power too. This Father’s Day we celebrate all of our amazing Girl Scout dads out there, and thank you for all you do! We checked in with a few of our volunteers to see why they love being Girl Scout dads:

David Jensen, Lancaster County Girl Scout Dad

              “I was familiar with Girl Scouting from a young age. In vague memories I remember bits and pieces of Girl Scout meetings, parades, outings, etc. My sisters were Girl Scouts and my mother was their leader. The two activities that stand out are the monthly Leader meetings in our dining room and that my sisters and mother and their troop went to Puerto Rico. Yes, Puerto Rico…for a week!

            Fast forward a bit and now I have a daughter that wants to be a Girl Scout and a wife that wants to be a leader. So my wife Anne decided to start a Brownie Troop. There were enough girls but not enough adult leaders, so I decided to be her assistant.

            We did many activities such as fishing, knots, archery, whittling, rocketry, cooking (chicken soup – which the girls’ parents somehow didn’t want to try!), Daddy/Daughter dances and even sewing.

            Slow forward (because now the knees hurt, the back is stiff and I don’t move as fast anymore). I now have a granddaughter Arianna that is a Juliette. Well here I go again… Coding badge, making Swaps and Swap holders, helping build their cookie booth and even camping.

            Recently we have helped plant 50 trees and bushes at Camp Furnace Hills, participated in the camp clean-up (and received a parting gift of poison ivy).

            It has been quite a journey so far and I have enjoyed every minute. And for all the fellas – If you know of someone in Girl Scouting, wife, daughter, granddaughter, niece etc., even though you are not a “Girl” they would be happy to have you.

            Now off to our next adventure – Rock Climbing on Sunday. Wish me luck…”

Rich Ainey, Lackawanna County Girl Scout Dad

“Over the years, I have had the pleasure of working side by side with my wife with Troop 50863 and Troop 50866. Both of these troops were started to ensure that my daughters had a Girl Scout Troop to belong to. It has been great to be able to watch not only my daughters flourish and grow, but also a number of other girls do the same.

I was there when girls operated a power tool for the first time to build a “buddy bench” for a service project. I was there to teach many girls how to shoot a bow and arrow for the first time at a community camp at Camp Archbald.

I was there to help the girls to finish and install their little free library as well as another service project. Many times I have been able to witness girls overcome a fear of something or experience something for the first time. This is just some of the many things I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy about being involved with Girl Scouts.

 One particular story I distinctly remember was our last time at community camp at Camp Archbald in 2019. We were up there for the weekend and having a great time. Some strong storms were supposed to move in on Saturday evening around dinner time. As luck would have it, the power got knocked out and stayed out as we were preparing our typical spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.

Rather than backing down and accepting defeat, we managed to finish off dinner by flashlight, serve dinner, and get everyone fed. Not only did we do that, we managed to get the generator up and working so that we could have lights in the dining hall. We also made s’mores in the ovens and made sure everyone was safe and secure.

When we woke up the next morning, power had been restored and we proceeded to finish up our weekend. I don’t think any of the girls that were there that weekend will forget all of the different events. Most certainly, they will all look back and think about the obstacles we overcame while we still managed to have some fun.

For other guys out there saying, “What can a guy do at Girl Scouts?” I would challenge them to come and find out. Become an archery instructor, help out at a cookie rally, experience a rope runner rally, come up for community camp (when COVID restrictions are lifted), help out at a camp cleanup, or do any variety of activities that include being involved in your daughter’s Girl Scout journey. I can promise you that it will be something you won’t regret.”

Matt Reed, Union County Dad

When Matt was growing up he dreamed of being a Boy Scout Leader. His plans took a turn though when he and his wife had two beautiful daughters, instead of sons! Being outdoors is his passion, and he has worked hard to introduce the girls in his troop to as many outdoor activities as possible. Matt’s troop has gone camping and kayaking, and the girls hope to soon cross backpacking off of their list too!

Jamie Stefl, Northumberland County Dad

“Throughout my life I’d heard about Girl Scouting, but it wasn’t until my daughter joined that I started getting involved. My wife had been a longtime Girl Scout so we were excited to get our daughter started in the program and it has been a family journey ever since! It has been an amazing opportunity to connect with my family while making a difference in the community. While my daughter is fully grown, and working for GSHPA, I still enjoy being involved as a volunteer in our Service Unit.

Over the years I have attended a wide variety of Girl Scout events and activities, but I think my favorite has always been going camping. I remember the first time I went on a Girl Scout camping trip as a volunteer and it was an adventure! My daughter was a Brownie at the time and her troop planned an overnight stay at Knoebels in Elysburg. We pitched tents in the parking lot and had a wonderful time, but I don’t think I have ever been that cold! It was well below freezing overnight and we awoke to frost covering all the tents! We all had a good laugh about it once we thawed!

Since then I have continued to stay involved with Girl Scouting as a volunteer. As an engineer I was always involved with creating Girl Scout floats for the local parades. I remember helping out with cookies, well, helping get cookies out of my house that is! And I really enjoyed attending events. In 2012 our group traveled to Washington D.C. to attend the Girl Scout 100th Anniversary Celebration which was quite an experience! I’ve attended all of GSHPA’s Gold Award Ceremonies and even went to GSUSA’s National Convention.

I think my advice to any father considering joining Girl Scouts, would be, just to do it! Yes, as a dad you can experience a wide variety of things with your daughter through Girl Scouting, including camping and selling cookies, but I think it is so much more than that. It is truly an amazing experience to personally see your daughter grow through Girl Scouting.”

Each of these wonderful Girl Scout dads work hard to provide girls the best possible Girl Scout experience, and certainly prove that being “man enough to be a Girl Scout” is a wonderful thing! Girl Power champions come in all shapes and sizes, and out Girl Scout dads are great examples of this. Shout out your Girl Scout dad stories in the comments, we’d love to hear more about our amazing GSHPA Dads!

Post by: Rebekah Stefl
Post by: Colleen Sypien

Remembering Memorial Day

Memorial Day was originally observed to honor the men lost during the Civil War. Throughout our history this holiday has changed to honor both the men and women that we have lost in all wars, including World Wars I and II, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  

Over the years, the traditions of honoring those we have lost have evolved. Since Girl Scouts traditions and ceremonies are so important to us, we heard from Girl Scouts across the nation for ideas of ways to celebrate Memorial Day. Even though COVID has changed the way we are able to do some things, honoring our fallen soldiers can still be done. If your troop needs ideas for how to observe Memorial Day this year, check out these ideas from other troops!  

  • As a troop, visit a cemetery to clean trash and debris 
  • Contact your local American Legion to look into placing flags on soldiers graves, or holding a flag ceremony 
  • Work with local Women Veterans of America, VFW’s, Veteran Affairs or military posts to not only honor those who have fallen, but also to help those dealing with the loss of their comrades 
  • Hold a flag retirement ceremony 
  • Participate in a local parade that commemorates fallen soldiers 
  • Contact your local American Legion to find and attend a salute at a monument 

Other ideas could include holding a troop flag ceremony for the girls and their families to honor family members who served and are no longer with us. Honoring the men and women who have fought for our country and are no longer with us is important, no matter how little or big the ceremony or parade.

For troops who choose to take this time to learn more about Memorial Day and our soldiers, leaders can use the resources below to help their girls learn more.  

 
Is your troop commemorating Memorial Day this year? Let us know in the comments how you will be honoring the men and women who died serving our country! Don’t forget, we love to see what your troop is up to. Fill out a Mission Moment form so we can see the great things your girls are doing in and for their communities. 


Written by Colleen Sypien

SPOTLIGHT: Happy Mayday!

Have you ever heard of May Day? May Day is a public holiday usually celebrated on the first of May. It is an ancient festival of spring and a current traditional spring holiday in many European cultures. Do you enjoy dancing? Singing? How about eating sweets? Then you will love May Day traditions!

In the 19th and 20th centuries people would create May Day baskets to leave at their neighbor’s doorsteps. They were often handmade paper baskets or cones, filled with flowers and sweet treats. The idea was to go to the door of a neighbor, often where a child or significant other lived, leave the basket on the step, knock on the door and then run away yelling “May Basket!”.

Since May Day is all about the arrival of spring, there are lots of fun ways to celebrate! One such way is to dance and sing outside! Some people even dance around a maypole. A maypole is a tall pole, usually made of wood, that has long ribbons connected to it. Everyone grabs a ribbon and dances around the pole in a circle. After some time the ribbons are wound around the pole and create a beautiful wrap! Maypoles were a part of many European folk festivals, and they are still sometimes used in parts of Europe and the Americas today!

Here are more ways to celebrate May Day…

  1. Light a bonfire. Always build fires with an adult present and remember your campfire safety tips!
  2. Gather wildflowers and green branches and decorate your house. Traditionally this was called “Bringing in the May”. You can take beautiful blooms and green items from outside and spread them around your home. Consider putting them in jars or vases.
  3. Make and dance around your own maypole. Get creative! If you don’t have the ability to make or use an actual pole, consider tying some ribbons to a bush instead.
  4. Make a flower crown! Gather flowers with long stems and weave them together in a circle to create a crown.
  5. Take off your shoes and go outside! This is called “grounding” and is a great way to connect with nature. Take a few deep breaths. Feel the sun on your skin and the wind in your hair. What do you hear? Birds? A barking dog down the street? Nothing?
  6. Leave a May Basket for your neighbors, just like they did in the 19th and 20th centuries. Follow these directions to make a May Day Basket Cone

Now that you know more about May Day, consider celebrating every year. WELCOME SPRING!


Written by Jess Delp

A Pot O’History for St. Patrick’s Day

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!  

St. Patrick’s Parade

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”.  

Fairy Circle
Fairy Tree

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!  


Post Written by Rebekah Stefl