Happy Giving Tuesday!

This Giving Tuesday, we’re saying—thanks! Because of our supporters’ generous gifts to Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, we have been able to create some incredible opportunities for girls this year. Take a look at just a few of the great things our donors’ gifts have allowed us to do!

  1. Enhanced activities at our beloved Camp Lakota, like the new pool and the Bill Mingus Ropes Course, featuring high and low courses.
  2. Funded 88 sustainable new troops in underserved communities—that’s 1,011 more girls in Greater Los Angeles!
  3. Gave 150 Girl Scouts the opportunity to experience the joy of camp by providing partial or full camperships (camp scholarships)!
  4. Provided $358,000 in financial assistance to girls throughout Greater Los Angeles.
  5. Supported and sustained STEM programs for local Girl Scouts, like our 41 GSGLA competitive robotics teams!

Thank you to our community, including our donors who have enabled these amazing achievements and so much more! Interested in getting details about our innovative programs and exciting opportunities for Girl Scouts? Visit our website.

“I Am Thankful for Girl Scouts Because….”

Thanksgiving affords all of us in the Girl Scout Movement an opportunity to reflect on the many ways our organization enriches our lives. From exciting programs to one-of-a-kind events, cookie season to summer camp, our girls benefit from the many offerings that make Girl Scouts the world’s largest and best girl leadership development program. We’re thankful to partner with phenomenal, passionate volunteers to provide these inspiring opportunities and work with girls to prepare them for their bright futures.

But why are our girls grateful for Girl Scouts? Some of their illuminating (and heartwarming) responses are below. (Don’t forget to share your own #becauseofGirlScouts stories of growth and gratitude in the comments!)

anastasia-thank-you.jpgAnastacia S., Junior, Troop 3535: “I am thankful for Girl Scouts because [the organization] celebrates my being a girl. It allows me to make new friends, be free, have fun, and learn to be a leader. I am thankful for Girl Scouts because I am just happy being with my sisters and friends. I am thankful for the opportunities that I have been a part of, such as movie premieres, sporting events, or learning about STEM. I am thankful for Girl Scouts for helping me to grow.”

Hana (on right)

Hana C., Brownie, Troop 5665: “Girl Scouts Greater Los Angeles is sponsoring my Junior First Lego League team. My robotics team gets to go to LEGOLAND for a presentation for our Aqua Adventure Challenge in front of many people. I also have become a leader, and taught my troop how to recognize their own names in Korean and use the abacus. I’ve also learned to be less shy by standing outside of different stores and advertising to sell Girl Scout Cookies with my troop. Being a Girl Scout has been an experience l’m grateful for!”

IMG_2844Avery C., Junior, Troop 04505: “I’ve learned so many things including money management, people skills, goal setting, leadership, and teamwork. I’ve also had many opportunities to try new things. Plus, in Girl Scouts, working with your team is great and you sometimes lead your troop through tough times. Also, friends are forever. In Girl Scouts, we are more than friends. We are sisters. I am always glad my troop is always there for me. (And I for them.)”

Cora Thank YouCora J., Ambassador, Troop 12581: “Girl Scouts provides me with real-life skills that I am not learning elsewhere in my life. The work I have done pursuing the Gold Award has taught me to be committed and take charge. The cookie program has taught me valuable business skills and how to be creative. My time with my troop and at camp has helped me become more adventurous and independent. As I look forward to my future, college and beyond, it is the skills I learned in Girl Scouting that I am relying on to achieve my life goals.”

Want to hear more ways our girls are thankful for Girl Scouts? See this video:

Inspired to help us reach more girls so that they, too, can experience the Girl Scout Advantage? Give to or volunteer with GSGLA today.

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.

All Is Well, Safely Rest

It is with great sadness that we inform the GSGLA family of the loss of an extraordinary Lifetime Girl Scout, Katie Jimenez. Katie was a Girl Scout for more than 50 years—and remained active up until her passing. She had served as a troop leader for all levels, director of events (Villages and Chocolate Candy Camp director), consultant, adult educator, instructor of trainers, service unit manager, and various legacy board positions.

Katie (pictured front, center) at our 2016 Annual Meeting & Volunteer Recognition Ceremony.

Most recently, Katie served on the Volunteer Conference committee and in 2012 earned the Platinum Service Award with GSGLA (after having earned all of the volunteer awards with the Spanish Trails legacy council—including the prestigious Thanks and Thanks II Badges). Always helpful, cheerful, and brimming with Girl Scout knowledge and spirit, she even helped train our member services staff when we did our staff realignment two years ago.

Katie’s longtime Girl Scout sister Carol Cunningham shared these touching words about her friend: “I met Katie at the 1997 adult retreat when I was a Brownie leader. It was there she literally talked me into being a trainer for basic leader training. Well, it has been that way to the present. In a nutshell, Katie had a way of making you feel you were the best at what she wanted you to do, but you would always succeed. Okay, she was right, again. With this gift, Katie had numerous ladies and gentlemen help her with successful troops, trainings, and events. We have lost our ‘Sunny,’ but I hope all whom she has touched will continue her legacy of keeping the Girl Scout traditions alive and not forget who we are volunteering for, the girls.” 

We will miss Katie very much and are so thankful for her selfless contributions to our Girl Scout Movement.

I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one,
I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways, of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun of happy memories that I leave behind when day is done.
— Katie Jimenez