With the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, it’s more important than ever to give back to the community. Here are a few easy ways Girl Scouts and troops can give back to their communities this month.
1. Blanket Donation
Troop 7133 decided to host a Blanket Drive after they heard their local shelter had completely run out of twin-sized blankets. The troop sponsored donation bins and collected new and gently used blankets for the shelter. Reach out to your local shelter to see what their needs are and coordinate donations from family and friends to donate. Make sure to stay safe and practice social distancing through curbside pick-ups or other distanced collection methods.
2. Food Pantry Donation
Another way to give back is to donate to a food pantry. Purchase items on our local pantry’s wish-list, or simply donate canned goods for your own pantry. Double check with your local pantry to see what they need and what they have too much of.
3. Donate to Healthcare Workers
Healthcare workers are working harder than ever! Some ways Badgerland troops have given back is by donating Girl Scouts cookies or sending thank you cards. You can do something similar, or come up with your own creative way to say thanks.
4. Send Holiday Cards
The Holidays can be a lonely time for some, and a simple way to raise someones spirits is to send a card. Create a variety of holiday cards and send them to an assisted care facility or veterans hospital to spread some holiday cheer.
5. Shovel Driveways and Sidewalks
An easy way to help others in the winter is to shovel sidewalks and driveways that neighbors may not be able to do on their own. This is especially a great way to help high-risk or elderly individuals who may have been isolation by the pandemic. Make sure to practice social distancing guidelines to keep yourself and others safe.
6. Donate Toys
Donating toys to those in need is a great way to help others this month, especially with the upcoming holiday season. You can raise money and purchase toys, or donate gently used toys (if accepted). Donate the toys to a community center, family shelter, Toys for Tots, or a similar organization.
How have you/your troop given back to your community? Share your ideas in the comments below!
Go outside and hunt for the perfect Fall leaf to save! The easiest method is to place leaves between sheets of newspaper and press with heavy books for about 2 weeks, checking after one week to insure the leaves are drying properly.
Another method is to sandwich the leaves between wax paper and old cloth/towels, and iron on high (no steam). The wax will melt onto the leaves (and not onto the iron or ironing board thanks to the cloth) and preserve them for several months. Cut the leaves out from the wax paper making sure not to break the wax seal and use them in collages and other art projects.
You can see more methods and more info on these methodshere.
Take a hike!
Hiking can be a safe way to get outside, and a great way to celebrate Outdoors month! Below is a list of some of our favorite lesser known hiking spots around Badgerland. Don’t forget to practice social distancing and follow safety guidelines when visiting public hiking spots.
Gear up for Girl Scout Founder Juliette Gordon Low’s Birthday (Oct. 31) with our (virtual) Founder’s Day camp out! Practice outdoor skills while learning about Girl Scout traditions and history. The event will be a mixture of recorded and live sessions that cover basic outdoor skills like building fires, tying knots, setting up tents, and cooking over the campfire with sticks and pudgie pie irons. Older girls will cover dutch oven cooking, jackknife safety, and how to light fires without matches. We’ll end the camp out with a Girl Scout history lesson and fun trivia! Girls will earn parts of the following badges:
There’s still time to join our Sloth Shuffle! Walk, run or shuffle your way through October and get outside to enjoy the beautiful fall weather and help adopt a sloth for a year. Track your daily steps and see if you can finish a 5K (3.1 miles) or go all the way for a 10K (6.2 miles) by the end of October. Participants will get a Sloth Shuffle patch, pedometer, sports towel and tracking sheet mailed to them. One dollar for every participant will be donated to the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison to help care for their sloths.
In her life enriched by the power of Girl Scouts, my mom, Claire Kircher, consistently showed gratitude for the organization which had given her so much.
A sister, an explorer, a risk-taker, a nurse, a mother, and a loving friend, Claire Kircher led her life with confidence and compassion. An energetic problem solver, she approached challenges head-on. While many daughters would provide similarly impassioned descriptions of their mothers, I am by no means alone amongst the multitudes of people who became enamored with Claire’s spirited light. Her light, which shone through every stage of her life, was fueled and sustained by Girl Scouts.
Growing up in West Bend, WI in the 1960s and early 1970s as the eldest of six children in a conservative Catholic household, my mom often recounted the lack of opportunities and activities for girls in their formative years. As different family pressures and responsibilities emerged throughout her childhood and adolescence, Girl Scouts remained a sacred refuge for Claire: a place of infinite possibilities to explore, a place full of loving female friendships and bonds. Claire fully embraced Girl Scouts’ outdoors and leadership experiences, to which her large and hectic family would not have exposed her. Cherishing her earliest memories of independence she made at Camp Tiwaushara outside Wild Rose, WI, she embraced the camping, canoeing, and hiking trips her beloved troop leader, Ms. Azelle, made possible for her troop. She realized she thrived in leadership positions, enjoying the decision making process and logistical planning of different endeavors. To raise funds for her troop to travel to Europe and to the International Girl Scout Chalet in Switzerland in the summer of 1973, Claire helped collaborate with local businesses so her troop members could sell tickets to silly fashion shows they put on for the community. Above any individual experience, my mom most deeply treasured the powerful female friendships and the strong female energy she gained and embodied through Girl Scouts. Her appreciation for the collective strength and wisdom of womxn and girls seeped into every subsequent aspect of her existence.
Girl Scouts ingrained in my mom that women can rise to any challenge. She learned to never underestimate the radical, healing, transformative power of womxn as a collective. As a nurse, she enjoyed thinking through and tackling challenges, taking great responsibility in her work as a professional. She became trained in Reiki and body work therapy, using these alternative skills to enhance her healing ability. Outraged at the injustices her coworkers and her often faced in this female-dominated profession, she played ongoing leadership roles in organizing her comrades to demand respect and fair treatment for nurses. Enchanted by the power of music and song she first experienced in Girl Scouts, she sought community in the Madison feminist choir, Womonsong. Many Womonsong members had their own Girl Scouting backgrounds, and my mom formed instant connections. Throughout her adulthood, no matter what life events or obstacles she faced, she never ceased to honor, support, and seek refuge in her multitudes of female friends.
Becoming the co-leader of my troop, she manifested her gratitude for Girl Scouts by imparting her love of the program to me and my fellow troop members. Her co-leader, Mary Clare Murphy, ensured that our troop explored and served our community, sang songs, and learned to love and trust each other. However, they ultimately provided an environment in which we, as girls, could organize our own activities and directives. We exercised our own leadership muscles, most memorably, orchestrating the activities for the annual Regent Community Girl Scout Encampment. Our group of Girl Scout sisters remained strong, from kindergarten until our senior year of high school, supporting each other through the trials and tribulations of early adolescence through the start of college. My mom made sure that our troop remained a strong, interdependent female community that any girl could turn to for support.
And this love of Girl Scouting lives through me. Most importantly, the value of honoring female friendships and community. In my time running on the women’s cross country team at Macalester College, I utilized many Girl Scout team building and planning skills that had been impressed upon me since youth. Now, I am a teacher in south Minneapolis, and the co-leader of a remarkable troop of Brownie Girl Scouts. Cultivating a troop at my school is my way of showing gratitude, not only for the Girl Scout organization, but also for my mom, who gave so much of herself to provide an excellent Girl Scouting experience.
One of my co-leaders is none other than my lifelong friend and Girl Scout sister, Anna Ahrens, the daughter of my mom’s dear friend and co-leader of our troop, Mary Clare. After attending college in different states, Anna and I found our way back to each other in Minneapolis, proving, just as my mom did, that Girl Scout sisterhood lasts a lifetime. Together, we channel our moms’ energy in every meeting, always ensuring that our girls sing plenty of songs. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, our troop met every Wednesday. After the meetings on my drive home, I always called my mom to debrief and ask for her advice. As her body weakened from the effects of chemotherapy and the spreading cancer, connecting with my next generation of Girl Scouts gave her hope and joy.
Claire utilized her Girl Scout skills to march her way through four years of ovarian cancer. She was scrappy and tough. She pragmatically looked at the challenges from all angles, adapted to her changing physical abilities, and most of all, called upon her community of Girl Scout sisters and other female friends to carry her through. My mom’s light shone bright through every obstacle cancer launched her way. On my mom’s last day on this earth, as Hospice nurses attended to her at our home, dozens of people – Girl Scout connections, Womonsong connections, neighbors, and other friends and family – gathered below her window, social distancing on the street outside. Together, they joined in song, singing a selection of my mom’s favorite Girl Scout and Womonsong songs I had printed out and left in a pile below. The magical vibrations of their united voices sent a wave through our home, flooding into my mom’s open window, surrounding her with love. Hours later, her spirit left her body, soaring to join with the lingering energy of friendship and sisterhood. Her light shines on through me, and through the dozens of people she’s impacted through Girl Scouts and other communities. What she leaves behind is the value, and perpetual trust in the power of Girl Scouts Together.
To make a donation in honor of Claire Kircher, visit Badgerland’s donation page and type ‘Claire Rose Kircher Legacy Fund’ in the designation section.
MediaGIRL Avery Lentz and mom LaShell Lentz recap their experience at Ehawee Expedition
Daisy Girl Scout and MediaGIRL Avery Lentz attended last weekend’s Ehawee Expedition with five members of her troop. This was their first time visiting Camp Ehawee and were eager to try all the new and exciting activities being offered at the event. They immediately ran down the trail to the archery range, excited to give it a try. They loved shooting arrows at the targets (and would’ve done so longer) but there was so much more to explore.
In less than six hours, the girls tried archery, learned how to build a fire, played giant Jenga and tic tac toe, conquered a partner-guided obstacle course, played giant Hungry Hippo, learned how to tie knots, played Gaga ball, made bird feeders, and even had an impromptu dance party! Avery’s favorite parts? “Archery and playing Hungry Hippo.”
Despite all the scheduled activities, there was no shortage of creativity that afternoon. Avery and her troop mates made each game their own, even turning the game of Jenga into a chance to build their own creations and make the game their own.
Overall it was an action packed afternoon with plenty of opportunities to learn something new, and become close as a troop. Avery’s mom, LaShell, said after her afternoon with the girls, “I want to go back and stay! The property is beautiful and has so much to offer the curious girl!”
Couldn’t make it to this month’s Ehawee Expedition? Attend our winter session January 25-26! See all the details at gsbadgerland.org
Nothing can compare to the feeling of pride and delight earning your first petal! Whether it’s from learning a new skill or sharing a new experience, this is a memory she’ll never forget.
She meets leaders in her community.
Daisies get to meet so many amazing people! Non-profit leaders, police officers, and more. Daisies get to speak with and learn from the best and brightest in their communities.
She makes a difference in her community.
Daisies don’t just interact with their communities, they leave an impact on their communities too! Cleaning up parks… donating cookies… there is no limit to the difference a Girl Scout Daisy can make.
She gets to start her first business.
Maybe one of the coolest things a Daisy gets to do is start her own business- selling cookies! She’ll learn how to set goals, speak with others, market a product, and much more. By the end of her first cookie season, she’ll be an expert entrepreneur.
She makes new friends
When a Daisy joins a troop, she doesn’t just get a group of troop mates, she gets a group of new best friends! These are fellow Girl Scouts she’ll bond and make memories with and often, these are friendships she’ll have for a lifetime.
BONUS… Being a Daisy is just plain fun!
There’s no doubt that Daisies both do and learn amazing things, but one of the best things about being a Daisy is that it’s endlessly fun. Parties, camping, songs, games… being a Daisy is an experience that she’ll remember forever.
Is your daughter starting Kindergarten soon? Get a head start on her Daisy experience through our Daisy Launch program! She’ll get her first patch, early access to her Girl Scout Daisy troop, and her very first Girl Scout activity booklet. Plus, get access to our Girl Scout Walkabout and Daisies in the Garden day camps that are the perfect introduction to her Girl Scout experience. Learn more at gsbadgerland.org/daisy
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.
“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!