From Jennifer Colosimo from Arvada who is an Assistant Troop Leader (Cadette Troop 316), Membership Connection Committee Member, National Council Delegate and representative to the Colorado Girl Scouts Board of Directors
Many Girl Scout members don’t realize that there is National Girl Scout Council that is charged with giving broad policy direction to the future of the Girl Scout Movement in the United States. The National Council, made up primarily of delegates from United State councils, convenes every three years to vote on business proposals, reflect on topics like women in corporate leadership positions and girl advocacy, and to have fun celebrating the Girl Scout Movement!
Colorado recently sent delegates, including three girl delegates, staff members, and additional girls attending the Girl Scout Leadership Institute to convention. This year’s National Convention, which was held in Houston in November, held special significance for Girl Scouts as the organization officially kicked off their 100th anniversary celebrations for 2012 and named 2012 the “Year of the Girl.”
As a Colorado delegate, we went to Fallapaloozas and held three webinars to obtain the opinions of the Girl Scout members in the state of Colorado on three proposals. We voted according to the feedback obtained across the state.
The first proposal passed and authorized local councils to charge an annual council services fee for girl members. Our council is not going to charge a general fee (not to be confused with event-related fees for specific events like camp, council events or travel) at this time.
The second proposal didn’t pass. It was going to change the timing of when delegates were elected. Many of the girl delegates said they couldn’t have been elected any earlier because, when they were 12 years old, they didn’t know what they might do when they turned 14! (I feel the same way, and I’m in my 40s :))
The third proposal didn’t pass, but was sent to a task force. It was heavily debated as it would have created the ability of a council to have a rolling membership year for each girl that commenced on the date she first registered. Having been a leader for 8 years, I was interested in options for membership, but not the administrative nightmare of tracking each girl’s enrollment date!
But don’t think this experience was all Robert’s Rule of Order. OK, a lot of it was. But there was some fun! The 12 girls who attended from Colorado sang songs as we walked through downtown Houston the first night. All the Colorado adults and girls who attended experienced courage, confidence and character in another part of the country and had the opportunity to feel the strength of the Girl Scout Movement. The program keynotes included Lifetime Girl Scouts such as Katie Couric and Robin Roberts. The official 100th anniversary kickoff event was a huge party, and the convention floor featured tons of great stuff for girls and leaders.
If you’re interested in contributing in the same way in the state of Colorado, our Membership Connection Committee (MCC) is very active and looking for new members, particularly in the Denver metro area. Visit the Girl Scouts of Colorado website for more information. We’d love to have you apply, and maybe join us in Salt Lake City in 2014 for the next convention!