September 2023 Our Promise
Our Promise Sept. 2023
Welcome to the September issue of Our Promise !
including breaking ground on the new state-of-the-art Berges Family Creation and Imagination Station at Camp Fiddlecreek, trail renovations at Camp Cedarledge and new play structures installed at all three camping properties. Launching this fall, GSEM will be offering expanded life skills programming, focusing on professional development and socio-emotional well-being, for our Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors in 9th through 12th grades. By partnering with educational institutions and community experts, our new and innovative programs ensure that our Girl Scouts and adults who support them will receive timely and relevant information. The commitment our Girl Scouts demonstrate today will equip them with skills needed to courageously navigate their future workplaces, academic, or military endeavors tomorrow. Stay tuned for additional updates in future editions of Our Promise . I am overjoyed for the Girl Scout year ahead! Thank you for everything you do to support Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, together we will create a stronger opportunity for all girls every where to achieve their goals!
As long summer days come to an end, and we gear up for a new school and Girl Scout year, I am excited about the months ahead. After nearly three decades spent in higher education leadership, fall has always been one of my favorite seasons—it is a time for new beginnings, relationships, and embracing the amazing opportunities before us. Here at GSEM, we are excited about the journey ahead for all girls while working collaboratively to create a space for each to succeed! This summer, our Girl Scout Camps were alive with discovery, laughter and excitement as Girl Scouts enjoyed impressive adventures at a plethora of our overnight camps. Camp provides an opportunity for leadership to take center stage as girls dive into age-appropriate activities they love—like hiking, horseback riding and canoeing— holistically enabling them, at every turn, to discover their values and their passions. Girl Scouts connect with others from diverse backgrounds, while engaging in activities that provide the necessary skillsets to protect our natural world and develop leadership competencies for the benefit of future generations. In addition to exceptional outdoor programing, progress was made on many camp capital projects made possible by the Her Future is Our Future Comprehensive Campaign,
Natissia Small, Ed.D. CEO, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri
For more than 100 years, Girl Scouts have discovered the wonders of nature, experienced the thrill of adventure, and challenged themselves and one another to reach new heights. These experiences hone their outdoor and leadership skills, inspire them to take action to protect the environment, and reinforce new friendships that last a lifetime.
their camp experience. They are equipped with skills, memories, and connections that promote lifelong success.
Your support makes it possible for every girl in the region to access the full range of Girl Scout programming, from building a robot to outdoor adventures at our iconic Girl Scout Camps. Below are a few of the outdoor experiences available to 30,000 eastern Missouri Girl Scouts annually.
At Camp: • Overnight Camp • Day Camp • Troop Camp • Hiking • Equestrian Programs • Archery • High Ropes • Climbing Wall and Zipline • Geocaching
In the Community: • Urban Archery Series • Girl Scouts Love State Parks • STEM in Nature and Eco Friend Badges • Sustainability Highest Award Projects • Girl Scout Tree Promise
Despite the known benefits of spending quality time outside, our youth are becoming increasingly sedentary and disconnected from nature. Extended school hours, reduced recess periods, and popular tech-based leisure activities are all contributing factors that affect the socio-emotional well-being of our girls—but Girl Scouts’ camping and outdoor programming offer girls another path to discover their resiliency, fortitude, and ability to persevere. What girls learn at Girl Scout Camp lasts far beyond
Meet the Camp Senior Managers! Ally Roehl, Camp Cedarledge
Ally Roehl has worked for Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri for five years. As the Senior Manager of Camping Programs for Camp Cedarledge, she is excited to share her love of the outdoors with Girl Scouts of all ages. In the office she’s known as Ally but out at camp, the campers and staff call her Rudolph. “As a child, I looked forward to attending Girl Scout Overnight and Day camps every summer. It was my favorite part of the summer and where I was able to spend time with some of my best friends. As a Gold Award Girl Scout and a lifetime Girl Scout member, it’s important to me that Girl Scouts continues to be a safe place for people to be themselves and try new things.” Ana Ripp, Camp Tuckaho Ana Ripp, or known at camp as Casper, has worked at Girl Scout camps for nine years, and has been with Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri since March. She is a lifetime Girl Scout member, Gold Award Girl Scout, and Troop Leader. As the Senior Manager of Camping Programs for Camp Tuckaho and High Adventure, her favorite part is being able to spend time leading programs and she is excited about bringing new opportunities to our campers. “Growing up, I spent every summer out at Girl Scout Camp in Oklahoma, starting as a Daisy. Day Camp and Overnight Camp gave me skills and experiences I never would have otherwise had. As soon as I was able to be on camp staff, I worked at camp every summer. I love being able to pass on my favorite camp memories and traditions, and provide campers with the unique experiences camp has to offer.”
Supporter Spotlight: Three Girl Scout partners bring more PLAY to camp!
Girl Scouts participate in a wide range of impactful activities at GSEM’s three camp properties, but the free play that happens in their down time may be the most important of all! The American Academy of Pediatrics tells us that free play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth. Children who participate in free play develop healthy independence and grow into curious and creative adults. Thanks to the support of the Her Future is Our Future Comprehensive Campaign by three longtime Girl Scout partners—Edward Jones, Dana Brown Charitable Trust and Trio Foundation of St. Louis— more girls will have the opportunity to participate in inclusive free play at GSEM’s three camp properties. Pictured to the right, a wide variety of free play structures are being installed throughout 2023 to enhance girls’ outdoor experience. Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri is so grateful to our community partners, who are shaping lives and providing formative play experiences for thousands of girls at camp each year. Thank you, Edward Jones, Dana Brown Charitable Trust and Trio Foundation of St. Louis!
A Level X play structure was installed at Camp Fiddlecreek in February with support from Trio Foundation of St. Louis. This free play climbing structure allows girls to experience climbing, sensory and tactile play.
Dana Brown Charitable Trust made possible a new boulder climbing structure and Akadinda at Camp Cedarledge, installed in July. The Akadinda is a large musical instrument that provides a unique percussion play experience.
Coming soon, the Edward Jones Outdoor Adventure Center will bring a network of play structures at Camp Tuckaho. With paved paths and a wide variety of adventure elements, this new space will create limitless opportunities for girls to have fun together and learn from one another.
When women come together in support of a common goal, they are unstoppable. Through Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri’s Women’s Leadership Network (WLN), members uplift girls’ big dreams and bright futures. As the premier women’s network in the region, the WLN provides women the opportunity to support one another on their own leadership journeys while working with Girl Scouts to encourage and inspire the next generation of leaders, today’s Girl Scouts. On July 13, the WLN hosted its annual Celebration Luncheon at the Ritz-Carlton St. Louis. More than 150 attendees engaged with several avid Girl Scout campers who shared their favorite camping experiences, such as SWAPs and songs. A seated lunch followed with remarks by Karen Miller, WLN President and Clara Bonstead, a Girl Scout alum and camp counselor, who served as the afternoon’s keynote speaker.
Scan the QR code or visit girlscoutsem.org/wln to join today!
Berges Family Creation and Imagination Station Groundbreaking Construction Begins on New STEM Center at Camp Fiddlecreek. Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri officially broke ground on the Berges Family Creation and Imagination Station at Camp Fiddlecreek in Labadie, Mo. on May 25. This project is being made possible by the Berges Family Foundation and their support of the Her Future is Our Future Comprehensive Campaign. The Berges Family Creation and Imagination Station will offer a vast array of Girl Scout program opportunities led by staff and expert community partners with backgrounds in STEM and the outdoors. Some features of the new building will include a science lab, digital maker space, kitchen, outdoor classrooms, a large outdoor deck, and a podcast broadcast room. Congratulations to Girl Scout Brownie, Mabrey M., whose submission inspired the final name for this special new structure.
Juliette Gordon Low Society Pinning Ceremony Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri was thrilled to welcome several new members into the Juliette Gordon Low Society at our celebration and pinning ceremony on May 12, with special guest speaker Dianne Belk, founder of the Juliette Gordon Low Society, and her husband, Lawrence Calder.
The Juliette Gordon Low Society recognizes those individuals that have indicated that they have included Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri (or Girl Scouts of the USA) in their plans as a beneficiary of their life insurance policy, retirement plan, donor-advised fund, living trust, or in their will. They have ensured that their legacy will live on in the smiles of future generations of Girl Scouts.
GSEM Sends 23 Delegates to the 56th National Council Session
Over the course of three days, July 20-23, 2023, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) held its 56th National Council Session (NCS), a triennial business meeting, which has been held since 1915. GSEM, along with all other Girl Scout Councils and overseas members, sent a delegation of girls, volunteers, board members and staff to represent our council members and discuss, debate and vote on issues important to the Girl Scout Movement. During NCS, GSUSA elected its National Board of Directors for the 2023-2026 triennium. As part of the election, Noorain Fatima Khan was elected National Board President; she is the first Muslim American and millennial to hold this post. Khan will lead a 30-member National Board of Directors, which reflects the diversity of this country and Girl Scouts’ Movement through their expertise and backgrounds. Former GSEM Board Chair, Mary Ann Altergott, was elected as secretary to the National Board. The convention concluded with Phenom by Girl Scouts, a mega event that provided attendees with unforgettable experiences as they gained inspiration, tools to empower themselves, and the know-how to lead change in their communities.
In Her Words: An Interview with Ellie Skroska
Ellie Skroska, a Girl Scout Senior, joined thousands of Girl Scouts from across the country and around the world as a girl delegate during NCS in Orlando, FL.
Why were you interested in attending the Girl Scout National Council Session?
“I wanted to be able to make a difference for the better of all councils across the country. I also wanted to be a leader in my council and help the voices in my community to be heard.” What was your favorite part of NCS? “I really enjoyed getting to meet girls from all around the country. It was really cool to talk about things I love to do with people I otherwise never would’ve met, as well as compare and contrast what Girl Scouts looks like for them.” How has Girl Scouts helped you become a leader? “Girl Scouts has given me a place where I can speak out without fear of being judged. From that, I learned how to be a more outgoing person and how to help others, something I’m really passionate about. That pushed me to lead service projects, earn my Bronze and Silver Awards and begin working on my Gold Award. Because of Girl Scouts, I’m better at being a leader in all aspects of my life.” What is your favorite part of Girl Scouts and why? “My favorite part of Girl Scouts would have to be how often I get to meet new people and learn new things. I’ve met some of my closest friends through Girl Scouts, and I’ve gotten to help make a difference in my community while doing things I enjoy.”
We’re Better Together
“Planned giving is simply deciding ahead of time how you want your assets to be divided beyond your immediate family. You can truly help ensure Girl Scouts continues for future generations.” -Barb Bowyer, Field Committee Chair and Juliette Gordon Low Society Member Extend your support of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri and leave your legacy with a planned gift. The most popular gifts—beneficiary designations or including Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri in a will—can be made simply by signing a form or adding a sentence to a will. Our team would be happy to help you structure a gift strategy that creates a long-lasting impact and meets your financial and philanthropic goals. Contact Janine Lawler at 314.592.2367 or email@example.com . Additional resources, including free will and trust preparation, can be found on the Girl Scouts of the USA website at legacy.girlscouts.org .
The Juliette Gordon Low Society celebrates those thoughtful individuals who are investing in girls of the future and ensuring their opportunity to be Girl Scouts. Together, we will empower girls to reach their fullest potential and build a better world. As a Juliette Gordon Low Society member, you will be invited to attend a special annual recognition celebration, listed as a Society member in select Girl Scout publications and on our website, and receive a membership lapel pin. If you have already included Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri in your estate plans, please let us know by contacting Janine Lawler, so that we can recognize you as a Society member.
Easy ways to leave your legacy and become a member of the Juliette Gordon Low Society are to designate GSEM as a beneficiary of any of the following: • Will • Life Insurance Policy • Retirement Plan • Living Trust • Donor Advised Fund • Remainder Gift of Real Estate • Charitable Gift Annuity • Charitable Remainder Trust Even a small percentage can leave a big impact!
With sincerest appreciation and gratitude, we recognize those who made a memorial or tribute gift to Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri from March 1, 2023 to June 30, 2023. Memorial and Tribute Gifts
In Honor of Bonnie Barczykowski Douglas and Lynn Yaeger In Appreciation of Brianna Difani Shea Stuart In Memory of Karen Duncan Anonymous Sheri Ewing Darla J. Gray
In Honor of Famous Footwear and Abbey Eilemann Coded Agency, LLC In Honor of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri Gene Hanneke
In Honor of Georgia McCarther Dana More In Memory of Suzanne McSwain Gloria H. McSwain
In Honor of Jo Ann Taylor Kindle Annie Schlafly In memory of Pamela and Jessie Vickers Paula Vickers
In memory of Georgia GG Anthony Bartee
In Memory of my Senior Mariner Troop M.S-Galaxy Susan and Lawrence Quick
In Honor of Linda Zeman Mary Beth Hopkins
In Honor of Dawn Kotva Craig Johnson Mr. and Dr. Robert Schuette
In Memory of Sallie H. Simmons Brenda Irving
D9 Flamingo Girls Katherine Heller Anne McCormack Sharon Seithel Ms. Carol J. Stough Debbie Vineyard
In memory of Janet Loth Kelly Sell
Memorial and tribute gifts may be made at supportgirlscoutsem.org/donate .
Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri 2300 Ball Dr. St. Louis, MO 63146 314.592.2300
At Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri's signature event, Dessert First , you are the judge of delicious, Girl Scout Cookie-inspired treats! The evening culminates with a formal seated dinner and program, during which four Legacy Builders and three extraordinary Gold Award Girl Scouts are recognized. FEBRUARY 29, 2024 Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri’s annual Giving Circle Reception brings together our most dedicated and passionate supporters, members of the Golden Trefoil Society, Partners in Leadership and Juliette Gordon Low Society, to celebrate the collective impact of their support and hear directly from the Girl Scouts who benefit. For more information on Girl Scout Giving Circles, visit girlscoutsem.org . NOVEMBER 9, 2023 Mark your calendars for the WLN's annual Networking Reception , a special event for women who are interested in paying it forward, connecting with a diverse network and uplifting our next generation of Girl Scouts. OCTOBER 18, 2023
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