side menu icon
gshom blog

The GSHOM Blog

October 2020

October 2, 2020
Grant Award from the Midland Area Community Foundation

We are pleased to announce that the organization has received grant support for $5,878 grant from the Midland Area Community Foundation (MACF).  Due to the unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has had on the nonprofit community, the MACF adjusted a recent grant cycle to support the operational needs of organizations.  The grant funds were awarded from the MACF Community Investment fund and the COVID-19 Relief fund.  The COVID-19 Relief fund is a partnership between MACF and the United Way of Midland County.

Funds will support GSHOM’s financial assistance program, which make scholarships for Girl Scout membership dues, program and camp registration, and program books and uniforms available to Midland girls whose families are facing financial challenges resulting from COVID-19.  Families finding themselves in this situation are apt to exclude the cost of a Girl Scout membership from their budget in an effort to meet basic needs.  For girls, this means a loss of access to the support and safety of a girls-only environment, and a loss of the validation girls receive for their ambitions to lead and succeed.  It also means the loss of the chance to build the skills and competencies that build academic, professional and life success—outcomes that complement MACF’s focus area of Developing Our Talent. 

“We’re so very grateful to the Midland Area Community Foundation,” states GSHOM CEO Jan Barker.  “Thanks to their support, girls can continue to experience all the benefits of Girl Scouting while relieving a demand on the already-strapped family budget.”

Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, GSHOM looks forward to a Girl Scout year that brings girls together (whether virtually or safely in-person) to connect with each other, learn from each other and from caring adults, and to take action to make Midland County communities more vibrant and welcoming than ever.

About the Midland Area Community Foundation

On October 2, 1973, twenty-five Midland leaders and volunteers came together to establish the Midland Area Community Foundation. Described as “by the people, for the people,” MACF grew out of the belief that everyone can positively impact their community through philanthropic giving. With a vision of being the catalyst and recognized leader for community philanthropy, MACF is committed to achieving the mission of providing philanthropic leadership to strengthen our community by fostering collaboration and giving today and in the future.

Over the past four decades, many dreams have become realities. Area treasures like the Tridge, the Fun Zone, the Rail Trail, and the Santa House are all indebted to MACF investment and promotion. Celebrations like RiverDays and the courthouse lighting have brought people together. Over a hundred nonprofit organizations have been able to continue their missions, and thousands of students have received the financial help they needed to further their educations. Putting their money together, donors have given the community greater vibrancy as their gifts have enriched and improved quality of life.

For more information about the Midland Area Community Foundation, contact Alysia Christy at achristy@midlandfoundation.org

August 2020

August 7, 2020: Ann Arbor Regional Center Update
August 7, 2020
Ann Arbor Regional Center Update

In October of 2019, Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan announced the sale of the former Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor Regional Center. We are excited to share that we have moved into our new temporary space!

New Address: Ann Arbor Regional Center!
1671 Plymouth Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48105


While all of our regional centers are still closed to the public due to COVID-19, we will be available for curbside pick-up in Ann Arbor beginning Monday, August 10. Please note: You must call the Help Desk at 1-800-497-2688 or email helpdesk@gshom.org ahead of time and set up a date and time to arrange the curbside pick-up. 

We are still searching for our permanent home in the Ann Arbor Region, but this will serve as our home until we find the perfect space for all of our Girl Scout needs. We look forward to spending time with you in our new space as we work together to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. 

March 2020

March 5, 2020: Coronavirus Statement
March 5, 2020
Coronavirus Statement

At Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, there is nothing we take more seriously than the safety and wellbeing of our girls, volunteers, and staff. Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan will take all possible and appropriate measures to ensure girls continue to have safe, fun, one-of-a-kind experiences at Girl Scouts. As we closely monitor the coronavirus situation, it is crucial that we role model preventative safety and critical thinking for our girls. Our Regional Centers are equipped with cleaning supplies, disinfectants, and hand sanitizer to ensure a safe and healthy experience for everyone.

We are taking the following precautions:

  • Closely monitoring the recommendations and updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Michigan state officials
  • Communicating council-wide as we monitor developments of the virus
  • Encouraging girls, volunteers, and staff to engage in the following prevention measures recommended by health officials:
  1. Washing hands frequently, especially after sneezing, shaking hands/bodily contact with another individual, and before eating. Use soap and water for 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available
  2. Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  3. Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  4. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, like your phone or computer
  5. Cover the nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing then throw the tissue in the trash, or as a last resort cough into the elbow
  6. Stay home when you are not feeling well
  7. Get plenty of sleep, good nutrition, stress-relief, and exercise – a healthy body is the best defense against illness
  • Increasing cleaning and sanitization at all GSHOM properties

This situation can serve as an example of how Girl Scouts discuss and analyze the conditions of a circumstance and teach girls to understand the steps in decision-making and problem-solving. As Girl Scouts, we want our girls to learn the power of critical thinking skills, and the importance of adapting to specific circumstances. A calm, thoughtful dialog around and reaction to this issue allows us the chance to further model the 15 Outcomes of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience that are so important to girls’ development and future success.

This situation is also an example of the power of scientific knowledge and the importance of teaching girls how to find high quality, research-based information. Talking with girls about situations like this encourages them to think critically, and could inspire a girl to pursue her passion of science, medicine, or research.

When discussing coronavirus with girls, act with confidence so that she feels reassured. Ask how she feels without assuming that she is scared. Answer questions about things that she is observing, but do not be afraid to admit that you don’t know the answer. Instead, teach her how to find and assess information sources for their validity and trustworthiness. Talk with her about the recommended prevention measures mentioned above. Remind her that you are there to support her, and that you will continue this conversation as the situation evolves.

Keep in mind the three processes of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience: girl-led, cooperative learning, and learning by doing. Below, we’ve outlined some steps to take when discussing this with your girls and families. Please remember to involve your girls in the critical thinking process so they can develop their skills and experience firsthand the value and importance they contribute in the decision-making process. Girl-led decision-making gives girls the chance to practice critical thinking skills and learn to maintain grace and composure during a time of uncertainty. Our job as leaders is to gently walk behind them to guide and encourage their engagement and thinking around these real-life scenarios.

Decision-Making Process

  • Step 1: Identify the situation. Realize the need to have a discussion and determine how to conduct a girl-led, cooperative learning dialog around the issue.
  • Step 2: Create a trusting environment for participants to identify and share their feelings about the situation.
  • Step 3: Gather relevant information and facts.
  • Step 4: Identify the alternatives and solutions to the problem.
  • tep 5:  Weigh the evidence and all  relevant data.
  • Step 6: Engage the group in dialog on how the facts impacted understanding of the issue, created clarity and thus impacted their feelings around the issue
  • Step 7: With the group, choose among alternatives and cooperatively decide on a course of action and the steps needed to achieve results.
  • Step 8: Decide cooperatively which members in the group will take action, follow up, and assist in details.
  • Step 9: Review your decision & its consequences.
  • Step 10:  Discuss which competencies the girls learned. Have each girl review the 15 outcomes sheet to discover what they learned and share with the group.

These moments give us the chance to involve girls in a way that builds many of these outcomes, further assuring the development of their future leadership skills.

March 10 , 2020: Marshall Community Foundation prepares girls for transition to middle school
March 10, 2020
Marshall Community Foundation prepares girls for transition to middle school

Thanks to a grant from the Marshall Community Foundation, 5th grade girls in the Marshall Public School District will have a new program available to them, focused on easing the transition from elementary to middle school.

Moving from elementary to middle school is a challenging and uncertain time for everyone, but especially for young women. According to one study, girls are more likely than boys of the same age to report feeling anxious around being lost, being bullied, being pressured to engage in risk behaviors, and meeting academic challenges upon entering middle school (Bailey et al. 2015).

In order to address these and other fears, Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan has designed a multi-week curriculum targeted at girls in 5th grade. Over the course of the program, girls will meet with other 5th graders in the district, as well as older girls, to discuss their concerns while building a positive peer support network. The curriculum will address items like self-esteem and body image, cliques, and stress management. This program will run for six weeks beginning in March. The program will conclude with an overnight retreat at Girl Scouts Camp Merrie Woode.

“This grant will allow us to meet a unique need in the Marshall community that many of our Girl Scouts have expressed concern over. Entering middle school is a tough time for girls, with many of them dealing with self-esteem issues, changing friendship dynamics, and a new and uncomfortable environment. We want to help ease these tensions so that girls can live up to their full potential. We are so thankful for the Marshall Community Foundation’s help in making this program a reality,” said Krystal Prince, Membership Specialist for Calhoun County.

Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Through empowering girl-led programs, girls discover their unique talents and abilities, connect with their peers and their communities, and take action to positively impact the world around them. The Girl Scout program welcomes girls grades K-12 of all races, ethnicities, backgrounds, beliefs, and orientations.

The Marshall Community Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving quality of life in Marshall, and throughout Calhoun County. The Foundation holds permanently endowed funds from a range of donors, and serves as a conduit for special projects and the distribution of grants in support of innovative programs like this one. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.marshallcf.org.

This program is available to all 5th grade girls from Marshall and Albion. By participating, girls will have the benefit of being registered as Girl Scouts. For more information about this project, or to get your girl involved, contact Krystal Prince at (269) 270-4902. 

March 12, 2020: Coronavirus Statement Update
March 12, 2020
Coronavirus Statement Update

At Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, there is nothing we take more seriously than the safety and well-being of our girls, volunteers, and staff. Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan will take all possible and appropriate measures to ensure girls continue to have safe, fun, one-of-a-kind experiences at Girl Scouts. Based on the recommendations of the Governor, we are rescheduling all events larger than 100 people through April 9th. We will continue to monitor state-wide and county-by-county and we will communicate on an ongoing basis. Updates regarding specific events and programs will be sent via email to any registrants. Any updates will be posted on Facebook, our blog, and via email.

Cookie Booths can continue at the judgment of the Troop Leaders and parents. We encourage volunteers and parents to engage girls in the decision-making process regarding cookie booths and all other troop activities, as the decision may vary from one region to another. Remember to consider the science-based information available during this decision-making process.

Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan Camps operate under a health services policy that is reviewed regularly by a licensed pediatrician. As we do at all summer camp programs, we are offering health screenings for participants as they enter camp as an additional precaution at the group’s request.

Communication with Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan is crucial so that we can navigate the situation together. During this process, we are engaging in cooperative learning together, which is something we include in our Girl Scout Leadership Experience.

As a reminder, please stay home if you are sick or believe you have come into contact with a sick person, and make handwashing with soap and water for 20 seconds a priority. Use disinfecting wipes such as Clorox and Lysol, and use sanitizer when hand washing is not an option. Individuals at risk of severe illness should stay at home and keep away from others who are sick. Encourage girls not to touch their faces or each other for the time being. This means that Troop Leaders should be flexible about traditions such as the Friendship Circle to reduce person-to-person contact.

This is when Girl Scouts shines. During a potentially negative event, we make the most of it by educating girls around proper hand-washing procedures, what surgeons do with surgical scrubs, how to learn about viruses and the science behind the situation at hand, and more. We have a recipe for hand sanitizer that is an opportunity for girls to learn about chemistry, recipes, and self-reliance. We will continue to monitor and update as needed. We’ve included an educational, fun flyer for your convenience. If you have questions, please refer to the State of Michigan’s website regarding coronavirus. Please direct all inquiries to Help Desk at 1-800-497-2688 or HelpDesk@gshom.org.

Thank you for your cooperation, partnership, and understanding during this time.

March 13, 2020: Updated Statement Regarding Coronavirus
March 13, 2020
Updated Statement Regarding Coronavirus

At Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, there is nothing we take more seriously than the safety and well-being of our girls, volunteers, and staff. Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan will take all possible and appropriate measures to ensure girls continue to have safe, fun, and one-of-a-kind experiences at Girl Scouts. Based on the governor’s closure of K-12 Schools effective March 16, we have decided that: cookie booths, Girl Scout camp reservations, and council programs will be suspended effective March 16. We will work with everyone with a property reservation to accommodate any rescheduling. All Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan Regional Centers will be closed beginning Monday, March 16. We will have a small group of staff working at each office to offer support. Girls can deliver cookies, while ensuring minimal contact with their customers. We trust our well-informed, thoughtful leaders to make wise decisions regarding cookie booths this weekend. Our cookie cupboards will be open during regular cupboard hours for cookie returns on Monday, March 16. After that point, cupboards will be open by appointment only until further notice. Feel free to call us to make an appointment.

Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan Camps operate under a health services policy that is reviewed regularly by a licensed pediatrician. As we do at all summer camp programs, we are offering health screenings for participants as they enter camp as an additional precaution at the group’s request.

We are working on resources for girls, parents, and volunteers that include activities and badge work to complete at home while schools are closed. This is when Girl Scouts shines. During a potentially negative event, we make the most of it by educating girls around proper hand-washing procedures, how surgeons do surgical scrubs, learn about viruses and the science behind the situation at hand, and more. We have a recipe for hand sanitizer that is an opportunity for girls to learn about chemistry, recipes, and self-reliance. We included an educational and fun flyer for your convenience.

Communication with Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan is crucial so that we can navigate the situation together. During this process, we are engaging in cooperative learning together, which is something we include in our Girl Scout Leadership Experience.

We will continue to monitor state-wide and county-by-county and we will communicate on an ongoing basis. Updates regarding specific events and programs will be sent via email to any registrants. Any updates will be posted on Facebook, our blog, and will be sent via email. If you have questions, please refer to the State of Michigan’s website regarding coronavirus. Please direct all inquiries to Help Desk at 1-800-497-2688 or HelpDesk@gshom.org.

Thank you for your cooperation, partnership, and understanding during this time.

March 14, 2020: Updated Statement Regarding Coronavirus
March 14, 2020
Updated Statement Regarding Coronavirus

At Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, there is nothing we take more seriously than the safety and well-being of our girls, volunteers, and staff. Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan will take all possible and appropriate measures to ensure girls continue to have safe, fun, one-of-a-kind experiences at Girl Scouts. At this time, based on the guidance of the federal government, it is our recommendation to cancel all in-person Girl Scout activities including troop meetings. We have also made the decision to postpone our Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor Cookie Bake-Off and Junior Weekend at camp, and cancel the Adult Awards Ceremony and Juliette Weekend. As a reminder, all programs scheduled through April 6 are postponed.

All Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan Regional Centers remain closed to the public, but we can offer free shipping from the online Girl Scout Shop, as well as curbside pick-up from our regional centers so that we can meet your Girl Scout shop needs. Girls have put a lot of planning to set goals and we all need to help them achieve them. Our Product Program Team is working diligently to come up with a plan and you’ll get updates soon. Cookie Cupboards are open by appointment only until further notice. Feel free to call us to make an appointment.

We know that people across the world are faced with challenges after so many things of great importance have been postponed or cancelled. Girl Scouts, however, is never cancelled. We view this time as an opportunity to rise to the challenge and make the most of the situation at hand. Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts have been there for every major event the country has faced for over 100 years. It is during these most challenging times that we exhibit the resilience and courage that we instill in girls on a daily basis. This time presents an opportunity to transition our Girl Scout activities to the virtual world, by hosting Troop Meetings online or working on badge requirements at home with parents.

Girls and families will need Girl Scouting more than ever during and after this crisis, and it is vital for us to focus on what matters most in this uncertain time. For 108 years, Girl Scouting has been a vital part of the fabric of this country, helping to prepare millions of girls and women to face adversity with resilience and creativity, innovation and compassion. Nationwide, Girl Scout Councils are committing our collective resources to being one of the assets embedded in this country that can step forward during incredibly stressful times to support families and communities with service in our hearts and optimism in our plans.

 In the days and weeks ahead, we are funneling all our energy into being a resource for all families, not just for those who are current or former members. Please refer to the State of Michigan’s website regarding information about coronavirus. Please direct all inquiries to our amazing Help Desk Team at 1-800-497-2688 or HelpDesk@gshom.org.

Thank you for your cooperation, partnership, and understanding during this time.

January 2020

January 8, 2020: Sale of Camp Oak Hills
January 8, 2020
Sale of Camp Oak Hills

Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan reached an agreement on December 31st, 2019, to sell Camp Oak Hills. We look forward to using the funds from the sale to build reserves and improve the overall financial health of Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan and provide bold programming for girls.

Give her a summer that she’ll never forget. Girls that spend time outside and away from screens reduce anxiety levels, build self-confidence, and create lifelong friendships. Support the dynamic, bold Girl Scout experience by taking advantage of the numerous opportunities that Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan provides for girls.

  • Go troop camping at your Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan camps.
  • Send a girl to overnight camp. Every girl needs to go to overnight camp! Register now at girlscoutcamp.org.
  • Register for Day Camp in Kalamazoo at girlscoutcamp.org.
  • Go to a program found in your Source.

Sending a girl to camp is good for her and supports Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan outdoor programs and camps.  

2019

January - October

October 2019

October 15, 2019: Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor Regional Center Update
October 15, 2019
Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor Regional Center Update

At Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, it is a priority that our resources are always used in the best interest of the girls that we serve. In partnership with our Board of Trustees, we routinely review building improvements at each of our properties and make the best decisions possible with the limited funds available. 

When we first moved to the Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor Regional Center, we came one step closer to realizing the dream of providing girls and volunteers a home for meeting space and programming.  Our Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor Regional Center recently has had increased buyer interest due to its proximity to the interstate as well as the rising market value of this site for potential commercial ventures.  This interest, coupled with the cost of the many improvements needed at the Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor Regional Center, has compelled the Board of Trustees to make the decision to relocate our Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor Regional Center. Profits from the sale of the center will allow us to reinvest in our girls.

While the Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor Regional Center has been a great home to us over the last several years, a new home would allow us to use our resources more wisely by providing a space better suited for the needs of our girls and our organization.

Our Leadership Team is diligently searching for the best-suited alternate site where girls can learn and prosper.  We look forward to the opportunity to find a new home where we can continue our important work of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. 

October 20, 2019: Camp Deer Trails Statement

September 2019

September 20, 2019: EEE Statement
May 1, 2019
Albion Girl Scouts Kick Off!

A new Girl Scout troop in Albion has hit the ground running. Two dozen girls are gaining life-long benefits while they have fun and make new friends.

“These girls at Harrington Elementary in Albion are already gaining important advantages through Girl Scouts,” said Krystal Prince, membership specialist with Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan. “It’s a unique program that gives girls the courage, confidence and character to become leaders, all through activities girls love to do anyway.”

This program is supported by the James C. Kingsley Youth Fund of the Albion Community Foundation.

“We have been doing science days and ‘building healthy friendships’ days,” Prince offered. “To make it fun we made friendship bracelets that represented the 10 parts of the Girl Scout Law.”

Other meetings include a Mega Slime Fest. Girls will have a camp experience and even had a cookie booth in March at Family Fare in Albion.

Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan covers 34 counties in the lower peninsula of Michigan, serving girls from Kindergarten to seniors in high school. They provide camp opportunities for all girls, regardless of Girl Scout membership, and supportive, single-gender environments in which to make friends and try new things.

“People think you have to join Girl Scouts in the fall, that it’s a club that starts and stops at certain times of the year,” Prince added. “It’s always a good time to get involved. We’re offering adventures twelve months a year.”

August 2019

August 15, 2019: Girl Scout Heart of Michigan Kick Off!

May 2019

May 1, 2019: Albion Girl Scout Kick Off!
May 16, 2019: Cookies to Camp

April 2019

April 30, 2019: Adult Awards Keynote
April 30, 2019

Adult Awards Keynote

Attendees at the 2019 Adult Awards luncheon were treated to a truly inspirational address given by Pat Brasseur. Her words speak to volunteering and the true Girl Scout spirit. So many people remarked upon the talk we wanted to make it available here. Enjoy!

It is my honor to speak to you on this special day when you are being recognized for the wonderful things that you have done for Girl Scouting. I want to first thank you on behalf of Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, for all of the time, dedication, and the great care you give to your troops, Girl Scout Areas, and communities, but most of all, the time you have given to the girls whose lives you have touched.  In Girl Scouting, we spend a lot of time in group planning, and discussing activities such as service projects, badges, or accomplishments to work toward, taking time out for nature such as camping, or just being together.  All of which are opportunities for girls to share their ideas and give input to the best choice for the group.

This time where girls are expressing themselves and sharing their thoughts is the time I feel is the most critical, important opportunity we have to offer. When girls are encouraged to speak openly, freely, in an environment that is accepting, is a true gift of the Girl Scout troop experience that a girl takes with her for a lifetime.  The give and take of ideas, along with the discussion of possible difficulties along with solutions, is a wonderful learning tool to have for a lifetime.

This is where I have felt my own growth experience in my 60 years of Girl Scouting. One quick story – well, as quick as I can make it.  While at Girl Scout Camp at the Timbers, outside of Traverse City, a couple friends and I attended a two week session highlighted by a 5-day canoe trip on the Manistee River, along with our counselors.  At the beginning of our 2nd day of the trop, we put our canoes just down from the dam outside of Mesick.  The river was moving smoothly and all was well, for a while.  Then, suddenly, the current changed dramatically; the gates of the dam had been opened unexpectedly.  It was a very challenging experience to say the least.  We had five canoes in our group; by the time two of those canoes could make it to shore safely, the other three had capsized and lost all of the food, equipment, and most of our clothing, but the good news was that everyone was safe, some being brought back to the group by local fisherman. 

But what happened next is what will remain with me for the rest of my life. We soon gathered alongside the river, and by now, the camp director was there to meet us.  She wanted to speak to just the girls.  First, she recognized what our situation was and said it would be very understandable if we wanted to leave and go back to camp where the rest of our personal items were, and we obviously would have food.  But then she said, “this is your troop and your decision to make.” She was willing to bring food back to us to finish the trip along with some personal items, and we could complete the trip, or we could go back to camp and enjoy the rest of the week there.  “But again, it was our decision to make.” That statement was amazing to me.  She suggested that we discuss it and let her know what we decided and she would support our decision.  Well, we did discuss it and decided we could do it and were willing to face the hardships.  And now, I am here today, sharing this moment with you and labeling it as one of the most influential moments of my life.

Growth moments are what Girl Scouting is all about.  Having ideas, sharing a project, making decisions, solving the issues that arise, and experiencing success; this is what can make Girl Scouting a life-changer.

When you as a leader, Girl Scout area member, or board member have great times with the girls, or face issues together, and solve those issues, you then create the net group of leaders for this wonderful organization.  And for that, I say thank you, on behalf of each of our girls.  Thank you!

 

April 26, 2019: Global Action Days
April 26, 2019

Global Action Days

Global Action Days are days throughout 2019 where girls can celebrate girls around the world and take action regarding things that directly impact girls.  There are nine days throughout the year that girls can celebrate; girls who celebrate three of the nine days will earn the Global Action Days Patch.  
What an exciting way to celebrate girls taking action and making the world a better place!


List of Global Action Days:

  • World Thinking Day: February 22
  • International Women's Day: March 8
  • Global Youth Service Day: April 12 – April 14
  • Global Action Week for Education: April 24 – May 1
  • Girls in ICT Day: April 25
  • World Environment Day: June 5
  • International Day of the Girl: October 11
  • Global Poverty Day: October 17
  • 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence: November 25 – December 10

For more information on how to earn this patch, please see the
Global Action Days Toolkit here.

April 11, 2019: Bling Your Booth Winners
April 11, 2019

Bling Your Booth Winners


We had so many great entries this year! Weekly winners were chosen by your votes and earned a patch for every Girl Scout. Grand Prize winners in each region will earn bragging rights for an AMAZING booth set-up and a gift card to GSHOM. They can use these to register the troop for an amazing Source Program, Troop Camp experience or any supplies from the Regional Center Retail shops. Thank you to everyone who participated and liked each weeks contestants' photos on Facebook!
Hopefully seeing other Girl Scout Cookie Booths have inspired you for Cookie Season 2020! 

April 1, 2019: Home Town Heroes
April 1, 2019

Home Town Heroes

Home Town Heroes-Do you have an organization that you would like to thank on behalf of your troop?  Is there an group that assisted your Girl Scouts in their goals in some way?  Or, is there a local charity in your community that is near and dear to your Girl Scouts’ hearts

If your troop is interested in experiencing a truly exceptional community service program, don’t miss out on the April 20th Day of Caring Event.

Day of Caring is an opportunity for you, troops that have donated to our Heart of Michigan Gift of Caring (C_GOC) Hometown Hero cookies, to donate cookies in your very own community. Worthy charities and organizations that you feel deserve a cookie.  Whether your troop visits the local fire department, police officers or food pantry, cookies donated by the girls are sure to bring a smile to the face of our local heroes.  Hometown Hero Cookies can be a great way to create an amazing programmatic opportunity for your girls.

Hometown Hero cookies are donated cookies that troops sell throughout the cookie season.  Troops may have kept their own stash to donate (as designated by Troop Gift of Caring or TGOC in Ebudde) or they sent them to Council Gift of Caring (CGOC in Ebudde).  During the week of April 20th, we will need help from you.

Here’s how –

  • Watch for the ebudde message regarding how to sign up for Hometown Hero’s Gift of Caring in your region.
  • Follow the instructions to reserve your cookies to donate and submit where you plan on donating them.
  • Pick up cookies to donate during the designated time the week of April 20th

Make the donation a truly unique and fun time for your Girl Scouts to learn about an organization in your community that is deserving of a Girl Scout cookie.

  • Take pics and send to anncc@gshom.org or kalcc@gshom.org  for us to share  on our social media channels.
  • GSHOM will work with local media to promote Home Town Hero Girl Scout cookie donations that will include pics, participating troops and recipients.

If your troop has not participated in selling Hometown Heroes Gift of Caring, there is still time!  Remember, if Girl Scouts actively sell Hometown Hero donation cookies they will earn troop profit for every package sold! 

Do you need additional ideas and support earning money for your troop? We can help! Product Program is all about empowering Girls Scouts to set exciting goals and supporting you in making these financially possible. See us now for April, May and June!

Abby, Ashley, Karen and Stacy

February 2019

February 27, 2019: Girl Scout Week
February 27, 2019

Girl Scout Week

The Girl Scout calendar is full of meaningful dates and occasions, and Girl Scout Week is one. This tradition reminds us to stop and celebrate some of our core Girl Scout beliefs. Beginning March 10, 2019, we're celebrating Girl Scouts!

Sunday, March 10
Girl Scout Sunday is a special day dedicated to thinking about your beliefs and how they’re reflected in the Girl Scout Law. Think of the things the two have in common and share your thoughts with others. Find three bulletin inserts here, here, and here. Need help printing? Order form here.

Monday, March 11 
Give a big shout-out to your Girl Scout sisters! Whether you tag other Girl Scouts on social media or get creative and make a card or gift for a Girl Scout in your life, don’t be bashful about sharing the love. 

Tuesday, March 12

It’s Girl Scouts’ 107th birthday! Honor the Girl Scout Movement by sharing on social media an issue you’re passionate about and what you’re doing to make a difference. You’ve got this, Girl Scout! 

Wednesday, March 13
Get out your green gear—it’s Girl Scout Spirit Day! Whether you sport a Girl Scout tee under a blazer at the office or rock a trefoil sweatshirt at the gym, let everyone know you’re a G.I.R.L. at heart. 

Thursday, March 14
Perform an act of kindness. Whether you pay for a stranger’s cup of coffee or visit an elderly neighbor, every bit of positivity Girl Scouts put out there helps make the world a better place. 

Friday, March 15

Kick off the weekend by giving back to your community. Could the local park use a cleanup? Does the food bank need volunteers? As always, the best person for the job is a Girl Scout! 

Saturday, March 16
Besides reflecting on your beliefs and how they’re echoed in the Girl Scout Law, we urge you to take some time this Girl Scout Sabbath to learn something new about someone else’s faith. 

So, are you with us? Ready to go green and shout your Girl Scout love from the rooftops?, Let's go, Girl Scouts!

February 4, 2019: International Day of the Girl - Regional Committee Members Needed!
February 4, 2019

International Day of the Girl - Regional Committee Members Needed!

International Day of the Girl is a “100% youth-led movement fighting for gender justice and youth rights” dedicated to “the inclusion of girls’ voices in the movement for social justice, and grassroots activism”
(per the International Day of the Girl website).  Thanks to a generous grant from the Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA),
Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan will be hosting events to celebrate International Day of the Girl (IDOG) in each of our five regions – and
we need you!  Forms available here.

January 2019

January 23, 2019: Town Hall Recording
January 23, 2019

Town Hall Recording

Thanks to everyone who was able to join us for the Town Hall Webinar on Tuesday, January 22. CEO Jan Barker gave a comprehensive review of the past year's benchmarks and called out highlights, as well as taking questions from online attendees. If you missed the event live, there's still and opportunity for you to be in-the-know on everything Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan. Recording available here.

January 14, 2019: Cookie Pricing
January 14, 2019

Cookie Pricing

Every Girl Scout Council sets their own cookie prices. It has been 5 years since Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan has increased the cost of a package of cookies. During these years, the cost to GSHOM for both the cookie product and rewards from the bakery have continued to rise. These increases were absorbed by GSHOM and not passed on to our troops and customers. Very few products cost the same today as they did five years ago. When we last increased prices, our surrounding Girl Scout Councils had raised their prices the year before we did. We have been on the other side of this. We know it’s difficult, our girls are worth it.

Troop proceeds increased this year. For example, if you sold 300 packages last year, your troop earned $180. This year, if your troop sells 300 packages, your troop earns $225.

GSHOM doesn't want Girl Scouts to lose sales, and supports girls in several ways. The "Five for Five" contest to win five cases of Girl Scout cookies is a great sales tool, and GSHOM also encourages girls to market their goals. Digital cookie sales also improves numbers. 

Unlike other councils, GSHOM offers a special opportunity to run cookie booths as early as Super Bowl weekend. These are all opportunities to get out in front. Finally, be sure to show off our Girl Scout Camp guides. Our Girl Scout cookies support the best camps, and customers want to support them too.

January 12, 2019: Cookie Varieties
January 12, 2019

Cookie Varieties

Perhaps you’ve heard all of the excitement on national media about Girl Scout cookies! Perhaps you also heard that they are talking about a cookie we don’t sell in Heart of Michigan! That’s OK, we’ve got cookies that people love, and they are supporting girls in our communities.

There are two cookie bakers in the US, and GSHOM uses Little Brownie Bakers. LBB is a subsidiary of Kellogg, so our relationship to them is extra strong. While both bakers bake most cookies, they vary a little. Three flavors are specific to our supply.

  • Toffee-tastic, our gluten-free cookie, is celebrating 5 years in 2019. The rich, buttery cookie with crunchy toffee bits are a favorite for customers who need to avoid gluten.
  • Savannah Smiles are a crisp, zesty, lemony favorite. Recent news is that this is the LAST YEAR this variety will be available, so fans should stock up.
  • S’mores, a graham sandwich cookie with chocolate and marshmallow filling are the Little Brownie homage to the favorite snack of girl Scouts everywhere.

If you have customers who ask about the flavor they’ve been hearing about on TV, let them know we appreciate the interest, and here are the great cookies we are selling this year: Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Dosido, Trefoils, Savannah Smile, Toffee-tastic and S’mores.

January 4, 2019: Making Friends
January 4, 2019

Making Friends

One of the best things about camp is making friends. It's the perfect place to try new things and meet new people.

  • Our camp staffers are trained to help girls build lasting friendships at camp. 
  • When girls arrive, they will participate in “Get to Know You games” to learn names and identify girls with common interests.
  • Camp staff watch closely for girls who may be having a hard time making friends and help them connect with other campers.
  • Girls will have daily opportunities for free time, still supervised by their counselors, where they can engage with other girls in an unstructured setting.

 

October - December
December 2018
December 28, 2018: More About Camp Themes
December 28, 2018
More About Camp Themes

We're not getting rid of the extra fun a theme brings to camp, we're making it bigger - camp wide! 

What is a weekly theme?

Instead of doing a lot of specific themed sessions, the whole camp will participate in the same weekly theme. This summer, our themes include Circus, Once Upon a Time, Color Wars, Pirates, Secret Agent, and Around the World. 

How does it work?

The weekly theme will be present in many aspects of camp. From meals, to campfires, to All-Camp Activities, to some activity choices. For example, our opening campfire on the first night of Once Upon a Time week may include counselors dressing up as Disney characters, singing Disney songs, performing fairy tale themed skits. Our All-Camp activity during circus week might include stations where girls could learn to juggle, make a balloon animal, eat popcorn, and walk across a “tightrope.”

Color Wars

Each unit in camp will be assigned a color and engage in friendly competition throughout the week. Examples are seeing who can keep their unit the cleanest, who can pick up the most trash around camp, who can sing the loudest at campfire and more!

Secret Agent

Campers will be assigned top secret missions throughout the week like finding who hid all of the marshmallows, searching for counselors during counselor hunt All Camp, and solving the mystery of the missing kayaks. Some activity choices may include learning to take fingerprints and how to make invisible ink messages and have your friends crack the code. 

Once Upon a Time

From Disney-themed campfires where camp staff dress up and sing all the classic songs to a Mulan-inspired All Camp activity, Girls will have a blast with camp’s twist on some classic fairy tales and stories! Some themed activities that may be offered include learning to write your own short fairy tale, building your own castle, or having our older campers read bedtime stories to our younger campers. 

Circus

Learn to make balloon animals, try your hand at juggling, and walk a “tightrope” at our All Camp activity this week! We’ll also do super fun things like listen to Greatest Showman music at meals!

Around the World

Girls will learn all about different cultures during this week at camp! At our "Around the World in 80 Minutes" All Camp, girls will take their passport around to different stations while learning about different cultures by trying the food, learning the songs and dances, and doing an art activity. 

Pirates

This week, we’ll have a “Shipwreck Dinner” where girls will have to wear an eye patch and eat spaghetti with a random utensil. We’ll also hunt for hidden treasure at our All Camp. Beware, there will be pirates lurking around trying to steal your gold!

December 27, 2018: What's New at Camp?
December 27, 2018
What's New at Camp?

Did you notice something new when you looked at your camp guide? Here's some background on "All Around Linden and Merrie Woode."

What is “All Around”?

    Both Camp Linden and Merrie Woode are offering the perfect     opportunity for girls to try everything camp has to offer! Girls will stay     in a four-season lodge with other girls their age, each girl getting to     choose her own activities for the day. All girls at camp will participate     in the weekly theme.

What is “Girls’ Choice” scheduling?

    Each night, girls will be presented with choices for the next day’s     activities and get to sign up for whichever interest them the most.     Girls can stick with their friends, or split up, it’s up to them!

How is this different from previous years?

    Previously, girls sat down with the other girls in their unit and voted as     a group on what they wanted their week’s schedule to look like. Since     things were decided by majority, some girls may not have gotten to do     what they really wanted. Now, girls will feel empowered by getting to     decide what they want their camp experience to be.

From which activities will she be able to choose?

    She will get to choose from all of the classic camp activities like     boating, archery, climbing wall, swimming, and hiking as well as things     like leatherworking, friendship bracelets, dance, science activities,     compass skills, and more!

This programming will let girls guide what has always been the bulk of their camp experience - the daily activities. 

 

December 13, 2018: Girl Scouting—It's for Every Girl
December 13, 2018
Girl Scouting—It’s for Every Girl

In 2018, more girls participating in the community outreach program were able to attend camp than ever before, thanks in part to the support of the Saginaw Community Foundation.  Besides favorite activities like hiking, boating, horseback riding, tackling a climbing wall, and spending time around a fire sharing stories, songs and s’mores, many girls had their first experience of seeing a clear night sky blanketed with stars and hearing the “music” of nature. 

GSHOM’s Senior Outreach/Membership Specialist Lisa Ingram reports that, thanks to their camp experiences, girls “show a real growth in teamwork—it’s always one of my favorite events of our year!  And the girls are already asking about next summer!”

Ten years ago, a nation-wide realignment of Girl Scout councils led to the formation of Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan (GSHOM).  During those 10 years, GSHOM’s commitment to make Girl Scouting available and accessible to all girls in its footprint has meant that girls from the most challenging of circumstances—from limited family financial resources to housing and/or transportation insufficiency to being placed in the role of caregiver for younger siblings—can be part of a safe space where they can build self-esteem, positive values, and have stress-free fun with new and old friends. 

These experiences are part of GSHOM’s Girl Scouting through community outreach program—a program that started with 113 girls, and now engages over 900 girls a year.  Using curricula developed by the national Girl Scout organization and GSHOM, girls have completed art and community service projects, explored STEM and STEM careers, learned how to identify and combat bullying, and increased goal-setting and money management skills by selling cookies.  Additionally, summertime brings a favorite activity—a camping trip. 

Thanks to great supporters like the Saginaw Community Foundation, we look forward to making sure all girls are able to enjoy the benefits of Girl Scouting for years to come!

December 12, 2018: December 2018 Newsletter
December 12, 2018
December Volunteer Newsletter

The December 2018 Volunteer Newsletter includes important and exciting information about Summer Camps, upcoming events, important dates, membership, and product program.  Download it here!

November 2018
November 9, 2018: Memorials and Vigils for Wisconsin Girl Scouts
November 9, 2018
A Note from GSHOM CEO Jan Barker

You may have heard that Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) filed a complaint against Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Litigation is never anyone’s first choice, and we wish it weren’t necessary to take this step. Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan is a locally chartered council of GSUSA, which is the national organization. Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan has taken no local legal action against any other organization. We will continue to direct our resources toward girls and local priorities. All proceeds from product program stay local.

We know that GSUSA remains open to a dialogue with BSA to resolve this issue. I’m aware that many of us, staff and volunteers, might be feeling conflicted by this development—but what GSUSA is doing stems from an unwavering commitment to advocating for our girls, their families and the communities we serve. Protecting our mission and brand is crucial. 

November 7, 2018: Memorials and Vigils for Wisconsin Girl Scouts
October 2018
October 24, 2018: Cookie Tip Off T-shirt Design Contest
October 24, 2018

Join us to Tip Off Girl Scout Cookie Season and cheer on University of Michigan's Women's Basketball Team.  REGISTER FOR THE COOKIE TIP OFF HERE!

NEW THIS YEAR: COOKIE TIP OFF T-SHIRT DESIGN CONTEST! Compete with other Girl Scouts for the BEST Tip Off t-shirt design. Girl Scouts must submit their design by November 9, 2018. Top 5 will be selected and voting will take place prior to the event. Contest rules are listed below!

2018 U of M T-shirt Contest Template

COOKIE TIP OFF T-SHIRT DESIGN CONTEST RULES

Girl Scouts are invited to submit a t-shirt design for the Cookie Tip Off. The winning entry will be the shirt available to all troops/Girl Scouts to order. 

  • Submit an entry using the Tip Off T-shirt Design Contest sheet. Draw your design on the sheet provided and scan it in to marketing@gshom.org:
    DOWNLOAD SHEET HERE!
  • One entry per Girl Scout
  • All designs will be printed in navy only, and limited to the front of the shirt
  • The information that appears on the back of the template will appear on the winning design
  • Submissions must be emailed to marketing@gshom.org by November 9, 2018.
October 22, 2018: Treats and Reads Announcement!
October 22, 2018
Treats and Reads Announcement!

Your Treats and Reads participation has been amazing! Let's keep it going strong! 

The Unify system is currently very slow, and we wanted to let you know:

  • Any online orders placed by midnight today (10/22/18) will count toward rewards. These orders are time stamped and may not show up in Rewards as "earned" right away. You can still submit and the orders will update.
  • Troop Leaders now have until tomorrow night (10/23/18) at midnight to log all paper orders, make updates and submit the troop order.
  • Area Product Managers, our All Star volunteers, have until 10/25/18 to help make any necessary updates and submit orders for the area.

You and your customers will be able to place online orders for shipping only or place orders through our Regional Center cupboards through December 17th for additional troop proceeds. The fun and learning doesn’t have to end here!

October 19, 2018: NEW Event Calendar
October 19, 2018
NEW Event Calendar!

We are excited to announce that the Event Calendar on our website is live! Council events, trainings and shop closings can be viewed on the Event Calendar, which is also color coded by category.

EC1

When clicking on an event of your choice, a small bubble will pop up with more details including date, time, and location. To view a full description, click on the event's title (green hyperlink).

EC2

After clicking the event's title, you will be taken to a landing page of the full description of the event as well as the choice to register for the event. If you would like to register, click the "Register Now" button. 

EC3

Once you click "Register Now", you will be taken to a separate event registration platform (Event Smart). Continue by adding the number of registrations you'll need, click Add to Event Cart, then Proceed to Registration and payment.

EC4

If you prefer to view events by list view, there is also an Event List available. When clicking on an event, it will bring you to the event landing page (as mentioned above). Tip: Once you are on the landing page, you can click on "View event on calendar" under the event title, and it will take you to the Event Calendar.
Note: the search function on the Event List page is not yet working properly. We are working with GSUSA's Web Team to ensure that we get it working soon. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

EL1

Looking for something? Searchability features in our main search bar for trainings, events and programs are enhanced on this platform. If you know exactly what you're searching for, go ahead and type it in. If you're unsure or if you only know part of the training/event's name, typing in partial names or "trainings in (name of region/city)" or "girl events", "STEM events", etc. should do the trick! 

EL2

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Help Desk by calling 1-800-497-2688, helpdesk@gshom.org or fill out this form.

We hope this calendar provides you with some ease as you plan your Girl Scout events this year! 

October 12, 2018: Celebrate JGL's Birthday & Ceremonies
Ways to Celebrate Juliette Gordon Low’s Birthday

Every year, Girl Scouts around the world honor the memory of our founder, Juliette Gordon Low, on her birthday, October 31st. Some troops choose to celebrate the whole month, while others plan special events on or near the actual day of her birth, which is also known as Founder’s Day. (And also happens to be Halloween, how fun is that?)

One of the amazing things about Juliette Gordon Low’s birthday is that every troop has their own special way of celebrating this amazing woman! Nowadays, not everyone throws a party—many Girl Scouts use it as a day to give service to others and to participate in community events. Here are some fun ways your troop can celebrate Juliette Gordon Low’s birthday!

Host a Birthday Party Troop Supply Drive

Create a wish list of needed troop supplies – this can include scissors, glue, paper or even a first aid supplies. Share the list with troop families and ask every girl to bring one or more of the items as a gift to the troop in honor Juliette Gordon Low’s birthday. Gently used items are welcomed too!

Create a Special Troop Tradition

Design and create a troop t-shirt or hair accessory (cute Daisy hair clips) which the girls can wear to troop meetings and outings. Then, whenever someone asks the girls about their shirt or hair clip, not only can they say they made it themselves, but they can also share their Girl Scout story by telling them why they made them!

Sing Girl Scout Songs and Play Games

Make SWAPS

Make SWAPS of Juliette’s Pearls to remind girls of the personal sacrifices she made to ensure Girl Scouts continued to grow. Make plans to meet up with a fellow Girl Scout friend, your troop, and maybe even your sister troop, and enjoy some time together and present your SWAPS!

Stand on your head!

Did you know that one of Juliette’s special skills was standing on her head? She stood on her head every year on her birthday to prove she could still do it! She also celebrated her nieces’ and nephews’ birthdays by standing on her head. Rumor has it that once she even stood on her head in the boardroom of the National Headquarters to show off the new Girl Scout shoes.

Create a pop-up Girl Scout museum

Collect vintage Girl Scout items from family and friends who were former Girl Scouts. At the party, enjoy looking through old handbooks, picking out favorite badges on the old sashes and trying on vintage uniform pieces.

With the beginning of the membership year upon us, it's a great time to hold an Investiture and/or Rededication ceremony!

An investiture is the welcoming of new members, both girls and adults, into Girl Scouts for the first time. Girls receive their Girl Scout, Girl Scout Brownie, or Girl Scout Daisy pin at this time.

Rededication is the opportunity for girls and adults to renew their commitment to the Girl Scout Promise and Law. You can choose to do them as one or two separate ceremonies.

These ceremonies are a great way to start the new Girl Scout year with the focus being on the Promise and Law. Holding these ceremonies are also a great way to help girls learn to plan and affirm their belief in the Girl Scout Promise and Law.

There are many ways to hold an Investiture and/or Rededication ceremony. Have the girls take time to search for some more creative ways to celebrate – check out our Investiture/Rededication Ceremonies Pinterest board. The more involvement the girls have, the better the experience! That follows in all things in Girl Scouting!

Daisy Petal (Flower) Investiture

On a large piece of white poster board, tape or glue a large daisy center of yellow construction paper. Write your troop number in the center. Make petals of white construction paper for each girl in the troop.

On each petal write a different girls name from your troop. Begin the ceremony with a simple flag ceremony have girls bring up flag and say the “Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag” followed by the singing of a song about America any one the girls know.

Call each girl by name to come and add her petal to the flower. As each girl comes forward to attach her petal to the center, welcome her to Girl Scout Daisy Troop #____ with the Girl Scout handshake and her Beginning Certificate. If a new girl joins at a later date, her petal may be added.

Variation – use real daisies or silk daisies and have the girls place them in a flower container with the troop number on it.

Girl Scout Brownie Pond Investiture

GORP (Granola Oats Raisins and Peanuts) Rededication