Ideas to Get Your Family Outside!


The Girl Scout program values outdoor experiences. Yet, the outdoor experiences don’t need to stay with her Girl Scout experience. Get your whole family outside. The next couple of weeks, we’ll highlight ideas for you to use in getting your families in the great outdoors for our blog post series, “Ideas to Get Your Family Outside!”

This week our focus is gardening.

Spring is here (whether or not Mother Nature agrees) and it’s the perfect planting time. Gardening offers more than a meal to the bunnies and you.

Gardening is a great family activity that can help teach children about so many things—life cycles, pollination, and nutrition, just to name a few. Whether it’s in your own yard or a community garden plot, why not plant a garden with your child—one to benefit both humans and wildlife? The National Wildlife Federation has tips for making your garden friendly to birds, bees and other wildlife ( Research shows that children who plant vegetable gardens tend to make healthier nutritional choices as adults.

All in all, try to get your family outside!

Outside Family Fun

Visit Camp Little Cloud for Family Fun Day to learn about resident camp, weekend horseback riding for groups, events and rental opportunities.  Take a tour of camp, roast s’mores over a campfire and visit our craft station to make a camp creation!  The price for this event is $5 per family.  Cost includes a light lunch and all supplies.

That’s all for this week of outdoor program with Angela Ventris. Check back next week for more excited news and adventures in outdoor program!

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Top 5 Reasons to Spring Register!

April 1st was the start of our Spring Registration campaign. Girls and troop leaders can register for the 2014-2015 Girl Scout year through June 6 to reap some fantastic rewards. Here are our top 5 reasons to Spring register:

1. You can jump right back in to the fun! Spring registration gets the the paperwork (or registration) work out of the way so Girl Scouts won’t have to miss a beat!

2. Confirm with your participation with your Girl Scout troop. Spring registration is a great time for troop leaders to figure out who is returning to the troop, who might need a little encouragement, and what troop volunteer spots they will need to fill.

3. Keep your and her routine intact. Children and adults, thrive on routine. It offers a sense of safety. Keep the routine and safety going by Spring registering.

4. Beat the “back-to-school” madness. Spring just started but we can already hear the back-to-school commercials. Register for the next Girl Scout year in the spring to cut your to do list down- it will be one less thing to do come Fall!

5. Uh, because why not? Girl Scout experiences are awesome and have a lasting impact on a girl’s life. Why cut that short?

Still not swayed to Spring register? Well, what about this, every girl that Spring registers will receive an exclusive Girl of Courage nail polish and patch! Awesome!

Patch Nail Polish T-shirt

Now we didn’t forget about troop leaders! Every troop leader that Spring registers (along with 5 troop members, or 100% of troop if troop is less than 5 girls) will receive a Leader of Courage t-shirt!

Wow. That’s 7 reasons to Spring register! So, head on over to eBiz to Spring register now!

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Behind the Scenes of Camp Little Cloud

A lot is happening at Camp Little Cloud this week. Magic, Ty, Apache, Sugar, Cowboy, and 13 of their horse friends arrived at camp on Monday afternoon.

sampling the hay

It didn’t take long for all 18 horses to explore their area and to have a taste from each pile of hay- to find out which is the freshest!


The horses are still getting rid of their winter coats, and the rain we had on Monday didn’t help their appearance. We think Tank, the newest edition to our horse group, will look pretty dapper after we get all the hay off of his face! What do you think?

Check out Magic, who walked off the trailer and immediately started rolling around! He was so excited to head to camp!


In between the horse deliveries, we worked to move brand new teepee poles to their spot at our Whippoorwill unit, which will be home to 6 new teepees this summer.

teepee poles

Weekend Horseback Riding

We still have several weekend horseback riding time slots available, we encourage your troop to sign up today! You can find out more about the opportunities we have available this spring here:


Want to help girls experience horseback riding? We need volunteers who have experience working with horses and are interested in giving girls the life changing experience of riding a horse. For more information and to attend an informational meeting email Angela Ventris at

That’s all for this week of outdoor program with Angela Ventris. Check back next week for more excited news and adventures in outdoor program!

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Where Are They Now?

A Girl Scout experience, of any length, influences a girl’s life. We’re taking time to catch up with some past Girl Scout Ambassadors to see how they are, what they are up to, and how their experience as a Girl Scout effected the beyond their childhood. Today, we’re catching up with Rachel Reimann, 2013 Girl of Confidence scholarship recipient.

Rachel Reimann

1. What are you doing now?

Right now I am a first-year student attending Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. My major is somewhat undecided, but I applied to the Athletic Training program here. If all goes as planned, I will also minor in Psychology and find out if I made the Athletic Training program in April. Since I go to college, I do not have much else to do! Doing well in school is one of my main goals on my list. I also work in the cafeteria, but if I get accepted, athletic training would be my work for the rest of college. As for work this summer, I will be a camp counselor at Luther Park in Chetek, Wisconsin. It should be super fun!

2. What are you dreaming of for your future?

My dreams for the future include minoring in Psychology, excelling in school, and either getting my M.A. in Athletic Training or my PhD. in Physical Therapy. Of course these are subject to change because I’m just a freshman. It wasn’t until I got to college when I realized how many possibilities are out there as far as education and career goals. Family is also a big deal to me, so one thing I always tell everyone is how I want to start my own family with someone I love after my career is set.

3. Looking back at your Girl Scout experience, what stands out most to you?

When I look back on being a Girl Scout, I always see how people automatically respected me for how much I participated in my community. The things we did to change peoples’ lives was so inspiring,and I got a scholarship for my hard work as a Girl Scout. Hours of community service over the years as a scout pays off, and it felt good putting in those hours of work.

4. What do you feel is the most important quality in a leader? Why?

Being able to communicate well with others is the most important quality in a leader to me. I have seen leaders in society who are stuck up or do not appreciate others’ ideas, and that is the opposite of what I try to be. Yes, different opinions exist, but being able to get things done by appropriate communication is essential. Appreciate others, be sympathetic, put yourself out there, SMILE even when you’re down, and you will be a great leader.

Share Your Story

We would love to catch up with all recent Girl Scout Ambassadors! If you are one, or know one, send her name and email address to Allison Passon at!

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Get Help Sending Her to Camp

We want all girls to have the opportunity to experience Girl Scout camp! And we are excited to announce a fantastic partnership with the University of Iowa chapter of Alpha Phi Omega (APO). APO is a national coeducational service organization founded on the principles of Leadership, Friendship, and Service.

What is Alpha Phi Omega?

Alpha Phi Omega (APO) provides its members with the opportunity to develop leadership skills by volunteering on their campus, in their community, to the nation, and to the organization. APO has more than 400,000 members across 375 campuses and continues to provide more service on more campuses than any other collegiate service organization.

Camperships and Application

Alpha Phi Omega is pleased to announce that they are once again offering Camperships to Girl Scouts in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois! Camperships are scholarships for Girl Scouts to attend summer camp who express financial need. In order to be considered for a campership, please send a letter or email to APO addressing the following questions:

  • Girl Scout’s name
  • Contact information for parent/guardian (including full name, phone number, email address and home address)
  • The amount that you are requesting
  • Why are you seeking a campership for your girl?
  • What will the campership funds pay for?
  • If we were to provide a partial campership, how would you raise the remaining funds?
  • Did your girl attend Girl Scout University in October 2013? (not required to apply)
  • Any other relevant information that will help APO make a decision about your campership

All applications must be received (not just postmarked) by Tuesday, April 8. Applicants will be notified of their award status either way no later than Friday April 18.

Please send your application letter by mail to:
Alpha Phi Omega-Omicron
University of Iowa
260 Iowa Memorial Union
Student Organization Offices Suite
Iowa City, IA  52242

Or via email to

More information

Depending on the number of applicants, Alpha Phi Omega may provide either partial or full camperships. It should also be noted that any camperships awarded will be “paid” directly to the scout. This means that we would be requesting the scout’s social security number at that time; it is not necessary to include in the initial campership application. Camperships cannot be paid to parents or camps.

Should you have any further questions, please contact Alpha Phi Omega at

Grants for Campers

At Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois we also have Grants for Campers available for financial assistance. Grant amounts are based on the level of financial need demonstrated on grant application. Grants may cover up to $250 per girl per year. Visit to find out more!

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I Can’t Wait To Continue Next Year!

Spring Registration is Open!

Ready for more? Sign up for another year of fun!

At Girl Scouts, you get to:

  • Learn archery
  • Caste bones with scientists
  • Travel to new countries from your living room or for real!
  • Run your own business
  • And speak your mind

And the best part is, you’re doing all of this with your friends.

Patch Nail Polish T-shirt

Patch | Girl of Courage nail polish | Leader of Courage t-shirt

Claim your spot for another year of fun! And as a treat, girls receive an exclusive Girl of Courage nail polish and patch while troop leaders receive an exclusive Leader of Courage t-shirt!

For more information on Spring Registration and the incentives, visit

Tell us what you can’t wait to do with Girl Scouts! #icantwaitto

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My Favorite Childhood Camping Memory

written by Breanne Walstead

What’s your favorite childhood camping memory? My favorite memory is one with a life lesson at the end!

When I was a Girl Scout, I stayed at Camp Ehawee in La Crosse, WI for two weeks! While camping, my favorite adventure was hiking the trails throughout the woods and reaching our swampy destination, a runoff of the Black River. While hiking the trails, we searched for animal tracks and guessed which animals they belonged to. We even saw fox, deer, raccoon, and bald eagles! Once we arrived at the swamp, we put our four canoes in the water and paddled off for one hour. After canoeing, we went creek hopping at Crystal Creek and headed back towards our residence through the piney woods.

Later that night, while sitting around the camp fire signing songs, my legs began to itch and wouldn’t stop no matter how much I scratched them! Turned out, while venturing off looking for animal tracks, I stomped through some poison ivy. My camp counselor gave me calamine lotion to spread all over my legs. Luckily, the itching went away and I was able to enjoy the camp fire. I was completely healed by the time I had to go home. Be careful where you’re walking while hiking those trails, or be sure to wear pants so you can stomp through anything!

It’s time to sign your girl up for Girl Scout camp; help her build a fantastic list of memories like mine (minus the poison ivy!)! We have plenty of opportunities this spring and summer to get your girl outdoors!

Hear are some ideas to get your girls to Girl Scout camp in the near future:

  • Learn all about camp at Family Fun Day at Camp Little Cloud. Meet Camp Director Alicia Soppe, tour camp, roast s’mores, make a craft, and explore our facility.
  • Come join us explore Camp Tahigwa on foot at Blaze Your Trail for girls in 6th-12th grade! Girls will learn trail safety and how to pack their own hiking backpack before they set out for an overnight adventure. Most equipment is even provided, all your girl needs is a sleeping bag.
  • Learn about caring and riding horses at Camp Little Cloud during Spring horseback riding! From beginner to experienced, different levels of are available to match the girls’ level of experience. Sessions are available for troops and individual girls.

Now it’s your turn:

Register her for Girl Scout summer resident camp today! Girl Scout camp provides the opportunity for girls to explore the outdoors, learn new physical skills like swimming or archery, grow by developing their interest, and learn life skills such as leadership and self-reliance. Under the guidance of caring, trained adults, girls develop an appreciation for the great outdoors while learning outdoor education.

And leave a message to share your favorite childhood camping memory!

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