Saturday, December 22, 2012

Don't forget to sign up for the world's biggest sleepover, also known as the GSOSW cookie rally!

It's almost here! The BIGGEST, MOST EXCITING cookie rally & sleepover you've ever seen!

Join us at Evergreen Aviation Museum, McMinnville, OR
Friday, January 11 OR Saturday, January 12
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. (almost overnight)  $10
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 a.m. (overnight) $27
6:00 p.m. - 10:00 a.m. (overnight with optional water park admission) $27 + $18 water park*

*Water park option includes two hours of exclusive use of the water park, 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. before it opens to the public AND all day admission during the public swim time.

The rally will include: fun activities, sample cookies, goodie bags with patches and water bottles, lot of prize drawings, 3-D cookie movie, sleeping in the museum under planes or spacecraft, "midnight" snack and continental breakfast.

Older girl troops who run a booth at the rally will get a special late-night movie and a 10% discount on admission. Those troops will have a briefing and run-through on January 5, 2013. Details will be sent separately. If you can't attend the briefing, contact Melissa at
Register online using Personify.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Help Girl Scouts Feed Families on Christmas Morning

Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington is holding a canned food, winter clothing and toy drive for the Washington County Girl Scouts Christmas Breakfast for the homeless.

The community is encouraged to drop off donations at:
• Girl Scouts OSW Portland Service Center, 9620 SW Barbur Blvd, Portland, Monday-
Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. through December 21, 2012
• Grocery Outlet in Hillsboro, 354 South First Ave.,
Hillsboro, Saturday, December 15, 2012

Items needed include:
• Canned food
• Winter clothing items (such as: coats, hats, gloves,
scarves, etc)
• New toys

The Washington County Girl Scouts Christmas Breakfast for the Homeless is coordinated by volunteers. The event was started by a Girl Scout in 2000 when she and other local girls recognized a growing need among their community’s low-income population. More than ten years later, local Girl Scouts, families and community volunteers still gather at the Hillsboro Senior Center to provide Washington County residents with a hot breakfast, clothing and food boxes. Last year, the event served 400-500 people.

This year, the breakfast will be a one-day event held on December 25. A hot breakfast is served Christmas morning from 7:00 a.m.- 10:00 a.m. at the Hillsboro Senior Center. Toys and food boxes will be distributed during that time; availability is first come, first served. The Senior Center is located at 750 SE 8th, Hillsboro (in Shute Park behind the old library).

To volunteer for the event or for more information, visit or call
Bernice at (503) 977-6851.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Talking to Girls About Violence

Our hearts go out to all involved in the Clackamas Town Center shooting that took place just outside of Portland, Oregon yesterday, December 11. As you and your family process this event, we encourage you to review the “Talking to Children about Violence” resource from the National Association of School Psychologists. This resource has helpful tips for talking to children of all ages about high profile acts of violence. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Dalles Girl Scouts win First Place in Starlight Parade

Thanks to Judy Richardson for this blog post!

I am so proud of our girls - they built this float from a flatbed. The theme for the Starlight Parade in The Dalles was "A Storybook Christmas" - the girls chose the theme, "The Story of 100 Years of Girl Scouting" They were all in their jammies, gathered around a real fireplace with our troop leader, Sommer Lucas, reading to them. They won first place in the parade!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

New Bathroom at Seaside: Final construction stages!

A special thank you to Rex Buchanan for providing the photos for this blog post!

The hard work continues at the property at Seaside! Director of Properties, Rex Buchanan, and company worked to finish the walls and floors on Day 3.
On Day 4, they re-installed the appliances and put in the new ADA-accessible shower.

On the final day of construction, they added finishing touches - including a curtain for the window.

Friday, November 16, 2012

How Girl Scouts in Oregon and Southwest Washington can help councils affected by Hurricane Sandy

GSUSA has temporarily changed fundraising restrictions in order to allow councils to raise money for Girl Scouting recovery efforts for Hurricane Sandy. Thanks to Sarah Miller, our Director of Communications, for this messaging, and thanks to GSUSA for the press roundup!

To ensure that councils affected by Hurricane Sandy are getting the support they need, GSUSA has temporarily lifted fundraising restrictions to enable girls to raise money for Girl Scouting recovery efforts. At this time, GSUSA is not allowing fundraising for other organizations.

As with all activities in Girl Scouting, the decision to contribute should be girl-led. Contributions may be directed to a specific council or councils through their online giving sites. To give, go to where you will find links to online giving sites for all eight affected councils, as well as the giving form for the Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund – a fund set up by GSUSA to help address the needs of councils affected by the storm.

We ask that you please refrain from calling or contacting the councils directly. Although material donations and troop offers of assistance are appreciated, the councils are not currently in a position to process and organize them.

Encouragement from Girl Scout sisters worldwide has been appreciated by all affected. Girl Scouting will continue to thrive thanks to the dedication of volunteers, staff and girls. For updates on how you can further assist recovery efforts, visit Additional guidance from GSOSW on how recovery efforts can integrate with the Girl Scout Cookie Program will be available soon at

Thanks to Girl Scouts of the USA, we have a large roundup of stories of the heroic efforts of Girl Scouts working to help those affected by the storm. 

The New York Times reports that New Yorkers who found each other through Facebook and Twitter, churches and community groups, City Hall, and local elected officials, tried in ways small and large to ease the devastation left by the hurricane. Girl Scouts in Brooklyn hosted a bake sale to benefit a local shelter. The New York Daily News was also on-hand for the bake sale, which was held by the Girl Scouts of Greater New York and students from PS 10.

Also in New York, the 
Sayville Bayport-Patch reports that a Girl Scout adult volunteer and a local business owner joined efforts to open an emergency center in Sayville where residents needing food, clothing, and living necessities can get supplies and assistance. ABC 13 reports that in Monroe County, NY, Girl Scout Brownie Troop 149 of Fairport and Perinton packed a van with boxes full of donations.
“It really hit home that kids didn't have Halloween,” said adult volunteer Kelly Steamer. “They didn't go trick or treating, so a lot of the girls donated extra Halloween candy out of their own buckets to send to kids down state.”

According to New Jersey's NBC 40, Girl Scouts was among many organizations contributing clothes, canned goods, and baby items to relief efforts by going door to door.

In Connecticut, the 
Ridgefield Daily Voice reports that Girl Scout Troop 50675 and Boy Scout Troops 116 and 76 helped out in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy by handing out ready-to-eat meals and water to those in need.

In Massachusetts, the 
Milford Patch reports that Girl Scouts of Historic Hopedale are collecting boxed donations for the victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York. 

New Hampshire's 
Union Leader and the Merrimack Patch report that the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains are among local nonprofit organizations spearheading a nationwide humanitarian effort to collect as many hygiene kits as possible to help victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas Blog has a fantastic run-down of ways individuals can help aid in the relief efforts following Hurricane Sandy.

Friday, November 9, 2012

2012 ICAN Conference has record attendance

Thanks to Jinny Haines, our volunteer in charge of ICAN, for writing this post about her very successful adult training weekend!
ICAN Conference 2012 checked all the boxes for success: 74 leaders came to learn new skills, remember Girl Scout traditions and network with each other.

ICAN offered 24 workshops, covering everything from beginning backpacking to lashing to conflict resolution.  The big favorite is always the Crafts workshop, and this year the leaders were excited about the Girl-Led Ceremonies workshop.
Our Saturday night campfire was full of laughter, songs and games. Our emcee, “Miss Canada,” hosted team competitions that included the sleeping bag roll and the cotton ball carry. The winning team took home the fabulous trophy, “The TP Cup.”

Leaders who attended gave strong positive feedback:

“Loved it wish it was twice a year.”

“Very rich place to connect with others – very empowering, motivating and making me feel successful.”

“This was my first I CAN.  It was awesome and I look forward to coming back.”

And best of all, “I learned new things that I can take back to my girls, made new friendships and shared Girl Scout values.”

Did you miss out on ICAN? Fear not! There will be another ICAN next fall. Watch for information starting in Spring 2013 - and if you sign up early, there's a discount! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Major improvements going on at Camp Cleawox and the Seaside property!

While it's not camping season, Director of Properties Rex Buchanan and company are working on some big changes to Seaside and Camp Cleawox to make them better for Girl Scout use! Thanks to Rex and the property team for these photos and updates: From Rex: Ware in the midst of a full bathroom remodel at Seaside. Our old bathroom did not have a shower (or ADA compliant doors, sink, or toilet) thus users were forced to go across the street to the Parks and Recreation building to shower during overnight visits.  Our new bathroom with be larger, and have a fully ADA compliant shower, sink, and toilet. Here are some pictures from the demo and initial framing!
After the bathroom demo at Seaside

More from the bathroom demo at Seaside
Old bathroom at Seaside
ADA accessible shower going in at Seaside

Beginning of Adirondack improvements
At Camp Cleawox we are updating all of the Adirondack units and cabins. We are more proactively preventing bats form entering our structures. We are enclosing the open side of all of our Adirondack units with a half wall and cedar shake to match the existing exterior. The upper half of this wall will be screened to retain the open feel of these units. Each Adirondack unit will also have dual exterior grade screen doors for access. The cabins are getting screening at the existing open windows and screen doors where available.

Changes to Adirondacks

Friday, October 19, 2012

More amazing leadership encounters at Girls World Forum!

Thanks to GSOSW member Norah Storniolo for this great piece about her experience at Girls World Forum 2012 in Chicago, Il.!
In July of 2012, I was granted the amazing opportunity to travel to Chicago, IL for the Girls World Forum. Little did I know, this event would give me a new and unique perspective on other cultures, girl scouting and girl guiding, and the power of women and girls working together to make a positive difference. I would never have guessed how many new friends I would make, the foods I would try, the cultures I would learn about, and the connections I would make with peers that had similar values and aspirations as my own. This event was something I will not soon forget.

From the moment I set foot in the hotel where the conference was being held, I knew that the week would go much faster that I wanted it to. The days were a whirlwind of meeting people and learning new things.

I could talk for a long time about each day, but I’ll just give a few points and memories to give you the idea.

We arrived at the hotel tired from traveling, but excited for the days that lay ahead. I was especially looking forward to meeting my roommate, so as soon as we got ours room keys and our various bags of schedules and shirts, girl scout cookies and folders, we headed upstairs. When I got to my room there was no sign of another girl- except for a brown bag in the corner.

I had to head downstairs to eat dinner, and so my roommate became a bit of a mystery. At dinner we got a chance to meet our patrol groups, the girls that we would be with for all of our breakout sessions. We also got a chance to exchange SWAPS, a Girl Scout tradition, and I saw for the first time many of the faces I would be familiar with by the time I left the conference.

When I finally got a chance to head back to my room, I was welcomed by my roommate, a  sweet seventeen year old from Portugal named Adriana. Though she didn’t speak much English, and I spoke no Portuguese, we were able to converse and learn a little about each other using some English words and lots of hand symbols.

Our second day began with Opening Ceremonies, where we heard a little more about what the following days would bring. There was also a beautiful flag ceremony, with every country represented by a flag. Each flag was so varied, so unique, so beautiful,  and each was being carried by an equally unique and beautiful girl. It was a powerful feeling, being surrounded by this mass of women and girls, national anthems from all over the world being played in the background, the flags being carried together.

Most of the days focused around a certain Millenium Development Goal (MDG), and the topic of our second day was Poverty. We discussed what poverty was, who it affected, and how people could fall into poverty. We also talked about solutions, and brainstormed the best ways to make these effective.

That night we rode on a double decker bus and got a tour of the ‘Windy City’. Coming from a small town, the sheer amounts of people and the size of the buildings was impressive. And being on the top of an open air bus, I could see exactly how it got it’s nickname.

On the third day we woke up bright and early and headed off to the Brookfield Zoo to learn more about Environmental Sustainability, a topic which is very important at this time in our world’s history. After learning more about this issue, and seeing some very neat exhibits, we ended the day with the planting of a tree; a promise that we too, in turn, will give back to the earth.

The fourth day was our day of action, a chance to volunteer in the community. All the girls were split into different groups, and then traveled to sites to work. Some volunteered at a hospital, others at a community garden, or at the zoo. I went and visited a sustainability center, where I learned a lot about different ways to make our own homes more sustainable. This really interested me to see how other people outside of the girl scouting community were working to achieve MDGs as well.

That night was International Night, one of my favorite experiences of the whole Forum. International Night was an opportunity for all the girls to share bits about their culture and where they were from. There was a stage where performances were going on- some girls sang songs from their countries, some performed dances, and some even led the audience in festive camp songs. As I watched these girls perform, I felt as I was getting a little glimpse into who they were,and the places that they came from. I have never been so engulfed in culture as I was that night, my eyes trying to take it all in, my head trying to appreciate the moment as much as I possibly could.

The fifth day focused on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment. This issue especially intrigues me, so it was very interesting. We talked about what people all over the world are doing to make a difference, and what we could as well. We also talked about Leadership, and ways to be the most effective leader you can be. I learned many things that day that I think will continue to help me in the years to come.

That night we walked over to the ‘Bean’, one of Chicago’s most well known sculptures. It was great to be out in the city, with the feel of hustle and bustle humming in your veins, and the sounds so lively in your ears.

When the sixth, and final, day came around, it was hard to believe how fast the week had gone. I wasn’t ready for it to be over, wasn’t ready to leave these girls that had now become my friends in the span of a few days. But despite my nostalgia I made sure to enjoy the last day.

The day was focused on discussing effective Take Action plans that we could take back to our communities. The idea was that this conference would not end when we went home, but that it would only be beginning; that we would be taking our new found knowledge into the world and be using it to better our communities.

After we had talked about our plans, we got a chance to hear an amazing speaker named Dr.Tererai Trent. She told us her life story, about the challenges she faced, and about how she overcame them. I listened to her speak, but most of all I watched her. It was in the way she moved, in the way she spoke her words with a boldness and sincerity and honesty. Even after she left, I could still hear her words ringing in my ears. She had been so honest with us, and so
alive. Though I had not even heard of her before the GWF, I now have added her to a long list of women who inspire me.

That night was the closing ceremonies and celebration. There was a huge dance floor set up, and I’m pretty sure that every single girl there had a great time. We had, in a matter of days, become fast friends.

We left the next day, our heads full of new memories, our hearts full of new friendships. I will never forget the Girls World Forum. It broadened my mind, it widened my imagination, and it gave me connections to girls from all over the world. It made me realize that I am not alone in my mission to make a change and I now know that I have 600 women and girls to back me up.

We all left the Forum with a mission: to make our world a better place for all people. And I have no doubt that, in the words of Dr. Tererai Trent, ‘it is achievable’.