Thanks Badge honoree Jennifer Chavarria enjoys a moment with the Girl Scout String Quartet (from left, Nicole, Ellie, Katie and Melanie) during Volunteer Conference and Celebration (VCC) 2016.

Celebration champions

Cheers to everyone who took part in our 2016 Volunteer Conference and Celebration (VCC) at the San Diego Convention Center! More than 500 members and supporters attended the recent gathering, which featured a day of networking and learning followed by an evening awards program. (View photos and honorees' names.)

During 30 skill-building sessions, adults geared up to lead Girl Scouts on adventures of all kinds ... from wilderness hiking to STEAM projects. Volunteers also garnered inspiration and resources at booths hosted by community partners and Girl Scout staff.

Meanwhile, teens explored life dreams and college goals at the girl-designed #realtalkgs forum, where the theme was "Fill your bucket."

Our high-energy Saturday culminated in a dinner and ceremony honoring accomplished volunteers, including Thanks Badge recipient Jennifer Chavarria (pictured).

Congratulations to each of this year's honorees, and a huge thank you to all of our 12,000 caring volunteers. You are the heart and soul of Girl Scouting!

Warm regards,

Gerry L. Keshka
Interim Chief Executive Officer


Big news: Girl Scout executive named CEO
We are delighted to announce that Carol M. Dedrich, MBA, CFRE will join our Girl Scout family as chief executive officer. Carol is a highly respected professional within the Girl Scout world and beyond. She has a rich background in development, marketing, strategic planning and leadership, with over 20 years at the executive level. Her experience includes serving in the government/military, corporate and not-for-profit sectors.

Carol is currently chief external relations officer for Girl Scouts Greater Los Angeles. She started her career as a Patriot Missile Officer in the U.S. Army and is a veteran of Desert Shield and Desert Storm. She transitioned to civilian life as development officer at United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. Carol later became vice president of development and marketing at the Fulfillment Fund, a nonprofit that helps provide access to education for promising students who are economically disadvantaged. Look for Carol at Urban Glampout, where she will be a special guest prior to her start date of Oct. 10. Her first official appearance will be on Thursday, Oct. 13 at the annual appreciation event for Promise and Legacy Circle members.


Globetrotting Girl Scouts discovering, connecting and taking action
This summer, 37 local Girl Scouts and their chaperones explored faraway places through our Destinations program, growing as leaders and making new friends. While scuba diving and rescuing leatherback sea turtles in Panama, Jaddin (above left, in glasses) gained compassion for the area's tropical marine life. Twins Mahliya and Rhianne splashed down at Space Camp; Rebecca ventured to Morocco. In Costa Rica, Jade hiked to the Fortuna Waterfall, kayaked (right), visited hot springs and learned about biodiversity. Her companions included Jessica, who used the "Cookie Bucks" she earned as a 2016 top seller to finance her trip.

Girls can learn about upcoming travel adventures at our free Destinations Expo on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 6-8 p.m. at our Balboa Campus. For questions, including how to volunteer or contribute, contact Elisa Villarreal, (619) 610-0781.

Sophia (far right) and other Girl Scouts visited with World War II veterans like U.S. Navy Lt. Jim Downing.

Saluting military heroes
Local Girl Scouts met World War II veterans and heard their inspiring stories during the recent Spirit of '45 event in Balboa Park. (See Union-Tribune article featuring Sophia with a 103-year-old Navy vet ... and additional photos.) The annual gathering commemorates the end of the war and those who sacrificed to ensure our U.S. victory. Girl Scouts will honor military personnel again on Friday, Nov. 11, when they participate in the Veterans Day parade. For details, contact Meral Aker.

Our Urban Glampout committee includes (back row, from left) Dominique Langerman, Stephanie Holland, Tange Gavin, Mindy Messer, Sherri Howard and Paul Nestor; (front row) Jeanette Day, Barbara Kramer, Event Co-chair (with John Major, not pictured) Sue Major, Committee Chair Liza Crisafi and Jennifer Chavarria.

It's time to glamp up!
Urban Glampout committee members (above) look forward to welcoming 600 revelers to our annual fun fundraiser for grown-ups (press release). Guests will gather on the grounds of our new Balboa Lodge on Friday, Sept. 9 to play games and bid on exciting auction items like luxury vacation packages. Offerings include a week on Lake Delevan in Wisconsin at the four-bedroom guest house of the historic Penwern estate designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Also among enticing getaways is a stay at Mes Amis — an 11-bedroom rental villa on the French Caribbean Island of St. Martin. Urban Glampers will also enjoy gourmet camp chow, dance the night away and roast marshmallows for s'mores. Stake your claim now; only a few spots remain!

Special thanks to our major Urban Glampout sponsors:

Platinum Partner — Major Executive Search
Silver Partners — Qualcomm, Wells Fargo
Bronze Partners — Nadine and Carlo Daleo, Barbara Dickey, Mission Federal Credit Union,
Patti Roscoe and Jim Tiffany
Official Airline — Southwest Airlines
Opportunity Drawing — Holland America Line and Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers

Urban Glampout Sponsors