December Our Promise Newsletter

Our Promise Dec. 2023

• 13,000+ camp experiences were offered at our three camp properties • 58,000+ badges were earned in STEM, Life Skills, Entrepreneurship, and Camp/the Outdoors • 94,000 packages of Girl Scout Cookies were donated to the USO of Missouri and Operation Food Search Thank you for all that you have done this past year! I hope that you too will reflect as you read this issue of Our Promise with a joyful heart, knowing that you helped make all of this possible. From the staff at Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, happiest of holidays to you and yours! Thank you for being on this journey with us.

Welcome to the December issue of Our Promise !

As the year comes to an end, and I reflect on 2023, I am humbled by the determination, commitment and passion of our staff and volunteers, I appreciate the investment of our donors and community supporters, and I celebrate the vast accomplishments of our eastern Missouri Girl Scouts. This year, Girl Scouts have embraced new opportunities, earned badges, made new friends, and gave back to their community in a variety of ways. 2023 was a rewarding year for Girl Scout programming, as we launched new programming that focuses on socio emotional well-being, professional development, and post-secondary planning. Some of my favorite highlights from the year include: • 36,000 total Girl Scout members teamed up to support and advance the Girl Scout mission • 1.3 million items were collected through April Showers, GSEM’s annual personal care drive • 605 Girl Scouts from eastern Missouri earned their Bronze, Silver or Gold Awards

Soar High,

Natissia Small, Ed.D. CEO, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri

Daisy Drop Box & Brownie Bundle

Now Supporting Our Brownie Leaders Due to the overwhelming success of the Daisy Drop Box program, we launched our new Brownie Bundle for the 2023-2024 membership year. The addition of Brownie Bundle was made possible thanks to support from the Her Future is Our Future Campaign. This fall, Brownie Bundle was piloted to 150 Brownie troop leaders to serve our 2nd grade Brownies. Third grade Brownie troops will be added in 2024-2025!

The Daisy Drop Box program was developed in 2019 to assist volunteer leaders in providing consistent and quality experiences for Girl Scouts’ youngest members, the Daisies (kindergarten-1st grade). Since then, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri has mailed Daisy Drop Boxes monthly to Daisy troop leaders who then use the curriculum and supplies contained within to host fun and engaging troop meetings. The box activities align with our national curriculum, including options for troops to explore the Girl Scout pillars of STEM, Life Skills, Entrepreneurship, and Outdoor Adventures. This innovative program has effectively eased the burden on GSEM’s dedicated volunteer troop leaders, allowing them to focus on connecting with the girls in their troop rather than gathering supplies and planning activities. In 2022, we successfully supported 287 troops, serving 4,200+ Daisies in eastern Missouri.

As a first-year leader with my troop, I cannot begin to tell you how amazingly helpful the Daisy Drop Boxes have been! It has provided me with the assurance that I’m headed in the right direction, while also allowing me some extra time (that would otherwise been spent researching activities) to get to know the girls better. Kathleen Brueggemann, Troop 345

Meet the Program Managers! Pam Johnson, Daisy Drop Box

Pam Johnson has been a staff member with Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri for 13 years. Following in her mother’s footsteps, she proudly served as troop leader for both her daughters’ Girl Scout troops. After earning her undergraduate degree, Pam’s career included consumer and marketing research, as well as early childhood education. She began supporting our Girl Scout volunteers as a member of our council’s Product Programs team and became Program Manager for our Daisy Drop Box program in 2019. “I’m thrilled to support our wonderful Daisy troop leaders, both new and returning, as they connect their Daisies with Girl Scout values, traditions and engaging badge programs. Troop leaders build strong bonds of community and are the heart of Girl Scouting!” Meredith Dean, Brownie Bundle Meredith Dean has been active with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri for the last six years as she’s led her older daughter’s troop from Daisies to now Juniors. During that time, she has served as the Troop Leader, Troop Treats & Reads Manager, Troop Cookie Manager, Neighborhood Manager, and Neighborhood Troop Organizer. When her younger daughter became a Daisy last year, she jumped on the opportunity to utilize the Daisy Drop Box and has sung its’ praises since! Meredith is now using her Troop Leader insight to develop the Brownie Bundle Program. “The Brownie Bundle Program is an opportunity for leaders to have everything they need for a badge or patch delivered directly to their home every month! It includes meeting instructions, supplies, and most importantly, girl-led opportunities.”

In Her Words: An Interview with Adriana Weber, Daisy Troop Leader

How has Girl Scouts helped you become a better leader? I have had multiple leadership roles before with my work history, but with Girl Scouts you can really make it your own and do as much or as little as you want. Girl Scouts has reminded me to have fun while leading too—especially with the young girls! Why did you want to volunteer with Girl Scouts? I volunteered because of my love of Girl Scouts as a child. I wanted to give my daughter the best experience with Girl Scouts, just like I remember having. I wanted to show my daughter that I am more than “just a mom” but a leader, who can help other girls find their best selves.

For more than 100 years, Girl Scouts has been engaging girls in relevant and innovative leadership programming and ensuring a robust corps of volunteers are equipped with the tools they need to lead, support and mentor their Girl Scouts. Adriana Weber, a Daisy troop leader for 10 first grade Girl Scouts in Wentzville, is one of many leaders who utilizes Daisy Drop Box to run their monthly troop meetings. The Daisy Drop Box has saved me SO much time and effort in planning and preparing for my troop meetings and overall yearly schedule! The whole year is planned out, the talking points are so easy to follow and everything is laid out and explained perfectly! All/most of the supplies are provided and it saves me literally days of prep work and planning! What has been your favorite box so far and why? All the boxes have been great and are exciting in their own way, but my favorite so far has been the build a toy car box. The girls were able to make a toy car with a toilet paper roll, stickers, wheels and paper straws. The girls got to be creative decorating the car, and then got to race each other on and off ramps we made too. It was a lot of fun! How has the Daisy Drop Box/Brownie Bundle Program benefited you and your troop? What advice would you give a new Daisy or Brownie troop leader? Use the Daisy Drop Box Program through GSEM! Also, to make sure to have fun during the meetings. At the young age of Daisies and Brownies, the girls really just want to be together. Sing songs, play games and follow the yearly schedule provided by the Daisy Drop Boxes—they are lifesavers!

GSEM’s WLN Networking Reception

Members of GSEM’s Women’s Leadership Network (WLN), St. Louis’ premier women’s network, gathered at the Saint Louis Club on October 18 to engage in meaningful conversation during the annual Networking Reception. Attendees heard from an esteemed panel of women while participating in table conversations centered around the theme of The Power of Connecting, how women can form professional and personal connections that drive their success. Panelists for the event included, Natalea Simmons, Managing Director, Simmons Private Wealth Group at Stifel, Danielle Washington, GSEM’s Chief Program Officer, and Sarah Ayers, J.D. Candidate at Saint Louis University. To learn more about the Women’s Leadership Network or to become a member, visit .

On October 27, Legacy Jackson, a Girl Scout Senior, was the first teen in Missouri to present a TedTalk as part of the TEDxStLouis Women Two Steps Forward event at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. Legacy Jackson, a GSEM member since 2015 and freshman at Cardinal Ritter College Prep Academy, spoke on how her service organization, Little Legacies, is impacting the St. Louis area, developing young change-makers and teaching youth how to have fun with a purpose. Legacy, a Bronze and Silver Award Girl Scout, is currently working towards her Girl Scout Gold Award. GSEM Member Made History at TEDxStLouis

Better Together Corporate Partner Reception

Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri Hosts First-Ever Better Together Corporate Partner Reception On September 14, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri celebrated our valued corporate partners at our first Corporate Partner Reception. Attendees gathered to enjoy delicious Girl Scout Cookies and wine pairings followed by remarks from Jenny Bartlow, Strategic Client Executive at Microsoft and GSEM Fund Development Committee Chair, and Danny Shaver, Community Ambassador at Charles Schwab. The evening provided the opportunity to celebrate the impact of GSEM’s corporate partners and to learn more about the ways GSEM and our partners can work together to create an environment where girls explore freely, broaden perspectives, and discover their unimaginable potential!

On September 29, donors supporting the Prairie project at Camp Fiddlecreek were invited to join Malinda Walters of Compass Native Landscapes, our Prairie horticulturist, out at camp to check on the progress of the Prairie. Malinda led the group on a walk through the Prairie, where the seeds of seven varieties of grasses and 29 Forbs (flowers) were planted last January. Prairie Grass Donor Breakfast

Supporter Spotlight Giving Circle members demonstrate a passion for leadership development in young women by supporting Girl Scouts with an annual contribution.

Girl Scout Giving Circles recognize stakeholders who significantly impact girls’ lives across eastern Missouri. Their support provides ongoing skill building programming for girls that teaches them the 21st-century skills needed to become the leaders of tomorrow. Christine Chadwick and Laurna Godwin, members of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri’s Giving Circles, support Girl Scouts’ continual evolution to meet the changing needs of today’s girls, helping them grow into active and engaged members of their communities. Christine, a member of the Golden Trefoil Society, first became involved with Girl Scouts in 1991 when she joined the Board of Directors and then served as Board Chair from 1996-1998. She has stayed active with GSEM as a member of the President’s Advisory commitee and the Her Future is Our Future Comprehensive Campaign committee. Christine provides her time, talent and treasure to ensure every girl in eastern Missouri has the opportunity to be a Girl Scout. Removing financial barriers, providing leadership development, and a committment to diversity and inclusion are reasons why Christine continues to give.

“I know firsthand that fiscal responsibility is at the core of everything that we do,” said Christine. “I love that our mission and values drive the exciting and diverse range of programming and activities offered for over 30,000 eastern Missouri Girl Scouts annually.” Laurna, an Emerald Partner in Leadership, is a Girl Scout alum and former GSEM Board Chair from 2006 2010. During Laurna’s chairmanship, GSEM moved into its current service center at 2300 Ball Drive and merged with the former Becky Thatcher Council. Laurna strongly supports and advocates for young women and believes Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri is a premiere girl leadership development organization. In addition to Laurna’s annual giving, she also served as a member of the Her Future is Our Future Comprehensive Campaign committee and supports GSEM with a Gold Award scholarship in her mother’s memory, so Girl Scouts of all backgrounds have equal and equitable access to Girl Scout programming. “Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri is led by dedicated staff and supported by volunteers who help ensure that girls become young women of courage, confidence, and character—three important traits needed to make our world a better place,” said Laurna. “When I think of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, it gives me hope for the future.”

Christine Chadwick on a recent Girl Scout-style adventure in Sequoia National Park.

Laurna Godwin (right) receiving the Thanks Badge from the late Gaye Rieschel.

Gifts for Girls Annual Fund Now, more than ever, the world needs more Girl Scouts. We are empowering our Girl Scouts to use their voice, become solution-driven leaders, and contribute to a brighter today and tomorrow for her community and world. Girls are the leaders and innovators that will bring our society into the future and being Girl Scouts gives them the holistic tools they need to succeed. We know Girl Scouts works—but our challenge is making sure Girl Scouts is available and accessible for all girls in eastern Missouri. The cost to deliver our programs is more than the fee that we charge to participate, leaving a significant funding gap each year. Even with these efforts to keep costs low, more than 52 percent of Girl Scouts in eastern Missouri rely on scholarships and financial assistance for their membership and program fees.

Gifts for Girls is a fund designed specifically to make sure every girl in eastern Missouri is prepared for a lifetime of achievement, which is more essential now than ever before. A gift to Gifts for Girls provides: • Membership & Uniform Assistance: A gift of $50 can make the difference, supporting one Girl Scout’s membership and uniform fees for one year. • Scholarships: Program scholarships for girls help them explore ALL that the Girl Scouts has to offer including: Camp, Live from Girl Scouts, Robotics, travel experiences, Council-led programming, and much more. A gift of $415 can cover a week at summer camp. • Equitable Program Costs: Your support allows GSEM to significantly underwrite program costs, reducing member pricing and making these experiences accessible to girls across our region.

Girl Scouts has taught me how to better serve my community, build friendships with all types of people, and work towards a common goal of making the world a better place for everyone. -Safiya H., Girl Scout Ambassador

All gifts are welcomed and appreciated. Donors who make a gift of $1,000 or more will be recognized as a member of GSEM’s 2024 Giving Circles. To make your gift today or learn more about GSEM’s Gifts for Girls Campaign and Giving Circle levels and benefits, visit .

Thank you to the following corporations and foundations that helped make Girl Scouting possible in eastern Missouri with a gift of $10,000 or more between October 1, 2022 and September 30, 2023. Corporate and Foundation Giving

Bank of America Bayer Fund Boeing Employees Community Fund Charles Schwab Clifford Willard Gaylord Foundation Edward Jones Emerson Enterprise Federal Emergency Management Agency Franklin County Area United Way George H. Riedel Foundation

Gertrude and William A. Bernoudy Foundation Great Rivers Confluence Foundation Jefferson Foundation Kent Family Foundation Leo R. Buder Charitable Trust Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis Mary Ranken and Ettie A. Jordan Charitable Foundation Mildred, Herbert & Julian Simon Foundation MilliporeSigma Spire The Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund

Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri 2300 Ball Dr. St. Louis, MO 63146 314.592.2300

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2024 Scholarship Recipients Ryan Harper, Natalie Hendren & Julie Meritt

Corporate Legacy Builder Spire Individual Legacy Builder Neal Spencer Community Legacy Builder United Way of Greater St. Louis Education Legacy Builder Saint Louis Public Schools


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