This past week I was able to attend the 52nd National Girl Scout Convention held in Houston, Texas. In 2012, Girl Scouts will be celebrating their 100th Anniversary with the 3.2 million current Girl Scouts and 50,000,000 million former Girl Scouts. I had a blast meeting girls from all over the world who are in Girl Scouts and Girl Guides.
I was able to chaperone 3 amazing Girl Scouts from Silver Sage Council who made the trip quite the experience! We attended workshops everyday that covered what it takes to achieve goals, be a strong leader, develop confidence, respect our planet, and even learned about space and what it takes to be an astronaut. Did you know that 100% of female astronauts were Girl Scouts and 75% of female government elected officials were Girl Scouts at one point as well? Just goes to show Girl Scouts really is more than just cookies!
We were also introduced to the new Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts, Anna Maria Chavez, who lives and breathes Girl Scouts and has served under the former Governor of Arizona and current U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano. She previously practiced law in Washington D.C. and is an award winning community leader. While listening to her speak about her enthusiasm for Girl Scouts, she said something that I think is crucial when choosing a leader. “I will be not in front of you, not behind you, but right next to you.” The next years to come for Girl Scouts are definitely going to be strong ones!
We were also able to listen to some very inspirational keynote speakers and enjoy performances by Sara Bareilles and other talented musicians! Some of the speakers included a woman who knew Mother Theresa, Robin Roberts from ESPN and Good Morning America, and Vernice Armour, the first African American female combat pilot and pro-football player. One of the most inspiring speeches, for me at least, was to hear American journalist, Katie Couric, share her experience as a Girl Scout as well as what it took for her to make it into the journalism world.
She told a story about her first time being on a live broadcast and how her boss thought she was too spunky, but that didn’t keep her from being the upbeat, perky Katie Couric America loves. Something she said that we used as our motto during the week was “Some days you are the pigeon, other days you are the statue.” Then followed it with “We want progress and we want it now. And I never read anywhere that Girl Scouts had to be patient.”
During the national convention, we honored the Distinguished Women in Girl Scouts. These are girls who have earned their Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can achieve, and are nominated based on their work. Back in 2007 I earned my Gold Award (after 3 tedious attempts!) by creating my self-esteem workshops “Free To Be Me” that I continue to give today. So it’s enjoyable for me to see what other girls around the country choose to do for their award and to share in their delight as they’re recognized for their hard work and dedication. Several were honored including a documentary on Holocaust Survivors and another for an anti-bullying campaign. One of the projects that really stuck out to me was done by a girl who decided to work with inmates to make hats to give to homeless. This sweet girl was born with a facial disorder and has had 28 surgeries since then.
But none of the teasing or what some people would consider challenges, has held her back from being a positive burst of energy when she walked into that arena to share her passion with all of us. I clung to every word she said as I sat on the edge of my seat with tears in my eyes, “I just want to thank Girl Scouts for helping me to grow into the confident woman I am today,” she said with tears in her eyes and her fist in the air. She then advised us to “be confident in who you are. And never, ever let another person dictate who you are.” I think I may have found a new role model this week!
I made friends from all over the country and gained an even better understanding and appreciation of why Girl Scouts needs to continue for another 100 years. I love, love my platform and can’t wait to attend the next convention in 3 years, held in Salt Lake City! See you all there!
Goals for this week!
1. Be really, really good with my nutrition so I can splurge my little heart out on Thanksgiving! Can’t wait to eat some delicious pie!
2. This next week I get to attend the Festival of Trees Gala, the most beautiful event in Boise during the holidays. During last year’s Governor’s Inaugural Ball, I took a stumble down the marble steps in our state capital wearing a long, black evening gown as the governor and his wife walked by. I laughed it off and continued on with the night, but this time I’m hoping for no spills in my gorgeous red, Sherri Hill gown sponsored by Margene’s Bridal!
3. Absorb every minute of this next week, it’s a busy one but is going to be filled with exciting adventures and meeting so many new people! I can’t wait!
4. Had to add another one this week, because I was so disappointed when I went grocery shopping today and found out Winco is no longer selling my favorite soy milk, 8th Continental Light.
Call me childish, but it has the best taste and has a giant, smiling sun on the front! How can you not start the morning off right when your soy milk smiles back at you? Need to find what other grocery stores sell it, or write a strongly, yet kindly, worded note to Winco about bringing it back!
Much love and hugs!