Friday, August 2, 2019

Once a Girl Scout, Always a Girl Scout: Girl Scout Alum Caeley's Story

From the Girl Scout Robotics Program to Aerospace Engineer


What is a Girl Scout? Girl Scouts are go-getters, innovators, risk-takers and leaders. They’re G.I.R.L.S who design robots, learn life skills, improve our neighborhoods and go on amazing adventures. They’re making a difference.

Girl Scouts is a lifelong adventure, full of friendship, connection, service, and fun! Every Girl Scout Alum has a unique story to tell about their experiences and adventures, and we’re sharing those stories.

Girl Scout Alum, Caeley was a Girl Scout for 13 years and continues on as an Adult Lifetime Members.


Name: Caeley Looney

Council: Girl Scouts of Nassau County

Tell us a little about yourself.  How long were you a Girl Scout?  Did you participate in any special Girl Scout groups and/or school teams/clubs?  What are you passionate about?

I was a Girl Scout for 13 years (K-12) and continue on as an Adult Lifetime Member!  During my time in Girl Scouts I participated in Media Girls, served on the STEM Advisory Board, was on a Girl Scouts FIRST Robotics Team, and was a Delegate for my Association (now known as Service Unit). My biggest passion is empowering women to confidently pursue STEM fields, and then after that it’s space!  Here is a link to Reinvented Magazine’s website to learn more about my most recent accomplishment: www.reinventedmagazine.com


Tell us about your time as a Girl Scout. Looking back, what were some highlights, important moments, life lessons, and/or favorite memories?

I was a Girl Scout from kindergarten to 12th grade, and in that time, I think I was lucky in the fact that my mom was my leader through the whole journey. She made sure that our troop participated in any program we wanted to try out from, camping (which I very quickly learned was not for me), pin swapping, DIY pocketbook making, earning our Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards, and so much more.  While my most important moment is detailed in my response to the following question, a close second was earning my Gold Award.  For my project, I started a Science Fair in my school district aimed toward K-5 students.  I was able to set every team up with a high school student to serve as their mentor, and when the actual day of the event came, we had a huge turnout.  Most parents at the time didn’t think their kids would excel as much as they did in STEM topics, especially since most of the elementary schools in my district didn’t have a science lab of any kind to expose the students at an early age.  It was really inspiring to witness these young kids showcasing some really high level projects that blew the judges and my minds.




Did Girl Scouts have an impact on your career choice/ field of study? If so, how?

The most important moment during my time as a Girl Scout was the day my mom brought me to the FIRST Robotics program orientation. Somehow, she just seemed to know that I’d like it despite me not showing too much interest in STEM at the time, and because of that my whole life changed. I decided to try it out and joined an FLL team, which I stuck with for the remainder of my grade school career.  It was this Girl Scout coordinated program that got me my first taste of STEM which led me to become the Aerospace Engineer I am today.




What Girl Scouts skills have you used in your college/professional life?

I could tell you that Girl Scouts taught me how to stay organized, be an entrepreneur, have confidence, etc.; and while all of that is true, the number one thing I learned from Girl Scouts is that you should always leave a place better than the way you found it.  Growing up, I never thought about that concept beyond just picking up a few extra pieces of litter when you’re out camping, but now I know that it means so much more.  I want to be able to leave this world a better place than I found it, and that thought has inspired me to take on efforts to help promote and empower young women to pursue STEM fields.  I started by simply getting involved in already standing initiatives that worked on this mission, such as NCWIT, SWE, and #BUILTBYGIRLS.  More recently, I’ve started my new initiative called Reinvented Magazine which is the nation’s first print magazine written for women in STEM.



Do you continue to volunteer with Girl Scouts? If so, how and why?

I certainly don’t volunteer as much as I used to. After graduating college and starting my first full-time job as an Aerospace Engineer, life got a little hectic and I spent time focusing on finding my routine.  But, now that I’ve been in the workforce for a little while, I have been helping spearhead an initiative within my company, Harris Corporation, to partner with our local Girl Scout county (Girl Scouts of Citrus County) to host events and help local Girl Scouts earn STEM badges.



What advice would you give younger Girl Scouts?
My advice to younger Girl Scouts is never stop trying new things. I very often get asked by high school and college girls how I knew I wanted to be an Aerospace Engineer, and the real answer is because Girl Scouts exposed me to STEM. And even if STEM isn’t what you want to do, Girl Scouts offers girls programs across almost every career field possible, and I strongly recommend leveraging those programs to learn more about what you enjoy doing or even just to help find a new hobby. 



If you could say anything to your younger self, what would it be?

Be brave. There is absolutely no point in being afraid to try something new or go for an opportunity. It took me a while to build up the bravery and confidence to take on leadership roles or apply for something. The worst thing that can happen is you get told no, and then you learn from the failure and give it another go.




Friday, July 5, 2019

How to Make a Sit-Upon Using a Reusable Shopping Bag


With some many Girl Scout spending their summer outdoors and at camp, now is the perfect time to talk about sit-upons... a great item to bring on any outdoor adventure. So, when we were challenged to make a sit-upon, we decided to do what Girl Scouts do and use our resources wisely... so, we used some items that we had on hand.

Here is what we came up with:





Supplies needed:
  • Scissors
  • Already read newspaper
  • Reusable shopping bag
  • Duct tape (we used gold glitter duct tape of course, but an type of duct tape will do)

Instructions:

Cut the sewed seams of the reusable shopping bag. 


Lay the reusable bag out flat (waterproof/plastic side down) and place the newspaper on one half of the laid out bag as shown. 


Fold the other side of the bag over the newspaper so that the newspaper is sandwiched between the two sides of the reusable shopping bag.


Using the duct tape, tape the seams of the bag that are open so that the newspaper is sealed into the bag. When you get to the seam with the bag handles, you will need to cut off the handles before you can tape that side closed.



Once you have finished taping the three open edges, re-tape the bag handles back on to allow for easy carrying.

 

All taped up? Now it’s time to test out your sit-upon.

Are you looking for additional sit-upon ideas, check out our blog "What do you sit upon?"

Friday, June 7, 2019

What do you sit upon?


Picture this… You’re spending the weekend camping at Camp Blue Bay with your Girl Scout troop. Your troop is sitting around the campfire at Romany Wood. You’re sitting on a bench, but it is a little dewy from the day. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you had a sit-upon?


Sit-upons are exactly what they sound like; something you sit upon. A sit-upon provides a dry, slightly cushioned barrier between you and the ground, a bench, bleachers, or whatever else you might be sitting on. They can be store bought or hand-made (hint, hint: hand-made sit-upons make a great troop activity leading up to a camping weekend). And, remember although you can make sit-upons that aren’t waterproof (they are useful because they provide comfort), waterproof sit-upons are a great idea because we don’t want a little rain to dampen a camping weekend.



Check out some of these sit-upons ideas…

Remember, a sit-upon is great for any outdoor adventure. Consider bringing yours to one of GSNC’s outdoor programs like the 2019 Girl Scouts Love State Parks day on July 13.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Get Parade Ready: Memorial Day Parade Tips


 


Memorial Day Parades are a great way for you and your troop to represent Girl Scouts! If you are participating in a Memorial Day parade soon, it’s important to follow the below guidelines on flag and girl order. 


Remember, a parade is a place to have fun, but also remind the girls to handle all flags with respect.



Flag Order and Girl Order (see additional diagram below or image above)



Girl 1- American Flag


  • "The flag, when carried in a procession with another flag or flags, should be either on the marching right; that is, the flag’s own right, or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line." (4 U.S. Code § 7 - Position and manner of display)  
  • The American flag should be held higher than the rest of the flags
  • The American flag should be to the far left of all other flags
  • For more infromation regarding position and manner of display of the american flag, visit 4 U.S. Code § 7 - Position and manner of display

Girl 2- State Flag
  • The State flag should be to the right of the American flag

Girl 3- WAGGGS Flag
  • The WAGGGS flag should be to the right of the State flag

Girl 4- Council Flag
  • The Council flag should be to the right of the WAGGGS fla

Girl 5-Brownie Flag
  • The Girl Scout Brownie flag should be to the right of the Girl Scout Daisy flag
Girl 6- Daisy Flag
  • The Girl Scout Daisy should be to the right of the Council flag

Need flag ceremony accessories? Borrow flag holsters or white gloves from the Volunteer Resource Center at the Council’s Service Center! Fill out this form on our website to reserve materials. For questions, email customercare@gsnc.org.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Thank you for all you do to help make Girl Scouting possible!



Opening her eyes to a world of possibilities? Helping her transform into a force for good? Unleashing her most confident self?

As a Girl Scout volunteer, you’re an everyday hero with an extraordinary super power: you prepare girls for a lifetime of leadership, success, and adventure. Because of you, every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ has the opportunity to learn what she’s capable of accomplishing and reach for the stars.

Thank you to all of our Girl Scout Leaders and Girl Scout Volunteers who help make Girl Scouting possible.

From your friends at Girl Scouts of Nassau County

Friday, April 12, 2019

What you need to know leading up to and planning for a Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony

As a Girl Scout, you’ve probably taken part in a ceremony. You might remember lighting candles or holding the flag, crossing a bridge or welcoming a new girl into your troop. Ceremonies are an integral part of the Girl Scout year, covering topics including rededication, birthdays and awards, and even bridging to the next level of Girl Scouts. 

Bridging is an important transition in a Girl Scout’s life; it honors and celebrates a girl's “graduation” from one level of Girl Scouting to the next. 
Daisies bridge to Brownies
Brownies bridge to Juniors
Juniors bridge to Cadettes
Cadettes bridge to Seniors
Seniors bridge to Ambassadors
Ambassadors bridge to Adults

This transition marks important milestones in each girl’s journey through Girl Scouting and should be celebrated by the troop, family, and close friends. Celebrating this change should be fun, personalized, and memorable for everyone involved. And most of all, it should be designed by the girls, with help from their troop volunteers.


When does a bridging ceremony happen?
Girl Scouts automatically recognizes a girl’s level in Girl Scouting based on her year in school. As soon as one school year ends and another begins, she is considered having moved to the next grade level—but when you choose to host your official troop ceremony is really up to the troop. You might decide to follow the school year calendar and host your bridging ceremony in late May or early June. You might decide to bridge during the summer, when the girls have had some time to finish up the last of the badges or journeys they started. Or, your troop might decide to wait until right when the new Girl Scout year starts (October 1st).


Talk with Girls, Make a Plan
As girls get closer to moving up to another level, tell them what steps are needed to complete bridging, discuss which activities the troop wants to participate in, and then work together to create a plan. 

Remember, a bridging ceremony is a culmination of all that your Girl Scouts have done at a level, and should represent each unique quality of your troop. Make sure girls take a leading role in planning, leading up to and running the ceremony. Just like in other Girl Scout activities, there is a natural progression in the level of participation. As girls get older, their participation should increase!


Plan the Bridging Ceremony
Typically, a Girl Scout Ceremony has three parts; an opening, a main section, and a closing. During the opening, guests are welcomed and the tone is set with an activity such as a flag ceremony or reciting the Girl Scout Promise and Law. During the main section, the ceremony is explained to the guests and run by the girls and co-leaders. During the closing, guests are thanked and the celebration ends with an activity such as a friendship circle or flag ceremony.

Most bridging ceremonies include the following:
  • A flag or opening ceremony
  • Reciting of the Girl Scout Promise
  • Reading or reciting of the Girl Scout Law
  • Crossing a bridge
  • The Girl Scout handshake
  • Presentation of certificates, patches, and other awards
  • Ending ceremony

You might also include:
  • Doing the friendship squeeze
  • Singing a Girl Scout song
  • Serving refreshments
  • Sharing favorite Girl Scout memories or pictures
  • Sharing plans for the next year
  • Something to showcase the uniqueness of your troop 

What is presented to the girls once they bridge?
Below are the insignia traditionally presented to girls as they bridge.

Daisy
Automatically Given: Membership Star with Daisy Blue Disc, Ending certificate, and Brownie Girl Scout Membership Pin
Earned: Bridge to Brownie Award

Brownie

Junior


Senior 
Automatically Given: Membership Star with Senior Red Disc 
Earned: Bridge to Ambassador Award

Ambassador

Girls may also need a new vest or sash, membership stars, and new guide books. The GSNC shop sells Bridging Kits that contain the awards and insignia each girl should receive as she crosses over to the next level in Girl Scouts. The kits are packed in a clear bag and include a certificate that can be personalized!





Friday, April 5, 2019

What you need to know about the Girl Scout Bridging Award

If you were a Girl Scout growing up, you probably have some memories of your bridging ceremonies. Maybe it was walking under an arch of balloons in the gymnasium of your elementary school or walking across the bridge at your local duck pond (the duck pond memory was when I “flew” up to Girl Scout Juniors… now as an adult, I see the symbolism).

Did you know that there are actually requirements to earn those bridging awards? The Bridging Award is earned by completing a set of activities. Earning the award offers a chance to look back on what they’ve accomplished while looking to the future. Each level of Girl Scouting has its own unique bridging award patch.

Earning the Girl Scout Bridging Award
Although not required, completing the steps to earn Girl Scout Bridging Awards helps girls get a taste of what their experience will be like at the next level. 

There are two general steps:
  • Pass It On! Girls get the chance to look back at what they’ve accomplished and pass a bit of their knowledge on to younger Girl Scout
  • Look Ahead! Meet with Girl Scouts at the level they will be bridging to and learn about the exciting adventures that lie ahead.
Although these are the steps for girls to earn their bridging award, there are specifics on how girls at each Girl Scout level should fulfill the Pass It On and Look Ahead steps.

Steps for earning the Girl Scout Bridging Awards by level: