In early October, six Girl National Delegates and a member of the national G-TEAM (one of 21 girls nationally on the G.I.R.L. 2017 planning committee) from eastern Massachusetts, attended G.I.R.L. 2017 and the 54th National Council Session in Columbus, Ohio. These girls represented our council as full voting members at the National Council Session and were able to participate in all the fun that G.I.R.L 2017 had to offer. We asked them about their experience, and this is what they had to say (and see more photos at the end of this post!):
Jess Schnitzer (Boston, Grade 10)
The main purpose of our trip was to attend the National Council Session. This process of voting and discussing amongst so many people was something new to me. Being surrounded by hundreds of other delegates really cemented the fact that I was a part of this important system. I even got a chance to go to the microphone and ask a question. Although I was nervous, I’m thankful for that opportunity because I was able to contribute to the thinking process. It was truly something unforgettable, that changed me for the better.
Elizabeth Saltzman (Randolph, Grade 11)
I had the opportunity to attend three breakout sessions: Neuropharmacology, Game of Life Trivia Night, and Girl Scouting: Past, Present and Future. In Neuropharmacology, my arm was hooked up to a machine and another person was able to control the motion of my arm. My favorite session was Girl Scouting: Past, Present and Future. I sang traditional songs and participated in a ceremony with ashes that dates back to 1918.
Marianne O’Connell (Medford, Grade 10)
At G.I.R.L. 2017, the part I enjoyed most was the Hall of Experiences. There were vendors, inspirational people, and a huge Girl Scout store. I even got the incredible opportunity to meet Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, the national board president of Girl Scouts of the USA. I am honored to have been a part of this event, and can’t wait to see what other opportunities Girl Scouts brings to me.
Maddie Hamilton (Winchester, Grade 11)
I met so many girls who were so vastly different from me. Yet, they were just as dedicated to Girl Scouts as I am. Knowing that there are other girls out there who love and enjoy Girl Scouting, just as much as I do, was my favorite (and I think best) part of G.I.R.L 2017.
Brennah Satterfield (Rockport, Grade 11)
I enjoyed seeing Columbus, Ohio. I visited the arena where the Blue Jackets play, which I thought was cool because I play hockey. Also, I went to the Columbus Zoo, owned by Jack Hanna. G.I.R.L. 2017 let me see some things that I never thought I would see, and go somewhere I never thought I would go.
Jacquelyn Ross (Chelmsford, Grade 9)
My favorite thing about G.I.R.L 2017 was how we all connected together. Thousands of people from different backgrounds were able to share common ideas and interests. I was able to see how everyone is unique and empowering in their own way, and how it contributed to the real meaning of being a G.I.R.L.
Additionally, Mackenzie Kelly (West Roxbury, Grade 11) was selected to be a part of G-TEAM, the G.I.R.L. 2017 planning committee, along with 20 other girls from across the country:
We crafted all parts of G.I.R.L. 2017—working with vendors and sponsors; contacting speakers, celebrities, and singers; and creating breakout sessions. I was on the Programming subcommittee. I had to identify 32 specific yet broad topics, balance the presenters’ talents/experiences with my vision, format the session, and fit it into the 40-minute time period. Each presenter went through a rigorous vetting process. I learned you can never really scrub social media and that can come back to haunt you professionally. One presenter backed out at the last minute and I had to find a replacement, which was really nerve-wracking (ironically, it was a yoga presenter for De-Stress Fest!). The event completely surpassed my vision (I even I ran a few breakout sessions myself) and I couldn’t be more proud. In addition to meeting empowering women like Chelsea Clinton, Barbara Pierce Bush, and Gabby Douglas, I gathered with passionate Girl Scouts from all different kinds of backgrounds and ages. To me, this whole experience embodied what it is to be a go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, and leader!