Let’s Go Connect: What to expect

We’re well into summertime here at Badgerland and that means it’s almost time for our annual Let’s Go Expo! What’s Let’s Go? Let’s Go is our yearly volunteer conference, aimed at providing our hardworking volunteers with the resources they need, as well as the opportunity to connect with other volunteers and celebrate their accomplishments.

This year’s expo focuses on the “connection” element Let’s Go offers. We’re giving you more opportunities to connect with one another, as well as information on how to better connect with your community. Here’s a quick look at what the day will look like and what to expect.

Intro/keynote: The day will open with a “State of the Council” address as well as an address on Badgerland’s key priorities. Then our keynote speaker, Meghan Skrepenski (CEO of Raising Strong Girls Boot Camps), will deliver an interactive presentation tailored for Girl Scout volunteers entitled “STRONG Training… your past does not define you!”.

Sessions: There will be 3 training sessions during the day, one before the included lunch and two after. During these sessions, you will be able to choose from a variety of workshops that include new leader training, fall product sale information, parent involvement how-tos, community connection workshops, and more. You can find full descriptions of the workshops on gsbagderland.org/letsgo but here is a quick list of the workshops offered.

New Daisy/Brownie Leader Training

Jumpstart Your Fall Product Sale

Money-Earning Activities: Get Ready!

Communication and Connection Skills

Finding Great Activites: Field Trip!

Get More Parent Involvement in Your Troop

Great Group Work for Your Troop

How to Make Community Connections

Money-Earning Activities: Community Connections

*Note: Several select events will also be live-streamed to our Facebook page

In addition to these workshops, there are also two other unique options offered during the training sessions.

During the second and third sessions, you will also have the option to attend Connection Cafe where you’ll connect with other volunteers in a relaxed drop-in environment.

Additionally, during the third session, a panel discussion is being hosted this year. The discussion will offer an opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas with Girl Scout volunteers as well as community leaders on a variety of topics. This year’s panelists are Katherine Schuknecht (Badgerland Delegate and Madison area troop leader), Rikki Conwell (Badgerland Council Delegate), Susan Czerniak (Lake Mills troop leader), and Erica Nowicki (Badgerland Director of Membership) with moderation by Sarah Rodgers.

Reception: After the training sessions, the event will conclude with a happy hour style reception (complete with a s’more bar) where you’ll have more opportunities to meet with other volunteers.

FAQ

“I am a brand new leader/volunteer who hasn’t started working with a troop. Will I benefit from attending Let’s Go: Connect?

Absolutely! No experience is necessary to attend and the event is a great introduction to all that Badgerland has to offer our adult volunteers. If you are a brand new Daisy or Brownie leader, you can get your new leader training requirements completed at the New Daisy/Brownie Leader Training workshop. Plus, Let’s Go is a great place to connect with new and experienced volunteers as well as Badgerland staff to get your Girl Scout year off to a great start.

I don’t want to miss Let’s Go, but I can’t stay for the whole event. Can I still attend?

Yes! Come for as much of Let’s Go: Connect as you can. You can come or leave at any time throughout the day. Also, keep an eye on our Facebook page as several workshops will be live-streamed throughout the day.

 

We hope you’re as excited for Let’s Go as we are! Not registered yet? Visit gsbadgerland.org/letsgo to learn more and register for the event. We’ll see you at UW Baraboo August 10th for our most exciting volunteer expo yet.

 

 

 

What Issues Do Girl Scouts Care About?

Last Sunday Girl Scouts from all over the state joined the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin in celebrating the centennial of the 19th amendment at “First to Ratify”. This event focused on the importance of suffrage and the impact the amendment has had over the past 100 years. Girl Scouts had the opportunity to give speeches, lead the march around Capitol Square, make their own suffragette sash, and pick out their own ‘future voter’ sticker. Beyond this, Girl Scouts also got to have a taste of what’s it’s like to be an active civilian and vote on the issues they care about. These are the issues Girl Scouts said are nearest to their hearts.

Issues chart

From Gender Equality to the Environment, Girl Scouts have a wide range of interests and consistently work towards making the world a better place.

What issues do you care about? Visit our poll here or let us know in the comments below!

 

Meet the Camp Staff!

Summer Camp season is finally here and we’re excited to introduce our amazing 2019 camp staff! Continue reading to meet the staff and learn what they love most about camp.

 

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Name: Rapunzel

Favorite camp thing… meeting new friends.

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Name: Domino

Favorite camp thing… everything!

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Name: Branch

Favorite camp thing… campfires.

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Name: River

Favorite camp thing… the sun!

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Name: Flamingo

Favorite camp thing… s’mores.

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Name: Pixie

Favorite camp thing… being outside

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Name: Harmony

Favorite camp thing… singing songs around the campfire.

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Name: Dimples

Favorite camp thing… learning new skills and meeting new people.

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Name: Wolf

Favorite camp thing… s’mores.

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Name: Luna

Favorite camp thing… the atmosphere.

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Name: Starry Night

Favorite camp thing… campfires and the stars.

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Name: Aspen

Favorite camp thing… canoeing and creek hopping.

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Name: Bubbles

Favorite camp thing… singing and swimming with Giggles.

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Name: Giggles

Favorite camp thing… Being a unicorn, dancing, exploring, and swimming with Bubbles.

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Name: Phoebe

Favorite camp thing… hiking.

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Name: Buddy

Favorite camp thing… the laughter and s’mores.

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Name: Twinkle

Favorite camp thing… the people.

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Name: Luce

Favorite camp thing… feeling special and nature.

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Name: Anchor

Favorite camp thing… campfires.

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Name: Sunshine

Favorite camp thing… being outside.

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Name: Leche

Favorite camp thing… being there!

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Name: Gingko

Favorite camp thing… camp!

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Name: Red Hat

Favorite camp thing… talking to and learning about the girl.

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Name: Paddy

Favorite camp thing… campfires with friends.

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Name: Bee

Favorite camp thing… campfires

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Name: Nessie

Favorite camp thing… making s’mores.

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Name: Sparkles

Favorite camp thing… the adventure.

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Name: Frankie

Favorite camp thing… the songs.

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Name: Sky

Favorite camp thing… campfires.

 

What’s your favorite camp thing? Leave us a comment below!

We’ll see you at camp!

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Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend

The first-ever Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend is July 13th-14th! Get outdoors at your local state park by camping, hiking, fishing, or giving back through a volunteer opportunity. We put together a quick list of 5 state parks in the Badgerland Council area. There are many more state parks within our council, but here are a quick few that cover all corners of our part of the state.

Capital Springs Centennial State Park

Located minutes from Downtown Madison, this state park is where our council service project will be on July 13th (registration ends July 1st). After helping to clear invasive species and plant native trees and shrubs, enjoy camping, hiking, picnicking, and fishing on the shores on Lake Waubesa.

Yellowstone Lake State Park

Located in the driftless area of southwest Wisconsin in Blanchardville, this 1,000-acre park features a 455-acre lake. Enjoy camping, boating, swimming, fishing, boating, hiking, biking, and picnicking.

Wildcat Mountain State Park

This park sits on a steep ridge overlooking the scenic Kickapoo River Valley in Ontario, WI. Experience hiking trails with spectacular views, canoeing the Kickapoo River and camping for families, groups, and horseback riders.

Perrot State Park

Find this park where the Trempealeau River meets the Mississippi River in Trempealeau County. This park offers gorgeous views from 500 ft bluffs as well as a river bank and surrounding wetlands where you’ll find a variety of migratory birds. Unique to southwestern Wisconsin and Perrot are the goat prairies perched high on the bluffs. Have fun camping, hiking, canoeing, boating, biking, picnicking, and fishing at this state park.

Mirror Lake State Park

This park is named for its centerpiece, a lake often so calm not even a ripple disturbs its surface. Enjoy a wooded shoreline, 50ft cliffs, a swimming beach, wetlands, wooded campsites, picnicking, hiking, fishing, canoeing, biking and more. This park also offers summer rentals and a cabin for individuals with disabilities.

Milk & Girl Scout Cookies- Working Together to Stock Area Food Pantries

Happy Dairy Month! This month at Badgerland, we are reflecting and recognizing our partnership with the Dane County Dairy Promotion Committee and Badgerland Girls Scouts’ efforts to make sure milk and Girl Scout Cookies are accessible to everyone.

Through the partnership, a troop gives their ‘Cookie Share’ to a Dane County Food Pantry, and the Dairy Promotion Committee matches each box donated with a gallon of milk, up to $8,000 worth. Girl Scouts rose to the challenge, donating more than 6,000 boxes to 22 different local food pantries.

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Nearly 3,500 gallons of milk (wow!) will be distributed by Second Harvest Food Bank of Southern Wisconsin to the food pantries in proportion to boxes donated throughout the month of June.

‘Cookie Share’ is a philanthropy-based initiative through which girls can make a positive impact in their communities. During the Cookie Program (which ran Feb. 9 through March 17), customers could purchase a box of cookies and, instead of receiving them, give the cookies back to the troop for them to donate to a charity of their choosing. In this case – food pantries.

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“The partnership just makes sense,” said Dairy Promotion Committee Chair John Haag. “Girl Scouts are known for doing good deeds in their communities, and this just goes to show they’re committed to that. Together, we’re bringing protein-rich milk and delicious cookies to those in need.”

The partnership formed three years ago and since then, has provided 17,567 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies and 10,342 gallons of milk to families in need!

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“While the Girl Scout Cookie Program helps girls work on their goal setting and money management skills, they’re also actively making their community a better place with their Cookie Share,” said Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Badgerland Council CEO Marci Henderson. “By matching the girls’ donations with a gallon of milk, the Dairy Promotion Committee is reinforcing the girls’ understanding of working together for the greater good.”

The Dairy Promotion Committee also hosts several events during June Dairy Month, including Cows on the Concourse and Breakfast on the Farm, which is scheduled for this Saturday, June 8 in Brooklyn. Girl Scout troops attend both of these events to showcase the partnership and share how the Cookie Program fuels leadership experiences for girls, such as camping, traveling, community service and educational programming.

Thanks to the Dane Dairy Promotion Committee and participating Girl Scouts for another successful year of Milk & Cookies! We can’t wait to see what we accomplish next year.

 

Volunteer Spotlight- Sally Martin

Sally Martin, Mount Horeb Daisy Troop 7669, May 2019 

Sally Martin is a proud Girl Scout volunteer and co-leader of 26 Daisies (who have proudly earned ALL their petals). We reached out to her for an interview to learn what inspires her as a Girl Scout Volunteer. Continue reading to learn about the most fun (and most challenging) parts of leading a Daisy troop and why Sally chooses to be a Girl Scout Volunteer.

How long have you been a volunteer with Girl Scouts? 

I volunteered to be one of five co-leaders for a Daisy troop of 26 girls last fall. (October 2018)   

What is the most challenging part of being a Girl Scout volunteer? 

It can be challenging to fit everything in! We meet in the early evening for one hour and fifteen minutes, every other week. We pack a lot of activities in during that time, in part to hold their attention and in part to make sure we are maximizing their experience. It makes for a fast-paced and, at times, exhausting meeting for us leaders!  

What is your favorite part of volunteering? 

My favorite part of volunteering has been seeing the girls mature and grow throughout the year. It has also been very rewarding to see the girls interact with each other in a kind and respectful way. The Girl Scout curriculum and training provides not only a great foundation for talking about and practicing acceptance, inclusion, and kindness, but also suggested activities to develop those qualities. Parents of our girls have been a wonderful support to us as well.   

Do you have any favorite memories from your volunteer experience? 

I am retired, and I have two granddaughters in the troop.  My mom was a Brownie leader in the 50s, and I was a Brownie leader for my oldest daughter in the 80s. It’s been wonderful to have this peek into their (my granddaughters) world and to be able to interact with their friends. I’m from the Early Childhood field, so everything these girls do is interesting to me.  My favorite time with the girls is at the end of every meeting when we do the friendship circle and hand squeeze. As that little ritual came together over the course of the year, it was so special to see the girls calmly come together and look forward to the moment when we could see by the look on their faces, they knew they were a part of something bigger than themselves.  

What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a Girl Scout volunteer? Why should someone volunteer with Girl Scouts? 

In today’s world, children need every opportunity possible to make safe and healthy connections with their peers and caring adults. Girl Scouts provides quite a few ways to get involved, and I would encourage others to ‘raise their hand’ at whatever level is possible for them. Even if you can’t commit to being a co-leader, volunteer to help the leaders in other ways—take photos, help with meeting prep, help at meetings, etc. I’m sure it will not be something you regret! 

Any additional comments on volunteering, or Girl Scouting in general? 

Kudos to the Girl Scout organization for evolving over the years to represent and advocate for girls to reach their full potential.     

The Case for Girl Scout Camp: 5 Powerful Reasons

From our Spring issue of Focus, read below to learn what your girl will gain from a summer at Girl Scout camp.

1. She’ll Develop Confidence.

You’re giving her the opportunity to be self-reliant. Growth in confidence and independence happens at camp.

2. She’ll experience outdoor childhood fun and adventure.

You’re giving her the gift of magical childhood memories – dirt, adventures, stories, and joke-filled days and nights spent with friends outdoors, under the stars, and around the campfire.

3. She’ll relax.

You’re giving her a break from the pressures and stress of competitive sports and school.

4. She’ll get unplugged.

You’re giving her the chance to unplug and connect face-to-face with other girls and positive adult role models.

5. She’ll get better at making and keeping friends.

Friendships that are built at camp are different from those that occur at school and on sports teams. The intensity of living together and experience life together, without distractions, creates the ideal setting for life-long friendships.

 

Learn more about our 2019 summer camp programs at gsbadgerland.org/camp