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We gain stren…

August 8, 2013

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Thanks a Million Girl Scout Volunteers…Wait, Let’s Make That 5 Million!

April 19, 2013

We say it all the time. “Hey, thanks a million!”

Someone does us a favor, or helps us with a challenging task. Or, maybe they step up to go above and beyond the usual course of what’s expected in their jobs. Whatever the situation may be, a “Thank you” seems in order.

But what could you possibly say to thank someone who devotes  nearly 5 million hours a year to something they choose to do purely from their goodness of their hearts? These are people who don’t get paid, at least not in dollars.

troop funThey are Girl Scout volunteers.

By conservative estimates, our 6,500+ leaders and other volunteers across the Kentuckiana Council put in an average of 5 million hours a year to serve our girls. From leading troop meetings, planning community service projects, organizing travels and tours, overseeing cookie sales, helping to steer our governance and operations, and so much more, volunteers are the lifeblood that make Girl Scouting possible.

From our earliest days, and throughout a full century of service to girls of all ages, Girl Scouts has been a volunteer-driven organization. As we change and grow to continue serving our girls the best way possible over the next hundred years, I expect this is one thing we’ll see unchanged!

annual mtg2013 (81)Ask any Girl Scout volunteer why anyone would dedicate so much time and energy to working with girls and expect to hear something along the line of, “Making a difference in a girl’s life is rewarding and important work.” Then, don’t be surprised to hear, “It’s also a whole lot of fun!”

National Volunteer Week, April 21-27, 2013—and national Girl Scout Leaders Day on April 22nd—is the perfect time to say “Thank you” to these selfless individuals. It is truly awe-inspiring, and humbling, to see firsthand the incredible level of dedication our volunteers give to the important work of building girls.

IMG_0024Beyond the traditional troop experience, the flexibility of Girl Scouting’s Pathways model offers volunteers great options to be part of Girl Scouting in a way that works for them. Our six Pathways—Troops, Series, Events, Camp, Travel, and Virtual—empower volunteers to design and deliver programs that reflect their specific skills and expertise. From business owners to chefs, or even research scientists, doctors, news reporters, airline pilots and beyond…there is practically no limit to candidates who would make a great Girl Scout volunteer.

So, if you’ve ever dreamed of being part of something bigger than yourself, come join us. Be part of helping today’s girls become tomorrow’s leaders.

The value of what our volunteers do is truly beyond measure. Even if it were possible to put a dollar figure on what our volunteers do, no amount of money could come close to the worth of what these selfless individuals do purely from a sense of commitment and purpose. So, we’ll just have to say, “Thanks five million!” and hope you know how much we genuinely thank you for your extraordinary service.

Girl Scout Week 2013: The Future Is Now

March 9, 2013

The week of March 10, 2013 is a special time for Girl Scouts everywhere. This is Girl Scout Week. During this special time, on March 12th, we will recognize our 101st birthday. As with all birthdays, this is a milestone …a mark in time to stop for a moment and think about things such as far we’ve come, and what our future holds.

Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana has come far during our rich and storied history. We have so many wonderful successes and victories to celebrate. Our girls are doing incredible work in their communities. We are fortunate to have a dedicated corps of volunteers, and an awesome staff who understand the commitment it takes to carry out the important mission to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.

I want to take this opportunity, on the occasion of Girl Scout Week to wish everyone who supports our work and makes it possible a wonderful and meaningful Girl Scout Week.

For 100 years, Girl Scouts has provided girls with more ways to learn and lead than any other organization. As we enter our next century of service to girls, our focus on girl leadership is more important than ever.

Marian Wright Edelman, noted founder of the Children’s Defense Organization, once said, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” Thank you for being part of helping today’s girls see what that have the potential to be. Thank you for helping today’s girls become tomorrow’s leaders.

On behalf of the 22,000 girl members and 7,000 adult members and volunteers who form the backbone of our council, in honor of Girl Scout Week 2013 I am issuing this call to action. Help us build strong girls ready to become tomorrow’s leaders. Volunteer. Make a donation. Encourage girls you know to join Girl Scouting.

When it comes to investing in girls, the future is now. There is no better time to make sure girls have the skills, experience and knowledge they need to succeed. There is noone better prepared than Girl Scouts to make this happen.

Building Tomorrow’s Leaders, One Girl Scout Cookie at a Time

February 20, 2013

Anyone who’s every spent any time around me has likely heard me say many times, “I love my job.” I love helping empower today’s girls to become tomorrow’s leaders. I love working with an awesome team of dedicated staff and incredible volunteers. I love working with community partners to spread the word about the benefits of Girl Scouting. We had a terrific opportunity recently to work with The Courier-Journal on a Community Challenge op-ed piece entitled “Help Build Leaders of Tomorrow.” I encourage you to check out this piece. With Girl Scout Cookie booths set to run February 22-March 22, it’s a timely look at the real return on investment seen from every $3.50 investment in girls made one box of cookies at a time.

A Special New Year’s Greeting from Your Girl Scout Family

December 28, 2012
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Time To Power Up for Our Girls

November 8, 2012

Words have power. Images have power.

The truth of these two statements became abundantly clear last night as nearly 200 people gathered for a Conversation of Consequence with Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana. To kick off what will be a series of important conversations about issues of consequence for girls and women, we partnered with Bellarmine University’s Activities Council to show the powerful documentary Miss Representation.

Image

Panel members Dawne Gee, Tori Murden, Lora Tucker, Pam Platt, Kimberly Parker, Tina Ward-Pugh and Hank Rothgerber.

We brought together an impressive panel of media and civic leaders, and academic researchers with an interest in women’s studies to discuss the film. We had quite a lively talk about what role media misrepresentations of girls and women play in the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence.

Our awesome moderator, Tori Murden McClure, President of Spalding University and a well-known civic leader and educator, had the responsibility to engage the panel in critical dialogue after the movie.  As the first American to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean, Tori is quite literally known around the world for being a woman of consequence and achievement.  Our equally awesome panel members were Dr. Kimberly Parker, Bellarmine University Communications Department; Pam Platt, Courier-Journal Editorial Page Director; Dawne Gee, WAVE3-TV news anchor; Dr. Hank Rothgerber, Bellarmine Psychology Department; and Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh, Metro Council District 9 and Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana board member.

(Note to self: Thank your lucky stars every day for a job that gives you the opportunity to meet, know, work with, and learn from outstanding individuals and leaders of this caliber.)

Between the panel’s insightful comments and questions from our audience, we had an amazing talk about everything from whether media trumps parental responsibility to how advertising dollars affect what we see in media. We also talked about how critical it is for girls to have role models that let them “see themselves” in leadership positions.

It was especially good timing for such a talk on the heels of Tuesday’s election, with historic gains for women. We saw a record number of women elected to serve in the U.S. Senate (one in five members of that august 100-person body will be a woman.)  Also, 18 percent of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013 will be women. We saw the first Asian-American woman elected to the Senate in Hawaii. Tammy Baldwin became the first openly gay Senator and Tammy Duckworth will be the first woman injured in combat to serve in Congress. And perhaps most amazingly, New Hampshire became the first state to elect women to all of its top positions.

This historic progress is essential for our girls. As Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, once said: You can’t be what you can’t see.

Our aim with our Conversations of Consequence is to bring people and resources together to address critical issues that affect the ability of girls and women to be full, equal members and leaders of our society. This goal ties in with Girl Scouts’ ToGetHerThere campaign, a bold multi-year initiative to change our nation’s existing leadership imbalance within one generation.

So, can we do it? Can we make sure that girls and women have an equal seat at the leadership table? Can we get everyone on board with the fact that when girls succeed, society succeeds? Together, we certainly can. Together …we absolutely have the power to get her there.

Thank you so much for everything that you do. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of our girls!

The Daisy That Changed Our World – Happy Birthday

October 31, 2012

Girl Scouts have two reasons to celebrate today. Aside from being Halloween, a day for us to share a bit of fun and camaraderie, October 31st is also Girl Scouts Founder’s Day. On this day in 1860, Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low was born in Savannah, Georgia.

As those of us in Girl Scouting know, family and friends fondly called our founder Daisy. After learning about Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, Daisy committed herself to starting a new youth movement in America for girls. She wanted girls from all backgrounds to have the opportunity to learn about nature and develop courage, confidence and character. She encouraged girls to plan for careers in the arts, sciences and business. Being deaf herself, Low made special efforts to encourage girls with disabilities to participate in activities.

Daisy had a dream—a big dream—and was determined to do whatever it took to make it come true. In 1914, she sold an extremely valuable heirloom necklace of rare matched pearls to finance Girl Scout operations and expand the movement across the United States. Valued in 1914 at about $8000, based on inflation those pearls would be worth more than $180,000 today.

There’s been much speculation and research over Girl Scouting’s past century about what eventually became of those valuable pearls. In Juliette Gordon Low: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts—a terrific book by the way Stacy A. Cordery writes that the necklace was bought by Girl Scout supporter Ted Coy for his wife, Edith. The Coys later divorced, and the history of the pearls becomes lost.

No one knows what happened to those prized pearls, but clearly the value of the legacy Daisy left for all of us is infinitely more valuable than anything she could have ever imagined. At a time when women didn’t even have the right to vote, Juliette Gordon Low made a stand that said: Girls and women matter. Just look at what her example teaches us. Through sheer determination, boundless optimism, clear vision and irrepressible resiliency she changed our world for the better. She showed us what it takes to stay the course—even when times get tough—and get things done.

Wow …what an awesome example for today’s leaders, and what a truly inspiring and incredible person our Daisy continues to be.

So on Daisy’s birthday we would do well to remember the astonishing gift she gave not just girls and women, but our entire society. Happy birthday, Daisy … and thanks!

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