Erin McKenney Earns Girl Scout Gold Award

bubbleGrowing up in Londonderry, Erin McKenney always knew she wanted to instill lasting changes in her community. Now a freshman at Lafayette College in Easton, PA, the lifelong Girl Scout said the path to her Gold Award project gave her the opportunity to set those plans in motion.

McKenney, a 2016 graduate of Londonderry High School and longtime community volunteer, says her project, “Curiosity,” addresses the gap in the workforce when it comes to STEM careers.  “Often, girls are afraid to explore the STEM fields, and aren’t always given a fair opportunity to explore their strengths,” McKenney said. Working closely with Girls At Work, Inc. in Manchester, NH, the ambitious Girl Scout designed a series of fun and interactive science workshops for girls ages 8 through 12.

McKenney says she was immediately impressed with the nonprofit organization, which helps girls meet their fullest potential by exposing them to traditionally male-dominated professions, including carpentry. “You’d go in and there’s all these 9-year-olds…and they’re building tables for their families,” she says.  Inspired, McKenney began developing a science curriculum for the organization.

A few months ago, she introduced her two-week program at the organization’s summer camp.  Around 30 girls participated in the pilot program. McKenney worked closely with each student, presenting them with binders containing lesson plans and personalized letters from successful female scientists. “The idea was that the girls would be able to contact these scientists and ask them questions,” she said. The girls were also given the chance to meet with some special guests in their classroom. One of the guests, a successful engineer specializing in the mining industry, piqued the girls’ interests after they learned that English was her third language. “We had so many different languages being spoken in the class room, so the girls could really relate to her,” McKenney says.bubble-in-action-copy

During each class, the girls learned a new formula or theory and tied it to a professional working in the field. “One day we made giant bubbles and learned about a chemist. Another day we built our own rockets and learned about a woman who works for NASA,” McKenney notes. To date, McKenney has spent over 225 hours on her project and received over $3000 in donated supplies—including tote bags, binders, safety goggles, aprons, disposable gloves, and more.

“I learned that the most important quality I could offer these girls was to simply listen to them and be there for them. I also learned a lot about teaching,” she says. “Through the years, Girl Scouts has taught me a lot about leadership and about being a mentor,” she adds.

Before leaving for college, McKenney shared her “Curiosity” curriculum and materials with Girls at Work and The Circle Program, a non-profit organization serving New Hampshire girls through year-round mentoring and a residential summer camp and. Both organizations will incorporate the curriculum into their respective program offerings.

Serving and leading others is not new to McKenney. While attending Londonderry High School, she served as president of the Blue Star Lancers (a student organization offering support to peers and staff with deployed loved ones), and as community service coordinator for her school’s National Honor Society. She also participated in Girls Rock the Capitol, a legislative internship program run by Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains.

The Outlook – Monthly Update for Girl Scout Volunteers


October 2016

New Program Guide!

Our new Program Guide includes tons of fun and exciting programs for Girl Scouts of all grade levels. Be sure to share it with your girls when planning your year! If you haven’t received one in your mailbox, give Customer Care a call at 888.474.9686.


Fall Product Reminders

Fall Product Booth Order Forms—Planning a Fall Product booth sale? Fall Product Booth Order Forms are due to council by this Friday, October 14. Booth Sale product will be delivered to our Bedford/Williston offices and Camp Farnworth on November 4–in time for troops to sell on November 8 at Presidential election sites!
Download Booth Form

Keep on Selling—Our Fall Product Sale continues through Friday, October 21.

Join us For Halloween Fun!

halloweenGirl Scouts and their families are invited to dress up in their favorite costumes and join us for Halloween fun on Thursday, October 27 from 4 to 6 pm at our Bedford and Williston offices, and Camp Seawood from 4 to 7 pm. All Girl Scouts will receive a fun patch. Our retail stores will remain open during this time; don’t forget to bring your Cookie Dough! Attendees are encouraged to bring a canned good or other non-perishable items for local food pantries. Registration is required. Email with name and location to register.

Mark Your Calendar

Green Saturday-Join us in our Bedford and Williston offices on Saturday, November 19, from 10 am to 2 pm for extended shopping hours, store specials, crafts, and holiday fun for the entire family! All attending Girl Scouts will receive a FREE, limited-edition Green Saturday patch!

Cookie Rallies-Join us January 7, from 2 to 5 pm in Vermont at The Champlain Valley Exposition or Saturday, January 14, from 2:30 to 4:30 pm in New Hampshire at the SNHU Arena (formerly Verizon Wireless Arena), followed by a Monarchs game at 6 pm. Each event is unique and jam-packed with exciting, hands-on activities to help you make your Girl Scout Cookie Sale a fabulous success. Choose one or both locations! Online registration for both events will be open by the end of the month.

Exciting Travel Opportunities


Check out Girl Scout Destinations, the ultimate adventure program for girls ages 11 and older. Travel with Girl Scouts from throughout the country, see and learn new things, and pack your bags full of inspiring, life-changing experiences and memories. First round applications are due to the Bedford office by November 28, 2016 and second round applications are due February 13, 2017.

See Full List

Hello London—Summer 2017
Delve deep into the history and culture of London. The capital city was once the center of an empire, and today Britain’s age-old traditions come at you from many angles—from the stage of a West End theater, to a plate of fish and chips, to the ringing chimes of Big Ben. Applications will be accepted until the program is full.

Learn More

Gemany, Italy, Switzerland, and France—Summer 2018
Encircling the Alps, each of these cities, towns, and villages inspires the imagination in its own unique way. The one-of-a–kind canals of Venice create a magical mood. The Black Forest of Germany evokes a world of Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Bavarian Munich proudly displays its folkloric tradition, while the dramatic scenery of Adelboden’s mountain sets an awe-inspiring tone. Visit Paris and see the Place de la Concorde, Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, and more.

Learn More

Hawaii—Summer 2017
For girls in grades 8 through 12. Would you like to visit Oahu, home of Pearl Harbor, and try your hand at surfing? Hike Diamond Head, snorkel at Hanauma Bay, participate in a luau, and immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture. Applications will be accepted until the program is full.

Hawaii Girl Application
Hawaii Reference Form

Girls Rock the Capitol Legislative Internship Program


High School girls are invited to spend the 2016/2017 school year gaining an inside look at what state government is all about, working side-by-side with women legislators on issues that will influence their state’s future.

Applications and references for this exciting program are due October 31.
New Hampshire GRTC Program Details and Application
Vermont GRTC Program Details and Application


The Outlook is a monthly newsletter for Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains’ volunteers.

Have a question? Don’t be shy! Contact us for more information.

Escape to Iceland by Christina Kennamer

Senior Girl Scout Christina Kennamer experienced the magnificent geologic wonders of Iceland this past summer during a GSUSA Destinations trip, “Escape to Iceland.” In this blog post, Christina shares her unforgettable travel experience with us.


Christina (pink jacket-back row second from right) with her travel mates exploring Iceland.

This past summer I had the opportunity to attend the Escape to Iceland Girl Scouts Destinations trip.  I had so much fun!  I love Iceland and want to go back as soon as possible.  The trip started on June 21 and ended on June 28.  There were a total of 18 Girl Scouts and four counselors on the trip.  There were Girl Scouts from all over the United States on this trip.  Several were seniors in high school and this was to be their last Destinations trip.  Everyone was so friendly and great to hang with.  We have kept in touch after the trip.  The counselors, Nick, Christine, Tiffany, and Lindsey made the trip so much fun and adventurous.

My trip began in the afternoon at New York City’s JFK Airport.  I flew direct to Reykjavik, Iceland where the adventures began.  We stayed at various hotels and camps.  We enjoyed the local foods and cultural events.  We even cheered on Iceland as they defeated England in a worldwide televised soccer match.  The city of Reykjavik gathered for this festive occasion.

We took day trips and hikes.  Some of our activities included:

  • Riding Icelandic horses.iceland-2
  • Camping at The Volcano Huts of Thorsmork Nature Reserve.
  • Hiking historic glaciers and a remote plane crash.
  • Hiking Gulfoss and their two beautiful waterfalls.
  • Visiting the Gjabakkahellir Caves and Lava Tubes.
  • Snorkeling between two continental plates.
  • Walking black sand beaches.
  • Descending down into the World’s only intact dormant volcano!

iceland-4I had a wonderful time and think this was the best Destinations trip ever.  The leaders from ATS Destinations were great and would like to attend another Destinations trip with them in the future.  I highly recommend this trip to any Girl Scout who wishes to explore international travel.  I took a lot pictures that I will remember and cherish for a lifetime.

This is Christina’s third GSUSA Destinations trip. Her previous trips have included a week at Space Camp in Florida, and two weeks in New Mexico, where she learned the art of photography while immersing herself in the region’s art, culture, history, and adventures.

Girl Scout Destinations provide the ultimate adventure for individual girls ages 11 and older! With different trips every year, there’s something amazing for everyone to experience. Make friends from all over the country as you travel with Girl Scouts from different states and pack your bags full of inspiring, life-changing experiences.  First round applications for 2017-18 Destinations are due by November 28 to the Bedford Office.

Visit our website’s Travel Page to learn how you can join other GSGWM Girl Scouts on these upcoming trips:  Hawaii, London, Montreal and Quebec, Space Camp, and Mall of America.


Katherine Mathon Earns Girl Scout Gold Award


High School Senior Leads Veterans Memorial Restoration Project

Concern over the lack of visitors to Williston’s Veterans Memorial inspired longtime Girl Scout Katherine Mathon to take action. The Champlain Valley Union High School senior has dedicated over 80 hours to improving and repairing the memorial site, earning her Girl Scout Gold Award.

A Girl Scout since kindergarten, Mathon says she became extremely concerned after learning the memorial had fallen into disrepair.  “It’s very important to honor our troops and show them proper respect,” she says. “By having our memorial the way it was, in some ways, we were disrespecting them. I made sure the area was beautiful again. Our troops deserve to be remembered.” Having already earned her Bronze and Silver Awards, Mathon says she grew up admiring the passion of girls who’d gone on to obtain their Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouting. “This award opened a lot of doors for them, and it was always my goal,” she added. “I wanted to push myself to help people in the community more and I knew I was capable of doing something great.”

Prior to Mathon’s efforts, the memorial, a large granite star located near Williston Town Hall, rarely attracted visitors and its surrounding site was overgrown with weeds. Working closely with Williston Town Clerk Deb Beckett, Mathon managed various phases of site improvements, including a memorial brick-lined pathway and two new benches. American Legion Williston Post 45 sponsored her project and several area businesses and community members donated $4,000 worth of materials and services. Mathon completed her project this past summer.

As Mathon looks towards the future, she remains confident that the Veterans Memorial will stay beautiful in the years to come. Working closely with her local Rotary Club, she updated the site’s maintenance plan, which outlined ongoing sales of memorial bricks. Additionally, the local cemetery commission agreed to tend to the memorial’s surrounding landscaping.

Following her successful journey to earning her Girl Scout Gold Award, Mathon now reflects on what she’s learned in the process. “I learned that I’m very good at working with all types of people,” she says, noting she often served as a moderator between business owners, town officials, landscapers, and brick installers. “This really improved my management skills,” Mathon adds. “I learned that I can accomplish anything if I push myself hard enough.  I can set a goal and will go full steam ahead until it is accomplished.”

The experience will serve Mathon well in her next phase of life:  college. While she hasn’t made a decision on which school she’ll attend next year, one thing is for certain: it will include opportunities to travel! Mathon, who is considering a major in international business, speaks both Spanish and Chinese, and has travelled to the Dominican Republic, France, and China. She says it was her time spent in Girl Scouts that inspired her wanderlust. “My troop leader organized so many amazing activities for us, and we’ve always loved traveling to cities around New England and Canada,” Mathon points out. Over the years, Mathon has participated in Girl Scout troop trips to Boston, Newport, Rhode Island, New York City, Ottawa, and Montreal. Most recently, Mathon and her troop members planned and attended an exciting trip to Paris.

Nashua’s Jillian MacGregor Earns Girl Scout Gold Award

gold-award-facebook-jillian-macgregorJillian MacGregor’s passion for STEM education goes far beyond her Nashua South High School classroom. The community-minded senior—a Girl Scout since second grade—developed an after school  computing and technology program for girls, and has made it her personal mission to ensure it will keep going long after she’s moved on to college. Her project has earned her a Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting.

MacGregor began inspiring others with her computer and technology skills shortly after starting high school. In addition to volunteering at the UNH Manchester STEM Discovery Lab, MacGregor mentored a FIRST Lego League team for middle school girls at the Boys and Girls Club of Nashua, where she also ran a week-long summer computer camp.

After earning the National Center for Women and Information Technology’s Aspirations in Computing Award, MacGregor obtained the grant funding she needed to continue offering her program throughout the school year. The program, held in collaboration with the Nashua School District, trains girls in computer programming, coding, and robotics. Girls also have opportunities to meet some of the region’s leading female industry professionals, allowing them to witness firsthand the perks of pursuing careers in traditionally male-dominated professions.

In addition to mentoring younger girls, MacGregor trained older girls who will lead the program in the future. “They were very instrumental in helping ensure this program will go on after I head off to college,” she says
MacGregor said she’s looking forward to leading her after school program during her final year of high school. She teamed up with the national organization, Girls Who Code, giving her program an added curriculum advantage. “We have everything we need now,” MacGregor said with a grin. “I’m pretty immersed in all those program languages right now.”

She credits her years in Girl Scouts for giving her the confidence and support needed to make her dreams a reality. “With Girl Scouts, I could always be part of something bigger and there was always this core group of girls I could turn to,” MacGregor said. “We tried so many new things—like learning CPR. I’m so glad I had these opportunities.”

A longtime computer aficionado, MacGregor was selected to serve as a student STEM ambassador by the NH High Tech Council TechWomen/TechGirls STEM Ambassadors committee several years ago. A drum major and three-season athlete, MacGregor hopes to eventually earn degrees in computer science and engineering.  She encourages other Girl Scouts to go for the Gold. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s really something that helps a lot of people, while helping yourself,” she said. “So if you have an idea for a Gold Award project, why not do it?”

Trailhead – Monthly News for GSGWM Families – September 2016


September 21, 2016 Edition

We’re gearing up for another exciting Girl Scout year and have some important reminders and resources to share with our Girl Scout families:

Save Her Spot: Re-register Your Girl Scout by September 29!

The 2016-2017 membership year begins October 1. Our member registration system will be offline for maintenance/updates on Friday, September 30, so be sure to renew your Girl Scout’s membership by September 29 to save her spot!

On October 1, any remaining troop openings will be made available to new or transferring members. Re-register your girl today so she’ll continue to enjoy the adventure, friendship, and fun of Girl Scouts!

Please note: girls using Cookie Dough toward their member registration will need to use a paper registration form. Paper registrations take longer to process and must be completed BEFORE September 29 to continue membership for the 2016-2017 membership year.

Register Now

Important Store Hours Update

Extended Store Hours Thursday, September 22!
Both Bedford, NH and Williston, VT retail stores with extended hours until 7 pm.

Store Closed for Inventory Next Week
Our Williston, VT and Bedford, NH retail stores will be closed for inventory next Monday through Friday, September 26 through 30. You may continue to shop online 24/7 at

Shop Now

Get Your Discount Tickets to Girl Expo-NH


Girl Expo-NH will be here on Saturday, October 8. The event, which is open to the public, features over 100 hands-on exhibits, workshops, and stage shows. Do you have your tickets yet? Now through October 3, registered Girl Scouts may purchase tickets online for only $3! Tickets are $5 at the door. When you purchase tickets online, you’ll also have an opportunity to pre-register for our many exciting workshops. Get yours today!

Fall Product Sale Runs September 16 Through October 21


Is your Girl Scout participating in this year’s Fall Product Sale? It’s a quick and easy way to boost troop funds early in the year, enabling girls to enjoy even more amazing activities and experiences! New this year: troops may hold booth sales! Connect with your Troop Product Sale Coordinator for details. Need additional support? Contact Customer Care at or 888.474.9686.

Learn More

Join us for Halloween Fun!


Girl Scouts are invited to join us for Halloween treats, games, and other activities on Thursday, October 27 from 4 to 6 pm at Camp Seawood in Portsmouth, NH, and at our Bedford and Williston offices. Both retail stores will also be open for business. This is a drop-in event and admission is free, but reservations are required. Please confirm your attendance at Attendees are encouraged to bring a canned good or other non-perishable item for local food pantries. All Girl Scouts will receive a patch!

Program Guide Filled with Girl Scout Fun

Check out our current Program Guide, which includes programs scheduled through January, 2017. Our next Program Guide, which will include programs scheduled through next summer, should arrive in your mailbox by early October. To view these and more offerings in our online Program Guide, visit and click on the Activities tab.

Help Choose our National CEO

Girl Scouts of the USA is searching for our new national CEO and would like your help in identifying those qualities that are most important for the leader of our movement. When completing this survey, please think about the challenges and opportunities our CEO will face over the next two to five years. All responses are due by September 30.

Complete Survey


Have a question? Don’t be shy! Contact us for more information.

Winooski Girl Scout Troop Will Always Have Paris!

parisSince they were Brownie Girl Scouts in elementary school, Troop 30444 has enjoyed traveling together. They planned their first trip—to Lake Placid, New York—in fourth grade. Earlier this summer, the six girls, now entering their senior year in high school, experienced their most memorable trip—a sight-seeing tour of Paris.

According to volunteer troop leader Betsey Dempsey, the trip included a Sunday service at Notre Dame Cathedral, a boat tour of the Seine River, and a visit to the Eiffel Tower. During their stay, the girls shared the entire floor of a French villa. “They really enjoyed their down time together,” said Dempsey. The final day in Paris included an elegant lunch in Versailles. “Everyone was excited to dress up. It felt really special,” she added.

Dempsey said the girls proved themselves to be seasoned travelers. “They loved the autonomy, where they could decide what they wanted to do each day,” she said, noting that on many instances, the girls enjoyed having their own table at a restaurant, while chaperones dined nearby.

The girls funded their trip with proceeds from their annual Girl Scout cookie sale and biannual “Princess Night” event, where they dress up as their favorite Disney princesses and plan activities for the younger girls in their community.

These globe-trotting Ambassador Girl Scouts have forged many memories over the years, staying in hostels in New York City; Ottawa and Montreal, Canada; Boston; and Newport, RI. Dempsey says the girls have always centered their Girl Scout experience around traveling in their community, their country, and most recently, their world. “These girls have been together a long time and they’ve always focused on travel…they love to go places.” Over the years, Dempsey has filled several photo albums with memories from each trip.

For the girls, the preparation process was almost as exciting as the trip itself. “We saved for years for this big trip,” one troop member said, noting that when the time came to decide on their travel agenda, the girls had plenty of suggestions. Ultimately, however, all of them agreed Paris was a place they were passionate about visiting.

“Paris was even bigger than a dream come true,” another troop member added. “The architecture, culture, cafes, and especially the people were a big part of its charm.”

With their Paris adventure behind them, Troop 30444 has turned their attention toward completing their individual Girl Scout Gold Awards. The Gold Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn, and is aimed at making lasting change in girls’ communities.

Travel opportunities such as extended troop trips are an exciting option for older Girl Scouts, provided they submit paperwork to the council in advance (4-6 mounts prior to a domestic trip and 1 year prior to an international trip). For more information contact our Customer Care team at 888.474.9686.

Program Aide Leads and Inspires at Camp Kettleford


Since joining her first Girl Scout troop at age 6, Alexa has always had a friend to turn to. Along the way, she also developed confidence, leadership skills, and an interest in helping others.

Now 14, Alexa enjoys inspiring the next generation of Girl Scouts. She spent the past several weeks as a program aide specialist at Camp Kettleford, a day camp in Bedford. There, she mentored and assisted younger Girl Scouts with a variety of daily activities, including arts and crafts—her favorite part of the day. “I learned so many new things and it was a really cool experience,” she said. “I met so many great girls!”

A former Girl Scout camper herself, Alexa is known to campers as “Dibbles,” an homage to her pet gecko of the same name. She said her years as a Girl Scout and experiences at Girl Scout camp have helped her develop the skills and confidence needed to lead and help others. “There’s a lot of responsibility to being a program aide,” she said. “The younger girls really look up to you.”

Alexa, who hopes to become a doctor one day, said she enjoyed her volunteer leadership experience so much she wants to return as a program aide next summer. She’s also encouraging her friends to apply for positions. She said she likes the many facets of camp, especially the opportunities it provides girls to continue to learn and grow as leaders. “I definitely plan on applying for a counselor position once I turn 16,” she said.

Girls in grades 8 to 12 who are interested in volunteering as day camp program aide specialists in 2017 should seek out application information next February. An application, references, and interview are required. All program aides attend a weekend training program.

For further information, including details on troops forming in your area, contact Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains at 888.474.9686 or

Counting Down the Days ‘Til Camp

Camp Farnsworth HorseCat may have just finished her third summer at Camp Farnsworth, but the 12-year-old Bow, NH girl says she’s already counting the days until next year’s Girl Scout camp season!

She says there are always new experiences in store for her at the Thetford, VT resident camp. “They have activities for everyone, and I do mean everyone,” she says, enthusiastically. “The best part is, we always have a say when it comes to planning our activities,” she adds.

A lover of the great outdoors, Cat says she grew up going on camping trips with her older brothers and being at Camp Farnsworth appeals to her action-oriented nature. Having an opportunity to spend time with her favorite four-legged creatures, as part of the camp’s popular “Saddle, Paddle, and Arrows” program, was also natural draw for her.

“We play fun games out in the pasture and you really get to know all the horses and ponies,” she notes. “You even get quizzed on it!” In addition to spending time in the horse barn, Cat learned the fundamentals of canoeing, polished her skills at the archery range, and enjoyed other traditional camp activities.

Cat began attending the overnight camp at the age of nine. She says she’s learned a lot about herself during her time away from home. “It was there that I learned that I’m a really, really social person. I like to talk. A LOT,” she admits with a grin. The many friends she’s made at camp each season—friends with whom she corresponds throughout the year—are a testament to this.

Her advice to a girl who’s thinking about camp but hasn’t jumped in the saddle yet? “You don’t have to be nervous. Everyone is so nice,” she says. “And once you’ve made friends, they will always be there to help you.”

Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains offers day and resident camp programs to girls who are entering kindergarten through grade 12—including those who have never participated in Girl Scouts.  Girl Scout camp is unique from other camps in that it is girl-led. Guided by staff, girls of all ages are involved in the planning, organizing, and evaluating of their camp activities. Girls are empowered as they learn and practice critical thinking, leadership, and decision-making skills. Information regarding Girl Scout summer camp is distributed in early February of each year. For further information, visit our website.

Dolphin Makes a Splash at Summer Camp

Claire, a Brownie Girl Scout who just finished her third summer at Camp Whispering Pines, has learned that with a little encouragement from your Girl Scout friends and a lot of hard work, you can tackle even your biggest challenges head first.

Claireswimming“When I first started camp I wasn’t a strong swimmer. I tried to become a ‘dolphin,’ but I didn’t pass the swimmer’s test,” Claire says.  Encouraged by camp staff and her new Girl Scout friends, she pushed forward, taking swimming lessons in her aunt’s pool.

She spent the year practicing her swimming and her hard work paid off. The following summer, she confidently dove head first into Lake Winnipesaukee, and aced her swim test. “I became a dolphin. I felt really, really happy when I did it,” she says. “Now I jump off the dock all the time.”

“Claire truly exemplifies what it means to be a Girl Scout—embracing risks without the fear of failure and persisting through challenges,” says Carrie Green, director of Girl Scout leadership experience at Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains. “Every day, Girl Scouts gives girls opportunities to take risks and try something new—even it means failing—in a safe and nurturing environment,” she adds.

According to the Girl Scout Research Institute, 78% of girls surveyed said that Girl Scouts increased their willingness to face their fears and take on new challenges.

The precocious eight-year-old continues to challenge herself and advance her swimming skills. While swimming has become Claire’s favorite activity, the lessons she learned in Girl Scouting have gone well beyond the pool.

“After I got into Girl Scouts, I took that to school with me. I learned how important it is to be nice to everybody,” says Claire, who hopes to become a doctor or scientist when she grows up. “It’s made me into a nicer person,” she adds. “Girl Scouts is my life!”

For information on joining a Girl Scout troop or becoming a volunteer, visit or call 888.474.9686.

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