NOVEMBER 2012 VOLUNTEER NEWSLETTER
Members of GSHPA's board, staff and volunteers spent a day looking at the issue of diversity on October 27, with an eye toward building our council to be more inclusive of girls and volunteers from the many different backgrounds found within our 30-county footprint. The effort to bring the benefits of Girl Scouting to all kinds of girls is certainly not new. Daisy Low saw to it that African American and Native American girls could join Girl Scouts as early as 1918. And Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called the Girl Scouts "a force for desegregation" in the 1950s.
But organizations interested in building their diversity realize there is no one quick fix. Rather, organizations must continuously strive to maintain and build diversity. Participants in the GSHPA diversity workshop emerged with a deepened understanding of the experiences and perceptions that cause divisions among people of different backgrounds, and also of the strong currents which all of us have in common. Our hope is that this workshop will be the start of something bigger-of an intentional effort to increase and include girls of many races, ethnicities and heritages within the membership and activities of our council.
Over the last two years we have laid the groundwork for this effort. Our board adopted a diversity belief statement that says, in part:
Our goal to be the premier leadership organization for girls can only be achieved and maintained through the belief in these principles. GSHPA seeks to encourage and promote participation, accessibility, active representation, and leadership from diverse populations including, but not limited to, races, ethnicities, cultures, sexual orientation, economic status, religions and faiths, ages, geography, genders, and physical abilities.
In 2011 a board Diversity Task Force produced a county-by-county study on the demographics of the girls in our footprint which can be found here. This year each of our regions has diversity targets in their operating plans. And we are bringing more Spanish speakers on board as we grow our membership staff. Finally, one of our council-wide and nation-wide growth strategies is to add a focus on bringing Hispanic girls, especially in grades K-5, into Girl Scouting.
We encourage discussions within your Service Units, regional meetings and committee meetings about how to build diversity in all of our Girl Scout activities. At our Regional Governance Meetings, delegates reminded us that the biggest demographic shifts in some counties may not be the most obvious. For example, in Centre County the biggest influx of new immigrants is of Russians. We obviously need to proceed from the reality of each county.
Thank you in advance for your thinking about this issue. Thanks for all you are doing for girls and have a great Thanksgiving holiday later this month.
Kate Crowley Jane Ransom
Board Chair President & CEO
Gold Award Improvements
This year, GSHPA is streamlining the process of how girls can earn their Gold Award. It's easier to get started and girls have more control over their entire project from start to finish. As volunteers, you might be the first point of contact a Senior or Ambassador comes to for advice, so it's important for you to know the exciting new improvements.
What's the Power of Going Gold?
The Girl Scout Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting; it recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through remarkable take action projects that have sustainable impact in their communities and beyond. Since 1916, girls have successfully answered the call to Go Gold, an act that indelibly marks them as accomplished members of their communities and the world.
Girls are required to be registered members of Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania. They must be in 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade (or equivalent) and a registered Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador AND Complete two Journeys (Senior or Ambassador)* OR Earn the Silver Award and complete one Senior or Ambassador Journey
*Girl Scout Seniors complete Senior journeys and Girl Scout Ambassadors complete Ambassador journeys
Know the Facts
We invite you to read the Gold Award Adult Guide on our Web site: English | Spanish and/or log onto the Go Gold! page of our Web site and check out the Achievement Chart for the newest information about the Gold Award.
Please encourage interested girls to read the Gold Award Girl Guide: English | Spanish.
Girl Scouts wanting to earn their Gold Award are also encouraged to attend one of GSHPA's FREE webinars to learn everything they need to know before beginning their Gold Award process. The next one is Wednesday, November 28, 2012 from 7-8 p.m. Click here to sign up.
(Webinars are recommended, but not required. There is a webinar every month through June 2013. Click here to see the full list.)
If you have any questions about the Gold Award, please email GoldAward@gshpa.org.
Healthy Promise: Teaching Girl Scouts to Eat Well and Be Active
Have you requested your FREE Healthy Promise Volunteer Guide yet? What's Healthy Promise, you ask?
GSHPA kicked off the new health initiative at Central York High School in York on October 20. More than 450 people turned out for the event. The day was filled with exciting activities! Girls got to climb a rock wall, practice their footwork with the team at Soccer Shots, and got to work out with athletes from the York College Spartans!
The grand finale was a concert by the nation's only rock star nutritionist, Jill Jayne, who got the crowd up and moving with her live musical performance "Jump with Jill!" Jill teaches kids and adults about eating well and being active with her music based approach to nutrition education.
Check our our entire Healthy Promise Event photo album on Facebook!
Free Healthy Promise Volunteer Guides
If you still haven't requested your free grade-level specific Volunteer Troop Leader Guide so your troop can incorporate Healthy Promise-themed activities into your upcoming troop meetings, don't wait! One FREE Healthy Promise Volunteer Guide is available for each registered troop during the 2013 membership year to get you started and must be requested by the troop's leader.
Please click on the appropriate link below to order for your troop level.
Cookie Rally/Cookie College Events Return in Each Region
Registration for the January 5, 2012 Cookie Rally/Cookie College events in each of our 5 regions will open soon! This year's locations include:
- Northeast Region - Split Rock Resort & Golf Club in Lake Harmony, PA
- North Region - Watsontown United Methodist Church in Watsontown, PA
- West Region - Bald Eagle Middle School in Wingate, PA
- South Region -Grace Fellowship Church in York, PA
- South Central Region - Dixon University Center in Harrisburg, PA
Girl Scouts in grades K-5 can attend Cookie Rallies from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. for only $5 per girl and participate in a variety of fun activities, while learning customer service and marketing techniques.
Girl Scouts in grades 6-12 can become newly minted CEOs (Cookie Entrepreneur Officers) at Cookie College later in the afternoon from 1:30 - 4:00 p.m. also for only $5 per girl. Once they "graduate" they will be armed with the tools they need for a successful cookie season!
The Basics of Taking Your Troop on a Trip
Whether a day trip, an overnight excursion or an extended overnight adventure, Girl Scouts throughout our council enjoy time together away from home. Knowing exactly what you need to do prior to your trip, who you need to have along with you, and what you should do should something unexpected happen is key to ensuring that you are as prepared as possible. Here's a very basic overview of what you need to do. For a more detailed overview, please consult the Council 101 Section 5 online training.
- Discuss the trip with the girls and agree on ground rules. What better way to get buy-in from your girls than by involving them in key decisions about your upcoming trip. The extent to which they help plan the trip will vary between Daisies to Ambassadors, but try your best to engage them in an appropriate manner so that they can see how their input/plans have helped shape the experience.
- Review trip planning/rules/ratios in Volunteer Essentials. Make sure that you have a 1st Aider (along with a 1st Aid kit), drivers who have been background checked and approved by GSHPA and the appropriate number of unrelated background checked adults to maintain the travel ratios. Keep in mind that travel ratios may differ from the ratios you normally follow when facilitating your regular troop meetings. In addition, figure out whether or not you need to require a Certificate of Insurance (or COI) from a vendor to ensure that your troop is sufficiently protected using the guidelines outlined here. Keep in mind that COIs are required from any facilities providing overnight accommodations for your troop unless they are federal, state or local government facilities.
- File any applications and forms according to GSHPA policies. Keep in mind that any overnight trip requires that you complete a Troop Travel form complete with a roster. When renting a vehicle, the contract must be signed by your Regional Director. If you're only taking a daytrip, make sure that either your Service Unit Manager or Membership Associate knows about your plans. In addition, make sure that you have received all of the updated Health History forms from all of the girls and adults along with signed Parent Permission slips so that you're covered if anything unexpected happens along the way.
- Review Girl Scout Activity insurance and optional insurance coverage. Your registered girls' and adults' GSUSA insurance coverage only covers overnight trips that last two nights or less. If staying overnight for more than two nights, check-out the additional insurance options that are available.
- Recruit enough adults to supervise girls and relieve drivers on long trips. Keep in mind that all drivers must be background checked prior to your trip. The criminal background screening process can take up to 3 weeks depending on the time of year so select your drivers as soon as possible. In addition to drivers, figure out the required number of unrelated and background checked adults you'll need to maintain the GSUSA travel ratios.
- Discuss your expectations and the girls' expectations for the trip with everyone. Once you leave your typical meeting site and set out on your trip, the discussions you have prior to the day of the trip set the tone for what is and is not acceptable behavior, what the trip will and will not include, etc. The more you share with your girls and the parents, the more on the same page everyone will be.
Other resources to check out include Volunteer Essentials and Safety Activity Checkpoints.
First Healthy Promise Webcast set for January 12, 2013
On Saturday, January 12, 2013, Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors will be able to watch GSHPA's very first live Healthy Promise webcast. Whether participating as a member of the live studio audience in Harrisburg at the WITF television studio or watching the live streaming video via their own computers from the comforts of home, girls throughout our council will experience a dynamic presentation by the health education experts from the Susan P. Byrnes Health Education Center. If attending in person, girls can take advantage of a behind-the-scenes tour of the WITF studio beginning at 1:00 p.m. prior to the start of the show at 2:00 p.m.
Click here to register for the live studio audience.
Click here for the at-home experience.
Calling all Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors: Healthy Promise Webcast MC Needed!
Whether she's the next Oprah, Ellen or Katie, GSHPA is looking for a Cadette, Senior or Ambassador Girl Scout who would be interested in serving as the host for the January 12th webcast. The host will circulate through the live-studio audience and take questions. Interested girls should submit a video demonstrating their interviewing skills. Videos should be no longer than 1 minute and girls are encouraged to be as creative as possible. Videos should be in .mp4, .mov or .wmv formats and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight on December 2nd. Late submissions will not be considered. The winning candidate will be notified by December 14th and will be expected to be at the WITF studio in Harrisburg by 1:00 p.m. on January 12, 2013 for a brief rehearsal.
2012 - 2013 Delegates
Congratulations and a big "thank you" to those who have been elected as GSHPA's 2012-2013 Service Unit Delegates.
Click here to see the list.
The GSHPA Service Unit Delegate serves as the primary communication link between the Girl Scout members in her/his service unit and GSHPA's Board of Directors. Delegates have the opportunity to influence governance decisions which benefit all girls in GSHPA's jurisdiction.
Service Unit Managers, please ensure your service unit is represented by electing delegates at your next meeting.
For more information or to have questions addressed, contact your Membership Associate or Regional Director.
Save the Date!
December 2, 2012 - Holiday Open House at Foxfire from 1 - 3pm
January 1, 2013 - Summer Camp Registration Opens
January 5, 2013 - Cookie Rally/Cookie College events within each region
January 12, 2013 - Healthy Promise Webcast Live from WITF Studio in Harrisburg
January 25 - 27, 2013 - Volunteer-Led Leadership Enrichment Weekend at Camp Echo Trail
March 11 - Camp Information Night at Scranton Area Service Center
March 13 - Camp Information Night at Harrisburg Area Service Center
March 19 - Camp Information Night at Montoursville Area Service Center
March 21 - Camp Information Night at York Area Service Center
March 25 - Camp Information Night at Harrisburg Area Service Center
April 1 - Camp Information Night at Camp Small Valley, Halifax
May 17 - 19, 2013 - aMAZE weekend for Cadettes at Camp Small Valley
April 27 - Camp Open House at Camp Small Valley in Halifax
Volunteer-Led Leadership Enrichment Weekend
Co-sponsored by six York County Service Units, come enjoy a fun getaway weekend for learning and sharing at a Native American-themed training and enrichment weekend for adult Girl Scouts at Camp Echo Trail. This weekend was formerly known as "York County Adult Weekend" is January 25-27, 2013. Click here for more information.