Salute Your Leaders! Leader’s Day is Today!

Salute Your Leaders!  Leader's Day is Today!

Today is Girl Scout Leader’s day, started to honor all the volunteers who work as leaders and mentors in partnership with girls. Girls, their families, and communities should find a special way to thank their adult Girl Scout volunteers.

Traditionally speaking, you could thank your leader or other volunteers with a gift presented from the girls.  The GS Shop has a lot of nice jewelry and trinket boxes with the Girl Scouts logo.

A better idea that’s less expensive and more personal would be a scrapbook.  Get together and have all the girls write letters or draw pictures (depending on age level) of what Girl Scouts means to them and what their leaders mean to them.  Present this to the leaders and other volunteers involved with the troop and I’m sure it will touch them and honor them in a much more meaningful and personal way than a crystal trinket box ever will.

If you don’t have a lot of time to devote to such a labor intensive project, you can also put together a really nice collection of photographs from outings, ceremonies, and regular meetings. You can create custom photo books, greeting cards, calenders, key chains, and more at PhotoWorks.com.

Leaves of Three, Beware of Me!

This is a handy way to avoid most poisonous plants when camping and hiking.  And remember that poison oak and poison ivy are located even in some relatively urban areas.

Poison Ivy Photo by ZeNeeceC on Flickr
Courtesy of ZeNeeceC on Flickr

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the saying “leaves of three, beware of me” can help identify poison ivy and oak, a more accurate saying is “leaflets of three, beware of me.” Each leaf on poison ivy and poison oak has three smaller leaflets. The middle leaflet has a longer stalk than the two on the sides.

Contact with a poisonous plant can lead to a nasty, itchy rash.  The best way to limit the spread to fellow campers is to isolate the clothing you were wearing at the time in a garbage bag and shower immediately.  A bath will just move the oils that cause the rash around and spread it to other parts of your body, so a shower is preferred. This won’t prevent a rash if you’ve had significant contact, but will help prevent the spread to others.

Treatment of a mild case can be solved with a cool shower and some over-the-counter medicine like Tecnu, Caldryl Clear or other itch relief lotion.  An oatmeal bath can also sooth the itch.  More advanced cases can require a trip to a doctor and a prescription medication to reduce the itching and swelling.

Charm City Cakes Creates Girl Scout Cookie Cake

Charm City Cakes Creates Girl Scout Cookie Cake

How awesome!  I’m a big fan of Ace of Cakes, a show on Food Network highlighting the operations of Charm City Cakes of Baltimore, MD.  Recently they aired a segment about a cake they made for the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland.  The cake was for a gala event and featured Girl Scout Cookies prominently in the design.  The event itself was their Green Carpet Event, honoring the top cookie pre-sellers and took place last November.

The event was a success and the girls LOVED seeing celebrity chef Duff Goldman at the event, who was more than happy to take photos and sign autographs for the girls and adult volunteers.

Go view the video here (Food Network doesn’t allow embedding).

Alligator song

Alligator song

This is a great song for a camp, complete with hand motions mimicking an alligator whenever the word Alligator is repeated in the chorus.  Soon I hope to include recordings!  Until I get there, it’ll be lyrics only for now.

(Chorus)
Alligator!
Alligator!
Can be your friend, can be your friend, can be your friend too.

The alligator is my friend
He has a lovely face
I’d rather see him in the swamp
Than to have him on my suitcase
(Chorus)

The alligator is my friend
He has a very lovely pelt
I’d rather see him in the swamp
Than to wear him on my belt
(Chorus)

This alligator is my friend
He has a very lovely snoot
I’d rather see him in the swamp
Than to wear him on my boot
(Chorus)

The alligator is my friend
Step on his tail, he’ll be in a rage
I’d rather see him in the swamp
Than to see him in a cage
(Chorus)

The alligator is my friend
He can be your friend too
I’d rather have him as my friend,
then wear him as a shoe (point to shoe)
(Chorus)

The alligator is my friend
He has a scaly pelt
I’d rather have him as my friend
Than wear him as a belt (point to belt)
(Chorus)

The alligator is my friend
He likes to tease and flirt
I’d rather have him as my friend
Than wear him on my shirt (point to shirt)
(Chorus)

The alligator is my friend
You can do no worse
I’d rather have him as my friend
Than wear him as my purse.

Girl Scout YouTube Ad Violates Policy

Girl Scout YouTube Ad Violates Policy

Just when you thought it was safe to embrace social media!

Girl Scout Cookie Entrepreneur Stymied by Internet Sales Ban

Earlier this year, Wild Freeborn (yes, that’s her real name) posted a YouTube video, with the help of her dad, with an enthusiastic pitch: “Buy cookies! And they’re yummy!” They set up an online order system where customers in their area could purchase Tagalongs, Thin Mints and Samoas. Within two weeks, 700 orders came in.

But Wild Freeborn’s e-commerce plan hit a major snag. The Girl Scout Cookie Program, which according to Newsweek “bills itself as the largest program to teach entrepreneurship to young girls,” says it prohibits all online sales of its cookies — primarily because of safety reasons. Its guidelines state that Internet use should only be for advertising.

I understand the drive for a parent to do what he can to help his daughter sell more boxes.  But the rules are there for a reason, and you should adhere to those rules.  This father knowingly broke a rule.  Some people have criticized the Girl Scouts for not allowing cookie sales online, but I don’t think those people understand that the policy is there to keep it fair and safe for the girls participating.  People may not realize that Girl Scouts don’t make a ton of money on the cookie sales.  The primary goal of the cookie sale, along with the fall nut & calendar sale, is to teach the girls entrepreneurial skills along with the life lessons of honesty and fairness.  The lessons learned from selling cookies is the main point of the exercise, not to harass you outside your local super market to buy some Thin Mints to line their pockets.

[Bryan Freeborn] told Matt Lauer of the “Today Show” last week, “We knew there was a policy that it wasn’t OK, but we thought we were taking orders and promoting the cookies and we seemed to think that was within the spirit of the rules. The whole intent was to help my daughter meet her goals, utilizing up-to-date marketing principles.”

He knew there was a rule against this, and yet let his daughter break those rules to meet her goal to go to camp.  To me, the lesson that it’s okay to break the rules when you want something bad enough is not as important as fairness and honesty.  Had this just been a YouTube video, I don’t think the GSUSA would have taken issue.  The online ordering system the father set up is where the line was crossed, essentially allowing his daughter and her troop to “steal” sales from other girls.  Bear in mind that I work in online marketing myself, and while I’m usually the first person to advocate brick and mortar organizations to leverage social media and online marketing to their benefit, I still stand behind the Girl Scouts in their decision in this case.

None of the articles I read commented on whether or not the girl had to forfeit those sales;  my best guess is that they let those orders stand at the time the website was taken down.  I’d love to see her embrace social media in other ways with working on different badges or other troop-run fundraisers to help them go to camp.   That would allow her father to teach her what he really thinks he’s teaching her, about updated marketing tactics and technology, without the underlying questionable rule-breaking message.