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Issue 7, July 2018

LOOK INSIDE FOR A Tale of Fact or Fiction Perks of Volunteering Meet the Sensational SciGirls The Path to Gold

12 13 24 28

pictured: Girl Scout, Ellie T. is determined to break the status quo. Read her story on pg. 16!


OFFICERS Trish Ferguson Coy President/Board Chair Rina Patel President-Elect/Vice Chair Lisa Reifsnider Secretary Lauren Peters Treasurer Paula Bookidis Chief Executive Officer MEMBERS-AT-LARGE Amanda Adams Charmaine Smith-Winters Colette Pierce Burnette, Ed.D. Cynthea Rhodes-Patterson Ellen Fleming Hema Mullur John Craddock Karen Butler-Purry, Ph.D. Kathy Rapp Leslie Midgley Mischca Scales, Ph.D. Nicole Schwartz Nett Paul Pulley Pauline Lewis Sandra Trainor Sheema Patel Shelley Clifford Brophy Suzanne Copeland Suzi Marshall Tamaria Kai Perry Whitney Hamnett-Pirkle ADVISORY BOARD Beverly Dale Emily Moreland Jill Griffin Mary Scott Nabers Stephanie Hamm Curtis Page Carole Keeton Jare Smith Jeanie Wyatt BEHIND THIS ISSUE Editor-in-Chief: Lolis Garcia-Baab Creative Director: Kelcy Parrish Executive Editors: Reyna Martinez and Hannah Bruno Contributing Authors: Melanie L., Miranda Todd, Monica M. Staff Authors: Reyna Martinez and Hannah Bruno Feedback to communications@gsctx.org For more information visit www.gsctx.org or call (800) 733-0011

Dear Girl Scout FamilyWhat a fabulous year we have had! Our girls have been to the depths of the ocean and observed the stars in the sky. They have been involved in hours of community service and enjoyed days in the sun. Our girls have spoken up, for themselves and others. They have worked, played, shared, failed forward, and grown in ways that will serve them well for the rest of their lives. We all celebrated the girls that graduated this year and wonder what they will do next. Because with Girl Scouts, it’s not a matter of if they will do something grand, but when they will do it. It begins with girls like Jacqi (page 21), who found a way back to Girl Scouts to ignite her passion for STEM by building robots. Or Melanie (page 5), who has learned to speak up and speak out as a United Nations Delegate, so she can call attention to the injustices she observes. And then there is Alyssa (page 31) who found a new calling thanks to the resilience and dedication she learned during her 13 years as a Girl Scout. These girls and the many others featured in this issue are such an inspiration! The Girl Scout way consistently sends young women out into the world who are brave, focused, hardworking, and agents for positive change. So, here’s to the girls who are truly transforming the world! Congratulations and safe journey to those who have moved on to their next adventure. And to the girls who are growing in their amazing footsteps, stick with it - there is so much to look forward to! Girl Scouts is sure to provide you with the opportunities to blaze your own fabulous path. Girl Scouts, now and always!

Lolis Garcia-Baab Chief Marketing and Communications Officier

Table of Contents

5 6 9 11 13 16

United for the Nations Upcoming Events Cookie Activity! Get Outdoors Perks of Volunteering COVER Story: Just Like You

20 23 24 28 30 34

#CampLife Traveling with GSCTX Sensational SciGirls The Path to Gold Stand Up, Speak Up Photo Highlights


Lynelle McKay

Trish Ferguson Coy

Peace, Love, and Many Thanks! Under exiting CEO, Lynelle McKay’s leadership, GSCTX has become a high performing council, and has risen to the top of Central Texas’ youth and girl education organizations. Developing cutting edge STEM, outdoors, and community initiatives, and empowering confident, civic-minded, and well-rounded female leaders is Lynelle's passion.

Trish, our new board chair, has been a Girl Scout her whole life. As an adult member, she was a key leader during and after the Bluebonnet Council merge with Girl Scouts of Central Texas. Trish served as a National Council Delegate, is a Kachina Girl, and a Juliette’s Circle Founder - just to name a few of her roles! Trish practices law in her own firm in Clifton, Texas, and enjoys small town living in China Spring.

Girl Scouts of Central Texas, meet Paula Bookidis – our new G.I.R.L.-in-Chief! A Girl Scout Troop leader, who has been on the front lines of camp-outs, volunteer trainings, and cookie sales, Paula brings a unique perspective and a tried and true passion for the Girl Scout mission. She is a master of her craft, focused on the facilitation of executive-level strategy, business process improvement, change management, and implementation planning. In basic terms - she is ready to take GSCTX to the next level on all fronts!

What Drives Her?

In Her Own Words!

Trish demonstrates leadership through community service and civic engagement, serving in her local Lions Club, volunteering with a camp that serves young burn survivors, and teaching Sunday School in her church. Her passion is volunteering for causes that empower people to chart their own success.

“Girl Scouts become our country's best leaders. I look forward to helping evolve the strong Central Texas Girl Scout tradition to provide more opportunities for girls in STEM, outdoors, career/college readiness, and entrepreneurship.”

On behalf of the staff, volunteers, and nearly 17,000 girls who are a part of this organization, we want to extend our sincerest thank you to Lynelle for her dedication, service, and most importantly, the legacy she leaves behind.

What's Next? It’s not goodbye, it’s just see ya later! Lynelle will continue to be an advocate for the voice of Girl Scout members as the new GSUSA Chief Customer Officer. Reporting directly to national CEO, Sylvia Acevedo, Lynelle will be taking charge on all things membership, programs, and leadership support!

Paula Bookidis


To the Great Outdoors We Go! And no…you don’t have to be a pro. Sunsets. Scenic vistas. Waterfalls. Nature boasts some of the most breathtakingly gorgeous phenomena you’ve probably ever seen, but the real beauty of the outdoors is that it’s readily accessible to everyone. Outdoor adventures are truly customizable, and can be molded to fit your abilities, interests, and price point. Girl Scouts has been blazing the trail for girls’ leadership in the outdoors for more than a century, and our Outdoor badges (all 52 of them!) continue to be one of the most popular badge categories. To power the next generation of women who push boundaries and move mountains, we have teamed up with The North Face to develop twelve new Outdoor Adventure badges, with programming ranging from mountaineering and climbing to backpacking, hiking, and trail running. At Girl Scouts, we believe there are never too many opportunities for girls to experience the great outdoors and all the wonder and adventure it offers. Whether you’re doing a little backyard stargazing, or you're trekking through the ups and downs of Texas terrain, the research is clear: outdoor experiences are imperative to fostering leadership skills in girls.

Your Guide to Outdoor Girl Scouting Our Outdoor Program Specialist, Gabby Marye, has led backpacking trips through the Grand Canyon, the Great Smoky Mountains, and the Rocky Mountains. Now, she wants to help you become an outdoor expert! See more on page 11, and read her blog series, Get Outdoors with Gabby, for insider tips to conquering your open-air adventures.

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Instead of ditching your tech, use it to enhance your outdoor experiences. Here are four apps we give a big A+ to...‘A’, for adventure, of course. GeoCaching Treasure Hunts: Turn any location into a brainteasing treasure hunt, as you use your phone and GPS locator to find trinkets and gifts left by other explorers! Classic Camping Cookbook & Meal Planner: An all-in-one meal guide, you can decide what to create based on cooking method, type of meal, or available ingredients. Easy, peasy. Star Walk Stargazing: It’s the sky’s turn to tell stories around the campfire. View the constellations and uncover the untold tales about the characters they’re named after. ALLTRAILS: Whether you’re close to home or across the country, you can find the perfect trail for a troop hike, all ranked by distance and difficulty.


United for the Nations By: Girl Scout Senior and GSCTX United Nations Delegate Melanie L.

W

hen people think of Girl Scouts, they probably think of girls half my age (I’m almost 18 – compared to most Girl Scouts, I’m ancient!) selling Girl Scout cookies and camping. We do all those things, but I don’t think even I truly understood what it meant to be a Girl Scout until I had the opportunity to represent GSUSA as a delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). CSW is an annual conference that takes place at UN headquarters in New York to advance women’s rights around the globe. My job as a delegate was to learn how other countries approach gender equality, and to weigh in on this conversation on behalf of Girl Scouts across the United States. My job also includes sharing my experience with people like you (hello, fourth wall!). Before I arrived in New York, I knew that I’d be meeting people from different countries at the United Nations, but it never occurred to me how diverse UN delegates really are. I befriended a Portuguese girl on our first day. Her English was limited, so the language barrier made for difficult conversing. At lunchtime, trying to find common ground, I asked her if she liked dogs. Smiling enthusiastically, she said yes, and before long we were chattering over pictures of our own dogs back home. I left that day feeling amazed at how we can make beautiful connections with people from all over the world if we celebrate the things that make us one human family. Unfortunately, not all my exposure to other cultures was uplifting. While you’ve probably heard about large-scale humanitarian issues like food and water shortage across the globe, you may be shocked, like myself,

to learn these problems are often always based on gender. Have you ever seen photos of children in third-world countries carrying huge containers of water? Chances are good it was a girl in the photo. In many cultures of impoverished nations, girls are often viewed as less important than boys. So, while boys are encouraged to go to school and get a job, girls are almost always the ones taking on unpaid care work for their family. In fact, a recent study from the UN shows that women globally do almost three times more unpaid work than men – work that our international economy depends on to run effectively. It can seem intimidating to find a good place to start tackling these issues. The

world isn't on track to meet the Global Goals (17 goals for world social justice the UN hopes to reach by 2030) right now, and I would attribute that problem to a lack of education. The resources to solve our world’s problems are there - we just need to show people where the problems are and how to use these resources to fix them. The great thing for us young’uns here in Girl Scouts is young people make the perfect activists and educators. We’re highly invested in the future since we’ll be living in it. We have more energy, more time, and are better connected thanks to the power of social media. We have an undeniable upper hand in the activism game, and it’s so important we use our advantage to make our world better. So to you, lovely reader: thank you for reading this far. It shows that you have a genuine interest in educating yourself and acting to further women’s rights. We need more people like you – especially you girls. We need girls who live out the concept of ‘girl love’ every single day. We need girls to advocate for what they believe in and hold their government accountable. We need girls with the courage, confidence, and character to stand up for what’s right, even when it might not be popular to do so. In short, we need more Girl Scouts.

Walk the Walk! When Melanie returned from the United Nations, she was inspired to continue the conversation around what we can be doing every day to increase the rights of women, both in America, and across the world. Knowing there is strength in numbers, Melanie supports the GSCTX Advocacy Troop. Change is right at your fingertips, and you can use your own two hands to make your world a better place. Read more about how you can follow in her footsteps on page 30, and look for our Advocacy Troop launch in the fall!

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FLAMES & FURY

Photography by Chris Wilkinson

Can you scale a wall, break a window, and save a life, all while wearing 60+ pounds of gear? GSCTX Girl Scouts can! 11 girls were pushed to their limits at our inaugural first responder program hosted by the Austin Fire Department, Camp Fury. They stepped into the shoes of female firefighters and paramedics to learn if they had what it takes to save lives.

Spark the fun! Attend the hottest programs in your area! august

september

8/4 Summer Star Party (Clifton)

9/1 What’s the Cache? Geocaching with KD (B/CS)

8/10 Forensics Anthropology: Skeletal Death Investigation Workshop (San Marcos)

9/1 and 9/15 What’s SUP? Paddle the Brazos (Waco)

8/8 Dive with Me (Austin)

9/15 Brunch with Barbie (San Angelo)

8/12 Summer Send-off Party (Bellville)

9/15 Wilderness Survival (Austin)

november

december

11/3 Mammals Among Us (Austin)

12/1 Young Rembrandts Holiday Drawing Workshop (Austin)

11/3 Night Hike (San Angelo) 11/10 Better Business Women (Waco) 11/30 Cookies, Icing, & Sprinkles Oh My! (B/CS)

12/1 Parade of Lights (San Angelo) 12/8 A Magical Holi-Day in Bryan (Bryan) 12/8 Happy Hanukkah (Killeen)

october 10/6 College 101 (San Angelo) 10/13 Hola Vaqueros! (Belton) 10/14 Zumba Dance Around the World Class (Austin) 10/27 Ready, Set, Go- Emergency Preparedness (Giddings) super saturdays! 9/8 - Killeen

1/12 - Brenham

9/22 - Trailblazers

4/27 - San Angelo

10/13 - Brownwood

5/3 - Stephenville

11/10 -San Angelo

5/13 - Brownwood

This is just a small sampling of all the great programs by GSCTX. For a full listing of events & registration dates, please visit www.gsctx.org/events.


G.I.R.L. Spotlight: go-getter

Victoria S. With high hopes of one day becoming a doctor, Victoria is confident in knowing she was born to make an impact.

taught English, Victoria gained a new perspective on her ability to stand up and speak up for injustices against young women. Honored to have been selected to be one of five girl delegates from our council to attend the 62nd Session for the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations earlier this year, Victoria took the opportunity to absorb as much information as possible to share with others. In addition to Girl Scouts, she is involved in National Honor Society, volunteers for Meals on Wheels in Erath County, shows lambs and horses through FFA and 4H, and loves to read and study. The aspect of Girl Scouting she cherishes most is how it has molded her into a stronger woman. As a visionary and ultimate go-getter, it’s clear Victoria will succeed in achieving all her aspirations.

Stop by to chat with staff, pick up resources, or shop at our retail stores. Kodosky Service Center*

12012 Park Thirty Five Circle Austin, TX 78753 Bryan/College Station Service Center*

1737 Briarcrest Dr. Suite 10 Bryan, TX 77802 Brownwood Service Center**

Victoria has had a busy 12 years in Girl Scouts. She is a world traveler who has visited Girl Scout Headquarters in five countries and four continents, where she has had the opportunity to meet Girl Scouts from across the globe. Victoria is also active in her hometown of Stephenville, and is a board member for her local Girl Scout Service Unit. She embraces the sweet things in life and is a cookie entrepreneur, top cookie-seller, and mentor for the GSCTX Cookie Program. Victoria is a proud recipient of a Bronze and Silver Award and is committed to becoming a positive role model for all young women.

901 Avenue B Brownwood, TX 76801 Killeen Service Center*

2909 Lake Road Killeen, TX 76543 Kyle Service Center**

187 Elmhurst Dr, Ste. D Kyle, TX 78640 San Angelo Service Center

304 West Ave A San Angelo, TX 76903 Stephenville (Mistletoe Hut)**

201 Mistletoe Drive (building in soccer complex) Stephenville, TX 76401 Temple Service Center

2721 Exchange Place Temple, TX 76504 Waco Service Center*

Her love for Girl Scouts was instilled in her at a young age, since both her grandmother and mother were Girl Scouts themselves. After taking a two-week humanitarian trip to Ghana where she helped build classrooms and

Come Say Hello!

3700 West Waco Drive Waco, TX 76710 *Retail shop available – check website for hours. **Please make an appointment. Second generation Girl Scout!

CALL US AT: 1-(800) 733-0011 FIND MORE AT: www.gsctx.org/shop

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2018 COOKIE SEASON

the

crunch

Any way you break it down, the 2018 Cookie Season was one for the books!

Way to go, girls! The Buck Doesn’t Stop with Cookie Season! Part of raising a courageous and confident girl begins with teaching her instant gratification doesn’t equal happiness.

Money sense, worth a (Thin)mint Moolah, dough, coin, cash, the big bucks. Whatever you call it, money is a hot topic. Like other tricky topics, money is something girls will hear about outside the home – at school, sports practice, friends' houses and on social media. While this may sound harmless, girls can get the wrong message about money if peers are their only information source. For example, your girl might hear a classmate say, “rich people are lucky.” In a recent survey conducted with girls, more than half expressed the expectation they would one day own a house, give back financially to their communities, or ‘make a lot of money.’ However, if she believes that wealth is a result of luck, what motivation will she have to handle money responsibly? In the Girl Scout Cookie Program, girls learn by doing. This gives them a sense of accomplishment and pride in their abilities. Little Women author Louisa May Alcott famously said, “I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.” Likewise, a current Girl Scout—yours even!—might say, “I am not afraid of building a career/negotiating salaries/balancing a budget someday, for I’m already running an awesome cookie business!” More money tips on page 10.

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Financial Literacy is often discussed during Girl Scout Cookie Season, but the reality is Girl Scouting provides relevant opportunities to discuss money all year long! Use troop meetings to discuss budgeting, wise spending practices, and saving techniques in a way girls will understand. Let’s just say your troop wants to take a trip to Disney World. More than just an opportunity to set a goal for saving the thousands of dollars it would take to make the trip, this provides you a chance to talk with your girls about a variety of different things. Why Disney World? Is there a destination closer to home, which can provide a similar experience for less cost? What are some hidden costs you may have to consider when planning? What activities will the troop have to forego, due to needing to save every dime? All these questions will help girls begin to have an open, healthy, and honest relationship with money.

c o ok i e c r um b s

90% 12% 33% *Source: Girl Scout Research Institute


Stumped about what to do with your Girl Scout Dough? Let our quiz help you decide!

With your passion for exploring and daring attitude, you should spend your Dough on a Council or Destination trip! The world awaits!

Gather round the camp fire and roast some s’mores! You love Girl Scout traditions and getting out into nature. Camp is the perfect option!

Your compassion and empathy make it clear – use your cookie funds to set up a Take Action or community service project!

One can never have too many Girl Scout t-shirts, right? Head to our shop and deck yourself out in all the coolest gear!

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Kathryn M. sold a total of

3,647 boxes in 2018. “Hi! Would you like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies? It’s ok if you don’t have cash, I take credit. Remember, cookies make great gifts!”

have a great lemon flavor, but not too much lemon.

This is the sales pitch Kathryn M. used to sell 3,647 boxes of Girl Scout cookies during the 2018 season.

KM: I received the award for the most amount of sales in my Service Unit, and I’m really proud of that. I want to sell at least the same amount next year, but I’m definitely going to try for more. I’m thinking about 4,000 boxes for next year.

GS: We’re sure you sold a ton of Lemonades! How does it feel to have sold so many boxes?

At eight years old, Kathryn is already on her third year of selling cookies and is well on her way to shattering the council record for cookie sales. Kathryn is a driven and dynamic entrepreneur, but don’t just take our word for it…meet this go-getter businesswoman for yourself. Girl Scouts: So, we must ask…What’s your favorite cookie? Kathryn M.: I would have to go with Lemonades. I always tell people that they

GS: Cookie sales are definitely not as easy as someone might think. What would you tell a friend who wanted to sell as many cookies as you? KM: I would say ‘you’ll need to work really hard and don’t give up’. There are times when it may get a little frustrating if people don’t want to buy cookies from you, but you can’t let that get you down. If you keep trying, it will all work out.

GS: That advice is so important. If you could sell a box of cookies to ANYONE in the world, who would it be? KM: I would sell Hillary Clinton a box of cookies. I’m a really big fan of hers, and I would love the chance to get to talk with her. GS: Hillary Clinton is a great choice - did you know she was a Girl Scout, too? Last question - we think this is THE most important one. What makes you excited to be a Girl Scout? KM: I like being a Girl Scout because we are helping others. I also like doing lots of fun activities with my troop. We went to an art studio, a doctor’s office, the veterinary school at Texas A&M to learn about how they take care of animals, and to the Dr. Pepper museum to learn about how they make soda. I have also gone to the National Seashore on Padre Island to pick up litter and to learn about sea creatures that live there. I think I am learning a lot about business and being a good citizen.

Spending Savvy for the Ages Stumped on how to have age-appropriate chats about cash? Use this reference for Daisies to Ambassadors, and everyone in-between. Daisies: Reinforce money is earned by working and used to buy things! Use hands-on activities, like counting and exchanging (keyword) REAL money. Brownies: These are prime years for teaching the basics of money management! Here, girls can assume more financial responsibility in day-to-day spending and start saving for long-term goals!

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Juniors & Cadettes: The tween years bring important financial lessons and likely some challenges, too. The primary thing kids want at this age is to be viewed as young adults. Use this attitude

to teach your girls the importance of giving to others and how to get out of debt through small loans. Seniors & Ambassadors: You’re in the home stretch of raising a happy, well-balanced, and financially responsible young adult! In high school, you can help your Girl Scouts understand how working and/or volunteering part-time can build selfesteem, confidence, and experience, ideally aligned with a career path. You can also discuss balancing social and college pressures within financial realities – it will be here before they know it!


D N O Y E B GO FAR CTATIONS! E P X E E H T While it's a common misconception that Girl Scouts are only outdoors during summer camp, the reality is our girls are always out-of-doors. Being outside is invigorating and helps girls connect with the world around them. Girl Scouts are advocates for the environment and are likely to take action to protect it, because they recognize the asset that it is. From hiking through nature and field trips in the wilderness, to volunteering for causes related to the environment, there are so many ways to get outside and explore the world around you.

save the date!

Adventure Awaits!

Outdoor Photography When: Aug. 18 Where: Bull Creek Park Register by: Aug. 10

Night Hike When: Nov. 3 Where: San Angelo State Park Register by: Oct. 31

GSCTX Surf Fest 2018 When: Sept. 8 Where: Padre Island Surf Camp Register by: Aug. 25

Zip Down the Zipline When: Nov. 4 Where: Cypress Valley Canopy Tour Register by: Oct. 21

Wilderness Survival When: Sept. 15 Where: Wild Basin Preserve Register by: Sept. 1

Dive With Me When: Dec. 5 Where: Dive World Register by: Nov. 21

Dive with Me When: Oct. 17 Where: Dive World Register by: Oct. 2

Get outdoors with Gabby! Have you met Gabby, our new Outdoor Program Specialist yet? She's our spunky, adventure-seeking, outdoor-lovin' expert and she'll be sharing all sorts of tips and tricks with us on our blog (www.gsctx.wordpress.com).

Here are a few things she’d like for you to know about her: ✭✭ She has led backpacking trips through the Grand Canyon, the Great Smoky Mountains, and the Rocky Mountains. ✭✭ She is a paddling enthusiast and has also gone white water kayaking, white water rafting, and on multi-day canoe trips down the Suwanee River and the Green River. ✭✭ Her favorite “lazy” day activity is going on an afternoon hike with her dog, Archie, or sitting in a hammock with a good book. Want Gabby to stop by your next Troop Meeting or before your big camping trip to give you some outdoors pointers? Then reach out to her by filling out our contact us form (www.gsctx.org/ContactUs)!

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a tale of

fact or fiction Girl Scouts Mythbusters

As Girl Scouts, we live by the motto “Be honest and fair”. Check out these common misconceptions about the world's largest organization run with and for girls, and let us lay down some truth for you.

truth

myth All Girl Scouts do is make crafts, camp in their backyards, and sell cookies.

Camping and crafts are the bomb. But, if a girl wants to travel abroad, learn archery, or build a robot, she can do that too. Not only do girls pick what they do, but they raise the money and lead the experience. *mic drop*

truth myth It’s hard for families (especially dads) to get involved with Girl Scouts.

truth

myth

LOL, NO. Just like the girls who make them up, every troop is just a little different. Which is awesome, know why? Because it means the troops are truly girl-led, which is kind of the whole point.

Troops are all the same.

truth

myth Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award is less impressive than the Eagle Scout Award.

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Sing it with me now - We are fam-i-ly! Lots of moms, dads, grandparents, and other family members volunteer in different ways. Parents and other adults (Psst! Did you know you don't need to have a daughter in Girl Scouts to volunteer with a troop?) play a critical role to delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience both as volunteers and as supporters. It takes a village, y’all.

Hold the phone! Just because something is created for a boy, doesn’t make it more important. The Gold Award is impressive to colleges and universities, and to the military, which advances Gold Award Girl Scouts a full rank…the same as for Eagle Scouts.

PPST! Check out our feature on Girl Scout Faith J., and her inspiring Gold Award project on page 29!


Volunteering with Girl Scouts isn't just a way of doing good. Whether you’re a new troop leader or you’re an established cookie coordinator, we’ve compiled a list to show what you'll gain when you give.

LEARN FRESH SKILLS You could design a website, organize an event, edit a press release, or be troop treasurer—the list is virtually endless.

DO GOOD, FEEL GOOD Volunteering can give you a sense of accomplishment and make you feel positive about yourself and others.

TAKE ON A CHALLENGE Through volunteering you can challenge yourself to try something different, achieve personal goals, practice using your skills, and discover hidden talents. *Source: www.themuse.com

IGNITE NEW PASSIONS Who knows, you may find out you love strategizing for social media or coordinating logistics for outof-state travel.

PAD YOUR RESUME 76% of career advisers say that a candidate with volunteer experience is more likely to get their preferred job.*

WHIP YOURSELF INTO SHAPE With more people in traditional desk jobs, we live a more sedentary lifestyle than ever before. Your troop will get you up and moving!

EXPAND YOUR NETWORK You never know who you'll meet working with Girl Scouts. Maybe your new BFF or even your next boss?

BECOME ACQUAINTED WITH YOU Volunteer experience can be a good way to learn more about yourself and your potential to grow and develop.

ADD FUN TO YOUR YEARS Roasting s’mores, international travel, and so much more to do, but the best part, and often overlooked part, is that volunteering is just plain fun.

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Community Service vs.

Take Action Project: What’s the Difference? Girl Scouts love to give back—it’s part of our mission to “make the world a better place!” There are many ways troops can help their communities, whether through a community service project or Take Action project. Both are equally important, and continue the long-standing tradition of Girl Scouts giving back to others. But what’s the difference between these two? Let’s dive in and take a closer look. Community service projects are the bread and butter for a Girl Scout! Whether girls are making tie blankets for the local animal shelter or participating in a park clean-up, girls love to get together and help others in need. Service projects are usually done for the community, address an immediate need, and have a short-term impact. They often take less time to plan, can be done at any time throughout the year, and can often be connected to a variety of badges or awards. Take Action projects pick up where that short-term fix of the service project leaves off. There are three key components to Take Action

projects—girls show active leadership by working with the community, they address the root cause of an issue (think of the “why” behind the issue), and the projects have a lasting impact. Girls gain lots of skills and leadership experience when they work on a Take Action project. It’s not just about how they will “make the world a better place,” it’s also about what they learn along the way. Every Girl Scout Journey Award ends with a small-scale Take Action project related to that award’s theme. The Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards are large-scale Take Action projects that take months (and sometimes years) of planning and execution!

Are you tracking with us? Here’s a handy chart to break it down for you:

COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECTS

TAKE ACTION PROJECTS

Addresses an immediate need in the community

Addresses the root cause of an issue in the community

A project done FOR the community

A project done WITH the community

A one-time project that helps something or someone now

A long-term project that's sustainable & makes a lasting impact

That helps a little, but you may want a few examples? (And remember, the scale and scope of a project will vary depending on if you have a troop of Brownies working on their Journey Award or a Girl Scout Ambassador working on her Gold Award.)

ISSUE

COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECTS

TAKE ACTION PROJECTS

Soda cans and plastic water bottles are being littered at the park.

Participate in a park clean-up.

Work with the city to implement a new recycling program at the park. Organize an annual park clean-up.

A local animal rescue group has a lot of dogs and cats in their care.

Making blankets and toys to donate to a local animal rescue group.

Create a PSA or poster campaign to educate the public on pet over-population.

Whether your troop is working on a community service project or a Take Action project, be sure to include the girls in the planning! They will be more engaged and excited if they get to take part in all the fun and learning that goes along with giving back to the communities they love.

All for one, and one for all!

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When you’re a Girl Scout you’re a key player in a team full of go-gettin’, problem solvin’, challenge facin’ superstars! When you’re out doing your thing, making the world a better place and all that jazz, rep your Girl Scout spirit by wearing your Girl Scout uniform or a Girl Scout–or troop t-shirt. That way everyone will know - you’re a Girl Scout and you’re here to save the day! Check out the GSCTX Shops for the latest styles! Troop 123 with their sponsor-pup, Jojo.


Opportunities for leadership development should be available to every girl. We work day in and day out to ensure the Girl Scout Leadership Experience is available to girls who are unable to participate in traditional troops due to circumstances beyond their control. In Girl Scouts, there is a home for every girl. Housing Authority of the City of Austin

home sweet, girl scouts Ten little girls press their faces to the windows of the car traveling up the highway, speeding away from the bustling streets, car horns, and looming buildings of downtown. Each tiny face is frozen in the same expression. Mouths curved into slight smiles, eyes wide and darting back and forth between the perfectly manicured lawns and tree-lined streets of Austin’s suburbs. Without moving her eyes, a small Brownie whispers “Woah. We’re in the country.” Though a drive through suburbia is a daily occurrence for many, for the girls of the Girl Scouts of Central Texas HACA troop, the outskirts of the city is a place unlike anything they’ve ever experienced.

understand these girls are worrying about adult problems. And they need to talk about those things with other girls who understand.” The troop functions as a typical Girl Scout troop. The girls attend summer camps (a rare sight for many of the girls who have never been out of their neighborhoods), sing songs, and complete patches. Come January, you can even find them in front of your local grocery store, selling Girl Scout Cookies. More than this, the troop provides an exclusive space for the girls. “Sometimes their brothers or boy cousins will try to come into the meeting,” says Jordan, “and the girls are always quick to shoo them out. They like having a space all to themselves.”

Like many of our Community Troops, it takes a With twenty-nine apartments and houses village to provide the girls a quality experience. scattered across inner-city Austin, HACA, or the Housing Authority of Austin, provides affordable housing communities, in an effort to alleviate poverty, keep residents healthy and safe, and allow them to reach their full potential. Part of this program is the partnerships the Housing Authority holds with youth organizations across the city, which allow the children of the resident families to experience consistent and age-friendly extracurricular activities. Jordan Francisco, GSCTX HACA Program Specialist, believes, more than anything, these girls are desperate for a place where they can focus on being children, saying, “I was shocked the first time an elementary aged girl in my troop asked me who was paying for the gas to go on our For many HACA Troop Members, the field trip to Crowe's Nest field trip. I didn’t Farms was their first time venturing into the Texas countryside.

Our HACA troop is specifically in need of volunteers to help lead troop meetings, drive girls to events, field trips, and even camp. If you are interested in investing your time, please contact Jordan at Jordanf@gsctx.org. This troop goes a long way in providing a sense of normalcy in the world of these girls, which is anything but typical. After all, what’s more ‘normal’ than being a Girl Scout?

HACA girls exploring the natural caverns in Austin.

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by: girl scout mom, miranda todd

Photography: Susan Lindstrom, Katherine DeVies, Miranda Todd

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Imagine walking down the street, feeling as if you're being suffocated by stares, wanting nothing more than to be treated just like everyone else. For 7-year-old Ellie T. this is a reality and although her world is filled with a few more obstacles than most, her determination and positive outlook on life make her an inspiration to us all. Ellie’s number one fan and biggest supporter, her mother Miranda, strongly believes there should be more stories representing people with varying disabilities. Here, she shares with us Ellie’s remarkable story and how proud she is of her courageous little girl. This is Ellie's first year of Girl Scouts. She wanted to join to be with her friends and she just loves to be part of anything that is going on. The kid is always on the move! She can do a press-up hand stand (takes incredible back and shoulder strength) which she taught herself just by trying it over and over! She loves to run and climb everything and hang upside down. As for how she sees the world, Ellie has always been

extraordinarily perceptive, observant, and insightful. She can read between the lines much better than other kids, and often gets the subtext of what people don't say. She has a very kind heart and worries a lot about other people's feelings, and always frets if she thinks someone might feel bad. She is also incredibly understanding about the way other children react to her differences and gives extra grace to those who she suspects have

autism (when they won't stop pointing her out over and over, instead of getting more upset, she suddenly is less bothered because she gets that "they just don't understand about stuff like that.") I think her own words paint the best picture of who Ellie is and her remarkably mature outlook on the world. After we saw the movie Wonder she said “I get it, I mean, it's hard on the first day of school when you're covered in stares and everyone treats you a little

awkward because they've never seen such a thing." Such insight from a 7-year-old! Let me explain a bit more about her differences. Ellie has a genetic condition called Tibial Aplasia Ectrodactyly. It means that she was born with no tibia (the larger bone in the lower leg) in either leg, and her hands are missing the medial ray (middle bones of the hand and finger) which gives her a cleft palm. She had little feet when she was born, but knees


and ankles don't function without the presence of a tibia bone because that is the bone that the major muscles for those joints attaches to. There isn't a way to reconstruct properly functioning joints in this situation, so the best way to achieve mobility is to amputate at the knee joint and fit the person with prosthetic legs. A person with the gene can have one limb affected, or both, or none. Ellie's biological father has the gene, but does not have any physical manifestations of it, but he has passed the gene on to two of his three biological children. Ellie has a half-brother with the same condition who also underwent bilateral knee disarticulations and now also wears prosthetic legs. However, Ellie doesn't let it slow her down at all. She has played on a kickball team, and competes on the local swim team. We do travel to adaptive sporting events, so she can have a chance to compete on a level playing field, running against other kids on prosthetic legs, but she still jumps into regular activities all the time. She has always gone to a regular daycare, school, summer camp, etc. and has never needed special help. A most memorable moment occurred a few months ago. Ellie has long said she wanted to be a ballet teacher one day. She has a doll that has "nubbie" legs like hers. I came downstairs one morning to find her sitting with her doll and looking concerned. I asked her what was the matter and she said "Well, I'm just worried about Elizabeth. She wants to be a ballet dancer someday, and I just don't know how to tell her that I don't think that will work for her, because of her legs. I just think that you need knees to do most of the moves, but I don't know how to tell her that because I don't want to hurt her feelings." It was like Ellie was using this play scenario to give ME permission to tell HER that there are somethings she can't do in life! Which I never have done, and never will. Instead, I said, "well, perhaps you don't need to tell Elizabeth what she

can and can't do. Perhaps you should just let her try everything, and then she can decide for herself what she can do and what she can't. Because you know darling, there are many things that you do that I never thought you would be able to! You do things that I always assumed required knees, but somehow, you do them! So, we really won't know what Elizabeth can do until she shows us." And it's true, Ellie astonishes me and everyone else all the time. The girl can hop on one leg! How? How do you hop without a knee to bend? I don't know, but she does it! She can do a running leap too. And she rides a scooter like a professional snowboarder, it's astonishing how she moves on that thing! I think there needs to be much more visibility of kids with all kinds of differences so that they won't seem so different at all but will just be part of the normal spectrum of human existence. There was a time when kids who had red hair were considered an oddity and were picked on, but these days everyone gets that some people just have red hair. I would love it if someday a kid like Ellie who doesn't physically fit the mainstream could walk through a store or restaurant and NOT hear "Oh my gosh! Look at her! Why does she have [fill in the blank]! That's so {weird/creepy/gross}" The more a kid sees a thing, the more they get it and the less strange it is. Most kids don't need to say, "what is that?" when they see a wheelchair, because wheelchairs are portrayed enough in the media that everyone knows what they are and what they do. I'd like kids to also grow up seeing and being familiar with the concept of prosthetic limbs, facial birthmarks, burn scars, alopecia (hair loss), skin discoloration syndromes, dwarfism, craniofacial differences, and any other condition that currently tends

to put someone squarely in the category of "other than." Ellie watched a show called "Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn" and in one episode there was a child with a limb difference! I was thrilled that his difference was not mentioned or explained at all, he was not a focal point in any way, he was just another kid in the group of kids. That is what we need more of! It is great to have stories about people who have differences to teach us about, but we also need to have stories that include these people without being about them. The media should portray the population as it exists, in all the ways it exists. Fifty years ago, we did not see accurate portrayal of racial demographics, but we largely do now in print ads. I see commercials now that show families of mixed race. This is a great thing, because such families exist, and the media should reflect the world. Some companies are finally coming around to realizing that all abilities should be portrayed as well, and a generation from now I believe that kids won't need to say, "why do you have that?" because they will already know "prosthetic limbs are tools to help people who have a limb difference."

Eventually seeing a kid with a metal leg will be no more shocking than seeing a kid with glasses on his face, or braces on his teeth. I look forward to a day when Ellie doesn't have to explain herself to other children, because they will be able to see all they need to know–that she is a fun loving kid, just like them. 

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Troop Spotlights!

A Celebration Fit for a Queen with Troop 5120 After a successful World Thinking Day celebration, the girls of Troop 5120 based out of Concho Pearls decided they wanted to learn about England, particularly the British royal family. Naturally the best way to do so was by celebrating Harry and Meghan's wedding! These spunky, fun loving, curious, and friendly girls learned about Queen Elizabeth II, her family, and the line of succession. They made feather fascinator hats, baked scones from scratch - some lavender and others chocolate chip, tasted a variety of teas, and had a photoshoot. Plus, they learned how to interact with the queen! Pro-tip: don’t start a conversation with her royal highness, you must wait for her to decide the topic, don’t try to touch her unless she reaches out first, and only call her ‘your majesty’ the first time you address her. One aspect the troop thought was amusing was the ways someone can become part of the nobility. Their favorite? Buying your own island, inviting your friends to live there, and then set yourself up as queen. What a brilliant way to learn something new! These innovators are onto the next adventure and are busy working on their camping progression with dreams of Big Bend next spring.

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Troop 593 Tries Something Brand New Based out of Mcbee Elementary School, Troop 593 is doing what Daisies do best—growing and learning! In their first year of being Girl Scouts, the troop has already begun to try activities which challenge their inner go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, and leader. When their school was approved for a garden-building grant, the Daisies got their hands dirty - pulling weeds, creating walkways, and packing soil into the soon-to-be flower and vegetable beds. The girls then put on their thinking caps when they attended The University of Texas Girl’s Engineering Day, where they created glowing playdough characters using LED lights, made rocket ships, catapulted water balloons, and ate CO2 ice cream - YUM! Most recently, Troop 593 was visited by an older Girl Scout, who taught the girls about the importance of setting goals and how they can continue to be leaders in the community. The girls are excited to finish earning all their Daisy Petals, and then bridge to become Brownies!

Have a story to spotlight? Send us your pictures and stories to www.gsctx.org/shareyourstory

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and you could be our next feature!


Reaching New heights with Troop 8226 It’s a well-known fact that Girl Scouts love to challenge themselves with new and exciting activities. For Troop 8826, going bouldering for the first time in Harker Heights was a dream come true. This group of fearless risk-takers are always looking for their next adventure. With some guidance from the instructor, the girls quickly made their way up the various walls with the intent of reaching the top. As they took on the increasingly challenging climbs their ability, strength and coordination improved with each forward movement. And while not everyone was able to reach the top, they were all very supportive of one another, cheering each other on. After all that’s truly the beauty behind being part of a troop. Knowing that no matter what insecurities you may have, your Girl Scout sisters will always be there rooting for you! There’s many more adventures in the future for Troop 8826 and we’re sure they’ll conquer them all.

Furry Friends Need Love Too, Troop 925 to the Rescue! Earlier this year several new troops formed in Fayette County. One of these new troops was Daisy Troop 925, a group of enthusiastic, energetic, outgoing, and kind girls. After their first few meetings, they were asked by their troop leaders to choose an organization that they would like to donate a gift box to. Gardenia E. Janssen Animal Shelter in La Grange was chosen, and troop leader, Whitney, suggested the girls make toys for the cats and dogs. The cat toys were made of upcycled t-shirts and the dog toys were made from upcycled jeans. One afternoon during their meeting, the girls put together the toys while talking about how they were helping make the lives of these animals better. That day they proudly earned their rosie petal. Soon after, Troop 925 gathered their donations to give to the shelter, including food for the animals and cleaning supplies along with the awesome toys they made. Once all the donations were gathered the girls put on their smiling faces and took them to the Gardenia E. Janssen Animal Shelter. When they arrived, they spent time with the animals—playing, cuddling, and loving on them. Since then the girls have delightfully earned all their Daisy petals. Their troop leaders can’t wait to see what the rest of the year will bring and neither can we!

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Learn the Lingo with Roxy! Howdy! I took a quick break from bug-catching at camp to let you in on a little secret and by far one of my favorite parts of summer camp—our wacky lingo. It might not always make sense, and seem kinda silly, but gosh it’s totally awesome to know how to talk the talk, just like those tall smiling humans (I think they call them camp counselors). Seriously y’all, once you get this down you’ll feel ready to take on the world! Here’s a few you’ll want to remember:

✴✴ Kapers – (aka chores) is a fun name used at camp for all those daily duties that keep camp clean and running smoothly like taking out the trash, sweeping, and picking up litter. Because after all, we must leave every space better than we found it!

✴✴ Hoppers – One of the kapers you might have at camp is being a hopper. Hoppers help set tables for meals and help get food for everyone at the table. I’ve noticed Girl Scouts like dining family-style, I on the other

hand will eat almost anything, anywhere.

✴✴ Wishing sticks – the official name for the wishes you wrap around a stick before placing them into the last night campfire. I always tend to need a few boxes of Kleenex this night, it’s just so magical!

✴✴ Boom Chicka Boom – this is one of my most favorite camp songs and you’ll probably sing this so much at camp you’ll go to bed thinking about it. I said a boom chicka boom!

That’s all I’ve got this time friends. I’ve got to head back to camp— it’s my turn to jump off the rock wall and into the pool at Kachina! Catch ya later.

camp, love, & laughs forever,

Roxy! 20

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girls create their own lightsabers and practice using ‘the force’ while aiming their arrows at the archery range. We pride ourselves in having lots of options.

Good things come to those who don’t wait! We know sending your girl to camp isn’t easy, especially if it’s her first time away from home. The week she’s gone may seem like the longest week of your life, but when she returns we guarantee she’ll be glowing and talking your ear off about her camp experience and will want to start planning for next year. And whether she likes crafts, or adventure, or something in between, there’s a camp program for every girl! From standard programs like ‘Brownie Champs’ where girls can enjoy the best of the best activities and have good ol’ classic camp fun, to new unique programs (that fill very fast) like ‘Jedi Academy’ where

Though the programs seem endless, they do fill fast. The last thing you’d want is for your girl to miss out on the ‘Flashlights and Fairytales’ camp she’d been talking about for months because you waited to register her. Don’t be that parent. (Ha!) Instead, be on the lookout for our Camp Guide in November, that has all the information you’ll need to start planning an unforgettable summer camp experience. With a searchable table of contents and short descriptions of all the camp programs, the Camp Guide is your go-to resource and can be found on our website on the camps page. Early Reminder: Pencil this into your calendar: Summer Camp Registration opens January 2019!

And don't forget your troop can book our camps during the school year!


G.I.R.L. Spotlight:

positions, from a member of the Build Team, constructing the massive robotics, to the Drive Team, controlling the robot during competition. She has even coached the team to two regional competitions, managing to lead them to a top placing score, despite technical difficulties with the robot.

jacqi K.

© Kevin J. Kelly

innovator

Innovation is about doing things in a new and fresh way. By thinking outside of the box, everything an innovator puts their mind to becomes a little more exciting. When Jacqi joined her Girl Scout Brownie troop at six years old, she did because all her friends were doing it, and she stayed because, well, she was having an absolute blast; going to Camp Texlake, earning badges, venturing out on a fieldtrip, and so much more. But, when she was eight, Jacqi’s family moved and she couldn’t find a Girl Scout troop in her area. Three years later, during her Junior year of high school, Jacqi joined the Lady Cans Robotics Team. It was there she found the opportunity to pursue her passion in a space surrounded by girls with the same interests as her own. From the moment she joined the team, Jacqi was determined to play an active role. She has held several

When you hear all of this, you may think Jacqi is a naturally gifted STEM mind, but in fact, her high school precalculus teacher once told Jacqi to reconsider her career plans because she wasn’t “a strong math student.” Jacqi, unfazed by the teacher’s negative attitude, got a tutor and set to work studying for her AP Calculus exam, on which she scored a 5 (the highest mark you can receive!). She plans to continue her love for STEM at The University of Texas, where she will be studying mechanical engineering. Jacqi understands, more than most, that STEM is a field not always welcoming to women. Through her time with the Lady Cans, Jacqi not only has had the opportunity to hone

her skills, but she also uses it as an opportunity to teach other girls they are capable of doing anything they want. “Equal representation is important in any field, and equal gender representation in STEM has a long way to go. Being an engineer or a computer scientist can help pave the way to future technologies that can change the world.”☙

High fives all around. You did it! Not only because you registered on time (or early!), opened your troop to new girls, and overall just made the entire year a success, but because you are the perfect example of what it means to be a Girl Scout! By taking action, showing responsibility, and demonstrating hard work and dedication, you have become a troop other troops can look up to, and learn from. You truly are…SUPER! Thank you - to infinity and beyond!

ask

a

G.I.R.L.

expert (formerly 'Ask Melissa') In 2016, we introduced you to a special segment called “Ask Melissa” hosted by our Program and Teen Mentor Specialist, Melissa Green. And believe it or not, she’s been answering all your GSCTX questions and curiosities for two years now! From her weekly ‘Ask Melissa Monday’ features on Facebook to her occasional informative videos, she has been a fantastic familiar face. While we’d love for her to continue answering all your questions until the end of time, we decided to make a change and pass the torch to a few other experts. Ask Melissa will now be transformed into ‘Ask a G.I.R.L. Expert’ where we will have staff from all departments (yes, including the leadership team), volunteers, girls, and of course occasionally Melissa, not only answer questions but give advice on all things Girl Scouts. Stay tuned to see who we hear from first! As always, if you have a question feel free to send it over to us at www.gsctx.org/ContactUs.

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staff

Spotlight: Reyna Martinez

GSCTX Public Relations Executive, Reyna Martinez, wasn’t a Girl Scout growing up, but if she had been, camping would have definitely been her favorite activity. “I remember watching The Parent Trap when I was younger and thinking that camps like the one they went to only existed in movies, then when I started working at GSCTX I had to do a training at Camp Texlake and was in such shock and awe. It was such a beautiful, magical, and free-spirited place, and now I have a Camp Name, Picante!” In her early twenties, and “desperate to change the world,” Reyna found her way to Girl Scouts through a position as a community troop specialist, working with the GSCTX HACA troop. As she worked in the community with the girls, she realized much of the public still viewed Girl Scouts as a place for girls to sing songs and do crafts – leaving her disheartened but determined to shift the narrative. Now, as a member of the Marketing and Communications team, Reyna works to spread the Girl Scout story far and wide. “It's difficult to not be passionate about what I do, have you seen what these girls are doing?! I love showing the nonbelievers that these girls really are making our world a better place! Sometimes the most unexpected moments in your life end up being the ones you remember most. Although I wasn't a Girl Scout as a kid, I'm so happy to be a part of this amazing organization now.” ☙

MarComm Mascot Hey there, Girl Scouts! I’m Baxter and my mom, Reyna, is my hero! I used to think she would leave me every day to play with other dogs (Devastating.), but one day she took me with her to that place she calls work (even though it’s more like play, because you get scratches, and toys, and to spend all day with mom). I really like where mom works, especially the smells…smells like girl power. I think Girl Scouts is the BEST place in the whole-wide world. Anyways, I’ve got to see a man about a treat, so I’ll TTYL! - Baxter 22

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Mi Experiencia Como Girl Scout (My Experience as a Girl Scout)

by monica m.

G

rowing up I had always been passionate about helping people and being involved in my community. When I first heard about Girl Scouts, I thought this is perfect a place where I can make an impact, have fun, and eat/sell cookies, count me in. Little did I know that was only part of it. My name is Monica, and I am part of Troop 276, the first all Hispanic troop in Central Texas. To be honest, it has been hard explaining to my friends and family what it is I do in Girl Scouts since the Hispanic community isn’t very familiar with it. Instead of being upset or annoyed, I take this as an opportunity to teach them that it shouldn’t matter your race or religion, we can all make the world a better place. And even though most of the time the only aspect of Girl Scouts that many people see is the cookie sale, I like to remind them and show them that we do more than just that. About a year ago, my community suffered the presence of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), causing our troop to lose members because they were scared to leave the house. That inspired me to begin working

on my Silver Award, Corazons Unidos (Hearts United). I created an immigration information fair that brought more than 15 organizations together to help my community be more informed and to feel safe. The fair was a huge success with more than 1,000 people present who left with great resources and a sense of unity. I was so happy to see such a great turnout and to have the opportunity to teach everyone the Girl Scout promise in Spanish.

La Promesa de Girl Scouts: Por mi honor, yo trataré De servir a Dios y a mi patria, Ayudar a las personas en todo momento, y vivir conforme a la Ley de Girl Scouts. One thing I’d like everyone to remember and know is that together we can make a difference, all it takes is understanding, listening, and action. ¡Vamos Girl Scouts! (Let’s Go Girl Scouts!) For more Spanish resources visit our website at www.gsctx.org/espanol.


t h g i l f e Tak with s t u o c S Girl

Make friends from all over the country, see and learn new things, and make room for inspiring, life-changing experiences and memories. How far will your Girl Scout experience take you? The choice is yours!

Nashville, TN Costa Rica

A Little Bit of Country & A Little Bit of Rock N’ Roll

What an incredible experience! From painting schools, planting trees, and ziplining, to haggling in the markets and walking down moonlit beaches, this was the trip of a lifetime. Not only was I surrounded by vibrant culture, but also incredible, strong and positive girls. Before embarking on this journey, I always marked off the saying, “Live in the moment” as idealistic and cliché. This trip has changed that opinion completely. It’s impossible to not live in the moment when you’re acting on such an aweinspiring stage.

One highlight of my trip (which happened to be my birthday) was going to the Country Music Hall of Fame which is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. As a fiddler, it was exciting to see all the exhibits and I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the violin Charlie Daniels used to play ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’ in the movie Urban Cowboy. I think Destinations trips are good for girls because there’s so much to learn and it really teaches you how to interact with other girls from around the country. This was a great travel experience for me, as I got to know what it feels like to fly alone, and how to deal with flight problems on my own, as well.

-Claire T., GSCTX Ambassador

-Anna W., GSCTX Senior

Panama Service Challenge

Rock-N-Wilderness

Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream, over, and over, and over again. It’s still hard to believe that we canoed 60 miles through the lakes of the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area, but we did, and it was incredible! Camping in Canada was so surreal with all the wildlife; there were otters, bald eagles, loons, and fish. I really enjoyed this experience as it taught me a lot about nature, my endurance, and my strength. I got to meet new people who share the same interests as me, and I had a great time with everyone. I recommend a Girl Scout Destination to anyone who is ready for an awesome adventure! -Callie W., GSCTX Cadette

T

Minnesota & Canada

!

asons to Tra e R 5 vel p o

Eyes wide open - There’s no doubt once you travel outside of your comfort zone, you discover who you are in a way only possible on the road. Lessons learned – Meeting people from other cultures gives you a new outlook on life. Your point of view may have some major blind spots. By experiencing the world for yourself you can improve your vision. Tons of adventure – Zip-lining over the rainforest in Costa Rica, successfully navigating through the streets of Venice, trying new exotic delicacies you’ve only heard about in books: these are only some of the adventures that await. Dreams do come true – It’s not impossible to travel, all it takes is setting a goal and reaching it. Budget, plan, set an itinerary, pack, and hop into your next destination. Live your dreams! So many cool stories – Let’s face it starting a story with “Last year in Australia” will get you an instant captivated audience. Even if your distance traveled wasn’t far, something interesting always happens while traveling.

⇨⇨ For more on travel and upcoming trips, visit: www.gsctx.org/travel.

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In September 2017, a $10,000 grant by Twin Cities Television-PBS and the National Science Foundation was awarded to GSCTX to pilot a coding program, SciGirls CODE, for girls 5th-7th grades that ran for nine months, 3-4 hours a week in our Waco location. Only 16 sites were chosen to take part in this pilot program, and GSCTX was the only location in the state of Texas and the only Girl Scouts involved in the United States. The eleven girls who took part in the SciGirls CODE program exceeded all expectations! The program was broken into three units: mobile apps, robotics, and eTextiles. Within each unit, the girls became more confident, outgoing, and worked together to earn the next piece of their progression patch. Here's a look into what they accomplished:

Mobile Apps:

Robotics:

eTextiles:

In groups, the girls coded eight different apps, made upgrades to an existing app, and created an app from scratch. In total, 24 new mobile apps were created by our GSCTX girls! They learned the importance of pair programming and teamwork when it comes to coding, as well as pair programming’s functionality in the professional world. Several girls are using the skills from this unit while working on their Silver Award by coding apps in association with their projects!

Hole in one! Designing and building a robotic miniature golf course coded from scratch, now that’s something you don’t see every day. The girls absolutely loved this unit, as they were able to drive and control the ‘golf ball’, the Sphero, a small ball robot around the pre-made, precoded obstacles.

The girls learned something about this new form of technology by sewing circuits using conductive thread and programming them to light up tote bags, t-shirts, and even their Girl Scout vests. This unit was very challenging but allowed them to see another way that coding and circuitry exist in everyday life!

A family affair! Friends and family were invited to attend their mini golf course competition where the girls were separated into three teams. After their presentations their parents, siblings, and staff took their turn at the courses.

Cyber Cookies! The girls' final projects included designing, sewing, and programming cookie costumes for the Greater Waco Service Unit. They now have one-of-a-kind, special costumes for local girls in the 2019 Cookie Season!

Fave app? ‘Coding Compliments’ is an app with a blank box where the user types a compliment and it's read back aloud to you. The perfect pick-me-up!

Visit flickr.com/gsctx to view more photos and videos of SciGirls Code!

A very special shout-out to two ambitious and always chipper GSCTX staff members who spent countless hours guiding these innovators, Program and Teen Mentor Specialist, Melissa Green and Retail Sales Specialist, Lincoln Crowder. And just like your beloved show on Netflix, we are happy to inform you that SciGirls has been renewed for another season. More info coming soon! 24

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Positive Change STEMs from Action S.T.E.M. isn’t all about robots, computers, and math! Space exploration and environmental conservation are huge elements (no pun intended!) of S.T.E.M. fields. Whether you have your head in the clouds, or your feet firmly planted on the ground, you can find Girl Scout patches, programs, and badges that allow you to explore your world – and beyond.

PROGRAMS

PATCHES

Oct. 7: Shoot for the Moon!

(B/CS) - Take flight as you discover all things aviation!

Sustainability This patch can be earned at the

troop or individual level. The curriculum is customizable and can be suited to both younger and older Girl Scouts.

GLEE Patch - Food Choices

Oct. 8: iFly STEM Lab & Flight

(Austin) - Lose the gravity but gain the iFLYin’ fun.

This five-session course introduces Girl Scouts to environmentally conscious food actions they can make in their own homes.

Dec. 1: Sphero Mania!

GLEE Patch - Home Energy This five-session

(K/T/W) - Star Wars meets Girl Scouts! Come program your own BB-8 robot.

2018 SAMSUNG S.T.E.M. RESCUE CHALLENGE

course introduces Girl Scouts to actions they can take in their homes to save energy.

oct. 12–14 camp texlake

Last year you fought for survival, this year we’re counting on you to save the day! STEM is your superpower, and at the 2018 Samsung STEM Rescue Challenge, Juniors and Cadettes race against the clock as they hurry to save the residents of Camp Texlake after a devastating storm rocks the campsite. Test your engineering savvy, collaborate with your teammates, and push your creativity to the limits during this immersive and iconic STEM event, held on October 12–14, 2018.

BE A HERO FOR OUR HEROES! Just like Robin has Batman, our Juniors and Cadettes need Seniors and Ambassadors to look up to and bounce ideas off of. If you are in high school, sign up to be a STEM challenge mentor. This is the perfect opportunity to earn service hours, pad your college applications, and meet with STEM professionals who can provide references for you!

Did you know GSCTX is starting an astronomy Girl Scout troop? You can check out their recent adventure to the NASA Goddard Center in Washington D.C. on our Cookie Bites Blog. If you are curious about the vastness of the universe or just love to stargaze, this is the troop for you! For more details, contact our STEM Programs Manager, Laura Terrill, at LauraT@gstcx.org.

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volunteer

Spotlight: Man Enough to be a Girl Scout

Dot Your I ’s & Count Your T ’s You want to be involved with Girl Scouts, but how?! Keep reading to discover how you can fit in the three “T’s” of volunteering.

Time:

This is the obvious one! Time is a commodity we all have, and as an organization that relies on our volunteers’ ability to lead a troop, sit at cookie booths, or spend a week at camp, we’d like to officially put in a bid for a block of your time! Whether you can give a few hours, a few weeks, or a few months, volunteering with Girl Scouts is flexible and fun - here are some positions you can hold:

✭✭Troop Leader ✭✭Troop Cookie Coordinator ✭✭Camp Volunteer ✭✭Troop Treasurer ✭✭Council Level Volunteer

Talent:

Do you have a special talent you'd like to share? Our motto at GSCTX is “if she can see it, she can be it.” Maybe you have the skill a girl needs to see to launch her own passion– you never know! Here are some ideas of talents you can use to give back:

✭✭Photography ✭✭Graphic Design ✭✭Host a Program (Come teach girls how to master your skill!) ✭✭Video Editing ✭✭Event Planning ✭✭Translating

Treasure:

A never-ending need for funds is the price we pay for providing cutting-edge programming for our girls. Here are different ways your donations can help girls!

✭✭Provide snacks and craft supplies for community troop meetings ✭✭$25 pays for a Girl Scout Membership ✭✭$100 sends a girl on an outdoor adventure ✭✭$250 opens the world of STEM for 4 girls ✭✭$500 can send a girl to camp for a week

Ben Leggett has spent more time at Girl Scout Cookie booths than most girls you know – and being a middle-aged man, that fact about him may surprise you. But, when you find out his daughter is Isabelle Leggett (GSCTX Top Cookie Seller), you begin to see why so much of his life has been centered around Girl Scouts. “[Isabelle and I] are a partnership. We even have a secret code for cookie selling.” Ben laughs. “It drives my wife crazy.” An active volunteer with his son’s Boy Scout pack, there was never any question if Ben would play an equally active role in his daughter’s Girl Scout experience. He stepped up to the plate ten years ago, and never looked back. Ben has done it all over the last decade. While he often finds himself playing the typical ‘dad’ role; his camp name is The Mule, bestowed upon him by the ten little girls whose sleeping bags and backpacks he’s hauled in and out of Camp Texlake more times than he can count, Ben is committed to stepping into whichever role he needs to play. “I put things together. I know the best days to peddle cookies. I’ve driven vans full of teenage girls across the country. I’ve even been the DJ at a couple service unit events. It’s just a blast.” More than just fun, Ben also says he has seen the girls in his troop grow up to become a solid-knit group of young women who are successful, empathetic, and driven. Isabelle graduated this year, but Ben will continue to stick with his troop until all the girls have graduated, and maybe even longer. Though he started out just investing in his daughter’s experience, he is now 100% convinced Girl Scouts is a crucial organization for young women. His greatest advice? “If you want to spend valuable time with a girl in your life, volunteer with her Girl Scout Troop. It’s worth it.” ☙

Our fearless leaders – Did you know? You can pick up countless resources, including awards and recognition gifts, Journey books, badges, pins, and even bumper stickers all at the GSCTX Shops. Nothing makes our volunteers happier than receiving a Girl Scout gift!


G.I.R.L. Spotlight: risk-taker

on the local news, twice. Through all the amazing experiences she has had, her absolute favorite aspect has been all the great friends she’s made along the way. Before leaving Texas, Aurora wanted to complete her Silver Award that was based on snake safety (we told you she’s a risk-taker!) For her project, she made five different snake safety signs, that were put up at Chalk Ridge Falls. She also made a pamphlet, that is available at ten

As part of a military family, relocating from state to state has been Aurora’s normal, and her one constant has been Girl Scouts.

Aurora C. Risk-taking occurs when a person moves out of their comfort zone, and even if they’re nervous or anxious, they take on new challenges with a positive view. Aurora is a prime example of what it means to be a courageous risktaker. As part of a military family, relocating from state to state has been Aurora’s normal, and her one constant has been Girl Scouts. She’s been a Girl Scout for six years and has been in four, soon to be five troops, in four different states. Her friends and family describe her as a smart, kind, and energetic girl who’s always ready to try something new. For Aurora, the best part about Girl Scouts are all the opportunities that are available. She’s gone camping, taken part in unique STEM activities, attended a stunt camp day where she ‘flew’ on a trapeze, slept overnight at a zoo, and has even been

different locations. When asked ‘why snakes?’ she responded simply “I thought people would be less afraid of snakes if they knew more about them. I chose this because I love snakes.” As if that wasn’t already fascinating enough, Aurora also knows how to Irish step-dance and prides herself in easily thinking up ‘cookieselling’ jingles. Even though she will no longer be a GSCTX member, Aurora will forever have a home here and plans on being a Girl Scout for life!

Did you know? If you were a Girl Scout (even a Daisy or a Brownie) for one year, you are still a part of our worldwide network of incredible women leaders! And now you can tell the world! Join the Girl Scout Network on LinkedIn and receive updates about the organization, learn ways to advocate for girls' and women's empowerment, and connect directly with women of courage, confidence, and character! “We are thrilled to align with LinkedIn to establish a network of tens of millions of Girl Scout alums. I encourage all Girl Scout alums to help fuel the talent pipeline and enhance their professional networks by joining the Girl Scout Network on LinkedIn.” – GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo

Leaders, let us loop you in! Read this! The New Leader Guide is a comprehensive guide for first-year leaders and seasoned vets. Access this lifeline online, by visiting www.gsctx.org/troop, or if you favor a paper copy, contact us and we’ll mail you one! Click Here! Join the Green Leader Facebook group to interact with experienced GSCTX leaders and staff members, have all your questions answered, plus have a place to provide constructive feedback. And don’t forget to follow the GSCTX Facebook page to stay current on all our exciting adventures. Login to Unplug! Want to get girls outside? Head to the online Volunteer Toolkit (VTK)! There are 16 new badges and petals in the VTK that now include the option to change an activity that typically occurs indoors to an outdoor activity, providing girls with more opportunities to get outside and reap the benefits. Learn more by visiting www.gsctx.org/VTK.

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t e s t t h e wat e r s w it h g o ld e n t i c k e t You don’t have to wait until you’re in middle school to start making a difference! In fact, positive change is right at your fingertips. Every time you share with a friend, say please and thank you, and ask good questions about the things you’re learning, you are acting like a Gold Award Girl Scout! pro tip: Golden ticket winners are nominated by troop leaders and selected by service units. To nominate a girl (grades K–5) please visit www.gsctx.org/goldenticket.

be g i n at bro n z e

Yue Yu/Community Impact Newspaper

The Bronze Award is all about taking the first step towards meaningful change! Troop 2504 noticed their favorite playground wasn’t suited for everyone to play on. The girls worked with their city government to install an adaptive swing for children with differing abilities, so all kids can enjoy time at the park! pro tip: Bronze Awards are done as a troop! Talk with your girls about issues they'd like to change in the community, and then have them create a plan of action.

s t e p u p to s i lv e r Monica, Maria, Jenny, and Yasmin had a drive to help their community. To earn their Silver Award the girls organized an immigration resource fair to help educate and empower their community about current immigration laws, resources, and support. Bringing together representatives and leaders specialized in immigration to educate the community, the girls began a dialogue of education—not fear—with the community. pro tip: The jump from Bronze to Silver Award can seem steep—there is more independence, logistics, and paperwork. Keep pushing through! Don't be afraid to ask for help and keep your eyes on the prize!

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⇨⇨ As if you needed another reason to earn your higher awards! Girl Scouts who earn Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards will now receive our exclusive Precious Metals Pin. Stay tuned for details!


“In Girl Scouts, I’ve learned to have compassion for others, and to step up and help when I know I can” –Girl Scout, Faith J.

a royal b all Pint-sized princesses decked out in ballgowns and tiaras squirm and giggle as they struggle to sit still while their fingertips are painted vibrant shades of pink, purple, and blue. Little superheroes race back and forth in a game of tag. Across the room a group of girls surround a table overflowing with hair accessories, jewelry, and makeup. And still, more girls and boys pose for photos with actresses dressed as Moana, Elsa, and the whole gang of Disney royalty. At first glance, the inaugural Royal Ball event hosted by Beautifully Loved, looks as if it was plucked right out of a children’s storybook—endless joy and fun for all in attendance. If anyone needs a night of entertainment and indulgence, it’s the families here tonight. Beautifully Loved, an Austin-based charity, has a mission to love and care for families dealing with pediatric cancer and other childhood illnesses. The organization has found that in families with ill children self-care often falls to a bottom priority. Girl Scout, Faith J., was instantly drawn to the organization, saying “I can only imagine what it must be like to go through something so difficult, especially for the kids at such a young age. The second I learned about the work they do, I knew I needed to do something for the families.” For her Gold Award Project, Faith teamed up with Beautifully Loved to host a magical night for girls and families, allowing a respite from their normal days of doctor’s appointments, chemotherapy treatments, and constant worry. Faith has been a Girl Scout for many years and has also earned her Silver and Bronze Awards. Through her work with the organization, she has developed a deep passion for her community. “In Girl Scouts, I’ve learned to have compassion for others, and to step up and help when I know I can,” Faith says. “I really hope that the families feel beautiful and cared for. I know that a party can’t change someone’s situation, but I think the kids had a great time, and to me, that’s a win.”

Photography: Elizabete Silva & Jennifer Jones

Your road to Gold just got a little smoother. Here are some updates to our Higher Awards: ⇨⇨ A NEW online approval tool for Silver Awards.

⇨⇨ INCREASED training for leaders who mentor a girl working to earn a Silver Award.

⇨⇨ TWO new mentor positions, Silver Award Manager and Silver Award Consultant, to be a resource for girls.

⇨⇨ The Go Gold online platform has launched, and streamlines the entire Gold Award process, from proposal to final report.

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Every girl has a voice. Every girl’s voice is important. When you're a G.I.R.L., you do great things. You believe in taking action and in righting the wrongs you see. You believe we are more powerful together than we are apart. And you make your voice heard—with bold moves like advocating for positive change in your community, standing up against everyday injustices, mobilizing others to donate or volunteer for causes, meeting with public officials and community leaders to educate them about important issues, and lots more. You are the power behind creating positive change in your community.

Pick your cause, pursue change with passion: Combat Bullying, Harassment, Sexual Violence 1 in 4 girls experiences sexual abuse or assault by age 17.

Promote Education & Economic Independence 1 in 6 girls won’t finish high school.

Address the Prevalence of Gender Stereotypes 78% of high school girls report being unhappy with their bodies.

Tackle Supportive Housing Initiatives 23,695 Central Texas residents are facing homelessness.

Lend a Hand to Our Furry Friends On average, 18,000 animals pass through shelters every year. *According to research conducted by Girl's Inc., Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO), and Austin Pets Alive!

good as gold: Diagnosed with scoliosis in third grade, Madalyn had no idea what it was and was too embarrassed to tell anyone she had it. Although the average screenings for scoliosis are performed on children in sixth through ninth grade, because Madalyn’s condition was caught early, her treatment was efficient and non-invasive. Inspired by her experiences she created her Gold Award project, to change the standard scoliosis testing age. Through her lobbying, letter-writing, and community outreach, Madalyn has changed Texas legislation, allowing scoliosis screenings to occur at the most ideal ages, around ages 10-13. Madalyn says this about her experience “When I first had the idea for the project, I thought I was going to only be speaking to local school boards. I never dreamed I’d be changing state law, and I was terrified. But it was important to me, so I push past the fear, and now so many lives will be changed because I was able to speak up!”

Speaking in one voice is powerful, but with some of these textbooklike words being tossed around, how can you be sure of what you’re saying? Before you email your representative or coordinate a letter writing campaign, brush up on your advocacy vocab. Activism: Activism consists of efforts to make improvements in society. This can look like writing letters, choosing not to buy things from certain companies, street marching, or any other action taken to bring attention to a cause. Advocacy: Any action that supports or defends or pleads on behalf of others. Agenda: Subjects or problems to which the government and individuals outside the government are paying serious attention Human Rights: A right that should be held by every person, regardless of age, gender, race, or anything else. Representatives: A person in an elected or appointed position, who is meant to make decisions about the law which reflects the community they are representing.

Be part of our non-partisan initiative to inspire, prepare, and mobilize girls and those who care about them to lead positive change through civic action! You can be a catalyst for change in your community—and the world. Champion your views, influence leadership, and advance the G.I.R.L. Agenda to make the world a better place.

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Use your voice for good, learn how at www.girlscouts.org/GIRLagenda and join our Advocacy troop forming in the fall!


Check Out Our New Digs! Spotlight: alumnae

FAC I LI T I ES UP DAT E

In 2014, GSCTX adopted a three-phase Master Property Plan (MPP). The goal of MPP is to enhance the quality, diversity, and accessibility of the Girl Scouts Leadership Experience while confronting the critical need for repair and renewal of agency properties. MPP has expanded to seven phases in order to complete the needed improvement. Providing safe and fun spaces is a huge goal for GSCTX, and here’s what we’ve been up to lately.

Bryan Scout House Renovation Project For nearly 80 years, local Girl Scouts have been making life-long memories at our cherished stone Scout House in Bryan also known as the ‘Little House’. All that time spent making memories has taken a toll on the property, and necessary renovations are required to keep the space safe. Earlier this year, local Girl Scouts and supporters were faced with a choice on what to do next to save the beloved building. After some deliberation, the decision was made to move forward with plans for a new and improved Scout House. In June, the community was invited to join GSCTX staff to kick off this exciting endeavor and to obtain more information on how to help create this special space for our Bryan-College Station girls and their families. The goal is to raise $289,000 to remove an addition that is sinking into the ground, fix the foundation, rebuild two rooms, and replace the roof. These renovations will allow Brazos Valley girls to have a safe place to learn and grow. For more information and to donate please visit www.gsctx.ejoinme.org/bryanscouthouse2018.

NEW

!

Kyle Service Center

If you’ve ever tried to drive from one side of Austin to the other at any point of the day, you probably know it’s not always the quickest and most painless process. Between stop and go traffic and sheer distance, we knew we had to do something to make it easier for our southern Girl Scouts to access a GSCTX facility. Enter our new service center, located in Kyle! Opened in April 2018, we welcomed the community with a ceremonial ribbon cutting, followed by games, a robotics demonstration, shopping, and healthy DIY snacks. The turnout was incredible, and more importantly, the Girl Scouts in the area now have an easily accessible service center. As our council continues to grow, we look forward to providing more opportunities for girls to grow into women of courage, confidence, and character – right in their own communities!

Girl Scout Strong.

Breaking gender norms is no small task, but Alyssa Kirkendall is strong enough for the job…literally. Girl Scout alumnae, Alyssa Kirkendall, holds fond memories of her thirteen years in our council. “I hiked my first mountains in Switzerland, which taught me to challenge my physical limits. Selling Girl Scout cookies, I learned how to take rejection gracefully. Completing the Gold Award taught me to work on a major project and finish it.” Girl Scouts is also the place Alyssa began to realize she had the capability to do anything she wanted, not just the things society deemed acceptable for girls. Defying stereotypes, Alyssa discovered her passion for weightlifting. She loves how lifting weights has helped her become strong, empowered, and a fierce arm-wrestler. Alyssa doesn’t hide her strength to make others more comfortable. Recently, she challenged an ROTC member on her college campus to a push-up competition and won—busting out forty-three push-ups in one minute. At her university’s annual end-of-year challenge course, she was one of only a handful of women to finish. “It is important for girls to feel strong,” she says, “and realize they can accomplish anything they set their mind to, whether it be a physical or mental accomplishment. I think I learned that in Girl Scouts. It gave me practice creating constant, attainable goals for myself. Girl Scouts gave me confidence and made me happy to be me.” ☙

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DONOR

Spotlight: Theresa Alvarez

Women of Distinction 2018 Girl Scouts of Central Texas’ Women of Distinction events celebrate the best and brightest (who just happen to be women) from across Central Texas. When you get that many powerhouses into one room, remarkable things are bound to happen.

Top 5 Moments-of-Distinction countdown Kristen J., a GSCTX Gold Girl, shared a powerful story about her experience with dating violence, which sparked her work to open discussions about respect among her peers.

Senior Vice President of Community Relations for Central Texas at Wells Fargo What quality do you most admire in others and try to develop in yourself? When I see a leader who is willing to roll up their sleeves to help serve others, I see how that inspires the team to do and give more. What advice would you give a Girl Scout about her future if she wants to emulate your success? My advice is to find your passion early by exploring. I would say you are already one step ahead by being a Girl Scout. What is your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

A unique part of San Angelo’s WOD event is the table decorating contest. While the Fiesta and the Safari themed tables put on a great display, it was the Superhero table who stole the show!

Caramel deLites®. Are you a Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, or Leader? Leader. What is your passion?

Although she admittedly hates surprises, GSCTX CEO Lynelle McKay couldn’t help but smile when the WOD Committee announced they have named a STEM scholarship in her honor.

One of our honorees had more excitement than she bargained for, when her long-time boyfriend proposed to her after she received her award as WTK’s Rising Star.

Our final amount raised across the council was $380,000! With these funds, we’ll be able to continue making grand memories through all kinds of innovative and exciting programs all year long!

Congratulations to the 2018 Women of Distinction honorees, our true G.I.R.L. Champions! Thank you to our wonderful sponsors:

People. I love connecting people and helping people find their passion. In particular, I am passionate about helping underserved groups and people who don’t always have a voice. With all the options in our community, why have you chosen to support Girl Scouts? I support Girl Scouts because I wish I would have learned these skills as a young girl. I love that Girl Scouts empowers girls, builds trust and skills. How do you prepare yourself (mentally, emotionally) to take on a challenge or go on a new adventure? Every time something in my career has scared me, it has been a great milestone. In 2014, I applied for a global fellowship that required me to live and work in Colombia for six weeks. Professionally, I knew I wanted to take on the challenge to learn and grow. Personally, I didn’t want to leave my family for six weeks. I spent a lot of mental and emotional preparation by planning, talking through different scenarios and thinking creatively about how to communicate long distance. We came up with a schedule that worked for everyone. We set up accounts on Whatsapp, Skype, and scheduled Face-Time calls. In the end, I went to Colombia. Professionally, it was a career highlight for me working with the Grameen Foundation. Personally, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. How do you handle setbacks? When handling any type of setback, I congratulate myself for the efforts first and try to remain positive. We are always hardest on ourselves, so it is important to be kind to yourself when you encounter a setback.


G.I.R.L. Spotlight: leader

Rebecca F. One of the greatest challenges in life is discovering who you are. From a young age, Rebecca knew that she was meant to be a leader. Most people are not willing to voluntarily step up to take on leadership positions, but Rebecca is not most people. Having been in Girl Scouts all her life, she credits the organization to helping her become a true trailblazer. For Rebecca, it’s important that she pushes herself to reach for higher goals, try new things, and helping others. She believes it’s vital to her development both as a Girl Scout and as a person. As the youngest in her family, Rebecca rarely had the experience of working with small children. This saddened her as she thoroughly enjoyed interacting with them. When she became a Cadette, she became a Cookie Captain and mentored younger Girl Scouts. That was only the beginning, she then

went on to mentor other troops, joined the Girl Advisory Board (GAB), and now volunteers at a daycare. One of her most stand-out memories, that ultimately led to the decision of her Gold Award project, was when she was six years old sitting in her synagogue with her family for Yorn HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. She recalls quietly asking her mother how much 6 million people was. Her mother couldn’t give her answer she could understand, but as she grew, Rebecca realized it was crucial for everyone, of all ages, to be educated on those Jewish lives lost during the Holocaust. Since November 2016, Rebecca has been working on her Gold Award project, ‘Every One Counts’. The project has consisted of involving community organizations and individuals around the world to collect 6 million pull-tabs (soda tops) to remember the Jewish lives taken during the Holocaust. Rebecca wants to use this as a visual aid to represent the extensive damage inflicted. Her project has not only consisted of collecting and counting tabs; she has also lead workshops, used educational games, videos, and other resources to emphasize the importance of her project. After about a year of collecting the tabs, Rebecca has about 1 million from 13 different states. She created a Facebook page to connect with people living outside of Central Texas, hoping to bring in tabs from all over the country and world. She hopes to finish the project this July. When the tabs are collected, they will be placed in a university, museum, or similar facility in a permanent exhibit used to educate the public about the Holocaust and genocide. Rebecca has this to say about her Girl Scouting experience,

*If you have tabs you'd like to donate please email Rebecca at sixmillionlives@gmail.com

“Overall, Girl Scouts has given me a wholesome environment to learn and grow. It has helped me to gain knowledge in many areas. I don't believe any one thing has given me the opportunity to develop this part of my character as Girl Scouts has.”

live it. love it. wear it. Whether you’re conquering hiking trails or smashing cookie sales, the Girl Scout Shop has what you need to do your thing…with a little flair. Start the year off right, in true Girl Scout Fashion with our starter kits. Complete with the Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting, an Insignia Tab, the American Flag Patch, the World Trefoil Pin and the Membership Pin, they have everything you need to jump right into the best year ever. Don’t forget about the whole family! Moms, dads, sisters, and brothers love what we have going on in the Girl Scout shop! Hats, camping gear, adorable plush friends, holiday goodiesyou name it, we have something for everyone! Be a part of the Insider’s Club! It’s easy to join! Just keep an eye on the GSCTX Shop Facebook page to stay up to date with the latest merch arrival, sales, and shop news, so you’ll always be in the know!

Share Your Story! When you’re a Girl Scout, adventure awaits around every turn! Whether your troop is venturing out on its first camping trip or you are selling your hundredth box of cookies, we want to shout it from the hills of Central Texas“Our girls and volunteers are some of the most inspiring people in the world!” Tell us all about what you’re doing to be a go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, and leader in your community at www.gsctx.org/ shareyourstory. And as an added bonus, if we share your story on any one of our social media platforms, on our blog, or even with local media, you’ll receive an exclusive patch, so everyone will know you’re not afraid to speak up! Say it loud, say it proud—“I’m a GSCTX Storyteller!”

Want to see yourself as one of our next G.I.R.L. features? Submit your story to us by visiting www.gsctx.org/shareyourstory. Learn more here!

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Who Runs The World? KILLEEN/TEMPLE/WACO STEMFEST With over 100 girls in attendance at the Waco STEMfest, the event was the talk of the town. The girls learned about all sorts of STEM careers straight from professors and students from Baylor University, McLennan Community College, and Texas State Technical College. PLUS! Fellow Gold Award Girl Scout, Elizabeth Shelton, senior Mechanical Engineering student at Baylor was the keynote speaker. Keep this event on your radar for next year, you don’t want to miss it!

Girls! GIRL SPROUTS! Girl Scouts starts in Kindergarten, but our go-getter Girl Sprouts just can’t wait to begin their adventure, meet new friends, and change the world! These girls are four years old, and already on their way to earning their first patch! When they turn five, they’ll officially be Girl Scout Daisies! A pilot run of the Girl Sprouts Head Start collaboration in San Angelo was a success and will continue at this upcoming Program Year, with the goal to expand into all three Head Start locations in San Angelo. Way to grow, girls!

OPERATION COOKIE PACK

Visit flickr.com/gsctx to view photos of more events!

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All throughout the 2018 cookie program, community members purchase boxes of cookies for soldiers. When our sales wrapped in March, Girl Scouts from across the council had a huge cookie packing party with Girl Scouts, volunteers, and military men and women. At this event, they packed care packages complete with toiletries, snacks, games and, of course, COOKIES! Those care packages were then shipped to troops stationed both in the United States and overseas. SWEET!


ANNUAL MEETING We get it – meetings aren’t exactly what you think of when you imagine Girl Scout fun. Kayaking, painting, horseback riding, or baking may top the list of things you’d rather be doing with your troop on a Saturday afternoon, but showing up to have a voice in this organization is important! Annual Meetings are the perfect opportunity for you to learn about what our movement has been doing, meet the people who will be making crucial decisions all year long, and brag about the things your troop has achieved. Thanks to all who attended 2018's Annual Meeting!

STARBASE ACADEMY GOLD AWARD CEREMONY Bright and undeniably rare, Gold Girls are the best of the best! Much like years in the past, we honored this year’s class at the Texas Capitol, but the day was anything but standard. The thirty-eight honorees received special Kenda Scott jewelry, dined at the exclusive Headliner’s Club in the Chase Bank Building, and were inspired by speakers Rina Patel (Kendra Scott) and Rosie Newberry (KXAN TV). You are Solid Gold, Girls. Solid gold.

Hosted at Camp Mabry, Junior and Cadette Girl Scouts spent the week exploring Newton's Three Laws of Motion, Bernoulli's Principle, navigation and mapping, and performing flight simulation, investigations of nanotechnology and nanoengineered products, atmospheric properties, rocketry, engineering design process, computer assisted design (CAD), and 3-dimension manufacturing. WOAH. Let us just simplify by saying the girls had a ton of fun but learned even more!

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Girl Scouts of Central Texas 12012 Park Thirty-Five Circle Austin, TX 78753

NON PROFIT ORG U.S. POSTAGE PAID PERMIT NO. 404 AUSTIN, TX

in

Interested in joining Girl Scouts? Adventure awaits at www.gsctx.org/join! For Service Center Hours please visit: www.gsctx.org/Hours • Have questions? Contact Customer Care at www.gsctx.org/ContactUs

Profile for Girl Scouts of Central Texas

Trefoil Tribune Issue #7  

Trefoil Tribune Issue #7  

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