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Dear Girl Scout Families and Friends:
As we finish out our 100th anniversary year, I want us all to take a breath and a step back to recognize what an extraordinary year it has been. Beginning with our spectacular, award-winning Girl Scout Rose Parade Float themed, “What Will You Do Today?”, images of Girl Scouts from greater Los Angeles were broadcast across the country and throughout the world. Many of you donated flowers for a virtual ride down Colorado Blvd in Pasadena, and I hope you felt the energy and pride. It was quite a kick-off to our centennial.
Fast forward to our Annual Meeting/Volunteer Recognition Ceremony in April and our Gold Award Ceremony in June, where we celebrated 267 girls in our council who earned the Girl Scout Gold Award. An extraordinary 11% of all our eligible girls were honored: that’s twice the national average.
In between these events, we celebrated girls who were our top cookie sellers at our Club 500 and Elite 1000 events. This year was particularly fun and special because of our 100th anniversary. We were delighted to have 30,735 girls participating in the largest business literacy program for girls in the country. Then all summer we had residential and day camps going on, and many of you had your first taste of these programs this year. For those of you who haven’t ridden a horse, rowed in a kayak, slept under the stars or made new friends outside of your school or neighborhood, I highly recommend attending camp in 2013.
Speaking of camping, over 6,000 of you joined together at the beautiful Lake Perris Recreation Area in late October for our 100th Anniversary Camporee. Now THAT is a centennial memory I will carry forever! It was a sea of tents, illuminated “noodleheads” (you had to see it to believe it) and some of the most outstanding Girl Scout activities we’ve ever experienced. We had singing, dancing, exploring, games, exhibits, and world-class entertainment on the Starlight Stage. While I may not be the CEO for a 125th Anniversary Camporee, the 100th Anniversary Camporee set the bar high.
As we close the year with our ToGetHerThere Luncheon on December 5, we will focus on the boldest advocacy and fundraising initiative in our Movement’s history. We will hear from women CEOs in business whose careers were shaped by being Girl Scouts. This initiative addresses the importance of helping girls achieve gender-balanced leadership in a generation; something I care passionately about. We will celebrate nearly 100 Girl Scout Emerging Leaders who serve as an example for what we hope for and expect for our next generation of women finding their voices, stepping up, and stepping out. Isn’t that what Juliette Gordon Low had in mind when she founded this Movement 100 years ago? I believe she would be so proud!
Lise L. Luttgens
Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles