Songs, S’mores and More- a weekend just for adults at Camp Conestoga

The volunteer led Camping Subcommittee invites you to attend Songs, S’mores and More- a weekend at Camp Conestoga just for adult camp alumnae and Girl Scout volunteers! Relive  camp memories, and make new ones during this weekend dedicated to all things outdoors. All Adult Girl Scout Volunteers are invited, whether you have been to camp as a girl, or if you have never visited any of our facilities!

We have two options filled with fun: an overnight for Girl Scout Camp Alumnae and a Saturday afternoon for any adult who loves camp, or wants to experience it for the first time! Here is our schedule of events:

Alumnae Overnight
For anyone who has ever attended Girl Scout Camp, wherever you attended!
6 p.m. Friday, September 19 – 12 p.m. Saturday, September 20
$15 per person, includes, supplies, activities, lodging and breakfast on Saturday

 Friday Evening- Spend the evening sharing stories, singing songs around a campfire and help us create a camp banner for 2014, then spend the night in a tent or cabin.

Saturday - Start the day off with breakfast, then explore camp through a variety of activities including canoeing, zip line, archery, and tours of camp by hayrack. You’ll also have time to meet with Girl Scout staff to discuss the designs for our new facility and share your ideas for making camp the best it can be for girls.

 Exploration Day for Volunteers and Alumnae
For any adult Girl Scout volunteers and Girl Scout Camp Alumnae.
12 p.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 20
$5 per person, includes all activities and supplies, please bring a sack lunch.

 Saturday Afternoon- Invite the adult volunteers you know to come and experience all that camp has to offer, because why should girls have all the fun? Bring a sack lunch and visit with other volunteers from 12pm – 1pm, then learn about what camp has to offer by experiencing it yourself! We are encouraging adult volunteers who have never been out to camp before to spend an afternoon sampling some of the favorite activities we offer including archery, canoeing or even challenge yourself on our zip line. You’ll also have time to meet with Girl Scout staff to learn more about the plans for our new facility and share your ideas for making camp the best it can be for girls!

Camp Skills Training
For any adult Girl Scout volunteers interested in taking girls camping.
5:30 p.m. Saturday, September 20 – 12 p.m. Sunday, September 21
$20 per person

 Saturday evening – Sunday – Camp Skills Training provides skills and resources to help girls plan an outdoor program, including fire building, cooking, safety planning and progression.

To Register
To find out more and to register on-line, log on to ebiz (our registration system) and search for Songs, S’mores and More:

Or use our paper registration form found here:

The camping subcommittee is also looking for volunteers throughout the weekend, to help lead songs and tours of camp and help with activities. If you are interested in volunteering please let me know!

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Wonder Women Honoree-Meet Jeanne

JeanneJeanne Lauritsen- Founder of the Women’s Giving Circle

Jeanne is a people person, who loves to connect, collaborate and communicate. She takes this step further than most however, because she just can’t help but genuinely care about people’s lives. She believes her greatest talent, her gift, is caring about people. Jeanne has a very strong work ethic, and she remembers how difficult it was being a single mother, putting her son through college and maintaining self-sufficiency—in careers that were often challenging and rewarding. While studying Psychology and English at Clarke University, Jeanne began work at the Roshek Fashion Department. This led to her to 25 year career in the fashion world, followed by fifteen years in what she calls the “search business,” where she did account development and worked to place people into careers.

After meeting her late husband Bruce, she eventually made the decision to retire and support him in his business. However, this did not stop her learning curve in all of their business adventures; she felt she was able to apply the skills she had gained from her previous careers. She supported him with his business up until he became sick with cancer. Jeanne witnessed incredible kindness from others that she had never before experienced firsthand. Individuals poured their energy into making sure Bruce, and patients like him, were comfortable and well cared for, with dignity. Places like the Mayo Clinic’s Hope Lodge exhibited incredible community that inspired Jeanne. She saw a need to help ensure Hope Lodge’s survival—and helped to create a similar space for cancer patients in Iowa City.

When Bruce began Hospice, Jeanne witnessed a unique compassion from the organization staff and was influenced by their help. She quickly found herself “emotionally, financially and physically involved in supporting the less fortunate,” sparking her deep interest in nonprofit work. In 2007, Jeanne became the Founding Circle Leader for the Women’s Giving Circle, at the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. This group brings women together to work toward improving “the lives of disadvantaged women and their children.” Soon after, she accepted a board position with the Foundation. She feels it is “an honor and a privilege” to be doing this work and has loved learning about local nonprofits.”

Alongside her nonprofit endeavors, Jeanne considers herself a music lover and is closely involved with the School of Music in Dubuque. She has annually hosted a group of talented music professionals in her home to raise funds for the Northeast Iowa School of Music (NISOM), and loves to see young people involved in culture-building opportunities.

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Build Courage, Confidence and Character Join Girl Scouts Today!

Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois (GSEIWI), gives girls the chance to make memories that last a lifetime! Through programs that include leadership, science and technology, financial literacy, healthy living, and outdoor and environmental awareness, Girl Scouts discover themselves, connect with others and take action to make the world a better place while developing Courage, Confidence and Character. Recruitment season will kick off with rallies across the eastern Iowa and western Illinois area. During this time, girls in kindergarten through seniors in high school can register and/or learn the benefits of joining Girl Scouts.

“Girls are succeeding in many areas today – in the classroom and on the playing field,” says CEO Diane Nelson. “Yet, the majority of girls are uncertain about leadership. Girl Scouts helps girls develop their leadership skills and have the confidence to take on the leadership roles of the future in a fun and safe environment.”

Earlier this year, Girl Scouts of the USA conducted a survey of more than 3,000 parents of registered Girl Scouts about their experience. About 97 percent of those parents said Girl Scouts has been a positive activity for their daughter and 94 percent said that Girl Scouts makes their daughter feel special and important and 96 percent of girls reported trying at least one new thing as a Girl Scout.

“Girl Scouts is for every girl, everywhere and teaches girls that no challenge is too big,” says Nelson. “While membership dues are only $15 a year, the rewards girls, their families and their communities reap are invaluable.”

Girl Scouts is not only limited to girls, adults can join too. “Every adult who volunteers for Girl Scouts can help us bring fun, new experiences to at least five girls. Imagine what that can do to shape the next generation of leaders,” Nelson adds. “Volunteers are men, women, young professionals, retirees and more.”

According to the survey, nearly two-thirds of Girl Scout volunteers (62 percent) believe that their volunteer experience has helped them professionally and 92 percent of Girl Scout volunteers feel that the organization helps them learn or share something new.

For more information about becoming a Girl Scout or a Girl Scout volunteer, call 1-800-798-0883 or visit

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Wonder Women Honoree-Meet Kirstin

KirstinKristin Woodward – Founder and Executive Director of Two by Two

Kristin knew all along that she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up.  Her mother, whom she considers her hero, was a teacher and Kristin says, “[my mom’s] passion overflowed to me.” As an educator, Kristin’s main goal was to instill positive character traits within each child. However, during her twenty year teaching career, Kristin saw a shift in family values and school values, coupled with an increase in problems, such as bullying. Events such as the passing of the No Child Left Behind Act and the tragic Columbine shooting disturbed Kristin, and in her last five years as a teacher, she knew she had to do something.  She believes, “the number one way to prevent bullying is to teach empathy.”

With her mom’s help, Kristin began to research character education with an emphasis on empathy. It is obvious almost every child loves puppies and kittens, and Kristin felt strongly that if a child could learn to empathize with an animal, they could do the same with people. She began researching Humane Societies across the nation, to study their methods of educating kindness to animals. And as simple as it seems, the remarkable connection between people and animals is what led Kristin to her ingenious idea of Two by Two Character Development.

Collaborating with national experts in character education was the turning point for the success of Two by Two. By 2005, when Two By Two was made an official 501c3 nonprofit organization, Kristin had a whole team of Dubuque teachers by her side. Two by Two’s staple program teaches children how to be kind, respectful, responsible, and empathetic by caring for a stuffed pet. The programs don’t just teach character education separate from academics—the two are eloquently woven together, so that math and reading are right beside character enrichment. Two by Two now also offers Character Camp as well as resources and classes for teachers, so they can implement these concepts daily into their classrooms.


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Swim, Bike, Run!

Over the course of four weeks, eleven girls prepared for the Quad Cities Hy-Vee Kids Fit Triathlon that took place on Saturday, August 16. Although some were experienced triathletes, most were training for what would be their first ever triathlon.

Those eleven girls were our IronGirls and each had a goal to reach. Some wanted simply to complete the triathlon, while others hoped to place or gain the experience to start a new tradition. Kristen M. said, “[she wanted] to have fun and do [her] best.”

Pool3Girls practicing their swimming at the Two Rivers YMCA
with thanks to their swim coach, Sasha.

And they all had lots of fun! Before they knew it, race day was upon them and everyone was excited. Eight of the eleven gathered bright and early at the Bettendorf YMCA, got their race packets and race bibs, strapped on their timing chips, dropped their bikes off in the transition area, and then waited until their age level was called to head to the pool to begin.

Pool4Eryn R. getting ready for to swim her freestyle.

For the 12-15 year old girls, they swam 200 meters, biked 6 miles, and ran 2 kilometers. The 9-11 year old girls swam 100 meters, biked 4 miles, and ran 1 kilometer.

Race1Gabby M. coming out of transition to go into the running portion of the triathlon.
Race2Courtney H. coming out of transition to go into the running portion of the triathlon.
Race5Paige M. coming out of the swimming pool to get ready for the biking portion of the triathlon.
Race6Asjiona S. coming out of the swimming pool to get ready for the biking portion of the triathlon.
Race7Ryleigh R. coming out of the swimming pool to get ready for the biking portion of the triathlon.
Race9Molly M. running for the last portion of the triathlon.
Race10Kristin M. running for the last portion of the triathlon.

With over 400 kids taking part in the triathlon, all of the girls did extremely well. Four of our IronGirls even qualified for the championships in Des Moines!

This year’s IronGirls Tri Club would not have been possible without the tremendous support we received from UnityPoint Health – Trinity. Thanks to their support, we were able to supply each girl with an IronGirls dri-fit race shirt, water bottle, drawstring bag, along with an array of fruit, bagels, water and Gatorade for triathlon day, and so much more!

TriathlonDay5Congratulations to all of this year’s IronGirls
for doing an amazing job at the 2014 Hy-Vee Kids Fit Triathlon!
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Resident Camp By the Numbers

candid of older girlsgirls holding paddles at pond

It’s hard to believe, but it’s that time of year, Girl Scout Summer Camp is over and school is about to begin. Our amazing counselors have left camp, the horses are taking a well-deserved break, and all the craft supplies have been packed away and we are left with favorite camp songs repeating in our heads. It was a phenomenal summer, with more than double the number of girls Camp Little Cloud has seen in a good long while. Here are some fun facts about summer camp, according to the numbers!

 girls in camp shirt

875 Girls developed their leadership and independence, learned practical outdoor skills like fire building and made friendships to last a lifetime. That is more than double the number of girls who attended camp at Camp Little Cloud last summer.


131 girls received financial assistance, helping to ensure that every girl has the opportunity to experience the outdoors.


60 adults, parents and Girl Scout volunteers explored camp with their girls, having fun and spending time together during weekend sessions for troops and families.

 families at camp


40 camp staff acted as role models, comforted during home sickness and provided a safe and memorable experience.


7 weeks of fun in the sun, with only a little bit of rain!


All of these numbers led up to:

final night campfire 4

1 fantastic summer of resident camp at Camp Little Cloud; we can’t wait to see all of you again next year! Mark your Calendar for January 26, 2015 as we’ll be releasing our summer program guide on our website that Monday! This guide include all the fun camp sessions we have planned at Camp Little Cloud, as well as community day camps, summer Girl Scout events and more!


Don’t forget to share your thoughts with our national delegates – so they can take feedback to the national convention in October! Log on to one of three webinars:

National Convention Webinars

Discussions regarding the Girl Scout Outdoor Experience:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014  at 6:00pm  Register Here

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 12:00 pm  Register Here

Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 8:30 pm   Register Here


Or fill out the short four question survey found here:

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Wonder Women Honoree-Meet Lindsey

For the next five weeks we will post an article of the women who were honored at this year’s “Wonder Women” event in Dubuque.

LindseyLindsey Reiter - Girl Scout Volunteer and Leader

Lindsey was hooked after she discovered the Grand Opera house in first grade and while she genuinely just loved to sing and dance, there was far deeper meaning in her theatrical endeavors. Theatre offered a safe place to explore and express herself; gave her confidence at a time in her life that was often confusing, “I was the only biracial person in my family [and] the only child of color at my school, so it was hard to understand I was different and accept it… [acting] gave me the escape that I wanted. As a college student, Lindsey studied drama, and to this day continues to act in university and community plays.

As an adult, she spent five years working with at-risk youth at both Hillcrest and Community Circle of Care, and she further realized the importance in offering children positive outlets for creative and emotional expression.  Lindsey describes herself as having a “typical single working mom life.” she currently works part time at an in-home daycare and is a server at night and volunteers with her college sorority. She also feels her drama Professor, Amy, was a huge inspiration, “she gave me the confidence to keep moving forward, to push ahead and to look at all the women who had done it before me.  And any role she gave me was to challenge me and to help me think outside the box.”

One of her favorite activities is volunteering as a Leader for her daughter, Estella, Girl Scout troop. Lindsey is an empowering role model, offering the girls as many creative outlets as possible. She remembers being a Girl Scout herself, and the creative and explorative outlets it provided. She is constantly on the go with the large, excited group of girls, taking them to camp, doing community service and, of course, singing, dancing and practicing plenty of imagination, “I’m confident their [involvement] will form them into amazing young leaders…every one of our meetings are wholly girl-led.” When asked why she became a troop leader, Lindsey says she wanted to be “a constant” for her daughter and her friends; she wanted the girls to see her and say, “Oh, that’s Stella’s mom,” a strong, positive role model.

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