The Promise Newsletter Fall 2012 - Girl Scouts of Central Illinois
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The Promise Newsletter Fall 2012 - Girl Scouts of Central Illinois

Fall 2012P R O M I S EDecatur UrbanProgram CenterIs Open!GSCI is thrilled to announce thatthe Decatur Urban Program Centerofficially opened on Monday,September 10, and is serving girls in thecommunity and across central Illinois.The UPC, located at 1100 East PershingRoad in Decatur, brings program spaceand office space together under oneroof to provide excellent programmaticopportunities for girls and volunteersin the Decatur area. With features suchas a teaching kitchen and climbing wall,the Decatur Urban Program Center isthe first of its kind in providing a newmodel for how we deliver the Girl Scoutprogram.On Saturday, October 20, GSCI hostedan open house at the Decatur UrbanProgram Center so that the communityDUPC continued on page 2Champaign Girl ScoutPublishes First NovelNinth-grader Hollee Trent’s favoritemoments as a Girl Scout are the everydaythings that others may take for granted—inside jokes or funny songs she shareswith the other girls in her troop. As a writer,Hollee takes special notice of moments—and people—that are often overlooked.She has two close friends who are deaf andone who is in a wheelchair. Last year, whenHollee embarked on National Novel WritingMonth (NaNoWriMo), she thought back tomoments when she had seen her friendswith disabilities treated unfairly, and took theopportunity to speak up. “The book is kind ofmy way of saying that’s not okay,” she said.Within a month, she penned her dystopiannovel, Broken, and published it herselfNovel continued on page 2Girl Scoutsin the SenateFollowing the elections on November 6, 2012,the 113th Congress will include 20 femalesenators, the most ever in U.S. history--and70% of them are Girl Scouts alumnae. Fournew female senators were elected, and sixestablished female senators were achievedre-election. Of those who are new to theSenate, Deb Fischer (Neb.), Tammy Baldwin(Wis.), and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) were allinvolved with Girl Scouting. This electionseason set several records for women inCongress—Hawaii, Massachusetts, andSenate continued on page 4In this issue• Decatur Urban ProgramCenter is Open!• Champaign Girl ScoutPublishes First Novel• Girl Scout in the Senate• Thanks to JacksonvilleTroop, Braille ManualsAvailable• Cardboard City• Cookies Are Coming• Monthly Patch Program• Advocating for Girls• Dr Evelyn Odunsi Tribute• Teen Leadership BoardEmbarks on Third Year• Thanks to Our CommunityPartners• Adventurous Girl ScoutsExplore Travel Trail• Farmington Troop WorksTogether to Craft Smiles• Volunteer Spotlight:Penelope Garrison

Thanks to JacksonvilleTroop, Braille ManualsNow AvailableGirl Scouts Troop 6780, based out of theIllinois School for the Visually Impairedin Jacksonville, recognized a need in thelarger Girl Scout community and workedtogether to have that need met. The troophad been using audio manuals, but hearingthe material read aloud didn’t supply thegirls with the satisfaction of tackling thecontent themselves. They found it difficultto participate in the full Girl Scoutingexperience without a readable manual, sothey made calls and wrote letters to thepublisher, explaining the importance ofhaving a Braille version available (the samerequest they often have to make for schooltextbooks). Thanks to this pioneering GoldAward project, the girls in Troop 6780 cannow read their manuals on their own—ascan any other Girl Scouts who are visuallyimpaired.Novel continued from coverthrough Amazon. Broken is set 500 years inthe future, where people with disabilities areforced to live in a prison called the “Facility.”The story follows Tate, a girl who is deaf andtherefore trapped in the Facility, and severalof her friends as they fight to reject the labelof “broken” that society has given them.Hollee currently lives in Champaign, whereshe is active in both school and Girl Scouts.She hopes to someday be a pastor or amath, English, or special ed teacher. Holleeis participating in NaNoWriMo again this yearand exploring ideas in many different genres.Cardboard CityIn March twenty-four Girl Scouts from GSCIconfronted the issue of homelessnesshead on when they spent a night sleepingoutside in cardboard shelters theyconstructed themselves. Guest speakersfrom community organizations such asCentral Illinois Food Bank, Salvation Army,and Homeless United for Change educatedgirls about the needs ofthe homeless, sharedfacts and statistics abouthomelessness, andhelped girls understandmore about the issue of“I learnednot to takeeverythingfor granted.”homelessness in their own communities.Additional program offerings included groupdiscussion, journaling, and themed activitieshaving to do with poverty and homelessness.“I learned not to take everything for granted,”one participant stated. “It doesn’t take muchto become homeless; it could happen toanyone.”Girls collected and donated canned foodsas community service and, at the conclusionof the event, discussed and planned ways toget involved in their community in order tomake a continued difference in the lives oflocal residents.DUPC continued from covercould check out the teaching kitchen, andthe new Trefoil Boutique. Please stop by andvisit us! And see the 2012-2013 AdventuresGuide for program opportunities beingoffered at the Decatur UPC.COOKIES areCOMING!The Girl Scout Cookie Program is thelargest all-girl business and financialliteracy program in the country, andeach year thousands of girls developfinancial and business savvy throughtheir participation in the program.The GSCI cookie program gives girlsthe opportunity to set financialgoals individually and with a teamand devise strategies for meetingtheir goals. These goals range fromcommunity service and leadershipprojects to summer camp sessionsand council-sponsored activities totravel opportunities near and far.This year GSCI will be using a directsale method for selling cookies. Girlswill have packages of cookies INHAND to sell door-to-door to family,friends, and neighbors. Girl Scoutsexchange cookies and paymentin one easy step! No more takingorders, waiting weeks, and thenreturning for the delivery and moneycollection. A direct sale programcondenses all the work into onesimple step.Watch for direct sales to beginFebruary 1, 2013!Booth sales will start onFebruary 15, 2013.GSCI Monthly Patch ProgramThe GSCI Monthly Patch Program is open to all Girl Scouts! The Monthly Patch Program offerstroops and individual Girl Scouts the opportunity to receive one STEM- and service-related patchper month. In only three years, the program has greatly expanded from its beginnings at GSCI, withmany troops from other councils in various states participating. Troop leaders use the program tocomplement work they are doing, as a pre- or post-meeting activity, or as a take-home activity.As a result, nearly 7,000 girls took part in the Monthly Patch Program last year.Check out the website at for more information.

Teen LeadershipBoard Embarks onThird YearThe GSCI Teen Leadership Boardhas kicked off their third year ofprogramming. The Teen LeadershipBoard consists of 23 girls in grades6 – 12 who work together on theTeen Newsletter, share ideas andthoughts on the council, help thecouncil reach older girls and sharethe Girl Scout mission, assist atcouncil programs and events, andmore. The Board voted on theirofficers for the new year:PresidentAngel HowardVice-PresidentAshton CollinsSecretaryMaria BakerNewsletter DirectorIsabelle ReedAssistant Newsletter DirectorCaroline DobbsCongratulations, girls!If you know a teen who is interestedin the Teen Leadership Board,please contact Robin Howard or byphone at 217-423-7791 ext. 1302.Join theTeenLeadershipBoard!Senate continued from coverWisconsin all elected their first femalesenators in Mazie Hirono, Elizabeth Warren,and Tammy Baldwin, respectively; TammyDuckworth, a military veteran and doubleamputee, will serve in the House; TulsiGabbard (Hawaii) elected as a Houserepresentative, is the first Hindu-Americanto serve; and New Hampshire is the firststate to be exclusively represented bywomen. The House of Representatives willhost a record total of 28 women of color.Including the House of Representatives,60% of women in Congress are Girl Scoutsalumnae.The first woman to serve in the U.S. Senatewas Rebecca Latimer Felton of Georgia,who took the oath of office in 1922--thoughher service was largely symbolic, as it onlylasted twenty-four hours. Nine years later,widow Hattie Wyatt Caraway was appointedas a senator to fill the vacancy caused bythe death of her husband, but then shockedother Arkansas politicians when she soughtand easily won election on her own in 1932.When announcing her candidacy, she toldreporters, “The time has passed when awoman should be placed in a position andkept there only while someone else is beinggroomed for the job.” She was re-elected in1938 and served another seven years.Following Senator Felton’s attitude, GirlScouts is the world’s premier leadershipdevelopment program for girls and providesmany opportunities for girls to engage strongwomen and community leaders as rolemodels and mentors, so it’s of little surprisethat the majority of women making theirvoices heard in Congress have been involvedin Girl Scouting. From financial literacyto environmental awareness to oftenoverlookedSTEM (science, technology,engineering, and math) skills and beyond,Girl Scouts discover their special skills andtalents, learn to connect with others, andtake action to make both their communitiesand the world a better place.Girl Scouting engages over twenty thousandgirls in central Illinois, equipping them withthe tools to stand up and make their voicesheard. Let us commit ourselves to fosteringthe leadership potential of these local girls,so that each Girl Scout may grow in courage,confidence, and character and reach herfullest potential--whatever their futuresmay look like, from community leaders toCongresswomen.Thanksto OurCommunity PartnersGSCI is grateful to the communitypartners who provide financialsupport for our mission of buildinggirls of courage, confidence,and character. Grant-fundedopportunities allow us to bring thebest possible Girl Scout programto all girls. Recently fundedspecial projects will help us tobring financial literacy and STEMprograms to girls as well as providemembership and campershipfinancial assistance.Financial Fitness for Girls – a$20,000 grant from State Farmwill support us in providing financialliteracy education to girls throughoutthe council’s jurisdiction. This grantsupports two council projects: cookierallies that take place in January thathelp girls develop the skills necessaryto participate in the Girl Scout CookieProgram, and staff-led outreachprogramming that brings financialliteracy education tolow-income girls. The Girl ScoutCookie Program is the largest all-girlbusiness in the country and girls learnimportant financial self-sufficiencyskills when they participate.STEM – It’s a Girl’s World – a $20,000grant from the Women for WomenGiving Circle at the CommunityFoundation for the Land of Lincolnwill support us in bringing science,technology, engineering, andmathematics programming to girls inthe Springfield area. The council STEMprogram helps girls build educationand life skills and introduces them tocareers in STEM fields, with the goal ofcreating gender-balanced leadershipin STEM fields of study and careers.Membership and CampershipAssistance – a grant in the amountof $4,287 from The Women’s Fundof the Community Foundationof Central Illinois will providemembership and campershipassistance to girls from the Peoria areawho would not be able to participate inGirl Scouting without financial support.This helps us extend our reach toany girl in the Peoria area who wishesto join us, regardless of her family’sfinancial position.4

AdventurousGirl ScoutsExploreTravel Trailstars every night.Since embarking on Travel Trail, thegirls have expressed how much thetrip changed them by making themtake notice of their dreams, fears,and talents, or helping them to makenew and now lasting friendships. Thegirls are already talking about thissummer’s Travel Trail to Wisconsinand the upper peninsula of Michigan.FarmingtonTroop WorksTogether toCraft SmilesAmanda Mapes’s troop ofGirl Scout Juniors in Farmingtonused their proceeds from theGirl Scout Cookie Program fora project benefiting OperationSmile, an internationalchildren’s medical charity thatprovides surgical services tochildren born with clefts. Thegirls created their own “smiledolls,” picking out the fabric andstuffing and sewing the dollsthemselves. Several girls hadnever sewn before, so the troopworked together and helpedone another along the way.With guidance from CampDirector Katie Nolan, ProgramSpecialist Lisa Sons createdTravel Trail, which she calls “theultimate camp experience” forgirls who have gone throughTrekkers, Trailblazers, and WinterTrail. Fourteen girls rushed toregister for this one-of-a-kindcamp. With backpacks, hikingboots, and more piled high ontheir backs, the group of teenageGirl Scouts took to the road for anoutdoor experience through theOzarks of Missouri, Buffalo Riverof Arkansas, and Southern Illinois.On their 10-day adventure, thegirls went swimming in a naturalseries of rock formations, hikedthe Ozark Wilderness Trail, biked,rode horses on a 4,000-acreranch, explored a cave system,and camped out beneath thetheULTIMATEcampexperience5

Volunteer Spotlight:PenelopeGarrisonMorton, IllinoisPenelope Garrison is a substituteteacher in Morton, where she and herhusband, Bruce, her son, Matt, andher two daughters—Sarah, a Girl ScoutAmbassador, and Rachel, a Girl ScoutSenior—make their home. What followsis Penelope’s account of volunteering forGirl Scouts:Having been a Girl Scout for six years asa child, I was ready to enroll my oldestdaughter in Girl Scouting when shestarted kindergarten. I was invited tocome to the office to speak with CamLahart. At one point she stopped, lookedat me intently, and said, “I see you being areally good leader one day.”I just laughed at her and said, “No, I couldnever do that. It’s not my style.”She looked at me and said, “We’ll see.”Within three months, I was assisting mydaughter’s leader, and six months later,when the troop split into two, I becamea leader myself. My troop and I havetraveled to Chicago and St. Louis and arecurrently planning our next big trip—ourgoal is to visit Savannah, Georgia. Eachyear, our troop picks at least two localevents at which we volunteer our timeto the community. In the past, we havehelped at the Pumpkin Festival, assistedat the Taste of Morton events, andserved meals at a shelter. The girls havelearned the importance of listening toothers, discussing all sides of a situation,and the art of compromise. The girlshave developed outdoor survival skillsthat they may not have otherwise hadthe opportunity to experience—infact, camping has become one of theirfavorite activities.I’ve learned to involve the girls moreand more, trusting that they can makedecisions on their own. Most importantly,I learned that I am capable of achievingmore than I ever thought possible. I stayinvolved with Girl Scouts not only becausemy girls want me to, but also because I wantto. I have made some lasting friendships andhave met many wonderful, caring people.Being an adult volunteer has given me theself-confidence to take on challenges thatI might not have had the courage to tacklebefore.Girl Scouts offers opportunities that can’talways be experienced in the home. It offersa social experience that does not exist ina classroom or even in a neighborhood.It fosters the skills girls need to get alongwith people of all types of personalities,abilities, and even disabilities. It encouragesacceptance of people as they are and notwhat you want them to be. It creates a placeof acceptance that is a safe place for a girl tobe a girl.A mom asked me once about why I joinedGirl Scouts. I told her how I got started. I alsotold her it was one of the best decisions I’veever made. In today’s society, it is becomingmore and more difficult to find time tospend with your children. Girl Scoutingprovides a place for that quality time awayfrom technology and other distractions. Itruly believe that I have a closer relationshipwith my daughters because of the time wehave spent in Girl Scouts.Get Involved!As we enter into the holiday season,you may be searching for ways togive back and get involved in yourcommunity. We encourage you toconsider volunteering with Girl Scoutsof Central Illinois. By sharing your lifeexperience, skills, and time, you canencourage Girl Scouts in your area tobecome girls of courage, confidence,and character who make the world abetter place.Just as girls are the heart and soulof Girl Scouting, volunteers are thearms and legs. Girl Scout volunteerscomprise a diverse group of womenand men whose strengths andinterests match a diverse array ofvolunteer opportunities. They workcollectively with each other, Girl Scoutstaff members, and families to nurtureeach girl’s individuality and leadershipqualities. Serving with Girl ScoutsInvolved continued on page 76

Involved continued from page 6ensures that you will change the lives ofgirls who look to you for encouragementand guidance. The impact of yourtime will likely be greater than youimagine, and we can accommodatenearly any level of availability. Many girlswho hope to join troops are forced tosettle for waiting lists instead of activeparticipation due to a lack of adultvolunteers. But it’s easy to help out—volunteer opportunities are available inthe form of troop leadership (4-6 hoursper month), assisting our program staffas they reach out to at-risk girls throughour school programs (2-3 hours permonth), or even just a one-time visit to atroop meeting.Are you willing to dedicate some time tohelp girls in your area blossom into theirfull potential? Simply contact us to beginencouraging Girl Scouts in need in yourcommunity. Call Jamie at888-623-1237 x 1609.New Hires, Transitions, andPromotions within GSCILaura Leppert joins the Peru ServiceCenter as the new office coordinator.Devlin Neuhaus accepted the positionof non-resident site manager at CampTapawingo.Lindsey Probst has been serving theBloomington Service Center as internsince summer 2012.We welcome Jamie Osborne as our newdirector of volunteerism at GSCI. Jamiepreviously served as director of program.Vicki Harber-Wheeler is our new directorof program. Vicki previously held theposition of manager of membershipservices.Angela Hall (BLM) is the director ofgrants, research & evaluation afterpreviously serving as grant/technicalwriter.Network Administrator DenniseHeavner has transitioned from apart-time to a full-time employee.Erica Douglas is the new volunteerspecialist in the Quincy Service Center,having previously served on the FundDevelopment/Communication Team asPR/marketing specialist.Kerry Holstlaw is the new part-timeaccounting clerk in the Financedepartment.Yemiymah (Yemi) Yisra’el joins theBloomington Service Center asvolunteer development specialist.Danielle Bourell is the newest memberof the Product Sales team, in thenewly-formed position of productsales specialist. Dani was previously amembership specialist.Martha Sternickle is the newmembership specialist in theBloomington Service Center.Robin Postlewait joins the GSCI team asthe new part-time sales associate in thePeoria Service Center.We welcome Samantha Greenburg to theFund Development Team in the role ofspecial events coordinator.Marcia Hulet is the new membershipspecialist located in the Peru office,serving LaSalle, Bureau, and PutnamCounties.We welcome Kinnethia Tolson to theBloomington Service Center as programseries specialist.Lindsey Gates-Markel joins GSCI as thenew grant/technical writer on the FundDevelopment/Communications Team.Upcoming EventsFebruary 7, 2013 - Desserts First- PeoriaApril 11, 2013 - Women of Distinction - ChampaignMay 9, 2013 - Diamonds & Desserts - BloomingtonLook for other events during summer and fall!If you would like more information on any of these events or would like to volunteer your time, please contactSamantha Greenburg at 888-623-1237 x 1106 or

Non-Profit OrgU.S. PostagePAIDPeoria, ILPermit #6711103 W. Lake AvenuePeoria, IL 61614-5935please complete and returnInvest in Girl Scouts today!Yes, I would like to make a gift to support Girl Scouting in my community!Enclosed is my gift of___ $291 to deliver the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to one girl___ $79 to supply one Girl Scout with a full uniform and Journey books$___ other Any contribution makes a difference!___ I would like my gift to be anonymousName: _________________________________________________________________ Phone: __________________________E-mail: __________________________________________________________________________________________________Address: ___________________________________________City_____________________________State_______Zip________I would like my gift to support___all regions ___Bloomington ___ Champaign ___Decatur ___Peoria ___Peru ___Quincy ___ SpringfieldMethod of Payment:___ check enclosed (payable to Girl Scouts of Central Illinois)Please charge my gift: ___Discover ___Visa ___ MasterCard Card # ________________________________ Exp. Date: ______Printed name on card: ____________________________Signature of cardholder: ____________________________Date: ________Please mail your gift to: GSCI, 3020 Baker Drive, Springfield, IL 62703Save a stamp! Donate online at

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