Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors! Let’s talk about travelling!!!

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.  Mark Twain

Travel IS education.

Meeting people from other countries, other continents – even from other states within our own country - opens up a new world of discovery where we find that we are more alike in our humanity than we are different. And with all the strife and war going on in the world, what better time to come to the realization of the commonality of our human condition!

Ten years ago, my family sponsored a 13-year old girl named Saoirse, from Belfast, Northern Ireland through a summer program designed to get Belfast youth out of harms way during the “troubles”.

We recently took a trip to Ireland and visited Saoirse and her family for a day. They are poor and struggle to make ends meet. Saoirse is a mother herself now, but has never forgotten her 8-weeks in “America” and how she came to appreciate the value of travelling. Her mother told us that she also had an opportunity to go to America when she was young, but that ultimately circumstances prevented the trip that she said “would have changed my life”.

In Girl Scouting we recognize that we are citizens of a global community. We have World Centers in Mexico, India, Switzerland and England. We have our Destinations program that brings girls together, nationally and internationally, for programs of interest.

Please take this opportunity to explore the possibilities of participating in one of the Destinations programs offered! In 2010 there are 47 national and international opportunities!! The link to learn more about this is http://www.gscsnj.org/travel.php. Your Council Destinations contact is Lauren Gaynor at lgaynor@gscsnj.org. Lauren can answer any questions you have and will process your application.

It’s a big world out there, with lots of friends waiting to be discovered!

As Mark Twain said, “Explore. Dream. Discover”!!

Mary Connell, CEO

Friday, September 11, 2009

Annual Meeting- Open Space Explained

Going From Good to Great…Conversations That Matter
On behalf of the National Delegates of Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey, I invite you on a journey of Open Space Technology, Saturday October 24, 2009, “Going from Good to Great…Conversations That Matter.” Open Space Technology is a tool used for effective communication. Its purpose is to get people talking about, listening and sharing issues that those individuals are passionate about. It is technology that is being used effectively across four continents in industry, conferences, non-profits, etc.  Most of us were introduced to this at the National Convention held last October in Indianapolis, as a way for Girl Scouts to connect with each other about issues that were important. We were able to see what other Girl Scouts were passionate about and what concerns other councils shared.   Many councils had completed the Realignment process at that time.  It was interesting to hear what others had to say.

I was a National Delegate at the time of Realignment and became a member of the Council Realignment Committee who had the task and responsibility to merge the former councils of South Jersey Pines, Camden, and Delaware-Raritan.  We completed that task, and I am currently on the Board of Directors and I am also one of the National Delegates that represent the Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey. Our council is the largest, geographically, in the state of New Jersey.  We need to assure everyone is heard.  We are truly a glass half full.  We have the capacity to be the best Girl Scout Council in the universe.  The bar continues to be set higher.  I know that the passion and the talents that our membership possesses will continually fill the glass that is in front of us.

Harrison Owen states that,” Without passion, nobody is interested.  Without responsibility, nothing will get done.”  Our hope is that on Saturday, October 24, 2009, voices will share, ears will listen, and stronger relationships be forged. Please join us on this journey.  Bring your passion; bring your voices; bring your talents.  Voices can’t be heard if they are not shared. Passion can’t be experienced if not shared.  Talents are worth little if not shared.  See you at “Going from Good to Great…Conversations That Matter!” Together we can truly go “From Good to Great”!

Yours in Girl Scouting,
Gail Pfister

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Moving at the Speed of Girls

Greetings to our Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts from your CEO, Mary Connell!

Hmmm…I’m “blogging” you!

I suppose I could have written to you in a print newsletter and sent it to you USPS (aka snail-mail). Or I could have e-mailed you…but only *28% of you use e-mail on a regular basis. Yes, you’ve gotten WAY past U.S. mail and e-mail. I read recently that probably the best way for me to reach you is either by text messaging or MMS/picture messaging you (*83% of US mobile teens use text-messaging and 56% use MMS/picture messaging). But I wonder if that communication might get lost in the (average) *2,899 messages that you receive per month, which is 566% higher than just two years ago…hmmmm.

In fact, *37% of US mobile subscribers between the ages of 13-17 access the internet on their phones – second only to the same age group in China! Since there are only 16% of you who even bother with a land line, I won’t even consider calling you at home.

You also communicate on Facebook and Twitter.

I’m getting there, but for now I’ll give this blog a shot at saying hello and to tell you that we are very glad, and proud, to have you all as our teen Girl Scouts, role models for our younger Girl Scouts coming up through the ranks.

You, Seniors and Ambassadors, are the future leaders in your families, in your communities and in our world. So many women who have distinguished themselves personally and professionally look back on their childhood Girl Scout experience as the starting point for their leadership development…mixed in with heavy doses of fun and friendship…and they always smile in relating their Girl Scout experience that many years later. These are women who are successful homemakers…local, state and national government officials…CEOs of companies and sometimes a mix of all three!

In Girl Scouting we are working at YOUR speed – we will communicate with you using YOUR words, develop programs that you’ve told us are of interest to YOU, and help you with your Silver and Gold Awards service projects that become YOUR passion and change YOUR world.

Next summer – you’ll hear more details this Fall – we are having a Destinations program conference over three days for you on the topic of Healthy Media Images. This program will only be open to teen Girl Scouts who reside in any of the four Councils in the state of New Jersey. We will have some of the top women – you’ll recognize their names! - in the media implementing workshops that you will be able to attend on a college campus. If you are interested in helping to plan this program please contact me.

I am looking to create a “Sudden Service” Senior/Ambassador Task Group to work with me in sharing the great program that we have in Girl Scouting with people throughout our Council who can support our work in the future – individuals, corporations, foundations. Let me know if this might interest you as well – you have a story to tell and it’s a great one…and so much better coming from you than from me!

We look for your input and suggestions in this time of great change. We are working hard to keep up with YOU!!!...and it’s not only technology. Have you heard there are another 100 new words recently added to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary Eleventh Edition????

That said, I’ll sign off on this first blog by saying that I hope you all had a great summer, even if your time off was a staycation, enjoying locavore delights and steering clear of your frenemies. In September you could very well become my flashmob focus for the October 24th annual meeting. I might even send you a vlog to remind you, but I’ll need to procure some memory foam so I don’t forget.

Keep in touch!

*Nielsen Research