Friday, November 18, 2011

"Promises, Promises … " By Guest Blogger, James Langan

Promises kept are a reputation earned. So are promises broken. To have a good reputation is to be trusted; to have a bad one is not to be. But what is a promise, anyway? And what is it not?

A promise is a serious commitment to oneself or to others to do something. And since what we do (and don’t do!) defines who and what we are – to ourselves and to others – what we see in the mirror is nothing more than the sum of our promises kept and promises broken. Thus a promise is a commitment not only to do, but to be something.

When a Girl Scouts says: “On my honor, I will try to serve God and my country, to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law,” she is saying: “I choose to be a patriotic and altruistic American. I choose to be kind and just, honorable and equitable, empathetic and compassionate, brave and strong, respectful and responsible.” With these words, she affirms her commitment to her own personal growth and to her goal of making the world a better place. What more could we ask from our girls who will someday rise to become tomorrow’s leaders? And what better way to create a better world than to nurture courage, confidence, and character in each and every one of our precious sisters and daughters?

The Girl Scout Promise and the Law are not for the faint of heart: They are heartfelt expressions of what the Girl Scouting has stood for– for 100 years. Being a Girl Scout means aspiring to live by these values very day – values that help young girls blossom into women of honesty, integrity, and substance. Today’s Girl Scouts become tomorrow’s leaders, making a positive and meaningful contribution to their communities. With your help, we will continue making the world a better place, one girl at a time. This is a promise the Girl Scouts has made for 100 years and will continue to make for the next 100 years.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mags&Munchies! By Guest Blogger Fran McAllister

Fran McAllister, Team Manager Program Promotion
It’s hard to believe that fall is here already.  If you’re like me, a busy working mom, you’re already thinking of your holiday shopping.  To make my life easier, every year I take advantage of the Girl Scout Mags&Munchies product sales.  I purchase magazines, nuts and candies for my family, friends, hair stylist, children’s teachers, and our bus driver.  Not only are they great gifts, but they’re reasonably priced.  I can give something to everyone without breaking the bank.

My family looks forward to receiving all of their favorites and with 15 different products to choose from, there’s something for everyone. This year they even have a gluten-free product, Blueberry Pomegranate nut crunch.

I always give the teachers a tin, but this year there is an old fashioned schoolhouse tin with delicious chocolate covered pretzels that is perfect for a teacher and our bus driver too.

I have a neighbor who was a Girl Scout and I know that she’s going to love the 100th Anniversary Girl Scout suitcase tin. It celebrates Girl Scouting from 1912 to the present. Plus, inside is yummy toffee popcorn with cashews and cranberries.

As a matter of fact, I always buy a few extra tins just in case someone drops by unexpectedly with a gift or I need something to bring with me to a party.  I’ve even used it as a grab bag gift for my kids.

I also like giving magazine subscriptions as gifts.  It encourages my children to read and it’s a gift that they receive all throughout the year.  There are over 600 different types of magazines, so it’s easy to find something for everyone.  My niece just had a baby, so I’ll send her Parenting, and this year there’s a special deal and for just a few dollars more she’ll also get Woman’s Day.

The best part is, not only do Mags&Munchies items make great gifts for the holiday season, but, they supporting my daughter’s Troop and our Council plus I save time and money that is truly a win-win for me!

I also like to spread some goodwill by contributing to Operation Stop Hunger.  For every $5 donation, the Girl Scouts will send a can of nuts or candy to Island Harvest. And this year I can give a $5 donation to Project Thank You to purchase a magazine voucher that goes toward sending a free subscription to the Disabled American Veterans.

I’m already putting together my order since the sale ends on November 1st. 
If you’re interested in ordering products or want more information about the Mags& Munchies Program, please contact Sonia Oxford at Girl Scouts of Nassau County at oxfords@gsnc.org.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Keys to Leadership By Guest Blogger Eliza Zipper

Eliza Zipper, Advocacy and Critical Issues Coordinator
Girl Scouts of Nassau County is committed to building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.  Our “Keys to Leadership”: Discover, Connect, Take Action, encourage girls to learn about important issues and raise awareness about them. 

The Girl Scout Leadership Experience finds its foundation in a series of   Leadership  Journeys, that focus on 15 outcome measures; 5 of which are designed to help girls identify community needs, promote cooperation and team-building, as well as educate and inspire others to act.  Girls who participate in our Journey program develop the tools and tactics to make meaningful and sustainable change in their communities.

The skills the girls develop in our Journey program prepare them for Girl Scout’s highest award, the Gold Award.  Girls spend up to 80 hours on their project researching, developing and implementing a plan of action, and inspiring others to take action.  Recent Gold Award projects have raised awareness about many important social issues including, environmental conservation, bullying, anti-Semitism, as well as safe sex and domestic violence. Gold Award recipients learn to identify their passion and to create positive change by pursuing this passion.

Girls in our Pathway programs also develop strong advocacy and leadership skills.  The Icebreakers, one of our FIRST Lego League (FLL) Robotic Teams, demonstrated this skill when they discovered a hazardous traffic pattern in their community.  They researched ways to improve the pattern, came up with a recommendation to resolve the safety issues, and refused to stop until the situation was fixed.  They took their plan to the State Capitol in Albany and won support from state legislators.  Through programs like our FLL Teams, girls gain the confidence to stand up for what they believe in.

Girl Scouts of Nassau County continues to provide increasing advocacy opportunities for girls.  In our new program, Girl Speak, girls in grades 6-12 will discuss important issues that impact themselves and their peers as well as develop a plan of action to educate younger girls, parents, educators, and community members about these issues.  Through our new collaboration with the Regina Residence, we will help pregnant teens and teen mothers living at the residence learn how to identify issues that impact their lives, speak up for their needs, and take action against these issues in their community.  In both of these new programs, girls will build their confidence and develop a better sense of self and their communities by advocating for the needs of themselves and others.

Girl Scouts of Nassau County helps girls develop the tools and tactics with which to become their own advocates.  Through innovative programs, such as our Journeys, Gold Awards, and community outreach initiatives, girls engage in advocacy experiences that help them gain a better sense of themselves and the needs of their communities.

For more information about Girl Scouting or the programs mentioned contact Eliza Zipper, Advocacy and Critical Issues Coordinator at 516 741-2550 ext 254 or email mail her at zippere@gsnc.org.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Creating a Positive and Healthy Environment for Girls on Long Island


I can't believe back-to-school season is upon us already.

For many of our Girl Scouts going back to school means plenty of great opportunities for girls, including new friends, new knowledge and new experiences. However, it also means encountering both old and new stressors.

We at the Girl Scouts of Nassau County are dedicated to educating girls and adults about some of these issues, including bullying, healthy relationships, body image and conflict resolution. We hope that through this education, we can help put an end to harmful behaviors and create a positive and healthy environment for girls on Long Island. Here are a few tips we thought it was important to share.

If your child has trouble managing her time:

Work with your child to create a daily schedule. Make a time table with each hour and activity of the day. Be sure to devote at least eight hours to sleep!

Ask your child about the activities that are most important to her. Make sure to devote time to those activities and be prepared to cut down on some of the less important activities.
  
Children (and adults) need unscheduled time to relax, be with friends, read and explore their creativity. They also need time each day where they are not “plugged-in” to the electronic world.

To protect your child’s digital safety:

Keep all computers in open areas in your home. Hook laptops up to land connections. Collect all cell phones when it is time to go to bed so children’s sleep is not disturbed by text messages, Internet, etc.
   
Talk with your children about being a digitally responsible citizen. They can find ways around all of the controls you set up, like creating multiple Facebook accounts or blocking your account so you can’t see what they post about themselves. Talk with them about your rules and why you set them up so they understand the repercussions of their actions.

If a child is a victim of bullying:

Listen to her. Let her tell you the full story before you react.
  
Discuss ways to resolve the situation with her. Create a plan you both can support.
  
Do not hesitate to seek help from school officials. All children are entitled to be in a safe school environment.

If a child is a bully:


Ask her to recount the situation in her own words. Let her tell you the story before you react.
  
Find out why she bullied and how it made her feel. Explore other ways to address these feelings with her.

To help girls develop a positive body image:

Examine your own body image and how it might influence girls; the way that you speak about your own body and how you perceive others to look will greatly influence your children.
  
Lead a healthy lifestyle with girls, modeling good eating and physical activity.
  
Take action! Urge your representatives and senators to support The Healthy Media for Youth Act at www.girlscouts4girls.org/girlscouts/home/.

If you're interested in learning more about the above, please contact Eliza Zipper, advocacy and critical issues coordinator for the Girl Scouts of Nassau County at zippere@gsnc.org or 516.741.2550 x254. She will be happy to speak with you. And, please do enjoy the rest of your summer!

***
This article originally appeared in the Garden City Patch.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Celebrating Girl Scouting in Nassau County!

To learn more about this year's Gold Award recipients, click here!



A few additional photos!
Bridging Ceremony - Tea Party!

Tea Time

119 Gold Award Recipients!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Dash of Culture with the Girl Scouts of Nassau County by Guest Blogger James Langan

Guest blogger James Langan is not a fan of television, movies or much of popular music, but he does love the Girl Scouts! – He reminds us here of the need for parents to be ever-vigilant when they allow mass media into their homes and before the eyes and ears of their children.  We encourage you to find ways to bring more “kulcha” to  our girls …What has your troop done with the arts lately? – peace, dc

Mass culture can be somewhat disconcerting:  A flood of images and noises gushes forth from wide-screen TVs, drowning all in its path. Sarcasm and presumptuousness permeate the “dialogue” blurted out by one-dimensional characters smirking and sneering and conning and cheating and posing and threatening to get what they want.  And only when they are not punching and kicking and gouging and blowing things up.
  
A lot of movies – apparently devoted to redefining “box office gross” – offer nothing better; and most video games propose far worse, encouraging children of all ages to gleefully embark on a digital odyssey of unbridled mayhem.   In any case, messages extolling the products of mass culture and advocating their immediate acquisition abounds – while opportunities for higher cultural expression remain elusive. 

Yet these opportunities do exist.  They do and  Girl Scouts of Nassau County is such a place.  With our Chorus and Theatri-Gals theatre troupe, girls not only learn to appreciate culture, they also create it for the community.  And in so doing, they not only elevate themselves culturally, but also their friends and neighbors in Nassau County and beyond, making the world a better place. 

Our Chorus includes 50 Girl Scouts, between the ages of eight and 17, singing all over Nassau County and the metropolitan area. Their songs range from the patriotic and American standards to the classical; they also sing for the holidays and Girl Scout events. For the past 23 years, our Chorus has added spice to the lives of thousands of Nassau County residents – rescuing them from their daily routines and making them smile with a just a dash of culture.

Theatri-Gals, made up of Juniors and Cadettes, has created and presented two one-act plays exploring themes of bullying, friendship and acceptance of others.  Improvisation, character study and development, and story formation and development all come into play – to give girls self-confidence and  problem-solving and critical thinking skills, making new friends along the way. With Theatri-Gals, the Girls Scouts of Nassau County really has its act together

Both our Chorus and the Theatri-Gals programs offer girls a fresh opportunity for authentic cultural expression and a respite from the mindless gruel dished out by pop culture.  All girls deserve the chance to enrich and elevate themselves culturally, and the Girl Scouts of Nassau County is forging ahead to make sure they get it. So that we may continue bringing cultural awareness to our girls, we ask that you do what you can to support our efforts.  In the meantime, it might be a good idea to turn off the TV and read a good book.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

GSNC and DHL send Cookies to US Troops Overseas - Video Blog

For the past six years, we have been showing our appreciation and gratitude to the men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces by sending them a “taste of home” in the form of donated Girl Scout Cookies®. On April 19, 2011, I had the pleasure of hosting this year’s send-off event. Together with our partners at DHL Express we shipped 45,000 boxes of cookies to our brave warriors. Here are a few highlights from the event. I hope you enjoy watching this video.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Embracing Social Media By Guest Blogger, Luci Duckson-Bramble

Communicating today is very different than what I experienced through the years. As long as I can remember personal contact was the cornerstone of my connecting to others. I love phone calling, letter writing and face to face conversations. My son calls me the “Queen of Chit Chat,” he knows how much I love to connect with people through conversation. As I reflect on my career, personal contact has been fundamental. I’ve always worked directly with people - from my early days at Allstate Insurance Company to my many years in social services.

I was very comfortable with my style of "reaching out and touching." Then, in 2003 I came to Girl Scouts of Nassau County and technology was much further ahead than where I had been. Emails here were the primary way of communicating. I was in shock, I was used to walking from building to building (there were five on our campus) to talk to my colleagues or using the phone. While we had computers, they were mainly for data collection and reports. It took about six months, but I got used to emails as the primary mode of communication both internally and externally. Yet, in my soul it didn’t feel right. Something seemed to be missing. I went with the flow because everyone everywhere was using emails.

Then in 2007 I had my first foray into social media. My son, who was then 12 years old was using this thing called ”AIM.” He and all of his friends were on it. My response was to ignore what he was doing, because I just didn’t “get it.” Then I started hearing about My Space. A colleague suggested that I get with the program, because this was the way it was going to be with youth, and as a mother I had the responsibility to keep up with what was happening with them.  When Facebook hit I really wanted to bury my head. I watched my son, his friends and other young relatives embrace social media with an intensity that I hadn’t witnessed with anything else. Every young person I knew was quick to get a Facebook page. I thought they were crazy; I didn’t want all my information out there. When it was suggested that Girl Scout staff create individual Facebook pages, I resisted for a long time and finally caved in to the pressure.  In time I started to using Facebook and was surprised at how many baby boomers were on it. I even reconnected with my college roommate!

I still wasn’t convinced that Facebook was the best means of reaching the general public and didn’t think it would help us here at Girl Scouts to reach girls and families and in a big way. All that changed a month ago. As I sat watching '60 Minutes' I was blown away by the story of the Egyptian government’s collapse that started with a posting on Facebook. I thought if Facebook could bring down a government that had been in place for 30 years, Girl Scouts could definitely use it reach and engage girls. There hasn’t been a day in the past few weeks that I haven’t witnessed the power of social media. While many struggle with using it, the world around us is changing because of social media. I can’t imagine the advances that will take place in the next 12 months, but I know it’s a tool that can help us help girls change Nassau County.  

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Building Robots (and Confidence, too!) by Guest Blogger James Langan with Patty Donohue-Brown

The proliferation of technology in the last several decades has left in its wake a plethora of gadgets – some useful, some not – and has induced among the citizenry some curious habits that would have left previous generations scratching their heads.  More than a few of us have purchased cell phones and faithfully lug them along in our travels so that we might “stay connected,” but then turn them off so we don’t drown in a deluge of unwanted calls.  Others may claim cell phones are only for emergencies; but if true, we should also be carrying around defibrillators, fire extinguishers, Tibetan-English phrase books, and C-Rations.  After all, you never know. 

But technology is not just for yakking and hacking.  In fact, the Girl Scouts of Nassau County’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs use technology as one of its chief means to build girls of courage, confidence, and character.  Our FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Robotics Program, for example, allows teams of Girl Scouts from grades four through eight to work with LEGO-based robots, develop and present research projects, and compete in FLL Tournaments.  One FLL team, Merrick Masters, created an adaptive tennis racket for tennis players with a weak grip and received a grant to continue its development.

Our FIRST TECH Challenge (FTC) program, which is for high school students, allows girls working in teams to design, build, and program highly sophisticated robots and compete in FTC Tournaments.  Both the FLL and the FTC programs challenge girls in real-world science and technology – allowing them to develop strategies for building robots based on sound engineering principles.   The FTC team, ICEBREAKERS, built a robot designed to successfully get over hurdles in a daunting obstacle course.

At both FLL and FTC Tournaments, girls receive awards for competition, community outreach, robotic design, and other fun stuff. The Girl Scouts of Nassau County now has five FLL teams and one FTC team— and each of these teams has won awards this season.  Not wanting to rest on its laurels, the ICEBREAKERS will be competing at the FIRST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP in St. Louis, Missouri in April!

Awards are nice, but our Robotics program also provides other, more subtle benefits:  Besides helping to cast aside damaging stereotypes about girls’ ability in science and math, it also breeds confidence and awakens girls to their true potential – allowing them to develop valuable life skills and discover exciting new career opportunities.

In a local restaurant, a group of girls once explained to a waiter, who had asked about their Lego team T- shirts, that they had just come from a LEGO robotics tournament.  He was really impressed and said, “Wow, you all must be very smart.”  The girls beamed.  Maybe nobody had ever told them that before; and maybe, after that simple act of validation, they could see themselves in a new light for the first time. 

Insight about one’s potential being key to its realization, the waiter’s gift was priceless.  And the beauty of our Robotics program is that it can provide that same insight to all girls – regardless of their economic background or current academic standing – so that they can truly make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others.  And it’s fun too!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

And the winning proposition is…

In the fall of 2010 Girl Scouts of Nassau County began our Strategic Learning process to guide us in setting our priorities and direction for Girl Scouting in Nassau County for the next few years.  The Strategic Learning process was developed by Professor Willie Pietersen at Columbia University and has been adopted and adapted by Girl Scouts of the USA for all Girl Scout Councils across the country.  Board Vice President Diane White lead a Strategic Learning Task Group of 32 people that included Board Members, other Girl Scout volunteers, community leaders who were less familiar with Girl Scouting and staff.  Lori DiMaggio, GSNC’s Executive Coordinator, served as the project manager.

The Task Group was broken into five separate teams that examined the needs of Girl Scouts’ CUSTOMERS [ the girls], our STAKEHOLDERS  [parents, volunteers, community organizations, etc.], our COMPETITORS, SECTOR TRENDS [what is happening in not-for-profit organizations, philanthropy, business, technology and the lives of girls and families that will impact how we operate Girl Scouts] and OUR OWN REALITIES/THE BRUTAL TRUTHS [those factors specific to GSNC  --numbers, dollars, demographics, assets].

Each team was given the task of answering specific questions, but teams had latitude in how they divided the work, whether they met face to face or electronically, and how they went about gathering their info.  (Our volunteers and families should remember receiving surveys back towards the end of January!)  

On the weekend of February 12-13 the five teams all convened in person to report their findings. As each team reported, I could see heads around the room nodding in agreement, whispering to their neighbors and making notes, but by lunchtime it was obvious that certain themes were emerging. Families wanting more activities together, volunteers wanting more support, girls wanting to have fun and be part of an organization that is cool and relevant, mixed perceptions of what Girl Scouting really is from all of our stakeholders, the need to better use technology to keep up with girls and the world.

As I said, this is a Strategic Learning process and while I honestly do have great respect for process of all kinds, I do understand how and why process does work (hooray for grad school and the school of life). My family, colleagues and friends know that  am not very patient with most processes, I like to get the facts, cut to the chase and make a decision. If the decision doesn’t work, then try again. Pietersen’s Strategic Learning model really is a bit like that, we’ve done the first phase, we will move to the next steps, and all along the way we will monitor, adjust and realign … But for two days in February … and for a number of weeks leading up to then, I had to trust the process and I am so glad that I did!

After much work, our Strategic Learning Task Group identified that in order to continue to be a high functioning Girl Scout Council  (we have some great numbers when we measure ourselves against other Girl Scout Councils and other not-for-profit and youth serving agencies) we will need to shift our edge a bit to maintain our COMPETITIVE FOCUS.  There are many things we already do that make us a great choice for girls, families and the community that go into our WINNING PROPOSITION, and we were able to hone in on our KEY PRIORITIES.

And the Strategic Learning Process – trust the process – continued to work just the way that Pietersen predicts. Because of course all of this hard work had to be approved by the Girl Scouts of Nassau County Board of Directors and thanks to the thorough work done by the Strategic Learning Task Group, the preparation Lori did to bring it all together, and the enthusiastic presentation by Diane White, on February 16 the Board of Directors approved the Strategic Learning Task Group’s recommendations BY ACCLAMATION!!

Competitive Focus =
Girls 4th thru 8th grades, county-wide

Winning Proposition =
Girl Scouts of Nassau County turns today’s girls into tomorrow’s leaders …
and it’s FUN, too!

Key Priorities
(non-hierarchical)
Volunteer Development
Pathway Development
Communication
Perception
Technology


My next edition will tell you more about the priorities and what our next steps will be in the Strategic Learning Process.  In the meantime, I’m going to try to remember to trust the process.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Girl Scout Alternative - By Guest Blogger, James Langan

Parents once did actually raise their children mostly by themselves, acting as role-models – and playing the roles of coach, counselor, and protector. Of course, friends, school, and celebrities have always influenced the forging of values and identity within the child; but usually took a back seat to the examples set in the home, which remained the magnetic North on the life-compass children rely on to find their way to adulthood. For a long time, this was the dominant paradigm that served to form a society that at the very least struggled to be fair and just.  Though imperfect and boiling over with exceptions to the rule, a lot of good did come from it.  Today, however, the formation of a child’s values and identity is also influenced by a myriad of forces that may not always have the child’s best interest at heart.

On the way to the bank, marketers figured out that a lot of money could be made by hijacking the value and identity formation process of the child and supplanting it with a process that would transform the child into a maniacal buying-obsessed, thing-craving beast.  This has succeeded.   Riding the wave of the technological revolution, manufacturers have seized the media to bombard the defenseless mind of the child with literally millions of messages that self-worth and social acceptance – the keys to healthy development – can be purchased like nails and screws in a hardware store.  As a result, the edifice upon which the child’s identity and values rest often consists of designer clothes, cell phones, cars, and other thingy things that tend to possess the child more than she possesses them.  How sad!

This obsession with buying and having often steals center stage in a child’s development, leaving little time and energy for character development.  This is especially true for young girls, who are also bombarded with messages about beauty and body image. For them, attaining the fiercely marketed “ideals” of both becomes only path to happiness and social acceptance.  How convenient for cosmetic, clothes, and jewelry manufacturers that these “ideals” are unattainable for most girls, leaving them nevertheless in a desperate struggle to attain them anyway while spending billions of dollars each year in the attempt.  The market-contaminated values infecting the girl often leaves her miserable, and not much imagination is needed to figure out what effect this has on her real social development, school performance, and sense of self-worth. Having to grow up in such a predatory environment exacts a heavy price on both the girl and society.
 

But parents do have a choice:  They can sit passively by while real-time electronic images of strangers – be they on television or the Internet – actively interfere with the formation of their daughters’ identity and values, or they can take counter-measures to prevent the hijacking of their daughters’ identity and value formation by offering their daughters an alternative that would empower them and give them a means to defend themselves against the onslaught.

For their daughters, the Girls Scouts of Nassau County offers one such alternative. While Girl Scouting is not divorced from the trappings of the commercial world or the Internet, its values based programming offers far less expense to the family, while promoting leadership, healthy living, and making sound business choices. Girls build friendships based on common values and shared activities that include service and action.  And when Girl Scouts do make that occasional trip by the television or go to the mall, they are better equipped to ask questions as to why they may need or want the shiny objects dangled before them.

 

Monday, January 24, 2011

How the 5 Skills of the Girl Scout Cookie Program Shape a Girl’s Future

When a Girl Scout has learned the five skills (goal setting, decision making, money management, dealing with people, business ethics) of the Girl Scout Cookie Program she’ll be ready for success!

Think about it. These skills will help a girl through her academic career and are also skills that employers seek –whether it’s a bank, a high tech company, a hospital, a publishing house, a car dealership, an accounting firm or even the local pet store.  Every teacher and every employer wants:


  • Someone who sets goals and meets deadlines. Blowing a deadline can jeopardize a grade and it can mean blowing a deal. 
  • Someone who works well with others. As a boss, I know that I don’t want to deal with strife and complaining amongst my team!
  • Someone who understands about money. There is a real difference between earning your way and getting an “allowance.” People who understand the relationship between earning and buying make better decisions with their own money. And, they learn how money affects the global marketplace. 
  • Someone who understands customers. It doesn’t matter whether the “customers” are fellow students, hospital patients, TV viewers, a retail store or other companies. Every business has to know its customers and what they want. And in school, students need to know what their teachers expect and how things work in their school.
  • Someone who can influence others. This doesn’t just mean selling a product.  Teachers and employers want people who can sell ideas, pitch projects and make deals.
  • Someone who is honest, trustworthy and reliable. This kind of goes without saying, or it should!  
These are the skills that the Girl Scouts of Nassau County learn as they participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program. And every year a girl is in Scouting, she has the opportunity to build on these skills. So, when you buy a box of our Girl Scout cookies, you are really helping a girl build these skills and learn from her selling experience.




This article originally appeared in the Garden City Patch.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Safety First!

As we begin the 2011 Girl Scout Cookie Program ®, we are asking for community support … After the goals are set and the plans are made, it is time to get to work, have some fun and get those Cookie orders!

Girls should show that they are Girl Scouts – Uniforms are always nice, but sometimes when you are all bundled up in a coat, who can tell?  Girls can carry a sign, or show their order forms! And, it is always good to have a Girl Scout buddy along! Whether you are canvassing the neighborhood or at a booth sale, or even visiting your parent’s workplace, it’s more fun with a friend!

Of course, girls need an adult partner – The involvement of the adult is dependent on the age of the girl. Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies and Juniors should always have an adult on hand when they are taking orders, selling directly or delivering Cookies. Older girls should have an adult nearby.

Plan ahead – Make sure you have a plan to safeguard money, and to keep up with order cards!  Do not keep large amounts of cash.  Give proceeds to a supervising adult so that it can be safely deposited in the bank.

Use common sense – Girls should never enter anyone’s home or vehicle, unless the person is well known to them and their parents go too! Girls should not go into any area that seems unsafe.  If they are going door to door, only do so in the daytime.  Be careful when crossing streets and when loading and unloading cars.

Protect privacy – The girl’s privacy and that of the customer. Girls should not give their private information to people they do not know.  Girls should use a group contact number that will be intercepted by an adult.

Be wise on the web – Girls should take the Girl Scout Internet Safety Pledge before going online and should follow the guidelines related to online marketing.  Parents can support girls by using the Cookie Club for online order taking, although that system does not currently allow money collection.  Older girls can work together and with their parents to promote their Cookie orders through social media sites.

By keeping these safety tips in mind, girls are sure to have a successful and fun Cookie selling experience!