Remembering 9/11

Meahgan Pear - Friday, September 09, 2011

A Message from our National CEO, Kathy Cloninger:

This coming Sunday marks the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Ten years is a long time in the Girl Scout Movement; many of our current members had not been born when 9/11 happened, and many others were too young to have retained any solid memory of the event. It seems appropriate, on this anniversary, to take a moment to consider these millions of girls and ask ourselves what is important for them to know about this event they cannot remember.

We teach our girls that they matter, that each of them has a place in the world that is hers alone. Through Girl Scouting, they learn what it means to make the world a better place through their actions. It would be good for girls to know about the sheer goodness and bravery this horrific event brought out in everyday people.  Within minutes of the fall of the World Trade Center, for example, a swarm of tugboats and ferries and pleasure craft converged on the tip of Manhattan Island to rescue people from the site and carry them to safety. It was the largest peacetime waterborne evacuation in American history.

No one told the masters of those boats to do that. No one told passersby on the street to drop what they were doing and rush to try to help, and no one had to tell the police and the fire fighters on the scene to do their duty. They did it, all of them, because they saw what needed to be done and took action.

Our thoughts this weekend are with all of you, with our nation, and in reverence for those who passed away as a result of 9/11.  Our thoughts, as well, are with those continuing to support those affected by 9/11, those defending our democracy, those who keep the light and the memory of the fallen alive—and those everyday people who opened their homes and their hearts and risked life and limb, whose names we may never know.

This is courage, confidence, and character.  May we and our girls remember that even at the worst of times, it is possible—and very important—to make the world a better place.

On a Journey...

Meahgan Pear - Tuesday, June 21, 2011

As I was getting things organized to start my day here at the GSMISTS offices, pulling my planner and files out of my briefcase, I came across my copy of the GS Cadette MEdia Journey Book. I keep this particular Journey (from the It's Your Story - Tell It series) with me at all times - it's my favorite, and no surprise there since I work in the media field. But, today, I took some extra time and browsed through the girl book for a few minutes. Although I am very familiar with all the journeys, I find something new every time... this... "One of the greatest gifts you have as a leader is your ability to inspire others - your family, your friends, your community, the media, even the world. To inspire others is to influence them in positive ways."

I've read this journey plenty of times, but this morning this jumped off the page. What great words of wisdom. And these books are created for our girls! There are so many interesting, inspiring, educational and fun activities in these journeys...and they're part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE).

For those who are unfamiliar with GS Journeys, they are a key part of the GSLE, providing girls with a coordinated series of activities grouped around a theme. Each journey ties directly back to the Girl Scouts' 15 national outcomes for girls as defined by the Girl Scout Leadership Model - they help girls Discover, Connect and Take Action!

The more and more I tell people about Journeys, the more they realize what great resources and program tools they are! And they're available to all our Girl Scouts - in any pathway! We use them in a lot of our programming! Plus, they're completely customizable - so girls can make them their own - at each level! We have lots of girls using Journeys out there today, but not everyone is aware of them - so I encourage you to check them out!

Before I sign off for today - I just have to mention a few of my other favorite Journeys. Coming from the It's Your Planet - Love It series - the GS Senior Journey, Sow What. In this Journey, Seniors get the chance to investigate the food network (not the TV show), and explore complex and global food issues - timely, relevant issues concerning today's environment and sustainability. What a cool way to learn and get involved in environmental issues!

And I love the Junior Agent of Change Journey from the It's Your World - Change It series. Through Agent of Change, Juniors learn how they can work together as a team to harness their resources and power to make a difference in the world. Good stuff there! 

Aside from the three Journeys I've mentioned, there are plenty more just waiting for you to explore! Each grade level has a Journey that corresponds with it - and did I mention they're customizable so you can fit them with your interests and projects?! 

So what are you waiting for...your GS Journey awaits. Come explore them - or give us a call to learn more about Journeys! Our pathways and membership teams love to talk Journeys and would be happy to tell you more about them! 

Happy Exploring! 

More info about GS Journeys:
GSUSA Journey Webpage
GSMISTS Journey Webpage

The NEW Girl Scout website for GIRLS - A World for Girls!

Tomorrow's Leaders...Girl Scouts Today

Meahgan Pear - Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wow, what a luncheon!

We held our first Leadership Luncheon today at the Eberhard Center in GR, where community members and business leaders joined us to celebrate and support our Girl Scouts and tomorrow's leaders!

Whew...where to start...we were lucky to have Shelley Irwin, host of The WGVU Morning Show, share her personal experience achieving her dreams, striving to be the leader she is today, and some wonderful advice and encouragement to our community to embrace our girls and empower them to do the same!

But it didn't stop there...I have to say, I was close to tearing up when two of our very own Girl Scouts hit the stage to tell their experiences and stories of being involved in this organization...

Khayriyyah, one of our GS Silver Award recipients, shared the impact Girl Scouting has had on her life and the value of true sisterhood..."I'm proud to say I have 3.2 million sisters around the world." Isn't that the truth!

And Maddie, starting high school next year and a GS Bronze Award recipient, spoke about the values and skills Girl Scouts teaches...a summary of her view on hard work: I'm not asking you to buy 10 boxes of cookies, but I'm asking you to respect and appreciate the hard work we put into our experiences and to support the movement.
I'm telling you, to be in that room and hear these girls with such powerful and inspiring words - it was special. And it's special to see that transcend across our 30 counties and to all the 14,500 girls we serve! Girl Scouting is powerful - it's a Leadership Experience that empowers, encourages and builds girls of courage, confidence and character!

A very special thanks to our speakers - Shelley Irwin, Khayriyyah and Maddie! Here they are afterward - these are true leaders - today!

And thanks to all our sponsors: The Grand Rapids Press, Varnum Law, Northern Trust, Little Brownie Bakers, Clark Hill, Michigan Blood, GRCC Diversity Learning Center, Law Weathers, Meijer, Mutual of America and Hungerford, Aldrin, Nichols & Carter, PC. We couldn't do what we do without our great community partners like you all!

We'll be hosting more of these great Leadership Luncheons throughout our council - look for them to come!

Leaving you with with a great passage on leadership:

Imagine a New Generation of Leaders...
Who lead in a new way;
Who lead out of principle rather than pride;
Who care what leadership is for, more than who it's for;
Who step across barriers of class and race every day;
Who seek out the work that needs doing in the world;
And bring boundless energy to every challenge;
They are today's Girl Scouts!

Yours in Scouting,

Going for the Gold!

Meahgan Pear - Monday, June 13, 2011

First things first...welcome to the all new GSMISTS Blog! This is your one-stop shop for all the fun, exciting things happening throughout our council - yes, we will be updating regularly. You'll want to bookmark this page and subscribe to the RSS feed to make sure you're in the "loop." And you can share posts - see those social media icons at the bottom - click and share away!

Oh, and did I mention, we love to hear stories? That's right...send us your stories, photos, etc. of what your girls and troops are up to (email to!

Okay, now that the business is out of the way...let's get to the fun stuff! So, I just got the photos back from our 2011 Girl Scout Teen and Gold Award Ceremonies - some great shots in there. I love this one - it's like paparazzi central!

And these girls should feel like stars - because they are! The Girl Scout Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards are the highest honors in Girl Scouting. Each girls puts in a tremendous amount of work and dedication to each project, making a lasting impact on the community! This year we had over 53 girls earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, and over 100 girls earn their Girl Scout Bronze and Silver Awards! Talk about an accomplishment! We're so proud of all the girls who earned these prestigious awards - it blows my mind to think of the amazing things these girls are doing at their ages! But, that's what Girl Scouts is all about - we're building the leaders of tomorrow. I promise you - you will see some of these faces again!

Congrats to all the girls!

A big shout out to our awesome photographer Weber Photography for the pictures and to Meijer for sponsoring the award ceremony! To view all the pictures from the event check out our Flickr page here!

Yours in scouting,
Meahgan (in marketing)

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