Thursday, April 3, 2014

Going for the Silver! Girl Scouts earn Silver Award by supporting Special Olympians

On March 28, the Boise council office received a visit from a group of extraordinary girls.

Cadette Troop 230 from the Wood River Valley popped in to give council staff a presentation of their Silver Award project done in coordination with Special Olympics Idaho. The Silver Award is the highest award a Cadette can receive. The award requires at least 50 hours of planning and implementation of a local community service project.

Troop 230 had a desire to help those with intellectual abilities so they chose to volunteer at both the Eastern Regional Winter Games and State Games in the Wood River Valley. The Special Olympics brings together more than 2,500 children and adults for 15 Olympic style events. The troop secured sponsors from a variety of businesses to host breakfast for more than 400 athletes. The girls also volunteered at each of the Olympic events.

“Working behind the scenes at council doesn’t give me many opportunities to see what amazing things our girls are doing with the curriculum they have learned in Girl Scouts,” said Sandy Wilson, Director of Human Resources and Business Services.  “I was in awe of the amount of hard work and time these girls put into such a worthy project.”

The troop also made Special Olympics badges for nearly every Girl Scout level using the Make Your Own Badge activity. Each girl wrote an explanation on why they think Girl Scouts should include a Special Olympics badge in their national curriculum.

Troop 230 used their artistic side to show the realities and solutions to disability discrimination. Each girl made artwork using a variety of mixed media as part of the Idaho Human Rights Art Contest.
Troop leaders, Leslie Feltman and Lorie Hayes, were overwhelmed at the amount of time, effort and heart their girls put into their Silver Award.

“We are so proud of these girls,” said Hayes.

To view slideshows of Troop 230’s time volunteering at Special Olympics Idaho, please click here and here.

Do you or your troop have a community service project to share with council? Please email Marketing Specialist, Kelsey Kuhnhausen, at

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Local Girl Scouts learn business, use cookie proceeds to help others

Girl Scout troops across the Treasure Valley have big plans this cookie season.

Troop 315 at the Oasis Food Center.
Already well on its way, Troop 189 hopes to sell at least 4,500 boxes this year. The troop is currently working on its budgeting badge and is saving up for an outdoor adventure in McCall. "We're learning about saving and giving," said Nampa Troop 189 Leader Rhonda Schaffer.  

This year, Schaffer's troop has gone the extra mile to help sell cookies. The girls made business cards with matching banners and door flyers to match. They even ordered Girl Scout cookie shirts so they look more professional.

"I'm proud of the girls and their enthusiasm to want to contribute to the community and to put forth effort," said Schaffer.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program also helps girls earn money for troop service projects, activities, troop travel and helps girls pay for camp.

Nampa Brownie Troop 315 is in its second year of Girl Scouting and this year and plan to use cookie proceeds to help others. Not only do four of the six girls in the troop hope to sell enough cookies to earn camp tuition, they have several service projects that need funding.

These projects include picking up the tab for a local family at the grocery store and putting together kits for homeless people that include items such as deodorant, toothbrushes and granola bars.

According to 9-year-old Brownie Kylie S., service is what Girl Scouts is all about.

"To me Girl Scouts means that I have a privilege to help in the community.  It means it's not all about badges but about helping others," she said.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Meet the 2014 Girl Scouts of Silver Sage Cookie Stars!

In November, Girl Scouts of Silver Sage held a council-wide contest to find this year's Cookie Stars! Girls submitted short videos of their best cookie pitch for the chance to be the face of the 2014 Cookie Season. 

Each winner is featured as a cardboard cutout that will be displayed during booth sales as well as a billboard model for one of our 12 billboards within our council area. 

Winners also participated in a cookie photo shoot, video interview, and are featured on cookie season promotional materials. 

Six winners were selected based on the originality and content of their video. Winning videos will be released each week starting February 19.We had several incredibly talented entries and chose our Super Six Girl Scouts to represent Silver Sage. 

Meet our 2014 Cookie Stars!

Girl Scout cookies are more than a sweet treat. Through cookie sales, girls build a lifetime of skills and confidence. They also earn valuable skills such as goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.

Cookie pre-sales run January 17 – February 2. Booth sales begin February 28 and end on March 16. Remember when you purchase five boxes in one transaction, you'll receive a certificate to enter into a drawing (via Girl Scouts of Silver Sage’s website) for five cases of cookies!

Need help finding where cookies will be sold? Download the mobile app here:

Friday, February 7, 2014

Girl Scouts Cookie Money is for Girls and Girls' Programs

Dear Girl Scout Family, 

As you know, Girl Scouts of Silver Sage and its 2,300 volunteers deliver relevant, educational leadership programs that build girls of courage, confidence and character who positively impact communities in which they live. We serve 4,400 girls in Southern Idaho parts of Northern Nevada and Eastern Oregon.

Cookie sales, one of our biggest fundraisers to benefit local girls and troops, are underway. As in a few years past, Girl Scouts is being wrongly accused of having a partnership with Planned Parenthood. In particular, The American Family Association is circulating an article that insinuates that “cookie dough”—money earned through cookie sales—is used to support Planned Parenthood. This is false. Neither Girl Scouts USA nor our council has a partnership with Planned Parenthood, and we do not contribute money to the organization for any purpose.
To set the record straight, here is a breakdown of our council’s cookie money: 45.1% for local Girl Scout programs and activities; 24.7% covers the cost of cookies; 13.6% goes to local troops; 6.6% toward girl rewards and “cookie dough,” which can be used for camp, travel, or Girl Scout garb; 6.0% for sales tax; and 4.0% toward cookie program administration.
If you have questions about our cookie program or our stance on social issues, you may refer to the official GSUSA responses here, or call the council at 208-377-2011.


Maureen O’Toole, CEO
Girl Scouts of Silver Sage

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Silver Sage Girl Scouts blossom with needs-based curriculum

For seven-year-old Rebekah, finding the “bone thief” in one of her troop's favorite games, Doggy Doggy Where's Your Bone?, was a snap.

"I have a good autism brain," she said. Like many children with autism, Rebekah has heightened senses which allow her to easily identify walking patterns and footsteps.

Rebekah is a part of the council’s first all-adaptive troop. Led by Cassandra C. and Renee W., the troop is made up of 1st through 4th grade Treasure Valley girls who have conditions ranging from autism spectrum disorders (include Asperger's), DiGeorge syndrome (a chromosome disorder) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  Despite their various ages, all girls in the troop are working at a 1st grade level.

"I wanted to start this troop because of my daughter, Rebekah,” troop leader, Cassandra, said. Cassandra's older daughter is also a Girl Scout, but Cassandra knew that Rebekah wouldn't be able to function in a traditional troop.

Two years ago, Cassandra worked with Silver Sage council staff member, Martha Snyder, to get her troop up and running. Since then, she has been learning by trial and error to adapt Girl Scout curriculum and activities to fit the needs of her troop.

Like all troops, the girls begin each meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and reciting of the Girl Scout Promise and Law. They are currently finishing the Daisy curriculum, constructing SWAPS for World Thinking Day on Feb. 22 and learning about England. Game time is a favorite among the troop, specifically the snowball fight where the girls throw small foam balls at one another.

"The little things matter to this troop,” Cassandra said.

While the girls are not yet able to work on more in-depth badges, they still earn basic badges and patches through participation in zoo days, pumpkin patches, Thanksgiving parades, and other Girl Scout activities and programming. They are also selling cookies for the first time this year.  The girls hope to earn money for new uniforms as they are bridging to become Brownies this spring.

Since the troop began in 2012, Cassandra has witnessed the girls blossom in several ways.

"I've taken pictures each year to document their growth. Look at their expressions. In the first and second photo, you can see their inner growth and maturity over the year,” she said.

For many of the girls in the Adaptive Troop, Girl Scouts is one of the few activities that are specifically tailored for them, allowing them to increase their self-esteem and social skills.

"They've all gotten more confident in themselves and who they are. A lot of people do things for them and they never get a chance to do things on their own. Girl Scouts gives them a chance to try new things,” Cassandra said.

To learn more about the Adaptive Troop or how to become involved, please contact Girl Scouts of Silver Sage at (208) 377-2011.

Monday, November 25, 2013

6 Ways Girl Scouts Gave Back in 2013

Wherever there’s giving, there’s Girl Scouts.

Community service is an integral part of Girl Scouting. Troops all across Silver Sage Council have been busy this year with service projects, putting in a total of 269,000 service hours. Wow! Below are just a handful of ways that Girl Scouts gave back in 2013.

Bronze Award Projects
For their Bronze Award projects, Meridian troop 43 filled 75 donated shoe boxes with new Scholastic books, winter hats and mittens, small games, toiletries, and candy for the City Light Home For Women & Children. Girls partnered with Shopko and the local library to complete the project. The troop also planted a vegetable garden and donated 75 lbs of produce to the Meridian Food Bank with the help of Zamzows.

Warm Hearts,Toasty Toes
Girl Scouts of Silver Sage and ICON Credit Union have partnered for the 4th annual sock drive. Twelve troop and members of the Icon staff will be spending the next few months collecting socks to donate to local charities to help keep everyone's toes toasty. Look for them in your local community today through January 18th!

Kuna Weekend Backpack Program
Girl Scout troop 130 donated $300 worth of food to the Kuna Weekend Backpack Program. This program supplies hungry children with enough food for an entire weekend. The troop’s donation provided meals and snacks for 54 children for two days.

Festival of Trees 
For 30 years, the Festival of Trees has been a holiday tradition in the Treasure Valley, raising more than $7 million to improve community healthcare. Hundreds of lavishly decorated Christmas trees, wreaths, and holiday d├ęcor will take over Boise Centre on the Grove from November 26 - December 2. On Saturday, November 30th, Girl Scouts from the Teen Advisory Committee will be on hand from 9:30 am – 9:30 pm running activities for the kids. Stop by and say hello!

Wagon Days
Girl Scouts Erica, Lily and Hadley volunteered a combined 140 hours for Wagon Days, a 55 year tradition in Ketchum featuring the largest parade in the Pacific Northwest complete with wagons, buggies and stagecoaches. These three Scouts were recognized by the city of Ketchum for selfless giving. 

Gold Award Projects
Sarah is one of 5 girls who earned her Gold Award this year. Gold Award projects require a minimum of 80 hours of community service and girls must propose a long term, sustainable solution to an issue of their choice. Sarah collected 1,358 toothbrushes for villages in Peru and Bolivia. She created  "Cepillarse los dentes! (Brush Your Teeth!)" banners and educated her Vacation Bible School about the need for supplies and dental education. 

How has your troop helped the local community this year? Email your story and pictures to

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween is a time for ghosts, goblins and…Girl Scouts?

On October 31 in 1860, Girl Scout founder, Juliette Gordon Low, was born in Savannah, Georgia. "Daisy," as she was affectionately called by family and friends, formed the first Girl Scout troop in 1912. Every year, Girl Scout councils around the nation celebrate October 31 as Founder’s Day. Troops from every state hold celebrations to honor Juliette and her passion for Girl Scouting.

Pocatello troop 564 celebrated this year with cupcakes and a history of Juliette Gordon Low. Troop Leader Autumn M. dressed up as Juliette complete with authentic 1900’s attire and 100 year old shoes. Service Unit 55 in Meridian held a 1912 style birthday celebration complete with period costumes.

Some troops used Founder’s Day to honor one of the core tenants of Girl Scouting: community service. Twin Falls troop 47 and Service Unit 19 collected more than 100 pairs of new and gently used pajamas to donate to the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program and Valley Health. Seventy Girl Scouts brought their donations to a pajama party where they made ghost lollipops, crafts and played a variety of games.

How did your troop/Service Unit celebrate?

Did You Know?
  • On Juliette’s wedding day in 1886, a piece of rice thrown in celebration became lodged in her ear. When the doctor tried to remove it, he permanently damaged her left ear drum.
  • Money was needed to keep Girl Scouts afloat so Juliette sold the pearl necklace her husband had given her as a wedding present.
  • Juliette was 52 years old when she created Girl Scouts.
  • In childhood, Juliette was known for taking in stray dogs and cats which earned her the nickname, “Crazy Daisy”.
  • In 1979, Juliette was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.