Friday, December 19, 2014

The first day of winter is December 21

We often think that because it’s winter, we are stuck inside… well that just isn’t the case. As long as it isn’t too cold and you bundle up for the winter weather, there are many fun and interesting activities you can do in the winter… most of them don’t even need snow. Warning: Fun will happen and a hat, gloves and winter coat are needed.  

Outdoor Winter Activities

  • Make your own icicles. Make a tiny hole in a hanging container (you can use a milk container and hang it up), fill it with water and then leave it slowly dripping. This activity was found on For complete experiment instructions, visit:
  • Play  tag, or hide and seek. These are great outdoor activities for any weather and snow forts make great places to hide.
  • Watch the sunset. The sun sets much earlier in the winter than it does in the summer. Sit outside and watch the sun set. Does it look different from a summer sunset?
  • Bird watch and work on your Animal Habitats Badge. Most birds usually fly south in the winter, but are there any birds that have stuck around for the cold season? Research birds that don’t fly south and learn as much as you can about them by observing them in their habitats.
  • Collect pinecones to make decorations. Pinecones make great holiday ornaments when you add you own personal touch.
  • Host a Girl Scout Cookie Walk-a-bout or a Cookie Booth Sale. Beginning at the end of January, gather the girls in your Girl Scout Troop and plan a Girl Scout Cookie Walk-a-bout around your neighborhood. Ask your Troop Leader for help with this. 
  • Play in the sand... or in this case the snow! Take out those sandbox toys and buckets and build some snow castles.
  • Build a snowperson. You can even get creative and make your snowwoman a Girl Scout. If you are looking for a real challenge incorporate Girl Scout Cookies when you build your snowperson.
  • Snow angels. Who doesn’t love trying to make a snow angel? The real test is trying to make a snow angel without getting hand or feet prints in it.
  • Sledding. Living on Long Island, we don’t always have snow, but when we do, find a small hill in your neighborhood (one away from the street) and go sledding.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Celebrating Achievements

Celebrating the achievements of our girls is always a top priority for me! 

Last Saturday, I was joined by Board Members Carol Ransom and Christopher Pendergast at the Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay to celebrate with the Top Sellers in the 2014 Mags&Munchies... and Memories Program.  Twenty-two girls, each accompanied by a family member, came out to receive kudos and their rewards.  We had an adventure finding the site of the event, and the best part for me and our Board Members was having the opportunity to speak informally with the each of the girls; to hear about how they approached the sale and how their Troops will be using their proceeds. 

The event was both beautiful and rewarding. The Green House at is currently all decked out for the holidays, and that is certainly worth a trip.  Celebrating our girls as they earn and learn just reinforces their skills and makes it all worthwhile.

I know that I will be seeing many of those same girls at the 500+ Club Celebration for our Top Cookie Sellers next spring!  I hope that you will be at that event, too!

Check out the photos from this fun event>>

Monday, December 8, 2014

By Girls for Girls

By Girls for Girls
By Senior Girl Scout Maggie M.
This summer I, and three of my sister Girl Scouts, Emily, Dana and Keira, had the unique opportunity to make the world a better place when my Troop went on a service trip to Costa Rica.   

We flew into San Jose, the Capitol city, and spent our first day touring the sights and staying in a fancy hotel.  The plush surroundings just weren’t what I was expecting on a service trip, but, hey, I wasn’t complaining.

The next morning, after a delicious breakfast, we set off for our next destination, the tiny village of Zapotal, in the clouds of the rainforest.  As we climbed up into the rainforest, the landscape began to become more rugged and signs of civilization become harder to find. It was becoming a little more in line with what I was expecting.  I was starting to get a bit nervous…I hadn’t seen another town, house, or even a person for many, many miles.  Finally, we arrived at Zapotal, up in the clouds at 8,000 feet.  The entire village—from the youngest to the oldest—came out to greet us!   We had come to help these strangers with whom we could barely communicate.  “So how is this gonna work?” I wondered.  We were led into their Community Center, a simple room with some cooking facilities and bathrooms.  The women and children danced their traditional dances for us in full costume and shyly, but warmly, welcomed us to their village.  For the next four days, we would arrive at 8AM and begin work, priming and painting the elementary school, planting indigenous trees around the schoolyard and playground, and building stairs down to Zapotal’s fútbol, (soccer), field using “eco-bricks”.  Then, after a short mid-morning snack, we would work until lunchtime when we would drag our sweaty selves back up the huge hill to the Community Center for a delicious, traditional Costa Rican meal prepared by the women.  It was during our lunch breaks that we began to truly get to know the people of Zapotal.  The little children would swarm us, sitting on our laps, playing with our hair or just holding our hands.   The highlight of our days, however, was quitting time, when we would join the Zapotal men and teenagers and play fútbol until dinnertime.  On the fútbol field, we communicated without words.  We split evenly into teams, so we mixed with the locals; it wasn’t us against them, but all of us together having fun.  We made friends over high fives, helping hands up, and team cheers.  There was lots of laughing and teasing, but the Costa Rican’s take their fútbol very seriously.  I’m happy to report we Girl Scouts held our own.

At night, we would drive 45 minutes to our eco lodge, El Toucanet, a very rustic lodge with no television, computers, clocks, or other modern conveniences.  Groups of three or four of us shared cabins in the forest; unfortunately, we had to share our rooms with an assortment of Costa Rican bugs.  Every once in a while I would hear a blood-curdling yell and our fearless Leader would come running to remove an unwanted visitor, usually a spider the size of my hand!  None of us missed our technology, and found that we had more time to hang out and talk with each other.  Being unplugged for a few days made me realize how much attention is required to always be “connected,” and I think the other girls found it just as relaxing.

The last day of our stay in Zapotal was as wonderful as it was difficult.  It was wonderful because we organized games and races for the 13 elementary school children whose school we had painted.  After a game of kickball, we played some relay races.  We were having so much fun and laughing so hard that the moms asked if they could join in.  It was really something to see, with everyone screaming and cheering in English and Spanish!  Then, we presented the Principal of the school with an entire suitcase full of school supplies.  We also had an extra special gift—we had collected four teams worth of unused CYO soccer uniforms.  The Zapotal villagers were speechless, and their excitement and gratitude was one of my proudest moments.  Leaving these open and warm people was very hard.  We had forged a bond, in spite of the language barrier, and made friends with the people of Zapotal.  There were many hugs, kisses and tears.  That night, our group was a little more subdued than usual, as each of us tried to absorb some of the life lessons we had learned from our amazing experience.  The warmth and openness of the people of Zapotal and the friendships I made are what I will remember most about my Costa Rican adventure.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Introducing Online Ordering and Two New Cookies Including a Gluten Free Option

Garden City, NY ( December 2, 2014) –Girl Scouts of Nassau County (GSNC) kicked off Cyber Monday with the launch of Digital Cookie’s Digital Order Card - first ever online ordering option for Girl Scout Cookies including favorites like the Thin Mints, Tagalongs, Savannah Smiles and Samoas.  Girl Scouts now have the option of setting up a website where friends and family can order Girl Scout Cookies from anywhere within the United States.

“Our Girl Scouts will be able to create and customize their personal Digital Cookie website to build customer lists, post photos or video to help market their cookie business and achieve their personal goals as well as track their cookie sales,” stated Girl Scouts of Nassau County Executive Director  and CEO Donna Ceravolo. “Going digital is yet another way  for Girl Scouts to continue to learn financial literacy and valuable business lessons through our Girl Scout Cookie® Program.  Of course, girls will still be taking orders and having booth sales.  Digital Cookie is just another option for building their skills.”

NEW Rah-Rah Raisins
GSNC also announced the newest additions to America’s favorite treats with the creation of two brand new cookies, “Rah-Rah Raisins” and “Toffee-tastic.”  The cookies will be available for online purchase beginning December 13, 2014 and at booth sale locations beginning January 30, 2015.  Rah-Rah Raisins adds another delicious cookie to the classic Girl Scout cookie mix. Made with whole grain oats, the hearty oatmeal cookies are loaded with plump raisins and Greek yogurt chunks.
NEW Toffee-tastic

For the first time in the Girl Scouts of Nassau County’s tradition of selling cookies, a gluten-free cookie option will be offered. Toffee-tastic, is a gluten-free cookie packed with golden toffee bits. These cookies have meet the gluten-free standards of the FDA and NSF, a public health and safety organization.
“We are so excited to announce the newest additions to our traditional Girl Scout cookie line,” said Girl Scouts of Nassau County Executive Director and CEO Donna Ceravolo. “For years our customers have been asking for new varieties and we are pleased to offer them two new options this year! With the gluten-free “Toffee-tastic” and the” Rah-Rah Raisin” which is only 60 calorie per cookie, even more people can enjoy Girl Scout cookies.”
The Girl Scout Cookie® Program teach the girls valuable business lessons through hands-on opportunities that teach goal setting, decision making, money management, business ethics and people skills. As a part of the Girl Scout’s mission,  Girl Scout Cookie Program show girls the potential they possess to make differences in their community and in the world.  
To find the nearest Girl Scout Cookie® booth sale, visit and use the Cookie Booth Locator tool or download the Cookie Finder app for mobile phones.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Exploring Diversity

Looking for new ways to help girls explore diversity?  Diversity is at the core of who Girl Scouts are.  Here are some ideas to help girls discover the WOW behind their own religion and ethnicity, and learn about others to become brighter together.

  • My Promise, My Faith - Girls connect Girl Scout values to their religion.  Look in our Girls Guide to Girl Scouting for activities for each level.
  • Religious Recognitions - Girls grow stronger while learning more specifically about their own faith.  For more information about each faith recognition, go to, or speak to the leaders at your house of worship.
  • It’s Your Story, Tell It! Journey Series – Investigate with girls the diverse stories of others around them.  You may want to try some of these ideas from the Journey books.  See each book for more details about these activities:
    • Daisy 3 Cheers for Animals – Create a Fantastical Animals flip book highlighting the differences between each animal.
    • Brownie World of Girls – Explore games that girls in different countries play.
    • Junior aMUSE – Engage in a game of Quick Draw and examine the stereotypes associated with each role.
    • Cadette MEdia – Diversify beauty by discovering ways different people and objects are beautiful.
    • Senior Mission: Sisterhood – Find the Beauty in Images of Beauty.
    • Ambassador Bliss: Live It! Give It! – Create a curtain of dreams with girls and adult guests.
  • Try reaching out to different houses of worship in your community. Ask if they might be willing to give your girls a tour and show them what keeping their faith is all about. 
  • Join one of our diversity task forces. We’re committed to helping girls connect their heritage, culture, and religion with Girl Scout values. Girls and adults are encouraged to join.

Hispanic Latina Taskforce – Contact Yari DeLeon at
UMOJA Taskforce – Contact Yari DeLeon at
Asian Taskforce – Contact Chris Ferry at