Connections Newsletter | November-December 2023

Connections Newsletter | November-December 2023

A Memorable Evening at Urban Campout 2023: Adventures Await

In September, we welcomed back our beloved fundraiser, Urban Campout, after a three-year hiatus! It was an epic evening of indulging in Girl Scout memories and reconnecting in the great outdoors. 

This event was more than just a gathering; it was a celebration of community and a testament to the power of coming together for a common cause. Attendees embraced a sense of adventure and camaraderie while raising critical funds that allow us to empower the next generation of tenacious and adventurous leaders. With your support, we raised more than $475,000 for the Girl Scout mission. Thank you!

See photos from the event and save the date for next year’s fun fundraiser, set for Friday, Sept. 13, 2024. 

A Weekend of Outdoor Skills and Thrills

On October 6-8, more than 100 Girl Scout volunteers came together at Camp Winacka to discover the history of camp, try their hand at archery, dip their oars into the lake while learning canoe, cook outside with Sheperd stoves, and so much more! 

We know that when adults have empowering experiences practicing outdoor skills, they become better prepared to guide their Girl Scouts and troops on adventures in the great outdoors. Check out photos from the weekend for inspiration and join us for an upcoming Outdoor Series training course to ensure you are ready for whatever adventure comes next. Visit our training webpage to learn more and register. 

Volunteer Celebration Honors 40+ All Stars

The dedication of our volunteers makes the Girl Scout mission possible for more than 24,000 members in San Diego and Imperial counties. Last month, we honored more than 40 volunteers and corporate partners with awards for their outstanding leadership and commitment to Girl Scouting at the 2023 Volunteer Celebration

It was an inspiring evening of recognition and celebration at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. Guests had an opportunity to mix and mingle with new and old Girl Scout friends while enjoying delicious appetizers, mixed beverages, and an entertaining program. Kudos to our fantastic emcees—Shalene Garland, Girl Scout Alum and Lifetime member and Annette Rodriguez, Senior Girl Scout from Troop 5912—who led a joyful program and helped us celebrate the positive impact volunteers have in delivering our mission. 

Congratulations to this year’s honorees! Learn more about Volunteer Celebration and see photos from the event at  

Cadette Nina Asnani wins Alex Morgan Foundation’s Leader of the Year Award

We are so proud of Nina Asnani (8th grade Cadette) who was recently honored with the Alex Morgan Foundation’s Homebreak Leader of the Year Award. At every home game for San Diego Wave FC, a pink banner that reads “Alex’s Homebreak” is proudly displayed in the stands, marking the section where youth girls’ soccer teams attend games together. Each year, the Foundation asks coaches for submissions for a Leader of the Year Award from the teams that have sat in the Homebreak. Nina was chosen because she represents all the traits of an amazing leader, both on her soccer team and in her community. She is currently working on her Girl Scout Silver Award, where she aims to empower upcoming generations of female athletes. Way to go, Nina!

Girl Scouts Become “Real Heroes” 

Earlier this year, we awarded Cadette Girl Scout, Amelia Umstadter, with the GSUSA Medal of Honor for saving her father’s life during a choking incident at home. Recently, Amelia was honored as a Red Cross Youth Hero at the 21st annual Real Heroes Awards held at the USS Midway Museum. 

Crystal Bettenhausen-Bubulka, a Girl Scout volunteer, was also honored by the Red Cross. She received the Good Samaritan Award for saving someone’s life in a crisis situation.

They joined this year’s group of Real Hero honorees, who each embody the mission and spirit of the Red Cross by saving lives and creating safer, stronger, and more resilient communities. We are extremely moved by the incredible stories of Amelia and Crystal, who acted with extraordinary courage.  

Learn more about the event and see photos on the American Red Cross Southern California website. Congratulations, Amelia and Crystal!

Girl Scouts San Diego Makes National Headlines

During the 2023 cookie program, our Girl Scouts learned about the realities of running a business and overcoming real-world pressures like inflation. And, thanks to everyone's resilience and dedication, the 2023 Cookie Program proved to be the most successful one yet since the pandemic began! 

As councils across the country adjust their cookie prices due to rising costs, Girl Scouts San Diego serves as a reminder that successes are still possible amid worldly challenges. We were thrilled to chat about this with Scott Horsley for NPR’s 'All Things Considered’ last month. Shout out to Girl Scouts Ashley Hilliard (Senior) and Madison Patstone (Junior) and our CEO Carol Dedrich for sharing their stories! 

Read or listen to the full story at 

Outstanding Collaboration Between Girl Scouts San Diego and Booz Allen Hamilton

Girl Scouts San Diego (GSSD) is fortunate to collaborate with exceptional partners who provide critical program funding, volunteers, and support with learning opportunities based on the Girl Scout leadership experience. One of these partners, Booz Allen Hamilton, is a technology consulting firm whose guiding purpose is to “empower people to change the world.”

At the San Diego Business Journal’s 2023 Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship Awards in September, Booz Allen Hamilton and Girl Scouts San Diego won the Outstanding Collaboration Between a Business and a Nonprofit Award.

The partnership between Booz Allen and GSSD continues to grow as Booz Allen’s corporate sponsorships, foundation program grants, and volunteer support help shape programs for Girl Scouts. From supporting the 2020 Power Her Promise campaign with critical unrestricted funding, to sponsoring Girl Scout Outreach programs in Southeast San Diego, to dedicating funding and volunteers for the annual Incredible Race and Cybersecurity Workshops, Booz Allen’s partnership is crucial to closing the STEM gender gap in the region.  

When more girls have access to STEM programs and mentors, they are empowered to grow in confidence and imagine a brighter future in these career fields. Thank you and congratulations, Booz Allen Hamilton!

Empowering Me Conference Inspires Older Girl Scouts

More than 50 Girl Scouts in grades 7-12 came together on Saturday, Nov. 4 at our Balboa Campus for the annual Empowering Me: Older Girl Scout Conference. Participants enjoyed a delicious lunch, connected with their peers, and engaged in three workshops themed around the four Girl Scout pillars: STEM, Entrepreneurship, Outdoors, and Life Skills. The sessions covered topics like building confidence in self-defense, learning best practices for skincare, writing creatively through poetry, caring for the environment, growing business skills, and more. Check out this Instagram reel to hear from five Girl Scouts on their key takeaways! And see photos from the event on our Flickr page.

Special thank you to event sponsors, Kate Sessions Commitment and Sharp Health Plan. And shout out to our community partners who hosted amazing sessions: Artie Party, Gluten Free Baking Co., La Jolla Nutritional Health, Michelle Mehta Life Coach, Play It Safe Defense, San Diego Audubon Society, San Diego FBI, and UCSD Dermatology.

Learn more about upcoming older Girl Scout programming and sign up for the brand-new older Girl Scout newsletter at