Tuesday, November 29, 2016

How Your #GivingTuesday Gift Can Help Girls Change the World!

A donation to Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois on #GivingTuesday will help us continue to provide girls with exciting opportunities to try new things, take on challenges and develop the courage, confidence and character to make the world a better place!

Here are just some of the ways that your gift can make a difference: 

$1,000 can give a Girl Scout Robotics Team the opportunity to compete for the first time.
$500 can provide reusable Robotic Kits to start a Robotics Team.
$250 can provide safety training and materials for 15 volunteers.
$100 can pay for a Girl Scout membership for 8 girls for one year.
$50 can purchase a sash/vest, badges and journey book for 2 girls.

With your help, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) is helping today’s girls become tomorrow’s leaders. The GSLE provides girls with exciting opportunities, enables them to explore options and achieve their full potential. In partnership with adult volunteers, girls develop qualities that will serve them all their lives, like leadership, strong values, social conscience, and conviction about their own potential and self-worth.

Our STEM program continues to have phenomenal success. Your support has helped our 31 all-girl robotics teams compete, and our girls are gaining confidence knowing that they can have an equal standing in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

Over 1,900 girls from underserved areas in our community participated in our In-School Scouting program, and your support helped provide over $100,000 in Financial Assistance throughout our 40 ½ counties so that all girls, regardless of their financial circumstances, could benefit from the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.

Getting girls outdoors to explore nature, learn about their environment and become confident, independent young women has always been a key component of Girl Scouting. This summer, our girls learned skills like archery, canoeing, campfire building, GPS navigation and water safety. More than 2,600 girls participated in these outdoor programs with your support.

Your commitment to building girls who will shape the future of our nation continues to be critical. We need your help to give every girl the opportunity to be the leader she wants to be. We need your support to ensure that every girl in southern Illinois can reach her full potential. Please join us as we continue our journey of building girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. Your gift will help us provide an exceptional learning experience for girls right here in southern Illinois that will truly make a difference in their lives.  Thank you for your support!

Monday, November 28, 2016

#GivingTuesday is TOMORRROW! Here Are Five Ways to Get Involved!

On #GivingTuesday, people around the globe join together to celebrate the power and goodness of giving!  What a powerful day for everyone, everywhere!   Here are some ways that you can join the movement: 

Five Ways to Get Involved
  1. Make a donation to a non-profit making a difference in the world. 
  2. Perform a random act of kindness. Pay it forward. Do a good deed.
  3. Volunteer your talents & time. (See Our "Give 2" Community Service Campaign)
  4. Give it your all!  Make a commitment to positive words and thoughts. Smile! 
  5. Spread the word about #GivingTuesday. Help make good go viral by sharing an #unselfie on social media.


Monday, November 21, 2016

2016 Nut, Candy & Magazine Program Top Sellers

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois’ 2016 Nut, Candy & Magazine (NCM) Program was a great success as approximately 3,892 girls participated, raising more than $602,910. 

Also, through generous support of this year's “Project Thank you” campaign, GSSI is able to send 2,019 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 GSSI'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 opportunities for girls to develop leadership and valuable skills such as goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. Troops use product programs to raise funds for activities, community service, trips and more.  Proceeds also help GSSI provide girl programs, camp maintenance, adult volunteer training and financial assistance. 

2016 Nut, Candy & Magazine Program 
Top Sellers By Service Unit

Alton/Godfrey/Wood River/Roxana:
Elisabeth Preston - Troop #792, Wood River
Belleville/Swansea: Edyn Richie - Troop #571, Belleville
Bethalto: Katelynn Norman - Troop #253, Bethalto
Bond County: Gabby Hahs - Troop #8806, Sorento
Centralia: Morgan Smith - Troop #8352, Centralia
Clark/Cumberland Counties: Jersey Lowe - Troop #2262, Marshall
Clay County: Chelsea Beck - Troop #8783, Clay City
ClinClair: Rylie Bridges - Troop #536, Trenton
Clinton County: Kaleigh Voegeli - Troop #8834, Carlyle
Collinsville: Elizabeth Burr - Troop #180, Collinsville
Crawford/Jasper Counties: Kayellen Stewart - Troop #2216, West York
East Marion County: Aubrey Ritter - Troop #8852, Salem
East St Louis/Cahokia/Centreville:
Maranda Sheard - Troop #148, Cahokia
East Williamson County: Sophie Walker - Troop #8084, Johnston City
Eastern Coles County: Ariana Sluder - Troop #2643, Ashmore
Edgar County: Kelsey Johnson - Troop #2080, Paris
Edwardsville/Glen Carbon: Jayden Henschen - Troop #954, Hamel
Effingham County: Rory Tewell - Troop #2032,  Effingham
Fairview Heights/Caseyville: Ahmani Tillman - Troop #43, Fairview Heights
Fayette County: Evie Moreland - Troop #8392, Ramsey
Granite City/Madison/Venice: Bradyn Kremers - Troop #381, Granite City
Highland: Allison Workman - Troop #936, Highland
Jackson County: Emily Williams - Troop #8164, Makanda
Jefferson County: Sydney Fenton - Troop #8653, Mt. Vernon
Jersey/Calhoun Counties: Samantha Lott - Troop #1149, Grafton
Johnson/Pope Counties:  Addyson Underwood - Troop #1333, Goreville
Lawrence County: Sophie Snyder - Troop #8716, Lawrenceville
Massac County: Brilee Bailey - Troop #8695, Goreville
Millstadt/Columbia/Dupo/Smithton: Abby Shoeman - Troop #582, Dupo
New Athens/Marissa/St. Libory/Freeburg: Ella Birkner - Troop #557, New Athens
North Franklin County: Olivia Tipton - Troop #8925, Sesser
North Randolph County: Alaina Smith - Troop #8081, Ruma
O'Fallon/Shiloh: Barbara Wilson - Troop #1071, O'Fallon
Perry County: Brooklyn Neville - Troop #8139, Pinckeyville
Richland County: Lillian Toliver - Troop #8515, Noble
Shawnee (Saline/Gallatin/Hardin Counties): Onalaya Hernandez - Troop #8287, Shawneetown
South Macoupin County: Emilee Wendling - Troop #1076, Gillespie
South Randolph County: Kamryn Patterson - Troop #8313, Steeleville
Troy/St. Jacob: Kaylee Kitchen - Troop #717, Troy
Union/Pulaski/Alexander Counties: Brianna Flick - Troop #8492, Cobden
Wabash/Edwards Countes: Linden Stevens - Troop #8480, Allendale
Washington County: Anna Carr #8747 Hoyleton
Waterloo: Haley Bode - Troop #90, Waterloo
Wayne/Hamilton/White Counties: Dixie Green - Troop #8927, Carmi
West Frankfort: Alyssa Cremer - Troop #8006, West Frankfort
West Williamson County: Alexis Compton - Troop #8060, Carbondale
Western Coles County: Cheyenne Mcfarland - Troop #2550, Mattoon

Please note that while girls are listed with their hometown, Top Seller eligibility is determined by the Service Unit in which their troop meets.  Some girls are part of a troop from a Service Unit that is different than the one they live in, such as through their church or another community group. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois' FIRST LEGO League Robotics Teams to Compete

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois FIRST Robotics League (FLL) teams are schedule to compete on Nov. 19, Dec. 13, Dec. 4 and Dec. 10. 

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.

Good luck to GSSI's teams this season! 

GSSI FLL Regional Qualifying Tournament Schedule:

November 19 - Carriel Jr. High, O'Fallon,IL 
EV3 3ntourage and coaches RIcky and Celeste Borders from Anna
St. Mary's and coaches Jessica Farris and Sue Brown from Alton

December 3 - Henning Elementary School, Troy,IL
GIR! and coaches Jason and Sarah Dothager from Staunton
Lacing to Victory and coaches Jill Thomas and Stacy Schroeder from Albers
Knights of the Round LEGO and coaches Winnie Kenney and Kevin Poncirolli from O'Fallon
SWAT and coaches Krysti Connelly and Jeremy Pokomy from Troy
MOST and coaches Leslie Lesko and Mark Harmon from Mt. Olive
Unnamed and coach Vicki Hoskin from Chester

December 4 - Lincolnland Community College, Springfield, IL
Firebreathing Hexicorns and coach Julie Herr from Belleville

December 10 - Carriel Jr. High, O'Fallon, IL 
Purple Robot Penguins and coach Larry Buchanan from O'Fallon
Flower STEMs and coaches Megan Terrell and George Mitchom from O'Fallon
Nameless and coach Stacey Young from O'Fallon

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Madeleine Renken from Troy Has Earned the Girl Scout Gold Award

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

For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, called "Graphing the Graveyard," Madeleine worked with the Troy Genealogical Society to photograph and document all of the graves in the Troy City Cemetery. In addition, her photos and documentations of graves and tombstones will be online through findagrave.com. She also performed some cemetery landscaping due to overgrowth. 

This Girl Scout Gold Award project was a rewarding experience for Madeleine. “Through my Girl Scout Gold Award project, I learned so much about the people who started my town and the citizens who lived in it and about Troy’s history as well,” said Madeleine. “I also discovered my ability to lead a group of people to achieve a common goal.”

Madeleine is the daughter of Shari and Bryce Renken. She is currently a senior at Triad High School. Madeleine 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 5 percent of eligible girls earn the prestigious Gold Award.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois Raises Nearly $6,000 for United Way

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) recently wrapped up their annual United Way Staff Campaign. 100% of the staff participated in the campaign that raised nearly $6,000 for United Way.  GSSI is proud to LIVE UNITED!

Thank You to Our United Way Partners 

Many thanks to our partners:  United Way of Coles County, United Way of Edgar County, United Way of Effingham County, United Way of Greater St. Louis (Southwest Illinois Division and Tri Cities), United Way of Knox County & Crawford County, United Way of South Central Illinois and United Way of Southern Illinois.

The mission of United Way is to “to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good.”  

With this mission in mind, United Way helps Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.  

Monday, November 7, 2016

Be Featured in a GSSI Online Course!

Your troop has a chance to be featured in new online enrichment courses.  We are in the process of building new, more dynamic, online enrichment courses.  To enhance the courses, we would like to add photos and videos of girls to further explain some points outlined in the courses.  Either a photo or video will work unless noted.  

Please send us what you have, noting the grade level and activity, or capture these moments with your girls if you’ll be doing any of these activities in the next couple of months.  We hope to have everything by mid-January.  Contact us at volunteer@gsofsi.org to make a submission.  If e-mailing, please put "Online Courses" as the subject line.  You can also request us to send you a link to upload a larger file for us to receive through Dropbox.


Nature walk
Cutting with scissors
Visiting an animal shelter or farm
Kaper chart with photos of girls and/or images of tasks

Outdoor troop meeting
Girls working in groups
Role play
Agenda or poster of meeting schedule
Using tools or sewing with adult assistance

Girls passing out snacks or activities
Daisy Circle
Brownie Ring – talking stick (video)

Decision making process (video)
Working in groups
Performing – dance, skit, routine (video)

Girl leading a meeting
Girls and adults working together on a take action project
Working with younger adults
Discussion or debate on a topic (video)

Show girls leading a planning session
Girls “just talking”

Girl meeting with a community partner or organization

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Girl Scouts Set to Appear in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) are making their first appearance in the 90th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade® this Thanksgiving!

Girl Scouts' float will show girls having fun and collaborating together, discovering new things, enjoying outdoor adventures, developing leadership skills and exploring science, technology, engineering and math - core components of the Girl Scouts movement since its founding in 1912.

Girl Scout badges will be rendered in beautiful detail, along with the Girl Scout Gold Award - the highest award in Girl Scouting. Girls will also be putting together a globe shaped puzzle to represent the mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.

"What better way to champion the amazing activities our Girl Scouts do and the impact they make every day than to give their accomplishments national visibility with a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade," said Andrea Bastiani Archibald, PhD, chief girl expert at GSUSA.

Tune into NBC starting at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24) to see Girl Scouts making history yet again!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Invite a Friend to Start a New Girl Scout Troop, Get $50 to Shop Online

Every day, as a Girl Scout volunteer, you help girls do all this and so much more. This November, you can double that impact by inviting a friend to join you on this life-changing adventure. Not only will you be giving girls another hero they can depend on to help them find their spark, but you and your friend also get a fun prize!

Invite your friend to volunteer, and once they’ve formed a Girl Scout Daisy, Brownie, or Junior troop…

You get $50 to spend at Girl Scouts’ official online store. Sweet!

Your friend gets awesome resources (a $50 value!) to help them get their troop up and running. So cool!

Plus, when you double the friends, you double your prize: $100 for you and a Volunteer Resource Pack for each friend. Awesome!

The best part is girls get one more guiding star to cheer them on, expose them to new and unique experiences, and prepare them for a lifetime of leadership (and fun!).

Once your friend joins as a Girl Scout leader and starts a new troop, you’re ready to redeem your reward here (starting November 15).

Share on Facebook

Ready, set, change lives!

You must be a registered 2016-17 Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois adult member to participate as a "recruiter."
The maximum number of $50 credits you can claim is two ($100 max).
Only adults who become leaders of a new troop qualify for a pack.  Becoming a co-leader of an existing troop does not qualify.
Coupon may only be used on Girl Scouts' online shop, not in person.
Resource packs are claimed online and shipped through Girl Scouts of the USA.
Offer ends Dec. 15, 2016 

Questions? We’re here for you. Get answers at info@girlscouts.org.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Please Join Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois on November 29 for Giving Tuesday!

Please join Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois and many others around the globe to celebrate #GivingTuesday! On Tuesday, November 29, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving. Anyone, anywhere can get involved in #GivingTuesday and give back in a way that is meaningful to them. From fundraising to volunteering to pro bono service, #GivingTuesday is a great way to engage your community and to become a part of a larger worldwide movement that promotes generosity. 

New! Can You “Give 2” Community Service Campaign! 

This year, we’re challenging all GSSI troops to commit to “Give 2” - that is, to pledge at least two hours of service during the holiday season to share the joy of giving in their communities! Once you decide what cause you’d like to “Give 2” - let us know! Share a photo on Facebook, send us an e-mail or take a short video! Visit our website for promotional resources to use during your campaign.  

Other ways to get involved include: 
1. Perform a random act of kindness. Pay it forward. Do a good deed. 
2. Volunteer. Your talents and time are valuable! 
3. Give it your all! Make a commitment to positive words and thoughts. Smile! 
4. Make a donation to a non-profit making a difference in the world. 
5. Spread the word about #GivingTuesday on social media.

Get Tools to Help Spread the Message! 

GSSI Council Shop Update: November 2016

New Items Check out our new merchandise! 
GSSI has lots 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.

Saturday Hours: 
Council shops will be open on the following Saturdays from 9 a.m. to Noon: Nov. 12, 2016 Dec. 10, 2016

Shop/Office Closed 
GSSI service centers and shops will be closed Nov. 9 for an all-staff meeting and at 3 p.m. on Nov. 23 and all day on Nov. 24 for Thanksgiving.

Basic Starter Kit – We Build It For You! 
The Basic Starter Kit contains everything a girl needs for a great year in Girl Scouts. We’ve eliminated the guess work and included an American Flag Patch, Insignia Tab, World Trefoil Pin and Membership Pin. Just select your Official Uniform Item (sash, tunic or vest), Troop Numerals, Council ID Set, either the Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting and/or Journey Book, FREE BAG and you’re on your way!

Back to Troop Special 
If you earned a $10 off a $25 purchase coupon for our “Back to Troop Special” in October - now is the time to redeem it! Coupons must be redeemed between Nov. 1-17.

In Shop Specials 
Oct. 31-Nov. 3: 10% off all in-stock bags (excluding clearance)
Nov. 12 (9 a.m. - Noon): 10% off all in-stock clearance merchandise
Nov. 7-10: 10% off all in-stock mugs, tumblers and water bottles (excluding clearance)
Nov. 14-17: 10% off all in-stock party and emoji collection merchandise (excluding clearance)
Nov. 21-23: 10% off all in-stock scarves, hats and blankets (excluding clearance)
Nov. 28-Dec. 1: 10% off all in-stock jewelry (excluding clearance)

Online Shop 
You can always shop for your Girl Scout merchandise 24/7 online! Even though these sales are processed through the national Girl Scouts’ warehouse, GSSI still receives revenue from all sales.

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: 800.345.6858, 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 or e-mail: sport@gsofsi.org
Regional Service Center: Linda Quinn: 618.242.5079, ext. 2115 or e-mail: lquinn@gsofsi.org

Go to GSSI’s Online Shop: http://bit.ly/GSSISHOP