NUTS & MAGS Brought Us to Disneyworld

The NUTS & MAGS program helps girls gain new life skills such as Goal Setting, Decision Making, Money Management, Interpersonal Skills, and Business Ethics. This program gives girls life experiences that stay with them for a lifetime and once all sales are final and the program has ended, the girls decide what to do with their earnings. Decision-making skills come into play as they make the choice together, as a troop.

For Troop 10123, the decision was easy. They were going to use their NUTS & MAGS money to go to the happiest place on earth, Disneyworld.

Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson spoke with troop leader, Dee H. about her troops NUTS & MAGS experience and how their Disney trip turned out.


GSHH: What goal did Troop 10123 set for themselves? How long did it take for them to reach that goal? 

DEE H: Troop 10123 worked for 3 years to obtain enough money to attend a Disney Youth Education series in Marine Biology. We knew we needed approximately $1200 per person.  The girls thought of ways to get the needed funds.  They had clothing drives, badge workshops for younger scouts, bake sales,  parent night out for babysitting and of course cookie and fall product sale.  They did all of this while still doing community service and completing 3 journeys to get the summit badge,

GSHH: Was Disney always the end game for them in terms of how they wanted to spend the money they earned during the NUTS+MAGS program?  

DEE H: Yes, at least for the last 3 years. Our girls worked hard to get the monies needed.  They really learned the value of a dollar and how hard it was to get what they wanted,  They questioned all expenses and found out exactly the cost before spending money.  A great learning experience.

GSHH: What do you think the girls learned from participating in the program?

DEE H: The girls learned goal setting and money management as they have in the past.  The past 3 years they were more focused on ways to earn as much as they could for their trip.  Because the FPS is mainly online, they did not have to use their excellent people skills but were ready if needed.

GSHH: What was their favorite attraction at Disney? 

DEE H: Avatar Flight of Passage

GSHH: Why do you think Girl Scouts should participate in the NUTS+MAGS program?

DEE H: As Girl Scouts, there are some responsibilities that the girls know they have to do in order to benefit their troop.  Nuts and Mags is one of those responsibilities.   They also know that in order to do money earning activities the girls will have to participate in FPS and they have learned to do whatever is necessary to get the job done.

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An Interview About NUTS+MAGS!

The NUTS+MAGS program is in full effect! As the girls continue to create their M2 Avatars, sell nuts/chocolate products, and magazine subscriptions, Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson wanted to take some time to speak to one of the girls participating in the program and find out what the experience has been like for them.

shannonmagsLuckily we were given such an opportunity when we spoke with Shannon C. about what the program has been like for her:

GSHH: What is your favorite part about the NUTS+MAGS program?

SHANNON C.: My favorite part about selling NUTS+MAGS is that I get to meet new people.

GSHH: What goal did you set for yourself? Have you reached that goal?

SHANNON C.: My goal was 100 items and I am super close. I expect to meet my goal by the end of the week.

GSHH: Did you create your Avatar? What was your favorite new customizable feature?

SHANNON C.: I did create my Avatar. I like that you added socks, even though I did not put them on my Avatar, I just like that you added the option.

GSHH: Why should Girl Scouts participate in the NUTS+MAGS program?

SHANNON C.: I think Girl Scouts should do NUTS+MAGS because it is a great experience.

GSHH: What new skills have you learned from the program?

SHANNON C.: I have learned to get over my fears of talking to people.


Selling Cookies as a Juliette

Written by Jahnvi

I am a Juliette in Girl Scouts. I managed to sell a lot of cookies this year, despite not being part of a troop. I had booths at a mall, Dunkin Donuts, and our local train station. It was my first time selling at booths, so it was a new experience. I also sold the cookies going door-to-door, and my parents helped by selling at their work.

Cookie selling at booths helped my social skills by talking to people I didn’t know. My cookie selling strategy was to ask anyone I knew because it’s surprising how many people are eager to buy them. Sometimes, it was very hard selling the cookies, because a lot of people had already bought them. I remember when it was cold early in the season, it made the selling experience harder without a troop. It was also fun though since some buyers were very encouraging of me. It felt business-like managing the money. The booths gave me the opportunity to sell extra cookies. The Thin Mints and Samoas were a hit as always.

At times it was harder for me to keep up the motivation to sell as a Juliette because I wasn’t with a troop. My mom though motivated and encouraged me that I could sell a lot of cookies even as a Juliette. I did sell a total of 500 cookies in the whole season, which I think was a lot as a Juliette. If you are a Juliette like me, just know that you can aim high at selling lots of cookies, just as much as troops. It may be harder, but you can get the same results.


Girl Scout Leadership Luncheon

By: Jahnvi Mundra

GirlScouts_2018Luncheon.147In April this year, I was invited as a special guest to make a speech and present an award at the Girl Scout Leadership Luncheon in Westchester. The speech was about my Girl Scout experience, and I was to present a Community Service award to a leader in the community. I was to make the speech in front of about 200 people. I have been on stage many times to perform my Indian classical dances, but I had never made a speech before. I was pretty nervous.

When it was time for me to make my speech, my hands were sweating. I had practiced at home, but that was only in front of my family. When I was making my speech, everyone was looking at me, but with interested faces. It made me feel more relaxed. At the end when I sat back down, I felt satisfied with what I had done. When the luncheon was over, people said I had done a great job. At first, I didn’t believe them, but then my mom showed me my video, and I realized that I had done my best. This experience made me more open to the world and more confident.

When I had received the invitation letter for the event, I had immediately told my mom that I wasn’t going to do it. However, my mom encouraged me, and I went ahead with it. The lesson I learned from this experience was that you can’t judge something until you experience it. I had a great time there! It was inspiring to hear people’s stories about how Girl Scouts had shaped them. I got to meet important leaders like the CEO of Girl Scouts. A TV celebrity who was a Girl Scout in her childhood spoke to us about her girl scout experience through a video recording. The food was really good and the country club setting with beautiful table decorations made it an experience of a lifetime for me. I was also interviewed on the radio, which was a first-time excitement too.

Girl Scouts is the chance to take healthy new risks you’ve never taken before. If something new is given to you, you should try it. Those experiences can bring you places!

Oxygen House Photography

Learning to be a Sister to Other Girl Scouts

Guest blogger, Amelia Chikota is an Ambassador Girl Scout in Troop 01033 from  Chappaqua.  She is a member of the GSHH Media Team. She shares her story on 10 years of community service through Girl Scouting.United-Way-MLK-Books-2-300x209

For roughly ten years, I have been a committed Girl Scout. It’s hardly just about the cookies. Our focus early on was building a community and learning what it means to be a “sister” to other girls. We did arts and crafts at our leaders’ houses and planted flowers in local gardens. We sang songs and went on camping trips with the rest of our local Girl Scout community, uniting as one girl.

With time, the focus shifted towards expanding on that friendship in order to better the lives of others, and our service projects have grown dramatically in significance. Instead of doing projects from the comfort of our leaders’ house, enjoying our creations but never really letting them see the light of day, now we are eager to share our work, and most of it proves very hard to hide, as we are always out in the community making a visible difference.

As I’ve grown older alongside my troop, the number of Girl Scouts my age has dwindled continuously. This group of older Girl Scouts has been whittled out to a few strong survivors. I wish the girls who left Girl Scouts could see, could feel, the rewarding nature of continuing the Girl Scout program even when you are much older, when your mind is more developed and your perspective on the world is wider.

Every year since joining high school, with my troop, I’ve visited local veterans on Veterans’ Day each year to let them know they’re appreciated, and cooked three-course dinners with local produce for nearby homeless people.

Continuing Girl Scouts has also allowed me to work on the most rewarding project of my life. Starting in my junior year, I’ve collected thousands of books for my Gold Award, a final project for Girl Scouts to which I’ve committed over 80 hours of service. I have worked with the worldwide organization of United Way, where I have found great mentors and guidance.

Most importantly, I’ve learned that in giving, you receive. This almost lifelong activity is a part of my identity, and if I were to relinquish this activity, I would feel void of some part of myself.

If you’re interested in going for your Bronze, Silver or Gold or community service, check out Girl Scouts Highest Awards.  

Female Role Models I’ve Met Because of Girl Scouts

Guest Blogger: Taylor Vero, a first year Cadette.

I, along with my troop, have been so fortunate to have met many amazing, and strong female role models, on our Girl Scout journey!


I’d like to share a few of them.

My troop and I had the honor of meeting a female pilot of a C-17 military transport aircraft at Stewart Air National Guard Base. Each Scout in my troop got the opportunity to sit in the cockpit and hear about her responsibilities as a military pilot of such a massive machine.

Some other great female role models we met were apart of our local justice system. We met an assistant district attorney and a town court justice. We had the exciting opportunity to sit on the bench with Judge Jane Harrington. It was very interesting as all the people coming to court had to face us as they made there pleas. We got to see her in action and she was very well respected.


Another inspiring female I met with my troop, was a wildland firefighter at Minnewaska State Park. She let each of us try on her gear and water tank, which was not filled or it would be very heavy. It was heavy enough without water! She took us out on the trails to teach us about fire ecology and where we can see the effects of old and newer fires in nature.

These are just some of the strong female role models we met. They were very nice and encouraging to us!

“Peace, Love and Positivity” a Silver Award Project

Inspired by Crossover Yoga Project’s participant’s stories, 14-year-old Julia Lucarelli has been awarded the Girl Scout Silver Award for implementing a project that brings hope, positivity and encouragement to girls less fortunate than herself.

Julia 2.jpgThis past November Julia L was one of the 208 Girl Scouts awarded the Silver Award – the highest honor a Girl Scout Cadette can earn. Her project was entitled “Peace, Love and Positivity” and was dedicated to creating uplifting messages for participants of the Crossover Yoga Project. The inspiring messages come hand-drawn on brightly colored cards covered in flowers, hearts and rainbows, created in Julia’s free time and with her fellow Cadettes during their Briarcliff Manor Girl Scout Troop 2005 weekly meetings.

Cards contained messages such as

  • “Make today so great that yesterday gets jealous.”
  • “BeYOUtiful”
  • “Never Give Up”

“The goal is to make them smile,” says Julia.

Crossover Yoga Project (CYP) is a non-profit organization that brings a trauma-informed yoga, mindful and art therapy curriculum to teenage girls who have been abused, sexually trafficked or in and out of the juvenile justice system throughout their lives. The organization teaches them how to care for themselves, to cope and recover from traumatic experiences, and inspire others.

Julia first learned about CYP when it was a recipient of Briarcliff’s Girl Scout troops’ annual gift drive and wrap last year and CYP founder Elisha Simpson visited the troops to thank them. She told them about the girls who would receive the presents – teenagers with traumatic pasts who show up to their yoga mats every week; some sit there with hoods pulled up tight over their heads, others try out the stretches and listen to the message, and a few stay quiet in the back but leave the most renewed, having heard the messages to never let their pasts define them. Elisha explained to the young girl scouts about the challenges her yogis have faced, the odds they’ve overcome and how they ended up participating in CYP, which is through various channels created to support at-risk teens.

“It really spoke to me because the girls are around my age and I just never knew how underprivileged my peers could be,” Julia said. “It really made me realize how fortunate I am and want to share some type of positivity with people who didn’t have that in their lives.”

julia 1

Julia saved some of her birthday gift money to buy supplies and started creating small posters and writing “notes of positivity.” Then she recruited other Girl Scouts and friends to join her. She received further inspiration when she suffered a fracture that kept her from her ballet practice for eight weeks. From there, the notes grew into the Silver Award project, which resulted in dozens of cards and posters for CYP girls.

“She imagined how these other girls felt, knowing her life was interrupted for a short time but many of them had lived through much worse and, in some cases, for most of their lives,” said Julia’s troop leader and mom, Tippy Lucarelli.

“It is just incredible to see someone so young recognize how a small thing like this can brighten up someone else’s entire day, or week, without ever meeting each other,” says Simpson. Because the girls of CYP are survivors of traumas, their identities are kept confidential to protect them.

“I’m very proud. It has taught me not to take what we have for granted and to try our best to teach that to our kids,” Tippy said.

Julia will continue her work with sixth and seventh graders so they can continue inspiring CYP participants with their positive cards and artwork.

You can learn more about the Silver Award and it’s requirements on the GSHH website.

Summer Camp

Guest Blogger: Madeline Solis, Cadette Troop 01790 from Yonkers

Girl Scout camps are a great opportunity for girls to enjoy the outdoors and make friends. I started camp 8 years ago and have been going every year since, Each year I make new friends, see friends I’ve met in previous years and learn many new things.

Since GSHH Summer Camp registration opens tomorrow (, I wanted to give you a taste of my experiences.

My first camp experience was at Rocky Brook Day Camp during July of 2010. I loved all the activities they had there.

At Rocky Brook, there are 3 main levels:

  • For girls entering grades K-3rd they are in a program called Honeybees. They do many activities such as boating and swimming during visits to Rock Hill, arts and crafts and earn they’re daisy or brownie badges depending on their grade.
  • 4-5th grades are Bumblebees. They get to do activities such as archery and 1 night tent sleepovers at Rock Hill. This is a great way for girls to get to know about sleepaway camp and enjoy camp foods. They will also do arts and crafts,earn Junior badges and much more.
  • 6-9th graders are Queen bees. They also have optional 1 night sleepovers at Rock Hill. They earn their Cadette badges and do activities for older children.
  • For 14 year olds there is Camp Aides. And for 15 year olds, C.I.T.

One of my favorite things about Rocky Brook is that it has “All Camps” activities that the whole camp gets involved in. 

All Girl Scout camp also have “Girls Choice”. It looks a little different at each camp, but it gives the campers the ability to choose some of their activities – if they want to learn a specific skill, spend time with campers from another group, or have extra sessions of a specific activity. At Rocky Brook, they offer 3 different options each day to choose from, and every camper gets to choose how they want to spend it.

Another favorite is ice cream truck fridays during snack time.

Rocky Brook is an amazing camp. The sessions are 2 weeks each involving one major trip, two trips to Rock Hill, and much more.


Rock Hill Resident Camp

Rocky Brook is not the only girl scout camp in Heart of the Hudson. Rock Hill Camp is a resident camp mainly for girls grades 3-11. There is one program for girls grades 1-2 in which a female companion over the age of 18 must go with them called Me and My Gal for two nights.

For 3-5 graders the cabin program options for 1 week are Movin’ and Groovin’, S’more than Fun, Crafty Kids, Splish Splash , Fairy Finder, Happy Habitats and Around the Year in 5 Days.

In the summer of 2014, I attended S’more than Fun, and I had the time of my life there. I suggest doing the program that fits what you like to do.

For 4-5 graders there are the 1 week tent sessions, In-tents, Slime Time, Fact or Fiction, Nature Explorers and Dinosaurs. If you are in these grade levels and want to go into the tents then these are the programs for you.

For 6-8th graders the 1 week cabin programs are Infinity and Beyond, Cabin Fever, Bon Appetite, Breathe Journey Program, Share Your Story and Rock Hill Runway. I attended Infinity and Beyond in 2015, and loved it but girls should choose the program that interests them. Also they have 1 week tent programs On Your Feet, All Aboard, and Mystery to Me. These are perfect for girls who want to tent but not for 2 weeks. If you can’t choose between tent or cabin then Girls on the Go is perfect for you. If you like camp so much and want to stay for 2 weeks, the tent of options are Zip Zip Away and Brains. I did Zip Zip Away in 2016 and had so much fun zip-lining.

For 9-10th graders 3 week Outpost is a must for girls who like primitive camping. Sleeping in pitch tents and cooking every meal on the fire is a true experience. I had an overly amazing time in outpost in 2017.

1 week cabin sessions for grades 9-11 are Hungry 4 Fun, Wildest Dreams and Crea-tree-vity. These are for those high schoolers who want to be in the cabin. 2 week tent programs are On the Loose and High Adventure. High Adventure is recommended to be done after Outpost. For 15-17 year olds, you can do Lifeguard in Training, 10-11th grade super STARS, and 16-17 year olds, C.I.T.


Camp Addisone Boyce

Last, but definitely not least, Camp Addison Boyce! I have never been to this camp, but it is a day camp in Rockland County known for it’s outdoor adventures (canoeing, fishing, hiking, archery, etc.). Here’s a sampling of what they have in store for this summer:

  • For 1-3rd graders the 1 week programs are STEM Stars, Walk on the Wild Side, Wet and Wild, Wacky Water, Adventure Land and Fun in the Sun.
  • For 4-5th graders the 1 week options are STEM-ing Out, Explore Your World, Splash!, Wild About Water, STEM Life is the Best Life, The Art of Nature. 2 week sessions are Movers and Shakers, Water World and Extreme Green.
  • For 6-8th graders the 1 week programs are What’s Cookin’, Mission Impossible, Keep Cool and Carry On, Wonderful Water, State of Relaxation and The Art of Your World. Two week programs are Breathe Easy, Raging Water and Teamwork Makes the Dream Work.
  • For high schoolers the sessions are Happy Camper, Mission: Sisterhood Journey, Camp Aides and C.I.T.


Want to know more? Check out the summer camp brochure and summer camp FAQ.