A Place for Girls to Be Girls: A Time-tested Leadership Model

Dear Girl Scouts, Friends, and Supporters:

On the day we celebrate girls all around the world, International Day of the Girl, we’re reminded of how proud we are to champion the cause of girls—and how vital it is to provide girls with a safe space of their own to learn and grow.

Built on a mission to inspire girls to empower themselves and the idea that girls are the experts on issues that affect girls, Girl Scouts has been the authority on and an incubator of girls’ leadership and healthy development for more than 100 years.

The Girl Scout Leadership Experience is a one-of-a-kind development program for girls with proven results. It is based on tested methods and programming that help girls take the lead—in their own lives and in the world. Our curriculum and programs are developed specifically with and for girls. From coding to camping, everything we do in Girl Scouts is girl-led and girl-focused, in girl-only spaces that offer a necessary safe environment, which, as research shows, is exactly how girls thrive and learn best.

Girl Scouts provides specific, research-backed, girl-centered programs for each and every grade level and stage in a girl’s life. It is a holistic all-girl program that builds as girls progress through each grade level, culminating with the prestigious Girl Scout Gold Award. (Psst, check out this Gold Award video from some amazing GSGLA Gold Award recipients).

In Girl Scouts, girls don’t just learn a skill—our curriculum is focused on developing healthy risk-taking, empathy, goal-setting, and confidence so that girls are prepared to overcome obstacles they might face as leaders in their careers and lives.

Most of a girl’s life is co-ed, we provide a Girl Scout Difference to give girls a safe space with positive role models. The emotional, girl-inclusive space offered by Girl Scouts fosters collaboration instead of competition, promotes support among girls, and a place where they are free to be themselves without the pressures and social anxiety that can result from a mixed-gender environment.

Furthermore, Girl Scouts offers parents and care-givers expert, time-tested guidance on raising girls today, including easy everyday ways they can help their girls build the leadership, values, and skills promoted through Girl Scouts. Countless parents have shared that through Girl Scouts, their daughters have tested the waters with voicing their opinions and taking action, and that it has given them the confidence and resilience to pursue those challenges out in the world.

Girl Scouts understands this and offers programming specifically designed with girls in mind, not with girls as an afterthought. Now, more than ever, we must make sure today’s girls are acquiring the courage, confidence, character, and the skills they need to take the reins of leadership in the 21st century.

We look forward to working together to assure we continue to uplift and inspire girls.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

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

For more information download the Girl Scout Impact Study or find more research data here.

National Council Session

Our GSGLA girl delegates have been hard at work in Columbus, participating in the National Council Session and debating initiatives related to our Girl Scout Movement. The girls detail this important part of the governance process in their latest blog post. 


We started Thursday with another early morning and headed to the Convention Center while it was still dark out. None of us really knew what to expect, but we were ready for a long day inside the National Council Session, where delegates—who make up the governing body of Girl Scouts—discuss proposals related to the Movement. The National Council kicked off the morning with the stewardship report from Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Sylvia Acevedo and National Board President Kathy Hannan, then we launched into the proposals.

Since we had our parliamentary procedure training with GSGLA Service Unit Manager Lynn Mack-Costello, we were all prepared to understand the debates and found them all extremely interesting. First, we discussed a proposal to establish the National Board Development Committee as a committee of the National Board. While we anticipated a lot of controversy with the proposal, it turned out to be the fastest discussion. In the end, this proposal did not pass, despite a close margin. 

Moving on to the next proposal, which would reduce the size of the National Board, there was an unexpected amount of controversy from the crowd. There were a couple of amendments proposed—although one was initially passed, it was later reconsidered and the original proposal was back on the table. Eventually, this proposal did not pass either.

After lunch, we started on the last proposal, which would set lifetime membership dues at a certain rate. There were concerns regarding the National Board’s power in changing lifetime membership costs in future years. This turned out to be the only proposal that passed.

Although it was a long day, we found the whole process of discussion and voting very interesting, and overall an amazing experience. We end the National Council Session Friday morning, then the National Convention fun begins! Make sure you are following us on Twitter, @GSgirlsleading, and watching our Instagram Story, @GirlScoutsLA 

Yours Truly,

The Girl Scout Delegates  


While the week’s activities are wrapping up, the Convention this weekend (AKA G.I.R.L. 2017) is sure to be a blast—filled with amazing speakers, educational workshops and presentations, and even performances from Girl Scouts like our very own delegate, Hanalei Emnace (second from left in the above picture).

The celebration will also continue for the 2017 National Young Women of Distinction, including GSGLA alumna Yue “Cherry” Ying, who received recognition at the National Council Session. You can read more about her innovative Gold Award project here 

Don’t forget, you can follow the follow the fun on our council Twitter account, @GirlScoutsLA, as well as GSGLA CEO Lise Luttgens’ account, @GSGLA_CEO.

Delegate Dispatch from Columbus

Our girl delegates’ adventures continue in Columbus, where the National Council Session is underway. Read on to learn about their first full day in Ohio as representatives of GSGLA.


delegates 2Our day started with some slight bumps. But we made up for it with other plans, and headed to the North Market for lunch. While there, we were able to indulge in a variety of foods. One of our chaperones, Melissa Pepe, even bought us a pound of focaccia to share. We ended our meal with some delicious ice cream then headed to the Convention Center to await a Girl Scouting group chat.

We sat for two hours in order to be the first ones in line, while Melissa met with some friends at GSUSA—and we got to participate in a cool opportunity (details to be announced later). It was all very exciting.

delegates 1Next, we headed over to a reception to mingle with the other delegates. Afterward, we received GSGLA trefoil headbands as gifts, for which we’ve gotten a lot of attention. ☺

Then it was time for the opening ceremony, where the convention speakers gave us great insight into what it truly means to be a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader). Our favorite speaker was Dr. JoAnn Deak, who talked about the differences between the female and male brain, which was very interesting. Her work focuses on helping parents raise confident and courageous daughters—and she’s even written books to empower kids to exercise their brains! Thursday will be another busy day with the beginning of the National Council Session.

Don’t miss out on the fun! Remember to follow us on Twitter @GSgirlsleading and our Instagram Story on @GirlScoutsLA.

Yours Truly,

The Girl Scout Delegates


Our convention coverage continues! Stay tuned for more testimonials from our girl delegates.

Plus, be sure to follow GSGLA CEO Lise Luttgens, @GSGLA_CEO, and our council Twitter account, @GirlScoutsLA, for more perspectives from Columbus.

A Troop Leader’s Best Friend

At Girl Scouts, we’ve invested in shared tools and technology aimed at improving the volunteer and girl experience, including the Girl Scout Volunteer Toolkit (VTK): Now, troop leaders have an easy way to organize activities, plan meetings, and put girls’ ideas into action!

But don’t just take our word for it—hear from troop leaders who’ve been using VTK to jump-start their Girl Scout year!


Shoshana Stopek, Troop 2916

No more carrying heavy binders! The Volunteer Toolkit will lighten your load. It’s the resource we’ve been waiting for! In the past, we had to rely mainly on Google and Pinterest to search for badge ideas, requirements, and planning guides. The Volunteer Toolkit puts everything in one easy-to-use tool—all in one place.

Here are some of my favorite features:

  • Quickly explore badges available by gradelevel; customize by badge type (e.g., STEM).
  • Customize your year plan right in the tool itself and email it to your troop.
  • The tool is accessible to everyone registered with your troop—super convenient!
  • The Resources tab is my favorite. It features some really great links such as Meeting Aids and Meeting Overviews, as well as Safety guides (e.g., Girl to Adult ratios), and tutorial videos.
  • You can access the toolkit from your phone on the go—it’s mobile-friendly!

This toolkit is useful for any troop. On a personal note, I’m finding the tool especially great because we’re a co-op troop and we share equally in the leadership and planning. The resources within this tool are a big time-saver and empower everyone to plan, organize, and lead a badge or journey. I can definitely see this tool being expanded upon in the future; but for now, having it as a “go-to” resource is fantastic.


Christine and Tomás Romero, Troop 3326

Five tips for using the new Volunteer Toolkit:

  1. Be patient. My husband and I are fairly tech-savvy, but even we get lost in the woods sometimes when using new software programs and apps. But it is actually very easy to use if you are patient, take it slowly, and allow yourself time to explore all of the new features a bit before fully diving in.
  2. Meeting planning made easy. The new Meeting Plan feature is amazing. Not only does it allow you to map out your entire meeting schedule for the Girl Scout year in one, easily shareable place, but it also allows you to actually plan individual meetings down to the minute, from the Pledge of Allegiance to the closing friendship circle. Very cool stuff all around!
  3. One-step emailing. Another one of our favorite features in the new Volunteer Toolkit is the improved email feature. Emailing your entire troop with one email from one, easy-to-navigate home base is amazing and a real time-saver. Especially if you have a hard time keeping track of all of your parents’ email addresses.
  4. Learn together. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your fellow leaders when you need it. We bring a laptop to our meetings sometimes and have huddled around it with our co-leaders several times to make sure we all had a handle on how the Toolkit works. So a team approach to learning the new system has really helped us a lot!
  5. Track attendance. And finally, one small, but not insignificant new feature of the Toolkit is the ability to track our girls’ attendance from week to week. The fact that we can now know for sure which girls attended which meetings is invaluable, and will make it easier for us to advise parents on the badge work their girls will need to catch up. Best feature ever!

Thank you to Shoshana, Christine, and Tomás for your feedback! You can learn more about the Volunteer Tookit here, along with the rest of our new online tools.

Need help getting started? Contact us.

Want to share your Volunteer Toolkit tips and tricks? Leave a comment!

G.I.R.L. Jet Setters

Our girl delegates are in Columbus, Ohio this week, representing GSGLA at the National Council Session and Convention. (From left to right in the above picture: Hanalei Emnace, Genetha Cleveland, Hana Meroth, Julia Medina). They’re sharing their experiences with us, starting with an overview of yesterday’s activities, traveling to Columbus.


An early morning for all of us, we headed to LAX to start our adventure. Luckily, almost all of us got TSA pre-check. After we all made it through security, we stopped for a nice Dunkin’ Donuts breakfast. Soon enough we found ourselves boarding our first flight to Chicago.

chicago pizza
Chicago pizza, yum!

During our layover in Chicago, we had to rush to our next gate, only to find we had plenty of time to get another bite to eat. We stopped for deep dish at Reggio’s Pizza. Our short trip to Chicago wouldn’t have been complete without a souvenir mug for one of our chaperones. Finally we boarded a tiny commercial plane and headed to Columbus, Ohio.

girls laughingWhen we arrived in Ohio, we found ourselves greeted by G.I.R.L. volunteers after meeting some of the adult delegates from New Orleans. After picking up our luggage, we headed outside to catch the bus to our hotel. We finally settled into our rooms. With a shared want for food we all met downstairs at the bistro for anything but wings. Our adventure continues tomorrow as we get to explore the beautiful city of Columbus. Make sure to follow our Twitter account, @GSgirlsleading, and watch our Instagram Story takeover on @GirlScoutsLA.

Yours Truly,

The Girl Scout Delegates


Stay tuned for more blog posts from our girl delegates this week!

G.I.R.L. Takeover!

“I have found my love for Girl Scouts growing more than I thought was possible.”

Every three years, Girl Scouts gather for the National Council Session and Convention to reflect on the progress of the Movement, and chart its future. Chosen by their councils, national delegates come together to celebrate their accomplishments and share lessons, all of which help drive our Movement forward. Together, the spirit of Girl Scouting is upheld and lifelong friendships and memories are made.

More than 20 delegates will represent GSGLA at the National Council Session in Columbus, Ohio next week (Oct. 4-6), including several girls. The delegates will then join thousands of other girls, women, and supporters of the Movement for G.I.R.L. 2017 (Oct. 6-8), the girl-led convention which celebrates the Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader in all of us (and also features some impressive speakers).

The path to Columbus has taken the delegates several months of trainings and meetings to get to this point; and now, we’re ready for the fun to begin! A number of our girl delegates and alternates opened up to us about their experiences getting ready—as well as their expectations for the National Council Session and Convention next week.


2017-09-23-G-0113Julia Medina, Delegate: “Starting out, I was extremely honored to represent the Greater Los Angeles area, but I was not quite sure what to expect. After attending trainings, meeting the other girl and women delegates, and speaking at my local service unit meeting, I have found my love for Girl Scouts growing more than I thought was possible. Learning more about the inner workings of Girl Scouts, not only on a local level, but also on a national level, has enhanced my appreciation for how much this organization has to offer to build girls of courage, confidence, and character. Attending the National Council Session and Convention has been something I knew I had wanted to do sometime in my Girl Scout career. Since this is my last year as an Ambassador, I am more excited than ever to attend. I am so excited to meet girls from all over the United States who share in my love for this amazing organization. I am also excited to be traveling with the other incredible girl delegates to build lifelong memories with them that we will one day tell our own Girl Scout troops about.”

2017-09-23-G-0100Hana Meroth, Delegate: “To get a behind-the-scenes look at how a Girl Scout council functions has truly been an eye-opening experience. After attending three delegate trainings and presenting at service unit meetings, I’ve gained an incredible amount of insight into the effects the Movement has had on our community, and will continue to have for many years to come. I’m so grateful for the countless opportunities that Girl Scouts has presented me with, and I’m honored to be representing my council on a national level. I’m already made lifetime friendships, learned invaluable listening and interaction skills, and I know that there are so many more opportunities that are awaiting me. I can’t wait to be a part of the once-in-a-lifetime experiences (especially the Convention) and am thankful for the impact it has already made on me and the impact yet to come.”

2017-09-23-G-0063Genetha Cleveland, Delegate: “My experience as a Girl Scout delegate has been amazing. It has allowed me to meet other Girl Scouts who have the same hopes and desires that I do, and an opportunity to learn more about Girl Scouts as an organization. Being a delegate has given me a stronger sense of pride about being a Girl Scout. Not only are we sisters to one another, but we are also businesswomen who make a difference. When I first started my delegate experience, I was very nervous about meeting new people and all of the responsibilities of being a delegate; we met over several months and my nerves got better after each meeting. The road to being a delegate has been a learning experience about governance and how organizations and businesses create consensus to continue to move forward. I’m excited for our trip to Columbus, Ohio to see many other Girl Scouts who are just like us: Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, and Leaders!”

2017-09-23-G-0058Joan Schueller, Alternate Delegate: “Going through the process of becoming a delegate has been a valuable experience. I was able to learn about new projects going on within the council and learn the inner workings and the behind-the-scenes side of Girl Scouts. Not only did I learn about proposals to be voted on at the National Council Session, but also how to relay messages to others and learn which sides people take on the proposals. I thoroughly enjoyed making friends and talking to other delegates within the council and indulging myself in the process of becoming a leader. Leadership, confidence in talking to others, and being able to communicate ideas are just a few of the many traits I have further gained through this process. I hope to continue to keep the bonds I’ve made with fellow delegates and carry the traits I’ve learned into all aspects of my life.”


Experience the National Council Session and G.I.R.L. 2017 through our girl delegates’ eyes! Make sure you’re following us on social media for our G.I.R.L. takeover:

Plus, make sure to subscribe to our GSGLA blog so you can receive our updates, including more posts from the girl delegates.

GSGLA CEO Lise Luttgens will also be traveling to the National Council Session and Convention—be sure to follow her on Twitter to get her perspective: https://twitter.com/GSGLA_CEO.

We can’t wait to see you in Columbus, Ohio!

Fight for Every Girl and Woman

Our 2017 ToGetHerThere Luncheon takes place Monday, Oct. 30. Will you support us in the fight for gender parity in the leadership landscape?

Past supporters and Emerging Leader Girl Scouts—selected each year to attend the luncheon and its accompanying minute-mentoring session—have shared their experiences with us. For many of them, ToGetHerThere has been transformative.


“I have had the pleasure of attending each of our past ToGetHerThere events and they have grown and developed into great opportunities for both our girls and members of the community. I have been a mentor twice and am amazed at the levels these young ladies have achieved.

lise and betsey
Betsey L. Brewer (right) with GSGLA CEO Lise Luttgens.

Last year I enjoyed having Cherry Ying—a remarkable Girl Scout [and a 2017 National Young Woman of Distinction]—at my table. Cherry and I emailed a few times after the luncheon. She has since graduated and is taking on actuarial studies and programming at the University of Chicago.

IMG_8902
Betsey L. Brewer at the 2014 ToGetHerThere Luncheon.

Our guests attending the ToGetHerThere event have been quite astounded at where Girl Scouting is today. As with most of us, they think of cookies—but not that it is a financial literacy program; or camping—but not that it is nature, science, skill-building, and more. Today’s girls learn many more new and different things compared to those of us from the 1960s and 1970s. However, the foundation of Girl Scouting remains the same, and this also stands out when you meet the girls who join us at each table.”

— Betsey L. Brewer, CPCU
Principal, Integro Insurance Brokers
Past GSGLA Board Chair
ToGetHerThere Mentor 2014, 2016


Tang, Kaitlyn
Kaitlyn Tang

“The ToGetHerThere Luncheon is an amazing opportunity for young women to realize they have the love and support of corporations around them. I personally learned so much from the wonderful mentors and businesses about how to succeed professionally. The luncheon encouraged me to dream big for my future and the future of all women in the workforce.”

— Kaitlyn Tang
Emerging Leader Girl Scout 2016, 2017


Stahl, Dagny
Dagny Stahl (also pictured in main image)

“The whole process of becoming an Emerging Leader—the application, the interview, and even the orientation meetings where we learned to present our best selves (and proudly represent Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles)—has helped ready me for college, jobs, and other applications that require a similar effort. I was honored to be chosen to speak at the 2016 ToGetHerThere Luncheon: This alone was a crash-course in media and event production. And of course, meeting and networking with local women business and industry leaders was the highlight!”

— Dagny Stahl
Emerging Leader Girl Scout 2016, 2017


Join us in preparing these rising female leaders for their bright futures—and help secure a better tomorrow for every girl and woman. Learn more about our ToGetHerThere Luncheon and how you can support the cause.