Tufts Girls of Code win the Outstanding Service Unit Partner award for their contributions to Medford Girl Scouts

IMG_6765-editMedford Girl Scouts deeply appreciates the special partnership it has with the Tufts Girls of Code. Founded in 2016 by Dr. Laney Strange, a professor in the Department of Computer Science at Tufts University, the group brings together female computer science students to hold hands-on coding workshops for girls.  Their goal is to “create a welcoming environment for girls and other individuals who are frequently underrepresented in computer science.”  The Tufts students are fantastic mentors who show Medford Girl Scouts that coding is fun and something everyone can do.

Held in the computer science labs at Tufts, the workshops are free and open to all girls ages 10 and older and, each year, the Tufts Girls of Code give priority registration to Medford Girl Scouts. Recent workshop topics have included:

  • Animating in JavaScript
  • Programming games in the Python computer language
  • Using the language Alice to create 3D animations
  • Creating websites from scratch by coding in HTML and CSS

“It’s a really fun program to take because I’m learning a lot of new things that I can use later in life. Everyone that is teaching is patient and helps out when you need help with something.” – Cadence McPherson, Junior Girl Scout

““I really enjoyed it. They provided a positive environment and taught me things about coding that I hadn’t learned anywhere else. They made coding fun!” – Claire Gingo, Junior Girl Scout


Girls from the at least seven different Medford troops have jumped on the opportunity to attend the workshops. In addition to their general coding workshops, at the request of Medford Girl Scouts, the Tufts Girls of Code developed a special workshop just for Brownies who want to earn the Computer Expert badge.  They held three Computer Expert workshops and each was filled to capacity.  This was the first time the Tufts Girls of Code had led workshop for girls who were younger than 10 years old. The girls loved being in the lab, working on the computers, and seeing their work come alive on the screen.


“About half my troop participated in the Brownie Computer Expert workshop, and they all proudly showed their work at pickup time! It was such a gift to have this event. The young women leading it were great role models, and I think it is so important for our girls to see a wide range of leaders in addition to their own troop leader.” – Jane Hamel, Leader, Brownie Troop 72096


Tufts Girls of Code has a special mission to “spark engagement and interest in computer science.”  They strive, and succeed, in creating a warm and welcoming environment in which all girls get to code their own creations, and then play the games, or watch the animations, that they bring to life through their code.

Thank you to Dr. Laney Strange and the Tufts Girls of Code for expanding Medford Girl Scouts interest in STEM and coding!

About the Award:

The Outstanding Service Unit Partner recognizes a partnership that is instrumental in expanding program at the Girl Scout Service Unit level. In Girl Scouts, a Service Unit is a team of volunteers who organize and support Girl Scout programming in a particular community or region (such as the City of Medford.)  A program partner supporting a Service Unit has a direct impact on the local community which gives girls the tools they need to be successful leaders in today’s world, shows girls future career possibilities and supports one or more of the pillars of Girl Scouting (Entrepreneurship, STEM, Outdoors and Life Skills).

The award was presented to Dr. Laney Strange by Lu-Ann Souza (Manager, Program Partnerships & Member Benefits) and Jennifer Duczkowski (Director, Girl Program and Partnerships) at Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts’s first Program Partner Brunch on June 16, 2018 at Camp Cedar Hill.

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There’s a Patch for Every Season from the New Hampshire/Vermont Council

Many Girl Scout councils across the United States have special patches that all Girl Scout can earn and the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains in New Hampshire and Vermont are no exception.  Click here for a complete list of their council’s own patches and see below for a highlighted patch for every season.

Summer – Sunsational Summer Patch

Open to all levels of Girl Scouts, this patch has tons of different options for activities including going on a theme walk for Daisies, going on a hike or putting on a skit for the neighborhood for Brownies, plan an all-day or overnight outing for Juniors and Cadettes, making a windmill or solar water heater for Seniors and Ambassadors.

Fall – Apple Quest Patch

12683195544664_main-01This patch will bring girls and troops out to an orchard to go apple picking.  In addition, girls can also pick activities like baking with apples, learning about the importance of bees to orchards, bring apples to a food pantry, and/or learn about different varieties of apples and where they come from.

 

 

Winter – Operation Snowflake Patch

Don’t let the cold weather keep you trapped indoors. Girl Scouts of all levels can earn this patch by learning about winter sports,  reading books about the snow, and learning about first aid for frostbite, for example.

Spring – Maple Sugaring Patch

NHVT Maple Sugar patch The sap runs when the nights are still cold but the daytime temperatures get above freezing and maple syrup seasons is usually a sign that winter is coming to an end.  Girl Scouts of all ages can earn this patch by learning about how maple syrup is made (including the two types of maple trees that produce maple syrup sap), the difference between artificial and real maple syrup,  and the important role maple syrup plays in the economies of New Hampshire and Vermont.

All Year ‘Round – A Year in the Life of Juliet Patch

a_year_in_the_life-juliette_patchThis patches program gives girls and troops a chance to learn more about the life of the founder of Girl Scouts, Juliet Gordon Low.  Girls start with the center patch and then build out around the circle with a new activity and piece of the patch each month.  Activities may change over time but currently include learning how to be inclusive of girls with disabilities in September, learning about World Thinking Day in February, and learning about how to be a friend to  animals in March.

 

The Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains Store

Click here to order the patches from the online store or call (888) 474-9686 (and ask for the store) to order over the phone.

If you are going to be in the area, you can stop by and visit their Girl Scout store in person at:

  • Bedford, NH Corporate Office
    One Commerce Drive, PO Box 10832, Bedford NH 03110-0832
    Hours of Operation
    Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
    888-474-9686
    603-624-5989
    customercare@girlscoutsgwm.org
  • Williston, VT Service Center
    60 Knight Lane, Suite 30, Williston VT 05495
    Hours of Operation
    Monday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
    Tuesday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
    Wednesday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
    Thursday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
    Friday, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
    Closed for lunch daily from 1:00-1:30 pm
    888-474-9686
    802-872-5887

 

 

Spring Renewal re-registration has incentives for girls, troops, and Medford!

1489495718491The Girl Scout membership year officially runs from October 1 to September 30 but Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts is offering special incentives for girls, troops and for Medford when girls and adult volunteers re-register early.

To re-register, go to http://www.gsema.org/en/about-girl-scouts/renew.html or call customer care at 844-306-GSEM (4736).

Please note, the membership fees for next year will go up to $40 for girls ($25 for Girl Scouts USA and $15 for Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts) and $25 for adults (for Girl Scouts USA).  Girl Scouts is committed to making sure that ability to pay will never be a barrier to being a member and financial aid is available upon request. Look for the check-box to request financial aid in the renewal process.

GIRL INCENTIVES

Email_PatchGirls who renew before April 25 will receive:

  • Spring Renewal patch
  • $5 girl program credit for GSEMA programs
  • a coupon for $5 off a purchase of $25 or more at a GSEMA shop

If a girl renews between April 26 and June 13, 2017, she will receive the Spring Renewal patch.

TROOP INCENTIVES

Girls_Choice_Results_960x960 (002) (1)Renew 75% of your girls in your troop (and two adult volunteers) by June 13 and receive:

  • a coupon for the NEW 2017 Girls’ Choice Troop Camping badges for Daisy through Ambassador Girl Scouts, redeemable at any Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts council shop. This badge is the first-ever for Daisy Girl Scouts. (Coupon will be valid for number of badges equal to number of girls renewed.)
  • a link to the Troop Camping badge requirements.  Badge requirements will be ready for download this summer and in council stores by August.

Note: To qualify for troop incentive, troop must renew a minimum of four girls and two adult volunteers, have no Product Sales debt, and submit a troop financial report by June 30, 2017.

MEDFORD SERVICE UNIT INCENTIVES

If we renew the following percentages of girls by June 13, we will receive a cash bonus that we can use to benefit Medford Girl Scouts:

  • 75% of girls (which is 237 out of 316 girls): $500
  • 65% of girls (which is 205 out of 316 girls): $400
  • 50% of girls (which is 158 out of 316 girls): $300

20170106_145152Last year, we re-registered more than 50% of our girls and we received $300 that we used to buy a set of Girl Scout flags which we can use for city-wide events and which troops can use for their own flag ceremonies.  Click here for more information about our new set of flags.

Additionally:

  • The three service units/areas with the highest percentage of renewed girls will receive lunch with GSEMA’s CEO, Pat Parcellin, and Chief Membership Services Officer, Carrie Weatherbee.
  • The service unit/area with the highest percentage of renewed girls will also be awarded a complimentary table for eight at GSEMA’s signature breakfast event, the 2018 Leading Women Awards.

Tufts Girls of Code are Ready to Partner with Medford Girl Scouts

tuftsgoc2Tufts University has a new club this year called Tufts Girls of Code and the group would love to connect with Medford Girl Scout troops.  Tufts Girls of Code is organized by Dr. Laney Strange and she works with a dynamic group Tufts Computer Science undergrad women, to teach coding, confidence, and creativity to girls from around the Boston area.

Tufts Girls of Code would look forward to organizing a workshop for interested Girl Scout Troops in Medford. Dr. Strange took at look at the Girl Scout badge requirements and she identified the following badges as ones that the Tufts Girls of Code could help troops earn:

  • Brownies – Grades 2 and 3: Computer Expert badge (Click here for the requirements.)
  • Juniors – Grades 4 and 5: Entertainment Technology badge, specifically Step 2 “Dig into Video Game Development.” This step has the option of creating an interactive story or game using a downloadable coding program, such as MIT’s Scratch or Carnegie Mellon’s Alice. (Click here for the requirements.)
  • Seniors – Grades 9 and 10: Website designer badge.

tufts-goc1Troops don’t have to work on a badge to join forces with the Tufts Girls of Code. Middle-school and high-school aged troops are welcome to connect with Dr. Strange if they would simply like the Tufts Girls of Code to lead a workshop for the troop.  For example, the group already led a couple of workshops that were open to all girls in Medford.  The first one taught girls to build an animated Jack-o-Lantern in JavaScript and the second one  helped the girls create their own Android app video game.

If your troop is interested in working with the Tufts Girls of Code, send an email to Dr. Laney Strange at laney@cs.tufts.edu
You can also follow the Tufts Girls of Code on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/tuftsgoc

Three Tips for Helping Girls Earn Badges

Rebecca Scott, Co-Troop Leader for Medford Troop 68137, was a guest writer for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts blog. Her post shares tips for helping girls earn badges as a troop or on their own.

Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts | Blog

troop68137atpondshelterspring2016 Rebecca Scott (top right) with her co-troop leaders and Junior troop 68137

Volunteers are at the heart of our organization. They carry their responsibilities with so much care, and we value all of the hard work they do to help girls try new things and find their spark.

Rebecca Scott, a co-troop leader for Junior troop 68137 in Medford, shares three tips for helping girls earn badges:

troop68137cookiebooth troop 68137 selling cookies

1. Start with a vote

At the beginning of the troop year, all troop members and their caregiver(s) are asked to review possible badges. The Badge Explorer page on the Girl Scouts website is a useful tool for giving girls an overview of the steps required to earn each badge. At the next meeting, we post all the different badges on the wall and give each troop member three stickers, each representing one vote. Each girl places her stickers…

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Have a Girl Scout Staycation in Eastern Massachusetts

Warm weather has finally arrived, and school is basically over for the year, so what’s a Girl Scout to do with all her free time? Earn our local council’s patches, that’s what. Each Girl Scout council in the United States has its own patches and Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts is no exception. You don’t need to be visiting from away to explore some of our local historic sites and attractions, and earn a special patch while you are at it.

Below are some of patches unique to Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts. Each patch has its own requirements and, once you have completed them, you can buy (or order) the patch from one of Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts’s stores.  Click here for store locations and hours.

freedomtrail

 

Freedom Trail Patch:  Starting in the Boston Common, follow the red line on the sidewalk to trace a path through history.  All levels of Girl Scouts are invited to answer one of two quizzes about the historic sites along the Freedom Trail to earn this patch.  Click here to download the requirements.

 


marathon

Marathon: Go the Distance! Patch:  Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors can earn this patch learning about the Boston Marathon, how to train for a marathon, and the history of marathons.  Girls must also help out,  or run in, a road race of any distance (or set up their own fitness routine.) Click here to download the requirements.

 


jfkJourney with JFK – the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum Patch:  This patch is open to all levels and it offers girls a variety of different activities, puzzles, worksheets, and games, some of which they can do at home and some which require them to go to the JFK Museum in Boston. Click here to download the requirements.

 

fetchFetch! Patch:  PBS’s TV show “Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman” teaches kids to explore the world and try new things.  Brownies and Juniors can earn this patch by completing science and engineering activities, and then demonstrating what they have learned to younger kids (like Girl Scout Daisies, for example.)  Click here to download the requirements.

plimothPlimoth Plantation Patch:  Brownies and Juniors can earn this patch by visiting the Plimoth Plantation and learning about the history of the relationship between the Native Wampanoag people and the 17th-century colonists. Click here to download the requirements.
Plimoth Plantation also runs different programs for Girl Scouts throughout the year, including sleepovers.  Click here for details about their special programs just for Scouts.

The Friends of the Fells are also friends of Girl Scouts

Bordering Medford to the north, the Middlesex Fells is a network of over 100 miles of forest trails, and Friends of the Fells is the non-profit organization dedicated  to protecting and supporting the harmonious use of the Fells.  A fantastic resource for Medford Girl Scouts, the Fells is the perfect destination for outdoor programing and the Friends of the Fells are happy to be a resource for Girl Scouts who want to explore the natural world at their doorstep.

Medford Girl Scout leader, Ann Frenning Kossuth (Troop 65264 Co-Leader), recently started working for the Friends of the Fells as their Youth Programs Coordinator and Lindsay Beal, their Volunteer Coordinator, is also happy help.  Troops or individual Girl Scouts can participate in regularly scheduled programs or they can reach out to the Friends of the Fells for suggestions, insight, and help setting up troop-specific programs. The best way to reach them is to send an email to friends@fells.org.

Lindsay has the following suggestions for different ways individual Girls Scouts and Girl Scout troops can connect with the Friends of the Fells.  She says that:

  • We frequently lead educational and trail service field trips for Girls Scouts.  These can be by appointment, and most of the hike leaders listed on the calendar below are happy to accommodate them as well, if something looks intriguing.
  • For older Girl Scouts, there are ways to get extra service hours.  They can fill out our volunteer form: www.friendsofthefells.org/volunteer
  • Older Girl Scouts can also check out our event calendar–any one of the hike leaders would be happy for an assistant: www.friendsofthefells.org/events-calendar
  •  If they have something more major in mind (like for a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award), we can also mentor match, and assist with community connections, and help brainstorm project ideas.

Troops can also head to the Fells to earn badges at every level.  Here are some suggestions for badges which work well in the woods:

  • Daisies:”Use Resources Wisely” petal and “Make the World a Better Place” petal
  • Brownies:  Hiker, Outdoor Adventurer, Bugs, Senses, and Making Games
  • Juniors: Animal Habitats, Staying Fit, Geocaching, and Flowers
  • Cadettes: Trailblazing and Trees
  • Seniors: Adventurer, Voice for Animals, and Sky
  • Ambassador: Water and Photographer

In addition, Troops can look to the Fells as a place where they can work on their “Take Action” projects for the Journeys, or their Bronze, Silver or Gold Award projects.

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