Tales of a 10-Year Summer Camper

By Colleen (Domino) McGuire, Ambassador Troop 2561
Youth Leadership Council member

As a graduating senior, when I look back there has been one constant in my life that I attribute to discovering Me: Camp.

I started attending Camp Black Hawk when I was eight years old and Camp Ehawee about five years ago. Now, 10 years later, I continue to go to both camps knowing exactly what I will find there: Home.

I have a loving family, but there is the undeniable pull of your camp family; the family that took you in and that you found. Camp is my happy place and my camp family is the group of people I can tell anything to. They are the people I think about when someone asks who I look up to…who I admire. It’s my camp family!

But I remember just how scary it was going the first time. I was so nervous. I didn’t think there was any part of me that was ready to go off to camp on my own. But the moment I got there, the staff made me feel safe and even happy to be there. Ever since that first year, my camp experiences have been ones of excitement, adventure and love.

Beyond the feeling of home, camp offers a plethora of amazing experiences and opportunities for girls. I grew at camp learning valuable skills like survival, making friends, leadership and courage, as well as a ton of other cool things. At camp you have amazing role models leading and interacting with the girls, and I know the support I got from the staff was priceless in helping me grow into a strong and confident leader.

One of the things I love is the variety of camps they have, and the themed weeks. There are camps focused on science, nature, art and even one or two geared towards pop culture! The themes have ranged from wizarding, to time travel, to Olympics, to color wars, and every week there are more fun games to play and more fun themed events. There’s never a dull moment at camp, and although you are having so much fun with all these great people, you’re still learning something new every step of the way!

As a camper I loved the horses and archery. As a leadership camper, I loved helping the other campers and learning how to take care of people.

This summer, will be very different for me as I take my place on staff.
And I can’t wait to make that first-year, nervous camper who is so scared feel as safe and happy as I did once I got to camp! And I can’t wait to learn what else I can love about these two places and the people who go there.

As a part of the Youth Leadership Council, I have the pleasure of knowing girls from across the council, and almost all of them place camp as one of the most important things that they have experienced through Girl Scouts.

Camp is home to me, and no part of the experience has been negative! Even if you just try it once, this is an experience you can’t pass up!

Register for summer camp.

Not Sure About this Whole Troop Camping Thing? We’ve got you covered!

Girls camping

By: Katie Ravich, Adult Learning Specialist

There’s nothing that bonds a group of Girls Scouts  more than a camping trip. These are the memories you and your girls will remember the most.

Not sure how to even get started with a troop overnighter? We can help.

Badgerland offers two outdoor training certifications.

Troop Overnight Certification 1 (TOC 1) is a home study course that’s completed online. This training is for adult volunteers who want to take their girls on an overnight to a place with full indoor facilities  – in other words to a destination where the cooking, sleeping and bathrooms are inside. A great starter place for troops with a TOC 1 certified adult is Hawk’s Nest at Camp Brandenburg. If you’re looking at other destination for Hawk’s Nest is booked up, here are some other ideas for a TOC 1 overnight experience:

  • Campgrounds with cabins. Many public and private campgrounds have cabins for rental.
  • Community Centers with an overnight space.
  • Nature Centers. Many nature centers offer an overnight space.
  • Boys and Girls Clubs.
  • YMCAs.
  • Churches. Tons of churches around Badgerland offer overnight space.
  • School Forests: Does your school district have a forest? Check to see if you can rent the site!

Troop Overnight Certification 2 (TOC 2) can be done as a home study course, but we also offer a fun one-day in-person training at a Badgerland property in spring and early summer. Adult volunteers who want to take their girls on an overnight to a place without full indoor facilities (cooking outside, sleeping in tents, bathrooms outside) needs to complete TOC 2.

Want to take TOC 2 in person? Badgerland has three TOC 2 in-person trainings lined up for the 2017 camping season. Space is limited, so get registered early.

Once you’ve completed TOC 2 you can take your troop on an outdoor camping adventure.  Badgerland properties are popular and fill up fast, so here are some other ideas for a TOC 2 overnight experience:

  • State Park CampgroundsFind a State Park your troop wants to visit and check for camping accommodations.
  • County Park Campgrounds. Many counties maintain campgrounds. For instance, Dane County has five Dane County Camp Grounds.
  • County Fair Grounds
  • City Park Campground
  • School Forests: Does your School District have a forest? Check to see if you can rent the site.
  • Private Campgrounds. If the state, county or city parks are full consider checking in with r private campgrounds in the area you want to camp.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure your Girl Scouts get outside this year and explore the great outdoors the Girl Scout way!

Celebrating 105 Years

Girls in historicl Girl Scout uniforms

By: Marci Henderson, Chief Executive Officer

On March 12, 1912, Juliette Gordon Low, a nearly deaf 50-year-old southern lady, ignited a movement that inspires and encourages girls to embrace their individuality, strength and intellect. Juliette believed that all girls should be given the opportunity to develop physically, mentally and spiritually. Her vision caught on and just 10 years later there were more than 125,000 Girl Scouts in every state in the union!

Today, Girl Scouts of the USA has a membership of over 2.6 million girls and adults in every residential zip code. Nearly 60 million living women in the U.S. today are Girl Scout alumnae. And since the beginning, the Girl Scout organization has been recognized for our willingness to address important issues, for our commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, for our promise to stay relevant, for our actions to improve the world, for our goal to both challenge and support girls and women.

And, even as we honor our past, we eagerly anticipate our future. Right now though, it’s time to celebrate! Because we’ve been here for 105 years, we’re throwing ourselves a HUGE BIRTHDAY PARTY on March 25-26 and you’re invited! The Badgerland Council Program team is busy finalizing plans for a weekend filled with fun. We’re planning on girls and adults dancing the night away with a professional DJ spinning the tunes! And, what else? There will also be inflatables, magic tricks, bubble blowing and circus fun for the girls. Have you ever tried the German Wheel, walked on a tight rope or pet a baby kangaroo? Yes, there will be animals with us too! And girls/troops have the option to add-on additional excitement like a water park, Knuckleheads Adventure, pottery painting and maybe even a Wisconsin Dells Duck tour. For more detailed information and to register, click here.

We are so excited to celebrate 105 years of Girl Scouting and to make the celebration even better, we’ve invited members from throughout the whole state! What a cool opportunity to meet lots of friends, try something new, laugh the night away, and feel a part of something really special—Girl Scouts!

The world is a very different place than it was 105 years ago. For girls today, the road to adulthood can be formidable. Becoming engaged, inspired and empowered can be a tall task—but Girl Scouts are embracing the challenge. As America’s preeminent leadership development organization for girls, we offer every girl the chance to do something amazing–to do more and to be more!

And that’s the reason to celebrate! Happy Birthday to Girl Scouts everywhere!

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Let’s Grow on World Thinking Day

Girls participating in World Thinking Day.By: Courtney Feuquay, Troops and Resources Program Manager

Be a sister to every Girl Scout. We recite this phrase every time we say the Girl Scout Law. But what does it mean? So often we think about our sister Girl Scouts being the ones we meet and interact with within our troop, school, community and Girl Scout council. But did you realize we have sister Girl Scouts and Girl Guides all over the world?

With more than 10 million global girl members of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides, you can imagine the amount of international friendship we share!

A Little History
In honor of all of the Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) annually declares February 22 as our World Thinking Day. This special day has been a tradition since 1926. It’s a day when Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from 146 countries take time out of their troop meetings and busy lives to think about their fellow Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from all over the world and celebrate international friendship!

Ideas to Celebrate World Thinking Day

  • Earn the World Thinking Day award. This year the theme is GROW. What will you grow? How about  growing the international friendship within your community. Girls are invited to plant a tree of friendship. More info can be found here.
  • Attend a community sponsored World Thinking Day event near you.
  • Invite girls from your troop to learn about a different culture then share what they have learned with their sister Girl Scouts in your troop.
  • Try a new food from a different culture or have an international themed potluck within your troop. FUN FACT: The Badgerland staff always holds a potluck at the Girl Scout Service Centers to celebrate our sisterhood!
  • Play a game from a different country. Great game ideas can be found here.
  • Learn a new dance style or dance steps from a different culture.
  • Invite someone from a different culture to speak to your troop about their culture.
  • Read a book about your troop’s chosen culture.
  • Check out Badgerland’s Pinterest page on other fun ideas to celebrate international friendship and World Thinking day!

Now go on and have THE best World Thinking Day ever. And tell us how you celebrated – let us know what your troop did to recognize this special day in Girl Scouting. Hint: we love photos!

10 Cookie Selling Tips from Wisconsin’s Top Cookie Seller!

Victoria, Badgerland’s Top Cookie Seller for 2016.
BADGERLAND NOTE:
Victoria Lenius was Badgerland’s Top Cookie Seller in 2016. And…she sold more cookies than any other Girl Scout in all of Wisconsin last year! Just how many cookies did she sell? 5,379 boxes! With that kind of success, we asked Victoria to share some of her tips to cookie success and what she most enjoys about being part of the Girl Scout Cookie Program. 

By: Victoria Lenius, Madison Cadette Troop 2082

I love selling cookies. It’s a treat every year to see the new prizes and decide which ones I want to earn. I love that my mom lets us always buy a few boxes to eat throughout the sale. I love talking with customers and telling them about the charity my troop is supporting through Cookie Share. Many customers donated between a quarter to a dollar. Because of their donations, our troop was able to buy a lot of cookies that we decided to donate for the homeless. I love that our troop gets money and that we can do fun activities throughout the year. Some of the awesome things we’ve done include horseback riding, skiing, swimming and Rockin’ Jump.

Here are some of my tips for selling cookies:

  1. Always make eye contact.
  2. Talk loud enough for customers to hear you.
  3. Use an assertive voice.
  4. Use good manners.
  5. Know how to make change quickly. Practice if necessary.
  6. Say “Hello” or another greeting. Don’t just say, “Would you like to buy Girl Scout cookies?”
  7. Stay friendly and chat with the customers throughout the sale and always say thank you.
  8. Set reasonable goals and don’t give up!
  9. Set your goals in parts so you can achieve small pieces at a time.
  10. Never forget your uniform and keep it up-to-date. Know your badges and patches, because I’ve learned customers like to talk about them and will be more likely to buy cookies when we talk about them.

Become a Girl Scout Maker

gs-makersBy: Allison Martinson, Program Specialist – STEM

It’s a fact that girls love science, technology, engineering and math. Whether it’s the challenge of learning something new, the excitement of tinkering to see how something works, or the thrill of solving a unique problem, STEM programs succeed in teaching girls to be confident, courageous and innovative.

This year, Badgerland Girl Scouts have technology at their fingertips with our new checkout resource and patch program, Girl Scout Makers. Making is a new movement in technology, and it fits perfectly into the Girl Scout leadership experience. Makers use technology to make the world a better place – combining arts and crafts with the latest gadgets and gizmos to make changes, big and small, in their local and global communities.

How can girls use the Girl Scout Maker kits to make the world a better place? Ambassador Girl Scouts have the opportunity to code and test their own Android App using the MIT App Builder plus an Android tablet. Last year, Claire Evenson completed her Gold Award project by creating and coding an app to help her sister through a troubling illness. Just imagine what your girl could do.

Not ready to code an app? Try the Girl Scout Makers Brownie kit, featuring littleBits. littleBits are made to build amazing circuits. The handy Inventor Guide inside may inspire your Brownie Girl Scouts to create a circuit system that helps monitor water use or feeds the family pet when you’re on vacation!

Ready to try Girl Scout Makers? Reservations can be made at your local Badgerland Service Center. Troops can check out Maker kits for any level, not just their own. Each kit comes with a month-long reservation so you and your girls can immerse yourselves in the experience. You’ll have the opportunity to learn right alongside your Girl Scouts with our handy Adult Learning Guide. One you’re finished, return the kit and pick-up your patches so you can proudly proclaim – I’m a Girl Scout Maker!

Learn more about each kit
Download the Check Out Form

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Make Philanthropy Part of Your Family Traditions

Brownie Girl Scouts volunteering at the River Food Pantry.

By Lori Astell, Director of Strategic Relationships

While the holiday season is filled with happiness and tradition, it is important we pause to be thankful for all we have. It’s so easy to get caught up in (and stressed-out over) buying gifts while losing sight of the people in our community, and our world, who are less fortunate.

I encourage you to consider making philanthropy a part of your holiday traditions. And there are lots of ways to do this. As a family you can gift your time, talents or dollars to help make the world a better place. Philanthropy brings family members together and encourages them to celebrate the support of others. Together, your family can make shared giving decisions such as determining where charitable gifts are given or deciding where to spend time volunteering.

Introducing children to philanthropy is an amazing way to demonstrate family values and attach meaning to money. By participating in good works alongside their families, children have the chance to develop empathy and compassion for others.

It is never too early to start teaching children about the importance of philanthropy and the holiday season is an ideal time to introduce the concept. In a recent survey, 89.4 percent of young adults cited their parents and 62.6 percent cited their grandparents as the people who influenced their learning about philanthropy. What better time than the holidays to start a new tradition and engage the entire family in giving back!

Consider Girl Scouts in Your Giving
Did you know each Girl Scout program is subsidized to make it affordable for every girl regardless of her family’s income? Additionally, financial assistance is available for membership, uniforms and camp. This year, consider giving the gift of Girl Scouting to those in need in your community.

Whether your family chooses to give time, talents or dollars, your gift is welcome. And giving to Girl Scouts is easy:

I challenge you to start a new family tradition this holiday season: Philanthropy! The gift your family gives will create opportunities for others all year long.

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