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.  

Women Wednesday – Native American Innovators

Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte
Our first innovator, Susan La Flesche Picotte, was born in 1865 on the Omaha Indian Reservation in Northeast Nebraska. Her interest in the medical field was ignited from a young age as she witnessed the poor living and health conditions of those in her community. Susan knew she had to discover a way to help. In 1886, she attended the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania after receiving a scholarship from the U.S. Office of Indian Affairs—at the time, Susan was the first person to receive federal aid for professional education. Three years later, she graduated at the top of her class, and after completing a one-year internship, she became the first Native American physician in the United States.

Susan immediately took her education back home, where she advocated for cleanliness and air ventilation to prevent the spread of disease. She was paid only $500 a year as the reservation doctor, and many times, she was forced to pay for her own supplies or create new ways to care for her community members. However, Susan diligently persevered in an effort to care for as many patients as possible.

In 1894, she married Henry Picotte, a Sioux Indian from South Dakota, and moved to Bancroft, Nebraska. There she raised two children and opened her own private practice, despite the criticism she received for being a working mother. Throughout the rest of her life, Susan championed many causes that benefited Native Americans—from advocating for modern hygiene and disease prevention standards to securing land rights for her people to challenging a woman’s role in the family.


Louise Erdrich 
Born in 1954 in Little Falls, Minnesota, Louise Erdrich was the first of seven children. Her mother was a Chippewa Indian (half Ojibwe and half French), and her grandfather served as tribal chairman for the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. Louise’s love of writing started young when her father paid her a nickel for every creative story she wrote.

In 1972, Louise was part of the first class of women admitted to Dartmouth College, where she earned a degree in English. There she met Michael Dorris, an anthropologist, writer, and director of the college’s Native American Studies program. Through this program, Louise deepened her interest in her own culture and began writing innovative literary work that featured Native American characters and settings. Years later, Louise and Michael began to collaborate on short stories, many of which received national accolades.

Louise became one of the most influential writers of the second wave of the Native American Renaissance. Her novel The Plague of Doves was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2009, and in 2012 she was honored with the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. Today this innovator is still writing and has opened her own independent bookstore in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which focuses on Native American literature and the community.

Happy Birthday Juliette!

Even before she launched Girl Scouts of the USA, Juliette Gordon Low was setting goals and overcoming obstacles. When she was just 16, she prodded her cousins to start the Helping Hands Club. Their goal? Learn how to sew and make clothing for a recently immigrated family. Though the club didn’t do very well, it was Daisy’s first foray into organizing and inspiring girls to make the world a better place. [Go-getter]

As our founder, she was breaking the mold and solving a problem in society by creating an outlet for girls to develop leadership skills. From that first gathering of a small troop of 18 culturally and ethnically diverse girls, Daisy broke the conventions of the time—reaching across class, cultural, and ethnic boundaries to ensure that Girl Scouts offered all girls a place to grow and develop their leadership skills. [Innovator]


She made personal sacrifices along the way and took dramatic steps to help the organization grow. Launching the Girl Scout Movement was not without challenges. Daisy worked tirelessly to grow the new organization and for many years used her own money to pay expenses, even selling her valuable pearl necklace when she was short of funds. In 1920, when she was 61, she launched a fundraising campaign in a daring flight over Manhattan in an old-fashioned biplane, leaning out to drop Girl Scout flyers on the crowds below. It was a spectacular launch for Girl Scout Week, which also included a 6,000-girl parade and a pageant in Central Park. [Risk taker]

And finally, she demonstrated the epitome of leadership through empathy, passion, and advocacy. Using her innate talent for fundraising and public relations, combined with her vast network of high-profile friends and supporters, Daisy led Girl Scouts with passion and determination—ensuring it was, and always would be, an experience that was “girl led.” In 2012, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States, in recognition of her “remarkable vision,” and to celebrate “her dedication to empowering girls everywhere.” [Leader]

Happy Birthday to Juliette Gordon Low – the ultimate, the original, go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, and leader.

Operation Cooke Drop Cookies – Where Are They Now?

In June, hundreds of Girl Scouts gathered to drop off hundreds of thousands of boxes of Girl Scouts cookies – each box donated to Operation Cookie Drop, so active and retired military personnel could receive a small taste of home. Those cookies have now been every where from Yonkers to Qatar and Hawaii to Syria. They’ve been taken by car, naval ship, and plane to military bases and hospitals all around the world.


As of Sunday, August 13th, the following cookies had been delivered to the following locations…

strapped in the c-17 to afghanistan
strapped into a C-17 and ready to fly!


  • 35 cases to Afghanistan
  • 25 cases to the Sixth Fleet in Italy
  • 10 cases to Qatar
  • 2 cases to Marines in Norway
  • 2 cases cookies to sailors in Bahrain
  • 5 cases to Local Paratrooper  in173 Airborne stationed in Aviano, Italy
  • 4 cases to Airman Potthast serving in Afghanistan
  • 2 cases to Sgt Parente –  a Marine in Syria
  • 10 cases to the USS Bataan off  the coast of Syria
  • 10 cases to the USS Mesa Verde – off coast of Syria
  • 3,500 boxes to Stratton Air National Guard base
    • 2,000 of those boxes are headed to South Pole in October/November
  • 200 cases to Fort Dix to fly out on planes to sailors at naval stations and bases around the world
miltary band member - served 3 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan
He told us how they used to throw the cookies out of the helicopters to get the Afghani children to scatter, so they could set the helicopters down without endangering their lives. He said he, of course, loved eating them too.

Military Bases in the US:

  • 50 cases to McGuire AFB
  • 50 cases to Fort Dix/Lakehurst
  • 250 cases were dropped at Stewart Air Force Base
  • 150 cases went to New York Guard/National Guardsmen from NY who have been sand bagging up in Rochester for two months!
  • 4 to Tripler Army Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii
  • 30,000 boxes to Fort Bragg
  • 5,000 boxes to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland
  • 1,000 boxes to the Maryland Guard
  • 1,000 boxes to the DC Guard
  • 2,500 boxes on board the USS Kearsarge for Fleet Week
  • 5,000 boxes to Quantico Marine Corp Base
  • 30 to Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico – delivered by local Dutchess County Airman
  • 60 cases were driven to Fort Drum, NY by local Duchess County Soldier
  • 200 cases to the Navy Operational Support Center in Schenectady
  • 50 cases to TSgt Lisa Clark – McGuire AFB


Veterans Centers/Programs and Hospitals:

  • 50 cases to Montrose VA Food Pantry
  • 9 cases to Montrose VA hospital for programs / events
  • 150 cases to Kingsbridge VA hospital
  • 10 cases each to 2 different VA hospitals in New Jersey
  • 20 cases to a Veteran Ministry Program out of Yonkers
  • 15 cases were flown down to Tampa with the sailor who was injured at Op Drop Day…to a Spinal cord Rehab facility!
  • 70 cases at Albany VA Hospital – dropped by Westchester County Police dept.
  • 1,000 boxes to Walter Reed Medical Center
  • 1,000 boxes to National Veteran food program
  • 40 cases to Vet 2 Vet Westchester

Stratton Air National Guard Base

Events and Honor Flights:

  • 2,500 boxes to Westchester County Veterans for Veteran Appreciation Day
  • 15 cases -Westchester – Hudson Valley Honor Flight – Mission 16
  • 25 cases to United for the Troops in Carmel
  • 75 cases to the US Navy causes
  • 25 cases to NY Medal of Honor Event
  • 12 cases to WCC veteran events
  • 15 cases – Honor Flight – Mission 17 – Westchester
  • 15 cases – Honor Flight – Mission 18 – Stewart
  • 18 cases to Big Apple Honor Flight – Mission 1
  • 16 cases – Stewart Hudson Valley Honor Flight – Mission 15
  • 50 cases to Fort Dix for Family Appreciation Day


Total Boxes Donated: About 105,000
Total Boxes Already Delivered: About 74,000