|Service Unit Spotlight - Texas Star Service Unit
Service Unit Profile
Number of Troops: 45
Number of Girls: 434
The Texas Star Service Unit encompasses the cities of Buda and Kyle. Right along I-35 and just south of Austin, these two cities have experienced a massive economic and population boom, with no end in sight. Like much of Central Texas, we are working to manage our rapid growth in both Girl Scouts and our communities. We strive to welcome the new while preserving the old traditions.
Below are some of Texas Star Service Unit's best practices that could be utilized by other service units:
- Embracing the Future: Technology
One of our latest achievements has been to take our service unit meetings to the living rooms of our leaders via Facebook Live. It has allowed our busy leaders to watch and virtually attend our meetings from the comfort of their own homes. Earlier this year, we used Google Docs during our cookie booth selection process to enable real-time updates. Cookie Coordinators were able to monitor what booths had been selected by other troops before their turn. This simple step allowed over 40 troops to select upwards of 350 booths in just two hours! Facebook, Sign-Up Genius, and the BAND app have been huge communication tools for both individual troops and for our service unit. Facebook serves as our place to ask questions, get ideas, and plan events. Events are placed on the Facebook page and updated as details emerge. We even used Facebook events to conduct an online bake sale to raise money for FOGS! We use Sign-Up Genius for event organization from rsvp's to volunteer service. Lastly, many Texas Star troops use BAND to keep organized, and the service unit used it for all of our cookie communication this year - from questions to trading cookies and booths.
- Preserving the Old: Service Unit Events and Community Involvement
Texas Star hosts several events each year, and most of these events are troop-led. Many of our events are centered around our communities, including the Kyle Founder's Day Parade, BudaFest and Parade, the Buda Trail of Lights, and much more. We enjoy several of our own Texas Star traditions, including Mother/Daughter and Me & My Guy events, as well as our awards ceremony, the Star Gala. World Thinking Day is one of our favorite traditions and shared by Girl Scouts around the world. Every year, we have a different theme for World Thinking Day, including fashion shows and selfie stations. In 2018, we had a giant airplane with Girl Scout flight attendants for a tour around the world. Our service unit loves to get outdoors and travel. Every year, Texas Star hosts a fun-filled weekend at Camp Champions, which brings troops of all ages together for an adventure. This year, our C/S/A troops have coordinated a zombie survival primitive camp out at Camp Howdy, and our D/B/J girls are hosting an outdoor camping skills day at Camp Cypress. In 2018, we have troops planning trips to the swamps of Louisiana and the desert mountains of Big Bend. In the last year, our troops visited the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low in Georgia, the mountains of Colorado, the Johnson Space Center in Houston, and the endangered ocelot habitat at the Laguna Atascosa Wildlife Refuge. Troops have hosted a Journey in a Day and Flag Ceremony Training, created a fairy garden with insect homes for the Zilker Faerie Trail, held special events at the Marbridge Care Communities, and volunteered at animal shelters, food banks, and more. One of our troops even worked with the Mermaid Society of San Marcos to establish the SPLASH Patch Program, GSCTX's Patch-of-the-Month for May. Of course, our recent Gold, Silver, and Bronze award recipients have completed some amazing projects. They created a traveling library for local daycares, organized a horse camp for hearing impaired and deaf students, wrote a children's book, helped underprivileged mothers connect with their babies, planted an herb garden at the Hays County Food Bank, and worked with the State of Texas to get earlier scoliosis screening for our girls.
- Texas Star is a team.
We have consistent leader meetings on the first Monday of the month. Our service unit leadership team meets before each leader meeting to get organized. Every June, we hold a planning meeting for the upcoming year to start planning our yearly events. Leaders and their troops volunteer to coordinate the events. In the fall, we conduct an investiture ceremony for our new leaders, and current leaders serve as mentors for them throughout the year. This year, our recruitment team asked for a leader at each school to help coordinate efforts from Veteran's Day flag ceremonies to back to school nights. This step helped to merge the efforts of different troops at the same schools. With 13 elementary schools, six middle schools, two high schools, and more on the way, this coordinated effort has helped to increase our recruitment numbers and simultaneously, unite our troops.