Monday, August 31, 2015

GSSI Council Shop Updates: September 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.

Back To Troop Promotion
Make a purchase of $75 or more in GSSI’s Council Shops from September 1 to October 15, 2015 and receive a $10 coupon to use from November 1 to 25, 2015 on a $25 or more in shop purchase. Some exclusions apply.

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
Starting Tuesday September 15th and going through Tuesday December 15th, the shops will be open untl 7 p.m. on Tuesday evenings.


Saturday Hours
The shop will be open from 9 a.m. to noon on the following Saturdays

September 12, 2015
October 3, 2015
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.

GSSI Council Shop Contact Information:
Corporate Service Center: Stacey Port: 618-692-0692, ext. 1101 e-mail: sport@gsofsi.org
Regional Service Center: Brittany Galloway: 618.242.5079, ext. 2103 e-mail: bgalloway@gsofsi.org


Go to GSSI’s Online Shop

Friday, August 28, 2015

Stan and Lois Clark Recognized at Illinois State Fair for Volunteer Service



Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois’ Stan and Lois Clark, from Trenton, have reached a milestone that few other volunteers can ever imagine achieving. This husband and wife team have been volunteering with Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts for a combined 130 years. On August 17, Stan and Lois were recognized by Illinois Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger at the Illinois State Fair for their many years of service to girls and their community. The state fair had proclaimed Tuesday as Senior Citizens Day and Girl Scout Day.

 “Girl Scouting in southern Illinois would not be what it is today without the dedication, passion and leadership of all of our volunteers, but Stan and Lois are the benchmark,” said Villie M. Appoo, GSSI Chief Executive Officer. “This wonderful couple volunteer in so many different roles for GSSI, ranging from leading two Girl Scout troops, to Service Unit involvement and teaching CPR/First Aid/AED certification classes,” Appoo added. “We have recognized their volunteer service here in southern Illinois, but it is heart-warming to see them recognized statewide by Comptroller Munger.”
Stan and Lois grew up across the street from each other and bonded from their mutual love of Scouting. They stayed involved through all age levels, and went right on to becoming leaders as adults. From being stationed overseas and back, they never left Girl Scouts. Lois even started a troop of Girl Guides when they lived in Greece. Their children were also in Girl and Boy Scouts…in fact, each of them earned the Girl Scout Gold Award (two daughters) and their son earned the Eagle Scout Award.
“Stan is a perfect example of how we should respect each other and respect those who lead us. He is dedicated to what Girl Scouts stands for…dedicated to God, Country, helpful and courageous; he is the Girl Scout Promise and Law wrapped into one human being,” said JoAnna Espique, Service Unit 202 volunteer.

“Lois is a very special person who is a leader and inspiration,” said Lara Lynn, Service Unit 109 volunteer. “She is caring and loving. Because of all these traits she is a true Girl Scout from the heart. I don’t know where my life would be if I had not met and worked with her!”

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Heather Grotecke from Granite City is GSSI's August Pearl of the Month

 
 
GSSI is pleased to announce Heather Groetecke of Granite City is the August 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 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.

Heather leads a troop of Junior girls as well as a Senior/Ambassador group. She has involved them both in the Challenge and Change project which is a Girl Scout grant program funded through the USDA. The girls put the garden plot together and meet weekly to weed, water, mow, and tend to their portion of the garden as needed. Heather has even brought chickens out so that the girls can learn about animals. She utilizes the different age levels of her troops to allow the older girls the opportunity to teach and supervise the younger girls. It is a great learning experience for all involved.

To nominate a volunteer from your area for a Pearl of the Month award, please fill out the form on the following page and e-mail it to volunteer@gsofsi.org.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Dancing With Our Stars Raises $21,000 for Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois

2015 Dancing With Our Stars Winner The Bollywood Twisters
 
 
Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois raised more than $21,000 during its 7th Annual Dancing With Our Stars (DWOS) fundraiser at Krieger’s Convention Center at the Holiday Inn in Mt. Vernon on Saturday, Aug. 22. Dance team The Bollywood Twisters, sponsored by Kaushal Pediatrics, took home the Mirror Ball Trophy for first place. Carolyn and Dean Montague, sponsored by Paulette and Ron Schneider, won the Judges Choice award.  See Photo Album

 Also participating were the dance teams of: Centre Stage Dancers, sponsored by Centre Stage Studios; Devin Riley and Kara Bachelor, sponsored by Poppy’s; Mt. Vernon High School Drama Club, sponsored by Candy and Fred Isberner; Lesa Woods, sponsored by Larry and Bobbie Drury; Sister Suffragettes, sponsored by Centre Stage Studios; The Hocketts, sponsored by Higgins Custom & Collision; Drama Mamas, sponsored by Diane and Rick Siemer; and The New Evolution, sponsored by National Railway Equipment Co.

This is the second time the Bollywood Twisters participated in Dancing With Our Stars. Gauri is a freshman at University of Missouri Kansas City in a 6-year medical program. Younger sister Priyanka is a Mt. Vernon High School freshman. Their parents own Kaushal Pediatrics Services LTD in Mt. Vernon.

 “What a wonderful night during our 7th Annual Dancing With Our Stars,” said Villie M. Appoo, GSSI Chief Executive Officer. “We are so 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 Girl Scouts continue to develop leadership programs for girls, maintain and improve its camps and help outreach to at-risk girls.
Co-hosts for the event were Brandon Bullard with RARE and Bria Ashby with Community First Bank. Celebrity judges were Mike Beard from The Insurance Store, Joe Gliosci with Peoples National Bank, Finny Mathew of Crossroads Community Hospital and Mary Beth Mezo with Smokin’ T’s Competition BBQ.
 
2015 Dancing With Our Stars Judges

Teams competed to win DWOS’ 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.

Other DWOS sponsors included: Trophy Sponsor: Crossroads Community Hospital; Vote Tabulation Sponsor: Community First Bank; Silent Auction Sponsor: First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust, Premier Radio Sponsor, WDML; Fred and Tammy Klapetzky, DJ; and Krieger’s Convention Center at Holiday Inn.
 
 
Judges Choice Award Winners Carolyn & Dean Montague
All proceeds from DWOS will be used to provide financial assistance to at-risk girls, to maintain and improve GSSI camps and to develop Girl Scout leadership programs for nearly 14,000 girls throughout southern Illinois.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Fall 2015 GSSI Council Shop Promo: Get a $10 Coupon With a Purchase of $75 or More

 
 
 
Don't miss this upcoming GSSI Council Shop promotion!  If you make a purchase of $75 or more between Sept. 1 - Oct. 15, you'll get a $10 coupon that is valid November 1-25!  In-shop purchases will be valid for an in-shop coupon only. 

Customers can get a $10 coupon to use online by making a $75 purchase on Girl Scouts' online shop.  Online coupons will be valid from November 1-20.


Check out these new arrivals!
 
http://www.girlscoutshop.com/ADULT-VOLUNTEERS_2/QUARTER-ZIP-PULLOVER-ADULT-SWEATSHIRT
 
 
  
Girl Scout Mia Doll
 
Girl Scout Dolls (several styles)




Baseball Style T-Shirt


 
 
 
Fleece Vest


 
Fleece Vest (also in black)
 


 
 

 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Registration Nights: 2015 - Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois




Looking to get your daughter signed up for Girl Scouts?  Visit our website, www.gsofsi.org or find a Girl Scout Registration Night in your area!   Events may be listed by town or by county.  This list will be updated frequently with new information.  Want to sign up but don't see your area?  Contact GSSI's Director of Membership Joan Burke at 800.345.6858, ext. 1120 or e-mail jburke@gsofsi.org!


Alton/Godfrey Girl Scout Registration Night
September 8 from 6-7:30 p.m.
Upper Alton Baptist Church
Contact: Darcy Rowland at 618.466.3502 or krowland1@yahoo.com


Bridgeport Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Tammy Brunson at 618.928.4344


Buncombe Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Heidi Stapleton 618-771-3998

Campbell Hill Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Lesa Woods at 618.242.5079


Carbondale Girl Scout Registration Night
September 3 from 5-7 p.m.
Turley Park
Contact: Kristen Heavrin at 618.899.5211


Carterville Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Debra Horn at 618.727.0002


Centralia Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Centralia Jr. High
Contact: Kathy Stachowski at 618.322.2755


Charleston/Eastern Coles County Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Miranda Zerbst at 217.246.0848 or charlestongirlscouts@yahoo.com


Chester Girl Scout Registration Night
September 1 from 5-7 p.m.
McDonald’s
New girls registering will receive ice cream or cookie, compliments of Chester McDonald’s
Contact: Lesa Woods at 618.242.5079


Clay City Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Beth at 618.676.1866


Clay County (North) Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Shelley Callahan at 618.335.6887


Coles County (Western) Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Katina at 217.235.6268 or e-mail su521gs@gmail.com


Crab Orchard Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Gretel Piepoint at 618.521.5614


Creal Spring Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Gretel Pierpoint at 618.521.5614


Cypress Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Heidi Stapleton 618.771.3998


Desoto Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Monica Hanson at 618.795.4271


East Marion County  Girl Scout Registration Night 
September 3 at 6 p.m.
Raccoon School
Contact: Melissa at 618.322.8419 or Cyndi at 618.267.9638.


Edwards County Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Tammy Krouse at 618.445.2859



Edwardsville Girl Scout Registration Night
September 14 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Edwardsville High School Media Center
Contact: Arti Clemon at 800.345.6858 or aclemon@gsofsi.org


Fairview Heights - William Holiday School Girl Scout Info Night
September 1 from 6:30-8 p.m.
William Holiday School Cafeteria
Contact: Kathryn.Tandy@gmail.com or 618.795.2607


Fayette County Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Lesa Woods at 618.242.5079


Gillespie Schools Girl Scout Registration Night
September 2 from 6-7:30 p.m.
Gillespie Middle School Cafeteria
Contact: Nicki Striegel at nstriegel@nelsononline.com or 217.839.2486.


Goreville Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact:  Angie Bernard at 618.889.1437


Greenville Girl Scout Registration Night
September 1 from 6-7 p.m.
Greenville First Christian Church
Contact: Lesa Woods at 618.242.5079


Hamilton County Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Susanna Mills at 618.643.4919


Herrin Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Debra Horn 618.727.0002


Highland Area Girl Scout Registration Night
(Also Alhambra/Grantfork)
Concluded
Contact Kathy Arend at katarend@charter.net or Dena Davis at denadavis@yahoo.com

Iuka Girl Scout Registration Night
September 1 at 6 p.m.
Iuka School
Contact: Melissa, Service Unit Registrar, at 618.322.8419 or Cyndi, Service Unit Manager, at 618.267.9638


Jerseyville Girl Scout Registration Night
September 1 from 6-8 p.m.
Feyerabend Building
Contact: Jennifer Kallal at 618.401.2054


Johnston City Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Gretel Pierpoint at 618.521.5614


Kinmundy Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Melissa at 618.322.8419 or Cyndi at 618.267.9638

Lawrenceville Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Tammy Brunson at 618.928.4344


Marion Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact Gretel Pierpoint:  618.521.5614


Metropolis Girl Scout Registration Night
September 8 from 4-6:30 p.m.
Girl Scout House (Park across from Sonic)
Contact: Lesa Woods at 618.242.5079


Mulberry Grove Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Lesa Woods at 618.242.5079

Murphysboro Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Kristen Heavrin at 618.899.5211


North Franklin County Girl Scout Registration Night
September 3 from 6-8 p.m.
Benton Grade School K-2 Gym/Cafeteria
Popcorn, drinks and each girl gets a book!
Contact: Alicia Dixon at 618.439.6030
 



Odin Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Melissa at 618.322.8419 or Cyndi  at 618.267.9638

Patoka Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Melissa at 618.322.8419 or Cyndi at 618.267.9638

Perry County Girl Scout Registration Night
September 11 from 5-7 p.m.
Hardees, DuQuoin
Contact: Mary Reese at 618.571.3010
Any girl that registers for Girl Scouts gets a free meal

September 22 at 6 p.m.
DuQuoin Elementary/Middle School
Contact: Mary Reese at 618.571.3010
Boy Scouts will also be on site for registration


Pocahontas Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Lesa Woods at 618.242.5079

Prairie Du Rocher Girl Scout Registration Night
August 31 from 6-7 p.m.
Prairie Du Rocher Elementary
Contact: Lesa Woods at 618.242.5079


Red Bud Girl Scout Registration Night
September 1 from 6-7:30 p.m.
Red Bud Regional Hospital
Theme is "You're the Star" with nail paining, photo booth and more!
Contact: Lesa Woods at 618.242.5079


Richland County Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Mary Lou Spieth at 618.204.6528


Salem Girl Scout Registration Nights
Concluded
Contact: Melissa at 618.322.8419 or Cyndi  at 618.267.9638


Sorento Girl Scout Registration Night
August 31 from 6-7 p.m.
Sorento Baptist Church
Contact: Lesa Woods at 618.242.5079

Sparta Girl Scout Registration Night
September 3  from 6-7 p.m.
Old Sparta Primary Multi-Purpose Room
Contact: Lesa Woods at 618.242.5079


Southwestern School District Girl Scout Registration Night
September 2 from 6-8 p.m.
Southwestern High School (follow the signs)

Brighton Troop Contact: Trisha Clevenger at 618.407.4618 or trishamc@hotmail.com
Medora Troop Contact: Tasha McQuay at 314.650.4638 or pschins@hotmail.com


Staunton Girl Scout Registration Nights
Concluded
Contact: Lucinda Fulton at 618.407.1682


Steeleville Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Adult volunteers needed to form new troops!
Contact: Lesa Woods at 618.242.5079


Sumner Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Tammy Brunson at 618.928.4344


Union County Girl Scout Registration Night
August 31 at 6 p.m.
Main Street Center, Anna
Fun activities and games!
Contact: Lesa Woods at 618.242.5079


Wabash County Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Mt. Carmel City Park (Small Shelter House)
Contact: Tracey Cheesman at 618.240.4741


Wayne & White County Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Skateland Rollersport, Fairfield
Contact: Susanna Mills at 618.643.4919


West Frankfort Area Girl Scout Registration Night
Concluded
Contact: Mary Armes at 618.937.3046


Wood River/East Alton Girl Scout Registration Night
September 9 from 6-7:30 p.m.
Wood River Masonic Lodge
Contact: Darcy Rowland at 618.466.3502 or krowland1@yahoo.com

 

DuQuoin Girl Scout Spends Summer Vacation Volunteering at Humane Society


Brittney Reese from DuQuoin dedicated nearly 300 hours of her summer vacation to volunteering at the Perry County Humane Society.  This week, Girl Scout Britt started high school and her puppy pal (named Brittney!) will be leaving the shelter for a new home.


Check out this short Q&A with Britt:

Q. Why did you choose to volunteer with the animal shelter?
A. I like animals!! The animals at the shelter need extra love.


Q. What was your favorite part about helping there for so long over the summer?
A. Spending time with the animals. My boss was fun to work with also.


Q. What did you learn from your experience?
A. There are a lot of animals that do not have homes. Some of the animals arrive with horrible stories.


 Q. Why do you think volunteering & community service is important?
A. Because it gets you off your butt! If volunteers didn't volunteer at the Humane Shelter then there would be a lot of animals killed, because they would be sent to "kill shelter."

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sarah's Girl Scout Gold Award Blog: Week 8 - Getting Things Done

 
 
Hey everyone!  Guess what?  I finished those bookshelves for the library!  Well, maybe not finished, but the only thing left to do to them is install support.  I’m very thankful for all the help from my handyman, Chuck.  I’m also so very thankful that his leukemia is gone and that he is feeling much better. 
We started the day bright and early on Saturday, August 1st.  My friend, Isaac, and Chuck bought all the wood and screws we would need and brought them back to their house.  We unloaded the truck and got straight to work.  First, we discussed possible dimensions and measurements for the shelves.  Chuck broke out a yardstick and a pencil and marked the proper lengths on the wooden boards.  Once they were all marked, we carried each board one by one to the cutting table and sawed off the excess wood.  It was my first time using a power tool, so it was a little intimidating.  However, Chuck talked me through the whole process and I grew a little more confident with each cut.  He even let me handle the saw by myself for a while.  Thankfully, I didn’t lose any of my fingers in the process!  After we finished all of our cuts, we moved our wood to the deck and began piecing the parts together.  Chuck showed us what to do as he built the skeleton of the first bookshelf.  Board by board, the structure came together.  He used brackets and screws to attach the shelves and nails to attach the backing.  Within a couple hours, the first bookshelf was finished.  The second one would be all up to Isaac and me to build.  We spent the rest of the day trying to construct a bookshelf of as beautiful as the first one.  By sunset, our second bookshelf was finally completed!  Fortunately, it looked identical to the first one!  There wasn’t enough light to install support, so we saved that for another day during the week.
A week later, I went back to Isaac’s house to finish the shelves.  We used the extra wood from the first day to create dividers.  We figured out how to tier the dividers to create the most support.  Once we agreed on those, I kept them steady while Isaac drilled them into place.  It took another whole day to complete the support, but the effort was definitely worth it. Now, the biggest and most difficult portion of my project is complete!  This week, I painted my rolling library crates.  The only thing left to do on the agenda is buy the rest of the fish supplies, set up, and host the grand opening party.  Only two more weeks to go!
 




Monday, August 17, 2015

GSSI STEM Program Team Attends "Spotlight on STEM" Conference

 
 
 
GSSI's STEM Program team Emily & Mary recently participated in a "Spotlight on STEM" conference at Girl Scouts' Edith Macy Conference Center. The conference, sponsored by Noyce Foundation and Techbridge, focused on developing exciting programming, building community partnerships and other ways to engage girls in science, technology, engineering and math.
 
Emily and Mary also gave a presentation about GSSI's successful "Imagine Your STEM Future" program, which provided more than 200 girls in underserved high schools with hands-on activities and learning sessions designed to inspire interest in STEM careers.  The program was funded by a grant from Girl Scouts of the USA and AT&T.
 
 
"It was great learning from GSUSA and from the 40 councils (and GSUSA overseas) the different ways we all implement STEM programming," said Stanley.  "It was an honor to represent our success at the Grant Funded Initiatives Showcase session and really show that GSSI staff and volunteers are experts at implementing tough programming and inspiring girls to succeed."

Friday, August 14, 2015

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois' In-School Scouting Program Is Turning 30 This Fall!



Girl Scouts at East St. Louis' Park Annex School in 1990.
Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois' In-School Scouting Program is turning 30 this fall and we're going to celebrate!  In-School Scouting delivers the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to girls in several East St. Louis and Madison schools.  Last year, 1,331 girls received leadership and skill-building programming through In-School Scouting.   More news about the 30 year celebration is coming soon!
 
Were you a Girl Scout in GSSI's In-School Scouting program?  We'd love to hear from you!  Contact Communications & Marketing Manager Erin Johnson at ejohnson@gsofsi.org.


Friday, August 7, 2015

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois' ToGetHerThere Campaign: Lainey's Story

 
 
At Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois, we believe that when girls succeed, so does society.  With your support our girls develop leadership skills that enable them to achieve anything and everything they want to be, whether it is an engineer, a musician or a teacher.  Girl Scouting empowers girls to work hard and to achieve their dreams - girls like Lainey.
 
Lainey became passionate about helping senior citizens when she began visiting her former babysitter at a nursing home.  Lainey started volunteering at the nursing home, but wanted to do more.  She began by creating activities for the residents. Lainey decided to turn this work into her project to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting. The experience of making sensory items for seniors with Alzheimer's disease instilled in Lainey a desire to continue to serve her community. 
 
Lainey planned to attend community college to begin her nursing career with an associate degree.  However, because of the courage and confidence that Lainey's Girl Scout experience instilled in her, she decided to stretch and also applied to SIUE's Bachelors of Nursing program.  She was not only accepted, but also offered a full scholarship based, in part, on her community service and leadership skills.
 
Lainey credits Girl Scouts not only for amazing experiences, but also for helping her become a responsible person.  She believes that if not for Girl Scouts, she would not have had the confidence to apply to SIUE, been accepted into the university or received her scholarship.  "They want a Girl Scout," Lainey states, referring to schools and employers, "because they realize the leadership and confidence it teaches."
 
Please consider a gift to GSSI's ToGetHerThereCampaign.  With your help, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois can continue to provide enriching leadership experiences to girls just like Lainey.  Together, we will get her there. 
 
 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Interview: Brandon Bullard, Dancing With Our Stars Co-Host

Interview by GSSI Intern Nicolle Patton

With August approaching, that means it’s the tail end of the summer season and that school will shortly be back in session, but it also means that the Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois’ annual Dancing With Our Stars event is around the corner!

This year’s event will be held on Saturday August 22nd at the Holiday Inn in Mt. Vernon Illinois. This year will be the 7th year Girl Scouts have hosted this dancing competition in which the proceeds donated throughout the night go towards the upcoming year to help with new activities, financial assistance, volunteer training and camp maintenance for the 14,000 girls registered in the southern Illinois region.   You can see more about the event at GSSI's website, www.gsofsi.org.

I recently spoke with one of the hosts of this year’s event, Brandon Bullard, who’s the Marketing Director at RARE Chop House located in Mt. Vernon Illinois. I asked him a few questions about the event as well as routines and memories he’s had from past events. Some of his answers were nothing short of hilarious.
 
Brandon Bullard & DWOS Co-Host Bria Ashby from Community First Bank 

NP: How long have you helped with Dancing with our Stars?
BB: “Since day one, I was on the committee when we started, and was a ‘Dancer’ in the first year’s show.”
NP: What’s your favorite memory from this event?
BB: “So many good ones, it’s hard to narrow. I’d say it was a tie between doing my own ‘routine’ the first year, and also just enjoying the total community support getting behind this event and supporting Girl Scouts each and every year.”
NP: Why do you help Girl Scouts with this event?
BB: “They give me a microphone and no script. Dangerous, but a lot of fun.”
NP: Anything new you’d wish to see at this event in the future?
BB: “More acts!! It’s not a professional, choreographed, studio ran event…it is amateurs who love to have fun, dance, enjoy the music, and like to help a great cause. Simply put, come out, have fun, show us your fun side and raise some money for Girl Scouts!”
NP:Do you have a favorite group that performs every year?
BB: “Yes…the judges. They crack me up with every review…I find myself having to catch my breath while the applause is ringing so I can gather myself for the next routine. I love them all! And they never disappoint!”
NP: Do you hope to continue to help the Girl Scouts with this event?
BB: “Every year, no question…yes! My daughter is a Girl Scout and I love the programs and the foundation that she is building…and I am happy to give back.”
 
NP: f you had to choose a dancing partner from the past events, who would they be and why? What dance would you two do?
BB: “Derrick Quitsch, our City Inspector…he danced with a blow up doll one year and I really felt like I could have taken the doll’s place and guided him to victory. The doll didn’t give him a chance to show his raw theatrical talent and if I could go back, I would help him show the world his true shining star.”
 
NP:
I’m not sure what Bullard will say with his free range power of the microphone or if there will be blow up dolls at this year’s event, but I will say that it’s a wonderful opportunity to show your support for Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois by buying a ticket ($45 which includes dinner and an entertaining night of dancing). There are also table sponsorships available for $500 and include a table for 10 people.
You can also vote for your favorite dancer online and make a small donation that way. Each dollar donated is a “vote” towards the dancer you select. Either way you can support, big or small, it’s a great opportunity to help donate to an organization that helps build girls and gives them wonderful opportunities they wouldn’t find anywhere else.
 
 
 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois Awarded $25,000 Monsanto Fund Grant for STEM

 
 
Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) has received a $25,000 grant from the Monsanto Fund to support Girl Scout STEM Robotics Leadership in Jersey, Macoupin, Madison and St. Clair counties.   Robotics are a key component of GSSI’s commitment to giving girls opportunities and guidance in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).  By participating in three different robotics leagues at three different age levels, GSSI aims to engage more girls across southern Illinois in STEM, so that they can explore valuable career options, build critical thinking and technical skills and sustain a lifelong interest in topics that many girls drift away from by middle school.

“Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is very grateful to be able to provide even more girls an opportunity to participate in STEM programs and compete on a robotics team through support from the Monsanto Fund,” said Mary Buchanan, GSSI Robotics Manager.  “Engaging girls in STEM in fun, creative ways helps keep their interest in these valuable career fields, as well as develop their confidence, teamwork and problem solving abilities.”

This grant is part of a broad commitment by the Monsanto Fund focused on strengthening the Greater St. Louis community, where Monsanto Fund and Monsanto Company are headquartered.

The grant will help fund GSSI’s robotics season which starts this fall with FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®).  In this global robotics program for 9 to 14 year olds, participants build and program a robot using LEGO components. Teams also conduct a research project and explore FLL Core Values such as active participation, teamwork and gracious professionalism.  After months of practice and preparation, teams begin competing at regional tournaments, with the highest scoring teams proceeding to a global tournament.

The grant money will also be used to support several Junior FIRST Lego League (JrFLL®) teams and Botball® teams, which belong to a league that challenges middle and high school students to build two autonomous robots then program them using C, C++ or Java. The robots perform a series of preprogrammed tasks in direct competition with another team at the same table.   Botball teams will compete at regional tournaments in the spring, with top scoring teams advancing to global competition. In 2013, GSSI had the only all Girl Scout Botball teams in the world.

The grant will also allow GSSI to purchase additional equipment to facilitate the robotics program, including robot kits and tablets.  Financial assistance for girls who cannot afford the $15 registration fee to join Girl Scouts will also be provided.

GSSI’s STEM program continues to be a progressive and forward-thinking initiative that has grown exponentially in recent years.  In 2009, GSSI had just one robotics team.  In 2015, they fielded 30 teams.  GSSI has dedicated staff and volunteers who develop the STEM program through research, collaborator cultivation, training and hands-on experience. GSSI strives to offer diverse and high-quality STEM programming, such as simple circuit wiring, programming robots, exploring forensics and more.  To ensure that all girls have the chance to take advantage of these future-building opportunities, GSSI has integrated STEM activities into its outreach programs – which bring Girl Scouting to girls in underserved populations, such as low income neighborhoods, housing projects, rural communities and even detention centers. 

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is a high-capacity Girl Scout council serving nearly 14,000 girls and almost 5,000 adult volunteers in 40 ½ counties in southern Illinois.  Girl Scouting has inspired more than 50 million girls and women since its founding in 1912. 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. 

FIRST® and FLL® are registered trademarks of the United States Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. Jr.FLL® and LEGO® are registered trademarks of the LEGO Group.  BotBall® is a registered trademark of Kiss Institute for Practical Robotics.  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.   For more information, contact Jay Strobel, GSSI Chief Communications Officer at 618.692.0692. 

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.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Sarah's Girl Scout Gold Award Blog: Heavy Lifting

 
Hey guys!  Several exciting things happened this week!  First of all, all of my books received library pockets, cards, and labels.  Secondly, all of my sensory bags and flour balloons have been made.  Thirdly, my mother and I finished sewing the pillowcases for the 24x24 inch cushions Cindy wanted for the children to lounge on.  Unfortunately, the bookshelves will have to wait until August 1st though because of scheduling issues.
This week had a bit of a stressful start, I do admit.  I managed to break two sewing machine needles within two days.  Not only that, but the thread also kept getting caught and tangled in the fabric.  Many of the stitches did not come out clean and pretty, so we had to rip out all the seams and start over.  I can honestly say that I never wanted to touch another sewing machine ever again because mine was causing me so much grief.  It took four days to complete all three pillowcases. I was ecstatic when the little stinkers were finally finished!  They are beautiful, and I hope they look well in the library.
The next issue I needed to tackle was the creation of more sensory toys.  My leader, Karlene suggested balloons filled with flour because they are colorful and have an interesting texture.  We went to the store and purchased a 25 pound bag of flour and 157 balloons.  I asked for volunteers in and out of my troop to help me create these balloons on Sunday afternoon.  Karlene, her co-leader, Penny, my best friend, his friend, and one girl from my troop came over to join my workforce.  I even baked them cookies!  We succeeded in filling every balloon within 2 hours!  Since we had time to spare, we headed downstairs to my hoard of books and organized them alphabetically so we could label their library cards.  It took a lot of cookies and patience, but we managed to finish the job!  I love my help so much! They are truly superheroes when it comes to monotonous tasks.  Every project needs support.  Volunteers make every task quicker and easier.  Soon enough, the job will seem like clockwork.
Most of the heavy lifting for the project is done (thankfully), but there is still more to do.  The literal heavy lifting will be done the day before the grand opening (getting two bookshelves up three flights of stairs). Sounds fun, right?  Regardless, I’m blessed to be gaining progress.  I won’t even have to worry about the books again until the day we set up the library.  Onward and upward!