Thursday, February 12, 2015

Girl Scout Chief Executive Director Maria D. Tejera retired effective February 13, 2015

Hired in 1982 as a membership marketing specialist, Maria’s skills and previous experience in child development propelled her as she advanced to the position of director of membership.  She was ultimately hired as the Girl Scout CEO in 1992, shortly before Hurricane Andrew took aim at South Florida, devastating Girl Scout properties.  Due to her tenacity and firmness, the Girl Scouts were the very last FEMA claim settled after Andrew.    The administrative service center was rebuilt as was the Barbara Moore Program Center, but FEMA kept denying the claim for the four cabins at

Camp Choee.   Thanks to her, the cabins were indeed rebuilt, but were moved to a more secluded location on the camp away from the front gate and included air conditioning, showers, and fans for the new generation of Girl Scouts.  In addition, Maria made sure that the youth in the community received Girl Scout programs in an effort to provide some normalcy to their shattered lives as many lived in “tent city” during their own home rebuilding efforts.

As CEO, Maria guided not only Girl Scout staff and volunteers in the operations of the council but also was a trusted and loyal partner with area funding agencies, foundations and with local businesses and corporations.  After putting the properties back together after Andrew, she went on to face a string of hurricanes in the early 2000’s that impacted the properties once again.  Through her determination she worked again with FEMA to settle claims, rebuild more devastated sites all while gaining the confidence of partnering agencies and funders.  She was determined to create stability for Girl Scout families, staff, and volunteers.


A respected Girl Scout CEO across the nation, Maria was frequently asked by Girl Scouts of the USA to serve on nationwide task groups and was selected by the national organization for the Core Business Strategy Task Group which met over the course of several years to design the merging of Girl Scout councils nationwide. 

Maria has served the board of directors of well throughout the years, working in partnership with hundreds and hundreds of community leaders who served on the Girl Scout board.  Her 33 years of service to the Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida, Inc. is commendable.  She exemplified the true qualities of the Girl Scout world….honestly, fairness, integrity, good character, and excellent morals and ethics.   She was the face of Girl Scouting in our community and our friend for 33 years. 

Maria’s planned retirement will allow her to spend more time with her family especially her five year old granddaughter, who is a new Girl Scout and attended summer camp last summer. 

The Girl Scout staff and board of directors held a retirement party for her complete with a fun “roast”.  She was reminded of several funny incidents throughout the years, given amusing gifts along with a case of her favorite Girl Scout cookie, the Samoa.  Her staff presented a custom designed trefoil shaped pearl necklace while the board and Girl Scout volunteers attending, presented her the Girl Scout 100th Anniversary Lladro Special Edition Brownie Girl Scout and the customary retirement watch so that she will be on time in her retirement!

We wish you all the best, Maria!



Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Three Things You Can Do on World Thinking Day


Three Things You Can Do on World Thinking Day

When you’re a Girl Scout, you’re part of something much bigger than just your troop or group. Your “network” stretches across your state, throughout the nation, and to more than 150 countries in the world where Girl Scouts or Girl Guides are found. Together, you’re a powerful force!
Every February 22 on World Thinking Day, Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world unite in purpose to focus on one issue, or theme, to make the world a better place. This year, the World Thinking Day theme is “Create Peace Through Partnerships.”

Here a few things you can do to make this World Thinking Day special:

Share your #guidinglight

Candles have always been a powerful symbol of friendship for Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world. This year, Girl Scouts and Girl Guides will light up social media with the glow of thousands of candles on World Thinking Day. So how do you participate? Here’s the short version: Light a candle. Take a selfie. Upload it to social media using the hashtag #guidinglight. Include a message that inspires others to do the same. And don’t forget to tag @girlscouts, @WAGGGS_world—and any other friends you might want to join you! Check out more details.
Show that peace is in your hands!

We all have the power to make changes for the betterment of our world.
 Learn about the international symbols for peace. Trace your hands and draw one of the symbols between them. If you want to start a conversation with members of your community, see if you can display your artwork at a community center, a local business, or house of worship. Invite community members to an “art opening” and talk about this year’s World Thinking Day theme.

Earn your World Thinking Day award!
Explore this year’s theme, “Create Peace Through Partnerships”! There are lots of ways to participate. Reading books, watching movies, constructing a “peace pole,” inviting a returned Peace Corps volunteer to talk to you about her/his experiences… Girl Scouts of all ages can participate in World Thinking Day. Check out our list of activities by grade level.


Questions about World Thinking Day? Learn more.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Cookie Bosses Go Digital

Cookie Bosses Go Digital



Keep in mind, though, that Girl Scout Cookies are still only available during Girl Scout Cookie season, so whether you stock up at a traditional sale or through Digital Cookie, make sure you get them before they are gone!

Yes, you read that right! Digital Cookie is a groundbreaking new addition to the iconic Girl Scout Cookie Program you know and love—the first-ever national digital platform in the program’s history. This enhancement takes the cookie program beyond the booth, creating another fun, safe, interactive space for girls to sell cookies. It’s a total game changer!

And this is just the beginning. The 2014 launch of Digital Cookie is only the first phase of a multi-year project to get Girl Scouts building their online cookie businesses—learning more, earning more, and having more fun. Future versions of Digital Cookie will provide improved user experiences for girls and cookie customers alike, and a more robust customer interface to make it even easier for customers to support girls through their cookie purchases.

Just like with our traditional cookie sale, all the money girls earn through Digital Cookie stays with their local council, and girls decide how to reinvest it back into their neighborhoods and communities. Like all Girl Scout Cookie consumers, Digital Cookie customers are not only getting a delicious treat—they are also making an important investment in their communities.

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers…

How will shipping be calculated?
All shipping costs associated with Digital Cookie are in line with industry standards set by many reputable delivery services. The cost associated is comparable to what a customer would pay when buying Girl Scout Cookies at a booth sale and shipping the cookies themselves.

Is this online option safe for girls?
Digital Cookie emphasizes the safety of both girls and customers. There are specific safety requirements and regulations put in place that are in line with the traditional cookie program’s safety regulations, with the appropriate caregiver monitoring the cookie sale. As is true with the traditional cookie program, a parent, guardian, caregiver, or buddy (depending on the age of the Girl Scout) must be with the girl when she’s delivering cookies.

What about the girls who are not participating in Digital Cookie?
Girls not participating in Digital Cookie may call and send email messages to alert friends and family to product sales, and they can accept customer commitments via email or telephone. Girls who are 13 years of age or older may use social networking sites to market product, but must follow council and GSUSA guidelines.

Today’s girls are digital natives, and they wanted a cookie program that could teach them twenty-first-century skills in twenty-first-century ways—skills they’ll need to have in order to be leaders in today’s high-tech world. Well, that cookie program is now here, and we’re more excited than ever before!

Who’s ready to get started?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Here are the top ten reasons to invite a friend to volunteer with Girl Scouts TODAY…
10.  There are LESS THAN 120 hours left to take advantage of the Volunteer Invite-a-Friend offer.
9.  We’re trying to set a new record for on-boarding volunteers in a single month! Help us recruit over 
20 volunteers this month!
8.  Who doesn’t love SHOPPING FOR GIRL SCOUT GEAR?! During theVolunteer Invite-a-Friend offer, when you invite a friend to volunteer with us, you’ll get a $50 coupon code to use at Girl Scouts’ Official Online Store.
7.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have ONE MORE Girl Scout sister to share that box of Thin Mints with? As you count cookie money, of course…
6.  There are 1000s of Girl Scouts at GSCTF… and another 30,000 girls nationwide who CAN’T WAIT to be Girl Scouts. Let’s get these girls involved in the ah-mazing activities we offer today!
5.  Remember that time you sang silly Girl Scout songs until your girls got the giggles? EVERYONE could use some more giggles in their lives!
4.  Picture your favorite Girl Scout memory. Maybe when it’s the time one of your Daisies realized that swimming wasn’t so scary with her Girl Scout sisters around… or maybe it’s the moment that your Junior found her voice and stood up to peer pressure… or maybe when you realized that without YOU, those moments may not have happened. Don’t you want to invite a friend to make even more of these moments happen?
3.  “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold…” Need we say more?
2.  Volunteering with girls is like discovering the FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH! Girl giggles, silly stories, new experiences, and breaking out of your comfort zone keep you forever young! 
1.   Before you came along, your girls were waiting for someone to be their role model. There are girls still waiting for that role model to come along. Invite a friend to make a difference in these girls’ lives today!
Once you’ve invited a friend to start a new troop, let us know RIGHT HERE!
Have a question? Contact Pauline Russell  at PRussell@girlscoutsfl.org or  (305) 253-4841 ext. 238.


Happy Thanksgiving,  

Friday, November 7, 2014

Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest Announced -Entries Due March 1, 2015-

Celebrate the 10th annual national Endangered Species Day on May 15, 2015.
   
Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest Announced  -Entries Due March 1, 2015-

        WASH., D.C.—November 5, 2014—Elementary, middle and high school teachers and their students are encouraged to  participate in the annual Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest, an integral part of the 10th annual national Endangered Species Day, celebrated on and around May 15, 2015. 
    Started in 2006 by the United States Congress, Endangered Species Day is a celebration of the nation’s wildlife and wild places.  The Youth Art Contest provides K-12 students residing in the United States with an opportunity to learn about endangered species and express their knowledge and support through artwork. Young artists who are home schooled and  those who participate in youth groups are also eligible to submit their art. More than 2,000 young artists from throughout the country entered this year’s contest. (See the 2014 semifinalists’ artwork here.)
  Entries to the Saving Endangered Species contest must be postmarked by March 1, 2015. A prestigious panel of artists, photographers and conservationists will judge the artwork. Winners will be chosen in four categories: K-Grade 2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12, and will receive plaques and art supply gift packs. In addition, one grand prize winner will be honored at a reception in Washington, D.C. in May and also receive a special art lesson from a professional artist.
   The Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest is organized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Endangered Species Coalition, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the International Child Art Foundation.

  For more information, including judging criteria and an entry form, visit www.endangeredspeciesday.org  An endangered species art lesson plan is also available.

Monday, October 27, 2014

New Patch Series from P.R.A.Y. BIBLE BASICS RP3 READ to PICTURE, PONDER, and PUT INTO ACTION

"Bible Basics RP3" is designed to help people GET INTO THE BIBLE. We firmly believe that time spent in the Bible can be precious time with God. 
  • Read Bible stories together with families, Sunday school classes, scout groups, grandparents ... anybody interested in the Bible!
  • Learn the RP3 model: 
       READ the Bible / PICTURE the story / PONDER the meaning /PUT IT INTO ACTION

  • For all ages (children, youth, and adults)
  • Patches focus on a simple object (i.e. water, birds, books, etc.) and include 3 Bible stories that feature that object.
  • The Good Book is the "anchor" patch and should be earned first to learn more about the Bible and why you should read it.
  • Patches are independent study units and may be earned in any order (after the anchor patch)
  • Patches are separate from the P.R.A.Y. awards and do not require an application/review process
  • Perfect for campouts or weekend retreats
  • Requirements are available now at no charge on the P.R.A.Y. website at www.praypub.org/biblebasics 
  • Patches (and pins!) will be available in the P.R.A.Y. online store
  • [Patches will be available starting Nov. 1st; Pins will be available Nov. 15th]

Join us for a BIBLE BASICS RP3 Webinar
Title:                    Bible Basics RP3
Audience:           Everybody interested in the Bible!
Presenter:          Deb Hazlewood, P.R.A.Y., Curriculum Development
Description:        Find out about the new patch series "Bible Basics RP3." The presentation will cover the requirements, overall design, ideas for implementation, future patches, and give ample time for Q&A.

Register now!
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 1:00 PM CENTRAL TIME
Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 7:00 PM CENTRAL TIME
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7014007136938572290

The Good Book
Story #1: The Lost Book
Story #2: Getting to 
Know the Bible
Story #3: Training for Godliness 

Out of the Water
 Story #1: Baby Moses
 in the River
 Story #2: Naaman Washing
 in the River
 Story #3: Jesus Baptized
 in the River
                            


Birds of the Air
Story #1: God Sends Ravens to Care for Elijah
Story #2: God Lifts Us up on Eagle's Wings
Story #3: God Cares for Sparrows

Monday, September 29, 2014

The lifelong impact of Girl Scouts as told by Maria B.




The lifelong impact of Girl Scouts as told by Maria B. Thank you for sharing your story! 


This week I read a motivating article. The article posed the question, what would the eight year old you find shocking that the adult you wasn't doing? I thought for a few seconds when I read the article, the first thing that came to mind was scouting. I was a Girl Scout for ten years, from eight to eighteen. I earned the Gold Award. Then later in the week I serendipitously found out about a membership rally at Camp Choee; a place I have many, many fond memories of. I am lucky to be the mother of two wonderful girls. My oldest is now old enough to be a Daisy. I was so excited to be taking my daughters and husband to a Girl Scout event and more over, Camp Choee.

Returning to Camp Choee was exciting and emotional. There was, at the event, an exhibit of the Girl Scout uniform through the ages. I couldn't hold back the tears when I saw the junior uniform I wore. Not only the uniform, but in display were also the same badges I have in a special tin. My most prized possession.
The excitement and emotions made me reflect on my scouting experience. Scouting was one of the few constants during my childhood. My parents were divorced when I was a child. My family moved at least a dozen times. I changed schools about half a dozen times.
But I could always count on those Tuesday night meetings, my troop and my leader, Rosio Kemper. I made life long friends in my troop. Girl Scout troop 140. Three of us are still very good friends. We have always and will always be there for each other.
We camped, we traveled, we sold cookies, we made up skits and swaps. We dressed up, we made pyramids, we laughed until our stomachs hurt. We grew up, we got in trouble, we created, we learned life skills, camping skills and mad dancing skillz. We earned patches, badges and pins. We hiked, we picked up trash and we competed.
Some of the skills I thought I would never use again and then I became a national park ranger. My job for many years was taking 5th graders camping. I built campfires, set up tents, cooked and knot tied using the techniques I learned in Girl Scouts.
As a mother I want my daughters to be empowered, to have access to a wide range of activity options and to experience nature regularly. It is time for me to return to the Girl Scouts. I look forward to continuing my journey with this organization and empowering the next generation of Girl Scouts.