It’s easy to get caught up in Girl Scout activities—volunteer and troop meetings, community service projects and cookies—just to name a few. However, it’s necessary to pause, and remember that Girl Scouts is much more. The sum of its parts is the Girl Scout Movement--a movement dedicated to guiding girls in becoming the women they aspire to be. These women are confident, courageous and limited only by the size of their dreams. The Girl Scout Movement is brought to life during the Annual Meeting, where Girl Scouts and volunteers celebrate the year’s accomplishments, and set the tone for where the movement is headed.
This year the theme was G.L.O.W. – Girls Leading Our World. If you missed it, don’t worry, there’s always next year! In the meantime, here are the takeaways from the day.
7 Takeaways from the 2015 Annual Meeting
- This is not your mother’s Annual Meeting.
Or any adult’s Annual Meeting for that matter. For the second year, the meeting was 100% girl-designed and led. Even the way we talk about the meeting is changing. “There is no longer the dreaded ‘morning session’ of the annual meeting,” said Jordan Williams, Design Team member. This year the girls helped rebrand it “The Girl Leadership Session!”
- Girls still just wanna have fun…while they take the lead!
Kicking off the day was the Girl Scout singing trio, “Mellifluous,” who performed a remarkable a cappella mash up of female empowerment songs. Next, the audience had a ‘snowball fight.’ What’s that? Everyone wrote a sentence on a piece of paper, crumpled it up, and threw it across the room. Then, people picked up a ‘snowball’ and acted out the sentence. Let’s just say there were some very animated guests. And who could forget the Girl Scout conga line?!
Girls bonding with each other during the 'snowball fight'.
- Arizona Cactus-Pine Girl Scouts have A LOT to be proud of.
Not only did girls sell more cookies than ever before, but they broke a Guinness World Record while they did it! Plus, they raised another $550,000 for Camp Sombrero, bringing their overall contribution to $1.1 million. Wow!
Let’s not forget that Arizona Cactus-Pine girls are leading Girl Scouts on a national level as well. Six of our girls helped plan the Girl Scout Leadership Institute at the National Convention. Another six girls were delegates at the National Convention!
- Girls are not happy with how they are portrayed in media.
Girls realize that the majority of media portray women in gender-biased roles and as sex symbols—that is, if women are portrayed at all. What do they want? They want to see media where women are valued as much as men. The seejane.org video, showed at the meeting, reflects the sentiments around girls and media.
- Girls draw on the strength of other female leaders.
“We all look up to strong, independent women,” said Brittanee Hustad, Design Team member. “But how do we become one?” she asks in the beginning of the meeting. By the end of the meeting it was clear: First, girls need examples of courageous female leaders, then they need mentorship and support.
- Girls have a lot on their mind.
Group dialogue sessions allowed volunteers and girls to explore issues that are important to girls. Some of the topics were: What’s holding you back from your goals? What challenges have you overcome? How can we support girls so they can step into leadership roles?
- When girls care, they take action.
More than 500 attendees watched in awe as the Paradise Valley and Desert Hills Neighborhoods donated 10% of their cookie proceeds to Camp Sombrero, totaling $3,769. Arizona Cactus-Pine board member and Girl Scout alumna, Bessie Payan, was deeply moved by the troops’ contributions. To honor their generosity, Bessie agreed to match their donation!
Paradise Valley and Desert Hills Neighborhoods pose with GSACPC CEO, Tamara Woodbury as they present checks to Camp Sombrero.
Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors can help lead the 2016 Annual Meeting by joining the Design Team! Simply email Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org to let her know you’re interested.