My Promise, My Faith
December is a month of religious, spiritual, and cultural holidays for all of the world's major religions. It is therefore an opportune time to update you on how Girl Scouts can interface with any faith.
Although Girl Scouts is a secular organization, and Girl Scouts recognizes that religious instruction comes from the home and one's faith community, we are values based and encourage faith in God -- as defined by each member and her family. Indeed, the Girl Scout Promise and Law are in alignment with many faith organizations’ teachings.
For girls who are interested in finding out what their faith and Girl Scouting have in common, Girl Scouts has its own national faith recognition award called My Promise, My Faith. The requirements and guidelines for earning a My Promise, My Faith award are included in The Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting. Girls can earn this pin once a year at each grade level. You can read my full blog post for more on this topic.
Happy December from Girl Scouts of Alaska!
Yours in Girl Scouting,
Marge Stoneking, CEO
We all know that 2012 is Girl Scouts 100th Anniversary! Now, Girl Scouts of the USA is also declaring 2012 the Year of the Girl.
As Anna Maria Chavez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA explained, "We want to make sure that a baby girl born in 2012 will grow up in a new and vastly differently world." She's referring to the fact that, despite so much progress on behalf of women and girls in the last century, men still outnumber women in most leadership positions as well as science and technology jobs. It's not just a matter of equity. The fact that girls are interested and capable, yet opting out of these choices, has significant implications for our country.
By declaring 2012 the Year of the Girl, we hope to rally the nation around the cause of girls' leadership. Breaking down societal barriers that hinder girls from leading will take a nation-wide effort, and the involvement of individuals and groups beyond the family of Girl Scouts. Do you want to be a part of the movement? Sign up here to get updates directly from the campaign.
Women of Science
We are getting excited for our 20th annual Women of Science events around the state! The theme this year aviation.
We still need more presenters to help us bring science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to life for girls.
If you know someone who uses STEM in any aspect of their work, please encourage them to share their expertise with girls! Past presenters have included female pilots, photographers, civil engineers, architects, and medical professionals. Do you know someone who can help us show girls how STEM skills are being used in real jobs in the real world?
Call Kay Shoemaker in Anchorage (907-273-0393) or Julie Alexander in Mat-Su (907-376-3822) with your suggestions. Thank you!
National Council Results
At the 2011 National Council session in Houston, Texas, members voted on important policy matters affecting the future of Girl Scouting. In addition to voting on officers to serve for the 2011-2014 term, the following issues were decided:
- A general program fee for girls was approved, to help with the additional costs involved in executing the Girl Scout program. The fee will be reflected as an annual council fee not to exceed $12.
- A proposal to change the timing of the election of national delegates was voted down.
- The question of whether to offer the Girl Scout membership year on a rolling cycle, instead of our current October 1 - September 30 year, was deferred to a committee. Councils using e-Council may have difficulty handling a rolling enrollment system, so the committee will address these and other concerns before bringing the issue to a vote again.
To review the full slate of proposals considered and the outcome of the voting, click here.
Count Down to 100th Anniversary!
Here at the council office we are counting down the days until 2012 when a year-long celebration of 100 years of Girl Scouting will finally begin! We are excited about all the girls who have taken our Centennial Celebration Challenge and are sending us photos and descriptions of their projects. We hope you are also thinking about parades and other events in your area that you can participate in to share with your community the legacy of Girl Scouting in Alaska.
Girl Scouts Forever Green (February - April)
Southeast Camp-In (March 10)
Statewide Campfires (March 12)
Troop 2012 (March 12)
Juneau Auction (March 17)
Young Women of Distinction Luncheon (March 29, Anchorage)
Centennial Celebration Challenge (through May 7)
100 Geocaches (Year-Long and Ongoing)
Year of the Girl (Year-Long and Ongoing) [create anchor back to earlier text]
If you are planning something, please share it with us so we can help spread the word.
Girl Scouts Forever Green is the Girl Scouts 100th Anniversary national Take Action project. The project asks everyone -- both Girl Scouts and the public at large -- to commit to changing some aspects of their daily lives to help protect the environment and conserve natural resources. The project suggests specific actions in three categories: reduce plastics, save energy, and save water.
Each action pledged, such as planting a tree, or turning off lights when not in use, has a measurable environmental impact associated with it. And, Girl Scouts' goal is to engage 800,000 Girl Scouts (25 percent of each council's membership) by the end of December 2012. Because the projects are aligned with the It's Your Planet, Love It! leadership journey, girls can earn awards as they work to create positive change for the environment.
Anyone who participates in Girl Scouts Forever Green is eligible to receive the patch shown here. We also have stickers, pledge cards, brochures and posters available for you to print out and use to motivate others to take action, too. The more participation, the greater the environmental impact!
Be sure to visit the Girl Scouts Forever Green website to learn about the three projects, take the pledge, and get more tips, tools, and resources. Also, check out our Girl Scouts Forever Green program offerings at Spring Creek Farm [link to anchor GSFG 67] on the first Saturday of February, March, and April 2012.
United Way Holiday Guide
Holidays are a time of year when we come together as a community. We make the extra effort to look for the things that bring us together and unite us, as families, as faith communities, as neighbors, as people.
United Way board member Rick Fox recently put it perfectly when he said that he gives to give back. We’ve all had those moments in our lives where someone did something a little extra to help us in some way. This holiday, United Way of Anchorage asks you to consider making plans to give back.
To help you find the opportunity that is right for you, they offer this guide to giving. It includes a Quick Finder to easily match your gift with your favorite organization, a directory of local organizations, and special sections with ways you can Give, Advocate, and Volunteer. Click on the image above to see United Way's full Holiday Guide.
Letters to Soldiers
Some of our United States soldiers serving overseas do not have wives or children to send them letters and keep their spirits up. If you want to let them know that someone is thinking of them and they are not alone, send your letters to the Single Soldier program care of:
CSM Kirk Johnson
APO AE 09314
Please do not use last names in your letters, and write about general interest issues.
News from Southeast
Come to the Girl Scouts Annual Southeast Benefit Auction March 17th at the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council from 6 to 10pm! Traditionally an autumn event, this year’s auction moves to March to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting. We’re planning a big party in keeping with this benchmark year!
We'll have a vast array of items to bid on, both in an outcry and silent auction format. Guests will enjoy hors d’oeurves and a no-host bar.
The Auction Committee is busy securing donations from regional and statewide donors and businesses; There are a variety of volunteer positions needing to be filled to help make this event something truly spectacular. To contribute with donations or to volunteer, please contact Mary Siroky at 789-7616.
Proceeds raised at the Auction assist Southeast Girl Scouts with memberships, camperships, and travel assistance.
Join the Juneau Girl Scouts as we kick off the Girl Scout Cookie Season at this fun festival of training, crafts, and games! Juneau Girl Scouts will gather in the gym at DZ Friday on January 6th from 6 to 8pm to learn by participating in cool activities! Learn about the cookies, about selling and goal-setting, and about marketing the fun way!
New this year for parents of Girl Scouts is an orientation of their own called “the Cookie Rookie” where moms and dads learn practical ways to be supportive of their girls.
The cost of the event is $5 per girl, including a patch and supplies!
As of publication, eight of Girl Scouts of Alaska's nine robotics teams have competed in qualifying tournaments. They have all done well and are eligible to compete in the Championship Tournament on January 28th at South High School in Anchorage.
- Rockin’ Wolves (Soldotna) received the Robot Design award
- Lego Experts (Anchorage) received the Judge’s Choice award: Rising Stars
- Robotchicks (Anchorage) received the Project award
- Mat-Su Macaroi (Mat-Su) received the Core Values award
- Blight Busters (Anchorage) were the 2nd place Champions in their qualifier tournament
- Killer Cantaloupes (Juneau) were the 1st place Champions in their qualifier tournament
- Nine Northern Computer Cookies, or N2C2 (Juneau) were the 2nd place Champions in their qualifier tournament
Girlz vs. Food are scheduled to compete in their qualifier tournament on Saturday, December 17th at South High School.
Conference Call Classes
Girl Scouts of Alaska strives to provide our adult volunteers with the support and information you need to succeed. Conference calls are a great way to share your experience and questions with other volunteers, parents and staff from across our council without having to leave the comfort of your home. Check out these upcoming opportunities:
January 12, 2012, 7-8pm
• 100th Anniversary and the Centennial Challenge - Learn 100 creative ways you and your girls can celebrate Girl Scout’s 100th Anniversary.
February 9, 2012, 7-8pm
• Service Unit Team Talk - Service Unit Teams will talk with our CEO about how to make our organization stronger.
March 8, 2012, 7-8pm
• Opportunities for Adults – BREAK UP your routine and learn about new opportunities to volunteer with Girl Scouts, and recognize others for their efforts. In this conference call we'll address:
• Host Families
• Journey in a Weekend
• Indirect Opportunities
• Adult Learning
• Adult Awards
April 12, 2012, 7-8pm
• Re-engaging Girls – Learn how Bridging, Pathways, the New Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouts, Awards and more can re-engage girls in Scouting. In this conference call we'll address:
• Girls Guide to Girl Scouting
• Girl Adult Partnership
• Spring Break Ideas
May 10, 2012, 7-8pm
• Wrapping Up for Next Year – Take time to celebrate what you’ve accomplished, make plans for the summer and prepare yourself, the girls and their parents for next year. We'll cover:
• Early Bird Registration
• Reports and other Paperwork
• Plans for Summer - Hiking, Camping, Parades
• Returning Next Year or Disbanding?
• Bank Account
• What to Tell Parents
Opportunities for Girls
Girl Scouts of Alaska (GSAK) is seeking letters of interest from teenage Girl Scouts to attend the 2012 Girls’ World Forum, hosted by Girl Scouts of the USA and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) July 12-16, 2012 in Chicago.
Two GSAK girls (ages 14-18 on July 12) will be selected to represent Girl Scouts of Alaska as delegates to the Girls’ World Forum. This is the third and final event in a series of forums celebrating WAGGG’s centennial, and the first in the United States.
The WAGGGS Global Action Theme, which is the focus of the three forums is “Together We can Change Our World.” The theme addresses the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. During the WAGGGS Girls’ World Forum, girls from around the world will focus on three millennium goals including: goal 1- to end poverty and hunger, goal 3 - to promote gender equality and empower women, and goal 7 - to achieve global environmental sustainability. Girls’ World Forum attendees will work together to learn more about, to plan, and to engage in taking action to help achieve these three worldwide goals by 2015.
Are you interested in expanding your Girl Scout impact and network to partner with WAGGGS on global issues affecting girls? Are you committed to taking action to truly make the world a better place? If you said yes, then you are who Alaska is looking for to represent us at the Girls’ World Forum. Please write a letter of interest to:
Marge Stoneking, CEO
Girl Scouts of Alaska
3911 Turnagain Blvd East
Anchorage, AK 99517
In your letter of interest, please address the following questions:
- Why do you think it’s important to address the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)?
- How have you, your community, and/or your GS Council worked to achieve one or more of the MDGs?
- What interest/experience do you have in international events?
- Whether you speak any international languages other than English, and what is your level of fluency?
FYI: Registration costs will be covered by Girl Scouts of Alaska for the two selected delegates, and girls may earn $1.00/box cookie credits in the 2012 GSAK Cookie Program to offset travel fees. Travel fees will be in the neighborhood of $2,000, to be determined early in 2012. Girl delegates will be accompanied by young women (18-30) volunteer chaperones.
Spirit of Youth Nominations being accepted now!
December 31, 2011 is the last day to submit a nomination to be eligible for the 2012 Spirit of Youth Award! The application is simple and can be completed on the Spirit of Youth website. Nominations in any of the 11 categories can be submitted for teens (or teen groups) ages 12-19.
● Cultural Activities ● Overcoming Challenges
● Participation in Government or Business ● Technology & Media
● Life saver (crisis response) & Prevention ● Faith-based Service
● Service (to children, peers or community) ● Science and Environmental efforts
● Fine Arts (dance, theater, music, art)
Research demonstrates that youth who are recognized for their accomplishments by those around them are better able to build confidence in their future! Submit your nomination today.
To learn more about Spirit of Youth or listen to past winners and their radio stories, visit www.spiritofyouth.org.
Girl Scouts of the USA is proud to be an outreach partner with the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media to introduce the second annual National STEM Video Game Challenge open to all Girl Scouts! This challenge invites game makers to show their passion for playing and making video games and aims to motivate children's interests in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).
Up for grabs is almost $200,000 in cash and prizes, with multiple ways to win! The entry period is open through March 12th, 2012. Finalists will be selected by a distinguished panel of judges and winners will be announced in the spring of 2012 at a major public event.
For more information on how Girl Scouts can enter the Youth Prize competition (middle school & high school) go to www.STEMChallenge.org.
This challenge also compliments the Entertainment Technology Badge, where girls can dig into video game development! If you have girls interested in earning this badge, encourage them to enter the STEM Video Challenge as well!
The Anchorage Youth Development Coalition (AYDC) and Alaska Youth & Parent Foundation are developing an online directory for Anchorage youth services, programs and opportunities. A diverse group of Anchorage youth has named this directory Anchorage Youth Central.
AYDC is sponsoring a contest to develop a logo or icon for this new online directory. Youth ages 24 and under are eligible to submit drawings, graphic designs, pictures or paintings depicting an appropriate image to use as the logo/icon for this new web-based directory.
Girl Helpers Needed
Pen Pal Requests
Desiree West, a fifth grader from Avon, Indiana is interested in finding a pen pal in Alaska.
If you want to be her pen pal, please write to:
Avon, Indiana 46123