February 2, 2015

You're Appreciated: Recognizing Volunteer Achievements

Chelmsford Girl Scouts lead the flag ceremony


Every year, Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts holds the Volunteer Recognition Dinner to honor those in the community who have gone above and beyond what it means to be a Girl Scout volunteer. 

These volunteers provide support for each other, leadership opportunities for girls, and strengthen our communities.

Last year, 43 volunteers, three service units and two committees were recognized for their commitment and dedication to Girl Scouting.



Thanks Badge Awardee Sarah Leshay and Bedford Girl Scouts

Read on to learn more about each award and how you can nominate a volunteer who shines bright in your Girl Scout community:

January 30, 2015

GSEM in the News

So many wonderful activities going on across our council. Read on to learn more:

IN THE NEWS

Cookie Creations Boston was featured in The Boston Globe and on Boston.com, showcasing the chefs, judges and attendees at this fun night out. Cookie Creations Danvers has also been in the news

Our CEO Pat Parcellin has been raising awareness for the cookie program and the essential skills our girls develop from participating. See her recent interview with Jenny Johnson of Comcast Newsmakers and with the Groton Channel News -- tune in at the 13-minute mark.

Hailey Manduca, a 2015 Gold Awardee, earned the highest award in Girl Scouting by creating a documentary, “Unbreakable Spirit,” to showcase her struggle with brittle bone disease in an effort to help those going through similar treatments and experiences. She continues to be highlighted in the press.

In mid-January, Revere Girl Scouts were featured in the Revere Journal for their (surprise!) visit with Governor Charlie Baker at the State House.

COOKIES

KISS108 ran a Girl Scout Cookie ad campaign featuring Kendra Petrone, letting listeners know about the cookie sale. Kendra was even a Guest Judge at Cookie Creations Boston!



Have you seen our cookie ads around eastern Mass.? From taxi tops, to commuter rail and T stations, MBTA buses, Improper Bostonian, The Boston Globe, office building elevators and lobby screens, and more, our ad campaign is running where cookie lovers will see it, generating business for our girls. We are grateful to our media partners who donated ad space to make this possible.


Within the next few weeks you'll see the council's new ride traveling highways and back-roads as it crisscrosses eastern Massachusetts raising visibility for the cookie program and supporting girls at booth sales. The vehicle is more than a traveling billboard; it will move cookies to where they are needed, stop at girl and adult volunteer recruitment events, and serve as a mobile shop. We will run a contest for our audience to spot the wheels on the road to win a case of cookies – stay tuned!

Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with all things Girl Scout Cookies!

January 23, 2015

Whip up your own Cookie Creations!

Due to weather, Cookie Creations Danvers will be rescheduled to February 5, 2015. It's still being held at the Danversport Yacht Club at 6pm. See you there! Buy tickets here.

Girl Scout Cookie season means sharing your favorite sweet treats with family and friends. Delectable Caramel deLites, scrumptious Peanut Butter Patties or even our new certified gluten-free offering, Trios, available now!

On January 15, chefs from Greater Boston gathered at the Back Bay Events Center for Cookie Creations. They created mouth-watering delicacies--desserts, savory snacks, even chocolate bacon--and the best part is, each dish was made using your favorite Girl Scout Cookies! 

Guest judges Kendra Petrone of Kiss108's Matty in the Morning, instructors from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary College and Maggie Battista, founder of Eat Boutique, ranked the treats on taste and presentation.

Chefs sampling each other's creations! Yum!
Executive Pastry Chef Brian Mercury of Harvest in Cambridge won "Best Overall" with his Thin Mint & Rice Krispies Treat Torte. His enticing presentation matched the deliciousness factor of this incredible dish!

Chef Brian Mercury with his distinctively delicious Thin Mint & Rice Krispies Treat Torte!

Last year's "Best Overall" winner, Chef Eunice Heller, owner and chef at Bread & Chocolate Bakery CafĂ© in Newton, continued to be a crowd-pleaser. Her "All for Her" Lemon Risotto won the "Crowd Favorite" award and using Lemonades cookies, you too can create this yummy, savory dish. 

Chef Eunice Heller with her "All for Her" Lemon Risotto. It was divine!

Below are some of these innovative recipes, straight from the chefs themselves. Have an adult help you create these tasty treats and share your cookie creations with us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram!

Cookie Creations Danvers is on February 5 at the Danversport Yacht Club, and we hope to see you there! Buy tickets here.
 
The guest judges with GSEM CEO Pat Parcellin (center) at Cookie Creations Boston on January 15, 2015.

December 16, 2014

Gift Giving the Girl Scout Way

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – Girl Scout cookie time!
 

Forget the fruit cake, don't bother with baked goods – this year, we've come up with an easy, edible arrangement that everyone on your gift list will love.
 

A Girl Scout cookie bouquet featuring our yummy selection of cookies and festive holiday cheer!

Girl Scout cookie bouquets not only put a spirited spin on the holiday tradition of edible gifts, but also grant both gift giver and recipient an extra helping of warm, fuzzy holiday feelings.
 

Each package of Girl Scout cookies used to build bouquets helps girls fund service projects, field trips, summer camp tuition and more. The cookie sale itself is a lesson in financial literacy, teaching girls five essential life skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.
 

Service contribution is also stressed through our Cookies for a Cause program which also allows cookie buyers to donate purchased treats to food pantries and wounded veterans.
 

Assembly of the cookie bouquets is quick and easy:

•    Pick up a couple of packages of your favorite variety of Girl Scout cookies. Find a booth sale is near you here.


•    Grab some lollipop-style sticks and flower arrangement foam from your favorite craft store.


•    Get creative - layer cookie varieties to build “flowers" or add some whimsy with gummy spearmint leaves and gum drops.


•    Arrange bouquet in a basket or flower pot embellished with holiday ribbon and seasonal trimmings


Bouquets bring a Girl Scout spin to a seasonal favorite. Perfect for last minute additions, secret Santa, teacher gifts, showers, office parties and more - Girl Scout cookie bouquets offer a thoughtful, unique, yet one-size-fits-all solution to your holiday gift giving.


'Tis the season to share warm memories, good tidings - and everyone's favorite cookies!

December 8, 2014

Gold Award Spotlight: Hailey’s “Unbreakable Spirit” Documentary

Nationally, only 5 percent of Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award each year. Today we are highlighting another courageous, creative and remarkable GSEM Girl Scout who earned her Gold Award in 2014.

With her Gold Award project, “Unbreakable Spirit” documentary, Hailey Manduca catalogued her daily experiences living with a rare bone disease. She hopes to give others in similar situations insight on how she lives her life.


Hailey and Indy, her service dog (courtesy of Hailey's Facebook page)

Hailey was born with type 2/3 Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or OI, a rare bone disorder in which people break bones easily for little or no apparent cause. She has broken over 122 bones and undergone 21 surgeries.

Hailey, however, hasn't let her medical hardships keep her from participating in the Girl Scout troop she's been a part of since kindergarten. Over the past 13 years as a Girl Scout, she has managed to remain an active member of her troop, enjoying activities like camping and honoring military members in the Memorial Day parade.


Her favorite troop activity was a Mall Overnight, where girls had the opportunity to hang out shop in all their favorite stores after hours, watch movies in the theater and end the evening with a giant slumber party inside the mall. 


“Girl Scouts made me understand things in a different way,” Hailey said of how her participation has helped her.

Hailey’s troop is full of her friends, girls that share her fun, spirited attitude and positive outlook on life. They love hanging out at troop meetings and planning what their next adventure will be. From learning how to survive in the wilderness to cooking with a Dutch oven, the girls have amassed some pretty amazing skills.


On top of all this, Girl Scouts gave Hailey the opportunity to create awareness of OI. Through her Gold Award project, Hailey created a documentary film that shows the lifestyle and treatment options of someone with this rare bone disorder. 




Hailey’s mother, older sister and older brother also have OI. As family plays a big part in her life, she included interviews with her mother and older brother in her documentary. Hailey says her older brother, James, inspired her to start her Gold Award when he was completing his Boy Scout Eagle Award.
 
Filming took around two years to complete, with footage from Hailey’s hospital visits and personal anecdotes from her daily life. A friend's mom with professional experience helped edit and complete the documentary. 



Hailey with her cast for a broken arm (courtesy of Hailey's Facebook page)

She hopes to have screenings aimed to show families with newly diagnosed OI children see how it can be handled on a day-to-day basis. 

Congratulations to Hailey for persevering through whatever life throws her way, and using her experiences to elevate awareness of her disease, light the way for others and earn elite distinction as a Gold Awardee.


To learn more about Hailey’s gold award project, visit her Facebook group, or read a recent Cape Cod Times article featuring her work.

Do you know a Girl Scout working toward her Gold Award? Tell us about her and she could be our next featured Gold Awardee. Email getsocial@girlscoutseasternmass.org.

December 2, 2014

Gold Award Spotlight: Hannah’s Peace Lesson Plans

Nationally, only 5 percent of Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award each year. This is the first of many entries to come highlighting some of the courageous, creative and remarkable girls earning Gold Awards this year throughout our council.

Groton Girl Scout Hannah Tellier’s Gold Award project, Peace Lesson Plans, was her way of sharing something that she wants to see more of in the world — the message of peace. 

Hannah speaking at the United Nations, courtesy of Lauren Malsick Photography.

In 2007, Hannah’s older brother Sgt. Zachary Tellier was killed in action in Afghanistan. This devastating loss made Hannah realize she had to make it her mission to enact change.
 

Hannah, a Girl Scout since Kindergarten, joined the Peace Club at her middle school. Their project, The Big Book: Pages for Peace Project, aimed to create the largest book in the world to help spread the message of peace. They collected letters, poems and drawings from people old and young. 

The Peace Club was invited to share some pages of The Big Book at the 2013 United Nations International Day of Peace Student Conference in New York City. This is where Hannah got her start.
 

After the club presented the book, Hannah and her father were able to talk with Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury, the founder of the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace. Ambassador Chowdhury was very impressed with the Peace Club and promised to keep in touch.
 

As the club became more popular, it needed a curriculum - a task that Hannah took on and chose to make her Gold Award project.
 

After much trial and error, she created six perfect Peace Curriculum Lesson Plans, “Conflict Resolution”, “Developing Rights”, “Kids Who Make a Difference”, “Sadako Paper Cranes”, “Similarities and Differences” and “Success and Failure”

Hannah hopes that her work inspires others and encourages leaders of Peace Clubs around the world to implement her lessons.
 

On Wednesday, October, 8, 2014, Hannah joined other members of the Peace Club at an event showcasing pages from The Big Book at the John F. Kennedy Library.


Members of the Peace Club with Ambassador Chowdhury (middle, second row) at the JFK Library Event this past fall.

Now a freshman at Landmark College in Vermont, Hannah hopes to continue bringing her message of peace to young people all over the world. She even has plans to meet with Ambassador Chowdhury in New York City where he has promised to block out a whole day to discuss peace education initiatives with her.
 

Through earning her Girl Scout Gold Award, Hannah says she has developed self-confidence, leadership skills, and lasting relationships with like-minded people driven to help make her mission of peace become a success.

Congratulations to Hannah for earning distinction as one of our elite Gold Awardees and continuing to shine a light on how individuals can bring change and promote peace.

Learn more about the Gold Award here

Check out Hannah’s Peace Curriculum Lesson Plans here.


Do you know a Girl Scout working toward her Gold Award? Tell us about her and she could be our next featured Gold Awardee. Email koreilly@girlscoutseasternmass.org.

October 23, 2014

Destination: Georgia, Germany, Costa Rica and Panama

Over the summer, 10 GSEM Girl Scouts participated in the Destinations program - a truly unique opportunity that allows girls to travel near and far to broaden their horizons and make memories that last a lifetime.

Last week, we journeyed to Northern Africa, exploring Morocco with Jaylen and Kelin. Today we're tagging along with Katherine, Cat, and Katherine as their Destinations take us from chasing outdoor adventure in the southern states, to tending to baby sea turtles in tropical climates and summiting mountain-top settings that inspired some of your favorite fairy tales.


Katherine scales new heights during her Adrenaline Rush Destination.



Katherine’s Adrenaline Rush

Katherine chose to challenge herself on the "Adrenaline Rush" Destination.

Her mom participated in the program in high school, and Katherine was intrigued by the adventurous activities offered on this trip's itinerary. The white water rafting and a visit to an amusement park seemed particularly exciting.
 

Having attended Girl Scout summer camp for the past several years, Katherine had the experience she needed to tackle these physical challenges.

Traveling around Georgia and Tennessee, Katherine and her group participated in a high ropes course, a low ropes course, sailing, paddle boarding, archery, caving and mountain biking.

The finale to this week of adventures was a trip to Six Flags in Georgia where the group spent the day riding roller coasters.

This destination not only speaks to an adventurous spirit, but also teaches practical travel skills. "
I discovered that it is not as difficult as I thought to travel long distances by myself," Katherine says. With this new confidence, Katherine is excited to visit other parts of the world.

Cat’s Castles in the Sky
 

After years of dreaming about visiting Germany, Cat was thrilled to learn about the Castles in the Sky destination program at a Girl Scout troop meeting.

Cat and her group toured many towns in Germany, including Munich where they visited the Olympic Tower. They also explored Neuschwanstein Castle, which served as inspiration for both Cinderella's and Sleeping Beauty's castles.

The last part of the trip was a visit to Austria where she was able to see locations used for the filming of the movie The Sound of Music.

Cat gained planning and travel skills on her destination trip. She also learned how to interact with people that are different than her, especially with a language barrier. "
Girl Scouting has shaped me into the girl I am," Cat says, explaining that her experience as a Girl Scout allowed her to handle new situations in a positive way.

She reminds her Girl Scout sisters who may be nervous about leaving home but want to experience a destination program that their families will always be waiting when they return home. Cat suggests starting out with shorter trips or traveling around the U.S. to get yourself used to being away from loved ones, but also recommends diving in and taking full advantage of the opportunities presented to you as a Girl Scout.

Cat's trip helped spark a new love for travel, and she plans to see as much of the world as she can.


Katherine’s Costa Rica and Panama Service Challenge

Katherine was very intrigued by the opportunity to try new things and travel to a new country. She chose the Costa Rica and Panama Service Challenge for her destination as the program would not only allow her to explore new parts of the world, but also use her Girl Scouting skills to help those in need.

During the first week, Katherine and her group lived with a local family in Costa Rica and participated in service activities that benefited the community. A group favorite was helping to repaint the local school.

For the second week, the girls stayed on the coast of the Caribbean Sea in Panama. Here, they assisted with the maintenance of the sea turtle hatchery. The once-in-a-lifetime experience of transporting turtle eggs to the hatchery so they could develop and hatch in safety is something Katherine will never forget.


Despite cultural differences of people in the countries she visited, Katherine was happy to find that opportunities to communicate and bond remained, even when language barriers prevented them from using words.

Over these two weeks, the group of girls bonded quickly and formed lasting friendships. "Along with the projects, I also made unbelievably close friends in a really short period of time and learned a lot about the world and myself," Katherine says. By building up her confidence, she feels better about meeting new people and starting new activities.

She can’t wait to go on another Destination trip!



2015 Destinations locations include China and Ireland!

What Are You Waiting For?

Whether caring for Giant Pandas in China or exploring some of our favorite outdoor sports in Ireland, this year's Destinations offer a wide-range of experiences for participating Girl Scouts.

Girls can set their sites on a visit to South Africa, Mexico, Peru, Scotland, and many other exciting locations both overseas and closer to home. Applications are due November 15, 2014. Financial aid is available for most destinations.

Interested? Check out Destinations online or email ddextraze@girlscoutseasternmass.org for more information.

If you or your girl have taken a Destination trip in the past and would like the share your story with us, email koreilly@girlscoutseasternmass.org.


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