Regional Chats

Registered members of Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland are invited to attend a Regional Chat in October. At these informal panels, the GSMH senior team will be present to provide council updates and to hear your ideas.

Southwest Region
Thursday, October 14 • 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Columbus Scout House
116 E Country Rd, Columbus, KS

Southeast Region
Monday, October 18 • 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Westside Family Life Center
1274 County Rd 5270, Willow Springs, MO

Central Region
Thursday, October 21 • 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Silver Meadows Program Center
300 S Pinnacles Rd, Hallsville, MO


Laura Hinkebein Retires After 27 Years of Service

GSMH’s Chief Development Officer, Laura Hinkebein, will retire on October 8, 2010. Please join us in wishing her the best as she and her husband retire to Arkansas, where she says they plan to “do all those things we say we will do when we have time.”

Words from Laura:

I am honored to have worked for an organization that supports and advocates for children and provides experiences for girls to grow into caring, confident, and strong women.  What an important way to spend your life’s work!

Thank you to the many donors who have supported the Girl Scout program over the years.  How rewarding it is to see that they understand the importance of girls and women as leaders and make them a philanthropic priority.  Donors, your trust and investment in Girl Scouting have paid off.  Your financial gifts have created generations of girl leaders who are making the world a better place.

I have met so many wonderful volunteers, donors, and staff members over my 27 years with the organization — all working together to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Special thanks to my mentors, Denise Stewart and Jennifer M. Orban.  These Chief Executive Officers epitomize the qualities we want for “our girls” –  smart, strong, kind, supportive and encouraging women.

“Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other’s gold.”  Thank you to my many silver and gold Girl Scout friends.


Plans to Combine the Cape Girardeau and Dexter Girl Scout Operations on Hold

At a Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland board meeting held on Friday, September 17, the board of directors voted to send the recent decision to sell the Dexter and Cape Girardeau service centers back to the property committee for further discussion. After the decision to combine operations was made by the board in June, additional information surfaced regarding the potential payback of a grant and deed restrictions. This information will be looked at by the volunteer property committee, which includes representatives from all regions of the council. “These are tough decisions to make, and we want to make sure we examine all of the information thoroughly,” said Tina Stillwell, Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland Board Chair.

Currently, both the Dexter and Cape Girardeau Service Centers are two of five service centers that house administrative staff, including program and membership staff who serve the southeastern portion of the council jurisdiction. “Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland is proud to be able to provide the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to over 13,000 girls and 6,000 adults in our council,” stated Jennifer M. Orban, Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland CEO.  She continued to say, “No matter what the final decision, all Girl Scouts and volunteers in the area will receive the same quality support and programming with full-time membership and program staff dedicated to assigned areas.”

The discussion will take place simultaneously with the upcoming comprehensive review of all program center properties. This process is designed to generate a plan that ensures all program properties provide safe and well-maintained facilities that meet current and future girl needs.

For updates regarding the property assessments, please go to or email your questions to

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FIRST Lego League needs you!

GSMH is pleased to announce openings for our inaugural FLL robotics team.  We are looking for six to eight girls in grades 4 through 8 who would be excited to take part in this challenge!

What is FLL?

The purpose of FIRST teams is to engage girls in exciting robotics programs that build leadership skills in science, engineering and technology.  You will learn to build and program a LEGO robot to do tasks on a course and you will compete with your team against other young people and their robots!

What is the commitment?

The commitment is to meet once a week (perhaps more often right before competition) and the ability to travel with us to at least one competition.  The competitions begin in November.  You will also have a chance to put on programs during and after school to show other students what FIRST Lego League and robotics is about!

When and where will we meet?

We will meet once a week at the Hallsville Elementary School in Hallsville, MO.  This is north of Columbia, MO.  We may increase our number of meetings as we get closer to a competition.

How much does it cost?

We are asking that the girls participating pay 20 dollars for the entire program.  You may also need to buy your food on the days of competitions.

I have a friend who wants to do this too but she is not a Girl Scout.  Can she be part of the team?

That is just fine!  Because of all of the different pathways in Girl Scouting, this Series pathway is a great way to participate!

Can my parents help?

We would love to have parent involvement!  Parents are great support when preparing for and traveling to competitions.

How do I sign up?

We would like to have the team in place within a couple of weeks.  Please submit a short essay by Friday, September 24 on why you would like to participate on the GSMH Robo-Girls team to:

Karen Lawrence by email:

or by mail:

230 Metro Drive

Jefferson City, MO  65109

or by fax:


Please feel free to contact us for more information!


No More Boring Days: Girl Scouts Offers More For Less

Girl Scouts may be nearly 100 years old, but its program has evolved with the times. Traditions such as the Girl Scout Cookie Program, camping, and skill-building badges remain in place, but the additions of six program pathways and an outcomes-based program model have made the program more flexible for today’s families. Now, girls still have the option of joining a year-long Girl Scout troop, but they may also participate in other Girl Scout pathways – to addition to the troop experience or in lieu of it. Girl Scout pathways include one-day programs, 4-6 week series, camp, travel, and online activities. Whether they choose one or all of the pathways, all Girl Scouts benefit from fifteen tangible, research-based outcomes such as a strong sense of self, practical life skills, healthy relationships, and feeling empowered to make a difference.

Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland is pleased to offer a wide variety of program opportunities for girls in 2010-2011; topics include career exploration, financial literacy, science, theater, sports, travel, and more. Girls are encouraged to make decisions about what and where they want to explore, and then to work together to plan and budget according to their age-level skills. With program events as inexpensive as $3 and annual membership dues of only $12, Girl Scouts is a low-cost investment with incalculable life-long benefits. Financial assistance is available for membership dues, council-sponsored programs, and uniform pieces for girls with demonstrated need.

For more information about joining Girl Scouts, please visit or contact Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland at (877) 312-4764 or

About the Girl Scout Leadership Experience

Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls in grades K-12. With 3.3 million girl and adult members worldwide, Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls’ healthy development. Today’s Girl Scout Leadership Experience has evolved to fit a wide variety of interests of schedules. With six program pathways – events, series, camp, troops, travel, and virtual – girls have more options and more reasons to join than ever before. Through hands-on learning opportunities and a girl-led decision-making process, the Girl Scout Leadership Experience empowers girls to discover a strong sense of self, connect with others in a changing world, and take action to help make the world a better place.

About Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland

Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland has a membership of approximately 16,000 girls and 6,000 adults across 68 counties in central and southern Missouri, southeast Kansas, and northeast Oklahoma. With the support of community partners, donors, and volunteers, we mentor and support girls as they develop crucial life skills and prepare to take the lead – today, tomorrow, and for the rest of their lives. For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect or donate to Girl Scouts, call 877-312-4764 or visit us on the web at