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


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:

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”!!


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.