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5 Things to Do with Cookie Boxes!

It happens every year. The cookie sale ends and you’re left wondering what to do with your hundreds of empty cases and leftover cookie boxes. Here are some of our favorite ideas to cut down on landfill waste and have a little fun with cardboard!

1. Build a Box Maze! Put the girls’ engineering and ingenuity to use with a box maze challenge. Collect cookie cases (and other size boxes) from your service unit and have the older girls create a maze. Then let the younger girls go through and see who can navigate the maze the fastest. This would make an awesome service unit event or larger bridging activity. You can even make a maze for your pets like the man in this video did. Your only limit is your creativity (and storage space)!

2. Create Journals and Scrapbooks. Girls love to share their activities by doodling pictures, writing, collecting memories, and share their world with their favorite adults. Before a trip or at the beginning of the troop year have the girls make journal covers out of their favorite cookie boxes and at the end of the year let them put together a scrapbook to record all the fun they had. Need more ideas? Pinterest is full of crafts and other upcycling ideas.

Thin mint journalscrapbook

3. Make Cardboard Fire Starters! Cooking over a fire is just as big a part of the Girl Scout tradition as selling cookies. What better way to recycle your old cookie cases than to make them part of the outdoor cooking experience? Check out this Venture site for more Firestarters and use the wax soaked corrugated cardboard recipe for your next campfire.

4. Create Charms. Girls love bracelets and beads and what better way to commemorate the end of a sale than by making a cookie box bead to add to their favorite charm bracelet. Here’s a video tutorial on the process.

5. Build a Solar Oven. Help girls explore alternative energy sources by harnessing the power of the sun to make a creative snack. Never built one before? Here are Cardboard Box Solar Oven Instructions as well as some great recipes.

And for those of you who want more ideas, here are 31 things you can make with a cardboard box that will blow your kids’ minds! So what are you waiting for? Grab some boxes, your troop, and start building your own cardboard creations today.

Girl Scout Family Events in 2015!

Girl Scouts and families go together like the chicken and the egg. You need both or the future is totally chicken-less.  Families heft cookie cases, help with troop activities, and provide the support that makes our mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character a reality. Girl Scout families, we salute you and invite you to join the fun! Check out these exciting and engaging family activities for 2015.

1. Family Nights at Camp! Bring the entire family to camp at Camp Rolling Hills (Pleasant Hill, OH) or Woodhaven Program Center (Lima, OH)! This relaxing event allows Girl Scouts and their families to explore camp and try new things together like twilight hikes, critter hunts, crafts, games, star gazing and songs around the campfire. And of course there will be scrumptious s’mores before the night is through. Rolling Hills is Friday April 24th and Woodhaven is Friday May 8th, 6pm-10pm. Don’t forget to reserve your family’s spots on Ebiz before registration closes on April 23rd!

 2. Baseball Games! Grab your favorite ball cap and take the family out to the ball game. We have Girl Scout nights with discount tickets available at Dayton Dragons, Toledo Mud Hens and even a Girl Scouts Give Back Night at the Cincinnati Reds where part of the ticket price supports our organization. The Dayton Dragons,  Toledo Mudhens, and Cincinnati’s Florence Freedoms also have troop camping options where girls can sleep in tents on the field!

3. Cedar Point and Kings Island! Take the family to an amusement park this summer with discounted tickets for Girl Scouts. Reserve your tickets for Girl Scout Day at Cedar Point on June 17th, 2015 and Kings Island on June 20, 2015 (registration details coming soon).

4. Theater! Through partnerships with area theaters, Girl Scout families can receive discount tickets to some amazing shows. Check out the Victoria Theatre Association in Dayton’s upcoming performances and make sure your family opts-in to our monthly newsletter Enews for information on upcoming events with partners like Broadway Cincinnati and others. Not sure if you’ve opted-in to emails from us? Contact the customer care line at 1-888-350-5090 for more information.

7 Reasons to Work at Summer Camp

Summer is here and we’re in the midst of hiring summer camp staff. Over half a million college students will trade in their student ID for a camp counselor t-shirt this summer. Be one of those millions, apply for one of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio’s open positions HEREThere are so many good reasons to work at camp and here are some of our favorites. 

1. You love the outdoors and want to share that love with others. Even perhaps with One Direction, who clearly need an outdoor skills course like now! Even if you only like the outdoors, we have a wide range of positions that will allow you to utilize your skills like sports specialist, travel manager, lifeguard and many others. And we promise our camp facilities are better built than Louis’ teepee.

2. You need a drastic detox from your digital world addiction. Admit it, there’s a very real possibility that you could spend your entire summer playing candy crush if you don’t find a job that forces you to put down the computer/phone and leave the house.

3. Adventure is your middle name. Okay this is untrue for most of us who have middle names like Elizabeth and Jo but we can all use a little adventure in our lives, right? Camp is a great place for campers and counselors to try new things like canoeing, challenge courses, and night hikes.

4. You need more friends. Or maybe just new friends. Camp counselors come from all over the country (and sometimes the world) and our counselors will tell you that the bonds formed at camp last a lifetime. We promise group hugs are optional.

5. You need to save money this summer. We understand, saving money is difficult. That’s why working at a camp is a perfect way to save. It’s amazing the money you won’t spend when your job covers living expenses, food, and has limited opportunities for unplanned shopping sprees.

6. You want to change the world, one child at a time. Younger children need adults in their lives who believe in them. Counselors can be the best cheerleaders (and heroes) a child will have at camp. Whether it’s encouraging her to climb to new heights on the climbing wall or giving her a hug when she’s homesick, staff make a difference that lasts a lifetime.

7You have skills that must be shared! Camp brings out all kinds of hidden talents and skills. Maybe you have an inner diva and a song book full of repeat chants bursting to come out. Or wrangling kids into an impromptu game of capture the flag sounds like you’re kind of organizational challenge. If you don’t have those skills but you’re good at communicating with children, have a positive attitude and a willingness to try new things, camp can help you build your leadership skills and your resume. Don’t believe us? Check out these 10 Reasons Why Businesses Should Hire Former Camp Counselors.

If all of the reasons above sound like you, we want you for our camp staff! Check out our available positions and apply today. Volunteers and blog followers please share this with people you know who would make excellent counselors and encourage them to try camp for their summer job. Let’s make 2015 the best camp season yet!

Tripping in 2015!

Spring is finally here and with it excellent traveling weather. And you know what that means? It’s time for troop trips! While helping the girls plan and following these Six Steps to your Next Troop Adventure remember that our process for trip approval has changed. Here’s what you need to know before you go:

1. Notify us of the trip– we need to know when you go if you’re planning a day trip or overnight over 100 miles from your regular meeting location or participating in a high-risk activity. The exception to the rule is if you’ve reserved one of our properties or registered for a council program event. How do you notify us? It’s simple. Just fill out the Troop Trip and Activity Notification Form online a month ahead for day trips, overnights of 1-4 nights, or high risk activities and 6 months ahead of the trip date for trips lasting 5 or more nights and international trips.

2. Automatic approval if trained and notified for trips less than 5 nights or non-international– You asked for it to be faster and we heard you. Now volunteers who have completed the home study Troop Trip and Overnight Planning Manual and have notified us of the trip are automatically approved! If your trip is 5 nights or more or you’ll be traveling internationally you’ll be contacted by staff when you submit your trip notification form about extra forms or information needed for trip approval.

Not sure where to go? Here are a few of our more Popular Troop Trip Destinations and Getaways for troops and individual girls. So what are you waiting for? Gather your girls and start planning your next trip!

Announcing the New Outdoor Explorer Badges!

After months of anticipation the new Outdoor Explorer badges have been announced and our outdoor staff and community partners are so excited to start helping girls earn these badges in fall 2015. Here are the new badge for each age level and some of the program events for the 2015-2016 troop year that can help your girls earn these badges:

  • Brownie Outdoor Adventurer: this will be a sampler of outdoor activities that will entice girls to love the outdoors. That’s all we know for now, but we’re just as excited as you to see what becoming an outdoor adventurer looks like!
  • Junior Horseback Riding: three cheers for this old troop favorite. We have community partners who offer riding experiences that we hope you’ll use such as Old Stone Riding Center-Hamilton, Marmon Valley Farms– Zanesfield, and Riders Unlimited-Oak Harbor. Check our Community Partners list for more options.
  • Cadette Archery: another favorite Girl Scout tradition! The outdoor staff offer multiple archery sessions every year. Troops can register for them on Ebiz. Or use community partners, like Indian Lake Outfitters-Russells Point or AJ Outdoors-Toledo, who can help your girls conquer this skill.
  • Senior Paddling (paddle sports such as kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddle boarding): all the many ways to paddle your way through our waterways are now a badge! Take Canoeing at Camp Whip Poor Will (check Ebiz in fall), test the waters at resident camp, or find a community partner (some local parks departments offer canoeing/kayaking opportunities) to explore the many options.
  • Ambassador Ultimate Recreation Challenge: this will be five different challenges that cover the gamut of outdoor activities and will include a local area challenge. We’re just as excited as you to find out more details about this badge and find ways to challenge our ambassadors in the outdoors.

The badges and their full activity descriptions will be available in our shops in fall 2015 so be sure to share with your girls and start planning your next outdoor adventure. Voting is taking place now on what the badges look like so don’t forget to have girls cast their votes! It’s going to be a great year for exploring the outdoors!

Kickin’ Off Girl Scout Week Gold Style!

Happy Girl Scout week! Today we honored 25 girls from across Western Ohio who achieved the highest honor in Girl Scouting-the Gold Award! This prestigious award challenged each girl to change the world—or at least her corner of it, by identifying a community problem and taking action to help solve or lessen the problem not only in the short term, but for years into the future.

In a ceremony featuring Hope Taft, former first lady of Ohio, as the keynote speaker and attended by the award recipients, their families, friends, and dignitaries from across our regions these exceptional girls were recognized for their achievements at the Schuster Performing Arts Center Wintergarden in Dayton, OH on March 8th, 2015.

Gold Award 2015 2The girls’ projects and the need they addressed were as diverse as the interests and communities that each girl represents, but each project challenged the girls to become leaders by collaborating with organizations and individuals in their communities, recruiting and training volunteers, creating a lasting change in their community through a sustainable project, and educating others on this community need. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating their immense achievement and wishing them well in all of their future endeavors.

Gold Award Recipients of 2015, we salute you! Next year will be the 100th anniversary of this prestigious award. We can’t wait to see what amazing projects the 2016 Gold girls have in store for us.

10 Reasons to Buy Girl Scout Cookies

1. You think the business world needs more women entrepreneurs. Girl Scouts, and the 5 Essential Skills learned during the cookie sale, is building tomorrow’s business leaders. 52 percent of today’s female business owners were Girl Scouts. Pretty amazing, huh?


2. You need a reason to celebrate. Cookies only come once a year and THAT TIME IS NOW! We recommend buying multiples of your favorite kinds and stashing them in your best Christmas present hiding spot so your spouse and children don’t eat them all in a day. Use the Cookie Locator App to find cookies near you.


3. You want girls to be inspired to dream big and work hard to achieve goals. During the sale girls set goals for their cookie business. Every time a girl achieves her goal, she’s inspired to reach higher and dream bigger for her next goal whether it’s being her troop’s top seller or winning a national contest for Inventing a Prosthetic Hand.

4. If you buy too many you can use them to make earrings. Maybe you’ll set a trend and get to bask in all of the compliments from other savvy fashionistas.

5. Nine year-olds need to learn how to budget too! In a recent study the Girl Scout Research Institute found that 90% of girls and their parents said it was important for girls to learn how to manage money. Through the Girl Scout cookie program and management of their troop finances, girls are learning how to budget and be good stewards of their resources.

6. They’re a great reason to indulge your inner hoarder. Buy a freezer, fill it with your favorites. That way when everyone else is going through cookie withdrawal, you can revel in your cookie stockpile.

7. You love women leaders, no matter the genre.  Sandra Day O’Connor and Hilary Clinton. Taylor Swift and Katie Couric. Sally Ride and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.  Every woman astronaut that’s ever flown in space. More than two-thirds of the women serving in Congress. These are our alumnae. All told, the Girl Scouts claim 64% of today’s women leaders—civic, athletic corporate, political, arts and sciences— as our own.

8. They’re perfect for sharing. Thin mints and trefoils even come in handy individual serving sizes: a sleeve for you, a sleeve for me.

 9. If you buy something for a good cause, the calories don’t count. Okay that’s not true, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if it was? For those who have food allergies, are counting calories, or are not cookie eaters you can still support the girl’s cookie business by purchasing cookies for Operation Cookies.  Girls donate these cookies to local organizations or Hero’s in Action who send cookies to the men and women serving in the military. Send a Thin Mint to a soldier overseas. You’ll make their day without adding a single pound to your waistline.


10. You believe in girls! Girls are the leaders of tomorrow and they will make a difference in our world. When you buy a box of cookies, you are helping girls all over the world learn new skills & gain confidence in themselves.


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