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GSWISE brings together all girls to discover the leaders within Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast (GSWISE) is in the midst of a process that is engaging representatives of the board, volunteers, delegates, staff and the community at large in refreshing its strategic plan, With Girls, For Girls. The team’s efforts resulted in the creation of a winning proposition, the piece of the strategic plan which clearly states our competitive advantage at GSWISE, and four key priorities:

Winning Proposition GSWISE brings together all girls to discover the leaders within.


Washington County troop makes their community a better place A troop of eleven Washington County Girl Scout Cadettes set out to earn the highest Girl Scout award that a Cadette can achieve - the Girl Scout Silver Award. Members of Troop 2223 took on three separate projects with the goal of making their community a better place. The girls planned all of the project details, including budgeting for materials, tracking their time and money spent, and interacting with community members to fulfill their goals. A book drive helped make patients at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin a little happier during their stay.

Key Priorities Girls Engaging all girls in relevant programming that focuses on what girls want and need to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Volunteers Develop a state-of-art model of volunteerism where a diverse group of volunteers can engage easily, are offered continuous learning and can serve in flexible ways.

Brand Generate broader visibility for the compelling mission of Girl Scouting and the transformative impact of the Girl Scout experience.

Community Partnerships Build collaborative, strategic partnerships which add value to the experience girls receive and strengthen the organization. These key priorities will help GSWISE continue to have a positive impact in the communities we serve, working with the support of strong volunteers and giving girls the tools needed to be strong leaders while retaining our unique identity.

“I hope to make a difference in the lives of the children who have to be in the hospital for whatever reason,” said Sara. At The Gardens of Hartford, an assisted living facility, the girls made personalized walker wheelchair pouches for the residents. The same group of girls also worked together to create a garden of perennials for the residents to enjoy. With an environmental focus, the goal of the third project was to help beautify Erin Park for the community. The middle-school girls built their own bird houses, planted gardens and created a butterfly watering hole in the park. “I learned that I can complete anything I put my mind to and feel that this goal helped me to learn to always be positive no matter what the outcome,” said Tiana

GSWISE is thrilled to have a refreshed plan as we move forward in building girls of courage, confidence, and character and continue to create breakthrough strategies for the next phase of our plan.

“As a result of my participation in Girl Scouts, I will be more willing and confident to take on new leadership positions in college and my future career. I will use what I have learned to improve my leadership skills for future endeavors.” Miranda - Girl Scout Ambassador

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The State of Girls: Unfinished Business The State of Girls: Unfinished Business is a groundbreaking report from the Girl Scout Research Institute that stakes out key issues and major trends affecting girls’ leadership and healthy development in the U.S. today. Although girls in the United States have made substantial progress in the classroom and elsewhere, persistent disparities and challenges exist that could keep many girls from achieving their full potential. Black/African American and Hispanic/Latina girls are far more likely than their white counterparts to face an array of socioeconomic hurdles that range from growing up in poverty or a low-income household to dropping out of school and struggling with obesity. For example, the report finds that poverty rates among black/African American, Hispanic/ Latina, and Native American girls ages 5 to 17 are more than twice that of white and Asian American girls. In the United States today, 21 percent of all girls live in poverty, and the rates are higher for black/African American girls (37 percent), Hispanic/Latina girls (33 percent), and American Indian/Alaska Native girls (34 percent), as compared to white girls (12 percent). “These findings should be a wakeup call for all of us,” said Anna Maria Chávez, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of the USA. “We can’t afford to have separate experiences for girls based on race, ethnicity, and social class.” For over one hundred years, Girl Scouts has been there for all girls, and we are now more committed than ever to lifting up any girl that is falling behind.” GSWISE, in collaboration with Alverno College, will be publishing a state-wide view on the Status of Girls this fall. The publication will look at how Wisconsin girls fare in relation to girls throughout the United States and present policy recommendations to address findings of the research. On a programmatic level, GSWISE is a leader in the Girl Scouting movement in serving girls who face socioeconomic issues. Currently GSWISE serves over 5,000 girls through the Urban Initiative, which brings the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to girls who might not otherwise have the opportunity. We also offer specialized programs to those in the Hispanic community through our Latina Initiative program, with over 30 currently active Latina troops.

New way to connect with GSWISE! We’re excited to share with you that we’ve added a new way for you and others to connect with us! Since the addition of an official Facebook page, YouTube Channel and Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, we’ve also added Pinterest to the list. Pinterest serves as an online space where volunteers, parents and others in the Girl Scout community can find and share activity ideas, community service opportunities, STEM experiments, cookie selling tips, Girl Scout cookie recipes, and much more. We invite you to visit and follow our Pinterest page at Find out more about GSWISE’s social media channels and guidelines at

2013 Annual Report and Impact Report now available The 2013 Annual Report and Impact Report are both now available online. To view GSWISE’s 2013 program and activity highlights, the honor roll of donors and financial statements and to read about the significant impact of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience on girls in your community visit About Us at


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Girl Scouts commits to financial literacy for girls Girl Scouts knows that financial skills and leadership skills are important in an everchanging economy and world. In order to address how young people think about and experience money and finances, the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) conducted a nationwide survey with over 1,000 girls ages 8−17 and their parents to better understand girls’ level of financial literacy and their confidence about, attitudes towards, and experiences with money. In their recently released study Having It All: Girls and Financial Literacy, the survey reveals that girls feel optimistic about their financial futures, yet are lacking knowledge about essential financial principles and instruments from using credit cards to establish good credit. The study also shows that girls need and want financial literacy skills to help them achieve their dreams with nine of ten girls saying it is important for them to learn how to manage money. Despite the recession and economic uncertainty, girls are confident about their financial futures. Some 88 percent say they are likely to make more money than their parents. Nearly all girls say it is likely they will have jobs or careers they enjoy, be able to provide for their families and own their own homes one day.

Cookie Bosses take to the road

As the premier leadership organization for girls, the Girl Scouts Financial Empowerment program offers girls in grades K-12 five ways to become financially savvy. One widely recognized way is the Girl Scout Cookie Program. When a Girl Scout sells you cookies, she’s building a lifetime of skills and confidence. She learns goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics—aspects essential to leadership, success, and life. A Report from the Girl Scout Research Institute 1

The overall goal of financial literacy is simple—to develop and support girls’ financial confidence, skill, and independence by providing them with resources focused on everything from saving, developing strong credit, and minimizing debt, to philanthropy and financing their dreams. To read the complete report, go to and click on Publications List found under Publications. The report can be found under the Financial Literacy section.

A message from the CEO At GSWISE, the With Girls, For Girls strategy plan shares the core value that we help every girl discover who she can be and what she can do. I am thankful for all those that engaged in the refreshing of the GSWISE Strategic Learning Plan. Their insights were very valuable in our work to build an adaptive organization positioned to serve girls. I feel energized that all of the experts and opinion leaders helped GSWISE learn from the first two years of With Girls, For Girls, scan the environment for changes that may impact how we operate into the future and then created breakthrough strategies for the next phase of our plan with the board approved winning proposition to bring together all girls to discover the leaders within. Photo Credit: Business Journal Serving Greater Milwaukee

I am confident the first phase of the refresh will help us make plans to get from our current status to our future vision of GSWISE! Yours in Girl Scouting,

Please join us in securing the future of Girl Scouting for girls in our community by establishing a planned gift to Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast. Contact Tracy Wayson at to learn how to include Girl Scouts in your estate plans.

The streets of southeast Wisconsin were a little sweeter this winter when GSWISE launched its first ever Girl Scout Cookie Truck. Stocked with all eight cookie varieties and staffed by local Cookie Bosses (aka Girl Scouts), the truck made its debut in celebration of National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend (February 7 and 8), when Girl Scouts everywhere reveled in celebration of the Girl Scout Cookie Program, the largest girl-led business enterprise in the world. The truck was then made available to troops for loan for the rest of the cookie season. The truck will be used year round to promote GSWISE and of course—Girl Scout cookies! Nearly 18,000 members of Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast participated in the 2014 Cookie Program and sold an amazing 2.3 million packages of cookies while learning valuable skills and funding their troop activities by earning proceeds.

First Lady Michelle Happenings at GSWISE Obama lends In the past year, GSWISE engaged the community a variety of events. The events created an voice to Girl Scout inopportunity for friends of Girl Scouting to get Campaign updates on what’s happening with Girl Scouts, First Lady Michelle Obama highlights the important role played by Girl Scout volunteers in a video released by Girl Scouts of the USA, for which she serves as Honorary National President. Every First Lady of the United States has served in this post since 1917, when First Lady Edith B. Wilson became the first Honorary National President. Mrs. Obama’s video coincides with the launch of the organization’s new national campaign to increase recruitment of girl members and adult volunteers while highlighting the fun, excitement, and anticipation that are part of the Girl Scout experience.

reconnect with alumnae and learn about the Girl Scout Leadership Experience and its impact on girls. From a Planned Giving luncheon, alumnae gatherings, three regional Live the Promise events, a LeaderSHIFT breakfast, to a volunteer “Girls Can Do Anything” brunch - GSWISE stayed active in reaching out to alumnae, individuals and corporations in various communities. Don’t miss out on future events and a chance to re-discover and re-connect with Girl Scouts. Contact Shavonn Montgomery Brown at to make sure your name is added to our invitation lists and ensure you are a part of events that help girls continue to have opportunities to make new discoveries, connect with others, and take action that makes the world a better place.

Upcoming events:

“Girl Scout volunteers can be moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, or anyone else looking to help girls in their community fulfill their boundless promise,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “As a Girl Scout volunteer, you can show girls that anything is possible, and you can inspire them to dream bigger and go further than they ever even imagined.” Anna Maria Chávez, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of the USA, said “We are thrilled that our Honorary National President and First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama has leant her remarkable voice and unique vision to this campaign, helping us reach and recruit more girls and adult volunteers across the nation and around the world. Her enthusiasm for our Movement is helping us shape the next generation of female leaders.” At GSWISE, more than 7,000 adult volunteers guide girls on their leadership journeys each year. Earlier this spring, the council honored volunteers for their contributions to girls during 2013. To see a list of awardees, visit (go to Volunteers, then Volunteer Recognition).

Alumna of Highest Awards Reception – July 29, 2014 Planned Giving Luncheon – fall 2014 Live the Promise – fall 2014

I can’t wait to….. With the goal of motivating and inspiring girls and adults to join Girl Scouts, our new recruitment campaign tagline, “I can’t wait to…” was developed to spark curiosity and anticipation. Have you ever felt so excited about something that you just can’t wait? Our new campaign is about those precious moments of youthful excitement a girl feels. Girl Scouts is very much part of those moments and our campaign is designed to convey to both girls and potential volunteers the fun and excitement of the Girl Scout Experience. A Girl Scout is always counting down to their next adventure. Maybe it’s getting out to help the community. Maybe it’s to have fun. Maybe it’s to explore the world around you.

What can’t you wait to do? Know a girl who would like to be a member or an adult who is interest in volunteering? Visit for information. If you have interest in getting monthly updates about Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast (GSWISE), please email your email address to to receive our monthly electronic newsletter about council-wide events and updates on GSWISE activities.

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where are they now?

Early life as Girl Scout leads to path of becoming a young professional speak in meetings and lead activities. Looking back she realizes the amount of time her troop leader spent volunteering spoke volumes about her commitment to leadership. Marsha says, “My teacher was a leader in the classroom and also a leader in her community. If we all gave back like this, the world would be a better place.” As a young girl, Marsha’s interaction with her troop leader gave her the ability to witness female power and success in action up close and personal, and laid the foundation to learn about new things and to set higher goals.

Stay connected and join the Girl Scout Alumnae Association. Go online at and share a Girl Scout memory or email to share an alumna update or recent accomplishment.

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In addition to remembering song opportunities to learn lyrics (Make new friends, but keep the things that school and “I am thoroughly impressed with today’s Girl Scout old; one is silver and organization – the visibility, the other’s gold…) one family do not teach.” the messaging and the of Marsha’s most vivid - Marsha A. Thomas influence in the community memories is having her is a good sign that Girl Scouts teacher as her is committed to helping girls find their own Girl Scout troop leader. Not only did her troop voice and preparing them for the future,” leader teach her about setting goals and says Marsha. empowering her to achieve them, but how to


“Girl Scouting offers opportunities to learn things that school and family do not teach. It also exposes girls to a variety of individuals with which they may not otherwise come in contact. More importantly, it provides girls with opportunities to lead and take risks in a supportive environment,” added Marsha.

Marsha believes that Girl Scouts’ strategy to empower girls has become broader and stronger. Marsha cites the Girl Scout Cookie Program Activity as particularly effective in preparing girls for the future and helping them to understand that entrepreneurship skills are “Girl Scouting offers invaluable. • 800-565-4475

As we like to say, “Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout.” That’s why we want you to join the Girl Scout Alumnae Association. If you haven’t already done so, register today to reconnect with fellow Girl Scouts, learn what’s new in Girl Scouting, share information and join special groups to network with other women.

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Growing up as a Girl Scout in Sandusky, Ohio, Marsha A. Thomas was exposed to a number of leadership opportunities that contributed to her success today as director of the Miller Park Marsha A. Thomas Way Concordia University Wisconsin Center, one of the university’s 13 off-campus centers. Responsible for day-to-day operations, Marsha recruits, hires and supervises adjunct faculty along with supervising a staff of admissions counselors, student advisors, student workers and administrative assistants. Marsha believes her early life Girl Scout experiences provided her with the foundational lessons for success and also planted the seed for her current professional achievements. She also credits her ability to manage both her life and work responsibilities to the many skills she learned in Girl Scouting and by observing her troop leader juggle her role as both teacher and troop leader.

Calling all Girl Scout Alumnae


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Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast 131 South 69th Street P.O. Box 14999 Milwaukee, WI 53214-0999 800-565-4475

Christy L. Brown, CEO Kathleen O’Brien, Board Chair Girls Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast is funded by area United Ways, public support, and product sales.

SUMMER ADVENTURES: Help girls continue their leadership journey this summer Girl Scout camp and summer activities now underway. Summer camp is a great way for girls to explore leadership, build skills, and develop a deep appreciation for nature. Whether they go for a day, a week, or longer, Girl Scout camp gives girls an opportunity to grow, explore, and have fun under the guidance of caring, trained adults.

“Thank you for giving my mother the extra money for my trip to camp. My favorite part of camp was going to the classes like canoeing, s’mores and cooking.” - Lily, age 10

Consider supporting a girl like Lily who met the challenges of learning new skills while gaining confidence and making new friends. – a girl who, without financial assistance, could not afford Girl Scout camp. Your support can help make memories she and other girls will have for a life time. Every girl deserves a chance to camp! Financial aid opportunities are available to ensure all girls have access to life changing summer experiences through Girl Scouts. Simply go online today and make a gift at

Discover - Summer Edition - Waukesha and Washington Counties