The National Council Session and Convention in Columbus, Ohio were epic, bringing together hundreds of council delegates plus thousands more Girl Scouts and supporters. Among those who spoke at the Convention—G.I.R.L. 2017—were Barbara Bush and Chelsea Clinton, who co-presented with the 2017 National Young Women of Distinction (including GSGLA alumna Yue “Cherry” Ying!).
Our girl delegates played a significant part of the process at the National Council Session, helping decide on proposals related to the Girl Scout Movement. They then experienced G.I.R.L. 2017—the amazing and inspiring Girl Scout convention! Below, some of our delegates share their perspectives on the girl-powered, girl-led event—and what the whole experience that week meant to them.
Hanalei Emnace: Being a National Delegate representing GSGLA was truly an amazing experience—despite the lack of sleep and very long days, I had so much fun. From watching democracy in action during the National Council Session to performing in Girls Got Talent [see left] to walking around the city and seeing the multitude of Girl Scouts everywhere, it was apparent that Columbus was bleeding green that week. Furthermore, spending time getting to know my fellow girl delegates and making friendships with girls from all over the nation was so awesome, especially being able to trade SWAPS with Girl Scouts young and old; I even got to meet some cute little Daisies from Ohio! But one of the most memorable things that happened for me was meeting a female Lieutenant of the U.S. Navy, who was a Naval Academy graduate [see right]. She gave a talk on managing different aspects of life and her life experience in doing so; since I am looking to attend a military academy, it was such an inspiring meeting and it helped me realize all the opportunities that Girl Scouts has to offer. Throughout my week in Columbus I was able to immerse myself in parliamentary procedure, which coincides with my interest in political science, meet people from all over the country, and appreciate all the hard work that everyone put into putting on the week.
Genetha Cleveland: My experience at the National Convention in Columbus, Ohio was fantastic! I Iearned many parliamentary legislation rules, met many other Girl Scouts, and much more. On Oct. 4, we started with voting on the proposals. Watching other Girl Scouts and delegates going to the panel to speak was interesting and a learning experience. My other Girl Scouts brought up great questions and concerns to the National Board. But my favorite part of our trip were the SWAPS. One time I wanted to trade SWAPS with another Girl Scout from California, and we ended up having a 15-minute conversation about how Girl Scouts has many benefits and give you many learning experiences. Asking other people if they wanted to SWAP or if they wanted one of mine was fun. The Hall of Experiences was amazing too. I collected so many free things that I have already started using at school and for DIY crafts. By having three other delegates on my side, I was able to enjoy the experience even more. We all had an instant bond and enjoyed each other’s company. We’ve had so many memories together and I won’t be able to forget them. We all hope to attend the next convention in 2020 in Orlando, Florida. At the end of each event or lecture from other G.I.R.L.s, we talked about how we can relate to them and reflect upon ourselves.
Hana Meroth: I never realized the global impact of Girl Scouts on girls around the world. It was truly amazing to be able to meet girls from across the nation and have an instant connection with them. Everyone we met was so incredibly amicable and welcoming. I had been looking forward to the incredible lineup of speakers, and they all exceeded my expectations. After listening to all the National Young Women of Distinction, I was so inspired to grow the impact of my own Girl Scout Gold Award project, and now I want to be a National Young Woman of Distinction! All the speakers had such inspiring stories of how they overcame adversities in their own lives and it really empowered me to approach situations in a new light and taught me how to be a go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, and leader in my everyday life. I’m already counting down the days until the 2020 Convention in Orlando!
We’re so proud of our G.I.R.L.s for representing Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, and having an amazing experience themselves! Stay tuned for more information on the 2020 National Council Session and Convention in Orlando, Florida.