Girl Scouts at UN

Soaring like eagles: Gold Award Class of 2016

Congratulations to the 32 young women who earned the Girl Scout Gold Award during its 100th anniversary year! We marked the occasion with a ceremony and celebration at Copley Symphony Hall.

Girl Scouts who "go for the Gold" demonstrate extraordinary leadership through remarkable "Take Action" projects with a sustainable impact in their communities and beyond. Just five percent of all Girl Scouts earn our highest honor.

Called the Golden Eagle of Merit when Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low introduced it in 1916, the award later became known as the Golden Eaglet, First Class and Curved Bar. In 1980, it was renamed the Gold Award.

We are proud to welcome our newest Gold Award recipients to this century-long tradition of excellence.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Gerry Keshka
Interim Chief Executive Officer

Girls at Incredible race

Gift of Girl Scout camp: A rewarding experience
Every girl should have the opportunity to go to camp. Girl Scouts Makayla, Catherine, Sydney (pictured, from left) and Caroline recently took this sentiment to heart. Having experienced the wonders of camp, they chose to share that joy with others by donating the camp sessions they earned by selling 525-plus boxes of cookies.

Thanks to the kindness of these cookie entrepreneurs and other generous individuals, we can provide camperships to low-income families, including those dealing with complicated hardships. As a result, girls who are homeless spend a week sleeping in cabins instead of cars. Foster care kids bond with sister Girl Scouts, and victims of bullying get a much-needed reprieve.

Help send a girl to camp!

Saddled up for camp
And they're off! Campers are galloping to great adventures this summer. California Cowgirls (pictured) — a day camp in Lakeside — was among the sessions that started last month. (See Facebook for photos.) Upcoming day camps with spots available include Adventure Chasers (archery, rock climbing, stand-up paddle boarding), Wild Things (animal encounters, San Diego Zoo field trip) and Technology Goddesses (high-tech skill building, cyber-safety). We also have space in Express Yourself (performing arts), Mini Adventure (three-day camp sampler) and several other overnight camps. All girls in grades K-5 are welcome at Girl Scout camp; no need to be a current member to attend.

Learn more or sign up!

RJS Law billboards salute Girl Scout Cookie Program, OTM
Community partner RJS Law sponsored a billboard campaign promoting Operation Thin Mint (OTM) through a drawing open to all girls who sold 50 or more boxes of OTM cookies. As announced at our recent OTM Sendoff Celebration, 12-year-old Isabella (pictured) was selected to appear on the billboards as the first-place prize. Runners-up Faith and Laci won VIP roles at a Padres game (see next story).

Having a ball at Petco Park
The San Diego Padres' recent Girl Scout Night was a home run! A Brownie named Faith threw out the first pitch, Daisy Laci was the ball girl and Troop 6116 presented the colors at the pitcher's mound. The bleachers were packed with Girl Scouts and their friends and family members, and — despite our loss to the Colorado Rockies — everyone scored a great evening.

Signature volunteer event: Early bird discounts end July 17
Adults and older Girl Scouts: Join us for our Volunteer Conference and Celebration (VCC), Saturday, Aug. 27 at the San Diego Convention Center. Enjoy a fabulous day of networking, learning with stellar session leaders, and an awards dinner honoring superstar volunteers.

KUSI anchor Elizabeth Alvarez (pictured, right), a former Brownie, is set to emcee the evening celebration, with renowned lifestyle and etiquette expert Elaine Swann delivering the keynote address. Known as "the Emily Post of the digital age," the Girl Scout alumna has appeared on the "Today" show and in high-profile publications. Find VCC details online and register now for the celebration, conference, and #realtalkgs2016 forum for girls in grades 9-12. Early bird discounts for all three events are available through Sunday, July 17.

Sophia Morrison was among this year's Silver Award honorees. At right, she teaches a beta test subject — her 80-year-old grandmother Marjorie — how to share photos on Instagram.

Silver Award projects make the world a better place
Kudos to the 401 Girl Scouts who received their Silver Award, the highest honor for Cadettes. We applauded these change-makers during a ceremony that featured an inspiring speech by 2015 Gold Award recipient Shreya Huilgol.

Our Silver Award recipients completed sustainable projects that involved identifying and addressing a need in partnership with the community. Sophia Morrision, for example, recruited High Tech High Middle School students to teach elderly North County residents how to stay connected with family members via smartphones and other devices. For the "Senior Tech Talk" workshops, Sophia and her team developed and implemented a curriculum covering everything from emails, picture sharing and texting to overcoming apprehension about using iPads. Her school adopted the project as an elective, and then continued it as a school-wide community service project. Sophia received a proclamation from the mayor and city council of San Marcos recognizing her achievements.

Featured events:

Volunteer Conference and Celebration (VCC) — Saturday, August 27
Urban Glampout — Friday, Sept. 9
Camp Exec — Friday-Sunday, Sept. 23-25