Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Giving Thanks!

Giving Thanks!

By Donna C.

Gratitude should be an active part of everyone’s life, year round. Keeping a gratitude journal can make you happier, healthier and even help you to sleep better! Having our girls learn how to appreciate and value the many blessings that they have in their lives can help them to live richer lives.


I am grateful each day for my privilege to have this job. I am grateful I work for an organization with such a compelling mission as the Girl Scouts, and where I am surrounded by so many good people – girls, volunteers and our staff team.


Here are few things on the top of my “THANKS LIST” this week …


  • Our GIRL SCOUTS who are out there taking risks and making a difference in their community. They are the leaders of tomorrow.
  • Our VOLUNTEERS who make Girl Scouting possible by sharing their time, talent and treasure…Girl Scouts runs on Girl Scout VOLUNTEERS!
  • Our Girl Scout PARENTS who help their girls to choose Girl Scouting, and who support their girls and their Troop Leaders with their time and support.
  • Our DONORS and COMMUNITY PARTNERS whose support allows us to provide program enrichment, financial assistance to girls in need, and so many fantastic opportunities for girls to have fun and learn thru STEM, Financial Literacy, Outdoor experiences and by developing skills for healthy living.
When you count your blessing this year, I hope the Girl Scouts are on your list!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 21, 2016

What is a Troop Crest?

Did you know… the first Girl Scout Troops reportedly did not have Troop numbers, they had Troop crests to identify themselves? Today, Troop crests are used as a symbol of a Troop's goals or main interests. Once a Troop chooses a crest that has special meaning to them, it is used for the life of that Troop and can be placed on the uniform of each girl in the Troop.

This is a good way to bring scouts together in a Troop around a common goal, particularly if the Troop is multi-level, or made up of girls from different schools, etc.

Who can have a Troop Crest?

All Brownie, Junior, Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador Troops.

How do we choose which Troop Crest we should have?

The girls in the Troop should vote on which crest meaning describes the Troop the best. We suggest to read the meanings of each crest out loud to your Troop, but don't tell them what the crest is or show them a picture of the crest.

Where can I purchase the Troop Crest for my Troop?

Once your Troop has selected their Troop crest, visit us at the Girl Scouts of Nassau County Shop or visit your local Girl Scout Shop to make your purchase.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Linking Girl Scouts and their Faiths

On my honor, I will try to serve God and my country…

The foundation of Girl Scouting is the Girl Scout Promise and Law – which links to and reinforces many of the principles and values common to most faiths. While Girl Scouts is a secular organization, it encourages girls to grow stronger in their own spiritual beliefs while respecting the beliefs of others. Today there are a number of awards girls may earn that help them to do this.

GSUSA My Promise, My Faith pin (Girl Scouts and Faith): Girl Scouts of all grade levels can earn this pin once each year (individually or with their Troop). It complements faith-specific recognitions (see below) and encourages girls to further strengthen the connection between their faith and Girl Scouting. Find requirements in The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting for all levels, or online (see GSUSA link below).

Faith-specific religious recognitions are created/offered by national faith-based committees, and have been approved by GSUSA for wearing on the front of the Girl Scout uniform.

Helpful Links/Resources

  • P.R.A.Y.: view a brochure with information about the awards for all faiths (with contact information), a video that explains the religious recognitions programs, and resources for collaborating with the faith community. You’ll also find information about additional patches the girls may receive.

  • The Catholic Committee on Girl Scouting: At present this is the only organized Faith Committee in Nassau County. Visit their website for information about awards, publications and a variety of special events specific for girls of the Catholic faith: www.gsdrvc.org. Members of the committee will also help non-Catholic girls/families get started on the appropriate awards for their faiths.

Help Wanted!

If you would like to become a local contact for/representative of one of the many faiths represented in Nassau County, please contact Joyce Wagner at 516.741.2550 ext. 225 or wagnerj@gsnc.org.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Camping at Blue Bay in the winter is crazy you say?

Troop 1025 from West Hempstead/Franklin Square Association doesn’t think so. It is one of our most favorite activities every year. We have had pajama fashion shows, nail polish parties, and this year paint night. No outside activities you say? We take hikes, go to the beach, build snowmen and even have compass races for prizes. The wildlife is abundant and fun to watch. The activity building is a favorite hangout where we play volleyball and other sports. The cabins are warm and comfortable and the perfect venue for badge work and crafts. The kitchen is great for cooking our meals but we have been known to cook out on the campfire when the weather permits. We love making fires in the fireplace and of course sharing S’mores. We have been going for many years and hope to go many more!

Whether earning badges, working on a Journey or just having fun, Girl Scout Troops have a blast when they go Troop Camping at Camp Blue Bay.

Traditional Troop Camping is a unique experience planned and carried out by a group of girls and their camp-trained volunteers/leaders. Under the guidance of trained and enthusiastic adults, girls may take their first hike, build their first campfire and sleep under the stars for the first time—so cool! Girls take part in planning of meals and activities, learn outdoor skills and work as a team to enjoy a fun outdoor adventure. These opportunities are available year round and registration is ongoing.

Applications for Winter 2016/2017 Troop Camping are now being accepted and processed.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Why Participate in the Mags&Munchies Program?

1. Because you will learn great entrepreneurial skills like Goal Setting, Decision Making, People Skills, Money Management and Business Ethics.
2. Because you'll get to run a real online store (sign up at: girlscouts.qspgao.com/gsnc)
3. Because your Troop will earn funds to do exciting girl-led events, community service and take action projects.
4. Because you’ll have an opportunity to earn special patches and cool rewards.
5. Because it’s great practice for Girl Scout Cookie season!
Did you know that once the product is paid for, all of the remaining revenue stays in Nassau County to help our girls explore and do great things?
How can you Participate?
You can get a packet of information and an order card from your Troop’s Mags&Munchies Manager. You can also sign up directly for the online program at: girlscouts.qspgao.com/gsnc

Friday, September 16, 2016

What do Girl Scouts really do?

This is a true story shared by one of our Program Specialists.

One day a girl asked me, “What do Girl Scouts really do?” She said “I know they sell cookies, go camping, make crafts and they do nice things for people. Why do I have to become a member to do any of those things, especially when one of those things is just being what you should be…helpful?”

I am not sure if she expected the answer she got, but I do know that she did not want to be convinced or cajoled. She wanted the facts. I am sharing the facts with you as I did with her at the start of the summer.

This past school year girls from all over Nassau County participated in programs where they explored the barrier islands and dissected dog sharks at the Sports Fishing Alliance Center. They learned proper archery form at C & B Archery; having seconds to prepare for a target game that challenged their newly acquired skills. More than 180 girls prepared themselves for summer jobs by earning their Babysitter badge at Saint Joseph Hospital. Still others learned how to build and launch rockets and interpret authentic human skeletal remains for gender, age, trauma, and disease at Garvies Point Museum and Preserve. They built robots, operated flight simulators and they packed their bags for an advocacy trip in Albany. Girls choose to do all sorts of things to explore the world they live in because at Girl Scouts they can; their voice counts, their decisions matter, their actions are impactful. It doesn’t take long for them to understand that their experiences make them interesting, unique and are the foundation for their life choices.
Most Girl Scouts take pride in selling cookies because they know where cookies come from... Girl Scouts was established in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low. This being an election year, I must tell you that Girl Scouts existed eight years before women had the right to vote in 1920. Juliette was notorious for refusing to accept no for an answer and in this capacity her tenacity served women and girls quite well. Getting back to the cookie business. Juliette quickly realized that the girls needed money to fund their experiences. Most of the girls lived on farms. They had access to eggs and farm animals. So, first they sold eggs. Then they sheared their sheep and Juliette sold the wool to local merchants. They sold other things too, but with farm fresh ingredients at their disposal, cookies became their top selling product and still is! Today, girls run a $700 million cookie business. Girls fund their fun all year with a percentage of the profit. For many, this experience is their first memory of their desire to be a leader with business skills.
Many Girl Scouts camp. Girl Scouts of Nassau County owns the magnificent Camp Blue Bay in East Hampton. Camping wasn’t our idea, it was Juliette’s. Juliette wanted girls to have the opportunity to appreciate and explore the outdoors in a time period when girls spent much of the time indoors doing things like cooking, sewing, and reading. Juliette herself grew up doing all kinds of things inside and out; climbing trees, fishing, painting and sliding down the spiral bannisters in her family’s home. Most girls did not have that exposure. Today, we encourage girls to embrace the outdoors; learning everything from kayaking and swimming to rock climbing and repelling. And that is why Girl Scouts camp!
Crafting is a special part of our history. Juliette Gordon Low was a talented artist. She painted, sculpted and even tried her hand at welding the gates that she designed for her home. Juliette used her talent to cope with her disabilities. She was a positive person who knew how to work smart rather than hard--- long before that phrase was coined.
Girl Scouts share our founder’s attitude of gratitude and embrace her take charge spirit. They volunteer their time, energy and skills to those in need just as Juliette did when she cared for soldiers with her mother during the Spanish American War. Juliette was a little girl during the Civil War. She was not a stranger to hunger, sickness and sacrifice. She learned what was important early on… God, country and people. Juliette’s goals are embedded in the Girl Scout Promise and her values, simply written in the Girl Scout Law, are timeless, tried and true.
That same girl responded to me with another question “okay, I get all of that and it sounds really fun, but why do I have to be a member?”
I answered her last question this way. Because membership is a commitment to our mission, our sisterhood and our values. We are not alone, we are part of a community and once you are a Girl Scout, you are always a Girl Scout. A girl with a mission working together with a group of girls who share their beliefs succeeds at building courage, confidence, character and relationships that last a lifetime.

The last thing the young girl said to me was “great, thanks, I’ve got enough stuff to convince my mom and dad that Girl Scouts is for me.”

I believe that Girl Scouts make the world a better place and she will too.

Friday, September 9, 2016

A Leaders NEED-TO-KNOW Guide for a successful Girl Scout Year

Not sure what resources you need make your year as a Troop Leader strong? Here are all of the basics to get you started:

TIP #1: Know the 2 staff people that represent your area
Our Girl Scouts of Nassau County staff is here for you! There are two staff people, one from our Volunteerism team and one from our Membership team that will help you start your Girl Scout year right. Our Volunteerism staff person will make sure you are provided with all of the information you need like trainings, background checks, etc. Our Membership staff person will make sure they guide you with registering all of the girls in your Troop, etc. To find out the two staff members that are assigned to you call 516.741.2550.
TIP #2: Know who your Service Team is
A Service Team is a group of Volunteers that are trained to help all Leaders in an Association (group of towns that are close to each other). A Service Team is comprised of Volunteers with many different roles to help you with various things in your Troop. To find out who the members of your Service Team are call 516.741.2550.
TIP #3: Know what resources are available to you and how to plan your year
The Volunteer Resource Center (VRC) is a place where you can come to learn about what your Troop can take part in. You will learn the current Girl Scout program, different ceremonies to do with your Troop, what trips to take and much more. Plan ahead, Volunteers! If you need help planning any Troop activities, such as mapping out your Girl Scout year or if you just need ideas for a meeting, book an appointment with Cathy Ciccone, MVP Volunteer Resource Specialist at cicconec@gsnc.org. Remember- starting July 5th we are now located at our new temporary location at 325 Duffy Avenue in Hicksville. Check out the VRC’s hours below:
Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm Thursday: 9am-8pm (excluding July & Aug) 2016 Fall Hours: September 10 and October 1 the VRC will be open from 10am-1pm
TIP #4: Explore our website and Social Media pages
Our website, gsnc.org has all of the programs available for girls to participate in, explanations of awards and patches girls can earn, all of our shop’s online merchan­dise, etc. Our social media pages including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will show you Troops that are learning and having fun in Girl Scouting and what your Troop can look forward to!
Did you just move up from a Troop Committee position to become a Lead­er or a Co-Leader? If this sounds like you, then don’t forget to complete your paperwork process! All Troop Leaders MUST fill out an Adult Volunteer Appli­cation AND complete the background check, and take the Welcome to Girl Scouts and Girl Scouting 101 trainings. You can’t be ap­pointed as a Leader until you complete these steps. Don’t delay! Girls are waiting on YOU!
*Please note, these tips and contact numbers are geared to Girl Scout Leaders in Nassau County, NY. If you volunteer for a different council, please contact your council service center to inquire about resources specific to your area.