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Jumping for camp and cookies
RJS Law Attorney Ronson “Ronnie” J. Shamoun, Girl Scout Mya, and Outdoor Programs Manager Carolyn Shrake celebrate the debut of our new billboard.

Cookies Fund Girl Scout Adventures

When Mya mastered the art of paddling a canoe on Camp Winacka’s Upper Lake last summer, she jumped for joy. That exuberant image now graces the cover of our 2020 Girl Scout camp brochureand appears 50 feet above Montezuma Road!  

A CBS News8 camera was rolling when Mya first spotted her photo on a billboard that urges SDSU students and other passersby to “Feed your craving. Fuel her adventure.” with Girl Scout Cookies. The message illustrates how cookie proceeds stay local to fund troop activities and camps. Mya’s billboard is one in a series of outdoor ads that RJS Law has underwritten for Girl Scouts since 2016.

In a few months, Mya will return to Girl Scout camp where she’ll join the thousands of local girls finding adventure, new friendships, and leadership-building challenges this summer.

Many will earn their way to camp with cookie money or rewards. Proceeds also fund the camperships that ensure every girl has an opportunity to discover why Girl Scouts love camp.

Thank you to the cookie customers, girl entrepreneurs and their families, volunteers, and community partners who support Girl Scouting—and our camps—through the cookie program.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Carol M Dedrich 
Chief Executive Officer

Find Your Way to CAMP!

Girl Scout Camp from A to Z

Camp registration is now open, with nearly 200 sessions to choose from. Girls can soak up everything from aquatics to zoology...all in the supportive, all-girl environment of camp.

Our new day camps include Beyond the Stars (for girls who want to become outer space investigators, navigating the stars) and Going for Silver (where Cadettes identify issues they are passionate about and learn the steps of earning a Silver Award). Also debuting this summer are It’s Showtime (singing, dancing, and acting), Farming Friends (gardening and caring for camp animals), Paddle Out (canoeing and wilderness activities, with an off-camp trip), and nine other new resident (overnight) camps. Each session blends theme-based program elements with traditional outdoor skills and fun. Girl Scout camp is open to all girls in grades K-12, and financial assistance is available. Check out the camp brochure now, and register your girl or make a gift of camp. Our Customer Care team is always ready to provide assistance and respond to questions.

Cookies on Tap

Cookies on Tap: Bigger and Better

Adults are invited to toast the cookie season with craft beer and cookies at Cookies on Tap. Back for a seventh year, this popular event has expanded to multiple locations and dates (continuing through Sunday, March 8). Brewery partners will donate 20% of the price of its Cookies on Tap flights to Girl Scouts San Diego.

Returning this year is founding partner Mike Hess Brewing, along with AleSmith Brewing Company, and Stone Brewing. This year we welcome Guadalupe Brewery Tap House, Little Miss Brewing, Northern Pine Brewing, Novo Brazil Brewing, Thorn Brewing Company, and others. Pairings include Lemon-Ups cookies with Treading Lightly IPA at Thorn, and Thin Mints with Forgeberry Refreshingly Tart Raspberry Ale, available at AleSmith.

Cookies on Tap breweries purchase cookies from local Girl Scout troops, which will use the proceeds to fund their activities and service projects.

Girls and leaders from military Girl Scout troops
Girl Scout Troop 4839—including Seirenety (pictured, fourth from left) and Shayna (far right)—proudly supports Operation Thin MInt.

OTM: Troop-to-Troop Support 

Girl Scout Troop 4839 has a big heart for Operation Thin MintSM (OTM), a program that gives the public an opportunity to donate cookies and handwritten notes to deployed U.S. military personnel. Most of the girls are from military families, including Daisy Seirenety and Brownie Shayna. Their parents, Maria and Derek, are both aviation boatswain mates.

The troop looks forward to attending our OTM Sendoff Family Festival on Friday, April 3, 6-10 p.m. Everyone’s invited to join us for this free community celebration!

Volunteer Spotlight: Mission Fed’s Angie Lasagna

Volunteer Spotlight: Mission Fed’s Angie Lasagna

During a live TV broadcast at Mission Federal Credit Union, VP of Community Relations Angie Lasagna and KUSI reporter Allie Wagner showcased our Money Madness patch program. The two Girl Scout alums also bonded over the power of Girl Scouting.

Angie brought the green vest she’d worn as a high-achieving cookie entrepreneur. She shared that her Girl Scouting experiences were key to developing the business and finance expertise she uses every day as a Mission Fed executive, member of Girl Scouts San Diego’s board of directors, and mother of a Cadette Girl Scout.

The segment also featured Mission Fed’s Senior Business Development Officer Cindy Sandback, another Girl Scout alum. She led Money Madness activities like financial literacy bingo and a lesson about distinguishing counterfeit bills from real ones—an important skill during cookie season.

By earning the Money Madness patch, girls gain valuable math, accounting, budgeting, and money management know-how. Mission Fed, which received our 2018 Community Partner Award, also supports the Girl Scout Outreach Program and our Cool Women and Urban Campout events.

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Why Girl Scouts Matters

The Girl Scout Cookie Program equips girls with the business smarts they need to take on the world! By participating, Girl Scouts build key skills while funding troop activities and programs like camp. When you purchase cookies, you…

  • Fuel unique experiences that broaden girls’ horizons, teach them essential skills, and launch them into a lifetime of leadership.
  • Help build the next generation of women entrepreneurs.
  • Enhance the wellbeing of the community with cookie dollars troops invest in service projects.
  • Support girls’ success!

Source: Girl Scouts of the USA

What's Ahead

January 2020
Girl Scouts enjoy the new Lemon-Ups cookie

Our New Cookie Has Something to Say!

The secret is out: We have a brand new cookie in this brand new decade...Lemon-UpsTM! Each zesty, crispy cookie is baked with an inspiring leadership message, including “I am bold,” “I am an innovator,” and “I am strong.”

Those statements resonate with the Brownies of Troop 5808 (pictured), who are excited about rolling out the new Lemon-Ups on the first day of the Girl Scout Cookie Program, Sunday, Jan. 26.

By participating, girls build business and leadership skills while funding local troop adventures, activities, and service projects.

Thousands of Girl Scouts and adult volunteers are eagerly preparing for the big day through troop tastings, training sessions, cookie-kickoffs, and our Family Cookie Guide.

With your help, these young entrepreneurs are sure to exceed their goals and learn valuable life skills that will serve them throughout their lives. It is a brilliant gift to see our youth building their confidence right before our eyes as they explore, learn from their experiences (and their mistakes), and step out of their comfort zones.

I look forward to seeing them in action.

Happy New Year!

Carol M Dedrich 
Chief Executive Officer

Gold Award Girl ScoutGirl Scouts Take on Bullying

Girl Scouts Take on Bullying

Cadette Troop 2061 is making the world a better place by sharing anti-bullying messages with their peers. Inspired by what they learned from a Girl Scout aMAZE Journey, the girls designed “Be an Upstander” T-shirts, which they are wearing at their two middle schools to promote kindness and friendship.

The shirts serve as the girls’ pledge “to act and not be a bystander” when they observe bullying, troop co-leader Abigail Velazquez told Poway News Chieftain/Rancho Bernardo News Journal journalist Elizabeth Marie Himchak (article).

The aMAZE Journey is part of a Girl Scout leadership series called It’s Your World—Change It. Learn more about Journeys for girls in grades K-12.

Know a Cool Woman?
Cool Woman Dawn Barry mentors a 2019 Emerging Leader Girl Scout.

Know a Cool Woman Candidate? Nominate Her by Friday, Jan. 24!

Girl Scouts San Diego annually honors exemplary women whose personal and professional lives make them consummate role models for girls. You can spotlight an extraordinary woman by nominating her now for our Cool Women Class of 2020.

And plan to join us at the 20th annual Cool Women luncheon celebration on Thursday, April 30, where we will also introduce this year’s Emerging Leader Girl Scouts. 

Girl Scout Camps

Girl Scout Camps Build Leaders All Year Long

Great news for girls who love camp: we will now host monthly day camps, starting on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, and spring break. Next up: summer camp registration begins on Monday, Feb. 3.

Girl Scout camp is the #BestPlace4Girls to grow as leaders. Campers build new skills and learn to love and care for the environment, according to Girl Scouts Soar in the Outdoors, a new report from the Girl Scout Research Institute.

The study summarizes findings from a 2018–19 study investigating the impact of outdoor engagement and national outdoor badge programming on girls. Results show that Girl Scouting is getting girls outdoors; exposing them to new and challenging experiences; and enhancing their outdoor interest, confidence, and competence.

You can give your girl the gift of the great outdoors with a camp certificate…or by donating a campership to make another Girl Scout’s dream of going to camp come true. Contact our camp professionals to learn more. 

Volunteer Spotlight: Elisa Hilliard

Volunteer Spotlight: Elisa Hilliard

As a multi-program-level leader and Sunny Trails Service Unit Junior-Cadette Manager, Elisa Hilliard makes Girl Scouting possible for many families, including her own. Last month, her daughters Ashley, Natalie, and Lauren fed the hungry and honored deceased veterans.

As participants in the Stuff the Bus food drive, the girls joined 1,400 Girl Scouts in “driving away hunger.” We organize this councilwide service project each year in partnership with Vons, Albertsons, the San Diego Food Bank, Metropolitan Transportation System (MTS), North County Transit District (NCTD), and the Armed Services YMCA.

During Wreaths Across America (pictured), the Hilliard girls visited Greenwood Memorial Park cemetery to honor their late great-grandfather, a Korean and Vietnam War veteran. Hundreds of other Girl Scouts also laid wreaths on veterans’ graves in seven local cemeteries.

In her role as leader of Troop 6139, Elisa is currently focused on inspiring young entrepreneurs to suceed during the cookie season. Her daughters are working toward earning the new Venturelab Entrepreneurship patch.

  • Volunteer Spotlight: Elisa Hilliard
  • Volunteer Spotlight: Elisa Hilliard
  • Volunteer Spotlight: Elisa Hilliard
Why Girl Scouts Matters

Why Girl Scouts Matters

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the world’s largest girl-led entrepreneurial program and the country’s largest annual financial investment in girls.

Young cookie pros develop these five business and leadership skills:

  • Goal setting: Girls set cookie goals—individually and with their troops—and create a plan to reach them.
  • Decision making: As they make choices about how to participate and what to do, girls become stronger critical thinkers and problem solvers.
  • Money management: Taking cookie orders and handling customers' money is a practical way to learn financial literacy.
  • People skills: Girls talk to, listen to and work with many people, resolving conflicts and building relationships as they go.
  • Business ethics: Girl Scouts are honest and responsible through every step of the cookie program.
December 2019
Girl on challenge course

Girl Scouts Grows Innovative Thinkers

By encouraging girls’ natural interest in entrepreneurship, Girl Scouting prepares future leaders for any career.

Entrepreneurial leaders also make the world a better place by solving social problems, according to a new Girl Scout Research Institute report. Today’s Girls, Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs illustrates how 79 percent of Girl Scouts tend to have a higher entrepreneurial mindset than non-Girl Scouts (52 percent) and are twice as likely to have engaged in entrepreneurial activities. Girl Scouts particularly shine when it comes to innovation, addressing community issues, turning failure into an opportunity to learn, and social capital (knowing how to link with others who can help them achieve their goals).

As one of our four focus areas—along with STEM, outdoors, and life skills—entrepreneurship is incorporated into much of our programming. Girls can earn financial literacy and business badges and patches, like the new VentureLab Entrepreneurship patch. The program curriculum was developed by a nonprofit that helps children become innovative thinkers.

Girl Scouts also discover their inner impresario through the cookie program, camps, workshops, and team building challenges (pictured). In addition, our Girl Scout Outreach Program for girls in under-served communities weaves entrepreneurial elements into its activities.

Read on to learn how Gold Award Girl Scout Cady Hsu shared the power of Girl Scouting by teaching younger students about entrepreneurship. She exemplifies Girl Scouting as a gift that keeps on giving. 

On behalf of my terrific staff, I wish you and yours a peaceful, healthy, and joyous holiday season!

Carol M Dedrich 
Chief Executive Officer

Gold Award Girl Scout

Gold Award Girl Scout Elevates Entrepreneurship

Sixteen-year-old Girl Scout Cady Hsu earned a Gold Award by educating youth about entrepreneurship. She led a campaign to teach elementary and middle school students about innovative thinking, product design, financial literacy, and organizational management. In addition to hosting two workshop series, Cady created a website, ran a booth at a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) carnival, and led a Product Designer badge event for Junior Girl Scouts.

For more information about Girl Scout Gold Award and entrepreneurship opportunities for girls and adult volunteers, contact program specialists Robyn Murray (619-610-0705) or Shannon Bryant (619-610-0772), respectively.


Greetings from Our Cabaña!

Lifetime Girl Scout member and Gold Award Girl Scout Justine Panian, 25, recently traveled to the World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides (WAGGGS) Our Cabaña World Centre in Mexico. Her trip was part of the Juliette Low Seminar (JLS), WAGGG’s flagship leadership development summit for young adults. Each JLS experience provides participants with adventures, cultural experiences, and opportunities to make friends for life.

“I connected with Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from around the globe who share a mutual goal of serving girls and advocating for gender equality,” reports Justine. She looks forward to applying the WAGGGS leadership model to her volunteer work for Girl Scouts San Diego.

Volunteering for Girl Scouts runs in the Panian family. Last month, Justine’s mother, Kassie, was named Girl Scout Volunteer of the Year by the North County Philanthropy Council (Facebook post).

Emerging Leader Girl Scout Destiny

Calling All Emerging Leaders

We invite Girl Scouts in grades 10-12 to learn about becoming Emerging Leader Girl Scouts! The deadline to apply for this unique opportunity is Sunday, Jan. 5.

Emerging Leader Girl Scouts like Destiny Wilcox (pictured) are local young women whose achievements in Girl Scouting and the community point to their great potential in adulthood. Through public speaking, professional development, networking, and mentoring sessions, they develop skills while interacting with some of San Diego’s most accomplished women. These experiences will culminate on Thursday, April 30 at our 20th annual Cool Women celebration. During that luncheon, we will honor the Cool Women Class of 2020 and introduce the Emerging Leader Girl Scouts. 

Girls building butterfly garden

Volunteer Spotlight: Get Outdoors Award Recipients

Volunteers like Felicity Potter and Ashley Taylor help make us the #BestPlace4Girls! To salute their dedication to connecting girls and adults with nature, they received the Get Outdoors Award during our 2019 Volunteer Celebration. 

Ashley oversees her troop’s Butterfly Effect project each year. Through the multi-faceted experience, Troop 6136 creates new habitats for monarch butterflies by planting gardens and educating the public. Most recently, the girls spearheaded a “no waste” challenge at a Girl Scout camping trip.

Felicity’s innovation is the San Marcos Service Unit’s Night Owls Camping Co-Op, a girl-led group that plans camping trips. These excursions make it easier for Girl Scouts who share a passion for the great outdoors to connect. Leaders and girls can join the co-op at any time, and volunteers take turns leading camping trips.

To learn about Girl Scout volunteer opportunities, visit

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Less than half of new entrepreneurs are women, according to the Girl Scout Research Institute’s new study. Girl Scouting equips girls to overcome these and other barriers to entrepreneurship:

  • Not knowing where to start (34 percent)
  • Fear of failure (29 percent)
  • Perception of an uphill battle because of their gender (three out of four girls) 
November 2019
Girl Scouts with housing community resident

Volunteers Make it Possible

I am deeply thankful for our volunteers. They are the reason we are able to serve more than 23,000 girls!

I want to take a moment to express special appreciation for our troop leaders, including Abbey Boull’t of Lemon Grove. Her Troop 4899 is earning the Girl Scout Bronze Award by providing a long-term program to brighten the lives of the elderly residents of Talmadge Gateway Supportive Housing Community (pictured).

The Girl Scouts developed a year-long activity calendar to help combat the loneliness of the medically frail senior residents, who were previously homeless. Abbey’s Juniors hosted three events, then recruited other troops to take a turn. “The girls worked together, made compromises, and learned so much through this process,” Abbey says.

Next up for Troop 4899: using cookie proceeds to fund camping adventures and the Junior Aide Award they will earn by guiding a group of Daisies and Brownies working on the Pets badge and 3 Cheers for Animals Journey.

Next spring, Abbey’s troop will bridge to the Cadette level. Inspired by the impact of their Bronze project, they are already starting to consider the challenge of earning the Silver Award. Several girls are setting their sights even further ahead…all the way to the Gold Award.

Troop leaders, this is just one example of the incredible outcomes you are achieving with your girls. While your role isn’t always easy, anything worthwhile has its challenges. Thank you for your commitment to Girl Scouts. Please know that you are making our community and our world a better place.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you again to our volunteers…and happy Thanksgiving to all!

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Carol M Dedrich 
Chief Executive Officer

Honor flight

Saluting Our Nation’s Veterans

Local Girl Scouts are keeping their promise to serve their country, paying tribute to the men and women who keep us safe. Last month, a group of them (pictured) greeted World War II veterans and other service members returning from an Honor Flight visit to veterans memorials in Washington, DC. Others will march in the Veterans Day parade on Nov. 11. And on Dec. 14, Girl Scouts from throughout San Diego County will gather at seven local cemeteries to decorate vets’ graves with holiday wreaths.

Annual and Planned Giving Donors Honored at Garden Soirée

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Members of our Promise Circle (who make annual gifts of $1,000 or more) and the Juliette Gordon Low Society were guests of honor at an appreciation reception in the garden of Sue and John Major’s home (photos). Sue, a member of the Girl Scouts of the USA Board of Directors, joined San Diegans Connie Matsui—who serves on the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts Board—and Girl Scouts San Diego Board Chair Liza Crisafi for a panel presentation, sharing insights from a local, national, and international perspective.

Dianne Belk, another panelist, is founding chair of the national Juliette Gordon Low Society, which honors those who remember Girl Scouts in their wills and estate plans. Dianne described the positive, long-term impact of planned giving, then joined Mimi Murray—chair of the local Juliette Gordon Low Society Committee—to present membership pins to the following members: Liza Crisafi, Nina De Burgh, Danell Scarborough Gavares, Divya Kakaiya, Lani Longacre, Betty Peterson, Nichole Peterson, Liz Sheahan, and Pam Stubbs. Sincere thanks to members of both groups for the generosity that is funding life-changing opportunities for girls.

Camp Exec

Camp Exec: Building Leaders

A powerhouse team of female professionals mentored Girl Scouts in grades 10-12 during the Camp Exec leadership experience (photos) at Camp Whispering Oaks. During the weekend session, the girls practiced social and business etiquette and learned to network and develop a personal brand.

Teamwork activities on the challenge course were a highlight for high school junior Katalyna Lavarez (pictured at right), while lessons about professionalism and networking were of special interest to sophomore Shalene Bryant. In addition, Shalene says, “My mentor, Ambra Virban, was a Gold Award Girl Scout, and hearing about her Gold project was inspiring to me as I begin my own path to that award.”

Ambra and her colleague Melanie Amarasekara are Northrop Grumman employees. Camp Exec mentors also included Alison Bushan (Girl Scouts San Diego’s director of brand and marketing); attorney Brigid Campo; Jennipher Harris, DVM (Premier Veterinary Surgery); and Hilary Haskell (SDG&E). 

Dia de los Muertos

Opening Doors to Girl Scouting

“Girl Scouts is the #BestPlace4Girls!” is the message at volunteer-hosted events that introduce our organization to the community. Recently, Troop 5912, led by Irene Barajas, held a Día de los Muertos-themed gathering at our Balboa Campus. The bring-a-friend celebration showcased cultural elements of the popular Mexican holiday, as well as Girl Scout lore. Guests savored culinary specialties like homemade pozole (hominy-chicken soup topped with salsa, lime juice, cabbage, avocado, and radishes), had their faces painted, and viewed a traditional “altar” that paid homage to Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low. Our corporate partner Mission Federal Credit Union hosted an activities booth at the event.

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This month, girls can learn about Girl Scouting and community service as they create Thanksgiving centerpieces for an assisted living facility. Sessions will be held at the libraries in Spring Valley (Wednesday, Nov. 13) and Rancho San Diego (Thursday, Nov. 14). Visit and scroll down to the map to find details about these and other recruitment events near you.

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Girl Scouts is the world's best leadership program for girls. Research proves that Girl Scouts’ single-gender, girl-centered environment creates a setting where girls thrive. When compared to non-Girl Scout peers, Girl Scouts:

  • Develop a strong sense of self, step outside their comfort zones, and build the bravery and resilience that come from taking risks, learning from mistakes, and trying again.
  • Earn better grades and have higher academic and career aspirations.
  • Are more likely to enter professions in business, law, or the STEM fields, where women are traditionally underrepresented.
October 2019
Ana, National Gold Award Girl Scout, speaking

Brightest Gold

Breaking news: I am thrilled to be in New York City today, Oct. 11, to witness Girl Scouts of the USA name San Diego’s Ana De Almeida Amaral a National Gold Award Girl Scout! The award ceremony (press release, Facebook Live video) coincides with International Day of the Girl.

We are witnessing history in the making, as this is the first time we have a National Gold Award Girl Scout from our council! Ana is among just ten young women nationwide selected for the highest of the highest honors. The national distinction is given to changemakers who developed exceptionally innovative, sustainable solutions for global issues while earning their Gold Award.  

Many of us had the opportunity to hear Ana’s story first-hand during her riveting speech at Urban Campout: All That Glitters is Gold.

For her Gold Award project, Ana developed High Tech High Chula Vista’s first ethnic studies class—an official elective course that is completely student-led (San Diego Union-Tribune article). Her curriculum embraces the histories, stories, and cultures of people of color from their perspective. Ana caught the attention of a Forbes journalist, who noted how her timely efforts have dovetailed with a broader movement to make ethnic studies a requirement in California schools.

Ana’s leadership journey now continues at Stanford University, where she is majoring in comparative race and ethnic studies, as well as political science.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Carol M Dedrich 
Chief Executive Officer

Urban Campout

Girl Scouts Benefit from Urban Campout

San Diego Girl Scouts say “Thank you Urban Campers!” (:05 video). Hundreds of friends of Girl Scouts San Diego gathered under the stars to play, dance, dine, and raise funds at Urban Campout: All That Glitters is Gold (photos) last month. We greatly appreciate everyone who made this year’s festivities possible, including major sponsors Qualcomm and Southwest.

Greeting guests were (pictured, from left) Board Chair Liza Crisafi; Gold Award Girl Scouts Ana De Almeida Amaral, Laura Christensen, and Cadence Dobias; CEO Carol Dedrich; and Honorary Committee Chair Nina de Burgh.

  • Archery at Urban Campout
  • Bidding at Urban Campout
  • Dancing at Urban Campout

With a bright spotlight on the Gold Award and other Girl Scout leadership experiences, our 22nd annual fun-fundraiser showcased why we’re the #BestPlace4Girls. If you missed out, it’s not too late to make a gift to Girl Scouts. Then join us next year for Urban Campout 2020, co-chaired by Kimberley Layton and Dr. Janice Kurth.

Paige and Isabella hiking

Girl Scout Hikers, Find, Return Lost Wallet

As 10News San Diego reported, during a Girl Scout backpacking trip to Mt. Whitney, teens Isabella Catanzaro and Paige Hill discovered a bag half-buried in the dirt. Inside was a large amount of cash as well as a visa and passport of New Zealander Kirstine Collins. While hiking the Pacific Crest Trail during a snow storm, she had misplaced the bag. The Ambassador Girl Scouts successfully tracked down Collins and returned the much-needed belongings. Overjoyed, and grateful for the girls’ efforts, Collins donated $1,000 to Girl Scouts San Diego’s backpacking program.

Girl Scout Hikers

Oct. 18 Hikerfest Designed for Adventure-Seekers of All Levels

Girls and adults: Learn about exciting hiking and backpacking opportunities during our free Hikerfest on Friday, Oct. 18, 6-9 p.m. (CBS/CW TV spot). Speakers will include Claire Wernstedt-Lynch and Tenny Ostrem, backpackers who completed the first “thru-hike” of the U.S.-Mexico border this year. The women walked from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, a trip across four states, several cities, a national park, and numerous small towns.

While girls must be in grades 7-12 in order to go on trips, Hikerfest is open to experienced, brand-new, and future hikers of all ages. Register at; contact volunteer Ann Funk, 619-504-7892 for questions.


Go Nuts for Fall Products, Now Through Dec. 4

Jump start your holiday shopping through Girl Scouts’ fall product program! By participating, troops launch the new membership year with pre-cookie season funding for activities like badgework, camping trips, and community service projects. (See story below.)

New confections such as Thin Mint Almonds and Barbeque-Flavored Snack Mix make delectable gifts—as do returning favorites like Chocolate Covered Almonds, English Butter Toffee, and Mint Treasures candy (packaged in a charming “Girl Scout uniform” tin). Contact your favorite Girl Scout or visit for details about these and additional troop fundraising options, such as magazine subscriptions.

Leaders and girls working out project details

Volunteer Spotlight: Bronwyn Mahieu and Ruth Petersen

Brownie Troop 1415, co-led by Ruth Petersen (green shirt) and Bronwyn Mahieu, are planning a fun-packed year of activities funded in part by our fall product program. As Daisies, the troop created a butterfly garden with a portion of their proceeds. The girl-led project included activities like planting lantana and other butterfly-friendly flowers, letting ladybugs loose, and decorating and building a bird bath. They recently decided how to invest fall 2019 earnings; examples include cabin camping, hiking, and pottery. The Brownies (who include Ruth's daughter Lily and Bronwyn's daughter Juliana, pictured with their moms) also look forward to embarking on Girl Scout Cookie-powered adventures. 

  • Lily learned about worms as part of her troop’s butterfly garden project.
  • Girl Scout butterfly garden
  • Girls working on butterfly garden
Why Girl Scouts Matters

Why Girl Scouts Matters

As the #BestPlace4Girls, our organization prepares girls for a lifetime of leadership. From surfing in Waikiki or programming robots to learning to play a guitar or make hydration kits for Honduran children, girls have boundless opportunities to explore, discover, and just be themselves. Throughout the cumulative Girl Scout Leadership Experience, Girl Scout programs focus on four core areas:

  • STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)
  • Outdoors
  • Life skills
  • Entrepreneurship 
September 2019
Gold Award College Students Prepared to Lead
Gold Award ceremony keynote speaker Coreen Petti (left), a Cool Woman of 2019, and I congratulate Sanjana Mody and all the Gold Award Girl Scouts for their remarkable achievements.

Gold Award College Students Prepared to Lead

I am so proud of all our Gold Award Girl Scouts and how they are making a difference in the world. And it is exciting to see members of our Gold Award Girl Scout Class of 2019 take their leadership skills to college!

Sabrina Darian, for example, is studying film and television production at Loyola Marymount after earning a Gold Award for creating a website that helps middle schoolers cope with mental illness. Makena Kronemyer, who addressed freshwater shortages by raising awareness of improper farming methods and the importance of buying organic food, is majoring in interactive media at Miami University. And Sanjana Mody led a campaign to stop human trafficking by partnering with Project Concern International and the Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition to educate and protect girls. The future physician is a behavioral neuroscience major and global engagement minor at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

The Gold Award program helps build and expand girls’ talents, perspectives, and confidence—all important to navigate life’s challenges and thrive. These young women were among the 61 Gold Award Girl Scouts we honored during a ceremony in June.

The major component of earning the Gold Award is to develop a meaningful, sustainable solution for one of society’s most pressing issues (event program, news stories). The learning and experience puts girls on a path to succeed in college, careers, service, and in life. Gold Award Girl Scouts are the leaders that campuses, employers, and communities need.

Please join me in celebrating the contributions of Gold Award Girl Scouts from all eras at Urban Campout: All that Glitters is Gold on Friday, Sept. 13! Read on for details. It is going to be quite the party.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Carol M Dedrich 
Chief Executive Officer

Urban Campout

Urban Campers: Bid on Cruise, Derby, and Airline Packages!

Get ready to raise your paddle on Friday, Sept. 13 for exciting auction items like a Holland America Line cruise, a Kentucky Derby package, and Southwest Airlines tickets! At Urban Campout: All That Glitters is Gold, you can also play, dine, and dance under the stars. We look forward to seeing you at this golden opportunity to enjoy a fabulous evening with friends while supporting local Girl Scouts!

Special thanks to Qualcomm and Southwest Airlines for underwriting our 22nd annual fun fundraiser for grown-ups. Additional sponsors include Nadine and Carlo Daleo, Barbara and David Groce, Mission Federal Credit Union, The San Diego Foundation, Sharp Health Plan, Wells Fargo, and KPBS.  

Zoe went zip lining during a Costa Rica-Panama trip.

Ticket to Travel: Expo Set for Sept. 28

Globetrotters Zoe Antonoff, Rebecca Baumann, Jaddin Thomas, and Mercedes Howard are a few of the local Girl Scouts who traveled to faraway places and learned about different cultures through the Girl Scout Destinations program (photos) this summer.

Zoe just returned from what she calls “the most amazing trip” to Panama and Costa Rica. Funded entirely with cookie program earnings, the excursion involved zip lining, rafting, and hiking through rainforests, along with service experiences like painting a schoolhouse, rescuing baby sea turtles, and planting native trees. She and a group of other Girl Scouts and chaperones from throughout the U.S. also sampled local cuisine, examined artwork, met indigenous families, and slept in a primitive structure.

Zoe, who previously took a Destinations trip to Switzerland, was thrilled to fit in one more Destination before heading off to UC Berkeley to study environmental science.

The three-time Elite Cookie Entrepreneur (12,260 total packages of cookies from 2010-2019) has attended Girl Scout camp since her first year, thanks to cookie rewards.

“I am very grateful for this opportunity, and for all my other cookie-funded Girl Scouting experiences!” Zoe said.

  • Rebecca attended space camp
  • Mercedes voyaged to the Great Barrier Reef
  • Jaddin (far right) explored the Channel Islands

The scoop on the other Destinations travelers (pictured above, from left): Rebecca attended space camp in Huntsville, AL. “Advanced Space Academy was a blast!” said Rebecca. “My team engineered heat shields and rockets, launched our rockets, and worked through multiple space mission simulations. I learned a great deal about engineering, the origins of space missions, and what the future of space travel might look like.”

Mercedes Howard (center) voyaged to the Great Barrier Reef as part of an Australia-New Zealand tour, and Jaddin Thomas (far right) explored the Channel Islands.

Girl Scout Destinations are the ultimate adventure for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors. To learn about upcoming opportunities for girls and adult volunteers, attend the free Destinations Expo on Saturday, Sept. 28, 4-6 p.m. Volunteer Deb Lechner will host the event at our Balboa Campus. We provide financial assistance for trips on a limited basis for families in need; donations welcome.

Volunteer Spotlight: Rebekah Hill

Volunteer Spotlight: Rebekah Hill

During our Outdoor Skills Weekend, Friday-Sunday, Oct. 4-6, session host Rebekah Hill (pictured) will show other volunteers how girls can use power tools to create safe homes for mason bees. Bekah, whose many volunteer roles include leading troops for her two daughters, is an outdoor enthusiast who loves coaching others to protect the environment. She received the Cookie Award during our 2019 Volunteer Celebration.

Bekah is among 40 volunteers leading sessions for 200 adults during Outdoor Skills Weekend at camps Whispering Oaks and Winacka. The popular, annual getaway is a great opportunity to explore the new high adventure badges, take part in canoeing or archery, learn new skills, connect with other volunteers, and enjoy the mountain air. Girl Scout volunteers, alums, and prospective adult members are welcome to attend and bring friends.

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Why Girl Scouts Matters

The Gold Award is the pinnacle of the unmatched Girl Scout leadership experiences that studies prove make our organization the #BestPlace4Girls.

Gold Award Girl Scouts:

  • Gain key life skills like strategic thinking, communication, collaboration, problem solving, and time management
  • Distinguish themselves in the college admission process
  • Earn exclusive academic scholarships
  • Enlist in the military one rank higher
  • Become adult leaders of strong moral character 
August 2019
Campers Explore Their Potential

Campers Explore Their Potential

At Girl Scout camps from the mountains to the seashores, more than 3,400 girls are diving into adventures of a lifetime.

Our camp sessions offer up countless ways to try new things, including experimenting with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers. At Discovery Day Camp, for instance, Mia, Penelope (pictured), and other young “mechanical engineers” designed and built solar cars.

The session, hosted each July by our Girl Scout Outreach (GSO) team, introduces girls from under-represented neighborhoods to the power of Girl Scouting. Eleven-year old Anyra joined Girl Scouts as a shy and nervous first-grader. Now, after several years of attending Discovery Day Camp, she is an enthusiastic ambassador for our organization (story). Taking part in Girl Scout day and overnight camps was key to developing the bold, adventure-driven leader she was meant to be.

Read on for an exciting announcement from Girl Scouts of the USA about the new outdoor (and STEM!) badges that will provide even more outdoor programs for Anyra and other girls.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Carol M Dedrich 
Chief Executive Officer

GSUSA Unveils 42 New Badges

GSUSA Unveils 42 New Badges

The #BestPlace4Girls just got even better! Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) recently rolled out 42 new outdoor and STEM badges designed to mobilize girls to become changemakers. By exploring topics like snow camping, wilderness hiking, civics, cybersecurity, coding, and space science (see next story), girls can take control of their own leadership experiences. The new options include Outdoor High Adventure badges that feature, for the first time in Girl Scouts’ history, two distinct activity options. As they do the badgework, girls will discover how they want to experience and influence the world. 

Girl Scout astronaut

Space Science Badges Take Flight on Capitol Hill

Girl Scouts is gearing up for future trips to the moon by launching the next generation of female astronauts! Girl Scouts of the USA representatives participated in a briefing on Capitol Hill to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing and promote GSUSA’s newly announced Space Science badges.

Funded by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and led by the SETI Institute, the badge series encourages girls to reach for the stars.

Panelists also discussed the historic contributions of the first women to work at NASA and how engaging more girls in STEM will build a large, inclusive workforce to meet the needs of our digital world (Yahoo news article).

Dawn Martin and Girl Scout daugher Grace

Volunteer Spotlight: Get Outdoors Award Recipients

Emmy Davis, Dawn Martin, and Margo Redford are blazing new trails, getting even more girls and adults out and about to explore nature. We presented this tireless trio with Get Outdoors awards during our Volunteer Celebration in April. Their nominators wrote:

Emmy brings out the explorer in everyone! Alongside longtime volunteer Cindy Moore, she developed new maps and hiking trail markers at camps Winacka and Whispering Oaks, and installed “owl boxes” where girls can safely observe the birds’ nesting and feeding activities.

As part of the Park Hills Service Unit’s #GetOutdoors patch program, Dawn (pictured with her daughter, Grace) created the whimsically-named “No Bummer Summer” patch. Some of the groups who earned it hiked to Potato Chip Rock, went on an overnight backpacking trek to the Laguna Mountains, camped at Lake Morena, and explored the Mesa Rim climbing gym.

Margo is a specialized council trainer who instructs girls on canoeing and has led high-adventure trips to the Colorado River and Black Canyon. She teaches girls to canoe on Lake Cuyamaca, Mission Bay, and Camp Winacka’s Upper Lake.

Congrats to these and our other 2019 Get Outdoors award recipients, Felicity Potter and Ashley Taylor. (Watch for a spotlight about them in the near future!) To learn about volunteer opportunities for outdoor programs and other leadership experiences, contact Volunteer Placement Coordinator Loretta Turner, 619-610-0728.

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Why Girl Scouts Matters

From the backyard to the backcountry, connecting with the great outdoors in a girl-led setting is a monumental benefit of Girl Scout membership. Studies show that when Girl Scouts get outside, they:

  • Discover that they can better solve problems and overcome challenges
  • Develop leadership skills, build social bonds, and are happier overall
  • Become team players and care more about protecting our environment

By spending quality time outdoors, girls increase their exposure to nature, and they thrive physically, emotionally, and intellectually.

July 2019
2019 Gold Award Girl Scouts

Gold Award Girl Scouts Step up to Lead! 

Hundreds of proud family members, friends, community leaders, and Girl Scout volunteers joined us for our Gold Award ceremony on June 15. Special guests taking the stage were emcee/Girl Scout volunteer Perette Godwin; keynote speaker Coreen Petti (a Cool Woman of 2019); Board Chair Liza Crisafi; and Gold Award Girl Scouts Judy Pritchett (who earned a Curved Bar in 1963), Linda Wightman (First Class Award, 1976), and Steph Dawes (Gold Award, 2004).

The Gold Award is the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. To earn it, Girl Scouts change the world by creating sustainable solutions that address society’s greatest challenges. This year’s 61 Gold Award Girl Scouts completed projects that ranged from preventing human trafficking to helping close the gender gap in science, technology, engineering, and math careers. Other topics included championing for inclusion and diversity; protecting wildlife and the environment; providing new resources for people with disabilities; teaching life skills to youth and seniors; and educating about health and wellness. View photos, the event program, and TV coverage on our Gold Award Ceremony web page.

Our 61 Gold Award Girl Scouts are among just five percent of Girl Scouts nationwide who achieve this top-tier credential. As Gold Award Girl Scouts, they can distinguish themselves in the college admissions process, earn college scholarships, and skip a rank when enlisting in the military.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Carol M Dedrich 
Chief Executive Officer

Daisies Help Kids with Cancer
Karen Terra, CEO of the Emilio Nares Foundation, accepts a Girl Scout Cookie proceeds donation from Daisy Lyric and her troopmates at Francis Parker Lower School.

Daisies Help Kids with Cancer

The kindergartners of co-op Daisy Troop 4875 are living proof that you’re never too young to make the world a better place! After taking it to a vote, these kind-hearted girls gave a third of their Girl Scout Cookie proceeds to the Emilio Nares Foundation, a nonprofit that supports pediatric cancer patients and their families. Co-led by Caroline Lilley, Stephanie Virgen-Slane, Carolyn Apostolides, and Amy Zanotti, the troop allocated another third of their cookie earnings for a girl-planned ice cream party, and set aside the rest for upcoming adventures.

We love hearing how Girl Scouts and the community are benefiting from cookie money. Visit to share your girls’ cookie story.

Camp: the #BestPlace4Girls!
Campers climb the traverse wall at camp with encouragement from spotters-in-training.

Camp: the #BestPlace4Girls!

Girl Scout summer camp is in full swing, with nearly 200 action-packed sessions underway! Camps with spots remaining include Wildlife Explorers, Comic Craziness, and Galaxy Quest at Camp Whispering Oaks, and our Technology Goddesses and Packs to Paddles day camps.

Campers grow as leaders as they discover new interests and challenge themselves through undertakings like wilderness survival, mechanical engineering experiments, music exploration, kayaking, and animal encounters.

Each of our day and overnight (“resident”) camps blend unique, theme-based elements with traditional outdoor activities. Girl Scout camp is open to all girls in grades K-12, and financial assistance is available. Visit our camp web page for details or to register your girl—or make the gift of camp! For questions, please contact our Customer Care team. 

Volunteer Spotlight: Deanna Mackey
Girl Scout Troop 3105 learned how to kayak and paddleboard with support from co-leaders Deanna (pictured) and Julie during an outing at the Mission Bay Aquatic Center.

Volunteer Spotlight: Deanna Mackey 

Get the scoop on best leadership practices from the best source: rock star volunteers like Deanna Mackey! During her Developing Leaders session at our Volunteer Conference on Saturday, Aug. 3, she will share girl leadership case studies and facilitate a group discussion. She will also co-host a Silver Award training.

Deanna, a longtime friend of Girl Scouts San Diego, leads the 20-member, senior-level Troop 3105 with co-leader Julie Martinez. The troop has been together for 11 years. Deanna's additional roles include past board member, strategic planning committee chair, day camp volunteer, donor, and Urban Campout honorary committee member. 

She is one of the many adult members contributing to the Volunteer Conference—where attendees will network, build skills, and learn about Girl Scouting opportunities and resources. The day will launch with a welcoming session featuring Andrea Bastiani Archibald, Ph.D., Girl Scouts of the USA’s chief girl and family engagement officer. Register by Sunday, July 21. For more information about the conference or volunteer opportunities, contact

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Research proves that Girl Scouts is the best place for girls to explore, discover, and just be themselves! From adventuring outdoors or experimenting with science to saving a park or developing new skills, Girl Scouting prepares girls for a lifetime of leadership. Through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, they gain skills in four core areas:

  • STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)
  • Outdoors
  • Life skills, and
  • Entrepreneurship 
June 2019
OTM Sendoff 2019

Celebrating Operation Thin Mint

Our Girl Scout spirit was shining bright and mighty at the 18th annual Operation Thin MintSM (OTM) Sendoff Family Festival (photos), hosted by the USS Midway Museum for the 15th time in the venue’s 15-year history! Together, we celebrated shipping 165,355 packages of Girl Scout Cookies to the military—that’s 4,200 more than last year.

A record 48 Girl Scouts became Elite Cookie Entrepreneurs by selling 2,019 or more packages. During the ceremony, we cheered those high achievers along with the 374 OTM Superstars who garnered 100-plus cookie package donations. Special guests also included Staff Sergeant Adrienne Burgess, a Marine who received cookies while deployed, as well as Nina de Burgh, the great-great niece of Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low.

KUSI reporter and Girl Scout alum Jenny Milkowski emceed the festive event, which included performances of “Taps,” opportunities to write “notes to show we care” for deployed military troops (please keep them coming!), and dancing.

Thank you to everyone who took part. 

Yours in Girl Scouting,


Carol M. Dedrich, MBA, CFRE
Chief Executive Officer

Bronze Award Troop 5930

Earning Highest Honors Equips Girls to Lead

The road to girls’ future success is paved in Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards! As the highest accolades available to Girl Scout Juniors, Cadettes, and Seniors/Ambassadors (respectively), these award programs prepare girls for a lifetime of leadership.

Junior Troop 5930, led by Patty Cruz, recently earned a Bronze Award. The girls supported San Diego Pug Rescue by creating “wheelchairs” and bellybands to help special needs dogs to walk (troop video). And, with guidance from leader Ashley Adum, members of Cadette Troop 3859 earned a Silver Award. To make an outdoor space more kid-friendly, they teamed up with the City of San Diego’s Parks and Recreation department to revamp Starkey Park (article).

More than 400 Juniors have already received Bronze Awards this year, and we recently held events honoring 435 Silver Award Girl Scouts. Next, we’ll celebrate the achievements of 61 Gold Award Girl Scouts on Saturday, June 15. Applause to all the 2019 highest award recipients!

GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo

National CEO Visits San Diego

Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Sylvia Acevedo recently joined distinguished panelists Girl Scout alum Chelsea Clinton (vice chair, Clinton Foundation); Lynn Sherr (former ABC News: 20/20 correspondent); and Jedidah Isler, Ph.D. (assistant professor of Physics and Astronomy, Dartmouth College) for the Sally Ride Science Women in Leadership event at UCSD (article).

Sylvia also spoke at a gathering spotlighting the commitment we share with National University to preparing the workforce of tomorrow, including increasing diversity among future STEM leaders. Girl Scouts San Diego CEO Carol Dedrich, National University’s Dr. Nancy Rohland-Heinrich, and Athena CEO Holly Smithson also participated in the program.

Urban Campout Committee
Event committee members include (left to right) Ruth Carlson, Christina Herschelman, Paul Nestor, Liza Pinard, Penney Homel, and Ann Holler.

Urban Campout: All That Glitters is Gold

Early bird discounts for individual tickets and VIP tables are now available for Urban Campout: All That Glitters is Gold. Honorary Chair Nina de Burgh invites you to join us for our 22nd annual fun fundraiser for grown-ups on Friday, Sept. 13, 6-11 p.m. This year’s theme is inspired by the Girl Scout Gold Award.

You’ll enjoy all the favorite Urban Campout traditions: archery, s’mores, games, bidding, and dining and dancing under the stars. Special thanks to our honorary and event committees for making this year’s festivities possible.

For information about sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, contact Veronica Worthington, 619-610-0801. 

Camp Exec girl and mentor

Mentors Invited to Camp Exec

Girl Scouts is the best leadership development organization for girls, thanks in great part to sage volunteers who guide them and funders who provide financial support. Opportunities to shape the lives of future leaders include our Camp Exec weekend, set for Friday-Sunday, Sept. 27-29.

We invite senior-level female professionals to join us as mentors for Girl Scouts in grades 10-12. The executives will be grouped with girls into "squads" tailored to the participants' strengths and interests. Girls will learn to network, practice social and business etiquette, project a positive image, and develop a personal brand. Camp Exec attendees will also enjoy an enriching array of outdoor activities.

Visit our website for information about participating as a mentor, sponsor, or Girl Scout camper.

Outreach Mt. Adventure

Building Leaders: Mountain Adventure Weekend

Fourth-grader Kyrako (center) took the “Rock the Boat” challenge at our recent Mountain Adventure Weekend at Camp Whispering Oaks. She was among 100 campers from the Girl Scout Outreach program who explored the outdoors and tried new things, including teamwork and leadership-building activities (photos, video).

The fun began as girls traveled to camp on a bus funded by San Diego Rotary. Many participants were first-time campers who arrived feeling nervous and shy. But within moments of getting outdoors, they were all in! Guided by caring staff and former campers who are now Girl Scout program aides, the girls jumped out of their comfort zones into new experiences. The high ropes course, hiking, s’mores-making, and mingling with animals were highlights. At the end of the action-packed session, the mountain adventurers returned to their families, eager to register for summer camp and other Girl Scout opportunities.

Special thanks to Rotarian Suzanne Frontz, a Girl Scouts San Diego Board member, for her continued to support of this life-altering experience.

Giving Wisely

Juliette Gordon Low Society Spotlight: Pearl Szymanski

Get to know Pearl Szymanski—and find other inspiring stories, as well as tax-savings and investment tips—in the latest issue of Giving Wisely. A longtime friend of Girl Scouts, the Coronadan has volunteered since 1978 in various capacities, including as a troop leader, day camp director, and organizer for our 100th anniversary celebrations. Pearl and her late husband, Andrew, became members of our Juliette Gordon Low Society in 1994 by making Girl Scouts San Diego a beneficiary of their estate. For information about planned giving opportunities, contact Merle Brodie, 619-610-0804.

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Girl Scouts is the #BestPlace4Girls! Research proves that girls thrive in the all-girl, girl-led, girl-friendly environment that only Girl Scouting provides. They…

  • Develop a strong sense of self
  • Seek challenges and learn from setbacks
  • Display positive values
  • Form and maintain healthy relationships
  • Identify and solve problems in the community
May 2019
VCAM 2019

Celebrating Exemplary Volunteers

I was overjoyed by the camaraderie during our recent Volunteer Celebration, which took place after this year’s annual meeting at the Hilton San Diego on Mission Bay! It was an incredible day as we honored 65 stellar volunteers—including three recipients of the Thanks Badge, our highest accolade for adults (story).

I truly believe that the power of Girl Scouts rests in our volunteers. It is through them that that we are able to reach more girls, have a higher impact, and—by delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience—make our community a stronger place.

I was thrilled to have KUSI News Co-anchor Ginger Jeffries as our emcee. She grew up as a Girl Scout, and it was clear from her remarks and personal approach that she understands the importance of our mission and our volunteers.

Thank you to all who made the Volunteer Celebration possible, including Recognitions Task Group members Liliana Acosta, Jamie Anderson, Pamela Marvuglio, Lisa Ronco, and Leina Veniegas-Blatchley—and my amazing staff!

Yours in Girl Scouting,


Carol M. Dedrich, MBA, CFRE
Chief Executive Officer

Spring Into STEM

Girl Scouts Spring into STEM!

Girls coded robots, discovered how to make a “volcano” erupt, witnessed how trash harms marine life, and experimented with science lab instruments during Spring into STEM (photos). More than 140 Girl Scouts in grades K-8 attended the one-day session at our Balboa Campus, where local women STEM professionals led interactive activities to ignite girls’ interest in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Upcoming STEM-themed happenings include Circuit Breakers and Investigation Station Girl Scout camps. Also on the horizon is our Family STEAM (STEM+art) Day for girls who participate in programs hosted by the Girl Scout Outreach team at under-served schools. Plus, many of our community partners and volunteers provide STEM program experiences

Gold Award Girl Scout Julia Mendoza

Gold Award Girl Scouts Changing the World

On Saturday, June 15, Julia Mendoza (left) and 60 other Gold Award Girl Scouts will take the stage for a ceremony to celebrate earning the highest honor in Girl Scouting.

As part of her Gold Award project, Julia led a campaign to motivate her peers to register to vote, get involved in social issues, and voice their opinions. Julia took on the project after discovering a growing disinterest in politics among teens. To raise awareness of the importance of every vote, she hosted community forums and created to share unbiased information and resources.

In recognition of Julia’s achievements, California Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner Hovath recently presented her with a Young Leader Award.

Julia, a member of the San Dieguito High Academy Class of 2019, looks forward to studying political science and law and plans to continue advocating for social involvement.

CEO Carol Dedrich with Thanks Badge recipients Jeni Barajas and Kassie Panian
CEO Carol Dedrich (left) with Jeni and Kassie

Volunteer Spotlight: 2019 Thanks Badge Honorees

Our Volunteer Celebration culminated when Jeni Barajas and Kassie Panian received the Thanks Badge. Earlier that day, during the annual meeting, outgoing Board Chair Regina Buckley received the same honor.

Jeni epitomizes what Girl Scouting is all about. Her positive spirit resonates in everything she does, from leading her daughter’s multi-level troop, to organizing service unit and councilwide events. She has a gift for drawing people into Girl Scouting—which one of her nominators calls the “Jeni effect.” She has also made extraordinary strides in the areas of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and outdoor program experiences.

Kassie teamed up with her adult daughter Justine to create and grow an innovative, college student-led Girl Scout troop program. To date, 84 students have led troops at five under-served elementary schools. Some students have even continued leading beyond their initial semester. In her many other capacities, including interim service unit manager, Kassie mentors volunteers who seek her sage guidance.

Regina, immediate past board chair, is a true champion of Girl Scouts. In the words of CEO Carol Dedrich, Regina has been “…an integral part of elevating Girl Scouts San Diego as one of the best councils in the country and…is an inspiration to girls and our volunteers.” “Through your leadership and support,” Carol told Regina, “our membership is increasing and our effectiveness in delivering our vital programs continues to evolve at the speed of girls.” Regina will continue to serve on the board for an additional year, and she has been elected to the board development committee.

Thank you, and congratulations, Jeni, Kassie, and Regina!

Liza Crisafi and Regina Buckley

Annual Meeting Highlights 

During our annual meeting, we were delighted to welcome Liza Crisafi (left) as Girl Scouts San Diego’s new board chair! Liza, a dedicated board member and volunteer, was an Urban Campout chair in 2016 and 2017. For her first official act, she presented her predecessor, Regina Buckley, with the Thanks Badge (story), the highest honor for Girl Scout volunteers.

Nearly 150 GSSD members attended the annual meeting. The gathering brings together board members, delegates, and members-at-large for a state-of-the-council address. Read more »

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Girl Scouts are 64 percent more likely to be “digital leaders” than boys (50 percent) and girls who are not Girl Scouts (42 percent), according to a new research study. Decoding the Digital Girl—Defining and Supporting Girls’ Digital Leadership spotlights how our organization prepares girls to use technology to improve their own lives and the world.

Key findings indicate that Girl Scouts particularly stand out when it comes to the issues described below.

Topic Girl Scouts   Non-Girl Scout girls Boys
Connecting to social issues and causes digitally 72% 51% 51%
Introducing friends or family to social issues or causes 63% 37% 44%
Discovering new talents or interests through technology 76% 62% 59%
Taking action by using technology to create 55% 41% 38%
April 2019
2019 Cool Women and Emerging Leader Girl Scouts
From left: Emerging Leader Girl Scout Alina Ho presented Cool Woman Nancy Jamison during the ceremony; Serena Ingram presented Coreen Petti, Destiny Wilcox presented Virginia Nelson, Dawn Barry was introduced by Anna Ensberg, and Gema Deleon was introduced by Cadence Dobias. Girl Scouts San Diego CEO Carol Dedrich is at right.

Cool Women Exemplify Leadership

Congratulations to the Cool Women Class of 2019! We honored these extraordinary individuals and introduced this year’s Emerging Leader Girl Scouts during a recent celebration at the Kona Kai Resort (photos).

One of the things that makes our organization the #BestPlace4Girls is the opportunity for them to gain wisdom and guidance from strong female role models. And that’s what our Cool Women program is all about. The Emerging Leaders—chosen for their outstanding potential and achievements—interacted with Cool Women and other mentors during a morning networking session.

KUSI News Anchor Sandra Maas emceed the event, which was co-chaired by Angie Lasagna of Mission Federal Credit Union and Joyce Glazer of San Diego Magazine, the media sponsor. We extend our thanks to all involved, including Champion STEM Supporter SDG&E, Leader Sponsor Southwest Airlines, and our Mentor Sponsors Blankinship & Foster, Dyna LLC, Mission Fed, and Wells Fargo.

By connecting these very Cool Women with the next generation of leaders, we’re building a foundation for the future!

Carol M. Dedrich, MBA, CFRE
Chief Executive Officer

Urban Campout 2019

Urban Campout: All That Glitters is Gold

Tickets are now available for Urban Campout: All That Glitters is Gold, happening on Friday, Sept. 13, 6-11 p.m. Our 22 nd annual fun fundraiser’s theme will focus on the Girl Scout Gold Award, our organization’s highest honor. For information about sponsorship or volunteer opportunities, contact  Annie Revel, 619-610-0807.

OTM Sendoff Family Festival

OTM Sendoff Packed with Family Fun

All hands on deck! Everyone’s invited to join us aboard the USS Midway Museum for our 18th annual Operation Thin Mint SM Sendoff Family Festival on Friday, May 10, 6-10 p.m. Round up friends, family, and all the Girl Scouts in your life for this free event. New this year: a boot-camp style obstacle course, expanded community partner booth activities, and a jump house!

Bring a picnic dinner or opt for food from the concession stand, and stay to enjoy the festivities. The high-energy evening will also include music, a patriotic pep rally, and helicopters landing and taking off with elite cookie entrepreneurs. Plus, take photos with military personnel and costumed cookie characters, shop at the Girl Scout shop, and explore the Midway after hours.

This is a wonderful opportunity to salute the military as we celebrate sending 165,355  packages of Girl Scout Cookies to deployed U.S. troops and veterans this year. See you there!

Thank You 2019 Cookie Customers

Thank You, Cookie Customers

If you’re a girl, family, volunteer, or customer who participated in the 2019 Girl Scout Cookie Program, thank you! Your collective contributions had an exponential impact on Girl Scouting. Every penny of proceeds stays local to fund Girl Scout programs like camp and troop activities.

Fun with numbers (infographic): This year’s smart cookie delivered a whopping 2,836,608 of America’s favorite confection…48 elite cookie entrepreneurs achieved their goal of 2,019 or more packages…909 girls earned their way to camp…and umpteen generous supporters donated 165,355 cookie packages to Operation Thin Mint. Ooh-rah!

Lifetime Member Kelly Waggonner and her girl
Lifetime Member Kelly Waggonner, shown with her Girl Scout daughter Katie, is among Girl Scouts San Diego’s longtime friends.

Lifetime Memberships: April Discount for Longtime Volunteers

Calling all adults and Girl Scouts turning 18: We invite you to become a lifetime Girl Scout member. During the month of April, volunteers who have served ten or more years receive a discounted rate of $200. By investing now in Girl Scouts, you’ll help support the next generation of leaders! Girl Scouts of the USA recently announced that, going forward, lifetime memberships will help cover annual dues for girls who wouldn’t otherwise have access to Girl Scouting. Sign up today! 

Volunteer Spotlight

Volunteer Spotlight: Belia Garneau

April is volunteer appreciation month, a great time to salute the rock star adults who give their all to Girl Scouting. One way to do that is by attending the Volunteer Celebration on Saturday, April 27 afternoon, following the annual meeting.

Honorees will include Appreciation Pin recipient Belia Garneau (pictured), an energetic and altruistic troop leader and service unit volunteer in Imperial Valley. She and her girls showcase their Girl Scout spirit by wearing Girl Scout uniforms or branded attire everywhere they go, from recruitment events to parades. Belia teaches her girls to “help people at all times”—from serving hot meals for Brown Bag Coalition in Calexico, volunteering as a color guard troop, or supporting the Cancer Resource Center of the Desert. In November, Belia organized a candlelight vigil on behalf of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin Troop 3055 to honor the three girls and an Imperial Valley volunteer who had lost their lives. Belia and her troop also provide financial support to help families in need participate in Girl Scouts.

We are grateful to all our volunteers who, like Belia, are the heart and soul of our organization!

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Girl Scouts run the world—and our accomplished alums are living evidence! They make up:

  • 100% of females who have served as U.S. Secretary of State
  • 90% of female astronauts
  • 72% of women U.S. Senators
March 2019

Celebrating Gold Award Girl Scouts of All Eras

Calling all Girl Scout alums who earned the Golden Eaglet (1916-1939), Curved Bar (1940-1963), or First Class (1963-1980) awards: You are now officially also Gold Award Girl Scouts!

Girl Scouts of the USA recently welcomed all recipients of our highest award into the Gold Award family (proclamation). While the name of the designation has changed over the years, its prestige and difficulty to attain has not. Gold Award Girl Scouts are an elite group of individuals, and many have gone to distinguish themselves as change-makers and prominent leaders in their communities.

To help all of our honorees proudly share their status, GSUSA is providing them with digital Gold Award badges to post on LinkedIn and other digital platforms.

I am excited to share that Linda Wightman, a longtime member of Girl Scouts San Diego’s Gold Award committee who has helped countless girls become Gold Award Girl Scouts, is one of the First Class alum recipients here in San Diego to be recognized as a Gold Award Girl Scout.

“Go Gold!” the biotech professional posted to LinkedIn. “I earned my First Class Award in 1976, and am excited to share my officially verified achievement from Girl Scouts of the USA.”

Congratulations to you, Linda, and to all our highest award alums who are new to the Gold Award Girl Scout spotlight!

Yours in Girl Scouting,
Carol M. Dedrich, MBA, CFRE
Chief Executive Officer

Emerging Leader Girl Scouts

Emerging Leader Girl Scouts Debut at Cool Women Luncheon

The 43 young women named as Emerging Leader Girl Scouts of 2019 will represent our organization at Girl Scout and community events throughout the year. Selected for their outstanding achievements and leadership abilities, they will have unique opportunities to showcase how Girl Scouts is the #BestPlace4Girls.

On Friday, March 29, the teens will meet an accomplished group of female professionals for a morning of mentoring, then participate in the 19th annual Cool Women luncheon and celebration, emceed by KUSI News anchor Sandra Maas.

Register now for your opportunity to meet our impressive Cool Women and Emerging Leaders of 2019. 

All About the Outdoors

Girl Scout Family is All About the Outdoors

Cadette Paige Hill and her father, Kevin, are two of the backpacking trainers preparing a group of Girl Scouts to summit Mt. Whitney this summer. They recently appeared with second-grader Farris Hill on News8/CW San Diego to showcase some of the family’s cookie program-powered excursions.

Kevin and his wife, Rebekah, both volunteer for Girl Scouts in multiple capacities, including supporting the cookie program. The Hill sisters use the cookie program as a springboard to exciting plans. Both have earned return trips to resident camp this summer, where Paige will be a counselor-in-training. Farris, meanwhile, recently completed the Brownie Outdoor Journey, earning the Hiker, Cabin Camper, and First Aid badges.

Registration is now underway for Girl Scout camp; all girls in grades K-12 are welcome. Volunteers needed: to help out with camp and outdoor programs, or serve in any other capacity, contact Volunteer Placement Coordinator Loretta Turner, 619-610-0728 for details.

Volunteer Spotlight

Volunteer Spotlight: Jennifer Griggs

From guiding her girls to the Silver Award to facilitating cookie-funded outdoor adventures to Zion National Park, Girl Scout volunteer Jennifer Griggs (far right) is on a mission to build go-getters, innovators, risk-takers and leaders!

Buoyed by the energy of the 8th-graders in her Cadette troop, home (courtesy of 13-year-old daughter Bailey), and class of middle school math students, Jennifer teams up with co-leader Kimberly Deloriea—her former Girl Scout troopmate—to facilitate meaningful troop leadership experiences. Outdoor adventures are especially popular with Troop 6670, with camping, wilderness hiking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and rock climbing excursions among favorite activities. They also earn their way to Girl Scout camp each year. Up next: a girl-led trip to Yosemite.

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Their ticket to these destinations? The Girl Scout Cookie Program, of course. And to educate the public about how the program teaches girls key business and life skills, the troop recently helped unveil a series of cookie program billboards sponsored by RSJ Law.

In addition to Bailey, Jennifer’s four-generation Girl Scout family includes her own mother and grandmother. We hope this family’s Girl Scout roots continue to grow in the years to come!

To explore Girl Scout volunteer opportunities, contact Volunteer Placement Coordinator Loretta Turner, 619-610-0728. 

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Why Girl Scouts Matters

For over 100 years, Girl Scouting has given girls the tools they need to lead, break barriers, and create positive change: that’s the Girl Scout Difference. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the culmination of the leadership experiences that girls build.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award for girls—and the most difficult to earn. It’s the shining example of what a Girl Scout can achieve by creating sustainable solutions for society’s greatest challenges.

In addition to making the world a better place, a Gold Award Girl Scout:

  • Stands apart in the college admissions process
  • Earns college scholarships
  • Accesses a powerful and supportive network of Gold Award Girl Scouts
  • Enlists in the U.S. military one rank higher than her peers
February 2019
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What’s the #BestPlace4Girls? Girl Scouts!

A big thank you to our volunteers, members, and friends—YOU are making a difference! This week, you successfully launched our annual Girl Scout Cookie Program, which supports everything else we do and helps make Girl Scouts San Diego the #BestPlace4Girls.

Look for that hashtag in the coming months as we highlight all the great things about Girl Scouts San Diego! We will showcase the programs that help turn girls into leaders, including the Girl Scout Gold Award—our highest designation and one that opens doors to colleges, universities, and jobs. Check back here, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to learn more about the #BestPlace4Girls and share your own experiences!

Our beloved cookie program is much more than just a chance to stock up on Thin Mints. It is truly a life-changing experience for girls as they run a cookie business. Participants learn financial literacy, an essential life skill for our girl leaders. Even better, as a “Cookie CEO,” each Girl Scout develops leadership skills she carries with her for the rest of her life. The cookie program builds girls’ confidence, their business acumen, and their ability to succeed. 

According to a survey of 40,000 Girl Scouts of every age across the country, nearly all girls who participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program—85 to 94 percent—learn one or more of these five essential skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. Sixty-six percent of those cookie entrepreneurs develop all five skills.

With impressive results like that, no wonder we call it the cookie program! As the nation’s largest annual financial investment in girls, this 102-year-old tradition is a powerful entrepreneurship incubator for the next generation of female leaders. It’s a perfect program for an organization in the business of building leaders who go on to build more leaders.

During a recent interview on KUSI-TV, Katie described how her Cadette troopmates are preparing a group of kindergarten Daisies for their first cookie season. Katie’s Troop 2151 has earmarked its 2019 cookie earnings for an adventurous whitewater camping/kayaking/rafting trip. The teens also will help make the world a better place through their Silver Award projects and outreach to children in foster care, both powered by cookie proceeds.

All of the net proceeds from the cookie program stay in the community to fund Girl Scout adventures and leadership programs. Thank you to everyone who invests in the cookie program and makes Girl Scouts San Diego the #BestPlace4Girls!

Yours in Girl Scouting,
Carol M. Dedrich, MBA, CFRE
Chief Executive Officer



Friday, Feb. 1 is opening day for Girl Scout camp registration! With nearly 200 sessions to choose from, adventurists can dive into everything from aquatics to zoology...all in the supportive, all-girl environment of camp. Taking an important break from school and social pressures, our campers will discover new interests and challenge themselves.

Our new day camps include Packs to Paddles (stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and canoeing) and Backyard Explorers (where girls meet animals and use their detective skills to explore nature and learn about protecting the environment). Also debuting this summer are Galaxy Quest (under-the-stars fun), Investigation Station (science and technology), Winacka Warriors (wilderness and survival activities), and three other new resident (overnight) camps.

Each session will blend its unique, theme-based program elements with traditional outdoor skills and fun. Girl Scout camp is open to all girls in grades K-12, and financial assistance is available. Check out the camp brochure now, and register your girl or make a gift of camp. Our Customer Care team is always ready to provide assistance and respond to questions.

Cookies on Tap

Cheers: Cookies on Tap is Back!

Grown-ups are invited to enjoy craft beer paired with Girl Scout Cookies during National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend (Friday-Sunday, Feb. 22-24). AleSmith Brewing Company, Mike Hess Brewing, and Stone Brewing return as our official partners for the popular, fifth-annual  Cookies on Tap event.

Cookies on Tap guests will have the opportunity to write notes of support to accompany Operation Thin MintSM cookies donated to deployed military troops and local veterans organizations.

Check out Cookies on Tap details, and lift your glass to Girl Scouting!

Karine Reichenberg with Girl Scouts

Volunteer Spotlight: Karine Reichenberg

Adults like Karine Reichenberg are key to opening doors to outdoor experiences for younger girls. Karine leads a Cadette troop and serves as encampment director for our Mission Trails Service Unit. Her many contributions include teaming up with the teens in her troop to create a camping weekend at our Escondido Program Center especially tailored for Brownies and Juniors. The action-packed session featured outdoor art, archery, and favorite Girl Scout songs. Last fall, the troop organized a “He and Me” recruitment dance. Karine received an Appreciation Pin during our 2018 Volunteer Celebration.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Opportunities: Cookies, Camp, and Events!

Here is an exciting way to get involved with Girl Scouting while networking with others: Volunteer for the cookie program, camp, and/or councilwide events. Volunteer Placement Coordinator Loretta Turner, 619-610-0728, is seeking assistance for the Incredible Race, Cool Women luncheon, Volunteer Celebration and Annual Meeting, and Operation Thin Mint Sendoff Family Festival.

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Why Girl Scouts Matters

The Girl Scout Cookie Program develops strong women leaders! At a time when organizations solely dedicated to girls’ needs and issues collect fewer than eight cents of every dollar granted by philanthropic foundations, every penny of Girl Scout Cookie proceeds support the local change-makers of today and tomorrow.

January 2019
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Happy New Year to our Girl Scout friends and families!

Outdoor activities have been a cornerstone of Girl Scouting for over a century…and interest and opportunities continue to grow by leaps and bounds.

Last year, more than 22,400 people participated in organized outdoor activities, summer camps, troop camping, and encampments on Girl Scout properties. And our members are gearing up for even more adventure in 2019!

Troop 2024, led by Julie Choy, is just one example. Inspired by their Basic Backpacking training at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park (pictured above), the Cadettes are planning a backpacking trip in San Jacinto State Park, beach campout, and weekend at Camp Whispering Oaks, where they will serve as program leaders.

To fund their activities and outings, the girls often use earnings from the Girl Scout Cookie Program, which begins Sunday, Jan. 27.

Troop 2024 and their sister Girl Scouts look forward to a year packed with life-shaping leadership experiences. Opportunities for them to discover, connect, and take action abound—thanks in great part to the dedication and support of friends like you.

Carol M. Dedrich, MBA, CFRE
Chief Executive Officer

Girl Scouts at Stuff the Bus

Girl Scouts Giving Back

Local Girl Scouts’ year-round spirit of giving was in full view during the holidays. Region-wide efforts included collecting food for the hungry and honoring war heroes.

A record 1,200 Girl Scouts helped “drive hunger away” by volunteering at neighborhood Vons and Albertsons for this year’s Stuff the Bus food drive, a councilwide service project (photos, TV spots). The Girl Scout-fueled campaign netted nearly 70,000 pounds of nonperishable groceries, which MTS and NCTD buses transported to the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank.

Other girls did their part to keep the Girl Scout Promise of serving their country by participating in Wreaths Across America. They laid remembrance wreaths on the graves of fallen war heroes at the Ft. Rosecrans and Miramar national cemeteries, Greenwood Memorial Park, and Valley Center Cemetery (photos). 

Cool Women 2019

Meet the Cool Women Class of 2019!

Co-chairs Joyce Glazer and Angie Lasagna invite you to join us as we honor Girl Scouts San Diego’s Cool Women of 2019: Dawn Barry (President/Founder, LunaPBC), Gema Deleon (President, San Diego WISE), Nancy Jamison (retired President/CEO, San Diego Grantmakers), Virginia Nelson (Attorney at Law), and Coreen Petti (Associate Vice President, University of San Diego). Tickets are now available for the 19th annual luncheon and celebration on Friday, March 29, at the newly renovated Kona Kai Resort. This year’s Emerging Leader Girl Scouts—young women whose outstanding achievements and potential are making the world a better place—will also be recognized. Prior to the luncheon, the young women will spend the morning conversing about life and career paths with the Cool Women and other women community leaders. For information, contact Annie Revel, 619-610-0807.

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Joint Volunteer Celebration, Annual Meeting Set for April

Nominate an outstanding Girl Scout volunteer today to be honored at our annual Volunteer Celebration on Saturday, April 27 at the Hilton Mission Bay. New this year: we’ll start the day with our Annual Meeting at 9:30 a.m., reflecting on our achievements of 2018. All are welcome to attend. At 11 a.m., we’ll adjourn bayside for refreshments, games, and networking on the lawn, followed at noon by award presentations at the Volunteer Celebration and luncheon. Award nominations close Sunday, Jan. 20. The Volunteer Conference formerly paired with the celebration has been set for Saturday, Aug. 3.

Rene Pollard

Volunteer Spotlight: Rene Pollard

Volunteers like Rene Pollard are key to equipping girls to succeed in the cookie program, which translates to funding for Girl Scout outdoor activities and other leadership experiences.

Rene is among 2,000-plus adults who keep the behind-the-scenes cookie machinery in motion. Last year, as a first-time cookie cupboard manager for our Imperial Valley Service Unit, she quickly demonstrated her flexibility and commitment to providing excellent service. Rene often adjusted her hours to accommodate troops, and she arranged for San Diego families to make special deliveries when her cookie cupboard was bare. As a result, Imperial Valley’s totals increased by more than six percent. Rene is currently working hard to help prepare IV girls and volunteers for another fabulous cookie season in her new role as service unit cookie coordinator.

To volunteer for the cookie program or in any other capacity, contact us at or 619-610-0728. Flexible opportunities, tailored for your interests and availability, are available.

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Why Girl Scouts Matters

By running Girl Scouts of the USA’s new PSA, our community partner KPBS is raising awareness of how Girl Scouts is the best leadership organization for girls. Starring real-life Girl Scouts with diverse interests who defy stereotypes, the PSA showcases how Girl Scouting builds leaders who take action, lead the way, explore the unknown, and change the world.

December 2018
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Girl Scouts Picture Their Futures

It was a great day to be a Girl Scout when more than 100 girls in grades 7-12 joined us at RealTalk 2018: Picture the Possibilities. This amazing leadership forum featured girl- and adult-led sessions covering topics like personal brand, global citizenship, “dream careers,” Girl Scout leadership opportunities, and navigating friendships.

Panelists included Girl Scout Ambassador Cadence Dobias, who inspired the girls by sharing how Girl Scout experiences like Camp Exec and the new Emerging Leader Girl Scout program have opened her eyes to the critical importance of female leadership. Cadence encouraged girls attending RealTalk to see themselves as “world-changers.”

RealTalk is the latest addition to our ever-expanding repertoire of impactful offerings for older girls. Options include the Girl Scout Gold Award program, outdoor and travel adventures, networking events, Girl Advisory Board (GAB), and opportunities to lead as camp mentors, and in other capacities.

You are making difference by supporting Girl Scouts critical mission with your treasures, time, and talents. Thank you—and best wishes for a joyful holiday season!

Carol M. Dedrich, MBA, CFRE
Chief Executive Officer

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Girl Scout Teens Growing as Leaders 

By remaining in Girl Scouts through high school, girls like Angeline Santa Romana grow exponentially in courage, confidence, and character. As a Daisy, Brownie, Junior, and Cadette, Angeline learned to try new things and make the world a better place. Leadership experiences with her troop included earning a Girl Scout Bronze Award and helping to organize the Mira Mesa Service’s Unit World Thinking Day.

Now a Girl Scout Ambassador, this 11th-grader continues to flex her leadership muscles. As an Emerging Leader Girl Scout, she networked with highly-accomplished professional women during our Cool Women, Camp Exec, and RealTalk events. Angeline is also working on becoming a Gold Award Girl Scout, has participated in Empowerment Theatre, and serves on the Girl Advisory Board as well as her service unit’s advisory board.

To learn more about Girl Scouts San Diego programs that prepare teen Girl Scouts for a lifetime of leadership, contact Program Specialist Steph Dawes, 619-610-0792.

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Giving Wisely Spotlight: The Cushman Family

During the Promise Circle and Juliette Gordon Low Society appreciation event hosted by Tange and Tom Gavin, the Cushman family received our 2018 Promise Circle Award. The accolade honors those who embrace our values and demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to Girl Scouting.

Read all about this four-generation Girl Scout family…the new tax law…and opportunities to invest in tomorrow’s leaders…in the latest issue of Giving Wisely, our bi-annual newsletter for friends who support Girl Scouts San Diego through financial gifts. 

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Year-Round Camp Opportunities Abound!

Great news for Girl Scouts who love camp: no need to wait until summer! We provide sessions throughout the year at all Girl Scout camp properties. Plus, the shops now sell gift certificates for summer camp.

During the Veterans Day camp at our Balboa Campus, Girl Scouts began and ended the day with flag ceremonies honoring our country and those who protect it. Campers also went on nature hikes and a scavenger hunt, explored the Groce Family Tree House, and planted seeds in the pots they decorated.

Upcoming council-hosted sessions include our Presidents’ Day camp, Brownie Sleepover, and Troop Adventure Camp. In addition, troops and service units host gatherings at Girl Scout facilities. Girl Scout camp is one of the best ways to build leaders! Find details on the Outdoor programs web page or by contacting our camp staff

photo above: Chateaux (left) met new friend Mariah at Veterans Day camp.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Thanks Badge Recipient Diana Osborn

For three decades (and counting!) Diana Osborn has challenged and inspired girls to share her love for adventure. As a troop leader and activities consultant for the Mission Trails Service Unit, she gets troops outdoors, gently guiding both novice and veteran leaders to observe safety guidelines. Her commitment to keeping members safe is also reflected in the annual CPR/First Aid trainings she leads.

Diana serves as a trainer, most recently as an archery instructor at our Outdoor Skills Weekend and Urban Campout events. This past year, she also organized an older-girl encampment at San Diego State, where girls got a glimpse of college life as they visited departments, met with prominent women leaders, and bunked in the dorms.

In recognition of Diana’s stellar contributions, we honored her with the Thanks Badge, the highest accolade for Girl Scout volunteers. Chris Carstens and Stephanie Kwiatkowski also received Thanks Badges this year.


Prepping for the Cookie Season

Hang in there, cookie connoisseurs: it’s almost almost time to enjoy your favorite treats! Young entrepreneurs are set to launch the 2019 Girl Scout Cookie Program on Sunday, Jan. 27. Resources like our Family Cookie Guide (mailed to members this month) and volunteer-led kick-off celebrations and trainings are equipping participants to gear up for a successful season. With your help, girls gain valuable business and life skills while funding troop activities and programs. Now that’s a worthy investment! 

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Girl Scouts is the best place for girls to explore, discover, and just be themselves! From adventuring outdoors or experimenting with science to saving a park or developing new skills, Girl Scouting prepares girls for a lifetime of leadership. Through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, they gain skills in four core areas: STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), outdoors, life skills, and entrepreneurship. 

November 2018

Troop 3803 leader Janey Hummell, Natalie Saham, Selma Hyytinen, Maggie Johnson, CEO Carol Dedrich, Superintendent Cindy Marten, Allison Foerster, and Amber Watt celebrate Muirlands Middle School’s history-making accreditation as the state’s first Heart Safe School.

Girl Scouts Saving Lives by Taking Heart Safety Action

The high school freshman of Girl Scout Troop 3803 are making the world a better place by taking steps to prevent cardiac arrest deaths! The girls were present at a recent ceremony naming Muirlands Middle School as California’s first public school to receive the Heart Safe School accreditation from the Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome Foundation.

Troop members had previously earned a Girl Scout Silver Award by training 600 Muirlands students, staff, members, and teachers how to do CPR and use defibrillators. The project paved the way for the school to receive the accreditation.

At the event, I joined San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten, and representatives from the office of County Supervisor Ron Roberts, the American Heart Association, and Muirlands Middle School in recognizing the troop’s achievements.

The girls started conducting trainings in 4th grade at their elementary school. Their inspiration for the project was seeing how CPR saved the life of troop member Maggie Johnson’s father following a heart attack.

In an interview with NBC 7 San Diego, Maggie commented, “Someday, one of the kids we helped is going to save a life. It makes me feel really good that we made a difference in the community.”

Congratulations to these Girl Scouts for their leadership and life-saving work!

Yours in Girl Scouting,
Carol M. Dedrich, MBA, CFRE
Chief Executive Officer

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National CEO Pays Surprise Visit to Local Girl Scouts at STEM Event

Girls participating in our Outreach program at Euclid Elementary School knew they were slated to meet a celebrated STEM professional, but they did not discover her identity until a rocket scientist landed in their midst! The students were thrilled that the visitor was Sylvia Acevedo, now CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. She presented each of them with a Space Science badge and shared stories from her new book, Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist.

Sylvia’s visit (photos), made possible by the National Science Foundation, Early Childhood Systems Solutions, and the Fleet Science Center, also included meet-and-greet opportunities at SDG&E, Athena, and Chollas-Meade Elementary. Earlier this year, Sylvia connected with local Girl Scout members through personalized video messages shown during our Volunteer Celebration and Urban Campout fundraiser.

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Camp Exec Mentors Open Doors to Girls’ Futures

During our third annual Camp Exec, 34 Girl Scouts in grades 10-12 spent a weekend at Camp Whispering Oaks learning from high-achieving professional women (photos). Campers also explored the High Ropes Challenge Course, tried their hands at catch-and-release fishing, and practiced archery. Mentors included San Diego Superior Court Judge Sharon Kalemkiarian. She was introduced to the opportunity by Kathryn Ashworth (pictured), a Girl Scouts San Diego Cool Woman of 2013 and Camp Exec mentor.

Thank you to Gold Sponsor Wells Fargo, Bronze Sponsor Northrop Grumman, and all our mentors for making Camp Exec possible. For information about next year’s session and other opportunities to support Girl Scout leadership programs, contact Program Specialist Steph Dawes, 619-610-0792. 

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Volunteer Spotlight: Young Troop Leaders Inspiring Girls

Once upon a time, Hayley Aguilar and Taylor Ingalls were sister Girl Scouts in Troop 5007. Now, they’re leading it!

The duo also volunteers for the Chula Vista Service Unit, drawing from their Girl Scouting experiences with travel, outdoors, and STEM to provide girls of all ages with exciting skill-building opportunities. Examples include leading girls in producing short films for a World Thinking Day event, and organizing a girl-led, Harry Potter-themed camping trip with science experiments.

During the Volunteer Celebration in August, Taylor and Hayley (pictured, left to right) received the Volunteer of Excellence Award for partnering with girls to deliver the Girl Scout program. Other honorees in that category included Alicia Bianchi, Carly Garrett, Jen Lyon, Angela Martin, Laura Tan, Shannon Thornton, and Gretchen Veihl. 

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Adults Camp it Up at Outdoor Skills Weekend

Sheila Cavanaugh is a leader of two troops and helps with another (one for each daughter!) and manager and encampment co-director in our Park Hill Service Unit. Here’s her take on our recent Outdoor Skills Weekend:

 “I love coming out here every year! It’s my time away from home. And it’s really good bonding with other leaders—from the service unit, and from my own troop.” Sheila says she also enjoys gaining new skills she can take back to her troops, and doing archery, dehydrating food, and conquering the High Ropes Challenge Course.

Sheila was among the nearly 200 volunteers who attended our Outdoor Skills Weekend for adults, held each October at camps Winacka and Whispering Oaks (photos). Many attendees invited newcomers along for the ride, including Sheila, who brought her sister. Choosing from 49 sessions, participants experienced camp firsthand with other adults in a combination training, networking, and retreat environment. To learn more about adult training programs, including the 2019 Outdoor Skills Weekend (Friday-Sunday, Oct. 4-6), contact Adult Learning Specialist Sarah Matteson, 619-610-0741.

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Studies show that Girl Scouting can buffer girls against negative outcomes during a crucial time in their lives—middle school.

  • Non-Girl Scouts experience a dramatic drop in interest and involvement in their communities, whereas Girl Scouts’ desire to solve problems in their world increase.
  • While it is common for a girl’s sense of self to decline in middle school, Girl Scouts exhibit a slight lift in theirs during this time.
  • Girl Scouts remain confident about their futures, whereas non-Girl Scouts are more likely to question theirs.
October 2018
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Urban Campout: Mad About Science hosts greeting guests included (from left) Ellie and Katie O’Connell; Board Chair Regina Buckley; Co-chairs Tange Gavin and Rita Datko; Honorary Co-chairs EA Stewart and Barbara Groce; CEO Carol Dedrich; and Esha Walia.

Fueling STEM Programs, Building Leaders

Thank you to everyone who joined us for Urban Campout: Mad About Science, our STEM-infused night of fun under the stars. Party-goers experimented with Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab’s “LED Blink Challenge,” took their chances at the Wineology Walk, and bid on everything from handcrafted robots to unique experiences—all for a great cause: Girl Scouts! Visit our event webpage to see photos, a sponsor list, and a STEM message from rocket scientist/Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Sylvia Acevedo.

We greatly appreciate the many friends who supported Girl Scouting through Urban Campout, including our Silver Sponsors (Barbara and David Groce, Southwest Airlines, and Qualcomm); honorary committee, co-chaired by Barbara Groce and her daughter EA Stewart; and talented event committee, co-chaired by Tange Gavin and Rita Datko. Katie and Dan Sullivan inspired donors to match their generous paddle raise.

Bidders and donors collectively contributed more than half a million dollars to help us provide more girls with programs in STEM, leadership, life skills, entrepreneurship, and outdoor adventure.

Lucky auction winners included Laura Garrett and Doug Gates—who landed Southwest Airlines tickets—and Carole and Mike Zeigler, future passengers aboard a Holland America Line cruise.

See you next year: Urban Campout 2019 is set for Friday, Sept. 13.

Yours in Girl Scouting,
Carol M. Dedrich, MBA, CFRE
Chief Executive Officer

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STEM Leaders Changing the World

Urban Campout: Mad About Science guest speakers included two young leaders who are living testimonials to the power Girl Scouting and STEM. Doctor-in-the-making Roshni Kakaiya (left)—a Gold Award Girl Scout and lifetime member—revealed how her 13 years as a Girl Scout significantly influenced her decision to go into a STEM field. Roshni is currently applying for family medicine residencies as she completes her final year of medical school at Touro University. She plans to do her part to inspire today’s girls, especially those from underprivileged homes, to become tomorrow’s physicians and surgeons.

Fifteen-year-old Esha Walia spoke about her experiences with Girl Scouts’ Technovation Challenge: She worked on developing two apps designed to create social change in the community. One focused on fitness in schools, while the other addressed animal extinction. She also described how she won a scholarship through a Girl Scout cybersecurity essay contest, writing about importance of mobile privacy and how it has affected her life.

Esha is excited about continuing her Girl Scout journey. As she joins us in launching the new Girl Scout membership year this month, she’ll have the chance to explore more STEM programs and resources than ever. To learn about Girl Scouting opportunities for girls in grades K-12 and adult volunteers, contact


Meet Ms. San Diego: Patti Roscoe

Congratulations to Patti Roscoe, recently named Ms. San Diego 2018 by San Diego Rotary Club 33! Patti—who served as the club’s first female president in 2003—is a trailblazing entrepreneur whose destination management company helped put San Diego on the tourism map. A Girl Scouts San Diego Cool Woman of 2008, Patti is a steadfast friend to our organization. She generously dedicates much of her energy and financial support to equipping today’s Girl Scouts to discover their potential as the next generation of leaders. 

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Girl Scout Chocolates, Nuts, and Magazines: Great Holiday Gifts!

Your friendly neighborhood Girl Scouts want you to know: The fall product program is underway! Jump start your holiday shopping with new products like Caramel Treasures or Honey Roasted Peanuts...and returning favorites, which include Chocolate Covered Almonds, English Butter Toffee, and Salt and Pepper Cashews. Contact your favorite Girl Scout (or visit for details about these and additional gift options, including magazine subscriptions.

Troops can use proceeds as start-up funds to kick off the new membership year with activities like badgework, encampments, and community service projects.

Girl Scouts who benefit from the fall product program include Senior Girl Scout Troop 4192, led by Maria Morrison and Lisa Brant. Every December, the girls use their program earnings to team up with the Carlsbad Christmas Bureau to “adopt” a family.

In coordination with this year's fall product program theme, Lead the Way, Girl Scouts San Diego has created a new Guide Dog patch program. Collaborative, hands-on activities will help girls in grades K-8 learn about the importance of guide dogs and how to support them.

Volunteer Cris Stewart recently helped lead a Think Like an Engineer Journey workshop.

Volunteer Spotlight: Cris Stewart

Girl Scout volunteers empowering girls’ STEAM futures include Carissa (“Cris”) Stewart. She is a recent recipient of an Honor Pin for delivering outstanding service to two or more Girl Scout service units, and to our organization as a whole.

Cris is an innovative lead membership recruiter for our Rancho Vista Service Unit. Together with her “STEAM team” of volunteers, she’s opening doors to Girl Scouting with a monthly series. Attendees include STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) enthusiasts waiting to be placed in troops; independently registered members; and future Girl Scouts from throughout North San Diego. Participants are currently working to earn GSUSA’s new badges.

Other volunteers who received Honor Pins during our 2018 Volunteer Conference are Jamie Anderson, Lori Aschenbrenner, Shelly Fortier, and Julie Union.

photo above: Volunteer Cris Stewart recently helped lead a Think Like an Engineer Journey workshop.

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Why Girl Scouts Matters

New research demonstrates that Girl Scouting is linked to success! Get the scoop in our Success Factor infographic, which features compelling stats about why Girl Scouts is the world's best leadership organization for girls. For example, Girl Scouts are more likely than non-Girl Scouts to participate in:

  • Leadership activities when working in a group (79% vs. 44%)
  • STEM opportunities, like science experiments and building robots (60% vs. 35%)
  • Outdoor experiences, including hiking or camping (76% vs 43%)
September 2018
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The recipients of this year’s Thanks Badge—the highest honor for volunteers—are Chris Carstens, Stephanie Kwiatkowski, and (not pictured) Diane Osborn.

Applauding Our Volunteers

The San Diego Convention Center became Girl Scout central for our recent Volunteer Conference and Celebration (photos, honoree roster). The action-packed Saturday brimmed with opportunities for more than 600 individuals to share best practices, build new skills, and honor exemplary volunteers.

Attendees discovered, connected, and prepared to take action as leaders in the Girl Scout world. Sixty sessions—many led by volunteers—explored topics like gender stereotypes, collaborative troop leadership, engaging in global issues, the Girl Scout Gold Award, travel adventures, teaching self-defense, and outdoor options (ranging from epic adventures to day treks). STEM offerings included urban caching, technology as a community service resource, and Girl Scouts of the USA’s new Journeys that empower girls to “Think Like a…” programmer, engineer, or citizen scientist. Visitors met community partners and learned about our freshly redesigned Volunteer Toolkit and other resources.

The day culminated in our adult recognition program for those who go “above and beyond” to further the Girl Scout mission. Emceed by proud Girl Scout dad Raoul Martinez of the Fox 5 Morning News, the evening featured keynote speakers Girl Scout volunteer Rachel Rice, and Roni Nelson, a Girl Scout transitioning to lifetime member. Teen Emerging Leader Girl Scouts and a multi-troop color guard also participated. In addition, guests enjoyed a welcome video by Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Sylvia Acevedo.

Congratulations to this year’s 86 award recipients, and tremendous thanks to all who took part—including facilitators, signature sponsor Mission Federal Credit Union, and our wonderful volunteers!

Yours in Girl Scouting,
Carol M. Dedrich, MBA, CFRE
Chief Executive Officer

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Urban Campout: Get Ready to Bid…on Dancing with the Stars

It’s warp speed ahead to Urban Campout: Mad About Science—on Friday, Sept. 14. Exciting auction items include a package featuring VIP experiences at the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre Hollywood location (and a soon-to-debut San Diego venue); and Dancing with the Stars tickets. Guests will also have the opportunity to stargaze, thanks to the San Diego Astronomy Association. Don’t miss this year’s fun fundraiser for grown-ups! Reserve your spot now.

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Destinations Travel Expo: Sept. 26

Girl Scouts of all ages—and their friends and family members—are invited to learn about the Girl Scout Destinations program by attending our free travel Expo on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 6:30-8 p.m.

This summer, local Girl Scouts cycled across Denmark and Sweden, journeyed “down under” to New Zealand and Australia, rocked climbed and canoed along the boundary waters of Minnesota and Canada, and became zookeepers for a week at a panda preserve in China (photos). Other destinations included Orlando, Switzerland, the Galapagos, Lake Erie, Costa Rica, and Panama. Several of the girls used “Cookie Bucks” (earned by participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program) to help fund their trips.

Through the Destinations program, Girl Scouts in grades 6-12 explore places far and wide on domestic and international excursions hosted by Girl Scout councils. Guided by trained chaperones, voyagers embark on exciting trips, and meet new friends from all over the country. The experiences often include a community service component.

The application deadline for 2019 Destinations trips is Saturday, Dec. 1. Contact Program Specialist Steph Dawes, 619-610-0792, for details. 

photo above: Girl Scout Michaela Fischer feeds a panda during her Destinations trip to China.


RealTalk: Older Girls Envisioning Their Futures

Produced for and by girls, our teen forum for 7th-12th graders is designed to equip girls to envision and pursue their expansive futures. RealTalk 2018: Picture the Possibilities will take place on Saturday, Nov. 10, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at our Balboa Campus. “RealTalk will help Girl Scouts embrace their potential as leaders who are fulfilled, confident, aware, energized, and bold!” reports Girl Scouts San Diego CEO Carol M. Dedrich. Event facilitators include Café X: Any Beans Necessary co-founder Khea Pollard, who will lead the How to Be…a Global Citizen session; and San Diego Rotary Club 33 members who will provide career advice.

Real Talk registration is open until Sunday, Sept. 28. For questions, contact program Specialist Steph Dawes, 619-610-0792.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Get Outdoors Award honorees

During our Volunteer Celebration, we debuted a brand new award to recognize volunteers who work beyond their own troop or service unit to inspire a love for the outdoors in girls and volunteers. The recipients of the inaugural Get Outdoors Award include the backpacker leader team that maps out high adventures for girls: (pictured, from left) Marilyn Sedlund, Val Ross, Catherine Bull, Erika Scarborough, Nancy Maple, Karen Haubrich, Anna Iadevaia, Kevin Hill, and (not pictured) Myra Callen, Corinne deRond, Ann Funk, Danell Gavares, and Karen Linehan.

When Girl Scouts take the road less traveled, they grow in grit and independence. The backpacker leader team implements our three-part, progressive training series (Wilderness Hiking, Basic Backpackers, and Advanced Backpacking). This past year, the dynamic group led girls on 19 different excursions of one to ten—exploring  destinations like Yosemite, Anza Borrego, and the Pacific Crest and Appalachian Trails.

Irene Barajas, Robin Evans, and Consuelo Murillo also received the Get Outdoors Award. We salute all of these dedicated volunteers!

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One San Diego Teams up with Girl Scouts

One San Diego recently provided a $30,000 grant to our Girl Scout Outreach program (San Diego Union-Tribune article) to help expand Girl Scouting opportunities, including outdoor programs, for girls from families living in underserved areas. A nonprofit organization launched by San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and First Lady Katherine Stuart (a Girl Scout alumna and honorary chair of our 100th anniversary), One San Diego is dedicated to creating stronger and more beautiful communities, enhancing economic opportunity, and improving the lives of San Diego youth.

The One San Diego grant helped support our Discovery Day Camp in July. Hosted by our Girl Scout Outreach team, the session engaged campers in STEM and outdoor exploration activities. We also teamed up with One San Diego for “We Have Your Back…Inspiring Kids to Succeed.” During events at five elementary schools, One San Diego provided children in need with school supplies, and our staff connected with families to share about Girl Scouting.

photo above: Katherine Stuart (left) and other representatives of One San Diego greet girls at Discovery Day Camp.

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Through experiences like our RealTalk conference, Girl Scouts will build the skills and know-how they need to step up and lead. Research proves that Girl Scouting prepares girls to excel in the classroom and beyond! Compared to their non-Girl Scout peers, Girl Scouts are more likely to:

  • Earn better grades
  • Have higher academic aspirations
  • Desire a career in STEM, business, or law; industries in which women are underrepresented
  • Develop into citizens who are responsible, caring and engaged
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Two girls in Circuit Breakers camp building a robotic car

STEM Futures Looking Bright

Let’s talk about STEM—and the countless career opportunities that await today’s Girl Scouts in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that…well…the world needs more female rocket scientists! Aerospace engineers can command six-figure salaries, yet currently, just 14 percent of engineers are women. The U.S. will need an astounding one million more STEM professionals over the next decade to stay competitive in the global marketplace.

How does Girl Scouts San Diego fit into the equation? We’re dedicated to engineering tomorrow’s leaders! We recently pledged to provide 10,000 local Girl Scouts per year with hands-on STEM experiences, through 2025. Our resources include Girl Scouts of the USA's brand new line-up of 30 more STEM and Outdoor badges and Journeys—which enhance our time-tested, one-of-a-kind leadership experience that has prepared countless women and girls to excel in life.

You can empower girls to discover their STEM potential and transform the workforce of the future. Take the STEM pledge online or join us for Urban Campout: Mad About Science, our fun fundraiser for grown-ups, on Friday, Sept. 14. Event proceeds will support local STEM programs and other Girl Scout leadership experiences. We hope to see you there!

Yours in Girl Scouting,
Carol M. Dedrich, MBA, CFRE
Chief Executive Officer

Lynne Moore and Tange Gavin preparing decorations for Urban Campout

Gearing Up for the Big Night!

Honorary Co-Chairs Barbara Groce and EA Stewart and Co-chairs Rita Datko and Tange Gavin look forward to seeing everyone at Urban Campout: Mad About Science on Friday, Sept. 14. Our 21st annual fun fundraiser for grown-ups is sure to sell out; purchase tickets or a table by Thursday, Aug. 9 to receive early bird discounts. Then get ready to play, dine, dance (to live music by the Heroes)…and bid! Enticing auction items include a Southwest Airlines ticket package, VIP passes to ABC TV’s Dancing with the Stars—and a luxurious, seven-day Holland America Line cruise for two to the Caribbean or Mexico.

Many thanks to our Urban Campout committee and honorary committee; Silver Sponsors Barbara and David Groce, Qualcomm, and Southwest Airlines; and many other friends for their support.

Photo: Engineering Urban Campout at the atomic level—Event Co-chair Tange Gavin (right) and committee member Lynne Moore experiment with decor for the STEM-themed fundraiser.

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Tacos Libertad Donating August Proceeds to Girl Scouts

Pass the salsa: This month, Girl Scouts San Diego will receive 100 percent of proceeds from Tacos Libertad in Hillcrest. Created by Cohn Restaurant Group (a family-owned and operated business founded by 2015 Cool Woman Lesley Cohn and David Cohn), Tacos Libertad is San Diego’s first and only not-for-profit taco venture to dedicate all revenues to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations.  

You can help us make the most of this generous offer by rounding up friends and family to enjoy a delicious meal and raise funds for our organization. Dine any time in August (Tuesday-Sunday afternoons/evenings; hours vary), or join Girl Scouts staff, alumnae, volunteers, and friends on these Taco Tuesdays (5:30-7 p.m.):

  • August 7: Kickoff celebration
  • August 14: Meet members of the Girl Scouts San Diego board of directors and leadership team
  • August 21: Join Cool Women alum and Camp Exec mentors
  • August 28: Celebrate Girl Scouting with volunteers and staff

Tacos Libertad’s globally inspired offerings range from shrimp, skirt steak, and pork belly to duck confit and octopus. House-made tortillas and traditional churros round out the menu. Tacos for good, indeed!

Tacos Libertad photo credit: Paul Body

Girls in Empowerment Theatre presenting their play

Empowerment Theatre—Where Conflict Intersects with Peace

During this year’s Empowerment Theatre session, girls in middle and high school evaluated and explored conflict, peace, and communication (video). Underwritten by the Favrot Fund and hosted in partnership with the La Jolla Playhouse, the unique, Girl Scout leadership experience provided a place for girls to express themselves through performance arts.

With guidance from a dynamic group of teaching artists, girls discovered what it means to find their voices and use them for positive change. The three-week session of journaling, group discussion, and drama exercises culminated in a special showcase called Peace Begins with Me. The presentation featured spoken word poetry, a rap song, and other works written, produced, and performed by the girls. For a collection of "playback theatre” vignettes, the young thespians reenacted real life experiences (both their own and audience members’) of conflict and joy.

Upcoming teen leadership events include Camp Exec and our RealTalk forum. Contact Program Specialist Steph Dawes, 619-610-0792, to learn about these and other girl, volunteer and donor opportunities.

An assortment of the new STEM and Outdoor badges

New STEM and Outdoor Badges Power Girl Leadership

Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has rolled out 30 new badges addressing some of society’s most pressing needs—like cyber security, environmental advocacy, and space exploration (Parade article). Offerings also included the College Knowledge badge, a girl-requested offering that prepares Girl Scouts for future academic success. The new badges are available at local Girl Scout retail stores, with additional information and support available through the Volunteer Tool Kit, our newly enhanced “digital assistant” for troop leaders.

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Camp Adventures Grow Leaders

Girls have been camping it up this summer, embarking on adventures ranging from animal interactions and robot-building to canoeing and zip lining (photos, volunteer-created video). Discovery Day Camp was among recent sessions. Hosted by our Girl Scout Outreach team—which provides Girl Scouting opportunities to girls in under-served areas—the camp featured STEM and outdoor exploration activities.

Caring adults are essential to the success of our camp and outdoor programs, which studies show are key to building leadership skills. Thank you to everyone who makes Girl Scout camp possible, including volunteers, community partners, and camp staff members as well as sponsors like Community Campership Council, One San Diego, San Diego Rotary Club 33, SDG&E, Sharp Health Plan, Northrop Grumman, Wells Fargo, and Westfield Mission Valley.

Photo: Sponsored by Sharp Health Plan, our Discovery Day Camp featured STEM activities led by SPAWAR naval engineers and other mentors.

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Councilmember David Alvarez presents Irene Barajas and the Troop 5912 with an official proclamation

Volunteer Spotlight: Irene Barajas

Whereas…the San Diego City Council declared July 17 Irene Barajas and Girl Scout Troop 5912 Day! Girl Scouts San Diego Board Chair Regina Buckley was present for the recent ceremony (Facebook post/video), where District 8 Councilmember David Alvarez presented Irene and the troop members with an official proclamation.

Councilmember Alvarez commended Irene for providing the members of the multi-level troop with unmatched leadership experiences and guidance. “She spearheads successful recruitment events that showcase the power and fun of Girl Scouting, and she mentors other adults to help lead troops,” he stated. Under Irene’s leadership, Troop 5912 has dedicated countless hours to beautifying the Otay Valley Regional Park as well as the Tijuana River Valley.

Irene is the recipient of a 2017 Thanks Badge, among many other Girl Scout and community recognitions and accolades.

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Why Girl Scouts Matters

Fueled with GSUSA’s new badge offerings, our local Girl Scouts have more opportunities than ever to discover the power of STEM and the outdoors...with plenty to gain! Research proves that:

  • A majority of girls are more confident in their science and math abilities after participating in Girl Scout STEM programs.
  • Girls benefit from the support of scientists, engineers and other volunteers/role models who provide real-life insights that encourage girls to aspire to STEM careers.
  • Monthly outdoor exposure contributes to girls’ challenge seeking and problem solving.
  • Girl Scouts who get outdoors are twice as likely to appreciate and care for the environment that non-Girl Scouts.