By Piper Dutton, Girl Scouts River Valleys’ Ambassador
As Girl Scouts grow older and busier with many commitments and planning for their future after high school, it becomes harder to make Girl Scouting a priority. However, we know how incredible and life-changing Girl Scouts can be for girls who continue their journey as Seniors and Ambassadors. That’s why Girl Scouts River Valleys created the Girl Leadership Board, to ensure older girl’s voices were heard and to provide another relevant path for Seniors and Ambassadors to be engaged with Girl Scouts.
A little more than three years ago now, my journey with the Girl Leadership Board began. I suppose that you could really say it began eleven years ago, when I first became a Girl Scout. I, however, will say it began a little more than three years ago, when I filled out my application to be a National Delegate for the 2014 National Convention.
I traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah, as a delegate for River Valleys in October of 2014 for the Girl Scouts National Convention, which was very enjoyable and eye-opening. It also provided me with a lot of opportunities, such as a position on the Girl Engagement Committee, and the chance to help facilitate a Girl Leadership Board. I have truly gotten the chance to make a difference through my experiences since that wonderful gateway opportunity.
Last year, I was involved as a speaker and participant in two key events with River Valleys to help organize the Girl Leadership Board. The first was the C3 event, held at Boy Scout Base Camp, where we participated in activities and had breakout sessions to talk about how we, as older girl members from around the council, envisioned a Girl Leadership Board. The other event that had older girl breakout sessions was the Girl Summit at the council’s Annual Meeting this past January.
After this event, we collaborated to create a Girl Leadership Board application. I could not be prouder of the dedicated group of Girl Scouts who have volunteered to represent all of our council’s girls –in conventional troops, Juliettes, and in the ConnectZ program.
Our primary goal this year is to establish a presence within the council, a major and necessary step to our ultimate goal: Enhancing the older girl experience. The Girl Leadership Board is currently comprised of nine exceptionally involved Girl Scouts from a variety of backgrounds across the council jurisdiction:
Baian Abu-Atieh, grade 12
Monica Avila, grade 11
Molly Carroll, grade 11
Piper Dutton, grade 11
Samantha Maldonado, grade 11
Christine Pommerening, grade 12
Anna Winter, grade 10
Elizabeth Wrightman, grade 9
Houa Yang, grade 12
If you wish to contact us, representatives will be at the Annual Meeting in January, or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also encourage every older girl to apply for a one-year term on the Girl Leadership Board – changing the Girl Scout experience of the future, and having the time of our lives!
Piper Dutton is a Girl Scout Ambassador in eleventh grade. She is a 2016 graduate of the CIT II (counselor in training) program at Camp Northwoods, where she is better known as “Arnold.” She traveled to Costa Rica this past winter with the Girl Scout Destinations program. Girl Scouts has defined Piper – when she moved to America in 2007, in spite of having been a Girl Guide for two years in England, she was shy and quiet. Girl Scouts, particularly being a CIT and caddie at camp, helped her in coming out of her shell and experiencing the world. Piper says one the best opportunities she has been offered through Girl Scouts is the Girl Leadership Board.