From Fall Forums, To Convention and Looking Ahead
As we near the end of a fantastic year together, it’s a good time to reflect as we prepare to turn 100 and look forward to an exciting year ahead. In September and October, I enjoyed visiting all our service centers to meet and talk with many of our great volunteers as part of our annual Fall Forums, which are a vital way to foster understanding and cohesiveness among our “winning team.”
If one word came up time and again at the forums it was “communication.” You want more of it, and want it to be more effective. We hear you. From our new website, to our new quarterly Council News & Updates e-newsletter and other tools in the works, we are on it!
It was a pleasure to be able to share some good news for 2010 at each forum. Overall, our girl members were up 9.3%; adult members were up 6.9%. We saw a 3.7% increase in cookie sales and 17% in shop sales. Thank you to everyone who helped make this progress happen. As we face future challenges, it’s important to know that when we work together we can and do make great things happen.
In November an impressive group of GSK delegates, alternates, and other members headed to Houston, TX for our 52nd National Council Session at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Can you imagine what it’s like when 10,000 Girl Scouts get together? I’ll let our president, Cynthia Weller, tell you more about that (see her article National Convention: Renewing Our Promise in a New Century.) However, using one of my favorite words, it was AWESOME! I was incredibly inspired by the girls throughout the National Council Session and could not wait to get back and get to work.
There never has been a better or more rewarding time to be a Girl Scout. Stay tuned because 2012—the Year of the Girl—is going to be a fabulous time to be part of our Girl Scout family! We hope—and believe—that the Movement will be excited by, and take great pride in, the Year of the Girl. It’s a different kind of initiative for us in that while it’s being led by Girl Scouts, it isn’t entirely about Girl Scouts. It’s a movement on behalf of all girls. As GSUSA former CEO Kathy Cloninger so eloquently puts it in her new book, Tough Cookies:
“The need is urgent and it’s vast—way, way bigger than Girl Scouts. We’ll take the lead where we can, because girls and leadership are what Girl Scouting is all about. But we’re eager to share this struggle with anyone who wants to get involved. The prize is worth the effort. Girls are tough cookies; but they aren’t tough enough, all by themselves, to create the world we need for them to live in. It’s time for the rest of us to stand up and help them.”
In my humble opinion, it’s time to put girls first!! Let’s go team, we are burning daylight…