Tell Us What You Think! Strategic Learning 2013

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To Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland Girls, Parents and Volunteers:

We are very glad to have you involved in Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland.  Providing an exciting Girl Scout program that gives girls opportunities to grow, learn and have fun is very important to us.  And we need your help to make sure our council keeps up to date with what is important to our girls.

Over the next year our council will be going through a process called Strategic Learning.  We will be using the proven best practices of Strategic Learning to gather and review a lot of information from girls and adults across our council.  Girls and adults will have the opportunity to tell us what they like about Girl Scouts and what they would like to see happening in Girl Scouts.  Girls, parents and volunteers are encouraged to complete the online surveys listed below.  You may complete a survey in more than one of the categories if applicable.  Please encourage any girls, Girl Scout parents or Girl Scout volunteers that you know to complete the survey on-line.  The more people that participate, the richer the pool of data we will have to use in our Strategic Learning process.

Girl Survey 

Parent Survey

Volunteer Survey

Thank you for helping us with this very important project.  Your information will help lead Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland into the future.

Sincerely,

 

Anne Soots, Chief Executive Officer

Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland

 

 

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2013 JUST DESSERTS: Recipe for Success

By Renee Trout

Ingredients:

8 varieties of Girl Scout Cookies

4-5 Girl Scout Troops (any age level)

4-5 local chefs

1 panel of judges

Unlimited amount of community supporters

1 evening of delicious fun

Mix all ingredients with creativity, flair, and ambition.  Serve on Thursday, February 7, 2013, at Drury Lodge in Cape Girardeau, MO and you have created something fabulous that we call Just Desserts!

More than a fundraising event, this exciting evening allows Girl Scouts a chance to work with renowned chefs to create a totally new recipe using Girl Scout cookies.  Participants can sample all the delicious entries and vote on their favorite dessert by purchasing a vote for $1 each (you can vote as many times as you like).  The entry with the most votes is named “People’s Choice” winner.  Our panel of sponsors will also pick their favorite dessert, judging each entry on texture, flavor, use of Girl Scout cookie, and creativity. Just Desserts 2013- for VC and blog

This is the third year that Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland has hosted the Just Desserts event.  TV shows like Cake Boss, Cupcake Wars and Sweet Genius were the inspiration for creating this unique fundraising opportunity.  The combination of a cook-off and Girl Scout cookies was too good to pass up!

As with everything we do in Girl Scouting, it is not just about the money we raise–it’s about what we are able to teach our girls in this process.  All the chefs are local business owners who offer the girls some real world advice and show them how to use their imaginations to create something totally new.  The girls must also come up with the name for their new recipe that will motivate people to vote for their dessert.

As we celebrate another Girl Scout cookie season, we encourage everyone in the area to come out and see what great things our Girl Scouts are learning and doing.

 

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What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

Such a simple question that elicits very strong responses! Many times, around our offices you get more than a simple answer of “Thin Mints.”  Oftentimes there are a lot more specifics involved such as these:  “My favorite cookies are Thin Mints taken from the freezer” or “I like the Shortbreads dunked in my coffee” or “I love the Peanut Butter Patties with an ice cold glass of milk.”  These are just a few of the common responses around the GSMH offices.

Or maybe there is more to it than that.  Perhaps you remember sharing your favorite cookie with a special relative or as a Girl Scout yourself you recall that cookie that everyone asked for when you came around during cookie time.  Whatever the reason for your favorite, it is a fact that Girl Scout cookies hold a passionate place in many people’s hearts.

We know that the top selling cookies are Thin Mints, Caramel DeLights and Peanut Butter Patties, but we are curious what your favorite Girl Scout cookie is. Take this quick survey and let us hear from you–What’s your favorite cookie?

http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e6wesdr9hbtkxmzp/start

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Registration Gets Easier with the Arrival of Online Registration!

There’s something new and exciting coming to Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland which will revolutionize membership registration and make registration faster, and everything more accurate! It’s called eBusiness, or “eBiz,” and it will make your life as a volunteer a lot easier–allowing you to spend more time providing a rewarding experience for your girls and less time doing paperwork!

In brief, “eBiz” is a collection of online tools that allows girls, guardians, and volunteers to take advantage of online registration via the web. When we release eBiz, it will include the following features:

For individuals:

  • customer profile management
  • membership renewals
  • new member registration
  • family giving donations
  • self reporting

For troop leaders:

  • troop maintenance
  • troop rosters and email communications

Later in 2013, we will be implementing additional features which will allow:

  • adult training registration
  • program/event registration
  • camp registration
  • troop program registration

Imagine that! Parents able to register, re-register, pay for registration, all online! No more rushing and scrambling to collect registration forms, no more trying to read handwriting and figure out mistakes, no more hassle getting troop information changes made and rosters sent. With eBiz, parents and girls can be responsible for their own registrations, and you have more power as a leader to manage your troop’s information. It’s a win-win for everybody!

Unfortunately, something like this doesn’t just *poof* into existence overnight. It has taken a lot of work on the part of many individuals to bring online registration to our council, and the job isn’t done. We need our volunteers to help to make sure it is rolled out early this year with little trouble. Whenever possible, please make sure that you have collected the correct email addresses of everyone in your troop who has one, adult and girl alike, and send them to your membership marketing specialist. An email address is the key to accessing the online registration system! (Make sure to let your adults know that having their email address for eBiz is to allow them to use the upcoming online registration tool and not for marketing purposes.)

Keep an eye out for more information about online registration in the weeks to come, along with specific dates for its official release. There will be incentives to girls and troops to encourage online registration and re-registration for the 2014 membership year!

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2013 Girl Scout Cookie Program

Goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics—wait! What? I thought I was selling a box of cookies…what’s with the rest of this stuff?

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is about so much more than selling cookies. This girl-led annual program is designed to equip girls and troops with more than proceeds or a stuffed dolphin. The various levels of the cookie program help girls with those 5 skills mentioned above, skills that are transferrable to activities and situations outside of Girl Scouting.

Goal Setting: “Girls work together, with adults and teammates, to strategize and plan for their cookie sale-how many boxes can well sell? How many boxes will it take to help us do the things we want to do?” This skill helps girls learn to plan ahead, consider their options, and be prepared. For example, she won’t tell you on Sunday night that her science fair project is due tomorrow.

Decision Making: “We’ve set a goal, how do we get there? Where do we find customers?  How long will it take to sell all of these cookies? How can we advertise and market our product? What’s our plan of action?” This skill helps girls evaluate and make decisions based on their options. For example, she will be prepared to think through and decide how and when to spend money she’s earned from babysitting or a part-time job at the grocery store.

Money Management: “Basic mathematics-making change for customers and tracking her sales. How much money does it take to be able to do the things we’ve planned for?” This skill helps girls practice critical money management skills that can translate into designing and balancing a budget or saving.

People Skills: “What do I say to customers? How do I get them to buy a box of cookies? What if my teammates or the other girls in the troop don’t want to do the same things I would like to do with our proceeds? How do we work that out?” The skill of talking to and working with people is a significant skill for all experiences in life; it helps girls to work well with others on school projects or as part of a team, or can help girls to engage with others and make new friends.

Business Ethics: “Selling more cookies means handling more money in a responsible and honest way.” This skill helps girls to grasp the importance of honesty, and might help her develop references for her first job application, or work out situations with friends and classmates who value her approach.

These skills are important for girls, who are always learning and growing through new experiences and new encounters. The Girl Scout Cookie Program provides these new experiences and gives girls the opportunities they need to be successful. These things are carried with them into other aspects of their life: in the classroom, in peer relationships, and through contributions to their communities.

At GSMH, we know that girls today are bombarded with fundraisers and activities through school, church and sports, but we want to emphasize the learning experience.  The Girl Scout Cookie Program is  not just about having the funds to support the group, although that’s important too, it’s about preparing girls to be the adults and leaders of our world.

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