Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Top National Honor Goes to Nassau County Girl Scout


Girl Scouts of Nassau County (GSNC) is happy to announce that Julie Kapuvari was selected for one of Girl Scout’s highest honors, and was named by Girl Scouts of the USA as one of the “2015 National Young Women of Distinction,” for her Gold Award project, “Pollination Project: Don’t Bee Afraid, Bee-lieve.” for addressing the issue of Colony Collapse Disorder which affects the honeybee population. 

This special honor and designation by Girl Scouts of the USA showcases Julie Kapuvari’s extraordinary leadership over a project that had measureable and sustainable impact and addressed a global issue. Julie is a 2015 graduate of Massapequa High School and was one of only 10 young women nationwide to receive the award.

Kapuvari discovered that since 2006, beekeepers have been experiencing major colony losses of 30% to 90% of their apiaries that were later attributed to Colony Collapse Disorder. This has been directly harming commercial beekeeping and pollination operations. Julie helped address this problem by becoming a beekeeper, conducting presentations for a variety of groups, educating them about the need for bee colonies and pesticide free environments. Julie’s colony is on an organic farm. The colony will contribute to its sustainability and productivity, while the organic farm creates a safe haven for the endangered species.

“Girl Scouts of Nassau County is so happy to have Julie Kapuvari recognized for her work to preserve bee colonies. Helping the public to understand that bees are a key indicator in environmental sustainability is so very important to plants and people.” said Donna Ceravolo, Executive Director and CEO of the Girl Scouts of Nassau County.  “We know that Julie will continue her commitment to the environment when she heads off to study at Cornell this fall.”


Julie Kapuvari received a college scholarship from both the Kappa Delta Foundation and Girl Scouts of the USA. Each generously provided a $5,000 scholarship to all of the ten National Young Women of Distinction.

This year, Julie received her Gold Award at GSNC’s Ceremony held on June 20, 2015. She will be honored at a national recognition ceremony hosted by Girl Scouts of the USA. She will also be featured in a livestreaming TED Talk–­­style event with her fellow National Young Women of Distinction. Both the recognition ceremony and livestream will be held on October 7, 2015, in New York.

Earning the Gold Award is just one of the fun and amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts. To join Girl Scouts or learn more about volunteering, please visit:
www.girlscouts.org/join.

Friday, August 14, 2015

GSNC's Camp Blue Bay – A Safe and Fun Camp for Girls


It’s a hot, August Summer day and the girls at Camp Blue Bay are all smiles excited for all the activities they have planned. For a first time visitor who never experienced camp as a child, I was excited to see what it was like and why parents would feel safe sending their kids to a sleepaway camp. Camp Blue Bay, a beautiful property located in East Hampton, NY with many hiking trails and a private beach, opened my eyes about the camp experience and seeing the girls having so much fun is reason enough for parents to send their girls to Camp Blue Bay.

Everyone at Camp Blue Bay was warm and welcoming, from the staff to the campers. Girls of all ages, Girl Scouts and Non-Girl Scouts, interacted with each other.  Although it was hot out, the girls didn’t seem to mind spending time in their tents just talking, joking, and spending time together. Camp counselors were always close by ready to direct them to their next activity. While I explored the camp, I saw many types of activities going on like arts and crafts, sports, games, songs, swimming, and I can imagine much more. During these activities the girls always worked together and helped each other when needed. Each group of girls I encountered seemed to have developed a close bond, a good point to consider when thinking about sending your child to Camp Blue Bay. There was an overall safe and happy atmosphere throughout the entire camp and among all the girls.

A safe-environment would be a major concern for me when sending my child to camp, but after visiting Camp Blue Bay I didn’t feel this is an issue at all. The camp director’s office, the nurse’s office, staff office, and dining hall are located near each other which is a reassurance for any parent. It is closed in and as you walk around the camp you will find girls in various areas either relaxing or participating in fun-interactive activities supervised by their camp counselors.

Camp Blue Bay exceeded my expectations and gave me a glimpse of what a traditional camping experience would be like. The on-site director was very accommodating and made sure I felt comfortable at all times. Camp Blue Bay provides a diverse camping experience for girls to make new friends, get away from technology and explore the outdoors, develop interpersonal skills, and most importantly, create lifelong memories.



Friday, July 24, 2015

Donna C’s Favorite National Parks series – Most Adventurous Park



Over the next few weeks, Girl Scouts of Nassau County will be doing a blog series on some of our CEO’s favorite parks to visit. We hope this inspires our Girl Scouts to set goals, plan trips, and explore the natural wonders that can be seen across our beautiful country. So Girl Scouts, get out your maps, consult the web, set your goals and create a plan to visit some of our national treasures.  As you explore, don’t forget to create memories, take pictures and share with us! #gsoutdoors
Now that Girl Scouts of the USA is partnering with the National Park Service for the “Girl Scout Ranger Program”, I can’t wait to… tell you about some of the more adventurous National Parks I have visited. I’ve been to over a dozen National Parks and every single one of them has made me appreciate the great outdoors.

Here are what I consider to be some of the more adventurous national parks I have visited…

  • There are alligators, crocodiles, mosquitos and who knows what else in the Everglades.  As soon as you enter the Park, they have insect repellant for sale, and signs telling you to keep back from the wildlife.
  • Volcanoes National Park, on the Big Island - The lava is always flowing from the Volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii and it is VERY hot as it moves toward ocean.  Some of it cools before it gets there, and some of it falls in to the sea. At some of the volcanoes they let people get pretty close to the burning floes, close enough to feel the heat as you walk out over the older, dried lava to get there.
  • Imagine how the people survived at Dry Tortugas, a fort on a tiny island off the coast of Key West Florida. It was a fort and then a prison. People from the Park Service still live there year-round.  
  • Death Valley in Nevada. The heat was like a furnace. How did settlers ever make it to the other side? Even though the scenery was eerie, it had one very happy place: The. Best. Swimming Pool. Ever.

Yes, some of these were a little bit scary. But completely worth it!

For the 2015-2016 school year, President Obama’s Every Kid in a Park initiative provides every 4th grader and her/his family with FREE Admission at National Parks, National Forests, National Monuments and other federal lands, waters and recreation sites. So 4th grade Troops, get out your maps, consult the web, set your goals and create a plan to visit some National Parks!

Note: The United States National Park Service offers a terrific website that covers all of the National Parks, National Monuments and National Historic Sites.  This is wonderful resources for kids and adults, even if you are not planning a trip, it will make you wish you were.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Donna C’s Favorite National Parks – Amazing Parks



Over the next few weeks, Girl Scouts of Nassau County will be doing a blog series on some of our CEO’s favorite parks to visit. We hope this inspires our Girl Scouts to set goals, plan trips, and explore the natural wonders that can be seen across our beautiful country. So Girl Scouts, get out your maps, consult the web, set your goals and create a plan to visit some of our national treasures.  As you explore, don’t forget to create memories, take pictures and share with us! #gsoutdoors
Now that Girl Scouts of the USA is partnering with the National Park Service for the “Girl Scout Ranger Program”, I can’t wait to… tell you about some of the National Parks that I find to be simply amazing. I’ve been to over a dozen National Parks and every single one of them has made me appreciate the great outdoors.

Here are the National Parks I find to be simply amazing!

Amazing!

  • Arches and Canyonlands in Utah – These two places are where I fell in love with the desert. We saw both of them in one day, and it is hard to sort out which I liked best. 
  • The Grand Canyon –The pictures are great, but being there in person is an indescribable experience with breathtaking scenery. We’ve been to the North Rim, which gets only 20% of the visitors that go to the South Rim. 
  • Rocky Mountain National Park – It is majestic and there are many areas where you can do easy hiking… Even in the summer there are accessible areas that are covered with snow, even though it may be 70+ degrees outside. And there are mountains, everywhere!
  • Bryce and Zion … These two Utah National Parks are about 75 miles apart, but they are vastly different … At Bryce you look down in the canyon at the hoodoo formations. At Zion most of the time you are in the bottom of the canyon looking up.  There are lots of trails and formations to explore. While visiting Bryce we rode mules down among the hoodoos. At Zion we saw our first and only mountain lion – dashing across the road --and a very large and slow porcupine, waddling around the parking lot, all on the same night!

If you have been to any of these parks, I would love to know if you agree with me that they are Amazing!

Stay tuned for my next installment of Donna C’s Favorite National Parks!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Why Serve on the Girl Scouts of Nassau County Board of Directors?



Girl Scouts of Nassau County has a fantastic group of Board Members who give of their time and expertise to serve in leadership roles that lead the governance of our organization. Each of them are leaders in their careers, in their families and in service to other community organizations. Here is what some of them said when asked “Why do you choose to volunteer for Girl Scouts of Nassau County?”

  • “Girl Scouts develops future leaders. Serving on the Board of Directors has helped me to make an impact on the community and leverage my network to support the Council. I get great satisfaction from meeting girls who are excited about the future and their own ability to lead. I tell my friends and family that I enjoy leading the Board and how important Girl Scouts is for our all of our children.”  - President and Chief Volunteer Officer Wanda Jackson
  • “Serving on the Board of Directors has helped me to establish partnerships between the North Shore-LIJ Health System and GSNC. Through this partnership, we have had the opportunity to develop programs to introduce girls to careers in STEM. I think Girl Scouts is the best way to assist young women in building the confidence needed to explore careers in STEM.”  - Vice President Deborah Schiff
  • “I want to be on the GSNC Board of Directors because what we do directly affects the positive growth of our county and the country’s future leaders. Educating girls at a young age to become leaders in their communities teaches them skills that will carry them far into the future. Making the process of learning and achieving results fun is the best way for people to learn and grow.”  -  Vice President Brian Rothschild
  • “I want to be a member of the GSNC Board to help, assist and improve the lives of girls in Nassau County. This is a unique opportunity to build a better place for girls to thrive in this constantly changing world.” - Member-at-Large Carol Ransom 
  • “My biggest satisfaction from serving on the Girl Scouts of Nassau County Board of Directors is knowing that I am helping make a difference in the lives of girls and investing in our country's future. Girls and women now represent more than 50% of our country's population.  Girls of courage, confidence and character will help this nation soar.” - Member-at-Large Joanne Antun  
  • “My biggest satisfaction in serving on the GSNC Board of Directors is being able to represent my company, AT&T, and provide girls in urban/suburban Nassau County the opportunity to be exposed to different career paths in STEM. There is a need for more women to become scientists, engineers, architects and doctors, just to name a few. Through AT&T’s generous sponsorship of $20K the past two years, if we are able to impact one young woman, then it’s worth the investment.” - Member-at-Large Brandon Ray 
  •  “I believe in the Girl Scout mission of developing girls into strong, confident and compassionate young women who will become our future leaders.” - Member-at-Large Beth Meixner
  •  “I want to be on the Board of Directors as a testament to the organization whose mission is to empower girls. As a Board Member and an active Girl Scout for the past 13 years, I represent the girls and make sure this organization is able to continue to empower them, just like it has done for me!” - Member-at-Large Christina Mendoza 
  • “I saw an opportunity to be part of an organization that is much bigger than myself, and I can give back to the community. I find satisfaction knowing that the decisions the Board makes will help enhance the experience of the girls who join Girl Scouts of Nassau County.”  - Member-at-Large Erica Rice
  • “I believe in the Girl Scout mission and witnessed its growth in my daughter, who earned her Gold Award in 2012. Serving on the Board allows me to use my clinical and leadership skills to promote the organization and the girls it serves.” - Member-at-Large Barbara Murphy Schwaner 
  • “I want to serve on the GSNC Board of Directors because I owe much of accomplishments in life to the great mentors who encouraged me and supported me since I was a child. GSNC helps girls to focus and develop their potential, while building strong self-esteem.” - Member-at-Large Irene Villacci
  • “When I tell my family/friends/colleagues that I am a member of the Girl Scouts of Nassau County Board of Directors, I let them know that in addition to serving as a Superintendent of Schools in Nassau County, I have another golden opportunity to join like-minded individuals who are determined to leave a legacy of leadership, learning and building relationships.” - Member-at-Large Dr. Deborah Wortham