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Sneak Peak: Fall 2015 Program Events

Calling all adventurers: the school year may be winding down but it’s never too early to get excited about your NEXT Girl Scout adventure. Have you ever wanted to test your mettle against a friendly foe with a fencing foil? Find your dream job? Learn what to do when you swamp your canoe? This is your chance! We’ve got a wide array of program events ready to kick off another amazing year, Girl Scout style! Right now we’ve got a sneak peak of our fall program events on our Event Calendar. Find your favorite now and on June 3rd, 2015 when event registration opens on Ebiz to all members who early bird registered for the 2015-2016 membership year, grab your spot before its gone.

While there are too many programs at too many council properties to mention them all, here are 12 upcoming programs we’re excited to offer this fall:Camp Myeerah Canoes 2009

  • Intro to Canoeing: Juniors and Cadettes work on basic canoeing skills such as safety, getting in and out of the canoe, paddle strokes and more. September 20, 2015 at Camp Whip Poor Will, Morrow.
  • The B.I.G. Event: The B.I.G. (Believe in Girls) Event will be an all day celebration that promotes everything that is cool about being a girl. There are hundreds of activity booths for all ages, exhibitors, vendors, programming areas and plenty of fun. Registration for this event opens on May 1, 2015! September 26, 2015 at Bowling Green State University.
  • Sow What Journey Retreat: Jump start your year with the Senior Sow What Journey and be on your way to the Gold Award! Meet girls from across the Council and together ponder land use and global food issues. Spend the weekend earning components of the Sow What Journey and prepare a Take Action project. October 2-4, 2015 at Camp Whip Poor Will, Morrow. Cadettes and Ambassadors plan ahead for 2016 aMAZE and Bliss Journey Retreats at Camp Libbey (Cadette) and Rollings Hills (Ambassador).
  • Program Aide Extravaganza: Join us Cadettes as we learn about upcoming Program Aide opportunities at council events and try out some of the activities from such as creating culinary masterpieces at our Chef programs, exploring engineering through team projects from Junior Inventor, and other fun activities. October 3, 2015 at Woodhaven Program Center, Lima.
  • Father/Daughter Adventure Day: Come and join the fun as you explore the woods, create nature projects, learn outdoor skills, hone your slingshot skills and spend the whole day with that special man in your life. Bring your dad or another adult male role model to spend the day exploring all the activities together-all ages welcome! October 17, 2015 at Camp Whip Poor Will, Morrow.
  • Target Sports Extreme: CSAs if you are ready to try something new, Target Sports Extreme is for you! Get a chance to chuck a tomahawk and shoot paintball slingshots at targets. Work with your team of warriors to win Camp Libbey’s fiercest target competition.  October 24, 2015 at Camp Libbey, Defiance.
  • Adventuring with Maps Overnight: Brownies troops and up participating in an Adventuring with Maps session on either Saturday or Sunday have the option to spend the night in Ittmann Lodge at Camp Stonybrook.  November 7, 2015 at Camp Stonybrook, Waynesville.Bubbles
  • Junior Inventor: Join us as we explore the world of engineering where girls will work together as a team to create the perfect bubble solution, wand, and a mini-commercial to market their product, then build a coaster car that uses gravity to propel it across the floor as they explore what it’s like to be a product designer.  November 7, 2015 at Woodhaven Program Center, Lima.
  • A Taste of Fencing: CSAs this is your chance to experience the sport of fencing. Suit up and you’re ready for some footwork and hand technique: on-guard position, advance, retreat, lunge and parry – and soon you’ll know what to do when you hear the words “En garde”! November 14, 2015 at Woodhaven Program Center, Lima.
  • Dream Jobs: Juniors and Cadettes get a glimpse of some of the exciting careers paths you can choose in life through this workshop on November 14, 2015 at Lourdes University, Sylvania. Join with college professors and students to do hands-on activities in the planetarium, run tests in the nursing lab, perform water experiments in the Learning Lab, and more.
  • Kappa Delta International Girls Day: Brownies and up, Kappa Delta Sorority invites you to an International Girls Day Celebration, designed to teach young girls the importance of having confidence. The celebration recognizes the spirit of girls and encourages girls to make their dreams a reality. November 21, 2015 at the Girl Scout Center, Dayton or November 14, 2015 at the University of Cincinnati.

These are just a small taste of the many wonderful and sometimes wacky program events that are available this fall. Further information about all of the program events we offer can be found in the Program Event Guide available at fall Kick-Off events and at fall Service Unit meetings. Don’t miss out, register for fall events on June 3, 2015. Then don’t forget to mark your calendar for November 2015 when registration opens for winter and spring program events.

5 Reasons To Send Your Kid to Girl Scout Camp!

As any advocate for summer camp will tell you, the benefits of camp are legion. From fostering independence to building self-esteem, there so many skills a child develops in a camp environment that we could go on for days about its benefits (with the research to back it up). Don’t believe us? Check out this study on the Psychological Benefits of Camp from the American Camp Association. Still not sure if your daughter needs camp this year? Here are just a few of our favorite reasons why parents send their child to our camps.

1. She needs a nature reboot. 

Many children today spend minimal time outdoors resulting in what a popular book, Last Child In the Woods by Richard Louv, calls a “nature deficit”. Camp can reconnect girls with the natural world as they discover the wonder of a chorus of bullfrogs on a starry night or spotting a woodpecker while hiking through the woods on a sunny day.

2. She’s in desperate need of a mirror (and boy) detox!

Girl Scout camp allows girls to relax and try new things in an environment free from the social pressures and anxieties surrounding them at school. It’s amazing how much their self-confidence can grow when girls get to spend time not worrying if Billy likes their new hairdo or what the queen bee at school thinks of their shoes.

 3. She needs a non-electronic hobby. 

Our camps are built around themes that interest girls and provide them with the right instruction, equipment and facilities to enhance their sports abilities, artistic talents, and their adventure skills without the distraction of constantly updating their status to facebook, instagram, or twitter. The sheer variety of activities offered at camp makes it easy for kids to discover and develop what they like to do outside the cyber world.

 4. She needs to be challenged!

According to our own research Girl Scouts helps girls learn not to avoid things that are hard for them, and this makes them better students. Girls who are not challenge seekers—who tend to “avoid doing things that are hard for me”—are less likely to feel scholastically competent and academically engaged. Cooperative learning and girl-led experiences in Girl Scouts help girls become stronger challenge seekers.

5. She needs to know how strong she really is. 

Learning how to paddle a canoe, honing archery skills, or simply being in a new place and having to make new friends helps a girl realize how capable she is to learn and grow. Camp is the perfect place for girls to practice making decisions for themselves.

Convinced? We certainly hope so. Check out our summer camp options  and send your child off on an adventure this summer with Girl Scouts! Financial assistance is available, please contact the outdoor program department at your regional Girl Scout office for more information on specific camp sessions.

Leveling Up with Girl Scouts: Bridging Ceremonies and Early Bird

“Walking across that short wooden bridge as a 5th grader with my parents and friends watching and finally becoming a Cadette is one of my proudest Girl Scout memories. That bridge seemed so long (it was really only about 4 feet) and I felt like I’d grown up so much just by crossing it.” – Regina, a Girl Scout alumna and current volunteer.

Milestones in scouting like bridging ceremonies are important touchstones for girls to celebrate their accomplishments and highlight their future adventures. Plus, who doesn’t love a little recognition in their life? While there are specific bridging requirements for earning each age level’s award the ceremonies themselves can be as unique or traditional as the girls wish. As long as the ceremony is personal, meaningful, and fun (if you’re looking for ideas we suggest checking out our post 5 Tips to Make Bridging Memorable) you’ve created an experience girls will cherish for years to come.

As your troop bridges to a new level in Girl Scouts don’t forget registering early (between May 1 and June 30, 2015) for the next troop year has some awesome benefits for both girls and adults. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Girls get the Early Bird patch. And we all know how much girls love (free) patches!
  • Free leader registration! Troops that register at least 5 girls and 1 adult will receive a free (limit 1) adult registration.
  • An extra nickel per box of cookies! Troops that register at least 5 girls and 2 approved adults by June 30, 2015 and participate in the fall sale receive an extra 5 cents for every box of cookies they sell.
  • First access to fall program event registration. A preview of next year’s program events will be available May 1st, 2015 on our website and early bird girls can start registering for them on June 3rd, 2015.
  • No chasing down registrations next fall. We all know how busy fall gets with school starting, fall sports, and getting back into the swing of things. Why not make it easier on yourself and have your Girl Scout paperwork all ready to go? 
  • Toolkit Access on May 1. The toolkit is a new online resource that helps with meeting planning, badge requirements, and organizing the troop year. Check out the YouTube video below for a quick tutorial on how this cool new resource will work.

Need more information on Western Ohio’s early bird registration and incentives? Check out our Early Bird Flier and set your calendar for May 1st to renew your troop’s registration!



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 (username KIGIRLSCOUTS and password COOKIES).

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!


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