Girl Scouts: More than Cookies

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“…know that your purchase benefits more than one girl, because we change the world one box at a time.”

One of our very own MediaGIRLs, Erin of Troop 2434 in Stoughton, was recently featured in the Milton Courier for an editorial she wrote about her involvement in Girl Scouts and the impact the organization has had on her throughout her involvement. Read below to learn more about her experience and how being a Girl Scout is much more than selling a box of cookies.

Girl Scouts isn’t just a box of cookies. In the last 7 years of my scouting career I have sold over 3,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies and had many great experiences. Cookies only come around once a year and they help to fund many other activities that happen throughout the year. To list just a few activities I have done: learned canoeing, learned first-aid, participated in STEM learning, attended many awesome Girl Scout camps like Camp Hero and have been on several troop camping trips. Serving others is another important part of scouting where I have cleaned the Yahara River, sang carols in the nursing home, made holiday cards for Meals on Wheels and last year my troop made blankets for kids in the hospital. Through Girl Scouts, I have learned confidence to talk to new people & courage to try new things. I have learned that I can make a difference in the world in many ways & have made some great friends. For girls who are unsure if they would like scouting, I say come and check it out! Scouts is about what you want it to be and there are so many activities to try. We always need more adults to guide us too!

When you start seeing Girl Scouts out selling cookies in the next week, know that your purchase benefits more than one girl, because we change the world one box at a time.
Erin, Stoughton Troop 2434

My Girl Scout Destination: Costa Rica and Panama Service Challenge

Hi! My name is Emily and I went on the Costa Rica/Panama Service Challenge Girl Scout Destination in June. It was such an amazing experience to help the people of Talamanca and San San Pond Sak, even if it was just for a week each.

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I think the most powerful part was any time someone told us how much our help meant to them. Because sometimes to us our work was extremely difficult and sometimes it even felt like it wasn’t worth it, but when we heard the gratitude from the people we were helping, it reminded me of why I love service work and why I came. For example, chores for people in Talamanca include hauling sand up a hill in the blazing heat (whereas for me, at home, I have to haul a garbage bag to my garage). And when we were cooking our food, we had to cook it over a fire and I kept inhaling smoke and getting it in my eyes, and my instructor reminded me that this is how they have to cook everyday.

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This trip has impacted me in many ways. I was just kind of crazy to see how the people in Talamanca and San San Pond Sak lived and how, in comparison, I have a pretty privileged life.

– Emily Ledin | Senior Troop 2331, Middleton | YLC Member

 

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Pop-Up Programs

We’re so excited to introduce new pop-up program! You won’t find these unique program experiences anywhere by Badgerland.

How do pop-up programs work?
These are short, drop-in programs. We keep the date and time a secret until a few days before the event, then reveal it on our social media accounts and via email. The day of the program, you just stop in anytime and have some Girl Scout fun!

Keep connected to find out the location of the next pop-up program in your area!
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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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I’m not just a girl, I’m a Girl Scout.

By Hilary Carroll, Customer Care Manager

hilary-with-flag“You can do this. You’re a Girl Scout.” This is the self-talk running through my head as I prepared to enter the City Public Works Manager’s office to present my idea. I was nervous. I was in 8th grade and had never before been part of such an official meeting, let alone presenting at one. But, I came equipped with my plan carefully written out in long hand on loose-leaf paper. After all, I was a Girl Scout—and we are always prepared!

As I met with the City Manager, I explained to him that I was worried the river running through the center of our town was being polluted and I wanted to do something about it. To help make city residents aware, I was hoping for permission to mark all the storm drains in the town with the message: “Dump No Waste, Drains to River.”

This Take Action project, the first one I ever led, was for my Girl Scout Silver Award. Girl Scouts gave me the platform and the tools to help make a change in my community. I wasn’t just an ordinary 8th grader – I was a Girl Scout!

One of the amazing things about being a Girl Scout is the effects are truly life long. My Silver Award project was the spark that introduced me to environmental protection and it is a passion that has continued through to today.

When Juliette Gordon Low created the first Girl Scout troop over 100 years ago, she wanted to create a place where girls could grow and develop leadership skills. Juliette imagined a movement where girls could go beyond their typical daily activities, advance their skills, and make a difference in the world around them.

As we remember Juliette Gordon Low on her birthday, October 31, I know she would be immensely proud of what Girl Scouts have accomplished together. I can only imagine her reaction to hearing stories of all the amazing things girls have done that she never could have imagined. Like Badgerland’s own Claire Evensen who taught herself to code and built an app to give teens tools to cope with anxiety and depression. Or Evansville Troop 3086 who, with one Gold Award project at a time, is slowly repairing and revitalizing a local cemetery. These girls were inspired to be brave, take on new challenges and make a difference in their communities, because they are Girl Scouts!

Happy Birthday Juliette Gordon Low and thank you for giving us all the opportunity to be Girl Scouts!

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Spread Kindness this October

31 Random Acts of Kindness patchGiving back and doing good deeds is part of our DNA. The Girl Scout slogan says to “Do a good turn daily” so this October, we’re challenging Badgerland Girl Scouts to do a “good turn” every day of the month – that’s 31 days of good deeds to earn the 31 Random Acts of Kindness patch!

Why October and why 31?
Our amazing founder, Juliette Gordon Low’s birthday is October 31 and we want to honor her by banding together and contributing to the world around us. Imagine the impact Badgerland Girl Scouts will make when every Girl Scout does something nice for others. Thousands of people around Badgerland will have a reason to smile every day, all because of Girl Scouts. Wow!

Need some ideas on how your Girl Scouts can spread kindness in the community? Here are a few:

  • Leave an anonymous note telling someone how special they are
  • Open a door for the person behind you
  • Take your neighbor’s dog for a walk
  • Save your change then treat a loved one to an ice cream cone
  • Call grandma and tell her your favorite memory of a time spent together

Big and small, the possibilities are endless. You can find more ideas at RandomActsOfKindness.org.

Keep track of your Random Acts of Kindness and order your patch with the 31 Random Acts of Kindness Order and Tracking form.

We can’t wait to see how awesome October is around Badgerland with thousands of Girl Scouts doing daily good turns. Share some of your random acts of kindness and we’ll share them with the world!

Girl Scout Volunteers Build Girls of Courage, Confidence and Character

Junior Girl Scout troop with leader, Rachel Kaiser.
By Rachael Kaiser, La Crosse Troop Co-Leader

What better way is there to help shape young girls into strong, confident women than to be a Girl Scout leader?! When most people think of Girl Scouts, they think of cookies, and while that is still a part of the traditional Girl Scout program, it’s so much more than that. Cookies are just one way to help us pay for the invaluable experiences we can provide for girls in Girl Scouting! I have had the pleasure of being a Girl Scout leader for 5 years. I started a troop when my daughter, who is now 11, was 5 and in Kindergarten. She really wanted to be a Boy Scout, after tagging along to her brothers scout meetings, but I assured her that Girl Scouts was JUST as amazing as Boy Scouts (and we could make it even better!)

Over the past 5 years, I have seen amazing changes in the girls I’ve had the pleasure of leading. Girls who were once quiet and stood in the background… now have the courage to stand on stage and be part of a skit. Girls who had a hard time thinking outside of themselves… now realize the impact they can have on the world and the people around them. Girls who cried when their mom dropped them off at meetings… now head to summer camp alone for a week each year.

Girl Scouts is a fun, safe place for them to explore how amazing they are and to try new things, knowing that their fellow Girl Scouts and their leaders will support them if they fall. These girls have gotten the chance to meet city leaders, learn new art techniques from university students, practice CPR and first aid safety at the local hospital, try horseback riding for the first time, and so much more. Girl Scouting gives them the opportunity to try something new, learn important life lessons, and explore their community in a way they might not be able to otherwise. I enjoyed being a leader so much, that I now oversee (with the help of some other amazing women) 7 troops of over 60 girls!

And the girls aren’t the only ones benefiting from Girl Scouts.

I have been rewarded in many ways as well. I have come to know and understand these girls in a way I never would have as a casual observer. I learned to let go of my tendency to do everything for them and realized that they are capable of so much more than we give them credit for. I have gotten outside my own comfort zone by trying new things alongside them. When I walk into school and these girls rush up to me to say hi and tell me something about their day, I feel blessed to be a person with whom they want to share these things. I have also gotten to experience all of these fantastic experiences with my own daughter. The quality time we share together through Girl Scouting is immeasurable, and I hope it is these memories my daughter thinks back when she’s older.

It takes a village to raise a child, and I am so thankful to be a part of each girl’s village…helping to build girls of courage, confidence and character!