Monday, March 25, 2013

Tina Witherby from Sparta Named March Pearl of the Month

GSSI is pleased to announce that Tina Witherby from Sparta has been named the March 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.
Tina serves as a Troop Leader for Troops #8324 and #8934.  She is also a GSSI Delegate, Service Unit Registrar and Events Coordinator for her area.  She takes on these roles and responsibilities because she loves Girl Scouting and the positive influence it has on girls, the community, the nation and the world. 
Tina works hard to ensure that all the girls in her Service Unit have a fun, unique experience in Girl Scouts.  She organizes monthly events that are extremely well attended, including a flag retiring ceremony, a sockhop dance, an international food fair, an extreme sports sleepover and a holiday lights parade.   
 Dedicated Girl Scout volunteers are inspiring girls throughout southern Illinois to have courage, confidence and character to make the world a better place. See the Pearl of the Month form on the following page to nominate an excellent Girl Scout volunteer from your area!
 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.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Jennifer Randolph: Girls Grow Outdoors

Jennifer Randolph, Outdoor Program Manager
March is one the hardest months for me to be inside. As I sit here typing, I am hearing the beautiful serenade of our friends the spring peepers through the window and the birds are scurrying around in the underbrush preparing for spring.  We are so lucky to live in Southern Illinois, where the bounty of nature is all around us!  What a secret treasure we have in Shawnee National Forest, Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge and several state parks for the public to enjoy. Many of these agencies offer FREE programs not only to the general public but also to Girl Scout troops!  Talk about inexpensive, fun and educational entertainment!
Each season in Southern Illinois holds so many outdoor treasures for us to enjoy. Winter brings an opportunity to really see what is in the woods. With leaves out of the way, we have a great vantage point for wildlife and the lay of the land. What a great time of year to watch for Bald Eagles! Spring brings wildflowers, the wonderful smell of earth and rain and all of that lovely green comes back! Fall brings the beautiful colors of changing leaves, campfires and hiking trips.
But summer perhaps, is the best time of year in Southern Illinois! Why, you say? Because summer opens the door for hundreds of excited girls to attend GSSI resident and day camps!
Each year in June and July, there is a buzz in the air as sleeping bags are dug out, canteens are washed and backpacks are filled with camping essentials! Not only is camp crazy fun, but it plays an important part in a girl’s development, as well!
Camping is so much more than just sleeping outside in a tent or a cabin!! These camping experiences are teaching girls life skills, independence and, for Pete’s sake, it’s getting them out of the house and away from technology for a while. By sending girls to camp, parents are helping their daughters build courage, confidence and character while exploring a new world of experiences. Girls have the opportunity to make new friends, learn how to work together in a unit and try fun and new activities that they may have previously thought they couldn’t do.
Camping also helps girls foster a love and appreciation of the outdoors. It is important now, more than ever, that children feel a connection to nature so that in turn, they will grow to be environmentally responsible adults.
So you see, something as small as attending a session at resident camp or day camp can really make a long term difference in a girl’s life! Why not give it a try this summer!    You can view GSSI’s summer camp opportunities online at:

Girl Scouts having fun at camp last summer.