This is What Getting Back Up After A Setback Looks Like!

Meet Erin Bailey, a Girl Scout volunteer in Cowlitz County who has learned a lot by serving as a troop leader for Kindergarten and first grade girls.

She has modeled to her girls, through her own actions, that sometimes things won’t go as planned, and you have to keep trying, but half the fun is getting messy while you figure it out!

Lessons in Trying Again After Defeat Colors Your Confidence

ErinBailey2 “Being a Girl Scout troop leader doesn’t come naturally for me. I constantly battle doubt and my fear that I’m falling short of my duties to my Daisy troop. That being said, I’m reminded of a quote from Juliette Gordon Low, who founded Girl Scouts in 1912: ‘Scouting rises in you and inspires you to put fourth your best.’ So true!

Last year was my first year as a Daisy leader (girls in Kindergarten and 1st grade). I didn’t have any experience leading–not only a troop of little girls, but anyone…EVER! I was nervous, but I became comfortable in my new role rather quickly. I had a lot of support from my fellow leaders and a co-leader who encouraged my creative thinking and planning.

One such creative plan I had involved introducing the Daisies to the wonderful world of art journaling. I had it all laid out in my head. It was going to be the most magical of meetings–a meeting that would change the world! My Daisies would create such wondrous expressions of their inner beings and an army of artists would be born! It was quite beautiful…in my mind.

The day of the art journal meeting came and I was practically bursting with excitement. My co-leader and I had all our supplies at the ready. I even made simple smocks for each girl (you can’t be too careful, right?), and briefly explained what art journaling was and showed examples of some of my own artwork. Every Daisy was all ears. I had their full attention. This was going to be epic! ErinBailey

My co-leader, parent helper and I began to pass out the various supplies–journals, scrap paper, glue, markers, brushes—and you could feel their excitement grow. The room vibrated with energy. Then we passed out the student grade acrylic paint.

When Life Doesn’t Go According to Plan…

I’d love to tell you that the meeting went according to plan, that my dreams became reality, that tears weren’t shed. But I can’t. Within just moments of passing out the acrylic paint, pure chaos ensued. The noise level tripled. Girls abandoned their brushes and self-control. Paint was flying to and fro, getting everywhere. Tables! Carpets! Chairs! Nowhere was safe! At one point I witnessed a girl smear paint all over her face as if it were moisturizer. It was total mayhem.

I can’t remember too much after that. I was in a daze. I do know that messes were cleaned up, supplies were organized and hands were washed. The meeting was over and I survived.

That was the one and only meeting that year that we did anything with paint. Until last week. Now, I know what you’re thinking. I must be out of my mind to even think of allowing paint back into our meetings! Believe me, I cringe every time I think about those art journals. But I also think about the lessons I learned. Lesson 1: Split into smaller groups. Lesson 2: Use washable paint. Lesson 3: Discuss and be clear about the ground rules. And last, but not least: Don’t be afraid to try again!

Face-Their-Fears_GSWWPutting Forth Your Best

So getting back to Juliette Gordon Low’s quote: ‘Scouting rises in you and inspires you to put fourth you best.’ Well, that paint-splattered meeting, chock full of failure, was my best! It was what inspired by my desire for adventure. To open up a whole new world of possibilities to young and impressionable minds, and ultimately, to have fun–that’s exactly what that meeting was! It was epic!

Going forward, I could take the safe and easy approach, providing activities that are mess-free and lackluster. Allowing my fear of failure to dictate my choices and my creativity. Trying to completely avoid stress and chaos. But that’s not me. That’s not my best! I am full of creative and sometimes fanciful ideas. What scares me more than failing is the thought of being too afraid to put forth my best.

Nowadays, when I’m mulling over the plethora of ideas that come to me, I spend more time improving them, using the lessons I have learned, all while learning to lead. To me, that’s success, which is the real art.”

Read an awesome ParentMap story, Embracing Failure, which talks about many of the same things Erin mentions above. Plus, Girl Scouts of Western Washington is referenced in the story, and we are pretty excited!

Girl Scout Cookie-Inspired Fashion at Pacific Place!

We’re so grateful for the talent and creativity of six local designers, who made Girl Scout Cookie-inspired fashion to celebrate a century of Girl Scout Cookies! Check out the stories below of #CookieBosses who got to meet local women business leaders who became fashion models for the day to highlight our Design Your Dream Cookie Couture campaign, which showcases the amazing things girls do in their communities and the world around them, all thanks to cookie money!

Our Cookie Couture exhibit will be on display on the second floor Pacific Place until March 31, 2017, so be sure to come see our full gallery space, complete with photos from the campaign, cookie displays and more!

Bonus: Watch an Evening Magazine segment that shows our fashion in action, and read these Seattle Refined and Seattle Met pieces that highlight our fashionable campaign!

Thank you to David Jaewon Oh, our amazing photographer, for the photos you’ll see below.

jamieInspired by the ways in which chocolate and mint are out of this world when combined to make a Thin Mint, designer Jamie Von Stratton created this Thin Mint Galaxy Goddess dress. Each mermaid scale is cut out from an actual Thin Mint box, and then spray painted by hand. In the photo with her are local Girl Scouts who are part of a LEGO Robotics team! This photo scene beautifully showcases the ways in which STEM is a part of our everyday lives, whether in outer space, on a robot or engineered onto a gown!

Beautiful hand-embroidered Girl Scout Cookies adorn this whimsical Cookie Fairy Gown, created by Rachel Vala of Class Act Tutu. This birthday party scene sets the stage for Birthday Dreams​, a local organization that gives free birthday parties to homeless children, and celebrates the hard work Girl Scouts do to donate money and supplies through cookie sales to homeless shelters across western Washington.

rachel

caseysagisiSandrine Espie, who co-founded  Muses: Conscious Fashion Studio​, a nonprofit that teaches local immigrants and refugees sewing skills so they can find jobs, is modeling the Trefoils dress made by Casey Sagisi. She is joined by co-founder, Esther Hong, and Girl Scouts Julia and Carleigh, who sew reusable pads for girls in developing nations who can’t go to school when they have their periods due to a lack of hygiene supplies. Using their sewing skills, Sandrine, Esther, Julia, and Carleigh show how their hard work can make a difference in their communities — and the world!

danial

Danial Webster created this beautiful s’mores inspired gown to showcase our newest Girl Scout S’mores Cookie. Jennifer Shea, founder of Trophy Cupcakes​, models the dress along with Melody, a Girl Scout who has competed on Cupcake Wars and Chopped Junior. Together they paired for their love of cupcakes (Melody make the marshmallow-frosted ones she is holding in the photo, and Jennifer is holding her top-selling s’mores cupcakes!), and Melody’s aspiration to enter into the culinary field like Jennifer!

As master draper at Seattle Children’s Theatre​, Shellie Moomey (seen in back, wearing pearls!) was inspired to create a Patchwork Cookie Box Coat. The display of cookie boxes on the fabric is a nod to how Girl Scouts connect to their community in many different ways through cookies, like patchwork on a blanket or coat! The Girl Scouts alongside Shellie make their own blankets with their cookie money, which they donate to local non-profit organizations.

shellie

patricia
Patricia Raskin, handbag designer of Anne Sylvain, models the Tagalongs-inspired dress created by Luly Yang, and is a proud aunt to a Girl Scout. Her cookie-inspired clutch is decorated with Swarovski crystals.

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!

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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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