Friday, September 5, 2014

Girl Scout Silver Award project continues to find kindness

We're excited to have a guest writer for today's blog post. Phala Montgomery is the mother of Madisyn, a 14-year old Girl Scout Senior who completed her Girl Scout Silver Award by launching a campaign to stop bullying and Continue to Find Kindness (C.T.F.K.). Congratulations, Madisyn, on all of your success!

So much has happened since Madisyn has officially completed her project for her Girl Scout Silver Award. Her goal was to start a project that would carry on a message and continue to help the community far past the end of her project. In the end, she chose such a great topic that it has done exactly what she set out to do.

Madisyn screen printing her shirts! Photo borrowed from

Madisyn completed her project by speaking to over 250 girls in the Oregon City community about how to recognize being mean and know when it becomes bullying. She teaches how to recognize bullying, resolve bullying, and revolutionize kindnessMadisyn designed a logo for her campaign and put it on t-shirts to have a visual for everyone to recognize her message to Continue to Find Kindness and STOP Mean Girl Bullying! To this day, over 200 shirts are being worn throughout not only the Oregon City community, but other communities as well.

This summer Madisyn organized a parade march with her troop #42448 and troop #42123 and many friends. Over 22 participants marched in the Sandy Mountain Festival Parade this year representing her campaign to stop the mean girl phenomenon by Continuing to Find Kindness. Madisyn, the Girl Scout troops, and our friends took the first place blue ribbon home this year! A special thank you to all the girls and boys who played such an important part in Madisyn’s message. We totally appreciate the support given by everyone having such a fun time and believing in a really incredible cause.

Madisyn and friends at the Sandy Mountain Festival Parade. Photo borrowed from

The Continue to Find Kindness banner at the Sandy Mountain Festival Parade. Photo borrowed from

On Monday, September 1, 2014, Madisyn was interviewed about her Continue to Find Kindness campaign by KATU's Kerry Tomlinson (see link below). Madisyn had the opportunity to share and talk about her message and her work on the 4, 5, and 6 p.m. news that night.

Madisyn’s work has brought hope and confidence to so many young girls in our community. She is truly inspired by how the girls are responding to her by their positive feedback and pledge to Continue to Find Kindness.

Congratulations Madisyn and thank you for truly inspiring so many others! Your message really does stand strong with the Girl Scout Promise and Law. Way to go!

If you'd like to learn more about Madisyn's project, check out these links:
  • KATU news feature:
  • Continue to Find Kindness Facebook page:

A special thank you from GSOSW to Phala for writing this post!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sea Turtles, Surfing and Service: One Girl Scout's Adventure in Costa Rica

GSOSW's own Allie Kehret, 17, participated in Outward Bound Costa Rica’s Catching Waves destination. This 10-day course provided girls with truly meaningful service projects, physical and mental challenges, and the chance to learn to surf on world-famous surf breaks.

Allie and her group spent the majority of their time at Outward Bound Costa Rica’s base camp at Avellanas Beach, located in the Guanacaste Province. Instructors taught them to learn how to read and catch waves, pop-up and ride them in.

“It was adventurous, creative, new, challenging, fun, amazing, and memorable.”

As Allie reflected more on her time in Costa Rica she said, “after this course I am more confident, more of a leader, and have great memories.”

When they weren't surfing, Allie and other Girl Scouts volunteered at a local school where they repainted the exterior. They also had the opportunity to spend time with a local turtle conservationist, learning and assisting conservation efforts.

After returning to Outward Bound’s rainforest base in Costa Rica, the group tackled Class II and III rapids on the Pejibaye River, ziplined through the tree canopies, and visited the vibrant artisan market of San Jose where they practiced Spanish and finished up their adventure.

Since 2006, Outward Bound Costa Rica has been partnered with Girls Scout of the USA to offer unique and exciting Girl Scouts destinations trips in Costa Rica and Panama. These trips provide young girls the opportunity to see the world, meet fellow Girl Scouts from across the nation and challenge themselves through adventure in unfamiliar settings.

Allie experienced the trip of a lifetime surfing Costa Rica’s pacific coast, completing local service projects, and creating friendships that will last for years to come.

Want to learn more about Girl Scout destinations? Visit or attend one of GSOSW's Travel Discovery Workshops coming up in fall 2014 and spring 2015. Watch for dates and registration information in the fall Program Guide, coming out soon!

Friday, July 11, 2014

2014 Girl Scout Convention—You’re invited to the Ultimate Girls’ Weekend!

Have you heard? You don’t need to be an official delegate to attend convention. Whether you’re an alumna, volunteer, staff, or just a big believer in all the great things Girl Scouts do, you’re invited to Girl Scouts’ 53rd national convention! We’re looking forward to welcoming you to spectacular Salt Lake City, Utah, October 16-19, 2014. (Select events—GirlScout History Conference 2014, BoardChair/CEO learning sessions, and Girl ScoutUniversity sessions—start a few days prior to the full convention kickoff.) Girl Scout conventions only happen every three years. So don’t wait! This is your year to reunite with friends, deepen and share your knowledge of Girl Scouts, and help invigorate a global movement of girls, women, and men around the theme "Discover, Connect, Take Action: Girls Change the World." And, your chance to save big—$70 big—on a four-day pass ends July 15. Don’t delay! Register now to save big at

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Spotlight on GSOSW's 2014 Girl Scout Gold Award recipients!

Congratulations to our council's 2014 Girl Scout Gold Award recipients, honored June 5 at a ceremony in Salem, Oregon. These 30 young women collectively contributed more than 2,400 hours of service to communities throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. Incredible!

Kelly Bame • 2013
Beaverton, OR
"Classroom Book Leveling"
Recruited a team to identify and color code over 1,000 books by reading level at a local school so that teachers and children could more effectively match book choices to reading level.

Hollynd Boyden • 2013
Portland, OR
"One Community, One Goal"
Organized a soccer and cleat drive and distributed cleats to African organizations and a transitional community in Hillsboro.

Elizabeth Bryan • 2014
Portland, OR
"Band Instrument Collections"
Gathered used musical instruments from the community and arranged for them to be repaired and refurbished for use by middle school students who cannot afford to buy or rent instruments.

Molly Buell • 2013
Jacksonville, OR
"Senior Smiles"
Arranged for students with financial hardships to receive professional senior portraits at no cost.

Amanda Crawford • 2014
Portland, OR
"Vietnamese Culture Workshop"
Researched, prepared and presented a multi-cultural program about Vietnam to elementary school students.

Anisha Datta • 2013
Hillsboro, OR
"Back to School Run"
Organized a 5k run in partnership with a local Parks and Recreation District.
Read an article published about Anisha's Gold Award project.

Mikal Dewar • 2013
Eugene, OR
"Hats for a Smile"
Designed a pattern, taught others how to make her design, and made 200 hats for a local children’s hospital.
Read an article published about Mikal's project.

Alyssa Duke • 2013
Salem, OR
"Fire Safety 101"
Developed and presented a fire safety teaching unit for Cub Scouts.

Raichle Dunkeld • 2014
Portland, OR
"Project Evergreen"
Created and presented environmental awareness curriculum to an eighth grade class and worked with them again in the fall when they were in the ninth grade.
Read an article published about Raichle's project.

Rachel Geiger  2013
Portland, OR
"Oil, Oil Everywhere and the Interwoven Nature of Oceanic Trash"
Created awareness of environmental contamination through an educational video presentation.
See a video that Rachel created for her project.

Synthia Gifford • 2013
Vancouver, WA
"A Journey Through Art"
Provided art and cultural awareness workshops for third graders at a local elementary school. Worked with Rebecca Thompson, and focused her lessons on the cultural aspect.
Read an article about Synthia's Gold Award project.

Laura Goff • 2013
Wilsonville, OR
"Knit Two, Give One"
Taught girls how to knit and provided hats for premature babies.
Read an article about how Laura implemented her project.

Marissa Hagglund • 2013
Portland, OR
"Pet Palooza"
Held an animal awareness event to address the problem of abandoned or abused pets.
Read an article about Marissa's project.

Natalie Hendren • 2013
Battle Ground, WA
"Be Smart - Eat Smart"
Created multiple videos on health and fitness topics and hosted viewing days in her community.
Read an article about Natalie's project.

Karina Jaroch • 2013
Wilsonville, OR
"Brother Andre Café Benefit Food Drive"
Planned and executed several drives to collect food to be donated to the Brother Andre Café. In addition to collecting food, she helped raise awareness about programs that provide services to people in need.
Read an article about Karina's project.

Elissa Johnson • 2013
Oregon City, OR
"Girl Scout Book Drive"
Planned and coordinated a book drive to provide reading material for low income children and adults.

Virginia LaGrow • 2012
Beaverton, OR
"Sustainable Wetland Restoration"
Taught the community of a nearby wetland about invasive species and involved them in wetland restoration.
Read an article about Virginia's project.

Kelsey Leinbach • 2013
Lake Oswego, OR
Developed a system to connect organizations and individuals that desire to complete needed projects at Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp.

Hallie Lichen • 2013
Oregon City, OR
"Unmasking Identities"
Led and organized a workshop at the 2012 Gay Straight Alliance Summit, encouraging teens to share how they see themselves on the inside.
Read an article that includes information about Hallie's project.

Anikaleah McDowell • 2014
Fairview, OR
"Mother Daughter Symposium"
Organized a free half-day symposium for 20 to 30 adolescents and their mothers where they learned the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of puberty.

Claire Palmiter • 2013
Gresham, OR
"Little Free Library"
Created free little library mailboxes to share books in her community.
Read more about Claire's project.

Kalee Paxton • 2013
Roseburg, OR
"LOL! Texting is No Laughing Matter!"
Created a video, student pledge, information boards and a presentation for teens  to promote awareness of the dangers of texting while driving.
Read more about Kalee's project.

Vanessa Rogers • 2013
Salem, OR
"Project Protein"
Developed, tested, distributed and taught instructors how to prepare recipes using a protein patty for a local food bank.
Read more information about Vanessa's project.
Check out her Pinterest board with the recipes.

Keely Scherzinger • 2013
Monmouth, OR
"Invasive Plant Removal & Song Bird Habitat Restoration Project"
Built and set up bird houses and removed invasive species for habitat restoration at Rickreall Creek.
Read more about Keely's project (on page 3).

Karishma Shah • 2013
Portland, OR
"Family Bridge Day Care Program"
Provided snacks, crafts, reading, and other activities to enrich the lives of children at Family Bridge.

Anna Shelby • 2013
Eugene, OR
"Kestrel Bird Boxes"
Designed and created kestrel nesting boxes and placed them in various locations in her community as a natural alternative to pesticides for areas with overwhelming rodent infestations.
Read more about Anna's project (including a picture of her nesting box in action!)

Bridget Strang • 2014
St. Helens, OR
"Soles 4 Souls"
Developed a multi-faceted drive to collect new and used shoes for distributing to areas of the world in-need.

Rebecca Thompson • 2013
Vancouver, WA
"Open Your Mind"
Provided art and cultural awareness workshops for third graders at a local elementary school. Worked with Synthia Gifford, and focused her lessons on the art aspect.
Read an article about Rebecca's Gold Award project.

Samantha Tompkins • 2013
Irrigon, OR
"Beautiful Butterflies Self Esteem Camp"
Organized self esteem workshops and activities for pre-teen and teenage girls.

Madison Tritico • 2013
Oregon City, OR
"Ivy Pull"
Created a presentation to educate children on invasive species and organized ivy pulls at a local park.

Friday, May 23, 2014

SU 7 has a unique way to say "Thank you" to their volunteers

We all know that Girl Scouts couldn’t run without great volunteers. Volunteers give their time on top of busy school activities and family duties, which is why it’s so important to say thank you! It’s always fun to hear about the unique ways girls, troops and service units say thanks this time of year. Service Unit 7’s service team came up with a great way to not only tell the leaders of their SU that they were appreciated, but to also announce it to their entire neighborhood!

Sign put in front yard for
Volunteer Appreciation Week
For Volunteer Appreciation Week (April 20-26), the team decided to have yard signs made that acknowledge the hard work of the leaders in their service unit and give them a public thank you. Once the signs were made, service team volunteers and parents went around to 105+ houses and posted the signs for everyone to see that a hard-working volunteer lived there and was appreciated.

At GSOSW, we’re inspired by such a creative way to let volunteers know that all of their work and commitment is truly valued. Awesome work, SU 7! How do you thank your volunteers during Volunteer Appreciation Week and throughout the year? Tell us on our Facebook page:

Friday, January 10, 2014

Girl Scout Cookie Season is Here!

Cookie order taking has officially started! Now is a great time to use Cookie Club to send emails to potential cookie customers (especially if you're out of town, or lots of your regular contacts are still out of town).

Cookie Club customers purchase an average of 2 boxes more per ask than other customers - so flex those fingers and log in to the Cookie Club! (Make sure your cookie permission slip is on file with your troop and your troop has set up girls in Cookie Club in order to access.)

And don’t despair if you are ready to sell Girl Scout cookies and your troop doesn't have order cards out yet - there is one extra week of order taking this year! The #1 reason that most people give for not buying Girl Scout cookies is that they were never asked, so use this time to plan out your cookie contact strategies!

Coming Up this Weekend
The premiere of “Girl Scout Cookie Wonderland” is this Saturday, January 11! It’s a fun – and easy – way to inspire and teach girls about the Girl Scout Cookie Program. This magical, behind-the-scenes bakery tour is the must-see show of the season.

During the show, each girl will be invited to complete her own Recipe for Success, a business plan for the Cookie Season. This simple tool will help girls develop skills they will take with them for life.

All you really need are about 50 minutes and an Internet connection. Starting January 11, 2014, you will find Cookie Wonderland on the home page of Can’t watch it this weekend? No problem! Watch later with your family at home or together with your troop at your next troop gathering. Enjoy the show!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Greatness that is Girl Scouts

Earlier this year, Girl Scouts of the USA's CEO Anna Maria Chavez wrote an op-ed in The Huffington Post. You can head over to their site to read the whole thing, but here are a few fun facts we pulled out!
  • Today, there are 59 million living Girl Scout alumnae -- meaning roughly 1 out of every 2 American women was a Girl Scout at some point in her life. 
  • 70% of female CEOs on the Fortune 500 list are Girl Scout alumnae. 
  • 54% of women in the current U.S. Congress were Girl Scouts. 14 of the 20 women in the Senate, or 70%, were Girl Scouts. 
  • The last three female Secretaries of State, Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice and Madeline Albright, were all Girl Scouts. 
  • All current female state governors across the country are Girl Scout alumnae. 
  • Leaders in business, like Ellen Kullman, Chair and CEO of DuPont; Virginia Rometty, Chair and CEO of IBM; Rosalind Brewer, President and CEO, of Sam's Club; designer and entrepreneur Vera Wang; Christine Osekoski, Publisher of Fast Company Magazine -- were all Girl Scouts growing up. Media giant Katie Couric and former astronaut and founder of the Jemison Group, Mae Jemison, are also alumnae.
Well done, Anna Maria!