S'mores Galore! The NEWEST Girl Scout Cookie

"Use Resources Wisely" This photo comes from http://blog.girlscouts.org/2016/08/Thisishowwesmore. 

"Use Resources Wisely" This photo comes from http://blog.girlscouts.org/2016/08/Thisishowwesmore. 

Although most volunteers and members had the lockdown on inside intel several months ago during cookie training season, the masses have finally seen the long-awaited S'mores-inspired cookie(s). [And yes, GSUSA had to send out clarification that these are not REALLY s'mores, there's no real marshmallow in them. They are s'mores inspired. No campfire needed.]

You guys: Even Cookie Monster approves of these new delicious delights. "You nailed it!" he says.

Here’s the confusing part, which wasn’t explained in the news coverage: There are TWO different s’mores cookies, but each Girl Scout only sells one.

Here's the confusing part, which wasn't explained in the news coverage: There are TWO different s'mores cookies, but each Girl Scout only sells one. The background on this is that there are two different Girl Scout cookie bakers, and each council (the local organization) chooses which baker will supply their cookies. Depending on where you live and which Girl Scouts you know, cookie customers might only have access to ONE of the delicious flavors.

Click here to get the 2017 S'mores Cookie Guide, which includes all the nutritional details for each cookie, AND a list of which councils are selling which style.  

New facebook group!

It's brand new and you'll be the first ones in it. Get the ball rolling by introducing yourself!

What's a mastermind group?

I just love this definition from www.passionforbusiness.com: 

There is synergy of energy, commitment, and excitement that participants bring to a Mastermind Group. The beauty of Mastermind Groups is that participants raise the bar by challenging each other to create and implement goals, brainstorm ideas, and support each other with total honesty, respect and compassion. Mastermind participants act as catalysts for growth, devil’s advocates and supportive colleagues.

The concept of the Mastermind Group was formally introduced by Napoleon Hill in the early 1900’s. In his timeless classic, “Think And Grow Rich” he wrote about the Mastermind principle as:
”The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.”

He continues…
”No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind.”

This Mastermind group is for:

  • Sharing resources and training materials
  • Asking questions that haven’t been asked before
  • Starting discussions that haven’t been explored before
  • Suggesting “best practices” 
  • Sharing successes
  • Problem-solving and solutions

The Mastermind group is NOT for:

  • Complaining about GSUSA, councils, or policies
  • Venting about co-leaders, troop parents, staff members, or anyone
  • Negativity

Join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/girlscoutmastermind/

Songs & Games for Summer

We all love new song ideas, being reminded of song memories forgotten, or comparing lyrics between different versions. A couple of my awesome friends from Camp Silverbrook in West Bend, WI, (where I was Camp Director 2011-2013) put together a super-cool song book.

 

Plus, if you've got 10-15 minutes with a group of girls, maybe during that waiting time between scheduled activities at camp, here are a few ideas for active games or quiet games to pass the time. [Video tutorials below.]

Complete a Survey. Get a Free Training Resource.

Hey there!
I'm Stacie, and I've been a professional Girl Scout for over 10 years. Now, as a consultant for Girl Scout councils, I specialize in program management and strategy, volunteer management, grants, marketing, and more! But, my true passion...is providing resources and training for troop leaders and parents who work directly with girls to make the world a better place.
I need YOUR HELP to decide what resources I'm going to develop next. Would you please take a few minutes to fill out my survey? I will be forever grateful.

In exchange for your valuable insights and opinions, I'll give you access to a free 10-Minute training including video and links to resources, all focused on the new GSUSA badge series: Art in the Outdoors. Let's celebrate National Great Outdoors Month together!

  • Step 1: Sign up with your email address
  • Step 2: Check your email inbox to confirm
  • Step 3: Click the link to complete the survey
  • Step 4: Check your email inbox again for your FREE training
  • Step 5: Get outdoors with girls and enjoy!

High fives,

Stacie

GoFundMe is a NoGo for Girl Scout Troops

(This blog originally written for Girl Scouts of Citrus Council.)

Tons of online fundraising and crowdsourcing tools are popping up left and right, and GoFundMe is still one of the most popular. It’s great for personal fundraising or for a local cause or event, but guess what: it’s not allowed for Girl Scout troops. Here’s why:

Girl Scouts nationwide are governed by a set of rules called the Blue Book of Basic Documents [available here]. It includes our constitution, bylaws, policies, and standards. Many volunteers have never seen this document because, well, it doesn’t really affect your day-to-day activities in Girl Scouts. The council staff ensure that we’re all in compliance with this basic set of rules, and let YOU have all the fun and focus on the resources written for you: Safety Activity Checkpoints and Volunteer Essentials (contact your council for specific versions).

In the Policies section, the Blue Book says:

SOLICITATION OF CONTRIBUTIONS

Adult members in their Girl Scout capacities may not solicit financial contributions for purposes other than Girl Scouting. Adults may engage in combined fundraising efforts authorized by the Girl Scout council and in which the local council is a beneficiary. Girl members may not engage in any direct solicitation for money.

The first sentence there doesn’t really apply to GoFundMe accounts, but #2 and #3 do. The second sentence states that adult volunteers may help out with fundraising efforts of the council, where the council is receiving the funding. This implies that volunteers may not solicit funds, however, for their own troop. The third sentence is pretty clear: girls should never participate in directly asking for money.

So what CAN you do? Money-earning activities.

"Group money-earning” refers to activities organized by the group (not by the council) that are planned and carried out by girls (in partnership with adults) and that earn money for the group.

Money earning activities may include…

Collections/Drives:

  • Cell phones for refurbishment
  • Used ink cartridges turned in for money
  • Christmas tree recycling

Food/Meal Events:

  • Lunch box auction (prepared lunch or meal auctioned off)
  • Themed meals, like high tea, Indian meal, Mexican dinner (if girls are earning money for travel, tie the meal to their destination)

Service(s):

  • Service-a-thon (people sponsor a girl doing service; funds go to support trip)
  • Babysitting for holiday (New Year’s Eve) or council events
  • Raking leaves, weeding, cutting grass, shoveling snow, walking pets
  • Cooking class or other specialty class

The best way to earn money for your group is to start with Girl Scout cookie activities and other council-sponsored product sales. From there, your group may decide to earn additional funds on its own.

There are a few specific guidelines—some required by the Internal Revenue Service—that ensure that sales are conducted with legal and financial integrity. These guidelines must be followed to ensure that Girl Scout councils maintain their non-profit status and remain compliant with all applicable laws and responsibilities. See Chapter 5 of Volunteer Essentials for all the details.

Most councils require that troops interested in conducting money-earning activities submit a request form or application for approval, 30-90 days prior to the activity taking place. Contact your council for details and/or the specific form.