Get Ready for the Fall Product Program!

With summer winding down, troops are starting to plan for fall—when girls head back to school and kick off another exciting year with their sister Girl Scouts. A highlight of the season is the GSGLA Fall Product Program, which starts Sept. 29, 2017.

This year’s theme is “Explore Your Dreams,” which the program certainly helps girls do! Not only is the fall product program a fun and interactive way for Girl Scouts to learn the 5 Skills (goal setting, decision making, money management, business ethics, and people skills), but it’s also the perfect opportunity for troops to earn essential funds for activities and resources. That’s not all—Junior Girl Scout and Girl Advisory Bureau member Avery C. tells us what she’s gained from participating in the fall product program.


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Avery as a Brownie last fall.

Usually when someone thinks of Girl Scouts, they think of cookies. As Girl Scouts, we also do lots of fun and helpful things like beach clean-ups, community service, camping, summer activities, field trips, and other money-earning events. We earn money to support many of these activities by selling cookies in the winter, and nuts, candies, and magazines during the fall.

These are my top takeaways from the fall product program:

  1.  You get to learn about new products like Butter Toffee Peanuts and Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Almonds, as well as all the magazine subscriptions we offer. Learning about all these products helps you communicate with your customers, which helps your people skills.
  2. You can do lots of your selling online. You can email a link to your friends and family to buy the products and magazines, or donate to Gift of Caring. Girl Scouts will ship the items for a fee if they live far away.
  3. You learn how to set goals. You decide if you want to push yourself or go easy on yourself. It’s up to you! You are also able to track your sales progress online.
  4. When I went door-to-door with my mom, the first thing people would ask is, “Is it cookie time?” The fall product program is a good way to remind people cookies are coming, and to help you get ready for cookie season.
  5. During the fall product program, your troop earns 25 percent of the money you earn from nuts and candies, and 20 percent from magazines. During cookie season, your troop earns 95-cents per box. That makes a huge difference, especially when you have a big troop goal. The rest of the proceeds goes to support all the Girl Scout camps and programs in our LA region.

I hope I helped you learn about the fall product program. Get excited to participate!

P.S. Here’s a tip: For your customers who ordered magazines, email them before the fall product program starts on Sept. 29 about renewing their subscriptions.


Thank you, Avery, for sharing your lessons with us!

Browse our resources for the fall product program here. Don’t forget—troops and girls must participate in both council-sponsored product programs in order to do additional money-earning projects. (Participation is defined by 50 percent of the registered girls in the troop earning the Participation patch in both council-sponsored product programs.) You can also sign up for our fall product program newsletters here for regular updates throughout the season.

A Tribute to John Bodi

The GSGLA family has lost an extraordinary, fiercely devoted member—John Bodi, whom we will miss dearly. John was a treasured, longtime GSGLA volunteer who lived the Promise and Law in all that he did, and dedicated many years to empowering and uplifting girls.

john bodi (002)John was a familiar face to generations of Girl Scouts, and began his involvement as a leader for his daughter’s Brownie troop. For 24 years, he was a co-leader for Senior/Ambassador Troop 1688, MSS Blue Madonna—helping the troop and service unit in many different capacities. In addition, John served on the Gold Award board and, for a period of time, supported many girls as their Gold Award advisor. He also served as a national delegate, and thoroughly enjoyed traveling to the Girl Scout convention and learning about other councils’ older girl programs— sharing his enthusiasm for the program back in Greater Los Angeles.

2007 Tambu4Moreover, we will remember John as a proud advocate for Camp Lakota, which held a special place in his heart. The camp became a personal project of John’s—into which he poured his boundless energy and expertise. He spent countless weekends with the “Camp Lakota Posse” and was able to obtain a myriad of donated supplies and materials for the camp. John also served on the council’s properties committee, where he helped plan for upcoming renovations to Lakota.

Despite John’s many commitments to GSGLA, we will remember him most for his dedication to all girls, everywhere. When learning of John’s passing, the comments from girls and their parents were the most telling of John’s true passion: He encouraged girls to make things happen, boosted their confidence, and taught them life skills. 

“… I still remember how John taught me how to pitch a tent and prepped us for various Tambu skills. He was a wonderful and inspirational man and leader. You’ll be missed. 

“… A true Scout and one of the kindest men I know. May he Rest In Peace and may all the ladies cherish all they have learned from such a wise and generous man. His grilled cheese will always be my favorite!!!” 

“…The hearts of many Girl Scouts are broken today. I have the best memories with you, John. Blue Mad won’t be the same without you. We are so thankful for the love and guidance you have provided for all of us. Sail away towards that sunset! Miss you. 

Memorial services are being planned for August. To honor John’s memory, his family and friends ask that you consider, in lieu of flowers, making a gift to the John Bodi Memorial Fund at GSGLA. Contributions will support the completion of the new dining hall—the future heart of Camp Lakota—where generations of growing Girl Scouts will make lifelong friendships and memories while enjoying the beautiful property so dear to John. Please visit http://girlscoutsla.thankyou4caring.org/camp-lakota.

Girl Scout Power for Middle School

“It’s all about who you are as a person, and your Girl Scout power will help you develop into an amazing person for the future.”

Middle school is a tough time for a lot of people, with so much going on personally and academically. Girl Scouts helps girls of all ages find their inner strength, develop confidence, and persevere through difficult situations—which is especially critical for middle schoolers who need extra support. G.I.R.L. and Cadette Katelyn R. tells us how she’s leveraged her “Girl Scout power” and shares her advice with other girls in middle school.


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Cadette Girl Scout Katelyn R.

Most of us can say that joining Girl Scouts has helped us come out of our shells. But have you ever thought about how much your inner Girl Scout power can help you in an awkward or tough situation?

I am a part of the GSGLA Color Guard. When I was invited to join the color guard, I was very nervous (I used to be shy) and now I have a great group of friends who encourage my love for Girl Scouting and I am able to participate in amazing things. I’ve had the opportunity to meet interesting people and perform in front of thousands of people—which has helped my confidence emerge and enabled me to be myself!

When I started middle school this past year, I took the confidence I’d gained from Girl Scouts and applied it to my daily routine. I spoke up in class, joined a garden club, took a risk by joining the cross-country team, and sang my heart out in the choir group.

katelyn 9Middle school may seem simple, but the challenges were quite different from others I had encountered in the past. Girl Scouts encouraged me to persevere and address things I wanted to change about myself. For instance, cross country—I was not a seven-minute mile runner or even better, but I thought it would be cool to try a new sport. I joined the team not expecting much, but I found the challenge actually helped me accelerate my mile requirements in PE, and I met new people who became new friends—just like when we join a troop or interact with another troop during a council event.

So, my first piece of advice: Don’t be shy and introduce yourself to the many new faces you will meet. You never know where you will find your next BFF. My second piece of advice: Stay true to who you are and don’t give up the values that make you YOU!

There will be a lot of growing up in middle school. People may not understand why you do certain things or you might encounter some jealousy. Girls who I thought were my friends turned out not to be who they seemed before. You have to learn not to take things personally because you might drift away from current friendships. For the “Finding Common Ground” Girl Scout badge, we learned how to get to know someone different from us, to understand how to compromise, and to make decisions in a different group. These lessons allowed me to branch out to new groups in middle school. My new friends have stuck with me and supported the different activities I have joined.

katelyn 6Girl Scouts helped me persist through the rough times and hardships of trying new things. I’ve moved on and learned that it takes confidence, perseverance, and other traits to make a person strong. Girl Scouting helps us learn new things, challenge ourselves, and always find new paths: These experiences can all fuel your inner Girl Scout power and help you endure challenges in real life.

I got through sixth grade doing awesome things and getting excellent grades, which makes me proud. With Girl Scouts, I recently joined the Girl Advisory Bureau, experienced Camp Osito for the first time, and met yet another great group of girls. You may have a difficult experience in middle school or any grade you enter, but remember—it’s all about who you are as a person, and your Girl Scout power will help you develop into an amazing person for the future.

So don’t be shy, don’t be nervous, speak up, and try new things and new friendships; because after all, no matter how lonely you may feel at times, there is always someone out there just waiting to share your story and celebrate how wonderful you really are.


Thank you, Katelyn, for your inspiring—and useful—insight on how to channel your inner G.I.R.L. in middle school (and in any tough situation)!

Want to help girls become their best selves as a volunteer? Get more information here. Want to learn how to become a Girl Scout? Take the first step in joining our global sisterhood and click here.

A Day of Impact

As the premier leadership organization for girls, Girl Scouts is committed to providing girls with a myriad of opportunities to build their skills, develop courage, and try new things. We’re also committed to connecting with community partners who share the same goals.

Last month, our high-school Girl Scouts had an amazing chance to participate in mentor-guided workshops at Deloitte University Impact Day. Senior Genetha C. attended and shared her experience with us.


As Girl Scouts, when we see a problem, we find a solution. On June 9, I experienced an amazing day with other Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts, being mentored by employees of Deloitte University. We explored problem-solving in business and technology through a series of group activities and workshops—Finance 101, Introduction to Consulting, Technology in Business, Leadership in Business—and discussions with mentors on education and summer internships.

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Genetha during presentation (second from left).

In Finance 101, we received an empty worksheet to create a budget. There was a Powerpoint that guided us in choosing which kind of home and car we want in the future, as well as other necessities we think are  important. We had to figure out how much we can save, taking fixed expenses, transportation, and more into consideration.

The workshop Introduction to Consulting covered management information, analytical applications, and record management and how to improve those functions; while Technology in Business taught us which devices you can use to be successful in a business.

IMG_0498One of my favorite workshops was Leadership in Business, where we watched cool videos about leaders in history. We learned that we are all leaders in our own way. I also learned the acronym “P.D.I.G.,” which stands for Pioneer, Driver, Integrator, and Guardian: The Pioneer loves exploring; the Driver loves a challenge; the Integrator is all about connecting; and the Guardian values stability and strives for accuracy. As Girl Scouts, we can relate these to the “G.I.R.L.” acronym. Which one are you?

IMG_0557In one of the mentoring sessions, we were challenged with a unique issue: One of the worker’s cousins has a known brand of shoes outside of the country—she wanted to know how we, as Girl Scouts, can make her brand more known in America: whether we liked the style, how they could improve sales, how they have problems with current exchange, and more. Together, we came up with questions to get to the root of the issues, such as: How many shoes has she sold over the year? How long does it take to make the shoes? What makes the shoe special?

Together, we were able to come up with solutions to help customize the shoes, make them seasonal, get experts to work on the website, and more. Groups presented their solutions to mentors who worked for Deloitte—and those who presented received cool Deloitte steel bottles.

IMG_0582I want to thank Deloitte for the advice on business and helping us develop more leadership skills. Also, I am happy GSGLA gives us fun and helpful programs that benefit us every day.


Thank you, Genetha! We also want to thank Deloitte for giving our girls the chance to develop their leadership and business skills during this exciting day of impact.

Interested in learning how your company can partner with GSGLA? Check out these ways to get involved or contact giving@girlscoutsla.org.

Volunteer Spotlight: Risk-taker

“These girls are sisters, and should be treating each other like that, no matter what they’re able or not able to do.” 

Our volunteers are the backbone of our organization’s success—propelling our girls forward and guiding them through life-changing, skill-building programs. Since Girl Scouts is for all girls, we’re committed to fostering a diverse, inclusive environment where everyone can develop her inner G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader). That also pertains to volunteers, who serve as role models for our Girl Scouts.

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Troop leader and AbilityGS Go Team member Julia Montoya.

As risk-takers, our volunteers are courageous and strong, and embrace the unfamiliar while staying true to their values. This is certainly true with Julia Montoya, who is a member of the AbilityGS Go Team and a leader for Ambassador Troop 11965. The AbilityGS Go Team provides a forum for parents and volunteers to connect with one another about successfully integrating girls into troops, regardless of abilities. For Julia, whose daughter is a member of her troop and also on the autism spectrum, the group has proven invaluable: “It helps me to accommodate [my daughter] Valerie, because although I have to go along with the rules, maybe not everything goes well for her. Being part of the Go Team helps me see that, and work on accommodations for her.”

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Julia’s daughter Valerie (far right).

Girl Scouts has been an inclusive organization since its inception, offering a safe, welcoming, and fun space for every girl. For Julia’s daughter, the experience has helped her in many ways: “She’s become more independent and outspoken because she has to complete Journeys, and has to speak to people and ask them questions,” says Julia. Not only that—Girl Scouts has also opened doors for Valerie: “She completed a Journey on food and wants to take horticulture at school… She now knows the importance of eating organic food, and recently said, ‘You know what Mom, I want to try Veggie Grill.’ For Valerie to try something new, it’s very rare.”

Julia, along with the rest of the Go Team, want to ensure troop leaders are comfortable navigating their girls’ different levels of abilities: “While most leaders might not be scared, some worry about not being able to accommodate all girls.” Through the Go Team members’ various experiences, they’re able to provide advice and connect volunteers with resources. Together, they’re helping to build a community of leaders who empower girls to become independent—by being courageous themselves.

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Julia’s troop on a camping trip with another troop.

Plus, creating an environment of inclusiveness benefits all girls. During Julia’s first year as a troop leader, her girls accompanied another group on a camping trip. Throughout the experience, Julia was struck by the words of longtime GSGLA volunteer Ted Oyama, who kept saying, “help your sister.” At one point, Valerie stood apart from the group after climbing a hill overlooking the ocean. As she watched the girls, Julia noticed one of them go up to Valerie and ask what she enjoyed most about the weekend, sparking a conversation. The moment reinforced Ted’s mantra about the Girl Scout spirit: “These girls are sisters, and should be treating each other like that, no matter what they’re able or not able to do.”

Thank you to Julia and the rest of the AbilityGS Go Team for upholding Girl Scouts’ dedication to welcoming girls of all abilities. For more information about the Go Team, contact us.

Be Prepared: 5 Reasons Why You Should Early Renew

Renew by June 15 to earn awesome rewards.

With summer nearly upon us—and for some, it’s already here—we can easily forget about the upcoming school (and Girl Scout) year. But we all know Girl Scouts provides girls with countless opportunities to explore their interests, learn new skills, and make the world a better place. So why not ensure a seamless transition to the new year by renewing your girls’ membership now, as well as your own?

Our Early Renewal registration is open until June 15. Not only does renewing early deliver peace of mind, but it also offers multiple rewards for members and troops. Just see the ones we’ve listed below!owlpatch-3

  1. Earn our collectible Early Renewal patch. Who doesn’t love a fun, new patch to add to your collection? All girls and adults who renew by June 15 will earn the GSGLA Early Renewal patch.
  2. Be prepared for the fall product program. Only girls and adults who’ve renewed their membership can participate in this popular program. Don’t wait until the last minute to renew—take care of it today and you won’t experience any delays!
  3. Boost your cookie season earnings. Troops who meet certain criteria will generate extra funds while selling boxes of Girl Scout Cookies! Check out the details here.
  4. Earn other special troop incentives. Adding new girls? Your troop could be invited to a special event. Renewing most of your girls? You could receive tote bags. Learn more here.
  5. Enjoy your summer, knowing another great Girl Scout year is about to begin. Yes, we’re back to having peace of mind—which is invaluable, given all the distractions of summer and the start of the school year. Having one less thing to worry about will make your life that much easier once September rolls around. Plus, your membership will be good through September 2018.

All it takes to enjoy these benefits is a few minutes of your time right now. Ensure your Girl Scouts have the opportunity to build upon what they’ve learned and enjoyed this current year, and continue to grow and thrive.

Renew your membership for 2017-18, and you and your girls will be well on your way to unlocking another inspiring, life-changing Girl Scout year.

Going Gold: Meet Our National Young Women of Distinction Nominees

The school year’s winding down and troops are bridging to the next level—but we’re gearing up for the Gold Award Ceremony on June 3, where we’ll be honoring 256 Girl Scouts who’ve earned Girl Scouting’s highest achievement: the Gold Award. In order to earn the honor, Girl Scouts must complete a large-scale Take Action project that makes a sustainable impact on their communities and beyond. Only a small percentage of Girl Scouts achieve the prestigious Gold Award, which qualifies them for scholarships and other incentives.

Each year, Girl Scouts of the USA selects 10 exceptional Gold Award Girl Scouts as National Young Women of Distinction—girls whose projects demonstrated extraordinary leadership and addressed a local challenge related to a national (or even global) issue. Every council submits nominees for the national distinction. We spoke with GSGLA’s 2017 nominees to find out how they embody what it means to be a G.I.R.L., making an incredible difference in the world. Read their stories about their Gold Award projects below.


Yue _Cherry_ Ying#B398Cherry Ying, Troop 2935, Ambassador Girl Scout
Girl Scout Journey: “I’d never heard about anything like Girl Scouts until I came to the U.S. three years ago by myself from China. When I learned that Girl Scouts helps girls make the world a better place, I joined right away.”
Inspiration: “Growing up in Ningbo, China, I’d never seen a hospital with hand sanitizer; quite frankly, I didn’t even know hand sanitizer existed. During my years in the U.S., I interned for a pediatrician, where I was amazed by the amount of hand sanitizer everywhere. This really motivated me to bring Americans’ strong health awareness to my hometown.”

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School lecture on hand sanitizer in Ningbo, China.

Summary: “My project, ‘Hand in Hand,’ took place in both the U.S. and China. I fundraised and brought 90 bottles of hand sanitizer to community hospitals in Ningbo, created brochures and posters, hosted school lectures, and taught residents in the hospitals how to properly use hand sanitizer.”

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Cherry delivering hand sanitizer.

Impact: “My project help jumpstart a government-sponsored program to distribute hand sanitizer every month to community hospitals.”
Future: “I want to become a decision scientist (a type of data scientist) and use mathematics, equations, data analytics, and technology to solve the world’s existing problems, such as cancer.”
Why Go For Gold?: “Pursuing the Gold Award can be a great conclusion to the Girl Scout journey and an amazing start of something big in the future.”
Fun Fact: “My first language is not Mandarin or Cantonese or English—it’s Ningbo dialect. It’s funny that even though [in China] we all speak Chinese, if we speak in our own dialect, people from another region won’t understand us; thus, it’s like a completely different language.”

Eleanor FausettEllie Fausett, Troop 1751, Ambassador Girl Scout
Girl Scout Journey: “I’ve been a Girl Scout for the past nine years, and Girl Scouts has been a big part of my life since the girls in my troop are my best friends.”
Inspiration: “I work at Glendale Adventist Medical Center in the pediatric occupational therapy unit. I help get kids in and out of their jackets and coats because they do not have fine motor skills. The existing tools [for teaching the kids] were not engaging and very repetitive.”
Summary: “I wanted to combine teaching dressing skills with playing dress-up, so I made sensory integration dressing vests. After sewing the vests by myself, I taught therapists about them and showed them how they can be used. Also, I created a website, dresswithoutstress.help, where adults can go and learn about my project and how sensory integration therapy works.”

Impact: “My project helped improve the lives of the children who use the vests since they can learn the skills they need faster. Also, other individuals who read my website will learn about fine motor therapy and different ways for dressing assistance.”
Future: “I would like to go to college and study early childhood brain development. I would then like to become a pediatric occupational therapist.”
Why Go For Gold?: “My Gold Award taught me so much about myself. I would recommend this experience to anyone who wants to grow as a person and help change their community.”
Fun Fact: “I have taken four years of French and hope to become fluent. Also, I am learning sign language so I can communicate with the children I work with who can’t speak.”

Bridget GehenBridget Gehan, Troop 1912, Ambassador Girl Scout
Girl Scout Journey: “I started Girl Scouts in 2006 when I moved to Los Angeles from Morristown, New Jersey and it was the first place I felt accepted in my new life. It has been an incredible experience that I would not change for the world.”
Inspiration: “‘Empowering Teenagers Against Alzheimer’s (ETAA)’ was inspired by my grandpa’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in 2014 and the heartbreaking journey that I went through afterwards. I looked for something to help me understand what was happening to Pop Pop and how I could help, but everything available was for small children who couldn’t comprehend the disease or for adults focusing on medical, financial, and insurance issues.”

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Bridget with her grandpa, who inspired her Gold Award project.

Summary: ETAA is an internet-based educational outreach program for teenagers and young adults who have been touched by this disease in one way or another. In creating this program, I had to do in-depth research about Alzheimer’s, interview scientists, social workers, and countless teenagers to get an accurate perspective of the entire problem. I then spent months storyboarding, filming, interviewing, and editing until my project was perfect.”
Impact: “Since the official induction of ETAA into the Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles program, more than 800 people have been reached and learned from my work. These people are in 21 different countries on six different continents. Susan Galeas [the president and CEO of Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles] commented on one of my videos: ‘Incredibly successful way to educate the general public and a younger generation about this insidious disease… Your commitment and passion are making a difference!’”

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Bridget with a focus group for her project.

Future: “I want to go to a good college that has a strong program in business, public policy, or political science. I would love to work in politics and government to help make the world a better and safer place. It is my dream to be president of the United States, but I would also love to work as a senator.”
Why Go For Gold?: “Every girl should pursue their Gold Award because it is not only a gratifying experience, but a learning one too. My Gold Award taught me how to effectively solve problems and gave me the tools and courage to do it. [But] the most important thing the Gold Award gave me was the drive to finish and the understanding of how I can use that drive in my future.”
Fun Fact: “I have been working in my school’s journalism program for two years and will be one of two co-editors-in-chief of my high school’s blog and newspaper next year.”


Congratulations, Girl Scouts, on your nominations for National Young Women of Distinction—and for earning the Girl Scout Gold Award and touching the lives of people both far and near.

Are you interested in attending our 2017 Gold Award Ceremony on Saturday, June 3? Click here for details.