Recycle Your Holiday Lights at Our Girl Scout Offices!

We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium once again on their holiday lights recycling program!

Thanks to a longstanding partnership between the zoo and Girl Scouts of Western Washington, when visitors come to the zoo between now and mid-January, they can bring in their old light strings for recycling and leave them at the main entrance.

There also are several places around Puget Sound where lights may be dropped off until mid-January, including all five Girl Scouts of Western Washington regional offices!

“The holiday lights recycling program truly highlights the Girl Scout motto of using our resources wisely and making the world a better place,” says Girl Scouts of Western Washington CEO Megan Ferland. “Recycling lights and keeping them out of landfills while supporting animal conservation is truly remarkable, and we’re happy to do whatever we can to support those efforts.”

A Local Girl Scout’s Bright Idea!

lightsThe recycling program began eight years ago as the brainchild of  Girl Scout Jessica Lam. And in 2009, Girl Scouts of Western Washington jumped on board to join her in her conservation efforts! Each year, the proceeds from the recycled lights go to support a different animal conservation effort. This year it’s walrus conservation!

Check out a story about Jessica’s bright idea, and how it started a wonderful recycling program still going strong today.

When Girl Scouts have ideas and find ways to make them become reality, everyone benefits!

Recycling Drop Spots

To recycle lights, remove all twist ties and rubber bands and put the lights directly in the bins with no boxes, bags or other extraneous material.

Drop off your holiday lights between now and mid-January at the following locations:

Metro Parks Tacoma locations

  • Northwest Trek Wildlife Park (during open hours)- 11610 Trek Drive E., Eatonville
  • Metro Parks Tacoma headquarters – 4702 S. 19th St., Tacoma
  • Tacoma Nature Center – 1919 S. Tyler St., Tacoma
  • STAR Center – 3873 S. 66th St., Tacoma
  • Center at Norpoint – 4818 Nassau Ave. N.E., Tacoma
  • Portland Avenue Community Center – 3513 Portland Ave., Tacoma
  • Peoples Community Center – 1602 S. MLK Jr. Way, Tacoma

Girl Scouts of Western Washington
Closed Dec. 19-Jan. 3
Call ahead to check office hours: 1-800-541-9852

  • Seattle Administrative Office – 601 Valley Street, Seattle
  • King County Regional Office – 13029 NE 20th St. Bellevue
  • North Region Office – 3224 Wetmore Ave., Everett
  • Peninsula Girl Scout Program Center – 1600 NE Winters Road, Bremerton
  • DuPont Girl Scout Center – 1000 Davis Place, DuPont

This is What Happens When Girls Experience Camp for the First Time

Sweetness often hides in unexpected places. Sometimes it’s tucked away in an ice cream cone, and other times it comes wrapped in a ticket to Glamp, a fundraiser for grown women who get to experience camp while providing girls who might not otherwise be able to afford camp with life-changing camp scholarships.

When you give a girl an opportunity to go to camp, you give her things you can’t always see. Inside, a new sense of adventure is brewing. She might be on her way to becoming more daring and confident by trying things she hasn’t before (like climbing a rock wall, jumping into a lake or riding a horse!). And she might be learning important leadership skills or deepening her capacity to connect with others and build friendships. OR, she might be doing all of the above, and building memories she’ll take with her the rest of her life!

“Camp was an amazing experience for me as a kid, and I would not have been able to go if it weren’t for the money I raised selling cookies,” says Molly Moon Neitzel, Seattle’s top ice cream entrepreneur, and proud Girl Scout camper for 11 years.

“I want to give as many girls as possible the same opportunities to feel self-reliant, build a fire, cook outside, make new friends and discover who they are in the amazing environment that camp provides.”

Every year, Molly buys 7,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies from local girls to use in her popular Scout Mint ice cream, but this year she decided to try something different by hosting an essay contest to send six local Girl Scouts to camp who have never been before, and agreed to buy all of the Thin Mints needed for her Scout Mint flavor from the winners. That’s 1,166 boxes of cookies from each girl! Girls got to choose their camp experience from our three sleep-over options: Girl Scouts Camp St. Albans, Robbinswold and River Ranch.

We’re excited to introduce you to the six girls who won Molly’s essay contest!

Eloise

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In her video essay, Eloise stresses just how much she likes to tell jokes, and how she wants to do more hiking. This photo of her in the forest makes us think she accomplished that second goal!

 

 

Here she is at Girl Scout Camp St. Albans with her friend Anya (in the blue hat), who also got a scholarship to camp!

Anya

CampStAlbans Eloise Ashworth & Anya Wright (9)

Anya told Molly in her essay that she wanted to go to camp for three reasons:
1) Friendship. Meeting new friends in a friendly environment is always a great start to your day.

2) Fun. Everyone should always be having a great time a Girl Scout Camp!

3) Getting to know the inner you. A lot of girls out there are either self-conscious or shy or locked up inside. Girl Scout Camp brings out the fun, friendly and curious side of most girls when they go to camp!

Petunia

CampStAlbans Alexia Glasgow (3)

In her essay, Petunia says: “Last year with my troop, I got to go to St. Albans for a few days. Through the friendships and kindness of other girls, I really enjoyed myself and found out a lot about me. I am hoping that by attending camp, I can make more lasting friendships and grow stronger as an individual.

“I would like to build a campfire, kayak, hike, do archery and swim across the lake. I have always dreamed of going to horse camp as I love horses and want to learn how to care for and ride them.”

Althea

CampStAlbans Althea Kerrick (9)

Althea learned a lot at Girl Scout Camp St. Albans, and she even got to ride a horse! She also got to meet Molly Moon! She says she loves being a Girl Scout because her grandma is her troop leader! “She is nice, and loves me and my Girl Scout sisters very much. We have fun all the time!” Althea says.

 

 

Elise

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Elise says she was made for Girl Scout Camp. “I love the smell of the grass after a rain shower. I love nature — the beautiful tall trees, the earthy smell of the forest and the sound of moving water. Girl Scout Camp sounds like a place with a happy atmosphere that I can relax and enjoy life.”

Elisecamp
Genevieve

Genevieve, who is eight, wanted to go to camp to try new foods, make new friends, play in the outdoors, hang out under the stars, swim and go horseback riding. She also says she loves crafts, and wanted to use duct tape, leather and paper, as well as sew things!

 

How Can You Help More Girls Go to Camp?

We’re grateful to passionate girl advocates like Molly Moon for making amazing things possible for girls, but we’re also grateful to all the folks who make camperships possible for girls in western Washington by attending Glamp! It’s not too late to reserve your spot at this wonderful weekend of friendship, great food and camp goodness like archery, horseback riding and canoeing, September 9-11 at Girl Scout Camp River Ranch in Carnation. Sign up for Glamp NOW and make even more girls’ camp dreams come true!

For more information about Glamp, contact Caroline Hansen, at CHansen@girlscoutsww.org.

Cookies Can Take You Anywhere

Girl Scout Alina and her mom, Sheryl, recently traveled to India – made possible because of Girl Scout Cookies and a Girl Scout travel scholarship! Alina and Sheryl share their adventures below, and show us India through the eyes of a Girl Scout and a Girl Scout troop leader!

Alina: “My name is Alina Guyon. I am 14 years old and a freshman in high school, and have been an active Girl Scout for seven years.

KaciTutuGirl Scouts has given me many lifelong friends and amazing opportunities. Recently, I was on Q13 with my troop mate, Grace, where we hung out with Kaci Aitchison (who was a Girl Scout!) and taught her some of our sales skills. That’s Kaci in the red tutu!

In the United States we are Girl Scouts, but in the rest of the world there are Girl Guides. Together we are known as the World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides, or WAGGGS. Did you know that there are five World Centers where Girl Scouts and Guides can travel and stay? Once I learned that there was a World Center in Pune, India, called Sangam, I was ready to go!

Read more

Go Gold: 37 Girl Scouts Who Changed Our Community This Year

This year, we honored 37 amazing Girl Scouts from western Washington at our Gold Award Gala on June 25—along with 11 Gold Award earners from sister councils throughout the rest of Washington and northern Idaho — and celebrated the work of 213 girls who earned their Silver Award. Together, these young women dedicated thousands of hours to create change in their communities.

Governor Jay Inslee created a proclamation declaring June 25 Girl Scout Gold Award Day across the state of Washington, and during the gala, Patty Murray—Washington’s senior U.S. Senator—shared a message with our Highest Award earners. As Washington’s first female Senator and a Girl Scout alumna, Senator Murray explained how Girl Scouts gave her the courage to take a stand to change things in her community and, now, our country!

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A Father’s Day Shout Out to Dad Troop Leaders!

How’s this for a rock star quote?

“I would quit my job and help sell Girl Scout Cookies every day of my life if I could.”

Whoa! Who said that? Do you think it was a girl? Nope. It was a dad!

“I love helping my daughter reach her goals!” says Elliott Gustavson, a troop leader from Lynnwood whose daughter has some mighty impressive goals.

“Her first year she sold 500 boxes, her second year she sold 1100 boxes and this year she sold 1600 boxes,” Elliott chuckles.

elliot troopOne of the things Elliott loves teaching his daughter, Aly – who is in his troop, along with 13 other girls – is how to set important goals. Because Aly is only 8, he knows he’ll have to help her along a bit more in the process, but she’s slowly beginning to understand what it all means.

For example, when she set her goal for this year, he reminded her that if she wanted to sell that many cookies, she’d have to sell every day.

“Next year, she’ll have to figure it out herself and tell ME what she plans to do, instead of me helping her figure it out!” Elliott says.

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Making Global Connections at Our Chalet

Last July, Girl Scout alumna Sue Hislop woke up to this view:

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She had finally arrived at Our Chalet—a Girl Scout World Center in Switzerland—and she couldn’t believe her eyes.

“When you get to that valley, it’s like something out of a fairy tale,” Sue remembers. “There are really steep valleys and mountains in the background, cows all over the place, very fresh, fresh air, and you’re about 4,000 feet up in the air … it’s just beautiful.”

This was the culmination of a long journey that began when Sue was in elementary school … Read more