July 2017: Your Checklist for Success

Need a refresher from last month? Check out the June Checklist!

Need to download a copy of the July Checklist? Click here!



Upcoming – For Girls, Troops, and Families

SUMMER EVENTS

Troops and Girl Scout families can view and register for events around the council from the Events Calendar on our website. You can also find program kits and field trips online!
Be sure to check out upcoming programs near you:

  • Gimme S’more Mud Run – Public registration is OPEN NOW for the Gimme S’more Mud Run on September 23 at Camp Sacajawea! Head over to smoremudrun.com to register for the muddiest obstacle race in Iowa.
  • There’s Still Time to Register for Summer Camp! Summer camp season is here, but we still have openings at awesome sessions at both camp locations. Encourage parents to register their Girl Scout for their best summer ever at camp!

JOIN US FOR A ZOMBIE BASH!

  • All girls who renewed their 2017-18 membership before June 30 get FREE admission to one of our Zombie Bashes happening across the council!
  • Didn’t renew during Early Bird? Girls can still join in on the fun if they register for the 2018 membership year and then register for their Zombie Bash for a $5 admission fee.
  • What zombie fun will be happening at these events? Girls will learn how to apply fun zombie makeup and do hands-only CPR.  We’ll also do a sensory bead STEM activity, and learn about what the various parts of blood.  Then we’ll make a paracord survival bracelet for emergencies.  Making a fire is an important survival skill too – we’ll build a fire with an edible twist.  The day will end with a group game of Zombie Survival. Don’t miss the fun!

Volunteer Resources

CIRCLE OF SUCCESS

We’ve added another date for Circle of Success this summer in Oskaloosa! Also, be sure to check out the session descriptions on each event’s page on the website. We listened to your feedback and are doing two longer breakout sessions to give you more time to learn and collaborate.

Le Mars – July 24     Denison – July 25     Fort Dodge – July 27     Emmetsburg – August 1

Council Bluffs – August 3     Indianola – August 7     Clear Lake – July 31

Lenox – August 8     Oskaloosa – August 3

MUD RUN VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

We need your help at the Gimme S’more Mud Run on September 23! We couldn’t put on this exciting event without the help of our awesome volunteers. From staffing the registration tables, to helping runners stay hydrated and find their way, we have volunteer positions for everyone. Interested? Fill out our simple form at smoremudrun.com under “Get Involved.”

NEW AND IMPROVED BRIDGE – COMING SOON!

We’ve listened to your feedback, and are making some awesome updates to gsgibridge.com! In late July, we’ll be updating the Bridge to truly make it an easy, searchable one-stop-shop for Girl Scout volunteers. Don’t worry, all your favorite content will still be there, and the web address will remain gsgibridge.com.


Building Girl Scouts

MONEY EARNING PROJECTS

Summer is a time when many troops do money earning projects to fund a service project or plan a trip! Before you start your project, be sure to check out the helpful guidelines and fill out the Money Earning Project Application at girlscoutsiowa.org/moneyearning!


Your Girl Scout Shop

MADE IN THE USA BADGE PRICE UPDATE

Girl Scouts of the USA has committed to produce uniforms and other items in the United States as much as possible, and to reduce its carbon footprint. As part of this commitment, beginning in July 2017, Daisy, Brownie, Junior, and Cadette badge production will take place in the United States. Due to higher production costs in the U.S., the price for the earned badges for Daisy, Brownie, Junior, and Cadette levels will be $3, effective July 1. Learn more about the change and an in-store only badge sale through August 31 in our news story (also found at the bottom of our website’s homepage).

NEW SHOP HOURS

Effective July 31, we’re updating our shop hours based on your feedback! Each Leadership Center will be open until 6pm one night per week, and select Super Saturdays will feature shops open from 9am to 1pm. Learn more on our Hours and Locations page.

June 2017: Checklist for Success

Need a refresher from last month? Check out the May Checklist!

Need to download a copy of the June Checklist? Click here!


June At-a-Glance


Upcoming – For Girls, Troops, and Families

Summer Events

Troops and Girl Scout families can view and register for events around the council from the Events Calendar on our website. You can also find program kits and field trips online!
Be sure to check out upcoming programs near you:

  • Camp Open Houses – From meeting the counselors to exploring the outdoors, to making a craft, there’s something for everyone at these great come-and-go events at each of our unique camps!
  • Zombie Events – Be Sure to Renew During Early Bird!
    • All girls who renew during Early Bird get FREE admission to one of our Zombie Bashes happening across the council! After girls renew, they can register for the event nearest them on our website.
  • Summer Camp Registration is Open!
    • Now that Cookie Dough has been sent, it’s the perfect time for families to register their Girl Scout for their best summer ever at camp!

Volunteer Resources

Early Bird

Early Bird Renewal ends on June 30! With new incentives – from a free exclusive event and patches, to “discounts” on adult registrations and a service unit reward – Early Bird Renewal is more exciting than ever! Renew your troop before June 30 for an awesome head start on the 2017-18 year. Learn more at gsgibridge.com/earlybird.

Circle of Success – Registration is Open Now!

Circle of Success events across the council are great opportunities to kick start the excitement for the new Girl Scout year, connect with other volunteers in your region, and share best practices & resources in the Girl Scout movement. Register now for the event near you on our website Event List!

Le Mars – July 24 Denison – July 25 Fort Dodge – July 27
Emmetsburg – August 1 Council Bluffs – August 3 Indianola – August 7
Clear Lake – July 31 Lenox – August 8

Mud Run Volunteers Needed!

We need your help at the Gimme S’more Mud Run on September 23! We couldn’t put on this exciting event without the help of our awesome volunteers. From staffing the registration tables, to helping runners stay hydrated and find their way, we have volunteer positions for everyone. Interested? Fill out our simple form at smoremudrun.com under “Get Involved.”

 

Troop Finance Reports

Don’t forget, Troop Finance Reports are due June 30! We’ve simplified the form to make it easy for you to complete. And remember, the $5 adult membership discount for Early Bird will only take effect once your Troop Finance Report is complete! Head to girlscoutsiowa.org/troopfinance to fill out your troop’s report.

Troop Catalog Update Forms

The new year is approaching! Be sure to fill out the Troop Catalog Update Form on our website to let us know about your troop this year, like your meeting details or a description of the activities your troop loves to do!

G.I.R.L. 2017 – National Convention

You’re invited to a one-of-a-kind gathering of girls and women from around the world. Come experience National Convention like you’ve never seen it before. From October 6-8, 2017, Girl Scouts will dominate Columbus, Ohio, and we want you to be a part of it! Unlike previous National Conventions, this year’s three day event is all about inspiring speakers, enlightening educational opportunities and the Hall of Experience. The business is taken care of earlier in the week. See all National Convention options in our Bridge post.

Summer Leadership Center Hours

From June 2 – September 1, all Leadership Centers will close at 3:00 p.m. on Fridays. For updates on hours and closings, be sure to check our Hours and Locations page.

Outdoor Exploration Training for Volunteers!

We’re thrilled to offer awesome outdoor training opportunities at 4 different locations in the next year! Topics covered in the trainings will include: campfire basics, fire-building, outdoor cooking, campout first-aid (not a certification), camping 101, and so much more! Save the date for the training near you – registration will open later this summer:

Camp Joy Hollow (Westfield)

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Camp Juliette (Marshalltown)

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Camp Sacajawea (Boone)

Fri., October 20 – Sat., October 21, 2017

Camp Tanglefoot (Clear Lake)

Friday, May 11 – Saturday, May 12, 2018


Girl Scout Q&A

Q: My troop plans to complete the Summer of Service hours.  Do I need to fill anything out?  How will they get their patch?

A: All troops completing their Summer of Service project hours should complete the Summer of Service Form located on our website.  If your troop donated at least 10 hours of your time, you qualify for cool Summer of Service patches, and can designate on the form whether you will be picking your patches up, or if you would like them to be mailed.

Q: Our troop earned a camp overnight during the Cookie Program – how do we book this?

A: To reserve your free overnight, please e-mail the following information to info@gsiowa.org:

  1. Troop Leader’s name and troop number.
  2. Preferred overnight dates and camp location of choice.
  3. Total number of people attending (girls and adults).
  4. Preferred building to rent (if you have a preference).

Please note our camp directors will be providing the programming for your outdoor badge.  We can’t wait to see you at camp!

May 2017: Your Checklist for Success

Need a refresher from last month? Check out the April Checklist!

Need to download a copy of the May Checklist? Click here!


May At-a-Glance


Upcoming – For Girls, Troops, and Families

Spring Events

Troops and Girl Scout families can view and register for events around the council from the Events Calendar on our website. You can also find program kits and field trips online!
Be sure to check out upcoming programs near you:

  • Living Like a Pioneer
    • NEW for Brownies/Juniors! Ever wondered what it would be to live like a pioneer? Join us in our very first overnight at Living History Farms, Living Like a Pioneer (June 2 – 3)!
  • Journey in a Day
  • G.I.R.L. 2017 – National Convention
    • Attention all Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors! Join your Girl Scout sisters from Iowa and across the nation to participate in the triennial Girl Scouts National Convention in Columbus, Ohio this October. Check out our Girl Scout Travel page for more info!
  • Summer Camp Registration is Open!
    • Now that Cookie Dough has been sent, it’s the perfect time for families to register their Girl Scout for their best summer ever at camp!

Volunteer Resources

Early Bird

It’s Early Bird Renewal time! With new incentives – from a free exclusive event and patches, to “discounts” on adult registrations and a service unit reward – Early Bird Renewal is more exciting than ever! Renew your troop before June 30 for an awesome head start on the 2017-18 year. Learn more at gsgibridge.com/earlybird.

Circle of Success – Save the Dates

Circle of Success events across the council are great opportunities to kick start the excitement for the new Girl Scout year, connect with other volunteers in your region, and share best practices & resources in the Girl Scout movement. Save the date for the event near you, and keep an eye on The Bridge and our Event List for more info:

dates

Summer of Service

Let’s show the world how much Girl Scouts can do this summer! If you help us reach our goal of 2017 hours of service, everyone who participates will receive a Summer of Service t-shirt. Give at least 10 hours as a troop, and you’ll earn a patch! Find out more at girlscoutsiowa.org/summerofservice.

Virtual Roundtables in May

We have some awesome virtual roundtables coming up in May for our volunteers! We’re holding two sessions about Summer of Service and two sessions especially for Cadette/Senior/Ambassador troop leaders. We hope you’ll join us for these opportunities to share ideas – check out the Event List for more info!

Troop Finance Reports

Don’t forget, Troop Finance Reports are due June 30! We’ve simplified the form to make it easy for you to complete. And remember, the $5 adult membership discount for Early Bird will only take effect once your Troop Finance Report is complete! Head to girlscoutsiowa.org/troopfinance to fill out your troop’s report.

Screen-Free Week Program Kit

Pssst…. Screen-Free Week this year is from May 1 – May 7, and we have a program kit for your girls! Learn more about the benefits of Screen-Free Week and download the kit here!


Your Girl Scout Shop

Starter Kits are Back!

Visit any of our council shops for our build-it-yourself Starter Kits – perfect for new Girl Scouts and bridging members! When you spend at least $30 on essential items (qualifying uniform, insignia, and books) for one grade-level kit, your Girl Scout will receive a FREE BAG. [This is an in-store offer; similar promotions can be found on the online shop, but details vary.]

Cookie Dough Can Be Used at the Camp Trading Posts!

Did you know that families can use Cookie Dough and Munch Money at the Trading Post at camp? From blankets and shirts, to bandanas and bracelets, girls can snag a keepsake to remember their summer.


Girl Scout Q&A

Q: When will cookie recognition items be in?

A: Cookie recognition items will be sent to each Service Unit Product Chair (SUPC), and should arrive in the beginning of May. SUPCs will separate orders and get them to troops. We appreciate your patience as we anxiously wait for items to arrive so the girls can enjoy the recognitions they worked so hard for!

Q: What if one of my troop families says they didn’t receive their Girl Scout’s Cookie Dough information?

A: When checking your e-mail for the message with Cookie Dough information, be sure to have families check their inbox as well as junk, promotional, social, and spam folders.  If after checking they still don’t find the e-mail, please have them send a message to info@gsiowa.org and a member of our Customer Care team would be happy to help.  Be sure to check out the Cookie Dough, Munch Money, & Program Credit Policy Guide, which can be found in the Forms section of our website, to see how Cookie Dough can be utilized this year!

Your 2017-18 Early Bird Renewal Guide

It is almost Early Bird time! Your Girl Scout troop can get a head-start for another great year by renewing your Girl Scout membership for 2017-18 starting April 15. Girls and adults can earn special incentives through Early Bird registration. Why wait?

Early Bird Dates: April 15 – June 30, 2017

Why Early Bird?zombies

  • Exclusive Event! We’ll be hosting super-fun zombie-themed events all across the council this summer – FREE for girls who register during Early Bird!
  • Exclusive T-Shirt! Girls and adults who register for the awesome zombie events will be able to order an exclusive zombie t-shirt for $5. EarlyBirdPatch
  • Patches! Every girl who registers during Early Bird gets a cool custom patch.
  • Get $25 for 5! Your troop will get $5 off the adult registration for up to five adult volunteers.
  • Service Unit Fun! If your service unit renews 50% of your Girl Scouts (girl members only) during Early Bird, the service unit will get a $25 gift card to use on something fun for an event!

Early Bird Checklist

  • This year it’s super easy to Early Bird – simply renew the returning girl and adult members in your troop for the 2017-18 year! Membership fees for 2017-18 are $25.

Ready to Get Started?

Check out our handy step-by-step guides, based on how you would like to renew your troop:

We’ve even made a handy fillable flyer you can use to let your troop families know what your Early Bird plans are!

Other Year-End Wrap-Up

As many troops start planning Bridging Ceremonies and Court of Awards events, it’s also a great time to wrap-up a few administrative items that will set you up for success in the fall:

  • Troop Finance Report (Due 6/30/17) – We’ve simplified the Troop Finance Report so it’s easy for troops to report on their finances (we’re required by the IRS to make sure we keep proper records of funds on file).
  • Service Unit Finance Report (Due 6/30/17) – Service Unit Managers: we’ve also created a simple form for reporting on the finances of the service unit bank account!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Why are Girl Scout membership dues increasing to $25?

A: As the first and largest girl-led organization in the world, we continue to evolve our unique leadership program and implement new technologies and ways of work to enhance the Girl Scout experience for girls, volunteers, and parents. To ensure we have the resources to support this work, the National Board of Girl Scouts of the USA has made a decision to increase the annual membership fee to $25, starting October 1, 2017, for both girl and adult members.

Every dollar of membership dues is sent to Girl Scouts of the USA to cover the cost of fundamental services supporting the Girl Scout Movement including: accident insurance for members participating in approved Girl Scout activities, research, resources, training, and services to councils. You can find more information on the fee change in GSUSA’s Membership FAQ.

Q: What if I renew during Early Bird but can’t make it to one of the zombie events. Can I still get an exclusive t-shirt?

A: We will have additional shirts available (while supplies last) for members who renew during Early Bird to purchase for $5 if they cannot attend one of the events.

Q: What is required to qualify for the Early Bird incentives?

A: All girls registered by June 30 for the 2017-18 year qualify for the Early Bird incentives, including the free patch and exclusive event! For the $25 for 5 Adult incentive, troops must also submit the annual Troop Finance Report on time.

Q: What are the different ways that I can renew my troop?

A: There are a few different ways that your troop can renew during Early Bird:

Q: If girls in my troop renew through Early Bird, how will they register for their exclusive event?

A: Once girls have renewed through Early Bird, they can register for the exclusive Zombie Event in their area! While registering, just make sure that they select the “Free – Early Bird Renewal” price level or the “$5 Early Bird Renewal with exclusive t-shirt” price level.

Q: How do we get the “$25 for 5” to use for adult renewal?

A: Troops will be reimbursed after paying the full membership dues amount. Troops must complete the annual Troop Finance Report (on time) before reimbursement.

Q: How will we know if our service unit reaches the 50% renewal mark to earn the gift card? 

A: We’ll track service unit Early Bird participation, and reach out to Service Unit Managers once their service unit reaches 50% girl renewal. Participation numbers will be tracked as of April 1, 2017.

Q: How can we get the word out to our troop families what our Early Bird renewal plans are?

A: We’ve made a fillable flyer that prints two-per-page! You can type the info your troop families need about Early Bird, print them, and hand them out at your next meeting.

Have any other questions? Give us a call at 800-342-8389, or email us at info@gsiowa.org— we’re here to help!

April 2017: Your Checklist for Success

Need a refresher from last month? Check out the March Checklist!

Need to download a copy of the April Checklist? Click here!


April At-a-Glance

  • April 4: Final auto-withdrawal for the 2017 Cookie Program takes place.
  • April 11: Deadline to register for Circle of Excellence.
  • Mid-April: Early Bird Renewal Kicks Off.
  • April 21: Deadline to sign up for Junior FIRST LEGO League.
  • April 22: Circle of Excellence.
  • April 22-29: Money Smart Week.
  • April 29: Tent Set-Up Day at Camp Tanglefoot.

Upcoming – For Girls, Troops, and Families

Spring Events

Troops and Girl Scout families can view and register for events around the council from the Events Calendar on our website. You can also find program kits and field trips online!
Be sure to check out upcoming programs near you:

Outdoor Skills Videos

Here are some great outdoor skills videos to help your troop get ready to go outdoors this spring!


Volunteer Resources

Early Bird Renewal is Coming!

  • In mid-April, Early Bird membership renewal will kick-off! From an exclusive event and free t-shirt for girls who renew their membership during Early Bird, to troop and service unit incentives, there’s a whole lot to get excited about. Keep an eye on The Bridge and the April Volunteer Newsletter for more information!

National Girl Scout Convention – G.I.R.L. 2017

  • Every 3 years, Girl Scouts of the USA holds a Triennial business meeting.  This year the business meeting will be in Columbus, Ohio, and will be followed by the interactive activities in an event called G.I.R.L. 2017.  It is a one-of-a-kind gathering of girls and women from around the world. Girl Scouts is taking the lead by working with high school girls across the nation to plan the multi-day event for all girls and those who care about them. The event will bring together more than 10,000 people—Girl Scout members, supporters, speakers, entertainers, and exhibitors—to inspire girls to get active in their communities and build a better world.
  • Check out all the news at the G.I.R.L. 2017 website – from here you can see what is being planned and register for the event. Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors can also register to join the council on a travel opportunity to the event! You can take a look at the 2014 National Convention in Salt Lake City in 2014 here on YouTube!

Volunteer Recognitions at Circle of Excellence

  • We are thrilled to report that more than 70 volunteers were nominated to receive special recognition this year!  Many of these will be awarded at the Circle of Excellence event on April 22 in Ames.  It is exciting to see peers nominating each other for their dedication! Registration is open now for Circle of Excellence – the event will be FREE for all current Girl Scout members (girls and adults), and $15 per non-member – please note that registration is still required for all, even if you do not need to pay a registration fee. Register now on our website Event List! (Registration Closes April 11.)

Share Your Year-End Celebrations With Us!

  • The Cookie Program has flown by, and that means that troops and service units will soon be planning end-of-year celebrations. We would love to celebrate your accomplishments with you and your girls! Please share with us the date, time, & location of your service unit Court of Awards, Bridging Ceremony, or end-of-year event by emailing info@gsiowa.org. We can’t wait to hear from you! Please let us know if you have any additional end-of-year questions. Thank you for all that you do!

Girl Scout Q&A

Q:When will our troop’s final auto-withdrawal for cookies be taken out of the troop bank account?

A: The final auto-withdrawal will take place on April 4, 2017. Troop proceeds will remain in your troop bank account.

Q: When will my troop receive our cookie Recognition Orders?

A: Troop Product Managers will receive Recognition Orders from your Service Unit Product Chair by the end of April.  Cookie Dough will be sent to each family directly.

Q: What can Cookie Dough & Munch Money be used towards?

You can find the new Cookie Dough, Munch Money, & Program Credit Policy on the website and in the Cookie Program post on the Bridge!

March 2017: Your Checklist for Success

Need a refresher from last month? Check out the February Checklist!

Need to download a copy of the March Checklist? Click here!


March At-a-Glance

  • March 2: First auto-withdrawal for the 2017 Cookie Program takes place.
  • March 11: First Aid/CPR Training in Ankeny.
  • March 12: Order-Taking ends for the 2017 Cookie Program.
  • March 19: COCOdirect and booth sales end for the 2017 Cookie Program.

Upcoming – For Girls, Troops, and Families

Claim Her Spot for the Best Summer Ever – For Only $35!

  • Did you know? You don’t have to pay your Girl Scout’s full camp session fee all at once! Only the $35 deposit is due at the time you register, and then you can pay the rest later (and apply the Cookie Dough your Girl Scout earns this year). Check out the awesome sessions at Camp Sacajawea and Camp Tanglefoot, and register today!

Winter Events

Troops and Girl Scout families can view and register for events around the council from the Events Calendar on our website. You can also find program kits and field trips online!
Be sure to check out upcoming programs near you:

  • Camp Cookout – Join us March 25 to learn all about cooking over a campfire at the Des Moines Leadership Center (grades 2-5).
  • Backpacking Adventure – Girls in grades 4-12 can join us April 13-15 for a backpacking trip in the Loess Hills!
  • Red Cross Babysitting Class – Cadettes and older can gain valuable training to be a safe, reliable babysitter through the Red Cross! The cost (for supplies) is $25/girl; maximum participants is 12. If your troop or service unit is interested in hosting a class, email info@gsiowa.org with the following info: leader name, email address, city, # of girls, potential dates (supply two), potential location.

Volunteer Resources

Wells Fargo Community Service Grant

  • Thanks to Wells Fargo, Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa troops have the opportunity to receive grant funding ($100 – $500) for service projects in local communities. Find out more information on what projects qualify and how to apply on our website at girlscoutsiowa.org/wellsfargo!

Circle of Excellence Registration is OPEN!

  • Registration is open now for our big Circle of Excellence celebration on April 22 in Ames! Dr. Nancy Franz will be our keynote speaker, and the event will be FREE for all current Girl Scout members (girls and adults), and $15 per non-member – please note that registration is still required for all, even if you do not need to pay a registration fee. Register now on our website Event List!

First-Aid/CPR Classes

  • Need to complete your first aid/CPR training? We have a few scheduled trainings coming up across the council (first aid/CPR training will also be available at the Fall Leader Retreat – see below for more info).

Indoor Trampoline Parks and Safety

  • With the council’s express permission, indoor trampoline parks are one of only two freefall activities not prohibited by Girl Scouts. An indoor trampoline park is an enclosed gymnasium-like space consisting of many connected trampolines used to turn an entire room into a massive trampoline. Indoor trampoline courts, because they are contained, low-impact, and adjustable to size and skill-level of participants, is one of two freefall activities not prohibited by Girl Scouts. Indoor Trampoline Parks have padded walls, soft (may be foam pits) landing areas and staff trained to watch for possible unsafe behavior. Indoor trampolining is not recommended for Girl Scout Daisies.
  • Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa has only approved the following indoor trampoline parks to date.  If you have a park in your area please let us know so we can verify they meet the safety standards.  Be sure that each family has signed a specific release form for the facility for each of your girls.  If you have any questions please contact your Troop Support Manager.
    • Sky Zone Trampoline Park, 1300 SE Gateway Dr. #103, Grimes, IA 50111
    • Get Air Des Moines, 3799 86th St, Urbandale, IA 50322

Save the Date for the Fall Leader Retreat

  • The 2017 Fall Leader Retreat will take place October 20-22 at beautiful Camp Sacajawea in Boone! Keep an eye out for more information, including details on which volunteer training will be offered, daily schedules, and more.

Girl Scout Week


Girl Scout Q&A

 Q: Can I get gluten free Trios through my Planned Order in Snap+?

A: Trios will not be available through the Planned Order process to pick up at cupboards. If a troop would like Trios they will need to get them from a troop who does have them and do a Troop-to-Troop Transfer. We encourage troops to network amongst one another as well as check out the Facebook groups which may be available for leaders to access in their respective areas.  Troops who are picking up Planned Orders at a cupboard may also ask the cupboard manager if they have any Trios from any exchanges, and if the cupboard does the troop is welcome to them. However, inventory is not guaranteed and they will be given on a first-come, first-served basis; we are unable to hold Trios for any troops.

Q: How much will be withdrawn from my troop bank account during the first Cookie Program auto-withdrawal on March 2?

A: On February 23, the Troop Product Manager will receive an email detailing the amount that will be withdrawn on March 2. This total is calculated by $1/package received by the troop through February 18. For the second auto-withdrawal on April 4, the remaining balance due will be withdrawn.

Q: How can I get in touch with local leaders to exchange cookies?

A: Check out our region-based Facebook cookie exchange notes! You can post in the comments with what you have or are looking for, and then exchange contact information with each other via private message. Check out the exchange note nearest you:

February 2017: Checklist for Success

Need a refresher from last month? Check out the January Checklist.

Need to download a copy of the February Checklist? Click here!


February At-a-Glance

  • February 1: The 2017 Cookie Program Begins! Order-Taking starts now.
  • February 8: Live announcement of Winter Membership Drive winners on Facebook at approx. 11am
  • February 10: Booth sales start for the Cookie Program.
  • February 27: Registration deadline for Girl Scout Day at the Capitol.

Upcoming – For Girls, Troops, and Families

Winter Events

Troops and Girl Scout families can view and register for events around the council from the Events Calendar on our website. You can also find program kits and field trips online!
Be sure to check out upcoming programs near you:

  • Girl Scout Day at the Capitol – Get a behind-the-scenes look at how our state government works on Monday, March 13! (Registration Deadline: 2/27/17)
  • FIRST LEGO League (Jr. FLL) (ages 6 – 10) – Let her inner innovator shine! Jr. FLL features a real-world challenge to be solved by research, critical thinking, construction, teamwork, and imagination. Teams use LEGO® bricks to build a model with a motorized part and develop a coordinating poster to illustrate their journey. We still have the opportunity to sponsor a few more teams for the 2016-2017 season. Email info@gsiowa.org to learn more!

Volunteer Resources

Girl Scout Week Program Kit

  • Girl Scout Week, celebrated March 12 – 18 this year, is fast approaching! To make it easier to plan your festivities in honor of Girl Scouts’ 105th birthday, we’ve put together a Program Kit (also featured in the program/camp book)! Check out the kit (and lots more) on our website.

Last Chance to Nominate Amazing Volunteers!

The Volunteer Toolkit – What GSGI Volunteers Think!

  • The Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) is a tool, accessible through the MyGS login on our homepage, that allows volunteers to plan your year, customize meetings, communicate with families, and so much more! The volunteers of Troop 00980, who are navigating their first year as leaders, have this to say about the VTK:

“Having no knowledge of what should/should not happen in meetings, this has served to give ideas and direction for our meetings.  It’s easy to go in, see what is there, and change what we want without having to start from scratch.  Having the resources, printouts, etc. right there without having to search is great too.  It’s a customizable road map which is especially nice since we are a new troop with new leaders.”

Circle of Excellence

  • Registration is opening soon for our big Circle of Excellence celebration on April 22 in Ames! Dr. Nancy Franz will be our keynote speaker, and the event will be FREE for all current Girl Scout members (girls and adults) – please note that registration is still required once it has opened. Check out more information on our website.

Building Girl Scouts

Winners Announced Live – Winter Membership Drive

  • On February 8 at 11:00 a.m., we’ll draw the winners of our Winter Membership Drive contest gift cards, live on our Facebook page!

Your Girl Scout Shop

Your Cookie Booth Gear!

  • We’ve got yard signs, car magnets, balloons, tablecloths, and more in the council shops to help your troop bling their booth! Stop by today.

Cookie Carts

  • Special “cookie carts” will be available in shops in early February. Limited quantities available – stop by as soon as you can in February!

National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend Patch

  • Is your troop or service unit doing something special to celebrate National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend (February 24-26)? Bring in a photo of your festivities (on your phone is fine) to any GSGI shop from February 27 – March 5 and you’ll receive a free National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend patch for all participating girls!

Girl Scout Q&A

 Q: Why does (Girl Scout name) have an asterisk next to her name in SNAP+? 

A: Girls with asterisks next to their names have a financial restriction with the council.  Please note that these girls may participate in the Cookie Program through booth sales, and by accessing COCOdirect to send e-mails to family and friends to purchase cookies. However, they are not able to handle product or money directly.  You may Transfer cookies to these girls as long as they are for booth sales and not direct sales.

Q: I have a girl showing in SNAP+ who is not selling cookies with my troop.  Can she be removed?

A:  Girls who are active members of the troop but are not participating in the Cookie Program can remain listed in SNAP+.  Girls without any cookies transferred to them in SNAP+ will not impact your troop’s PGA or incentives earned.  If a girl is no longer actively involved with your troop and is not supposed to appear on your MyGS Troop Roster, email us at info@gsiowa.org and we will be sure to place her appropriately.

Q: Where can I access helpful information for the Cookie Program?

A:  Be sure that you’re subscribed to our Shout Out! Newsletters – you can find a list of links to previous Shout Outs! and a link to the subscription form on the Bridge. You can also find a complete roundup of resources at gsgibridge.com/cookieprogram.