Monday, December 21, 2015

New Gift of Caring Photos of U.S. Service Members Enjoying Girl Scout Cookies

Our Gift of Caring partner, Mission of Moms, has sent us more photos of U.S. Service Members enjoying Girl Scout Cookies sent from Southern Illinois.  These very special "thank yous" make our holiday season extra merry and bright!

Thank You from Afghanistan


Thank You from Iraq

Thank You from the USS Cape St. George 

The USS Cape St. George 



Sunday, December 20, 2015

Searching for a Last Minute Holiday Gift? How About Girl Scout Camp?!





Looking for something extra for your holiday gift list?  Consider the gift of Girl Scout Camp!  GSSI has opportunities for Summer 2016 available on our website now.


2016 Resident Camp

This summer, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is partnering with Touch of Nature (on Little Grassy Lake), Camp Ondessonk (in Ozark, IL) and DuBois Center (DuBois, IL) 

Girls attending a mini-session (four days/three nights) or week long session (seven days/six nights) at Touch of Nature will stay in cabins with electricity and air conditioning.  Girls will use flush toilets and covered shower houses during their time at camp.  Camp activities may include swimming in Little Grassy Lake, canoeing, hiking, archery, environmental education, rock climbing (older girls), high ropes (older girls) camp crafts, badge work, and, of course, Girl Scouts songs and camp fires!

Girls attending a week long session (seven days/six nights) at Camp Ondessonk will stay in rustic, three sided cabins.  Girls will use latrines in their unit but have access to flush toilets and shower houses nearby.  Camp activities may include swimming in Lake Saint Isaac, canoeing, archery, riflery, hanicrafts, hiking, horseback riding, challenge courses, overnight campout under the stars, Girl Scout songs and camp fires, and an all-camp marathon to end the week!

Sessions at DuBois Center are being planned with their staff now - more information coming soon! 



2016 Day Camp 

GSSI holds several Day Camps each summer at locations throughout our council.  Thanks to the hard work and dedication of great volunteers, our Day Camp program continues to grow and provide girls with a premier outdoor experience.  2016 hosts so far: 


Belleville 
Carlyle
Charleston
Collinsville 
Columbia 
Edwardsville 
Effingham Older Girl Camp
Effingham Younger Girl Camp 
ESTL/Cahokia 
Granite City
Bond County
Highland
Jefferson County
Massac County
Mini STEM Day Camp 
O’Fallon 
Staunton 
STEM Day Camp 
UPAC
Waterloo



Friday, December 18, 2015

Jessica Drewer From Highland Earns the Girl Scout Gold Award



Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) is pleased to announce that Jessica Drewer from Highland has received the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can receive.

For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, called Music, Reading, Healthy Eating, Jessica worked with KinderCottage in East St. Louis. Having already volunteered at the center with her church youth group, Jessica knew the needs of the center. She provided them with a bookshelf and books for a library. Jessica also created a music program using homemade instruments out of recyclable materials and a coloring book showing the instruments and their names. She also provided backpacks and school supplies for each child entering kindergarten. In addition, Jessica also worked to provide healthy snacks for the children.

“Sometimes we must be selfless and reach out to those in need, ” said Jessica. 

Jessica is the daughter of Carole Drewer. She is a 2015 graduate of Highland High School and was a Girl Scout for 12 years.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, recognizes a Girl Scout's commitment to excellence as she develops skills and values to meet present and future challenges in her life. To earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, a Girl Scout Senior or Girl Scout Ambassador must design and carry out a project that fulfills a need within a girl’s community, creates change, and is sustainable. The project must be completed with a suggested minimum of 80 hours of work. Only about 6 percent of eligible girls earn the prestigious Gold Award.

Today, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. is the largest voluntary organization for girls in the world. Its sole focus is to meet the needs of all girls (ages 5-17) from diverse racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. 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.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Robotics Success Symbol of Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois' Dedication to STEM



GSSI Robotics teams had great success during recent FIRST LEGO League (FLL) regional qualifying tournaments in November and December, indicative of GSSI's commitment to bringing  girls relevant, exciting opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

FLL is a robotics program for 9 to 14 year olds which is designed to get children excited about science and technology, as well as teach them valuable life skills. Along with programming robots, teams are also evaluated on an elaborate research project, as well as how well they demonstrate FLL Core Values, which include teamwork, collective learning, active participation and gracious professionalism. After practicing and preparing for months, teams meet at regional qualifying tournaments to be graded on the three elements, with the top teams advancing to state competition.

"Our FLL teams have had an amazing year," said STEM Program Manager Mary Buchanan.  "We had four teams win awards this year and have expanded into two new areas in the southern part of our jurisdiction - Anna and Carbondale.  We would love to continue expanding the robotics program throughout the council because girls love the exciting, team-oriented STEM challenges it offers."

Buchanan also noted that GSSI's Robotics Program has gotten more men involved with Girl Scouts.  "More than half of our robotics teams - including our FIRST TECH Challenge team for older girls -has had a father coaching," she said. "Seeing more dads participating and helping build girls' confidence and skills in STEM is great!"

Career opportunities related to STEM fields are expected to continue to grow and studies show they pay 33% more than non-STEM jobs. However, a recent survey by the Girl Scouts Research Institute found that while 74% of high school girls are interested in STEM, less than a quarter of jobs in that field are filled by women.  Girl Scouts offers numerous program opportunities to encourage more girls to follow their interests to build for a successful future.

"We're so grateful for all of the parents, volunteers and supporters who invest in our Robotics Program," said Buchanan.  "Studies show that girls actually do have a high interest in STEM activities, despite the stereotype.  Providing them with role models, encouragement and interesting challenges helps develop this interest and opens their minds to future opportunities."


Girl Scout teams at the FLL regional qualifier on Dec. 5 at Carriel Jr. High in O'Fallon



2015 GSSI  FIRST LEGO League Summary: 

Teams participating in FLL Tournaments: 

Coding Catricorns and Coach Scott Gilbert, Carbondale
Fire Breathing Hexicorns and Coach Julie Herr, Belleville*
Flower STEMs and Coach Megan Terrell, O'Fallon*
GIR! and Coach Jason Dothager, Staunton*
Knights of the Round LEGO and Coach Winnie Kenney, O'Fallon*
Lightning Storm and Coach Sarah Klosterman, Belleville*
Purple Robot Penguins and Coach Larry Buchanan, O'Fallon*
Robots of the Round Table and Coach Celeste Borders, Anna
Super Weird Awesome Tinkerbots and Coach Krysti Connelly, Troy*
Undercover Upcyclers and Coach Jill Thomas, Albers

Three additional teams hosted by GSSI participated in the FLL program, but elected not to compete.

*GSSI teams in the Metro East were sponsored by The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company.


Award winning teams: 


Purple Robot Penguins had the top score in the Robot Game and took home
the Champion's Award for overall top team performance. 

At the FLL regional qualifier on Dec. 5 at Carriel Jr. High in O'Fallon, two GSSI teams took home awards.  Purple Robot Penguins won the Champion's Award for being the overall top performing team at the tournament.  They also won the Performance Award for having the top table score during the robot game.   The team qualified to compete in the Illinois FLL State Tournament on Jan. 23 at University of Illinois. 

Knights of the Round LEGO during competition.  The young team won the Rookie Award. 
At the same tournament, Knights of the Round LEGO won the Rookie Award, for being the top performing first year team.

SWAT displaying their award-winning research project. 
Also on Dec. 5, Super Weird Awesome Tinkerbots (SWAT) won the Project Award at the FLL regional qualifier at Cassens Elementary School in Edwardsville, for their exceptional research project.

GIR! presenting during judging rounds of the FLL tournament.
The team won the Core Values Award.

On Nov. 23, GIR! won the Core Values Award during the FLL regional qualifier at Carriel Jr. High in O'Fallon.  The Core Values Award honors teams that exemplify the cornerstones of the FLL program, such as teamwork, friendly competition, collective learning and gracious professionalism.



About Monsanto Fund
The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at www.monsantofund.org.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

GSSI Service Center December & January Schedule





Please be advised of the holiday schedule for GSSI Service Centers & Council Shops in Glen Carbon & Mt. Vernon.

Service Centers and Council Shops will be closed on Dec. 17 for an all-staff meeting and from Dec. 23-Jan. 3 for holiday break.   They will also be closed on Jan. 18 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. 

GSSI Council Shops will be open for extended hours on Dec. 15 until 7 p.m. and 9 a.m.-Noon on January 9, 2016.






Thursday, December 10, 2015

Danielle Patton from Mt. Vernon Earns the Girl Scout Gold Award





Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) is pleased to announce that Danielle Patton from Mt. Vernon has received the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can receive. 

For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, called A Fresh Start From My Heart, Danielle worked with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) to brighten the lives of the children being served by the organization. Danielle created age appropriate Birthday Boxes which contained the necessary items for a child’s birthday party. She also created Blessing Bags for the children that were filled with such things as personal hygiene products, toys, books and socks. The final step of Danielle’s project consisted of her making Life Books for the children. These notebooks contained autographed pictures of local celebrities that provided encouragement and inspiration to the children who received them.

Danielle gained valuable life skills from completing her Girl Scout Gold Award project. “I learned that I am very fortunate to have such unconditional love and support from my family and friends,” said Danielle. “I learned to recognize a problem, take control, be a leader and take action to help make a difference,” she added.

Danielle is the daughter of Greg and Lesa Patton. She is currently a junior at Mt. Vernon Township High School. Danielle has been a Girl Scout for 12 years. 


The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, recognizes a Girl Scout's commitment to excellence as she develops skills and values to meet present and future challenges in her life. To earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, a Girl Scout Senior or Girl Scout Ambassador must design and carry out a project that fulfills a need within a girl’s community, creates change, and is sustainable. The project must be completed with a suggested minimum of 80 hours of work. Only about 6 percent of eligible girls earn the prestigious Gold Award.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Girl Scout Cookie Program Coming to Southern Illinois on January 9




Much more than a way to raise money, the Girl Scout Cookie Program is a hands-on leadership and entrepreneurial program unlike any other in the world.  Girls gain a wealth of essential skills, not from a book, but from real life experiences that build a strong foundation for success. When a Girl Scout sells you a package of cookies, she’s doing much more. She’s creating a plan, interacting with customers and working as part of a team. She’s also building a lifetime of skills and confidence linked to leadership and financial literacy. Countless successful businesswomen and community leaders say they got their start selling Girl Scout Cookies.



2016 GSSI Girl Scout Cookie Program Schedule

Cookie Rallies: January 8
Order Taking: January 9-30
Council Wide Booth Sales: January 9-10, February 26-28, March 4-6 


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Bailee Warsing from Granite City Has Earned the Girl Scout Gold Award


Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) is pleased to announce that Bailee Warsing from Granite City has received the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can receive. 

For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, called Raptor Residence, Bailee built a large residential cage for birds at Tree House Wildlife Center.  In addition to working with volunteers and donors to raise $3,000 to build the cage, Bailee also tackled the issue of dangers of human expansion on birds and particularly an osprey who had been hit by a car in Granite City.  As part of her project, she spoke to various groups about Tree House Wildlife Center and its efforts to rehabilitate injured birds.  She spoke to students at Ganite City High, younger Girl Scouts and community members.       

 “I learned that I really like leading events and coordinating of volunteers,” Bailee said.  I really liked spreading knowledge about topics I feel strongly about like wildlife conservation. I also learned many leadership skills including how to manage a team and to not procrastinate.”

Bailee is currently a senior at Granite City High School.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, recognizes a Girl Scout's commitment to excellence as she develops skills and values to meet present and future challenges in her life.  To earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, a Girl Scout Senior or Girl Scout Ambassador must design and carry out a project that fulfills a need within a girl’s community, creates change, and is sustainable.   The project must be completed with a suggested minimum of 80 hours of work.  Only about 6 percent of eligible girls earn the prestigious Gold Award.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

GSSI Council Shop Update: December 2015




New Items
Check out our new merchandise! GSSI has a multitude of new merchandise for girls and adult volunteers.  Stop by a retail shop soon or browse our virtual catalog.

GSSI Council Shop Hours
GSSI Council Shops are open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m, Monday through Thursday.

Extra Shop Hours
We will be open until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 and on 9 a.m.-Noon on the following Saturdays: December 5, 2015 & January 9, 2016

Online Shop
You can always shop for your Girl Scout merchandise 24/7 online!

Mobile Shops
Several areas are running Mobile Shops at their events.  You can too!!! If interested in a running a Mobile Shop at your local service unit or regional event, please contact Beth Ross, Business Services Manager at 618.692.0692, ext. 1129 or e-mail: bross@gsofsi.org

GSSI Council Shop Contact Information:
Corporate Service Center: Stacey Port: 618-692-0692, ext. 1101   e-mail: sport@gsofsi.org
Regional Service Center: Linda Quinn: 618.242.5079, ext. 2115   e-mail: lquinn@gsofsi.org




Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Maddie Farrar From Edwardsville Has Earned the Girl Scout Gold Award



Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) is pleased to announce that Maddie Farrar from Edwardsville has received the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can receive. 

For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, called Trailhead Sign for the Col. Benjamin Stephenson House, Maddie built and installed a trailhead sign for the Stephenson House. Often volunteering at the Stephenson House, Maddie saw a need for a sign to help communicate the purpose of the House and advertise their events, so she stepped in to help fill that need. After research and fundraising, Maddie was able to purchase a kit to build the sign and install it on the grounds of the Stephenson House. 

“I learned that being personable yet professional is key when building relationships,” Maddie said. “I learned that when you are working for something you love, it doesn’t feel like work anymore and it seems to fly by.”

Maddie is graduate of Edwardsville High School and is currently a freshman at Trinity College in Hartford, CT.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, recognizes a Girl Scout's commitment to excellence as she develops skills and values to meet present and future challenges in her life. To earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, a Girl Scout Senior or Girl Scout Ambassador must design and carry out a project that fulfills a need within a girl’s community, creates change, and is sustainable. The project must be completed with a suggested minimum of 80 hours of work. Only about 6 percent of eligible girls earn the prestigious Gold Award.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

2015 Nut, Candy & Magazine Program (NCM) Top Sellers By Service Unit



Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois’ 2015 Nut, Candy & Magazine (NCM) Program was a tremendous success as approximately 4,164 girls participated, raising more than $643, 816. 

Also, through generous support of this year's “Project Thank you” campaign, GSSI is able to send 2,176 cans of honey roasted peanuts to U.S. service members.  

“We had a great program this year,” said Kelly Jansen, Director of Product Programs. “The success of this year's NCM program is due largely to the dedication of our girls, their parents, our fantastic volunteers and of course everyone who supported the girls by purchasing an item.” 

Girl Scout Product Programs provide numerous opportunities for girls to help them grow into leaders for America and teaches them many valuable skills like goal setting, decision making and working together as a team.  Troops use product programs to raise funds for activities, community service, trips and more.  Proceeds also help GSSI provide quality programming, camp maintenance, adult volunteer training and financial assistance. 




2015 Nut, Candy & Magazine Program 
Top Sellers By Service Unit

Alton/Godfrey/Wood River/Roxana: Elisabeth Preston, Wood River - $1,019
Belleville/Swansea: Edyn Richie, Belleville - $837
Bethalto: Rileigh Henke, Moro - $421
Bond County: Grace Neer, Greenville - $537
Centralia: Olivia Sipe, Centralia - $584
Clark and Cumberland Counties: Jersey Lowe, Marshall - $652
Clay County: Libby Lagle, Olney - $1,009
ClinClair: Lynn Shirley, Summerfield - $812
Clinton County: Kaleigh Voegeli, Carlyle -  $913
Collinsville: Alexis Clair, Collinsville - $511
Crawford and Jasper Counties: Kayellen Stewart, West York - $659
East Marion County: Aubrey Ritter, Salem - $697
East St. Louis and Cahokia: Carre Renee Webster, Granite City - $444
East Williamson County: Ali Stephens, Marion - $606
Eastern Coles County: Ariana Sluder, Ashmore - $671
Edgar County: Kelsey Johnson, Paris - $159
Edwardsville/Glen Carbon: Cooper Rutledge, Glen Carbon - $1,278
Effingham County: McKaiyla Crooker, Altamont - $602
Extension Programs: Jaliah Pelly, East St. Louis - $592
Fairview Heights/Caseyville: Olivia McGeehan, Fairview Heights - $503
Fayette County: Evelyn Moreland, Ramsey - $468
Granite City/Madison/Venice: Bradyn Kremers, Granite City - $696
Highland: Megan Helm, Highland - $1,011
Jackson County: Payton Wessel, Carbondale - $773
Jefferson County: Taylor DeSmith, Mt. Vernon - $517
Jersey and Calhoun Counties: Claire Meininger, Shipman - $1,198
Johnson and Pope Counties: Taysean Acree, Cypress - $666
Lawrence County: Madyson Deckard, Lawrenceville - $469
Massac County: Iommi Dyer, Metropolis - $506
Millstadt/Columbia/Dupo/Smithton: Amelia Analla, Millstadt - $446
New Athens/Marissa/St. Libory/Freeburg: Chelsea Sinn, Freeburg - $1,006
North Franklin County: Olivia Tipton, Sesser - $605
North Randolph County: Alaina Smith, Ruma - $908
O'Fallon/Shiloh: Delaney Hall, Lebanon - $1,062
Perry County: Brooklyn Neville, Pinckneyville - $504
Richland County: Kloe Elder, Olney - $607
Shawnee: Kylie Price, Carrier Mills - $1,039
South Macoupin County: Cadence Miller, Staunton - $744
South Randolph County: Kamryn Patterson, Steeleville - $840
Troy/St. Jacob: Mikayla Massie, Troy - $548
Union, Pulaski & Alexander Counties: Kaitlyn Sullivan, Makanda - $1,098
Wabash and Edwards Counties: Jordis Riley, Allendale - $690
Washington County: Olivia Verges, Nashville - $299
Waterloo: Jenna Hoeffken, Waterloo - $531
Wayne, Hamilton & White Counties: Dallas Sullivan, Norris City - $534
West Frankfort: Alyssa Cremer, West Frankfort - $512
West Williamson County: Sophia Silger, Carbondale - $1,104
Western Coles County: Samantha Cordes, Mattoon - $694 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Sarozjani Hunter from Shiloh Has Earned the Girl Scout Gold Award


Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) is pleased to announce that Sarozjani Hunter from Shiloh has received the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can receive. 

For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, called Hashtag Stay Active, Sarozjani wanted to promote physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle at an area summer camp for children in grades K-2. She created a lesson plan with a variety of sports and activities, each lesson including a motivational quote and nutritional tip of the day. Sarozjani also developed a daily nutritional plan and balanced menu that could be utilized by the summer camp for years to come.

“I am a sports enthusiast; I have been involved in a variety of sports from a young age,” Sarozjani said. “I wanted other children to learn about the importance of physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle at a fundamental age in their lives just as I did.”

Sarozjani is the daughter of Janfrey and Cynthia Hunter. She is currently a junior at Governor French Academy. Sarozjani has been a Girl Scout for 9 years. After graduation, she plans to major in Biomedical Engineering.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, recognizes a Girl Scout's commitment to excellence as she develops skills and values to meet present and future challenges in her life. To earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, a Girl Scout Senior or Girl Scout Ambassador must design and carry out a project that fulfills a need within a girl’s community, creates change, and is sustainable. The project must be completed with a suggested minimum of 80 hours of work. Only about 6 percent of eligible girls earn the prestigious Gold Award.

Today, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. is the largest voluntary organization for girls in the world. Its sole focus is to meet the needs of all girls (ages 5-17) from diverse racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. 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.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Summer/Fall 2015 Girl Scout Award Recipients




Congratulations to the Summer/Fall 2015 Girl Scout Award recipients! 







Girl Scout Gold Award

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award for girls in Girl Scouting, recognizes leadership, effort and impact that Girl Scout Seniors and Girl Scout Ambassadors have had on their communities. Only about 5 percent of eligible girls take the rigorous path toward earning this prestigious award, but those who complete the journey change the lives of others and their own in amazing and significant ways. earn and shows that she has made a promise to help others, improve her community and world, and become the best she can be.

Congratulations to the following girls for earning the Girl Scout Gold Award: 

Carlie Daffron, DuQuoin; Jessica Drewer, Highland; Maddie Farrar, Edwardsville; Haley Gregson, Waterloo; Emily Hocking, Greenville; Sarozjani Hunter, Shiloh; Alexa Keiser, Edwardsville; Danielle Patton, Mt. Vernon; Eliza Pauk, Edwardsville; Marlaina Snow, Troy; Angela Stratman, Waterloo; Krista VanDriel, Mt. Vernon; Bailee Warsing, Granite City

Watch our blog & social media platforms for profiles on each Girl Scout Gold Awardee! 



Girl Scout Silver Award


Introduced in 1980, the Girl Scout Silver Award is the highest award girls in grades 6-8 can earn. It is symbolic of accomplishments in Girl Scouting and community activities, as a girl becomes her best self and builds the world around her. The Girl Scout Silver Award represents a girl's accomplishments in Girl Scouting and her community as she grows and works to improve her life and the lives of others.

Girls typically spend a minimum 50 hours working on their projects, after the completion of a Girl Scout Journey and project approval.


Congratulations to the following girls for earning the Girl Scout Silver Award: 

Amanda Aaron, Kaylee Barlow, Natalie Blaies, Mia Boyer-Edwards, Lace Brandenburg, Bree Brock, Mary Buchanan, Bailey Burman, Megan Buss, Cassie Campbell, Shelby Crook, Mara Dalman, Denise D’Antonio, Alyssa Deremiah, Elise Dodel, Erin Dowdy, Isabella Doyle, Alyssa Elie, Gwendolyn Emrich, Katherine Freimuth, Nina Grant, Rachel Hall, Cailyn Haubein, Alaina Herman Kristina Hilmes, Alexa Huller, Megan Huller, Katherine Jones, Alanna Kaminsky, Makenzie Kieser, Kassandra King, Loren Koenigstein, Emma Kramer, Hailey Krause, Mikayla Kuznicki, Samantha Maddox, Elana Melzer, Hannah Miller, Beth Anne Mislan, Jessica Penford, Kadi Petersen, Holly Plantz, Maggie Plush, Katie Reagan, Lauren Reis, Hannah Retzer, Connie Reynolds, Emily Roth, Hailey Runyon, Lane Sedlacek, Grace Seidel, Katherine Shamdin, Jackie Simpson, Sierra Smallie, Alison Smith, Ashley Szabo, ElizabethTapen, Lena Tennant, Gwendolyn Thomas, Samantha Tipton, Hannah Wilson, Abigail Womack



Girl Scout Bronze Award

The Girl Scout Bronze Award is the highest award a Girl Scout Junior may earn and shows that she has made a promise to help others, improve her community and world, and become the best that she can be.

Congratulations to the following girls for earning the Girl Scout Bronze Award: 

Kayla Ahne, Emma Amaya, Rhiannon Anderson, Margaret Ankrom, Rebecca Bagby, Athena Ballard, Madison Banks, Amelia Barfield, Emmalee Bertram, Haley Bode, Ana Boeker, Mary Brinkmann, Summer Burkhardt, Autumn Cheesman, Kristen Chepely, Anna Rose Chor, Mallory Clevenger, Erin Connor, Shyan Courtney, Nikolette Cox-York, Carly Dahm, Emily Davidson, Meegan Deer, Olivia Degenhardt, Kailyn Dewalt, Hayley Dorn, Hope Dunagan, Kayla Edwards, Hope Foret, Mikinzie Galligan, Abby Gawel, Megan Glascock, Katie Hatch, Ayla Hicks, Jolie Hilgedieck, Katie Holtgrewe, Madison Hood, Kabrina Houston, Kinsey Inman, Katie Jackson, Madasyn Jackson, Jade Jarrell, Madison Johnson, Jamie Jones, Alexandria Kampmeinert, Morgan Keefe, Ashley Kempfer, Hailey Keys, Ashley King, Elizabeth King, Sydney King, Amelia Kuznicki, Kyleigh Landi, Kylie Lane, Amber Lankford, Hanna Leath, Delaynie Lee, Raegan Lumpp, Marisa Luna, Molly Malloy, Mikayla Massie, Rory McCormick, Mykenzie McCulloch, Madison Middleton, Taylor Nolan, Ellie Parker, Claire Paule, Haily Peach, Faith Porschen, Marissa Potts, Isabella Price, Kaitlyn Prindable, Hailey Proffitt, Emma Prott, Maddie Quaid, Kaylee Rambo, Grace Range, Brooke Rheaume, Chloe Rheinhardt, Samantha Rittis, Audra Robinson, Morgan Ruesink, Haley Ruffino, Katie Sabo, McKinley Saffel, Kate Schneider, Chloe Seeger, Karli Shockley, Hannah Shular, Molly Smith, Chanel Smith, Jillian Smith, Brianna Springman, Cassidy Staehle, Lauren Suhl, Tiara Talley, Sage Thole, Emily Vandersad, Abby Vandoren, Sarah Vanover, Alyson Vaughn, Kaleigh Voegeli, Emerson Wallace, Elissabeth Walsh, Riely Ward, Kate Wexell, Morgan Williams, Isabelle Wilson, Kalia Winchester, Brianna Wishard, Noelle Wolf, Rachel Yates, Emma York, Stacey Zerbst

Monday, November 16, 2015

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois & Mission of Moms Sending 2,176 Cans of Honey Roasted Peanuts to U.S. Troops




Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) and Mission of Moms are sending 2,176 cans of honey roasted peanuts to members of the U.S. military.  The treats were donated through the "Project Thank You," campaign that allows customers to make a purchase to send to troops during GSSI's Nut, Candy & Magazine (NCM) program this fall.

Giving back to American service members is a traditional part of GSSI product programs.  Thanks to the generosity of our supporters during the 2015 Girl Scout Cookie Program, 1,120 total cases of Girl Scout Cookies were donated to U.S. Troops around the globe.  The 2016 Girl Scout Cookie Program will run Jan. 9-30, with Cookie Booth Weekends on January 9-10, February 26-28, March 4-6 and March 11-13.  Watch for more information on how you can send Girl Scout Cookies in support and appreciation of them military during the upcoming Cookie Program. 

Mission of Moms is an nonprofit based in Collinsville that is dedicated to helping improve the daily lives of our deployed United States military men and women. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Alyssa Heimerman: Girl Scout Gold Award recipient to Air Force Officer



Since 1916, Girl Scouts have been making meaningful, sustainable change in their communities and around the world through their Girl Scout Gold Award projects. The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. As the Girl Scout Gold Award celebrates 100 years of girls changing the world, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) will highlight some of our shining stars who exemplify the greatness of this award.

Alyssa Heimerman

Alyssa Heimerman, originally from Belleville, earned her Girl Scout Gold Award in 2009. Alyssa believed more environmental-based learning opportunities should be provided to youth in grades K-12. For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, she teamed up with the YMCA. The organization provided Alyssa with a trailer on their grounds for her to renovate into an Environmental Education Center. Alyssa worked to renovate the interior of the trailer, build a deck outside, create nature trails around the area and develop a K-12 curriculum.

Alyssa Heimerman, originally from Belleville, earned her Girl Scout Gold Award in 2009. Alyssa believed more environmental-based learning opportunities should be provided to youth in grades K-12. For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, she teamed up with the YMCA. The organization provided Alyssa with a trailer on their grounds for her to renovate into an Environmental Education Center. Alyssa worked to renovate the interior of the trailer, build a deck outside, create nature trails around the area and develop a K-12 curriculum.

The Girl Scout Gold Award recognizes a Girl Scout's commitment to excellence as she develops skills and values to meet present and future challenges in her life. To earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, a Girl Scout Senior or Girl Scout Ambassador must design and carry out a project that fulfills a need within a girl’s community, creates change, and is sustainable. The project must be completed with a suggested minimum of 80 hours of work. 

Only about 5 percent of eligible girls earn the prestigious Gold Award. “Find something you are passionate about, something that you want to make better, something that motivates you…and don’t give up,” are words of encouragement Alyssa offers to Girl Scouts who want earn the highest award in Girl Scouting.

Completing a Girl Scout Gold Award project benefits the community by filling a need, but the project also benefits the girl by helping her gain skills she can take into adulthood. Alyssa, now a 1st Lieutenant with the United States Air Force, says her Girl Scout Gold Award project helped prepare her to enter the military. "My Gold Award project prepared me to become a military officer and leader by teaching and reinforcing so many characteristics – communication, responsibility, short-term and long-term planning and time management," said Alyssa.

"I attribute a lot of who I am today to the Girl Scout organization," said Alyssa. "Girl Scouts teaches so many characteristics to help young ladies become women with confidence and open-mindedness to take on all the world has to offer. Organizations and corporations today need not only leaders, but also team players, and Girl Scouts is the ideal organization for girls to perfect those skills," Alyssa added.

Alyssa Heimerman is an Aircraft Maintenance Officer stationed at Travis Air Force Base in California. She is currently serving as the Operations and Training Flight Commander, 821 Contingency Response Support Squadron.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

GSSI FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Robotics Team To Compete





Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois FIRST Robotics League (FLL) teams will compete on November 24 and December 5.

FLL is a robotics program for 9 to 14 year olds which is designed to get children excited about science and technology, as well as teach them valuable life skills. Along with programming robots, teams are also evaluated on an elaborate research project, as well as how well they demonstrate FLL Core Values, which include teamwork, collective learning, active participation and gracious professionalism. After practicing and preparing for months, teams meet at regional qualifying tournaments to be graded on the three elements, with the top teams advancing to state competition.


GSSI FLL Regional Qualifying Tournament Schedule:

November 21 - Carriel Jr. High, O'Fallon 

Fire Breathing Hexicorns and Coach Julie Herr, Belleville
GIR! and Coach Jason Dothager, Staunton
Lightning Storm and Coach Sarah Klosterman, Belleville
Robots of the Round Table and Coach Celeste Borders, Anna

December 5 - Cassens Elementary School, Glen Carbon
Super Weird Awesome Tinkerbots and Coach Krysti Connelly, Troy 

December 5 - Carriel Jr. High, O'Fallon

Undercover Upcyclers and Coach Jill Thomas, Albers
Purple Robot Penguins and Coach Larry Buchanan, O'Fallon
Knights of the Round LEGO and Coach Winnie Kenney, O'Fallon
Flower STEMs and Coach Megan Terrell, O'Fallon
Coding Catricorns and Coach Scott Gilbert, Carbondale

FLL State Championships -January 23, 2016 
University of Illinois Activity and Rec Center: 201 Peabody Drive, Champaign, IL. 



Angela Stratman from Waterloo Has Earned the Girl Scout Gold Award


Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) is pleased to announce that Angela Stratman from Waterloo has received the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can receive.

For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, called Teamwork for Youth, Angela wanted to give back to Camp Wartburg, a camp she has been going to for 13 years. Angela and her Girl Scout troop have completed many team challenge courses over the years, so she wanted to build a group initiative course (GIC) at the camp. The objective of a GIC is to build teamwork through a group challenge. Angela’s obstacle is called a squeeze box, and the object of the challenge is to get groups of various sizes into the adjustable box. The GIC can become more challenging with additional stipulations, such as not being allowed to touch the outer wall while getting inside the box.

Angela gained valuable leadership skills while working with a group of people on her project. “Through doing my Girl Scout Gold Award, I have learned that anything is possible with determination and compromise,” said Angela.

Angela is the daughter of Ken and Susan Stratman. She is currently a senior at Waterloo High School. Angela has been a Girl Scout for 11 years.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, recognizes a Girl Scout's commitment to excellence as she develops skills and values to meet present and future challenges in her life. To earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, a Girl Scout Senior or Girl Scout Ambassador must design and carry out a project that fulfills a need within a girl’s community, creates change, and is sustainable. The project must be completed with a suggested minimum of 80 hours of work. Only about 6 percent of eligible girls earn the prestigious Gold Award.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Four Easy Ways to Support GSSI!



1) Schnucks eScrip

You can support GSSI simply by shopping at Schnucks!
  1. Pick up an eScrip card from Fund Development or at any Schnucks store.
  2. Register your card online or call (800) 931-6258 and select Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois as a benefitting organization.
  3. When you shop at Schnucks, have your card scanned when you check out
  4. Up to 3% of your purchase price will be donated to GSSI – at no additional cost to you!






2) Kroger

Simply enroll your Kroger Plus Card online at kroger.com/communityrewards. Once you’ve successfully enrolled, the organization you’ve chosen will earn rewards on all eligible purchases you make using your Kroger Plus Card.

Learn more at www.kroger.com/communityrewards or, call Kroger Customer Communications at 1-800-KROGERS, OPTION #3.



3) Ebay Giving Works

You can support GSSI each time you sell an item on ebay! Here’s how it works:
  1. Seller lists item - List any item for your charity and donate between 10-100% of the proceeds
  2.  eBay collects donation - After the item sells, PayPal Giving Fund, eBay's nonprofit partner, collects your donated proceeds and eBay then credits your selling fees proportional to the amount donated. 
  3. Donation sent to charity - PayPal Giving Fund processes the donation and distributes it to your designated charity. 
Visit givingworks.ebay.com to sign up or link your existing ebay account.



4) AmazonSmile


AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization (GSSI) every time you shop - at no cost to you.

When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization.


On your first visit to www.smile.amazon.com select Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois as your charitable organization. For each eligible purchase, GSSI will receive .5% of your purchase price!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Eliza Paulk From Edwardsville Has Earned the Girl Scout Gold Award


Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) is pleased to announce that Eliza Pauk from Edwardville has received the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can receive. 

For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, called Chimney Swift Tower, Eliza built a large artificial chimney that is essentially a large bird house. The Chimney Swift Tower can accommodate up to 300 Swifts. According to Eliza, Chimney Swifts are birds that keep mosquito populations at bay. But unfortunately, their nests are built in residential chimneys and in the winter can catch fire if the chimney is in use. As a result, many residents use chimney caps which takes away the Chimney Swifts home. Her artificial tower now gives area Swifts a home year round.

“My Girl Scout Gold Award project really taught me that leadership doesn’t mean doing everything,” Eliza said. “Often, being a good leader means being able to instruct a group on how to do something and then trust them to follow directions,” she said. Eliza believes that her project will be a gateway for other chimney towers to built; already she has heard of another Girl Scout who will build a chimney swift tower.

Eliza is currently a freshman at Salisbury University studying nursing. She is the daughter of Jeff and Melinda Pauk and has been a Girl Scout for 10 years.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, recognizes a Girl Scout's commitment to excellence as she develops skills and values to meet present and future challenges in her life. To earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, a Girl Scout Senior or Girl Scout Ambassador must design and carry out a project that fulfills a need within a girl’s community, creates change, and is sustainable. The project must be completed with a suggested minimum of 80 hours of work. Only about 6 percent of eligible girls earn the prestigious Gold Award.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

GSSI Raises $5,492 during United Way Staff Campaign

 
 
 
GSSI staff raised $5,492 and had 100% participation during their annual United Way campaign. GSSI is a member agency of several United Ways throughout its 40 1/2 county jurisdiction. United Way improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good.

“GSSI is proud to be a partner of United Way,” said Development Manager Amy Sample, who led GSSI’s staff campaign. “It’s wonderful to be a part of the strong community of agencies that help so many people.”

Monday, November 2, 2015

GSSI Council Shop Update: November 2015



Check out our new merchandise! GSSI has a multitude of new merchandise for girls and adult volunteers. Stop by a retail shop soon or browse our virtual catalog!

Shop Coupon
Did you earn a shop coupon earlier for making a purchase of $75 or more earlier this fall? Don't forget to redeem it by Nov. 25!

GSSI Council Shop Hours
GSSI Council Shops are open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Fall Extra Shop Hours
We are currently open on Tuesday evenings until 7 p.m. through December 15, 2015

Saturday Hours
GSSI Shops will be open from 9 a.m. to noon on the following Saturdays:

November 7, 2015
December 5, 2015

Mobile Shops
Several areas are running Mobile Shops at their events. You can too!!! If interested in a running a Mobile Shop at your local service unit or regional event, please contact Beth Ross, Business Services Manager. at 618.692.0692, ext. 1129 or e-mail: bross@gsofsi.org or one of the Council Shop contacts below.

Online Shop
You can always shop for your Girl Scout merchandise 24/7 online!

GSSI Council Shop Contact Information:
Corporate Service Center: Stacey Port: 618-692-0692, ext. 1101 e-mail: sport@gsofsi.org
Regional Service Center: Linda Quinn: 618.242.5079, ext. 2115 e-mail: lquinn@gsofsi.org



 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Marlaina Snow From Troy Has Earned the Girl Scout Gold Award



Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) is pleased to announce that Marlaina Snow from Troy has received the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can receive.

For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, called C.A. Henning Butterfly Garden, Marlaina built a butterfly garden at the school. When the new school playground was built, the former butterfly garden was destroyed. She had fond memories of the old butterfly garden and wanted to bring it back to her school.

Her new butterfly garden has an outdoor classroom for students to explore and teachers to give lessons about butterflies and nature.  There are also multiple benches for students to sit on and many butterfly houses for the butterflies. 


Marlaina herself learned valuable lessons about goal setting and flexibility through the course of her project.

"Throughout my Girl Scout Gold Award project, I learned that not everything is going to go as planned," she said.  "Sometimes you have to come up with a new idea so your original goal will run smoothly."

She added that while doing her Girl Scout Gold Award project she learned that not everything goes as planned and sometimes you have to come up with new ideas so your original goal will go smoothly.

Marlaina is the daughter of Brad and Marla Snow from Troy. She is currently a junior at Triad High School. She has been a Girl Scout for 11 years.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, recognizes a Girl Scout's commitment to excellence as she develops skills and values to meet present and future challenges in her life. To earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, a Girl Scout Senior or Girl Scout Ambassador must design and carry out a project that fulfills a need within a girl’s community, creates change, and is sustainable. The project must be completed with a suggested minimum of 80 hours of work. Only about 6 percent of eligible girls earn the prestigious Gold Award.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Way of Lights Walk Together Full & Closed. No Walk-In Registrants, Please

 
 
We have received the following important message regarding the Illinois Trekkers Girl Scout Walk Together at Our Lady of the Snows Shrine on Nov. 17.
 
 
Way of Lights Walk Together November 17, 2015
Due to the overwhelming response this year for our Girl Scout Walk Together, Illinois Trekkers will NOT be accepting walk-ins on event day. Only those who have pre-registered will be able to walk through the lights. We have over 600 Girl Scouts and families registered at this time. Our start point is too small to accommodate any more participants. We want everyone to enjoy their experience with us and are working to alleviate the situation so we may have unlimited walkers in the future. Please keep us in mind in 2016!
Thank you,
Deb Kruep AVA Youth Chair

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Haley Gregson From Waterloo Earns the Girl Scout Gold Award



Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) is pleased to announce that Haley Gregson from Waterloo has received the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can receive. 

For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, called Growing For Faith, Haley built a flower bed at Camp Wartburg Lutheran Retreat in Waterloo. As part of her project, Haley first bricked the edges, then planted bright and colorful perennial plants and finally mulched the area.  

“I hope my Girl Scout Gold Award project will make a positive impact on Camp Wartburg campers,” Haley said. “I used plants that are native to the Monroe County region. Through this project, I learned to never give up and that effort is the key to success,” she added.

Haley is the daughter of George and Beth Gregson from Waterloo. She is currently a senior at Waterloo High School. She has been a Girl Scout for 11 years.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, recognizes a Girl Scout's commitment to excellence as she develops skills and values to meet present and future challenges in her life. To earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, a Girl Scout Senior or Girl Scout Ambassador must design and carry out a project that fulfills a need within a girl’s community, creates change, and is sustainable. The project must be completed with a suggested minimum of 80 hours of work. Only about 6 percent of eligible girls earn the prestigious Gold Award.