CEO: December 2012 Archives

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What about way too much to eat, relatives under foot, wrapping paper, kids with lots of time on their hands?  It is always interesting when we look forward to the holidays, but we are also happy when we can return to our routine.

In this time between various holiday activities, we want to take stock of 2012.   I believe it is good to be grateful for every day and each year.   GSSA has had an excellent 2012!   The cookie program was strong last year, with 500 more girls involved in the program.   The per girl cookie sale average increased, which translates additional funds to fix deferred maintenance, make new purchases, and build new things.   We addressed a number of leaking roofs, those of us in the Mobile Service Center are especially grateful for a new roof on both buildings, so it no longer leaks in.   We bought more stand-up paddle boards for both Kamp Kiwanis and Scoutshire Woods, so girls can hone their skills on those.   We built zip lines for the girls at Scoutshire Woods and Kamp Kiwanis, complete with helmets, harnesses, and trolleys for the girls to ride on.   There was a new dock at the island in the lake at Scoutshire Woods, and we built another new dock for the mariners at Kamp Kiwanis.   The horse ring at Scoutshire Woods has a new deluxe restroom, which is a prototype of more restrooms to come at this property.   It is constructed of concrete block, so in case there is a storm, girls would have a more substantial building to go to.   This is a partial list of the opportunities we were able to offer the girls because of a strong cookie program.

The girl programs for the 100th anniversary were outstanding.   In the early spring we were able to offer Girls Rock Mobile for 600 girls.   What a weekend that was, with an overnight at the Mobile Convention Center.   It included a boat ride so girls understand the port and issues confronting the port with litter.   There were exhibitors, and a great scavenger hunt through the city streets. 

GSSA also took two buses to Rock the Mall, the 100th anniversary rock concert on the Washington Monument mall, over 250,000 girls and adults attended that day.   Many other girls used their hard- earned cookie rewards to visit Savannah or take other trips they had been saving for.

The Heritage Committee put together an excellent exhibit highlighting the 100 years of Girl Scouts.   The History Museum of Mobile hosted a wonderful reception for the exhibit opening, so many got to celebrate 100 years of girls learning to become leaders.   This exhibit continues to tour the council and has been enjoyed by many.

We started having Girl Scout Alumnae events at different camps in the council and are working to reconnect with those who have gone before us, celebrating their involvement with girls creating leaders.   We continue to schedule those events throughout the council.

All of this happened while every week many of you meet with your girls, sing songs, build skills, and teach girls how to become leaders in their community through Discover, Connect, and Take Action.   We appreciate all you do to make the world a better place.   We are grateful for an excellent 2012 and have high hopes for an even better 2013!

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Last week I was delighted to serve as your host to a holiday open house and presentation at the Montgomery Service Center.   Part of this holiday event was to honor a long time Girl Scout volunteer.   Mary Edith Jones is 90 years old.   She started her troop with second graders around 1952, 60 years ago.   She took that group of girls through high school as Girl Scouts.   They traveled, they camped, learned how to build a fire, learned to canoe, learned to sail.   It seems one of them managed to dump dirt into their dutch oven while cooking grits over a campfire.   Fifty years later, she is still hearing about it, a fond memory that makes them laugh.    Mrs. Jones is a special woman, someone we refer to as one of Juliette's Pearls.   Juliette Gordon Low sold her precious pearls so Girl Scouts could be funded.   She sold something she valued so this organization could live.   Women like Mrs. Jones gave her time, her talents, and herself to make the world a better place.   Her troop meets every year and they have done that for 60 years.   They travel together, eat together, and continue to stay in touch with one another 60 years later.   At the focal point of their fellowship is Mrs. Mary Edith Jones, who laughs with them and loves them.

I recognize it might sound very hard to live up to the standard that Mrs. Mary Edith Jones has set, keeping in touch 60 years later.   However, it is clear she made a difference in the lives of those girls and others.    It is clear she enriched their lives and made the world a better place.   At the holiday open house I saw a few younger versions of Mrs. Jones, leading the singing, getting the girls organized and dressed to come over and entertain.   Never underestimate the impact you are having on a girl and what that might become someday.

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We have them! How about the new Girl Scout car sticker for those who have achieved their GS Leader License? The cost is great -- free if you have completed the process.   Maybe you'd like the new council patch, which is beautiful and represents something special from each geographic region of our council.  Or, if you are in need of something for your daughter, granddaughter or niece, what about a gift of summer resident camp?  

Six of us spent a day this week working on the 2013 resident camp program.   We retained some of the most popular programs, such as Survivor or the Amazing Race, horsemanship, and swimming sessions, but added exciting new sessions in theater, robotics, stargazing, float trips for advanced canoers or kayakers.    You can give the gift of resident camp for the holidays at a discount. For $80, you will receive a $100 credit, good for any resident camp session.  You or your family member has to purchase the gift certificate by December 19 (visit our Online Shop, call or come by either of the Service Centers for details).   These are good for any resident camp session.  More details will be coming weekly on the camp program as we do teasers during the cookie program for summer resident camp.

Both council shops have all sorts of fun things for the Girl Scout in your life.   The prices range from $2.50 for patches on up to some nice Girl Scout clothing.   These items are a fun way to show your loyalty to Girl Scouting and have some great holiday stocking stuffers for that special girl in your life.

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