Saturday, May 25, 2013

Frederick Bardle from Pinckneyville Named May Pearl of the Month

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) is pleased to announce that Frederick Bardle from Pinckneyville has been named the May Pearl of the Month. The Pearl of the Month Award recognizes a Girl Scout volunteer who has delivered service beyond expectations and helped to ensure that the approximately 14,000 Girl Scouts in southern Illinois benefit from a premier Girl Scout Leadership Experience.  Nominees must meet several criteria, including completion of all required training for his or her volunteer position as well as providing outstanding service to his or her Service Unit or the Council.

Frederick has been a volunteer with Troop #8842 for three years, as well as helped with many Perry County Service Unit recruitment events.  During this year’s Girl Scout Cookie Program, he helped promote, transport and deliver cookies.  He has assisted several local Girl Scout events and projects, including taking Girl Scouts hiking and teaching them about emergency preparedness and outdoor safety during a Memorial Day camporee.  He also helped Troop #8842 organize a food collection drive to work towards earning their Girl Scout Bronze Award.  As a Captain with the Pinckneyville Fire Department, Frederick’s knowledge and experience has been greatly appreciated. Other Girl Scout volunteers in the area say that he has their highest respect and refer to him as the “backbone of the troop.”     

 The mission of Girl Scouting states:  Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.   Girl Scouts is the world's pre-eminent organization dedicated solely to girls - all girls - where, in an accepting and nurturing environment, girls build character and skills for success in the real world.  In partnership with committed adults, girls develop qualities that will serve them all their lives - like strong values, social conscience, and conviction about their own potential and self-worth.

Today’s Girl Scouts not only enjoy camping and crafts, but they also explore math and science and learn about diversity, good citizenship, leadership and teamwork.  Girl Scouting is the place where girls experience the fun, friendship and power of girls together. Girl Scouting has inspired more than 50 million girls and women since its founding in 1912. 

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is a not-for-profit organization supported by various United Ways throughout the region.  Girl Scouts is a Proud Partner of United Way.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Rebecca Boehning: Girl Scouts Empowered Me

As a young kindergartner, I can recall sitting in a circle and singing songs with many of my close friends during Girl Scout Daisy meetings.  My mom and I worked on earning try-its over the weekends when I was a Brownie.  Being a Junior Girl Scout allowed me to lead weekend Girl Scout camps with younger troops.  One of my favorite Girl Scout memories is when my troop and I walked across the Eads Bridge to bridge from Juniors to Cadettes.  I assisted building a “Square Foot” Garden in Madison, Illinois for the Sow What? journey as a Girl Scout Senior.  Finally, I completed my Girl Scout gold Award  project as an Ambassador, the highest award given in Girl Scouts.  Overall, my journey through all of the stages of Girl Scouts has empowered me to be the strong and independent woman I am today.

One important value Girl Scouts taught me in the value of friendship.  When I was a Daisy, there were about 25 girls in my troop.  Now there are only six girls remaining.  Though our numbers shrank, the remaining girls are some of my closest friends today.  Without Girl Scouts, I may not have encountered the women I call my best friends.  Also, I learned how enjoyable it is to make new friends.  I made many new friends at Girl Scout camps when my troop worked alongside members of another group. My favorite Girl Scout song says “Make new friends, but keep the old.”  I’ve learned to live by that rule because of Girl Scouts.

Also, Girl Scouts has allowed me to develop valuable leadership skills.  During my high school career, I directed overnight camps and assisted leading Troop #329.  For my Girl Scout Gold Award project, I mapped the trees and benches in the parks around O’Fallon and designed a website that allows community members to view the project.  I worked with the men from the Public Works office in O’Fallon by leading them through my website design vision.  These leadership opportunities not only allowed me to give back to my community, but also taught me how to work with both children and adults. 

Most importantly, Girl Scouts showed me the joy of helping others.  Girl Scouts allowed me to help around my community with projects such as building a Square Foot Garden for underprivileged families, mapping dedication trees around the city of O’Fallon, and assisting at local animal shelters.  These valuable experiences have shaped my life goals.  In the future, I want to help others like I did in Girl Scouts.  I hope to obtain a job working towards perfecting alternative sources of fuel.  With the price of petroleum continuing to rise, energy sources like nuclear, wind, and solar become more viable options.  My innovative ideas can improve these alternative fuel choices to fulfill their maximum potential.  I want to be responsible for major improvements in the world around me.  Girl Scouts, because it empowered me to help others so much already, has inspired me to work hard to achieve this dream.   

Looking back on the thirteen years I have been a Girl Scout, I am so thankful to have been a part of it.  The experiences I gained through this activity have ultimately shaped who I am today and my goals for the future.  I recommend Girl Scouting to all girls, young and old, because the friends and skills you gain while participating in this group are immense and deeply satisfying.  I plan to become the leader of my future daughter’s troop so she can experience the great things Girl Scouts has to offer.

Rebecca bridging from Daisies to Brownies.
Rebecca excelled in many areas during her high school career -- including honors academics, a variety of school clubs, volleyball, marching band and teaching Sunday School. Even with her busy schedule, Rebecca participated in many community service projects during her thirteen years as a Girl Scout.  This commitment to helping others guided her to earn the Trifecta Award, which is a new GSSI award presented to Girl Scouts who earn the Girl Scout Bronze Award, Girl Scout Silver Award and Girl Scout Gold Award.  In Fall 2013, Rebecca plans to attend University of Illinois to major in chemical engineering. With her dedication to exploring alternative energy, Rebecca joins the Girl Scouts legacy of alumnae who go on to thrive in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math careers, including virtually every female U.S. astronaut.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Cati Cronin: Born to Be a Girl Scout!

Cati Cronin, Girl Scout Ambassador

My name is Cati Cronin, and I am with Ambassador Troop 541 from O'Fallon.  I was born to be a Girl Scout!  My grandma, my mom, my sister, and even my dad, have always been part of the Girl Scout family. 

Girl Scouts gives me a great feeling that I am part of something bigger than just an average organization.  It gives me a chance to express myself through programs and activities.  As I entered into middle school and high school, my friends started saying how being a Girl Scout isn’t cool, but it is my passion!  I strive to be a part of every opportunity that comes my way.  Without Girl Scouts, I’m not sure I would be the person I am today.  My thirteen years have helped shape my character and have provided me with a set of morals and principles.  Girl Scouting has given me the ability to become a leader, learn from positive role models, and become a truly caring part of society. 
Girl Scouts is an amazing organization that allows girls to discover who they are, create long lasting friendships, explore new things, and to become strong and independent people.  I tell everyone about the great experiences I have had.  Such as the time I got to talk to astronaut Sandy Magnus while she was in space, or all the times that I helped with programs and all the younger girls gave me hugs because they appreciated the hard work we put into the events.  I would tell them about our council’s Century Celebration, and how cool it was to be the only girl that was part of the committee that planned it.  .  I also cherish the trip I took to Savannah with my mom and my sister, my co-leaders, and two of my best friends!  It was awesome to see where it all began, and to walk in Juliette’s footsteps.  Girl Scouts is a chance to feel like you fit in and be yourself
Throughout my thirteen years as a Girl Scout, I have encountered many truly inspirational people, and all of these amazing once in a life time opportunities are thanks to them.  I know so many wonderful volunteers who donate their time and resources to make sure girls have a great time during programs and events.  Most of the volunteers I know have families, full time jobs, and also volunteer in their communities.  Volunteers are the heart of Girl Scouts! They have helped guide me into the person I am, and always wanted to be.  I admire all of them, and I am truly thankful for having them in my life. 
I thank them for giving me the courage, confidence and character to find success in Girl Scouting, in school, and in every aspect of my life.  I am forever appreciative of all that my Girl Scouting experience has given and taught me, and I look forward to having a troop of my own!

During her thirteen years in Girl Scouting, Cati has served GSSI in many capacities, including as a GSSI Apprentice and a Girl Scout ex-officio Girl Board Member.  She was named a 2013 Outstanding Graduating Girl Scout .  She plans to study Elementary Education in college, to pursue a career as a teacher.

Displaying vintage uniforms with Troop #541 during
GSSI's celebration of the 100th Annversary of Girl Scouts.