National Convention: Springboard for Renewing Our Promise in a New Century

Cynthia Weller

Renewing the Promise, Girl Scouting in a New Century – the theme of the 52nd National Convention - was a springboard for action for the over 10,000 people who attended the event.  The 1,314 delegates from councils included 240 girl members, 10 delegates from Girl Scouts Overseas, and one male delegate for every 38 females.

Delegates and alternates from our council who attended were:

Carrie Barnett (A) Kuttawa, KY
Christy Blandford (D) Owensboro, KY
Mary Ann Boyer (D) Elizabethtown, KY
Tracey J. Brown (D) Hopkinsville, KY
DeAnna Collins (D-Girl) Depauw, IN
Anna Hudson (A) Louisville, KY
Janis A. Kidd (D) Salem, IN
Debbie Melton (D) Graham, KY
Caitlyn Moore (D-Girl)Turners Station, KY
Angelique Puckett (A) Cecilia, KY
Jennifer Riley (D) Upton, KY
Gail Ruga (A) Paducah, KY
Marcia Segal (D) Louisville, KY
Lora Tucker (D) Louisville, KY
Cynthia Weller (D) Louisville, KY

We did conduct business, but more importantly we were motivated by speakers including Katie Couric (in a remake of her Junior Girl Scout uniform), Robin Roberts, and Frances Hesselbein, former GSUSA CEO.  We were moved by the stories of the 10 Young Women of Distinction, girls who have earned the Gold Award and were honored by GSUSA.  We participated in Conversations of Consequence on topics of importance to the Girl Scout Movement – The Female Factor, Moving Beyond Diversity to Inclusion, Building a Culture of Philanthropy, and What if Girls Ran the World.  New members of the GSUSA board of directors and board development committee were elected, and the new CEO of GSUSA, Anna Maria Cha?vez was introduced.  We explored the many opportunities in the available in the Hall of Exhibits, including Conversation Pits on various topics of interest to those attending the event.

You may have heard the outcomes of our business sessions at your area meetings.  A proposal was approved making it possible for councils to implement an annual council service fee for girls at the time of registration, not to exceed the amount of the GSUSA registration fee.  Our board of directors, with volunteer input, will be considering our council’s use of this fee.  A proposal to change the timing of election of delegates to the national council session was defeated.  A proposal to change the timing of annual registration was referred to a task group being formed by the GSUSA board of directors.

Ten of our girl members, including our two girl delegates, attended the Girl Scout Leadership Institute, “Leadership and Innovation, the Next 100 Years.”  Your eleven delegates and four alternates represented you well, and I even heard some of them giving information on procedures and answering questions from other council’s delegates on the proposals to be considered in the business sessions.

We were introduced to 2011 – The Year of the Girl” and were inspired to make that concept a reality for each of us personally, and for our council, and for the people who come in contact with us.  Those from our council, delegates and visitors alike, were changed by the experience of celebrating Girl Scouting’s 100th birthday with thousands who are just as passionate about our Movement as we are.

From the parade of flags at the opening ceremony, to the announcement of the location of the 53rd Convention in 2014 (Salt Lake City), this national council session was a demonstration of Girl Scouting’s democratic process and an inspiration to continue working toward our mission: to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.


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