Friday, March 30, 2012

Girl Scouts say, "When life gives you lemons, make ice cream!"

Those who’ve already gobbled up the last bit of their beloved Girl Scout Cookies will find an extra treat at both What’s the Scoop and Gunther’s Ice Cream in Sacramento starting today, March 30. To honor Girl Scouts of the USA’s 100th anniversary, the two shops will feature “Smart Cookies Ice Cream,” a new delicious lemony flavor imagined by Girl Scout Brownie and Daisy Troop 3921.

“Smart Cookies” is a result of a contest organized by What's the Scoop owner Angel Nazir and Girl Scouts Heart of Central California (GSHCC). For the contest, local Girl Scout troops submitted their ideas for a flavor honoring the organization’s centennial in 2012.

The winning flavor, conceived by Girl Scouts and made by Gunther’s, is a creamy lemon chiffon ice cream swirled with pieces of lemon-iced shortbread and a marshmallow ribbon.

Nazir’s idea to add a Girl Scouts-themed flavor to her shop’s menu was inspired by her sixth-grade daughter, Ashley, who was in Girl Scouts last year. “We thought it would be so fun,” Nazir said. “It started with a dream, then a phone call to the Girl Scout council, and now it’s a reality!”

Susie Burns, leader of the winning troop, said that her girls are ecstatic to have their ice cream featured—where else would such a unique opportunity arise but in Girl Scouts? On their choice of a lemon flavor she said that they knew they had to create something that stood out and represented their troop. “The girls are not chocolate and vanilla girls,” she said. “They love Lemonades, and our troop nickname is ‘Smart Cookies.’”

According to Burns, the flavor also represents this year's cookie season motto, ‘What can a cookie do?’” Burns’ troop—nine girls in kindergarten through third grade—have used the Girl Scout Cookie Program to tackle goal-setting, aiming to sell 1,200 packages and passing that goal by selling 1,902. The troop uses its funds to make the world a better place. This year, they sent a letter to their school requesting repairs on a playground, purchased toys for less fortunate children and they recycle cans to create a troop fund.

“They are constantly giving and learning about the world around them,” Burns said. “This is what Girl Scouts is all about: helping our girls to overcome obstacles life throws at them and to become the best people they can be. Our little joke has been, ‘When life hands you lemons, make ice cream!’"

Smart Cookies Ice Cream will be featured for a limited time only at What’s the Scoop Ice Cream & More (6350 Folsom Blvd, Ste. 400) and Gunther’s Ice Cream (2801 Franklin Blvd.) in Sacramento. At What’s the Scoop (not Gunther’s), girls dressed in Girl Scout attire can receive 10% off their purchase, March 30-April 30.

Good news for Girl Scout out-of-towners and their families: Smart Cookies will also be featured at GSHCC’s 100th anniversary event April 28 at Cal Expo!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tuesday, March 13: The Poppy Patrol Homeward Bound

Day 5 of the Poppy Patrol’s adventure in Savannah for Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary weekend:

Full of memories and loaded with keepsakes, the Poppy Patrol began to disperse. Twice there were hugs and tears at the hotel threshold as travelers took their leaves. Noel and Jasmine drove away. Holly got into her taxi to the airport, and we convinced the driver to come back for the rest of us in two hours. The remaining Poppies got quiet and somber. We walked into town for lunch and pondered the significance of all that had taken place over the weekend. Our cab driver returned for us, and our journey home began.

Now that we are all home, we are not just savoring happy memories. One of the things that came up in our sharing of memories and reflections was a desire to be back in direct service to girls. All of us have much experience in troops and camps, but have not been directly involved with girls for a few years. Three of the Poppies plan to volunteer as troop leaders in their council’s years ahead, and the other Poppies will consider serving as song leaders and teachers.

Being at the 100th birthday celebration in Savannah has inspired us all!

Answer to Poppy Patrol Pop Trivia Question #3: Sixty-nine percent of female U.S. Senators and 67% of female members of the House of Representatives were Girl Scouts. (Go GS!)

The Girl Scout Birthday: Wishes and Hopes for the Future

Day 4 of the Poppy Patrol’s adventure in Savannah for Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary weekend:

The Poppy Patrol was up before dawn on March 12, 2012. While most of Savannah slept, Girl Scouts were setting out in the cool, quiet darkness. At Forsyth Park, the sunrise birthday celebration was about to begin. We signed in and got our programs and candles, and joined the gathering throng in the field in front of the bandstand. It was a thrill to be surrounded by joyous sister Girl Scouts in the city where it all began 100 years ago.

The ceremony featured a procession of Girl Scouts in historic uniforms, the presentation of the “Juliette Candle,” and the color guard. There was a flag ceremony, songs and an enthusiastic greeting by Anna Maria Chavez, Girl Scouts of the USA’s CEO. Anna Maria started the passing of the candle light from the Juliette Candle. After the candles were flickering everywhere, we sang "Happy Birthday," savored a reverent moment, then made our wishes and blew out the candles, which we then kept as keepsakes to take on our way.

The Poppy Patrol and many other groups spread out into the city to celebrate over breakfast in cafes. There was a festive mood all through the city as happy Girl Scouts populated the restaurants. After a good meal, the Poppy Patrol then made its way to the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace and joined a line of eager Girl Scouts for the first tours of the day. It was so special to be in that house and garden with other Girl Scouts who had traveled from many places to be part of this historic day.

It has been fun to see Girl Scouts all over Savannah all weekend. We are quite recognizable everywhere, not just because of our color-coordinated T-shirts and distinctive gear, but by our enormous smiles! We can be seen in the city squares, shops and cafes where we are making new friends, taking pictures for each other and exchanging SWAPS!

Poppy Patrol Pop Trivia Question #3: What percentage of female U.S. senators were Girl Scouts? What about female members of the House of Representatives?

So many Girl Scouts were up early for the 100th birthday sunrise ceremony!

Color guard in vintage uniforms.

Check out this amazing tote bag made out of an old Girl Scout sash! This video was taken during Saturday's festivities -- just a clip demonstrating the fun, Girl Scout-y scene.

Girl Scout Sunday: Reverence and Reflection

Day 3 of the Poppy Patrol’s adventure in Savannah for Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary weekend:

Most of the Poppy Patrol needed a sleep-in, but one intrepid Girl Scout, namely Becky, went to the Girl Scout Sunday morning gathering at Christ Church Episcopal, the home church of Juliette Gordon Low. The congregation and ministers made the worship service special for the historic event and the hundreds of Girl Scouts who arrived in many generations of vintage and contemporary uniforms. And for refreshments afterward—what else?—Girl Scout cookies galore!

The Poppy Patrol united for lunch and an afternoon of city-walking. We attended the 3 p.m. Girl Scout Sabbath celebration at Mickve Israel, the historic Jewish congregation that has been involved in Girl Scouting from the beginning with Juliette Low. Anna Maria Chavez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, was the featured speaker, and the program included a variety of songs and readings typical of a Scouts’ Own, but also traditional Jewish blessings. The Poppy Patrol was quite taken with "Eagle One's" passionate expression of the meaning of Girl Scouting. After the program, we were able to greet Mrs. Chavez, exchange SWAPS, and pose for a picture. The congregation provided afternoon tea, including oatmeal cookies made from a historic Girl Scout cookie recipe!

In the evening, the Poppy Patrol held our own Investiture and Rededication. We set up in one of our rooms where we could sit at a couch and chairs around a coffee table set with flameless candles (Girl Scouts are safety-wise!), a miniature flag set, an arrangement of daisies and greenery, and a display of membership pins and 100-year pins. Our traditional program included songs, sharing of what Girl Scouting has meant to us, and reciting of the Promise and the Law. We invested Carissa, rededicated ourselves to all that Girl Scouting means, and formed a Friendship Circle. We sang “Day Is Done,” and made the friendship hand-squeeze all around.

Answer to Poppy Patrol Pop Trivia Question #2: The only four Senior Girl Scout Roundups took place in between 1956 and 1965 in Milford, Michigan; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Lake Champlain in Vermont; and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

A quick video with Anna Maria Chavez (AKA "Eagle One"), CEO of GSUSA!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bridges to the Next 100 Years – Saturday, March 10

Day 2 of the Poppy Patrol’s adventure in Savannah for Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary weekend:

From our little bridge in the airport, we went on to “bridging" in a big way during a great event: Bridging to the Next Century, an event planned for maximum drama and fun by Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia. We all hiked across the Talmadge Bridge over Savannah!

Bridging is a meaningful theme and tradition in Girl Scouting. It's an occasion for celebration of growth and sisterhood, and bridges of all kinds are fitting images for the journey of life growing up as Girl Scouts.

And what a great day for 3,000 Girl Scouts to cross a bridge together! The sun shone just right, from 7 to 11 a.m., as troops and patrols made their way by ferry and bus to the Talmadge Bridge. The bridge had been especially prepared with safety personnel and equipment so that we could hike across all morning. A happy mood prevailed as the sun shone, truckers saluted us with their big rig horns, and passing motorists waved greetings. Along the bridge route, host Girl Scouts greeted us with large posters that commemorated each decade in the first 100 years of Girl Scouting. As we crossed the finish line, we received stickers and high fives and cheers from the host team. Buses shuttled us to Forsyth Park for the birthday party of the century!

The park was dotted with information booths, activities and historic displays. We observed animals, dressed up in costumes, posed with a life-size puppet of Juliette Gordon Low, studied the evolution of Girl Scout uniforms, sang along with leaders from the stage, and exchanged SWAPS with new friends. We were all sisters in Girl Scouting!

A main feature of the park was the interactive bridge made for official bridging ceremonies and also just for fun. All day long, Girl Scouts enacted the many meanings of “bridging” by walking, dancing, singing and skipping along the bridge. A garden of daisies grew hour by hour as Girl Scouts recycled soda cans by stripping the aluminum into petals and adding embellishments like pom-poms and paint. Each flower was then stuck onto a dowel and “planted” into the ground next to the bridge.

The Poppy Patrol played joyfully all day and made lots of friends. We were quite an attraction in our T-shirts that made it obvious that we had come all the way from California.

Poppy Patrol Pop Trivia Question #2: Where were the only Girl Scout Senior Roundups held? There were just four of them in between 1956 and 1965. Senior Girl Scouts gathered at Roundups for a camporee where they shared history and customs.

Ready for a day of Girl Scout fun!

All of us boarding the ferry.

The view from the ferry--getting close to the Talmadge Bridge.
Walking across the Talmadge Bridge -- there were markers for each decade of Girl Scout history.

A sign for the SWAPS tent. We collected so many amazing SWAPS!

Many Girl Scouts got their hair done in a fun, goofy way at a special booth.

The amazing bridge art piece!

We made it across the Talmadge--now we cross another beautiful bridge!

The bridge was designed by an architecture student at Savannah College of Art & Design. Watch the video above to hear more about the piece from Youth ChalleNGe Academy program director, Bob Hughes.

There were tons of entertainment by people like songstress Melinda
Carroll. Recognize this song?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Converging on Savannah

Day 1 of the Poppy Patrol’s adventure in Savannah for Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary weekend:

While Noel and Jasmine began a long car drive from Atlanta, the other six Poppy Patrol members got on planes in California. Five of us—Georgia, Becky, Lisa, Amy and Carissa—started our journey from the Sacramento Airport. Meanwhile, Holly boarded her flight in Los Angeles.

The Sacramento bunch arrived first. We waited in “Savannah Square” at the airport and were delighted to see Girl Scout banners there to commemorate the historic occasion for all the travelers who would pass by. We formed a “bridge” with arched arms for Holly when we knew she was disembarking from her plane. She knew just what to do when she saw our bridge! She came sailing and laughing under our arches. We got a taxi to the hotel where the entire patrol was united with joy!

Answer to Poppy Patrol Pop Trivia Question #1: A yellow floribunda (Girl Scout rose) and a dwarf green & gold Brownie Scout marigold were the two custom-cultivated flowers Girl Scouts planted all over the U.S. in honor of Girl Scouts’ 50th anniversary in 1962.

Girl Scout green at the airport in Savannah.

The entire city welcomed Girl Scouts.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Meet the Poppy Patrol

The 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting has prompted alumnae from all over the nation to reconnect, re-register and recite their favorite Girl Scout memories. Here in the Sacramento area, one group—spanning in age from 23 to 79—sets out on a trip to the birthplace of Girl Scouts during the 100th anniversary weekend. Stay tuned as they share with us their fun experiences and discoveries. (And be sure to look for the Poppy Patrol Pop Trivia in each post.)

We are the “Poppy Patrol!” We are eight grateful Girl Scout Alumnae in one family. We are three generations with fond memories of Girl Scouting going back to the 1940s. For several years, we have been planning a pilgrimage to Savannah, Georgia for the 100th birthday of Girl Scouting. Now the time has come!

We are packing our songbooks, our 104s (a bandana with 104 uses!), special new T-shirts, our walking shoes and all other things that well-prepared Girl Scouts need for adventure. We will travel on Friday, March 9.

We will be coming from three directions to connect in historic Savannah. Noel and Jasmine will drive in from Atlanta. Holly will fly from Los Angeles. The other five, Georgia, Becky, Lisa, Amy and Carissa, will fly together from Sacramento.

On Friday, the 9th, after we settle in at our hotel in the historic district, we plan to see the city then have an investiture and rededication ceremony together. Carissa is a newly-registered Girl Scout, so we anticipate the joy of her investiture in the city where it all began 100 years ago. The rest of us are lifelong Girl Scouts who will rededicate ourselves to all that Girl Scouting has been for us and will be for girls now and in the future. This will involve singing, Girl Scout-style! We know all the traditional songs!

The weekend plans include participation in Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia Council’s two big events: the “Bridging to the Next Century” on Saturday the 10th, and the sunrise celebration on the 12th. In between, we will be up for adventures seeing the sights of Savannah and Girl Scout history.

An elder honorary member of the patrol will be with us in spirit and memories. Our beloved matriarch in the family and a Girl Scout since the 1940s, Josephine “Tajar” Gardner, died in 1971. (Tajar was her camp name.) We honor her memory by counting her in as the spiritual leader of the Poppy Patrol!

We will be sharing more with you in the days ahead. Happy Birthday, Girl Scouts!

Respectfully submitted by Becky Goodwin

Poppy Patrol Pop Trivia Question #1: What were the two custom-cultivated flowers Girl Scouts planted all over the U.S. in honor of Girl Scouts’ 50th anniversary in 1962? (Answer to be revealed in the next Poppy Patrol post.)

Josephine “Tajar” Gardner, Program Director at Girl Scout Camp Sugarpine (San Francisco-area council) in the 1940s. The camp name “Tajar” comes from the title character in Tajar Tales, original stories by Jane Shaw Ward published in 1925 for YWCA camps. A “tajar” is a composite tiger, jaguar and badger. Tajar has adventures in the forest near a camp, and sometimes his antics get him into trouble. In camps, Tajar tales were told around campfires, and “evidence” of the presence of Tajar would sometimes appear around camp, delighting campers.

Georgia Gardner Hott, Josephine’s daughter. Camp Sugarpine, 1947.

Becky Goodwin, our blogger and Georgia’s daughter. 1972.

Becky’s Camp Menzies staff photo. 1972.

Lisa Goodwin-Yates, Becky’s sister, shaking hands with a newly-invested Girl Scout Cadette. Denver, CO. 1983.

Amy Goodwin, Becky’s sister, as a Junior Girl Scout in 1970 (going back to her seat.)

Noel Goodwin Stamps, Becky’s sister, ready to board the bus to Camp Menzies in 1971.

Holly Myer, Becky’s daughter. At age 14 in 2002, she was a member of the Girl Scout Chorus from Tierra del Oro Council for the 90th birthday celebration at Arco Arena.

Jasmine Stamps, Noel’s daughter, 1996.

Some of the Poppy Patrol at the Sacramento Program Center this year.
(Poppy Patroller Carissa Luker, Amy’s daughter, has no previous Girl Scout photos, but she will be invested as a Girl Scout when the Poppy Patrol unites in Savannah.)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

For the love of music

Spread the word! There is a fun opportunity for girls (grades 6-12) to learn traditional Girl Scout songs and the commemorative 100th Anniversary Song for performance at the 100th Anniversary celebration! Girls will be on stage twice and will sing with the Sacramento Women's Chorus.

In order to participate, Girls are invited to attend two Saturday workshops led by members of the Sacramento Women's Chorus. Enthusiasm is all that is needed to participate…no need to have a terrific voice or to read music. Learning will be fun…especially with a room full of singers. Sign up now!

A special note to Leaders: If you sing in the car or the shower and have a tune running in your head every now and then, we encourage you to participate in these workshops also, with or without girls from your troop. Sacramento Women's Chorus members have fond memories of their Girl Scout days and wish to spread the fun of singing to you and your troop! Your enthusiasm is all that is needed to learn some tips and techniques for teaching and leading songs-- no need for a terrific voice or musical experience. This will be a fun and informal time. Please consider joining us.

About Sacramento Women's Chorus
Established in 1987, the Sacramento Women's Chorus is a non-profit group of diverse women who are building friendships and community through our love of music, dedication to musical excellence, and commitment to performing music which reflects the lives of all women. We perform on behalf of all women, the environment, peace, social justice, tolerance, LGBTI equality, and the celebration of diversity.

We welcome adult women of all ethnicities, cultures, sexual orientations, physical abilities, and stages of life. If you are an adult woman in the Sacramento, CA area who loves to sing and are looking for a place to share in the joy of music, we might be the chorus for you! Find us on the web at