Danielle’s Gold Award Story

[The following was submitted to GSWNY from Danielle’s mother and troop leader Elizabeth Bellis.]

Danielle Bellis loves soccer. She started playing in the local league’s in-house program when she was five years old. She has since played on the league’s travel team, and the school’s modified, junior varsity, and now varsity teams. She worked as a referee for the league’s in-house program and volunteered as a coach for an ad-hoc preschool program they were considering. Then when Dani decided to go for her Girl Scout Gold Award, which requires completing a sustainable community service project, something soccer-related seemed like a logical choice.

The league president suggested she create an official preschool soccer program that they would maintain in the future and offer free. Dani jumped at the idea of creating a soccer program for the community. She could share her love of soccer while starting young kids on the road to a healthy lifestyle of physical activity, self-confidence, and team work. As she considered the benefits the program could provide the community, she realized her program could benefit more than just the preschool kids.

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This was also an opportunity to get older kids involved as coaches and encourage them to start volunteering in their community. She could create a coaching packet to make it easy to coach even without any soccer experience.

This past spring Danielle did just that. She created a teen-led and coached soccer program for preschool age kids and called it “First Kicks.” She put together a coaching binder of activities and games, as well as a few coaching tips. She registered 60 preschool participants and recruited nine teenage coaches beside herself. She ran a six-week program with two 45 minute sessions on Saturdays, one for 3-year-olds and one for 4-year-olds.

At the end of the season, Danielle provided the league with all the materials it needs to continue the free program including an annual schedule and budget, advertising materials, a list of contacts, and the coaching binders.

Danielle completed the requirements of the community service project and earned her gold award. She will graduate this spring and plans to continue volunteering for the First Kicks program.

Girl Scouts Give Back To The Longridge Elementary School Community With A “Little Free Library” Service Project

Girl Scout Cadettes from Troop 60972 of Greece will make the Longridge Elementary School community brighter as they host a presentation in honor of their little free library service project where girls will also earn their wood working badge.

Ten Girl Scouts who attend three of Greece Central School District’s middle schools decided to give back to their local community with a literacy service project and worked with various groups including Greece Odyssey and others to help build the little free library and collect books for the school community at Longridge Elementary. Community service is an important component to the Girl Scout experience and empowers girls to take the lead and make the world a better place.

Girl Scouts are making smiles bright in March!

During the month of March, we’re focusing on dental health! Girl Scouts who participate will increase their knowledge of dental health and take action to provide dental hygiene supplies to other children in their communities.

Girls of all levels are invited to participate in the Dental Health Collection and Patch Program and earn this exclusive patch!

Requirements:

Learn about teeth. What are the parts of a tooth? In a book or online,
find a diagram of a tooth and learn about its parts. Find the crown, root, enamel, pulp, and cementum. What is the importance of each part?

Find out why it is important to brush and floss every day. Make a personal brushing and flossing chart to record when you brush and floss for two weeks.

Discover how our diet helps or hurts our teeth. A healthy diet means healthier teeth but some foods like sugar can harm them. Learn about a balanced diet. Make a collage or draw a picture that shows which foods are either good or bad for our teeth.

Find out about careers related to dental health. For Daisies and Brownies and Juniors – Draw a picture of what you think a dental health professional looks like. For Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors – Find out about college programs, that are offered at nearby schools, in the field of dental health.

Help others keep their teeth healthy too! Collect dental hygiene items such as toothbrushes, dental floss, and toothpaste to donate to community dental clinics in Western New York. Bring your donations to your nearest GSWNY Service Center during the month of March.

Our GSWNY Dental Hygiene Collection will benefit local children through Western New York Community Dental Providers.

The patch will be available for sale in our GSWNY Council Shops. Count the number of items you collect so we can see how many smiles we’ll make brighter!

Download the flyer here

To serve God and my country: Girl Scouts put faith in action

Although Girl Scouts is a secular organization, we believe in encouraging girls to pursue their own spiritual journeys through their faith. Our Girl Scout Promise and Law features many principles and values found among religions, which makes it a natural connection.

Aside from the My Promise, My Faith pin, all other religious recognition activities are completed independently from Girl Scouts, but the awards earned can be worn on the our uniforms.

To help the spiritual growth of Girl Scouts, national religious organizations develop programs to reinforce the values integral to Girl Scouting while helping them learn more about and grow in their own faith.

Programs of Religious Activities with Youth (P.R.A.Y.) is an organization who helps make these connections between girls and their areas of faith. They work together with many religions, including Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Quakers, to design religious emblem programs to help girls on their journeys.

Last year, several girls from our council completed an amazing service project in the pursuit of earning a Girl Scout religious emblem.

As members of the Nativity of Our Lord Church and the Orchard Park Service Unit, Caroline (Senior, Troop 31101), Kaitlyn (Cadette, Troop 31128), Mia (Cadette, Troop 31128), and Natalie (Cadette, Troop 31128) began working an an emblem called ‘Mary, The First Disciple,’ led by Patti Raab.

Patti serves as a member of our Board of Directors, but her role as Religious Emblem Counselor for the National Catholic Committee on Scouting helps her get directly involved with Girl Scouts seeking these awards.

For their service project, they decided to organize a coat drive in their parish. The weekend before, they included an announcement about their drive and handed out flyers after each mass.

Patti’s heart was warmed by the response of the parish members the following week.

“A total of 268 coats were collected!” said Patti. “They were inspected for cleanliness, zippers working, and overall good wear. Only three were rejected. Therefore a total of 265 were donated!

Patti with Kaitlyn, Mia, Natalie, and Caroline

Because of the organization and work from the Girl Scouts and the generosity of the church, 265 coats were disbursed to the Harvest House, International Institute of Buffalo, and St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy. Caroline, Kaitlyn, Mia, and Natalie went to two of these facilities and got to see the results of their charitable work firsthand.

This is just one of many faith-based projects for Girl Scouts around our council. In fact, Patti currently oversees two other Senior Girl Scouts, Ava and Sophia from Troop 30271, as they pursue their Spirit Alive emblem.

To learn more about Girl Scouts and faith, visit girlscouts.org today. If you, or your troop are working toward any religious pins or emblems, please email your stories to communications@gswny.org.