Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Camp CEO Starts Today!

Summer is my favorite time of year, and what better way to kick off the warm weather than at camp?! This week, I will be at Camp Laurel in Lebanon participating in one of my favorite programs—Camp CEO!  I have already started packing my camp gear and bug spray and look forward to leaving behind my hair dryer and makeup!

This week, a wonderful group of female executives in Connecticut and I will pair up with a group of young women ages 14-17 at camp and take part in a life changing leadership program. There, together, we will learn more about leadership, setting and achieving goals, how to take action in our communities and lives, and learn more about ourselves and our voice in this world. Not to mention, we will also participate in a number of traditional camp activities, like swimming, hiking, boating, kayaking, and making s’mores over a campfire that we built together!

Last year's group at Camp CEO!

Camp CEO is an incredible experience. Not only do the girls get to learn more about themselves and find the courage, confidence, and character to realize their dreams, but I find that I learn a little more about myself each year as well. It’s truly a beneficial experience for all!

Stay tuned next week for a more detailed account of my experiences at Camp CEO.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Monday, June 20, 2016

Congratulations to all who earned Girl Scouting’s Highest Awards!

As another Girl Scout year comes to a close, I want to take a moment to congratulate all of the Girl Scouts throughout Connecticut who have aspired and inspired others in their communities as they earned Girl Scouting’s highest awards: Bronze, Silver, and Gold.

In Girl Scouting, girls have the opportunity to discover who they are, their values, and use their experiences, knowledge and skills to explore the world around them; they connect with others who share the same vision and values; and take action in their communities to make the world a better place.

The Girl Scout Bronze Award is the highest award that can be earned by a Girl Scout Junior. By earning this award, girls have made a promise to help others, improve their communities and become the best young citizens they can be. It’s always incredible to see what girls can do—like collecting food and clothing for others in need, helping out at a local animal shelter, or beautifying a local park in their town.

The Girl Scout Silver Award is the highest award that can be earned by a Girl Scout Cadette. By earning this award, girls not only strengthen their skills and abilities, but they are learning about improving their communities and taking action, whether it is building a bench at a local state park, raising awareness about allergies and how to address an allergic reaction, and more. The older the girls get, the more in awe I am of all that they do to make meaningful changes in our world.

The highest award a Girl Scout can earn, the Gold Award, is an incredible and prestigious honor. An award with national standards, the Gold Award represents an individual's accomplishments, leadership, commitment, creativity, and personal effort contributed to make a sustainable, positive impact on their community. This year we are celebrating the Gold Award Centennial and a record number of 86 Girl Scouts across the state who earned their Gold this year!

To all girls who earned the highest awards: congratulations. And to all girls who are aspiring to earn their awards: keep at it! You are joining a group of incredibly accomplished young women who bring passion and purpose to their communities. I hope that you feel as proud as I do of what you have accomplished and also cherish the friendships and lessons you have learned through Girl Scouting.

Thank you for all that you do; you make our futures brighter by holding up half the sky.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Celebrating Girl Scouts, like Grace, who change the world!

As you all may know by now, this year we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the highest, most prestigious award in Girl Scouting, the Girl Scout Gold Award. On June 5, we honored 86 incredible young women who have made a meaningful and sustainable impact in their communities and beyond. I continue to be inspired by all their hard work and passion. Because of them, our future is so bright.

It’s an exciting time this year as we celebrate the Gold Award Centennial. Not only did we have a record number of girls this year earn their Gold Award, but one of our own Gold Award Recipients, Grace Anne Herrick of Newtown, was one out of eight girls chosen across the country to showcase her project today in D.C. at Girl Scouts of the USA’s Capitol Hill Event.

From left to right: National CEO Anna Maria Chavez,
U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Grace, and
National Board President Kathy Hopinkah Hannan
at the celebration today!
Grace and other 2016 Gold Award Recipients across the nation will join National CEO Anna Maria Ch├ívez, National Board President Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, members of Girl Scouts’ Honorary Troop Capitol Hill, and other leaders from both Congress and the administration to celebrate the centennial. 

For her Gold Award Project, Grace addressed two issues: lack of education and lack of health for children under the age of five who live in rural Nakaseke, Uganda. Grace has developed an early education program for the children of Uganda with the help of ACCESS (African Community Center for Cultural Sustainability). The community is so excited about the program that there is a waiting list. Grace will continue her work as an adult and hopes to build a school where more families can participate.

We have so many incredible girls who are doing amazing things across the state. I encourage all of you to take a look at this year’s Gold Award Recipients and continue to join us as we celebrate 100 Years of Changing the World.

Go, Grace!

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Friday, June 10, 2016

Another School Year Comes to a Close…

To the 35,000 Girl Scouts in Connecticut:

As you pack up your school books and welcome the lazy days of summer, I can’t help but be proud of all of the amazing milestones you have achieved in your lives this past year. The end of the school year means you are also bridging to a new year and possibly even an exciting new level of Girl Scouting. This is an especially momentous year to be bridging and also earning your highest awards, as it is the Gold Award Centennial!

I know many of you know Juliette Gordon Low’s story. Juliette had a vision that she wanted to do something to help girls to get outdoors and have fun, but also to become more confident and self sufficient. During Juliette’s time, girls were expected to be seen and not heard and to stay indoors doing needlepoint and learning to play the harpsichord, while boys were able to be outside and go on adventures and do fun activities.

Juliette learned about the Girl Guides while living for a brief time in Scotland and when she returned to the United States, she was determined to create Girl Scouts. She started Girl Scouts in 1912 in Savannah, Georgia with 18 girls. Today, Girl Scouts has 1.7 million members in the U.S., and you are all part of Juliette’s vision to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world and their communities better places.

When I was a girl there weren’t so many choices for after school adventures and activities, so I am really glad that today, when there are many choices, girls are still choosing to be Girl Scouts. To the adults: I am really glad you continue to support your girls in Girl Scouting.
I hope that you feel as proud as I do of what you have accomplished and also cherish the friendships you have made in Girl Scouting. Most importantly, we hope you will continue to find Girl Scouting fun and rewarding, but also don’t forget that being a Girl Scout makes you part of a very large and special group of girls and women who believe in the values that we recite in our Promise and Law.

You have the right and the power to dream about what you want to accomplish and see changed in the world….don’t ever feel you are not entitled to what you want to achieve, but also remember it will take hard work and the support of others.

To our volunteers: thank you for supporting our girls. We know what a precious commodity your time is, and your support of your daughter and all these young women is really an investment in not only their futures, but all of our futures. 

So, congratulations to all, I am so proud to be connected with all of you. I know that the future is in good hands!

Yours in Girl Scouting, 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Honoring Two Incredible Women of Merit and Celebrating 100 Years of Changing the World!

At Girl Scouts of Connecticut, we welcomed the first week of June with two extremely successful events filled with celebration! On Thursday, June 2, we held our 23rd Annual Woman of Merit Dinner at the Italian Center of Stamford where we honored Mary Galligan, Director at Deloitte & Touche, and Brigadier General Tammy Smith, Commanding General of the 98th Training Division (IET). 

The Woman of Merit Award recognizes leaders who demonstrate the Girl Scout values of leadership, personal achievement, and service to the community, and Mary and Brigadier Smith do just that. It was inspiring to hear about their journeys and experiences as a woman in their line of work, and such an exciting evening for us all. Thank you to all who joined us. Learn more about the event through this wonderful video, and take a look at our photo album!

At the dinner, we had the chance to hear from Girl Scout Grace of Newtown, who shared her amazing Girl Scout Journey and her Gold Award Project with the crowd. Grace is a 2016 Gold Award Recipient, and was one of eight Girl Scouts chosen across the country to showcase her project at Girl Scouts of the USA’s Capitol Hill event on June 14 celebrating the Gold Award Centennial. We’re so proud of you, Grace!

Speaking of Gold Award, we are also incredibly proud of our other Gold Award recipients who we honored on Sunday, June 5 at Naugatuck Valley Community College. All of these girls’ Gold Award Projects—86 of them!—are so inspirational, and I encourage you to read them and learn more about how our girls are working hard to make a meaningful and sustainable change in their communities which helps make our world a better place Congratulations to all Girl Scout recipients past, present, and future. Meet the 2016 Gold Award Recipients!

Yours in Girl Scouting,