Friday, May 31, 2013

How ICAN helped a new troop leader connect with her peers

Thanks to Sommer Lucas, of Troop 50121 and Service Unit 19 for sharing her experience for this
blog post! 

Last year was my first time attending ICAN. I was a new troop leader and was excited to attend some training and meet other volunteers. 

I was able to learn so many things from how to do a Journey with my troop, crafts, songs, and communicate better with the parents involved in my troop. I was also able to meet new people and make new friends which broadened my network. We all know being a volunteer can be challenging as well as rewarding, and now I have a wonderful support system. 

Attending ICAN made me realize how important it is to take time out and connect with others. Since I was a new leader I was very excited and I met other more experienced leaders who had experienced the rewards of volunteering as well as the struggles. I was able to inspire other leaders with my excitement and I learned so much from them! 

This year I'm on the planning committee and will continue to inspire others with my excitement for the Girl Scout experience!  ICAN is a wonderful volunteer opportunity and I look forward to it again this year. One thing I would like to see us do this year is S.W.A.P.S. It is a fun way to get to know each other and let our creative sides shine. I hope to see you there!

I CAN will take place from October 18-20, 2013. For more information, visit Register by June 15 for a $10 discount.

Friday, May 24, 2013

A four-year attendee shares why she keeps coming back to ICAN

Thanks to Dawn Miles, SU 16 Event and Travel Coordinator and Leader of Troops 40160, 45014 and 45124, for this blog post about the annual ICAN Conference at Mountaindale Outdoor Program Center. 

I’m a leader for girls Kindergarten through tenth grade. This year will be my fourth year at ICAN. Why do I keep coming back?

There are tons of workshops to choose from every year. I always learn far more than I can use in one Girl Scouting year. I hear about different opportunities and get great tips and advice. Each year I walk away with new ways to inspire my girls to learn, explore and to become strong, confident young ladies.   

But the biggest reason I return, is because it is a load of FUN! 

I get to be a Girl Scout for a whole weekend, and not just because I’m a registered Girl Scout, but because I get to live the GS experience.  I make new friends, play games, try new things, and all while getting a fresh new outlook to start the new Girl Scouting season. Nothing beats a social gathering of equally dedicated people.  

This year I am helping to plan the weekend and am excited to announce that we will have a supply exchange. Do you have too many craft/office supplies, patches, badges, uniforms, reference/instruction books, GS books or other supplies cluttering your troop bins? Bring them to the Supply Exchange and trade them for supplies you actually need! Please no magazines or other items that would otherwise go in the trash or recycling.  While many troops use such items for projects, we will not be swapping these.

I CAN will take place from October 18-20, 2013. For more information, visit Register by June 15 for a $10 discount.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Congratulations to our Shaver Scholarship recipient, Liliya Benz

Congratulations to Liliya Benz, the winner of the 2013 Shaver Scholarship! Liliya's Girl Scout Gold
Award project was titled "Fabric, Blocks and Quilt Tops for Foster Kids," completed in November 2012. Liliya has been a Girl Scout for 13 years and is also involved in track and field and band at Canby High School.

"Girl Scouts has been a very important and influential part of my life since I began in kindergarten," Liliya wrote one of the scholarship application's essay questions. "The program has taught me many valuable life skills and has helped me to become the confident and courageous woman that I am today."

Liliya plans to attend the University of Oregon Clark Honors College and major in mathematics or history. She will also play flute in the marching band.

"All the skills that I have learned in Girl Scouts will definitely impact my future. After I go to college in the fall.... I can see myself getting involved in the new community that I will be a part of. After I graduate, I believe I will enter the workforce as a strong confident woman, eager to accept life's challenges and handle them with integrity," Liliya wrote.

She continued, "Girl Scouts has taught me to have faith in myself and that hard work and dedication pays off when all is said and done."

Congratulations on the Shaver Scholarship, Liliya! GSOSW is proud to call you one of our own, and best of luck in college!

About Luella Shaver 
Luella Shaver started with one Girl Scout troop but soon was leading three troops! Her deep dedication to Girl Scouting was apparent in the remembrance shared by her daughter, Mary, that quitting piano lessons could be tolerated but quitting Girl Scouts – never! Luella also served in several leadership roles and was well known and loved as she exemplified true Girl Scout values and vision. The family has established an endowment to ensure that the Luella and George Shaver Family Scholarship Fund will be available forever.

For more information about Girl Scout scholarships, please visit

Friday, May 10, 2013

Local Girl Scouts go global!

Girl Scouts in Oregon and Southwest Washington are making quite the splash on the international and national stage!  This past month, girls, volunteers and staff have participated in Girl Scouting at the global level or have made progress on planned national and international trips.

The Travel Volunteer Team is excited to announce that four Girl Scouts have been selected to receive the Girl Scouts USA D-Pass Scholarship!  These scholarships are provided by Girl Scouts USA to help girls attend Girl Scout destination events.  The 2013 recipients are:

  •  Alexandrea Moon of Aumsville, Oregon who will be traveling to Alabama to attend the Advanced Space Academy.  Alexandrea will get to train like an astronaut, experience engineering challenges, shuttle mission and trainings, simulators and a chance to use her skills at the Area 51 Leadership Reaction course.
  • Emily Rushing of Jefferson, Oregon who will be traveling to Georgia to participate in Adrenaline Rush.  She will get to try white water rafting, mountain biking, paddle boarding, kayaking, zip lines and more.
  • Allie Kehret of Keizer, Oregon who will be traveling north to the San Juan area to learn about kayaking, who and what else lives in this special habitat and how as a team they can live together and survive in the outdoors.
  •  Elizabeth Rushing of Jefferson, Oregon who will be traveling to China to volunteer at one of the most progressive panda centers in the world.  She will be helping to ensure the survival of this endangered species while performing community service projects and helping with panda research projects.

Congratulations to all of these recipients and look for more information about each of them in future blog posts!

Rhianna Taniguchi was selected by Girl Scouts USA to represent our national organization at the 8th Annual Helen Storrow Seminar at Our Chalet in Switzerland.  The seminar welcomes over 30 women from around the world to discuss environmental issues and leadership development. She spent time attending personal develop sessions and discussing topics such as the current condition of our planet, global warming and climate change.  She was also able to explore the building, go snowshoeing and sledding.  As part of the program the representatives are all developing action plans for their local communities, regions or nation and are being provided with step by step planning guides to effectively turn their visions into reality.   To read more about Rhianna’s adventure, check out her national blog post:

Finally, Sarah Johnson, Director of Girl Leadership Experiences, had the opportunity to speak with a group of participants of the International Visitor Leadership Program sponsored by the U.S. State Department.  These visitors are part of more than 5,000 international visitors who annually visit the United States as part of this professional exchange program.  The program allows current and emerging foreign leaders to experience the United States first hand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts.  

This is the third time GSOSW has been asked to sponsor a discussion with international visitors from this program.  This group included visitors from Bahrain, Ghana, Israel, Macedonia, Mauritius, Palestinian Territories, Saudia Arabia and Vietnam. The group learned about Girl Scout, our history, program delivery model and outcomes.  They talked about how Girl Scouts has been able to sustain as an organization for more than 100 years and how the organization and delivery has changed throughout the time. The group discussed organizations in their home countries that support youth development and how they might be able to use some parts from our model to reach more youth.  

The discussion included a tour of the Portland Service Center and a trip to the Girl Scout store for souvenirs. 

“This opportunity means a great deal to the council and to me as the sharing of ideas and how we can globally make a difference for girls will have a huge impact.  The more we can encourage girls to travel and participate in programs that develop leadership the more progress will be made and our futures will be that much brighter,” Sarah Johnson said.

After the discussion, the visitors had the opportunity to help with an event sponsored by SOLVE where a group of Girl Scouts were volunteering, which was a great way to reinforce what they has learned about our program and how girls lead and give service in their local communities.

For more information about how you can travel with Girl Scouts please visit: