Girl Scouts Give Back

‘Tis the season for giving, but Girl Scouts know that spreading good cheer doesn’t stop once the decorations are stored away. Go-getter Girl Scouts roll up their sleeves and help those in need year-round—which means giving back to their communities comes naturally during the holidays.

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Multiple GSGLA troops are leading donation drives for One Warm Coat, a national nonprofit that works to provide free, warm coats for people in need. (The organization enables people to hold their own coat drive.) Starting in early November, Girl Scout Troop 565 spread the word about their coat collection—creating fliers and a press release, as well as making announcements at local schools and churches. The girls ended up receiving more than 350 coats, which they donated to the Union Rescue Mission. (Check out page six of the Palisades News Holiday Gift Guide for details.)

PV Peninsula Girl Scouts are contributing to the same heartwarming cause, with more than 100 troops collecting coats for One Warm Coat. Led by Troops 2275, 6405, and 7895, the Girl Scouts are donating their coats to Community’s Child, CalWORKs Domestic Violence Supportive Services in Carson, and LA Community Outreach Housing Foundation.

From coats to socks—the Girl Scouts of Troop 16184 along with West Covina Service Unit 422 held a sock drive during their holiday social this month. All attendees contributed socks, which are being donated to a local church shelter. (The girls are also gearing up to sing Christmas carols at a community event for West Covina Beautiful—talk about spreading holiday joy!)

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Girl Scouts practicing their Christmas carols in West Covina.

And more evidence that Girl Scouts improve their communities throughout the year: A number of girls from Troops 78394 and 11634 are continuing to support the Foothill Family Shelter after earning their Girl Scout Silver Award. They donated Thanksgiving baskets to the program’s holiday food drive.

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Girl Scouts donated holiday baskets to Foothill Family Shelter.

Plus, Kaitlyn M. of Troop 78394 created 32 gift bags for kids who attended the shelter’s Breakfast with Santa event—her second year in a row.

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Girl Scout Kaitlyn M.

The girls of Troop 78394 also created and delivered more than 100 Christmas cards to patients at the Rancho Cucamonga VA Clinic (seen below) and kids in juvenile hall.

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Keep up the good work, Girl Scouts! Remember to send photos of your volunteer projects and other community service events to photos@girlscoutsla.org. (Or, post them to social media and tag @GirlScoutsLA.) We’ll continue to highlight some of your stories right here on the GSGLA blog.

We Are Family: An Open Letter to Younger Girl Scouts

“These girls are going to be there for you, through the good, the bad, and everything in between.”

Dear Girl Scouts,

I’ve been a Girl Scout since 2005. Over the years, I’ve seen older girls who I look up to graduate and younger girls grow up through Girl Scouts.

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Kaniela (third from left) with her sister Girl Scouts.

I’ve made lifelong friends and sisters who will always have my back. When I was younger, people would sometimes tell me to quit Girl Scouts—but I didn’t because I met so many people who I wouldn’t have otherwise.

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Girl Scouts isn’t only about cookie sales, it’s about sisterhood. You’re going to hear this a lot, but these girls are going to be there for you, through the good, the bad, and everything in between.

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Once you’re a Girl Scout, it’s like joining a family: You get older sisters and younger sisters who will always lend a shoulder for you to cry on, or who will stay up laughing all night if that’s what you need. They seem to make everything more fun in life because you have spent nights singing around a campfire, laughing, sharing a tent, and crying (this is pretty important).

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Some will leave, but they don’t know what they are missing. I hope you get to experience what I have and stay in that amazing family you have: Girl Scouts.

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Sincerely,
Ambassador Girl Scout Kaniela


Big thanks to Girl Advisory Bureau member Kaniela N. of M.S.S. Blue Madonna Troop 1688-6 for writing this open letter!

To begin your Girl Scout journey by joining or volunteering, click here for the GSGLA website.

To find out all about the ways Girl Scouting enriches and positively impacts girls’ lives, visit the Girl Scout Research Institute site.

Color Guard Connection

Girl Scouts isn’t just about crafts, cookies, and camping—our girls are involved in a variety of activities where they meet lifelong friends. In another installment of “Gabbing with Girl Scouts,” we open the conversation to two sister Girl Scouts who met at one of GSGLA’s most popular events (see below to find out which one!). Girl Advisory Bureau member Alana S. and fellow Cadette Girl Scout Sammie H. of Troop 78394—who are both part of the GSGLA Color Guard Team—share their friendship story.

Alana: Hi Sammie!
Sammie: Hey Alana!
Alana: It’s just a crazy question but when did you realize I was a really good friend? What did I do or say?
Sammie: I realized that you were a really good friend was when you looked after me when I’d ask for a spoon of Dippin’ Dots, and you’d be like, I don’t want you to have too much sugar and wind up having a seizure. And that really made me feel like you were a good friend for me to have because you looked after me when I had sugar. Do you remember how we met?

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Friends and sister Girl Scouts for years—Alana (left) and Sammie (right) when they first met.

Alana: Oh yes I do remember how we met! We went to a really cool Rose Parade event and we got to see the floats decorated and that was my very first Girl Scout event out of the troop. [Editor: See pictures from our 2014 float decorating event.] And I went over and saw this little girl with brown hair and I’m like, she looks like a nice friend and ’cause I didn’t have a whole lot of friends. And so I saw you and you had roses and you were telling me about your name, Sammie Rose, and so we were just talking and having fun and that was when I realized you were a great friend too. So I really enjoyed that memory that’s probably one of my best too. Another question I wanted to ask you was, what’s your best Girl Scout memory? What’s your favorite Girl Scout memory?
Sammie: My favorite Girl Scout memory I have is when you and I both learned sign language for the first time; we first learned the National Anthem and we gradually learned the Pledge of Allegiance and the Girl Scout Promise and Law. That’s my favorite Girl Scout memory that I think we’ve shared.
Alana: Yeah, I think that’s a great one too. I really enjoy doing things with you and I like learning sign language because also every Tuesday I get to learn and I get to be with you.
Sammie: What are your favorite activities in Girl Scouts that we do together?

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Alana (holding the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts flag) and Sammie (holding the GSGLA flag) at a color guard event.

Alana: Probably one of my favorite activities that we do in Girl Scouts together is color guard because that’s so much fun. We get to go to all kinds of places like Staples Center and preschool places and Globetrotters and Angels, Dodgers. We get to do everything together and we meet every Tuesday to practice and we always learn how to sign which is so much fun to do with you and so I just really enjoy coming every meeting and going with you to color guard and hanging out and hearing all of your crazy stories over the week. So I have another question for you: What are you looking forward to this upcoming Girl Scout year?
Sammie: Well I’m looking forward to one, earning my Silver Award, and also spending time with the color guard because all my friends on the color guard are important and fun to hang out with.
Alana: I enjoy just talking to you and having fun and hanging out and it’s really nice and enjoyable and it’s just sometimes it makes me cry on how good a friend you are. So what is your favorite camp memory with me? Camp sleepover or anything?
Sammie: I’d have to say my favorite camp sleepover we’ve had so far is the one where we shared a one-person tent together in the Johnstone Program Center and played war and go fish almost all night long.
Alana: Oh that was a good one! That’s really good. So thanks, Sammie, for coming over and talking to me, for letting me interview you. Do you have any questions for me, add-ons?
Sammie: I’m just so glad we met at that Rose Parade decorating.
Alana: If we had never had met there, then we wouldn’t have met at Roar & Snore. If we hadn’t met at Roar & Snore, then we wouldn’t have met here at color guard, so pretty much it was meant for us to be. We met at three different places and always joined.
Sammie: And also the fact that a long time ago, we wore the same shirt, pants, and we both wore headbands—that was the best twinsie part.
Alana & Sammie: Twins!
Alana: Thank you!
Sammie: You’re welcome, Alana. Bye!

Thank you to Alana and Sammie, who exemplify what being a sister Girl Scout is all about. From camp to color guard to the Girl Advisory Bureau, these girls are exploring their interests, connecting with their communities, and having fun with friends. Make sure you don’t miss out—register by Sept. 23!

Gabbing with Girl Scouts

Summer is coming to a close, and school is right around the corner (for some, it’s already here!). That means it’s also back-to-troop time. We’re looking forward to another great Girl Scout year, with girls exploring their interests, getting out of their comfort zones, and making friends with sister Girl Scouts.

Girl Advisory Bureau (GAB) member Angelia P. and Sophie R. of Troop 16184 are also excited, and can’t wait to start the year as Juniors. Here’s a conversation between the two friends about what Girl Scouts means to them:

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Sister Girl Scouts Angelia (left) and Sophie (right) have been in the same troop for three years.

Angelia: Hi, my name is Angelia Paja, I am in fourth grade and I am nine years old.
Sophie: Hi, my name is Sophie Rivero, and I am also in fourth grade and nine years old.
Angelia: So how was your summer?
Sophie: It was good, how was yours?
Angelia: It was also good! Sophie, do you remember how we met?
Sophie: We met in kindergarten at the playground of our school.
Angelia: We both attend the same school.
Sophie: How long have we been troopmates, Angelia?
Angelia: We’ve been in the same troop for three years, since first grade when we were Daisies.
Sophie: Yeah, we’ve done a lot of fun stuff since we’ve been Girl Scouts. What are some of the most fun things we’ve done that are your favorite Girl Scout memories?
Angelia: Some of the most fun things we’ve done as Girl Scouts were Surf Camp, painting, and culinary school. What about you, Sophie—what are your favorite memories?
AngSophieQ&A2Sophie: I like when we went to Surf Camp too, and when we sold cookies. What do you think makes a good friend, Angelia?
Angelia: I think a good friend would be nice to one another. What about you, Sophie—what do you think makes a good friend?
Sophie: I think it’s when someone makes you laugh, helps you, and is always nice to you.
Angelia: When did you realize I was a good friend? What did I do or say that made you think that?
Sophie: When we would both sing that song and smile at each other.
Angelia: Do you remember the song?
Sophie: No, but it was fun!
Angelia: What are your favorite activities in Girl Scouts that we do together?
Sophie: Crafts is my favorite! What about you?
Angelia: Working on badges.
Angelia: What are you looking forward to this upcoming Girl Scout year?
Sophie: Getting to do newer things, cool, exciting things, and also getting to a new Girl Scout level. How about you, Angelia—what are some of the things you would like to do this year?
Angelia: Camping, swimming, sewing, canoeing, and start working on our Bronze award.
Sophie: I think next year will be funner [sic] than this year!
Angelia: I can’t wait to start this year as Juniors!
Sophie & Angelia:  We love Girl Scouts!

Thank you to Angelia and Sophie for sharing your experiences! We love hearing how Girl Scouts brings together friends in a positive, welcoming environment. Remember: To ensure you and your girls also get in on the fun, register by Sept. 23!