January E-newsletter

Going for the Gold in Kodiak

What a better way to begin the 2011 Membership Year than with 3 Gold Awards? We are thrilled to recognize Anna Engvall, Shirlie Morin and Kristina Emmerson, Girl Scout Ambassadors from Kodiak, and congratulate them on reaching the highest level in Girl Scouting.

Anna and Shirlie have been volunteering at the Kodiak Animal shelter since they were five years old. It would have been much simpler to just build new dog houses in a more dog-friendly style.  But instead they used their Auto-CAD skills to create designs for the Animal Shelter to use with volunteers to build better dog houses far into the future. Their project exemplifies making a sustainable contribution in your community. In addition they also organized a community event that helped both the shelter as well as the pet owners in Kodiak.

Kristina was able to combine her love of quilting with her desire to help her peers who struggled with abusive romantic relationships.  By organizing an afterschool program for middle and high school students called Quilts for a Cause, Kristina was able to bring her peers together to talk about a difficult subject in a non-threatening way, while making quilts! The questionnaires that were used by the group as well as the quilts the group made and donated will be used by the Kodiak Women's Resource and Crisis Center.

These young women exemplify the ideals of the Girl Scouting by seeing a need in their community that interest and passion about, and working with others to make the world a better place!

The Gold Award is the highest honor a girl can earn as a Girl Scout.  In completing these requirements a girl is demonstrating that she has the leadership, organizational, and networking skills to make a lasting contribution to her community and to the world. The Gold Award is the culmination of all of the effort and experience, commitment and conviction that a girl shows towards the ideals and values of Girl Scouting, becoming a leader in the process. One of the benefits to earning this prestigious honor are scholarships and recognition by the all branches of the US Military.


Recent Silver Award

Denali Goodwill, Soldotna
Caroline Walker, Soldotna
Kiowa Richardson, Soldotna
Mykaela Ryback, Soldotna
Erin Andrews, Dillingham
Connor Ito, Dillingham
Kristianna Coburn, Eagle River
Deanna Demott, Chugiak
Kathleen Gill, Eagle River
Sarah Miller, Eagle River
Amanda Sclies, Eagle River
Margaret Wallace, Eagle River
Lydia Weiss, Chugiak
Laura (Tess) Whaley, Chugiak
Madeline Eliassen, Eagle River
Eryn Hutchings, Eagle River
Hannah Paterbaugh, Eagle River
Brittany Bond, Eagle River
Katie Harris, Eagle River



23  GSAK Offices Closed
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7 Cookie Presales Begin
17 GSAK Offices Closed
23 Cookie Presales Ends



Have you caught the travel bug?

Destinations Deadline is December 3rd!

GSAK is sponsoring two fantastic trips this year:

Grand Canyon Explorer

The Grand Canyon is an incredible place to visit and experience.  Come investigate the beautiful terrain of the Grand Canyon by boat, hiking, possibly a horse ride and more.  After spending 4 days floating the Colorado River the trip will continue with girl-planned explorations in Arizona and the desert environment. This trip will include camping, hiking, teambuilding, and more. The river portion of the trip is planned by Grand Canyon Youth.

Date: May 20-30, 2011
Age/Level: Girls in Grades 6-9
Location: Arizona
Cost: $950 plus airfare
Alaska/Japan Exchange 2011    

Sustain and strengthen the bonds of friendship with the Girl Scouts of Japan! Japanese Girl Scouts from the island of Hokkaido will continue the longstanding tradition of an exchange between our councils. Alaska Girl Scouts will partner with the girls from Hokkaido in exploring fun and meaningful sights in Southcentral while also leaving lots of time to connect and share each other's culture. (And next summer Alaskan girls travel to Hokkaido!)

Date: Summer 2011, exact dates TBD
(typically occurs late July/early August)
Age/Level: Girls in Grades 8-12
Location: Southcentral Alaska
Cost: $600 plus airfare to Anchorage

For more information contact Kay Shoemaker in the Southeast Field Office 800.478.8247 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Strategic Learning

GSAK started a comprehensive planning process this fall called Strategic Learning.  A group including interested community members, operational volunteers, parents, Council Board Members, and staff from across the state have been hard at work these past few weeks learning more about our organization, the needs of girls and partner organizations.  This outside-in approach will allow our council to not only plan for the future but to make choices and decisions that keep us on track.  As part of this process you may have received emails about surveys or focus groups aimed at both adults and girls.  We appreciate everyone who has taken the time to answer the questions and we promise to share the insights that emerge when the time comes!

Starting Today...Cookie Time is Here!

Last year's cookie sale was a huge success! Two things that made it a success...

  • All the amazing volunteers and parents like you
  • Listening to what you need to help your girls reach their goals

Online Training for Troop Leaders and Cookie Managers begins in early December.  The training has been updated based on your feedback and includes information on a few policy changes. Details will be sent via Ecouncil! One of these changes is that troops participating in the cookie program now need to have a troop bank account.

This year the cookie sale will help to bring girls from across Alaska together for 3 days of all-girl programming at the Alaska State Fairgrounds in Palmer.  Come celebrate 100 Years of Girl Scouting at Encampment 2011!  In addition to the usual cookie credit options...there are also Encampment Credits! 

  • 7 January 2011 - Presales Begin
  • 23 January 2011 - Presales End

Juneau Cookie Kick-Off

Get the cookie season off to a great start with games, crafts and perfect your CEO (Cookie Entrepreneur Officer) skills! Special guest appearance by Safety Bear! Everyone will receive the Cookie Rally patch! Bring non-perishable items to donate to the Glory Hole.

When: 7 January 2011
Where: DZ Middle School
Time: 6p-8p
Cost: $3 per girl, pay at the door
RSVP: Linda in the Southeast Field Office, 586-1710

Women of Science & Technology

In a few short days, registration will open for Women of Science & Technology Day in Anchorage kicking off a season of Women of Science events across Alaska this spring!  Past favorite workshops have included Cupcake Geology, Paste With a Taste, Crime Scene Forensics, Mining a Cookie and many more! Please join us for hands-on, fun activities led by women in science and technology-related fields.  

Cost is just $5 thanks to generous sponsorship by BP Alaska and University of Alaska. Financial assistance is available.

  • February 5, 2011 - Anchorage*
  • February 19, 2011 - Juneau*
  • February 26, 2011 - Dillingham (Tentative)
  • March 19, 2011 - Bethel
  • April 2, 2011 - Soldotna*
  • April 16, 2011 - Kodiak
  • April 30, 2011 - Mat-Su*

*Registration begins 60 days prior to each event date.  For more information, visit our website at www.girlscoutsalaska.org or call 907.248.2250 / 800.478.7448.

If you know a woman who works in a field related to science, technology, engineering or math, that you think would make a great workshop presenter leading hands-on activities for girls at a Women of Science event, please contact Terry Gryting at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 907.273.0318 / 800.478.7448.  We are currently collecting names for women in Anchorage, Juneau, Dillingham, Bethel, Soldotna, Kodiak, and Mat-Su.

Check out the Girl Scouts of Alaska blog, written monthly by CEO Marge Larson at http://girlscoutsalaksa.blogspot.com