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Our Say: In praise of the Girl Scout cookie

October 4, 2013

An article from The Capital Gazette by Wendi Winters

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Wendi Winters is a local journalist, public relations consultant and photographer. She is a community news reporter for the Annapolis Capital and writes unique community feature stories.

If the knock did not come at your door this past weekend, it could come sometime over the next few weeks. On the other side of the door is a Girl Scout, maybe a cute 7-year-old Brownie or a worldly 17-year-old Ambassador.

It’s Girl Scout cookie time.

Folks who’ve moved here from Washington, D.C., or beyond, find the timing unusual. Girl Scout cookie sales, in most areas of the U.S., begin in January. Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, encompassing Anne Arundel, H

oward, Harford, Carroll and Baltimore counties and Baltimore City, marches to its own drummer.

“We get right into it,” said GSCM spokesperson Danita Terry. “That way, the girls have the proceed

s to use for the rest of the school year.”

Girl Scouts have been selling cookies as a fundraising operation since 1917. They appeal to all types of appetites. This year’s flavors are a mix of traditional favorites and new ones, including two that can be enjoyed by vegans — Lemonades and classic Thin Mints. In December, the girls also will be selling a test market cookie that’s gluten-free.

Why sell at all?

It’s not just about schilling cookies to earn money. Or, to tempt you to go off your diet.

The Girls Scouts, at all age levels, learn how to set goals. Working at a cookie booth, once the cookies arrive in late October, the girls experience team building in real time while developing the people skills needed to get passers-by to stop, look and reach for their wallet.

They learn basic money management skills: taking cookie orders, handling customers’ money, even doing smartphone credit card transactions. Marketing techniques are rapidly adapted: ebullient booths plastered with signs, staffed by Girls Scouts costumed as waving cookies usually sell more cookies.

The girls earn an average of 56.6 cents per $4 box. Most sell slightly more than 100 boxes. Last year’s top seller, Emily Newland, a Brownie from Crownsville, sold 2,713 boxes. A Glen Burnie Junior, Jenna Diehl, sold 1,192.

The baker gets $1 per box. The council retains $2.37, which goes to operate programs, services and training for the Scouts, leaders and volunteers; maintain several large regional Girl Scout campsites, run programs for inner-city girls, develop new initiatives and events, and pay the GSCM staff.

For girls who succeed in Girl Scouting — not just selling cookies — but who’ve participated in camping and field trips, worked on badges and earned Bronze, Silver or Gold awards, the sky is not the limit. According to Terry, every U.S. female astronaut has been a Girl Scout.

Most of the female legislators on Capitol Hill and in the Maryland State House were Girl Scouts — some are lifetime members.

If a Girl Scout doesn’t come to your door in the next few weeks, there’s a variety of reasons. The major one: these days, fewer people are home from work before sundown. But, you’ll see the cookies for sale at booths at shopping centers.

And, yes, most cookies are $4 a box. Some grumble about the cost. Do a reality check. Stroll down the cookie aisle at your favorite food store.

Click here for the article.

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Competition Winner Finds Inspiration in Juliette Gordon Low

October 2, 2013

As seen in the latest issue of Girls World, Girl Scout Bracha from troop 613 participated in the National History Day Competition and won 2nd place for the state competition! If you haven’t been able to read the article yet, here is a brief overview of the contest and Bracha’s performance:

“My name is Bracha and I am 16 years old.  I am an Ambassador in Girl Scout Troop 613 and am student at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in the Ingenuity Project. This past school year, my high school history class was required to make a National History Day project.

The National History Day (NHD) competition is a year long academic competition that involves over half a million 6th – 12th grade students in historical research and presentation based on an annual theme. In 2013, the theme was Turning Points in history.

I really feel that Juliette Gordon Low’s creation of Girl Scouts fits the NHD theme since it is truly a turning point in history. Before Girl Scouts, women did not have leadership positions in the American workforce and were only expected to be wives and mothers. Juliette daringly created an organization that promoted leadership skills in girls in order to ‘create a newer and better world.’

Today, many women have leadership positions as a result of Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts was a turning point in women’s leadership and it continues to inspire and teach girls essential skills and values. As Juliette Gordon Low said herself, “Girl Scouting is the cradle of careers. It is where careers are born.”

Watch Bracha’s performance below!

Troop 2226′s Investiture!

October 2, 2013

Troop 2226's Investiture!

“On October 1, 2013, the girls of troop 2226, a multi-level troop in Hampstead, MD, celebrated the beginning of the 2014 Girl Scouting year. Parents attending their investiture ceremony watched as their daughter(s) were recognized for moving up a year. A few became Girl Scouts for the first time. Girls lit candles as they walked across to receive their patches and a small reception was held afterwards.”

Congrats and good luck for a great new Girl Scout year!

Has your Troop done anything exciting this Fall? We want to hear about it! Send photos and descriptions to mkovalcik@gscm.org to have your troop’s activities featured on our Facebook or the GSCM Blog!

First Lady Michelle Obama discusses the importance of Girl Scout Volunteers

October 1, 2013

First Lady Michelle Obama discusses the importance of Girl Scout Volunteers

Read about the First Lady’s involvement in The Washington Post!

Our favorite moments from The BIG Event!

September 26, 2013

As many of you know we held our cookie sale kick off on Saturday, September 21 at the Howard County Fair Grounds! The event was packed with Girl Scouts and Volunteers that were eager to get the cookie season started! Take a look at some of our favorite moments from the day!

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Girl Scout Morgan can’t wait to sell the new cookies!

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This Girl Scout can’t wait to become a better leader!

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We had women fire fighters and EMT’s on the scene to teach girls about their jobs!

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When the gates opened, there were so many eager Girl Scouts and parents that it was almost like a parade!

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At this booth there were girls in cookie and red panda costumes!

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Girls absolutely loved the chance to meet and make tiaras with Mrs. Baltimore 2014!

SHARE Patch Design Contest!

September 18, 2013

SHARE Patch Design Contest!

Draw or color what YOU think GSCM’s new 2013-14 SHARE patch should look like. We want to see your ideas!

Girls may drop entries off at the front desk at the GSCM Urban Program and STEM Center or mail in entries to:
Girl Scouts of Central Maryland
Attn: Jennifer Moumane
4806 Seton Dr.
Baltimore, MD 21215

Entries must be dropped off or postmarked by October 31, 2013

With your submission please answer the following questions:
– What is your FAVORITE thing about being a Girl Scout?
– Why do you think Girl Scouting is important for girls?
– What does it mean to share with others?
– How does your troop support SHARE?

Your Past, It Matters: A Girl Scout Gold Award Project

September 17, 2013

Girl Scout Emily is a rising junior at Centennial High School who is currently working on her Girl Scout Gold Award! For her project, Emily elected to draw attention to the importance of knowing local history by hosting an event that will take participants to five sites in Historic Ellicott City. Read below to find out more about Emily, why she chose this project, and how you can participate!

EmilyI’ve always been a history “nerd”.  In my younger years, while other girls played with dolls, I read historical fiction and collected Colonial and Victorian costumes.  One of my favorite memories was attending a Victorian Dreams Camp at the Patapsco Female Institute in historic Ellicott City where, for one week, I was able to step into another time, dress in a pinafore, sip tea, eat scones, stain my fingers with ink attempting to write in calligraphy, and learn the art of spinning and weaving. It was truly fascinating to learn the history behind the Institute. Even cooler still was the fact that the ruins of a once revolutionary school for girls were mere minutes from my home!

About a year ago, I met up with Mrs. Jacque Galke, the Heritage program and Facilities Manager, and none other than my counselor from Victorian Dreams Camp! She informed me that there was no longer enough interest to hold the camp. Apparently kids these days aren’t quite as interested in dressing up and learning the art of fan language (did you know that if your fan was open wide it meant you were in love?). I was saddened to learn about the lack of interest in local history but it inspired me to make Historic Ellicott City the topic of my Girl Scout Gold Award. During the past year, I have been working diligently to plan an event called “Your Past… It Matters!” which will occur on October 5th, 2013 and involve five historic sites; the Patapsco Female Institute, the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin, the Firehouse Museum, the Colored School, Restored, and the B & O Railroad Museum.

My event will include a walking tour where participants will receive a passport with information and illustrations which will guide them as they journey through five historic sites.  At each site they will be able to take a tour with a knowledgeable guide, and participate in the exciting activities I have planned! Some of these activities include learning spinning and lace-making (from the experts, of course), tracing the history of a local family with roots at the Colored School, Restored, going on a scavenger hunt of Historic Ellicott City’s Relic Wall, playing Graces (a colonial game), trying on pinafores, and more!  Also, the first 100 participants to sign up will take home a free T shirt designed by a very talented artist promoting Historic Ellicott City and the five sites!  Below is an image of the T shirt which is made from good quality, heavy weight cotton, and is quite stylish.Tee Shirt

My event is on October 5th from 1 – 4 PM, and it begins at the Heritage Orientation Center: 8334 Main Street, Ellicott City, MD 21043.

I am pleased to say that sign up is now available here. Registration is necessary due to the limited space in some of the historic facilities and the fact that participants will be given an arm band which gives them entry to the B&O Railroad Museum for free!  The event can also be found on page 21 of the Howard County Recreation and Parks 2013 Fall Activity Guide. There is a $10 per person fee that will help to cover the cost of registration as well as bring in the knowledgeable tour guides and provide two shuttle buses for the two less accessible locations.

I can’t wait to share it with you!

Woah! Great work Emily! Sometimes it takes an awesome event like this one to remind us just how exciting history really is!

Are you or someone you know a Girl Scout working on a Gold Award Project? Share it with us! Send a description of your project, a photo of you, and any images you would like to share. Information can be sent to Maura Kovalcik, GSCM’s Web and Social Media Specialist at mkovalcik@gscm.org.

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