Podcast

The Girl Scout Advantage 

Episode 23: Renee Svetic

Renee Svetic is a life-long Girl Scout who truly bleeds green and white.  She is a Junior Leader from Freeland, who also volunteers with her Area.

Listen into Renee’s episode to get a glimpse into:

  • The very special experience that is Mackinaw Island Honor Guard
  • Taking girls to camp and dealing with girls who have different personalities
  • Why it’s important to let girls experience new things and take risks in a safe environment

Tune in for this and so much more! 


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Episode 22: Mandy Orlando

Mandy Orlando is a first year Brownie Troop Leader from Watervliet, Michigan.  Join us in this episode as she shares why Girl Scouting is such an important part of her life.

Listen today to hear:

  • How Girl Scouts has become an irreplaceable part of her family life
  • Her perspective on the important work of Girl Scouting
  • How she works to instill the Girl Scout Promise and Law while having fun with her girls.

Tune in to hear all of this and so much more!


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Episode 21: Colleen Dawson

Colleen Dawson, President of the Women’s Council of Realtors in Kalamazoo, is a Girl Scout alumna, former Troop Leader, and current Girl Scout Cookie Bake-Off Benefit Committee Member. During her time as a Girl Scout leader, she was amazed by the adventures and new experiences she had with her troop.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • How becoming a troop leader helped her bond with her step-daughter
  • The memories with her troop that she still laughs about today
  • The special friendship she developed with her co-leader which she carries with her after her co-leader’s passing
  • How Girl Scouts taught her that she is capable of doing anything.

Tune in today to hear all of this and more! 

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Episode 20: Christina Medina & Troop 30460

What does it take to work second shift full-time while caring for your family and leading your daughter’s Girl Scout troop? Christina Medina will tell you that it can be challenging, but that the challenge is beyond worth it.  Christina is the troop leader for her daughter Isabel’s Cadette Troop in our Lansing region. This episode is a special one that was recorded over two sessions; the first part at their troop meeting in November, and the second part with Christina and Isabel over winter break.

Tune into this episode to hear from both Christina and her girls about:

  • How the troop saved her life on a trip to Mackinac Island
  • The troop’s passion for animals and giving back to the community
  • Why these Cadettes love Girl Scouts
  • How a troop can be “girl-led”

Listen to hear all this and more!

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Episode 19: Chris Holbert

Chris Holbert is a volunteer who has been involved in Girl Scouts for ten years.  Starting off her Girl Scout experience in Arizona at the age of 35, Chris eventually moved to Michigan and continued on as a leader for her daughter’s troop.

Listen in to hear about Chris’s experiences and learn:

  • What “girl-led” looks like for a Brownie compared to a Senior
  • How camping with a troop becomes an opportunity to relax
  • What it’s like to volunteer when you weren’t a Girl Scout growing up

Listen today to hear all of this, and so much more!

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Episode 18: Chelsea & Mikayla Flores

Mikayla Flores, of Adrian, MI, is a second grade Brownie who sold over 2200 boxes of Girl Scout cookies as a Daisy.  She has big goals again this year, and the determination and tenacity to achieve that and so much more.

Listen to this episode with Mikayla and her mom, Chelsea, to learn:

  • Mikayla’s sales pitch and why it works
  • Why Mikayla loves selling Girl Scout Cookies (hint: their yumminess is only part of it!)
  • What it has been like for Chelsea to watch Mikayla grow in Girl Scouting

You don’t want to miss this episode!

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Mini-sode: Michigan Girl Scout Sing-Along 2019

The 2019 Michigan Girl Scout Sing-Along was held on April 27, 2019 on the front lawn of the Capital Building in Lansing, Michigan.  Girl Scouts from across the state attended, gathering together to sing Girl Scout songs and enjoy time together.

The event included an intermission with several activities, including SWAPS, crafting, the retail shop, and a booth commemorating Girls in Information & Communication Technology Day, which is also in April.  At this booth, girls had the opportunity to use our podcast equipment and discuss all the ways in which technology is part of their lives.

Tune in to hear some snippets from girls of all ages, on why they love Girl Scouts and how fun the Sing-Along was! 

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Episode 17: Nancy & Heather Miller

Nancy and Heather Miller are a mother-daughter, lifetime Girl Scout duo from Freeland, Michigan. Nancy, having been a Girl Scout for 41 years, served as Heather’s Troop Leader, and both Millers live by the motto, “Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout.”

In this episode, Nancy and Heather share:

  • How a family passion turned into a bluebird sanctuary and Girl Scout Gold Award Project
  • The life-changing travel opportunities provided to them by their involvement in Girl Scouts
  • The benefits of intergenerational Girl Scouting from both the mother’s and daughter’s perspective
  • Why Girl Scouting provides somewhere for girls to be themselves and feel like they belong

Listen for these stories and feel the strength of a mother/daughter bond bolstered by Girl Scouting! 

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Episode 16: Maddie Rayner

Maddie Rayner is a Girl Scout Alumna and a Gold Award Girl Scout with a passion for making the world a better place.

Tune in to this episode to hear:

  • What Maddie learned throughout her years at Girl Scout Camp
  • How her Silver Award Project put Maddie in the national media spotlight
  • The lessons she learned from completing the Highest Awards

Listen today to learn all of this and more!

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Episode 15: Cheryl Vosburg

Cheryl Vosburg is a long-time volunteer for Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, who has much wisdom to share about the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. She is currently the Area Manager for Marshall, Michigan, as well as the Troop Organizer, and a Trainer, instilling her knowledge into current volunteers for GSHOM.

In this episode, you’ll hear Cheryl’s take on Girl Scouts, including:

  • What she calls the “IFF Factor”
  • How the Broadway musical “Wicked” made a significant impact on her Girl Scout experience
  • The importance of flag etiquette and how it builds girls’ confidence

Tune in today to hear about all of this, and so much more!

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Episode 14: Brittani Havenaar & Naomi Sarelis

Meet Wilson and Giggles – otherwise known as Brittani Havenaar and Naomi Sarelis.  These life-long campers are the Assistant Camp Directors at Camp Merrie Woode this summer.  The best part is that Brittani was once Naomi’s counselor; their relationship exemplifies the progression of leadership at Girl Scout camp, as well as the special relationships that develop between girls at camp.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How a girl can progress from being a 5-year old camper to a leadership role at camp
  • Why camp is so important for girls
  • The essential life skills that girls learn at camp

Tune in today to hear Brittani & Naomi’s wonderful experience at Girl Scout Camp throughout their lives!

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Episode 13: Audrey Reynolds

Audrey Reynolds is the Outdoor Program Team Lead and the Director of Camp Linden.  In 2019, it’s more important than ever that girls have the chance to disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature.

In this episode, Audrey, a lifelong Girl Scout and camp aficionado, explains:

  • How Girl Scout camp helps girls build invaluable social skills
  • The importance of the “in-between” moments
  • How Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan makes Girl Scout Camp girl-led.

Have questions about camp? Listen to this podcast, and reach out to Audrey (areynolds@gshom.org) for additional information. 

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Season 1
Episode 1: Jan Barker

Jan Barker, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, shares her experiences from the leadership viewpoint of our organization. Jan has over 20 years of experience in the CEO role, previously serving Girl Scouts Glowing Embers Council. In our inaugural episode, Jan paints a picture of Girl Scouts and how we create girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.

In this episode, you will learn:
– The fifteen empirically-supported outcomes of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience
– Stories of girls and the ways in which Girl Scouting has changed their lives
– The magical moments that girls need and how we create them
– The benefits of experiencing the girl-only environment

Tune in to hear Jan’s take on all things Girl Scouts!

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Episode 2: Susan Monroe

“It’s not cookies, crafts, and camping anymore.” Susan Monroe, owner and President of Three Chairs Company, speaks with us about her experience in Girl Scouts and how it shaped her to be the woman she is today.

In this episode, you’ll hear:
– How her mother’s passion for camping inspired her own love for the outdoors
– How Girl Scouts contributed to her business sense
– Why Girl Scouts, as a girl-led program, is crucial and relevant today

Listen now to hear the inspirational story of Susan and her Girl Scout Experience.

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Episode 3 – Sara Reedy

Sara Reedy is the Area Manager for Holt, Michigan; in this volunteer role, she provides support to leaders throughout her community. She is also a troop leader for both of her daughter’s troops.

In this podcast, you’ll learn:
– The importance of keeping things girl led
– The excitement her Daises experienced while camping
– How Girl Scouting showed her the importance of self-care
– The ways in which anyone can make a profound impact on the girls in our world

Tune in to learn about the magic of Girl Scouting, from the volunteer perspective!

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Episode 4 – Miranda Goodison

Miranda Goodison is a junior in high school AND a sophomore in college, with a head start on her career – a career she discovered in Girl Scouting!

In this episode, you’ll learn:
– How girls can shape their own individual Girl Scout experiences as Juliettes
– How Miranda found and began her career because of a Girl Scout field trip
– How Miranda is promoting STEM learning opportunities in her community while completing the Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting
– Miranda’s perspective on why all girls should make Girl Scouting a priority in their lives.

Tune in for all this and more!

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Episode 5 – Ellie Mrak

Ellie Mrak is a junior in high school who is changing the world one small (and some large) act at a time. Throughout her Girl Scout experience, she has exhibited a passion for giving back to her community, and has plans in the works to impact the nation at large.

In this episode, you’ll hear:
– Ellie’s experience in a multi-generational Girl Scout family and the values she’s learned as a result
– The ease and importance of giving back in small and large ways
– The project she’s working on to build a national monument in Washington, D.C.
– How Girl Scouts showed Ellie that she can change the world

Listen now to hear this motivated and inspirational girl tell her story!

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Episode 6 – Josh Gettig

Josh Gettig, a business owner in the Kalamazoo Region, joins this episode to share his perspective as a dad to two Girl Scouts, a husband to a Girl Scout leader, and a member of GSHOM’s Board of Trustees.

In this episode, you will hear:
– Josh’s experience at our annual Girl Scout Cookie Bake-Off
– The transformation that he has seen in his wife and daughters while being involved in Girl Scouts
– How his daughter held his wife accountable to Girl Scout principles while on vacation
– Why Girl Scouts is so important for girls today

Listen for these and even more stories from Josh’s point of view!

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Episode 7 – Samantha McKenzie

Samantha McKenzie is a Girl Scout alumna who is the President and CEO of Hidden Harvest Food Bank in Saginaw, Michigan, an organization dedicated to alleviating hunger and eliminating food waste in the region.

In this episode, you’ll learn about:
– How Hidden Harvest uses resources wisely and makes the world a better place
– Samantha’s Girl Scout experience that provided her first experience with grant writing, and taught her the power of the pen
– How Girl Scout values have been integrated into her family life

Listen to the episode today to hear how this Girl Scout Alum is changing the world!

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Episode 8 – Kimberly Carter

Kimberly Carter, B. S., M.A.Ed., Ed.S., is the superintendent of Battle Creek Public Schools, as well as a Girl Scout alumna. In this episode, she describes how being involved in Girl Scouts while being raised in a single-parent household was a game-changer for her, allowing her opportunities that she may not have otherwise experienced due to her cirucmstances.

In this episode, Kim will share:
– Her passion for helping children have access to quality education and experiential learning opportunities
– The importance of sowing seeds of success in the lives of children, as people have done for you
– How Girl Scouts built resilience in her and showed her that there is power within her to make the world a better place

Tune in to hear Kim’s stories of Girl Scouting changing her life!

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Episode 9 – Liberty Torrence

Liberty Torrence is a Girl Scout alum, a mom to two Girl Scouts, and a troop leader for both of her daughters’ troops. She has a unique perspective on Girl Scouting since she gets to see the Girl Scout Leadership Experience in action for two different age groups at once, watching her daughters progress through the program while developing lifelong friendships and sharing life-changing experiences.

In this episode, Liberty shares:
– The GS memories she has from her childhood that inspired her to provide the same opportunities for her daughters
– How being involved in Girl Scouts as a volunteer has strengthened the relationships she has with both of her daughters
– A story about the time her girls found courage and confidence through rock-climbing
– Her perspective on how Girl Scouts has evolved to meet the changing needs of girls today
– The most rewarding aspects of being a Girl Scout leader

Tune in to hear Liberty’s take on Girl Scouting!

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Episode 10 – Paula Stott

Paula Stott is a troop leader for her daughter’s Junior Troop based in Bath, Michigan. The troop is a troop that is very active, especially in terms of community service. Paula is a lifelong Girl Scout, having been involved as a girl, and with each of her daughters over the last nearly three decades.

In this episode, Paula shares:
– How Girl Scouts became a part of who she is
– Her experience progressing through multiple volunteer roles
– The behavior system her troop uses to help girls hold themselves and other accountable
– How her troop told their elected officials that bullying others, even in adulthood, is not acceptable
– The goods drive the troop conducted to give back to troops overseas

Tune in to hear all about Paula’s experiences and how Girl Scouts has made a difference in her life.

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Episode 11 – Sheri Jones

Sheri Jones, news anchor for the CBS-affiliate WLNS in Lansing, is a Girl Scout Alumna who has established herself as a trustworthy and decorated professional, as well as a dedicated philanthropist who deeply values giving back. Sheri, an alumna of Michigan State University, was recently inducted into the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and was also honored with the Athena Award from the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, the South Lansing Community Service Person of the Year, and the Outstanding Volunteer Award from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. This is just a small glimpse at the recognitions that Sheri has earned for the work she has done for her community.

In this episode, you’ll hear about:
• Sheri’s journey to being the first female on the crime beat and her extremely successful Crime Stoppers segment
• Her dedication to service over self and giving back to the community that she loves
• The importance of setting goals and a “sky’s the limit” mentality

Listen to hear first hand from Sheri about why Girl Scouts is crucial for girls today, as well as for our communities at large.
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Episode 12 – Amanda Harsh

Amanda Harsh is a Gold Award Girl Scout who became a Leader for her daughter’s troop before becoming the Area Manager for Heart of Lenawee. Amanda is passionate about Girl Scouts and has made great strides as the Area Manager.
In this episode, you will learn:
• How the Heart of Lenawee area successfully brings people together, adding another layer to the Girl Scout Experience
• Amanda’s perspective on how leaders learn, experiment, and grow alongside the girls
• What it’s like to lead a troop with multiple levels in it
Tune in to hear all of this and so much more!

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