Oh What a Smart Cookie Can Do!
As a girl member of Girl Scouts, I can’t say I was ever top cookie seller but I was enthusiastic! As a troop leader, watching the rainbow of reactions from my troop members at the opportunity to sell Girl Scout Cookies was always a joy. My goal as a leader during cookie season was to adopt and model an entrepreneurial mindset for my girls. By that I mean: be curious, embrace challenge, take initiative, collaborate with others, take creative risk, see failure as learning, and adapt to change. I never aspired to be a “captain of industry” or run my own business, but I certainly benefited from the opportunity to think like an entrepreneur. I owe my success in my non-profit career to Girl Scouts.
While a path to entrepreneurship may not be in the future for every girl, I know every girl will benefit, and maybe even discover a future career path, by learning to think like an entrepreneur. By providing a foundation to learn important business skills, Girl Scouts is the perfect place to support young girls in exploring entrepreneurship. Whether girls go door to door, set up booths, or sell cookies online in their own digital storefront that they created, they’re also preparing for a bright future in whatever path they choose, by building the grit and persistence they need to succeed.
Every year Girl Scouts in our area and all over the country use their cookie earnings to do amazing things in their communities and beyond. From helping animal shelters and feeding the homeless to raising awareness about bullying, helping senior citizens increase their cyber-security, making public areas more accessible to people with disabilities, and tons more, Girl Scouts can and will do anything they put their hearts and minds to, including selling lots of cookies. Please help them out this year by buying a box! Don’t know a Girl Scout? Visit our website to order online or find a booth near you.
Mall Lock-in 2020
More than 3,000 attendees did everything but sleep at the 2020 Mall Lock-in! The coffee flowed for the chaperones and volunteers and the energy level could have raised the roof even at 3am.
With its “out of this world” theme, attendees enjoyed opportunities to work on space badges, a trip to a planetarium, dance parties, drum demos, yoga, and much more. They learned about NASA’s hidden figures through the NASA Glenn Space Exhibit, learned how far apart everything is in our solar system by creating their own pocket scale model of the distance between the orbits of the planets, asteroid belt, and Pluto, did Stardust Art, and Glow Putt-Putt Golfing, among other space-themed activities.
As always, thank you to SouthPark Mall for hosting this event and supporting Girl Scouts!
Powder Puff Derby
Troop 80777 held a Powder Puff Derby in Columbiana recently. They chose this event as a fun opportunity to utilize their STEM skills by building a model car and seeing the results. There were awards for the top three fastest cars as well as a few fun awards like “Most Creative”, “Best Girl Scout Theme”, and “Best of Show”. The Girl Scouts traded SWAPS, and each girl received a pit pass lanyard souvenir. Thanks to Crystal Siembida Boggs for the invitation and all her hard work chairing this event. It was great to see newly slated National Delegate Elizabeth Siembida, taking the lead like a Girl Scout as a chief volunteer at the event.
Brecksville World Thinking Day
Thanks so much for the invitation to the Brecksville Service Unit’s colorful and delicious celebration of Girl Scout sisterhood. They had a huge turnout including what looked to me to be the largest contingent of Cadettes and older Girl Scouts I have ever seen. I was honored to participate in their giant friendship circle which ended the event. Thanks to all the volunteers and families who supported this wonderful community event.
Kenston World Thinking Day
Girl Scouts of North East Ohio (GSNEO) is playing a role in changing the workforce pipeline in STEM to meet
Thanks to Troop Leader Shawn Krahe, of Troop 70843 for my invitation to this exciting event. I got a bonus celebration when I attended World Thinking Day because they also hold their Court of Awards for any girl earning one of Girl Scouts Highest Awards. This year that included 9 Silver Awards to Troop 70852 and 14 Bronze Awards to Troops 71522 and Troop 71279. The collective efforts of these young ladies have made a lasting contribution to our community.
Here is a little about each of their wonderful projects:
Troop 70852 started their project in September 2018. After many discussions and meetings about the Silver Award, they decided on building a shed for The Chagrin Falls Park Community Center for their project. The Park needed extra storage space for storing furniture and appliance donations. They started fundraising by having a stand at Silver Bells selling festive food items. The troop also held a Brownie Patch Day in May, where Brownies came and learned many different art skills to earn a patch. Then in September 2019, they held a day-long carwash. On September 19 they broke ground and started building the shed. For two weekends, they built and painted a brand new shed as they repaired the original shed. In November, the troop held a dedication ceremony where they presented the finished project and gave a security light for the shed to the Community Center. This project provided them with many life skills including how to make plans and follow through. Troop 70852 is led by Betsy Myshrall and Julie Voudris. The troop members are Madison Pastor, Lindsey Myshrall, Sophie Voudris, Ashley Slates, Sabrina Schultz, Samantha Sunderhaft, Emma Robertson, Charlotte Witmer-Rich, and Lisa Markoff.
Troop 71522 earned the Bronze Award after being inspired by Noel Hairston, an employee at Akron Childrens Hospital and Winston who is a member of the hospital’s Doggie Brigade. They learned how Winston visits patients and helps them feel happier. Troop 71522 decided that they also wanted to help sick children feel happier. They decided to make Easter baskets filled with activities for children staying at the hospital. They learned that due to illnesses, the children at the hospital are not permitted to share art supplies. Therefore, new crayons and coloring books would be appreciated. The hospital requested cups that would encourage sick children to drink liquids so the girls found cups that the children could color.
The girls wanted to include more projects that could occupy the children and allow them to celebrate the holiday, so they put together different Easter paper crafts. After learning that the children wouldn’t be permitted to have access to scissors, the girls precut over 350 paper crafts and added them to packages containing all of the materials needed to color and assemble them. They also made over 100 egg decorating kits to be included in the baskets and decorated cards from the troop to let the patients know that Girl Scouts care. After assembling all of the baskets, the girls personally delivered them to the hospital and toured the facility. After spending well over 20 hours per Girl Scout on their Bronze Award, 50 Easter baskets were delivered to patients at the hospital on behalf of Girl Scouts, together with additional blankets and toys. These Girl Scouts made lasting connections with the hospital so that they can help in other ways in the future. Troop 71522 is led by Shawn Krahe and Emily Piunno, and the troop members are: Moraya Piunno, Sophia Anderson, Brenna Zak, Brooke Bowdren, and Payten Eikermann-Case.
Troop 71279 earned the Bronze Award. One of their Girl Scouts, Quinn, visited a relative’s grave site and thought it was very plain looking and noticed all of the dead plants and flowers around the graves. She got the idea to decorate a cemetery to make it less dreary. The troop visited some cemeteries in downtown Cleveland and Auburn and Bainbridge Townships to see what they could do. The two cemeteries in Auburn had rain barrels that were overgrown with plants and weeds. They attended an Auburn Township Trustees meeting to present the idea to make the beds around the rain barrels prettier and gained approval!
They visited Auburn Pointe Greenhouse to learn about what plants would be good for their project, adding to what they learned from the Gardener badge they did the previous year. They each picked out one low-maintenance perennial so they would come back every year. They weeded, edged, added new plants, and mulched the area in the cemetery. They also added a shepherd’s hook with a watering can to make it easier for cemetery visitors to water their flowers and plants. They took turns watering the plants for a few weeks to get the plants established and painted pictures and inspirational words on rocks to add a finishing touch to the beds. Troop 71279 is led by Julie Voudris and the troop members are Brooklyn Jane Alexander, Margot Fassett, Dani L. Pierce, Quinn Robertson, Payton Renee Timmons, Reagan Jane VanFossen, Grace Elizabeth Voudris, and Emily Williams.
Women of Distinction 2020
Thanks to our hard-working committee who have the unenviable task of choosing 10 deserving Women of Distinction and 3 Leaders of Tomorrow from all the deserving candidates. The event will be held May 12 at the Intercontinental Hotel Cleveland.
Congratulations to the 2020 Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon Honorees!
Women of Distinction
- Ramona Hood – FedEx Custom Critical
- Andrea Margida, MS – The Valentine Project & TechGrit
- Sandra L. Reid – The Davey Tree Expert Company
- Tari S. Rivera – Regency Construction Services, Inc.
- Sara Shookman – wkyc studios
- Ellen M. Stephens, SHRM-SCP – The Sherwin-Williams Company
- Gina Vernaci – Playhouse Square
- Vivian E. von Gruenigen, MD – University Hospitals of Cleveland
- Elizabeth Walters – Summit County Council & Morino Ventures
- Amy Zell – Youngstown Area Goodwill Industries & Oak Hill Collaborative
Leaders of Tomorrow
- Olivia Johnson
- Ava Kress
- Megan Ward
Advancing Women Award
Continuing Education Scholarships
Did you know that, Girl Scouts of North East Ohio awards continuing education scholarships annually to graduating senior Girl Scouts who epitomize the Girl Scout Mission and the Girl Scout Leadership Experience? We do! We want to help your graduating seniors prepare for the next stage in their lives after Girl Scouts and continue to make a difference.
Check out our scholarships page to see what we have to offer! Online applications for the GSNEO College Scholarships are due April 1.