Girl Scouts Balboa Lodge Ribbon Cutting

Cookie stars shine at OTM Sendoff

Meet our 2016 top Girl Scout Cookie sellers (pictured, from back row, left): Christina Bailey, Karen Jean Dumitru, Catherine Chiang, Zoe Antonoff, Jasmine Romero (hidden), Laura Lehmann, Roni Nelson, Taylorann Quick and Jessica Bailey. (Front row, from left): Paisley Kavanaugh, Zoey Ronco, Dawniella Molina, Leah Ertel, Erin Brown, Kayla Luna, Eva Zeis, Alyssa Quick, Hailey Hernandez and Makayla Mayor. Not pictured: Ashley Prus, Dianna Seaux and Jessica Andrews.

During last month's Operation Thin Mint® (OTM) Sendoff aboard the USS Midway Museum, we honored girls who sold 2,016 boxes — or more — in 2016. Girl Scout Junior Paisley (right, with Girl Scout Board member Celia Lanning of Wells Fargo) hit the highest numbers:5,172 boxes, with 4,029 for OTM. We also cheered the success of girls who sold 100 or more Operation Thin Mint® boxes.

Wells Fargo sponsored the sendoff. Cox Communications, RJS Law and SDG&E were also key sponsors. During the ceremony, top sellers proudly carried flags of the countries where deployed U.S. military troops have received "a taste of home and a note to show we care." The 159,198 boxes shipped this year contribute to a grand total of 2.7 million boxes shipped since OTM began in 2002.

Congratulations — and thank you — to the cookie entrepreneurs, parents, volunteers and customers who make our service members' days brighter, one box of cookies at a time!


Gerry L. Keshka
Interim Chief Executive Officer

Girl Scout on climbing wall

Summer camp kicking off
Girl Scout summer camp starts this month! All girls in grades K-12 are welcome; financial assistance is available. With action-packed sessions and the appeal of our new Balboa Lodge drawing girls from near and far, campers are enrolling at a record pace. Several day camps still have available spots, including Adventure Chasers (archery, rock climbing, stand-up paddle boarding) and Wild Things (animal encounters, San Diego Zoo field trip), both on Aug. 1-5. Among resident camps with openings: Secret Hideout (tent camping; June 27-July 1 or July 25-29) and Mural Mania (designing and painting a mural; Aug. 1-5). Every session also features traditional camp fun like s'mores, skits and exploring nature. Find information on our camp page.

Girl Scout Outreach Mountain Adventure

Girls embrace outdoor adventures
Our Mountain Adventure camp was a transformative experience, leaving girls who attended more independent, outgoing and courageous, according to their parents. More than 100 fourth- and fifth-graders (mostly first-time campers) from our Girl Scout Outreach (GSO) after-school programs attended the springtime weekend session at Camp Whispering Oaks. Campers gained leadership skills by going on nature hikes, learning about native plants and trees, and trying (and loving!) archery, teambuilding and other activities. Plus, the girls are still raving about the camp food. For information about helping to keep Girl Scouting available and affordable for all girls, contact Outreach Manager Lucy Esparza, (619) 610-0788.

Gold Award Anniversary

A Major announcement: Urban Glampout Platinum sponsors
Urban Glampout just went Platinum, thanks to a $50,000 corporate sponsorship from Major Executive Search, owned by Sue Major. Sue is co-chairing Urban Glampout with her husband John (both are pictured above). The contribution will translate to more funds for Girl Scout programs and adventures. The Majors and Committee Chair Liza Crisafi look forward to seeing everyone on the big, starlit night: Friday, Sept. 9, on the grounds of our beautiful new Balboa Lodge. Guests will enjoy an evening of games, exquisite dining (Culinary Concepts catering is back by popular demand), dancing to live music and auction bidding galore. Must-have items include a seven-day Holland America Line cruise, Southwest Airlines tickets and a vacation to Mes Amis — an 11-bedroom luxury villa on the French Caribbean Island of St. Martin.

Urban Glampout tickets are now on sale for groups and individuals. Find information about early bird discounts, as well as sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, online.

Girl Scouts going greener than ever
Thanks to an Eco Ambassador grant from SDG&E, Girl Scouts San Diego is growing opportunities for girls to get outdoors and learn how to love their planet! More than 170 Girl Scouts attended our recent Marsh Madness event, co-hosted by Troop 5912 at the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve. Participants became estuary experts, played "birdwatch bingo," searched for native and butterfly-friendly plants, created rock art and committed to taking action as environmental stewards.

Exploring nature and protecting the earth is a cornerstone of the Girl Scout experience, and can spark an interest in conservation, research and other careers. To receive monthly updates about STEM events and resources for girls, contact Michaela Butler, (619) 610-0813.

Camp Exec mentors will include Pam Mudd, a member of our Cool Women Class of 2014.

Calling all business leaders!
We're seeking CEOs, COOs, CFOs, VPs and other senior-level professionals to inspire high school girls to dream big and pursue their goals. Our first-ever Camp Exec will be a camp-based leadership development experience that connects local Girl Scouts with San Diego's most accomplished female executives and entrepreneurs. Girls and their adult mentors will spend three days at Camp Whispering Oaks, Friday-Sunday, Sept. 23-25. The executives will be paired with girls to engage in activities designed to foster skills in professional development, teamwork, financial savviness and projecting a positive image. Outdoor adventures will include archery, trail hikes and using the high ropes course and zipline. Adult participants will help underwrite the program. To take part in this unique opportunity, contact Interim Development Director Merle Brodie, (619) 610-0804.

Inaugural gathering at lodge
The only hard hats now required on Level 3 of our Balboa Campus are for the climbing tower! The just-completed Balboa Lodge was the venue for our 98th annual meeting. New members of the board and board development committee were sworn in, and we reflected on the past year. Teen Girl Scouts — Gold Award recipients, representatives to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and our Impact Report stars — played a major role.

P.S. The deadline to buy a brick in the lodge walkway is Thursday, June 30. Memorialize your connection to Girl Scouting, or honor someone else's, by personalizing a brick.

Featured events:

Girl Scout Gold and Silver Award ceremonies — Saturday, June 4
Volunteer Conference and Celebration — Saturday, Aug. 27
Urban Glampout — Friday, Sept. 9