Inspire Tomorrow’s Leaders, Join Girl Scouts

By Anne Soots, CEO Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland

Anne SootsA question I’m often asked is “What do girls gain through their participation in Girl Scouts?”

This question brings back memories of when I was a young Girl Scout. I’ve been a Girl Scout since I was seven years old.  Every Tuesday afternoon, I couldn’t wait until school was over and I could go to my Girl Scout meeting to see what fun thing we were trying next.  It might have been planting an egg carton garden as a Girl Scout Brownie or planning a camping trip and having my first s’more as a Girl Scout Junior, or volunteering in the hospital as a nurse’s aide as a Girl Scout Senior – it was a wonderful adventure lead by amazing troop leaders.  As I grew older, I knew I wanted to help girls have the same great Girl Scout experiences that I did.

So what do girls gain when they join Girl Scouts?  Girls gain courage to try new adventures. Girls become confident in their abilities to lead. Girls develop character and give back to their communities. Girls discover new skills and learn about the outdoors. Girls develop friendships and make memories that will last a lifetime.

At Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland, we serve just over 16,000 girls and 5,000 adults across 68 counties in central and southern Missouri, southeast Kansas, and northeast Oklahoma. We want to reach more girls than ever before, but in order to do that, we need more volunteers.

Girl Scouts provides a wide range of amazing opportunities for girls and for adult volunteers.

Recent Girl Scout research shows that 94 percent of Girl Scout volunteers and 97 percent of girl members believe Girl Scouts provides them with new, fun and exciting experiences.

I hope you will join me in making those fun, exciting Girl Scout opportunities available to girls in your community.  Let’s provide more opportunities for more girls to explore, discover, and give back. To join or volunteer, please visit: www.girlscouts.org/join.

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GIRL SCOUTS BOARD OF DIRECTORS VOTE ON PROPERTY RECOMMENDATION

Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland’s Board of Directors voted on Friday, June 14 to move forward with the property committee’s recommendation regarding the council’s interests in Suzanne Program Center (SW region). The Board also unanimously voted to allow local communities additional time to work with the council to develop sustainable long-term viable plans for supporting Girl Scouting including retaining and maintaining all other Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland program properties that were recommended for divestment. The Board will further evaluate this issue in November 2013. If no viable options for long-term sustainability are presented, the Board will proceed with the property committee recommendations.

“The property committee recommendation was shared with our membership prior to the Board of Directors meeting to allow the opportunity to provide feedback. We appreciate the respectful manner in which additional input was provided regarding the property recommendation,” states Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland’s Chief Executive Officer Anne Soots. “We look forward to working with our volunteers and community members to explore viable options for sustaining and maintaining these program properties.”

 

 

 

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Presidential Medal of Freedom to be Awarded to the Founder of Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low

The White House announced today that President Obama is posthumously awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the founder of Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low. The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States, recognizes individuals who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors”.

“Juliette Gordon Low was a visionary, whose legacy lives on in the 59 million American women who have been part of Girl Scouting at some point in their lives,” said Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. “She believed that all girls should be given the opportunity to develop physically, mentally and spiritually, and in founding the Girl Scouts in 1912, she made an indelible and enduring contribution to the lives of girls and to our nation. It is so fitting that on our 100th anniversary, she should be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”

From the beginning, the Girl Scouts has insisted on being a voice for all girls. Juliette Gordon Low’s first 18 Girl Scouts included girls from influential Savannah families, as well as girls from the Female Orphan Asylum and Congregation Mickve Israel. As early as 1917 the first African-American troops were established, as well as troops for disabled girls. One of the earliest Latina troops was formed in 1922; Girl Scout troops supported Japanese-American girls in internment camps in the 1940s, and by the 1950s, Girl Scouts was leading the charge to fully integrate all of its troops. In 1956, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called Girl Scouts “a force for desegregation.”

Low’s exemplary life, work, and legacy have received many forms of recognition in the past. In 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed a bill authorizing a stamp in honor of Low. On October 28, 1979, Low was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and on December 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill naming a new federal building in Savannah in honor of her. It was the second federal building in history to be named after a woman. A bust of Low is displayed in the State Capitol of Georgia.

In receiving The Presidential Medal of Freedom, Low joins the ranks of Frances Hesselbein, who in 1998 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work with the Girl Scouts of the USA. Hesselbein served as the CEO for the Girl Scouts of the USA, and is credited with increasing minority membership and establishing the Daisy Scout program for the youngest girls accepted into Girl Scouts.

(from the GSUSA blog)

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Mark your calendars for Girl Scouting celebration on the Martha Stewart Show!

The Martha Stewart Show is featuring Girl Scouts in an episode that will air at 10 a.m. on May 7 on the Hallmark Channel. The entire show is devoted to Girl Scouting and a celebration of our 100 years.

The show, which was taped on March 21, begins with a conversation about Girl Scouting between GSUSA CEO Anna Maria Chávez and Martha Stewart, who was a Girl Scout while growing up in New Jersey. The program also features Girl Scouts engaging with Martha Stewart in various cooking and craft segments, and there’s even a segment on Girl Scout uniforms through the decades.

The show will air again on May 7 at 2 p.m. and on May 8 at 1 p.m., and you’ll be able to watch clips from the show at www.marthastewart.com beginning on May 8.

We hope you’ll tune in for a wonderful celebration of Girl Scouting.

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CEO Search/Selection Task Group establishes timeline

The CEO Search/Selection Task Group met March 16 to review the CEO Selection Criteria Survey results and establish a timeline for the search process. The council is using Girl Scouts of the USA’s Executive Search Services to conduct the national search for a CEO.

After the job announcement is posted for 60 days, Evergreen Executive Source, LLC, which partners with Girl Scouts of the USA on executive searches, will screen the applicant pool, conduct preliminary interviews, and recommend finalists for the Search/Selection Task Group to interview in July or August. The task group anticipates hiring a CEO by September.

Members of the Search/Selection Task Group are Vicki Myers, Board member and task group chair, Jefferson City; Parker McKenna, Springfield Public Schools; Brigitte Marrs, Board member, Springfield; Dr. Julie Middleton, Board member, Columbia; Valerie Richardson, Board Development Committee chair, Springfield; Ginger Schneider, operational volunteer, Rolla; Terri Tomlin, Board member, Jackson; Kristen Westerman, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce; and Mike Wolfe, Board treasurer, Springfield.

The task group appreciates your feedback regarding the competencies our next CEO should demonstrate in order to be successful.  Thank you for all you do every day to provide and support leadership experiences that prepare our girls for a lifetime of limitless opportunities.

Tina Stillwell
Board Chair

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New Research Affirms Lifetime Benefits Of Girls’ Participation in Girl Scouting

According to a new Girl Scout Research Institute report, Girl Scouting Works: The Alumnae Impact Study, women who were Girl Scouts as children display significantly more positive life outcomes than non-Girl Scout alumnae.

Approximately one in every two adult women (49%) in the U.S. has at some point been a member of Girl Scouts; the average length of time a girl spends in Girl Scouting is four years. There are currently an estimated 59 million Girl Scout alumnae living in the U.S.

The study, which was not identified to participants as a Girl Scout project, surveyed a sample of 3,550 women aged 18 and older, roughly half of whom were Girl Scout alumnae and half drawn from the general population. The sample was chosen to be representative of the US population in terms of race/ethnicity, household income, education, marital status, and type of residence.

Compared to non-alumnae, Girl Scout alumnae display significantly more positive life outcomes on several indicators of success. These success indicators include:

  • Perceptions of self. Of Girl Scout alumnae, 63% consider themselves competent and capable, compared to 55% of non-alumnae.
  • Volunteerism and community work. Of Girl Scout alumnae who are mothers, 66% have been a mentor/volunteer in their child’s youth organization, compared to 48% of non-alumnae mothers.
  • Civic engagement. Of Girl Scout alumnae, 77% vote regularly, compared to 63% of non-alumnae.
  • Education. Of Girl Scout alumnae, 38% have attained college degrees, compared to 28% of non-alumnae.
  • Income/socioeconomic status. Girl Scout alumnae report a significantly higher household income ($51,700) than non-alumnae ($42,200).

In addition to collecting quantitative data, the researchers conducted a series of live interviews with Girl Scout alumnae. Overall, alumnae say Girl Scouting was positive and rewarding for them. Former Girl Scouts:

  • Rate their Girl Scouting experiences very highly. The average rating among all alumnae on a 1–10 scale is 8.04.
  • Fondly recall their experiences in Girl Scouting. Fun, friendships, and crafts are the most frequently cited positive aspects of Girl Scouting.
  • Say they’ve received concrete benefits from Girl Scouts, such as being exposed to nature and having a safe place to try new things.
  • Actively recognize the influence of Girl Scouting on their lives. Three quarters of alumnae report that the Girl Scout experience has had a positive impact on their lives in general. 

The positive effects of Girl Scouting seem particularly pronounced for women who were Girl Scouts longer, as well as for African American and Hispanic women.

“As Girl Scouts turns 100 years old, and we couldn’t ask for a better birthday present than this,” says Anne Soots, interim chief executive officer, Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland. “We declared 2012 as the Year of the Girl to help bring attention to girls and the value of encouraging and supporting them. To strengthen that support beyond the boundaries of Girl Scouting, we’ve launched ToGetHerThere, with the goal of reaching gender-balanced leadership in one generation. One kind of support we know girls need is role models—successful older women they can learn from and emulate. There is no group of women better suited to do that than our Girl Scout alumnae. So Girl Scout, phone home. We need you.”

To learn more about Girl Scouting Works: The Alumnae Impact study, or to obtain a copy, visit http://www.girlscouts.org/research. To join the Girl Scout Alumnae Association (where you may also obtain a copy of Girl Scouting Works), visit http://alumnae.girlscouts.org. To learn more about ToGetHerThere—and to take the pledge to support girls and girls’ leadership—visit http://togetherthere.org.

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Girl Scouts Celebrates 100 Years Of Leadership Development

Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland – with members throughout central and southern Missouri,
southeast Kansas, and northeast Oklahoma – joins Girl Scouts around the country to celebrate
the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts in 2012. March 12, 2012 will mark 100 years from the day
that the first Girl Scout troop was established in the United States.

Self-discovery and community service were core values that Girls Scouts founder Juliette
Gordon Low sought to instill in girls from the earliest days. In 1912, many girls’ paths in life were
limited and Low’s vision was to establish an organization where any girl could expand her
personal horizon by having fun while exploring new interests and contributing to society. With
3.2 million members, Girl Scouts is today’s preeminent leadership development program for
girls.

“This special anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate the long and proud history of Girl
Scouting and to engage our girls in making our communities and the world a better place,” said
Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland’s interim CEO, Anne Soots. “It is also an opportunity to
thank the countless committed volunteers in our community who give so much to Girl Scouting
all year long. The encouragement, coaching and resources from adults are crucial for girls to be
able to develop their leadership skills.”

Girls will be celebrating through the end of 2012, including at the Believe in Girls 5K and Expo in
Springfield, Missouri on March 31, 2012 and Camporees in Sikeston, Sedalia, and Nevada in
September. They will also, as always, give back to their communities in big ways. During this
year’s Girl Scout Cookie Program, many Girl Scout troops have participated in the Cookie Share
program, through which Girl Scout Cookies are shared with military organizations or food
pantries. At summer camp and locally, girls will also be participating in Girl Scouts Forever
Green projects to promote environmental stewardship.

For information about 100th anniversary initiatives, including the Believe in Girls 5K and Expo
and Girl Scout summer camp, call 877-312-4764 or visit www.girlscoutsmoheartland.org.

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Annual Girl Scout Cookie Program Begins: Girls Become Young Entrepreneurs

It’s a much-anticipated time of year – Girl Scout cookie time. Through mid-March, girls will go
door-to-door and set up booths at local merchants to sell eight delicious varieties of Girl Scout
cookies to eager customers. All proceeds from Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland’s Girl Scout
Cookie Program benefit girls in the area; girls earn troop proceeds and Girl Scout Cookie Credit
that can be used to pay for Girl Scout camp, leadership programs, uniforms, and more.
Additional proceeds help to fund needs such as financial assistance, volunteer training and
support, and program resources.

More long-lasting than monetary proceeds are the leadership skills that girls learn through the
Girl Scout Cookie Program, which is the leading entrepreneurial program for girls in the United
States. By managing their own cookie sales, from initial goal-setting at the beginning to
evaluation at the end, girls have a hands-on experience in business. They decide how many
boxes of cookies they want to sell, and are then responsible for managing their own resources
of time, energy, and family support in order to reach their goals.

The tangible business and life skills that girls learn through the Girl Scout Cookie Program
include goal-setting, decision-making, money management, people skills, and business ethics.
“As we enter our one hundredth year of Girl Scouting in 2012, the Girl Scout Cookie Program
reminds us of the great potential of girls” says Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland interim CEO
Anne Soots. “Since 1912, Girl Scouts has taught self-sufficiency, independence, and service.
The Girl Scout Cookie Program is a fantastic way for girls to learn those skills and more.”
New in 2012 is a council-wide Girl Scout Cookie Share program, in which customers may
purchase cookies to donate. Many troops throughout Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland’s 68-
county jurisdiction will select a local organization that is special to them, such as a food shelf,
family shelter, or military unit. Others will give customers the option to donate cookies to military
troops and military family groups, which are this year’s council-designated Cookie Share
beneficiary.

Girl Scout Cookies will be sold through mid-March this year, with eight cookie varieties
available: Thin Mints, Caramel deLites, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwich,
Shortbread, Thanks-A-Lot, Lemonades and Shout Outs. The shortbread cookies will feature a
special-edition 100th anniversary box. Cookies are $4 per box, with all proceeds benefitting the
Girl Scout Leadership Experience. For information about the Girl Scout Leadership Experience
or the Girl Scout Cookie Program, please visit www.girlscoutsmoheartland.org or call 877-312-
4764.

 

Press release

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Girl Scouts recognized for earning highest Girl Scout award.

Connecting with the community!

Forty girls from central and southern Missouri, southeast Kansas, and northeast Oklahoma have earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting. To earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, each girl must complete extensive leadership requirements, including thirty hours in a leadership role and forty hours of career exploration. Girls must also complete at least sixty-five hours of research, preparation, service, and evaluation for a project that serves a need in their community, locally or globally.

“Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland is thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of these young women,” said Chief Executive Officer Jennifer M. Orban, “Their dedication and leadership are a testament to the power of what girls can do.” Girls this year took action in a wide variety of ways. Their projects ranged from restoring local parks to developing sensory trails to delivering school supplies for children in Honduras.

Fewer than 5 percent of all Girl Scouts nationwide earn the prestigious Girl Scout Gold Award annually. Forty high school Girl Scouts in Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland, which has a membership of approximately 16,000 girls, earned the award this year.

About the Girl Scout Gold Award

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award that a Girl Scout 14-18 may earn, often described as “what you really want to be remembered for” in Girl Scouting. For many, the leadership skills, organizational skills, and sense of community and commitment that come from “going for the Gold” set the foundation for a lifetime of active citizenship.

For more information, see the official press release.

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Girl Scouts Annual Phonebook Recycling Project

Girls learn to use resources wisely

It’s nearly time for new phone books to land on front porches and in business lobbies. Local Girl
Scouts have a creative way for your old phone books to be re-used! Now through July 31, Girl
Scouts will be collecting old phone books for Nestle Purina’s Project PetLitter. “Yesterday’s
News” is pet litter made from recycled newspapers, catalogs, magazines, junk mail, and other
paper. “This is a great, hands-on way for girls to take action within their community and to
practice the ‘use resources wisely’ portion of the Girl Scout Law,” says Jennifer M. Orban, CEO
of Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland. Girl Scout troops also benefit by receiving proceeds
from Nestle Purina PetCare rewards for each book collected. Last year Girl Scouts collected
more than 64 tons of phonebooks and earned more than $1,600 in proceeds to use toward
leadership activities and service projects.

The drop-off locations in Springfield include all Dillon’s grocery stores and from 8:30 am – 4:30
pm at the Girl Scout Administrative Service Center at 210 S. Ingram Mill Road. Area businesses
with 40 or more phone books may also call Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland toll-free at 1-
877-312-4764 x1137 or email smcall@girlscoutsmoheartland.org to have a Girl Scout troop
assigned to pick up old phonebooks.

For more information, see the press release.

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