Do your part to combat Summer Brain Drain!

By Kat Rourke

Being in membership, I have been hearing that troops are winding down for the summer and I find myself wondering why they aren’t taking advantage of this awesome opportunity that is available to them! I know sometimes summer can be a hard time to connect due to family vacations, but if a troop compares plans before school ends then they are able to easily schedule around those family trips.

Summer provides troops a plethora of time free of after school activities and never ending sports schedules as well as many opportunities to be more visible in your communities through fairs and festivals. Keeping up a strong Girl Scout presence in your community allows more girls to see what fun and interesting things Girl Scouts get to do and learn, while also helping draw in adult volunteers and community resources that can support programs in your area. While girls are out of school, many parents are not out of work and so often kids are left to their own devices or cared for with little educational value. Keeping your troop active during the summer allows the girls to receive skills and leadership education and participate in constructive activities that impact not only their lives but their communities and the world at large as well.

Often charities are overwhelmed around the holidays with volunteers, but then thirst for volunteers during the long hot summer. What an awesome pairing it would be to have the girls volunteer where they are needed most, when they are needed most.

While our council does provide summer programs and camping, nothing stops the creation of an event such as a family game night, going camping with your troop, or pursuing interests of the girls that cannot be pursued during the school year. Leaders can use events like these to bond with the girl’s families so the girls will want to return next year. Parents also become more involved with their daughter’s leadership experience and will want to assist as volunteers. If new volunteers need training, summer is the perfect time to complete them before the hectic back to school schedules start up again.

Leaders can also use the summer to get a jump start on awards, badges and community service projects; or if the troop has worked hard all year, then why not party during the summer?

Fundraisers like car washes and lemonade stands are perfect for summertime. Short and long distance trips, that the school year just does not allow, can be taken with the proceeds. Troop meetings can be less formal and girl driven since they have the free time to help plan out what they want to do.

If some girls are too busy to join in the fun during the summer, then why not partner up with another troop and share in the fun. A big part of the troop pathway is building relationships, but there is no rule that they have to be from the same troop. Getting to know new friends and sharing those fun experiences is half the fun and allows the girls to become more plugged in.

Girl Scouts is typically thought of as only a school year activity. Between the summer programs, camp, community service opportunities, travel, awards, badge work, Journeys, local events, and any other thing you can think of; girls won’t have time to just lay by the pool all summer, unless you plan an amazing pool party that is!

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ROSE: Registrations Online Simple and Easy

NEW THIS YEAR! Online Registration is Available Beginning April 15!ROSE-ICON

 

Beginning April 15 parents or guardians can re-register their Girl Scouts online using the new Online Registration system. Simply click on the little owl named ROSE (Registrations Online Simple and Easy) on our website to get started!

 

Special note! We have extended our Help Desk hours for your convenience during the first and last week of ROSE’s Early Bird debut. We will have staff on site at each council service center from 4:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m., April 15-19, June 24-27*, and July 1.

Call the Help Desk number or stop by any of our council offices if you need assistance in using ROSE.

It’s quick, easy, and you don’t have to deal with a bunch of paperwork! Get more Just Roseinformation about Online Registration at girlscoutsmoheartland.org/ROSE.

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A Girl Scout Journey-From London to Lucerne

by Stefanie McCall

Picture yourself sipping tea in London, strolling down the Champs-Élysées in Paris, or hiking a mountain trail in the Swiss Alps. Girls attending the 2015 Council Trip to Europe will experience these things, plus so much more!  We will spend 10 days exploring London, Paris, Adelboden and Lucerne, Switzerland while learning the history and culture of each destination. Our trip includes visits to two Girl Scout World Centers: Pax Lodge and Our Chalet.

London 094In London girls will visit Windsor Castle (weekend home to Queen Elizabeth), ride the London Eye, cruise down the River Thames, visit Pax Lodge and of course see Big Ben!  Optional activities may include seeing a play in the theater district, visiting the “Making of Harry Potter Attraction” or a guided themed walking tour.

 

From London, girls will ride the Eurostar to Paris.  In Paris girls will visit The Louvre, Europe 2012 774Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and have time for shopping.  Additional activities may include a nighttime Seine River cruise, a visit to Versailles, a walking tour of Paris in the evening or a relaxing stop at a sidewalk café to enjoy amazing pastry.

The last part of our trip will be spent in two beautiful cities in Switzerland. The first stop DSC_0112is in Adelboden, a little village of about 2000 people nestled in the middle of the Swiss Alps, with spectacular views in every direction.  While in Adelboden girls will visit Our Chalet, the first of the four world centers. Girls can explore many hiking trails, do a little shopping or just enjoy the beauty that surrounds them!  The last stop is the city of Lucerne.  A walking tour of this beautiful city provides views of frescos painted on the buildings, remnants of medieval times, the world’s longest covered bridge, and a Swiss folk lore festival.  Girls can also choose to take a cog rail ride to the peak of Mt. Pilatus.

Girls must be 14 years of age by July 1st, 2015 to attend the trip, but they can start SANY0134registering now.  Our tentative travel dates are July 5 –July 15, 2015  .  Traveling to see new parts of the world is an amazing growth experience for our girls.  Girls will gain independence and life skills as they experience life in a new country while learning to budget their money, trying new things and making new friends. There will be two official trip chaperones plus a registered nurse. We do understand that some parents will not be comfortable sending their girls without them, so a mom, dad, aunt or grandma can attend with the girl.  However, each girl can have only one adult with her because this is a girl trip, not a family trip.

This trips costs $4,450 for girls and $4,845 for adults.  A $95 deposit will reserve your spot and there are flexible payment plans available. Travelers who register by April 30, 2013 will receive $100 discount.  Cost covers airfare and transportation, hotels, breakfast, dinner, entrances to all group attractions and a full time tour director.  Girls can use their cookie credits to help pay for the trip. There will be group fundraisers and financial assistance is available.

If you would like to register for this trip or need more information, please contact Stefanie McCall, leadership and learning specialist-GSLE at 877-312-4764 ext. 1137 or smccall@girlscoutsmoheartland.org.

 

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Celebrate Girl Scout Week!

 2013 Girl Scout Week Suggested Activities

Sunday, March 10: Girl Scout Sunday. Visit your church of choice or enjoy a walk in nature.

Monday, March 11: Tell a non-Girl Scout friend about Girl Scouting. Let them know about all the fun things Girl Scouts do and learn!

Tuesday, March 12: Girl Scout Birthday. Show your pride by wearing a Girl Scout uniform, t-shirt, or pin!

Wednesday, March 13: Support Girl Scouting worldwide by collecting at least 101 pennies to give to the Juliette Gordon Low World Friendship Fund.

Thursday, March 14: Learn about Girl Scout history – there are over 100 years of interesting material!

Friday, March 15: Enjoy a Girl Scout tradition – making s’mores – with Girl Scout friends or family!

Saturday, March 16: Girl Scout Sabbath. Get a group together for a day of community service.

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Have you heard of Pinterest?

by Shandon Hill

Pinterest is an online sharing service that allows members to “pin” images and video onto virtual pin boards.

Whether you’re a seasoned expert with projects to share or a newbie looking for inspiration, Pinterest can be an excellent resource for your Girl Scout troop!

Here are some basic Pinterest terms:

Board: a virtual cork or pin board

Pin: noun – images and video you put on your board are “pins”

verb – the act of putting a picture or video on a board is “pinning”

Repin: If you like someone else’s pin, you can “repin” it and place the picture on an appropriate board of your own

Like: If you like a pin, but it doesn’t fit into your own boards, you can click a button to “like” it.

Service Unit 734 uses a Pinterest board to share craft ideas.  Below are a couple of pins posted on their board:

(embed these)

Cookie thank you card

Bridging cake idea

For more information on Pinterest, please join me at the “Oh, How Pinteresting!” session at GSMH Leader’s Weekend 2013.  Register quickly because space is limited!  The registration packet is available here.

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Skip the Paperwork-Register Online!

GSMH is pleased to introduce the all new Online Registration system! Beginning in time for Early Bird, Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland girls and adults will be able to renew, or create new, their memberships through the web.

ROSE is our new little owl friend who will be helping us roll out the Online Registration ROSE-with-bubblesystem. ROSE stands for Registration On-line Simple & Easy, and she’s coming soon to the GSMH website. When you see ROSE on the website click on her to take you to the Online Registration system.

Volunteers, this is a great opportunity to finally be done with all the hassle and paperwork that come with membership registrations! No more collecting and sending in forms. Encourage your girls’ parents and guardians to use the easy Online Registration system to renew their memberships beginning with Early Bird.

(Never fear: All completed Online Registrations still count toward Early Bird totals and patches. Additionally, girls who have their registrations completed online will receive a special Online Registration patch that features ROSE!)

Here are some of the reasons why you’ll want to have your parents and guardians completing Online Registration instead of you, the volunteer:

  • They will be able to register from home, any time of day.
  • Information at the council will be more accurate than ever as the parents and guardians themselves will be responsible for entering all information without it being copied and entered by someone else.
  • Families will feel more involved in their daughter’s Girl Scout Leadership Experience.
  • When a parent or guardian registers their girl, the leader does not have to collect and send any signatures to the council—it’s an entirely paperless system! (Alternatively, when a troop leader registers a girl, a paper registration and signature from that girl’s parent or guardian would still have to be collected and sent in to the council.)
  • Volunteers will be free to spend more time working with girls instead of with membership registration.
  • No backlog! Online Registration memberships are active and counted in the system immediately without the delays of passing the registration from person to person to council staff.

Of course, parents and guardians won’t have all the fun. Troop leaders (01s) will be able to use Online Registration to print troop rosters and manage multiple troops.

To experience Online Registration, simply go to www.girlscoutsmoheartland.org/rose beginning April 15,  2013. There you will also find guides, videos, and an FAQ to help you use the Online Registration system.

 

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Three C’s of Girl Scouts

by Megan White

Have you ever noticed how we like to reduce names, processes, concepts, just about everything, down to a few handy initials? LOL (laugh out loud), OMG (Oh my goodness!), and TTYL (talk to you later) have even been added to the dictionary!

When buying a diamond you’re told to remember the four C’s (carat, clarity, color, and cut). We use the term STEM to refer to topics related to science, technology, engineering and math. While I love that I can easily remember these concepts, I try to keep in mind the larger idea behind the small grouping of letters.

For many, there are three C’s that sum up the Girl Scout experience. If you had to hazard a guess what those C’s are, what would you say? If “cookies, crafts and camping” came to mind, you would be on the same page as many of the people that I have met, but I am here to share that Girl Scouting goes deeper than those three iconic C’s.

Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. This is a mission that I can really get behind. These three C’s are at the heart of what Girl Scouts is all about: the courage to stand up for what is right in our communities and our world, the confidence that we can make a difference in our lives, and  the character to do what is right, even if it’s not popular.

Girl Scouts is the premier leadership organization for girls. Girl Scouting is a girl-led, learning by doing, hands-on environment where girls develop life skills. Sure, girls sell cookies. But the Girl Scout Cookie Program is teaching girls five essential life skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics.  Girl Scouts still make craft projects for fun or as a part of a skill-building badge, or perhaps as part of a service project to make their communities a better place. And, Girl Scouts definitely go camping. They have amazing outdoor experiences where they learn about environmental protection and sustainability. Learn how to work together as a team and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.

Girl Scouts are learning courage, confidence, and character through their Girl Scout Leadership Experience. These are three C’s that we can all benefit from, don’t you think?

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GSMH Winter Weather Policy

All GSMH Service Center Cookie Cupboards are open Saturday, February 23, 2013 from 9 am – 1 pm.

The Jefferson City Service Center is closed Friday, February 22, 2013. Our Joplin office will open at 10:30 and all other offices are open regular business hours.

UPDATE! Due to the current weather conditions, all GSMH Service Centers are closed Thursday, February 21, 2013.

February 20, 2013

The weather forecast is calling for a wintery mix throughout GSMH Wednesday night through Thursday morning. We felt this was a good time to remind everyone of the inclement weather policy for all of our service centers.

If the public school system in a city where a service center is located cancels school for the day due to inclement weather, the service center in that city will also be closed (Cape Girardeau, Dexter, Jefferson City, Joplin or Springfield public schools only).

Many of you have plans for cookie booths this upcoming weekend, and we will make every effort to have our service centers and cookie cupboards open on Friday even if the public schools in our service center towns are closed. However, this will be dependent upon factors such as electricity and roads. Please call our offices first or check Facebook or the website for updates prior to driving to a service center.

Every effort will be made to update our website or Facebook page with information about changes to service center or cookie cupboard hours during this forecasted winter storm.

We hope you all stay safe and warm!

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Sacajawea East resumes Horseback Riding Sessions

Horseback riding sessions will resume at the Sacajawea East Program Center on Monday March 11th.  Registration required in advance. Submit a Horseback Riding Registration form or call 1-877-312-4764 ext. 1515 for placement and or registration questions.

Individual Girl/Troop-Group Horseback Riding Registration Form

Individual Girl/Troop-Group Program Registration Procedures

We offer Individual Girl session sign up every Monday through May; the advanced class runs from 4:00-5:30 and the beginner class runs from 6:00-7:30.

Troop or group sessions are available Tuesday –Thursday from 4:00-5:30 and 6:00-7:30. Saturday sessions are available on the first and third Saturday of each month through May. Session times are 9-10:30, 10:45-12:15, 1-2:30 and 2:45-4:15.  Troop and group sessions have a five participant minimum for registration.

If you have additional questions please contact Leadership and Learning Specialist-Outdoor Program, Keely Elfrink at 1-877-312-4764 ext. 1515 or kelfrink@girlscoutsmoheartland.org.

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Leader Weekend 2013 Windows to the Past

By Ginger Schneider, Service Team Manager SU 7562011 AD

Having attended Leader’s Weekend every year since 2000, I was asked to share why I attend.

The short answer is because it is fun.  I have met so many new friends from all over the council and I wouldn’t miss the chance to spend the weekend with them.

Leader’s Weekend gives us the chance to re-connect, catch up on each others lives, share our concerns and join the excitement of the Girl Scout Movement.  I come for the whole weekend, but it is planned so you come and go as it fits your schedule.

There is a lot of time and travel spent by the committee to make this all happen.  I have been a part of the committee since 2001.  I wanted to help plan, find workshop presenters, and share. This event is planned by volunteers for volunteers.  2012 P

Leader’s weekend becomes what you want it to be. There is lots of networking, and learning new skills to share with your girls, experiencing night at camp, exchanging ideas and contact information.  The list goes on.

My favorites are being co-unit leader with Trina Keeler, my early morning bird hike, zip line at night, Sunday service at inspiration point and the many new friends I have met, to name a few.  Oh and I can’t forget the fabulous food and not having to cook the entire weekend!

Looking back I am so glad in 2000 (having just moved to Missouri from Minnesota) that I left my comfort zone and went to an event where I didn’t know anyone.

Hope to see you there! 2011 AM

All Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland volunteers are invited to attend Leader’s Weekend: Windows to the Past on Friday, April 12 – Sunday, April 14 at Finbrooke Program Center. Join us for fun, friendship and learning! Come for the whole weekend, a day or just a few workshops. You won’t want to miss this exciting event!
Register now!

All registrations must be postmarked by March 4, 2013.
If you have any questions contact Melody Hutchison, leadership and learning specialist-volunteerism at mhutchison@girlscoutsmoheartland.org  or 877-312-4764 x1122.

 

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