2015 Prudential “Spirit of Community” Awards

12 hours 8 min ago

Are you a middle school or high school student who’s making a difference through volunteering?  Apply for a 2015 Prudential Spririt of Community Award and you could win $1,000 and a trip to Washington, DC next may!

Girl Scouts in grades 5 through 12 who are making an exceptional difference through volunteer service are eligible for a prestigious Spirit of Community Award from Prudential, which includes up to $11,000 in prize, scholarship, and DC-travel money combined. Last year among the ten national honorees selected were two Girl Scouts, high-schooler Jessica Bird from California and middle-schooler Morgan Guess from Kentucky.

Click here to apply

Introducing ‘Trios’, the new Gluten-free cookie!

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 10:45am

Chocolate chips nestled in a gluten free peanut butter oatmeal cookie.

Millions of Americans have problems eating food with gluten – so Girl Scouts and ABC Bakers has created a delicious cookie just for them! Made with real chocolate chips, real peanut butter and certified gluten free whole grain oats, Trios are available for a limited time and must be specially ordered by next Friday! Click here for the order form or talk to your troop leader for more information!

2015 PRUDENTIAL “SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY” AWARDS

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 8:56am

Are you a middle school or high school student who’s making a difference through volunteering?  Apply for a 2015 Prudential Spririt of Community Award and you could win $1,000 and a trip to Washington, DC next may!

Girl Scouts in grades 5 through 12 who are making an exceptional difference through volunteer service are eligible for a prestigious Spirit of Community Award from Prudential, which includes up to $11,000 in prize, scholarship, and DC-travel money combined. Last year among the ten national honorees selected were two Girl Scouts, high-schooler Jessica Bird from California and middle-schooler Morgan Guess from Kentucky.

Click here to apply

Scouts need more local girls

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 1:04pm

Posted on Tue. Sep. 09, 2014 – 12:01 am EDT

Scouts need more local girls Looking to build troop membership, increase volunteers Steve Warden The Journal Gazette

Steve Warden
The Journal Gazette

–>

Chole Herschberger, 7, a Daisy Girl Scout, cuts out a lion for a collage at Cedar Canyon Elemenatry School. — Photos by Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette

The Girl Scouts of America is pushing more than cookies.

Across the country, including regionally, where there are an estimated 800 troops in the local council that spans northern Indiana and southern Michigan, the organization is selling its brand and getting its message out: The scouts want more members and volunteers.

Teena Weathersby-Hampton, director of mission delivery operations for the Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana, says there is a concentrated effort to have more girls join the national organization that was founded in 1912. Nearly 13,000 girls between the ages of 6 and 18 are members in the local council, with 2.3 million girls and nearly 900,000 volunteers nationally.

But Weathersby-Hampton and the local council hope to attract new members to replace the girls who have left the scouts for various reasons or simply reached the age limit.

“The good thing about it is when we go to schools and do recruitments and go to churches, there are a lot of girls who want to be Girl Scouts,” Weathersby-Hampton says. “But the unfortunate thing is if we don’t have volunteers, they’re not able to gain that experience. At the same time we’re trying to recruit girls, we’re trying to recruit volunteers because we need those volunteers in order to form those girls into troops. Some of them are troop leaders and some of them are administrative-level volunteers. We just don’t have enough troop leaders.”

The trick is finding both volunteers and the girls to join. And that hasn’t been easy through the years.

“Our research has shown, depending on the socioeconomic class of some of the girls, that a lot of our girls are over-scheduled and just have an abundance of things going on,” Weathersby-Hampton says. “The parents are having to decide what they will do or what they don’t do. But then there are some girls in some of our urban areas who are under-scheduled, and that don’t have a lot of things to do.

“Girls are dancing more. They’re cheerleading, which is also a sport. They’re playing a lot of basketball and swimming and volleyball. Girls sports have really picked up, and it does put a challenge on us as far as Girl Scouts and being able to offer this program.”

Nationally, the Girl Scouts of America started an “I can’t wait to” membership campaign which says, “When you just can’t wait for what you’ll do next, you can do anything!”

“It’s to get girls excited about all the opportunities there are with Girl Scouts,” says Tony Belton, the local member communications manager.

Belton said the national organization, as well as the Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana, are marketing to all ages on websites, direct mailing and social media.

“Our mission is to build girls with courage, confidence and character,” Belton says. Many girls, he said, attend camps that are available year-round. And much like their Boy Scouts counterparts, Girl Scouts teach outdoor and camping skills.

While Belton acknowledges the Girl Scouts are seen by the public during the cookie-selling campaign in January, February and early March, he hopes they will become more visible the rest of the year.

“That’s up to us in making sure we let people know about the other things we have going on out there,” he says. “A lot of times people just associate Girl Scouts with camping and cookies, and that’s true. That’s what we are, but we’re so much more than that, as well.”

Girl Scout Daisy leader Angie Finefrock helps her scouts with a collage during a Troop 273 meeting Wednesday

stwarden@jg.net

Troop Volunteers Needed for Apple Cider Century Bike Ride

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 12:12pm

Are you a troop of Juniors or above?  If so, we need your help and you will earn 2 Free nights at Camp Soni Springs of your choice!

Troop volunteers are needed for hospitality and hosting of bike riders of the 41st annual Apple Cider Century on Sunday, September 28 at our beautiful Camp Soni Springs.  Camp Soni is one of the many SAG stops along the tour of the orchards, forests and wine country in and around Three Oaks, Michigan.  At a riding distance of up to 100 miles, there will be nearly 2,000 bikers stopping at Camp Soni throughout the day and we need your help to serve drinks, set up, clean up, and perform any other tasks needed and show off our beautiful campground.

If you are interested in helping out please call Don Evans at 269.756.7273 or email don.evans@gsnim.org

Click here to learn more information about the Apple Cider Century.

The GSNI-M Fund Development Team Needs Your Helps!

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 2:41pm

Do you have a few minutes during your troop meeting and need an activity idea?  Are your girls looking for a simple and quick service project?  The GSNI-M Fund Development Team needs your help!  We’re looking for girls to help us thank our donors and friends of Girl Scouts by creating handmade thank you cards.  Pull out the construction paper, crayons, and your creativity to help us complete this fun and easy project.  Here are a few details:

Size: 4×6 or a small size that can be sent in a note card envelop.

Design: Let the girls decide!  The girls can lead this project by designing their card any way they like with the materials you already have like, construction paper, markers, stickers, glitter, and more.  Let the creativity flow!

Message and Signature: The cards will be used to help thank donors who make Girl Scouting possible for so many girls.  Girls may include messages such as, “Thank you for helping Girl Scouts” Or “Thank you for your support” or they can come up with a message of their own.  Girls may sign the cards with their first names or their troop #’s (no last names please for confidentiality).

Delivery: We’ll be collecting cards throughout the year.  Please drop off your creations at any GSNI-M Service center with a note attached “Attention Fund Development”.

 

Questions?  Contact Jill La Fountain at 800-283-4812 ext. 313 or jill.lafountain@gsnim.org

 

Thank you for your help!

Now’s The Time to Become a Girl Scout

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 8:44am

Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana is making its summer push for girls and adult volunteers to join Girl Scouts, the country’s preeminent leadership development organization for girls. With families already thinking about how to allocate their free time during the coming school year, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has released new data showing the organization’s benefits for both girls and volunteers.

Results of a summer 2014 pulse poll conducted with over 3,500 volunteers and parents of Girl Scouts in the K−5 age range show positive effects on members of all ages. Ninety-seven percent of parents agree that Girl Scouts has been a positive activity for their daughter, that she has had fun and exciting new experiences (95 percent), and that she has learned or tried something new (96 percent). In addition, 94 percent of parents say that because of Girl Scouts their daughter feels special, has more friends (95 percent), and is happier (89 percent).

The data shows it is not just girls who benefit: 94 percent of volunteers have made new friends, 88 percent believe their life is better because they volunteer with Girl Scouts, and two-thirds believe their volunteer experience has helped them professionally. Ninety-five percent of Girl Scout volunteers are happy knowing they are making girls’ lives better.

“Girl Scouts has provided a safe, fun, and engaging place for girls and adult volunteers to lead and thrive for over 100 years,” said Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. “We know the majority of volunteers feel their Girl Scout experience has helped them both personally and professionally, but in many places throughout the country, the lack of volunteers is what keeps girls on waiting lists. Every adult who volunteers for Girl Scouts can help us bring fun, new experiences to at least five girls. Imagine what that can do to shape the next generation of female leaders.”

Girl Scouts gives girls a place to explore topics of interest in a judgment-free space outside of classroom confinements; it cultivates cooperative and self-directed learning, as well as the growth mindset (the understanding that intelligence and talent can be developed)—all of which help foster a lifetime passion for learning. The variety of experiences and the value for the money the Girl Scout program provides are also popular selling points. Eighty-nine percent of parents say their daughter gets a greater variety of experiences from Girl Scouts than she does from other extracurricular activities, and the majority of parents feel Girl Scouts is a great value for the money compared to other extracurricular activities. Overall, parents consider Girl Scouts one of the most beneficial extracurricular activities for their daughter.

“We’re doing lots of great things here locally.  From installing a new high adventure zip line course at Camp McMillen, constructing new recreational spaces, to creating several unique and exciting programs that girls of all age can experience!  However, I cannot stress enough that Girl Scouts exists for girls, but it exists because of volunteers, and we need lots of them”, expresses Sharon Pohly, CEO of Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana.

Girl Scouts is open to all girls from kindergarten through grade 12. The more adults step forward to volunteer, the more girls will get the chance to be a Girl Scout. Adults over age 18 may become volunteers; both girls and adults volunteers can join at any time of the year. Girl Scout volunteers come from all walks of life; they are men, women, young professionals, retirees, college students, and more. To join or volunteer, please click here.

Ahoy, Mateys – Adams County Day Camp

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 2:04pm

The Adams County Day Camp had the pleasure of hosting Fred Macke, a member of the Board of Directors of the Adams County Community Foundation on Thursday, June 12th.  Mr. Macke received a taste of Girl Scout Camp during his visit to the day camp whose theme was Pirate Adventures.  From cooking lunch over the campfire to learning how to use a compass to find buried treasure, Mr. Macke saw it all.  Many thanks to the community foundation for providing support that allowed the camp fee to be reduced for each Adams County girl attending!  The gracious support of the foundation ensured every camper had a wonderful Girl Scout pirate themed camp.  Many thanks to all our friends at the foundation, and to Darlene Hebble Juengel and her camp staff that help make it all possible!

Once a Girl Scout, Always a Girl Scout!

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 11:03am

GSNI-M recently held four meet and greet events in Fort Wayne and South Bend as a first step in our efforts to reconnect with Girl Scout alumnae. We enjoyed meeting so many women who are all an important part of Girl Scout history!

At our very first event, six long-time Girl Scouts gathered at Sun Rise Café to share stories and memories. Two women had taken their troop overseas for an unforgettable camping experience in England. Another alumna had a passion for World Thinking Day, and recalled a large celebratory event at the Fort Wayne Coliseum. Some had passed along the tradition of Girl Scouting to their daughters, and subsequently, their grand-daughters are now Girl Scouts. Together they browsed scrapbooks and recounted memories over coffee and tea. The following evening, a recent staff member met a Girl Scout veteran who served on the council staff for 29 years. Pictures were brought to share, and good conversation was had about the importance of Girl Scouting in girls’ lives. Mary Jo from South Bend shared, “I thought these events were a great idea. I enjoyed getting together with Girl Scout alumnae, and I look forward to attending more events like this in the future!”

Whether you were a Girl Scout Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette, Senior or Ambassador…a troop leader, volunteer, or staff member, you are a Girl Scout alumna and we welcome you as part of this glorious sisterhood! We hope to see you at an alumnae event in the future.

If you are an alumna and did not receive an invitation to these events, please let us know so we can put you on our mailing list. Call (800-283-4812) or email (development@gsnim.org) the development department and we will notify you of our next round of meet and greets!

Thank You Parkview Community Health

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 2:49pm

Thank You, Parkview!

Our many thanks to Parkview Community Health Improvement for donating much-needed medical supplies for this summer’s camp season.  Parkview is a long-time friend of Girl Scouting and their support helps ensure the safest camp experience for our campers.  The requested medical supplies will be used at Girl Scout Camp to deal with the bumps, bruises, and skinned knees that are an inevitable part of the camp experience. Visit our website for more information on camp opportunities and REGISTER TODAY!

McMillen High Adventure Course Officially Opens

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 11:21am

The Camp Agnes S. McMillen High Adventure Course officially opened during the 65th birthday of the camp on June 7th, 2014.  Over 130 girls, families, volunteers, board members, alumnae, and special guests were in attendance to see the inaugural zip!  10 lucky girls and our very own Director of Shared Services Chris Myers, were some of the very first to zip the line.  The remaining part of the day was spent enjoying cake and refreshments, taking camp tours and hikes, shopping in the Trading Post, geocaching, and playing in the ga-ga pit.

Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana graciously recognizes the McMillen Foundation, whose generous support has made possible the High Adventure Course at Camp Agnes S. McMillen. The McMillen Foundation’s sound investment will deliver a challenging, thrilling, and unforgettable experience to Girl Scouts for years to come.

The new High Adventure Course features two zip lines and a traversing element designed to challenge girls to go beyond what they ever imagined they could do! The High Adventure Course promotes the development of support systems.  This includes girls learning how to use and take care of personal safety equipment, communicate with trained adult staff members to properly transfer oneself from one safety system to the next, and finally, to experience first-hand the benefits of taking healthy risks in one’s life.

The High Adventure Course is officially open!  Please keep your eyes open for future High Adventure Course events coming this fall.  In the meantime, if your troop or group is interested in participating in this thrilling experience, please see the website for more information and FAQ’s on specialized activities.

Girl Scouts Earn Bronze By Lending A Hand To Ronald McDonald Family Room

Tue, 06/10/2014 - 2:15pm

It’s no secret that Girl Scouts are amazing young people.  But when they go above and beyond to help others and to leave the community in a little better shape than when they found it, as a rule rather than an exception, well then the word amazing almost seems like an understatement.  That’s exactly how one could describe the efforts of Girl Scout Junior Troop #30455 who saw a need for knitted and crocheted items at the Ronald McDonald Family Room (RMFR) in South Bend, at Memorial Hospital, and promptly took action, earning their Bronze award in the process.

The troop had ties with the Hubbard Hill Estates Knitting Group and started their quest to make a difference there.  As a result they were overwhelmed with support and a short while later were able to present an entire box of baby hats, beanies and blankets to the RMFR who received them with open arms.  This gave the girls an understanding for just how important these hats can be to families, eventually deciding to seek out 7 more knitting groups and counting, to help fulfill the Ronald McDonald Family Room’s need for these knitted items.

Troop leader Becky Phelan said, “we are incredibly proud of our troop for choosing such a unique take action project that will benefit so many people in our community.  Our hope is that we helped spread the word about the importance and high demand for these items.  It’s difficult to come up with a way to thank all of the groups who helped with this project presently, and in the future.  The RMFR served more than 3,000 families last year and It’s humbling to know that these knitted and crocheted items will become forever keepsakes for these families.”

A good portion of the materials used are donated by the likes of Busy Hands of Michiana, who went above and beyond to make sure the girls’ first donation was a significant one.  In addition Troop #30455 has voted to make monetary donations to the RMFR using money they earned from selling Girl Scout cookies.

Just as the Boy Scouts have the Eagle Award, Girls Scouts of America offer the Bronze, Silver and Gold awards, the highest level of award available per age group, with the Gold award being the highest awarded achievement that any Girl Scout can earn.  One of the great opportunities for girls as Girl Scouts is to really “take action” and make a difference in the community and the world.  The Girl Scout Bronze award is based upon: building a team, exploring the community and assessing a need, choosing a project, making a plan, putting it in motion, and spreading the word.  All while being girl led.

Girls from Troop 30455 pose for a picture while touring the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Memorial Hospital in South Bend.

Fort Wayne Leadership & Learning Center
10008 Dupont Circle Drive East
Fort Wayne, IN 46825
260-422-3417 or 800-283-4812
fax: 855-422-0084

South Bend Service Center
3620 Deahl Court
South Bend, IN 46628
574-273-3021 or 800-283-4812
fax: 855-422-0084

Dunbar Service Center at Camp Wildwood
303 East Clay Street
Logansport, IN 46947
574-722-4464 or 800-283-4812
fax: 855-422-0084