February 2020

The Wonders of Water

One of my earliest memories in Girl Scouts is learning how to paddle a canoe. That burst of confidence when learning a new skill propelled me into many adventures. The skills I learned served me well, for example, canoeing on the Algonquin River during a camping trip, and gave me the confidence as a troop leader to take my girls kayaking. Introducing girls to water sports is a big part of the Girl Scout Experience. That’s why we have lakes at every camp that host watercraft like canoes, kayaks, and corcls. Not sure what a corcl is? You are not alone! The modern equivalent found at GSNEO camps date back to Asian “basket boats”, which were constructed from woven bamboo and made watertight with a mixture of cow dung and tree sap. You won’t find any cow dung in our boats but the versatile design allows users to sit, kneel, or stand in the bowl or even turn them over for a different experience.

But why boat at all? Experts point to the health benefits: upper body strength, a good dose of Vitamin D, strengthening of core muscles, but I think it’s the psychological benefits. I think about the closeness to the water, how that feels and smells, the joy of conquering a new skill and drinking in a vastly different perspective than when standing solidly on the shore as my watersport pay-off.

Help us introduce more girls to the wonders of water; we provide training for volunteers and welcome your donation. Thanks to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Watercraft who recently helped us buy more corcls. Happy paddling!

Want to help? There is currently a campaign afloat to double the size of the lake at GSNEO’s Camp Sugarbush and increase the opportunity for adventure.

Click here to support the lake expansion.

There’s Always Room for One More Box of Cookies

I had the opportunity to stop by the office of Elizabeth Bartz, President and CEO of State and Federal Communications. She’s a Girl Scout Alum and perennial cookie buyer, but this year, she outdid herself. Taking advantage of the direct ship option and with a self-imposed goal of buying enough cookies to supply a church event, she seems to have bought enough cookies to supply every parishioner with a box! A couple of Girl Scout Cookie Pros stopped by to make another sale while I was admiring her stash and they shared their plans for their cookie earnings.

Didn’t get your cookies yet? Do not despair! Cookie booths start March 13. Go here to find a cookies in your neighborhood. Thanks, Elizabeth for showing what a Girl Scout can do! 

Camposaurus Winter Campout

Girl Scout Troops from Service Unit 703 at Camposaurus campout

The weather might not have been fit for a dinosaur but it was a perfect weekend for Service Unit 703’s dinosaur-themed campout. With dinosaur-themed activities and plenty of time in the outdoors, more than 100 participants from veterans to novices learned new skills and created memories. Many troops told me they now felt confident planning a future campout on their own. Thanks, Service Unit Director Barbara Balogh and her army of happy, skilled volunteers for the invite!

Grants Highlights

We are so fortunate to have support from grantmakers throughout Lorain County who believe in the mission of Girl Scouts. Thanks to grants from The Community Foundation of Lorain County, Nordson Corporation Foundation, and The Norton Family Foundation; girls at select schools in Lorain were given the opportunity to participate in an after-school program where they completed a Girl Scout Journey. Older girls even got to explore the new STEM Journeys!

Thanks to the following schools for hosting our series programs: Garfield, Larkmoor, Admiral King, Washington, Stevan Dohanos, and Frank Jacinto Elementary. We are so proud of these Girl Scouts for earning their Journey awards, and can’t wait for them to form new troops next year, engaging a whole new generation of Girl Scouts!

Help Make the STEM Center of Excellence a reality at Camp Ledgewood

Girl Scouts of North East Ohio (GSNEO) is playing a role in changing the workforce pipeline in STEM to meet the urgent need for female voices, engagement, and leadership in the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. economy.

I am serving as co-chair of the national Girl Scout STEM Pledge Strategy Committee, an initiative that aims to add 2.5 million girls to the STEM pipeline by 2025. Locally, GSNEO has added new STEM programming and plans to build a STEM Center of Excellence . The facility, proposed to be built at Camp Ledgewood located in Peninsula, would provide a living laboratory for a larger group of youth to collaborate with local educators and experience year-round opportunities in robotics, computer coding, botany, chemistry, and more. 


GSNEO recently submitted a capital funding request to the State of Ohio to help fund the STEM Center of Excellence. With your help, we can educate our elected officials in the Senate and House of Representatives to advocate for this funding. 

Just call, email, or send a letter to your local senators and representatives asking for their support of this project before March 31. Working on a Civic Action badge? This is the perfect opportunity for girls to gain insight into local and state government that affects you directly!

Find your senate district, then click on “FIND YOUR SENATOR,” and type in your address or zip code when prompted.

Find your congressional district and who your member is.  Under the “Representatives” tab, click “House District map” and type in your address in the box provided.

Already know your district?  Visit gsneo.org/STEMCenter, select your county from the list provided, and click on the legislators for your district to go directly to their contact page.

Not sure how to ask for her/his support?  Click the links below for some help getting started: 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s