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Connections Archive

2022

July/August

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Dear GSSD Community,

Summer is officially here! Campers are celebrating by embracing the time-honored Girl Scout tradition of exploring the great outdoors. Girl Scout camp started this month, offering endless summer adventures in more than 75 sessions. They are soaking up experiences like gardening, hiking, horseback riding, and meeting land and sea animals, as well as, trying their hand at wilderness survival, comic book art, and exploring nature with telescopes and microscopes.

These experiences are made possible with funding. Gifts to Girl Scouts San Diego allow us to rehab and maintain our properties, hire more than 160 seasonal camp staff, and provide camperships to Girl Scouts. Please consider supporting this beloved, confidence-building experience by making your gift today.

Our Adult Learning team has all hands-on deck right now, as we are coordinating and organizing the 2022 Volunteer Conference: Joyful Jubilee. This full-day conference, presented by our partner Mission Fed, will take place on Saturday, Aug. 27 at the Girl Scouts San Diego Balboa Campus. For those new to Girl Scouting, the Volunteer Conference is a wonderful opportunity to partake in inspiring and educational sessions, meeting community partners, and networking with Girl Scout friends old and new.

Leaders and volunteers are encouraged to attend. Register for Volunteer Conference now to get early-bird pricing and secure your desired sessions.

Girl Scouts capped off the spring with an epic Operation Thin Mint Sendoff where more than 1,100 attendees boarded the USS Midway Museum, and an inspiring Gold Award Ceremony honoring 82 Gold Award Girl Scouts in Liberty Station. As you read our July edition of Connections, you will learn about these great annual events and our Girl Scouts’ amazing accomplishments.

Finally, we would love to hear how your Girl Scout troop celebrated the end of the school year, whether it was a bridging ceremony or troop trip or a highest award, please send in pictures and stories to media@sdgirlscouts.org.

I truly hope you and your family find opportunities to rest and recharge this summer, whether it is by exploring the outdoors, taking time to read a book, or simply relaxing with your loved ones.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Carol M Dedrich 
Chief Executive Officer

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OTM Sendoff: An Epic Celebration

After a three-year hiatus, the Operation Thin Mintsm Sendoff returned to the USS Midway Museum with more than 1,100 attendees! This year’s program, opened with a color guard presentation by Girl Scout Troop 5912, and was led by Heather Lake from FOX 5 San Diego and GSSD CEO Carol Dedrich.

During the presentation, the GSSD community honored 59 Elite Entrepreneur Girl Scouts (those who sold 2,022+ packages), 10 OTM Superstars, and celebrated the more than 170,000 packages of cookies donated to deployed US military troops this year. Overall, Girl Scouts in San Diego and Imperial County marketed nearly 2.2 million cookie packages!

Throughout the event, Girl Scouts wrote “Notes from Home” to accompany the donated cookies, visited community partner booths, toured the USS Midway Museum, and shopped at our Girl Scouts pop-up store. The party continued with photo opportunities with the San Diego Padres Friar and an epic dance party led by DJ De’Ondre.

A special thank you to the USS Midway for 17 years of support and to this year’s 5-Star Partner, Carole J. Larson, and our 4-Star Partners: Mission Fed, RJS Law, San Diego Padres, Sharp Health Plan, Southwest Airlines, and Viasat.

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Anya Sabhnani Receives GSUSA Gold Award Scholarship

The Girl Scouts of the USA Gold Award Scholarship recognizes one outstanding Gold Award Girl Scout per council whose project exemplifies the core components of the Gold Award. This year, 2021 Gold Award Girl Scout Anya Sabhnani was selected to receive the scholarship.

In a letter from GSUSA, CEO Sofia Chang says, “We applaud you for your extraordinary leadership! Your outstanding Gold Award project 'The Education and Preparation of Senior Citizens for Emergencies' demonstrates measurable and sustainable impact and addresses an issue of national and/or global significance, proving that Girl Scouts of courage, confidence, and character truly do make the world a better place. Your accomplishments will endure for generations to come and serve as a powerful example of Girl Scouting in action.”

In a congratulatory call with GSSD CEO Carol Dedrich, Anya stated “I have always lived with my grandparents, and they are the inspiration behind my project. I noticed first-hand their disconnect with the world around them and with technology. I realized they had little to no awareness what they would do in case of an emergency.”

On behalf of the board of directors and entire GSSD community, congratulations, Anya. We are SO proud of you! 

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Girl Scouts Earn the Prestigious Gold Award

During the 2022 Gold Award Ceremony in June, 82 Gold Award Girls Scouts were presented with the highest award in Girl Scouting. The Gold Award is the pinnacle of the Girl Scout leadership experience. To achieve it, Girl Scouts create sustainable projects that impact local and global issues. This year’s projects, completed against the backdrop of a pandemic, were wide-ranging from mental health issues and environmental conservation to combatting literacy and supporting senior citizens.

Longtime Girl Scout San Diego volunteer Perette Godwin emceed the event alongside GSSD CEO Carol Dedrich. As their names and project titles were read aloud, each Girl Scout accepted the Gold Award pin from a family member or troop leader.

Dr. Inez González Perezchica, Executive Director of MANA de San Diego and a member of our Cool Women Class of 2022, provided an inspiring keynote address. Dr. González Perezchica praised the Gold Award Girl Scouts and gave them three takeaways: the power of one, be grateful, and community matters.

Just five percent of eligible Girl Scouts achieve Gold Award status. This significant honor opens doors for them, giving them a competitive edge with job recruiters and college admissions officers, making them eligible for scholarships, and entitling them to enlist in the military at a higher pay grade.

A big thank you to Baker Electric Home Energy for sponsoring the ceremony.

To learn about opportunities for Girl Scouts to earn the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards, visit our highest awards page or contact us at highestawards@sdgirlscouts.org.

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Get Ready: Power Her Promise Campaign Returns September 2022

Power Her Promise, a fundraising campaign by Girl Scouts San Diego, is set to return this September. The month-long event – supported by Diamond Sponsor SOLV Energy – allows for more people to engage in a multi-faceted experience, and corporate partners appreciate the long-term visibility. 

All proceeds from Power Her Promise are directed to our impactful programs and provide financial assistance that keeps Girl Scouting available and affordable for all girls.

Supporters will have an opportunity to partake in an online auction, featuring amusement park passes, travel packages, and other great items like tickets for a San Diego Wave FC soccer match at the new Snapdragon Stadium. Plus, donors who give $2,500 or more will be our special guests for an intimate, outdoor reception at a beautiful residence in Del Mar.

This year, our extraordinary volunteers, Emily Rex (also a GSSD board member) and Perette Godwin, will co-chair the Power Her Promise campaign. Watch your email for more information coming out in August from Girl Scouts San Diego about Power Her Promise.

May/June
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Dear Girl Scouts San Diego Community—

On behalf of the Board of Directors and Girl Scout San Diego staff, I want to extend a sincere thank you to all our volunteers. Because of you, we can support and serve nearly 15,000 Girl Scouts in San Diego and Imperial Counties. By sharing your mind, heart, and talents, you are making a difference in their lives, which will have a profound ripple effect for generations to come.

Help us recognize noteworthy volunteers. Our volunteer awards and recognitions are now open for nominations. Please take the time to honor a Girl Scout volunteer that is making an exceptional difference by nominating them today.

The Girl Scouts San Diego volunteers and staff teams were in full gear the past two months. We closed out our 2022 Cookie Program with more than 9,500 participating Girl Scouts, celebrated National Volunteer Appreciation Month and Month of the Military Child, and held our Cool Women and Emerging Leader Girl Scouts event in-person with more than 300 attendees.

Our celebrations will continue this month with our 2022 Operation Thin MintSM (OTM) Sendoff and Family Festival on Saturday, May 14 aboard the USS Midway. For those unfamiliar with the program, OTM is a Girl Scout service project that originated here in San Diego. Since its inception in 2002, our Girl Scout troops and their generous cookie customers have sent more than three million packages of America's favorite cookies and countless notes of support to deployed troops serving around the world. I invite everyone (family, friends, troops) to register for this great event and join us as we celebrate the OTM Program, our military troops, and Elite Cookie Entrepreneurs. We hope to see you there!

With summer right around the corner, there is still time to register your Girl Scout for day camp. But hurry, we have limited spots available for our first-time as well as experienced campers. For our older Girl Scouts, now is their chance to be a day camp aid or a counselor in training (CIT). If you know a college student or graduated Girl Scout looking for a rewarding summer job, encourage them to apply to join our camp staff.

Finally, I would like to congratulate our 2022 Silver and Gold Award Girl Scouts. These Girl Scouts are organized, determined leaders, dedicated to improving their communities. We will be honoring 218 Silver Award Girl Scouts and 82 Gold Award Girl Scouts during special events in May and June. I am so proud of these exceptional Girl Scouts who are proving to make a difference in the world. 

From the bottom of my heart, thank you again to our volunteers, corporate sponsors, and community partners for your dedication to our valuable mission.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Carol M Dedrich 
Chief Executive Officer

 

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A Heroic Feat: Nevaeh Henrich Earns Medal of Honor

Nevaeh Henrich, Ambassador Girl Scout from Troop 5549, earned the Girl Scouts Medal of Honor for her lifesaving actions in the community. The Medal of Honor is rare—and rightly so, as it recognizes Girl Scouts who saved a life or attempted to without risk to their own lives. From 2017 to 2021, an average of 32 Girl Scouts nationwide earned the Medal of Honor each year. For Girl Scouts San Diego, in the last 10 years, we have had three Girl Scouts before Nevaeh earn this award. Please join us in honoring Girl Scout Nevaeh for her heroic efforts – Her story was featured by various local media outlets, including San Diego Union-TribuneFOX 5 San Diego, and NBC 7.

 

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A Special Thank You: RJS Law Makes Girl Scouts San Diego Shine!

Next time you’re driving around San Diego County, keep an eye out for Girl Scouts San Diego on the big screens…Billboards that is! Because of generous support and an in-kind donation from our partner, RJS Law, GSSD is currently featured on two billboards, where we highlight “It’s always a great time to join Girl Scouts!” Thank you, RJS Law, for supporting our mission and providing us with the extra reach to empower more Girl Scouts. 

 

Kristen Bell

Girl Scouts Going Purple

Girl Scouts is teaming up with actor, producer, parent, and Girl Scout alum Kristen Bell, co-author of #1 New York Times bestseller The World Needs More Purple People, for an exclusive virtual event on Thursday, May 19. Bell will chat about what it means to be a ‘Purple Person’ and complete fun activities to show off those Purple People skills. This members-only event is open to Girl Scouts who join or renew their membership from April 1 through May 13. Learn more about this event and additional GSSD early-bird renewal incentives at sdgirlscouts.org/renew.

 

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Now Open: National Council Delegate Applications

Applications are now open for Girl Scouts San Diego’s next slate of National Council Delegates! This incredible opportunity allows members to connect with the local and national movement, learn about governance, form lifelong friendships, and make an impact on the organization. To apply, you must be Girl Scout youth member age 14 or older or a Girl Scout adult member and a U.S. citizen (required by GSUSA Congressional Charter). The National Council Delegate role is a three-year commitment, with monthly meetings and travel to Orlando, FL for the National Council Session and Phenom by Girl Scouts, July 18-22, 2023. We will hold an info session in the coming weeks where you can speak with and learn more from our current delegates. If you’d like to learn more about this important role or apply to be a delegate, visit sdgirlscouts.org/delegate

 

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An Inspirational Celebration, Honoring Cool Women

On a beautiful spring day, thanks to our 2022 Cool Women Pearl Sponsor SDG&E and generous corporate partners, Girl Scouts San Diego celebrated the accomplishments of five 2022 Cool Women and 31 Emerging Leader Girl Scouts. The morning portion of the event included a round-robin mentoring session, where Girl Scouts built skills in networking, business etiquette, and public speaking with outstanding executive women who shared their experience, encouragement, and inspiration.

Amongst the sessions, mentors were heard providing lifelong advice to the Girl Scouts from which we all can benefit. “Don’t be afraid of change. You don’t have to get a path and stay on it.” “No matter what profession you want, there’s always an opportunity to volunteer.” “Find your purpose in your job; don’t stay too long in a job that doesn’t fulfill you.”

In the afternoon, 2021 Cool Woman alumna Marcella Lee, main anchor of CBS 8 and the CW San Diego, emceed the luncheon ceremony honoring Girl Scouts San Diego’s class of 2022 Cool Women: Naila Chowdhury, Inez González Perezchica, Susan B. Major, Revathi Subramanian, and Robin Toft. Prior to the day’s event, select Emerging Leader Girl Scouts had the opportunity to interview the Cool Women and then delivered heartwarming introductions for each of the Cool Women at the ceremony.

Many thanks to the Cool Women, mentors, and Marcella Lee for giving their time to support the event.

We are especially grateful to Pearl Sponsor SDG&E. And to Susan B. Major, Patti Roscoe, Katie Sullivan, and Robin Toft for their generous $5,000 matches. In total, more than $180,000 was raised to benefit Girl Scouts San Diego. This allows us to provide programming and maintain our properties so Girl Scouts can realize their potential and fulfill their Girl Scout Promise of making the world a better place.

For more than two decades, SDG&E has supported Girl Scouts San Diego in multiple areas. In addition to supporting Cool Women, SDG&E is a STEM Champion partner, enabling us to increase science, technology, engineering, and math programming throughout the region. SDG&E’s Go Electric patch program teaches Girl Scouts the benefits of renewable energy and how to reduce their carbon footprint. SDG&E also supported our forestry management efforts to assist GSSD in getting ready for resident camp at Camp Winacka. Thank you, SDG&E, for all you do to power-up Girl Scouts!

To see photos from the 2022 Cool Women event, check out Girl Scouts San Diego’s Flickr album. Click here to find out more about sponsorship opportunities.

 

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Girl Scouts Help Combat Food Insecurity and Climate Change

Powered by SOLV EnergyFeeding San Diego, and Girl Scouts San Diego, the Climate Controller Food Rescue Patch is available to Girl Scouts who complete simple activities such as taking a no food waste pledge, conducting a food waste audit, making recipes out of food that would otherwise go to waste, growing vegetables from scraps, and volunteering at Feeding San Diego.

As part of Earth Month, Girl Scouts attended a Climate Controller Food Rescue patch workshop on April 12, where attendees learned about the impact of food rescue on the environment and completed activities to combat food waste. Food waste accounts for eight percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. When we discard still-edible food into the trash, it ends up in landfills, where it generates carbon dioxide and methane.

Plus, during the month of April, 55 Girl Scouts volunteered at Feeding San Diego and earned the Climate Controller Food Rescue Patch. Food waste is a year-round issue, so Girl Scouts can receive this special patch anytime by completing its program requirements and volunteering at Feeding San Diego. Watch Cadette Girl Scout Kayla talk about the Climate Controller Patch with KUSI News

March/April

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Find Inspiration in Girl Scouts

One of my favorite places to visit is the majestic Sequoia National Park, where some of the tallest and oldest trees in the world have withstood thousands of years of drought, fires, earthquakes, and infestations. Interestingly, these awesome giants lack deep roots to hold them steady, but instead, the sequoias have a root system that is intertwined with the other redwood trees providing a network of support and nutrients. Together, they prevent the adversaries of life from knocking them down. This is the perspective I want to share with you today.

As I reflect over the last few years and think about our future, there is angst that may overshadow opportunity. Many of us faced frustrations caused by uncertainty, stood in the middle of uncomfortable situations, and felt unbearable emotions while striving to be our best selves. How do we move forward and not shy away from opportunity because of what we experienced these past two years? How do we muster the courage and confidence to set an example for our girls, peers, families, organizations, and our community? We lean on each other and do it together.

Like sequoias, Girl Scouts has stood the test of time because of the strong network we have when we work together. I have witnessed individuals reaching out to others, offering support in good and challenging times. I am inspired by our girls, thousands of phenomenally dedicated volunteers, generous supporters, and hardworking staff–each committed to making our world a better place.

In the face of this indescribably challenging Girl Scout Cookie season, we have been meeting with our volunteer Cookie Program leaders, and the collaboration, compassion, and camaraderie have been helpful and healing. One volunteer on a call shared the story of her daughter who sold more than 7,000 packages last year. This year, that young entrepreneur wanted to exceed her 2021 accomplishment. Upon learning that many girls had lost hope of meeting their goals because of supply issues caused by our baker, she decided to transfer her cookie inventory to other girls, so they could have the chance to meet their goals.  That is what Girl Scouts is all about—lifting others up. We can all learn from her example!

As we enter spring, we are excited to announce the plans for summer camp this year. Our talented outdoor team has created dozens of sessions for day and resident camps. Registration opens Monday, March 7, 8:30 a.m. on the camp page. Check out the brochure at sdgirlscouts.org/camp.

If girls want to participate, and are not yet involved in Girl Scouts, camp is a great introduction to our amazing organization. We want to make it as stress-free as possible; we are here to help. If you have financial challenges that may limit your camper’s participation, please reach out to us. Many of our donors have provided camperships for girls this year. Plus, there are no cancellation or change fees up to 25 days before the session begins. We look forward to a great camp season!

You make a difference. Please be kind to yourself and others, as our girls are watching us. Thank you for your courage, confidence, and character.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Carol M Dedrich 
Chief Executive Officer

 

Advocate for Girl Scouts: Contact State Legislators

We need your help! California Assembly Bill 506 went into effect January 1, 2022. We believe this legislation is a good addition to the Girl Scout safety procedures we currently have in place. However, the legislation did not come with funding for the required Live Scan background check that averages about $60 per person.

With nearly 6,000 volunteers and staff required to comply within our local council and given only two-month notice, this is a hefty price—one that was not budgeted. Statewide, there is an estimated cost upwards of $4 million for all Girl Scout councils combined. Therefore, the eight Girl Scout councils in California have come together to advocate for funding—even for a one-time allotment to help defray catch-up costs. To this end, we are asking you, our Girl Scout network, to send letters of support to:

  • the State Senate Budget Committee Members;
  • the State Assembly Budget Committee Members;
  • any Members of the Senate and Assembly you may know; and
  • the Governor.

Here are sample letters that can be customized – Click here if you’re a volunteer (any adult can adapt) and click here if you’re a girl. The links below are to the Senate and Assembly Budget Committee members. When you click on the Senate link, please scroll to the bottom to find the names. You can click on the name and send the letter via email to the representative. In addition, the Governor’s address follows.

https://sbud.senate.ca.gov/

https://abgt.assembly.ca.gov/membersstaff

The Honorable Gavin Newsom
Governor, State of California
1021 O Street, 9th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

Please consider helping us. Letters must be delivered no later than Friday, March 18, 2022. Your advocacy could help us get state funding to help with this important safety measure, which will ensure other funding remains available for girl and volunteer programming. Thank you for your support!

 

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Paying It Forward: Courtney from Mission Fed

Since 2000, Girl Scouts San Diego has honored phenomenal female leaders from our community who are consummate role models for girls. Each year, we honor a new group of women as Cool Women, an esteemed sisterhood of remarkable innovators, changemakers, and leaders. We also recognize the Emerging Leader Girl Scouts, young women who have built their leadership skills through workshops on topics such as networking, business etiquette, public speaking, and personal brand basics.

Last year’s virtual event was held on a unique platform that allowed people to move from table to table. It was a great way for guests to engage in personal, small group conversations. Emerging Leader Girl Scout Esha Walia sat at a table with longtime GSSD sponsor Mission Fed where she met Courtney Pendleton, Public Relations and Community Manager for the credit union. Familiar with public relations, Esha was curious to learn more about the field.  “Most students don’t know what PR is,” stated Courtney. “It was so exciting and unusual to meet a young person who was already knowledgeable and passionate about my field!”

While they did not have much time to talk during Cool Women, they exchanged contact information. Esha took the initiative to follow up with Courtney, and a true mentoring relationship developed. Now a freshman at Northeastern University in Boston, majoring in business administration, Esha has kept in contact with Courtney. When Esha was home for the holiday break, they met up for lunch.

During their conversations, they talk about Courtney’s school and career path, professional affiliations that could be helpful to Esha, and the ins and outs of what the job entails. Early in her career, Courtney spent eight years working for an international PR firm where she cut her teeth in the field. She has maintained her relationships there and is helping Esha get connected to the firm’s Boston office, where one of Courtney’s long-time mentors still works. Talk about paying it forward!

“Courtney has been a huge resource to me,” stated Esha, “I’m really grateful I connected with her at Cool Women, and I’m excited to stay connected!”

Esha’s advice to other Girl Scouts? “Immerse yourself in all of the opportunities. Take advantage of the networking! Girl Scouts was a huge part of my life and still is.”

Reflecting on some of her Girl Scout experiences, including Girl Advisory Board, an essay contest, Real Talk, and earning all three of her highest awards, Esha says she learned different things from each of them. “It’s how I became passionate about public speaking. I didn’t realize I was good at it until I had these Girl Scout opportunities.”

Cool Women will be held on Thursday, March 24 at an al fresco luncheon in the garden overlooking the Pacific coast at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines. Thirty-one Emerging Leader Girl Scouts will be honored along with five inspiring Cool Women. Tickets are available at Cool Women. Major gratitude goes to Mission Fed for sponsoring this event, as well as many other GSSD programs throughout the year. Their partnership makes a tremendous impact on girls’ lives.

 

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Fun. Friendship. Her Big Future.

Life can be complicated, but keeping your girl curious, active, and happy doesn’t have to be. Learn what Girl Scouts San Diego has to offer your family at sdgirlscouts.org/join.

We are happy to be your one-stop shop when it comes to exciting activities, social opportunities, and simply bringing fun to your girl’s everyday life. Sign her up to be a Girl Scout today!

Gearing up for kindergarten? You can register your girl on Friday, April 1. Current kindergarteners and older girls can join now!

Have a neighbor, granddaughter, friend or niece who would thrive in Girl Scouts? Please tell them why you believe in this unparalleled leadership development program for girls. Give them the gift of joy and confidence that comes with membership.

 

Get Outdoors!

Space is still available in our spring break one-day camps, and summer camp registration opens Monday, March 7 at 8:30 a.m.! Head on over to sdgirlscouts.org/camp to view the camp brochure and to sign up.

In more outdoor news, properties are now available for troop camping and meetings until Wednesday, June 1. Fall reservations will be available in April. For information on each location and to make a reservation, visit sdgirlscouts.org/property.

 

Operation Thin Mint Sendoff

Saturday, May 14
5-9 p.m.
USS Midway

Operation Thin Mint℠ (OTM) originated in San Diego in 2002. Since then, our Girl Scout troops and their generous cookie customers have sent over 3.7 million packages of America's favorite cookies and countless notes of support to deployed troops serving around the world. This event is a celebration of this amazing service project – we invite all of you to join us!

"Thank you for the cookies. It just feels like a little piece of home was delivered to us!" — LS1(SW/AW) Jennifer Workman, USN, USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

 

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An Old Vehicle Taking Up Space?

Have an old car, camper, boat, or motorcycle you don’t need? Whether it runs or not, Girl Scouts San Diego can accept your vehicle donation. Just call 855-500-RIDE (7433) today to have it towed at no charge. You will free up the space in your garage, get a tax deduction, and empower a girl.

January/February

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Welcome 2022, the Girl Scout Community is Ready to Make a Difference!

Even though there is still uncertainty, and the pandemic is putting up detour signs, because we are Girl Scouts, we can shift into gears we did not realize were there before, overcome the obstacles presented to us, and be available to each other navigating these changes together. We share the burdens and together take on life’s toughest challenges. Most important, while we are progressing, learning, making mistakes, and achieving, we are role models for each generation building capacity for compassion of self and others. These are just some of the reasons Girl Scouts has made a profound difference in our society and withstood the test of time (and a pandemic).

I am inspired by all the acts of service our girls and volunteers continue to provide San Diego and Imperial counties. Thanks to our gifted volunteers and staff, girls are learning to overcome trying times by bringing hope and a bit of joy to others in our community. Girl Scout Troop 3932 assembled 48 comfort packages for those in need in Encinitas; Girl Scout Troop 3958 coordinated the Scripps Ranch Holiday Tree Lighting; and multiple troops participated in laying wreaths for veterans at local cemeteries. These are just a few of the many examples.

The largest girl entrepreneurial experience, the Girl Scout Cookie Program, starts in a few short weeks! Last year, the girls found innovative ways to reach their customers to include digital marketing. This year, these young women will enhance their experience by combining the in-person marketing with all the fabulous digital techniques they perfected last year, while also marketing a new delectable cookie, AdventurefulsTM. Like many of you, I look forward to witnessing many of our seasoned and new cookie entrepreneurs in action.

Our talented Outdoor Team has been offering holiday camps that have been filling up quickly. For those who can’t wait till summer, these fun-filled day camps are bringing girls together when schools are not in session. Register today.

I hope you will join us for the beloved Cool Women celebration on Thursday, March 24. We have selected five remarkable leaders and more than 30 Emerging Leader Girl Scouts who will be honored at this year’s event. With a bit of hope, we look forward to celebrating these extraordinary leaders in person. If you have attended, you already know this, and for those who have not, this is an experience that will fill your heart. Read on for further information.

It’s going to be a big year for Girl Scouts! I am grateful for all you continue to do to support this critical mission.

Warmest and best wishes,

Carol M Dedrich 
Chief Executive Officer

 

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Girl Scouts Is the Answer

Parenting today does not necessarily look like it did six months ago, let alone six weeks ago. Girl Scouts get that, and we see how much you have been doing to keep your girl active, curious, and happy through it all.

Girl Scouts San Diego is here to help—virtually or in-person.

The Girl Scouts Daisy program is your one-stop shop when it comes to building your kindergartener’s or first grader’s social skills, keeping her moving, and giving her an extra bit of stability in this ever-changing world. Whether she is dreaming up a new toy, learning about bravery, or helping plant a garden, you can count on Girl Scouts to meet the moment, providing safe and fun activities while making your life a whole lot simpler.

Gearing up for kindergarten in the fall of 2022? You can register your girl starting on Friday, April 1. Current kindergarteners can join now!

Have a neighbor, granddaughter, friend or niece who would thrive in Girl Scouts? Please tell them why you believe in this unparalleled leadership development program for girls. Give them that gift.

 

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Cool Women 2022

Honoring Cool Women…Investing in Emerging Leaders

Thursday, March 24
11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines

We will be celebrating five exemplary women whose personal and professional lives make them consummate role models for girls, and more than 30 Emerging Leader Girl Scouts, young women who embody the mission and promise of Girl Scouts to make the world a better place and strive to be leaders with courage, confidence, and character. Please join us for a day of inspiration that will linger in your heart for months to come.

The 2022 Cool Women Honorees are:

  • Naila Chowdhury, CEO, Pillars 4 Dignity
  • Inez Gonzalez Perezchica, Executive Director, Mana de San Diego
  • Sue Major, Founder & CEO, Major Executive Search
  • Revathi Subramanian, Managing Director, Global Data Science Executive, Accenture
  • Robin Toft, Founder, We Can Rise

Tickets and sponsorship available now at sdgirlscouts.org/coolwomen.

 

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An Old Vehicle Taking Up Space?

Have an old car, camper, boat, or motorcycle you don’t need? Whether it runs or not, Girl Scouts San Diego can accept your vehicle donation. Just call 855-500-RIDE (7433) today to have it towed at no charge. You will free up the space in your garage, get a tax deduction, and empower a girl.

 

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Girl Scout Cookie Program Starts Sunday, Jan. 30!

When girls participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program, they reap so many intangible and tangible rewards. They develop essential life skills—goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. With their earnings, girls can fund membership fees, uniforms, field trips, and create their own adventure. Running their very own Girl Scout Cookie business makes it all possible, from camping trips that teach them how to be resourceful to STEM projects that inspire them to change the world and epic treks that remind them they are capable of anything.

When you see a Girl Scout marketing cookies, you can help her hone her entrepreneurial skills by asking questions like:

  • What can you tell me about your cookies?
  • What is your goal?
  • How are you doing toward your goal?
  • What is your best marketing technique?

It’s not too late for girls to sign up to participate in the Cookie Program! Go to sdgirlscouts.org/cookiesellers.

 

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Compelling Conversation

Wednesday, Feb. 16, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Join Carol Dedrich and District Attorney Summer Stephan (Cool Woman '21) for an engaging conversation on “The Ugly Truth about Human Trafficking.” As a prosecutor, DA Stephan has been delivering justice for victims of crime in San Diego County for nearly three decades. She is recognized as a national leader in the fight against human trafficking and is a staunch advocate for protecting children and families. Registration is free for this virtual event.

As a parent, guardian or caregiver, why are you glad your girl is in Girl Scouts? Please share your thoughts with Chief Advancement Officer Liz Sheahan at lsheahan@sdgirlscouts.org

2021

November/December
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As the leaves change color and the weather gets cooler, I would like to share my gratitude for all of our Girl Scouts San Diego volunteers that allow us to serve 20,000 girls! And we could not do this important mission without our talented, dedicated, volunteers. Last month, we held our annual Volunteer Celebration in-person on the lawn at Level 3 of the Balboa Campus. Listening to the creativity, commitment, and leadership of these volunteers during one of our most difficult years was truly inspirational. Please take a moment to view all our honorees and thank a volunteer in your life.

I would also like to thank our generous supporters who participated in the Power Her Promise Campaign. Whether it was hosting a Friends & Family page, bidding on an auction item, or making a donation,  you ensured that thousands of girls in our community have the opportunity to participate in life-changing leadership development experiences that Girl Scouts San Diego continues to provide throughout these unprecedented times.

Friday, Oct. 1 was the official start of the 2021-2022 Girl Scout Year! I am excited to see in-person workshops, one-day holiday camps, volunteer trainings, and community partner events filling up our calendar. We encourage you to share all the opportunities Girl Scouts San Diego has to offer with your troop and invite new girls to join today!

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

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Gold Award Girl Scout Honored

Congratulations to the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ (AFP) “Outstanding Youth Volunteer” Megan Laplante. Inspired by her brother’s medical condition, Megan created Swab Right 4 Life, a nonprofit organization, that uses a website and social media platforms to better reach a young adult audience to recruit potential bone marrow donors. She also partnered with the bone marrow registry DKMS, the largest international bone marrow registry, to host registration drives at sporting events. Her sustainable project continues to make an impact via her educational website, social media accounts, and the club she created at her high school to raise awareness.

Megan is currently studying genetics and genomic science at the University of Alabama at Birmingham on a full tuition scholarship. AFP San Diego will honor Megan and other honorees on Saturday, Nov. 13. 

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From Daisy to Adult Volunteer

Victoria Radder of Mission Trails Service Unit Troop 3830 bridged to an adult Girl Scout last month. Brenda, her mother and troop leader, could not begin to list all of the adventures Girl Scouts has offered her and knows enrolling Victoria 13 years ago was one of the best decisions she made for her daughter. “I’m blessed to have been by her side during a lot of it and felt 100% confident in her safety and care when I wasn’t.” Climbing mountains and flying over oceans, Victoria has made the world a better place and become a good citizen locally and globally.

Having been an avid member of the backpacking program, Victoria will begin her role as an adult volunteer jumping into Wilderness First Aid training that will allow her to take girls out into the backcountry where timely medical services are unavailable.  Coming up, she will take the archery instructor course and lead three wilderness hiking classes. Next summer, she will backpack in Montana and conquer Mt Whitney. If that was not enough, Victoria helps her mom lead the five remaining high school girls in her troop. Fittingly, her license plate cover reads “Once a Girl Scout, Always a Girl Scout.”

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Cool Women and Emerging Leader Girl Scouts of 2022

Each year, Girl Scouts San Diego honors exemplary women whose personal and professional lives make them consummate role models for girls. Cool Women make the world a better place as they balance work, family, friends and community service. During a mentoring session, luncheon and ceremony, these female leaders share the spotlight with the Emerging Leader Girl Scouts, who are recognized for their outstanding achievements by their mentors and community leaders. The Emerging Leader Girl Scout program is an exceptional opportunity for our high school Girl Scouts. We are accepting 2022 Cool Women nominations and Emerging Leader Girl Scouts applications now through Sunday, Nov. 21. Registration is now open for the 2022 Cool Women event which will be held on Thursday, March 24 at the Hilton Torrey Pines.

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A New Patch Program Celebrates Our Multicultural Community

The Girl Scout Multicultural Community Celebration Fun Patch series is designed to celebrate the countless contributions that diverse communities have made and continue to make in the United States. Girl Scouts of all levels and their leaders have plenty of activities to choose from to earn each segment of this fun patch series, whether they choose to do one or all. The “Yo soy una Girl Scout” kicked off the series during Hispanic Heritage Month, and November celebrates Native American Heritage Month.

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Thank You Qualcomm

For years, Qualcomm has been our committed sponsor, partner, and advocate. In addition to sponsoring events such as Cool Women and the Power Her Promise Campaign, they have been a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) donor, enabling Girl Scouts to increase STEM programming throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties.  

Committed to promoting gender equity in technology through partnerships like ours, Qualcomm encourages young girls and women to pursue careers in tech. The QWomen chapter in San Diego has generously provided time and talent in supporting STEM and Leadership programming. 

Fatima Oguz, QWomen volunteer, says, “Doing STEM outreach initiatives is important to me as we all need to be relatable role models for young girls to pursue careers in STEM. We all need to take part in fostering more diverse workspace. Having more girls in STEM will bring in different voices, different perspectives, and life experiences that will help with creativity and innovation around the world.”

Girl Scouts San Diego is truly grateful for our partnership with Qualcomm and presented the Community Partner Award to Qualcomm at our annual Volunteer Celebration. 

September/October
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Dear GSSD friends and family,

Creative campaign Co-chairs Janice Kurth and Kimberley Layton, my fantastic staff, and I invite all friends and adult members of Girl Scouts San Diego to help us reach and serve more girls from all backgrounds and income levels by participating in Power Her Promise 2021.

Because of COVID-19 considerations, we are tabling Urban Campout again and replacing the gala with the multifaceted Power Her Promise campaign we inaugurated last year to raise much-needed funds for girl programs. The campaign will extend through September. 

New this year: An exciting online auction, which includes a family pack of four round-trip tickets to domestic and international destinations served by campaign sponsor Southwest Airlines. Read on for details about how to bid and how you can join us at a private, al fresco reception overlooking San Diego.

Camp is a favorite outdoor program that benefits from Power Her Promise funds. During camp season this summer, we received a tremendous outpouring of appreciation. Parents and caregivers let us know what a difference this beloved Girl Scout tradition makes in their girls’ lives. We heard about girls who overcame shyness, built new skills, explored nature, and created new (in-person!) relationships. Our campers also had fun…something especially meaningful during a time when so many other activities are being cancelled.

A big salute to members of our outdoor program, property, and human resource teams who went the extra mile this summer so we could safely welcome girls to camp. Additional thanks to the many volunteers and additional Girl Scout staff who also pitched in to provide a memorable summer for our girls.

You can help us serve even more girls from every community by competing for a Power Her Promise auction item, posting about the campaign, becoming a sponsor, or making a contribution. You will be taking action to help thousands of local girls in K-12 feel connected, learn life skills, and stay active.

During these uncertain and challenging times, we can make progress by supporting one another, providing a financial gift for the Power Her Promise campaign, and modeling healthy, productive behavior for the next generation to witness and learn from.

Thank you for your continued commitment to this mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. 

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Carol M Dedrich 
Chief Executive Officer

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September is Your Chance to Power Her Promise! 

In the letter above, Carol described our month-long campaign to fund programs for girls. Brownie Erica (pictured) encourages you to get involved by choosing one or more of these avenues of participation:

Social media: Host a Friends & Family page and earn rewards as you share your passion for Girl Scouting with your personal and professional networks. Create your page by Saturday, Sept. 4, and you will be entered to win two round-trip tickets anywhere Southwest Airlines flies, including international destinations.

Auction: From Monday, Sept. 20 to Thursday, Sept. 30, visit the Power Her Promise webpage to bid on fabulous items, including the four international plane tickets, a getaway to Sedona, and a cool CSI experience.

Sign: Contact give@sdgirlscouts.org to request a free sign that will let your neighbors know you support Girl Scouts.

Donate: Visit our secure website or text “give” to 56651 today. Gifts of any amount impact girls’ lives!

Sponsor: Contact Liz Sheahan for information about how you can gain visibility as you align with Girl Scouts San Diego.

Donors of $2,500 or more will receive an invitation to an exclusive, outdoor reception at a lovely home high atop Mt. Soledad.

Many thanks to our Honorary POWER Committee* and Pearl Sponsors Carole J. Larson (in memory of Elsie Marie Larson), Qualcomm, and Southwest Airlines, as well as Gold Sponsors Sharp Health Plan, Katie and Dan Sullivan, and Swinerton Renewable Energy. Our Silver Sponsors are Cox Communications, Carlo and Nadine Daleo, Barbara and David Groce, Los Angeles Chargers, Mission Fed Credit Union, Northrop Grumman, and We Can Rise, while the Bronze Sponsors are Booz Allen Hamilton, Little Brownie Bakers, and San Diego Gas & Electric. Island Architects, Philips, RJS Law, along with Trust & Will, partner with us as Copper Sponsors, and The San Diego Foundation is a Promise Sponsor.  

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Sept. 11 Gathering Will Celebrate Fran Styles

The Girl Scout family is invited to attend a memorial and reception for longtime Girl Scout volunteer Fran Styles. The service will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11, at Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church, 2128 Chatsworth Blvd. A reception at the church will follow. For nearly 50 years, Fran filled a variety of volunteer roles with Girl Scouts San Diego. She passed away last December at the age of 93. For details about the memorial, contact Service Unit Support Manager Jennifer “Dot” Mains, 619-610-0800.

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New Badges Embolden Girls to Navigate and Succeed

Girls Scouts of all ages now have nearly 30 additional ways to earn badges as they explore the world. The new badges focus on:

 

Math in Nature (grades K-5): Getting girls outdoors to discover and conserve the natural world while learning math concepts is the goal of this badge. Activities include identifying shapes and patterns in natural objects, learning about symmetry and tessellation, and mastering time and measurement theories. Girls then use this knowledge to design nectar feeders, trail maps, and other outdoor tools.

Entrepreneurship (K-12): The new Cookie Business badges help girls think like entrepreneurs as they run their own cookie businesses and incorporate online sales via the Digital Cookie platform. The focus of the badges progresses from setting goals and doing effective online and in-person sales pitches to using market research, creating business plans, and implementing digital marketing campaigns.

Digital Leadership (K-12): These forward-thinking badges are designed to support and motivate Girl Scouts as they navigate the digital world. Girls first learn how to be online in a responsible and safe way, then explore how people use technology to connect and lead, and finally apply those skills to become digital activists themselves. 

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Southwest Airlines: Helping Us Help Girls Soar

Southwest Airlines is our committed partner and advocate. In addition to sponsoring Cool Women, Urban Campout, and other events, the airline is a STEM donor, enabling us to increase programming in science, technology, engineering, and math. 

Southwest Airlines created Operation Wing Scout, a series of workshops where girls gather aboard the USS Midway Museum to learn about the science behind flight, do simulated flights in Southwest’s Flight Academy Lab, and meet women in the aviation field. 

Airline tickets from this generous partner are popular additions to auction packages and enticing prizes in drawings that encourage members to renew and volunteers to start new troops. Thank you for your longtime partnership, Southwest Airlines!  

July/August
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Camp Begins; Girl Scouts Shine at Gold Award Ceremony

This summer has a special feeling of renewal, as we continue to emerge from an era of isolation.

Our camp staff is welcoming nearly 1,500 campers to 110 day and resident camp sessions. The campers are thrilled to be enjoying our facilities and spending time outdoors with new and longtime friends. Safety precautions, which vary from resident to day camp, may include daily health screenings, rapid testing, cohort grouping, masking, and frequent sanitizing.

The 2021 Gold Award ceremony was the perfect way to start the summer. On a beautiful June morning, we met on the promenade at Liberty Station for our first major in-person event since the pandemic began. During the socially distanced gathering, each Girl Scout accepted her Gold Award pin from a family member or troop leader. District Attorney Summer Stephan, a member of our Cool Women Class of 2021, provided an inspiring keynote address for this milestone event, which was shared via Facebook Live.

I am so proud of the 87 young women who reached the pinnacle of our organization this year by becoming Gold Award Girl Scouts. To overcome pandemic restrictions, many of the girls innovated and found ways to significantly revise their approaches when executing their Gold Award projects. With all of the additional challenges faced over this past year, it is even more impressive that this is the largest class in the history of our council. Congratulations to each Gold Award Girl Scout for her perseverance and resilience!

Just five percent of eligible Girl Scouts achieve Gold Award status. This prestigious honor opens doors for girls, giving them a competitive edge with job recruiters and college admissions officers, making them eligible for scholarships, and entitling them to enlist in the military at a higher pay grade.

I hope this summer brings many opportunities for you to do what brings you joy.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Carol M Dedrich 
Chief Executive Officer

Girl Scout Cookies

The Girl Scout Law in Action: Giving the Gift of Life

“Everyone deserves a second chance in life,” says Cathy Sandoval, assistant manager of retail sales for the Girl Scout shops. Thanks to her generosity, Wynn Bressler of Tierrasanta now has that chance.

Wynn’s partner is Girl Scouts San Diego Controller Michael Diddock. More than a year ago, when Cathy learned from Michael about Wynn’s long battle with end-stage kidney disease, she immediately volunteered to be tested for transplant compatibility. Preliminary results indicated she was a perfect match, and after multiple tests and many pandemic-related delays, she and Wynn underwent surgery at Sharp Memorial Hospital. Forty-eight hours later, Cathy was discharged. When Wynn left the hospital a couple of days after her, “The gift of Cathy’s kidney had already begun to bring renewal to my life,” he says. “No words can express my appreciation for her selfless act of kindness.”

What inspired Cathy to donate? “As a Girl Scout, I felt it was the right thing to do,” she explains. “Even the simplest of actions made by one human being can make a world of difference to another person.”

Cool Women

Check Out Making a Difference

The summer 2021 edition of Making a Difference reviews the lifelong Girl Scout connections of Merle Brodie, who recently retired from our Philanthropy Team. You’ll also find details about several of the exciting programs available for older Girl Scouts, and a preview of the Power Her Promise campaign coming up in September. To be added to the distribution list for future issues, contact Trisha Domingo, 619-610-0839.

Volunteer Spotlight

Donating Unwanted Vehicles is a Win-Win

Donating an unwanted car, boat, camper, or motorcycle is easier than selling it, and includes a tax deduction for you. If the vehicle is inoperable, our representatives can arrange towing. For details call 855-500-7433 or complete an online form.

May/June
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Summer Programs: Planning a Safe Return to Camp

Spring is a time of renewal, and this year we welcome it with open arms! We know that spending quality time in nature helps us thrive physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Being outdoors is especially important for the health and well-being of girls’ developing brains.

As San Diego transitions to less restrictive levels, we are thrilled to open doors for additional opportunities for girls. Our program team is working tirelessly to create in-person experiences that allow for some normalcy while adhering to capacity limits and other safety guidelines established by health officials and our COVID Safety Task Force.

Our theme for this summer is Find Your Way Back to Camp! Day sessions will begin at our Balboa Campus and Escondido Program Center next month, and our outdoor summer staff will welcome Girl Scouts to Camp Winacka for the first time since August 2019.

Developing these programs involved preparing our facilities, assessing those evolving guidelines, and evaluating our staffing resources and capacity. We have planned for contingencies and added flexibility in areas such as change and cancellation fees. Registration is now open, so reserve your girl’s spot today.

It is an exciting time to be part of the Girl Scout Movement. We learn, adapt, and support each other through change, fun, and challenging times. Thank you for being part of our diverse, solution-oriented collaborators.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Carol M Dedrich 
Chief Executive Officer

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Board Welcomes New Chair

On April 28, our board of directors unanimously elected Rita Datko as Girl Scouts San Diego’s 40th chair. In her professional life, Rita is vice president and chief financial officer for Sharp Health Plan. “Rita is a phenomenal leader, bringing exceptional talents, skills and experience, while also understanding the complexities of Girl Scouting,” says CEO Carol Dedrich. “We are very fortunate to have her at the helm.”

Rita earned a Thanks Badge—Girl Scouting’s highest award for volunteerism—for over two decades of service as a troop leader, service unit manager, and national delegate. Rita joined our board in 2017, and has been active on its Executive, Finance, and Board Development committees. She attributes Girl Scouting with giving her four daughters (pictured, from left: Marisa, Bryanna, Christina, Rita, and Alexa) “opportunities to explore their big ideas with freedom and flexibility and to unleash their unique potential.” The board also elected officers Natasha Bowman, Woody Ledford, and Claudia Silva as vice chair, treasurer, and secretary, respectively.

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Cool Women, Cool Girls

Congratulations to Dr. Adela de la Torre, Denise Pirrotti Hummel, Rachel Teresa Ivanovich, Marcella Lee, Summer Stephan, and The Honorable Randa M. Trapp (pictured, clockwise from top left), recently inducted into the Cool Women Class of 2021. During the virtual event, which also celebrated 42 accomplished Emerging Leader Girl Scouts, Cool Woman alum Karen Archipley shared how connections made through the Cool Women sisterhood literally saved her life.

We appreciate all who attended and supported this inspirational celebration. Special thanks to Bob Kilian for generously matching the first $10,000 of donations in memory of his wife, Kathleen Slayton, and to our sponsors, including Champion Sponsor SDG&E. 

Our partnership with SDG&E has spanned more than two decades. In addition to underwriting Cool Women, SDG&E is a year-round STEM program supporter, enabling us to increase science, technology, engineering, and math programming throughout the region. SDG&E’s Go Electric patch program teaches Girl Scouts the benefits of renewable energy and how to reduce their carbon footprint.

Volunteer Spotlight

Moss, White Legacies Live on Through Girl Scouts

Our Girl Scouts San Diego family is remembering the many contributions of two extraordinary champions for girl empowerment. Frances Hamilton White and Ron Moss (pictured, left and center) generously shared their skills, intellect, and financial support to advocate on behalf of girl and women leadership. Ron and his late wife, the inspirational Jo Moss (right), shared a close friendship with Frances for more than 40 years. 

Ron chaired our first-ever capital campaign. He, Jo, and Frances were generous participants in the leadership phase of the campaign, and lead donors of the Open Circle Amphitheater, where girls gather to learn, laugh, sing, play, celebrate and develop their leadership skills. In 2007, Francis told guests at the ribbon cutting ceremony that the amphitheater’s name was inspired by the tenets of Girl Scouting: “There is acceptance, there is inclusion, and in that begins friendship.” Ron said that day, “Young girls have many dreams about the future, their friends, their opportunities, and much, much more. Jo and I have long been interested in helping provide opportunities for girls to enhance their education, development, and dreams.”

Ron and Jo also presented our council with the much-loved bronze statues in our Leading the Way Sculpture Garden at the Balboa Campus.

On behalf of our former, current, and future Girl Scouts, thank you to Frances and Ron, and deepest sympathy to their families and friends. 

Operation Thin Mint

May 18: Safely Navigating the Post-Pandemic "Next Normal"

Laura Vleugels, M.D. and Kelley Grimes, M.S.W. will discuss Life After COVID-19 during a free virtual gathering on Tuesday, May 18, 5-6 p.m. Topics will include how to safely return to life in real time and what life will look and feel like. 

Dr. Vleugels (picture, left) is supervising child and adolescent psychiatrist for the County of San Diego, while Kelley is a counselor and best-selling author who advocates for self-nurturing. Register now for this free event, open to all members as part of our Compelling Conversations series.

Annual Report

2020: Recapping a Year of Challenges and Innovation

Urban Campout/Power Her Promise Update

Gathering with hundreds of our friends and supporters at Urban Campout 2021 will not be possible for a variety of reasons, so we have decided to reprise last year’s highly successful Power Her Promise campaign. Many more people can engage in this multi-faceted experience, and sponsors appreciate the long-term visibility. 

Minimizing expenses also helps us direct more proceeds to our impactful programs and to financial assistance that keeps Girl Scouting available and affordable for all girls.

The dynamic duo of Kimberley Layton and Janice Kurth will co-chair Power Her Promise 2021, which will include opportunities for members, volunteers, and supporters to engage their friends and family in supporting our powerful mission. New this year: an online auction that includes travel packages and other great items. Plus, donors who give $2,500 or more will be our guests at an intimate, outdoor reception at a beautiful residence high up on Mount Soledad. Watch your email and the July/August edition of Connections for details.

March/April
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County Officials Provide Safety Guidance; Booths Now Open

We continue to operate under an abundance of caution, always keeping the health, safety, and well-being of our members as our top priority. Last month, Chief Mission Delivery Officer Michelle Mullen and I met with the county’s Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) to carefully review and discuss our comprehensive COVID-19 safety guidelines. The officials compared them to those of other local and state groups, including small group youth cohorts and youth recreation programs, and to the booth model used by retail companies and farmers' markets. The professionals concluded that our members can provide additional safe choices for in-person gatherings, including troop meetings.

Girl Scout Cookie booths are also a safe choice now, according to the guidelines. This is great timing, as we need the publics’ support now, more than ever! Girls—and our entire council—rely on cookie proceeds to ensure that troop activities, service projects, programs, camps and volunteer training continue for our 31,459 members. (Read on for details about how you and your friends can make a difference by supporting this year’s cookie program.)

More than 200 of our members gathered on Zoom yesterday (March 4) to hear about our preparations and guidelines for in-person gatherings. Officials from the county’s Health and Human Services Agency and Office of Emergency Services shared their expertise and answered questions. They also provided an overview of how girls’ mental health is faring during the pandemic and provided advice about the importance of encouraging girls to connect with their social groups. A recording will be available on our What's New page soon.

Our families are evaluating their comfort levels, health, and personal situations to decide whether their girls will participate in all, some, or no in-person Girl Scout gatherings. Some troops will elect to continue meeting virtually for the time being. Others are devising hybrid formats, with some members participating in the in-person get-togethers, accompanied by other members who are attending online. Inclusion is a cornerstone of our organization and we ask troops to embrace the Girl Scout Law by helping all girls stay involved in group activities as much possible, in whatever mode they choose to participate.

Many of our troops will be celebrating, virtually or in-person, on Friday, March 12, the 109th anniversary of the day Juliette Gordon Low launched the Girl Scout Movement. 

Happy Birthday, Girl Scouts!

Carol M Dedrich 
Chief Executive Officer

Girl Scout Cookies

Cookie Program Extended…We Need the Public’s Support!

Conducting the Girl Scout Cookie Program this year has been extremely challenging, so our girls have used their creativity to design flyers, distribute door hangers, utilize social media, and invite customers to their customized Digital Cookie websites. Because booth marketing has not been possible until now, we have extended the cookie program through Sunday, April 18.

Our Girl Scouts need the support of San Diego and Imperial County residents! If you don’t know a Girl Scout, please visit our Find Cookies page and select from these options:

  • Booths: Enter your zip code to find the location and hours for a booth near you and when it’s open.
  • Direct purchase from a Girl Scout in your zip code: Choose contact-free delivery by the girl or direct shipment from the baker.
  • Grubhub: Through our partnership with this food delivery service, our Girl Scouts are learning the backend of fulfillment, distribution, and digital technology. In addition to our Find Cookies page, you can request delivery by either visiting grubhub.com or downloading the app, then searching for Girl Scout Cookies.
Cool Women

Cool Women 2021: Championing the Cause of Girl Leadership

Register now to join us for our 21st annual Cool Women celebration on Friday, April 30. We will induct the distinguished Cool Women Class of 2021 (pictured clockwise from left):

In addition to honoring these exceptional role models for girls, we will introduce the Emerging Leader Girl Scouts of 2021. These young women embody the mission and promise of Girl Scouts to be leaders of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

The program Is scheduled for noon-12:45 p.m. Before and after the program, our unique platform will allow you to mingle and network, moving from table to table to connect with the honorees and our Emerging Leaders. Or opt to meet up with a longtime friend to participate in some of the fun Girl Scout activities.

Your support will help provide programs and opportunities for all girls, and you can also choose to sponsor an Emerging Leader to attend the event. Thank you to Cool Women Champions Julia R. Brown, Liza Crisafi, Divya Kakaiya, Roxana Kennedy, Janice Kurth, Angie Lasagna, Lidia S. Martinez, Emily Rex, Patti Roscoe, Grace Shelley, Lori Walton, and Cathy Young; Champion Sponsor SDG&E; Leader Sponsor Qualcomm; and Mentor Sponsors Cox, Mission Federal Credit Union, Northrop Grumman, and Swinerton Renewable Energy. For details about sponsorships or tickets, contact Veronica Worthington, 619-610-0801.

Volunteer Spotlight

Volunteer Spotlight: City Government Official Kristen Crane

The Girl Scout tradition of making the world a better place attracted Kristen Crane to the profession of local government management. Kristen, who serves as assistant manager of the City of Del Mar, is a national delegate for Girl Scouts San Diego. She is also the longtime leader of two troops that include her daughters, Kendall (left) and Lauren. Kristen says, “One of my life’s greatest joys is watching the young women of Troops 2054 and 8907 grow up.”

As a girl in Tierrasanta, Kristen loved the challenge and excitement of Girl Scout Cookie season so much that she remembers “literally running from door to door!” She attributes the cookie program with teaching her “early life lessons like customer service, public speaking, project management, business ethics and—most importantly—resilience.” She believes “Those skills are reflected in my leadership style today.”

Recently Kristen informally invited some of her professional colleagues from our region to participate in a session of our new E2B (Entrepreneur-to-Business) program. Through E2B, Girl Scouts present a five-minute virtual pitch for their cookie businesses to social, civic, or corporate groups. Kristen reports that the city managers and assistant managers were impressed with the professionalism and enthusiasm of the presenters, and enjoyed learning how the Girl Scouts will invest their proceeds.

To schedule a brief cookie marketing session for your group, email cookies@sdgirlscouts.org with the subject line “E2B.”

Operation Thin Mint

Observing 20 Years of Operation Thin Mint in April

We’re teaming up with our longtime community partner, the USS Midway Museum, to observe two decades of our biggest councilwide service project. The museum will feature an Operation Thin Mint anniversary exhibit during April and provide free admission to current girl members when they arrive wearing a Girl Scout uniform, vest, sash, or Daisy smock. Watch our website and social media outlets for details about how everyone can join in the celebration.

Annual Report

2020: Recapping a Year of Challenges and Innovation

“Girl Scout Strong!” sums up our response to 2020, and is the theme of our annual report, which features cover girl Cecelia Maril. Through photos, infographics, and text, the publication illustrates how San Diego and Imperial county Girl Scouts overcame fears, developed resilience, extended compassion, and rallied to help their neighbors. These stats offer a snapshot of the details you’ll find in the report:

  • 4,060 girls connected with adult role models in STEM fields.
  • 5,000-plus girls attended the two virtual In-Tents Campouts.
  • 55,000 N95 masks for frontline workers were purchased with donated cookie proceeds.
  • 100,000-plus girls in 40 years have participated in our Outreach program.
Compelling Conversations

Compelling Conversation: Inside GSUSA 

On Wednesday, March 10, 5-6 p.m., we’ll get an inside perspective of the Girl Scout Movement from Girl Scouts of the USA Board President Karen P. Layng (left) and Sue Major, a San Diegan who serves on that board and chairs its philanthropy committee. Karen and Sue will join Carol Dedrich to discuss what’s happening in Girl Scouting on the national level. Visit our Compelling Conversations page to register for this event and find additional information about our distinguished guests.

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Rounding: Small Donations Can Add Up

Girl Scouts is Walmart’s charity of choice during March. Now, through Tuesday, March 30, when you shop at walmart.com or with the app, you may use the Round Up option at checkout to increase your transaction to the nearest dollar. Girl Scouts San Diego will receive all funds designated by local residents.

January/February
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Digital Cookie Platform Takes Center Stage for 2021 Cookie Program

We will remember 2020 as a year of firsts. It was messy, challenging, and unpredictable. Braving isolation and uncertainty, our girls supported first responders, essential workers, friends, and families in need.

I am so proud of my staff, girls, and volunteers for banding together during these unprecedented times. Despite uncertainty, Girl Scouts San Diego rallied to stay connected with girls and volunteers and provide them with much-needed programs. Based on state and local guidelines, we created protocols to ensure that everyone's safety continues to be our top priority, while also delivering on our promise to build girls of courage, confidence, and character.

As we embark on 2021, safety remains foremost. A foundation based on the valuable lessons and new ways of connecting we learned last year will further strengthen our resilience and support our efforts in the cookie program. There is no better time than now to teach, grow, and learn together. It is an exciting time to be a Girl Scout!

Our girls are using innovative techniques this year to market cookies in a socially distanced manner. They will rely on channels like Digital Cookie®, an order-taking website and app to help them safely and effectively manage their cookie businesses online. Moreover, for the first time, our girls will learn and utilize e-commerce technology as we partner with Grubhub’s delivery service.

Throughout this season, Girl Scouts will develop critical business skills like strategic marketing, budgeting, and resource allocation. They will set and track goals through Digital Cookie, manage orders, learn internet safety skills, and explore how to invest cookie proceeds back into the community.

This week, they begin inviting people within their friends-and-family network to pre-order and pre-pay on their personalized Digital Cookie websites. Customers will choose whether to receive their cookies directly from the baker via FedEx or USPS, or by contactless delivery from the girl (beginning Sunday, Jan. 24, when the cookie program officially begins). They can also donate cookies to deployed U.S. service members though Operation Thin Mint SM. (Read on for more about the 20th anniversary of this service project, as well as details about the exciting new collaboration with Grubhub.)

Your participation in the cookie program as a parent, volunteer, or customer offers the support we need to provide state-of-the-art programs for girls that help them grow in confidence and build skills. Thank you. Together, with the Girl Scout Promise and Law as our guide, we are setting a strong example for our girls—the next generation of leaders.

Here’s to a healthy, innovative, and productive 2021!

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Carol M Dedrich 
Chief Executive Officer

Grubhub

Innovative Partnership Announced

San Diegans can have their favorite Girl Scout Cookies delivered by Grubhub, thanks to a just-announced partnership between the delivery service and Girl Scouts of the USA. Beginning Feb. 1, consumers may use Grubhub.com or the company’s app to order cookies for delivery by Grubhub drivers. Local Girl Scouts will gain hands-on experience in e-commerce, using Grubhub’s back-end technology to track and fulfill orders and manage inventory. Find out more in this Good Morning America story.

OTM 20th Anniversary

From Girl Scout Troops to Military Troops: 20 years of OTM

Over the last two decades, Girl Scouts and their generous cookie customers have sent more than 3.25 million packages of cookies to deployed U.S. service members and military veterans (photos). To celebrate this milestone Operation Thin Mint anniversary, we’ve set an ambitious goal of sending 200,000 notes of support to accompany 200,000 donated packages of cookies. Invite your friends, family members, schools, and church groups to help! Print blank notecards or pre-arrange curbside pickup at our Balboa shop. Add a heartfelt message and colorful art, then return the cards to the shop or mail them to us at 1231 Upas St., San Diego 92103. 

Michelle Mullen

Education Executive/Longtime Volunteer Joins GSSD

Michelle Mullen has joined the Girl Scouts San Diego management team as chief mission delivery officer. “Michelle is a strategic leader with more than 30 years of experience with nonprofits and youth education organizations and a strong commitment to furthering the mission of Girl Scouts,” said Girl Scouts San Diego CEO Carol Dedrich. Most recently, Michelle was executive vice president of learning programs, products, and services for AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) Center. She will oversee the Mission Delivery team that includes our Customer Experience, Membership, and Program departments. A lifetime member of Girl Scouts, she has served our council in multiple volunteer roles, including service unit manager, encampment director, and lead for the Training Go-Team that advises our Adult Learning team. Welcome, Michelle!

Compelling Conversations

Mother/Daughter Duo to Share Pandemic-Era Wellness Tips

Learn the importance of sleep, exercise, and keeping your brain and gut in good health during the pandemic. During a free virtual event on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 5-6 p.m., neuropsychologist Divya Kakaiya, Ph.D. and Roshni Kakaiya, M.D. will join CEO Carol Dedrich for a conversation on the importance of maintaining psychological and physical health. Divya, a neuropsychologist who founded Healthy Within, Inc., serves on the Girl Scouts San Diego Board of Directors. Her daughter, Roshni, a Gold Award Girl Scout, is now a family medicine resident physician at Scripps Chula Vista. Registration is free.

Fran Styles

Girl Scouts Mourn Legendary Volunteer

San Diego’s Girl Scout family lost a beloved member with the passing of 93-year-old Frances Styles on Dec. 15. Fran was a dynamic Marine Corps veteran/athletic director/senior athlete who volunteered with our organization for nearly half a century, touching the lives of literally thousands of girls and adults. She was also well known to the Urban Campout guests who lined up at her archery range each year for a chance to hit the bulls-eye. Our 2020 Volunteer Celebration included the announcement of the Fran Styles Lifetime Achievement Award, to be presented annually to an exceptional volunteer with 25 or more years of service, and a video tribute to her (at 32:43). Condolences to Fran’s children (Michelle, Patrick, and Jay) may be sent in care of Girl Scouts San Diego, 1231 Upas St., San Diego 92103.

  • Fran Styles
  • Fran Styles
  • Fran Styles
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RightRail_Membership_2022