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.


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."

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Girl Scouts Do Great Things: Troop 1087 delivers Gift of Caring to BAMC

Troop 1087 collected more than 400 boxes of Girl Scout cookies for the patients, staff and volunteers of the Brooke Army Medical Center. On March 12 (Girl Scouting's 101st anniversary), the troop had the privilege of delivering the cookies to Col. Ronny Fryar, Deputy Commander of Allied Health.

Troop leader Diana Burger and her daughter Harley won Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas's first-ever Facebook Contest, where they received a year's supply of Girl Scout cookies. They chose to have all 144 boxes of cookies delivered at once so that they could donate them to the troop's Gift of Caring.

The troop decided that any Girl Scout who sold 10 or more boxes of cookies for the Gift of Caring would receive a special patch. Col. Fryar presented each of the girls with the patch.

Troop 1087 and the Gift of Caring delivery
(L to R) Col. Fryar, Kaydence, Gabi, Madison, Harley,
Wounded Warrior, Ssg. Pumphrey, Sophie and Krissie (kneeling)
Troop 1087 with Col. Fryar, Ssg. Pumphrey and troop leaders Diana Burger and Shawna Flowers
Krissie receives her patch
Troop leader Diana writes: "I hope that our troop always remembers this day. We decided on BAMC as our gift of caring because of the sacrifices these warriors have made for us, our country and freedom. We know cookies are a small gesture, but we truly hope that our cookies brighten the day of some deserving men and women."

The troop received this note from a friend of the Burger family:

Dear Harley, 
I was very impressed to read about you and your fellow Girl Scouts' accomplishments regarding the cookie sales this year. However, I was more moved to see how dedicated you each were in making sure our Wounded Warriors and their families could enjoy these cookies as a gift from fellow Americans. To take time out of your Spring Break and deliver them was also especially kind. I don't have to tell you, either, that you have a very special mom who is dedicated to making you happy, as well as making sure you grow up to be a responsible, kind, giving (and FUNNY) adult. You will do well to use her as a role model. Give a high five to your fellow Daisy Scouts...Y'all have done a great deed and I hope you remember that good feeling you got at seeing so many smiling faces as you handed out those cookies. The world will be a better place as long as we have young people like you willing to help others in big and small ways.  
Mrs. Bays

Thank you to Troop 1087 for your hard work and selflessness. Girl Scouts truly are fabulous leaders, and your special gift to the wounded warriors recovering at Brooke Army Medical Center will touch the lives of so many.  

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Flat Juliette: Remembering Kayla from GSHH

Robyn Scinta is a troop leader from Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson. She sent the following message on behalf of Troop 1439 to Girl Scouts who might want to participate in an annual memorial project honoring one of their deceased Girl Scout sisters. Here is what they had to say:

Dear Girl Scouts, leaders and parents:

Kayla Donohue was a member of our Girl Scout troop. She was a vivacious girl who loved Girl Scouts, dance and softball. Her mother, Lori, was our cookie mom and a Girl Scout herself. In 2009, when we were Brownies, Kayla and Lori were killed by a drunk driver while they were leaving Kayla’s dance class. Kayla was eight years old.

In 2010, Kayla’s friends in Brewster Girl Scout Troop 1439 created KDAY as a way to remember our friends. Each year, the Brewster Girl Scout community spends the day outdoors playing softball, doing community service and connecting with friends in the spirit of sisterhood.

The theme for KDAY 2012 was “One Voice.” Those of you who know the song understand the message of the lyrics: we are not alone. (You can watch a video of Girl Scouts singing this song in Hawaii led by Melinda Caroll) We began sending out Flat Juliettes last year as a way to connect with other Girl Scouts across the country. Please help us continue this project through the following steps:

  1. Get Juliette ready by coloring and cutting her out. 
  2. Then, take Juliette on an adventure. Take some pictures of her participating in an activity with your Girl Scout friends. 
  3. Create a scrapbook page on a sheet of colorful 8.5x11" paper. Include the troop number and the first names of the girls as well as the location of the adventure. 
  4. Please send the scrapbook pages back to us at this address below. 
  5. You can send Juliette and these instructions on to another Girl Scout or troop for further adventures. 

We will assemble Juliette’s scrapbook for KDAY 2013 so that Kayla’s community and family can see where she has been and with whom she has shared Kayla’s story. 

We are grateful for your help. Please return scrapbook pages by June 1, 2013. After that, Juliette can continue her travels, perhaps creating more memories and scrapbook pages for KDAY 2014.

Thank you,
Troop 1439
c/o Robyn Scinta
75 Minor Rd.
Brewster, New York 10509

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Troop 1020 heads to the Big Apple, pt. 4

Troop 1020 explores Central Park!

It's 29 degrees outside!!!

The teens horsing around at the boat pond, made famous in the Stuart Little movie.  Is the guy trying to save Emma or help push?

At Cleopatra's Needle. This obelisk was built in 1600 BC in Egypt, moved by the Romans in 1200 BC and brought to Central Park in 1881. The photographer is laying down on the cold ground to get this awesome shot!

Under the Trefoil Arch - Happy Girl Scout Week!

The girls and their fearless volunteer leaders, Ms. Dannyl and Ms. Beth, return to SA tomorrow. Safe travels, ladies! Thanks for sharing your adventures with GSSWT.