Issue #15 - December, 2012
A Note From the Founder - Website Update Postponed
I regret to say that upon further research, the money I set aside for updated programming for the website is not enough to do what I wish, so our plans have been put on hold until next year while I continue to save some more money. I will continue to try to improve the current website in both look and navigation, but a better membership system and shopping cart will have to wait a bit. Expect some changes by next fall though. If anyone has suggestions as to ways to improve the website or items and resources you wish to see on it, please let me know and I will add them to our brainstorm wish list. Thank you so much for your patience with me as I continue to learn my way around website maintenance.
Submitted by Diane Havir, Leader Troop #179
When I initially started my first Frontier Girls troop four years ago, my daughter Danae Havir was only three years old. At that point in time, preschoolers were not allowed to join the organization so, with Kerry’s consent, our troop started an “honorary” Penguin patrol to include youngsters like Danae. (The Penguin patrol has since been added to the Frontier Girls program, but even though it wasn’t official yet, Danae was the very first Penguin.)
From her first year as a three-year-old Penguin, Danae participated in every meeting and activity to the best of her ability and with a positive attitude. In the following years I never once heard her complain about a badge being too difficult or a meeting not being interesting enough.
Toward the end of our third year with our original troop, my family had to relocate to a new town; Danae’s only concern about the move was not being able to participate in Frontier Girls anymore. My first solution was to continue to lead the troop despite the new hour-and-a-half one-way commute to get to the meetings. Danae endured the long drives every other week like a champ, never once complaining. It soon became apparent, however, that this was not a viable long-term solution. At the end of our meeting year that June, much to her dismay, we left our original group to start a new troop in our own town where we still did not know many people.
As anyone who has started a troop knows, there is a lot of work that must be done before the meetings can begin: paperwork must be filled out and filed, meetings with parents and sponsors must be conducted, banking accounts must be set up, etc. Danae was at my side for every step, willingly talking to potential Frontier Girls and parents about why she loves the Frontier Girls Organization and which badges were her favorite to earn, and overall encouraging them to join our new troop. This was a huge accomplishment for a girl who is usually very cautious and timid around people she doesn’t know.
Our new troop officially began meeting in August of this year, and since she is a veteran Frontier Girl in a troop of new members, Danae has truly “taken the lead” where she “sees the need” by teaching her peers the Frontier Girls Promise and salute, by helping them learn the intricacies of the formal flag ceremony, etc.
In addition, this year she and one other girl from our new troop took CPR and First Aid training along with me and another mom. At seven years old, Danae is the youngest child our instructor has ever taught who has successfully completed her CPR and First Aid certification.
In summary, it has been a joy and a privilege to watch Danae mature and develop from a shy, awkward little preschooler into a much more confident, ladylike girl in the last four years, and I know without a doubt that her involvement with Frontier Girls has played a huge part in this transformation. I am especially proud of her for making what could have been an incredibly difficult transition for our family so much easier with her positive attitude and cheerful smile.
Elizabeth Vicoryosmanson, a Pioneer Dolphin, has graciously accepted the position of our National Care Coodinator for the 2012-13 program year. As such, each month she will be praying for our membership as a whole as well as individual members and the service men and women overseas that we support. If you have specific prayer requests you would like to submit, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward them on to Elizabeth. Last month one of the girls from Troop #101 went in for spinal surgery and the outpouring of support from the other Frontier Girls around the country was amazing. If we can help support one of your girls in their time of need, please let us know.
This month Izzy has posted directions for creating a "Reminder Tree". This project would also be great for showing off small pictures as well.
Frontier Girls from troop 191 and 202 won first place for floats in their Halloween Parade. Columbia PA has a Mardi Gras Parade the fourth Thursday every October. The theme this year was "Everything 1980's". Well one of the leaders came up with our theme everything 1780's. Each girl dressed like a frontier woman. They decorated wagons for the girls to pull that looked liked a covered wagon and had a larger trailer decorated like a covered wagon. Frontier Girls are on the move in Columbia, PA.
by Suzanne D. Vicoryosmanson, Director A.U.T.I.S.T.I.C. Kids Autism Awareness and Advocacy
On October 13, my little family went to our church and spent a couple hours setting up for a Court of Awards for my daughter, Beth. Even though Elizabeth is highly active in Frontier Girls and Girl Scouts and a variety of other groups, she has never had a formal Court of Awards to recognize her achievements. She had helped to plan her ceremony, and was disappointed that every person that she had asked to be a part of it by presenting her awards for different areas had turned her down, but despite that, she was excited because we had invited over 300 people to come, and we expected a big crowd. Beth had been struggling since August, trying to adapt to many changes that had occurred in her school setting and in many other areas of life. It had been a rough few months, and there had been days where I was ready to throw in the towel. It was challenging, to say the least. This was going to be a highlight, a pinnacle event for her, to set the groundwork for excellence in spite of changes. Instead, it all came crashing down.
We decorated, arranged her awards and photographs, set up refreshments and had everything ready. We ran back home and showered, then returned to the church to have the ceremony. We went in, looked everything over to be sure we were ready, and then waited patiently for her family and friends to arrive. The event was scheduled to start at 5 p.m., and we figured people would be coming in just about that time. We waited. And waited. And waited. After almost an hour had passed,well into the time that the ceremony should have been happening, we were forced to face the cold, hard truth: nobody was going to show up. My daughter was nearly in tears, and my mother and I were angry that no one had bothered to take the time for her, when she does so much for our community. It is hard enough to battle individual people, but to see such a lack of support for her on what should have been a big night truly hurt all of us. We determined to make the best of the situation, anyway, and proceeded with her Court of Awards as if we had a packed auditorium.
Afterwards, I had shared with a few Frontier Girls friends on Facebook what had happened, and had told Kerry Cordy as well in an email conversation we had. Everyone expressed thier dismay at what happened and verbal support for Beth. A few days later, Kerry mentioned that someone had sent Beth something in the mail. When a package arrived from her troop a few days later, Beth was thrilled. Then another package came, from another group. Kerry sent a reply to my email stating that the package had arrived: "I'm glad to know the mail has started coming in!" I didn't understand what that was supposed to mean, but went on about things. Boy, did I get an explanation of that comment! Almost every time I went to pick up the mail for the next few weeks, my mailbox was stuffed. I had little yellow slips each time, requiring me to go up to the front desk and pick up mail that was too big or too much to fit in our tiny box! I would walk out to the truck with my arms full, and my mom (Cool Nana Carol, as she's called by Beth) would say, "What's for me?" None of it. Almost every piece of mail was for Beth. Beth was thrilled and excited to recieve so many wonderful, heartwarming, loving cards and letters. She would open every piece, ask me to read it to her, and smile and hug each one. So many people, that we had never even met, took the time to step outside of thier own lives and do something kind for my little girl. My mom and I were stunned, delighted, and absolutely touched by the generosity of the Frontier Girls national sisterhood. The beautiful framed puzzle piece art from Katie Lundquist's troop in Colorado, designed by Megan, is particularly treasured by us, as it emphasized her niche in the FG world. I see a a difference in her now from before the Court of Awards. She is still struggling at school, but she has a little better grip on things than she did one and a half months ago. I can't express enough how grateful I am to every one of the people who reached out to her. We don't do things in a traditional way that most families do, but we do take a moment to acknowledge the blessings in our lives every Thanksgiving, and this year, we added our sisterhood of Frontier Girls to the list. As a mom, it was a blessing to me as well as my child. Thank you, Frontier Girls, for being such wonderful people!
We need entries for the following newsletter sections:
Tips and Treasures - Send us your great ideas for making Frontier Girls easier and more fun. These might be organizational tips for meetings, great websites for badges, or anything else you think might benefit other members.
Girl of the Month – We would like to highlight a different girl each month and tell how Frontier Girls is making a difference in her life. If you have a Frontier Girl that you think would be a good role model for others in the program, please send us her story and attach her picture.
Activities and Adventures – Has your troop done something fun and unusual? Send us pictures and a write up so that we can show others what you are doing and give them some inspiration to try new things.
Fundraising - Do you have some tried and true fundraisers you could share?
Games - We would love to give instructions for various games, both indoor and outdoor, that you troop enjoys playing and would like to share with others.
Pointers for Patriots – Know of any tips, websites, or discounts for military families? Let us help you sprea the word to other military families in our program.
Amazing Volunteers – Is your troop leader outstanding? Do you have a parent helper that really keeps things running smoothly? Maybe you have a fundraising coordinator that helps your troop raise funds for its activities. This is the place to give them a little public credit and a thank you for all they do.
If you wold like to send in articles or ideas for any of the categories above, please email them to email@example.com with the subject line Newsletter.
December Contest – Our American Eagle has yet again hidden himself somewhere in our website. Everyone who finds the correct page that the eagle is located on will be put into a drawing to win $5 for their level. Help us improve our search engine ratings by clicking on as many pages as possible until you find the eagle seen below. Then email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, level, and mailing address along with which page you found the eagle on to be entered in the drawing. Very few girls are currently entering this contest, so you odds of winning are quite good!
Penguin: Zoey Saypack
Otter: Aubrey Scholle
Dolphin: Anaya Cambridge
Butterfly: Jo Heneveld
Eagle: No entries
Adult: Janette Kopfhammer