We’re a few weeks into our annual Spring Renewal and we’re blown away by how many excited Girl Scouts we have coming back next year! If you’re planning to remain in Girl Scouts, Spring Renewal is the time to re-register for the next membership year.
While you can wait until the fall, renewing now gives you the opportunity to win amazing prizes AND earn college tuition rewards points. All girls and co-leaders who renew before midnight on April 30 are entered into a drawing for three $200 Amazon gift cards. That’s three for girls, three for adults! Troops who are 100% renewed by this time are entered into a drawing for two sets of tickets to your favorite local museum or zoo.
The SAGE Tuition Rewards are really something special. Throughout the entirety of Spring Renewal (through May 31), all girls and co-leaders who renew will receive 2,500 points and 3,500 points respectively. What that means is renewing your membership can earn your girl $2,500 for college and you $3,500 to share with anyone you choose under the age of 18.
Plus, the earlier you renew, the more prizes you can win! With every drawing, we pull from everyone who’s renewed to that point, whether it was the start of the campaign of the day before. What are you waiting for?
The Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) is one of the most valuable resources for our volunteers, helping you to stay organized and in communication with your troop and parents. Check out the 10 tips below to make sure you’re getting the most out of the VTK.
In Girl Scouting, our mission doesn’t end at building girls of courage, confidence, and character. We empower them to take it one step further and help make their world a better place. For Troop 30143, the difference they want to make is related directly to one of their co-leaders.
In working towards a Bronze Award, the troop chose to raise awareness about Mitochondrial Disease. While many have never heard of this rare disease, they have a direct connection to it through one of their co-leaders.
Ann Marie Lesnewski, called ‘Miss Annie’ by her girls, has a lifelong history with Girl Scouts, from her days as a Girl Scout at Kenmore Presbyterian Church to leading troops in the Ken-Ton Service Unit for seven years.
“I wasn’t really there for what I received to put on my uniform, but for how it made me feel. It was a place that I could go to feel that I belonged, that my thoughts mattered, and where I’d be told that my dreams were attainable. I want girls to feel confident, and I want them to know that they’re valued, that their opinions matter, and that I believe that they can change the world for the better. I think girls don’t really get that message all the time in life. Kids are told what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and they’re not really given the opportunity to think. That’s what Girl Scouting really offers them is the opportunity to think, and to dream big.”
Troop 30143 embraced this opportunity to dream big and change the world for the better through their Bronze Award project, called “Mito Never Sleeps.” One of the main components was to raise awareness about Mitochondrial Disease in their community.
On Sunday, September 16, the girls began a 24-mile bike ride to represent how the disease affects people 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Despite the long ride, the girls and their decorated bikes made it the entire journey.
Another leader tweeted this touching message about the ride:
“Today I was honored to support my Girl Scouts as they rode 24 miles to bring attention to those who battle Mitochondrial Disease, 24 hr/day. These amazing girls planned, organized, made phone calls, & hit a goal that was big and scary! Troop #30143”
During the week of the bike ride, the girls also:
Asked the principle to have a Go Green Day at school
Made a presentation to their science class about Mitochondrial Disease
Talked to people about the disease and gave them an awareness ribbon
Wore seven pounds of weight on their arms and legs for 24 hours to simulate the feeling of someone who has a muscle disease
Wrote a letter to seven politicians to spread awareness, ask for donations for Mito research, and explain the burden the insurance companies place on the person with the disease
Made rocks about Mito Awareness
The troop explained their passion for their Bronze Award project:
“Mrs. Annie is an inspiration to us and she has taught us to be strong, independent, and confident girls. In return we want to help spread awareness for this horrible disease. And we also want to get the Pharmaceutical companies to stop the burden on the patients who need medical supplies.”
The project ended on a fun note at the 49th Annual Skills and Chills Event at Seven Hills. Keeping with the festivities, Troop 30143 wore their green Mito Awareness shirts and were adorned with different forms of power, including batteries and electricity, because the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. The girls decorated their tent with awareness information and even had SWAPs to help spread the word.
The Girl Scout difference is exemplified in troops like these who show that Girl Scouts make a difference. Through their co-leader Miss Annie, they recognized a need for awareness around Mitochondrial Disease and took action to help with the pharmaceutical companies that take advantage of patients who need supplies.
This is just one of many amazing stories that happen around our council. We’re so proud of our girls and the work they do to help make their community a better place, and the passion they show for helping friends and family.