Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ask Membership: What Are The Rules for Fund Raising?

Dear Membership,
I am a leader of a new troop and I am trying to get a handle on the rules for fund raising. I keep hearing about blackout dates and money earning applications but I have no idea what any of those are. Can you help shine a light on troop fund raising?-Needs Money for Patches

Dear Needs Money for Patches,
Helping girls earn and manage money is an integral part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Your Girl Scout troop is responsible for planning and financing its own activities, with your guidance. This puts girls in charge, giving them opportunity (with your oversight) to cooperatively set goals, manage a budget, spend responsibly, maintain records, learn social skills, and develop good marketing, entrepreneurial, math, and financial skills. Troops need to fill out a Money-Earning Application (available on the website,, and on the following page) and turn into their Service Unit Director or Membership Development Manager to obtain approval for money earning activities. Here are important items to remember:

  • Participation in the Girl Scout Cookie Sale Program is a prerequisite for approval of money-earning projects, financial assistance and/or camperships unless the troop was formed after it was over.
  • Girl Scouts forbids use of games of chance, the direct solicitation of cash, and product-demonstrations parties.
  • No money-earning events can take place during the United Way campaign during September and October. 
  • Troops and Service Units may not solicit business, community groups or individuals for financial support. Gifts-in-kind may be solicited from local businesses.
  • The troop must have the previous year’s troop financial report on file.  
  • Participation in the Fall Nut, Candy and Magazine (NCM) Product Program is a great way to kickstart funds.

If you have questions, please contact your Membership Development Manager.-Membership

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

GSSI Is Updating Our E-Blasts to Better Share Girl Scout News

Stay up-to-date with GSSI e-blasts!
To help share the most relevant Girl Scout news with even more people, GSSI is updating our e-blast categories! 

The new categories are:
Volunteers: (Great for current Troop Leaders, Service Unit Teams, Council Trainers and other Girl Scout Volunteers) Stay updated through the Link to Leaders newsletter, updates to GSSI policies, program changes, and other news that is most valuable to Girl Scout volunteers. See example...

Family: (Great for parents, guardians, grandparents, etc). Get important Girl Scout news from a family perspective!   See recent photos, learn tips to help your Girl Scout make the most of her experience and find out the "big news" in Girl Scouting in quick, easy tidbits.  See example...

Friends: (Great for alumnae, community partners, donors and fans of Girl Scouting everywhere!)  Stay connected to Girl Scouting with current news from southern Illinois and around the country, invitations to upcoming events, volunteer opportunities and more. See example...

With the exception of very special events, updates in each category will be sent one time monthly. To sign up for GSSI e-blasts, or to update your profile, please click here and follow the instructions provided. You can sign up for as many e-blast categories as you choose and change your preferences at any time. 
On Sept. 1, most GSSI e-blast subscriptions made prior to August 28 will default to the "Volunteer" category, as most of our current subscribers are volunteers.  Subscribers who signed up for Special Event or GSSI Alumnae news ONLY will be added to the "Friends of GSSI' category.  If you are a volunteer who is also interested in these topics, please update your subscription to also include "Friends of GSSI" news. 

You can sign up for different/additional categories by clicking here.  Help us keep Girl Scout parents, friends and community partners up-to-date on GSSI news by letting everyone know we've updated our e-blast options!

Friday, August 23, 2013

GSSI Council Shop - Back to Troop Is Here!

Do you have your ESSENTIALS for Back to Troop? 

Shop for Girl Scout essentials: uniforms, journeys and Girl's Guide's! Visit GSSI Council Shops in Glen Carbon or Mt. Vernon to get the best deal on Starter Kits that feature a free Girl Scout canvas bag!  (Starter Kits can also be purchased online with different requirements.) Please contact GSSI Council Shop Manager Beth Ross at 800.345.6858 or for more information.
What's New!

New GSUSA Official Polos are perfect for Back to Troop!!!
All Sizes and Grade Levels are $12. Buy now! 
Girl Scout Neon Fun Watches:  $5 with a $50 Purchase!
Upcoming Shop Specials
All of September
25% off clearance items
$17 – ALL Girl’s Guides
Journey Book Sets
  • Buy 1 @ $15
  • Buy 2 @ $26 ($4 savings)
  • Buy 3 @ $33 ($12 savings)
GSSI Council Shops Extended Hours:
GSSI Council Shops will be open from 9 am – 12 pm on the following Saturdays:
September 7, 2013
October 5, 2013
November 9, 2013
December 7, 2013
January 11, 2014
February 8, 2014
April 12, 2014
May 3, 2014

Visit GSSI’s Mobile Shops at these upcoming Council Events:
  • October 19 –Fall Fest – Makanda, IL
  • October 19 – Haunted Camp Torqua – Edwardsville, IL
Several areas are running Mobile Shops at their registration and recruitment events.  You can too!!! If interesting in a running a Mobile Shop at your local service unit or regional event, please contact the Shop Manager. 
September Journey of the Month  

Girl Scout CADETTE: aMAZE!
Receive $1 off the featured Journey book and $1 off the accompanying award when both are purchased. 

GSSI Council Shop Contact Information:
Corporate Service Center: Beth Ross: 618.692.0692, ext. 1129 • e-mail: Regional Service Center: Marilyn Border: 618.242.5079, ext. 2103 • e-mail:

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Nearly 400 Girl Scouts Attend Resident Camp


GSSI's Camp Cedar Point in Makanda hosted 389 Girl Scouts for resident camp this summer.  The length of programs ranged from a Camper for a Day event for girls in kindergarten to third grade to an eleven day arts-themed session for teens complete with field trips to regional museums and theaters.
There were 28 different programs, each with a different theme.  Girls could explore science, technology, engineering and math at sessions such as Candy Chemistry and CSI.   Girls tried out their outdoor skills at programs like Girl Vs. Wild and Adventure Bound.  Young chefs cooked up fun at programs like Cast-Iron Chef and Extreme Desserts and dreamers let their imaginations run wild at programs such as Happy at Hogwarts and Pirates of Little Grassy.   There were even sessions where camp came alive after dark, such as Moonlight Magic and Night Owl.
"Camping is a valuable part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience," said Director of Program Angie Suhre.  "Girls get to try new things and meet new people.  They learn new skills while developing self confidence and responsibility."
To ensure that every girl has the opportunity to attend Resident Camp if she desires, GSSI provided more than $30,000 in camp scholarships.
To learn more about GSSI's Resident Camp at Camp Cedar Point in Makanda, please contact Angie Suhre at 800.345.6858, ext. 1112 or e-mail

Thursday, August 8, 2013

2014 Program Supplement Updates

Please note the following updates in the Fall/Winter 2014 Program Supplement:

(page 9) -- Date Change

Fabric Paint Bag (Daisies-Brownies)
Nov. 2, 2013 (reg. deadline 10/10)   11 a.m.-12 pm. OR 1-2 p.m.
Three Sisters Crafts  O’Fallon, IL
$7/girl     Min/Max: 5/15     Program Manager: Carolyn
Do you like color? Then this session is for you as we decorate a non-woven sports or messenger bag for school or Girl Scout meetings with fabric paints.  Include preferred session time on registration.  Limit adults to Girl Scout Safety Checkpoint ratios.  Limited space. 

(page 10) -- Program Change

Seeds & Leaves (Brownies)
Nov. 2, 2013 (reg. deadline 10/17) 9-11 a.m. OR 1-3 p.m.
Missouri Botanical Gardens St. Louis, MO
$11/girl $8/adult (costs include entrance to gardens, playground) Min/Max: 25/50 Program Manager: Carolyn

Discover fun facts about trees and leaves on a nature walk through the garden. Make a delicious snack of seeds and other plant parts. Collect leaves and seeds for a fun craft and learn about a famous botanist whose actions saved a forest. Girls will have fun in the children’s garden/ playground after their session is completed. Activities will help complete requirements for the Change a Story Award in the “It’s Your Story-Tell it” journey.

(page 13) -- Time Correction

Nashville, Tennessee: Music City! (Cadettes-Ambassadors)
June 6-8 2014 (reg. deadline 11/14/13) Leave 8 a.m. on 6/6 - Arrive Back Around 8 p.m on 6/8
$300/person - $50 deposit at registration Min/Max: 40/50 Program Manager: Laurie
Discover and experience the best of Nashville as you visit the Grand Ole Opry, tour the Country Music Hall of Fame, experience Ryman Auditorium and much more. Cost includes transportation, two nights lodging, all activities and some meals. $50 Deposit due at time of registration. Payment schedule: $50 Deposit due 11/14/13, $125 due 2/3/14, $125 due 4/7/14

(page 15) -- Deadline Correction

Girl Scout Gold Award Training Dates
Camp Cedar Point, Makanda
Tuesday Oct. 8, 2013 6-8 p.m. Deadline: Sept. 19, 2013

Go to GSSI Program Guide now...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

GSSI Updates Policy for Males at Camp

GSSI recently changed its camp policy when a male co-leader, helper adult or tagalong attends camp or a trip. On trips where male(s) are part of the group, it is not appropriate for them to sleep in the same space (tent, caboose, cabin/hogan or lodge) as girl(s). Male(s) must sleep in separate quarters (tent, caboose, cabin/hogan or lodge). Males need to have separate bathroom facilities that are not used by girl(s). If there is only one bathroom, then a sign must be posted or a person stationed outside the door. During Family or Parent-Daughter overnights, one family unit (mom or dad) may sleep in the same quarters (tent, caboose, cabin/hogan). Troops/groups should inform all participants if male(s) will be present during the trip. Also they must inform GSSI property/program registrar at the time of reservation that male(s) will be present during their camp outing.  For more information, please contact Director of Property Jonathan Stanley at 800.345.6858, ext.  1107 or e-mail

Monday, August 5, 2013

Ask Membership: What If the Troop is Full and More Girls Want to Join?

Dear Membership,
I am a leader of a troop of 25 girls. I hate turning girls away because I believe that every girl should have the opportunity  to participate in Girl Scouting. While I have the parent help to be able to take on more girls I know that there are some  troops that do not and are not able to do so. What happens to the girl if a troop is full? - Girl Scouting for Everyone

Dear Girl Scouting for Everyone,
While we understand that a troop can only take on as many girls as they can manage, we do not want to see a girl turned away from Girl Scouting. In the case that a troop is full, the leader needs to inform the parent that we have other options  available and direct the parent to either the Troop Organizer Consultant (TOC), Service Unit Registrar and/or the Membership Development Manager (MDM). The leader should also contact the TOC, Service Unit Registrar and/or the MDM to give them the information for the girl. From there the TOC, Service Unit Registrar and/or the MDM will help the girl and her family explore other membership options. You are right, every girl should have the opportunity to participate in Girl Scouting! If volunteers and staff work together, we can make sure it happens. - Membership

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dancing With Our Stars Raises $14,500 for Girl Scouting in Southern Illinois

The New Evolution, sponsored by National Railway Equipment Co
accepts the DWOS Mirror Ball Trophy

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois’ raised $14,500 during its 5th Annual Dancing With Our Stars (DWOS) fundraiser at Krieger’s Convention Center at the Holiday Inn in Mt. Vernon on Saturday, July 27. Approximately 200 people attended the event and the dance team called The New Evolution earned top honors and took home the coveted DWOS Mirror Ball Trophy.  The New Evolution dance team was sponsored by National Railway Equipment Company.  Also earning special recognition as the Judges Choice Award was Kristin Crain sponsored by Stewart Producers, Inc.   Debi Richardson from Crossroads Community Hospital presented the DWOS Mirror Ball Trophy to the winning team.  See photos

Dance teams competing for the coveted DWOS Mirror Ball Trophy:

YMCA Zumba; sponsored by YMCA of Jefferson Country

The Bollywood Twisters;  sponsored by Kaushal Pediatric Services, Ltd.           

Cadence Cloggers; sponsored by Rent One

The New Evolution; sponsored by National Railway Equipment Co.

Kristin Crain; sponsored by Stewart Producers, Inc.

PCD Mix; sponsored by Bennett Metal Products, Inc

“What a wonderful night of competition and dancing during our 5th Annual Dancing With Our Stars,” said Villie M. Appoo, GSSI Chief Executive Officer.  “We are so pleased and grateful to everyone who participated in and supported this year’s DWOS fundraiser,” said Appoo. “Everyone from our DWOS committee, to our dancers and the generous Mt. Vernon community helped make this fundraiser very successful.”  According to Appoo, funds raised during DWOS will help the Girl Scouts continue to  develop leadership programs for girls, maintain and improve its camps and help in its out-reach to at-risk girls. 

Co-hosts for the event were Jo David Cummins with Community First Bank of the Heartland and Brandon Bullard from Rare Chop House.  Celebrity judges were Mike Beard from The Insurance Store, Joe Gliosci with Peoples National Bank and Mary Beth Mezo with Mt. Vernon Township High School.   

Teams competed to win DWOS’ the Mirror Ball Trophy by earning the top spot in a two part scoring system. The judges’ scores provided the first element to the dancers’ scores.  The second element added a dash of audience participation and even more excitement, as dancers accrued points with donations from their supporters and attendees at the event.  Following the dance competition, guests then took to the dance floor for an evening of music and dancing. 

This year’s DWOS sponsors included:

Trophy Sponsor:  Crossroads Community Hospital

Vote Tabulation Sponsor:  Community First Bank

Silent Auction Sponsor: Old National Bank

Dance Floor Sponsor: Crossroads Specialty Clinic

Judge Sponsor: Rare Chop House

Exclusive Radio Sponsor: WDML

Table Sponsors: 

Enterprise Rent-a-Car

Peoples National Bank

Dance Sponsors:

Bennett Metal Products, Inc.

Kaushal Pediatric Services, Ltd

National Railway Equipment Company

Rent One

Stewart Producers, Inc.

The YMCA of Jefferson County

Special Giving Sponsors:

St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Inc.

Continental Tire

Other DWOS supporters:

Fred and Tammy Klapetzky

Just For You Designs, Eileen Twenhafel

Krieger’s Convention Center at Holiday  Inn

Mt. Vernon Register News

All proceeds from DWOS will provide financial assistance to at-risk girls, to help maintain and improve GSSI camps, and to develop Girl Scout leadership programs for girls throughout southern Illinois.

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois serves 14,000 girls and 4,800 adult volunteers in more than 40 counties in southern Illinois. Girl Scouting has inspired more than 50 million girls and women since its founding in 1912. Girl Scouting is focused on providing a premier Girl Scout Leadership Experience for girls in the 21st century, while ensuring the traditions and values that have been core to Girl Scouting since its beginning remain strong and relevant. Currently GSSI is celebrating its 100th Anniversary of Building Leaders for America.