Friday, May 27, 2016

The Museum of American Armor’s Girl Scout Leadership Challenge Essay Contest

A few weeks ago we posted an opportunity for girls to enter The Museum of American Armor’s Girl Scout Leadership Challenge, which encouraged girls to submit essays that would highlight a better understanding of the heroes within our own families and those throughout our communities. Lauren’s essay received the First Place Award. The other winners are listed after the essay. We are very proud of all the girls who entered this essay contest.


Please take a few minutes to read the essay – We hope you’ll find it as inspiring as we did! And, most importantly, keep those who served - and those who still serve - our country in your thoughts over the weekend.



Lauren’s Essay: 

OO-RAH was a call I heard since I was a baby.  Every holiday with my Pop Pop and uncles, this call was always shouted as soon as they saw each other. It took me years to understand what it truly meant though.  It was used as a battle cry many years ago but today is used almost as a brotherhood type greeting.


My Pop Pop was a Marine and couldn't have been prouder when his two sons later joined the Marines.  Arriving from Ireland, Pop was ready to serve a country that would give him opportunity and allow him a new life.  He wasn't in the US for very long before he had his paperwork in.  The poverty and despair that he left in Dublin would be replaced with service and exotic travel.  He loved every day of his service and loved his new country even more.  His fellow marines called him Ireland and many were shocked when at the end of their service they heard him called by his real last name, Byrne.  They always thought it was Ireland. He never did see action but was prepared to defend his new nation as he was stationed on a ship ready to invade during the Cuban Missile crisis.  Only years later did he find out that this was part of a Navy and Marine planned strategy that would have been even larger than the Allied invasion force on D-Day.


Many years later my two uncles would also join.  My Uncle Jack served his four years without seeing any action but was called back months after his discharge to serve in Dessert Storm.  Off he went to train for this war; my family saw him go with heavy hearts and prayers.  They were proud of him and silently knew what an honor it was to defend our nation.  The war soon ended just as his unit was next for deployment and he too arrived back without seeing action.


Uncle Robert is the youngest in the Byrne family.  He was the last to enlist, and saw the most. He and his Marine expeditionary unit were sent to Mogadishu Somalia Africa as part of Operation Restore Hope. There they provided security for both American and United Nation forces while running patrols throughout the Mogadishu International Airport and its surroundings.  He was the last American force there and ensured everyone was pulled out safely.


Years later it was Uncle Robert's military training that allowed him to save himself and several people when the Trade centers fell.  His firehouse was the first called to the scene when the building was attacked. He was in building one when the second building fell.  Again, he was one of the last to leave and pulled people to safety. 


It is instances like that, where I realize how much of an appreciation I have for the brave men and women who serve in the military. Many men and women devote countless amounts of their time to serve our country and protect our rights, and even risk their lives. For this we must appreciate them and do our part to make the time they spend to protect us worth it. My family works closely with the American Legion Hall in my community, in order to give back to those who serve us.  My older brother collected over 800 books for American soldiers and mailed them out to distant troops as his personal project to the service men and women.  My personal project took place this past Fall. I collected over 300 new and lightly used suits and jackets as part of Nassau's Veteran Stand Down fair.  We believe that in addition to regularly helping support our veterans through care packages and collections organized in town, we should also personally support our current and former soldiers.  They dedicated years protecting my freedom, I can certainly dedicate a few weekends of my time supporting them.  I'm proud to be a Junior member of the American Legion Women's Auxiliary also.  To all our service men and women out there, Semper Fi and of course OO-RAH!


The other winners of the contest:

Second Place: Jillian K. Oceanside Troop 2228, and has earned her Silver.

Third Place: Julia C.  East Meadow Troop 2033, and has earned her Silver.


Honorable Mentions
Jillian P., WH/FS 1025 – has earned Bronze and Silver
Asmita J., Oceanside 2228, has earned Silver
Bianca L., Bellmore 971, earned Silver and is receiving her Gold in June.
Janine B.,  ELLM 2458, earned Silver and receiving Gold in June
Hannah T., East Meadow 3174
Amanda W., Manhasset 520, earned Silver and receiving Gold in June
Dessie D., Garden City 1488, ran our Girls Who Code program


Friday, April 22, 2016

Girl Scout Volunteers ROCK! Happy National Volunteer Month!

Your big bright smile, your fierce dedication, your no-limits kindness—every little bit of it makes such a huge difference to the girls you help shape, inspire, and fill with confidence every day as a Girl Scout volunteer.

That’s why during this very special month, we’re reaching out to say thank you, thank you, thank you! In case you didn’t already know it, you truly take AWESOME to a whole new level, and we’re so grateful for you.
Happy National Volunteer Month and Happy Leader Appreciation Day! You ROCK!


Monday, April 18, 2016

Ways to Say "Thank You"

April is Volunteer Appreciation Month!

Showing appreciation for volunteers is a MUST. After all, our volunteers are ah-mazing and should be reminded of it not just this month, but every month!
They do it all for the girls and often work extra hours on top of busy schedules and hectic lives. We love them for it and, well, Girl Scouting wouldn’t be the same without them. Let’s be sure to shout it from the Girl Scout rooftops! We know that everyday little things to show appreciation can go a super-long way. So with your help, GSUSA compiled this list of fun and clever ways to say “Thank You.”
1. Send a homemade card
2. Have a party
3. Make a Troop memory book with each girl’s picture, favorite memory, etc.
4. Make a booklet of thank you pictures
5. Make a plaque
6. Call and say “Thank You!”
7. Give a plant
8. Send flowers
9. Nominate your Leader for a GSUSA adult recognition
10. Give a gift certificate
11. Write a poem or song
12. Make an audio or video recording of all the girls singing and/or each one saying “thank you” in her own way
13. Decorate a mess bag for your Leader
14. Compose a recipe book with contributions from all the girls in their own words and pictures- give it to your Leader with samples
15. Smile!
16. Put together a talent show to entertain your volunteers and parents
17. Host a picnic
18. Do something special for Leader Appreciation Day – April 22nd!
19. Send a handmade card, or create a scroll with a thank you proclamation signed by the whole group
20. Hold a recognitions ceremony at your Troop or Association

Friday, April 8, 2016

Congratulations to the 2016 Adult Recognitions Honorees

Congratulations to GSNC's 2016 Adult Recognitions Honorees

Thank you for all you do!

The 2016 Adult Recognitions Awards Ceremony was held on Sunday, March 13, 2016 at LIU Post campus. Five hundred family members, friends, staff, Board members, Troop members and volunteers attended the event. At this event Council distributed over 160 awards for Thanks, Honor, Appreciation, Continuing Service, and our new GSNC Spirit Award.

Congratulations to all of our amazing recipients!

Appreciation Award

Maria Kotanidis - Bellmore

Lynn Spahn - Bellmore

Patricia Baron - ELLM

Maura Barrett - ELLM

Trish Daly-Louw - ELLM

Joanne Matassa - ELLM

Denise Mihalich - ELLM

Tara Milillo - ELLM

Kristin Ochtera - ELLM

Allison Castagna - Five Towns

Jovann Dixon - Elmont

Alicia Guerrero-Dansbury - Floral Park/Bellerose

Betsy Olivera - Floral Park/Bellerose

Colleen Bird-Haithman - Freeport

Bernadette Barresi-Sullivan - Garden City

Carolyn Heckelmann - Garden City

Mary Anne Oleksiw - Garden City

Jocelyn Gumbs - Hempstead

Barbara Baur-Rizzo - Herricks

Melissa Thorp - Herricks

Dorothy Byrne -Island Beach

Dawn Cozine - Island Beach

Dina Cummings - Island Beach

Lisa D'Aria - Island Beach

Victoria Francesa - Island Beach

Margaret Posner - Island Beach

Autumn Raubuck - Island Beach

Denise Reilly - Island Beach

Lisa Roberts - Island Beach

Danielle Rogers - Island Beach

Amanda Schnur - Island Beach

Denise Ceron - Jericho/Syosset

Ellen Michaels - Jericho/Syossset

Kathleen Harrington - Merrick

Melissa Lenowitz - Oceanside

Deirdre Conneely - Port Washington

Jessica Griffin - Port Washington

Claudia Rudegeair - Port Washington

Monica Hladky - Roosevelt

Tracy Keese - The Plains

Shannon Messina - The Plains

Jessica Laffey - WARM

Amy Levine – WARM

Paul Bodycomb - Robotics

Robin Maynard - Robotics

Stasie McArthur - Robotics

Deyaniris Mercado - Robotics

Amy Morrissey - Robotics

Anthony Pino - Robotics

Emilee Samtani - Robotics

Nancy Seltzer - Robotics

Mandee Zapken - Robotics

Scott Lefurgy, PhD - Robotics Partner

Charlotte Armstrong-Naugaus - Gold Award Mentor

Patti Etienne - Gold Award Mentor

Dienamarie Giaquinto - Gold Award Mentor

Alexis Greaves - Gold Award Mentor

Susan Jockel - Gold Award Mentor

Sandy Messina - Gold Award Mentor

Bonnie Parente - Gold Award Mentor

Monica Pavlidis - Gold Award Mentor

Maureen Boyce - Entrepreneurial Programs

Sharon  Ciullo - Entrepreneurial Programs  

Marie Ferrara - Entrepreneurial Programs  

Kathleen Festa - Entrepreneurial Programs  

Christine Hirtzel - Entrepreneurial Programs  

Maria Iovine - Entrepreneurial Programs  

Michele Myers- Entrepreneurial Programs   

Catherine Raia - Entrepreneurial Programs  

Victoria Taylor - Entrepreneurial Programs  

Monica Truss - Entrepreneurial Programs  

Christine Venezio - Entrepreneurial Programs  

Terry Wong - Entrepreneurial Programs  

GSNC Continuing Service

Mary Alice Del Castillo - Baldwin

Mary Jane Kearns - Baldwin

Yasmin Young Wells - Baldwin

Elizabeth Alford - Bellmore

Regina Rule - Manhasset

Barbara Mercer – Roosevelt

Laurie    Bedard Central Park

Joanne Meyer-Jendras - Gold Award Mentor

GSNC Spirit Award
Susan Garfinkel - Central Park

Maureen Raichel - East Meadow

Nancy Rosenbaum - East Meadow

Rhona Barbieri-Kaye - ELLM

Tammy Maddaloni - Five Towns

Theresa Edelman - Hicksville

Maureen Ahearn - Jericho/Syosset

Emily Hartmann - Jericho/Syosset

Francine O'Connor - Jericho/Syosset

Debra O'Gorman - Jericho/Syosset

Constance Fratianni-Wysota - Manhasset

Leanna Giaquinto - Merrick

Dianne Danielsen - Merrick

Randi Meltzer - Merrick

Linda Nutter - Port Washington

Donna Russo - Port Washington

Joy Gilbert - Seaford/Wantagh

Liz Stevens - Valley Stream

Terry Bodnar - WHFS

Jen Camacho - WHFS

Laura Esposito - WHFS

Anne Marie Spensieri-Fidis - WHFS

Eleanor Molina - WHFS

Denise Voda - WHFS

Helene Pino – Robotics

Terry Soto - Gold Award Mentor

Susan Young - Gold Award Mentor

Kathleen Murphy - Gold Award Mentor

Barbara Betkowski - Entrepreneurial Programs

Carolyn Bove- Entrepreneurial Programs

Tricia Keskinen - Entrepreneurial Programs

Jayne Zimmerman - Entrepreneurial Programs

Honor Pin

Nancy Skelly - ELLM

Phalisa Dorsey - Elmont

Kali Chan - Garden City

Susan Quigley - Garden City

Gloria Malanga - Hardscrabble

Judy Stenson - Hicksville

Pat Amoroso – Merrick

Barbara Blonairz - Robotics

James Colwell - Robotics

Constance Conroy - Robotics

Lori D'Antonio - Robotics

Michelle Iannuzzo - Robotics

Paul Iannuzzo - Robotics

Julie Matteini - Robotics

Vaishali Mehta - Robotics

Eileen Sill - Robotics

Nadeen Chahine, PhD - Robotics Partner

Gloria Collura, RN - Robotics Partner

Cheryl Davidson - Robotics Partner

Susan Fitzpatrick, RN - Robotics Partner

Melissa Gebbia, PhD - Robotics Partner

Christine Metz, PhD - Robotics Partner

Emily Mundorff, PhD - Robotics Partner

Lauren Pearson, RN - Robotics Partner

Lisa Johnson - Gold Award Mentor

Janet Gordon - Gold Award Mentor

Kathleen Holleran - Gold Award Mentor

Kimberly Epps - Entrepreneurial Programs

Donna Bye - Entrepreneurial Programs



Thanks Badge

Lisa Burke - Bay

Pat Hickey - ELLM

Kerry Couture - Garden City

Laura Schramm, PhD - Garden City

Barbara Ann Keenan - Hardscrabble

Catherine Azzara - Massapequa

Alice Azzara - Massapequa

Jennifer Azzara - Massapequa

Irene Rosen – Oceanside

Stephanie Bartoldus - Gold Award Mentor

Basia Damsker - Gold Award Mentor

Colleen Stark - Gold Award Mentor

25 Year Service/35 Year Tenure

Rita Friedman - Merrick

25 Year Tenure

Randi Meltzer - Merrick

Zara Friedman - Rockville Centre

Dianne Danielsen - Merrick

35 Year Tenure/35 Year Service

Elizabeth Alford - Bellmore

40 Year Tenure

Joanne Surless - East Meadow

Friday, April 1, 2016

GSNC’s Mags&Munchies Program Top Sellers 2015

Congratulations to the Top Selling Girl Scouts
Congratulations to this year’s top sellers in GSNC’s Mags&Munchies Program.  All of the girls were invited, with an adult guest, to the very special (and yummy!)  CEO Brunch at The Swan Club in Roslyn on December 5.  Girls who sold 50+ subscriptions or 150+ nut/snack items also participated in a fun-tastic “Made in Brooklyn” tour.  And, our tippy top sellers, Kimberly from Merrick Troop 2554, Isabella from Massapequa Troop 2185 and Melanie from Bellmore Troop 941, each selected a camera or Kindle for their special reward for selling over 75 subscriptions or over 200 nut/snack items.
Samantha M* - Troop 225
Sera M - Troop 922
Melanie M*  - Troop 941
Sofia M*  - Troop 3020
Amanda I*  - Troop 66
Isabella Q* - Troop 3740
Carly S* - Troop 1134
Rosemary C* - Troop 2127
Lauren Y - Troop 2178
Julia C* - Troop 547
Sarah W - Troop 563
Isabella I* - Troop 2185
Kimberly F* - Troop 2454
Olivia N - Troop 2049
Gianna T - Troop 2136
Caterina M* - Troop 2413
Isabella S - Troop 3105
Cassandra N* - Troop 3121
Angela P - Troop 3121
Alexandra P - Troop 3122
Megan R - Troop 3070
Kristi D - Troop 3280
Destini C* - Troop 3635
Kayla B* - Troop 2223
Olivia V* - Troop 1816
Sofia L* - Troop 1022
*Top sellers in their Association, with at least 100 items ordered.

Congratulations to the Top Selling Troops
GSNC Troops earned over $45,000 in proceeds through the Mags&Munchies program to help their girls do great things early in the year. The following Troops really rocked it, with over $2000 in orders which earned the Troop two cookie aprons and a cookie table runner.  The Troops who had over $2500 in orders, also received a cookie costume to add to their cookie marketing program.
Troop 2144 - Baldwin
Troop 3231 - Central Park
Troop 3254 - Central Park
Troop 1449 - Garden City
Troop 3616 - Hardscrabble
Troop 1134 - Hempstead
Troop 3219 - Jericho/Syosset
Troop 508 - Manhasset
Troop 547 - Manhasset
Troop 2454 - Merrick
Troop 2049 - Oceanside
Troop 3121 - Seaford/Wantagh
Troop 3070 - The Plains
Troop 3633 - The Plains
Troop 2363 - Valley Stream
Troop 1025 - W. Hemp/Fr. Square
Troop 1257 - W. Hemp/Fr. Square
Troop 1390 - W. Hemp/Fr. Square
Troop 1816 - W. Hemp/Fr. Square
Troop 1022 - WARM

Great Job to our Booth Sale "Ninja's"
Ever see a Troop who is a booth sale “ninja”? Find one of the following Troops at a booth sale, and you’ll see how it’s done!  These Troops had the highest Mags&Munchies booth sale revenues for their level, so they each had early access to securing a Council Cookie booth site:
Daisy:  WARM Troop 1735
Brownie:  ELLM Troop 2182
Junior:  Seaford/Wantagh Troop 3121
Cadette:  The Plains Troop 3635
Senior:  Hardscrabble Troop 3178

Thank You to Our Mags&Munchies Volunteers
Girl Scouts of Nassau County appreciates the efforts of all of the girls and their families who were “Spotacular” and reached new heights with the Mags&Munchies…and Memories program. We would also like to recognize our dedicated Troop Leaders, Mags&Munchies Troop Managers and the following Mags&Munchies Association Chairs and Volunteers who expertly handled Association training, record keeping and product/reward distribution.
Yvette Holmes, Baldwin
Lisa Burke, Bay
Lynn Spahn, Bellmore
Christine Hirtzel, Central Park
Nancy Rosenbaum, East Meadow
Patti La Barbera, ELLM
Karol Greaves, Elmont
Alexis Greaves, Elmont
Celia Haynes, Five Towns
Laura Lanning, Floral Park
Victoria Taylor, Freeport
Kerry Couture, Garden City
Barbara Betkowski, Glen Cove
Betty Greenberger, Great Neck
Sharon Ciullo, Hardscrabble
Felicia  Cacace, Hardscrabble
Kim Carson, Herricks
Theresa Edelman, Hicksville
Judy Stenson, Hicksville
Lisa Schwartz, Island Beach
Donna Bye, The Plains
Fran O'Connor, Jericho/Syosset
Maria Iovine, Manhasset
Cindy Summer, Massapequa
Debbie Meehan, Massapequa
Randi Meltzer, Merrick
Helene Pino, Merrick
Stephanie Sheriff, Oceanside
Catherine Raia, Plainedge
Moira Truss, Plainedge
Terry Wong, Port Washington
Maureen Boyce, Rockville Centre
Tara Deller, Seaford/Wantagh
Julie Nietsch, Seaford/Wantagh
Kimberly Gamble, Uniondale
Erica Petrone, Valley Stream
Terry Bodnar, West Hempstead
Amy Levine, WARM
Jessica Laffey, WARM

Monday, February 29, 2016

Gold Award recipients recognize the power of being a Girl Scout.

We have an exciting year ahead! Throughout 2016, we will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouting’s top award, the Girl Scout Gold Award.
Across our Movement and over the years, millions of alumnae have earned the Golden Eagle of Merit, the Golden Eaglet, the Curved Bar, First Class and the Gold Award.
Over one hundred of our girl members are currently working to attain the Girl Scout Gold Award. During this centennial year, we will focus on the many benefits of earning the Girl Scout Gold Award.
According to the GSRI study Girl Scouting Works: The Alumnae Impact Study (2012), Girl Scout Gold Award recipients reap greater benefit from their time and experiences in Girl Scouting than non-alumnae. Comparatively, these individuals display more positive life outcomes pertaining to sense of self, life satisfaction, leadership, life success, community service, and civic engagement.
Girl Scout Gold Award recipients represent our most successful and engaged—and happiest—Girl Scout alumnae.
Gold Award recipients recognize the power of being a Girl Scout.
They have positive attitudes toward Girl Scouts, including how it has shaped their lives.
  • 99 % say that belonging to Girl Scouts has had a positive impact on their lives.
  • 92 % say that some of the experiences they had in Girl Scouts could not have occurred anywhere else.
  • 92 % say they are proud to have been a member of Girl Scouts.
  • 91 % say that Girl Scouts played an important role in their childhood.
  • 90 % attribute their success in life to Girl Scouts.
Belonging to Girl Scouts has had a number of unique, powerful, and lasting impressions on Girl Scout Gold Award recipients through their lives:
  • 96 % attribute Girl Scouts with encouraging the setting of high goals and aspirations in life.
  • 96 % attribute Girl Scouts with providing leadership opportunities they couldn’t get elsewhere.
  • 91 % attribute Girl Scouts with making them a more responsible member of their community.
  • 90 % attribute Girl Scouts with providing them with an adult role model.
  • 93 % attribute Girl Scouts with enabling them to feel empowered.

Monday, February 22, 2016

DHL, Operation Cookie and a Commitment to Community

Girl Scouts of Nassau County Salutes Our Community Partners
GSNC has hundreds of community partners, including every public school district, most private and religious schools, local colleges and universities, other not-for-profit organizations, as well as government and corporate supporters and many small businesses. This is the second in a series of articles that will focus on some of our partner organizations.
DHL, Operation Cookie and a Commitment to Community
For more than a decade, DHL has partnered with the Girl Scouts of Nassau County to ship 600,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies—that adds up to literally ten million cookies!— to service men and women across the world through Operation Cookie.
A worldwide leader in shipping and logistics, DHL has made social responsibility a key piece of its strategy. By leveraging its core competency—international shipping—DHL makes an impact across the globe by connecting people and coordinating the smooth delivery of innumerable products across air, land and sea.
From species-survival programs (delicately shipping endangered species to new homes for their protection) to sending a taste of home (like cookies!) to troops stationed in the Middle East during Girl Scout Cookie Season. DHL has made itself a pillar of the community and an indispensable resource for organizations such as the Girl Scouts.
While this partnership, at the center of Operation Cookie, began 11 years ago, DHL began its own Operation Holiday Cheer one year prior. Sending Christmas trees, menorahs and holiday decorations to troops stationed overseas, Operation Holiday Cheer has been an annual community event for 12 years, most recently celebrated on December 7, 2015.
But it was Connie W., a GSNC volunteer from Manhasset, who lit the spark that brought the two organizations together for something special. Connie and her family had been shipping hundreds of boxes of cookies directly to troops out of her garage. When a friend made the connection between DHL’s commitment to community involvement and GSNC’s desire to send cookies around the world, all it took was one question to make it all happen: Can we do this?
The answer has been a resounding yes!
From Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain and Kuwait to Germany, South Korea and everywhere in between, the program has grown exponentially and organically. Individual Girl Scouts mentioned that their own family and friends are stationed outside the Middle East, and the program responded accordingly. With DHL’s logistical ability it was second nature to grow the program and bring a fresh box of Do-si-dos or Thin Mints to troops at military hospitals such as the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Kaiserslautern, Germany and troops stationed around the world.
And that social responsibility continues to get paid forward. The late Lt. Col. Schumacher had asked if he could share his Girl Scout cookies with the children in Iraqi villages his troops encountered every day. While the troops were thousands of miles away from home, sharing a taste of their childhood with a smiling face helped bring together two cultures in a truly special way. That genuine respect, love and appreciation is what Operation Cookie is all about.