Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It’s EASY to be Green!

Whenever I hear the word ‘green’ I think of Kermit the Frog. I know, it is weird but I cannot get that image of him sitting on a log in the swamp singing, “It’s not that easy being green”. I think when the song was written or for him on a personal level, it really was not easy being green. But in the times we live in now, it really is EASY.

Recycling, for the most part, has moved into most neighborhoods/communities. Households are accustomed to recycling their plastic, aluminum, and paper. What was once a ‘chore” has become the norm. Now everyone is into reusing and this is so evident by all of the choices for a reusable tote. You can pick one up practically anywhere and fill it with your groceries or other shop items. I know my husband and I both have a supply, maybe 5 or 7, in our cars just in case we stop off at a store. We are always ready to bring in our empty bags and leave with full bags. This would be in addition to lunch bags, gym bags, laptop cases, and handbags we carry. Even with all of the bags my family and I currently carry around we could still work on our ‘green efforts’.

Last July, I became involved in the Girl Scout Community Action Project – Forever Green. A project that is helping to carry Girl Scouts to our 100th Anniversary focusing on what we as Girl Scouts have always done, help the environment. Forever Green helps us concentrate our efforts into 5 main areas: air, water, energy, green space, and waste management. What really surprised me was the diversity of projects that one could do to participate and the commitment levels associated with each. For example girls could decide to have people sign a water pledge to reduce the amount of time they spend showering or clean-up a local stream. Other sample projects include starting a school/community garden, encouraging the use of reusable water/food containers, educating others about ‘vampire currents’, and starting a no-idling zone at school.

I encourage you to get involved in this project with your troop, school, and community. Now is a great time to educate the public especially when you see so many people at your cookie booths. Now is also a great time to start planning for the spring and for Earth Day, April 22nd. Check out our website, http://www.gscsnj.org/forever_green.php for additional information including the Project Guide which has plenty of information and ideas to get you started. Remember to register your project at www.girlscouts.org/forevergreen.

As you begin working on your Forever Green project, please think of our friend, Kermit, sitting on his log and singing words that still resonate with us all:

“When green is all there is to be, it could make you wonder why, but why wonder why wonder, I am green and it'll do fine, it's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be”.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Kimberly Reed
Leadership Development Director

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Call To Action

As we are all well aware, the natural disaster that befell Haiti this week is one of unimaginable and epic proportions. And as we are inundated with news accounts by the minute thanks to You Tube, Twitter and Facebook we ask ourselves, “What can I do”, “How can we help” – and we ask these questions because we are Girl Scouts and we have a commitment and desire to TAKE ACTION.

There are many ways that troops can become involved in this relief effort. Here one link from GSUSA that can get you started with ideas of what other troops are doing and a list of resources: http://blog.girlscouts.org/2010/01/haiti-communities-come-together-to-help.html

We are ALWAYS proud to be Girl Scouts and it is times like this when we can use our resources to really make a difference in our world!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cookies, Technology and Girl Scouting in the 21st Century!!!

Well, girls, it all gets back to technology, doesn’t it? And if you have been following my blogs, you know that I am personally, and we are collectively, trying to keep up with all that is new (every day!!!!) in technology and on the information highway!!

So for our Council and for you, this means that we are using technology for every aspect of our operations, communications and, yes, now the cookie program! Now when I sold cookies as a Girl Scout in New York City “a while” back, we went door-to-door…in apartment buildings! In recent years, the “cookie booth” came into vogue as a good, efficient and safe way to have contact with the most number of people in a neighborhood. Now, in 2010, YOU have the opportunity to market, advertise, and promote the cookie program online – NOT to sell cookies, but to get the word out and take orders – all sales still have to be transacted in-person.

To find out more about this, check out the 411 On Online Marketing and Safety-Wise Learn about “Online Marketing for Girl Scout Product Activities” – must do’s, can do’s, cannot do’s and a “virtual vocab”.

This is all new and is a great opportunity for you to take your tech skills and combine them with your Girl Scout marketing knowledge on the cookie product and program…that will most likely result in increasing your orders and actual sales. I know you have all planned a budget around your anticipated activities this year and I hope that you successfully meet your budget goals. Remember also, that the cookie sale supports the Council as we provide literally hundreds of programs, trainings and camp activities for all of you!

Best of luck and best wishes for 2010!

Mary Connell