by Erin Schloss
If you are like me, you are asking yourself, “What is geocaching?” I’ve heard this term on several occasions and decided it was time to find out.
Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. These coordinates can be located on several geocaching websites and apps and are only accessible to registered members.
“Who can be a geocacher?” Anyone! In fact, that’s one of the draws of geocaching. Girl Scout troops or families can trek about in search of finding the next cache. Caches are hidden in both easy and hard to find places, and the owners of these caches are pretty creative.
I tagged along with a “Cacher” who showed me several hidden caches throughout my own town. Some were hidden in plain sight. However, when finding one of these treasures, you must be very discreet to avoid catching the eye of a “muggle” or a non-cacher. Other things to remember when caching:
- Leave the cache where you found it
- If you take something from the cache, you must leave something in its place (of equal value)
- Never put anything in the cache that could expire (i.e. food)
- Cache owners are responsible for maintaining their caches
- Geocache in groups for safety and support
All in all, I found Geocaching to be both challenging and rewarding, but most of all fun. The cachers are some of the most enthusiastic, passionate sportsmen I have ever encountered and their excitement and dedication for the sport makes you want to be part of the fun. We can help you get started with our Perfectly Effortless Program: Geocaching. So gather your Girl Scouts, get up, get out and get Geocaching!
Girl Scout Summer Camp is almost here! Registrations are piling in, sessions are filling up, and confirmations are being mailed. Very soon girls will start packing their duffel bags and making the journey to the Girl Scout camp of their choice. This year our Girl Scouts will be welcomed by new resident camp directors at each of our program centers.
“Mouse” is the southeast region camp director (Cherokee Ridge & Latonka). Mouse is from Cape Girardeau, MO and is a lifetime Girl Scout. She earned her Girl Scout Silver Award and her Girl Scout Gold Award. Mouse enjoyed camping as a Girl Scout, worked at summer camp and loves being at camp as a director. Her goals for this summer include, “Teaching girls basic outdoor skills, helping the girls to become more independent and grow into leaders. I want the girls to get the most out of camp that they can. Most of all have fun!”
Camp activity: Making new friends
Camp song: “Tarzan”
Place at camp: By the lake watching the reflection of the moon and stars
“Bear” is the southwest region camp director (Finbrooke & Mintahama). She is originally from Redding, CA and currently lives in Jonesboro, AR. Bear was a Girl Scout as a girl and has worked at both Girl Scout and Boy Scout camps through college. Bear is passionate about Girl Scout camp and says becoming camp director is a dream come true. “Every girl can expect to get an all-around Girl Scout camp experience: outdoor education, songs, games, pool time, learn new skills, and forge everlasting bonds with new friends and counselors. Our campers will be able to challenge themselves in a safe, secure environment. We have an amazing staff dedicated to Girl Scouts.”
Animal: Panda Bear
Camp Activity: Singing songs around a campfire
Camp Song: “On the Loose”
Place at Camp: The dining hall overlooking Lake Mintahama, the porch overlooking main camp at Finbrooke
To Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland Girls and Volunteers:
Our Strategic Learning process continues! Please take a few minutes to answer a short survey to help us plan the direction of our council by May 22, 2013.
Survey for current Girl Scouts.
Survey for current Girl Scout volunteers.
Thank you for helping guide Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland into the future!
We are excited to announce our new and updated website will go live on Tuesday, May 21, 2013. In order to make the transfer happen, our website will be unavailable on Monday, May 20, 2013. Our website address will remain girlscoutsmoheartland.org. If you need access to any forms or other information normally found on the website while the site is down, please call 877-312-4764 and we will be happy to assist you. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by our site being down on May 20, 2013.
Bridging happens when a Girl Scout is ready to transition from one leadership level to the next. Bridging consists of two parts: earning the bridging award and participating in a bridging ceremony.
The Bridging Award
The Handbook section of the Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting contains information about the bridging award for each level. Each level has two bridging award steps, Pass It On and Look Ahead. In step 1, Pass It On, girls share their talent and skills with younger girls. In step 2, Look Ahead, girls learn about the next level by meeting with older girls and asking them to share their experiences. When Ambassadors complete the Look Ahead step, they get together with Girl Scout adults.
The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting contains three suggested activities for each step that are age-level appropriate. The guide states that only one of these activities, or something similar, needs to be done to complete the step.
The Bridging Ceremony
Once girls have completed their bridging award requirements, have a ceremony to celebrate this special transition to the next level. Bridging ceremonies differ, so you can customize one for your troop however you would like! Some service units even do bridging ceremonies for several troops together as a group. Here are a couple of ideas:
- Some troops have girls cross a footbridge at a local park to symbolize their crossing into the next level. Others use a symbolic bridge made of poster board or other materials.
- You can give bridging favors to the girls. For example, for a Bridging to Junior ceremony, you could give each girl a packet of daisy seeds to remind them of where they’ve been, a brownie to remind them of where they are, and a box of Junior Mints to symbolize what lies ahead.
- In addition to the bridging awards, bridging certificates are available at all GSMH retail shops.
Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland held the annual Leader’s Weekend event April 12th – 14th at Finbrooke Program Center in Rogersville, MO. This event is planned, organized and held by a committee of volunteers for volunteers. Many thanks to the dedicated committee members who planned the 2013 Leader’s Weekend: Trina Keeler, Kris Kessler, Kim Kneeter, Debra Kroll, Stephanie Lodes, Barbara Lowery, Melinda McGee, Goldie Prine, Karin Poppe, Jan Rorrer, Ginger Schneider, Mary Sheppard, Annette Thomas, Jamie Turner, and Stacy Weinstein. Without these volunteers, Leader’s Weekend wouldn’t have been so successful!
About 125 Girl Scout adult volunteers from across the council gathered for a weekend filled with fun, friendship and learning! The Windows to the Past theme was reflected in the workshops, food, and souvenirs offered. Workshops included beeswax candle making, crocheting, outdoor cooking, archery, games great-great grandma would have played and more.
If that wasn’t enough, participants were able to experience zip lining at night, s’mores around the campfire, and explore camp by taking a morning and night hike. There was even a make and take craft station to make t-shirt scarves.
Leader’s Weekend is an annual event for all Girl Scout adult volunteers across the council. If you would like to join in the planning for the 2014 Leader’s Weekend and have fun ideas please join the committee. New committee members are always welcome! If you have any questions or want to join the committee contact Melody Hutchison, leadership and learning specialist-volunteerism or 877-312-4764 x 1122.