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55th Girl Scout National Session

Get ready for the 55th Girl Scout National Session October 23 – 25, 2020! The convention happens every three years and is a time for our volunteers to review accomplishments of the last three years, vote on proposals that will impact our work and initiatives and elect our National Board and Board Development Committee for the 2020-2023 triennium. 

Because of the COVID-19 crisis, the National Convention, originally scheduled for Orlando, Florida, will now be held virtually. Our council, Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois, is represented by eight volunteer delegates and three alternatives for the next three-year term. Our delegates would like your feedback and suggestions on six proposals that will be voted on at the 55th Girl Scout National Session.

So as excitement grows for our history-making, first-ever virtual NCS, we’re happy to invite Girl Scout members to join us for our upcoming events: 

  1. Stewardship Report Webinar—Join us Wednesday, September 9, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. ET to hear about the state of the Movement; register by September 4 (note that delegates should register for all NCS-related event invitations via the emails being sent directly to them) 
  2. Keynote presentations by Girl Scouts’ National Board chair, interim national CEO, and founding chair of the Juliette Gordon Low Society—Saturday, October 3, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. ET; stay tuned for registration information and note that a virtual reception for Juliette Gordon Low Society members will immediately follow these presentations 
  3. Join the first-ever virtual NCS—Friday, October 23, through Sunday, October 25 by registering on Eventbrite.

Special thanks to Little Brownie Bakers for being a Gold Sponsor of Girl Scouts’ 55th NCS. 

 

Meet Your National Delegates

Delegates have been assigned to each Service Unit and will be able to answer any questions submitted to Info@GirlScoutsToday.org

Volunteer Delegates
SandraMitchell

Sandra Mitchell, Bettendorf, Iowa
Sandra Mitchell has been a Girl Scout Leader for 22 years. She began her journey as a Brownie leader when her oldest daughter decided she wanted to join. Since then, she has grown from leading a troop of 12 girls to a leading a neighborhood troop of 85 girls. In addition to leading a troop, she volunteers as Service Unit Director, Cookie Cupboard manager, First Aid CPR Instructor, and Outdoor Skills and PA Facilitator. 

One of Sandra's favorite things about Girl Scouts is taking the girls camping, and she enjoys planning exciting activities for the girls to try, like tie-dye tag, cooking gypsie fling, dissecting owl poop, and spider hunting at night. Outside of Girl Scouts, Sandra's favorite past time is camping with her family.

 

 

AmyWheeler

Amy Wheeler, Anamosa, Iowa
Amy Wheeler has been an Engineer of almost 20 years at Collins Aerospace. She has been a Girl Scout volunteer of 10 years and an Anamosa Archery Coach for eight years, always volunteering for activities with her kids like marching band, theater, and show choir. Her time with Girl Scouts began in first grade in a large multi-tier troop where she worked on badges, hiking, canoeing, camping, walking in parades, selling cookies, and crafting with her sisterhood of Girl Scouts. As an adult, she loves the new, bigger adventures in Girl Scouts! Her Troop motto is "always try new things!" Even if they aren't perfect or aren't great at the activity, the girls will never know if they don't try. 

Amy serves as a Troop Leader, Service Unit Director, Service Unit Product Manager, Treasurer, Program Aid Trainer, and serves on multiple GSEIWI Advisory Boards (CEO, Travel, and Property). She enjoys time with her family as well as knitting, crocheting, and quilting.

 

 

TanyaPrice

Tanya Price, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Tanya Price lives in Cedar Rapids with her husband and three children. She has been a member of Girl Scouts for 17 years, seven of which she has been a volunteer. She is currently a Troop Leader, archery facilitator, Service Unit Director, and camp director. 

As a girl, she attended Camp Conestoga. Because of her experience at camp, she believes that every girl should have the opportunity to attend, whether that be a day camp or overnight resident camp. Outside of Girl Scouts, she is involved with Corridor Running and is currently going to school full time for marketing.

 

 

HeatherBishop

Heather Bishop, Rock Island, Illinois
Heather Bishop has been involved in Girl Scouting for over fourteen years- three years as a girl in Austin, Texas, and the rest as a Girl Scout Leader in the Quad Cities. In addition to being a Troop Leader for Troop 8018, Heather is currently the Fall Product Manager for Service Unit 870 and Assistant Day Camp Director for Black Hawk Day Camp. Since 2008, she has held various positions within the council.  

Her favorite childhood memories of Girl Scouts are making chocolate chip pancakes at troop campouts and Jazzercise resident camp at Camp Texlake. When she isn’t volunteering with Girl Scouts, Heather works as a Project Engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Heather also enjoys gardening, home improvement projects, crafts, and spending time with her family, including their four cats.

 

 

AnnaNallie

Anna Nallie, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
For Anna Nallie, Girl Scouting is a family tradition, and that is why she has been a member for an impressive 42 years. Throughout her time with Girl Scouts, she has served in numerous leadership roles. She concurrently led for four different troops; held many Service Unit positions (too many to count she says); chaired a diverse assortment of events, and worked on multiple council committees. When not volunteering with Girl Scouts, she loves to craft and be outdoors.

Even on hard days, the smile on a girl’s face when she realizes she can do anything motivated Anna. She once had a woman contact her on Facebook and ask, "Weren’t you my Girl Scout leader?" She went on to say, "we had the best fun, and I learned so much from you."

 

 

LauraTorgerud

Laura Torgerud, Bettendorf, Iowa
Laura Torgerud has been a Girl Scout for ten years. She has served in different capacities within Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois and Service Unit 857, such as Service Unit Director, Troop Leader, and School Organizer. Laura also serves on council-wide committees to consult on membership initiatives and special events. 

Currently, Laura serves as a Service Unit Product Co-Manager, Troop volunteer, and Service Unit Director Coach. When not enjoying Girl Scouts, Laura serves as Operations Director for the Quad-City Times Bix 7, a 15,000-runner road race and community festival. In her downtime, she enjoys crafting, golfing, traveling, and spending time with family.

 

 

DianeNelson

Diane Nelson, CEO
Diane Nelson has spent more than 20 years of her career developing youth programming for her community. She has led our council through many initiatives from a merger in 2008 to a capital campaign to develop Camp Liberty in 2016. Diane believes that you never know a moment in time when you can change a girl’s life. Because of this, she is continuously innovating new opportunities for girls to have access to the preeminent girl leadership program in the world.

 

 

JillDashner

Jill Dashner, Board Chair
Jill Dashner is currently the Board Chair for the Girls Scouts of Eastern Iowa Western Illinois. She has served on the Board for many years. A highlight for her has been the creation of Camp Liberty because it is an amazing space that blends the Girl Scout outdoor traditions with modern facilities and experiences. In addition to Girl Scouts, she enjoys travel, reading, and hanging out with my husband Jeff and their three dogs.

 

 

Girl Delegates
LilyMitchell

Lily Mitchell, Bettendorf, Iowa
Lily Mitchell and is a senior at Pleasant Valley High School. She has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten and recently achieved the Gold Award. Girl Scouts is one of the most influential parts of her life because it has provided her the opportunity to lead and share her opinion. She served a girl Board Member for one year and has learned that Girl Scouts goes far beyond friendships and selling cookies. When she is not participating in Girl Scouts, you can find her outside in the sun, camping, singing with the Chamber Choir, playing the alto saxophone, or the piano. In the fall, she plans to begin a four-year biology degree with an emphasis on pre-med in preparation for fulfilling her dream to become a doctor.

 

 

Ally-AnnaWheeler

Ally-Anna Wheeler, Anamosa, Iowa
This is Ally-Anna's tenth year as an extremely active and proud Girl Scout. She has worked hard to earn the Bronze and Silver Awards. She also received the Spirit Award and earned the Community Service and Service to Girl Scouts bars as a Cadette. Ally-Anna also serves on the GSEIWI Girl Advisory Board. She is currently working on achieving the Gold Award, Senior-level Community Service bar, Service to Girl Scouts bar, and Volunteer in Training. When she is not at a Girl Scout event, she can most likely be found at show choir, color guard, jazz band, Honor Choir, high school theater, or enjoying extracurricular mathematics. Yes, seriously.

 

 

EllaRosenthal

Ella Rosenthal, Iowa City, Iowa
Ella Rosenthal is a Girl Scout Ambassador and current High School student, where she participates in several clubs and extracurriculars, including JV soccer and being a member of the Student Diversity Committee. Ella loves to participate in every part of Girl Scouts and prides herself on getting to meet and personally know as many of her Girl Scout sisters as possible. She also looks for leadership opportunities like being a counselor-in-training at Camp Liberty and being a member of the Girl Advisory Board. After serving her first term on the Board of Directors last year, Ella is super excited to focus even more on making sure all Girl Scouts are heard and continue to represent all of her fellow Girl Scouts!

 

 

Alternates
MollieSchmelzer

Mollie Schmelzer, Bettendorf, Iowa
This is Mollie Schmeizer's 16th year in Girl Scouts! She is a leader for the fifth grade Junior troop at Lourdes Catholic School in Bettendorf and a co-leader for a troop for girls in middle and high school in Bettendorf. She is also the co-event coordinator and co-Service Unit Director for 857. She was on the planning committee for Leader Low Down and volunteered for Camp Conestoga as well. 

The highlight of her girl years was participating as a Program Aide because she loved working with younger girls. Her biggest highlight as a leader is guiding her Junior Troop through earning the Bronze Award. She also enjoys traveling and trying new things with the girls. Outside of Girl Scouts, she keeps busy as a child and adolescent therapist, and she loves incorporating art and play into her work. When not working or volunteering with Girl Scouts, she is likely to be spending time with her nieces or creating art. As an artist, she likes to paint, draw, sculpt, knit, and craft in any medium she can find.

 

 

AngeliaMitchell

Angelia Mitchell, Bettendorf, Iowa
Angelia Mitchell was a girl in Girl Scouts for 12 years before she transitioned to a leader as soon as she could. She now has been leading for ten years. In her time as a leader, Angelia has volunteered with her Troop weekly, as well as monthly weekend outings. She has also volunteered as Service Unit Director, the Troop Product Manager, First Aid CPR Instructor, and Outdoor Skills and Program Aide Facilitator. 

Angelia’s favorite thing about Girl Scouts is the stability it brings in the lives of the girls, no matter where they live, or what their homes are like, there is a Girl Scout meeting that connects all girls. In her past time she enjoys spending time with her family outdoors, camping, hiking, boating, and fishing.

 

 

LeAnnaSmith

LeAnna Smith, Cedar Falls, Iowa
LeAnna Smith has been a Girl Scout Leader for seven years. She loves being in Girl Scouts because it allows her to participate in things that she never had the change to as a child. The biggest highlights for her are a toss-up between camping, the Cookie Program, and receiving the Volunteer of Excellence Award. Receiving the Volunteer of Excellence Award meant everything to her because she was honored for doing something that she loves. 

Growing up in Chicago, she was never afforded the opportunity to go camping. With Girl Scouts, her Troop now camps annually. When not volunteering with Girl Scouts, she enjoys volunteering, crafting, and cheering on her daughter at swim meets.



Please share your thoughts on the following proposals by emailing Info@GirlScoutsToday.org. Proposal information will also be shared on membership email newsletters and gsLive. 

Proposals for Consideration at 2020 Girl Scout National Council Session

#1 Establishment of a Task Force to Examine the Feasibility of a National Gold Award Scholarship Foundation

Originated by:

  • Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana

Proposal

THAT the National Council establishes a task group overseen by GSUSA and 2 council representatives, which includes volunteers, council staff, GSUSA Board members, and GSUSA representatives, charged with examining the feasibility of developing a college scholarship foundation to benefit Gold Award Girl Scouts. The task group will report back on the feasibility, recommendation and timeline for the potential establishment of the foundation by the 2023 National Council Session. The GSUSA Board of Directors shall appoint all members of this task force.

#2 Constitutional Amendment on Membership Dues

Originated by:

  • National Board, on the recommendation of the National Council Session Advisory Team and Dues Subgroup

Proposal

To amend Article IX (Membership Dues) of the Constitution by adding as follows:

Proposed Amendment

Every person accepting the principles of the Girl Scout Movement and desiring to be a member of the Girl Scout Movement in the United States of America shall pay annual, lifetime, or other applicable membership dues to Girl Scouts of the United States of America.

Dues are set by the National Council or the National Board.

The National Board shall implement procedures for communicating with and seeking input from Girl Scout councils and National Council delegates before any membership dues change by the National Board.

#3 Adoption of a Procedure for Communication on Dues Actions by the National Board

Originated by:

  • National Board, on the recommendation of the National Council Session Advisory Team and Dues Subgroup

Proposal

To amend the Credentials portion of the Blue Book of Basic Documents on page 26 following the Membership Dues and Procedures for Registration Section to create the following new procedure:

Proposed Adoption

Communications Procedures for National Board Dues Changes

Before any vote by the National Board to change membership dues structure or amount, Girl Scouts of the USA shall communicate with and seek input from local Girl Scout councils and National Council delegates on the proposed changes, the intended use of the funds, and potential impact on the Girl Scout Movement. After an action is taken by the National Board, there shall be a report to Girl Scout councils and National Council delegates of the decision taken and the impact of the dues change.

#4 Membership Dues Increase Restriction

Originated by:

  • Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana

Proposal

TO amend provisions in the Membership Dues and Procedures for Registration section of the Blue Book of Basic Documents p. 25, by inserting after “affiliation” and before “Girl Scout” the wording, as follows:

 

Proposed Amendment

Membership Dues and Procedures for Registration

In order to be a member of the Girl Scout Movement in the United States of America, a person must register with and pay annual, lifetime, or other applicable membership dues to Girl Scouts of the United States of America. This is done locally through the Girl Scout council of USA Girl Scouts Overseas committee with which she or he is affiliated or through national headquarters if she or he has no council affiliation. The National Board of Directors must seek approval from the National Council whenever a planned dues increase will result in dues increasing more than a total of 25% in any one triennium. Girl Scout councils account for membership dues in the custodian fund and transmit to GSUSA within two months of receipt all monies received for membership dues. These funds are not to be invested by the council for the purpose of generating income for the council.

#5 Constitutional Amendment on Consistency in Delegate Terms

Originated by:

  • Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey
  • Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England

Proposal

THAT Article IV (The National Council), Section 7 (Term of Delegates) of the Constitution of Girl Scouts of the USA be amended by inserting the words, “shall be elected in the calendar year preceding the National Council Session and” after the word “councils” and before the word “shall”. If approved, the text would read as follows:

Proposed Amendment

Subject to the requirements of the preceding sections of this article, delegates elected by local councils shall be elected in the calendar year preceding the National Council Session and shall serve as members of the National Council for three years from the date of their election or until their successors are elected, provided they remain the delegates of the local council which elected them; delegates from USA Girl Scouts overseas shall serve as members for three years from the date of their selection or until their successors are selected, provided they remain delegates from the USA Girl Scouts Overseas; members of the National Board of Directors and National Board Development Committee shall be members of the National Council during their term in office; those persons elected by the National Council shall serve until the next regular session of the National Council.

#6 Lifetime Membership Discount

Originated by:  

  • Girl Scouts of Connecticut

Proposal

TO amend provisions in the Credentials/ Certificate of Membership/ Membership Requirements/ Lifetime Membership section of The Blue Book of Basic Documents (pp.25-26) by adding as follows:

Proposed Amendment

Lifetime members pay $400 lifetime membership dues at the time they become lifetime members; discounted lifetime membership dues of $200 shall be offered to anyone who was a registered Girl Scout member before the age of 18 and is under the age of 30 at the time of becoming a lifetime member; discounted lifetime membership dues of $200 shall be offered to anyone who is a registered member and has served as a volunteer for a period of 10 or more years at the time of becoming a lifetime member.