By Marge Stoneking, CEO
At the 52nd Girl Scout Convention in Houston, Texas earlier this month, we heard again and again how girls are an untapped resource, how their involvement in everything from science to politics is so valuable, and so needed. Yet, girls continue to be left out of, and opt out of, leadership opportunities.
Today, more than 70% of the women leaders in our country are former Girl Scouts. Yet, the vast majority of leaders -- in politics, business, and science -- are still men. If more girls were Girl Scouts, would we have this gender imbalance?
In Houston, Kathy Cloninger, our outgoing CEO, asked us if we would do three things to ring in the second century of Girl Scouts. She asked us to:
1. Be informed about how girls define leadership and recognize how girls want to lead;
2. Take the message of the vast potential and importance of investing in leadership development for girls beyond the Girl Scout world; and
3. Encourage our fellow adults to lead by finding the leader in ourselves, and helping others to do the same.
There is a saying, "if you teach a girl, you educate the world." Imagine what the world would look like if every girl had access to what we teach in Girl Scouts. That's why there has never been a more exciting time to be a Girl Scout.
Will you raise your voices and thereby inspire girls to also raise theirs? Will you join me and the Girl Scout Movement in renewing the promise for another 100 years to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place?
Congratulations to the following Girl Scouts and troops who earned their Silver Awards in the last few months:
- Katrina Arthen and Alise Arnold, Troop 188, made care packages for foster teenagers in Anchorage and Eagle River.
- Kori Tarken, Troop 188, helped organize, publicize, and raise funds for a rape aggression defense class for teens.
- MJ Metcalf, Evelyn Sharratt-Ash, and Julia Woodring, Troop 188, made fleece blankets, performed songs and baked cookies for women and children at Clare House.
- Troop 35 raised awareness about local pet adoption agencies and the importance of neutering and spaying pets.
- Troop 621 volunteered at local animal shelter, made pet toys for shelter animals, and assembled and distributed first-aid kits for pet owners.
- Troop 608 coordinated and hosted the South Service Unit Bridging Ceremony.
Here's what some of the girls had to say about their projects:
"It feels really good to get our ideas into accomplishments." ... "Helping with this project helped me feel more involved with my community and made me feel good about myself." ... "I learned that to make a difference take a lot of commitment and work, but it is worth it." ... "I learned that leadership is more than just one person ordering another around or asking everyone to do something." ... "Something I learned about myself is that I enjoy trying to spread the word and help out."
Are you a scientist? Do you use math or science in your work? Do you like science, technology, engineering and/or math? Do you enjoy interacting with kids? Or, do you know someone who can answer yes to any of these questions? Then, we need you!
Girl Scouts of Alaska is excited to once again be offering Women of Science & Technology Day to girls across Alaska. Women of Science gives school-aged girls a chance to discover the fun of science and connect with women who work in STEM fields, through hands-on workshops led by women working in these fields.
The key to making this event a success is active, hands-on participation for the girls. We want workshops that give every girl a chance to participate, and to experience something new. We want girls to get their hands dirty, meet women that are passionate about science, and be exposed to new ideas.
This is a one day (or half-day) commitment. We have workshop ideas for those who need them. Bring a friend, and come have fun with science!
This event, sponsored by BP and the University of Alaska, will mark our 20th year of holding Women of Science events in the state. We’re proud to say the program is growing and has become Girl Scouts of Alaska’s signature event!
Dates and Locations of events are:
February 4 - Anchorage
March 3 - Soldotna, and Wasilla
March 10 - Bethel
March 31 - Juneau
April 14 - Kodiak
April (TBD) - Cordova
Click here for more details and how to participate!
Call Kay Shoemaker (907-273-0393/800-478-7448) or Julie Alexander (907-376-3822) with questions.
Seventy volunteers from the Anchorage bowl, Cordova, Kenai Peninsula, Juneau, Kodiak, Naknek and Sitka participated in our 2nd annual Adult Learning Summit on November 4 and 5 in Anchorage. Over the course of two days, council staff offered learning sessions ranging from "Getting Started" to "Creating Leadership Magic." Plenary sessions focused on storytelling and our 100th anniversary, including the Centennial Challenge and Forever Green initiatives. Participants gathered to network over lunch, and the day concluded with a special pinning ceremony.
The response from the summit has been positive with 100% of the evaluations indicating volunteers learned something they can use both in and beyond the world of Girl Scouts. Together, both staff and volunteers learned that as the Leaders Behind the Leaders, adult Girl Scouts need to model leadership by applying to ourselves the three leadership keys we teach to girls. Specifically: 1. We demonstrate "leadership of self" by staying true to the values of the Girl Scout Law. Our self awareness enables girls to discover themselves and their values. 2. We demonstrate "leadership of others" through advancement of healthy relationships, constructive conflict resolution, diversity and inclusion. Our teamwork inspires girls to connect with others in an increasingly diverse world. 3. We demonstrate "leadership of the Girl Scout Movement" by keeping programs relevant and by standing up for girls as they prusue their goals. That ability to embrace change empowers girls to take action to change the world.
For more about The Leaders Behind the Leaders, see this document from GSUSA.
EngineerGirl! Essay Contest
The National Academy of Engineering has announced its 12th annual EngineerGirl! website essay contest. Students in grades 3-12 are eligible to submit an essay about the role of engineering in providing safe and nutritious food. Details and rules for the contest can be found on the EngineerGirl! website here.
Participation is open to both girls and boys in grades 3-12 and submissions must be entered by 6:00 pm (EST) on March 1, 2012. All winning entries will be published on the EngineerGirl! website and winners will receive cash prizes: first place winners $500, second place winners $250, and third place winners $100.
The EngineerGirl! website is designed to spark the curiosity of young people -- girls in particular -- and encourage them to consider careers in engineering. EngineerGirl! provides career descriptions, profiles of successful women engineers, information about exciting engineering projects, and interactive tools for girls, parents, teachers, and guidance counselors, all designed to encourage girls to pursue an engineering education and career.
The #1 website on Google for “girls + engineering,” Engineer Girl! is a trusted and entertaining resource for young girls, parents, educators, and volunteer engineers involved in student outreach. In a 2011 poll, girls’ reported that viewing the EngineerGirl! website or participating in its annual essay contest caused 63% of them to consider a career in engineering and 81% to consider studying engineering in college.
There are hundreds of ways to celebrate Girl Scouts' 100th anniversary. Because Girl Scouting is all about making the world a better place, we're inviting you to celebrate by taking part in our Centennial Celebration Challenge.
The Centennial Celebration Challenge is a way for every Girl Scout (individual and troops) to celebrate 100 years of Girl Scouting while also taking action to make a difference in her community. Here's how it works:
1. Review our list of 100 possible projects, then select one or come up with one of your own.
2. Take photos and document what you do, then write a brief description of what you accomplished.
3. Share your story with the Alaska council office, and you'll automatically be entered to win one of four 100th Anniversary prizes!
For a pdf of the complete Centennial Challenge document, click here.
Girl Scouts of Alaska will have 9 teams participating in First Lego League (robotics) this year. The teams have been working hard to get themselves and their robots ready for their “Food Factor” qualifying tournaments.
Attending a tournament is a great way to cheer on our teams as well as see the Lego robotics in action.
If you are interested in volunteering at a robotics tournament click here for more information.
Check out a tournament near you:
December 3-4: Southwest Regional @ Gladys Jung Elementary, Bethel
December 3: Mat-Su Qualifier @ Sherrod Elementary
December 10: Southeast Regional @ Centennial Hall, Juneau
December 10: Anchorage Qualifier@ Begich Middle School and IBEW Hall
December 17: South Anchorage Qualifier@ South Anchorage High School
Join the fun-loving folks at the Spring Creek Farm near Palmer for an outdoor adventure! Each Saturday until March, Girl Scouts of Alaska is offering half-day adventures incorporating the farm trails and other resources, and a Girl Scout journey. Daisies and Brownies meet from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Juniors and Cadettes meet from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Seniors and Ambassadors may participate by assisting younger girls.
Reserve your Outdoor Adventure time by exploring the Girl Scouts of Alaska website, selecting the calendar, and clicking on the date you would like to register.
Here is the schedule for remaining Outdoor Adventures:
December 3, 2011 - Winter Survival Skills: Discover how cozy a yurt can be after building a snow fort, trying out your tracking skills, and connecting with other girls as you enjoy the winter wonderland. Take action: Assemble an emergency pack, and teach others about how to be prepared! Enjoy cocoa and snacks with other girls as we share our successes and earn our badges.
January 21, 2012 - Snow Science and X-Country Skiing: Discover how to predict avalanches by learning about snow types and digging an avalanche pit, just like the ski patrol! Learn beginning or more advanced x-country skiing skills as you explore the trails at the farm! Connect with other girls over hot cocoa in the cozy yurt and relax after your adventures.
February 3, 2012 - Forever Green: Down with Plastic Waste! Join Girl Scouts across our nation and discover ways to reduce plastic waste. Make your own bag for shopping, explore what plastic does to sealife, and connect with other girls to take action in your community as you encourage others to stop buying products wrapped in plastic. Make cookies from scratch.
March 3, 2012 - Forever Green: Alternative Energy and Energy Conservation: Discover solar heating and a solar pump at the Farm! Connect with solar and wind energy as you make toys that are powered by alternative energy sources. Take action by making solar ovens to send to villages who need them to survive. Make a kite and connect with the wind!
April 7, 2012 - Forever Green: Rain Gardens: Discover how Girl Scouts across the nation are using the rain to feed their families and communities. Play with gutters and rain spouts to divert water to a pizza garden! Make a pizza to celebrate.
May 5, 2012 - Growing your Garden! Discover the wonders of planting your own tasty treats. Connect with vermiculture by making your own worm bin! Eat well, and explore all that a sustainable farm has to offer. Visit yak and other wild things that live here.
AT&T Employee Matching Gift Initiative
AT&T has announced a special matching gifts initiative just for AT&T employees in honor of our centennial. If AT&T employees make a gift to a local Girl Scout council or to GSUSA between now and Dec. 31, 2011, AT&T will match their gifts dollar for dollar up to $500,000. Employee gifts made to Girl Scouts through the 2012 United Way/Employee Giving campaign will also be matched.
AT&T Employees can visit the company intranet, AT&T Insider, or tSpace to learn more (search Girl Scouts Centennial).