• Locals Earn Girl Scout Gold Award

    08 Dec 2014

    The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest honor a Scout may earn. It requires girls to complete a project that not only helps the community, but is sustainable as well. Recently, two local Girl Scouts earned their Gold Award by hosting a teen writing workshop and a charity fashion show.

    Leslie Amick, a sophomore at Flower Mound High School, hosted two writing workshops for middle and high school teens at the Lewisville Public Library. The first focused on fan fiction writing and the second was held in conjunction with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) held annually in November.


    “I wanted to help teens with writing in a way that was fun,” Amick said. “I first got into writing because of my teacher who led us in a NaNoWriMo workshop. I wanted to help other teens because writing is a skill you need to have.”

    Debra Swackhamer, an eighth-grade English teacher, was instrumental in fueling Amick’s love for writing. She served as the advisor for Amick’s Girl Scout project.

    “It’s very important to have a good advisor,” said Stacey Amick, Amick’s mother and troop leader. “She was a great asset during this process.”

    During the fan fiction event, Amick brought in two presenters/authors, Autrey Clover and Jen Fitzgerald, who led a panel discussion on how to create fan fiction. The panel was followed by a question ...

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  • Moore Holds Girl Scouting in the School Day

    03 Dec 2014

    Girl Scout Hailey Nichols, 14, hammered pieces of wood together to make a model elevator at the engineering station of Girl Scouting in the School Day program at Moore MST Middle School on Wednesday.

    “I think it’s fun and you get to share tools with others,” she said as she assembled the kit, following instructions.

    Across the gym, Dominique Taylor, 12, listened to advice from Girl Scout leader Debra Jones about how to handle bullies. “I like it (the presentation) because it helps me to figure out what to do whenever I’m bullied. I walk away and ignore them,” Dominique said.

    In another corner, Marissa Vasquez, 14, cradled an old rotary dial phone in her lap, examining it closely at the technology station.

    Leaders of Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas set up several stations in the school gymnasium to showcase the Girl Scouting in the School Day program for donors who support the program, said Caytie Langford, chief development officer.

    “We wanted to say thank you to our generous donors. … And we want them to be able to see what their investment is doing,” Ms. Langford said.

    Donors include Brookshire Grocery Co., United Way of Smith County and Samsung.

    About 250 girls participate at Moore in the periodic Girl Scouting in the School Day program, which has operated at the school since 2001, and the total number of participants in five Tyler schools is about 900.

    Moore Principal Claude Lane said, “The thing that has impressed...

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  • Girl Scouts Aim to Increase Membership

    02 Dec 2014

    The Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, as part of a nationwide epidemic, have seen a decline in membership over the past 10 years. In order to reverse the trend, Jennifer Bartkowski, CEO of Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, has begun meeting with school districts and community leaders about Girl Scouts.

    “Developing girl leaders is our focus. Today, girls need leadership skills,” Bartkowski said. “I met with Lewisville ISD’s superintendent, Dr. Stephen F. Waddell, and found that their goals lined up with ours. We find ourselves to be complimentary to the school environment.”

    According to officials, in 2003 there were nearly four million women and girls in Girl Scouts of the United States of America. Now the number is around 2.3 million. The number of councils has also dropped from 321 to 112. In Northeast Texas, there are approximately 30,000 Girl Scouts. Bartkowski said locally, Northeast Texas saw its first decline last fall.

    “We’re transforming how we collaborate with the community and how we service older girls. We’re bringing in technology, and we really think we’re on to something.”

    Bartkowski said it’s hard for Girl Scouts to retain the girls in middle and high school, but the organization recently launched a leadership program for high school girls that provides corporate visits and internships that provide a unique exp...

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  • A Man Among Girls

    15 Nov 2014

    Eric Foster enjoyed the outdoors as an Eagle Scout but little did he know then that his interests would one day lead him to where he is today – a trainer with the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas.

    Foster served as a Scoutmaster with his two sons, taking them through Boy Scouts. Now, he is doing the same with his daughter, only in a slightly different setting.

    When he adopted his daughter, Morgan, from China, he decided to transfer his knowledge of scouting to the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas where he volunteered his time to become a scout leader and a trainer. He works with the fifth-grade Junior level since his daughter is now 11.

    “Scouting is my hobby,” says the Flower Mound father. “The reason I give my time to scouting ... is the holistic nature of the program.”

    Through working with his daughter and other young women, Foster has been able to help them learn skillsets in leadership, being a team player, citizenship, fitness, disaster preparation, environmental stewardship, life skills and more.

    “We’re teaching girls in this program to be leaders in the community,” he said.

    Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas serves an estimated 30,000 girls and 17,000 adults in 32 northeast Texas counties including Denton County, which has 4,396 girls in the program. An estimated 732 of the county’s Girl Scouts are from Flower Mound with 138 from Highland Village, 88 from Lantana, 55 from Argyle, 23 from Double Oak, three from Bartonvi...

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  • Scout Dedicated to Saving Pets

    04 Nov 2014

    Devin Bray, a junior at Denton Guyer High School, has been reaching for the gold since she was a Daisy — the youngest level of Girl Scouts — in kindergarten.

    Bray says her passion for animals inspired the project she’s undertaken to earn her Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. Her goal, she said, is to help firefighters learn how to better save the lives of cats and dogs rescued from burning homes.

    “By watching the news I saw all these animals that needed to be saved, and I wanted to help do something about it,” said Bray, a member of Girl Scout Troop 317 in Corinth.

    And she did.

    Over the past seven months, Bray researched how to provide not only pet oxygen masks to the community, but also the training needed to use them.

    Denton Fire Department Battalion Chief Brian Glenn said he had been in communication for six weeks with Bray about her project, and initially she was just asking to donate some masks.

    “We weren’t really in the market for more masks, but I told her we could maybe use some training and it went on from there,” he said.

    Caleb Coursey, a member of Texas A&M University’s Veterinary Emergency Team, led training Saturday at the Denton Public Safety Training Center.

    Coursey said it was the veterinary team’s first oxygen safety training course for firefighters, and he hopes it leads to more.

    “It’s possibly one of the best things that could happen,” he said about the launch of the n...

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  • Invite-a-Friend to GSNETX

    03 Nov 2014

    Life is always better with a friend, right? We think so, too! So why not invite your friend to become a Girl Scout volunteer!

    With nearly 30,000 Girl Scouts and 17,000 volunteers, we want to know who you think would make a great role model for our girls.

    For the entire month of November, volunteers can invite their friends to the Girl Scout family! When you invite a friend to start a new Girl Scout Daisy, Brownie or Junior troop, you’ll receive $50 to spend at Girl Scouts’ official online store, and your friend will get a free Volunteer Resource Pack filled with tools that won’t just jumpstart your friend’s Girl Scout experience, but inspire each girl to take on new adventures!

    Once your friend joins Girl Scouts as a troop leader, completes the volunteer application, and starts a new Girl Scout troop, be sure to claim your prize!

    But it doesn’t have to end there.

    You can invite up to two friends; that's a $100 gift to you, and important volunteer tools for your friend!

    When you Invite-a-Friend, you're inviting more than just another volunteer. You're inviting a dedicated person to serve as their girls’ cheerleader, mentor and counselor. We can think of a million reasons why your friend would be a perfect fit. Participate today and watch your friend and her troop flourish!

  • Local Girl Scouts Meet Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere

    17 Oct 2014

    Members of Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Junior Troop 3537 met with Mayor Harry LaRosiliere in his office located at the Plano Municipal Building on Monday, October 13, 2014. Meeting the Mayor was an honor and a key step for completing their “Inside Government” badge.

    Mayor LaRosiliere spoke with the troop regarding how city government is run and how they can be active citizens. The girls then asked questions that ranged from “why did you decide to become mayor” to “can you tell me about your kids.”

    After the discussion, the girls pledged to become ambassadors for the city of Plano, as part of the city’s Youth Ambassador Program for which the Mayor awarded each scout a certificate and badge.

    After the meeting, Mayor LaRosiliere tweeted:

    Plano Mayor’s Office (@PlanosMayor) 10/13/14, 5:10 PM

    "Met with Girl Scout Troop 3537. Thanks girls for taking the Youth Ambassador Pledge!"

    About Troop 3537
    Girl Scout Troop 3537 are first year Juniors and fourth grade students at PISD’s Gulledge Elementary and Hickey Elementary. Troop members who met the Mayor included: Cassidy Brown, Gillian Hill, Eva Myers, Devika Nair, Hayley Polkes and Maya Villanueva. Also in attendance were troop leaders Leslie Brown and Leanne Villanueva, as well as, parent volunteer Seth Myers.

    About Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas

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