GSMH trip to the National Council Session and 52nd National Convention

Update: Registration has been extended — have your registration in to Deborah Oglesby by August 26.

Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland trip to the National Council Session and 52nd National Convention

We are putting together a girl trip for the 52nd National Convention and would love to have a great group of girls attend!

The dates for the trip are Wednesday, November 9 through Monday, November 14 and will be leaving from the Joplin area.  Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland will provide letters to the schools of participating girls requesting that these days be considered excused absences due to the educational nature of the convention. These dates were chosen to allow girls to attend both the opening and closing ceremonies.  The cost for attendance as part of our council group is $735 per girl and $855 per adult.  These costs include transportation, breakfast each day, convention registration and your hotel room.  We are allowed to have 10 girls attend the Girl Scout Leadership Institute and there would be an additional fee for participation.

At this point in time, we have 16 spots open.  If we have more than 16 people committed to going, the per person cost will be dropped accordingly.

We have to register by August 1, 2011.  Please note that cookie credit and program credit may be used for this trip.  Also, if you would like to make a partial payment, to hold your spot, you may do so.  We would need a deposit of at least $250 per person to hold your spot.  Unfortunately, since we are on such a tight turnaround time, refunds will not be possible.

If you would like to attend, please contact Deborah Oglesby, Leadership Program Specialist at 877-312-4764 ext. 1212 or by email at doglesby@girlscoutsmoheartland.org.

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Volunteer Perspectives, It’s Your Story-Tell It!

As you know, Girl Scouts of the USA and Dove®, the leading personal care brand, partner to deliver Girl Scout leadership and self-esteem programming to millions of girls nationwide and abroad with the latest Girl Scout leadership journey It’s Your Story-Tell It!. It’s Your Story-Tell It! uses a storytelling theme in a fun and relevant way for girls to better understand themselves and their potential.

Keeping with the storytelling theme, I reached out to a volunteer recently to get an on the ground perspective on a journey in progress. “I have enjoyed the journey with the girls. Most of what we did came directly from the journey books, as we didn’t think we could truly test the journey unless we followed it closely,” she states. “As we progressed, the girls were more and more outspoken and confident in expressing their ideas… A number of them said they would try it again. It was evident that the effects of the project are both positive and sustainable, potentially reaching many more students and their families.”

Specifically, the girls were participating in a remake project—taking stock of the media in their lives, of issues in the community, creating a piece of media that better reflects the realities of their world. To continue sharing this message (which is the final step to the Influence Award), the girls were creating a public service announcement.

“I asked the girls what they have gotten out of our journey. They told me that they had never thought about the power of the messages in the media. They said that they gained leadership skills by bringing their media remake into their schools and being guides and leaders for all the other students. It was evident that the girls felt empowered by the fact that so many students followed their lead and participated in their remake project. They reported that they learned how to work with adults, and how important communication is and how difficult at times.”

Do you have any Journey success stories to share?

 

Next Week is National Volunteer Week. The GSMH Blog will be spotlighting stories around Volunteer Week. Stay tuned…

(ht: GSUSA)

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Gearing Up for National Volunteer Week 2011

Established in 1974, National Volunteer Week has grown exponentially in scope each year since, drawing the support and endorsement of all subsequent U.S. presidents, governors, mayors and other respected elected officials.

National Volunteer Week is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. It’s about demonstrating to the nation that by working together, in unison, we have the fortitude to meet our challenges and accomplish our goals. National Volunteer Week is about taking action, encouraging individuals and their respective communities to be at the center of social change—discovering and actively demonstrating their collective power to foster positive transformation.

During National Volunteer Week, Girl Scouts of the USA pays tribute to innovative volunteers for making a difference. National Volunteer Week is not only our moment in time to celebrate our volunteers, but to enable a nation to share ideas, practices, and stories, wherever they happen, and shaping a movement to re-imagine the notion of citizenship for the 21st century.

(ht: GSUSA)

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Earth Hour and GSMH Team Up to Honor the Planet

Earth Hour and Girls Scouts of the USA announced a collaboration to increase environmental education, awareness and action. This collaboration is part of the Earth Hour global campaign, launched today in Singapore, that marks the beginning of a new phase for Earth Hour to “go beyond the hour” – encouraging people to capture, share and inspire environmental conversation and action year-round.

Earth Hour is a global initiative that invites individuals, businesses, governments and communities to turn off their lights for one hour – 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 26 – to show support for environmentally sustainable action. In the United States, Earth Hour is partnering with the Girl Scouts to bring the movement to life.

“Our organizations have a common purpose – to create a better environment for future generations,” said Earth Hour Co-Founder and Executive Director Andy Ridley. “Girl Scouts make a tangible difference in their communities. The support of such a respected organization helps us contribute to the environmental education of young people and spread this global movement across generations and geographies.”

Initially a single-city initiative in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, Earth Hour has become a global movement in which hundreds of millions of people from every continent join together to acknowledge the importance of protecting and improving the planet. Earth Hour 2010 was the world’s largest global climate change initiative, with millions of participants in more than 4,600 cities across nearly 130 countries and territories. Since its inception in 2007, Earth Hour’s iconic “lights out” event has seen some of the world’s most recognized landmarks switch off their lights, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Buckingham Palace in London, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and the Forbidden City in China.

This year, nearly 20 Girl Scout Councils from across the country will be organizing Earth Hour activities, and Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland is one of them. “Our girls care deeply about the environment, and this partnership gives them a simple way to share this passion with their friends, families and communities,” said Kathy Cloninger, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of the USA. “It’s important that we all do our part to protect the environment.”
Thousands of Girl Scouts across the country will be participating in community activities to support Earth Hour on March 26. In addition, many Girl Scouts are taking activities beyond the hour by installing ENERGY STAR®-qualified or other energy-efficient light bulbs in homes, schools and businesses during the month of March.

Share your Girl Scout activities in picture or video! http://earthhourblog.posterous.com/share-your-earth-hour-photos-and-videos

  • Earth Hour has also set up the following user name and password so that Girl Scouts can upload pictures, video, and audio files to the Earth Hour global media centre www.earthhour.org/media.aspx. Attached is the instruction guide.
Username: girlscoutsusa
Password: passw0rd (note the zero)

The link is now posted http://earthhourblog.posterous.com/share-your-earth-hour-photos-and-videos on the Earth Hour page of our GSFG Web site. (near the bottom,  third to last paragraph, last sentence reads:)

The Earth Hour collaboration is one part of the Girl Scouts’ broader commitment to environmental sustainability. Girl Scouts Forever Green (GSFG), the Girl Scouts’ 100th Anniversary Take Action Project, is a national effort of girls leading their families, schools and communities in improving the environment and protecting natural resources. The effort offers a meaningful leadership experience that makes a positive impact on the environment through three key projects: 1) using reusable water bottles and bags to reduce plastic waste; 2) planting and maintaining rain gardens at schools, homes and other sites; and 3) participation in Earth Hour events. Participants are also encouraged to take an online pledge stating their yearlong commitment to GSFG efforts. Beginning in July, all 112 Girl Scout councils and USA Girl Scouts Overseas will be invited to participate in Girl Scouts Forever Green.

“The Girl Scouts Forever Green project is a great example of how organizations can take Earth Hour beyond the hour and make a positive difference for the future of the planet,” Ridley added.

There currently are only 2 days until Earth Hour 2011, which asks the world to:

  • Switch off lights for Earth Hour at 8:30 p.m., Saturday, March 26, and celebrate a commitment to the planet with the people of the world;
  • Sign up and share stories of actions that benefit the planet on www.earthhour.org; and
  • Sustain environmentally focused actions beyond the hour and share your act with the world at www.earthhour.org/beyondthehour.

For more information, visit www.earthhour.org or www.girlscouts.org/forevergreen.

About Earth Hour
Earth Hour is a global initiative in partnership with WWF. Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn out their lights for one hour on Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 8:30 p.m. to show their support for environmentally sustainable action. The event began in Sydney in 2007, when 2 million people switched off their lights. By 2010, Earth Hour had created history as the largest voluntary action ever witnessed with participation across 128 countries and territories and every continent, including the world’s most recognized man-made marvels and natural wonders in a landmark environmental action.

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Helping Japan in a Time of Need

We have all been shaken by the waves of terrible news from Japan over these past few days.  Many have asked what we can do to help.  Here are some suggestions:

•    USA Girl Scouts Overseas: As many of you know, we do maintain an office and staff in Japan to support the families of military personnel stationed there.  Reports are that our office has suffered minor damage – and that all the staff and their families are “shaken,” but fine.

•    Fund Raising Policy: It is fine for troops/groups/girls to raise money to aid victims of this horrible disaster.  Please remember that in the early stages of disasters like this, money is more helpful than “care packages.”

•    Helping Girl Scouts of Japan: We are very concerned about our Girl Scout sisters who are members of Girl Scouts of Japan and we would like to provide some movement-wide support to them.  Details are not available yet, but an account will be set up at Girl Scouts of the USA to collect donations to go to Girl Scouts of Japan so that we can send one large donation on behalf of all Girl Scout sisters in the USA.

Other organizations you can contribute to:

Convoy of Hope

American Red Cross

International Medical Corps

Shelterbox

Americares

We will keep you informed as we receive information from GSUSA.

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How Can You Help Japan?

The 8.9-magnitude earthquake that struck Japan on Friday claimed hundreds of lives, destroyed cities, and triggered tsunami waves in Japan, Hawaii and other parts of the Pacific. 88,000 people are now reported missing following the tsunamis. Below are some reputable organizations through which you can help.

In response to the quake, The Red Cross has launched efforts in Japan. Visit Redcross.org or text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 from your phone.

Save the Children is currently organizing efforts and donations to their Children’s Emergency Fund will support their outreach.

The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund was launched at GlobalGiving.org to garner funds for relief organizations helping victims and has already raised thousands, particularly from concerned Twitter users around the world.

For any who have loved ones abroad, Google has stepped up to help. Along with a tsunami alert posted on their front page, they’ve launched the Person Finder to help connect people that may have been displaced due to the disaster.

Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by this disaster.

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Girl Scouts Forever Green: Earth Hour

New York’s Auburnpub.com reports that On March 12, Girl Scouts of the USA will celebrate its 99th birthday. In preparation to celebrate the centennial, many activities and events are being planned both locally and nationally to celebrate our history. A nationwide take-action project entitled “Girl Scouts Forever Green” will allow Girl Scouts of all ages, volunteers and alumnae to participate in a meaningful leadership experience that makes a huge positive impact on the environment.

On Wednesday, Earth Hour and Girls Scouts of the USA announced a collaboration to increase environmental education, awareness and action. This collaboration is part of the Earth Hour global campaign, launched today in Singapore, that marks the beginning of a new phase for Earth Hour to “go beyond the hour” – encouraging people to capture, share and inspire environmental conversation and action year-round.

Earth Hour is a global initiative that invites individuals, businesses, governments and communities to turn off their lights for one hour – 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 26 – to show support for environmentally sustainable action. In the United States, Earth Hour is partnering with the Girl Scouts to bring the movement to life.

In what ways are you contributing to make a positive impact on the environment?

(ht: GSUSA)

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Girl Scouts Forever Green

Girl Scouts Forever Green

Our 2011 Girl Scouts Forever Green Signature Project is “Power Down and Unplug.”  The purpose of this project is to encourage people to save energy and lower our carbon footprint. Girls can participate in one of four ways:

  • Encourage your school or community business to power down and unplug during the noon hour on Friday, March 11th.
  • Encourage your family to power down and unplug at home from 8 pm-9pm on March 11.
  • Have your family participate in “Earth Hour” by turning off their lights from 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 26.
  • Replace the light bulbs in your home with Energy Star, energy efficient light bulbs.

Whatever option girls choose, we encourage them to go to www.girlscouts.org/gsforevergreen to share their results with the world and take the Girl Scouts Forever Green Pledge.

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Happy Girl Scout Week 2011!

This year, from March 6 through 12, Girl Scouts celebrate Girl Scout Week. Since 1912, Girl Scouting has helped some 50 million women grow up courageous and strong. Continually evolving, while remaining true to core goals, Girl Scouting cultivates values and social conscience in girls – teaching them real-life skills to succeed.

Swing by the Girl Scout Shop and check out the 2011 Girl Scout Week Sew-on Fun Patch!

What are your plans for Girl Scout Week 2011?

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Doodle 4 Google + Girl Scouts = Awesome

(originally posted by “Joshua” at GSUSA at: http://blog.girlscouts.org/2011/01/doodle-4-google-girl-scouts-awesome.html )

Today, I’m extremely excited to announce the partnership of Girl Scouts of the USA with the fourth annual Doodle 4 Google contest. Open to K-12 students in the U.S., Doodle 4 Google is an opportunity of a lifetime: design the Google.com homepage doodle for millions to see, and while you’re at it, take home a $15,000 scholarship and a $25,000 technology grant for your school. In the spirit of thinking big, the theme this year is “What I’d like to do someday…” – giving all of the talented young dreamers an opportunity to flex their creative muscles.

This crop of students will be the generation of tomorrow’s leaders and inventors, and we can not wait to see what they come up with. While most of this year’s contest remains the same, there are some exciting changes. Now, parents or guardians can register their students directly, and if a school registers, there’s no limit on the number of doodles they can submit. There still is however only one entry allowed per student.

Once students have registered and submitted their artwork, Google employees and a panel of guest judges, including Whoopi Goldberg, gold medal ice skater Evan Lysacek and “Garfield” creator Jim Davis, will narrow down the submissions. The top 40 regional finalists will not only receive a trip to New York City and a visit from Google in their hometown, but their artwork will be featured in a special exhibition in partnership with the Whitney Museum of American Art. (Amazing)!

For more details, check out Doodle 4 Google, including full contest rules. To get started, whether you’re a teacher or a parent, register your student(s) by March 2, 2011. Then get out the crayons, paints and markers – you can even throw your own doodle party. Please note that all entries must be postmarked by March 16, 2011. Check out suggestions specific to Girl Scouts – see the Info for Participants page (blue box on the right). Good Luck and have fun!!

Last Year, I reported on a Girl Scout Finalist in the Doodle 4 Google Contest! Her name was Indira and she was eight years old at the time…

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