Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys’ 2012 Annual Meeting attracted more than 450 adult and girl delegates, guests and River Valleys’ staff who enjoyed a full day of activities and business.
Prior to the business meeting, morning summits allowed girls and adults to bring forth new ideas about programs and member engagement, and think about the best way Girl Scouts can reach its members. The summits proved to be engaging and enriching for attendees.
Over 100 girls attended the third annual Girl Summit. Girls enjoyed the open session where they got a sneak peek into the activities that will be offered at the Great Girl Gathering @ MOA and learned how they can get involved in the celebration. From there, girls attended breakout sessions where they shared feedback about Girl Scouts and their ideas on how to shape future events, how we offer and engage girls in leadership progression programs, travel opportunities, and council communications. They also learned about the effects of and how to take a stand against bullying.
Concurrently, over 200 adult members attended the second annual Adult Summit. Centennial Award Honorees Beth Voermans and Melisa Franzen shared their inspiring Girl Scout stories. River Valleys’ National Delegate Beth Halleck also shared her Girl Scout story and highlights from the 2011 National Convention along with a special surprise from Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) CEO Anna Maria Chávez—40 lucky attendees found her patch attached to the bottom of their chair.
Annual Meeting attendees enjoyed a high-energy day that included an appearance by Girl Scouts Founder Juliette Gordon Low (played by Norah Long). Low and River Valleys’ CEO Linda Keene spoke about the changes the past century has brought and featured River Valleys’ plans to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouts. Activities include the Great Girl Gathering @ MOA, a weekend-long event celebrating the past, present and future of Girl Scouts; Centennial Awards Gala, honoring 100 outstanding Girl Scout alumnae; and the Centennial Day of Service, a council-wide same-day environmental community service project.
During the meeting, River Valleys’ paid tribute to outgoing Board Chair Phyllis Willerscheidt. Phyllis made her mark on the Girl Scout Movement through various volunteer leadership positions both locally and nationally, including board chair from 1979 through to 1984; serving on the National Board of GSUSA for nine years; and most recently taking on the challenging task in 2007 of leading the board through a merger of the five councils serving southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Board Director-at-Large Nancy Randall Dana, Linda Keene, and Phyllis’ granddaughter Elise gave moving speeches, attesting to the impact Phyllis has had on Girl Scouts locally and nationally. She was also presented with a founding board chair commemorative patch (pictured right) that will forever honor her place in River Valleys and a special commissioned bowl as a token of appreciation.
The business meeting featured reports on engagement, inclusion, properties, financial stewardship and River Valleys’ Plan of Action. Voting members adopted the amended and restated Bylaws of the Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys Girl Scout Council as presented by the Bylaws Task Group.
Elections and installations were held for board officer, director-at-large, and Board Development Committee members. The following individuals from the Board Development Committee nominated slate were elected:
- Board officers: Deb Wilkinson, chair; Amy Kroll, first vice chair; Kathryn May, second vice chair; Joan Krikava, secretary; Jo Bogdan, treasurer.
- Directors-at-large: Michele Azar, Jerome Crest, Nancy Randall Dana, Barb D’Aquila, Katharine Knudtson, Marlys Knuth, Sarah Sladek, Janet Stacey.
- Board Development Committee members: Cathy Baumgartner, Catherine McBride, Father Kevin McDonough, Fiona Pradhan, Carolyn Sandberg, Emily White.
We look forward to the year ahead and hope everyone is excited for the upcoming Centennial events and the future of Girl Scouting. Learn more about River Valleys’ Centennial Activities.