The sun’s warmer rays, the buzz of bumblebees, and budding leaves on once-bare branches aren’t just signs of spring’s return, but also of Earth’s ability to regenerate. Though the world seems to have ground to an absolute halt for many of us (Time? What even is that?), if we look out our windows, there’s a hopeful reminder that life marches on. In times of uncertainty, we use these constants to anchor ourselves. For the young people in our lives, Girl Scouts serves as that much-needed constant.
We’ve heard so many stories from girls, families, and volunteers voicing their appreciation for having Girl Scouts as a cornerstone during these new-normal times. While it’s a struggle to think about the future when the present seems so topsy-turvy, know that right now, your Girl Scouts take comfort from connecting with you and their fellow troop members.
Every spring, as a way to ensure girls continue the consistency of Girl Scouts, we unveil our Early Bird campaign. During Early Bird season, which runs from May 1–June 30, 2020, troops can renew their memberships for the upcoming 2021 year. Of course, this spring hardly feels like every other spring, so whenever you’re ready to renew, we’ll be here for you. Read on to find out more about our mascot for this year, perks for Early Bird troops, and how to qualify to receive them.
Introducing the Eastern Bluebird
Our mascot this year, the eastern bluebird, couldn’t be more fitting. The story of this bird is one of recovery. How? In the 1930s to 1960s, the eastern bluebird population in the Midwest plunged because of habitat loss. Concerned citizens rallied to halt the decline through education, putting up nest boxes, and creating nest box trails. The result? Bluebirds are thriving once again and Minnesota has one of the most successful bluebird recovery projects in the nation. (Way to go!) It goes to show what we can accomplish when we come together as a community to try to solve a problem. Find additional bluebird facts and games to play at home in our Early Bird Activity Plan.
This Year’s Perks
Girls, adults, and volunteers who register for the 2020-2021 membership year will receive the exclusive 2021 Early Bird patch as well as a coupon for the Girl Scout shop. Qualifying troops will also have a chance to win some fun prizes. What kind of prizes? How about free 2021 membership for you and your troop, a Cookie Booth Fast Pass, or (still my favorite) Name a Horse at Camp?
Who Qualifies and How to Renew
Troops who register at least one troop leader and half of the number of 2019–2020 troop members by June 30, 2020, have a chance to win those perks. (P.S., Half is based on your troop’s girl memberships as of March 31, 2020.) Check to see how many girls are currently registered in your troop by logging in to MyGS and viewing your roster. New troops that formed between April 1–June 30, 2020, qualify if they have one troop leader and at least three girls registered for the upcoming membership year.
Find step-by-step instructions on how to renew your troop (and other renewal-related FAQs) on our How to Renew Your Troop webpage. Families can find renewal information on our Renew Your Membership webpage. (Pro-tip: If you’re a troop leader and have the capacity to do so, now might be a good idea to use your troop funds to renew your girls. Confirm with families first that they’re interested in renewing for another year. Parents juggling many other tasks might appreciate that small gesture of knowing that their membership renewal is taken care of.)
This spring is definitely not shaping up to be a normal spring, but you can keep some of the joy going in your Girl Scout’s life by renewing your membership and committing to another awesome year of Girl Scout adventures.
Lily Yu –Lily is a Program Resource Specialist at River Valleys. She earned her BA in comparative literature and Japanese from Hamilton College and has a background in publishing and advertising. Though she wasn’t a Girl Scout growing up, Lily is making up for lost time as a volunteer and troop cookie manager for her daughter’s Brownie troop. In her free time, she enjoys going for long walks, reading, and spending time with her family (And rescue dog, Neil!).