Upcoming Events


9/20/16 - New Girl Registration Event, 6-8:30, Library Activity Room

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: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GSEM_OpportunityCatalog.  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 customercare@gsema.org 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 gsema.org
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 kellys@majekelly.com

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: www.GSOFSI.org/Forms/leaders/ceremony
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 (kscott1104@aol.com). 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 ruthekennedy@gmail.com.
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.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Service Project Opportunity!

Girl Scout Service Project opportunity! Please come help plant some geraniums at the Veteran's Memorial Garden at North Parish Park/Girl Scout Park on Rt. 62 on Saturday, May 21. The Memorial Garden was put in place by a North Reading Girl Scout as a Gold Award project.  This park is near the intersection of Chestnut St. and Park St. (Rt. 62). Please arrive at 9:30am and bring a small geranium ANY COLOR with you (can be purchased inexpensively at WalMart). There will also be some there for planting. Bring gloves and a trowel. Girls will receive a participation patch for their efforts. Let's make this spot look lovely on time for Memorial Day!! Contact Ruth Kennedy with questions and to let her know you are coming:  ruthekennedy@gmail.com
Rain or Shine!

End of Year Ceremony Ideas

As the year comes to an end, it can be fun for your troop to have their own end of year ceremony. Here is a website that can help give you ideas:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

North Reading Girl Scout Scavenger Hunt 5/22/16

The North Reading Girl Scouts are inviting Girl Scouts in grades 6-12 to a scavenger hunt and pizza party on Sunday May 22nd from 5-7.  Come with your troop and bring along your leader or a parent to be the driver as you search the town for clues.  See the flyer here and contact Anne Valade avalade@baystatedisposal.com with any questions.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Reregistration Time is now here!

 Please read from GSEM--  **Incentives for Troops, Girls, Families, and our Service Unit**
It's time to renew troop and family memberships for another year of Girl Scout fun and adventure! Spring Renewal will be managed through our new Volunteer Systems.

New this year, we are offering exclusive GSEM membership renewal incentives for the 2016-17 troop year for service units, troops, girls and families who renew by July 1. 
Service Units*:
If 75% of your girls renew, the service unit receives $500 to reinvest in girls, troops and special local events. If 65% of girls renew, you earn $400; and if it's 50% of girls, you earn $300.  Imagine all the ways you can help girls locally! 
We have a great incentive for any troop that renews membership for 75% of its girls. These troops start the year off with a pre-packaged, ready-to-go program-in-a-bag as our thank you. "I Promised a Girl Scout I would Vote" includes instructions, supplies and a patch!
The first 9,000 girls to renew will receive this free Spring Renewal patch!
Each girl who renews this spring, along with one adult chaperone, will receive an invitation to register for the Ultimate Guide Sneak Peek in September 2016 at Camp Cedar Hill (date TBD). This event showcases some of the best programs GSEM has to offer, including high ropes course, archery and more. This event fills quickly, so encourage families to look for the registration email!

We can't wait to have you and your troop back for another great year of Girl Scouting!

NRGS Service Unit President’s Award from GSEM

Congratulations to the current NRGS Service Team who was recently nominated and endorsed by their peers to be awarded the President’s Award from the Girl Scouts of Eastern Mass.  This is the highest award a Service Unit can achieve and because of the registration team’s tremendous efforts in placing every girl this year as well as increasing our membership goals for girl and adult members, together with the entire service team’s hard work and dedication working together towards the Girl Scout Mission, Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts's Executive Committee of the Board of Directors approved North Reading to receive this prestigious award.  The letter from the CEO of GSEM can be found here. 
If you would like to attend the luncheon on May 14 at the Sheraton Hotel in Framingham, please go on to the GSEM website and register.  It’s $25 for the luncheon and you will be part of the celebration honoring all Girl Scout Volunteers and Service Units for 2016 who were approved to receive awards and recognitions.  The event starts promptly at noon but you can start registering at 11 a.m.  Currently, Anne, Debbie, Amy, and Kristin are able to attend.  Kristin will also be receiving an Appreciation Pin at the luncheon for her outstanding service to the NRGS Service Team the past few years in not only stepping up as Service Unit Coordinator but in all of the other positions she holds on the ST as well as all she has done to help run events.  Congratulations Kristin!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Leader Meeting Minutes 4/11/16

April Leader Meeting
Room 10, NR Town Hall – April 11, 2016
Meeting Start: 7:40 pm

In attendance: Debbie Nearing 73891, Michelle Gerokoulis 62796, Lisa Ayer 62798, Kerri Antonuccio 62803, Karianne Bekier 62803, Joanne Gibson 69175, Kristin Puliafico 85118, Amber O'Driscoll 76211, Melissa Audier 73894, Ruth Kennedy 73899, Lisa Coroa-Bockley 85121, Mays Hanegraaff 78188, Dawn Gonthier 71890, Amy Kelly 73897, 79107, Jenn Vant 85337, Kate Mahoney, 71868 Stephanie Musgrave 71868

Pledge of Allegiance and Girl Scout Law
Debbie ran tonight’s meeting in Anne’s absence and thanked all the volunteers mentioning that this is Leader/Volunteer Appreciation week for Girl Scouts.

Leader Appreciation:
Ruth made special packets for each leader in attendance with flower seeds, chocolate kisses, candy lifesavers, and a nice poem. Thank you to all our leaders and volunteers and thank you Ruth for assembling the gifts! It's nice to have the girls make a card or a token to give to the volunteers in your troop, such as a hardworking cookie mom or dad.

Outstanding Volunteer Nominations:
If you have a volunteer you would like recognized or a leader you feel deserves to be recognized as an outstanding volunteer and you would like to nominate her or him, contact Debbie Nearing before May 15th. 

GSEM President’s Award for North Reading Service Unit:
The North Reading Service Unit was recently nominated and endorsed by their peers and the selection was approved by the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors to receive the GSEM President’s Award for 2016.  We were one of 6 Service Units who were selected out of 178 in our region!  We qualified because we met our membership goals this year placing all the girls and we went above and beyond by increasing our numbers for adults and girls. There is an award luncheon in Framingham at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center on May 14th.  Check in starts at 11 and the event starts promptly at noon.  Council will allow 4 of us from the ST to attend and then we will pay for the others from the Service Unit Account if they want to attend.  Not everyone from the ST is available that day but half of the ST will be attending to receive their award and if any Leader or Volunteer is interested, you should go online with GSEM ASAP to sign up.  It’s $25 a person but space is limited.  The GSEM Award Letter is being posted to the blog!

GSEM Appreciation Pin:
We would also like to congratulate Kristin Puliafico who has also been nominated and endorsed by her peers to receive the GSEM Appreciation Pin at the GSEM Awards and Recognitions Luncheon the same day.  Kristin will also be a free guest for lunch and that is one less on the ST who we will need to pay for if all want to attend.  Kristin received this award for all of her dedication to the Service Team in not only serving as the Service Unit Coordinator but for taking on multiple roles on the ST and running events.  Congratulations!

Cookies-n-Canvas is April 21.
Last day for forms is the 14th. Please get in touch with Lisa Alexander with any forms.
Update:  Only 20 have signed up so there is room for older girls if anyone wants to invite older girls to attend.  **Please contact Lisa Alexander ASAP.**

We have 14 troops registered as of tonight. The encampment committee will meet next week on Thursday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. to discuss more particulars. The meeting is at Lisa Alexander’s house. Debbie will get the info out to all leaders as soon as she sorts through the envelopes. 
Update:  We have approximately 47 day campers and 38 overnight campers.  Unless we get more participation in the next few days, we will be returning most of the tent sites on April 22nd and just keeping the 2 Yurt Sites and Health Lodge with day use for the Dining Hall and this should be enough to hold the overnight and day troops.  This encampment will be about the same number who attended in spring 2014. 

The theme is a luau and Kerstin is canoe and waterfront certified and we will have swimming and hopefully canoeing. We may have a Kona ice truck or even hula dancers as well as an outdoor activity for older girls, but it all depends on the cost.   Daisies usually come for the day around 9 a.m. and stay until 5 p.m.  On Friday night, the girls staying can make s’mores and hike and explore the camp as there is no scheduled activities.  This is a good opportunity for troops to work on badges, SWAPs, journey’s or just bond with one another.

If any girl needs to leave the camp and come back, please see Debbie or Kerstin and let them know so we know at all times who is in and out of the campsite. You will need to bring your own wood more than likely as last year there was not any wood, but all of these things will be addressed in a few weeks. 

These were just questions that were asked at the Leader meeting and answered on the spot.  We also mentioned that we would look at doing the SWAPS event at a time convenient for those girls who have sports and need to leave and come back, probably around lunch time.

S.W.A.P.S. for Encampment:
Time to think about SWAPS! Swaps are some whatchamacallits affectionately pinned on someone” (little tokens each girl can make to hand to another girl at camp). They are fun to make and girls enjoy exchanging with other girls.  Look at www.makingfriends.com, Pinterest or www.swaps4less.com for ideas or kits to purchase at a small cost. 
Each girl can make as little or as many as they exchange one for one for encampment. Most girls do between 10 and 15.  However many you make, you will trade and get that amount back.

Scavenger Hunt:
May 22nd from 5-7pm at the UCC.  Anne sent an email to some troops and asked if the older girls are interested in this event. If there is not enough interest, the event may be cancelled. Troops, in Grades 6-12, please get back to Anne ASAP if you are interested.

Memorial Day Parade:
Please do not throw candy. Your troop can hand out flowers, flags or something similar. If the troop is not participating, all girls are still welcome to march with the other Scouts or a parent.  Wear uniforms, sashes, GS pins, etc. 
Start working on your banner which can be for a specific level or for the entire 12 years with changing names as the years go on.  Use something sturdy that will hold up in inclement weather as we march rain or shine.  Also, use some kind of ink that won’t run if it gets wet.  The banner should not be too heavy on a pole or too long for the girls to trip when they carry it in the parade.

Troop Financial Reports:
Due to Lisa Alexander sometime in June but no later than June 30th.  Typically, reports and bank statements are turned in at our June 15th Leader meeting.
It is perfectly fine to end your financial report as of May 31st since bank statements for June won’t be released by June 15.
Council would prefer you don't keep a lot of funds in your account and if you have funds, especially more than $200, that are unused as of June 30th, you need to attach an explanation of what your troop is planning to do with the money and when you will plan on using it.  If you are saving for an activity or a trip, please write what you are saving for.  Remember that you can pay for the girls to reregister with the troop funds or pay half and have the parents pay half.  It should be a decision you make with the girls.
Remember too that the money doesn’t belong to the girls but rather the troop. Each year, the troop stays the same with the same troop number and you go forward with those funds to start the new year October 1st. 
Although the Girl Scout membership year is 9/30, you can still reregister in the early bird registration which is open online now.

Year End Gathering for Volunteers/Leaders:
We would like to have a year end event June 15 for the Leaders and Volunteers. The ST was wondering how much interest there would be in attending this event.  The ST would provide the adult refreshments and food. 
Update: The leaders in attendance at the April Leader meeting said they would attend and liked the idea of having a social at a Leader’s home as we have done in the past.  More info to come on this!

Amy: Early Bird Registration:
Starts at the end of April. Council has changed from Ebiz and you have to set up a new login and password and you should have received an email to do this. There will be no more paper registrations, everything will be done online.

New families joining GS will be able to go online and see what troops they can join and pick and sign up by the day/time convenient for them. For new Daisies, parents can choose by school. Also, folks can decide to be a volunteer of these new troops right their online and council will contact them with the necessary procedures to go forward with those girls in their troop.

The troops will now have 12 girl slots with an open capacity for more girls if a new scout signs up for your troop.  You can no longer choose to have less than 12 girls if a parent signs up their child to be part of your troop.  GSEM would contact you directly once a girl signs up for your troop so you are aware.  

There is now an 800 number for all questions you have and you WILL receive a LIVE person to speak with and you won’t have to wait any longer for a response. The number is online with GSEM as well as in our latest Monday email.

Membership Star Discs:
Can everyone bring to the next May Leader meeting any colored plastic discs that go behind the membership stars that you have left over from other levels from your troop?

Cookie incentives should be here the end of April.

NRGS Food Pantry Collection:
NR Food Pantry wrote a nice thank you note thanking the girls for all the food they collected. Girl Scouts collected over 700 lbs. of food for the pantry in March. Thank you so much.

Meeting end: 8:50 pm which included Fly Up information from Kate, Stephanie and Dawn.