December 12, 2018
The December 2018 Volunteer Newsletter includes important and exciting information about Summer Camps, upcoming events, important dates, membership, and product program. Download it here!
Individual Girl Scouts are welcome to continue selling Girl Scout
Cookies for Camp Credit. Profit of $.95 per package will benefit the
individual Girl Scout to be used exclusively for Overnight, Day and
Volunteer led Camps that accept Cookie Cash.
This is a very exciting, special opportunity offered to our Girl Scouts. Summer has so many great outdoor events including festivals, carnivals, farmer's markets and conventions. Take advantage of these opportunities, and set up a cookie booth now. Every Girl Scout deserves the opportunity to enjoy our amazing Girl Scout camps!
Steps to participate:
We are very excited to offer this opportunity to girls. We hope this
is a great benefit to you so that you may enjoy our many amazing Girl
Scout camping opportunities!
Deadline to participate is June 30, 2019.
If you are intrerested, please send an email to email@example.com and your local Regional Product Program Specialist will follow up with you!
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.”
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!
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:
For more information on how to earn this patch, please see the
Global Action Days Toolkit here.
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!
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’
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 –
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.
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
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!
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
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the best things about camp is making friends. It's the perfect place to try new things and meet new people.
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.”
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!