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2.8. News


  • Restricted Functionality for eBiz Starts July 27

    As part of GSSI's ongoing Customer Engagement Initiative, we will be updating our membership registration system.  Staring July 27 at 4 p.m, ebiz will have restricted functionality as we transition to the new Salesforce platform.

    What is NOT restricted:
    Membership registration - until August 11
    Troop Management - leaders can still see their rosters
    Program Registration - that is completed through our new Doubleknot system

    What WILL be restricted starting July 27:
    Changing positions (back office will be restricted)

    We are currently developing a system to process membership registrations after August 11 until we go live on the new platform.  Please watch for updates coming soon.

  • Doubleknot Program Registration System FAQs

    Doubleknot Frequently Asked Questions:

    We recently launched Doubleknot, a new system for signing up for programs and we're excited to share that it's super easy and intuitive to use. There is a Doubleknot webinar scheduled for August 2. If you want to participate you can contact Customer Care to get the link to register for the webinar.  

    Here are some of the frequently asked questions to help you get started using this new resource:

    Q. Who can register for a program?
    A. Leaders, Co Leaders, Adults and Guardians can register girls and themselves for a program.

    Q. What payment forms are accepted? A. Payment can be done with credit or debit. Q. Do we need different password than the one for Personify? A. Personify and Doubleknot do not “speak” to each other. The first time you log in, you will have to input all of the information for the girls and adults you are registering. We have created and option for you to create a username and password so the next time you log in it will work. Q.  What if I forget my password? A. The forgot password link works when clicked. Also, Customer Care can reset passwords if need be. Q. Can I see how many spots are available for a program? A. The front page of the program with the information about the program will not tell you how many spots are...

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  • Safety Activity Checkpoints Update: Summer 2017

    Girl Scouts' Safety Activity Checkpoints (SACs) have been updated.  Please view the updated reference book or view this year's changes.

    When preparing for any activity with girls, always begin with the Safety Activity Checkpoints (SACs) written specifically for that particular activity. 

  • New Doubleknot Program Registration System

    As part of our Customer Engagement Initiative (CEI), GSSI will launch Doubleknot, a new program registration system, on Monday, July 17! Program registration through eBiz will be down starting Thursday, July 13 and will be available July 17 using the new Doubleknot system.

    Membership registrations will still be able to be processed through eBiz at this time.

    If you have already registered for a program in eBiz that will moved to Doubleknot, you don’t have to register again. However, you can always contact Customer Care at 800.345.6858 or by e-mail to confirm your registration or receive a receipt.

    You do not have to create a username and password to log in to Doubleknot. However, it will be beneficial if you do. After the first time reserving a program, you can save the names of the girls in your troop under your profile.

    Camp property reservations will also be moving to Doubleknot within the next few weeks - more information coming soon! 

  • Kim Vrooman Joins GSSI as Director of Development and Communications

    Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is pleased to announce that Kim Vrooman has been hired as Director of Development and Communications.  Vrooman comes to GSSI with over 15 years of experience in development, communications/marketing and civic engagement. She has worked in the non-profit sector where she established and directed an Illinois non-profit with the mission to empower children and families through green and community partnerships.

    She currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville Meridian Society: a women’s philanthropy organization; as a board member of Southwestern Illinois College’s Herstory Month Committee; and as a proud member of the Women’s Auxiliary of the American Legion. Women and youth leadership building has always been a favorite service focus of Vrooman’s.

    “My parents taught that service to others is the primary purpose of human existence and what better way to serve than by immersing myself in the mission of the Girl Scouts. Plus, I am a Girl Scout! Coming from a military family allowed me to serve as a scout in both Kentucky and Florida. I feel joining GSSI continues my scouting journey and my deep desire to serve.”

  • Customer Engagement Initiative at GSSI

    Imagine a world where girls and volunteers join Girl Scouts with ease. New volunteers are recruited and complete the process to become a leader in a matter of days instead of weeks or months. Volunteers receive the support they need when they need it. And, girl and volunteer retention is on the rise.

    Through implementation of CEI, including significant process improvements, staffing alignment and training, and technology tools, Girl Scouts is improving volunteers’, parents’ and girls’ experiences, making it easier and less time consuming for volunteers to effectively complete tasks. For the first time, Girl Scouts is investing in shared tools and technology that will empower us to dramatically improve the Volunteer and Girl Experience. From joining and getting oriented, to managing a troop and renewing membership – being a volunteer will be easier, more manageable and more enjoyable. This results in an enhanced Girl Experience.

    The ultimate goal of CEI is to provide girls with exciting, meaningful and impactful experiences and to ensure every girl who wants to participate in Girl Scouting, can do so, with a caring adult to support her. Three key technology tools support the initiative – Volunteer Systems fueled by Salesforce, the Volunteer Toolkit, and a new Web Platform....

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  • Question & Answer Session - 2017 Annual Meeting

    Q1.      What is the status of the AED Motion from the 2016 Annual Meeting?

    A.      The motion was made by Susan Woelfel from SU 106 (Bethalto) to have an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) at all GSSI Camps. Motion passed by majority. Council not only placed one, but two/three AEDs depending on the camp in addition to one at each of the Council offices. Camp Butterfly: Commissary and Waterfront, Camp Chan Ya Ta: Lodge and Bunkhouse, Camp Torqua: Pumpkin Patch, Lisetta and Tuckaway, Camp Wassatoga: Lodge, Glen Carbon Office: Conference Room, Mt. Vernon Office: Main Area. Ten AEDs were purchased and installed in total.

    Q2.      Q&A Session

    • Is the Q & A Session part of the meeting minutes?
    • Question/Answers should have been offered during business meeting. Please inform every one of changes in the agenda.

    A.         No. Anything that occurs after the adjournment of the meeting, including motions, is not included in the meeting minutes per Robert’s Rules of Order. Council recognizes there was some confusion. We are developing a better process for getting information out to the volunteers as well as clarify the guidelines for making a motion, etc. The decision to hold the Q&A session after the business meeting was made in hopes of allowing the meeting to run smoother. This wasn’t as effective as we h...

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  • Update: GSSI Camps

    The GSSI Board of Directors has approved the use of the funds from the sale of Camp Whispering Oaks for maintenance and needed improvements of camp properties, new software for property reservations and program registrations, and needed camping and outdoor equipment. The board believes this maintenance must occur before we can look at adding features to our camps. In addition to these funds, we will be seeking community donations such as rock and sand and will need the help of our awesome volunteers with things like painting and staining. Below is a list of items by camp to be addressed in the first phase of our plan. Some of these tasks will be completed right away while others will take us into 2018.

    Camp Butterfly: Refurbish cabooses, purchase commercial fridge/freezer in commissary, new roof and stain exterior at Eagles Nest and Frontier Village, stain exterior of maintenance office/barn, solar showers and waterfront deck, paint interior and replace doors in shower house, new rock or sand for roads and waterfront, erosion repair around Rainbow Dam and refurbish sailboats.

    Camp Torqua: Build new shower house, paint interior and convert entryway to concrete at Lisetta, replace Pedestrian Bridge, new roof, HVAC unit and floor, repair bathroom and expand parking lot at Pumpkin Patch, new HVAC unit at Ranger’s House, replace/repair fireplace and chimney and rock entranceway to fire pit at Tuckaway,...

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  • OOPS! Robotics Selected as Connect Award Finalist at FIRST Tech Challenge Illinois State Tournament

    Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois' OOPS! Robotics was selected as the Connect Award 3rd place finalist at the FIRST Tech Challenge Illinois State Tournament on Feb. 24-25 at Elgin Community College. 

    FTC is designed for students in grades 7-12 to compete head to head, in an alliance format against other teams. Teams design, build and program their robot using a variety of programming languages and sound engineering principles, then plan strategies for competition. Awards are given for competitive performance as well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.

    The Connect Award is presented to the team that most connects with their local STEM community. To win, a team must submit an engineering notebook with a strategic plan which highlights the team's goals and the steps they will take to reach those goals.  The team must also provide clear examples of the connections they have been developing within engineering, science and technology communities. 

    Oops! Robotics is coached by Kristi Smith and Mary Buchanan of O'Fallon and consists of middle and high school girls from Belleville, Granite City and O'Fallon.  Team members are Katherine Buchanan, Mary Buchanan, Mackenzie Butchee, Allie Huller, Kimberly Melton, Chloe Schlosser, Kailee Schlosser, Amber Smith, Leah Walton, Allison Zaiz and Megan Zaiz.

  • 2017 Girl Scout Cookie Weekend: Find Girl Scout Cookies Near You

    Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois will join other Girl Scout councils across the country February 24-26 to participate in National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend 2017, celebrating all the fun, learning, and excitement Girl Scouts have experienced while selling cookies for 100 years. 

    To celebrate, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois will kick off its spring Girl Scout Cookie Booth Weekends.  During Cookie Booth Weekends, troops across southern Illinois set up shop at local venues including shopping centers, gas stations, places of worship and at community events.  Girls work together as a team to sell cookies directly to customers, while developing their abilities in goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.     

    Additional council-wide cookie Booth Weekends will be held March 4-6 and March 10-12.  Area troops may continue to hold cookie booths through the end of spring. Find a local Girl Scout cookie booth by visiting or using the official Girl Scout Cookie Finder app, free for iOS or Android phones or mobile devices.  In addition to cookie booths, customers can order Girl Scout Cookies online through March 19 using Girl Scouts’ safe, interactive Digital Cookie platform.  Digital Cookie combines traditional sales activities with today’s technology to help girls learn more about online marketing and ecommerce.  Girls are able customize their personal sa...

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  • GSSI Robotics Teams Excel at State Tournament

    Three Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois robotics teams excelled while competing among 64 teams participating in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Central Illinois State Tournament at University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana on Saturday, January 28. 

    FLL is a robotics program for 9 to 14 year olds which is designed to get children excited about science and technology, as well as teach them valuable life skills. Along with programming robots, teams are also evaluated on an elaborate research project, as well as how well they demonstrate FLL Core Values, which include teamwork, collective learning, active participation and gracious professionalism. After practicing and preparing for months, teams meet at regional qualifying tournaments to be graded on the three elements, with top teams advancing to state competition.

  • 2017 Girl Scout Cookie Program Starts January 7

    The 2017 Girl Scout Cookie Program is here and this year marks the celebration of 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies!  Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois will kick off the iconic cookie program January 7-8 during the first Cookie Booth Weekend of the season. At these Cookie Booths, customers can purchase cookies directly from troops set up at local establishments throughout southern Illinois.  From Jan. 7 to Jan. 28, Girl Scouts will take orders for the delicious treats--which will be delivered in late February. To get connected to a Girl Scout in your area, please call 800.345.6858.  Customer demand for Girl Scout Cookies following delivery has been high historically, so additional Cookie Booth Weekends will be held from late February through March.

    In addition to cookie booths and traditional orders, girls will also be able to sell Girl Scout cookies online through a safe, interactive platform called Digital Cookie.  Digital Cookie combines traditional sales activities with today’s technology to help girls learn more about online marketing and ecommerce.  Girls are able customize their personal sales website and then use email to invite friends and family to order cookies from the comfort of their home.

    The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led business in the country and generates immeasurable benefits for girls and their communities. Girls develop five valuable skills: goal setting, decision making, money managemen...

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  • Listen to “Watch Me Shine,” Girl Scouts’ New Anthem

    This summer Liz Rose, songwriter and two-time Grammy award winner, and Emily Shackelton, singer/songwriter on the popular TV show Nashville, combined their awesome skills to write “Watch Me Shine,” our new, inspiring Girl Scout anthem.  

    With the help of three remarkable girls from Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, and their mom, Juliet Shavit (cofounder of Breakthrough Music and business producer on the song), Liz and Emily (the vocalist on the song) were able to make “Watch Me Shine” come to life to inspire millions of girls around the country—amazing!

    We hope that “Watch Me Shine” will inspire you to lead like a Girl Scout, and awaken the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, Leader) in you, regardless of your age, gender, or background. There’s an opportunity for anyone and everyone to get involved!

    Download “Watch Me Shine” Now: iTunes | Amazon | Google Play |...

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  • Sarah Durbin hired as GSSI CEO

    Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is pleased to announce that Sarah Durbin has been hired as its Chief Executive Officer.  Durbin from Edwardsville has extensive background in strategic planning, financial management, business and organizational development and fundraising.  Prior to serving as GSSI CEO, Sarah was the Executive Director for Statewide Independent Living Council of Illinois.

    “I am honored to have been chosen as the new CEO for Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois,” said Sarah.  “Coming from a family of Girl Scouts, I have always been drawn to the Girl Scouts’ unwavering commitment to empowering all girls.  Girl Scouts has played an integral role in shaping the woman I am today and has given me the passion and values to use my skills and experience to lead GSSI in a way that provides all girls throughout our council opportunities to lead and achieve success whatever the topic or the way they choose to learn and explore.  GSSI belongs to all of us regardless of where we live within the council or how we choose to participate and I am so excited to play a role in positively influencing our girls who will be tomorrow’s leaders,” Sarah added.

    She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from MacMurray College in Jacksonville, IL.  Sarah is a Girl Scout Lifetime Member and earned the highest Girl Scout award – First Class – now called the Girl Scout Gold Award.  Her past leadership roles included being Transitional Vice Pre...

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  • Girl Scout Gold Award Centennial Feature – Sophia (Thomasson) Cykert

    Since 1916, Girl Scouts have been making meaningful, sustainable change in their communities and around the world through their Girl Scout Gold Award projects.  The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering herself, but also to make the world a better place for others.  As the Girl Scout Gold Award celebrates 100 years of girls changing the world, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is highlighting some of our shining stars who exemplify the greatness of this award.

    Sophia (Thomasson) Cykert always knew the importance of education.  Growing up in Belknap, IL, she was able to see the positive impact her mom was able to make in the lives of children through her job as a teacher.  In addition, Sophia’s parents always encouraged her and her sister to actively pursue learning, whether it be to simply satisfy a curiosity or obtain a degree.  She wanted to help instill that trait in the youth in her community, so she created programs to incorporate literacy and character education lessons for children and drastically expanded the library at the Massac County Housing Authority for her Girl Scout Gold Award project.  Because of her project, children could access these programs and books when they came in for the existing lunch program.  The children could even opt to keep their favorite books – with some of them taking home the first books th...

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