Our very own Maddy and Keena Dietz, members of the Girl Scouts River Valleys' Press Corps, attended and covered our Annual Meeting this year! You can see this year's Annual Meeting from a Girl Scout's perspective below.
Written by Press Corps member Maddy Dietz
On February 23, 2019, another vital link in Girl Scouts history was
formed when the Annual Meeting of Girl Scouts River Valleys was held
in Savage, MN. The Annual Meeting included booths to explore, a
girl-led workshop, an enlightening speech from Niambi Jaha-Echols—a
noted activist, the distribution of special awards, and the official
business meeting where girls were invited to vote on Council business
matters alongside Girl Scout leaders. Please see the photojournalism piece by Keena Dietz. below for a
visual walk through of the day.
All Girl Scouts are warmly invited to attend the Annual Meeting. If you or anyone in your troop is interested in having a greater voice in the Girl Scouts and the River Valleys Council, in attending fun workshops, learning from dynamic speakers, or getting the scoop on a variety of new Girl Scout opportunities, plan to attend next year's meeting on February 29, 2020!
Every Annual Meeting has a theme to guide the event. This year’s theme was “Every. Girl.” This theme mirrors the strong Every Girl in a Tent campaign that originated here in Girl Scouts River Valleys and also underlines Girl Scouts River Valleys' dedication to inclusion. Each event emphasized this theme.
The keynote speaker was Niambi Jaha-Echols, the Founder and President of the Butterfly Movement, a group fostering emotional and spiritual transformation in women and girls. Ms. Jaha-Echols spoke on the importance of inclusivity in Girl Scouts as a whole and in camps in particular. “Inclusivity needs to become who you are, not what you do, and that starts from within… The way we can make sure we are inclusive and loving is to make sure we are being loving to ourselves.” Camps provide a special opportunity to reach out to others and to practice self-care. Ms. Jaha-Echols spoke for many when she said, “When I sit in nature, I remember to take care of myself.”
The Girl Leadership Board led a workshop to allow girls to explore all that Girl Scouts has to offer, from STEM to the outdoors to life skills to entrepreneurship, showing there is something to interest every girl. What is the Girl Leadership Board, you ask? One of their members, Jazmine Diaz, explained, “We are a group of fourteen Senior and Ambassador girls...we come together and we help plan events for our peers.” For more information, visit our Girl Leadership Board webpage.
Many girls were first-time attendees. Lauren Strand encouraged all Girl Scouts to consider attending the next Annual Meeting and shared helpful advice, “Don’t be nervous! If you’re coming with someone else, let them know that you’re nervous. You can cling together!”
The last event was the Girl Scouts business meeting. Each girl attending was given a handheld device to vote on each proposal. The proposals included whether or not to accept the new slate of board members and plans for the Council’s finances. Tish Bolger, the CEO of Girl Scouts River Valleys, explained, “According to our bylaws, we have to get all the information on the slate of the potential board members to the voting members a month before the meeting.” That means there is plenty of time to research your choices before you have to vote! The business meeting not only provides girls a chance to use their voice directly in the council (everyone was welcome to step up to a microphone and speak out if they wished to oppose a voting issue) but it also provides an easy introduction to Robert’s Rules of Order, which is the most commonly used ruleset for parliamentary meetings. Here’s to every girl gaining new skills through Girl Scouts!
The Annual Meeting provided welcome opportunities for adults and girls to learn with and from each other, all while staying true to the ever-important theme of supporting Every, Girl.
Girls, Girl Scout volunteers, and parents alike: consider attending the Annual Meeting next year—we’ll be looking forward to seeing you there!
2019 Annual Meeting
Photojounalism by Press Corps member Keena Dietz.
People exploring the various booths advertising new programs or showcasing what old ones have done.
One of the booths walked people through the steps to contact your local legislator and talk to them about the Girl Scout bill.
Merch tables with stacks of Sylvia Acevedo's new book. It's a great read, check it out!
Adults and girls break off to separate workshops. The girl workshop is lead by the Girl Leadership Board!
During the round table discussion, girls shared the pillar of Girl Scouts (outdoors, life skills, entrepreneurship, and STEM) that has affected them the most.
Three Girl Scouts build a tent together in the outdoor workshop.
Girls help each other out as they cross the slackline representing an outdoor activity.
A member of Press Corps takes photos of the event. And another member of Press Corps takes a photo of her.
Girls chat and have fun before lunch.
As awards are being given, girls eat while they discuss the day so far.
The business meeting is about to start! During this portion of the annual meeting, the CEO, Girl Scout board chair, and finance director all talk about what the organization achieved this year.
All Girl Scouts, regardless of age, recite the Girl Scout Promise and the Girl Scout Law.
Ms. Tish Bolger, the CEO of GSRV, discusses the ConnectZ program, which "supports girls as they develop knowledge and skills for a positive future," emphasising once again that Girl Scouts is for "Every. Girl."