Sunday, January 15, 2017

Leasder Meeting Minutes 1/12/2017

Leader Meeting – 1/12/2017 at Flint Memorial Library
 In attendance: Debbie Nearing, Service Unit Coordinator and (73891); Jo Gibson, SU Cookie Manager and (62548, 69175); Anne Valade, Fall Product Manager; Melissa Audier, Blog Manager and (73894); Karianne Bekier (62803); Denise Kung (62798)
 Meeting start time: 7:40 p.m.
·         Anne distributed t-shirts to troop Leaders whose girls earned them in the Fall Product Sale fundraiser.  The Town earned $90 to go into our town service unit account. 
·         Cookie update – delivery will be at Agfa near Target like it was last year, 9-12:30, Sun Jan 22nd.  Email Jo if you have cookies you want to get rid of and can’t sell.  She can contact other troops to see about transferring them.  Debbie noted the cookie recognitions opt out form has the wrong fax number on it. This is the form that you download from the GSEM website. She notified Travis at GSEM.  This form is due by February 1st for Cadette troops and older who want to opt out of prizes in the cookie sale and would rather get an additional 5 cents a box of cookies sold.
·         Jessica Blanchette and Karianne Bekier have volunteered to help organize the Father-Daughter Field Day event in April. More information to follow – Lisa A. will follow up with them.
·         World Thinking Day – we are going to skip having a town wide event this year. Debbie and Lisa emailed out ideas for troops to celebrate on their own in a Monday email.  The theme for 2017 is “Grow”.  If your girls participate in any World Thinking Day activities (log onto, they can earn their WAGGGS pin (blue and yellow pin which goes below their GS pin on their vest, sash, or blouse. 
·         Jan 16th – Reading Girl Scouts invited us to their ice skating event at Burbank Arena on Monday, January 16th – flyer is on the NRGS blog website – Get there early for skate rentals.
·         Girl Scout Sunday will be celebrated on March 12th which is also Girl Scout Day. GS Sunday patches will be distributed at several churches in town (St Theresa’s, UCC, Aldersgate).  Any girl attending any House of Worship (including a Temple) on March 11th or March 12th can receive a Girl Scout patch.  Leaders should email Lisa Alexander or come to the March Leader meeting to get a patch.  Lisa will be sending out letters to the Houses of Worship and will send Melissa the flyer for the blog and attach it to a Monday email coming soon.  Lisa A. will order patches.
·         Amy Kelly’s troop is looking to run a Night of Beauty in March. More information to come.
·         Food Pantry drive will be held in March for the North Reading Girl Scouts and Melissa Audier and her Ambassador Troop 73894 will be coordinating it again this year.  Boxes will be distributed to all the elementary schools as well as other places in town to be announced.
·         Fly Up is going to be coordinated by Amy Kelly’s 8th grade troop this year; and will be held late June since they will be in DC. There will be a separate Daisy fly up ceremony with more information to come and this is because of the number of Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards we will have to recognize at Fly Up as well as the number of troops/girls graduating and Bridging to Adults. Girls in 1st grade, 3rd grade, 5th grade, 8th grade, 10th grade and 12th grade are all eligible to fly up and participate in the Annual Town Wide Fly Up Ceremony.  We are hoping to have it again at the International Church but Amy Kelly will be our contact.
·         Reminder Daisy troops are asked to bring their troop banners to their Fly Up ceremony so this may be a good time to create one if you don’t already have one. Jo Gibson volunteered to help run Daisy Fly Up if we need someone as she attended last year.
·         Encampment – cutoff is end of January for voting on the theme using Survey Monkey. Troops should only vote once as a group.  Encampment Committee will get together, decide on a theme and send out flyer and registration form hopefully all by end of February!  Look up ideas for  “sit upons” online for ideas on how to make these for encampment (good activity for younger troops, reusable at other events for sitting upon). Anne brought in a few sample Kaper Charts to show Leaders which can be used at encampment or weekly troop meetings to keep girls accountable and responsible.  You can do an overnight with your troop leading up to encampment, to get your troop ready for the weekend campout. In past years you could do a sleepout at the library but you need to check to see if this is still offered.  There’s also a Girl Scout sleepover event at the Museum of Science. Other ideas: Rice Moody, Maude Eaton. For lodge or outdoor camping, an adult in charge needs special camp certification. Look at the activity guide – trainings should start in the spring again.
·         Debbie will be sending out via email and snail mail the Founder Award Scholarship applications to ten graduating senior Ambassador North Reading Girl Scouts.
·         Debbie printed out copies of a new Activity Girl Permission form for 2016-2017 to show Leaders.  This is required for individual events not at your normal meeting space, nor within walking distance of it (both of which are covered by the Annual Permission Form).  Make sure you are having permission forms completed for each field trip and that you bring the annual permission form with you wherever you go.
 Meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.
 Minutes taken by Denise Kung in the Secretary’s absence and reviewed and edited by Debbie Nearing

Friday, January 13, 2017

Father-Daughter Field Fun Day

We are looking for leaders to help our service unit organize a Father-Daughter sports themed event in April. If you are interested, please contact Lisa for more information at

World Thinking Day 2/22/17

Celebrate and grow with Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from around the world! Celebrated since 1926, World Thinking Day (WTD) is a day of international friendship and speaking out on issues that effect girls and young women around the world. WTD is on February 22nd, but your troop can celebrate it at a troop meeting sometime around that date (mid-February to early March). If they haven’t earned it already, you can have your girls earn their blue WAGGGS pin by completing an activity for WTD. This year’s theme is “Let’s Grow”. Here is a link to a guide for activities and the WTD badge that you can do with your troop.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Reading Girl Scout Events in January

The Reading Girl Scouts have a few events coming up and they are open to our North Reading Girl Scouts as well. 
Night of Tradition is being held on Friday, January 6th at Camp Rice Moody for levels Brownies and up. Juliette herself will be joining us to talk about traditions from the beginning of Girl Scouts and we will sing some traditional songs. The link for the flyer is
Annual Ice Skating Day will be held on Monday, January 16th from 9:30 - 11:20 am at the Burbank Ice Arena in Reading. The link to the flyer is

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Cookie Sale 2016/2017

Joanne Gibson, our new Service Unit Cookie Mentor for NR, will hopefully have troop cookie materials for troops to pick up at the November meeting as well as samples of cookies including the new S’mores cookie!! This season marks the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts selling cookies to fund their activities and adventures.
The cookie season starts on December 9th and Jo will be putting together information for booth sales at Wal-Mart and Stop and Shop and she sent an email already to your designated Cookie Troop Managers about this. 
SNAP will be open on November 8th for lottery entries to win a COBS (Council Organized Booth Sale) at MBTA stations.  Your Cookie Manager MUST pay attention to the instructions on the GSEM site and meet the December 2nd deadline in order to be considered for an MBTA COBS, including requiring two adult troop members who need to submit paperwork for COBS.  Troops can enter up to 100 entries to try and win a COB.  Please remind your Cookie Manager to go on the GSEM cookie site and click on the For Cookie Sellers page and learn about how to get started so your troop is ready to go when the season starts! 
Jo’s contact information is  

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Fall For Service 11/20/16

Forever Girl Scouts are partnering with Project Sweet Pea - Multiple Miracles for an afternoon of service, conversation and refreshments. Join us in making fleece blankets and knit hats to donate to families with children in Neonatal Intensive Care Units in Boston-area hospitals on November 20 from 1-3 at Camp Rice Moody in Reading.

Forever Girl Scouts are adults who were girl members, volunteers as adults and adults who wish to support the Girl Scout Movement.  Please see flyer here.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Leader Meeting Minutes 10/11/16

NRGS Volunteer Leader Meeting – Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016
Meeting began at 7:35 p.m.
Service team members and Volunteer Leaders in attendance: Debbie Nearing, Service Unit Coordinator and Troop 73891; Anne Valade, Fall Sale Promoter; Jo Gibson, Hood School Coordinator and SU Cookie Manager and Troops 62548/69175;  Amy Kelly, SU Membership Promoter, Troops 62804/73897/71901; Kristen Puliafico, Little School Coordinator; Denise Kung Troop 62798; Kristen Pemberton Troop 69171; Michelle Gerokoulis Troop 62796; Rebecca Lowe Troop 68550; Kate Mahoney Troop 71868; Kerri Antonuccio Troop 62803; Joanna Maguire Troop 78188; Karianne Bekier Troop 62803; Cindy DeWolfe Troop 85336; Julie Galvin Troop 62802; Jenn Vant Troops 85337/76212; Amber O’Driscoll Troop 76211

Welcome email - All girl parents should have received a welcome email from NRGS. If they didn't, please let Debbie know.

Juliette Low's Birthday - founder of GS -  Oct 31. Google for fun ideas to celebrate with your girls. Idea: you can have each girl bring something you need for a later event as a "gift" (e.g. craft supplies) to your party.

Registration - The process was changed this year. It's all done via online (vs paper) registration and Council handles all placements. If a new girl signs up via the Opportunity Catalog with a specific troop, she's all set. Otherwise, new girls get placed in a "pool" and Council contacts the parents to help place them into a troop. Amy has no visibility into this process - she cannot see which girls are waiting to be placed and she does not get notified when a particular girl is placed. If you are waiting for a girl to show up on your roster, please email Amy directly for help ( She will contact Council. In order to make sure no one is getting lost, Amy is going to be sending out full troop rosters to each leader listing all the girls and adult volunteers in your troop. All registered girls in your troop should be showing up in NutE (the online system) for the Fall Sale.
Another issue this year - new leaders cannot get their online access without going through the Troop Pathway orientation. Existing leaders need to make sure they renew their CORI's, which are good for 3 years, but GS asks that you renew early a couple months early or they lock you out of your online account. The CORI deadline is coming up in January. Tip: you can go to a notary to fill out your paperwork, you don't have to do it through the service team.
Kindergarten Registration - registration and new troop formation was also bumpy this year due to the new process. Currently, there is NO kindergarten troop at the Little School. The advertising and flyers got stalled in the system and never made it into backpacks. There was a lot of discussion about how to spread the word about GS to the Little School - talking to Ms Molle, advertising in the next PTO newsletter, various Facebook pages. We need to get the word out (tell your neighbors). Anne says to remember there is no cut off for registration - girls can sign up throughout the year.
Early Bird patches - some troops have still not picked these up. Amy will be delivering them to leader mailboxes.

Fall Products - We sampled some fall products at the meeting, including nuts and candy. Anne Valade is the coordinator, direct any questions to her or watch the training videos. Make sure all girls are in the NutE system because THE DEADLINE IS THIS FRIDAY 10/14 to get girls in. If they are not in the system, you cannot put in orders for them. Travis Sammons can help get girls registered quickly if you email him directly.

Spooky Tales – Forms are now due for the event.  If your troop is attending, please get your form to Anne and please include the number of girls participating.  Anne is at 24 Abbott Rd.  and her email is

Halloween party - Jo still needs volunteers for party setup, running crafts and games. We might not have enough decorations. Jo is talking to the people running a Halloween party at the Batch. The Moose doesn't want to loan out its Halloween decorations this year. She could use more inflatables and wall decorations (we have table decorations). Patches will be ordered tonight.  Right now we have about 50-55 signups.

Caroling on the Common - Drop off is at the top of the common. After caroling, we walk over to the Union Congregational Church for making cards and cookies. Pick up is from the Church. You can stick around to sing, but siblings cannot go to the church because we won't have enough food and supplies. Registration forms were accepted for this event.

Veteran's Day - Nov 11 at the Town Common. Can be moved inside to the Batch, weather depending. Event is for boy and girl scouts. There are usually refreshments in the meeting house afterwards. We ask the girls to attend in uniform for the ceremony to represent GS. If you want to participate in the event (flag ceremony) or help with refreshments, contact

Service Projects – A couple of years ago, we collected for the food pantry around Christmas, but not this year, but your troop can participate individually. Other ideas for service projects - meals on wheels (make crafts, cards, etc) that can be sent to the seniors getting meal delivery. On the blog there is a whole section on ideas for service projects. This can be helpful for earning a badge. Amy's troop earned their garden badge by inviting the North Reading Garden Club to teach the girls about planting and helping them plant bulbs (which were donated by a local business). Amy encourages you to reach out to any organization or business in the community and to be creative in how you earn your badges. What's important is understanding the meaning behind the badge (or journey too).

Encampment - Debbie. At this event, girls of all ages from our service unit come together to enjoy outdoor activities, learn skills, and camp overnight (no Daisies). Daisies can come for Saturday only. You need to be certified for camping - get your training ASAP if you are interested. Check the online GSEM Guide for trainings.
The best date appears to be Father's Day weekend (June 16-18). Debbie says you can leave by Saturday night to get back for Sunday (or just  come for Saturday). She is going to submit the request and list that weekend as our first choice. We're trying to work around lots of other events including HS graduation, Relay for Life, etc. Debbie would like to get some older girls (6th grade and up) and adults on the planning committee. She needs lot of help to plan and chaperone the event.

Bring any leftover materials you have to the November meeting e.g. craft supplies, discs (for membership pins), books, etc. Hand them down to another troop.

Next meeting is Monday Nov 14th, Library Activity Room 7:30 – we will have an Investiture Ceremony for new Volunteer Leaders and a Rededication Ceremony for existing Leaders.

Meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Caroling on the Common 12/11/16

Our annual Caroling for all ages will be held on Sunday, December 11 from 3 to 4:30PM.  We will meet at the Third Meeting House (on the common) for Caroling and then move to the Union Congregational Church for cookies and cocoa and to make holiday cards for Veterans.  The flyer can be found here
If you'd like to help prep crafts, get refreshments, and/or setup and cleanup on the day of the event, please respond to There is no charge for this event.

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  

Some helpful tips:
*  Fall Product Coordinators should all be registered and CORI'd at this point.
*  All girls should be set up in the Nut-E system
*  Please be sure to submit your Troop Bank Account Information to Council!  Use this form.  If you have not yet set up a Troop Bank Account, click here to find out how to set up your account Troop Banking Account Information form.   This needs to be done ASAP as Council will be unable to submit any troop product orders that you have without the banking information. 
Opt Out Option for Junior, Cadette, Senior or Ambassador troops:
   If your troop would like to Opt-Out of girl recognitions to earn additional proceeds, sign the form by this Friday, 
October 7.  By doing so, your troop will earn an additional 2% in proceeds but please make sure the girls know they will not receive any recognitions or patches.  Girls need to unanimously agree to forgo individual recognitions.  So please discuss it with the girls before they vote to Opt Out!
*  Don't forget to use the QSP online portal.  Using the online portal is a great way to let family and friends know that they have the opportunity to support your Girl Scouts! Send email, texts, and even post to Facebook! Purchasing new magazines or renewing favorites is so easy to do online and in doing so, it gets the magazines to the customers much faster!
*  If your unclear about any aspect of the Fall Product Sale,  view the online training videos here or on the website  under the "Program Training" section.
*  Still need more packets for your troop??  I have a tote on my porch that you can pick up extras from.  If you have extras that you'd like to leave for others to use, please drop them in the tote.     
    I'm at 24 Abbott Rd.  Red gambrel on your left side.


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.