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Got Camp?

It’s cookie sale time and with all of the craziness it’s easy to forget that a box of cookies equals more than headaches and troop proceeds. Every box  has a mission: to help girls grow.  A cookie can become a service project at the local animal shelter,  a trip to Savannah to see the birthplace of our founder, or an awesome experience girls will cherish for a lifetime. What is our alumnae’s favorite Girl Scout experience? CAMP! Current Girl Scouts and alumnae rate camping as their number one most memorable Girl Scout activity and with all of the amazing benefits of camp it’s a formula for success that for generations has been the optimal way for girls to explore leadership, build skills, and develop a deep appreciation for nature. So the next time you chow down on a box of Thin Mints, I want you to imagine over 100 years worth of girls gathered around a fire under the stars singing your favorite camp song. Can you hear the generations singing? Now add your own Girl Scout’s voice to that song. Let’s keep the legacy going and make sure that the current generation of girls enjoy our number one amazing memory maker. Let’s help cookies equal camp by sending your Girl Scout to camp this year.

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Whether she’s interested in archery, paint ball sling shots, watercrafts, bugs, caving, ziplines, or adventure trips, she’ll have a great summer at Girl Scout camp. There are so many options to choose from that can fit nearly every busy summer schedule. Registration is opening on January 28th on Ebiz so start exploring the options on our Camp tab today. We have a variety of camps to choose from, ranging from week long adventures at Summer Resident CampDay Camps, and One Day and Overnight options. Girls can come by themselves, with a friend, or bring the whole troop to Troop Adventure Camp. So what are you waiting for? Continue the legacy and help your scout choose her next adventure at Camp today!

I Can't Wait to Attend Camp

Girl Scouts and the Peace First Prize

Today celebrates the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Our post from last year describes the legacy of diversity and inclusion that has been a cornerstone of our organization. To learn more about it, and how to honor this legacy with your girls, check out the post Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

For the peacemakers out there everywhere, it’s time for the launch of the third annual Peace First Prize, and once again GSUSA has partnered with Peace First to spread the word to councils across the country. The Peace First Prize recognizes young people between the ages of 8–22 for meaningful peacemaking work that creates lasting positive impact in their community, neighborhood, or school. Peace First annually awards five young leaders who have demonstrated compassion, courage, and the power to create collaborative change. Winners will each receive a $25,000 Peace First Fellowship over two years to further their peacemaking work.

Applications and nominations for the Peace First Prize are open from January 5th through March 30th, 2015. Winners will be announced in the fall. Additionally, this year Peace First is aiming to increase the number of nominations and applications in the first month. As an incentive, if you nominate a Girl Scout or a Girl Scout applies by February 6th, you both will be entered into a raffle for a chance to donate $100 to the peacemaking organization of your choice.

Click Here to nominate a Girl Scout candidate for the Peace First Prize today! Whether you are an educator, family member, or friend, you can play a critical role in sharing their story. Keep in mind, when you nominate someone for the Peace First Prize, they must still fill out the Application in order to be considered. Once you submit your nomination, we will send your nominee a message letting them know, along with a link to the application.

For more information about the Prize and what they’re looking for, we encourage you to review the selection criteria or visit our FAQs.

Check out Avalon Theisen of Tampa, FL’s video to see a Girl Scout who previously made it as a finalist for the award:

Beyond the awards, we can all find ways to be advocates for peace. It starts with a small pledge: let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me!

Cookie Question: Can my troop accept credit cards?

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Yes, your troop can opt to accept credit cards at your booth sales!

You’ve probably heard more than once, “I would love to support Girl Scouts, but I only have my card”

By using a credit card processor your troop can eliminate this sales obstacle AND girls get another opportunity to build skills in money management, business ethics, and technology. For some troops this is a great way to reach higher sales goals, provide better customer service, and reach even more customers.

Please keep in mind that using a credit card processor involves fees and troops should evaluate those fees prior to making a decision regarding credit/debit card sales. Troops will be responsible for the setup, tracking, and fees related to their merchant account.

Here are a few popular outside processor companies (please note we are not promoting the use of these processors but simply stating some popular options):

Square: squareup.com
PayPal: paypal.com/webapps/mpp/credit-card-reader

Please do your own research prior to choosing a credit card processor.
Benefits:

Why should your troop consider spending money on a credit card processing option?

  • More proceeds for the troop
  • Customers without cash can now make purchases
  • Girls can reach higher reward levels
  • Instantly improve your troop’s opportunity to increase sales
  • Girls increase their aptitude for technology
  • Credit cards eliminate the risk of counterfeit money and bounced checks

A Testimony from Troop 20327:

“I don’t know how many people walked by our cookie booths and said, ‘Oh, I would if I had some cash.’ Well, let me tell you how easy it is to respond to that—we take credit/debit cards. Last year my Daisy troop started taking cards at booths. It’s very easy to do, takes very little time and energy, and it just may give you a sale you missed because of a lack of ‘cash.’

I know some of you are asking what the catch is, and I’ll tell you. There is a small fee every time you swipe or manually enter information. Most of you are now asking yourselves, ’Is it worth it?’ Or, ‘What’s the point if I’m losing money?’  There is a small fee associated with each swipe, however, if you would have been missing out on these sales in the first place, the amount you get in proceeds after the fees is still worth it.

I urge everyone to consider this simple, easy way to make a little more money for your troop. It really is easy and I know I had customers who really appreciated not missing out on cookie sales because they didn’t have cash on hand to use at a booth sale. You could even require a 5 package minimum for every credit card swipe helping boost the amount of packages sold!”

 

Girl Scout Traditions: World Thinking Day 2015

Each year on February 22, World Thinking Day, girls honor their sister Girl Guides and Girl Scouts by taking time to give thanks for their international friendships and remember that Girl Scouts of the USA is part of a global community—one of nearly 150 countries that are members of the  World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). Why do we do this? Click here for the History of the day.

The theme for World Thinking Day 2015 is:

peace through partnerships

 This year, WAGGGS is not selecting “focus countries” for World Thinking Day-rather they’re asking every group to use this year’s occasion to learn about the different WAGGGS regions. The five WAGGGS regions are: Africa, Arab Region, Asia/Pacific, Europe, and Western Hemisphere.

Why are we talking about this in January? To help you plan, of course! Here are some Thinking Day celebration ideas. Take them back to the girls and let’s see how “global” we can make 2015.

  • Earn the World Thinking Day Award by completing the Activities for your age level.
  • Share your Guiding Light: Light a candle, or get creative and use the sun, your laptop, a lantern, the flashlight on your phone, a spark from two pieces of flint, or even a campfire. Take a selfie, upload it with a message to share with this worldwide movement, and challenge someone else or a whole country to do the same! Share your picture using the #guidinglight hashtag.Tag: @girlscouts, @wagggs_world.
  • See the world through food: make February the month of food exploration. Ask girls and their parents to sign up to bring a snack from a different country like middle eastern salad, french eclairscharmoula from Morocco or many more recipes. Each girl can tell the group something she learned about the country her snack is from as well.
  • Connect with your local service team and find out if there is a Thinking Day Event being planned in your area. If not see what other troops would be interested in collaborating on a fun day of global exploration.
  • Go beyond thinking and start doing by earning the Global Action Award for your age level.

Need more ideas? There are many more ways to go about Planning a Global Event. Ask the girls what they’d like or who they know that’s traveled overseas or use Peace Corps Speakers Match to see who lives near you and would love to share. You can explore the world through music, stories, or research a day in the life of a typical girl from another county. Put your thinking caps on, the globe’s the limit!

 

 

Come to the Dark Side, We Have Cookies

The cookies are coming! Our council cookie sale officially begins on January 9th, 2015. Are you excited? We are! Here are some great resources and tips to help make your cookie sale the best one yet:

This sale season let’s help our girls reach for their dreams like Katie did. Don’t forget to attend Samoas 40th Birthday Bash on January 10th, 2015. May the cookies be with you!

Why We Do What We Do

As 2014 comes to a close, we’re taking a moment to remember why Girl Scouts exists and why we (volunteers, parents, community partners, and staff) do what we do. We do it:

So girls like Sam can grow from a shy Daisy glued to her mother’s side to a confident Senior prepared to join an adventure at Space Academy with Girl Scout Destinations where she knows not a soul and is excited to meet new people and follow her dreams.

Sam at GS Destinations

To open up the possibilities for girls like Heidi (photo from Robots, Robots, Robots-Lima event), so they can see how their creative LEGO building skills can become a lifelong passion with a STEM career.

Heidi-Techbridge

And to be humbled when girls like Camille change the world one community at a time using the courage, confidence, and character they gained from Girl Scouts as they pursue our Highest Awards, are named a 2014 Young Woman of Distinction by GSUSA and grow into women who make us proud to be a part of the Girl Scout movement. Curious about her Gold project? Click here!

Camille at Convention

Girls of Western Ohio, YOU AMAZE US and we cannot wait to help lead you through another year of discovery, wonder, and growth!

 

Happy Holidays from Girl Scouts of Western Ohio

From all of us to all of you, happy holidays and a very merry new year! Tis the season for spreading holiday cheer. So how is your Girl Scout Troop spreading cheer this holiday season? Girl Scouts of the USA are excited to hear from you for this season’s #GirlScoutsGiveBack campaign. They want  to showcase stories of how Girl Scouts are giving back this season. Whether you’re a girl, a troop leader, or a parent, your stories matter—so send them in!

Send all stories (with photos attached) to socialmedia@girlscouts.org for a chance to be featured on GSUSA’s Facebook page. Let’s show the nation what Western Ohio Girl Scouts are doing to spread joy this holiday season!

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