Friday, March 30, 2018

Camping Myths Debunked

Girls don’t like camping. Our first myth is far from the truth. Girls aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves, build a fire, pitch a tent or explore the outdoors and nature. Sixty-two percent of girls said they enjoyed almost all of the outdoor activities they participated in through Girl Scouts, with camping ranking in the top three activities. Girls described camping as “fun.” They enjoy the opportunity to overcome challenges, and the feelings of accomplishment. Girls use this time to build and strengthen social bonds and hang out with friends.

Girls will get bored at camp. This is not the case at all; finding the time to fit in all your favorite activities is actually the problem. Taking a break from technology might scare some girls… and the volunteers who agreed to take them to the woods. Including the girls in the planning will keep them enthusiastic and engaged. Go for a hike, collect shells on the beach, play a game of GaGa, roast marshmallows or star gaze. The opportunities are endless, there’s not time for being bored! 

There are wild animals… and bugs. This isn’t a myth, there are wild animals and bugs, but they won’t hurt you. Wild animals don’t want to be bothered by you just as much as you don’t want to be bothered by them. Animals are interested in your food not you. Make sure to clean up after cookouts and lock up any food you have in the kitchen shelter away from the tents! Don’t forget to say hello if you’re lucky enough to encounter a baby deer, box turtle or chipmunk on the trails. They are a key part of the camping experience. Bugs are inevitable, you are visiting their home, but as long as you don’t cover yourself in fruity scents, or take a detour off the path you’re more than likely going to be ok.

You a lot of supplies to go camping. Camping doesn’t need to be elaborate; grab your sleeping bag and a flashlight and you can be on your way. While taking a Troop camping will require a little more preparation than that there are many conveniences that Camp Blue Bay has to offer that will make your stay a little easier.

You’ll be very hungry. This myth is true, but not for the reasons you think, there will be plenty of food. All the outdoor activities you will be doing will definitely make you hungry, just in time for a delicious campfire cooked meal. Just because you are camping doesn’t mean you have to live on hot dogs for the weekend. Practically anything you cook at home can be made over a fire, sometimes it’s even better. Baked potatoes and chicken pockets with all the works for dinner and apple crumble in the Dutch Oven for dessert, with a little creativity you’ll be fine dining on your next camping trip.

Camping relies on good weather. Camping is not only a summer activity, perhaps the best time to camp is the spring and the fall when it’s not as hot and buggy. In the winter months Camp Blue Bays’ Troop House is the perfect place to camp. Spend the day doing your favorite camp activities just a little more bundled up, to end the night have an indoor campfire and make some s’mores. Don’t let rain dampen your trip! Be prepared to put on your boots and a poncho and start singing in the rain; just because its raining doesn’t mean camp activities will be cancelled. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

All About Guide Dogs Patch Program Coming Soon!

Created by Girl Scout Jane G., in Collaboration with GSNC

Jane G., a Girl Scouts of Nassau County Girl Scout Junior, created the All About Guide Dogs Patch Program in collaboration with Girl Scouts of Nassau County (GSNC). 

As part of a program in her school, Jane completed an independent study project and she chose to do it all about guide dogs! She decided to create a patch program for girls in grades K - 8 to teach them about the importance of guide dogs, while also creating collaborative and hands-on activities to learn about them.

Jane was inspired to do her project on this topic after learning about her dad’s friend named Jim, who is blind. After hearing stories about him and his guide dogs, she was intrigued to learn more.

Being the true Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker and Leader (G.I.R.L) that Jane is, she wanted to make sure that this opportunity would go beyond her school project. She decided to present her project to the staff at GSNC, and over time, was able to collaborate with them to expand and develop this patch program. 

Starting in the mid-spring of 2018, Girl Scouts will be able to earn this patch! Additionally, there will be a resource box with several hands-on materials and an easy to follow guide that will help Volunteers deliver the program to their Troop. The kit will be available for loan from the Volunteer Resource Center at the GSNC Service Center.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

G.I.R.L. 2017

On Wednesday, October 4 through Sunday, October 8 four girls flew to Columbus, Ohio representing Girl Scouts of Nassau County at G.I.R.L 2017. They were Emma V., a ninth grader and a Girl Scout Senior, Emma W.U., an eleventh grader, and Amanda I. and Chloe V., twelfth grade Girl Scout  Ambassadors. Chloe is also a Member-at-Large of the Board of Directors. These four girls were National Council Delegates from the Jericho-Syosset Service Unit, Rockville Centre Service Unit, and Glen Clove Service Unit. Here are some excerpts from an interview with the girls. For the full interview check out our blog.

What was your favorite highlight?
“My favorite highlight from convention was being able to meet and talk to so many different Girl Scouts from around the country and the world.”  -Amanda I (AI)

What was it like during the National Council Sessions?
“It was very interesting to see how policy is formed and to learn about Robert’s Rules of Order experientially. It was also interesting to have to follow what was going on, what changed, and what we were voting on, outside of the proposals, based on what was said on the floor.” -Emma W.U. (EWU)

What was one of your favorite breakout sessions or what speakers did you enjoy?
“My favorite speakers were Chelsea Clinton and the 2017 National Young Women of Distinction. I really enjoyed hearing about their projects and the advice they provided to other girls looking to make an impact on their community. Listening to Chelsea Clinton speak was a once in a lifetime experience. I also really liked listening to Marley Davis, the founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks. She was so cute and inspiring. She spoke so well and was very professional for a 12 year old.”  -Chloe V. (CV)

Talk about the Hall of Experience. What was your favorite part?
“In the Hall of Experiences I really enjoyed the Joann Fabric create a cape station. I also loved the orienteering USA table. They had an orienteering course set up around the Hall of experiences where you followed the map you were given to each place marked and hole punched the map.” -EWU
“The Hall of Experiences is always a crazy experience. With over a hundred vendors throughout the hall there is ALWAYS something to do. My favorite part of the 2017 Hall of Experiences was the SCUBA booth where we were able to learn how to scuba dive.” -AI

What was something you learned or took away from GIRL 2017?
I learned from the National Young Women of Distinction that hard work and dedication can get you very far. Each of them put time and effort into their Gold Award projects and they ended up having amazing effects and impacts on their community and the world.”  -Emma V. (EV)
“The entire GIRL 2017 experience was very inspiring.  There are so many different Girl Scouts and each and every person has completely different values and I learned just how important it is to be a part of this girl environment.  This organization really does shape each and every one of us as a person.”  -AI   

What would you recommend or what advice would you give to others who are planning on attending GIRL 2020?
“I definitely recommend attending G.I.R.L. 2020!! G.I.R.L. 2017 was one of the best trips I have been on! I would recommend leaving lots of room in your suitcase because of all of the free giveaways and SWAPS available to collect. I would also recommend being open to trying new activities and branching out and leaving your comfort zone because every new and exciting activity was an amazing experience! I would also recommend that anyone planning to attend G.I.R.L. 2020 should prepare to be exhausted! We packed SOOO many activities into a short five days, but it was so worthwhile.”  -CV