Monday, September 29, 2014

Alyssa's European Adventures Part 1

Girl Scout Senior Alyssa S. spent two weeks touring England, France, Switzerland and Italy, visiting  World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts World Centres and famous landmarks she had only seen in history books.  Alyssa worked for two years selling more than 2,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to make her dream come true.  She shares her journey with us here: 

Our European journey began when we met our group at the San Antonio International Airport and flew to Detroit, Michigan.  From Detroit we flew overnight to Heathrow airport in London, England.  It was weird to fly across the ocean for more than nine hours. It was the longest flight I've ever been on.  The dinner was pasta with creamy sauce and cheese on top.  After dinner we all tried to go to sleep since we would arrive in Heathrow around eleven in the morning the next day.  Unfortunately, I didn't get much sleep since the air on the plane was so dry.



When we got off the plane we went through customs and went to the area where Sabrina, our tour director, told us to meet her.  We waited and waited until my mom got an email from Sabrina telling us the group from North Carolina bags didn't make it to the airport.  But eventually we found them and made our way to the hotel.
Our rooms weren't quite ready so we stored our bags in a spare room and went on a walking tour of Covent Garden, Liester Square and Piccadilly Circus.  There were a lot of street performers and big TV screens with advertisements for all of the different shows playing.  We also noticed all of the chain food restaurants we have back in the states.



This was the first time we used the London Underground or Tube.  We found out there are some very social people in our group.  We met some really nice locals while on the Tube.  It was interesting to see how the Londoners play on their phones or read while traveling to their next stop.
After our walking tour we had dinner at a small restaurant called Bistro 1 Beak.  We had breaded chicken with gravy and potatoes.  They also served us dessert that was made of bananas and chocolate called Banoffe Pie.  Once everyone finished eating, we went to the hotel and settled into our rooms.  Once I was ready for bed it didn't take me very long to go to sleep.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Alyssa's European Adventures!


Hi there!


My name is Alyssa, I'm a 14 year old Girl Scout Senior.  I have been in Girl Scouts since I started as a Daisy in kindergarten.  Being in Girl Scouts has allowed me to try things that I would not have done otherwise, and I've met a lot of interesting people along the way.

Among the fun activities that I've taken part in, traveling is one of my favorites.  So far I've been to Savannah, Georgia, and Washington D.C. in 2012 for the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts.  I've always wanted to travel outside of the United States.  Little did I know that an opportunity through Girl Scouts would allow me to do so.

On July 15th, my parents and I along with some new friends are going to London, England.  This is the first stop on our tour.  Some of the other countries we will be visiting are France, Switzerland, and Italy.  The tour lasts for about two weeks.  I'm really excited to visit Pax Lodge and Out Chalet, two of the world centers.  And let's not forget try some of the amazing food!

I hope you join me on this fun adventure and that it inspires you and other girls to travel the world around you!  


Talk to you soon,    

~Alyssa~
  Show us the money!
(Left to right) Candace W.  (18), Alyssa S. (14), Marisol B. (12), and Diego B. (10)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Girl Scouts Do Great Things: Fiona H. from Troop 881 and autism awareness

Girl Scout Fiona H. and her special education teacher wrote and illustrated a book to help children better understand autism. Fiona is verbal but mostly shares and communicates through drawings. She visits schools in the area with her special education teacher to share with students facts about autism and the process of writing the book.
Fiona and the book she and her special education teacher wrote and illustrated

Fiona discussing her book with Cynthia Lee from Fox San Antonio
Fiona's mother says that, "Being a Girl Scout helps her connect with other girls at school and they learn to accept her and appreciate her." Fiona, who belongs to Troop 881, plans to develop a disability awareness program to present to Girl Scouts and other organizations in the area as part of her Girl Scout Silver Award project.
Great job, Fiona! It takes a lot of courage to educate others about our differences. We're so proud of you!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Troop 592 makes refugees feel at home

On Saturday, March 1, Girl Scouts from Troop 592 performed puppet shows for 25 refugee families as part of a service project with the Center for Refugee Services (CRS).

The troop performed three puppet stories, sang well-known Girl Scout songs like Princess Pat and Make New Friends, served Girl Scout cookies and fruit, and played with the children, showing them how to use the puppets.


The girls spent several months making the puppets and sets and held a food collection drive to benefit CRS. The puppets and sets are being donated to CRS, as is all the extra fabric for their sewing ministry.



To hear more about the day, check out this story from News 4 San Antonio.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Give the Gift of Girls’ History this Holiday Season

Tired of giving meaningless shiny baubles that just get tossed? Here’s a fresh gift idea that inspires and pays tribute to a piece of history—give the Girls Scouts of the USA Centennial Silver Dollar! For the first time ever, Girl Scouts has a commemorative coin, issued this year by the United States Mint, and the first dedicated to a girls’ organization. The commemorative coin is a great gift idea for the 2013 holiday season as it is winning choice for girls, Girl Scout alumnae, coin collectors and lovers of unique historical collectibles. President Obama signed the legislation authorizing minting of the coin after passage in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

This beautiful coin features three girls of different ages and backgrounds on the heads side, and on the reverse side it shows the Girl Scouts’ 100th Anniversary logo, along with the inscription COURAGE, CONFIDENCE, CHARACTER (from Girl Scouting's mission to “build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place”). See more about the coin at www.girlscouts.org.

Girls Scouts of the USA's Centennial Silver Dollar is available now while supplies last. Place your order by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468) or order online at www.usmint.gov.

Support the future of Girl Scouts while also giving a piece of history! Girl Scouts of the USA will receive a $10 surcharge (already included) from your purchase for national program development and delivery.

FAQ

Q: How do I purchase a coin from the United States Mint?
A: You can either call 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468) or order online. Feel free to request a brochure with an order card directly from the United States Mint by calling the above phone number.

Q:  How many of the coins will be made?
A:  The United States Mint will produce a maximum of 350,000 across all product options. The silver dollar coins will be issued in both uncirculated and proof qualities and are legal tender. 

Q: Will Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) benefit from the sale of these coins?
A: GSUSA is authorized to receive a surcharge of $10 per coin sold after the United States Mint has recouped all of their costs and has verified that GSUSA has recorded matching funds equal to the surcharges GSUSA is to receive from the United States Mint. Per the legislation passed by the Congress authorizing the coin, surcharges received by GSUSA are to be used for Girl Scout program development and delivery.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Marisol Deluna, local Girl Scouts create gown for Fashion Week San Antonio

Marisol Deluna returned to her hometown of San Antonio to support the Avant Garde Going Green Gowns Exhibition during San Antonio Fashion Week, Nov. 4-8, 2013, using the event to mentor local Girl Scouts. The New York fashion designer presented a multi-tiered gown made of 135 feet of color printed recycled paper adorned with designs she has created for Girl Scouts of the USA uniforms.

Deluna collaborated with Girl Scout volunteer Ida De La Rosa Spence, who oversees garment production for the Marisol Deluna New York® label, alongside six girls of various ages for 20 hours to create the gown. Lauren Shipley, Julia Gulley, Victoria Morales, Ariel DePeri, Bailey Eichelbaum, Clarissa Longoria and model Stephanie Foresman, a former Girl Scout, participated.

Shipley described her experience on the fashion blog Glam, Chic and Sassy.

"Marisol showed me that no matter how successful you are, you need to be true to your roots," Shipley said. "Looking back at this experience, I was really honored to be chosen to help Marisol. As a Girl Scout, I have had great troop leaders who have taught not only our troop but us girls as individual to know what it really means to be a Girl Scout. We are taught to always be true to yourselves, help others and about giving back. Knowing that and actually seeing it from someone who was a Girl Scout and having achieved so much, I am proud that I wear the Girl Scout uniform."

Courtesy San Antonio Current 
From left: Stephanie Foresman (in the finale gown), Victoria Morales, Ida De La Rosa Spence, Lauren Shipley, Julia Gulley, Marisol Deluna
The finale gown was presented at the Texas A&M- San Antonio Educational & Cultural Arts Center and will be on display at the Marisol Deluna 25 Years in Fashion event on November 14, 2014 at the McNay Art Museum.

Deluna has a special relationship with Girl Scouts of the USA, having designed a number of unique items for this American institution, including official uniform accessories. A former Girl Scout, she mentors youth interested in fashion internationally.

“When asked to participate in the event, my first instinct was to design a dress with local Girl Scouts interested in earning a fashion badge. Mentoring is a privilege.” said Deluna. “As a child, creative projects had a lasting impact on me. The girls expressed pride as our model walked the runway and took center stage themselves. I hope the experience fosters confidence in these girls which is a core mission of the Girl Scouts.”

About Marisol Deluna New York:
Launched in 1997, the Marisol Deluna New York label and Deluna By Design, Inc. have placed fashion in the service of others alongside their MDNY signature collections. Marisol supports the efforts of cultural, philanthropic and other non-profit organizations by offering couture fashion designs and mentorship. Marisol Deluna New York items are unique to each organization, help build awareness, enhance public image and raise funds for various community projects internationally. Visit www.marisoldeluna.com.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Girl Scout Greats: Sitting down with Judy Canales at the Girl Power! exhibit

UPDATED 12/10/13: Congratulations to Ms. Canales on her recent appointment as State Executive Director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Texas! We're happy to have you back in the Lone Star State.

Judith “Judy” A. Canales was born and raised in Uvalde, Texas. On April 30, 2012, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced her presidential appointment as Acting Deputy Under Secretary for USDA Rural Development. When she's not in Washington, D.C., Canales resides in Eagle Pass, Texas with her husband, Juan Antonio Tovar, Jr.

On March 28, Canales flew into San Antonio for the sole purpose of visiting Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas’ Girl Power! exhibit at the Institute of Texan Cultures. We sat down with Canales during the tour to find out what impact Girl Scouting has made on her life.

Judith A. Canales and husband, Juan Antonio Tovar, Jr., at
the Institute of Texan Cultures Girl Power! exhibit
Did you have a Girl Scout experience when you were younger?
"Oh, indeed and throughout my life. I became a Girl Scout at the age of seven, starting out as a Brownie, and my mother was our troop leader at Sacred Heart School in Uvalde, Texas. I went through the entire program with Girl Scouts there in Uvalde. I sold cookies and was highly involved with Camp Jo Jan Van and day camp at Camp Burns, now that it's all coming to my mind. For years, I participated in the Girl Scout program, earned badges along the way as a Junior and Cadette and Senior Girl Scout, where I became a First Class Girl Scout (the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, now called the Girl Scout Gold Award). When I was at Southwest Texas Junior College in Uvalde for two years, I had my own troop. I was a Brownie leader there with the troop out of Sacred Heart School. And so, I had my service as a girl and then years later, coming back to Eagle Pass and South Texas, I served on the board of the formerly known El Camino Girl Scout Council and was their board president. Once realignment occurred, I was able to come together with Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas and I served for a period of time on the board there before I received my presidential appointment to go to Washington, D.C."

What has Girl Scouting done for you as an individual and as a professional?
"Girl Scouts, to me, is about leadership. It is about the fact that all girls have it within them to become natural leaders, and it’s a positive environment for girls to come together to get to know each other, to support each other. What happens is that it's a bridge. I will never forget that there in Uvalde, because we were going to catholic school, and it gave us a chance to meet girls from other parts of the community who were in public school. It was a chance for all of us to come together in the community in a rural area. Since many of us didn't play sports, this was a way to come together as a team. Although there were many girls who did get involved in sports, (Girl Scouting) was really an opportunity for any girl. There were no specific requirements.

I remember my mother wanting to make sure that even if a girl couldn't afford a uniform, she would (purchase) the different uniforms available so that each girl could have the proper uniform because she wanted everybody to be the same. That was an example that my mother set for me. Later, she served on the board of the (former) El Camino Girl Scout Council, so we used to travel to San Angelo, which was a long distance. Frankly, she was one of the few Mexican-Americans who served on the board at that time. She believed that she was representing, not just Uvalde, but the girls and women that were from our South Texas region ... that also became a very important example for me. Here was what my mother did; now I have to take it to the next level, which is what I have aspired to in my career. To live these values and to put myself forward in that way because in leadership roles, very often, you see a lot of different conflicts and people don't necessarily want to work together, and I think what (women) do is bring to the table a very different style that is inclusive and collaborative, and it values people. And that's what I bring to my job, even now. Serving in this administration is trying to build those bridges that were the examples that I saw growing up because of Girl Scouting."

What is your impression of the Girl Power! exhibit?
"I am so proud of this being here in San Antonio. This is remarkable, and I am so  proud that the Institute of Texan Cultures saw fit to honor Girl Scouts from this region, from San Antonio and beyond. Truly, the Institute goes beyond the boundaries of Bexar County, so we can all relate to this. I had an opportunity to visit (Juliette Gordon Low's birthplace) in Savannah while on a business trip with the USDA. A colleague of mine said, "We've got about an hour, let's go!" And he knew! I told him this means so much to me to go and see this, and I had a chance to do that. 

Our version is an opportunity to educate people about the profound history of Girl Scouting in this region and to inform those who don't have the same background or knowledge that this is what has been the history and here is the future. The panels in the back (part of the exhibit) show what the goal is now: moving forward. That's the best part of Girl Scouts. It is constantly evolving with the realities of what girls are about and what they will become. And so I'm comparing the Savannah experience to this, and I'm so pleased that it's not only historical, but also futuristic."