“We’re Back from Convention!” – A note from Lidia Soto-Harmon, CEO

Dear GSCNC Family,

We are back from the National Convention and the kickoff to the 100th Anniversary year!  It was indeed a great convention and a true beginning for our organization’s next 100 years.  Over 15,000 girls and adults traveled to the convention in Houston. To see pictures from our visit, make sure to check out this album on Facebook. Stay tuned for more pictures.

Some of the highlights:

A new national CEO began her tenure with a great speech on Sunday morning.  Anna Maria Chávez, our new national CEO, is going to be a great asset for the Girl Scout movement. She grew up as a Girl Scout in Arizona and is a lawyer and former CEO of the Girl Scout Council in San Antonio, Texas. She has great energy and will be a great national representative; she is also the first woman of color to hold the position of National CEO for our organization. Read more about Anna Maria Chàvez here.

We had 120 members from our council who attended (36 were delegates).  As is our tradition, we hosted a delegation dinner featuring Ani Hesse, a 12 year old Girl Scout from Los Angeles, singing Ignite in English and Spanish. Ignite is the official song of Girl Scouts Rock the Mall: 100th Anniversary Sing-Along.

Our girl delegates were outstanding. They have successfully lobbied me to create “Lidia’s Kitchen Cabinet” so that I can “keep it real” for the teens in our council.

Our booth with Destination DC (and next to Little Brownie Bakers) was always busy.  We have thousands and thousands of eager volunteers and their troops from across the country preparing to come to celebrate with us at Girl Scouts Rock the Mall on Saturday, June 9.  A big thank you for the volunteers and staff who were at the booth explaining the Girl Scout Rock the Mall event.

We heard from Girl Scout speakers like Katie Couric and Robin Roberts who not only shared their leadership journey but how they loved being Girl Scouts.  Of special note, GSCNC alumna Katie Couric mentioned Camp Potomac Woods and Camp Coles Trip where she camped as a young Girl Scout. We met “Fly Girl”, the first African-American helicopter fighter pilot in our country, and some of the most inspirational stories from Young Women of Distinction, girls who earned their Gold Award with incredibly powerful projects that changed their communities. Click here to read about amazing Gold Award Project girls.

As you will recall, three proposals were being considered:

  • The first, about changing timing of the delegate terms to two years before the convention did not pass.
  • The second, about adding a program fee not to exceed the new annual dues in 2013 to up to $15 did pass, but it is left to the discretion of each council.  Our council will not be implementing this in the near future.
  • The third and last proposal about a revolving Girl Scout membership year was tabled for further study.  GSUSA had said this strategy would cost close to 1.2 million dollars to implement.

We will be launching the Year of the Girl in 2012 and this strategy will help us build great excitement for Girl Scouting and raise one billion dollars nationally and locally to help support Girl Scouting in our country.

I want to thank all the staff that worked so hard during the convention.  We are ready to launch this 100th year together.

Lidia Soto-Harmon
Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital