Friday, September 23, 2016

Fall Product Sale

The sale will kick off this Friday, September 23.  All registered troops will receive – by mail – enough packets for all the registered girls in your troop – regardless if you intend to sell Fall Product or not.  I suggest you consider participation in the sale as it will bring funds to your troop and help support all GSEM does.  The process is easy and the troops will receive a 15% profit for all of its sales.  If you DO NOT want to participate in the sale, we would like to request that you let us know and Anne will arrange to pick up the packets you’ve received so they can be distributed to troops who may need additional packets.  All participating troops are asked to have your Fall Product Chair email Anne Valade so communications regarding the sale can be sent.  Email our Fall Product Mentor, Anne Valade, at  


Updates from GSEM and GSUSA

After attending a GSEM training yesterday, the NR Service Unit was provided with clarification as to when GSUSA membership and criminal background (CORI) is required by adults.  EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, adults who attend troop meetings, chaperone, drive girls and attend overnights and/OR troop/service unit events/activities MUST COMPLY with the Criminal Background Check Policy and be registered and CORIed screened volunteers.  This information is included in the Volunteer Essentials as well.  This REPLACES AND ELIMINATES “adults can attend one meeting or event”! 

  • Volunteers must be registered adult members of Girl Scouts with a current, eligible CORI/SORI which must be submitted for approval three weeks prior to having ANY contact with girls, access to their personal information, or managing funds.
  • Troop leaders and assistant troop leaders must have completed necessary training as listed in the CORE Learning Plan for Troop Volunteers and Camping Learning Plan for Volunteers.
Families who participate in “public events” do not require membership or compliance with CORI’s when participating exclusively as a family. However, if the event is an overnight, then membership and criminal background check is required for family/all adults.

As detailed in Volunteer Essentials, page 15, when transporting girls to planned Girl Scout field trips and other activities that are outside the normal meeting place, EVERY driver must be an approved volunteer, over 21 years old, have a good driving record, valid license, and registered/insured vehicle.  Everyone must be in a legal seat; wear a seat belt at all times and adhere to state laws regarding booster seats and requirements for children in rear seats.  When driving girls, there MUST BE AT LEAST TWO (2) UNRELATED, APPROVED VOLUNTEER IN EACH VEHICLE, ONE OF WHOM IS FEMALE, and the girl-volunteer ratio must be followed.  For approved volunteers, see the paragraph above.  Annual permission or medical forms for each girl should be kept in the vehicle in which the girl is riding.  

If a group is traveling in one vehicle, there must be at least two unrelated, approved adult volunteers in the vehicle, one of whom is female, and the girl-volunteer ratios in the “Knowing How Many Volunteers You Need” from Volunteer Essentials section must be followed. 
If a group is traveling in more than one vehicle, the entire group must consist of at least two unrelated, approved adult volunteers, one of whom is female, and the girl-volunteer ratios in the “Knowing How Many Volunteers You Need” section must be followed. Care should be taken so that a single car (with a single adult driver) is not separated from the group for an extended length of time

For clarity on which adults can participate in Girl Scouts while girl members are present, the former “adult-to-girl ratios” are now called “volunteer-to-girl ratios.”  The language reflects their Criminal Background Check Policy.  Volunteer-to-girl ratios have been updated by GSUSA beginning with the 2016-2017 troop year and the number of required volunteers has decreased from last year’s levels.  Check out Volunteer Essentials, pages 13 and 63 to see the new ratios and to get an overview of volunteer requirements. Remember, girl members who are 18 years old CANNOT serve as a volunteer.  They are girl members and count in your girl count, not the volunteer count. 

The Meeting in Home Forms has been updated and troops/groups seeking to meet in homes WILL NEED to request approval ANNUALLY.  Public meeting spaces are always preferred and meeting in homes is limited.

The Online Volunteer Agreement has been updated for 2016-2017.  Every volunteer is required to complete the Online Volunteer Agreement ANNUALLY.

Spooky Tales Along Dark Trails - NRGS Older Girl Activity

This year, NRGS is having a new Halloween event for the older troops (grades 6-12).  Troops are invited to choose a landmark within the Historic District and build a spooky tale to share with the group.  Possible locations:  Various buildings on the Putnam House Property, Damon Tavern, Library, Gazebo, Building on the Common, Batchelder School, UCC, etc.  It’s ok for more than one troop to use the same location.   When you sign up, please let us know which landmark your troop would like to use.  Your girls can use history or make up their own story to share by acting, or read to the group.  Costumes and props are optional.  Troops can also come as spectators.  Please see the attached flyer here for more information.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Leader Meeting Minutes 9/13/16

In Attendance: Joanna Maguire 78188, Michelle Gerokalis 62796, Denise Kung 62798, Kristen Pemberton 69171, Joanne Gibson 69175, Mary Hatton 78181, Kristin Puliafico ST, Kate Mahoney 71861, Amy Kelly 73897, 62804,71901, Karianne Bekier 62803, Ruth Kennedy 73899, Cindy DeWolfe 85336, Anne Valade ST, Debbie Nearing 73891, Kim Lambert Serna, Volunteer Support Specialist from Council

The meeting was held at the Library Activity Room on 9/13/16 and started at 7:30pm with the Pledge of Allegiance and the GS Promise.

Anne welcomed everyone.

Amy explained leaders have until 9/30 to register their girls online, after that parents will need to register the girls themselves. There will be a troop formation meeting on 9/20 at the LAR from 6-8:30pm. This is for new Scouts. Amy has early bird patches if any leaders need them. Patches were given out to those troops who were at the meeting.

To open your troop to new girls go to the opportunity catalog "open your troop" and then parents can find what troops are available for their daughter to join. The minimum number for a troop is 5. GSEM would like to see at least 12.

Anne: Introduced Kim Lambert Serna from council who is our Volunteer Support Specialist.

Anne talked about upcoming events:
September: registration event on 9/20, the first half hour is to learn what Girl Scouts is about then the troop formation. Please send anyone who might be interested to attend the event.

Annual Halloween party is Oct. 22, 1-3 at the Moose. This is a drop off event for Daisies, Brownies and Juniors. Jo Gibson is running the event and is looking for adult volunteers. The flyer was sent in last week’s Monday email and is on the blog.  The deadline for signing up for the party is Oct. 10. The next Leader meeting is Oct. 11 so any forms can be brought to that meeting.

Spooky Tales along Dark Trails event, this is for grades 6 and up. Girls create a spooky story and walk around the center story telling. Refreshments at the Congo church to follow. The flyer will be attached to the Monday email. This is a free event. Bring a flashlight.

Apple Festival is on 9/17. Melissa Audier and her girls will be running games and face painting.

Fall Product kick off is 9/23. Council has changed the training. They now have an open house where you can pick up materials and sample products. If you are a registered troop, council will send you a package with a kit for every registered girl in your troop. Anne is the fall product mentor, please see Anne with any questions.

If you plan to raise funds for your troop such as having a yard sale or event, the troop needs to participate in BOTH the fall product and cookie sale.

The Girl Scouts store has moved to Camp Maude Eaton and is no longer on route 114.

Caroling on the Common event is on Dec. 11, 1-3. Lisa Alexander will be running this event. This is open to all NRGS registered girls and there is no charge for this event. This event is always well attended.

Debbie: Encampment? Should we skip a year or do another this spring? If we go ahead, we would need to know by November so we can apply for the date we would like at the campsite we need. Once decided we will establish an encampment committee and open it to older girls to give their ideas too.

Amy: Possible Bingo Candy event in November? Amy will keep us posted on this event.

Anne: Does anyone have any questions about uniforms? Do you know how to change the uniform when moving to the next level? Amy has lots of colored discs if anyone needs them. Blue= Daisies, Green=Brownies, Yellow=Juniors, White=Cadettes. Stars move to the next uniform. You can also buy a numeral pin starting with year 5 instead of wearing the membership stars.

Anne: Should we break into groups by age level or have a question/answer session?

Debbie: mentioned Meals on Wheels. This is at the Senior Center at the building on the common. Meals are given to elderly who can't leave their homes. Girl Scouts have made tray decorations to cheer them up. Anything from a card or small craft item, but not food items. Usually they need 20-30 but you can make how many you want to help brighten someone's day! 

Leader question: Should we plan something to attract girls to the Veteran's Day event? Any ideas?

Kristin: There are Girl Scout handbooks for all levels in the children's room in the library. These do not get checked out but you may see them there for reference.

Anne: On our blog, there is a whole section of service project ideas and lists of fun activities. The Ultimate Guide is out! Trainings are listed in the guide too and it’s also online if you didn’t get one mailed to you.

Kim from council said our NRGS Service Unit is a wealth of info. with lots of useful and correct information and she’s always impressed!
Don't forget to fill out the yearly annual permission form and the volunteer agreement. This can be done online.

Debbie will be sending an email for volunteers who need to be cori'd or you will have received it from GSEM already. Anyone with access to the girls as well as funds or girl information will need to be registered and cori'd.

Customer care # 844-306-4736. You can call this number with any GS questions you have.

Meeting Day for leader meetings? Which day of the week does everyone prefer?  We will keep Tuesdays for now and after December switch to either Monday or Thursday.

Anne passed the torch to Debbie who will be the sole Service Unit Coordinator in the new membership year starting on Oct. 1.

Lisa Alexander will take over as the corresponding secretary, and continues as treasurer and event coordinator but we are seeking volunteers who may be interested as the recording secretary as well as a treasurer to alleviate some of the positions from Lisa. 

Amy Kelly will remain as registrar but her new title is Service Unit Membership Promoter (SUMP)

Jo Gibson is Hood School coordinator,
Kristin Puliafico- Little School coordinator.
We are looking for a Batch school coordinator.

We are looking for someone to record the minutes during the leader meetings until we find a recording secretary. This position could be shared. Kate Mahoney volunteered to take the minutes at the next leader meeting on Oct. 11.

Next meetings (tentatively): Oct. 11, Nov. 9, Dec. 13, Jan. 12, Feb. 9, March 9, April 13, May 11, June 15.

Meeting ended 8:45pm

Friday, September 2, 2016

Halloween Party and Older Girl Activity

There will be a Halloween Party for Daisies and Brownies on October 22 from 1-3 at the Moose Lodge.  Joanne Gibson is coordinating the party and is looking for help from leaders, as well as older girls that want to help out planning and running part of the event.  Please contact Joanne at if you are interested in helping out.  Please find the flyer here.

There will be an older girl activity for Girl Scouts sixth grade and up on October 23, early evening, exact time to be determined, at Union Congregational Church.  This activity is still in the early planning stages but it will involve different troops coming up with scary stories and acting them out for each other.  The plan is for this to take place throughout the historical section of town.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

2016 Fall Product Program

The 2016 Fall Product Program is coming soon: September 23rd through October 25th! This is the time of the year when we reach out to volunteers to ask whether they would participate in this program in a similar role again. Packets will be mailed directly to all troop leaders of troop ONLY who have registered before September 18.   
 We are looking for a volunteer to handle the Fall Product Program this year for our townThis person will need to be in place before September 15th so our Service Unit can earn more incentives when our troops sign up to participate.  If you are interested, please contact Debbie Nearing at
September 15th will be the 1st annual Fall Product Program Open House at Great Hall at Camp Cedar Hill in Waltham! This event will include Service Unit and Troop Fall Sale volunteers. GSEM is looking forward to a wonderful and fun kickoff to this year’s Program!


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

North Reading Girl Scout Registration Event for New Girls 9/20/16

The North Reading Girl Scout Service Unit will be hosting a Girl Scout Registration event on Tuesday, September 20th from 6:00pm until 8:30pm.  It will be located at the Flint Memorial Library's Activity Room.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Trainings and Programs for Volunteers

  • September 18, 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Dedham, for all current and incoming Service Unit Team Volunteers, encouraged to attend for a CORE Learning Day 
  • Troop Leaders can attend the Pathway Orientation, Essentials for their new level, or Medic/First Aid/CPR blended learning for $60 or recertification for $30 but registration is required to attend as there is a brunch as well. Register on the GSEM website.
  • November 6, from 8:30 to 5 p.m. Troop Volunteer Conference at the Best Western Hotel in Marlborough.  Network, learn and spark your creativity at the 2016 conference! Registration required on the GSEM website. Girls are also invited to attend.


Troop Leader Renewal Deadline and The GSEM Opportunity Catalog

Troop leader renewal deadline is September 30, 2016. 
Troop leaders will only have access to renew girls in their troop for the upcoming membership year until September 30 at 11:59 PM. October 1 is GSUSA's 'registration black out' day, and no one will have access to register or renew membership for this 24-hour period. On October 2, the 'renew' button next to troop members will no longer be available to troop leaders. Therefore, after September 30, only caregivers will be able to register/renew girls.
Is your troop in need of additional volunteers? Are you a few girls short of the perfect troop size? The GSEM Opportunity Catalog can help! Add your troop to the Opportunity Catalog so that those new to Girl Scouting can find you! We encourage every troop with space available to opt in, but understand that you may have questions. Learn more by clicking here:  Every troop must complete the online form yearly however, it is optional this year but will be required next year!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Girl Scout Store is Moving!

If you hadn’t heard, the GSEM North Andover Girl Scout offices and store has moved to Andover at Camp Maude Eaton on Abbott Street.  The North Andover Shop has been closed since June 17 but will reopen it’s doors on June 28Their summer schedule will be Tuesday through Friday from 10 AM to 4:30 PM. 
If you have cookie credits from the membership year 2014-2015, they WILL expire this week on June 30, 2016.  Please make sure you or the girl use them as they make no exceptions after June 30th. 
New phone numbers will be announced once they are established, but in the meantime, you should contact Customer Care at 844-306-GSEM (4736) or email to reach a staff member.
To celebrate the grand opening of the new shop location, they are offering 15% off your order of $50 or more! This offer is valid June 28 - July 1 at the Andover shop location and cannot be applied to previous purchases or combined with any other offer.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Time to Register for Next Year!

The NEW registration process
1. Go to
2. click on MY GS
3. On pink banner click on words Renew today.
4. Click green banner "Renew now".
This is a new system you will need to create a new login/password.
Incentive to do this by June 30th
Register 75% of your troop and get a free ready-to-go program in a bag!
Town registers 75% of their members, we receive $500 to reinvest in the girls!
Any questions please don't hesitate to ask!
Troop deciding not to continue- please let Amy Kelly know ASAP at

Monday, May 16, 2016

Leader Meeting Minutes 5/10/2016

Volunteer Leader Meeting
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Library Activity Room
In Attendance: Joanna Maguire 78188; Karrianne Bekier 62803; Lisa Coroa-Bockley 85121; Lisa Ayer 62798; Kristen Pemberton 69171; Joanne Gibson 69175; Julie Galvin 62802; Kristin Puliafico 85118; Debbie Nearing 73891; Anne Valade, Amy Kelly 73897, 71901, 62804; Lisa Alexander 86279; Bridget Easler 76212; Dawn Gonthier 71890; Jenn Vant 85337,;Ruth Kennedy 73899; Denise Kung 62798;
Meeting Start:  7:35pm
Anne welcomed all the leaders and we started with the Pledge of Allegiance and the Girl Scout Law. Debbie handed out packets for encampment.
Lisa explained the financial report. The financial report needs to be turned in to Lisa with your last bank statement no later than June 15. If you have over $200 in your account you need to explain what you are saving for, such as a trip or activity. Financial forms can be found on the blog. Please see Lisa with any questions.
Amy talked about early bird registration which is going on now through the end of June. Register your troop anytime! All registrations will be done online now. Troops will be in a database which parents can view time/day/school and choose a troop that suits the time slot they prefer. Someone from council will reach out to the leaders about adding new girls. Molly Nagel and Kim Lambert-Serna are our go to people for questions. To register, go on the Ebiz site and select your troop members, add to the cart and checkout. Payment must be made. You could ask parents to reimburse part of the payment if you choose.
Anne mentioned that if your troop is having a year end party to please follow GSEM's check points. For instance, if you are having a pool party, you must have a lifeguard present.
Anne talked about uniforms. Each uniform has some pieces that may move to the next level. Membership stars get transferred and World Association pins also. When girls accumulate 5 stars you could get a #5 pin if you like. The Brownie wings go on the Junior uniform and also get transferred to Cadettes. Wearing badges on your uniform is important. Badges give the girls a sense of accomplishment. They learn and experience something new and the badge shows it. The only uniform that is ever "required" is the tab with the membership pins. Ideas for leaders/ceremonies/badges can be found here:
Please see Jo Gibson for cookie recognitions. They were on hand at the May meeting.
IMPORTANT: Fly up has been changed from June 1 to June 20—same time and same venue!
Open positions for Service Team 2016-2017:
Batchelder School Coordinator: This position is not a huge commitment. It requires some help with registration and being a go to person at the school and someone who is touch with the PTO to know when events are happening.
Recording Secretary: This volunteer would just be taking minutes at the monthly Leader and Service Team meetings and typing them up for distribution in the Monday email and blog.  It does not require any other commitment and is a great way to start your way on to the Service Team.
Media Manager: This person contacts the Transcript with Girl Scout information, submits photos, helps with social media to announce cookie sales and things the public should know about.
Facebook Administrator: If you would like to be an ADMIN on the NR Girl Scout page (the PUBLIC page) please email Kristin ( This page posts all things Girl Scouts from around the country and in North Reading along with fun Girl Scout facts/activities. This is for the public to keep interested in all things Girl Scouts (no personal photos!).
Old Girls on the ST: The ST is also looking for a few older girls 14 and older to help decide and plan about older girl events.
Lisa: upcoming events: Scavenger Hunt, Fly Up, Encampment and Memorial Day Parade
Ruth has a service project for all who are interested. This is to beautify North Parish Park on Park Street for Memorial Day to honor all Veteran's. Please bring a small geranium plant, any color to the park on Saturday May 21 at 9:30am. Ruth will have participation patches for all girls that are planting. Please let Ruth know if you planning to attend by emailing her at
Parade info: Don't forget your first aid kit. Parents and girls are welcome to march without their leader. Please meet at the Building on the Common at 9:45am on Monday, May 30. This is rain or shine. Bring a wagon with water for the little ones, don’t forget comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, a hat, and your troop banner as well as your permission or medical forms for each girl participating, especially if they are not marching with your troop and marching with someone who doesn’t know their medical information!
The leaders then talked about field trips and activities that they have enjoyed and recommend and some that were just OK. A great source is the Ultimate Guide. It has many great things to do with your troop.
Leader Social is June 15 and more information is forthcoming.
Meeting end: 8:45pm
Encampment meeting directly followed and questions were answered and information given out about scheduling and what to expect, etc.