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’.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Join Scott Alder in Supporting Girl Scouts!

Looking for an easy way to support the Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington? Here's a simple fun way to do it!

Scott Alder is running the Marine Corps Marathon on October 28, and he has graciously decided to raise money for Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington in the process! Scott is using to raise money, and is more than halfway to his original goal of $1,000!

Scott is even offering to match gifts up to $750! He suggests that a great donation would be $1 per mile, or $26 - which would turn into $52 with his match! Please support Scott and Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington! Click here to make a donation.

Scott's donation is a great way to contribute to Girl Scouts! Here are some other ways you or your family can support GSOSW:

Become A Member of the 1912 Society!
In honor of 100 years of Girl Scouting, Girl Scouts Oregon and Southwest Washington is proud to introduce the 1912 Society! Become a member today by making a one-time gift of $100 or more between now and December 2012. Your contribution will help continue the time-honored tradition of Girl Scouting for the next 100 years. Find more information here. 

You choose Girl Scouting for your girl because you want the best for her. You know first-hand about the opportunities Girl Scouting offers, the way Girl Scout activities turn ordinary days into life-long memories. What you may not know is how crucial your financial support is to keep Girl Scouting strong in your community. It costs about $300 a year to support each girl who participates through a volunteer-led experience. In order to provide a positive experience for all girls in our council, we count on our member families to support us locally through Family Partnership.  Become a Family Partner today »

Thursday, October 4, 2012

FALL in love with STEM with these great upcoming activities!

What did you do today? Wish you had done a fun, stimulating and educational Girl Scout activity instead? Discover, connect and take action with these amazing program activities this fall!

Get Moving - Detective Skill Building
Juniors: Take the mystery out of sleuthing. Use your skills of observation, analysis, asking questions & experimenting to get the facts.
October 20, 2012
1:00 pm—2:30 pm
Eugene Service Center
Register online at
Brownie Quest - Healthy Living: My Best Self
Focus on nutrition and fitness including the essentials of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Understand
how food is used to fuel your body.
October 20, 2012
11:00 am—12:30 pm
Eugene Service Center
Register online at

Bath Fizzies
Discover the science and basic household chemistry of soap making with an artist and professional soap maker. Join in the fun as we make an array of beautiful products! Learn how to make your own scented bath fizzies using sodium bicarbonate, citric acid and fragrances.
Portland Service Center
Open to GS JRS - AMBS
Register through Personify
Oct. 16, Nov. 13, Dec. 4, 2012; 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.; $15.00/person

Glycerin Soap Making
Discover the science and basic household chemistry of soap making with an artist and professional soap maker. Join in the fun as we make an array of beautiful soaps! Learn how to create beautiful bars of soap using imbeds, botanicals and fragrances.
Portland Service Center
Open to GS JRS - AMBS
Register through Personify
Sept. 20, Oct. 18, Nov. 15, Dec. 6, 2012; 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.; $15.00/person

Digital Media Studio Movie Making Basics
The Digital Media Studio program starts with this fun introductory program. Learn how to make short movies about yourself, your troop or anything else you like with this series of programs. This class will teach you the basics of digital video editing and production. No experience is required for this program. Bring your interest in doing cool stuff!
Open to GS CADS - AMBS
Register through Personify
Portland Service Center
Nov. 17, 2012, Jan. 12, 2013;
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.; $12.50/person

Urban farming for council-wide Community Service Day
Come see the inner workings of a model urban farm, right in the center of Portland!  In addition to adorable goats and showy chickens, the North Portland Farm grows high-quality vegetables without the use of chemicals.  Learn about vegetable production, animal rearing, seed saving, and much much more.  There are opportunities to harvest, weed, plant, thin, cultivate, and enjoy the quiet oasis of green in the middle of the concrete jungle.
Project Grow at Port City (in North Portland)
Register through Personify
October 13

STEM: Product Designer Badge Workshop
Learn about and discuss inventions and inventors that have shaped the world we live in. Did you know that the first automatic windshield wipers were invented by a woman? This lesson explores the process of observing a problem and creating a solution!
Time: 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Cost: $18.75
Register through Personify
Portland Service Center: Saturday 10/6 & 10/20/2012

STEM: Animal Habitats & Bugs Badge Workshop
Learn about different animals, their habits and habitats as you build and animate replicas with LEGO® bricks. We discuss some interesting and unusual facts about mammals, aquatic creatures, birds, spiders, amphibians and reptiles.
Time: 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Cost: $18.75
Register through Personify
Portland Service Center: Saturday 12/1 & 12/15/2012
Gresham Bricks 4 Kids Center: Saturday 12/8 & 12/29/2012

STEM: Animation Digital Movie Maker & Screen Writer Badge Workshop
Digital stop motion animation: develop themes, story telling, story boarding, set design, action progression, sound and production editing. Will use LEGO® bricks, elements and mini-figs as characters in your production
Time: 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Cost: $22.50
Register through Personify
Portland Service Center: Saturday 11/3 & 11/17/2012
Gresham Bricks 4 Kids Center: Saturday 11/10 & 11/24/2012\

STEM: LEGO® Robotics Programming Workshop
Once a year, as a Girl Scout, you get to create your own badge. What better way to learn something new and exciting, prepare for your future in technology, engineering, math or science and earn a badge of your own design. Start with LEGO® WeDo Robotics to learn the basics and move into LEGO® NXT Robotics. Imagine, Design, Create!
Time: 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Cost: $18.75
Register through Personify
Portland Service Center: Saturday 1/5 & 1/19/2012
Gresham B4K Center: Saturday 1/12 & 1/26/2012