Friday, August 5, 2016

My Girl Scout Internship Experience

by Katie Genari


My time at Girl Scouts of Nassau County as an intern was less about having an internship for the summer and more about being able to take an opportunity to continue my Girl Scout journey and give back to an organization that had a profound impact on my young adult life. Being able to work as an intern for the summer in the Marketing and Communications Department has allowed me to experience Girl Scouts in a new light and from a different perspective. As a current college student with a Broadcasting Major and Minor in Business Marketing I looked forward to learning about Media and Marketing from a not for profit perspective, a perspective different from what I am studying in school.

Coming into the start of my internship, I was unsure of what to expect as there are many tasks and responsibilities that are taken care of each day and week within the Marketing Department. To my surprise and liking, I was able to experience and learn about the many different aspects that take place on the business side of Girl Scouting each day. Describing my tasks and responsibilities as an intern can be summed up as being able to showcase what Girl Scouting is all about through the use of media and marketing and there were many ways I was able to do so. Writing blogs about Girl Scouting events and experiences allowed me to communicate to girls the amazing opportunities that await them when they join Girl Scouts. In writing and publishing such blogs, I learned how powerful words can be and how using the right words can make a difference and impact the person reading them.

Publishing blogs was not the only thing that allowed me to showcase the Girl Scout experience, in fact being able to prepare for and help run the Girl Scout Gold Award ceremony was an amazing opportunity in which I was able to showcase all the incredible things a young woman can accomplish if she stays with Girl Scouts. From helping to write Gold Award biographies, to making presentations for the ceremony, I learned all about the preparation and behind the scenes work that goes into hosting a ceremony on a large scale. Working with the project was a great way for me to see all the incredible ways Girl Scouts have been and will continue to help their communities and make a difference in the world. Learning about the awardees’ projects also allowed me to effectively communicate to others what it takes and means to earn the highest award in Girl Scouting. As a past recipient of the Girl Scout Gold Award, I knew how earning the Gold Award can have a tremendous impact on the community and myself, but what I did not realize was how preparing for and hosting a ceremony to honor all the recipients can also have a profound impact on all those attending. In preparing for the ceremony I learned what it takes to plan an event on a grand scale and being able to see everyone’s hard work come together was truly special.

The time spent preparing for the Gold Award ceremony was the most intensive part of my internships, but my work and experience did not stop there. Throughout my entire internship I was able to learn more about Girl Scouting in many different ways whether it was listening to communication webinars, interacting/meeting with employees from other departments or working on projects that not only impacted the Marketing department, but other departments as well. Taking a trip out to GSNC’s Camp Blue Bay was one of the many opportunities that gave me the chance to work on a project that impacted departments beyond Marketing. In collaborating with the Program department, specifically Camp within that department, I was able to take photos of camp life that will help advertise and draw girls to sign up for camp sessions. Taking photos and helping to create editorial videos of camp life are just some of the many ways that marketing and media can be and are applied to other departments apart from their own.

Taking this internship was an incredibly influential experience. The skills I learned and enhanced, the projects I was a part of and worked on and the relationships I have built throughout my internship are all things that I can and will take with me back to school and to future internships and or jobs. Interning with Girl Scouts was a rewarding experience and it’s an internship I would definitely recommend to my peers who are studying Media and or Marketing. Girl Scouts is a place that aims to help build girls of courage, confidence and character, which is what they helped me with as a Girl Scout, throughout my internship and it is something that Girl Scouts will continue to as I continue my journey as a lifetime member.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Girls Scouts of Nassau County Celebrates 100 Years of the Gold Award With the Help of Zimmerman/Edelson Inc


A Proud Moment for #ZimmCasters and the Girl Scouts of Nassau County

By Marisa Drago and Marissa Kelly

This year was the 100th Gold Award Ceremony for the Girl Scouts of Nassau County, and we were lucky enough to cover the event in our new role as #ZimmCasters! When we were presented the opportunity to attend, we weren’t sure what to expect. We were Girl Scouts when we were younger, so we knew a bit about the organization, but never made it far enough to earn the prestigious Gold Award. We were excited to attend the ceremony and learn what the award was all about. 


The two of us are currently interning at Zimmerman/Edelson Inc (Z/E), a public relations firm that has the Girl Scouts of Nassau County as a client. This summer, as part of our season-long intern project, we were tasked with becoming “ZimmCasters.” This means we must challenge ourselves by becoming reporters and social media handlers for Z/E and several of its clients. As #ZimmCasters, we wanted to experiment with live steaming videos at different events. When we found out about the 100th Gold Award Ceremony, we recognized that it had great potential to be shown live on social media. 


Before arriving at the ceremony, we came up with interview questions to ask some of the Girl Scouts, emcees, and the executive director of the Girl Scouts of Nassau County, Donna Ceravolo. We compiled possible tweets to send out, ideas for footage and interviews, and taught ourselves how to use the live-stream app, Periscope. When we reached the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, where the ceremony was held, we were fully prepared and extremely excited to cover the event.


First, the two of us took a tour of the facilities at the Marine Academy that were being used for the event. Throughout the night, we would be traveling back and forth between two buildings: Wiley Hall and the auditorium. Wiley Hall is where this year’s Gold Award projects were on display for families and friends to observe. We held several interviews in this building, some of which were with Girl Scouts Bianca, Maribel and Chloe, all of whom were receiving their Gold Awards. The ceremony took place in the auditorium, where we caught footage of the 101 Girl Scouts receiving their Gold Awards, the Girl Scouts of Nassau County’s Chorus performing, and several speakers proudly talking onstage. 


We were lucky enough to sit down with Donna Ceravolo and ask her some questions. She opened our eyes to what an accomplishment the Gold Award truly is, and she beamed with pride speaking about the girls earning their Gold Award this year. Her evident passion and excitement for the event and for the Girl Scouts of Nassau County showed us how remarkable the girls who complete their Gold Awards projects truly are. “This project is a symbol of the tangible steps that girls have taken to make the world a better place,” said Ms. Ceravolo. 


This ceremony was nothing like we have ever experienced before. Both of us were blown away by the extensive and thoughtful projects put together by the Girl Scouts of Nassau County. Each Gold Award Project, along with the girl who created it, was more amazing than the last. As we sat in the auditorium and watched every girl cross the stage we recognized their true leadership qualities, and every single one of the girls should be incredibly proud of their accomplishments. The Girl Scouts of Nassau County gave us an opportunity to learn, not only about their incredible organization, but about what it’s like to be behind the scenes of such a meaningful event like this one. 


We extend our true congratulations to all of the girls that earned their Gold Award this year and would like to thank the Girl Scouts of Nassau County for letting us be a part of this wonderful event! 


Friday, June 24, 2016

What Does it Mean to Earn the Gold Award?


Girl Scouting is full of unique, incredible, and life changing opportunities for all girls involved, but earning the Girl Scout Gold Award is a life changing experience in itself. Going for the Gold is so much more than earning a prestigious award; it gives girls the opportunity to find themselves while also making a difference/impact in their community. While the journey in earning the Gold Award is unique for every Girl Scout because of the many different take action projects, the skills, connections and feelings that come out of earning the Gold are very similar.

As a lifetime Girl Scout who earned her Gold Award as an Ambassador, I know from experience that earning the highest award in Girl Scouting is an enriching and unforgettable journey. It all started with an idea and identifying how I wanted to help my community. Over the course of a year and half I watched what started out as an idea, blossom into a project that helped make my community a better place, and that is what all girls completing the Gold Award aim to do. There is a great sense of pride and satisfaction in knowing you created a project that helped impact and change the lives of those in your community and beyond. Thousands of girls each year embark on the journey to earn their Gold Award, all looking to change their community and inspire change around the world.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is not an easy accomplishment; it takes hours upon hours of planning, brainstorming, communicating, and when ready executing and implementing the project. But the fact that earning the award isn't a smooth sailing, easy process, is what makes the award that much more meaningful.  Because the process is long and requires a large time commitment and a lot of hard work and dedication, girls who complete the award, learn about skills and qualities they had, but were not aware of prior to completing the award. In the midst of planning the project, communicating with advisors and community members to help with executing the project, girls are able to discover and learn about themselves in new ways. Earning the Gold Award allows girls to discover the leadership skills they may have been too shy to show before, the organization and planning skills they thought they did not have and the communication skills that showed them they have a voice that can make a difference. The practical life skills discovered in earning the Gold Award help build girls of true courage, confidence and character, and they are skills that can be use/applied beyond the Gold Award and Girl Scouting

While earning the Gold Award means something different to each Girl Scout, the thing that all Gold Award recipients share, is the strength that comes from completing their project and in earning their award. Earning the Gold Award leads to a stronger and more confident sense of self, in which girls feel empowered to make a difference. Their project does not end with them, but instead carries on to continue to reach their communities and inspire change. Because girls know they can use their voice to make a change as a result of earning the Gold Award, they are more likely to take on new projects and find new ways to help their communities, all while trying to make the world they live in a better place. The Gold Award is one example of the many amazing things Girl Scouts are capable of, but the journey in earning the award is a timeless and rewarding experience that all Girl Scouts are encouraged to complete.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Are You Man Enough to be a Girl Scout?

Men Volunteer Their Time to Help Their Daughters Get the Girl Scout Experience

In honor of Father’s Day, the Girl Scouts of Nassau County (GSNC) are commending the fathers who make being a Girl Scout possible and invite other Dads to step up to the challenge. Our male Troop Leaders, council members, Cookie Dads and behind-the-scenes volunteers are crucial to the success of each Girl Scout experience. The organization creates openings for fathers to be a part of their daughter’s lives and strengthen their relationships with one another through participation in numerous activities. We encourage fathers to be involved and on this holiday, thank the unsung heroes who load the camping gear into the truck, build “bridges” for our bridging ceremonies and lend a hand when needed.

The Girl Scouts of Nassau County considers itself lucky to know numerous fathers interested in volunteering their time to contribute to their daughter’s, and other Girl Scout’s, experiences. These include Angelo A. and Jon W. of Bellmore, NY; Jeff S. of East Meadow, NY; Wayne G. of Jericho, NY; and Clyde R. Jr. of Baldwin, NY; who are committed to further carrying the spirit of the Girl Scouts. When a group of hopeful Girl Scouts were in risk of being put on a waiting list to find a Troop Leader, Angelo and Jon stepped up to the plate as co-Leaders.

“My involvement started when my wife asked if I wanted to enroll Ella in Daisy’s, and I said sure, what is a Daisy?” said Angelo. “When I attended the recruitment meeting I was told that due to an extensive waiting list in the area, Ella wouldn’t be placed in a Troop for about a year. Once I realized the opportunity in front of me I became a Troop Leader and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

“This experience has made me realize how precious the time I spend with my daughters is. More importantly, my daughters know that they can count on me as both a parent and a leader,” said Jon. “I enjoy knowing all the skills I am able to teach my daughters through the Girl Scout program will serve them well as they grow up.”

However, the ways in which Dads can contribute to the success of the Girl Scouts is not limited to becoming Troop Leaders. The seamless execution of the numerous events and activities would not be possible without the support of hundreds of men who volunteer throughout the year. Retired New York City Police Office Jeff utilizes his expertise to play a crucial role in event logistics, such as directing traffic at the recent GSNC “Girls Go the Distance” Walkathon.

“I enjoy working with the Girl Scouts and witnessing it help young girls build their self-esteem and develop problem solving skills,” said Strauber. “I appreciate that Girl Scouts is a healthy outlet for girls to work on their self-image and eventually allows them to become wonderful young women. I always jump at the opportunity to be involved with anything that my girls are a part of; it is a rewarding experience to see how much Girl Scouts has positively influenced them, and it is great to see that they are all still involved in one way or another.”

When GSNC Dads are not leading a Troop or volunteering at events, they are raising the world’s next greatest entrepreneurs by assisting with annual Girl Scout Cookies® sales. The GSNC is lucky to have fathers like Wayne G who was more than willing to help his daughter succeed in selling over 650 Girl Scout Cookies™ for a good cause. Wayne’s daughter Alexia, along with her troop, was able to use funds collected from the sales to donate three “Buddy Benches,” which serve as common meeting places for kids to make friends on the playground.

“It was very inspiring to watch Alexia work towards her goal of selling enough cookies to purchase and donate ‘Buddy Benches’ to the three Jericho School District elementary schools, “ shared Wayne. “She was highly motivated. I enjoyed supporting my daughter and offering her guidance. Then after someone on the ‘Massapequa Moms’ group on Facebook challenged me to wear a Thin Mint Cookie costume, I did not hesitate. Alexia was able to boost sales by an additional 150 boxes and we personally delivered the cookies together, me in full costume.”

The GSNC has the opportunity to watch Girl Scouts grow and develop from a Daisy to an Ambassador alongside their parents. Clyde of Baldwin reflects on the memories he has shared with his daughter, now 18 years old, over the last 13 years she has been involved in the GSNC. As a supportive father, he has continuously volunteered his time to help with activities, and is known in his office as the “go-to-guy” during Girl Scout Cookie™ Season.

“I have always been willing to offer any type of support, whether it has been helping prepare for meetings, transporting girls to activities or helping with cookie sales,” shares Clyde. “I have enjoyed watching my daughter grow and exhibit the confidence she has gained from her journey as a Girl Scout. I’ve witnessed her take risks and lead events and discussions with younger girls. Girl Scout’s has encouraged her to find her voice and speak up for herself and those are skills she will carry into adulthood.” 

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the dads and father-figures who help make Girl Scouting possible for their girls. We wish you all a Happy Father's Day!
 
To get involved with Girl Scouts or to learn more about volunteering, visit www.gsnc.org.

 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Be a Buddy, Not a Bully!

Buddy Bench Bronze Award Project

by Girl Scout Troop 3095


Hi! We are Troop 3095 from Jericho. This year we worked on our Girl Scout Bronze Award, the highest award a Junior Girl Scout can earn. For our Bronze Award, we decided to address the issue of loneliness on the playground. We didn’t want to see children afraid to join in with a group or to feel left out. So, we decided to donate a Buddy Bench to each of our 3 Elementary Schools. A Buddy Bench prevents bullying and is a great way to make new friends. 


In order to pay for our benches, we had to sell A LOT of Girl Scout Cookies. Our goal was to sell 2,500 boxes and we actually sold 2,822 boxes!! We sold to our family and friends, went door to door and had a lot of booth sales. With our cookie money, we were able to buy 3 Buddy Benches and 3 plaques to put on the benches. The plaque says, “Buddy Bench donated by Girl Scout Troop 3095”.  We even had some money left over to have a pizza party to celebrate all of our hard work!!


The Bronze Award was the biggest project we have participated in so far as Girl Scouts. We each had to put in a minimum of 20 hours to complete this project!  Some of us were even able to put in more than the required 20 hours. To get the hours we did things like attend our meetings, attend booth sales, put together the benches and make a video. Putting together the benches was a lot of fun and challenging at the same time. We loved seeing the finished project when we were done!

To spread the word, we decided to make a YouTube video with the help of our Principal and Music teacher. That was A LOT of fun and we LOVED making it!! Once the benches are installed at the schools, the video is going to be shown to all of the students. It will teach them about the purpose of the Buddy Bench. This video will be shown to the students every year so incoming students always know about it. To watch the video click on the link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PcN5Jk1fyw


We also attended our District Board of Ed meeting where we explained our project and were recognized for our efforts. It was fun to stand on stage in front of everyone and we think we did a great job!

By completing this project, we hope that students in the Jericho Elementary Schools will continue to be kind to each other and include others at recess. We want to inspire all of the students to help make a difference and to prevent bullying from happening. We also discovered that we can do anything that we put our minds to and we can make a difference! So, let’s go out and “Make New Friends”!!


BE A BUDDY, NOT A BULLY!! 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Girl Scouts of Nassau County's First Annual Bake Off


A taste of the many things Girl Scouts can do.

by Katie G.

 

Girl Scout Daisies through Ambassadors put their baking skills to the test at the first ever Girl Scouts of Nassau County bake off. Fifty-five Girl Scouts from twelve different Associations went head to head on May 13th to challenge one another in creating tasty treats and desserts, all of which had to be made by scratch. The bake-off which took place at the Cradle of Aviation, consisted of each level baking a different treat which would be competing against the other desserts in their level. The Daisies were required to make cookies, the Brownies, well to no surprise brownies, Juniors made single layer cakes, Cadettes stirred up some tasty pie recipes and last but not least, the Seniors and Ambassadors who made an assortment of baked breads. Each girl earned her spot in the GSNC bake-off by winning her association's bake-off. 

The assortment of delicious baked goods were premade and brought in the day of to be reviewed by eighteen judges. The girls were rewarded points based on the taste, texture, appearance, and originality of the dessert they worked hard to make. 

Even though there could only be one winner of each level, all the girls who participated received metals and patches. All the treats and desserts presented were award worthy, however there were five that came out on top. The five first place winners were as followed; in Daisies Gabriella from Troop 1088 in Floral Park made a lasting impression with her Twix thumbprint cookies, in Brownies Hannah from Troop 931 in Bellmore rose to the top with her Sinkers brownies, in Juniors Samantha from Seaford/Wantagh spiced things up with her brown sugar, caramel bundt cake, in Cadettes Riley from Troop 1254 in Garden City whipped up a delicious caramel cheesecake and in Seniors and Ambassadors, Rebecca from Troop 1280 in Floral Park stirred up the competition with cinnamon, banana swirl bread. 

While the judging took place the girls and their families were given the chance to explore the museum. Girl Scouts were also given the chance to both, take a lesson on cake/cookie decorating from Christine Bernhard, owner and head chef of "Honestly Delicious Bakery" in Garden City, as well as create 350 non-perishable snack packs for less fortunate children at the Mary Brennan Inn, which will be handed out on Memorial Day. The event was a major success and was a taste test for the many more they plan to hold in the future.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Museum of American Armor’s Girl Scout Leadership Challenge Essay Contest


A few weeks ago we posted an opportunity for girls to enter The Museum of American Armor’s Girl Scout Leadership Challenge, which encouraged girls to submit essays that would highlight a better understanding of the heroes within our own families and those throughout our communities. Lauren’s essay received the First Place Award. The other winners are listed after the essay. We are very proud of all the girls who entered this essay contest.

 

Please take a few minutes to read the essay – We hope you’ll find it as inspiring as we did! And, most importantly, keep those who served - and those who still serve - our country in your thoughts over the weekend.

 

 

Lauren’s Essay: 

OO-RAH was a call I heard since I was a baby.  Every holiday with my Pop Pop and uncles, this call was always shouted as soon as they saw each other. It took me years to understand what it truly meant though.  It was used as a battle cry many years ago but today is used almost as a brotherhood type greeting.

 

My Pop Pop was a Marine and couldn't have been prouder when his two sons later joined the Marines.  Arriving from Ireland, Pop was ready to serve a country that would give him opportunity and allow him a new life.  He wasn't in the US for very long before he had his paperwork in.  The poverty and despair that he left in Dublin would be replaced with service and exotic travel.  He loved every day of his service and loved his new country even more.  His fellow marines called him Ireland and many were shocked when at the end of their service they heard him called by his real last name, Byrne.  They always thought it was Ireland. He never did see action but was prepared to defend his new nation as he was stationed on a ship ready to invade during the Cuban Missile crisis.  Only years later did he find out that this was part of a Navy and Marine planned strategy that would have been even larger than the Allied invasion force on D-Day.

 

Many years later my two uncles would also join.  My Uncle Jack served his four years without seeing any action but was called back months after his discharge to serve in Dessert Storm.  Off he went to train for this war; my family saw him go with heavy hearts and prayers.  They were proud of him and silently knew what an honor it was to defend our nation.  The war soon ended just as his unit was next for deployment and he too arrived back without seeing action.

 

Uncle Robert is the youngest in the Byrne family.  He was the last to enlist, and saw the most. He and his Marine expeditionary unit were sent to Mogadishu Somalia Africa as part of Operation Restore Hope. There they provided security for both American and United Nation forces while running patrols throughout the Mogadishu International Airport and its surroundings.  He was the last American force there and ensured everyone was pulled out safely.

 

Years later it was Uncle Robert's military training that allowed him to save himself and several people when the Trade centers fell.  His firehouse was the first called to the scene when the building was attacked. He was in building one when the second building fell.  Again, he was one of the last to leave and pulled people to safety. 

 

It is instances like that, where I realize how much of an appreciation I have for the brave men and women who serve in the military. Many men and women devote countless amounts of their time to serve our country and protect our rights, and even risk their lives. For this we must appreciate them and do our part to make the time they spend to protect us worth it. My family works closely with the American Legion Hall in my community, in order to give back to those who serve us.  My older brother collected over 800 books for American soldiers and mailed them out to distant troops as his personal project to the service men and women.  My personal project took place this past Fall. I collected over 300 new and lightly used suits and jackets as part of Nassau's Veteran Stand Down fair.  We believe that in addition to regularly helping support our veterans through care packages and collections organized in town, we should also personally support our current and former soldiers.  They dedicated years protecting my freedom, I can certainly dedicate a few weekends of my time supporting them.  I'm proud to be a Junior member of the American Legion Women's Auxiliary also.  To all our service men and women out there, Semper Fi and of course OO-RAH!

 

The other winners of the contest:

Second Place: Jillian K. Oceanside Troop 2228, and has earned her Silver.

Third Place: Julia C.  East Meadow Troop 2033, and has earned her Silver.

 

Honorable Mentions
Jillian P., WH/FS 1025 – has earned Bronze and Silver
Asmita J., Oceanside 2228, has earned Silver
Bianca L., Bellmore 971, earned Silver and is receiving her Gold in June.
Janine B.,  ELLM 2458, earned Silver and receiving Gold in June
Hannah T., East Meadow 3174
Amanda W., Manhasset 520, earned Silver and receiving Gold in June
Dessie D., Garden City 1488, ran our Girls Who Code program