The San Diego Convention Center became Girl Scout Central recently for our 2015 Volunteer Conference and Celebration, sponsored by Wells Fargo. (View photos and program with list of honorees.) What a privilege to spend time with nearly 500 awesome volunteers and supporters!

Attendees networked, gained new skills and charged up for the next Girl Scout year during the conference, which featured 31 sessions on topics ranging from troop travel to STEM programs. An outdoor reception followed, offering harbor views and music by a Girl Scout string quartet.

Our gathering culminated with a dinner and awards ceremony. Highlights included presentations by the Girl Scout Empowerment Theatre ensemble and Gold Awardee Elena Eroshkin. Keynote speaker Mary Jean Anderson wowed us with stories of how Girl Scouting paved the way to her entrepreneurial career as owner and president of Anderson Plumbing, Heating & Air. Those ladies set the stage for spotlighting this year’s volunteers extraordinaire. Among them, Thanks Badge recipients Jan Young and Anna Iadevaia, and (pictured above with Brownie Sophia, Board Chair Rick Brooks and me) Thanks Badge II awardee Suzy Hosie.

Congratulations to our all our superstar honorees!

Jo Dee C. Jacob
Chief Executive Officer


Sneak peek at Urban Campout auction

It’s nearly time to set sail for Urban Campout: Island Treasures, hosted by Co-chairs Karen Benito and Denise Scott with Honorary Co-chairs Elizabeth Dewberry and Taylor Baldwin. During our Friday, Sept. 11 fun fundraiser for grown-ups, you can scour the silent auction seas for gems like a Padres Luxury Suite (includes 18 tickets and refreshments) and dinner-and-a-show (In Your Arms) experience hosted by Culinary Concepts at the Old Globe. If you’re a country music fan, consider the Lady Antebellum (pictured) and Rascal Flatts concert packages offered on the live auction block. Starting Friday, Sept. 4, get a head start on the auction fun by bidding online for theater, museum, family outing, dining and other opportunities.

Buy Urban Campout tickets

Lifetime Girl Scout joins Peace Corps

Joining the Peace Corps after graduating from UCLA was an easy decision for Julia Ward — a lifetime Girl Scout member determined to make the world a better place. While growing up in San Diego, then co-leading a troop in college, she particularly enjoyed the community service aspect of Girl Scouts. Julia now extends that generosity of spirit to the people of Nong Po, Thailand as a volunteer youth leader. Working closely with the local government and community, she directs camps that include lessons about HIV/AIDS awareness and drug and disease prevention. Julia says that going to Girl Scout camp shaped her approach to the Peace Corps assignment. She emphasizes teamwork and leadership development activities, and includes traditional songs and games. Her work has had a ripple effect. “Now people from surrounding areas want to have the camp, too.” (Photos.)

Read more about Julia

Backpacking in the Minarets

This summer, local Girl Scout backpackers headed to the Minarets in the Sierra Nevadas (photos). The girls trekked more than 30 miles along the John Muir Trail, and navigated one cross-country day hike using their map and compass skills. These intrepid explorers, who are youth leaders for Girl Scout hiking and basic backpacking classes, planned their own itinerary. Girl Scout reporter Allison (far right) shot and edited a video depicting their adventures in the sun, rain and hail.

Watch Allison's video

Girl Scout artists take action

The members of Cadette Troop 6170 invested its cookie earnings in a beautiful legacy for their community. Guided by troop leaders Christy Knight and Amy Miller-Hale, and professional muralist Thom Guerra, the girls painted a nature-themed mural at Santee’s Mast Park. After years of planting flowers there, the 6th-graders wanted to create something memorable they could visit to remember their time growing up together. The City of Santee Recreation Department unanimously approved the troop’s proposal. The completed artwork is located on a bridge underpass, with spots available for other Girl Scouts to add their own original murals.

Paint a mural at Mast Park!

Badgework in motion

Brownie-Junior Troop 4351 is in non-stop Girl Scouting mode — working toward earning badges through enriching experiences funded by cookie proceeds. They met endangered animals at the California Wolf Center, ferried to Coronado (to ride surrey bikes and complete an art scavenger hunt) and explored the City Farmers Nursery — where they encountered goats, chickens and bees, conducted science experiments and learned about the ecosystems of native plants and bugs (photos). Next up for these tireless troopers: a beach clean-up, kayaking and a Play it Safe session led by Tracie Arlington, one of our Volunteer Celebration honorees.

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Discovering their potential

An aluminum foil boat loaded with pennies won’t sink as long as the force of buoyancy is greater than the force of gravity. The proper thrust-to-weight ratio is a must to efficiently propel miniature jets and rockets. These were some of the takeaways day campers picked up from the engineers, physicists and other volunteers from SPAWAR. And that was just one day of our Girl Scout Outreach’s Discovery Camp! Attended by nearly 80 K-5 girls from underserved communities, the session included other STEM activities and opportunities to explore nature, dabble in art and swim. San Diego Foundation helped fund the camp through an Opening the Outdoors grant.

See pictures

About Girl Scouts

Founded in 1912, Girl Scouting provides the nationís best leadership experience for girls. Through Girl Scouts, girls discover themselves, connect with others, and take action to make the world a better place.

Girl Scouts San Diego provides activities for 43,000 local girl and adult members, trains volunteers, and maintains two camps and four program and service facilities.


Contact us for more information.