CEO Update: Good news, COVID-19, and Town Halls
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CEO Update: Good news, COVID-19, and Town Halls


May GSNorCal CEO Update

Dear Members and Friends of Girl Scouts,

Today’s update includes:

  • Good news
  • Spring renewals
  • Spring Virtual Town Halls
  • COVID-19 updates

Good News. 

I am very grateful for the thousands of volunteers who are finding ways to support girls, each other, and our communities during this challenging time, and I am grateful for our staff who are stretched in many directions. It is inspiring to see the acts of kindness and caring all around us in our Girl Scout community, so I collected some of my favorites! I hope they brighten your day as much as they did mine:

  • Our girls are resilient. The Space Cookies Robotics Team turned the t-shirts they had saved to trade or give away at their now cancelled competitions into masks to donate to their communities!
  • Our volunteers are creative and supportive. All over the council, volunteers are sharing ideas with each other about opportunities to keep girls active and connected. The GSNorCal Live! Facebook group is our central place to find and share ideas with fellow council volunteers.
  • Girl Scouts are working together across the nation and around the world. Research about helping kids respond to, and recover from, a crisis stresses the importance of nurturing resilience through connection, routine, expression, participation, and empowerment. If those elements sounds like the core of what we do in Girl Scouts, you’d be right! This includes some amazing national GirlScout service projects that you can participate in!
  • We completed our first-ever virtual Annual Meeting on April 18 and electedwonderful new Council Officers, Directors-at-Large, Board DevelopmentCommittee members, and National Delegates. We are fortunate that ourBoard President, Ellen Richey, will serve a second term----- experience helpsduring a crisis! A big shout-out to all of the voting members and guests whomade it happen via webinar, chat, electronic voting, and post-meeting survey. Itdefinitely showed off a growth mindset in action! Here's the list of our dedicated governance volunteers
  • We had a great 2019! We recently mailed our 2019 Annual Report to donors, and it is now available online for all to read.
  • We have a new baby goat, boarn at Camp Skylark Ranch on April 28!
  • This past Saturday, I met via video conference with our remarkable 2020 2000+ Cookie entrepreneurs. This year 77 girls sold 2000+ packages of cookies and earned fun overnights and adventures with me. Unfortunately, we had to cancel these events for now because of COVID-19. I am committed to finding a way to meet in person with our 2000+ cookie entrepreneurs when I can, but in the meantime, this past Saturday, which was the scheduled date for the sleepover at the Academy of Science, we held two “zoom-overs,” organized by grade level. As always, the girls had lots of ideas to share with me and enjoyed talking about their tips for other girls who are setting big goals. 

Spring Renewal

With a growing pool of amazing remote resources and more virtual experiences on the way, your Girl Scout membership is more valuable than ever before! We are committed to supporting our girls, members, and volunteers through this crisis and beyond, but we can only do that if our Girl Scouts stay in Girl Scouts.

For just $40, you’ll have access to an entire year of support, sisterhood, and fun with your troop, your family, and Girl Scout community. Participate in virtual troop meetings, earn badges remotely, and connect with other Girl Scouts through a wide variety of exciting virtual events. You can eliminate or reduce our already low membership costs by using your reward cards, agreeing with your troop to use troop funds, or requesting financial aid. Learn more at www.gsnorcal.org/renew.

Spring Virtual Town Hall Meetings

I have rescheduled my planned 2020 Town Hall meetings from in-person to virtual. We will meet by Zoom with members from different regions of our council. Please register to receive the meeting information and password for your region. 

7 PM - 8PM (with optional discussion to 8:30 PM)
South Bay Peninsula
Monday, May 18
Redwoods Wednesday, May 20
North Central Tuesday, May 26
East Bay/Solano Thursday, May 28
North Coast Monday, June 1
10 AM - 11 AM (with optional discussion to 11:30 AM)
Council-at-Large Member Town Hall Saturday, May 30


I look forward to sharing and hearing your input on:

  • Brief update on the State of the Council, as shared at our Annual Meeting. 
  • Our priorities and future state for our next three-year strategic plan. Are we heading in the right direction? We will share feedback from members who attended the Annual Meeting.
  • Navigating COVID-19. This is, for almost all of us, our first pandemic. It will help that we have a shared vision for our future state. We need to know where we are going as we navigate our way through the uncertain times ahead. This will be a true test of our courage, confidence and character 

Navigating our COVID-19 World

Our 2019 Annual Report is a reminder of how much has changed for all of us in a short time. This past week we heard from our governor and public health experts that we should expect to move in and out of social distancing at least through 2021.  

  • GSNorCal decisions and programs: We continue to monitor federal, state and local guidance, and are providing regular updates on our COVID-19 webpage.
  • 2020 National Council Session and Convention: GSUSA recently announced its board’s decision that due to COVID-19 the 2020 National Council Session will be virtual, and the convention will be cancelled. I know this is super disappointing for our recently elected National Council Delegates and members who planned to travel to Orlando for the 2020 NCS and convention.

This is going to be hard on our members, especially our girls. The Essential Girl Scout Experience (Sisterhood, Supportive Adults, Special Experiences) can help girls and adults respond to and recover from the pandemic, during this time of uncertainty and loss. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and figure out how to support each other and make Girl Scouts happen for as many girls as possible.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Marina Park
CEO
Girl Scout of Northern CaliforniaWednesday, May 20