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2.8. News

News

  • Kelley Young joins GSSI as Chief Financial Officer


    Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is pleased to welcome Kelley Young as their new Chief Financial Officer. Young most recently served as the Director of Finance and Administration for the Lutheran’s Women’s Missionary League and has over 15 years of non-profit experience. Prior to that, Young worked as the Assistant Controller for Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri.

    She proudly serves as the Treasurer for the Humanitri Board of Directors, which is a faith-based organization that gives families facing homelessness the resources they need to thrive in their own community. She is also the Recording Secretary for the Women’s Leadership Institute; which, much like Girl Scout’s mission, strives to equip women for leadership. Young is a strong advocate for empowering women in leadership roles and that is the main reason that she has always been drawn to non-profit organizations like Girl Scouts.

    Young is most excited to be back because she whole-heartedly believes in the Girl Scout mission. “There’s a great team of individuals here,” said Young. “I’m looking forward to getting to know them and walking alongside of them in this process and in this new day for this council.”

    Young lives in Collinsville, Illinois with her husband, Alan, and will be celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary this November. She has two children: Marcus, 26, and Ashley, 22. When she’s not at her desk, Young enjoys reading, working outside in her flower garden, and spending t...



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  • Girl & Adult Members From Southern Illinois Serve on Girl Scouts' 2017 National Council


    On Oct. 6-8, area Girl Scouts represented Southern Illinois at Girl Scouts' 54th National Convention and National Council Session in Columbus, Ohio.  These events occur every three years and bring together thousands of girl and adult members of the Girl Scout movement from around the nation.

    This year's convention, named “G.I.R.L. 2017,” featured hands-on activities, exciting performances and high profile speakers including Barbara Pierce Bush, Chelsea Clinton, Gabby Douglas and Mae Jemison.

    Along with the fun, hundreds of Girl Scout delegates from across the nation represented their councils as part of the National Council Session. At this meeting, delegates are responsible for influencing the strategic direction of the Movement by providing guidance to the Girl Scouts of the USA Board of Directors, whether that be in the form of electing new board members, amending the Constitution, or proposing positive change.

    The National Council is composed of delegates elected by each Girl Scout council, with responsibilities that include electing a board of directors and a national board development committee, amending the constitution and acting on proposals and influencing the strategic direction of the Girl Scout Movement by providing guidance to the National Board. The following girls and adults are representing GSSI as Natio...



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  • The Girl Scout Difference


  • Girl & Adult Members From Southern Illinois to Serve on Girl Scouts' 2017 National Council


    Every three years, Girl Scouts from all over the country gather at the Girl Scout Convention & National Council Session to reinvigorate our Movement, celebrate our accomplishments, and chart our future. The 54th Convention is taking place Oct. 6-8 in Columbus, Ohio.  The National Council is composed of delegates elected by each Girl Scout council, with responsibilities that include electing a board of directors and a national board development committee, amending the constitution and acting on proposals and influencing the strategic direction of the Girl Scout Movement by providing guidance to the National Board.

    The following girls and adults are representing GSSI as National Delegates:

    Amber Carroll from Belleville (girl member)
    Amber has served GSSI as a Council Delegate and participated in beta testing for Girl Scouts’ virtual Girl Scout Troop.

    Rowan Dothager from Staunton (girl member)

    Rowan has served GSSI as a Board of Directors Ex-Officio Girl Member and has earned the Girl Scout Silver and Girl Scout Bronze Awards.

    Sarah Drury-Dothager from Staunton Sarah has served GSSI as a Troop Leader, FLL Coach and Mentor, Service Unit Manager, Council Delegate and Day Camp Director Karlene Hoefener from O’Fallon Karlene has served GSSI as a Troop Leader, Council Delegate, Gold Award Advisor, Camp Friends Committee, Day Camp PAT Trainer, Property Planning Assessment Committee and T...



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  • Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois' Nut, Candy & Magazine Program Runs Sept. 30 to Oct. 21


    Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) will kick off its 2017 Nut, Candy and Magazine Product Program on Sept. 30 and it will continue until Oct. 21.  GSSI’s Nut, Candy and Magazine Product Program helps girls raise funds for troop activities, as well as gives them hands-on experience with five skills linked to leadership and financial literacy: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.  

     “Girl Scout Product Programs help troops have fun and meaningful experiences,” said Kelly Jansen, GSSI Director of Product Program.  “All of the things they love to do, like taking trips, learning STEM skills, camping and doing service projects – community support helps makes these activities possible.  Girls really do take the lead! From setting goals, to working on their entrepreneurial skills, to managing money and then making a budget for troop funds – girls are learning by doing every step of the way.”

    During the Nut, Candy and Magazine Product Program, girls offer customers gourmet candy, nuts and snack mixes, as well as subscriptions to popular magazines.  These items make great gifts and are delivered in time for the holiday season.  All proceeds stay within southern Illinois to benefit area girls through leadership-building programs, volunteer training, camp maintenance and financial assistanc...



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  • Emma Boone From Edwardsville Has Earned the Girl Scout Gold Award


    Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) is pleased to announce that Emma Boone from Edwardsville has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can receive.

    For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, called Change a Child’s Christmas, Emma worked with Granite City Catholic Charities and Father McGivney Catholic High School’s National Honor Society to help provide a holiday event for families in need.  She realized that holiday festivities can also be a source of great stress for low income families, and wanted to bring the community together to offer a celebration that all families could enjoy.

    First, Emma campaigned to collect donated toys for children and gift baskets for adults.  She also called and visited local businesses and nonprofits to gather supplies for a holiday breakfast with food and decorations.  Next, she mobilized members of her school’s National Honor Society chapter as volunteers to help run the event. She even arranged for a special appearance by Santa to meet and take photos with the children attending.  She then helped promote the event in the community, working with area nonprofits to spread the word. Due to her hard work, planning and organization, twenty families were able to relax and enjoy a special holiday occasion together for no cost. Using her notes as a guide, the National Honor Society chapter plans to continue hosting the event into the future.

     “I am definitely...



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  • Program Registration Tips


    The new Girl Scout year is getting ready to kick off officially on October 1! That means exciting fall GSSI programs are up and running too!  Both troop leaders and parents can sign girls up to attend most programs.

    Just a reminder – in July, GSSI launched a new program registration system, Doubleknot, which replaced the previous system, eBiz.

    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. While Doubleknot and our new Volunteer Systems membership database do not connect as this time, it is easy to print a troop roster for reference as you enter information your new Doubleknot account. Here’s how:

    1. Visit our website at gsofsi.org and click the gold MYGS link 2. Login to the Volunteer Toolkit by clicking the Volunteer Toolkit button and enter login credentials 3. Once logged in, choose the “My Troop” tab 4. Click the down arrow on the right side of the page to download the troop roster to your computer 5. Your troop roster is now available to open from your recent downloads and should be easily accessible at the bottom of your browser wind...



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  • Saran Khalid from O'Fallon Has Earned the Girl Scout Gold Award


    Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) is pleased to announce that Saran Khalid from O’Fallon has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can receive.

    For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, called Domestic/Elder Violence Community Awareness, Saran wanted to increase awareness about domestic violence.  According to Saran, her mother works at a violence prevention center and she herself had volunteered at the center throughout high school.

    To complete her project, Saran designed and delivered domestic violence prevention presentations as well as collected hygiene items that families living in the violence prevention center could use.  She also constructed hand-painted shelves that the center uses for storing child car seats.

    “I was able to educate my community on a very personal level about a taboo topic,” Saran said.  “I also gained self-confidence through giving my domestic/elder violence presentations. Taking charge was something I struggled with, being a reserved person.  This project has allowed me to find my voice with public speaking.”  

    Saran is the daughter of Badia Khalid-Manning and Tim Manning.  She will graduate from O’Fallon Township High School in 2017 and has been a Girl Scout for 9 years.

    The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, recognizes a Girl Scout's commitment to excellence as she develops skills and values to meet present...



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  • GSSI Launches New Membership Registration & Management Tool and Volunteer Toolkit


    As part of the ongoing Customer Engagement Initiative, GSSI recently launched Volunteer Systems, a new membership registration and database and tool fueled by Salesforce. Volunteers & parents can manage their troop, personal and household accounts through the new Girl Scout member community. Need help logging in?  Your username is the e-mail address you used to sign up and you can hit "forgot my password" to reset it.

    GSSI has also rolled out the new Volunteer Toolkit (or VTK), a digital resource designed to help volunteers plan and manage troop meetings and stay in touch with parents. While VTK primarily attends to the needs of K-5 troops to start, Girl Scouts plans to expand the reach to girls and adults participating in delivery models beyond the troop, and to middle and high school girls. Meanwhile, older girl troops will benefit right away from all of the new VTK communication tools.

    New members
    who signed up between Aug. 10 and Sept. 5 will have a brief delay while their registrations are processed.  GSSI staff are updating information in the new system as quickly as possible - thank you for your patience as we make this transition.

  • Hosting a Recruitment Night? We Have Resources!


    Hosting a recruitment night in your area?  Looking for more girls to join your troop?  We have resources available:

    Interest Card: You can use the interest card when you have a parent interested for their girl or a potential volunteer who is not quite ready to sign up.  The interest form can capture their contact information so you can follow up with more information. 

    DNA of a Girl Flyer: You can pass out the "Invite a Friend" flyers at a troop meeting for girls to invite their friends to the next meeting. Or you can pass out to all the girls in your SU to invite a friend to an upcoming SU event. If you have a theme, the girls can even decorate the outside of the invitation.

    Invite a Friend Half-Sheet Flyers: You can use the DNA of a Girl flyer to hand out at an event or hang around town.

    If you are hosting a recruitment event, please let us know so we can share it on our website. 

    Please share how you are using the materials...



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  • Opportunity Fund (Financial Assistance) Important News


    Our new online registration system is available now!  However, when applying for financial assistance, a paper copy of the 2017-18 Opportunity Fund form must be submitted.  Please return completed forms to our Corporate Service Center at #4 Ginger Creek Parkway. 

  • Fall 2017 Girl Scout Registration Nights


    She’s earning badges, gaining new skills, exploring the great outdoors, and building a better world alongside her sisters. Every step of the way, she’s learning by doing—and at Girl Scouts, she has plenty of opportunities to jump in and make amazing things happen. Is your G.I.R.L. ready to take the leap?

    Find a Girl Scout Registration Night in Your Area

    Events may be listed by town, county or school district. This list will be updated frequently with new information. Want to sign up but don't see your area? Register online or contact us at customercare@gsofsi.org!  Registration is $25 and financial assistance is available for girls and volunteers who qualify. 

    Belleville, IL
    Roosevelt Elementary School Cafeteria
    October 3 at 7 p.m.
    Contact: Kate Manno at 618-791-6994 or mannofamily05@gmail.com

    Maryville, IL Bobby's Frozen Custard (2525 N. Center St., Maryville, IL) October 7 from 12-1:30 p.m. Note: Free cone for new members! Registration Nights in these areas have passed, but you can find contact information below: Alton, IL Contact: Girlscoutserviceunit101@gmail.com Ashmore, IL Contact: customercare@gsofsi.org Belleville, IL Contact: Michelle Glascock at 618.772.8085 o...



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  • New Registration System & Digital Tools Launching on Sept. 5


    New Registration System


    Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is launching a new registration system and member database, called Volunteer Systems, as part of our ongoing Customer Engagement Initiative. On Tuesday, September 5, registered members* of Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois should receive an e-mail from Girl Scouts of the USA with log-in information to the new Girl Scout Member Community. From here, volunteers and parents/guardians will be able to manage membership accounts.

    Webinars with more information about navigating the Girl Scout Member Community are coming soon! Watch our website, www.gsofsi.org, and social media platforms for more information.

    *Please Note the Following: If you registered yourself or a girl member for the first time between August 10 at 10 p.m. and September 5 you will have a brief delay while GSSI staff update information in the new system. Once your registration information has been added to our database, you will receive an e-mail with log-in information to the Girl Scout Member Community. If you renewed your registration between August 10 at 10 p.m. and September 5 using the temporary registration forms that have been available, the e-mail you receive may ask for you to renew your registration. This is not necessary if you’ve already filled out a temporary (wuf...



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  • Girl Scouts From Across America Travel to Southern Illinois for Eclipse Destination


    Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois hosted 46 Girl Scouts from around the nation for a Girl Scouts Destination, or organization-wide travel experience, centered around the total solar eclipse on August 21.  This program was funded by a grant from NASA.  See photos

    Named “Total Eclipse of the Heartland,”girls spent four days engaging in space science activities that included visiting Challenger Learning Center & Saint Louis Science Center, stargazing at camp with River Bend Astronomy Club, learning how animals react to an eclipse with TreeHouse WildlifeCenter and making eclipse-ready tools such as spectrometers made from Girl Scout Cookie boxes.

    Activities culminated with a trip to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale for eclipse viewing near the location of the longest duration of total eclipse. Along with participating in  in a massive Science & Tech Expo, Girl Scouts on the Destination trip also worked with SIU and NASA on NASA's live megacast to viewers across the globe. 

  • GSSI to Host Girl Scouts from Around the Nation for Total Eclipse of the Heartland Destination


     

    Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is hosting 47 Girl Scouts from around the nation for a Girl Scouts Destination, or organization-wide travel experience, centered around the total solar eclipse on August 21.  This program was funded by a grant from NASA.

    Named “Total Eclipse of the Heartland,” the four day program will engage girls in a multitude of space science activities, including stargazing at camp with River Bend Astronomy Club, sessions at the Saint Louis Science Center’s Live Sky and Eclipse lab, a visit to Challenger Learning Center and even a Skype conversation with Dr. Sandra Magnus, GSSI alumna and former NASA astronaut.   Activities will culminate with a trip to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale for eclipse viewing near the exact location of the longest duration of total eclipse.  While at SIU, girls will also participate in a massive Science & Tech Expo and be featured on NASA’s live megacast of eclipse events.

    “This is a very exciting time for our girls,” said GSSI CEO Sarah Durbin. “We are so proud and excited to connect our STEM programming with such a vibrant opportunity that just happens to pass through our girls’ back yards.”

  • Girl Scouts Works with the SETI Institute and NASA to Skyrocket Girls’ Interest in STEM


    Since 1920, Girl Scouts have had the opportunity to earn badges that encourage their interest in astronomy. Today, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) are excited to announce a five-year program called Reaching for the Stars: NASA Science for Girl Scouts. Funded by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and led by SETI Institute, the program offers more girls opportunities to explore careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through the first-ever Space Science badges.

    Research shows women are still vastly underrepresented in STEM fields and exposing girls to these subjects at a young age is vital to ignite their curiosity and close this gap. In response, together with five partners—SETI Institute, Girl Scouts of Northern California, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the University of Arizona, and ARIES Scientific—GSUSA and Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois are equipping girls as young as five years old with the confidence and skills they need to take their STEM interest to the next level. At the center of the collaboration are new Space Science badges for girls at every Girl Scout grade level. These badges, combined with GSUSA’s larger suite of national STEM programming, provide a seamless pathway for girls to develop a lifetime love of the cosmos and its endless possibilities. The badges range from Space Science Explorer, which introduces Daisies in kindergarten and first grade to the fundamentals of sp...



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  • Upcoming Girl Scout Registration Nights


    She’s earning badges, gaining new skills, exploring the great outdoors, and building a better world alongside her sisters. Every step of the way, she’s learning by doing—and at Girl Scouts, she has plenty of opportunities to jump in and make amazing things happen. Is your G.I.R.L. ready to take the leap?

    Find a Girl Scout Registration Night in Your Area

    Events may be listed by town, county or school district. This list will be updated frequently with new information. Want to sign up but don't see your area? Register online or contact us at customercare@gsofsi.org!  Registration is $25 and financial assistance is available for girls and volunteers who qualify. 

     

    Alton, IL Upper Alton Baptist Church (2726 College Ave) August 29, 2017 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Contact: Girlscoutserviceunit101@gmail.com Ashmore, IL Ashmore Baptist Church (104 W. Walnut St) August 22, 2017 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Contact: customercare@gsofsi.org Belleville, IL Whiteside Elementary - Warrior Hall (2028 Lebanon Ave.) August 30, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. Contact: Michelle Glascock at 618.772.8085 or lost_72@hotmail.com Benton, IL Benton Park August 26 from 1-2 p.m. Contact: Alicia Dixon at 439-6030 Brussels, IL St. Matthews Lutheran Church Hall August 29, 2017 at 6:15...



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  • GSSI Updating to New Registration System: Temporary Online Registration Available Now


    As part of GSSI's ongoing Customer Engagement Initiative, GSSI is launching a new membership and customer care database, which is called Volunteer Systems and is fueled by Salesforce.  While we're implementing the new system, new membership registrations will not be processed for approximately 2-3 weeks.

    Girls and volunteers will still be able to register online during this time - our website has been updated with links to online forms that will be used to collect registration information while we're updating our system. Forms attached to financial assistance requests will also be accepted. All of this information will be stored securely - it just will not be processed until the new registration system in in place.

    Once the new registration system is in place, everyone who registered prior to August 10 at 11 p.m. will receive an e-mail from Girl Scouts of the USA with log-in information to the new Girl Scout Member Community. From here, volunteers and parents/guardians will be able to manage membership information.

    Girls and volunteers who register after August 10 at 11 p.m. will receive an e-mail with log-in information as soon as their registration form has been p...



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  • Exciting News! Our New Registration System is Launching Soon!


    A new membership registration platform is coming VERY SOON as part of GSSI's ongoing Customer Engagement Initiative, which is taking place at Girl Scout councils around the nation.

    While we're implementing the new system, new membership registrations will not be processed for approximately 2-3 weeks.

    Girls and volunteers will still be able to register online during this time. Forms attached to financial assistance requests will also be accepted. All of this information will be stored securely - it just will not be processed until the new registration system in in place.

    Once the new registration system is in place, everyone who registered prior to August 10 at 11 p.m. will receive an e-mail from Girl Scouts of the USA with log-in information to the new Girl Scout Member Community. From here, volunteers and parents/guardians will be able to manage membership information.

    Girls and volunteers who register after August 10 at 11 p.m. will receive an e-mail with log-in information as soon as their registration form has been processed, which will be inapproximately 2-3 weeks. Our staff will work diligently to update the new registrations as soon as possible.

    Volunteers who need to check troop information can contact Cu...



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  • Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois Holds Successful Dancing With Our Stars Fundraiser


    Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois held a successful 9th Annual Dancing with Our Stars (DWOS) fundraiser at the Mt. Vernon Hotel and Event Center on Saturday, Aug. 05, 2017.

    Photos  Video

    Mt. Vernon High School Drama Club, sponsored by SSM Good Samaritan Hospital, took home the Mirror Ball Trophy for first place and The Desi Boyz with Dr. Srinet & Dr. Sirikonda won the Judges Choice award. Also participating were the dance teams of:  Centre Stage Sparklers sponsored by Centre Stage Studio;  Lesa Woods sponsored by Olympic Freightlines, Inc.; Classique Roc and Drama Mamas both sponsored by SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital;  Hot Mess sponsored by Ed Lewis Trucking; and last year’s trophy winners The Hocketts sponsored by Higgins Custom and Collision. “What an exciting night,” notes Sarah Durbin, GSSI Chief Executive Officer. “We are so thankful to everyone who participated in and supported this year’s DWOS fundraiser. Everyone, from our DWOS committee, to our dancers as well as the close knit Mt. Vernon community, helped make this fundraiser an absolute positive communit...



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  • Customer Engagement Initiative (CEI) Update


    GSSI continues to roll out its Customer Engagement Initiative to better serve our volunteers and parents.

    Due to updates to the membership registration system, eBiz functionality will continue to be restricted. Troop leaders will be able to see their rosters, but self-reporting and changing positions will not be possible.  Membership registration will NOT be restricted through eBiz until August 11. After that date, we will have online forms available to collect registration information, which will be processed AFTER we are live on Salesforce, which will be at least two weeks. Paper registrations used while requesting financial assistance will also be delayed for at least two weeks.

    All information that is collected will be secure - we just cannot transfer it until our new registration system is live.

    More information regarding the temporary online registration forms will be shared once the eBiz restrictions have started.

    Program Registration WILL NOT be impacted - volunteers and parents/guardians can all sign up for programs using our new Doubleknot system. Registration links for every program on our Event Calendar all go to the new platform.
     

  • 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:
    Self-reporting
    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.

    COMING SOON! 
    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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  • Meet GSSI Customer Care


    You may have noticed there's a new team at GSSI responding to your e-mails and phone calls: Customer Care.

    What is Customer Care?
    It's a new department of GSSI staff that is equipped with the tools and information necessary to help answer most questions and resolve most issues on your first contact with the council office.

    Need help navigating the registration system or have a question about an upcoming program? Customer Care is there for you. Looking to place an order with the shop or reserve a camp? Customer Care can help. Customer Care can even walk you through opening and closing a troop checking account, renting a van or taking out non-member insurance.

    Parents - Customer Care has your needs covered too! They can help renew your daughter's registration, transfer to a new troop, or answer questions about her product program or an upcoming program she's attending.

    In the rare case that Customer Care is not able to assist you, then you will be quickly forwarded to the staff person who is an expert in that area.

    You can reach Customer Care at 800.345.6858 or customercare@gsofsi.org.

  • Four Easy Ways to Support GSSI


    It means so much to us when our supportors make a donation or attend a fund-raising event to support Girl Scouting.  It's heartening to know that there are so many people dedicated to helping us achieve our mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.  Here are some additional everyday ways that friends and supporters can help us continue to provide the world's best leadership program for girls right here in our southern Illinois communities:



    1) Schnucks eScrip

    You can support GSSI simply by shopping at Schnucks!

    Pick up an eScrip card from a GSSI Sevice Center or at any Schnucks store.
    Register your card online or call 800-931-6258 and select Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois as a benefitting organization.
    When you shop at Schnucks, have your card scanned when you check out and up to 3% of your purchase price will be donated to GSSI – at no additional cost to you!

    2) Kroger

    Simply enroll y...



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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


    DEFERRED MAINTENANCE AND IMPROVEMENTS
    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 www.girlscoutcookies.org 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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