A Tribute to John Bodi

The GSGLA family has lost an extraordinary, fiercely devoted member—John Bodi, whom we will miss dearly. John was a treasured, longtime GSGLA volunteer who lived the Promise and Law in all that he did, and dedicated many years to empowering and uplifting girls.

john bodi (002)John was a familiar face to generations of Girl Scouts, and began his involvement as a leader for his daughter’s Brownie troop. For 24 years, he was a co-leader for Senior/Ambassador Troop 1688, MSS Blue Madonna—helping the troop and service unit in many different capacities. In addition, John served on the Gold Award board and, for a period of time, supported many girls as their Gold Award advisor. He also served as a national delegate, and thoroughly enjoyed traveling to the Girl Scout convention and learning about other councils’ older girl programs— sharing his enthusiasm for the program back in Greater Los Angeles.

2007 Tambu4Moreover, we will remember John as a proud advocate for Camp Lakota, which held a special place in his heart. The camp became a personal project of John’s—into which he poured his boundless energy and expertise. He spent countless weekends with the “Camp Lakota Posse” and was able to obtain a myriad of donated supplies and materials for the camp. John also served on the council’s properties committee, where he helped plan for upcoming renovations to Lakota.

Despite John’s many commitments to GSGLA, we will remember him most for his dedication to all girls, everywhere. When learning of John’s passing, the comments from girls and their parents were the most telling of John’s true passion: He encouraged girls to make things happen, boosted their confidence, and taught them life skills. 

“… I still remember how John taught me how to pitch a tent and prepped us for various Tambu skills. He was a wonderful and inspirational man and leader. You’ll be missed. 

“… A true Scout and one of the kindest men I know. May he Rest In Peace and may all the ladies cherish all they have learned from such a wise and generous man. His grilled cheese will always be my favorite!!!” 

“…The hearts of many Girl Scouts are broken today. I have the best memories with you, John. Blue Mad won’t be the same without you. We are so thankful for the love and guidance you have provided for all of us. Sail away towards that sunset! Miss you. 

Memorial services are being planned for August. To honor John’s memory, his family and friends ask that you consider, in lieu of flowers, making a gift to the John Bodi Memorial Fund at GSGLA. Contributions will support the completion of the new dining hall—the future heart of Camp Lakota—where generations of growing Girl Scouts will make lifelong friendships and memories while enjoying the beautiful property so dear to John. Please visit http://girlscoutsla.thankyou4caring.org/camp-lakota.

Be Prepared: 5 Reasons Why You Should Early Renew

Renew by June 15 to earn awesome rewards.

With summer nearly upon us—and for some, it’s already here—we can easily forget about the upcoming school (and Girl Scout) year. But we all know Girl Scouts provides girls with countless opportunities to explore their interests, learn new skills, and make the world a better place. So why not ensure a seamless transition to the new year by renewing your girls’ membership now, as well as your own?

Our Early Renewal registration is open until June 15. Not only does renewing early deliver peace of mind, but it also offers multiple rewards for members and troops. Just see the ones we’ve listed below!owlpatch-3

  1. Earn our collectible Early Renewal patch. Who doesn’t love a fun, new patch to add to your collection? All girls and adults who renew by June 15 will earn the GSGLA Early Renewal patch.
  2. Be prepared for the fall product program. Only girls and adults who’ve renewed their membership can participate in this popular program. Don’t wait until the last minute to renew—take care of it today and you won’t experience any delays!
  3. Boost your cookie season earnings. Troops who meet certain criteria will generate extra funds while selling boxes of Girl Scout Cookies! Check out the details here.
  4. Earn other special troop incentives. Adding new girls? Your troop could be invited to a special event. Renewing most of your girls? You could receive tote bags. Learn more here.
  5. Enjoy your summer, knowing another great Girl Scout year is about to begin. Yes, we’re back to having peace of mind—which is invaluable, given all the distractions of summer and the start of the school year. Having one less thing to worry about will make your life that much easier once September rolls around. Plus, your membership will be good through September 2018.

All it takes to enjoy these benefits is a few minutes of your time right now. Ensure your Girl Scouts have the opportunity to build upon what they’ve learned and enjoyed this current year, and continue to grow and thrive.

Renew your membership for 2017-18, and you and your girls will be well on your way to unlocking another inspiring, life-changing Girl Scout year.

Special Announcement from Our CEO

Dear GSGLA Family,

sylvia 1It is with great delight and excitement that I am writing to announce that today, Sylvia Acevedo has been named the National Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of the USA after a six month national search.

Sylvia, a lifetime Girl Scout, rocket scientist, and STEM educator, is a longtime advocate for underserved communities and girls’ and women’s causes. She was a member of the GSUSA Board of Directors from 2009 to 2016 and an officer and member of its Executive Committee.

Committed to Girl Scouts’ mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place, Sylvia has been involved with Girl Scouts since her childhood in New Mexico.

sylvia 2In Sylvia’s words, “This life-changing experience showed me what leadership looked like and enabled me to pursue leadership as a goal; I am a product of Girl Scouting.”

Over the last nine months as Interim National CEO, Sylvia has led the Movement with authenticity, energy, vision, and passion, taking a special interest in reaching more girls and in outdoor and STEM programming—areas closely aligned with GSGLA’s 2018-20 Strategic Plan. Sylvia attended GSGLA’s 2015 ToGetHerThere luncheon, and most recently, provided the keynote address on the State of the Movement at our 2017 Annual Meeting. She also attended our Volunteer Recognition Ceremony where she honored 200 volunteers and personally greeted most of our 600 attendees and guests.

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Sylvia Acevedo at the 2017 GSGLA Annual Meeting & Volunteer Recognition Ceremony.

Sylvia has been widely recognized for her accomplishments, with significant honors that include most recently California Legislative Latino Spirit Award. Sylvia was one of the first Hispanic students, male or female, to earn a graduate engineering degree from Stanford University—an MS in industrial engineering—and she holds a bachelor of science degree with honors in industrial engineering from New Mexico State University.

We are proud to welcome Sylvia as our next National Chief Executive Officer and look forward to her sharing her vision in her new role at the Triennial Convention in Ohio in October. Please join me in congratulating Sylvia: officeoftheceo@girlscouts.org

Yours in Girl Scouting,

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Lise L. Luttgens
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles

Gabbing with Girl Scouts: “Gifted”

Stars of the new movie Gifted were “Gabbing with Girl Scouts” at the film’s LA premiere. Girl Advisory Bureau (GAB) correspondents Julia B. and Julia M. hit the red carpet to interview the cast, including honorary Girl Scout Mckenna Grace. (GSGLA was also there for her pinning ceremony—you can read about that here.)

Watch our video to hear from the stars and learn about the role Girl Scouts played in the film.

Women’s History Month – A Letter from Our CEO

Dear GSGLA Family and Friends,

March is an especially important time for us—we’re not only celebrating Women’s History Month and the iconic women who’ve fought for equality, but also Girl Scout Week and our own proud legacy of female leadership.

In 1912, when Juliette Gordon Low founded Girl Scouts, women weren’t allowed to vote, own property, or attend most Ivy League universities—but Juliette (also known as “Daisy”) recognized the need to shape girls into leaders and help them reach their full potential. Today, we realize the importance—and necessity—of her courageous decision to start Girl Scouts. We also see how truly visionary Daisy was: Her unique program and mission have instilled critical life skills and values in 59 million Girl Scout alumnae, and propelled many to break barriers for women and girls everywhere. (Just look at our report, Girl Scout Alumnae by the Numbers.)

Today, we carry on the torch bravely lit by Daisy, and uphold the commitment to building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We achieve this through our cookie program, by which girls learn what it takes to run a business (along with the rest of the 5 Skills taught by the program); summer camp, where girls experience the outdoors and try new activities, helping them face their fears; and community service projects, where girls learn about the world around them and how they can effect change. But that’s not all—there are so many opportunities for Girl Scouts to explore their interests, develop their intellect, and learn what it takes to lead.

We’re proud to hold such an important position in women’s history and honor everyone who’s been key to our success, and the success of our girls: that includes all the family members and volunteers who are the backbone of our organization. Together, we celebrate our past and look forward to our future—one led by the dynamic, innovative, and brave girls we are raising today.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

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Lise L. Luttgens

Twitter: @gsgla_ceo

Why We March – A Message from Our CEO

Dear Girl Scouts, Friends, and Supporters –

Girl Scouts know that leadership isn’t defined just by who you are or what you want to be. It’s defined by what you do.

It’s about bringing hope for your own future and the future of others—and throughout our 105-year history as an organization, we have brought hope by being champions of diversity and inclusion. We have inspired millions of girls and women to harness their power, have courageous conversations, find their own voice, and take action. We have encouraged girls to make choices that are guided by their values.

Our storied history was launched on the ideals of courage, confidence, and character, and sparked a worldwide movement for girls to embrace, together, their individuality and strength. We do not condone sexism, racism, bullying, or any behaviors contradictory to the Girl Scout Law. We are an organization that stands for honesty, fairness, choice, and respect. These are values that our volunteers and staff continually teach, model, and reinforce.

Girl Scouts remains nonpartisan and objective—letting the girls lead. Our role is to encourage girls to empower themselves and use their voices. We provide them the tools and experiences to think, research, understand, and take action. Our girls are feeding the hungry, protecting the environment, influencing legislation, and motivating the marginalized.

And, our girls are marching. Some in the Women’s Marches around the country and some in the inaugural parade.

Girl Scouts has an unprecedented history of inclusion, and, as the premier organization for girls, we have been encouraging girls to stand up for what they believe in for over a century. It is that foundation that leads us to this precarious position.

I have had enlightening conversations this week with our membership around individual Girl Scouts and troops making choices and standing up to either participate in the Women’s Marches here or in Washington on Saturday, or, as some have prepared since September to do, march in the U.S. Presidential Inauguration Parade tomorrow.

To quote one eloquent volunteer whom I heard from today:

“In reciting the Girl Scout Law, the girls pledge to be honest and fair, courageous and strong, responsible for what they say and do, respect themselves and others, respect authority, and make the world a better place. These values, built into Girl Scouting, are a fundamental part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. It should be our objective to give them the forum and opportunities to do so—to be able to debate and consider all sides of an issue, and then to develop their own voice to take action. May we all find ways to support our girls and protect their rights as this country moves ahead… let us try to reflect back on the core values this organization embraces and operate in the best interests of our girls always.”

With a 100-plus year history of nonpartisan civic engagement, the choice to march or not march remains an individual decision each girl will make for herself, with guidance from her family. We invite you to review our council’s official statement and FAQs regarding participation in these events, and/or for a national perspective, please read National Interim CEO’s Time.com op-ed piece.

I want to thank everyone who has reached out to me and our staff to share your heartfelt and passionate views on this subject. Your love and respect of our organization is apparent and deeply appreciated. I remain optimistic that you are proud of our history of emboldening girls to use their voice, and that you will encourage girls to support causes they find worthy and take a stand for what they believe in.

As always, Girl Scouts will continue to work to inspire the best in our girls, so that we can witness the best in us all. Let’s let girls—every girl—lead the way.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

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Lise L. Luttgens

Global Citizens

We all know Girl Scouts make the world a better place—and what better way to learn about the world than by exploring it? Girl Scout Destinations provides girls ages 11 and older opportunities to travel to different countries and states, and engage in awe-inspiring activities: from scuba diving in Panama to exploring ancient sites in India to horseback riding in Colorado. These types of activities not only help girls become better global citizens, they push Girl Scouts out of their comfort zones and prepare them for challenges in their own lives.

It was just this sort of experience that prompted Gold Award Girl Scout Jaclyn B. of Troop 7392 to apply for the Destinations program. (You can learn more about the application process at the end of this post—the summer 2017 deadline is Jan. 31.) She embarked on a trip with fellow Girl Scouts to Italy, and told us all about her experience.


Describe your trip to Italy in a nutshell.
Going on this destination to Italy has been one of the best experiences I have had in my life. I saw amazing architecture, ate amazing food, and met new friends. The people I went with made it more than just another trip. We bonded and that’s the best thing you can get from a group of 16 girls. I still keep in touch with a couple of them.

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How did you select your Destination?
I chose the EF Tours Italy trip because I have always wanted to go to Italy. When I read the description of what we would be doing, I knew it would be the right choice for me.

Before the trip, how did you feel about the trip? Were you scared? Excited?
When I got accepted to go on this trip I was excited, but as the trip got closer I found myself getting more nervous. For a person who is afraid of flying, I had to take a six-hour flight to Boston to meet up with everyone, then another seven-hour flight to Amsterdam, then a 1.5-hour flight to Italy. It was definitely worth it, though. One thing that really helped was getting to know everyone with group phone calls that Timalee (our chaperone) organized for us. About a week before the trip, I also found out there was another participant who lived in my area. We got in contact and we met up for lunch—realizing that I’d already know someone really calmed my nerves.

What was the most exciting part of your trip?
The whole trip was amazing. The best part of it was probably the cooking class that we had on our second to last day in Rome. It was not only fun, but we also competed against each other.

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What’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to girls thinking of applying?
When you get to the essay part, don’t be afraid to show yourself. It really helped me with my college essays because you need to show that you are not afraid to go on this trip, and you are not afraid to try new things. In the words of my English teacher: “You are bragging about yourself; don’t downplay it.”

What impact did the trip have on you?
This trip to Italy was amazing and I know I will never forget it. I can admit I was nervous at first going to an international country with people I didn’t know. But the people were amazing and the trip is something I would do all over again.


We’re so thankful to Jaclyn for sharing her Italy experience with us. If you’re ready to pack your bags for your own life-changing experience, apply for Round 2 of the Destinations program. Remember, GSGLA’s deadline is Jan. 31 for summer 2017 trips.