Monday, October 31, 2016

Juliette Gordon Low: Our Original Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, and Leader!


She is our inspiration.
Juliette Gordon Low, or Daisy to her friends, is proof that girls can do anything.
Today, as Girl Scouts everywhere celebrate Founder’s Day, let’s take time to acknowledge that she was the very embodiment of courage, confidence, and character, and she did, indeed, make the world a better place.

In fact, Juliette Gordon Low was the original G.I.R.L. (Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, Leader)TM!

Born Juliette Magill Kinzie Gordon on October 31, 1860, in Savannah, Georgia, she descended from a long line of strong and independent women.

Daisy was a sensitive, curious, and adventurous girl known for her sense of humor, compassion, and concern for others. She was interested in athletics, the arts, animals, and nature—attributes that would one day become central to the Girl Scout Movement.

Her long and storied life was full of challenges overcome, opportunities seized, and victories savored.

She was a Girl Scout first and always, and she exemplified the essential traits that make up the Girl Scout DNA.

She was a—

Go-getter. Daisy’s desire to make the world a better place came to the fore early in life. When she was just 16, she prodded her cousins to start the Helping Hands Club. Their goal? Learn how to sew and make clothing for a recently immigrated family. While their sewing skills left much to be desired, it was Daisy’s first foray into organizing and inspiring girls to make the world a better place.

Innovator. In 1912, she famously announced, “I've got something for the girls of Savannah, and all of America, and all the world, and we're going to start it tonight!” From that first gathering of a small troop of 18 culturally and ethnically diverse girls, Daisy broke the conventions of the time—reaching across class, cultural, and ethnic boundaries to ensure that Girl Scouts offered all girls a place to grow and develop their leadership skills.

Risk-taker. Launching the Girl Scout Movement was not without challenges. Daisy worked tirelessly to grow the new organization and for many years used her own money to pay expenses, even selling her valuable pearl necklace when she was short of funds. In 1920, when she was 61, she launched a fundraising campaign in a daring flight over Manhattan in an old-fashioned biplane, leaning out to drop Girl Scout flyers on the crowds below. It was a spectacular launch for Girl Scout Week, which also included a 6,000-girl parade and a pageant in Central Park.

Leader. Using her innate talent for fundraising and public relations, combined with her vast network of high-profile friends and supporters, Daisy led Girl Scouts with passion and determination—ensuring it was, and always would be, an experience that was “girl led.” In 2012, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States, in recognition of her “remarkable vision,” and to celebrate “her dedication to empowering girls everywhere."

In 2016, the vision of Juliette Gordon Low lives on in millions of Girl Scouts across the nation—and the globe—who carry on her legacy. She is remembered and honored by generations of people whose lives have been positively impacted by Girl Scouts.

Happy Birthday, Daisy!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A message from Girl Scouts of the USA's Interim CEO, Sylvia Acevedo

Hello, Girl Scouts!

We're approaching one of my favorite holidays of the year----Founder's Day, October 31, on which we commemorate and celebrate Juliette Gordon Low's birthday.

Born on Halloween in 1860, Juliette noted that she "was born on the night when witches, imps, and fairies roamed the earth!" If she were around to say the same thing today, she might add "superheroes," as they have become one of the most popular themes for Halloween costumes and kids' dress-up in general.

Speaking of, I can think of no better real-life superhero than Juliette herself, the woman who founded an organization that has positively impacted the lives of more than 60 million girls and women over the course of the past century, including mine. In honor of her upcoming birthday, I encourage you to revisit her story and share it with the children in your life.

And while you're at it, know of someone who's still deciding what to be for Halloween? Suggest they go as our superhero founder----whose rich legacy and vision continue to inspire our Movement and power positive change in our world.

Happy Founder's Day!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What are Girl Scout SWAPS?


Girl Scout SWAPS

Building Friendships One Gift at a Time
SWAPS, the tradition of Girl Scouts exchanging keepsakes, started long ago when Girl Scouts and Girl Guides first gathered for fun, song, and making new friends.
SWAPS were first widely exchanged at national Girl Scout Senior Roundups in the 1950s and 1960s. Today, SWAPS are still the perfect way for Girl Scouts to meet one another and promote friendship. Each one reflects a memory of a special event or Girl Scout sister.

SWAPS Basics

SWAPS should:

  • Tell something about the givers or their group. (Girls may include their address or email information so others can write to them.)
  • Represent the givers' country, community, or local Girl Scout council.

Tips for SWAPS Givers 
Girls should:
  • Think about the kind of SWAPS they would like to receive from someone else.
  • Try not to spend a lot of money. Consider making something from donated or recycled material.
  • Be creative, and take time to make hand-crafted SWAPS. (Include directions for making them if it is a craft project that can be replicated.)
  • Try to have one for each event participant and staff member.
  • Plan ahead so there's time to make them.
  • Make SWAPS that can be worn, used, or displayed.
  • Ask their group or service unit for help, if needed, in putting SWAPS together.
  • Make them portable. Remember, they must be carried or shipped ahead to the event, where other girls will be carrying them away.

What to Do with SWAPS
Girls can:
  • Include them with thank-you letters to sponsors and those who helped with a travel event.
  • Keep them in a scrapbook, memory box, or shadow box.
  • Use them to make a quilt or other textile project.
  • Put pins and patches on a hat or jacket.
  • Start a council best-of-SWAPS collection.

SWAPS Safety and Etiquette

Girls should:

  • Never refuse to swap with another person.
  • Swap face-to-face, especially if exchanging addresses or email information.
  • Avoid using glass or sharp objects in SWAPS.
  • Follow all Safety Activity Checkpoints guidelines.
  • Avoid using food products, unless they are individually wrapped.

Want to get involved with Girl Scouts?
Join | Volunteer |

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Take the 2016 Girl Scout Challenge and you could win a $500 scholarship!

We all have the power to change the world, but Girl Scouts have more than that. They have the practice. For more than 100 years, we’ve been putting our whole hearts into to building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place—and that’s exactly what they’ve done!
What can we say? Giving back is in our DNA. Every day, in big and small ways, Girl Scouts are the G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)™ who take action and build a better world for all of us. From harvesting community gardens they planted for food banks and running programs to fight bullying in schools, to cleaning local streams for future generations, and so much more, Girl Scouts consistently and relentlessly use their time and resources to enhance countless lives and communities across the map—they’re definitely a force to be reckoned with!

Participate in the 2016 Girl Scout Challenge Today
Let’s show ‘em how it’s done—like a Girl Scout! Tell us how you take the lead to build a better world (challenge five Girl Scout friends to do the same!), and enter for a chance to win a $500 scholarship from MetLife Foundation—nice! Your amazing stories can help inspire others to join Girl Scouts in creating positive change.

Learn More and Enter>>

Get inspired. Here are a few awesome stories of Girl Scouts taking the lead to build a better world, to get you pumped to join the 2016 Girl Scout Challenge today! 

To read more on the GSUSA blog, click here.


Monday, October 24, 2016

Making Friends: 7 Simple Icebreakers Even Shy Girls Will Love!


Being reserved or even shy shouldn’t stop your girl from having a super fun social life! If she’s having trouble making friends, suggest some of these oh-so-simple ice breakers that will help her meet new kids and hopefully form lifelong friendships!

  1. “The cat on your shirt is so cute! I love cats, too—do you have one?”
    Teach her to look for cues that she and the other person have something in common, like a character that might be on her clothing or lunch bag.
  2. “Have you read anything cool lately?”
    Asking about something particular, like a book she may have read or a movie she may have seen, gives them a clear subject to talk about and can lead to plenty of other topics. Just make sure she has a book in mind to talk about in case the girl wants to know what she’s been reading, too!
  3. “I thought the story you wrote was awesome! What made you write about outer space?”
    Everyone loves a sincere compliment, and following it up with a question about what she’s accomplished will show a genuine curiosity and hopefully lead to a great discussion!
  4. “I’m signing up for Girl Scouts this year—are you?”
    Bringing up a potential shared experience will get the girls talking, even if they’re not both doing the same activities.
  5. “Do you want to share my orange?”
    Being generous with toys or snacks is a universal offering of friendship, and will likely spark a conversation between the two girls.
  6. “How did you feel about today’s game?”
    If the girls are on the same soccer team, or even in the same classroom in school, they’ll have plenty of shared experiences they can discuss. All it takes is your daughter to bring one of them up!
  7. “Want to study for the vocab quiz together?”
    Suggesting tackling an activity that both girls have to do anyway will make the task easier on both of them, and give them a chance to get to know each

Friday, October 21, 2016

Final Week of Girls Night Out!

 As families are starting a new school year, Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast (GSCCC) is inviting girls in kindergarten through 6th grade to join the fun and learn about Girl Scouts at free Girls Night Out events up and down California’s Central Coast throughout the month of October. The events will bring parents and girls together to learn about the many programs and volunteer positions available at Girl Scouts. 

Come and join the fun at Girls Night Out! We have one final week of events remaining! See the schedule below. For more information on these free events, please visit

  • October 21, 6 to 7:30 p.m. - Brigg's Building, 1221 Memorial Drive, Hollister
  • October 22, 12 to 1:30 p.m. - Aptos Grange, 2555 Mar Vista Dr., Aptos
  • October 22, 6 to 7:30 p.m. -  Oldemeyer Center, 986 Hilby Avenue, Seaside 
  • October 22, 2 to 3 p.m. - Simi Valley Senior Center, 3900 Avenida Simi, Simi Valley
  • October 27, 6 to 7 p.m. -  Moorpark Presbyterian Church, 13950 Peachhill Road, Moorpark
  • October 27, 7 to 8 p.m. - Girls Inc.Goleta Valley Center, 4973 Hollister Avenue, Goleta
  • October 28, 5:30 to 7 p.m. - McKinnon Elementary, 2100 McKinnon Street, Salinas
  • October 28, 6 to 7:30 p.m. -  Mission Park School, 403 W Acacia Street, Salinas

Here's a follow-up on our GSCCC Camarillo Girls Night Out in The Acorn!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

GSCCC Retail Shops Move to Online-Only on December 23!

GSCCC Retail Shops Move to Online-Only

Beginning December 23, 2016
GSCCC Online Fall Catalog

After a multi-year review of the dollars and cents it takes GSCCC to operate our brick-and-mortar retail shops, the conclusion is that it makes much more sense to move all shopping online, effectively allowing the council to use resources wisely and discontinue the annual losses for that operation. 

Since 2012, our customers are showing a significant increase in online shopping due to 24/7 access, mobile device usage and direct-delivery convenience among other benefits.

Moving to an all online shopping experience for Girl Scout basics and merchandise falls right in line with Digital Cookie, the council's new mobile-friendly website, and the new online Volunteer Toolkit coming in January - making it easier for you to volunteer your time and serve girls.

Benefits to Shopping GSCCC Online

  • Your Online Purchase Supports GSCCC! As members, when you shop online, our council receives revenue-share from GSUSA based on the member ZIP Code.
  • 24/7 Shopping Access - Ready when you need to shop without the drive.
  • Complete Virtual Catalog of Merchandise - More items and sizes available; GSCCC council shops carry limited inventory.
  • Direct Delivery to your  Doorstep -Also, FREE shipping promotions are held several times throughout the year.
  • Additional GSUSA Promotions and Special Offers.

Patches & Awards, etc.

  • GSCCC Branded Merchandise -
    • GSCCC is working to identify a licensed online vendor for you to directly purchase council sweatshirts, tees, hats and other apparel/goods which include the council servicemark.
  • Program Participation Patches will be distributed via the GSCCC Program Department during program events.
  • GSUSA online shop provides Fun Patches, and GSCCC will provide online catalog resources via council communications.


GSCCC shop inventory in Castroville and Ventura will be available at 'moving-to-online' reduced prices while supplies last (excludes uniform basics and pins).

  • No refunds or returns after October 19, nor during the moving-to-online sales.
  • No email or fax orders will be accepted after November 3, 2016.

Regular Shop Hours thru December 22, 2016 - Final Day of Operation:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  

NOTE: Hours on the Online Shop homepage are currently being updated to reflect the hours above. 

Special 'Moving-to-Online' Sale Dates:

All sales are final.

Check out the new Fall Catalog here

GSCCC Service Center Support

The council will continue to provide assistance to ensure in-person and phone support at our Service Centers:

  • Customer Care Phone/Email Support - Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: 800-822-2427 or
  • A set of sample uniform basics to try-on for sizing will be available at each council Service Center. See for hours; some centers open by appointment.
With advance payment, we will be able to provide ordering assistance for those without credit cards at our Service Centers.